“I saw you with Mischka and Dru last week,” says Calvin. “You just start with the agency?”

“Maybe I did. Maybe I didn’t. Name’s Gia. Word is you were on your way to Brazil, and yet here you are in Atlanta.”

“Nothing like ringing in the new decade with fireworks and finger sandwiches,” states Calvin.

“Who are you following? Who’s your assignment?” asks Gia.

“Maybe it’s you,” says Calvin tapping her wine glass with his. “Who’s your assignment? Who have you followed here?”

“I followed you here,” states Gia tapping his wine glass.

“You were here before me,” says Calvin.

“Was I?” 

“A matter of fact, yes,” replies Calvin. “With champagne in hand and a plate full of finger sandwiches.”

“A plate full,” replies Gia chuckling. “Two does not fill up a plate.”

“I don’t know,” Calvin says. “How many did you scarf down before I arrived.”

“How many did I scarf he asks as he places three more on his plate,” says Gia.

“Um, two more. Not three” states Calvin.

“Well, save some for somebody else,” replies Gia.

“That’s the second time you’ve glanced at the window,” says Gia. “And here you claim you’re here to spy on me. Which one of that beautiful couple is your assignment? The one in the chocolate dress or the one in the blue suit?”

Gia is a sharp agent. Calvin is not at the New Year’s Eve party to evaluate any other agent. Yet Mischka did inform him that there is a high probability two foreign agents are in play. His assignment is the precise and dangerous spy, Tiera Riega. Riega’s thigh-length, brown dress with spaghetti straps matches her eyes. The same eyes and glowing smile she’s using to mesmerize the cybersecurity analyst in the blue suit. Like Samson and Delilah blue suit will tell Tiera all his trade secrets. And like Samson, it will be to blue suit’s demise.

“I have no idea what you mean,” replies Calvin. “I’m simply enjoying the party, looking forward to bringing in the new year.”

“I hear you’re not fond of parties,” says Gia. “That’s why you scattered from the building before the Christmas get together at the agency.”

It’s still early. Gia’s assignment is to engage with the cybersecurity agent only if it gets to the point he and Tiera Riega try to leave the party together before midnight. After midnight the Cayman offshore bank account codes Riega is seeking will terminate due to the shift to a new decade, 2010 to 2020, and eight months of infiltrating the BRIC countries the U.S., the U.K. and Japan will be for naught.

“I had work to do. I can’t help it if it’s strongly recommended to be at the airport eight hours before your flight leaves,” states Calvin.

“You didn’t have to be in Brazil for another forty-eight hours,” replies Gia. “You could have hung out and introduced yourself then, but it was an agency party. There was no assignment there. Having issues with your co-workers?”

“No. You know success or death determines whether we have each other’s back,” replies Calvin deflecting. “Which agent are you tracking?” asks Calvin, “the server with the champagne or the spy shuffling cards at the blackjack table?”

“Why can’t I simply be enjoying a New Year’s Eve party?” asks Gia.

“You don’t really expect me to believe you’re not working?” asks Calvin.

“Well yes, I do,” replies Gia. “Is it hard to believe some of us are capable of turning it off?”

“The way you’re working the room, to the untrained eye, it seems you’re simply enjoying yourself,” says Calvin.

“I am, like everybody else, looking forward to a nice night and when the fireworks go off I’ll be on my way,” replies Gia.

“You’re here solo and you expect me to believe you’re not working,” says Calvin.

Gia chuckles,” Of course. I don’t wait for everybody else’s permission to go have fun, workout, catch a movie, go to a party. Just like you didn’t tonight. Wouldn’t that be telling the whole world I’m on assignment?’

“Only if they knew I was an agent. And which one of these will be neutralized?” asks Calvin, “the champagne server or the card dealer?”

“That’s no way to end the year or start a new one,” states Gia. “Can’t we have a little downtime?”

“Are we ever off the clock?” asks Calvin rhetorically.

“Maybe,” says Gia.

“You know we can never let our guard down,” states Calvin.

“Isn’t our guard down now?” says Gia.

Calvin smiles and takes a sip of champagne. “Yours isn’t and you know it.”

“A little bubbly, a little bite to eat, lite conversation. I know how to relax and have fun,” says Gia. “Don’t you?”

“I do,” says Calvin. “But that doesn’t mean I’m not working.”

“Can’t you let it go for a moment,” replies Gia. “Everybody is not a spy.”

“Then why have that knife on your back and that gun on your leg? Asks Calvin.

“What knife and what gun?” asks Gia.

“We just met, but you know this isn’t my first rodeo,” says Calvin.

“We just met so what don’t I know about you? Your x-ray vision?” asks Gia “What color are my underwear?”

“Every agent carries backup beyond elbows, hands, and knees. And your underwear...black,” states Calvin.

“Nice guess, but wrong. Dark blue, Fruit of the Loom,” says Gia. “More comfortable than those Hanes you’re sporting next to that Ruger.”

“What makes you think I prefer Ruger?” asks Calvin.

 “The same way I know you prefer Hanes,” states Gia. “I checked your file.”

“That’s not in my file,” says Calvin.

“Depends on the file,” states Gia.

“Where in my file does it state I prefer Hanes?”

“Not too long after the start date,” replies Gia.

Calvin gives her a smirk and a quizzical look over the top of his champagne glass during a sip. “It doesn’t say anything like that,” says Calvin.

 “You, I’m not familiar with, but I’ve known the file since I was seventeen.”

“And what file might that be?” asks Calvin.

Gia places her champagne glass on the table. “They need to put some food on these toothpicks they call finger sandwiches,” she says as she collects two more. “For all the special training you’ve received the obvious escapes you.”

“No, it hasn’t. The obvious file is Mischka,” states Calvin.

“Care to elaborate?” asks Gia.

“It’s not hard for me to imagine two teenage girls dishing over a sexual encounter with a coworker,” replies Calvin. “So there’s no doubt the vivid picture she painted for you. I’m sure it was like being in high school all over again.”

“I’d like to hear you’re version,” says Gia. The co-directors cut. “I’m sure it was warm and cozy like our love birds in the brown low cut dress and slim-cut blue suit by the window.”

Calvin smiles and surreptitiously scans the room keeping up with his mark Tiera Riega. 

“Smith and Wesson?” asks Calvin.

“Ernest and Julio,” replies Gia. “Just the best. All the best.”

“Still trying to be coy?” asks Calvin well aware of the answer. “The gun not the champagne.”

“I use what everybody in the agency uses,” replies Gia. “Glock. Or is it Heckler & Koch. I use what works best for me. No matter. Since my date in the blue suit is leaving.”

“I guess so since they can’t transfer those codes within ten miles of this building,” states Calvin. He loves the ladies. He might fall for you. Don’t let him leave. I’ve lost Reiga in the crowd. If she gets those codes he won’t see another sunrise.”

“Will do,” replies Gia. “And thanks for the vote of confidence. And hey. Don’t chase the first brown dress with dark hair and a fit body down the stairs you see. It likely won’t be her.”

“And what if it is? And why do I feel there’s more to that statement than meets the eye?” asks Calvin.

“I’m just saying,” replies Gia. “Tricks of the trade my friend.” 

January 04, 2020 03:13

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