The flames held Marie captive, too. The moment with Frost had ended too soon, and she wanted the privacy to savor the brief memory. At the same time, she wanted to ignore the voices in her head urging her to be careful.
But she couldn’t.
“I promise you, Ian. I would never do anything to endanger our mission.” Hypnotized by the fire’s subtle destruction of the kindling, she spoke with little emotion. “I’m prepared to do quite the opposite.”
“I pray it doesn’t come to that.”
She didn’t answer. Though she technically hadn’t lied to Ian, neither had she been entirely truthful. The promise she made him wasn’t in her power to keep. She could be endangering the mission with her silence.
Just as the fire bit at the wood, questions burned her conscience. Why did Frost need his jacket, and why hadn’t he taken it? Did he have another reason, a more sinister reason, for breaking into her flat?
Colin would think so. His instructions had been crystal clear. If she met Frost again, Colin demanded to be told.
In the alley, she had thought it romantic to imagine Frost in her apartment. But now the glow from his warmth had been replaced by cold facts. Frost was a German who knew too much about her, including her code name. Something Ian didn’t even seem to know.
Had Frost searched her belongings? Her personal papers?
Nothing tied her to this mission except the cards from Hector that accompanied his gifts. Surely Frost wouldn’t think she actually enjoyed the Spaniard’s attentions. But would he guess that she was passing misinformation to the Germans through the Spanish embassy? And if he did guess, what would he do about it?
She pressed her hand against her temple.
Beside her, Ian stood. “I’ll be right back,” he said before disappearing into his den. He returned a moment later and handed Marie a framed photograph as he sat beside her.
Blonde wavy hair framed the attractive features of a young woman with gray-blue eyes. “Alison?”
“You loved her. From the first moment you saw her.”
“I always thought love at first sight was for fairy tales.”
“So did I.” Ian’s warm hazel eyes were filled with sympathy and understanding. “But my heart knew differently.”
A sob caught in her throat, and he put his arm around her shoulder. “Our mission will save lives, Marie. And possibly bring an end to this war. If this man—”
“He saved my life.”
“What?” He searched her face, and she tried giving him a reassuring smile. But her lips quivered.
“I can’t tell you any more than that. You’ll just have to trust me.”
He hesitated, then exhaled deeply and squeezed her fingers. “I do trust you.”
“Thank you.” She withdrew her fingers, curling them around the warm mug, and slowly swirled her hot chocolate. The weight of the day pressed against her spirit, causing her head to throb and her heart to ache. So much for her weekend respite from deceit.
Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current works in progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman. Click here for a full list of rules and suggestions.