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Josh teams up with another disgraced officer, U. Navy Lt. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who is awaiting his own court-martial for losing his boat, PT Josh and JFK are an interesting pair—the one a rough cob, the other a Harvard blueblood—and together they get themselves into loads of trouble with Japanese soldiers, gangs of cannibals, a beautiful native girl who chops off heads and a nutty cargo cult leader.

Add fierce, bloody battles and steamy tropical island romance, as well as hilarious cameos by Richard Nixon as an enterprising supply officer and James Michener as a navy historian, and the result is a funny, tightly wrapped tale of wartime action. Agents, Frank Weimann and Mickey Freiberg. View Full Version of PW. My forgiveness lies in the hands of God. I burst out laughing. Ryan folded his arms and leaned back in his chair. The American Embassy gets all the transcripts hand-delivered. Horse has been a dietary staple. I cheated on my wife 27 times, nearly lost my faith in God, and in the meantime successfully managed to evangelize only ten people.

Not anymore. I am beyond surprise as an experience or as an emotion. He chewed at his thumbnail, his right leg bouncing under the table. Now how does that sound? I grabbed his rayon sleeve and eased him back down. How much does CARA pay you guys, anyway? He looked away, shaking his head. He bit his lip, the pink draining to white where tooth met skin, and then he nodded hard, to himself.

What the heck. Except for that club part. I smiled and stirred the contents of a sugar packet into the last of my four cups of coffee. My heart sank a little, seeing something my father often said once again proved true: every beautiful girl in the capital was either for sale or willing to negotiate. It would be easy to get all judgmental on Sergei, but the guy had had an awful life. His family was exiled to the capital after Stalin killed his father, grandfather, and three of his brothers.

He could have used my name to get down the pants of every girl from the capital to Islamabad for all I cared. Before I could, though, the Tatar girl fell out of the Toyota with her shirt on inside-out and backwards, wiping her chin. I figured for Ryan this would trigger a rectitudinous meltdown, and I turned to him and started to say something. Ryan just stared at the girl as she reached around and fixed her twisted bra strap.

In his hotel room, Sergei and I were laughing and kicking roach corpses at each other while Ryan packed up his gear. In a lull we looked over to see Ryan sitting cross-legged on the floor, his face plunged into his hands. Sergei hoisted Ryan up, took him into his sausagey arms the way only a Russian man can, then removed a flask of vodka from his breast pocket and tenderly proffered it. The stuff Sergei drank belonged in a medicine cabinet, but Ryan tipped the flask up and dumped it down his gullet.

Ryan nodded in thanks, took a bleary-eyed steadying sidestep, and returned the flask to Sergei, who peered into its shadowy opening in astonishment. Inviting Sergei may have been a mistake. The restaurant was large and empty-spaced, its decor severe, its atmospheric lighting like that of a fish tank. I was drinking Black Label. Ryan and Sergei were chasing tequila shots with bad Turkish beer. He was young—my age—and had been married for two years.

I asked why he was here alone, and he explained they were prepared to evangelize together until his wife failed her physical. But he still wanted to do it, and she wanted him to do it, too. Sergei took delighted, sleepy-faced note of this word. He closed his eyes, his face dark with resignation. Thrown rocks, KGB wiretaps, outright assaults. Finally we arrived at the shores of his unfaithfulness. By the standards I was familiar with, the story was tame. He had desires now, cravings and doubts, and felt adrift on a sea of whims and decidedly unchristian stimuli.

I felt frustration spread its wings in my chest. I suddenly wanted to reach across the table and slap him, grab him by his boyish tousled hair and remind him that, unlike some of us, he had a life to go back to. I was within moments of throwing silverware when a skullful of soothing perfume wafted into my nostrils and I felt a hand fall lightly on my shoulder.

I turned to see a tall Russian woman in a short, tight, black dress standing next to me. She was one of those capital women you only saw in places like the Ta-Ta or in pricey clubs. Her wrists were ringed with onyx bracelets, her earrings were stylish black hoops, her head was an enormous black vortex of spray-hardened hair. Her lipstick was either black or a deep, sooty red.

Her hand rose from my shoulder and fluttered around stylishly. Her lips pouted. Had I screwed this woman? If I had I would have run around spray painting it on the sidewalks. Ve met at a party, two months ago, I tsink. Trent was a Shark who worked for Boeing, the kind of guy you wound up doing cocaine with if you were around him for longer than five minutes.

I remembered the party—at least, I remembered arriving at it. She laughed again. I took it and she yanked me up from my chair.

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I looked over at him, eyebrows raised in apology. Her face moved toward his, stopping when her black lips brushed against the cracked fissures of his. Come dance vith me, fuck your stupid flight. Lena stepped away from Ryan and looped her arm through mine. We turned. The rest of the formula—seizure-inducing lights, manufactured smoke, music so loud it felt as if something were laying eggs in your eardrum—they had down cold.

I was drunker than I thought, and by this point Ryan was having trouble finishing his sentences. Already I could tell Lena and I were not going to happen, at least not tonight. Ryan fought back with a weird mixture of total surrender followed by violent rebuff. When he pushed her away Lena would laugh—throaty, loud, off-putting—and throw back her head. The Dutch Club guard manning the velvet rope recognized me and waved us inside, past the surly line that spanned two blocks.

Once we were in, Lena got behind Ryan and shoved him out onto the dance floor the way a bully might push a kid into a school bathroom for a beating. The dance floor was not too crowded and Lena hit its scarred vinyl planks atwirl, then lapsed into some incredibly intricate serpentine rumba that had her wrapping herself around Ryan, who I was starting to see was way out of his fucking league.

I was tempted to get him out of there but stopped myself when I saw the look on his face. Soon the floor filled up with fat, tie-less, Nike-wearing mafiosos and their teenage whores in sheer black stockings and fake pearls. Lena and Ryan disappeared in the tangle. He had one night left, I thought. It might as well be a good one. I waded through the ocean of whores to the bar, ordered a drink, and struck up a conversation with a fey young girl named Tanya. Paying for sex is just about the biggest turn-off I can imagine.

Well, that, and shitting in a hole. Tanya must have sensed my distance from the situation because she wrapped her lips around me even tighter and squeezed my balls with her free hand about twice as hard as necessary. Two people were fucking in one of the stalls next to us. Outside the bathroom techno-base pounded in Kong-summoning booms. I closed my eyes and imagined Lena blowing me instead. I suddenly remembered freebasing a thimble full of coke with Trent that filled my head with glassy winter air and then stumbling into a bedroom with her.

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The Ambassador's Son

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