London, United Kingdom
Dmitri Kuznetsof was far past the point of no return. It had been three days since he’d walked away from his desk at the Kremlin, where he had long served as a personal assistant to Russian President Anatoly Popov. Chained to his hand was a black leather briefcase filled with confidential documents he had been trusted to file – trust that, as it turns out, had been misplaced.
Beads of sweat formed on the defector’s brow as he waited for a clerk at the front desk of the luxurious Swankforth International to process his reservation.
“Here you are, sir,” the clerk said as he handed over a plastic key card. “Room 704. Will you need any help with your luggage?”
Kuznetsof clutched the handle of his briefcase tightly. “No, I’ve got it,” he said, his accent indicating his nationality. “Thank you.”
The traitor moved swiftly through the lobby, found the elevator, and made his way to the seventh floor. Several minutes passed. The clerk processed a number of incoming guests until he found himself staring up at the grim faces of two bulky, brooding men wearing neatly pressed suits and dark sunglasses. One man carried a guitar case. The other carried a large suitcase.
“Yes,” the clerk said as he reviewed each man’s identification. “Misters Dragunovich and Vasiliev. Thank you for choosing the Swankforth International. We know you had your choice of hotels and…”
Dragunovich cut through the sales pitch. “Room 604 please.”
“I’m sorry?” the clerk asked.
Vasiliev coughed into his hand. He avoided eye contact with the clerk as he spoke in a voice that had been destroyed by years of smoking. “We are, how you say, uh…funny poofter men who are acting like ladies, yes?”
The clerk’s face turned red. “I don’t follow.”
Dragunovich leaned over the counter. His voice was equally rough, not from smoking but from various difficult life experiences too numerous too mention. “I apologize. My friend’s English…is not so good. We are homosexual dandies and many years ago we shared a passionate night of lovemaking in your room 604.”
“I see,” the clerk replied.
“We found that room to be very romantic,” Dragunovich said. “For us, it has much sentimental value. On that evening we spent together, we rubbed our bodies down with scented lotions and then we each took many turns inserting our penushkas into our butushkas.”
The clerk tapped away on his keyboard. “Right…let me just check on the status of that room.”
“We wore leather costumes and beat each other with riding crops,” Dragunovich said. “And then when we finally expelled all of our bodily juices, we collapsed on the bed in a spent, manly heap and fed each other expensive chocolates with liquid centers until the sun rose.”
“Uh huh,” the clerk said as he looked at his monitor.
Vasiliev piped up once more. “It was taking of breath.”
Dragunovich corrected his counterpart. “Breathtaking.”
“Exactly,” Vasiliev said. “What he said.”
The clerk handed Dragunovich a plastic key card. “You’re in luck. That room is available. Will there be anything else?”
“Nyet,” Dragunovich said.