Pete, one of Eric’s few Agency buddies, promised Eric he would do the deed. Wrap one friendly black Springador in yellow ribbons and place him on Jill’s top brick step. Then pin a note on his leather leash; tie it to the winding black iron railing leading to her Georgetown apartment in Washington, D.C. Ring the bell and disappear.
Alone, Jill opened the door, searched for a face, then looked down and saw only the black Springador. Resembling a black Irish setter, he whined, and then wagged his tail as if he expected his master to be inside. When he was not immediately coaxed in, his expression changed. His ears moved forward, he closed his mouth and his black eyes fixed on her. Quickly she scanned the street. No one was in sight. Yellow ribbons dangled all over the poor dog. No woman’s handiwork here. The amateurish bows drooped in varying lengths of ribbon, some falling apart. With a sigh, she led the four-footed black and yellow spectacle into the house.
The dog sat in front of her sofa, the leash still dangling from his neck. The pathetic yellow ribbons fell and curled up on her carpet. Ears up and head cocked to one side . . . he seemed as surprised as she was at being there.
“Jager,” she said aloud, reading from the note. The dog’s ears perked up again and he came toward her, licking her hands and wagging his tail. Jill finished reading the note. She blew out a heavy sigh. “How am I going to explain you?” she said suddenly laughing and clearing the ribbons from his muzzle. Jill rubbed his head and led him back to the kitchen. He seemed perfectly at home, and when she opened the refrigerator door, he sat in front of her holding up his right paw, expecting a treat.
Laughing, she watched him try to pick up a slice of Danish ham from the paper towel on her kitchen floor. She pulled out a pair of scissors from a kitchen drawer and sat on the floor in front of him cutting away the yellow curls. Jager gulped down the meat. “I bet Eric doesn’t feed you this well.” He squatted down in front of her and licked her face, unaware that the salty taste was coming from Jill’s tears.
She knew in a short time that Jager would rejoin Eric. Exactly where and what he was doing, she didn’t know. She wasn’t sure she wanted to know.
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