It's a fun book, about the underground business in Washington, DC. I worked in DC as a Math Stat, years and years ago. It's an interesting place to visit, let alone work there.
So enjoy, 'Dating a Spy Isn't All Fun and Games'!
Ex-beauty queen contestant Lauren McDonald is thrust into the spy underworld when her boyfriend's job starts to seep into his personal life, making her the conduit for the transfer of information from one enemy to another. Her life can never be the same again when she agrees to marry Shawn (her boyfriend) and become an agent, just to save her life and the United States. But the odds are against her, and those dreams of a peaceful married life go right out the window when she finds out the true mission of the enemy.
"There's a mime convention in town," Mitch said to me. "That'll be fun to watch. I bet if you tell them you were a beauty queen, they'll put on fake crowns and wave."
My ex-husband was turned in the seat in front of me on the Metro while we rode from Northern Virginia to work in Washington, D.C., on a Monday morning in May. Mitch was gay, announcing it the minute after we said 'I do,' seven months earlier. The marriage was annulled the day after my 'new best girlfriend' and I shopped till we dropped in Vegas, so it wasn't a total loss. However, he did get better deals on women's bikini underwear than I did, and I'll never forgive him for it.
He looked up from the newspaper he was reading, staring behind me. "Hey, someone's watching you."
"Who?" I started to turn, but Mitch touched my arm, still staring behind me.
"Don't look," he whispered. "You're such a typical blonde. It's an older military guy, with dark hair and dark eyes. He's wearing business casual, an upper end dark red polo, and stone colored pants." He studied the man for a while. "He's wearing a wedding ring, or I'd be over there chatting him up." Mitch licked his lips and winked, making me scoot down in my seat.
"Any response?" I asked.
"Yeah. I'm feeling the heat, and it's in a good place."
"In him," I whispered. Mitch was so ready for a homosexual relationship; it was scary. He'd date anything.
"Oh, right." He studied the man for a moment. "He knows I'm watching." Mitch looked out the window. "I'm close to my stop. What will you do if the guy follows you?"
The subway slowed. "Ask him out, just to make you jealous."
"So? I'd be the kept mistress." I smiled. "Then I'd date Shawn on the side, keeping me very happy."
"Did you ever notice how much Shawn and I are alike? We both have dark brown hair, very blue eyes, and are both handsome and very sexy."
"He's straight. That's a major difference."
Mitch stood up. "Yeah, or I'd ask him out." He chuckled as he walked off the subway.
I was afraid to turn around, concerned because the seat beside me was empty. However, if the man wanted to talk to me, he certainly could've moved next to me at any time.
My stop to change trains came, and I figured I'd lose the guy as soon as I got off the first train. But, as I left the first train and waited on the platform for the second train, I felt his eyes watching me while I tried to ignore him.
After a few minutes, my next train came. I got on, heading east. I wanted to lose him, so I found a seat next to a very pleasant woman. Because she was reading, I acted like I was studying my calendar. If I didn't make eye contact with the man, he didn't exist, in my mind. Beauty queen training didn't prepare me for anything like this. Darned beauty queen training. World peace my foot. This was one guy I didn't want to meet or make world peace with.
The trained slowed, the driver yelling out the stop for Union Station, which was close to my work. I stood up, stepped closer to the door, and happened to glance behind me. The stalker stood two people back, watching me. The color red lit up in my head from the terror I was experiencing. I suddenly wished my beauty queen talent had been self-defense so many years before, instead of singing Jingle Bells while throwing fake snow into the air and wearing a parka in the middle of August.
Just as I got into the station and headed up the stairs, my cell phone rang. Once I checked the identification, I realized it was Mitch, so I answered it. "Did you miss me already, or are you having a pseudo-male ego crisis?"
"Very funny," he said. "Is he still following you?"
I glanced behind me. "Yes. Even after changing from the yellow to the red line on the Metro at Gallery Place."
"Don't take any back alleys to work to meet with your drug contacts."
I laughed at his attempt at humor. He knew beauty queens didn't do drugs. It would ruin their complexion. "Like I'd do that. Do you think I should worry?"
