Now a happily married man with a baby on the way, Mitch felt it was the right time to go back home: to introduce Nimue to his family, and to show his bride the legacy that one of their children would one day inherit.
After saying farewell to the Thacker Brothers, who went back to the small flat they shared on the outskirts of Oasis Springs, he and Nimue re-donned their everyday clothes, resumed their everyday lives, and headed home to Willow Creek.
Due to Nimue's condition, she and Mitch had jointly decided to disband the Magpie League - at least until the baby was born. Whilst the hideout was beginning to appear on the authorities' radar, Mitch was certain that his family home would be a safe place for him and his beloved to lie low and remain above suspicion.
As the newlyweds entered the Miskin house, they were greeted by a surprised Marius.
"Mitch!" he said, delighted - embracing his twin warmly. "I didn't expect you back so soon! How was the conference?"
It took Mitch a moment to remember that he'd claimed to be attending a muffin-based symposium in the next town over for the last two weeks.
"It was great, Marius - thanks," he told his brother. "I got lots of new recipes. I can't wait to try them out."
"And who's this charming lady?" Marius asked, turning towards Nimue. "One of your baker friends?"
"This," Mitch replied, smiling, "is my new wife."
Marius' head whirled back around in shock.
"Wife?" he gasped. "Geez - it must have been a damn good conference..."
"My name is Nimue," she told Marius, "and actually, Mitch and I have known each other for quite some time. I work at Rockwell's, and sometimes, before my shift, I stop at the Brown Sugar Café for coffee. Mitch and I got chatting one day, and... well, the rest is history."
"I meant to introduce you to one another sooner," Mitch confessed, a little guiltily. "The thing is, we've both been so busy with our... work."
"Oh, I know what you mean," Marius replied in an sympathetic tone. "It's amazing, the things you put off, isn't it? I've definitely had a lot on my plate recently."
He sighed. Suddenly, he had an afterthought, and gave his twin a playful shove.
"All the same, you should have told me you were getting married!" he hissed half-jokingly. "I would have loved to have come to the wedding!"
"It was just a little ceremony," Mitch added. "All a bit "spur of the moment". You see, we just found out that Nimue is pregnant."
"Oh-ho! Shotgun wedding! I see now! So... no plans on taking after Dad, then?"
"Absolutely not," Mitch replied - kissing Nimue on the cheek. "I'm a one-woman man."
"Well, it's definitely a pleasure to meet you, Nimue," Marius said kindly, embracing his new sister-in-law. "Welcome to the Miskin clan."
Soon enough, it felt as if Nimue had always been a part of the family. She and Marius got on handsomely, and when Minerva came to visit with her new beau, Gabriel, she was the perfect hostess - naturally stepping into her new role as lady of the house.
Seasons came and went. Nimue gained a beautiful glow as her belly grew: her pregnancy progressing perfectly, her child ready and waiting to enter the world. Seeing her like this - looking so beautiful, so serene, so excited to meet her baby - made Mitch fall even more deeply in love with her.
He had never been so happy. He had a successful business, a "side career" he was thriving in, was about to become a father, and had the most wondrous of women for his wife. He felt like the luckiest man in the world.
However - his luck was about to run out.
Mitch's new-found domestic bliss, sadly, did nothing to alleviate his certain "itch". He resisted temptation for as long as he could, but in the end, he gave in.
He simply had to steal something.
Sticking to his long-established rules, he chose a worthy victim from a scoop in the paper: a local mayor who was under investigation for misusing public funds. With his target in his sights, he dressed up in his old golden uniform, and sneaked out under cover of darkness.
Just as he'd hoped, the mayor's house was full of valuable trinkets. Paintings, jewellery - an Aladdin's cave of knick-knacks.
The highlight of this little collection was a small Ming vase on top of an antique bookcase. Mitch stood on his tiptoes to try and grasp it, but it remained just out of his reach.
By climbing up onto the bookcase, he managed to get a hold of it - but he soon lost his footing, and feel sharply back onto the floor. The Ming vase came down with him, and smashed in his hand: the shards of china cutting into him, ripping open the fabric of his glove and piercing the flesh beneath.
Hastily, Mitch pulled the glove off of his hand and tossed it aside, inspecting the damage. When he was interrupted in the middle of this examination by the sound of a car pulling up outside, he flew into a panic, seized his swag bag, and fled out of the back door... leaving the blood-stained glove behind.
