ONE NIGHT IN TEHRAN – A Chapter Comment

Posted: June 23, 2015 in Chapter Comments, One Night in Tehran
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Chapter 2

A CIA safe house is nothing new to Titus Ray. He’s been housed, briefed and debriefed in them throughout the Middle East and the Washington D.C. area for the past twenty years.

The Gray, the CIA safe house in One Night in Tehran, is located in a gated residential area, but, most likely, the residents of this posh neighborhood have no idea the mansion down the road belongs to the US government.

How can you tell if your neighbor is a member of America’s clandestine agency? Here are a couple of things to ask: Do they entertain a lot of “faceless” people? Do they ever invite you over for dinner?


A few minutes after she left, Greg removed a sheet of paper from his shirt pocket. “Here’s the schedule for your debrief tomorrow,” he said. “It looks pretty straightforward. I know you’ve been through this drill several times.”

I took the schedule and stuffed it inside my jeans pocket without looking at it.

“You like working for the Agency, Greg?”

I wasn’t sure whether it was my question or the fact I was beginning to talk, but Greg smiled when he gave me his answer. “Yes, yes, I do.”

He took a sip of his coffee then gestured at his surroundings. “Obviously, this is a pretty cushy job.”

“Did you ever go operational, work in the field?”

His eyes shifted slightly to the left, and he hesitated a moment before answering. I had no doubt he was weighing whether it was more important to keep me talking or follow Agency rules. He decided on the former.

However, he sounded apologetic when he answered me. “Only Level 4 action, but Martha was Level 2. We met at an Agency in-house party and got married six months later.”

“So you had to transfer to Support services after you were married?”

“Yeah. There were some options, but . . .” he looked over at me, then up at a camera mounted in the ceiling, “you know how difficult it would have been to live any kind of normal life, much less see each other, if either of us had stayed in Operations.”

I agreed. “It wouldn’t have worked.”

He nodded his head, drained the last of his coffee, and walked over to the sink, carefully rinsing out his cup.

“Did Martha have a hard time adjusting?”

Looking perplexed, he asked, “Adjusting?”

“You know. Did she miss . . .” I struggled to find the right words, “her sense of purpose about what she was doing?”

He thought about my question for a moment. “I don’t think she missed the ops at first. We couldn’t really talk about it, of course, but I suspected her last assignment had gotten a bit ugly. I’m sure that made the change easier.” He shifted uncomfortably. “Look, Titus, you know we aren’t supposed to—”

“Did she stop believing?”

There was no mistaking the anger in his voice. “Believing? You mean did she stop believing her actions were helping her country?”

“No, of course not. I’m talking about that inner calling that—”

An alarm went off—a steady beep, beep, beep.


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