Bill Todd -- Jones: A Novel of the Early Cold War
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 Chapter 38


Tensy was in the guest bedroom that opened off the entryway when they came in. Her door was ajar, but, of course, they went by without looking in. There was a large potted plant just to the left of Tensy's doorway, and she had already discovered that she could peek inconspicuously between its abundant leaves. Just from the sound of Ha-yo's voice, she knew that he wasn't the sort of spy who searched the room for microphones before he said anything.

Sitting on the couch in profile, he was sharp-faced and looked intelligent. He wasn't handsome in the ordinary sense, but, as he spoke to Heike, who was preparing drinks, there was a definite warmth to his voice. To Tensy, Ha-yo was a man on a first date, hopefully cheerful, but not quite sure how things might work out. He certainly didn't seem the dashing romantic that Heike had made him out, but Tensy allowed for individual differences of perception.

Once they were seated side-by-side, Ha-yo said,

"I really don't think I can bear to go back to JOAD. They just don't understand that this kind of missile can't be launched from a submarine. It would take a battleship with the turrets removed to provide the necessary space. Even then, the ship would roll, and you wouldn't know your exact position within a few hundred meters."

"Well, you know, the people at JOAD aren't scientists. They're naval officers, and you can't really expect them to understand such things."

Heike spoke with what seemed to Tensy the right tone of dismissiveness. The naval officers didn't know how to put a missile on a sub, but there might be others who did. Ha-yo immediately back-tracked,

"I'm sorry. I know your people believe in this thing, and, of course, you're expected to believe in it, too."

Tensy was peeking when Heike spilled a little wine on the skirt of her maroon silk dress. It wasn't enough to amount to a major event, and it was done deftly. Ha-jo noticed and showed concern as Heike stood and lifted her skirt enough to mop it with a paper napkin. Ha-yo said,

"I think I've heard that one uses vinegar in such a case."

Heike replied,

"I've heard that you put salt on it. We could try both to be safe."

This was said humorously, and Heike lifted her skirt further as she asked Ha-jo to unfasten her.

Tensy had been undone in various circumstances by more than one man, and she noticed that Ha-yo was neither clumsy nor too practiced as he dealt with zippers and catches. The dress came smoothly over Heike's head, and she led Ha-yo into the kitchen to try the salt and vinegar.

Tensy realized that Heike and Ha-yo were, in effect, cooperating to a considerable extent in order to get to a critical point, a point at which Ha-yo would, or would not, come away with the belief that subs could fire atomic missiles.

It wasn't easy for Tensy to see things from Ha-yo's point of view. As far as she knew, a sophisticated continental woman might remove her dress in such circumstances and move regally around in an elegant lacy slip. Heike didn't have the presence for that, and, in fact, was a little pink and flushed around her neck and shoulders. Moreover, her skimpy little nylon slip was strictly department store bargain table. But, still, nothing was really out of character. Ha-jo knew that she was an academic with her mind on higher things, not a practised flirt. Tensy realized that she was herself quite agitated, perhaps more than Heike, and she wondered if her objectivity was failing. In particular, what would the ordinary prudent person so loved by the law courts, or, in the British case, the man on the Clapham omnibus, think? Would such a person think that Heike was trying to be provocative?

Of course, while nice girls weren't supposed to remove their dresses in front of gentlemen, even an obviously nice girl like Heike might possibly get a little carried away. Tensy, at that moment, paused in her thought train and reconsidered. No, that wasn't Heike, even if she were affected. Something was a little wrong, but Ha-yo might not know Heike well enough to pick it up.

Then, again, it might be all right. If he thought she was acting strangely to distract him from a dangerous subject of conversation, he might conclude only that she didn't want to admit that subs could fire missiles.

Tensy couldn't see what they did in the kitchen, but they returned to the living room and were about to sit down when Ha-jo touched Heike gently on her bare shoulder. That did it. Tensy could see her melt as she turned to him and raised her arms to put them around his neck. Ha-jo encircled her waist with his hands and arms, and she threw her head back as he kissed the side of her neck. There was then a full kiss on her lips. Heike hung on Ha-yo, looking as if she might be about to hyper-ventilate, as he soothed her and lowered her gently to the carpet.

