Long Fall to Forever
Chapter 1

Caution: This Thriller Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Heterosexual, Horror, Paranormal, Vampires, Sadistic, Oral Sex, Anal Sex, Masturbation, Petting, Caution, Violent,

Desc: Thriller Sex Story: Chapter 1 - When a beautiful university professor becomes involved with a terrorist, their romance isn't entirely by accident. This is Jerusalem, however, a city ill-suited to coincidence and Ellen knows all too well that the hardest part will be saying goodbye.

"After the war is over..." Ahmed sighed.

"What?" I knelt behind him as he sat on the edge of the bed. My naked breasts felt good against his back, my chin on his shoulder and hands smoothing his muscular chest and stomach.

We were in a safe house in Israel, up two flights of dark stairs with the windows open. The heat was still oppressive less than an hour after sunset and the ceiling fan above the bed rattled incessantly. We'd finished our evening prayers, he and I and his two bodyguards going to the roof and facing towards Mecca on our prayer rugs. It had been a small risk as the city had a large enough Muslim population that none of the Jews who might see us would wonder; but a risk nonetheless and we were both happier to be closeted in our bedroom.

"I will never use one of these again." Ahmed turned his head to smile at me.

"You don't have to use it now," I whispered, scratching my cheek against his thin beard.

He held a foil packet in his fingers, a condom, and I paused him long enough for a kiss, opening my mouth for his tongue and holding the Syrian tightly. Ahmed was a handsome man, imaginative and smart and easy to love. I moved my right hand lower to find his uncircumcised penis, swollen and ready for me. We'd been lovers for less than a month, although we'd known each other for almost four and I sometimes teased him about being uncut. That bit of flesh was incongruous with his faith and a source of guilt for the man, but he seemed to draw strength from sin and Ahmed took my opinions well.

It had just taken me some time to persuade him of my sincere faith, both in Allah and himself.

"Temptress." Ahmed blew the word across my lips and his eyes were the color of honey.

"You'll marry me after the war," I reminded him, squeezing his cock and nibbling at his ear. "You've promised me ten children."

"Ten sons," he agreed. "Daughters do not count."

"Let me suck it for you first." I slid down his body, turning myself so that I could lie on my side curled around him, bringing my mouth to his cock as he held me.

"You could give lessons to a Lebanese whore, I think." Ahmed pulled my black hair from my eyes, leaning backward on one stiff arm. He always enjoyed watching me make love to him with my mouth.

"Is that what you were doing in Lebanon?" I asked, licking my lips and peeling his foreskin back to reveal the pinkish glans. "Breaking your vows?"

"Never," he chuckled.

"Never again, you mean." I offered him an impish smile and then slipped his cock once more into my mouth, working my tongue lightly around the head.

"Ohhhh..." he sighed and stroked my hair and then my back. His hand slid down to my ass, fingering me gently between my firm round cheeks.

I worked my lips up and down the shaft in a tightly stretched O of pleasure. I massaged his balls with my fingers, rolling them tenderly as I relaxed to take him as deeply as I could. He wasn't so large anyway, but firm, like Damascus steel, and that was nice for me. I liked his strength, just as I enjoyed his fervor. It was obvious and predictable and useful in so many ways.

"Elle, please, let me inside you..." he begged, panting. We were both growing damp with sweat in the sultry air of Al Quds.

His fingers played across my asshole and down, to the budding flower of my tropical sex, and he was moving just his fingertip between my labia, all swollen and dewy now with desire for him. I rocked my hips, just a little, enough to let Ahmed know I wanted penetration. I wanted something inside me and soon, to stretch my loins and make me feel as a woman should.

"Mmmm ... Yes, my love," I moaned softly, pulling my mouth off and swallowing his precum mixed with my own saliva. "Take me."

I coaxed Ahmed onto his back and I straddled him, spreading my pale legs over his dusky hips. It's the reason he loved me, why he found me so attractive, because I was white and exotic and American. It excited him to be with me, a product of the country he hated so much and there was some symbolism to fucking me, doubtlessly. Terrorists were obsessive in their philosophy as much as their hatred or love, even the religious ones, and they were so often blind to it.

He'd forgotten his condom as it slipped from his fingers and I wasn't going to remind him. I loved it bareback. I loved the risk and the sensation and the freedom from responsibility. I wanted to feel the man inside me and when Ahmed was ready I wanted to feel his orgasm within my own, for I was very close already and this wasn't going to take long.

