My wife Sasha and I have a lovely life. We met when I was 26 and she was 23. I was finishing a doctorate at George Mason in stuff that I would have to kill you if I told you about.
Kidding!!! But you get the drift.
Sasha was doing a Master’s in Public Policy. We hung out in the same group. Actually, she was the queen bee in a swarm of male students and I was part of the fringe.
Sasha is a very smart and intellectually sophisticated woman. She just happens to be drawn like Jessica Rabbit. We met in a study group. I think she had fucked several of the guys in that group before she got around to me. But it rapidly became clear that we were the ones who belonged together.
It started with me making an obscure pun that only Sasha laughed at. The sheep looked confused. I explained the joke. They continued to stare bewildered. Sasha tried explaining it – bullfrogs and crickets ... She looked at me and said disgustedly, “Let’s get a beer.”
We drove over to Brion’s, which was a hangout for all of us.
Sasha is the essence of Slavic beauty. She wears her thick dark-blond hair in a braid that extends down her back to her lust provoking ass. That hair frames her perfect heart shaped face. And the face itself is flawlessly proportioned, with the full sensual mouth that seems to be a hallmark of classic Russian beauties.
But it’s her huge, soulful, ice blue, almost feline eyes that are her most striking feature. Those eyes are as mystical as a Karelian lake. And they reflect the heart of Mother Russia.
The rest of Sasha is lithe and exquisitely shaped. Dance is every Russian girl’s heritage – even if the family has been here for a couple of generations. Sasha’s training produced an exceptionally supple, narrow-waisted body with remarkably long muscular legs. Those legs carry her with special grace and athletic power.
Every man turned and stared at her when we appeared. And the other half of the population just seethed with jealousy. Sasha didn’t seem to notice. She was focused on me. But I was painfully aware that everybody in the place thought that I was outclassed.
I’m not a bad looking guy - I guess? If you like intellectuals – high cheekbones, thick shock of unruly brown hair, long nose and dark eyes. The only thing exceptional about me is my height. At six-four people just assume that I played basketball – since I look like the classic, skinny-white-guy-in-the-middle. But I don’t have an aggressive bone in my body.
I WAS a fairly successful swimmer when I was an undergraduate. But there are no million dollar contracts at the end of THAT rainbow. So I knew from early on that I needed a career. I got into the cloak and dagger business because I’m a nerd. And that is the first place all of the cool technological shit rolls out. Most people would join an Alphabet Agency. But I’m a thinker - not a doer. So I chose to study and teach it.
When our pitcher was delivered - Sasha leaned back in her chair. She said with studied casualness, “Are you as bored with those idiots as I am?”
I had two thoughts. The first was that her flawlessly shaped breasts looked amazing when she leaned back like that. Don’t judge me! All guys are sight-hounds!
The other thought was that there was a lot more to Sasha Averina than I had assumed.
She was certainly one of those rare beauties who glide through life on a magic carpet of pure sex appeal. But I was positive that I had detected a hint of anxiety in her voice.
I said guardedly, “Well – none of them is ever going to change the world. But there isn’t anything particularly wrong with them. They’re just average people.” She reached across the table and grabbed my hand. She did it so abruptly that I nearly fell off the stool. She said, “That’s just it. I am bored to death with average.” It was like she had been thinking about this for a long time.
She added - with odd intensity in her voice, “I want to connect, not socialize. I want to spend my life with a man who functions on my level. I want to be with somebody I have things in common with. I want a guy, who is capable of simulating me with his mind, not just his little winky.”
Then she paused and said with some nervousness in her voice, “And you are the first man I have ever met who satisfies me that way.”
Now THAT was a revelation. I sort of understood what she was saying. Because I had the same problem. I dated a bit. But none of those women was worth a second look. Cosmetics and dress can make a girl beautiful. But they can’t make her any smarter.
