Read chapter Two from To Russia with Lust

Chapter TWO

Digitally transcribed for the Gardner Francis Fox Adventure Library

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We looked at each other for a second or two.

My tongue moistened my lips. I asked, “Did you say five billion dollars? Or is this all some kind of dream?”

“No dream. Fact. You see, Serge Akonov knows where there’s buried treasure.”

“Oh my God!” I muttered. “Not that old chestnut. Are you putting me on, David Anderjanian?”

He grinned like a cat with a fat little mouse under one paw. “These are art treasures, jewels, gold bullion. It’s a Nazi hoard.’

I sat up a little straighter. I had heard of how the Nazis, just before the Americans and the Russians closed in on Berlin, had spirited off a lot of loot. I had also heard how General Rommel, the Desert Fox, had also hidden plenty of bread that he and his Afrika Korps had taken from wealthy homes, from museums and from banks, in his sweep across the North African sands.

“Ah, that reaches you, does it?” David chuckled. “Okay, then. Here goes. I didn’t get any sleep last night—I’m not a sissy like you. I took your camera down to headquarters and turned the film over to our experts.

“The code-book was everything we thought it would be. You did a great job on that, honey. But the little notebook—the private property of Serge Akonov—contained a little code all its own. It took one of our cryptographers only an hour and a half to break it.

“Akonov told us that he knows where the Nazis hid some of their ill-gotten loot, somewhere in the waters off what used to be Carthage.”

“Rommel and the Afrika Korps.” “Yeah, that’s right. Or I guess it is, judging by where the stuff is hidden. He gave coordinates, just enough to make us positive that he knows what he’s talking about.”

I stirred restlessly. “Look, David. These Nazi treasure hoards are a kind of modern-day fairy tale. There are three of them I know about, yet nobody’s found anything worth as much as a plugged nickel so far.”

There was the hoard which a Corsican diver claimed to have found in a harbor off his island home. A few days later, he was murdered. Back in 1943, when the Afrika Korps was getting ready to get out of Africa, General Erwin Rommel packed up half a dozen crates filled with a hundred million dollars worth of jewels, artworks and gold. He sent them off to Rome, to be relayed on to Berlin.

Rome was under attack in those days, by the Allies. So the crates had to be put aboard a fast coastal patrol boat and sent to meet a Nazi convoy off the shores of Corsica. The patrol boat made it to Corsica, then got itself sunk by a couple of dive bombers.

This treasure supposedly lies in a Corsican harbor today.

“That’s one story,” I told David, and went on talking. Lake Toplitz is in Austria, near Bad Aussee. Its bottom is covered with boxes containing the art treasures, jewels and gold which the Elite Guards took with them when the Nazi world was falling down around their ears. These Nazis got as far as Lake Toplitz in their flight to escape the Russian armies. They dumped their load into the lake.

In recent years, the Austrian government had instituted searches for those lost valuables. Under heavy military guard, divers have probed the lake bottom with a typically teutonic thoroughness. They found nothing. “Or maybe they found something and never told the world about it,” I said, Smiling up at David.

He was scowling blackly, listening to me. “All very well. Maybe there are other Nazi treasure hoards,” he snarled. “This notebook says there is a treasure. I’m not sure how Akonov found out about it. The notebook doesn’t say. It mentions a couple of names. It also gives certain coordinates.”

“Look, if there really is hidden treasure in a Carthaginian harbor, the Russians would have gone after it. If Akonov knew about it, that is.”

“Why? Would you tell Uncle Sam if you found a hidden treasure?”

“Only at income tax time, honey. But I’m no Russian, and those guys believe in share and share alike, you know?”

“Maybe not. This Akonov is quite a playboy. We have a dossier on him. He likes vodka and vice, not necessarily in that order. He gets hung up on women. He’s an orgy-porgy boy. So much so that if he doesn’t mind his P’s and Q’s, he’s going to get sacked by the Kremlin hierarchy.”

“Oh? So he keeps the treasure site to himself, so that when he gets sacked, he has something to fall back on?”