When the police turned up with their forensics team the next morning, they had a field day.
Those smart-alecks in the Intelligence Service would never live this one down.
"Oh, Marius... that was wonderful..."
Smiling, Marius stroked the golden locks of the beautiful lady who lay in bed next to him - gazing at her shapely frame in the soft lamplight. For so long, he had sat in the office he and Jenny shared, fantasising about this very moment, and now that it was happening, it still felt like a dream.
That first lunch date in the early days of the Magpie League case hadn't been their last. It became an almost daily ritual - the pair swiftly being recognised as the unofficial couple of the canteen, often entering to jovial shouts such as "Look! Here come Bond and Moneypenny!". With the thefts having all but stopped, and still no leads developing in the case, it gave Marius a much-needed distraction from the stress of work.
From there, they'd moved on to seeing the occasional film together at the cinema, or drinks and dancing at a nightclub... until Marius decided he wanted things to become a bit more - serious. More... personal.
He booked a table for two at one of the fanciest restaurants in town - but that was for Mitch and Nimue. He wanted them to get out for the night - one last evening of romance before the baby's arrival, which they were sure to appreciate - so he could have the house to himself, and bring Jenny round for some home cooking. He was pleased as punch when his dearest secretary accepted his invitation.
Marius wasn't in any doubt that Mitch was the cook of the family, but still, he'd given it a good go. At any rate, Jenny had been kind enough to eat the meal he'd slaved over without complaint - which he simply loved her for.
After dinner, they'd curled up together on the sofa to watch... some sort of movie. Marius couldn't quite remember what it had been. It wouldn't turn out to be important, anyway. As she'd reached for the bowl of popcorn Marius had placed between them, Jenny's hand had accidentally (or possibly otherwise) brushed her date's stomach... causing him to flinch and giggle.
It was a good thing that Jenny wasn't some supervillainess who had him under interrogation, because Marius had just revealed his Achilles' heel. He was extremely ticklish.
His companion, however, like all good intelligence agency staff, used this information to her advantage. With a cheeky smirk, she pounced on Marius, knocking the popcorn onto the carpet as she tickled him all over - sending the pair of them into heaps of uncontrollable laughter.
Things soon heated up as the couple felt the sensation of skin on skin. Hands slid up shirts and down waistbands. As they both strove valiantly to pull one another closer, their lips became locked together in a fiery union.
From then on, there was no stopping them. They hurried upstairs together, stealing passionate kisses against walls and closet doors along the way, bursting open buttons as they tore off one another's clothes.
Finally, they'd reached the bed, and...
It had been heaven. Complete and utter heaven.
As she lay beside Marius, Jenny's body felt stiff and rigid to his touch. She was somewhat ill-at-ease... which her lover soon picked up on.
"Are you all right?"
"Marius," Jenny asked timidly, "Where do we go from here? Is this... all that's going to happen between you and me?"
In response, Marius moved even closer towards her, wrapping his arms around her in a tender hug.
"Of course not, darling," he whispered. "This is just the beginning for us. I wouldn't do that to you. You mean so much more to me than that."
Satisfied, Jenny leaned back into the hug, relaxing herself. They lay there in silence for a moment or two, simply enjoying the feeling... but then, Marius felt the urge to say something.
He had to do it now.
Thunderous knocking rang out from the front door downstairs. Shocked, Jenny sat bolt upright in the bed, pulling the sheets around her in an effort to conceal her modesty.
"Who's that?" she asked, afraid.
Marius groaned, rolling his eyes.
"Probably my idiot brother, back early," he muttered. "He'll be doing it on purpose."
"Shouldn't you go let him in?"
"No need. He has a key. Like I said - he'll just be trying to wind me up."
The knocking came again - even louder and more forceful than before. Sighing, Marius reluctantly pulled on his pyjama pants and got out of bed, heading out to answer the door.
"You stay here," he told Jenny softly. "I don't plan on keeping you waiting too long."
Annoyed, Marius stormed down the stairs, determined to give that moron Mitch a piece of his mind. He was already in a happy relationship - why did he feel the need to go and blow his brother's chances? Seizing the door handle, he threw it open...
... only to freeze to the spot when he saw a police officer standing before him.
"Oh - good evening, Officer," he said politely. "Can I help you?"
"Perhaps," the officer replied. "Marius Miskin?"
Looking him up and down, the officer let out a gruff snicker.
"You'll want to go and get yourself dressed, lad. You're coming with me."