A Single Indemnity Valentine

A Bonus Mini-Epilogue from Single Indemnity!

Ever wonder what Nate & Colin would get each other for Valentine’s Day? You’re in luck! Enjoy…

Pop-art style illustration of a brunette white woman holding a huge gift behind her back, smiling and leaning into a blonde white man with glasses, holding a smaller gift behind his back. Hearts and kisses surround them, and a caption reads "A Valentine from Nate and Colin."

💕 A Nate & Colin Valentine 💕

With a sweep of her pencil, Nate added a final flourish to her costume sketch, pleased with her idea for the gown. 

“Am I interrupting?” 

Her insides promptly melted at the warm, velvet British baritone behind her. 

“Perfect timing.” She turned to find Colin leaning in the doorway. 

“I hope you don’t mind,” he said cheerfully, “but I couldn’t wait to give you your Valentine.”

“I was about to come over with yours as soon as I finished here.” Nate flashed him a smile. “Come on in.”

Colin shut the door behind him as she reached for the flat box on her desk. 

She handed it to him. “You first.”

He chuckled. “All right.” He lifted the lid and pulled out a knitted, tweedy tie. 

“I know we said homemade, but I kinda cheated,” she apologized. “I bought the tie as a base, but added my own embellishments.” 

He adjusted his glasses and peered closely at it, before a delighted grin spread over his handsome face. “Typewriters!”

Nate returned his grin. “I couldn’t resist. Embroidered them myself.” 

“They’re perfect. I love it, Nate.” A sheepish look washed over his features. “But I’m afraid my version of homemade isn’t nearly as elaborate as yours.”

“Oh, stop. This isn’t a competition.”

“All right, then.” He held up a rolled paper tied with a bright red ribbon. “Here you go.”

“Colin Canfield, did you write me a love poem?” 

“I might have.” He shrugged, feigning casualness. “Although, ‘love poem’ implies a sonnet or an ode or something along those lines. I chose to go more of the…limerick route.”

Nate gasped. “Even better!”

She tugged open the ribbon and unrolled the page. Colin’s neat, bold handwriting filled the center, surrounded by a handful of simple line drawings—little stick figures, sewing needles, dancing shoes, even a few hearts. All utterly adorable. 

“I do love your artwork.”

He blushed. “I may not have your skill, but I couldn’t resist. I know what a fan you are of my stick guys.” He offered her a crooked smile. “Go ahead, read it.” 

Nate didn’t need to be told twice. She cleared her throat and read aloud.

There’s a wise-cracking dame named Nate,

Whose hold on my heart sealed my fate.

When I go into my dance,

She wants to rip off my pants,

So I say “five, six, seven, eight…”

Nate burst out laughing. “Oh my god, this is the best limerick I’ve ever read! And astoundingly accurate.” She winked.

Colin winked back, beaming. “You really like it?”

“Are you kidding? I love it.” She stepped closer and snaked her arms around his neck. “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” he whispered against her lips. 

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Colin.”

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Nate.” His arms tightened around her waist as they deepened their kiss. After a long, delicious moment, he moved around to her ear, his voice sending a shiver through her entire body. “Nate?”

“Hmm?”

“May I have this dance?” 

“I thought you’d never ask. Lock the door.” 

“Already done.”

She pulled back with a chuckle. “Oh, really?”

“Took care of it while you were grabbing your present.” He shrugged. “Don’t sound so surprised, I learned my lesson.” 

They laughed together. 

“Come here, you.” Nate pulled him toward her couch by his lapels. “Let’s make that limerick happen.” 

* * *

Want to see how Nate & Colin became each other’s Valentines? Their screwball-noir love story unfolds in Single Indemnity (Phoenix Pictures, Book 2). Get your copy here!

And if you’d like even more from the Phoenix Pictures series, check out:

Difficult (Phoenix Pictures, Book 1)

A Kiss to Build a Grudge On (Phoenix Pictures, Book 3)

Sea Creatures Prefer Redheads (a Novella from the Phoenix Pictures Vault)

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©️2022  by Brianne Gillen

*This bonus scene first appeared as part of a Valentine’s Week celebration on the fantastic blog, The Infinite Limits of Love.