THE ACCIDENTAL SPY
There was a stiff wind coming down from the mountains that chilled the bones and made Harry push his collar up to his already chapped ears. He was standing in a darkened doorway not far from the hotel watching the front and the side entrances. He had been there almost two hours already and was ready to call it quits and head back to the warmth of the room.
This was the sort of thing that had to be done just to keep your tracks hidden. He told Olga "The Dancer" to stay in the room and watch the television. She was none too enthusiastic about being left behind but he told her it was routine and they would be leaving tonight to head for the border. Harry could tell from the look she gave him from the corner of her eye that she was skeptical about his truthfulness and had suspicions about his real intentions. He didn't mind her sense of caution. He would feel the same way in her position as well.
Everything looked good. There were no suspicious vehicles waiting with engines running. No odd characters lurking in the corners. The lobby had remained clear of strangers and the employees all looked bored and totally at ease.
If there was any trap being laid, it was a good one.
He slipped into the hotel and made his way to the elevator without being noticed or stopped. When he got to the door, he knocked in the code he had given to Olga. She opened the door immediately and started to nag him about how long she had to wait all alone.
Their bags were already packed and she had laid out a new shirt and socks for him in case his had become wet in the melting snow. He told her to put her "new papers" inside her underpants where they could not be stolen easily. She argued that they would scratch her sensitive skin and he laughed at her naïve sensibility. It was obvious she had not spent much time dodging bad guys out in the field. Thank God she had on a common sense pair of shoes with low heels in case they had to move quickly tonight.
He told Olga that they would go straight to the nightclub about two blocks down the boulevard to get a hired car to take them to the quiet Inn just about an hour from the border. She thought he was being overly cautious and making things "far too complicated" but Harry knew from past experience, it was when you got into a routine of doing the easy thing that was when the world crashed around you.
The taxi driver was not happy about taking them so far but Harry promised him to give him a bonus to pay for his extra gas on the way back and for his time. That was enough to mollify him enough to get out and put their bags in the trunk.
Olga pretended to fall asleep instantly. It was a good way to preclude any conversation with the driver who respected the need for silence for the tired girl to sleep.
The inn was one that Harry had used several times before. The owner was no longer at the front desk because he had suffered a stroke recently. His wife Bojana was doing the check-ins and the paperwork. She knew enough not to ask them for their passports because Harry was one of those "special" guests who never get reported into the police headquarters. He paid her in Eurodollars since everyone seemed to want them even more than U.S. dollars these days.
After he got Olga situated in the cozy little room, he knocked on the Manager's door and asked Bojana,
"Can I see Oscar? How is he doing since the accident?"
Bojana looked at me with a trace of disgust on her face.
"Accident? What accident? The old fool had a stroke. What could he expect? No exercise, no sensible diet. He was always looking for an excuse to booze it up. Just like you, Harry. You were always two peas in a pod."
I tried to ignore Bojana's words, but I knew she was right. I was just as guilty as poor Oscar. Too much booze. Too many cigarettes and cigars. The sausage alone should have killed me a long time ago. I promised silently to do better hence forward. I knew I was just being frightened of my own mortality. Maybe a bullet behind the ear or a quick shove off a railway platform was a better way to go. The choices were not very appealing in either direction.
Oscar didn't recognize me.
He thought I was the police come to arrest him for some long forgotten transgression. I backed out of the room with regret and said my good nights to Bojana. I pitied her short term future looking after the befuddled old man.
Olga was snoring when I got back to the room. It was a little warm and she had thrown off the blanket exposing her short night shirt and skimpy panties. I looked at her soft skin and slender thighs. I must be getting very old because nothing was stirring down there. Maybe it was the sight of poor Oscar and my realization I was probably only a year or two younger than him.
I dismantled my little gun. I had discarded the heavy .45 caliber automatic years ago in favor of the tiny .22 caliber LR Smith and Wesson automatic with the 10 round magazine. It didn't make much of a racket like the powerful .45 caliber, but it was very effective and accepted the nasty hollow points that I liked to use for close up work. I knew most of the field agents swore by the heavy artillery with larger capacity magazines and ammunition that could stop an elephant. However, in my line of work, I seldom encountered an elephant and didn't need such overkill of "stopping power".
Olga stirred in her sleep and turned on her side presenting me with a marvelous view of her glorious bottom. The twisted knot of her panties had burrowed deep into the crack of her arse and her cheeks seemed innocent and serene. I had an urge to reach out and touch them but I had no idea what I would do if she awakened and discovered my impetuous impulse.