“Something like that, yes.” I chewed my lower lip. I asked, “What’s all this got to do with me? I mean, if Uncle Sam wants to lay hands on that treasure, let him. And speaking of my Uncle Sam—how come he’s so interested in Nazi loot? Aren’t we the richest country on earth?”

“It’s in gold bullion, mostly.” I sat up straighter. “Huh? Gold bullion?”

“Stolen from the banks in the cities through which Rommel and his Afrika Korps traveled. You know all about the gold drain on the country. Back in 1945, the United States owned seventy per cent of all the gold in the world. In the post-war era, before we began giving away money to build up the world’s economy, we had close to twenty-five billion dollars in gold.

“Today, we have less than ten billion. And if all the people were to redeem their paper money—based on gold as it is—there wouldn’t be enough in Fort Knox to do it.”

“And this Nazi treasure is mostly in gold bullion?”

“Over five billion dollars in gold, if Akonov’s notes are to be believed. That’s real bread, Eve. So much so, that orders have come down that we’ve got to go after it. As individuals, as L.U.S.T., not as Americans.

“Remember, the American government can’t go nosing around in foreign territorial waters. Look what happened to the Pueblo. But a private firm with good equipment and the proper information, might lay its hands on that five billion dollars.”

David grinned, “And who better to head that underwater diving expedition but somebody named Eve Drum—“

“What’s my share?”

“You go on collecting your salary.”

“Oh, goody. Well, I always have been too much of a patriot for my own good. Okay, okay. You’ve won another argument.”

“Of course, you’ll have to kidnap Serge Akonov first.” I closed my eyes and groaned, “I knew there was a catch to it. How in hell am I going to abduct a Soviet official outside of Russia?”

“To be honest about it, I don’t know.”

“And even if I get him out, how can I be sure he’ll tell me where the treasure’s buried?”

“Don’t know that, either.” I eyed my case officer dubiously. “You’ve got to be. kidding. You must have some idea about how I can do it. And don’t give me the bit about my female charms working. This Serge Akonov has been around. That dish he had in the bedroom with him last night may not be any Eve Drum, but she comes close enough to it to tell me that no woman is going to get Akonov to defect.”

David shrugged. “I know, I know. It’s a screamer. this assignment. Actually, the General is gambling all the way, sending you after Akonov. Headquarters knows it. But it’s the million-to-one chance we’ve got to take That gold bullion means a lot to your old Uncle Sam.”

“All right, all right. I’m the sacrificial lamb.” I relaxed in a pouting silence. I don’t mind tough jobs, none of my assignments have been easy, but this time I thought L.U.S.T. was going a little too far. If it hadn’t been for that brunette bed-baby, I wouldn’t be in this pickle. And thinking about the girl made me wonder what had happened to her.

I asked David, but he shook his head. No dead bodies of glamorous women had been reported to the police at last count. I sat up straighter on the divan.

“But something must have happened to her,” I protested. “Unless she’s still a prisoner?” I glanced at David out of the corners of my eyes. “What about our man in the Embassy, that Ukrainian playboy who tells us what goes on behind its walls for a healthy chunk of American currency? Maybe he knows.”

“Could be,” David nodded. Then his voice sharpened. “You got an idea?”

“Well, if she knew about that notebook Akonov had—and I’m assuming he must have guarded it with his life—she must know a lot about him. Any Achilles heel he might have, a weakness or two, even a scandal out of his past. David, I need a wedge to spring him out from behind the Iron Curtain.”

“Makes sense,” he muttered. “Tell you what. I’ll contact Headquarters and see if they can get in touch with him.”

David went to the phone. I went to the bathroom, stripping down my black body stocking as I walked. I felt dirty, grimy. I’d been too exhausted last night to take a shower, but I was going to make up for it now. I pushed the black cotton past my hips, catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I was all bare skin above my thighs, and black body stocking below. As I thrust the garment down, more and more of the real Eve Drum came into view, breasts bobbling gently, thighs shimmying.

