“He taught me how to read people’s eyes,” she said. “You know, people can have entire conversations with just their eyes.”
McCabe’s eyes roved across Angie Sung’s smooth skin, highlighted by the lights in the CIA interrogation room. She was born in Australia, daughter of Chinese immigrants. Though raised in the country of an ally, there was little doubt in McCabe’s mind that she was a Chinese Intelligence agent. He’d seen the videos of her in action. Her lithe, 120-pound frame unleashing blinding-quick attacks that dropped a 200-pound men in a blink. He recalled her in action.
Gawd, she’s stunning.
McCabe shook away the thought. She was athletic, not so curvy. Nothing to get excited about…unless you liked healthy beauty. McCabe realized, he did. “This was your control?” he said, trying to get back on track.
“Not control. Teacher,” she said.
“And where in China was this?”
She sighed and sat back, though not far. The handcuffs running through a bracket in the table held her in place. “I keep telling you. I’m not with MSS.”
McCabe watched her large dark eyes for deception. All he could think was that they were beautiful. No deceit. No unsavory hungers. Just pure focus on a goal, and maybe…something else. She smiled shyly, and looked away, as though she knew his thoughts. She distracted him, he realized. He focused on her lips instead. “Tell me more about this teacher.”
She leaned forward with renewed interest. “It took me years to master the teaching. He taught me to actually speak with my eyes. For my final test, he made me buy a book and communicate the first chapter to him with just my eyes. He received every word perfectly. We switched places and I could receive every word, no mistakes.”
McCabe realized focusing on her lips wasn’t helping.
With those lips against mine, we could write symphonies.
Another shy smile.
My God. Am I actually falling in love with her? Here?
Angie giggled sweetly and tucked her hair behind her ear. McCabe knew enough about body language to know that one.
What’s happening to me? To us?
“Listen,” she said, wiping her smile away. “You want to know why I broke into a CIA vault, right?”
“That would be nice.”
“There are three groups in the world willing to do anything to further their own goals. They don’t care about civilian deaths, wars, global warming, any of it. There’s only one group fighting against them. THAT is who I work for.”
“Why only one good group?”
“Good tends to join forces, evil only cares about its own turf.”
“Sounds like Congress.”
She smirked in the affirmative. “There are people in the CIA withholding valuable intelligence…”
She talked on for about an hour. At the end of it, McCabe realized he was holding his breath. “I don’t see how that could work,” he said.
“It will,” she said. So believe me when I say, ‘this will hurt me too.'” He realized too late she’d freed herself from the cuffs. Her hand shot out like lightning and grabbed his head. The table rushed up suddenly.
Director Fulbert switched off the video. “That’s how most of it went,” he said. “Just you two staring at each other. Nothing about talking with eyes or secret societies. Most importantly, no matter what you think, you didn’t give her the codes. She hypnotized you I guess, but you didn’t give anything up. She knew them already, and that’s how she broke into the vault. She’s just good, kid.”
McCabe looked at the art print behind Fulbert and realized meeting Angie had twisted up his reality just like Escher did it. He wondered how much of what he remembered was fantasy and what was real. The secret Iranian nuclear reactor was right where she said it was. Days after that revelation, certain key CIA directors, “retired.” Still, he wanted to know, could she really read his eyes so easily? Were those feelings real?
There was one way to find out.
“I need some time off,” he said.
He found her waiting for him in a Marseilles park, tanned legs stretched across a blanket. “How’s the head?” she said, offering him a glass of wine.
“Better now,” he grinned.
He sipped the wine and sat beside her, recalling how much she set him aflame. Her hand reached out slowly this time, gentle fingers pulling him close. “You mentioned something about symphonies before. Let’s write some together.”
Author’s Notes: MSS = Ministry of State Security: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_State_Security_%28China%29
Bonus points to anyone who can guess the actress who inspired my character, Angie Sung.
Each week, an amazing group of authors join to write flash fiction for the Speakeasy writing challenge. This week, the story must begin with the sentence, “He taught me how to read people’s eyes.” An MC Escher work is the media prompt as well. Look here for some amazing prose in answer to the prompt: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/fiction-challenge-166-open/