I wondered if "The Dancer" had her secrets hidden well enough to keep us both out of trouble. All I had to go was transport her to Rome safely and my job was finished. That was all they were paying me for and that was all I intended to accomplish.
The little USB that Bojana had pressed into my hand I hooked onto my keychain in plain sight. It was a side job that my employers were not aware of. Old Oscar had run a nice string of collectors in the power facilities and the ship-builders in out of the way places. I guess Bojana was taking his place until the spooks in Belgrade could find a suitable replacement. I would drop it off in a certain office in the Airbase in Aviano without getting involved at all. By keeping on the outside, I was preventing the bastards from having a chance to stab me in the back yet again.
I had absolutely no interest in what was on the tiny device that was able to hold so much data. I remembered the good old days when I would have to take miniaturized photos of everything with my little German camera that looked just like a cigarette lighter. When someone asked me for a light unexpectedly, I simply said, "It's not working".
Olga was waking up. I was pleased because I really hated to wake anyone up when they were sleeping. It made me feel mean-spirited and devoid of feeling.
"Mister Harry, you are back. When do we make our move to the border?"
I looked at my watch.
It was just after midnight.
"We will leave in about an hour. Don't wear anything that can jingle or jangle when we are walking in the dark. We will bypass the checkpoint for the truckers and swing back into the holding area that they use for all the traffic moving up the highway. The Italians don't really check anything on the other side unless they got some kind of warning that something was heading their way. Even then, they tend to want to stay out of it because it is not their problem."
I was startled when Olga swung off the bed and hopped right up onto my lap. She was so light I could have walked the entire distance to the border with her on my back.
"You do realize you only have your panties on down there?"
"Yes, Mister Harry. Olga is thinking she wants you to make love to her in case she is not alive much longer."
I laughed and pushed the young girl off my lap. It wasn't doing much good anyway because my weary warrior was still in limp repose entirely oblivious to the missed opportunity.
When we started out on the dark road, the moon was partially hidden by swift moving dark clouds. After about two hours into our trek, it had disappeared entirely and a fine chilling mist started to fall. It was steady but did not quite get to the drizzle stage. Poor Olga was shivering despite the heated exercise from walking uphill.
I could see the lights from the checkpoint and saw a small backup of traffic moving north on the main highway. Having done this many times before, I took us off the road and into the edge of the forest. We halted momentarily just beyond the border because I could see a group of transients heading in the same direction as us only making a hell of lot more noise. It looked like about a half dozen guys all speaking a foreign language that sounded a lot like Turkish to me. Probably a small convoy of illegal workers heading to the promised lands of the EU that paid a lot better wages than the Balkans or Turkey.
Olga was shivering pressed up hard against me in the dark. I was not sure if it was from the cold or from an understandable fear of being raped by a bunch of unknown foreigners in the darkened forest.
We moved ever closer to the lights of the running trucks in the car park. I could hear the sound of male laughter and hoped it was pure fun and not some terrible scene. This area was known to be rift with the ladies of the night and assorted shady characters looking to prey on some unsuspecting drivers or hitchhikers. I saw a large truck with the name of a famous UK beer blazoned on the side and with two drivers eating some concoction from the mobile snack bar set up in the center of the park.
I deposited Olga on a bench in front of the snack bar with a cup of hot coffee and some dicey looking sausage. I made a couple of circles around the parked trucks checking that everything was quiet. I didn't see any police or uniformed types anywhere in the car-park and that was reassuring.
When I saw the two UK drivers heading to the snack bar, I waylaid them on the way to a table and asked them if they had a space in their van for Olga and I. They eyed the innocent looking girl sitting on the bench and allowed that if we were to hop on board they probably would not see us and it was no concern to them as long as I didn't get into the beer cartons. I paid for their breakfast and told Olga to get her gear as we were on the last leg of the journey over the border into Italy.
The long line of trucks was throwing off a lot of fumes into the cold morning air at the border and the checks were just cursory to record the license numbers of the vehicles and the type of goods being transported. The guards seemed totally disinterested and focused more on the coffee being prepared in the stationhouse.
It was cold in the back of the truck and Olga let me wrap my arms and legs around her to give her some warmth. The lack of bounce in the springs of the axle made our ride interesting and I finally was able to get a reaction from my long dormant staff of life.
Poor Olga was so tired; I don't believe she had a clue.