Welcome to the Madhouse

AllTheBest

Cadet
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Texas
Irina was sitting at her vanity applying the final touches of her makeup when she heard the back door open. She closed the compact and stood up, walking into the kitchen. Jack had just set down his briefcase on the counter and was taking off his overcoat. He smiled when he saw her enter the room. "Hello, beautiful," he said, taking her hand. She leaned in to let him kiss her cheek. She searched for any trace of emotion as he embraced her. There it was. She did love this man. He was the father of her child. She loved him. Irina let her body relax in his arms. She let her thoughts escape, leaving her in a perfect moment.

But, like every good time, this one too came to pass. Jack pulled himself away. "How was your day, darling?" he asked. The perfect husband.

"Uneventful. I took the baby grocery shopping."

"That sounds nice," Jack said, his hand gently rubbing over hers.

Irina took a deep breath. "Anything interesting happen at the office today?" She squeezed his hand.

"Normal briefings and paperwork. My boss said he wanted to send me on a mission to Czechoslovakia, but I refused. I told him that we had a new baby, and I needed to stay at home with my family."

"Oh, Jack," Irina whispered. "I can't believe you did that."

"Well, anyone can get the files from this Czech warehouse. I hope that no one else can raise our baby." As if she sensed that she was being referred to, Sydney let out a fresh wail. Irina stood up.

"I don't know what she's so strung up about today. She just won't be quiet." She expected for Jack to go to his study, but he followed her to the nursery where she picked Sydney up. He watched as Irina fed Sydney, his hand on her shoulder. Sydney had just fallen back to sleep when the door bell rang.

"That must be Alicia," Jack said. He walked out of the nursery, but Irina stayed, gazing down at her precious daughter. My angel. My darling. I'll always love you the most. In an out-of-body experience, Irina watched as her own hand stretched toward the slumbering body of her petite fille. The warmth from Sydney's cheek slid through Irina's skin.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Location
holland
wauw thank you so much for finally updating this wonderful story.i wasn't here for a while either but here i am and happily posting and saying that i love this story and was really beginning to get worried you wouldn't finish it, but you got my hopes up again. also thank you for the pm
 

AllTheBest

Cadet
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Texas
"Officer 41-A-67398 calling for confirmation. Operation: Truth Teller," Irina whispered into the payphone.

"I'm transferring you now, Agent Derevko," came the refreshing Russian from the other end. Irina tapped her foot impatiently on the concrete.

"Derevko," came Kozlov's harsh voice. "You missed our meeting."

"I know, I know. Jack went into work a little late. I couldn't get away from the house." It had been almost a month since Irina had been able to speak her native tongue with anyone. "I'm three blocks away from Denver's house. I can meet you now, but I have the baby."

She could a slight tap on the other end of the phone. Kozlov had a nervous habit of tapping his fingers across the edge of his desk. "Fine. Go to Harry's Department Store on Fitzhugh Avenue. Buy a pair of black leather gloves at the counter. Your SOP will be inside the left glove."

"Okay," Irina said and hung up the phone. She wheeled the carriage towards her car, then fastened Sydney into the carseat.

***

She followed the instructions to an alleyway downtown. Kozlov was sitting on a stoop, dressed as a garbageman. She walked by him, dropping a glove behind her.

"Miss, you dropped your glove," Kozlov said, bending down to pick it up. Irina spun. She accepted the glove from him, barely having seen him slip the folded paper into it. She slid the glove into her bag and continued on her way. She bought a cup of coffee then returned to the car where Sydney was waiting. She drove home and put Sydney down in the crib. She then went into her bedroom and unfolded the paper from the glove.

Directive 6301-A-74039

Hit Ordered: Vincent Denver
Operative: 41-A-67398

Hit ordered for next Wednesday morning. Denver will return home during his lunch break between 12:30 and 1:30. The hit will take place at that time. Method will be close-range shot to the head. Officer 41-A-67398 will then search the premises for any information relating to
Project Christmas.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2003
That was really FANTABULOUS!
I feel so sorry for Sydney, having to go along with her mother while she does all her KGB..........uh................stuff! :Ph34r:
 

AllTheBest

Cadet
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Texas
Wednesday morning. It was time. Irina struggled as she sat up in the bed. It was her duty, she reminded herself. "This is my duty," she whispered.

"What, darling?" came Jack's voice from the bathroom. He appeared, his face half-covered with shaving cream, a razor resting in his hand.

Irina shook her head. "Nothing." It's nothing, she told herself. Nothing. Jack returned to the bathroom. Irina let her feet fall to the ground with a thud. Nothing. She could do it. It was just like the other times. But she knew it wasn't.

