WITH FULL HONORS Jack came home late that night, which was not unusual for him. What was unusual was that he hadn't called. I heard him pull his car into the garage, shut it off, and come into the kitchen. I was at the stove preparing dinner. He had no idea that the slump of his shoulders and the grim set of his mouth were no surprise to me as I turned to face him. "Jack, what's wrong?" I asked. As if I didn't know. "It's Paul Gibson. He was found dead last night." "Oh, my God." I quickly took the pot of spaghetti off the burner so that it wouldn't boil over, wrapped my arms around him, and kissed him. "How did it happen?" "He was shot. Right through the heart." Jack's normally strong, steady voice was little more than a hoarse whisper. "We have reason to believe it was the KGB." What he didn't say, but what I knew, was that this was the twelfth CIA agent assassinated in the past ten years within the United States itself, each in a different city -- Chicago, New York, Miami, Houston, Denver, among others. Each time, I was supposedly at a seminar in another city, and there was no way to correlate my absences with the murders. This was the first one I had carried out in Los Angeles, and the first one involving someone Jack and I had known personally. "Has Connie been told yet?" I asked. "Yes. Ed and I told her. That's why I'm late. Sorry I forgot to call." "God, Jack, their second child is due in just three months." "Yes, I know," Jack sighed, kissing me again and heading into the living room. He poured himself a glass of Glenfiddich and slumped onto the couch, staring at the TV though he hadn't turned it on. Sydney had heard him come in and came running out of her room. "Daddy!" He set down the empty glass on the end table and she threw herself into his arms. He hugged her tightly and kissed the top of her head. "Daddy, you look sad," she said, frowning as she looked up at him. "I am, sweetheart. I . . . I'm afraid something terrible has happened." "What, Daddy?" "It's about Jenny's daddy, sweetheart. He won't be coming home any more to be with her like he did before, like I am with you. He . . . he's gone to heaven." "You mean he's with Jesus?" Sydney asked. "Yes, Sydney, he's with Jesus." "But Jenny will miss him." "Yes, that she will, Sydney. You will have to be a very good friend to her right now, okay? Can you do that?" "Of course I can, Daddy." Listening from the kitchen, it took me a moment to realize that tears were streaming down my face. I snatched a paper towel from the holder over the sink to wipe them away. * * * I took Sydney with me when I went to see Connie. Jack said he would see to the dishes. Connie had just gotten off the phone with Paul's parents when we arrived. Without a word, she stepped into my arms and sobbed. Jenny was huddled on the couch, clutching a Raggedy Anne doll her father had bought her for her sixth birthday. Sydney sat down beside her and patted her shoulder. "Don't be sad, Jenny," she said. "Daddy said he's with Jesus." Standing facing this little scene as I held Connie, I had to close my eyes to avoid bursting into tears myself. * * * The next few days were a blur as Jack and I helped Connie Gibson plan her husband's funeral -- the funeral home, the casket, the flowers, the music -- and a graveside service with full honors. Jack was one of the pallbearers, and I saw him swallow hard as he presented her with the folded flag which had covered his friend's casket. There was a reception at the Gibsons' house. I helped to clean up afterward. I sat beside a stone-faced Jack as we drove home. Sydney had fallen asleep in the back seat. He didn't bother to turn on the radio to catch the Dodgers game as he usually would have done during the baseball season. Later, as we undressed for bed, Jack's eye fell on a framed photograph on the dresser. It was a shot of all of us -- Jack, myself, Paul, Connie, and our daughters at a picnic the previous summer. He picked it up and gazed morosely at it for a long moment and growled, "Don't ever let me find out who did this." As we lay in bed, Jack lay awake for a while, holding me close and stroking my hair. I lay awake long after I felt him relax and fall asleep. Only then did I allow myself to weep -- silently, so that he wouldn’t awaken. * * * It was my last assignment as a KGB assassin. Jack had made it a mission of sorts to find Paul Gibson's murderer, and my superiors deemed it too dangerous for me to remain with him any longer. I had no choice but to acquiesce. When I next saw Jack more than 20 years later, I saw in his eyes the same look I had seen as he gazed at that photograph that night.