Introduction: Second installment in the Lamorak (Eyal's code name) series of mystery, drama, fun, adventure and romance. Once again this is an Annie driven story with only briefly seeing Eyal's actions and his inner thoughts in foot notes. Please enjoy the lighthearted holiday romp for our favorite spy couple.
It's a typical Wednesday morning, first thing on the agenda a department up-date in a small conference room near Joan Campbell's office. All present and account for as the DPD only had one mission, tracking the movements of an American nuclear scientist treading in dangerous territory of Afghanistan. Meeting over and some questions about leaving early because of Thanksgiving, Joan's answer was simple, all assignments finished first and not before three o'clock.
Walking out of the door toward her office, "Got a second Annie."
The two women standing in Joan's office, door close which for Annie was a signal something wasn't right, was she in big trouble or what.
"Arthur and I are having a quiet Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and would like for you to join us. Nothing fancy." Joan with a warm smile.
"Joan that would be wonderful but I'll have to check with someone first."
"Oh come on Joan. What makes you think that?"
"It is so obvious. You haven't filled out the Close and Continuing Relationship form yet."
"Hard be to close when we are on two different continents."
"So you have no clue where he is."
"Get the form Annie. Fill it out and return it to me. Today! Do not protest, just do it."
Well we are off to a great start here, Annie mused as she started on her way to returned to her desk. Been asked by the boss to join them for Thanksgiving dinner and side-stepped because of a damn promise Eyal made months ago. And why would Joan guess it was Eyal, there was no way she would have known about the wonderful week's vacation spent in the Seychelles Islands. Sure she could, after all she is CIA with top clearances. Rats about having a private personal life.
"There is Auggie all intent on something, think I go bug him, cheer me up a bit." Annie muttering to herself with the walk to Auggie's office.
"Hey Walker, heard you tip, tap, tip of your heels."
"Tip, tap, tip. What's that?"
"You favor your left foot which makes a different sound when walking. If you ever decide to start wearing flats I'll be ruined."
"You can always tell by my perfume."
"Once you stop changing it. What's that you got on today?"
"Gianfranco Ferre." Annie couldn't help but smile, a gift from Eyal received last week via special delivery with a simple note. 'Neshama Yafeh'.
"International fair hmmm..." Auggie with that know a secret kinda of grin.
"That's where I work."
"If you say so. So what's cooking?" Auggie trying to find out if she had plans for Thanksgiving without really coming right out and asking.
"If you are asking about Thanksgiving, I'm working on a couple of things. Maybe going to New York."
"Stand in the cold and watch the funny looking balloons float by."
"You're sounding very bar-humbuggish. Lighten up the holidays are near. And your holiday plans?"
"I'm good. Headed home to Mom's and a house full of curtain-twisters and crumb-snatchers."
"That's no way to talk about you nieces and nephews. Be glad you are visiting them. Got to run, have damn stupid form to fill out for Joan. Happy Thanksgiving Auggie."
"Yeah, you too Walker."
Next stop personnel department for the CCR form. Wasn't that a musical group? Annie smile yeah, they sang Bad Moon Rising - love that song. Annie chuckling, hope Eyal is not a bad moon. Turning left she stopped cold. It couldn't be but there he stood talking to Arthur just before they walked into Arthur's office. Why hadn't she heard from him? He should have called or was this something like a quick trip - in and out without even so much as hello. After all he was Lamorak and reporting to only Arthur, damn it, he is on a mission and she guessed that would be the only glimpse she would get of him this Thanksgiving.
She had to get out of the building before a chance meeting. Annie hurried down to the parking lot and to her car, she could feel the tears of disappointment welling up and it made her mad. She did a quick search of the visitors parking but no gray Ford Taurus. How in the hell did he get here, beamed down by Scottie she was sure. Once more she was jumping to conclusions without any reason except seeing Eyal Lavin standing in CIA's building. Opening her car door, there lay on the seat a note and her cell phone. He's back to lock picking. First the note, she opened it - Hi Neshama, read your text. Now she was feeling bad about tearing up. Picking up her cell, 'Dinner tonight my place. E.'
Fine, he is keeping his promise and that made Annie happy. Maybe Joan will see him in Arthur's office and ask about dinner. Deep down I think she likes him more than she will admit. Best thing for her to do right now is get the CCR form and complete it. Joan must have known he was coming into DC today and that's the reason for such a big push. Annie thinking how to avoid a run in with Eyal, take the side door to personnel - yeah the move to make. But he may be using the side door. Okay, front door, thru the main lobby and straight to personnel, get the form and fill it out there and back to Joan's office. Easy Annie, button up and do it.
Coming off the elevator looking both ways and checking for the tall Israeli, Annie felt the coast was clear for a quick trot to Joan's office. Almost speed walking with the tip-tap, tip-tap sound in rapid motion. She made it safely with the CCR form in hand.
"Here Joan, the completed CCR form you requested."
"Thanks Annie. I'll approve it and get Arthur to co-approve. We don't want any difficulties to arise, do we?"
"Is that all?"
"Just a second Annie." Joan affixing her signature to the Close and Continuing Relationship form, clearly stalling for time.
Annie standing in front of Joan's desk being itchy about hanging around too long on the same floor with Arthur's office. She checking her watch and it was close to early quitting time for the holiday and the perfect excuse to leave.
"You look anxious. Some place you have to be?" Joan still stalling for time, flipping thru some folders on her desk as if looking for something.
