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Healing Tess

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Special Agent In-Charge Douglas Chesnic slowly spun a dethorned rose stem between his fingers, taking care not to accidentally injure its delicate bud. His concentrated gaze wavered between the rose and his charge, now safe at home and gently snoring, the former First Lady of the United States of America, one formidable Tess Carlisle. Still amazed at the speed of her seemingly complete recovery from such a horrific ordeal, Doug allowed himself a small smile and silently replaced the rose on its nightstand tray.

The bedroom's temperature had dropped earlier in the evening; to prevent any further chilliness, Doug reached down for the quilt to pull it up over their bare, entwined legs, moving deliberately and slowly so as not to wake Tess. She gave a long, contented sigh and muttered quietly as she turned on her side and snuggled against his shoulder ... and Doug came to an even more amazed conclusion that this was precisely what was needed in order to restore a sense of peace and quiet to not only the household, but to his own heart, as well.