I blew a kiss at my naked pelt, giggling. Then I went in to take my shower. Half an hour later I emerged from the steamy bathroom with a thick Cannon towel wrapped about my nudity. David was sitting in an easy-chair, tie loose, shirt collar open. He makes himself to home in my pad, does David.

“Well?” I asked, tightening the knot in my towel. “You may have something. Our Ukrainian phoned with the information that there is an execution arranged for this afternoon. A lady with brown hair who answers to the name of Magda Kallay is to be drowned this afternoon in Long Island Sound.”

I hopped around excitedly. “When, David? How can you sit there like that? We’ve got to save the poor thing.”

David watched the way my girlish globes bounced loosely under the towel. I stopped hopping and re-tightened the towel knot. He yawned. I kicked him in the shins with my bare toes and he laughed.

“Just testing,” he chuckled. “I’m glad you still love me. But about this Magda Kallay. They will drive her in a limousine—under full diplomatic immunity, of course, and with Madame Kallay drugged and helpless—to a marina just beyond Glen Cove. She will be assisted into a boat by the two men with her, as if she were drunk. She will be taken out to the middle of Long Island Sound and dropped overboard with a lead weight attached to her ankle.” “Ugh,” I shivered. “Yeah.” David agreed. “However, there will be a helicopter not far away that will Swoop down, bomb the boat and—”

“Hey! Is that safe? I mean, what will our Iron Curtain buddies say to such high-handed treatment?”

“They won’t be able to prove a thing. They won’t even ask a question. They know their killers must take their chances on getting away with the execution. It’s part of the game.”

“I suppose I’ll be in the helicopter?”

“And me. We’ll have scuba gear and an inflatable plastic bag to counteract the drag of the lead weight. It shouldn’t be too hard a job.”

I glanced at the Seth Thomas on my mantle-piece. As if he read my thought, David said, “We have plenty of time. The limousine hasn’t left the Embassy yet. You’d better put a swimsuit on, and a dress over it.”

The scuba gear would be in the helicopter, I gathered. In a hour we were on our way toward the airport where L.U.S.T. keeps its Piper Cubs and its helicopter fleet. There would be the pilot to navigate the plane, and David and me for the rescue operation itself. I was not looking forward to the task ahead; the waters of Long Island Sound are colder than a witch’s tit in this early springtime of the year.

We got into the ‘copter, finding the air tanks and mouthpieces and flippers ready to put on. I wriggled out of my Kay Windsor A-line, while the pilot lifted the whirlybird upward into the air. I figured if he was going to look at the Drum body in a two-piece bathing suit, I’d rather have him do it close to the ground. His eyes ran greedily up my pale thighs to the tightness of the bikini around my hips, and up to where my breasts spilled out above the halter. The pilot sighed.

I pushed my feet into the flippers, and David helped me set the harness for the oxygen tanks more comfortably about my shoulders. It was a little awkward sitting there with the Healthways tanks between me and the chair-back, but I had to be ready to let go and drop at the first warning.

The chopper drifted across the sky. Below us, Sunlight glinted on the waters of Long Island Sound, with only a Comet class sailboat and a small cabin cruiser visible.

David was talking into his communicator.

“At the marina, right . . . and half carrying the girl, as if she were drunk . . . getting into a ChrisCraft inboard Ski Boat . . . mahogany plank hull, natural finish. . . . Roger. Over!”

He put the walkie-talkie down, nodding to me. “They’re heading this way, right enough.” His hands lifted a pair of binoculars and he began scanning the water to the south.

There was a silence. Then: “Yes, got it in focus . . . two men and the girl. She seems drugged, lifeless. They’re fastening something around her ankle. Looks like a lead weight. Guess they’re just going to push her overboard and let the lead ball carry her down. Eve, brace yourself. Jim, I’ll want you to zero in on them when I yell.”

The hired killers in the ChrisCraft would never push the brunette over if they knew we were watching. We were pretty far off, just a dot against the skyline; the killers would have no reason to suspect us. David wanted to give them elbow room to commit themselves.