Sasha is a whirlwind of intellect, sarcasm, nuanced humor and fabulous insight. I had known that about her from the first minute that we had met. There would be long periods when we were the only people interacting. We would banter– throw out concepts and bat them around. We exchanged jokes and innuendo – and had some downright knock-down-drag-out arguments – all of that was part of the process of developing ideas.
In fact, if you had seen us together you would have assumed that we had been a couple for years – instead of strangers who met by sheer chance.
If Sasha had been a nerdette with thick glasses and a taste for homespun there would be no difficulty recognizing her underlying nature. She was a superior intelligence whose focus and inclinations were strictly of the mind – not of this world. Unfortunately, nobody saw that.
Instead they saw a beautiful woman. And a woman who looks like Sasha is stereotyped in a way that does not include intellectual pursuits. It must have been lonely being her.
I said, “From the beginning, I have understood that we are alike in many ways. And frankly I have always felt a sense of isolation from the rest of the herd. That is probably true with you too. But every man in this room is sizing up his odds of taking you away from me. While I can guarantee that none of the women are doing the same with you.”
I took her hand in mine and said with my sincerest expression, “I know how intelligent you are. So I’m not going to bullshit you. I’m a nerd. It’s all I have ever been - or ever will be. And I am realistic enough to know that beautiful women don’t live happily ever after with nerds. So it has never crossed my mind that you and I would ever be a couple.”
I added lamely, “If you want to hang out we can do that. There is no person whose companionship I value more. But that’s as far as it goes.”
She looked pissed.
I said puzzled, “What???!!”
She said, “I’m sorry. I misjudged you. I thought you were a man.”
Okay, now I was pissed, “I said what the fuck does that mean?? Is this some sort of dick measuring contest that I wasn’t aware of?”
She said, “I just offered myself to you and you came up with a half dozen phony reasons why I didn’t measure up. I don’t know what else to call it.”
I said with some heat, “Really???!! Seriously??!! You think that you and I could be a couple and you wouldn’t eventually want to trade up!!?? I just don’t believe it.”
She leaned back with total womanly confidence, gave me the hottest look that I have ever been given and said, “If you don’t believe it then why don’t you try me? I can guarantee that you won’t regret it.”
So I did.
And I didn’t regret it.
From that day forward we were a pair. And I never had a reason to question her. Neither of us were big fans of PDA. Sasha is a strong, self-reliant woman. She is categorically not into draping herself all over a guy in a submissive high school girl way.
And submissive would be the last thing I wanted from her. I loved her tough independent spirit. I think that was the reason why we were such a perfect fit from the beginning. She was a master of communicating to the whole-wide-world that she had made the decision to be with me and that honoring that commitment was important to her.
Together, we must have looked like Beauty and the Nerd. But our relative social disparity didn’t matter in the slightest to either of us. Since we were so perfectly matched in the world of the mind – which was where both of us preferred to be.
Our marriage was a foregone conclusion.
Saying that we lived a lot in our heads was not to imply that we didn’t mesh physically. Over the next twelve years we meshed a lot. I have always equated intelligence with sexuality. Smart girls have imaginations and inner fire. Those things come along with a mind that is limitless.
And Sasha’s years at the barre had given her an exceptionally round and lithe body, with the endurance of a prima ballerina. So she fucked me in more interesting ways than Messalina on hashish.
And she trusted me. I know that. Because, no woman could abandon herself in the way that Sasha did without having a high degree of confidence in her partner.
Occasionally she would get so wild that she would lather my ass with the TV remote - urging me on like a jockey in the home stretch. I started taking the small things off the bedside table after she used a hair brush on me. And I was STILL not absolutely certain that someday she wouldn’t grab the lamp as a riding crop.
THAT was just a typical Tuesday evening around the Schneider house.
There were no tricks. She liked it as deep as she could get it – legs spread in an exaggerated V - arms braced against the headboard trying to bang it through the wall – all the while moaning loudly and urgently.
She particularly liked it doggy style.
The picture will be forever burned in my memory of Sasha with covers bunched in her two hands and that hard supple body with those big round muscular buns sticking up in the air pounding back at me as she sought her pleasure.