"Yep. I didn't like how he was watching you. Be careful and call the cops if he tries anything."
"Got it." We said goodbye and ended the call.
I suddenly felt very alone with someone following me to work. I didn't have to just feel it, because it was true, terrifying me.
I snapped back to reality. It was possible the guy worked in the same area where I worked and I just hadn't seen him before. I was probably overreacting. It was all Mitch's fault, because beauty queens could be naïve, according to Mitch.
With a major hair flip to show my self-confidence, I walked upstairs from the subway through Union Station, passing shops. I headed out to the street, a little over a block from my office. My phone vibrated and rang in my pocket, so I grabbed it and opened the thing. From the identification screen, it was my true love, Shawn, so I pushed the talk button.
"Good morning, sweetheart," I said. "How's work going?"
"I've been here since three this morning and nothing's going right. Tell me you're beautiful and wearing a sexy red dress with your diamond tiara from your beauty queen days? You are meeting me for lunch, right?"
I glanced around behind me, heading toward my office building. "Yeah, but no red dress. I left the tiara at home. Try black slacks and a light blue blouse."
"Close enough." He listened for a moment. "You're out of breath. What's going on?"
"I seem to have an issue."
"Issue?" I heard him take a bite of something, probably a breakfast bar. He loved breakfast bars, but to me, they tasted like cardboard and bark. He really needed someone to cook for him, and I really wanted to be that one.
"Someone's following me," I whispered.
"Where are you?" His voice sounded serious.
"I have about a block to go. I just left Union Station."
"Keep walking. I'll take care of it." He ended the call and I stared at my phone. What could he possibly do?
He worked as a computer analyst in a governmental contracting firm closer to Dupont Circle. Lately, his hours were horrible, working seventy or more hours a week with one day to completely crash, usually at my place so I could take care of him. I knew how to cook well, so he'd relax and I'd wait on him. It was kind of fun, because he was really a nice guy.
I headed toward the building where my job as a mathematical statistician for the Bureau of Labor Statistics was located. I may have been blonde and an airhead, but I wasn't stupid.
As I walked, I saw my building within running distance. However, I also saw the mime group heading toward me—white faced, gloved, and all wearing black and white striped outfits with black hats. Of all times for the tourists to interfere. There were at least fifty of the beasts heading my way, making believe they were pulling on ropes, stuck in a room, or walking across a tightrope. My life could be on the line and these people were acting stupid. I could run out into the street, but I'd learned that the fastest way from one point to another was in a straight line. Besides, there were so many mimes; they were also walking in the street and winding between stopped cars at the red light. I had to get past the mimes. Not a fun thing to do.
I quickened my pace and dodged mimes, certain the scary man was following me. Every time I looked back, he was getting closer and closer. As I made my way through imaginary ropes and balancing sticks, I realized these people were just weird. I hated mimes, now more than ever. They weren't on my 'world peace' list, either. So I kept my mind on the prize—getting away from the man stalking me.
As I glanced behind me, I saw the stalker getting closer. I kept walking as fast as I could, stopped suddenly by a stupid mime with some sort of weird fetish. He moved closer to my face, acting extremely surprised. He embraced me, and as I tried to get out of his grasp, he planted one right on my lips.
"Watch it, buddy!" I pulled away and glanced backward. The man on my tail was mere inches from me, his arm outstretched to touch me. But fortunately, he was being held back by a tickling mime. I took off running, glad I was wearing my required governmental sneakers every female employee wore, to save their good shoes from wear and tear on the sidewalks.
When I was about ten feet from my office door, I felt a hand on my shoulder. "Lauren McDonald." He spun me around and reached for my earlobe. Just as I tried to back away from his scary dark eyes, a black unmarked car screeched to the curb and two men in black suits jumped out. They grabbed the stalker, threw him into the back seat, and sped away.
Every single one of the mimes put their hands to their mouths, overacting their surprise, while the rest of the crowd, mainly governmental workers, began clapping for the mimes. The crowd cheered them on, not realizing my stalker had just been kidnapped.
I stared, not sure what to think. The man knew my name, he touched my shoulder, and he looked driven—scary driven.
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