Read Edge of Tomorrow Online

Authors: Wolf Wootan

Tags: #thriller, #assassin, #murder, #international, #assassinations, #high tech, #spy adventure

Edge of Tomorrow (3 page)

“Of course I do!”

“I must leave now. I have much to do before
noon tomorrow.”

She touched her fingers to her lips, then put
her fingers on his lips.

“Auf wiedersehen.
Until tomorrow,” she said and stood up, smoothing her leather
skirt. Then she left, walking with a slight swish of her butt that
had the men watching her again. He went back to his piano and sat
down.

Cage
those eyeballs, assholes! She’s mine! Christ! I’m as excited
as a teenager on his first date. I’m only trying to get into the
pants of a beautiful enemy spy. Why these feelings?

He played the rest of his set with gusto, but
his mind was on tomorrow and what she might look like naked.

 

Chapter 3

 

West Berlin, Germany

Monday, December 12, 1983

9:00 A.M.

 

Hatcher got only six hours sleep that night,
and was up at 9:00 A.M. making plans and phone calls. By
eleven-thirty he had made lunch and dinner reservations, and had
booked a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride through some picturesque
woodlands in the afternoon. He dressed in gray slacks and a Navy
blue turtleneck shirt. He pulled a bright, multicolored cable-knit
sweater on over the shirt, grabbed his overcoat and scarf, and went
out to the taxi he had called. He arrived at her apartment five
minutes early, so he had the taxi driver circle the block so he
would be exactly on time. As the taxi stopped in front of her
apartment, he got out to go get her, but she stepped out the front
door. Evidently, she had been waiting for him in the foyer. She
wore black boots, a black overcoat, and a red knit cap over her
blond curls. Her exquisite body was hidden from his view. She
sprinted through the lightly falling snow and he helped her into
the taxi. She scooted over so he would not have to go around to the
other side. He jumped in beside her and the taxi sped away.

“Good morning, Kat. How are you today?” he
asked cheerfully, filled with anticipation.

“Good morning to you, Bob Kelly. I feel
wonderful! I hope it is all right for me to wait for you in the
foyer. That elevator is so slow, and I did not want you to waste so
much time coming up to my apartment, and then down again,” she said
excitedly, her cheeks red from the cold weather.

Or you didn’t want me in your apartment?
Don’t be so cynical, Hatcher. Maybe she really is just excited.

“No, that’s fine, Kat. But I really wouldn’t
have minded coming to your door to escort you down. Enough of that.
We’re going to have fun today! If anything I have planned doesn’t
suit you, just speak up and we’ll change things and do exactly what
you would like to do. OK?”

“Oh, I am sure what you have planned will
please me greatly! I never do anything or go anywhere. I am already
having fun just being with you!” she said with fervor.

They chatted amiably for the half-hour
it took to get to the restaurant he had chosen for lunch. It was
called the
Blue Angus
and was
a steak house that catered to American tastes and eating habits,
but the richer Germans came here often to enjoy what they
considered
real
American
food. The driver stopped in front and the doorman opened the taxi’s
door for them. They jumped out, and as she dashed for the safety of
the canopy over the entryway, he paid the driver.

Once they were in the warmth of the foyer of
the restaurant, they knocked the loose snow off their boots and
shed their overcoats, giving them to the coat room attendant, a
buxom blond German girl. He now observed that Katerina wore tight,
black pants and a bulky red and black sweater, buttoned to the
neck. Delicious!

“I hope you do not mind me wearing pants
instead of a skirt on our first date. My legs get so cold, and I
did not know for sure what you had planned. Am I dressed all right
for here? I do not embarrass you?” she asked, a frown on her pretty
face.

“You are dressed perfectly for
anywhere
I go! I wouldn’t want your
lovely legs to get cold; although, I admit that I love looking at
them,” he answered, smiling at her. He could not tell whether her
cheeks got redder or not.

