'I'm not quite sure what to say . . . um, Jamie, was it? We've never had a walk-in on this before. I think maybe you should be talking to - '
'You are Sam Winterberry of the special unit, aren't you?'
'Yes, but I don't know how you knew anything about such a unit or about me. Could you just sit here a minute and - '
Sam Winterberry had never in his long years with the Agency, having been through many a hairy operation, been this nonplused. He was here in Paris, because a terrorist cell was here that was about ready to go on the move, and the Agency had to know where they were going. And one of the things they knew about a couple of the terrorists in the cell made them turn to Winterberry's special operations unit, which was informally know as the candy store.
Winterberry had just been putting his plan into motion in Paris Station, waiting for his operative to check in, when the Marine guards down at reception had told him there was a young gentleman there who had asked for him specifically. And he wasn't even supposed to be here in Paris. The Station got a lot of walk-ins of people who wanted to talk to someone in American intelligence, most of whom were crackpots, to be sure. But they didn't often ask for a senior agency official by name who shouldn't even be there, but who was there.
'I don't think you caught my whole name,' the young man said. 'My full name is Jamil Jallud the third. I'm just called Jamie for short. Do you wish to see my passport again? I did use it to get in here in the first place.'
Winterberry sank back down into his chair. 'Son of - ?'
'Yes, Congressman Jamil Jallud the second, of New Jersey. So, that's how I know. I know all about your unit. And, yes, my father knows about me. And I'm ready. I've been studying international relations and law. This is the perfect fit for me. I've been in the army. A communications specialist. I want in.'
Not just a congressman from New Jersey, Winterberry thought, but the second-ranking majority member of the House Committee on Intelligence. That explained so much. How this young man knew about the unit and perhaps even how he knew about where to locate the head of the unit at any specific time and location. Congressman Jallud was one of the House's premier blabbermouths.
Winterberry took another look at the young man. If he'd seen him on the street, he wouldn't even have taken him as old enough. But he'd said he was a graduate student at Georgetown when he'd introduced himself. And Winterberry had to admit that the young man looked the part. He was well built and achingly handsome - Winterberry wouldn't have tossed him out of bed himself - with a dark complexion and curly black hair, a sultry, pouty look and bedroom eyes. Lebanese. His family was Lebanese. There was so much one could do with a Lebanese-background agent these days. Still, the unit had never taken walk-ins. Winterberry didn't like the idea of free agents; he wanted to have leverage on them. That's why he liked to trap them and suborn them to the work - and to his will. And, often, into his bed. And he'd sure like to bed this one. Bet he had a sweet hole and that he'd moan well. Winterberry felt himself going hard.
'I'm sorry, Mr. Jallud. We have never taken a volunteer.'
'I'd be good at it; I know I would. Hey, Dad told me you fucked men. You wanna try me out? Take me for a test ride? I bottom like nobody's business.'
'Mr. Jallud!' Winterberry's sharp response was half because taking Jamie Jallud for a test ride was exactly what he had been thinking of at the moment. 'I don't . . . we don't . . . this conversation is being recorded, you know!'
'OK, then a test operation. Let me prove myself.'
'What I think would be best, Mr. Jallud, is that you go back and finish at Georgetown and apply to the Agency via the normal - '
Both of the men turned their faces to the door to the corridor as it opened and a woman stuck her head into the room. 'Mr. Winterberry, sorry to interrupt, but you wanted me to tell you the instant Mr. Boltov arrived. And he's in the chief's office. I'm sorry - '
'Quite all right, Erica,' Winterberry stood, relieved that someone had intervened in this conversation. Winterberry didn't enjoy being pressured; he always wanted to be in control, to dominate.
'I'm sorry, Mr. Jallud. I have pressing - '
'My father knows I'm here, Mr. Winterberry. I don't think he'll be the least pleased with how this interview has gone.'
'Please, Mr. Jallud. I really do have to go. But if you'll stay here, I'll be back and we'll take your information, and . . . well, just stay here a few moments, will you?' Winterberry needed some time to think this out. This had never happened to him before.
