Stephen Kroszt had arrived near the meeting place first, more than an hour early, but Paige Lissat didn’t know that. It was exactly quarter past nine in the morning, when, as arranged, she first jogged past the isolated picnic table located in a remote corner of Washington DC’s 2,000-acre Rock Creek Park. She jogged hundreds of yards up and down the trail past the designated meeting point several times in both directions before Kroszt emerged from the woods. She nearly broke out laughing when she realized that the elderly man shuffling through the fallen leaves toward the table was indeed her former lover.
Kroszt looked nothing like the dashing head of counterintelligence (and one of the youngest members of the elite Special Executive Service) whom she had fallen in love with. Instead, unkempt tufts of gray hair matching a gray beard protruded from beneath his battered fedora. He was wearing a shabby oatmeal-colored tweed jacket, khaki pants, and scuffed walking shoes. Binoculars hung from a strap around his neck, and an olive-green messenger bag was slung over his shoulder. Wire-rimmed glasses and a puffy fake nose completed his camouflage.
In stark contrast, Paige Lissat was wearing form-fitting blue sportswear, her light zipper jacket matching her jogging pants and running shoes. Wraparound sunglasses concealed her eyes in spite of the deep shade in the woods on the overcast autumn morning.
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