I kissed Ahmed hard, pressing my tongue into his mouth and tasting those French cigarettes he liked, and the black Russian tea they served downstairs after evening prayers. It was a hot, bitter kiss and he groaned into it as I gripped his cock in my hand, guiding him to enter my ready cunt. I lowered myself quickly and felt the trembling walls of my sex being molded to that warm intrusion. It was good like that, so good, and I took all of him, grinding myself down on the last inch of his cock to be sure I had all of him firmly inside.

Ahmed's hands went to my ass, squeezing and pulling at me, lifting me up and then dragging me back down to meet his thrust. It was too warm to kiss, the air was too thick and heavy, it seemed crushing to us and I fought for every breath I could muster. My pussy was pulled taut and empty, clinging to that beautiful cock as it withdrew to the tip, and then I'd gasp and yelp and giggle with mad delight when the man pulled us together violently. His cockhead would reach for my womb, looking for the bottom of my sex and occasionally finding it. I'd shudder then with the pleasure of pain, like our sex had a heartbeat of its own, random and unpredictable.

It was a great fuck, one of the best we'd shared, and I was cumming first. Ahmed was very attentive and Arab men were always my favorite lovers. I found myself melting onto his strong chest, rubbing my full breasts against him, teasing my nipples through his damp chest hair while I kissed at his jaw and cheeks and mouth, whispering my endless devotion and begging him to fill me with his seed. A moment later, he granted my wish, holding me in a tight embrace and staring into my eyes as we were joined forever in that precious moment.

We didn't speak, but only lay there until it was time.

"These are your targets," I said, using a wooden pointer such as a high school teacher might have in her classroom, and pressing the rubber tip against an enlarged map of the city.

We were in another safe house, a different one in the cellars of an old textile factory just off Ramallah Road in Atarot. I was dressed in white robes, traditional for an Arab woman, with my head covered and my face behind a veil of cotton gauze. Beneath that I wore only a khaki chalwar, or loose skirt, a cream colored t-shirt, and fashionable leather sandals.

Ahmed leaned against the basement wall with his two men nearby watching silently. He was Hamas, from Palestine, and only here to observe. This was my operation and these were my boys, my three noble virgins with their pure hearts and beautiful faith, recruited from the university where I taught. They wore djellaba, pristine white and loose around their frail bodies. Beneath those robes they might have worn ordinary clothes, but they did not. They wore simple undergarments, hand woven and made especially for them, like their kaftans, by the widows and daughters and mothers of martyrs. Soon they would be wearing western clothes and ten kilograms of Semtex Plastique as well.

"Nir..." I looked at one of them and pointed to a circle of red. "The movie house. You'll purchase a ticket and go inside. Do not loiter or sit down. Do not shout or give any warning to the enemy, but praise Allah and let the infidels tremble at His name."

"Of course," he agreed.

"You'll be the first and so you must be an example to your brothers." I stared at him and he nodded, understanding I was only saying what was necessary.

"There will be faithful in the theater, it can't be helped." I paused, looking at the boys. "They will find Paradise for Allah is merciful. This is not a sin."

Jerusalem, with its large Moslem population was not the best target for indiscriminate bombing. It was the third site in holy precedence. The ancient city had enjoyed a certain measure of security for that reason, but not always, and not this time. My boys had to understand and accept that, just as Ahmed did. It would lend our attack an even greater effectiveness.

"Ibra, you must be here, at this kiosk..." I pointed to another circle. "After Nir, the Jews will set up a double cordon here ... and here. They'll respond quickly to this, don't be surprised. You must be inside their perimeter."

"Yes," he nodded and we'd covered this before, but not specifically. This was the first they knew of their targets.

"Likewise you need to be at the bus station, here, Omar." I pointed at the last circle. "You have to be inside their perimeter."

"I understand," the boy replied.

"Twenty minutes after Nir destroys the theater, you two will do your duty. Your primary targets are the triage stations. The Jews will set them up at these intersections. Their emergency personnel will be there, the scene commander, the army liaison, the doctors. We are attacking their crises response organization. This is how we will hurt them..."