Winterberry left and went to the chief of station's office. The COS was in the south, sunning himself on the Riviera, and as the senior Agency official in the Station at the moment, even if visiting, Winterberry had complete use of the Station facilities.
A young, square-jawed Russian bodybuilder, who was the best of his agents that Winterberry could spring loose on the spur of the moment, was sitting, overpowering his seat, but poised like he could rise fast and strike hard, when Winterberry entered the office. Boltov was usually a power top and was employed when the subject needed to be dominated and manhandled, but he was versatile enough to roll with the punches of assignments. And he was a master of disguises, which could come in handy here, as the field of play would be really confined.
'You know what we want?' Winterberry asked as he sat down in the COS's chair.
'Yes, you want to know where the cell is moving to.'
'Yes, that most of all, but there also should be a briefcase full of information they need to take with them - contacts and false documentation and such. It would tell us a lot about how these terrorist cells are being held together. This is a keystone cell. Our source says they'll take some necessary information with them - in the form of paper.'
'In paper? Are you sure? Not electronic files?'
'Yes, paper,' and at the thought of this, Winterberry chuckled. 'We did that to them. We had someone embedded in the cell. He moved on to form another cell, but while he was with the Paris group, he put into the mind of the cell leader, Samir, that we could hack into any electronic file, with or without Internet connection. I understand Samir won't trust any electronics now.'
'And you don't want me to board the Orient Express before Venice?'
'No. They're taking the train from here; booked all the way to Istanbul. Chances are good that's where they'll go and then try to disperse to an unknown location from there. We need to have some idea where they'll strike next. They're taking the Orient Express as the least-watched means of travel.'
'And you say there are five of them?'
'Yes, if the whole cell moves.'
'But only two of them are known to be susceptible?'
'Yes. Samir, the leader, and one of the soldiers, Rashid, but that doesn't mean they all aren't, as you say, 'susceptible.' We have photos of the two who you could target. Them and one more. We don't have a name on him. Unfortunately, we don't have photos of the other two. They joined the cell after our embedded agent had left. That's one way they keep control of their information; they keep shuffling personnel around and try to keep them from getting too committed to each other. They're all Arabs, though. They shouldn't be too hard to pick out on the Orient Express European run. Give me a moment and I'll get the dossier. I left it in the other office.'
Winterberry went back to the other office, to find that the young man, Jamie Jallud, had left. Winterberry was relieved, but he knew it was only for a moment, that he'd be hearing from the congressman from New Jersey before long. But Winterberry was just too busy to worry about that now. He had to scrabble around on the desk, searching for the dossier. It was not quite where he thought he'd left it, but he did finally find it and went back to his briefing of his agent.
* * * *
The first thing Serge Boltov did after he'd boarded the Orient Express in Venice and secured his cabin, tucking away all of the tools of his craft and his disguise kit so that they weren't easily found, was to walk the corridors of the train as it pulled out of the station. As soon as he'd gotten to Venice and the train had started its journey from Paris, he'd been informed which cabins the men occupied - or at least the numbers of all of the cabins occupied by Arabs. The conductor had had to be bribed for the information, and the one buying it didn't want to be too specific so that the conductor wouldn't stick his nose into the operation - and maybe ask for more, knowing how important the information was.
'And be very, very careful,' his contact had said. 'The agent we'd had in place with this Paris cell has been found murdered in Tripoli. We suspect he might have been compromised.'
Serge ticked off the numbers of the cabins in his mind as he went down the corridor. The European Orient Express was a plush, full-night-service train, and all the passengers were accommodated in sleeper cabins with windows onto the corridor. The windows had blinds, though, most of which were pulled down. Some of them were ill fitting, however, and one could peek into the cabins at the edges of the window. Four of the seven cabins he'd been told had Arabic occupants were in the same car, and Serge assumed these were the ones he was interested in.
