Font Size:  

Rapp simply shrugged and said, “I don’t give a shit.”

“It might be useful, however, for us to make him think we are trying to turn him. Someone with an ego this fragile needs to have a carrot constantly dangled in front of him. Along those lines I think we should have him write a note to Kennedy and his wife saying that he has checked himself into a rehab clinic. It’s something he needs to do . . . has been thinking about for some time. Only way to do it was to go cold turkey before he lost the courage. The important thing is to give him some hope.”

“Fine,” Rapp said.

“And if he proves uncooperative?” Hurley asked.

Rapp shrugged. “Do whatever it takes.”

“And Chuck?” Lewis asked.

Rapp thought about Chuck O’Brien, the current director of the National Clandestine Service. “What about him?”

“He knows Kathy was seeing me. Who’s going to tell him that our sessions were recorded?”

That was one conversation Rapp did not want to have. He could only imagine what had been discussed in those sessions. They’d been married for over thirty years. If Max Johnson were in fact the guy who had bugged the office, Chuck would want to kill him. And while Rapp wouldn’t raise a hand to stop him, he at least needed to talk to Johnson first. “I don’t want anyone saying anything to Chuck until we know who made the recordings, and I’ve had a chance to talk to them.”

“When the time is right,” Hurley announced, “I’ll do it.”

“Are you sure?” Rapp asked.

“It would kill him to hear it from you young pups. He’s still your boss. I’ll handle it.”

“All right . . . it’s settled.” Looking to Nash, Rapp said, “Let’s go.”


Rapp turned and looked at Maslick, who was now standing. “Yeah?”

“I want you to promise me something.”

Rapp got an ominous feeling. “What?”

“When it’s time to punch his ticket,” Maslick nodded toward the cell door, “I’ve got dibs.”

Rapp understood immediately. Chris Johnson, Rapp’s agent who had been killed a week earlier, had been Maslick’s best friend. They’d served in the 101st Airborne Division and had done three combat tours together. “If it comes to that and you still want to do it, I won’t stand in your way.”



RAPP blew past the Georgetown Pike exit at eighty-plus miles an hour and continued north on the Beltway. As expected, traffic had been rough. Rapp had hoped to catch a little sleep on the drive up, but had given up on the idea as soon as he’d found out where Adams was getting his information. Rapp would never go as far as to say it didn’t bother him that the CIA’s inspector general was a colossal hypocrite. It surely did, but it was pretty small stuff compared to the other glitch they had just uncovered.

Kathy O’Brien was not the only client of Dr. Lewis who had ties to Langley. Rapp didn’t know specifics, because Lewis never talked about his clients and the CIA wasn’t the kind of place where people ran around talking about their feelings, let alone divulging that they were seeing a shrink, but it was known among the professionals that Lewis was a man you could trust if you needed a little help getting your head screwed back on. Rapp wasn’t sure, but he got the distinct impression CIA Director Kennedy had spent some time on Lewis’s couch trying to sort through some of her personal issues. Rapp knew this because Kennedy herself had tried to get Rapp to sit down and talk with Lewis after his wife had been killed.

Even with the near-crippling pain he was experiencing after Anna’s death, Rapp never considered consulting Lewis. He wasn’t wired that way. Rapp knew he had to work his way through it on his own. He had nothing against therapy. He was sure that there were plenty of good docs out there who could help people get through a rough patch. And while he would never deny that he had a lot of issues, they weren’t exactly

the kind of things he could share. Doctor-patient privilege was a nice legal protection for the average person, who might someday end up in a courtroom, but intelligence agencies were instituted to not play by the rules. Bugging offices and eavesdropping on important conversations were standard operating procedure.

“I can’t believe we’re going to be late,” Nash said in a tired voice.

Rapp looked over at his friend, who was clean-shaven and dressed in a crisp white shirt, blue suit, and yellow tie. Rapp glanced at his own reflection in the mirror. He had thick black stubble on his tan face and was not wearing a tie. If he had had time he probably would have shaved, but not necessarily. This was not his first meeting with this president, or the previous one, but it occurred to him this was probably Nash’s first dance. He glanced at the clock. It was three minutes past nine, and they were still a few miles out. Rapp hit the blinker, cut across two lanes of traffic, and took the George Washington Parkway exit without slowing down. By the time they cleared security and parked, they’d be about ten minutes late, and while Rapp didn’t like to keep the president of the United States waiting, he knew from experience that presidents weren’t exactly the most punctual people.

Staring out the side window at the passing trees, Nash asked, “What in the hell are we doing?”

Rapp merged onto the parkway and said, “You’re going to have to be a bit more specific, sport.”

“This.” Nash made groping gestures with his hands, “This crap . . . last night and this morning.”

Articles you may like