Sunday, May 19, 2013

Grand Romantic Delusions Chapter 21: The Dreams

     The cab arrived, and they piled into the back seat together. Having planned for the possibility that she'd have to seduce O'Keefe, Katie had prepared a room at a rent-by-the-week motel that was about halfway between his house and her downtown base of operations. This was the address she gave the driver.
     During the ride, she leaned into Seth, head resting on his chest, listening to the rhythmic sounds of his heart and his breathing. She wondered about him. He really was unlike anyone she'd ever met before. He was confident and cheerful one moment, then worried and paranoid the next. He could be flirtatious, and he clearly liked her—no, he clearly liked Svetlana—but, he declined to act on his feelings beyond a certain point. She supposed he must be like her—living a double life. He must be. But how could he be so good at it? How had she not broken through his façade? She revised the balance of her mental calculations: he wasn't quite the fool he had initially appeared to be. So was that all an act? Could he be playing her the way she'd planned to play him? Was he really that good?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Grand Romantic Delusions Chapter 20: The Director

     "What have you got for us, Hanlon?" The woman behind the desk spoke sharply. "Have you learned anything useful?"
     Hanlon was perpetually uncomfortable in this office—and it was clearly designed with just that purpose in mind. The simple act of crossing the distance from the door to the desk left him feeling like an intruder into a sacred space. The Director's desk sat atop a dais, so that he had to look up in order to address her, and when she leaned back in her seat, he was forced to address the empty air. There was a large Labelle company seal etched into the Ashford Black Marble of the wall behind the chair, flanked by flags of the United States and the various branches of the armed forces. The room's primary lighting fixtures shone from behind the desk, which made it difficult to read the Director's expression.
     "I can't say for sure, ma'am," he replied. "But, of course I'm still not sure what this is really all about."
     "You know what you need to know."
     "I just had a call from my agent. She's with the target now."

Monday, May 6, 2013

Grand Romantic Delusions Chapter 19: The Date (pt. 2)

Part II

     "OK," said Seth, leaning across the table. "I told you where I work."
     "Yes," replied Katie. "You work in this secret laboratory. But this is not so unusual. You said to me that you only clean the place, yes?"
     "Yeah, I only clean up, but I still see things, you know?"
     "What kind of things are you seeing?"
     "Things I … I'm not sure I understand them. But, there are weird things going on there all the time."
     "But if this work is for government, do they not already know of strange goings-on?"
     "Yeah, but maybe they worry about how much I know, and whether I'll tell the wrong person."
     "Did you talk to wrong person, you think?" Now she was finally getting somewhere—this is what Hanlon had hired her to do.
     "No," he replied. "I don't really talk much about work—at least not with people outside of work."
     "Then if government watches you, and knows you have done nothing wrong, you have no reason to fear, yes?"
     "I guess it depends …"
     "Have no others asked you about this work? Friends or family?"
     "I don't have any family to speak of—and few friends."
     "Besides," Katie said, "you are only worrying without proof. American government does not do such things like Russian—"
     "Wait!" Seth interrupted her. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small electronic device. "This is my proof."
     "What is this thing?" Katie recognized it immediately as a data snooper. She reached out a tentative finger, as if she wanted to touch it but was afraid.
     "It's a snooper," said Seth. "It tracks electronic data signals that go through a particular device."