As Serge went down the line of cabins in this car, peeking around the edges of the blinds as surreptitiously as he was able, he heard the sounds he was attuned to in his business coming from the cabin beyond the first one assigned to Arabic occupants. One of the window blinds here was pulled away somewhat more than usual, and Serge got a clear view of the two men fucking.
A tray table was set up between the two facing heavily cushioned bench seats, and a young, lithe, sensually dark Arabic man, not one who Serge had seen in the three photos Winterberry had shown him, was on his back on the table, his legs spread. Another Arabic man, heavier, but well muscled, solid, and older, was crouched between the young man's legs and fucking him with long strokes.
The younger man was writhing beneath the other one and moaning and groaning as if the older man was well experienced and had a champion cock.
While Serge watched, the older man pulled the younger one up with his hands braced around the younger one's slim waist and turned sideways to the door and windows to the corridor. He turned the younger man on his cock to the sound of much grunting and moaning from the younger man and then sat down on one of the cushioned bench seats with the younger man sitting in his lap with his back into the older Arab's chest.
Serge could see the older Arab's face now and was able to identify him as Samir, the leader of the cell.
The younger man fucked himself on Samir's cock, using the balls of his feet on the floor of the carriage for leverage. Samir worked the young man's nipples with one hand and his nicely hard cock with the other, and the young man gave out a little cry and ejaculated in a long stream shooting out over the thick carpeting.
Serge only had time to look around and see that there were two cases on the floor by the seat across from the fucking pair, a stuffed briefcase and what looked like a computer laptop case, although Serge assumed it was just another briefcase, having been told about Samir's aversion to electronics.
Voices were approaching the other end of the corridor, so Serge moved quickly on without checking out the other cabins. He'd found the leaders' cabin and likely the sought-after briefcase, though, so the first reconnoitering outing had been a success.
There were five of them there in the dining car when Serge appeared for dinner. The seating in their area was set up variously in tables for two and four. Samir and one other Arabic-looking man were sitting at a table for four, and the terrorist Serge identified as Rashid from the photos Winterberry showed him was sitting with an unidentified Arabic man at a table for two. Across from them sat the fifth Arab, the handsome young man Samir had been fucking in his cabin earlier. Serge could see that both of the briefcases he'd seen in Samir's cabin were at Samir's feet under the dinner table.
As Serge ate, picking out a table from whence he could watch the five without being obtrusive himself, he saw the young man Samir had fucked making unmistakable signals at the Arab seated with Rashid. They were facing each other, and Rashid was facing Serge. Serge noticed Rashid watching him and decided to go to work himself. He flashed a smile at the Arab, who was slim and rather small, but well muscled, and Rashid's face lit up and he smiled back at him. Serge knew a docile bottom when he saw one and decided that Rashid was the best of the targets available to him.
Serge had come late to dinner and was served his coffee as the Arabs were finishing theirs. Samir and his dinner companion and Rashid rose and moved farther on down the car toward the next, smoking carriage, and the Arab, the young man Samir had fucked, was joined by the one who had dined with Rashid. Soon, however, they got up and passed by Serge on their way back to the sleeping cars.
Serge waited a decent interval before following this pair and ensuring that, as he surmised, they would be occupied for a while. They were in one of the four cabins identified as occupied by Arabs in the same carriage - but not the one Serge had seen Samir in.
Both were nude already, and Rashid's dinner companion was sitting on one of the bench seats and the young Arab was sitting on his cock, facing him, and fucking himself in slow, languid rises and falls.
Knowing these two would be occupied for some time, Serge walked back through the sleeping cars and the dining car and into the smoking car. There were only a couple of seats free. Fortuitously, one of them was next to Rashid and across from Samir and the other Arab.
'Do you mind?' Serge said, using his most suave voice. 'There seem to be a paucity of seats in this carriage.'
'By all means,' Samir responded, and Serge sat down in the seat beside Rashid. Rashid was tongue-tied and seemed to be overwhelmed at his good fortune to be seated next to Serge.