She slid her feet into the slippers that sat next to the bed. She crept to the bassinet in the nursery. Sydney was awake, waiting for her mother. Irina leaned down and picked up her daughter. You have to do this, she told herself. She had to do this.

***

She pushed the stroller down the street, her hands tight around the handle. "It will be fine, sweetheart," she said to Sydney's resting form. Thank God you're asleep, she thought. She entered the home with the key that the KGB had provided. She placed a blanket over the stroller. "I'm so sorry, darling," she whispered. Then she waited.

Irina could feel herself cringe as the doorknob turned. Her hand tightened around the gun. The door opened wide. "Shut the door," she spat at the man. Denver. He obeyed, a dismal look in his eyes. He knew what was coming. "Sit," Irina commanded. Denver sat, fear in his eyes. "What do you know about Project Christmas?"

Denver sighed. "It...it's in my study," he said.

"What is the testing status?"

"There is none, Laura." Irina stiffened. This man knew her? Of course he did. He worked with Jack.

"You must have tested it. How?"

"We have not tested it yet," Denver said. "No one can agree on a method."

"Fine," Irina said. "It's too bad you didn't have a better answer." Bam! She fired the gun. The execution was complete. She felt the tears begin to fall down her cheeks. She rushed to the stroller. Sydney had woken up, looking around. "Don't cry, sweetie. I'm so sorry." She rushed to Denver's study, removing all the files that looked even slightly relevant to Project Christmas. There was no time to be patient. She rushed out of the home and back to her own house. She deposited Sydney in the nursery and collapsed on her own bed.
 

AllTheBest

Cadet
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Texas
Irina woke up and looked at the clock on her bedside table. 6:03. Jack would be home soon. She'd have to make dinner, have to get Sydney ready for the evening. But first she had to hide those files. They were sitting next to her own the bed. How could she have been so careless as to leave them there? She slid off the bed, grasping the thick manila stacks between her fingers. She looked around the room for someplace to hide them until she got a chance to read them, someplace Jack wouldn't look. Her eyes settled on the lingerie drawer, the hollow compartment she had built earlier that year. She pulled the wood out, moved the contents to the side, then lifted the delicate wooden barrier. She slid the files below and replaced the barrier.

She caught a glance of herself in the mirror. She was a disaster, her eyes red and puffy, and her hair was in complete disarray. Irina walked into the bathroom, dabbed a few splotches of makeup under her eyes and wiped the stray hairs from her face. Decent enough.

She walked down the hallway, entering the nursery where Sydney lay sleeping in the yellow crib. Good. She walked to the kitchen, where she took vegetables from the refrigerator and dried pasta from the cabinet. She let the water boil as she chopped zucchini and simmered tomatoes on the stovetop. Forty minutes later the table was set, and the wine sat, ready to be poured. Irina rushed to the nursery to once again check on Sydney. This time, she was awake. A gurgle rose as Irina picked her up. "Are you hungry, darling?" Irina whispered to her daughter. She sat in the rocking chair, feeding her daughter. She heard the front door open when Jack returned home. Irina rebuttoned her blouse, carrying Sydney to the kitchen.

"Hey, darlings," Jack said with a smile. Irina was glad to see him. She let herself be absorbed in the family she had created. They sat down at the table for dinner, Sydney gurgling as she lay on a blanket on the tile floor. Irina sipped her wine, listened as Jack told her about her day.

"I tried to stop it, but they're sending me on a mission next week. To France, Paris," he said, then looked down at his plate, moving around the sauce. Irina bit her lip as he looked back up at her. "Are you terribly mad?"

Irina shook her head and sighed. "It would have happened eventually," she whispered. "You'll have to go back sometime."

"I guess," Jack said. He took a slow bite of his pasta. She could see the effort it took for him to swallow. He picked up the white linen napkin from his lap and gently wiped his face. "I'm sorry, Laura. I wish it were different. I truly do, but it's not. I am a field agent. This is what I do."

"I know, Jack," Irina muttered. "I know. It's your job." She pushed her chair back from the table and stood up. She took her plate to the sink where she let the scalding water sink into her skin. She blinked back moisture in her eyes. She was surprised at her own acting skill. He must really think she was mad. She heard the squeak of Jack's chair as he too stood. A few seconds later she felt his hand on her shoulder, his lips upon her cheek.

"I'm sorry darling, but I've been out of the field too long. They're forcing me to go back."

Irina made herself tense her muscles, made herself flinch at the sound of his voice. "Fine," she muttered. She walked from the sink to where Sydney sat on the floor. She picked the baby up and walked to the nursery as she fumed. She stroked her daughter's head, waiting for Jack to follow her. He did.

"Laura, don't do this," he said, standing in the doorway. "You know I can't help it."

"I know, Jack," she said, looking out the window at the California sunset. "It's just..." she hesitated, baiting him.

