Chapter 12 Page 4 of 5

Having rubbed her clothes with the towel, she now stood with her arms spread wide to show me the results. “Ta da,” she said, “dry as can be.”

We both burst out laughing as she slowly turned, with her arms still extended. Her clothes looked no dryer than when I had first walked up the path to the front door. True, they no longer dripped, but they still clung to her body and were badly wrinkled.

“I think I’ll be needing about ten more towels, Carl.”

“Maybe I can find some clothes you can borrow,” I suggested. “We can put your clothes in the dryer.”


Not really sure what to offer her, I set out for the bedroom to look through my closet. As I rummaged through my clothes in search of something appropriate, I mused over Lisa’s story. I had to admit to myself that I would have behaved the same way if the FBI had gotten to me first. It wasn’t as if she and I had a long history. I had been very quick to suspect the worst when she walked into the interrogation room. We did not really know each other. Sometimes it was easy to forget that.

Hmmm. The pair of pants most likely to fit were a pair of old blue corduroy pants. They were badly worn; I had held on to them this long only because they were useful for painting and other messy work. I wasn’t sure if they would fit Lisa — she has wide hips — but they were the best I could find. For a top I chose my biggest dress shirt. I was confident it would be long enough, and the tapered cut wouldn’t be a problem for Lisa’s narrow waist. The only question-mark was the chest. Would she be able to button the front around her breasts?

When I brought my choices back, Lisa looked them over with a critical eye. I pointed her toward the bathroom and she went to try them on. I went to the refrigerator and got two cans of iced-tea. I set the iced-tea down on the coffee table and sat down on the sofa. Oops… sat down where Lisa had been sitting. I got up and moved to the other end of the sofa where it was dry.

Shortly afterwards Lisa opened the bathroom door and stepped out. She was wearing only the white dress shirt and carrying my pants in one hand and her wet clothes in the other.

“The pants didn’t fit,” she informed me. “Where’s the dryer?”

I tried to hide my surprise. Then I tried to hide my interest. I’m not sure I succeeded at either effort. The shirt came down low enough to cover her about as well as a short dress might. A very short dress. It covered her front and rear well. On the sides, where the bottom of the shirt arches upward, the upper part of her legs were exposed up to above her hip bones, like a French cut bathing suit. Her skin, smooth and dark, was beautiful. Her legs, sleek and firm, were more shapely than I had realized; the stretch pants she is fond of wearing do not do them justice. As I’d guessed, the shirt was straining to cover her chest, with the button directly between her breasts threatening to burst at any moment.

I collected myself and nonchalantly (I hoped) accepted my corduroy pants and showed her where to find the dryer. She tossed her wet clothes in the dryer and started it up. We both went back into the living room. I sat on the dry end of the sofa and, warning her that the sofa was damp, suggested she sit in the easy-chair on the other side of the coffee table. She did so, sitting down very gingerly and being careful not to show any more than necessary.

“So what did they do to you?” she asked.

I described the events at the FBI building. Lisa listened with few interruptions… until I described the mild-mannered agent that kept fidgeting with his pencil.

“Oh, that would be Jonny Carter!” she announced excitedly. “He is their computer crime expert. Did he tell you that he solved the MetroSavings case? That was a $4 million case. Jonny is a nice guy; went to college at Georgia Tech. He majored in Political Science, but has slowly moved progressively deeper into computer crimes.”

She acted as if the FBI guys were old friends, or co-workers. I had not found them to be so chummy.