“All right—go!” he yelled suddenly. The Hughes whirlybird veered off course, as if sliding down a ramp. The pilot gunned his motor and we skimmed the waves.

“They’ve seen us, they’ve got the girl half over the Stern.”

“Well, let’s hurry it up, for God’s sake!” I screeched. “A dead dame won’t be any good to us—and I need time to operate.”

David ignored my outburst, but the pilot said soothingly, “They may not push her over if they see us coming this fast.”

“They did! There she goes,” David yelled. I put a hand on the door, lifting off the seat. We were moving fast, low to the water. I made out the splash, marking the spot.

The chopper craft came closer. Closer. I shoved open the door and leaped, feet first. I hit the water hard, but the weight of the oxygen tanks gave me added ballast. Just as the waves closed over my head, I heard rifle fire rattle. The men in the ChrisCraft were shooting at the helicopter.

If they brought the chopper down, I was a sitting duck

The cold waters closed over me. I flipped over and headed bottom-ward by kicking. I could make out a dark lump ahead of me: the brunette. She was still alive, she was jerking her arms and kicking with her one free leg. I zeroed in on her, and grabbed the chain that held the lead weight to her manacled ankle. I yanked the inflatable plastic bag free and fastened it to the chain. Then my finger pressed the button that automatically inflated the bag with helium gas.

Instantly, her downward drift was halted. I grabbed her face, withdrew the oxygen mouthpiece from between my lips and thrust it between hers. She seemed to understand what I was doing, and gulped at the oxygen gratefully. All this while I was holding onto her and kicking surface-ward with my flippers.

Would the ChrisCraft be up there, waiting for us? All the killers had to do was turn their guns against us; we would be helpless, bobbing about in the Sound waters. I think I was colder from thinking about what might happen when we broke water than from the early spring chill of that same water.

I could not delay to take a look. Magda Kallay needed air badly. I lifted her, and both our heads popped into view at the same time. Magda clung to me, her arms like cables, as I stared around at the rippling water. The ChrisCraft was speeding toward us. Fast. But the helicopter was coming up aft of the boat. I could see David Anderjanian leaning out the open door, his hand gripping a round object. His arm lifted to throw it. As the sunlight touched the thing, I recognized it for a hand grenade.

The chopper craft swung above the boat. David yanked the pin, waited—and hurled it straight down.

The world blew up in front of us. The ChrisCraft seemed to fly apart. There was a deafening blast, the hull blew sideways and backwards. The forward part, the prow, leaped straight upwards and flew through the air, at me.

“Down!” I yelped. I dropped backwards, dragging the brunette with me. Water closed over our heads just as a big black shadow—that was the prow of the motorboat—slapped the water over our heads.

Magda struggled, half drowning, but I tugged her sideways and out from under the prow as the forward half of the ChrisCraft started to sink. Again we surfaced. I gagged a little, seeing parts of human bodies floating not too far away. I told myself not to be an idiot; if the grenade had not killed them, they would have killed me. As they had tried to kill Magda.

I held the girl with one arm and waved a bare hand at the ‘copter. David waved back. My legs went on kicking, to keep us above water as the chopper slid a path in the air to come about toward us.

A rope ladder fluttered from the open door. I ignored it; I was too busy picking the lock of the lead weight fastened to Magda’s ankle. She could never go up that rope ladder with the ball still fastened to her. Luckily, it was a simple lock mechanism. It yielded to a sliver of steel I had brought along with my scuba gear for just such use.

The whirlybird settled slowly. I caught the lowest rung of the rope ladder and held on as I pushed the lead ball away and watched it sink. I asked Magda Kallay if she could climb the ladder now.

“I don’t know,” she panted. “I feel all washed out. My clothes are so heavy-soaked with water—I’m not sure I can make it.”

I caught the zipper of her dress and yanked it down, seeing a bare white back and a black bra strap. I tore her Givenchy dress off her shoulders, down to her hips. She hung onto the rope ladder with both hands as I yanked the dress past her hips and down her legs.

She was wearing a black girdle and nylon stockings. “Girdle next,” I told her. “But I won’t have anything on!”

