8:26am Nancy’s is leaning over Charlie’s desk fussing over the box of jelly-filled and glazed donuts – fully aware that she is presenting her balding, pudgy lover with an eyeful of her ample cleavage as she chides him flirtatiously for not getting her favorite kind, bavarian cream. Charlie was entranced which was exactly what Nancy had in mind. Charlie was a horny little swine, but he was smart, and today she could not risk his interference – if he sensed the concentration, the intensity of focus with which she scanned and measured the office, the windows, every reflection, if he noticed these things his male-ego would erupt in faux-gallantry, a syrupy display of concern and sensitivity. It would call too much attention to her true purpose. Fortunately, she thought, men are such simple toys…
It had been a torturous seven month affair – not torturous for Charlie he was head-over-heels unable to believe his luck – somehow he had stumbled into a romance with a smart, charming, gorgeous women who did things he had only read about in magazines. But luck had nothing to do with it. Orders were orders, thought Nancy (or Svetlana as she was once known) and although she felt degraded and humiliated, not by the sordid peccadillos of her cover, but by the tedium of the assignment. She was a top field operative, trained since the age 5, fluent in 8 languages, passable in 7 more. Seldom did a mission require more than three days, infiltrate, seduce, dispatch – it was par for the course. But someone had blundered on this one – Charlie wasn’t the mole, Charlie was smart, but apart from a little tax fraud (and a few perversions) Charlie was as clean as they come. Svetlana wanted out, but HQ made it clear that until the valise was found there was no out, there was no Svetlana, there was only Nancy Washington — quick-tempered CPA and Charlie Dougherty’s floozy. Still, she mused, there are worse assignments, and worse alternatives.
She figured the gravitational pull of the little peek-a-boo game her breasts were playing under her blue silk blouse would keep Charlie’s attention for as much as 3 minutes. Besides Charlie there was only Peter Wilkes to worry about, but Peter never left his cube until 8:30 when he would pop out of the office for a quick smoke. Three minutes wasn’t long, but if her information was correct it would be enough. Then she saw it, the blonde in the black trench coat, Countess Pirenzi in a cheap wig and Gucci pumps – buying a fishing magazine – Clumsy, Nancy thought, very clumsy – and no valise. Still the signal had been given, the mole would have to play his hand, but who was it? Who?
Charlie brought her attention back to the room with a bold hand on the inside of her right thigh. She laughed the laugh she had practiced a thousand times and barely noticed when Peter went out of the office for his 8:30 smoke. Nothing unusal there. She’d have to check the tapes later of course, but with no valise, there would be no rendezvous – someone would be scrambling… someone would slip… Her focus wavered as she racked her brain for a clue. What should her next move be? Break her routine and run by the water cooler? .. the copy room?
Charlie caught the vibe… “What is it Nance? Something on your mind?”
THE PENCIL – the one that was always behind Peter’s ear – WHERE WAS THE ERASER? Something was wrong – was her cover blown? Could that bookish little weasel Peter Wilkes really be the mole?
“Nancy, honey, earth to Nancy..”
“Oh Charlie, I just remembered I left my compact in the lady’s room”
“Can’t you get it later – we only have a few minutes alone before everyone else starts showing up…”
Nancy flipped back her hair with her hand flirtatiously – casually picking up a trace of chemical eleven from the tiny vial attached to the back of her earring – and with the same hand as part of the same motion she plucked a jelly donut from the box and put it down in front of Charlie.
“You just eat this donut, honey…” as she smiled a wicked smiled and placed her finger between his lips so he could lick the powdered sugar off her tainted fingertip, “and I’ll be back before you’re through”
As she crossed the office doorway she spared one moment of pity for Charlie and the heart-attack he would be having in exactly 9 minutes – he wasn’t a bad sort, and she had to admit the candle game had been kind of fun, but the last thing she could afford now was to leave a trail, and at least for Charlie it would be swift.
One flash of regret, that’s all she would spare – and now the machine takes over. The training the discipline, all her skills, complete concentration. She was now two full minutes behind the mole, but Svetlana wouldn’t stay two minutes behind for long….