And the cuddling afterward was superb. Sasha could communicate our bond in the boneless way she would lie sighing and gasping on top of me after one of her super orgasms.
I eased out from underneath her and she plopped face down on the bed. It was still early evening on a beautiful spring day in DC. There are times of the year when the place is uninhabitable. But there are other times when it’s almost paradise. This was one of them.
I ran myself through the shower, just to get my wits back and the smell of sex off me. Sasha was still lying face down breathing contentedly. I took a long leer at her incredible muscular ass and threw on a sweatshirt and jeans. I said, “I’ll see you on the balcony.”
She said, “I’ll see you after my shower.” She rolled herself out of bed agile as a cat. And walked toward the bathroom in the hip swinging fashion of naked women. For a thirty five year old she still had a spectacular body.
We have a little balcony that faces out toward the Kennedy Center and the Potomac. We like to sit on it on a nice day and sip wine. She appeared in a pair of black yoga pants that molded to her incredible legs and a bulky green and gold GMU sweatshirt. Her extremely thick mane of long dirty blonde hair was tied back in a frizzy ponytail.
Freshly scrubbed she was so naturally gorgeous she took my breath away.
She picked up her glass and we clinked them together. Then we sat and watched the planes drone in over the river into DCA. It was peaceful on our balcony, with the hustle and bustle of M Street just a block and a half in the distance to our left.
She said, “I love you Jake. I never dreamed I could be this happy.”
I said, “I love you too. But more importantly, over these past dozen years the gift of wellbeing and confidence that you have given me has made me a much better man. You are truly the center of my universe.”
She said, “But there is one thing missing. I want somebody we can both love and be a part of. And I want to give that to you. Can we talk about a baby?
I was flabbergasted. A baby would slow down Sasha’s high flying career. I said, Are you sure?”
She said, “I have been thinking about this for a long time. I just turned 35 so the window is closing. And I do not want to end up like the other Dinks – living life strictly for ourselves. This is something I desperately want to share with you. Can we please try?”
I got up and walked over to her. I raised her by her one hand and put my arms around her waist. She rested her forearms on my shoulders with her hands dangling behind me. It was her special way of communicating her total openness and connection to me.
I looked her sincerely in the eye and said, “It would be my ultimate joy to bring somebody into this world who we could experience together. To be able to parent her with you and see her grow into the spitting image of her mother.”
She said, “Whoa buster – what if it’s a boy?”
I grinned and said, “A woman with a spirit as powerful as yours could only produce a girl child. We can talk about the boy later.”
She was staring at me now - with the kind of “fuck me” look that I had not seen since our honeymoon. That was followed shortly thereafter by her grabbing my hand and dragging me back to bed. There - we spent an exhausting night getting down to the business at hand.
Wandering among the Ruins
Sasha went off the pill. But we had not really expected anything to happen that fast. I was looking forward to the end of the semester and a summer consulting gig. Sasha had been as busy as ever. I would see her off to work and then toddle down to campus. It was an easy walk. Then I would spend a day either prepping lectures or sitting in meetings.
Most people work hard for a living. Me – not so much.
My week involves a grueling six-hour obligation – three lectures a week, two hours per lecture. If I had a modicum of shame, I would feel guilty about how much I get paid to do that.
It’s ironic really – they give me a ton of money to do something that I would happily do for free. I’m a nerd and I like talking about nerd things. Teaching just gives me a captive audience.
In fact, I have a lot in common with my new employers the Jesuits. We are both pushing a product that people are apathetic about - but feel like they have to sit through for some nebulous long-term advantage. Needless to say - unlike the Church we charge for the privilege. So I get paid whether the students get anything out of my lectures, or not.
Still, there was one thing that kept my job from being a total scam. When Henry Kissinger said, “Academic politics are so vicious because there is so little to gain.” He was thinking about faculty meetings.