It was a simple briefing and quick. The boys were smart and they needed to know only where to be and what time to be there. I'd found them at American University in Beirut, where I was visiting as a guest professor of clinical psychology. They were starved for direction and with the help of an Imam who was well known to me, I'd turned those three innocent angels into my personal guided bombs. That I'd needed to inform and even seek approval of Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya was very much in keeping with my ultimate goal, and having a man like Ahmed assigned to be my watcher had been very fortunate.

The Imam would pray with the boys now and they would bathe one last time, compose their final thoughts and prayers for the families and friends they'd leave behind. They would be dead before the night was over, hopefully taking a large number of their hated enemy with them. Allah would reward their sacrifice with a place in Paradise and virgins to keep them company through the long eternity to follow. Their infidel victims would serve them as slaves.

The bombs were already prepared and no one but me knew where they'd come from. The cell was a very small one and within twelve hours it would cease to exist. The Imam and his two nephews, who were serving as cooks and attendants, were already accounted for and someone else's responsibility. My job was largely finished and it would be a relief once it was over completely.

"I would like to remain with you," Ahmed said to me once we were alone, or as much as we could be. Ahmed's two bodyguards rarely left him and they were near the stairwell.

"That's impossible, " I told him, removing my veil. My modesty had been only for the boys who were understandably sensitive to their purity of both spirit and flesh.

"I'm not known to the Israelis, it will be fine," he said without smiling. "It will be better than fine, you'll be less suspicious if you're not alone."

"You'll expose yourself needlessly," I said, removing my robes completely now. "I guaranteed your safety."

"Then how better to keep me from harm, hmmm?" Ahmed took me by the shoulders so I would look into his eyes. "This is not a suggestion."

"Only you," I decided with a glance at his men. "We'll be inside the perimeter."

"As you say." He smiled then.

It wasn't really necessary for me to be there. In fact, it was somewhat foolish in the greater scheme of things, but I'd explained it easily enough. The explosives were meant to be set off by the bombers themselves, but unknown to the boys they were also keyed to a cellular telephone. I could set one of them off at any time, once the bombs were armed, or even detonate all three of them simultaneously if I needed to. It was insurance and so required some proximity to determine if remote detonation was needed. If one of the boys became too frightened, or if he was caught or injured somehow and unable to explode his bomb, I needed to know.

It also gave me a good excuse to slip my watchers from Hamas and meet with Lev Schauer, my contact with the Israeli Mossad. I'd told him I had information on an upcoming operation, but no details. The intention was to feed him once the bombs were detonated. I'd deliver Hamas to the Israelis in the form of Ahmed, who should have been on his way back to Palestine by morning. Israel would loose their dogs and another wave of violence would engulf the West Bank.

The plan was very good. There'd been too much talk lately and some instability in the region was always desirable to my masters. Action, not words, would be the order of the day and two years of difficult negotiation would be wasted. The Jew government would be weakened domestically and internationally, and Hamas would be under siege as it hadn't been since the Israelis had moved on Arafat's compound several years before. I didn't pretend to understand all of the political ramifications and in that way I was very much like those three boys about to be murdered. I was just a bomb walking around like a fanatic puppet, dancing on the strings of my blind faith.

Ahmed wanting to be with me was a minor setback and I would have to find a way to turn that to my advantage. He was coming because he was suspicious perhaps, but more than likely he was just being very good at his job. I'd learned to respect and even admire the man over the past few months, even love him in my own way. It had certainly not been hard lying to him about that and I'd pay for it later, I was sure.

"I'll be going back to America soon," I said.

"That's good." Ahmed held my hand, both of us dressed now as western tourists and speaking French, although trying to pass ourselves off as nothing but Americans, at least in my case.

Ahmed's mother had been French and his father Syrian. He'd been raised and educated in Paris and carried a legitimate French passport, as well as a half-dozen documents from other nations, including the United States. They'd been supplied by the government of Libya, the Ministry of Printing and Engraving, which had long specialized in creating immaculate forgeries for terrorists.

"Perhaps you'll visit me there." I smiled at him and the man shrugged.

"You could come with me," he suggested.

"Where?" I paused to look at the diamonds in a shop window. We were in Mahane Yehuda, the modern section of the city near the Knesset, walking through a small shopping district towards Independence Park, more or less.

"Greece." Ahmed looked with me. "We should enjoy a holiday, I think."

"You're serious?" I turned to stare at him.

"Weren't we both?" He was so calm, standing there, and handsome with his dark eyes and aquiline nose.

