“Anglo-Dutch actually. My grandparents said it took three generations for my family to finally get along.”

“You will bow before me in subservience! I will be your master!”

“I don’t do well with safe words, I’m just lettin’ ya know right now.”

“If you will not obey…”

“Obey? I can’t even fetch or use the paper. Babydoll, this schmuck thinks I’m the domesticated type!” Micky shrugged at his self-amusing humor as his wife was frantically providing cover fire. “I swear I had no idea we’d be knee-deep in this Triad mumbo jumbo. Believe me: All I had planned was a few light snatch and grabs, light dinner with some tek traders, and then the rest of the weekend was ours for our one-year anniversary.”

June kept shooting. Micky couldn’t see her face since they were separated behind cover, but he knew what she was thinking.

“I didn’t plan this!”

Silence. Shooting. Clip change. Shooting. Silence.

“Babydoll, I know you can hear me. I swear I didn’t plan this.”

June was busy with the onslaught of thugs, but her husband knew she could talk if she wanted to.

“Okay, so maybe I got us in a little over our heads. Maybe, I thought this was easier than it looked.”

Silence. The room was cleared of any threats. All that remained was their treacherous foe beneath the pressure of June’s boot.

“June. June! Junebug!” The ongoing silence pulled Micky off his butt and to the realization of his wife’s accomplishments. “Babydoll! Bravo!” He gave a slow clap as he ran up to June, jumped to the floor in the push-up position, and laughed in the Triad Enforcer’s face. “You didn’t see that part coming, did ya?”

“That you were married?”

June dug her heel into the back of the Enforcer’s neck.

He choked a little.

“You can joke about me all you like, but don’t associate my wife into your little digs. She takes it personally.” Mickey kicked the man. “Very personally.” The young brogue composed himself for his betrothed. “Babydoll, may I have the honor of tying up this shlub and tossing him in the trunk?” He batted his eyes as he zip-tied their opponent. “I’ll let you torture him first.”

“You planned this didn’t you?” June broke her silence. “You knew I could take this room by myself.” She jumped into Micky’s arms as he got up from the ground, knocking the prisoner back down. “You are the best, Mick! Just when I thought you’d let me down, you go and surprise me like that.” Kiss, kiss, kiss. “If this loot is legit, I’ll love you forever.”

“Diamonds. Synthetic grade. The kind of stuff those nuts use to make death rays.” Micky shot a glowing smile and then he kissed her. “That buys a long second honeymoon.”

“It buys you a night of calling the shots,” June whispered into his ear as he picked up the beaten man, kissed her husband’s earlobe and sashayed ahead to their cargo van, and opened the loading door. “Happy anniversary.”

Micky’s jaw dropped.

“I’ll give you the code to the diamond case.” The Triad Enforcer spoke up. “Just promise me I don’t have to ride in the van next to that! You can put me on the hood. The code is alpha on- -.” Muffled.

“No, I insist. You’ll catch a cold on the roof.” Micky tossed the unwilling man inside beside his newest prize and shut the doors. “This is gonna be the best torture ever!” He pumped his fist in towards his chest and kicked his knee up in excitement before he hopped into the driver’s seat.

“You like your present, hun?” June was fixing her makeup in the passenger seat.

“Especially if that tiger is trained.”

“Yup.” She puckered her lips and smudged off her remaining lipstick. “Got it from some Hollywood stunt man. He said it was in some circus flick.” She finished with her eyeliner. “Said it’ll do everything but make your coffee.” She turned back and rapped her knuckles across the separating wall of the van.

The tiger belted a mighty roar from inside its cage.

Their new friend screamed.

“No peein’ yourself back there!” Mickey knocked the wall and the tiger roared again. “I’ll make you clean it while chained to your new bestie!”

The back of the van went silent.