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Chapter 20 - The Spy Who Loves Me

The three days in the City of Lights and Dreams were coming to an end for Fei and Quin.  Though they were reluctant for their honeymoon to be over so soon, they knew this was inevitable.  While they were packing the last few items of their belongings, a knock came on the door of their hotel room.  They looked at each other with startled eyes as there was no reason anyone should be calling on them at this hour in the night, or early morning. They both looked at the watch on their wrist to confirm.  It was 3 am.
Then Fei went and looked through the door’s peep hole, he opened the door when he recognized it was the front desk manager.
“Mr. Tsui, good morning!”  The manager greeted him professionally.  “The morning call you requested, was it to your satisfaction?”
Remembering being woken twice within the last half an hour, he nodded. “Yes, thank you very much!”  Then he said as nonchalantly as he could.  “You certainly made certain we woke up.”
Not catching the hidden meaning behind Fei’s statement, the manager handed him a sealed envelope. “I am here to deliver this to you.” 
With an initial feel of the envelope, Fei was pretty certain there were two pen-like items inside.  Curious, he studied the envelope from front to back a few times to identify the sender.  When all he saw was the hotel’s logo, Fei thought the manager was here to deliver the bill with two pens as souvenirs.  He chuckled and said to the manager.  “Are you afraid we would leave without paying?”
The manager started laughing but Fei could tell he was wondering if this was a possibility.  Fei smiled to himself for having the knack in reading people’s thoughts at times, this was one of those times.  
Quin came and stood beside her husband who handed the envelope to her. Looking at the manager, she asked.  “Who is it from?”
“I didn’t ask my staff, I was only told to make sure this was delivered to your room after your wake up call for the airport.”  The manager checked his watch.  “Your airport shuttle will be here in 30 minutes.  Is there anything else I can help you with?”
Fei and Quin thought about the offer and both answered at the same time.  “Umm … no. We are good, thank you!”
Surprised by how synchronized the couple was, the manager was waiting for one of them to jinx the other.  But when he saw the couple were just as surprised, he offered to shake hands with them.  “That’s great then! And thank you for staying at The Flamingo.  I wish you both the very safe journey home!”
“Thank you!”  Fei and Quin replied again at the same time.   
As Fei locked the door, Quin ripped the envelope open.  Inside were a bunch of laminated coupons and two orange colored pens.  Quin pulled out the hand-made card that was inside.  As soon as she saw the name, she smiled and shook her head because she was totally surprised and amaze at the same time.
“Who is it from?”  Fei asked.
Quin quickly read through the writing on the card and handed it to Fei who skipped to the signature.  “Aleiya’s Grandma?” 
“Yeah, the one who yelled really loud for you to kiss me at the end of the ceremony, remember?”  Quin reminded him.
“I remember.”  Fei smiled at the memory.  Then he turned back to the card and read it out loud.
“Here are 15 coupons for ‘Shout It Out Stain Remover and two Tide to Go instant Stain Remover Pens. These coupons should last you both for the rest of your life as husband and wife.  And remember to keep the pens with you wherever you go.  It's a reminder to remove whatever stains you have before it becomes permanent damage.”  Fei furrowed his brows and scratched his head after reading the card.
Quin handed him one of the orange pens she took out from the envelope.
“I have never seen anyone giving laundry coupons and stain remover pens as wedding gifts.” Fei noted. “Is she really frugal?”
Quin flipped one of the laminated coupons over.  “Shout It Out with Love is patient!” She flipped another one. “Shout It Out with Love is Kind!”
Curious, Fei took three coupons from Quin.  “Shout It Out with Love does not envy.”  He flipped another one. “Love does not boast.  Love is not proud.”
They both read through the rest of the coupons and realized each one contained a verse of The Chapter of Love from the Bible.  After reading all 15 coupons, Quin said to her husband.  “She is not frugal.  She just gave us the priceless tools for building a successful marriage!”
“With stain removers? Why?”  Fei looked at her in puzzlement.
She looked at her husband and shook her head in disbelief.  She poked him in the chest and said.  “Cause you need to learn to do your own laundry for the next 10 weeks in Quantico!”  Then she walked away to finish her packing.
“Hey! But I thought that’s what I married you for!”
Just before Quin entered the bathroom, she turned and flashed him a cheeky smile.  “You thought wrong, Mr. FBI!”
“My name is spelled FEI, not FBI!”
Hours later when they arrived at the airport in Washington, DC, Quin continued on to Baltimore while Fei headed Quantico to the 203rd session of the FBI National Academy, aka FBI NA.  Upon attending his orientation over the next two days, he learned that everyone there represented less than half of one percent of law enforcement officers throughout the world and everyone single one was a selected candidate.
So one could only imagine how honored and privileged Fei felt to be given this opportunity.  He was also one of the few youngest ever to be selected to FBI NA, not to mention he was the first youngest Asian ever to be selected.  It was also known that approximately one out of seven NA graduates would become head of a department.  And he knew he had his wife to thank for this and vowed in his heart to make her proud one day.
