Titus had a difficult time relating to his father when he was growing up. This stemmed from his father’s alcoholism and his reticence about his experiences in the Viet Nam War. Thus, it should come as no surprise to anyone, that whenever Titus encounters a strong man, one who is full of self-confidence and is approachable, Titus is immediately drawn to him. Roman Hudson was such a man, and because of their relationship, he became enamored with both guns and the intelligence game. Once Titus became a covert operative, he continued to admire such men, but he rarely considered himself an equal with them.
THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER FOUR:
Roman and Cynthia Hudson were welcoming, gracious people. I was immediately drawn to them, especially Roman, who owned a hardware store in a strip mall in Ann Arbor and started calling me “son” as soon as we were introduced.
Instead of returning home for Christmas during my freshman year, I spent my entire two-week break with Laura’s family in Ann Arbor. It was then I learned Roman had also been in Vietnam, but there was a big difference between him and my father—he was more than willing to talk about what he’d done over there.
The first time Roman had mentioned Southeast Asia was when Laura and I had stopped by the hardware store on Christmas Eve to see if we could help with the holiday rush. Laura’s mother, Cynthia, was working as a cashier, so Laura had opened up another cash register, while I went to find Roman. I located him at the back of the store in the sporting goods section where he was showing a gun to a customer.
Because I’d never been around firearms before, I watched in awe at how easily he handled the weapon, stripping it down, explaining its features, and then putting the whole thing back together in the blink of an eye. Roman noticed my fascination at his expertise, and when the customer left, he immediately began telling me stories of his time in Vietnam working for the CIA.
Laughing at himself, he said, “They called us spooks back then.”