"No not really. Just a little last-minute shopping I want to do." Smiling, come on Annie last-minute shopping is for Christmas not Thanksgiving.
"Well if it isn't Annie Walker." The melodious low Israeli voice came from behind.
Wheeling around on her heels, "Eyal, what a surprise."
There stood Arthur beside Eyal, both with guilty smiles wiped across their face as if they being two young boys and had been up to no good.
Joan standing with her hand extended to welcome Eyal. "Glad to see you again. Annie and I just talking about Thanksgiving dinner and both Arthur and I would love to have you join us, that is if you are still in the states tomorrow."
"Thank you. I had no plans for tomorrow and would be my pleasure. This will be my first Thanksgiving. Annie will you be joining also?"
"Yes, Joan had asked me earlier."
"Good than it is all settled. Annie I have some matters to attend to so will you be Eyal's escort out of Langley, you know the protocol." Arthur with a sly grin and a wink from Joan. All going much noticed by Eyal.
Walking outside in the fresh autumn air Eyal gave Annie a slight pinch on the arm, a love pinch and unnoticeable to anyone watching.
"Where is your car?"
"That's why I'm being so nice to you, I need a ride. My Ford was stolen and demolished by some teenagers out for a joy ride and I need to pick up my replacement."
"Moving up in the world and I bet it is grey."
"It's called Mineral Grey Metallic and a pretty piece of equipment. A 640i x Drive Coupe and can't wait to take it out for a test run with you."
The car was ready for Eyal when they arrived; a beautiful low swung polished looking coupé made for speed and dazzling, if a car could be dazzling. Annie watched Eyal go thru the motions of signing the final paper work and receiving the keys, knowing all the while his excitement even if he looked like it was a normal, everyday event to pick up a fine-looking new car.
"Let's drop off your car at my apartment and take this beauty for a spin around town." Eyal with a beaming smile of happiness.
Annie could tell Eyal was in a marvelous ecstatic mood, not only with his car but something else was putting him over the moon. She could only guess it had something to do with his meeting with Arthur but didn't ask, not yet. Sitting in the passenger seat watching Eyal maneuver thru traffic and headed out of DC on to I66 going west, pass Centerville and turning into Manassas Battlefield Park.
"The park is closing but we can go for a walk around the fringe." Eyal holding the door for Annie.
Darkness had fallen and the air was crisp, a good evening to bundle. The place was deserted and as they walked shuffling fallen leaves with their feet, it was a care free time, just the two of them in the moon light. Annie turning her coat collar up and stepping close to Eyal as they walked.
"So how has you love life been?" Eyal giving her a playful hug.
"What love life is that? The one with my imagery ghost, you know him, the one that can vanish into thin air."
"I'm sorry Annie. I was in a very deep cover and it is my practice to protect those close to me by not contacting them. My wife never could understand that and I hope you appreciate that."
"I really can Eyal. Both of us live different lives from the normal world and it is hard. I did miss you."
"And at times lonely." Slipping his arm around her waist, "What do you think? Is there something between us that we have denied for three months? I know I've had awful notions of you moving to someone else - a non ghost. Tell me it's not so."
"If you call having a beer or two with Eric Barber moving on to someone else then yes."
"I'm going to shaping my skills and woo you all over again. Competition with Eric is pretty keen, need to really be on my toes." Giving her waist a tug to bring Annie a little closer.
"You are charming I must say."
"I try. Isn't the evening lovely, a quiet escape from our missions, just the two of us, a beautiful Harvest Moon and four days of freedom." Eyal had stopped and pulled Annie a little closer to him.
"A lover's moon." Annie looking up at this charismatic and handsome Israeli. Placing her hand gently on his chest as she tiled her face to him.
"You are a most beautiful woman Neshama." With his hand slowing trailing the outline of her face, resting under the chin, he gently lifted her lips to meet his with a tender kiss. She reaching around his neck, he picked her off the ground, the kiss becoming more passionate and both indulging in the ambiance of the embrace. He slowly released her as she slid down his front, the both knowing this is what they had been missing for three months, being together.
"Shall we continue this in the back seat of the BMW, you know baptize the car in the proper way." Eyal guiding her toward the car.
Eyal: Shaking Arthur's hand with the final agreement, both men seem to be very pleased with the contract. Eyal feeling delight with his move. Catching a quick glance of Annie standing in Joan's office turned to Arthur. "Mind if we stop by Joan's office for a quick hello."
The conversation was brief and as Eyal had in the back of his mind, a way to get Annie lone with him long before dinner. To him she looked beautiful, more so than the last time they were together and oh how he wanted to take her in his arms but damn it, not standing in a glass enclosed office with the good folks in the bull-pen watching.
Picking up his new toy, the prize he had wanted for years, a fine driving sport machine that he didn't have to hide, so call be incognito. Still grey in color but that is his style, pure classic. Sliding into the driver's seat, with his sweet lady beside him, life was good. Putting the BMW thru some minor paces he was thrilled and only wanted to take her (BMW) on the open road, enjoy the freedom of being man and machine. Oh yeah, Annie could come along also if she wanted too. He would be only in the states for the weekend but when he returned...
As he had guessed the park was empty and he pulled the car to a far end of the parking lot under a stand of oak trees now bare of leaves. As he walked beside Annie his desire growing with every second had a bright idea to baptize the car, no waiting to return to his apartment. Once in the car and a small back seat he had second thoughts, what the hell to do with his long legs. Love his Neshama, Annie had the solution and the car was properly baptized to Eyal's delight.