“You want to live, Sweetie?’”

“Girdle next,” she muttered resignedly. I stripped her right down to her black brassiere. left that on because it was a cobwebby thing that didn’t weigh any more wet than dry. Then I hunched down, got a shoulder under her soft behind and heaved.

She put a bare foot on the lowest rung. With my help, and with the aid of her hands that held the ladder uprights, she went up the swaying ropes. I noticed that David was coming out of the doorway, descending the ladder to give her a hand.

I stared upward as he slipped an arm about her middle, drawing her nakedness against him; then he climbed and Magda-baby climbed with him. Nobody bothered to lend me a hand.

When I slid my dripping wet head through the ‘copter doorway, I got a load of David with a big beach towel, rubbing Magda down. He was soothing her with little noises, the kind of noises a father might make to his little girl who’d fallen into a swimming pool with all her clothes on. It was disgusting.

I toweled myself off as the chopper rose upward. David was saying, “You can stay with Eve here, if you’d like. We want to question you about what happened. You’re willing to talk, aren’t you?”

“Oh, yes. Of course. Those terrible men! I—I didn’t do anything. I just had a date with a man from the embassy and—“

“Not here. Later,” David cooed. “Right now, you keep yourself nice and warm. We can’t have Operation Rescue Magda Kallay strike a snag at this late date.” The brunette was surprised. “You know my name?” David looked at her right breast where the falling towel bared it. He said, waving a hand at me, “Eve and I are United States intelligence agents. Ever since last night when you ran into Eve, we’ve had the boys working on your background.”

“Oh,” she murmured, glancing at me, automatically touching her temple where I’d chopped her last night. I could not read her brown eyes, so I did not know whether she resented my having belted her.

By way of offering an olive branch, I said brightly, “Sorry about that. Line of duty and all that jazz.” She gave me a faint smile. I gathered I was forgiven. Her warm brown eyes honeyed up at David. She did not lift the fallen towel, letting him see how big and heavy her pale breast was. Maybe she figured she could get more out of my case officer than out of me.

“I’ll be glad to tell you anything you want to know. All I ask is a little protection. I don’t want to go through that bit again.” She shivered. I did not blame her.

We dropped down onto the tarmac, and climbed out of the Hughes ‘copter and into the Toronado. Magda sat up front beside David; me, I sat in back. By myself. I noticed that Magda gave David Anderjanian all her attention. She kept tying and retying that towel knot. Apparently it kept coming undone, to judge by the fast glances David was giving her body.

I did a slow burn, wet and uncomfortable under my Kay Windsor. If I hadn’t been on assignment, I’d have made David let me off at the nearest taxi stand. I gritted my teeth and hung on, thinking up ways and means to annoy them both.

In the elevator, Magda opened the towel a moment, to settle it more comfortably about her. David gawked. I had seen those long, shapely bare gams last night, and the gentle mound of belly, the brown forest between her thighs. But David was a newcomer. Magda flashed a toothy smile between her full red lips as he stared.

“I hope you don’t mind my getting comfy,” she cooed. “Not at all, I want you to!” he enthused. “I’m glad,” she syruped back at him. I rolled my eyes. I mean, how crude can you get? Somehow, the towel had come up higher as a result of its latest knot. As we walked along the corridor, it rode up to the lower part of her white buttocks. David stared at the jiggling flesh, these rolling hips, the striding legs, with something like white heat in his eyes.

I unlocked my apartment door and stepped back so they could precede me. David put his hand on the small of her back, urging her through before him. As she stepped over the sill, her hips brushed him, down low, where he was up high.

I never fight City Hall. I let David carry the ball. All I did was set up my TEAC stereo recorder for their use. Then I plumped myself down on a hassock to get the Kallay story.

David grabbed a footstool and sat on it right in front of Magda, probably because the towel hiked back on her thighs so he could see up it to where her brown hair grew, if he wanted. And he wanted. Oh, my yes. With everything he had at full power.

“I—I guess you could call me an adventuress,” Magda began.

