We spend all weekend playing “Catch Holly” at her parent’s house. The rules were simple: someone says “catch Holly,” she starts running, and I catch her. Wherever I catch her, that’s where we do it. Sometimes she would resist, sort of, just to make me work for it. Good lord it was hot. We did it everywhere all over the house, the living room, downstairs, against the washing machine, on the kitchen floor. Honestly we did it so much when she said “catch Holly” for like the fourth time Saturday night, I had to beg for mercy. We’re sitting on the couch, and I say, “please, Holly, I’m exhausted. I’m raw. Can’t we just have some wine and watch a movie?” I put on this playfully distressed face, and she cracks up, smiles, and just puts her head down on my lap. I start stroking her hair, lean forward, and just breathe her in. I dunno, it smelled like hair. Like Holly.
The sense of smell is strongly connected to very deep, primitive parts of your brain. As I breathed in, I felt a rush of emotion. Vague, sort of hazy memories run through my head. All of a sudden I felt this ache, this need. I dunno. I all of a sudden felt weak. This was a familiar feeling, I had felt it before. But in just a few seconds, it’s gone.
Then I felt guilty as shit.
I wasn’t being particularly honest with her, at all. I mean, she had no idea. In many ways she was just an innocent bystander. She wasn’t even our target, she was just our doorway in to two radical environmentalist types we suspected of vandalizing a few research labs last year. If you’re scratching your head asking why I went in as a pro-life Christian, to target a group of radical leftists – good. We call it oppositional recruitment and it works precisely because it’s so unexpected. I mean these groups were always on the lookout for us posing as eager young volunteers, so coming at them from the other side, they never, ever see it coming.
Oh yes, I had played it off flawlessly. She thought I was some sexist Christian rube with my head stuffed full of right wing propaganda, and she loved arguing with me. And oh yes, she was particularly delighted at the idea of seducing some pro-lifer and converting him to the cause. Which is what was making me feel like shit, because, smart as Holly is, she lacks the self-awareness we learn as professionals. She wants to “change the world” which means, psychologically, we understand what motivates her.
Now you’re allowed to sleep with them, we’ve won that in court more than once. But falling in love is considered very unprofessional.
So just then Holly starts stroking my thigh really softly, being sexy. We’re like 20 minutes into the movie and she starts it up again. I playfully slap her hands away. “Holly, enough. Watch the movie. Fine.” I laugh. I sort of push her head down towards my knee and start unbuckling my belt. She looks surprised and smiles, and lifts her head off my lap and just watches me with bemusement.
I say, “give me your hands.” She sticks her hands out, wrists together, and I wrap my belt around them, twist it, then buckle it. I mean she could squirm out of it obviously. I tell her, “ok lie down” and she lies down on her back, over my lap, with her hands outstretched and I say, “now keep still I’m watching the movie.” She gets this funny look and relaxes, closes her eyes and sort of drifts off. I just sort of rub her belly under her shirt and make it, maybe, three quarters of the way into the movie. I dunno when the DVD ends and it start playing the menu loop really loud, I wake her up and lead her upstairs to her room and we fall asleep in her bed.