He’d held plenty of women, and even the most toned and cut woman felt different from a man (obvious features aside). Something about the way their spines curved, maybe, or the distribution of subcutaneous fat, or --- whatever. A man disguised as a woman, even an expert like Katse, should have a hundred little giveaways. Hell, he’d hidden his Adam’s apple! How had he managed that?
She (he?) wore a lovely black backless, sleeveless, gown with a plunging neckline. Bledsoe had to admit that the breasts looked real. Very, very real. I’m not gay I’m not gay I’m not gay.
“Do you know what you look like?” asked the all-too-feminine voice.
“What do I look like?”
“Like a man assigned to squire his boss’s little sister or daughter.” A cute giggle. “Don’t worry: it adds to our cover.”
“I suppose.” That did explain the looks from the others on the dance floor.
He could imagine what they saw: a big, strapping fellow who probably had a rating system for his dates, with a beautiful woman held at arm’s length. Had to be the boss’s daughter. Yeah, who would suspect them of being Galactor agents?
Still, wasn’t there a female agent available for this? Or could Katse have picked a woman who wasn’t his type for a disguise?
“Eyes on the prize, Bledsoe. I have all the doors and fire exits spotted. And at least six undercover guards.”
“I have seven.” He murmured his identifications, turned so that Katse could see the seventh. He was surprised he had noticed anything with such a lovely creature in his arms. I’m not gay I’m not gay I’m not gay.
“Hm.” Katse looked her over. “She could be a wash-out from training. Play it safe: assume she’s an agent. When this goes down, we can’t afford to be wrong.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Another turn around the dance floor.
Why did Lord Katse have to be here? Why not Maddox? She scared him limp, but that was no problem. At least he wouldn’t be worried about pitching a tent in a public place.
This would be a short assignment, thank God. A family with more wealth and connections than some entire nations was throwing a coming-out party for their daughter. Naturally, people would show up simply to be seen.
Any minute now, Ambassador Aganoor from Indelhia would enter the ballroom. They had less than five minutes to kill him and make their escape, hopefully shattering the fragile peace between Indelhia and several of its neighbors. Any longer, and the security system would have the entire building secured.
On the dance floor, other ambassadors and foreign notables mixed with the rich and famous. He could see a couple of people trying to take pictures, and watched as the plainly identifiable guards moved in to interfere, then returned to their places. Nice to know.
They settled on three routes out of the room, one primary and two alternates. A man tried to cut in, and Bledsoe used the ‘I’m squiring the boss’s daughter and I can’t let her out of my sight’ line.
“Been there, pal,” the man said, with a sympathetic grin. “Ma’am.”
“Told you,” Katse murmured.
Ambassador Aganoor arrived, making his apologies for being late as he greeted host and hostess.
Without seeming to lead, Berg Katse led Bledsoe across the floor. He had the sleeve-gun ready. He wondered where Katse had secreted a weapon, decided he didn’t want to know.
An absolutely gorgeous woman swept across the dance floor towards the ambassador. Creamed-coffee complexion, blue-black hair, a face and figure from a Hindu temple, swathed in a dark blue evening gown. She was locked on target.
“Well,” Katse said, diverting to the nearest exit, “sometimes fate does our work for us.”
“Sir? Uh, ma’am?”
Three shots rang out.
“Now!” They slammed open the chosen door, sprinted across the lawn, and reached the parking lot in less than a minute. Bledsoe found the keys, and peeled out in less than thirty seconds.
“Damn!” He looked back as the gates shut just behind the bumper.
“Indeed, Mr. Bledsoe.” A throaty, feminine chuckle. “I was not certain how long this mission would last. I happen to know there’s a lovely little club not far from here….”
“Sir, not to be disrespectful but I have a lot of work to do tomorrow so perhaps I could drop you off and someone else could pick you up is that okay?”
The familiar Berg Katse laugh echoed through the night as he drove.