I got into the teaching game because I figured I would spend my days debating lofty ideas. What I GOT was endless nit-picking shit - chiefly aimed at establishing who the smartest person in the room was.
And I was a prime target for the mainly liberal arts faculty. That was because the things I taught carried the stigma of “The Man.” So, the group spent a lot of their time putting me in my place.
There was one especially strident old bat who had probably been really, really hot back in the Johnson administration - that’s Andrew, not Lyndon.
Faith hadn’t progressed much past the “summer of love.” And the fact that I was teaching things like “Ethical Hacking” made me the Antichrist in her eyes. So I spent the morning fighting off a pack of aging hippies, all of whom were vying to establish their counter-culture cred.
Like all committees - they finally agreed to do a study about Faith’s issues. I knew that would drop Faith Messenger’s concerns down a deep well – and yes I think that’s her Haight-Ashbury handle – not her actual name.
When I got out of there I was so pissed that I had to talk to Sasha. My wife is like a pharmacy full of happy-pills when the urge to throttle comes over me. It was close to noon so I flagged down one of the cabs that regularly cruise M Street.
It was only a mile and a half to Sasha’s work. And I planned to take the Metro back to Foggy Bottom. But I needed a cab if I wanted to catch her before she left for lunch.
The cab dropped me opposite her place on Connecticut. I paid the cabbie and turned to cross the street. At that moment I spotted her exiting the building. She was clearly headed somewhere. Even in the middle of a herd of people and across a busy thoroughfare her beauty stood out.
Dashing out into DC traffic is a death sentence. So I hit the speed dial. She paused, looked at her phone. And then she hit the decline button. At that point she got into a waiting cab. There was somebody else inside – male I thought – but I couldn’t tell.
The cab whisked them away heading up Connecticut toward DuPont Circle. There was no way I could follow so I started trudging the opposite direction toward the Farragut North Metro stop.
I was puzzled. She was obviously going somewhere with somebody. She’s a K-Streeter and they get paid to go places – especially for lunch. But why had she declined my call? All she had to do was tell me she was busy.
I spent the rest of the day working on things at home. We have a little former bedroom that Sasha calls my “Lair”. It’s where I play with the tools of my trade. Most of those are virtual, for instance my cracking gear and such. But I also have a sophisticated electronics workbench. I use it when I am developing ubiquitous surveillance gear.
Some guys collect stamps. I work at the microscopic level on little transceivers that you can hook to all kinds of things. They are so tiny that you could put them on a real bug and the target wouldn’t know that the fly on the wall was actually a “fly on the wall.”
When Sasha got home I was building the prototype of something I was pretty sure would get me paid by a little “Company” in Langley. I had walked over to Sushi-to-Go on the C&O canal to get us dinner and it was spread out on the dining room island.
She disappeared upstairs and came down 15 minutes later in her yoga pants and a sweater. The sweater showed off her marvelous cleavage. Her boobs aren’t huge but they are very firm and round and full. And of course those muscular legs and that round butt are to die for.
She was a bundle of energy. Even after eight hours in the salt mines. She stood on tiptoe and kissed me warmly on the mouth. There is a foot difference in our height.
She said cheerily, “Have you been playing in there all day while I’ve been chained to my desk?”
I said mystified, “Didn’t you go out for lunch?”
She laughed and said, “No – we were working on the DOE funding proposal. I never left the office. We sent OUT for lunch.”
Huh???!!! I said, “You mean you didn’t leave the building – didn’t go somewhere?”
She said, “No silly. What did I just tell you? We were on a deadline for midnight tonight. I was lucky to get out of there at normal close of business.”
Okay, that was really baffling. Why did she just lie to me?
We had our usual bantering dinner. I told her about my experience with Faith and the faculty lynch mob. I tried to keep it light I don’t think that Sasha had any idea that I was a little upset. I should have confronted her about the discrepancy in her story. But it’s kind of unnatural to go from happy and trusting, to water-boarding. And I am the kind of guy who believes that sleeping dogs are better off left that way. Nonetheless, it was in the back of my mind.