Tensy had never seen other people make love, and felt indecent about watching. It wasn't so much the sex per se, but the fact that Heike had, in a way, reverted from her normal highly sophisticated self to childhood. Ha-yo, continuing to stroke and soothe, got her slip up, at which point she looked very much like a twelve-year old dressed up in her mother's underclothing. Tensy found herself wanting to intevene, but, of course, checked herself. She did, however, anticipate what she might have to do if Heike were to say the wrong things. In the worst case, Reggie could get the Americans to arrest Ha-yo immediately as a spy and keep him from communicating with his own people.

In the event, Heike didn't say anything at all as Ha-yo proceeded slowly with great sensitivity, much more than could have been expected of Jones, or even Reggie.

In Tensy's memory, de-flowering involved very little pain. So it seemed with Heike. She was then lucky to have an orgasm her first time. Probably, it was because of the skill of the lover. Heike let out a series of cries which sounded entirely genuine, and then subsided gradually. Next, in one of those twists so hard to predict, she held tight to Ha-jo and began crying convulsively. Ha-jo was stroking her back gently with one hand, and he had the other on her little white posterior. Finally, as Heike calmed, and attempted to get herself back together, Ha-jo said quietly,

"You're the loveliest woman I've ever known. If only we lived in a world of peace and justice, we could go on like this forever."

Heike murmured,

"Let's just forget about war, bombs, and missiles."

"Frankly, I hope that none of these damned missiles work."

Heike cried out suddenly, and semingly impulsively,

"But they do work! I've seen them."

She then began crying yet again and buried her face in Ha- jo's chest. Tensy gave what she hoped was an inaudible sigh of relief and moved away from the doorway to relieve her aching back. Lying flat on the carpet, she could hear the remainder of the conversation perfectly clearly. Heike, sounding more normal, gave a rather spirited account of an outing with Jones and Went in a PT boat. She said,

"The object was to see whether a PT boat at night could intercept a submarine before it could fire its missile."

"Could you?"

"That wasn't really clear. Of course, we couldn't really shoot at the sub, and it wasn't very long before the missile got off. There was an amazing sheet of flame with a thunderous noise. I was surprised that there could be such an explosion without destroying the sub."

"Well, we're used to that at Huntsville. A missile launch is very dramatic. Of course, where it comes down is another matter.

"We were told that it came down in the right spot fifteen hundred miles away, but they might have made that up."

"We always claim that our missiles come down in the right place."

Heike laughed, and then entreated,

"Ha-yo, could we do it again and get properly naked this time?"

Tensy slipped away to the side of the bed away from the door, and took a pillow down on the floor for her head. She supposed that she might as well make a night of it.

After dozing off and on, Tensy heard Ha-yo and Heike murmuring at the door. They were there a long time, but, when Ha-yo finally left, Heike came in to see Tensy. Tensy, sitting up, said,

"I feel terrible and must look worse. Did anything happen after the first intercourse?"

"More sex, but nothing military. He ended by telling me about his wife."

"You didn't think it could last, did you?"

"There were moments when I might have. But I've come back to myself. He's got what he needed, and I won't see him again."

"You were just great. I can't imagine how it could have been done better. And the timing was perfect. And the crying."

"I must have cried buckets. Most of it was perfectly genuine."

"That's a response many of us have."

Heike, now in a robe, suggested some coffee. On the way to the kitchen, she said,

"I suppose you got everything on tape."

"The tape ran out when I fell asleep."

"It'll still be maximally embarrassing. If anyone at JOAD gets to hear it, I can't go back there."

"I'm sure that won't be necessary. Reggie will listen and deliver his verdict, which I'm sure will be favorable."

"Reggie will think I'm a fool with all that crying."

"Reggie will think you did a superb job of acting, better than anyone could have imagined."

"Well, I did the other thing, too. At last, I know what it's all about."

"Are you going to tell the secretaries?"

"I may drop a few hints."

"And now, what about Jones? I'll tell him anything you want."

"At the moment, all I can say is that he's no Ha-yo. Was Reggie like that the first time with you?"

"He was, rather. But, of course, that doesn't last. He's still good with me, but I don't go to nirvana every time we go to bed."

"You know, I think Jones might send the secretaries to nirvana."

"But not you?"

"It's hard to imagine. But perhaps we only get one trip each. I could figure that I've had my trip and settle down to something more pedestrian."

"Don't settle just yet. This will require some thought."

Bill Todd -- Jones: A Novel of the Early Cold War
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