"What? What is it, Laura?"

Irina turned to face him, holding Sydney to her chest. "I don't want you to go, Jack. What if you don't come back? You have a daughter now. You can't just keep going off to the ends of the earth playing the hero."

She saw the color rise to Jack's cheeks. "Is that what you think I do?" he spat. "Play the hero?"

"Right now I do," she spat back at him. "If you're willing to leave your daughter at home, leave us at risk, then all you are doing is being arrogant and foolish."

She could see Jack's eyes fill with rage. But then the rage fell away and all she could see was sorrow. She placed Sydney in the crib and approached him. She placed her arms around him. "I'm sorry, Jack. I didn't mean it. I'm just scared." Irina was proud at herself, the way she was manipulating Jack, making him doubt himself and feel sympathetic towards her.

"It's not your fault," Jack said, shrinking out of her embrace. "I know this is hard on you, but I have to do this..." His words were interrupted by the ringing of the telephone.

"Don't answer it," Irina whispered, but Jack had already started walking out of the room.
 

AllTheBest

Cadet
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Texas
Jack walked back into the room. Irina could tell that he was tense, the muscles in his back were drawn, his shoulders were hunched forward in defeat. "What is it?" Irina asked as Jack sat down in the empty rocking chair.

"They got another one," Jack whispered.

"What?" Irina asked. "What do you mean?"

"They killed another agent, Laura!" Jack screamed.

"Calm down, sweetie," Irina said, placing her hand on his shoulder.

Jack jumped out of the chair, and Irina's hand fell to her side. "CALM DOWN!?!?!? Laura, do you hear yourself? Three men are dead! And you expect me to calm down?"

For the first time in their marriage, Irina was afraid of Jack. His eyes were filled with fire and she was afraid that he would at any moment start using his fists instead of his voice.

"I'm sorry, Jack," she whispered. Then, hesitating, she spoke again. "Who was it?"

Jack bit his lip. "Denver. Vincent Denver. You remember him. He came to dinner at the house once."

Irina wanted to scream that of course she remembered him, that she had been the last one to see him alive. She wanted to smack Jack, to force him to see what she was doing. She was disappointed that he was so absorbed in his love. "I...I think I remember him," she whispered. She looked up into Jack's eyes, resisting her urge to flinch. "Does the agency think this one was the same person?"

Jack nodded. "Probably KGB. All three have been shot point-blank range, execution style."

"That's awful," Irina said. "What's the agency going to do about it?"

"They're putting together a task force to try and find whoever's been doing this, but so far there aren't many leads."

"That's too bad. I hope they find the guy that did it."

Jack nodded. "So do I."
 

AllTheBest

Cadet
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Texas
Irina sat up in bed as Jack stared into the mirror, retying his narrow black tie. She pulled the sleeves of her satin robe around her. "Are you sure you don't want me to go with you, Jack?" she asked. He looked so nervous, so desolate. His eyes met hers in the mirror.

"You know I need to do this on my own, Laura. Besides, we couldn't leave Sydney here alone."

"Of course not," Irina said, and Jack turned back to the mirror. He straightened the tie and picked up the suit jacket from the bed. "I'll see you later this afternoon, darling." He walked over to the side of the bed and leaned down to dutifully kiss his wife.

She leaned her cheek up to meet his face. "Bye, Jack."

As he left the room, she sighed and pushed her head back into the headboard. Then she realized that she had the perfect opportunity to raid Jack's office. She listened for the sound of Jack's car leaving the garage then she slipped from between the sheets. She slid her feet into the matching slippers that sat waiting and padded out to Jack's office.

Silently, she opened the double doors, closing them gingerly behind her. She walked determinedly to the desk. She pulled the handle of the lowest drawer, but this time it was locked. Did he suspect her? In part she had expected that he might have locked it after the problems at the CIA. She removed a bobby pin from her hair and carefully inserted it into the keyhole, waiting for the familar click.

She let the drawer roll open and then removed the first file, labeled "Operation: Threat Catcher." She opened the folder, glancing down at the first page.

Highly Confidential: Property of the United States Government

The Central Intelligence Agency has recently undergone a series of senseless attacks against its agents. These attacks cannot go unnoticed. However, the foreign operative responsible has not left any clues.

The manner of execution of these three agents, a single gunshot to the head, is characteristic of KGB assassins. It can only be assumed that these attacks were planned with a serious intent.

The CIA has come to the conclusion that these three deaths are connected. The three agents have only one clear connection--their involvement with "Project Christmas," a new recruitment program designed by CIA operatives. The CIA is unsure of why the KGB would interested in Project Christmas.

FBI Agent Caulder has been given assigned the direction of Operation: Threat Catcher. It is necessary that the CIA finds this foreign agent before more lives are lost.
 
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