That was why I was more alert then usual when Sasha got a call at 10PM a couple of weeks later. She grabbed her cell, looked at the caller ID and disappeared out onto the balcony. That was not abnormal behavior. When she is discussing business she doesn’t like distractions. But it was almost bed time and as she stepped out she seemed to be a little agitated.
She was only gone a minute. When she got back inside I said, “What was that all about?”
She looked perfectly innocent when she said, “Oh nothing. It was a robocall. I hate those.”
I didn’t believe it. I had seen the recognition in her eyes when the number flashed on the screen.
I said earnestly, “You know you can tell me anything – right?”
She said, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
I said, “It looked like you recognized the number. Why be so mysterious?”
She said semi-sarcastically, but with a smile on her face, “You’re delusional - I was just wondering who would be calling me at such an ungodly hour.”
I was certain that she had just lied to me again. But any more questioning was going to let the cat out of the bag. So I said, “Well I hope you told them to not call back.”
Her eyes looked a little troubled. But she gave me her thousand watt smile and laughingly said, “It was a R-O-B-O-T dear!”
It is normal for married people to lose track of the details of each other. There is always that initial romantic period when you are cataloguing your beloved’s every nuance. It’s part of the mating ritual. Then after you have settled into comfortable married routine you kind of lose track of all of the things that made your spouse so special in the first place.
I get reminded how exceptional Sasha is every time we go to a party or social event. She is always the best looking woman in the room. And she is world class at working people – especially the men. Folks just gravitate to her like she is running for Office.
Me? I’m an expert in covert operations. Clandestine is my stock in trade. I have to talk about general tradecraft to herds of students - that’s my day job. But in reality I am only effective if people don’t know I’m there.
I was getting uneasy about my wife. Once-in-a-while she seemed to be off the grid. It might be work related. But it is hard to have an open and laid-back married life if you are eaten up by suspicion.
I laughed at how disturbingly easy it was to slip back into insecurity. It had been a dozen years. But I guess I never got over the idea that Sasha outclassed me. It’s the hot-wife paradox. Every guy wants one. But you are also constantly aware that every OTHER guy wants her too.
So I made a snap decision. Private Investigators are so dreadfully ‘90s. In the year 2015 all it takes is a simple force pairing.
Getting a forced pair is not as easy as it used to be. Sasha has a modern phone. And the hole in early Bluetooth security has been fixed. But it was still easy for somebody like me to port-scan her, crack her PIN and drop a little piece of bluebug malware on it.
Now, anything that happened within range of its microphones would be recorded. And, everything from the camera to her e-reader was under my control. That took me approximately ten minutes – nine and a half of which was the brute-force PIN-crack.
I know. The ethics of that are abysmal. I am supposed to trust the person I love. But my philosophy mirrors the Gipper, “Trust but verify.” Sasha had clearly not been telling me the whole truth. And suspicion is toxic to marriages. So for both of our sakes I thought it was incumbent on me to root it out.
I went upstairs with my little betrayal of trust still nagging at me. It was dark as I slipped in next to her. But the minute that I settled she rolled over so that she had one leg flung over mine and her head on my chest.
Her hand was making its way in the general direction of old Lucifer, who was suddenly very interested. It was obvious that she wanted to get back to making the baby. I slid my hand down her smooth muscular back to those rock hard buns and pulled her to me. There was an incredible amount of heat emanating from the area where my fingers were.
She moaned and started agitatedly kissing my chest. She must have been impatiently awaiting my arrival. Her other hand had reached its target and she was frantically pumping it like she was churning butter. At that point it could have probably been used to drive railroad spikes.
I pulled her completely on top of me. She put both hands on the bed above my shoulders, straddled my hips looking down on me with eyes that were absolutely stoned with lust. She is five-five and probably 115 pounds. I am six-four and closer to 220. But when she is in one of those moods she is fucking me, not the other way around.