Well, that’s one word for it. “I’ve been a call girl in my time, but I couldn’t see where that was getting me anywhere, so I branched out. I knew a few men from the foreign embassies in Washington and New York, most of them connected with the United Nations. I hinted about maybe they’d like to know what my other boy friends were doing. In a diplomatic way, of course.”

What else? Her smile was that of a fallen angel asking forgiveness. I writhed when I saw how David was eating all this up, with his eyes running back and forth between the pallid inner thighs our Hungarian-born visitor was opening and closing every so often.

“They were very interested. They thought they were the only ones on my list—that is, each one thought I was spying only for him. Just lately, one foreign country I won’t mention the name—got wind of the fact that Serge Akonov knew where to find something they wanted, very much.”

“The Nazi treasure hoard,” I announced. Her brown eyes darted at me, instantly. I think she had been going to make up a fairy tale for us. She figured she would not tell us the truth, that she would keep a secret like that for somebody willing to pay a fortune for the information. Me, I just wanted her to know we weren’t both complete idiots, no matter how David was acting.

Magda smiled at me, suddenly. Apparently she thought better of telling us lies. “Yes, that’s right, I see you know.”

“We want to learn if Akonov suspects that Miss Drum was in his suite last night, too,” David murmured smoothly.

Her eyes widened. “Certainly not! I am positive of that. He suspected only me. He took me downstairs to a cellar room where he roped my wrists together and was just about to whip me when I told him what he wanted to know.

“I admitted that I’d been hired to steal his little notebook because my employer suspected that he knew where the Nazi treasure was. Oh, my! I thought he would kill me, he got so angry. I began to suspect then that he was playing a lonely kind of game. I knew why he had taken me downstairs by himself. He was afraid of what I might blurt out to his fellow countrymen the fact that Serge Akonov knew where there was a hidden treasure.”

David glanced at me, nodding. This confirmed his own thoughts on the matter. Maybe it also gave me the wedge I needed to spirit muscle-boy out from behind the Iron Curtain. If Akonov wanted that gold bullion for himself, he might be willing to make a deal for a couple of million dollars worth of it, with our side.

Magda was toying with the towel hem. “It was a very bad moment for me, hung up naked by my wrists, and Serge with a whip in his hand. We were in a sound proof room. He could have beaten me to death, you know—with diplomatic immunity.”

“He didn’t,” I pointed out. “Or if he did beat you, he didn’t leave any marks on your body.”

She nodded. “No, he didn’t whip me. He had another way to punish me.” Her eyes downcast. “Perhaps you will understand when I say he used his—club—on me. From behind.” Her brown eyes lifted to stare at David. “It—hurt me—very much.”

“Venus aversa,” I informed David. “I know, I know,” he snapped. “After several hours of this torment, he stuck a needle into me. I passed out. I have been out ever since, until they pushed me into that cold water. It revived me.” She sat back, sinking deeper into my divan. I shut off the recorder and waited for David to comment. I guess he was too busy looking at the brunette to do much clear thinking at the moment. Anyway, he was silent, but his eyes walked all over her body.

“We’ll have to keep you in seclusion for a while, Miss Kallay,” he said at last, frowning. “And under guard. You can stay in Eve’s apartment. She’s not going to be here.”

“What kind of guard?” she breathed, eyes dancing. “Let’s say—a personal bodyguard. Me, for instance.”

“I would enjoy that,” she smiled. Maybe she would. I would not. I said, “Now, look. Fun’s fun, but this apartment does belong to me. I pay rent. I keep my things here.”

I was going to add that I didn’t want any floozy wearing my clothes and using my bubble bath and climbing into my underwear, but David gave me a long, cool stare. I gathered that he didn’t want me to spoil whatever he had in mind by spiteful girl-talk.

“Tell me about this Akonov,” he said to Magda. She shrugged, endangering the grip of the towel on her heavy breasts. “What’s to tell? He likes his love-stuff with an athletic twist. Carrying me around the room, sitting on him, holding me over his head so he can—taste me.”

