With that particular question settled, we could move on to other things, more important things—well, I can’t exactly say that. Marriage is a big step, a huge thing, and April would hit me if she knew I was saying it was not important. It is.
I just meant—she’d said yes, and we weren’t discussing it anymore, not fighting over it or anything. Not like before. It was something we’d need to talk about, to plan, but that could come later. It didn’t have to happen right then.
I kind of figured that she would want to finish up with school before making any real plans, and I was okay with that. Larabee would probably say that we should just get it over with because then we’d be able to get rid of one of our places. He was sick of looking for bugs in all of them. I knew it was more work that way, so I guess I couldn’t blame him. Still, April needed her space while she finished school, and I didn’t want to bring any more of my mess into her life right away.
In fact, it was my hope to settle this conspiracy business once and for all before the whole marriage thing happened.
As usual, something went kind of… wrong.
“Guys, guys, wait! I just thought of something!” Larabee yelled right as April’s lips met Clayton’s, and they both groaned. Larabee had some kind of timing, didn’t he? A real knack for interrupting their moments. He was rather good at that.
April pulled Clay close for a quick kiss anyway. Well, it should have been a quick one, he figured, but they got kind of caught up in the moment and had a proper just engaged kiss before Larabee reached them, out of breath.
“Wow. I thought running was bad. How do you two do it?”
“Okay, okay, never mind. Look, I was thinking about this whole conspiracy business, and I thought maybe the answer isn’t in our office like we’ve been thinking. What if—and prepare to be shattered by my brilliance here—the key to it is April’s ex-boyfriend?”
“What?” April asked, shaking her head. “I know I brought up Brady’s possible involvement before, but I don’t know about him being the key to all of this. I’m probably just being paranoid.”
“Not to mention that we really don’t want to be discussing April’s ex at the moment, okay? It really ruins the mood,” Clayton grumbled. April gave him a look before shaking her head and tapping on the ring on her finger. He knew she wanted him, that she’d just said yes to marrying him, but that didn’t mean that he wanted to talk about her ex. He wasn’t just jealous. He really didn’t want to think about the guy.
“Well, you know, the whole mood thing aside, if he is involved in the conspiracy, he’d be easier to track and get information on than your boss. Less dangerous than sneaking around the CIA looking for some kind of rogue operation that might not exist,” Larabee insisted. “Besides, we can—wait a minute.”
Clayton rolled his eyes, waiting for the latest ‘brilliance’ to get itself over with, but Larabee snatched up April’s hand and looked at the ring. His eyes tried to bulge out of his skull, an excessive reaction, but it was Larabee. He pointed to April. “You—he—ring?”
“If that’s your incoherent way of asking—yes, I agreed to be Ninety-Nine,” April informed him, amused. Her smile dropped as he enveloped her in a big Larabee bear hug. She patted him on the back and tried to get free, but Clayton ducked behind her, trying to avoid his own hug.
“This is going to be great. You’re getting married. There will be a little cake with a superhero and bride on it, and I’ll help with the decorations, and oh, April, let me help with the dress, too! I’m not bad at designing things.”
“You are not making April a wedding dress out of spandex,” Clayton objected, shaking his head. “And listen to you. I thought when you heard about this you’d be bugging me about being the best man, but you’re sounding more like a maid of honor.”
“Excuse me, mad scientist. I can do anything or be anything I want to be,” Larabee objected indignantly. “That does include fashion design, if I want it to.”
“Your idea of fashion scares me.”
“We are not making this a big production, Larabee. In fact, I don’t want to plan anything until after I’ve finished school,” April said firmly. Clayton had been about to offer to elope, but they could wait, too. That was okay by him. “And maybe you’re right about Brady, but it’s late. We’re all going home and we’re going to sleep, and tomorrow we can see about doing something about Brady.”
“Oh, I get it. You two want to be alone, don’t you?”
“I’m going; I’m going. I’m going to make you a fantastic wedding dress, April,” he assured her. “Oh, and I am the best man, Clayton! Don’t forget that.”
Clayton looked at her. “We should elope while we still have the chance.”
“Don’t tempt me.”