CIA-certified seductress and assassin Madeline Spruce finds herself up against a CIA traitor, a collection of cybervillains, and the most powerful of money launderers, all with libidinous tastes. Her unique sexual talents and her natural erotic charm serve her in the field both as she pursues her targets and indoctrinates her protégés, Mandy and Shirley.
Upon completion of mission, Madeline will be allowed to return to the embraces of her one love to seal their relationship for good.
Madeline Spruce, certified CIA seductress and assassin, had no sooner touched down at Washington National and picked up her luggage when she was whisked into a chauffeured limo containing her boss, the Deputy Director for Operations, and a man she had never seen before.
“Madeline, this is Dr. Francis Livingstone, one of our Agency psychiatrists,” the DDO explained. “For the next two weeks, he’ll be performing an extensive post-mission evaluation on you to determine your psychological readiness for a new assignment.”
Dr. Livingstone offered Madeline his perfectly manicured hand, but she left it hanging in the air.
“Hello, Dr. Livingstone.” She glanced at her boss for direction.
“Do you have a problem with this, Madeline?” the DDO asked.
“No offense, ma’am, but I find the very idea of spending time with this shrink repulsive in the extreme. I sincerely hope we can take shortcuts with the eval because Eastern Europe was no joyride, and I need some real R&R. The very thought of being close to a psychiatrist makes my skin crawl.”
“We are all professionals here,” the DDO said. “Frank will be your shadow from now until he completes his evaluation. Please extend him every courtesy, but remember that he is a fly on the wall. After this assignment, it is unlikely you will ever see him again. One thing more, if Frank tells you to do anything, just do it. He has my complete trust. Think of him as my alter ego. But if you think he is stepping out of line, call me on my secure phone anytime. Both of you, be good now.”
Madeline pursed her lips while Dr. Livingstone looked out the window at the bustling traffic. The DDO was her mentor. She would not rebel. She nodded in assent.
The DDO added, “Two weeks is not a very long time.” She then asked Madeline to tell her about her latest mission.
The limo driver worked the labyrinthine traffic patterns of Washington as though he held the thread that Ariadne had provided to Theseus. Vehicles were knotted up on the city highways but cleared when they reached the 123.
The limo reached Langley Headquarters forty-five minutes later, and Madeline had explained everything she had been through. Her account was chocked full of details. The director and psychiatrist were both so fascinated by her retelling that neither interrupted her.
When Madeline was finished, the DDO said, “I feel as though I was there in the field with her. Thank you, Madeline. Your prodigious memory of events and particulars is only surpassed by your grace under fire and sexual ingenuity on a vital mission. My commendation will state exactly that.”
“Thank you, Director.”
They quickly reached the underground parking area at the headquarters. Without saying anything further, the DDO shook Madeline’s hand, climbed out of the limo, and stepped into the executive elevator that went directly to the seventh floor. She did not look back.
Madeline was relieved that her oral report was over, but now she was left with the shrink. She noticed that the limo driver waited until the DDO was safely inside the private elevator and the doors had closed before he eased out of the parking area and north to the Beltway.
The doctor finally spoke. “While Herb’s driving us to Dulles, I’ll fill you in on the hour-by-hour activities that are scheduled for your R&R.”
Madeline listened while she looked out the window, watching the heavy traffic. Dr. Livingston’s bedside manner was insinuating and invasive.
“We’ll be traveling economy class to the Agency’s exclusive debriefing spa in Colorado. Our cover is Dr. and Mrs. Livingstone. I’m Frank to you, and I’ll call you Madeline. We’re a stressed-out, professional-class couple on the brink of divorce, hoping to clean out our systems for two weeks before getting back to our respective grinds. Got that?”
Madeline nodded without turning to look at him. She did not particularly like Frank—and she wanted it to show in her body language and brusque responses to his queries.
Frank returned her mild disdain by remaining aloof and ignoring her for the rest of the ride.
Without rehearsal, they each played their parts perfectly as a couple in a strained relationship. By the time they boarded the aircraft, no one could have guessed that both were agents of the Central Intelligence Agency.
After they had found their adjoining seats and placed their carryon luggage in the overhead compartments, Frank continued with due regard to their public surroundings. “Madeline, our schedule at the spa is going to be very full. I will have specific instructions for you from your boss, but we’ll have to review them in a place that we know is not under observation.”
“That’s fine with me. Why don’t we rent a car and drive out to see the aspens? They’re in full color now.”
He nodded. “I know a private spa where we can take a lava bath with Swedish massage. We’ll talk en route and see the aspens, have our special treatment, and return in time to check in at the company spa.”
During the drive to the baths, they had a chance to see the magnificent aspens with their leaves turning red and gold in the wind. The fall weather in the high country was bracing.
“Madeline, here is a picture of your target once we reach the Agency spa. His name is Samuel Michael Crest. He goes by Sam. He’s a bona fide double agent and was responsible for giving the opposition critical operational intelligence that resulted in the deaths of five agents. The target does not suspect that the Agency knows about his treachery.”
Madeline stared at the picture of Sam. She would need to be able to recognize him at first glance.
Frank continued. “At the Agency spa, you and I will have a violent argument and pretend that we’re on the verge of a divorce. We’ll prepare for our entrance scene while we’re at the private spa so anyone observing us at the resort will assume our hostility is the logical outcome of a very long period of estrangement.”
Madeline knew that this kind of stressful relationship was not unusual among Agency couples. They had the highest divorce rate among agencies in the intelligence community. Having a marriage end in such a sad way was what she feared most in her relationship with lover Daniel. He was her best friend, but he had no idea of the particulars of her role with the CIA.