We started walking again, moving with the thin crowd of tourists and businessmen on their way home. Housewives returning to their families after an afternoon of boutiques and beauty parlors. Jerusalem wasn't well known for its cosmopolitan ways, but it existed in the shadows of the Old City which drew millions of pilgrims every year. Jews, Christians, Moslems, they all came to this, the most coveted city in the western world.

"I have obligations," I said, feeling sad at the particular truth of that lie.

"Love is also an obligation." Ahmed's arm went around my waist, holding me close. We walked as lovers in the early night.

My bombs were set to go off in less than two hours, between ten and ten-thirty to catch the late crowd of tourists and residents enjoying Jerusalem's nightlife. My own destination was a modest basement pub called Abraham's, or Bram's if you were a local. It was small and shouldered between the Sheraton Hotel on one side and Manzo Tratorria, an exquisite Italian restaurant on the other. Above it sat a Starbuck's coffee shop. I was meeting Lev there at nine thirty, if things went according to plan.

"You think they'll let us go?" I sighed. "Even if we wanted to? What else would we do? The world is not right."

"You're thinking of your husband." Ahmed thought he knew me, but all he knew were the things I'd told him, the background arranged for his organization to find.

"Yes," I agreed.

"You cannot punish all of them, Elle," he said gently.

"Nor can I forgive them." I shrugged. "So if I must choose between two things I cannot do..."

"Choose something else."

" ... I'll choose vengeance."

"Choose me."

We had stopped again and we stood close by a bus queue filled with people patiently waiting. I looked around self-consciously, as if I were embarrassed by what seemed to be a small disagreement between us. In actuality it was just an excuse to check once more for any sign that we were under surveillance. It was the same reason I'd paused at the jewelry store and why we were meandering up and down streets almost aimlessly. It would not be difficult to follow us and it wasn't my intention to lose anyone if they were there, but merely to determine their existence.

I glanced at my watch and then gestured to a taxi stand just half a block up. "Let's ride for a bit."

How strange to meet a terrorist who would love me enough to try and change from his path. It should have been my role, in another, more sensible world, to play the romantic and beg him away from this awful place. They are all romantics though, terrorists like Ahmed, hopelessly bound to a world view that was a thousand years out of date. They embraced nothing except completely, with every inch of their being, and it was a devotion I admired greatly.

We stood in line for a taxi and when it was our turn we paused, making excuses in English and letting the man behind us take it. We took the next one and not for any particular reason other than it was good fieldcraft, much like telling the driver to tour the Old City. We would let him drive for the next thirty minutes at least, picking his own route and occasionally telling him to turn this way or that just to appease our own sense of security.

The Mossad knew me, I was certain of that, just as I was reasonably sure they didn't know Ahmed as anything but a faceless, nameless entry in a file someplace. He was an intelligence officer, involved in planning much more than any actual operations, and always within a very small and compartmented cell that was soon dissolved. He had brains, much more than muscles, which made him too valuable for the heavy work. It was why he was with me, not to see how well I could blow up a movie theater, but how I organized such a thing.

I was wearing the same clothes I'd worn beneath my robes earlier, the khaki skirt and cream t-shirt, sans bra, so that my dark nipples stood out well, even in the dim lighting of the back of the taxi. It was the sort of nonchalant sexuality favored by European tourists and I rather enjoyed it. I liked the way it gave Ahmed free access to massage my firm ripe tits while we made out like teenagers beneath the driver's envious stare. He was not so old, perhaps forty and thick with a dark yarmulke tilted jauntily upon his head, but he was no Orthodox Jew and I smiled at his reflection in the rearview mirror before returning my lips to Ahmed's.

"I should have known you as a virgin," Ahmed breathed into my ear.

"You would have had to marry me then!" I giggled, rubbing my hand across the bulge in his trousers.

"Precisely so," he agreed. His hand squeezed my left breast hard, making me gasp and bite his ear with the pleasure of it.

"Hey, none of that now," the driver protested in heavily accented English when he heard the sound of Ahmed's zipper coming down. "You need a hotel? I know a place just up the street."

"Do we need a hotel?" I licked my lips as I felt Ahmed's hot breath across them.

"I think we need to tip the driver," Ahmed replied, grinning. He reached into his suit jacket, pulling out his wallet and dropping some bills onto the front seat. "Keep driving."

