There was little investigation necessary; it was all quite cut and dried. The horror to Laurie was awakening to find what she thought had been a nightmare was actually a fact; Uncle Julian had managed to walk or crawl into the house undetected, find Mark Coleman and shoot him, then, take his own life. He had kept his word; he’d stopped the Colemans’ power-hungry climb once and for all… and Byron Acker at an emergency caucus had deservedly received the party’s nomination.

She thought of these things now as she sat beside her Phillip, her small hand inside his warm, strong one, the drone of the plane that was carrying them back to Rio Lado gently lulling her into a drowsy state of placid contentment. She had never been so happy in her young life. She felt his hand tighten on hers and looked to see him smiling handsomely at her.

“Penny for your thoughts,” he said softly.

“They’re really worth more,” she said, returning his smile. “But I’ll tell you anyway. I was thinking how happy I am… and how lucky to have such a talented, protective, handsome, virile husband.”

“I like the last part best of all,” he whispered. “The virile end of it.”

Little sparkling lights began to dance in her eyes. “To be honest with you, I like that end of you pretty well myself, Darling. In fact, if it were possible, I’d have some right now.”

“Tease,” he said, as her finger scratched tauntingly at the palm of his hand. “Wait till I get you home.”

“I’ll try,” she replied, smiling impishly. “But, do you think little old me will be able to satisfy the unquenchable lust of such an up and coming young attorney… all by my little old self?”

He pretended to think about it and she watched him mischievously. Dear God, how she loved him, she thought. They were going to be so happy.

“After giving it due consideration, and, using the skilled judgment of an ex-politician, it occurs to me that you’ve raised a grave question,” he said, feigning at judicial cogitation.

“Is that so?”

He grinned slyly. “But I don’t believe it’ll be a problem.”

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