The maitre d’ took them to the booth he had
reserved for them when Bob Kelly had called earlier. They sat side
by side, rather than facing each other. She had not objected when
he slipped in next to her.

“This is such a nice place!” she exclaimed.
“I have never been to a place like this before. I thank you so much
for this treat, Bob Kelly!”

She seemed so sincere, Hatcher got a twinge
of conscience.

What a wicked web I weave! If she keeps on
like this, I’ll feel terrible when I finally get her into the sack.
She is awfully naive for a Stasi agent. I wonder where those
embassy guys take her. Straight to bed?

“You can drop the Kelly, Kat. And it’s my
pleasure to be able to bring you here. Your wonderful company is my
reward,” he responded, wondering if he was laying it on too
thickly. But she went right on, bubbling about everything. They
both ordered steak sandwiches, French fries, and a salad. He
ordered a Heineken and she red wine. He did not try the martini
thing again—he thought he would save that for dinner.

After lunch it was snowing heavily, so they
decided to cancel the sleigh ride. She suggested that they go ice
skating instead. At least they would be inside and out of the snow.
Hatcher had skated before, but skiing was his best winter sport—as
in tracking your prey across a snow-covered mountain. He went
around the rink tentatively at first, trying not to fall down and
embarrass or hurt himself. Kat was quite accomplished, skating
backwards, doing double toe-loop jumps and various spins. He was
entranced and amazed.

Too bad she doesn’t have one of those skimpy
skating costumes on. I could enjoy her legs better!

They laughed a lot, and generally had a very
good time. He even forgot for a while that she was a spy, and he
was a spy whose goal was to bed her. After a while, Hatcher sat and
had a cigarette while he watched her and the others skate. His
ankles could take no more. It was very pleasant sitting there and
watching her have so much fun. After she had skated her fill, they
ambled over to a cozy tavern across the street to get warmed up.
They sat on a couch in front of a large fireplace and drank a hot
rum drink suggested by the bartender. She was glowing, and prated
on excitedly about how enjoyable a day she was having. Hatcher had
to agree with her. As it had turned out, he had really felt very
comfortable with her all day, and found her easy to talk to about a
variety of subjects.

By the time they were into their second
drink, they fell into an easy silence and just sipped their drinks
and watched the hypnotizing flames of the fire. She took his left
hand in her right and rested their clasped hands on her right
knee.

“You know, Bob,” she said wistfully, dropping
the Kelly, “you cannot imagine what today has meant to me. For a
short time I was able to imagine that I was not a poor, working
German girl and you were not an affluent American trying to impress
me so I would go to your bed.”

Not as naive as I thought! And she speaks
her mind!

“Now, Kat …” he interjected.

“Do not interrupt me, please! Let me try and
finish. I am not a stupid woman. I know what men want of me. But
for today, it was as if we were just a girl and a boy on a date,
enjoying each other, and having fun! I was able to forget my
problems, the plight of my family. I have never enjoyed the company
of a man as much as I have enjoyed yours.”

She stopped for a moment and squeezed his
hand. She looked at him and he saw that her eyes were moist. He
squeezed her hand back, but did not dare say anything yet. He felt
like a complete shithead.

“Before you say anything,” she continued, “do
not insult me by trying to deny your intentions. All men have such
intentions. But if you will have patience, and learn to enjoy my
company as I do yours, and do not rush me, I have a feeling that
you may get what you want—in time. I feel a strong sexual
attraction to you, but I must be more sure of how you think of me
before I can act on these feelings. Do you understand me, Bob?” she
said very softly.