"You're a bad man." I worked to free Ahmed's hard penis, pulling the soft skin back to find his damp cockhead leaking precum.

"You've corrupted me," he sighed, pushing my skirt up my legs until he could find my panties and pull them down and finally off.

We fucked quickly and hard, bouncing that cab as it drove up and down the winding streets. The whole city was built on the Haray Yehuda, the Judean Hills, and even with the taxi's air conditioner going full blast we were steaming up the windows. The driver was grumbling and he lowered the front windows so that a harsh hot wind blew across us and I shuddered, impaled on Ahmed's cock as he held me tight against him.

His cock was reaching deep with every thrust as he'd lift his hips to meet me. I was cumming, just from the absurdity of making love in the back of a taxi in Jerusalem. I'd done so many things in my twenty-eight years, things to be proud of and shameful things as well, but I'd never done this. It was surprising how exciting it was. I arched my back, grinding my sex hard on the penis filling my cunt while Ahmed held my ass in his hands, mouthing my tits through the thin cotton of my t-shirt. I had large wet spots over my dark nipples and he was biting them hard, one and then the other, making it so good for me that I was very nearly in tears as one orgasm followed hard upon another.

When he finally came inside me, it felt as a warm and welcome rush of pleasure deep within my womb. I could feel his semen flooding me, his cockhead nudging the bottom of my sex so that as he spasmed the head of his cock seemed to tickle me like an oversized finger, stroking the tender plot of my cervix even as his cum jetted softly against it. It brought me off one last time and I buried my face in his neck, feeling his beard against my skin and smelling his musky arousal. I kissed him and clutched at the man like a child and I very much wished we were someone else.

It was nearly time and we were in the pub, Abraham's. Ahmed sat at a table nursing a drink. I'd told him I was meeting someone, but nothing specific of course, only that I had to be in a certain place at a certain time. He was interested, but he hadn't questioned me closely and I'd excused myself to the ladies room immediately. I was rather a mess beneath my panties and he knew it.

I wiped myself as best I could and checked myself in the mirror. I brushed my hair quickly and applied some fresh makeup, frowning at my purse as it was very empty. I'd considered bringing a weapon, my Beretta would have been nice, but it would have been a foolish risk. I didn't carry so much as a fingernail file because once the first bomb went off the Israelis would set up roadblocks and checkpoints quickly. They were well practiced in such things and having an American passport was no guarantee against being searched. I'd have to lose my phone very quickly as it was the only piece of evidence I carried.

There was a television above the bar showing a baseball game from New York, where it was still daylight, and only a few people watched it. The place was hardly crowded in any event. Lev, the Mossad agent I was waiting for, hadn't arrived yet. I knew him from Rome, where he'd been posted to the Israeli Embassy several years before. He'd been covered as a minor functionary, but of course he'd been working to gather intelligence and I'd been used to give him information on several occasions.

It had worked well as there was little excuse a healthy man needed to spend time alone with an attractive young woman, especially when he was far from home and in a city as vigorous as Rome. We'd never had sex, of course, that would have spoiled everything. I enjoyed his trust for a very specific reason, one that precluded intimacy, and yet to the prying eyes of those who would notice such things, intimacy was our perfect raison d'etre. Lev would come alone, as I'd told him to, assuming I was the same courier I'd been previously. Nothing about me suggested fieldwork. I was just a messenger girl and he was an experienced operator in his home city. He would be comfortable and confident and patient, in that way he was very much like Ahmed.

I gave Ahmed the barest look and moved to the bar. I ordered a beer from the bartender. A man nearby was drinking Heineken and that was as good as anything else. He gave me a look up and down as I stood there, narrowing his dark eyes briefly and there was no recognition in them. I largely ignored him. He was harmless. All in all it was a quiet place, much as I'd found it previously, and it suited my purposes well. The only real distraction was a woman, sitting by herself it seemed and speaking to no one in particular, but everyone watched her because she was extremely attractive in a somewhat haphazard way. I found a seat to her left just as one of the men sitting in the corner decided to try his luck.

"Hey baby, buy you a drink?" he asked her in heavily accented English.

"Fuck off." She turned away from him, giving me her dark eyes and a wry, perhaps slightly drunken smile.

"You look familiar," I said, because I do have a good memory for such things and I'd seen her before. She was a big red flag and I felt my heart beating a little faster. "Do I know you from someplace?"