Her brown eyes glowing, she added, “He is a very strong man. Very strong.”

“What does he drink? What kind of clothes does he wear? Does he gamble? Get drunk? Where does he live in Moscow?s What are his habits?”

Magda pouted thoughtfully. “Vodka. He loves vodka. Drinks it out of the bottle. Straight. Gahhh! He loves fun. Any kind of fun. Driving a fast car—he owns a souped-up Moskvich—Swimming bare-ass in the places he can get away with it. He was born almost forty years ago in the Ukraine. Served as a private in the last world war. Very young at the time, and very proud of the fact, now.

“He lives in Moscow. Every so often he takes trips like the one he’s on now, in New York. He works maybe an hour each day and spends the rest of his time carousing around. Girls like me. Good fun. His hired hands. He always says he lets off steam this way.”

“After each trip, he goes to some Black Sea resort Sochi, I think it is—where he rests up for a week or ten days before reporting back for duty. Says it’s to recharge his batteries. And they sure need it, if what I go through with him is any sample of his normal conduct.

“What a man!” I began to look more kindly upon the way David was ogling Magda Kallay, because I was thinking about Serge Akonov. If he was half as much a man as the brunette seemed to think him—and my own opinion coincided with hers, since I’d seen him in action last night—inspiring him to defect to the West might be fun. He’d enjoyed a lot of women; no ordinary bed-mate could seduce him from his duty.

Me, I’m no ordinary bed-mate I’m Double Oh Sex. It was like a challenge, a gage to bed-battle cast down before my feet. It was a voice begging me for satisfaction.

The mere thought of the big blond Russian was exciting me, just as the sight of those pale white thighs was arousing David as Magda let them spread a little, sitting so lazily on the divan. She was very careless about the towel. It was hiked up so I could see all the curve of one thigh and part of an unclad buttock.

From directly in front of her, my case officer must have had an even better view, because all of a sudden he cleared his throat and said, “Eve, why don’t you go to bed? I’ve made arrangements for you to fly by direct Pan American flight from New York to Moscow. It’s a long trip. You’ll need your rest.”

I wanted to reach out and clobber him. Here I was in my own apartment, being sent to bed like a child. What was even worse, he was getting ready to ball this brunette who had already been given her intimate injections only last night.

Me, I had gone without. I was hurting. “David, how’d you like to go to hell?” I snapped. He started, studied my flushed, angry face for a moment, then grinned. I guess he decided that for once I was going to get what I’d given him from time to time, the short end of the stick.

“Eve, I’m your superior. I’m ordering you beddy-bye.” My hands clenched into fists. David would pay for this. By God, he would. I didn’t know when or how only that he’d suffer as I was suffering right now.

Head high, I marched into my bedroom, slamming the door behind me. I yanked off my dress, undid my swimsuit halter and pushed down the panties. I stared down at my rigid brown nipples, standing up as in protest at their neglect. I sighed and wriggled my hips, squeezing my thighs together.

In the next room, I could hear David Anderjanian talking to the Hungarian woman. I tiptoed closer to the door, gently opened it a little.

“—should hear more about this Serge Akonov, you know. Anything you can tell me about him will be appreciated.”

“Well, he’s big,” she murmured. “Oh? I’m six feet four. I weigh two-twenty.”

“Not that way. You know. As a man.”

“Hmmmm. If he’s so big, maybe he’ll hurt Eve.”

“I don’t think so,” came the female voice, cattily. I could have scratched her eyes out. “Nobody is that big!”

I put a hand on the doorknob, about to go in and tell her to flake off, that I’d had enough of this chit-chat, and I wanted to hit the sack. Then David spoke and I let my hands cramp about the knob.

“Why don’t you make comparisons?”

“Anything I can do to help,” she whispered coyly. I heard the rasp of a zipper. I closed the door. I damned David Anderjanian under my breath. I staggered into the bathroom, trying not to think of what was going on in my living room. I got into the shower. I turned on the cold water.

Russia, here I come. With lust.

On guard, Sergy-boy!

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