For Fei, the first week at Quantico was mainly about settling in.  Not only was he excited about the classes and training, he was equally excited that he was blessed with a good roommate from Singapore who was a generation older.  On the first night, he told Quin over their daily phone call how he was apprehensive about being ‘stuck’ in such close living spaces with a stranger.   A week later, he was telling her how he couldn’t be happier that he and Andrew had the same taste in music, food, television, along with sleeping habits and hygiene.
“Are you going to like living with Andrew so much that you won’t want to live with me when your training is over?”  Quin teased over the phone.
“Not a chance!”  Fei quickly replied.  Then he whispered into the mouthpiece.  “I need you to warm my bed.”
The FBI NA was designed to challenge officers and trained them to become well-rounded law enforcement leaders.  They were best known among other leadership school for their physical training.  Physical fitness classes were mandatory for all attendees.
During the first week, everyone had to go for the challenge run known as the ‘Not in Kansas Anymore’ run.  It was a 1.8 mile run and Fei being the youngest and fittest was of course the first to complete it in record breaking time.  As the other runners completed their run, they remained at the finish line to cheer on their classmates.  When Fei saw Andrew among the last few runners who were coming in, he and a dozen of others got up and ran back out to join them and accompanied them to cross the finish line.
That night when he called Quin to tell her of his day, some of his teammates were calling to him. 
“Hey Flygon!”
“They gave you a new name?”  Quin asked amusingly.
“Yeah, they gave me that name when I told them Fei means ‘to fly’ in Chinese.”
“Really?  I always thought your name meant ‘unless.’” Quin teased.  “You know, Tsui Fei.  Unless! … Tsui Fei!”
“Oh yeah?!”  Fei was trying hard to come up with a rebuttal.  “Unless … unless you want me to ditch you, you’d better learn the true meaning of your husband’s name!”
“If you ditch me, I’ll just put myself back into the sea.”  She made a pondering sound.  “Hmmm…maybe I’ll finally give Aaron a chance.”
“Who’s Aaron?”  That came like a speeding bullet to Quin’s ear.
“Oh, I ran into him today.”  Quin told her husband about her encounter with Aaron and how they met years ago at the university and how they became really good friends during the last two years of her undergrad.  She also told him how Aaron used to look after her when she was sick and how he possessed the perfect image of what her perfect boyfriend would have been like. Though Fei kept quiet the entire minute or so, she could sense her husband’s apprehension over the phone.     
“Then why didn’t you marry him?”  A tad of jealousy escaped Fei’s tone and a smile appeared on her lips.
“Well, for one, he never asked!”  She didn’t feel like explaining that Aaron was like a brother to her, but she loved that jealous side of her husband.  “By the way, do you feel like you are the luckiest man in the world for being married to me?”
“Why?”  His tone turned cautious.
“Just before I flew back to Hong Kong for the conference, I bumped into Aaron and his girlfriend.  When he introduced me to her, he told her that the man whom I marry will be the luckiest man in the world.”  Quin didn’t think Fei needed to know that Aaron was unattached again when she ran into him today.  When he didn’t say anything, she pressed on.  “So do you feel you are the luckiest man or not?”
Fei was quiet for a moment longer.  “It’s a trick question, isn’t it?  He didn’t really say that!”
“Honestly!  He did!”  Quin told him.  “I’m not lying!”
Fei chuckled.  “Then I would be really surprised if the girlfriend didn’t break up with him right after!”
Quin laughed as well.  “Yeah, that was pretty much what happened!”
A week later on a rainy Friday afternoon in July, Quin was trying to relax in her small Baltimore apartment after a busy day of research as well as cooking up a meal for a special guest who should be arriving anytime now.  When she turned on the radio, the song Nobody Does It Better by Carly Simon came on.  That was also when the doorbell rang.  Eagerly she approached the door, and without looking through the peep hole, she swung the door wide open.   Standing right in front of her was a tall, dark knight dressed in a stylish outfit.  He was wearing a Trilby-style hat and a pair of black sunglasses and was looking right at her.  Quin gasped but it was too late to slam the door close now.
“Is that really you?  You finally came!”  Quin could only dare herself to dream it was him. “The spy who loves me?”
The man took off his hat and placed it on Quin’s head.  Then he took off his sunglasses and gave her his usual charming smile.  “Yes, it’s me! Bond, James Bond.”
“My husband is on his way here.”  Quin was totally mesmerized by his charm. “What took you so long, James?” 
“Sorry my love!”  He stepped forward and his arm reached around her waist to pull the small of her back to him, causing her to jerk her spine up with a gasp of air.  “Traffic!”
“What if my husband shows up?”  Quin’s heart dropped to the bottom of her stomach when the man puts his index finger on her lips. 
With a devious smirk, he said to her seductively.  “Then we had better get going before he gets here!”
Looking into those captivating eyes, Quin’s universe blanked out.  “Take me, James!”
“My pleasure!”  With his free arm, he reached behind to close the door and locked it as Quin willingly allowed him to taste the sweet strawberry flavor lip gloss on her lips as the background music grew louder and louder.
Ending Song - Nobody Does it Better by Carly Simon