"Not from around here," she answered, giving me a shake of her head. "Not with that accent."

"America," I said, admitting nothing. "I can't place yours though. What is that ... Greek?"

"Aramaic," she said, and then smiled as Jeter lined a double into the gap. The man on the other side of her groaned.

"Come on," I chided her gently, but she didn't look at me. I stared at her profile, digging through my brain and the answer was close, but I just couldn't reach it.

"You know who I hate?" she asked the bartender. He'd been standing there polishing glasses and listening to every word we said.

I didn't get to hear the punchline as my contact showed up just then. The Israeli didn't smile when he saw me, but rather swept across me with his eyes as Lev took in the entire bar. It was natural and relaxed and I gave him only the appraising look a woman will give to any man at first glance. I stood up, forcing myself to leave the woman at the bar and focus on the here and now. I carried my bottle to Ahmed's table and sat down, watching Lev go to the bar. He smiled at the woman I'd been talking to and ordered a drink.

"I know him," Ahmed said, quietly.

"Who?" I had a sinking feeling in my stomach.

"The man at the bar." Ahmed watched me and I waited three heartbeats before glancing casually, as if I didn't know already whom he meant.

"Who is he?" I asked.

"Mossad." Ahmed had a curious smile. "But you know that already."

"Yes." I nodded.

"He's the one you're meeting?" Ahmed's hands were beneath the table as he leaned forward and I didn't think he was armed, but I couldn't be certain of it just then.

"I wish to speak with him, yes." I stared into his eyes.

"May I ask why?" He spoke calmly, reasonably, and I had little doubt that he was pointing a pistol at me. He must have kept it in an ankle holster because fucking is a good way to frisk someone as a general rule, and I'd felt nothing but him in the back of that taxi.

"He was there when my husband died," I told him. "He was one of the men who questioned him."

"And so..."

"And so I would like to ask some questions of my own," I said. "Before I kill him."

"You would risk your mission for this?" Ahmed wanted to believe me, but the timing was bad and he knew it.

"I'm leaving for Beirut in seven hours." I checked my watch and it was nine-forty. I leaned close, the vehemence plain in my voice. "I would risk everything for this."

"Where?" Ahmed seemed to relax, satisfied with my sincerity, and it was an explanation a man like him would readily accept. It was another reason I was so good at my work.

"The men's room," I shrugged and allowed myself a smile. "Do you think he would say no?"

"To you?" he sighed, calculating even as he tried to rationalize what he was doing. All of his instincts were telling Ahmed to run because this was unexpected and wrong.

"Wait for me," I told him. "Ten minutes and I'll be done."

This was asking for too much, wanting Ahmed to sit there while I spoke privately with a Mossad agent, perhaps murdered him, perhaps not. He could never agree to that; it was impossible for him to trust anyone that much. He would have to know exactly what was being said, see it with his own eyes when I killed the man, and if Ahmed agreed to this it would be a lie and only mean that Ahmed intended to betray me.

"Alright, Elle," he nodded. "Go get your answers."

I swallowed hard and my heart seemed ready to burst. I was on my path now; it had finally come clear at the last possible moment. My life had always been like that. All the plans and expectations coming to naught as events pulled me one way and then the other. There were so many choices leading to this night, so many decisions that could have been made differently, by myself and others. I didn't wish to believe in fate, but sometimes it was a small comfort to feel that I had no control over events. It was a lie, of course, but it would see me through what I needed to do.

I caught Lev's eye as I walked past, darting my eyes towards the back of the bar and the short hallway to the alley, a stockroom, and the restrooms. I didn't look to see if he was following me, he would in a minute or two and I pushed my way into the men's room quickly, finding it agreeably large with several urinals and a single stall. Some sinks and mirrors and exactly the sort of toilet you'd expect in an uptown bar. I'd been here before, scouting locations, and the place was perfect.

Lev was a minute behind me and he stepped inside, glancing around just to ensure we were alone, pushing open the door of the stall and then turning to me. I took him then, without a word or a warning. He was unprepared, but that would have made little difference. I punched him in the solar plexus with stiff knuckles, doubling the man over and I brought the heel of my right hand down quickly on the back of his neck, just between the second and third vertebrae. He wasn't dead, but stunned and unconscious. I searched him quickly, rolling him onto his back and finding no gun, but he did have a knife, a spring loaded blade about six inches long and that would do.