She reached between us and I slid into that hot silky place with ease. She threw her head back, groaned and sat fully erect with me buried in her. She was literally dripping and the smell and heat was giving every hormone in my body a hard-on. Then she started plunging up and down with those exquisite boobs of hers flopping as she did it.
Sasha is very noisy when she fucks. She moans almost continually but she also hisses like a cat where most women would gasp. It is an aggressive sound that communicates how profound the sensation is for her.
As she gets closer to orgasm she starts telling me how she feels. That is expressed loudly and in no uncertain terms. She was jamming herself on me so hard that I was afraid she was going to hurt herself. Her hands were gripping my shoulders and her exquisite breasts with those big brown nipples were dangling in my face.
Meanwhile Sasha was in a galaxy long ago and far away. She was so locked in her own passions that the meteor that extinguished the dinosaurs could have landed in our living room and she wouldn’t have noticed.
She started just yelling, “That’s it baby – so good - so close – can you feel it?” And then she went off into a frenzy of bucking and writhing while her insides just fizzed.
I wasn’t finished yet so I reversed our position, she let out a low growl of pure lust and shot her legs wide. Then I power fucked her for another five minutes. It was so intense that it felt like five hours.
She appeared to be orgasming throughout the entire episode. Her pussy grabbed me with the grip of a gorilla. And she was making animal growls, loud strangling noises punctuated by the occasional shrieked, “Ahhhh.”
When I came, it was like the entire universe regressed back to the single point of light that produced the big bang. And then exploded back to its present state – all in about twenty seconds. It was the most intense fuck we had ever had.
She lay underneath me completely limp. I moved quickly off her in order to not crush her, pulling out of her with a distinct squishy pop.
She just lay there gasping and sighing. The hellcat of fifteen minutes ago was now a newborn kitten.
Finally, she popped one eye open and looked at me merrily. She said, “I’m pretty sure that did it.” I knew what she meant. If THAT didn’t make a baby nothing would.
I said with meaning, “I love you.” I took her in my arms as she turned into a spooning position and we slept that way for the rest of the night.
I would have taken the bluebug off her phone the next morning. It just seemed ungentlemanly to bug a woman who had so recently fucked your brains out. But she got out the door before I could do the technological hand waving. Then I went off to class and forgot about it.
When I got home around 3:30 there was a big file of call captures on my computer. I should have just mass deleted them but curiosity got the better of me – unfortunately.
What I needed to know was in the third call that day.
She said, “Tom, why are you calling me?” I would have skipped to the next call but her tone of voice caught my attention. It was both angry and a little frightened.
The male voice said, “Hey baby. How is the hottest fuck in DC?” My heart dropped right out of my chest and lay there beating on the floor.
Her next words stomped on it and then ground it into dust with her stiletto heel.
She said with anger and panic in her voice, “What part of leave me alone don’t you understand? I told you that I made a huge mistake. My marriage is everything and I love my husband with all my heart. I don’t know what I was thinking. But I am going to spend the rest of my life making it up to him.”
The voice said pleadingly, “Come on baby. We had so much fun. One more time won’t hurt and I know how much you love it.” The last part was said with a smirk in his voice.
He added with menace, “Just one more special lunch and I’ll never bother you again. I would sure hate to have hubby find out about us so late in the game.”
Sasha made an exasperated sound and said, “You are a despicable slimy bastard. I was an idiot to give in to you in the first place and I am not going to let it happen again.”
Then she added with venom in her voice, “And if you as much as approach my husband I will tell him myself and let the chips fall where they may. I never want to be in the same room with you let alone the same bed. It’s over you asshole so deal with it!!!”
I heard a little sob and the call was abruptly terminated.
This was one of those watershed moments when the ground crumbles and all your certainties disappear into the depths of Hell. I was sitting there with the smoking gun in my hand.
Of course there was jealousy and pain at the thought of Sasha with another man. That was bad enough. But nobody is prepared for such an unexpectedly abrupt end to their life. People who die from massive heart attacks must have the same experience. It’s total astonishment. You are walking down a sunny street one day and then BANG the big one hits. The dominant emotion is just bewilderment. How could this happen to me?