As they smoked and drank Cognac, they engaged in light talk. Serge was an expert in extracting information, but he discerned immediately that Samir was an expert in deflecting meaningful talk, and Serge knew he wouldn't be able to find out what he wanted to know from Samir without a lot of effort. Perhaps from Rashid, he thought, and he turned to Rashid and gave him a smile. Rashid's automatic radiant smile back fully revealed his interest.
'These are such interesting little bottles of liquor they have on the train, don't you think?' Samir said as a parry to a roundabout questioning ploy Serge was using and had almost reached a point where it would have been impolite for Samir not to provide a useful answer.
'Yes, if truth be known,' Serge, who was posing as an importer of Oriental goods, said, 'I ride the Orient Express solely for their small bottles of Cognac. I steal as many as I can and take another ride on the Orient Express when I've depleted my collection.'
'Well, then, you must have this one too, sir,' Samir said, with a smile. 'I can't use it myself. More than one glass of Cognac I can't explain away. My religion, you know. Not totally strict as I follow it, but there are boundaries.'
Hopelessly turned away from his line of questioning, Serge smiled and accepted the small bottle of liquor and put it in his pocket.
In a bit, as Serge was mounting another assault on the information gap, the young man Samir had fucked returned to the smoking carriage and walked up to Samir and said, 'The porter has told me the beds are turned down. Would you like me to walk you to your carriage?'
Serge saw Samir's eyes slit and could see immediately that he was smitten by the young man. The youth was, in fact, beautiful. From Samir's dossier, it wasn't at all surprising that he had managed to slip a love interest into his cell. It was ironic that suicide terrorists were told they would receive more than their share of virgins in heaven, but terrorist cell leaders made sure they got theirs here on earth.
Excusing himself, Samir stood, as did the other Arab with him, took up the briefcases, one in each hand, and followed the young Arab, who moved with mincing step and swinging hips back toward the sleeper cars.
Serge was left alone with Rashid and took little time to turn up the heat.
A few more brief forays for information without seeming to be wanting it, and Serge was convinced that Rashid would not talk under these circumstances any quicker than Samir would.
'Do you want me to fuck you, Rashid?' Serge asked in a pleasant voice, designed to put Rashid off his stride. 'I want to fuck you. I find you very arousing.'
Rashid stammered, lost for words, never having been approached this directly before, certainly not by anyone he wanted this badly.
'Here, give me your hand. Feel this. This is a cock to be proud of Rashid. I can fill you as you have never been filled before. I can ride you like a stallion all night. You need a man to dominate you; to be a man like no other inside you. Shall we go to your cabin or mine?'
Rashid, on the pull-down bed in one of the four cabins in the carriage Serge had marked, was wild and needy and repeatedly sucked the seed out of Serge's cock, luxuriating in the power and size and staying power of the big Russian - first by his soft mouth and then with the talented undulating muscles of his channel walls. He loved being held down with Serge's firm grip on his wrists and spreading his legs for the Russian while Serge pounded his ass relentlessly and then being turned and brought up on all fours and taken doggy style until his knees and hands gave out and Serge rode his ass as he collapsed on his belly and just kept riding and riding and riding . . . until the exhausted Arab drifted off to snores of total satiation.
The fuck had been a five-star success, but Serge wasn't anywhere closer to knowing where the terrorist cell was going, what they planned on doing after arriving in Istanbul. Perhaps, he thought, on another night, they would progress to more pillow talk.
He pulled out of the Arab and went into the cabinet and cleaned himself off. Coming back out, he heard a door open down the corridor, and, slipping on his briefs, he opened the door and peered down the corridor.
He was almost face-to-face with the young Arab, clothed only in billowy sleeping pants that rode low on his hips. The youth was clutching Samir's bulky briefcase to his chest.
There was a moment of indecision and shock - on both of their parts - before each face took on a speculative expression, which was replaced by some mutual decision of arousal, speculation of opportunity, and intent to make the most of their situation.
'Your cabin or mine?' Serge asked.
'Mine is just here,' the young Arab answered in a whisper.
