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Spider's Web

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Ben frowned as he heard a thump. The whole point of this place was that people weren't supposed to find it. He drew his gun and edged into the next room but saw nothing. He was probably just overreacting. He had just kidnapped a senator's daughter after all. With a sigh, he holstered his gun once more. Just as he pass through the door way, there was a gun at his throat. "Don't move," Jezzie ordered. "Turn around, hands on the wall, feet apart."

"Hi Jezz," he greeted. "Where'd you come from?" Like there wasn't a gun in his back.

"You know something, Devine, you're pretty stupid. Your car in the driveway, TV so loud you wouldn't hear a SWAT team come in."

"What do you—"

"Shut up!"

Ben stared at Jezzie. Her façade held for only a few more seconds before she started laughing. Ben laughed with her. That was his Jezzie. Always making jokes. She leaned up and Ben cupped her face as he kissed her. It was going to be alright now.

Jezzie licked her lips as she pulled away. "Where's Megan?"

Ben smiled. "Taken care of, of course. You didn't think I'd drop the ball on that did you?"

"I worried," she admitted, biting her lip. Then she brightened. "But I should have trusted you."

"Yes you should have," he agreed, kissing her again. "You're lucky I'm such a forgiving man."

"Mm, very lucky." Jezzie's look became coy and excited. "Can I see them?"

Ben gave her a half smile and a nod before going to get the thermos. Jezzie moved back into the other room, smiling as idle thoughts of being rich ran through her head. "Hey," Ben called as he followed her. "Do you know we spent an entire year following Soneji's every movie?" He held the thermos in front of her. "I think we deserve these." Jezzie smiled as she poured the diamonds out into her hand. "Beats the hell out of a secret service pension, huh?" he teased, wrapping around her from behind.

"Sure does," she murmured, transfixed by the way they sparkled in the light.

Ben leaned in close to her ear. "You know, we don't have to use all of them. We could save a few. Have them made into some jewelry. A necklace maybe. Or a ring."

Jezzie giggled as she looked at him over her shoulder. "Are you implying something, Mr. Devine?"

"Maybe I want to go legitimate when we get to Morocco." He nuzzled her hair. "Makes an honest woman out of you."

"Is that so, Devine?"

"It is. After all, it's not like I'm going to find anyone better. Profiling a profiler? Kidnap from the kidnaper? That's…brilliant. You're a genius, Jez." He leaned in to kiss her under her jaw. One of her favorite spots.

"Genius has nothing to do with it. I'm just good at what I do."

Ben took the diamonds back from her. "Well, it didn't hurt that everyone else involved was a complete half wit."

"You think Alex Cross is a half wit?" she demanded. "You really think he killed Soneji to save my life?" Ben gave her a vaguely frightened look and she rolled her eyes. "Cross pulled the trigger because he knew Soneji didn't have Megan anymore."

Worry, nervousness and guilt all flickered across Ben's face as he made his way back to her. "What are you saying?"

"I'm saying that sooner or later he's going to figure it out. He already knows Soneji didn't run the ransom."

"He's onto us already," Ben said in a small voice.

"No, he's not onto us," Jezzie replied. "He's onto you." Real fear began to creep into Ben's eyes. "But we can still salvage this. Is Megan dead?"

"I told you she was, didn't I?" he snapped. "Are you calling me a liar? I killed a damn kid for you, Jezzie!"

"For us," Jezzie soothed. "I need to plan our next move. Cross wasn't supposed to pick up this fast. But we can still come out on top."

Panic was still near the surface in Ben's eyes. "How?"

"We can leave now. They'll be focused on Megan. We have a very small window but if we use it right, we'll be okay."

"So what do we do?"

"Is everything packed?"

"Packed and in the car. We can leave whenever."

Jezzie kissed him. "We're going to be okay, Ben. Just trust me."

"Always have, Jez. Always will."

"Then come on." They shared one more kiss before Jezzie directed him to change his clothes. They burned the old ones in the fireplace then hurried to the car. Jezzie had Ben drive and directed him to the nearest airport. He paid cash for their tickets. They wanted as small of a paper trail as possible.

"This has to work," Ben hissed as they waited, constantly scanning the crowd.

"It will work," Jezzie told him, smoothing down his clothes. "Now stop looking so nervous." She grinned up at him. "We're pretending to be madly in love, remember?"

"No pretending needed," he smiled. He kissed her soundly. "I think I hear our plane being called, darling."

"Then let's get on it," Jezzie said. "We have new lives to start."

"Oh yes, we do," Ben agreed.

Six months later, Ben strolled out of the beach house to find Jezzie in her favorite white bikini, enjoying the waves. "Come on in," she called. "The water is wonderful."

"Later. Come up here. I have news."

Jezzie jogged up to him. "Must be good news," she said. "You look happy."

"And you look beautiful," he replied, pulling her close to cuddle with him. "I'm always happy with you."

"Yeah but you look extra happy right now." Jezzie twined her arms around his neck. "So tell me why you're smiling."

"Because I was just watching the news. Want to know what they said?"

"Mm, it'd be nice. Before I die of suspense please."

Ben grinned. "They've announced the end of the search for Megan Rose." He gave her a slow, lingering kiss. "We're in the clear now, Jezzie. Officially."

Jezzie returned his grin with one of her own. "We should celebrate."

"We will. Any way you want."

"Oh, I've got a few ideas."

"I love you, Jez."

"I love you too, Ben." She leaned up to kiss him, sunlight glinting off her gold wedding band and making the diamonds on her engagement ring sparkle.