The realization that my life had just ended turned me into an emotional basket case. For a couple of minutes, I just sat there and stared. It was like the shocked state that somebody who has just been shot slips into. My whole life revolved around Sasha and our marriage. I had no other friends and all of my interests were conjoined with hers. So the landscape going forward looked as desolate as the face of Mars. I was terrified.
But then cold anger knocked on the door. Sasha had evidently had some kind of nooner fling with a dude named “Tom.” It was not clear for how long. The first rule of counter-intelligence is to connect the dots. I am methodical and like most nerds I bury my feelings. So I was going to put together the whole backstory before Sasha and I hashed this out.
And I was going to get it from this Tom character, himself.
Why would I do something so extraordinarily “hands-on?” There were a couple of reasons. First I wanted to take the direct measure of the man. It is just natural to want to find out what he had that I hadn’t. And I really wanted to get a sense of what had motivated him to ruin my life.
The other reason was more devious. I wanted to hash this out with Sasha knowing exactly what happened. She is a very smart woman. And also evidently an expert liar. So I was going to confront her knowing the exact details. Not what she was spinning.
Because the treachery appeared to be in the past I couldn’t use my black-arts. So ... The only source of information at this point would be this Tom fellow’s eyewitness account.
First I had to find out who he was. That took no more than flipping through today’s calls. I was hoping that Sasha was not actually looking at her cell at the time. It might be a little disconcerting to discover that her phone had suddenly developed a mind of its own.
I ran through Sasha’s call list for the day. At 09:22 she had received a telephone call from one Thomas S. O’Leary JD. That matched the time I had on the recording.
I ran him through the deepweb and discovered that Thomas O’Leary was a lawyer who specialized in contracts. He was 31 years old, four years younger than Sasha. He lived in Chevy Chase with his wife Lucille and sons Fergus 7 and Shaun 4. They had been married 8 years.
He had a law degree from Fordham and he worked in one of those big Pennsylvania Avenue law firms. From his credit information it looked like he was living the classic yuppie pay-check-to-pay-check life.
I had a work number so I pretexted him. A secretary answered on the fifth ring. I adopted my most businesslike tone of voice, “Hello – this is Bill Donovan with Booze Allen Hamilton. I was wondering if I could get in to see Mr. O’Leary any time tomorrow.”
I assumed that neither of them had heard of “Wil Bill” Donovan - the World War Two head of the Office of Strategic Services and later the founder of the CIA.
The secretary said, “What is this concerning.”
I said, “Booze is about to sign a major federal service agreement and I wanted him to look it over for us.” That would spread some blood on the water. The fee for anything like that would be astronomical.
She did a cheerful and polite, “Please hold.”
I sat there for a while listening to elevator music. She finally came back on the line and said, “I’m sorry. He is fully booked for tomorrow.” I knew that he would be.
I said, “Could he meet me for a drink after work. Booze would make it worth his while?” She said, “Please hold.” More elevator music.
She came back with, “He can meet you at the Jefferson. How about 5:30?”
I said, “Perfect, I will reserve a table for us in the name of Donovan.”
It was a little uncomfortable dealing with Sasha that night. She was in an amorous mood again. I had the sinking feeling that her honeymoon spirit had a lot to do with the conversation that she had with the good counsellor-at-law that morning. Sasha is very headstrong. And I could see that she was, “Working as hard as she could to make it up to me.”
My fucking her had absolutely nothing to do with love. That ship had sailed, been torpedoed at sea, and sunk with all hands. I can be a cold-blooded, logical son-of-a-bitch. And I do not take any action until I already know the outcome. It’s a German thing. You wouldn’t understand it.
So I played along with her fairy tale until I had the whole story. Her performance was particularly intense, almost desperate. She came over and over. Mine was a little rough. But I was fucking a whore so it didn’t matter. She even commented on it afterward. I apologized and told her that I had a little aggression to work out - Snort!!!