I moved him to the center of the restroom, crouching over him and assuming a pose facing the restroom door. Ahmed would be the next one through, only him. He'd make certain of that and he would want to talk first, because he was in love and that was always bad for a man's judgment. It cooled the instincts and introduced doubt into situations which had no room for it. He might even let me live, it wasn't entirely beyond the realm of possibility, but no, I was a liability. I was the doubt in the situation and Ahmed needed to remove me. It's what I would do if our roles were reversed. That's how quickly and ruthlessly our lives can change, and unless you've lived it, you can never truly understand, but that's how a war is.

Ahmed came through the door quickly, his small pistol in his hand and ready for anything, or so he hoped. He wasn't a field man though, and no matter how good your training is, it just doesn't prepare you for the real thing. Ahmed was at a serious disadvantage in every way you can think of. He should have fled and done his job, played the intelligence officer and analyzed the data. But he didn't.

"He's unconscious." I smiled up at Ahmed. "Help me move him. I want to speak with him before we kill him."

"You must go. Leave him with me." Ahmed licked his lips and he was letting me live. He'd made up his mind, or changed it possibly, seeing the Israeli on the floor like an enemy should be. It had earned me a small bit of trust, a second chance.

"Not until I talk to him," I said, shaking my head. "Hurry up! He'll wake soon."

He frowned, but did as I asked, coming close and squatting on the other side of Lev's body. I stabbed him then, reaching with my left hand to grab Ahmed's right wrist, pushing down to keep the gun pointed at Lev, and bringing my right hand up with that cold steel thrusting upward into Ahmed's chest. It went through his sternum, just beneath the ribcage, once, twice ... Three times in the span of a heartbeat, finding that organ finally with the last penetration and Ahmed's body spasmed, his fingers jerking so that the gun went off with a loud popping sound. The bullet went into Lev's body through his side, just beneath his armpit.

Ahmed's handsome face turned ashen, all color draining away, and his beautiful eyes widened with surprise. There was little blood, most of it spilling internally, into the man's chest and lungs. He lived briefly, while his heart struggled to beat around that cruel blade, but his strength had gone quickly. He threatened to fall forward onto his enemy, but I held him up for a moment, long enough to find his trigger finger awkwardly with my thumb. I squeezed twice, aiming as best I could to find Lev's heart and lungs, and then let the hand go. Ahmed was heavy and it wasn't easy keeping him balanced, but all I needed to do was wipe the handle of the knife, using the soft interior lining of Ahmed's jacket to do it.

I let him fall across the Israeli, sitting back and then rising slowly. I washed my hands and then I washed the sink, looking around the restroom carefully, making sure there was no sign that I'd been there. The two men had killed each other, it was simple enough and even if it were not entirely believed, there was no evidence of anything else. The only thing left to do was leave my phone and I wiped it clean of my prints. I used Ahmed's dead fingers to leave some evidence of ownership, and then dropped it on the floor, giving the phone a hard kick so that it hit the wall.

A half dozen pieces of plastic and metal broke away and most of the phone skittered into the empty stall. My three bombs didn't need my help, the phone had only been intended for evidence and now it was planted, although not as I'd originally planned. This was actually better and proof of my skills. I was entirely too good at this sort of thing and it made me sad, much more so than killing either of those two men, both of whom had trusted me. If I were very lucky the bombs might not even go off, it wouldn't matter so long as they were found, but I had little hope of their failure; my three angels had nowhere to go but Paradise.

I left through the back door, shouldering it open to avoid the bar and anyone who might see me coming out. Someone would remember me, I was sure, people don't forget attractive women, especially in this part of the world, but they wouldn't remember seeing me leave. With any luck the woman at the bar would occupy most of their collective memory; she'd attracted enough attention to do me that favor at least. It was the best I could do and I was leaving soon anyway, on my way back to Rome and then America. Done with this evil business finally.

I rang the bell at official residence of Luis Cardinal Trujillo, the Papal Nuncio to Israel, as the first explosion echoed through the still Jerusalem night. I felt nothing inside as I waited somewhat impatiently. A young man finally answered, a priest from Ireland named Sean Curtain who served as the Cardinal's secretary.

"Let us not sleep as others do..." I said in Latin.

" ... but let us watch and be sober," the boy finished the passage from First Thessalonians. "Welcome home, Sister Ellen. His Eminence is expecting you."

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