'I will be just a second,' Serge said, and he ducked back into Rashid's cabin and retrieved the rest of his clothes and the 'just in case' satchel he'd brought along. He half feared that the young Arab would be gone when he came back out into the corridor, even though he'd been absent mere seconds. But he was still there, rooted to the spot, still clutching Samir's briefcase against his very nicely muscled chest.
Serge's cock was hardening up well. He had wanted to fuck the young Arab himself ever since he'd seen him with Samir. And it would be a little extra notch in his cap in besting these terrorists to also cock the leader's lover.
In the time it took the young Arab to stash Samir's briefcase in the narrow space left against the outer cabin wall by the prepared pull-down bed, Serge had slipped off his briefs and added those to his folded clothes and put them near the head of the bed. He'd also unzipped his satchel and placed it on top of the folded clothes, the unzipped opening facing the foot of the bed. Then he'd sat down on the side of the pull-out bed and fisted his engorging cock, wanting to be ready for the young Arab.
Serge took immediate command when the young Arab came back around the bed, and the youth seemed content to be dominated. Serge forced him down on his knees on the carpeting between his spread legs and pushed the youth's mouth onto his cock and face-fucked him, not letting him loose until he had taken Serge's ejaculate. Then Serge rose and turned the youth around between him and the bed. He reached both hands down and stripped the sleeping pants off the young Arab and took the youth by his buttocks and raised his body. The youth arched back, palming his hands on the top of the bed to take the weight of his torso and hooking his legs over Serge's shoulders and letting them dangle down the beefy Russian's back. He writhed and moaned and groaned, while Serge brought, first his cock and balls, and then, when the Arab youth had shot his load, the youth's hole in his mouth.
The Arab was begging for the fuck when Serge slowly brought his body down his chest and belly, the youth still arched back, supported on the bed with the palms of his hands, and Serge slid his throbbing cock into a recently well-used, well-prepared hole. The youth gasped and groaned at a taking that was deeper and far more of a stretch than either of the Arabs had given him.
The Russian held the Arab there to his pelvis with just one arm wrapped around the small of his back and raising and lowering the Arab's hips while he stroked in and out deep inside the young man, listening for the sighing and moaning and little encouragements of technique that assured him that he was the best lover this young man had ever had. The sweetness of the youth and of his warm and welcoming hole, his channel walls undulating over Serge's stroking cock, sent the Russian to new heights of arousal and just now, just at this time, he loved his job. The Russian played the young Arab's chest and belly and cock with his other hand, bringing the youth to another flowing, after which all of the tension and movement went out of the youth, and he just lay arched back, moaning and sighing at the working of the Russian's cock deep inside him. The Russian fucked on, fighting the rise of his own semen, not wanting the loving to end.
As Serge felt his ejaculation coming on, he reached over and into his unzipped satchel with his free hand and brought out the syringe he had stashed there 'just in case.'
At the point of shooting off deep inside the Arab's channel, Serge expertly pierced the youth's thigh with the needle of the syringe and pumped the drug into him.
If the Arab youth knew he'd taken a needle, he said nothing. He was burbling almost incoherently as Serge gently lowered him on the bed.
Serge put his mouth to the youth's ear and asked, 'Where is the cell going? What is the mission?' but the young man was already too far gone to answer.
Dressing and retrieving Samir's briefcase, Serge quietly returned to his own cabin two cars farther away from the engine. No one stopped him, and as far as he could determine, no one saw him leave the Arab's cabin. All that came from the surrounding cabins were spent and satisfied snores.
Once in his own cabin, Serge inspected the briefcase, and as he assumed he would, found that it was padlocked. He could not risk trying to open it; he had no idea what other security devices might be attached to it, or whether forcing it open would damage the precious contents. So, he hid it as best he could and spent the remainder of the few hours before they would reach Vienna station cleaning himself in the cabinet and remaking himself into an old Zurich banker.
Discovering in the pocket of his dinner jacket the small bottle of Cognac Samir had given him in the smoking car, Serge decided he deserved a bit of celebration for at least a partially successful night, which permitted him a bit more time to reach the primary objective, not to mention the magnificent fucking with the young Arab, and tossed the contents of the bottle down in one gulp. Then, exhausted, he slipped into a deep sleep, the sleep of the dead.