The next day I was sitting at one of those intimate little booths in the bar at the Jefferson. Given its location between the government buildings in the Federal Triangle to the south and east and the lobbying industry in the K Street/Dupont Circle area to the north and west, that place is an after-work meeting staple in the DC diet.
He walked in. The Maître’d pointed him in my direction. I knew a lot about him already but I had never met him. He was a cockhound for sure.
He was handsome in a pretty-boy kind of way, smallish, at about five ten and whatever “extremely fit looking” translates to in terms of weight. He was wearing a four thousand dollar suit and he had a gold Rolex Yachtmaster on his wrist. I would almost believe he was a fast-track DC attorney, if I had not seen his credit report.
As he approached he looked very self-assured and arrogant. I wouldn’t have liked him even if he hadn’t fucked my wife.
He extended his hand and plastered a dazzlingly fake “hail-fellow-well-met” look on his face. We shook hands. I use my height to intimidate and the fact that he came to my chin was not lost on either of us. He slid briskly into the booth opposite and ordered a drink.
Seriously!!?? – An Appletini??!!
I said, “Thank you for meeting me Mr. O’Leary. I know how busy your day must be.” That was patent bullshit unless you counted nooners. But I wanted to start out businesslike.
I added, “But I have to tell you up front that I don’t actually represent Booze-Allen.”
An angry look flashed across his face and he started to rise. He said with some heat in his voice, “Thanks for wasting my time asshole!!!”
I said in my steeliest voice, “Sit down unless you want the details of your affair to get back to your wife.”
He blanched underneath his expensive tan, and slowly sat back down.
I handed him one of my pretext cards. It looked authentic. I said, “My name is Bill Donovan. I am a licensed private investigator. I was hired to obtain information on an affair that you conducted with Sasha Schneider. This is not personal. Her firm is my client. She is being fired for malfeasance.”
He looked relieved that the stink wasn’t on him. I thought to myself, “What a cowardly, self-centered son-of-a- bitch!!!”
I wanted to encourage him to be as forthcoming as possible. So I flashed him a legitimate looking PI license. It was phony of course – but there was no way he would know that. His drink arrived and he took a sip. He was cool. He wanted to see what I was holding in my hand.
I planned to cold read him. That is not a skill confined strictly to carnival mentalists. It is part of interrogation tradecraft. I started out with what I knew. I said, “Based on my observations you and Mrs. Schneider have been conducting an affair during work hours. I have a large collection of incriminating phone calls to substantiate that.”
I fished in my pocket and pulled out a little voice recorder. I pushed the button and he heard his cheerful voice say, “Hey baby – how is the hottest fuck in DC?”
I abruptly snapped off the recorder, like I thought I had made my point. Of course I was actually trying to disguise the fact that sentence was pretty much ALL I had.
I looked at him candidly and said, “There is a lot more, none of which you would want made public.” His body language shifted from casual to tense. That reaction was a little more extreme than I had expected. Then it hit me.
I said with fake concern in my voice, “I am certain your wife wouldn’t want to hear the hours of recordings that I have. But I am even MORE certain that you wouldn’t want the Bar Association to hear them - since Mrs. Schneider was your client at the time.”
THAT was a direct hit. He looked exactly like a cornered rat. He said, “How much do you want?”
I put on my most sanctimonious face and said, “Please Mr. O’Leary. I am an investigative professional. I would NEVER attempt to blackmail a client.”
He looked like he didn’t believe me. But he said, “So what do you want from me?”
I said, “I am completing my report for Mrs. Schneider’s firm. We know the general shape of things but it would be very helpful if you could tell me the whole story from your perspective. I promise that this is only going to be used to support Mrs. Schneider’s firing. It will be held in strict confidence. It will never be made public. And it will give you an opportunity to get your side of the story on the record.”
I made a big show of taking the batteries out of the recorder. And putting it back in my pocket.