He did not say anything right away. He
knew she was right. Most, if not all, men had one goal in mind when
they pursued a woman. And he figured most women knew that. He had
never heard a woman say it before, however. At least, not in such
blunt terms. Why was she choosing this time—before the date was
even over—to dump on him? And why
him
? Or did she lay this load on all the men she
went out with? He was baffled. What is her purpose? She could have
waited until he bought her dinner before doing this, so he did not
understand this at all. His normal reaction would be to get angry,
and tell her to stick her feelings where the sun doesn’t shine and
storm out. But, first of all, she was right. He felt ashamed, not
angry. He had lived his entire adult life as a predator. He had to
if he were to survive. Had this predatory instinct taken over his
entire being to the point where he could no longer relax and just
enjoy someone’s company? Had he allowed himself to be stripped of
his basic humanity and decency? Whatever this woman’s job was—and
his, for that matter—she was still a human being and he had treated
her as prey. And she had called him on it! She took his silence to
mean he had not understood what she was trying to say. This was
partly true, of course.

“Bob, I am so sorry—my English is failing me.
I am not saying the things in my heart. I am thinking them in
German. If I could tell you in German, perhaps you would understand
me better,” she said, close to tears.

“I understand your English just fine, Kat.
You’re saying men—me included—just want you for your body, not for
who you are,” he replied, more gruffly than he had intended. He had
no intention of letting her know how fluent in German he was. She
was blasting him well enough in English.

“I said something like that, but that was not
the point I wanted to make. I was born with this face and this
body, and all of my life—first boys, then men—have only been
interested in my body parts. I have never been able to have a
relationship with a man that transcended that. With you, however,
the last few days, and today, I was so comfortable. I began hoping.
I had so much fun—singing with you, ice skating with you, just
holding your hand …”

Her voice trailed off into silence, and she
looked back at the fire as a cinder flew when the log popped. He
had to admit to himself that he had felt some of the feelings she
was talking about. He had enjoyed her company immensely. But he
could not lose sight of the fact that she was a spy who slept with
the enemy in order to obtain information. He decided to make her
get all of her cards on the table, without revealing any of his
own. He looked around to make sure they had complete privacy. They
still did.

“Kat, you have made me feel very ashamed of
myself. You are right. I started out with the goal of getting you
into bed with me. But since you started this honesty trip, let me
finish it. First, let me say that I truly did enjoy your company.
You are a fun person to be around. But, also—continuing the honesty
thing—I had a few pangs of jealousy watching you parade those
embassy guys around. I know what your real job is, Kat. I figured
if you were giving them a piece of the action, why not me?”

She straightened up and shifted her body to
face him. Her face was white and frightened, her eyes red. She let
go of his hand, and looked around to see if anyone was
listening.

“What are you talking about?” she gasped.

“Kat, you said I should not insult your
intelligence. Do not try and insult mine. You are an East German
Stasi agent, and one of your jobs is to sleep with the enemy and
pick up pillow talk. Right?” he stated pointedly, but without
anger.

“Oh, Bob! You know? I mean about the job? But
I did not sleep with those men! Believe me, Bob!” she sobbed, less
concerned that he knew she was a spy than that he thought she slept
with her dates.

He reached out and pulled her to him, and she
cried into his chest. He found himself stroking her hair and gently
patting her back. He retrieved his handkerchief and gave it to
her.

“All right, Kat. Tell me about it, then,” he
said gently.

God, this woman has my emotions spinning!
She has touched parts of me I haven’t felt in years! What in hell
is wrong with me?

She told him her story. She worked for the
Stasi as a surveillance agent. This was not her choice, but she was
told if she did not do as they said, she and her mother and sister
would be thrown in prison, or worse. They held the welfare of her
mother and sister over her head while she was on assignments out of
East Germany. Recently, they had added the extra duty of seducing
U.S. Embassy employees. They made her dress provocatively and date
those that she could. It was true that she was ordered to sleep
with them and pump them for information. She could not bring
herself to do that, so she lied to her superiors and said that she
did. The quality of the information she was supplying was poor, so
they were threatening to send her back to East Berlin if she did
not do better.

“They told me that with my looks I should be
able to charm the pants off of the Ambassador himself,” she
finished up her story. Her eyes were dry now, but were still red.
Her makeup was a mess. She leaned back against him and he put his
arms around her again.

“How did you know I was a spy, Bob?” she said
in a muffled voice.

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