* * * *
Serge didn't awaken until over twenty-four hours later. He had missed the stop at Vienna station altogether. When he came to the train was stopped, but it wasn't in Vienna. He groggily sat up and looked out of the window. The sign for Bucharest station was staring at him from across the platform.
'Shit,' he said.
And then, realizing the knocking he'd been hearing wasn't in his head, he turned and flipped aside the blinds on the window into the corridor and was staring into the red, angry face of Sam Winterberry.
'I was drugged,' Serge mumbled as he let Winterberry into his cabin. 'The bottle of Cognac the terrorist leader gave me.' Serge was using a disguise Winterberry had seen before and Winterberry knew his cabin number, so there was no moment of Keystone Cop running about on that score.
'Well, come along and show me where their cabins are. We didn't see them dismount here in Bucharest, so they must still be in transit.'
'But why?' Serge said, getting less confused by the moment. 'What are you doing here? In Budapest.'
'We couldn't reach you.' Winterberry said. 'They left one of the cell members in Paris. You should only be looking for four men. And it's not the briefcase we want, I don't think. We're sure now that our agent embedded in the Paris cell was sent to Tripoli to be assassinated there. We must assume that Samir no longer believes what he was told by that agent about electronics. Does Samir have anything that looks like a laptop case.'
'God. God, yes, he does,' Serge said. 'But I got the briefcase. I have it right over here. Needs a key, though.'
'Let's see it,' Winterberry said, as he extracted a brace of skeleton keys from his jacket pocket.
In a jiffy the briefcase was open and all too soon they found it was stuffed with clothes.
'Where are their cabins?' Winterberry asked. 'Me they don't know. And you're in disguise. We can walk right by them and check them out.'
The cabins were empty. All but one.
They found the young Arab Serge had fucked and taken the briefcase from. He was lying on his bed, a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on his door. The only way they knew he was alive was that he was moaning softly. He was still under the influence of drugs, though - certainly having been drugged beyond what Serge had given him. He was on his back, knees bent and legs spread. His hole looked angry red and slack and had semen dribbling out of it, and there were too many spent condoms on the floor around the bed to be readily counted. It seemed like he'd been fucked by the whole Arab nation.
His cabin was disheveled. If there had been anything here anyone wanted, they had found it.
'Oh, God,' Sam Winterberry muttered when he looked down into the face of the young man.
'What?' Serge said. 'He's still alive. He can tell us where they went. His comrades obviously got off in Vienna, if your people didn't see them get off here.'
'This is no Arab, Serge.' Winterberry said, his voice full of bitterness. 'This is Jamil Jallud, an American, the son of a powerful congressman even. God, he's been playing amateur spy. And the two of you have been working each other, trying to get secrets neither one of you have. And now we have to backtrack to Vienna to try to find them.'
'No. Here. Hungary, the Hungarian parliament,' the figure on the bed moaned softly.
'What is that? What did you say, son? Stick with us. You'll be fine. We'll get you patched up.' Winterberry was so beside himself, worried over his unit's next appropriation hearings in Congress, that he hadn't fully realized what young Jallud had muttered.
'No. No. I heard them talking as they were gangbanging me,' Jallud said, his voice stronger now. 'They were getting off the train in Vienna. But headed here, for Hungary. An attack on the Hungarian parliament building.'
'Go out on the platform, Serge,' Winterberry directed, as he sat down on the bed by the moaning Jamie Jallud. 'You'll see men in suits standing out there. Identify yourself and tell him the target and then get someone back here to help this young man.'
As Serge ran down the corridor, Winterberry gathered the young man up in his arms and began to rock him back and forth and tell him everything would be fine. He could not help, however, letting one hand slip down and encase the young man's cock. A very nice body indeed, he thought. He would have to have some of that.
'And, Mr. Jallud,' he murmured, 'welcome to the Agency's special unit.'