1945

Copyright 1995

by Newt Gingrich & William R. Forstchen

PROLOGUE

September 1, 1945
Washington, D.C.

    "But darling, Germany and the United States are not at war. What harm is there if we share the occasional bit of . . . gossip? Surely you don't think that I, a loyal Swede . . ." The question trailed off in a lethal pout as his beautiful and so very exotic mistress stretched languidly, mock-innocent appeal in her eyes.
    Even though it had been only minutes since their last lovemaking John Mayhew was as ever overwhelmed by the sight of her, the shameless pleasure she took in her own body and its affect on him. Still, he mustn't let her see just how much she moved him. A relationship had to have some balance. He stretched in turn, reached over for his cigarettes and gold-plated Ronson on the art deco nightstand with its Tiffany lamp. Since he wasn't sure what to say he made a production out of lighting up and enjoying that first luxurious after-bout inhalation.
    His continued silence earned him a small punishment.
    "Darling . . . isn't it time for you to leave?"
    Playfully, to drive home the potential loss, she bit his shoulder, then kissed it better.
    "Aw, hell, I don't want to . . . I wish I could just divorce Mrs. Little Goodie Two-Shoes!"
    "I like this arrangement." She laughed softly. "Mistress to the Chief of Staff of the President of the United States. Nice title, don't you think? Such a book I could write."
    Mayhew shuddered at the thought. "Don't even joke about it." But he could trust her to be discreet. . . . He was sure he could trust her.
    More to cover his moment of doubt than for any other reason, he harked back to her initial gambit. "One thing we really don't have to worry about is a war between Germany and the United States. It just isn't in the cards. There's no way it could happen within the next six months, and after that - well, just take it from me, nobody is going to dream of messing with the United States, not even Adolf Hitler."

    "I don't think there is going to be a war either, but you seem so sure. What is your big secret? You were so excited about it when you came in here, and now you won't tell me." Suddenly the pouting sex kitten gave way to Diana the Huntress. She rolled onto him and somehow was sitting athwart his chest, her knees pinning his shoulders. "Tell me, or I will make you do terrible things," she hissed
.
    Mayhew looked up, and up, and up at his delicious interrogator. For a moment her intensity almost frightened him. Then he was overcome by it, by her. His had been a strict and starchy upbringing, and his marriage had not been born of love but of political opportunity, though his wife didn't know that. But he was not yet ready for "terrible things," so he capitulated. Besides, he wanted to tell. What good were secrets if you couldn't share?
    "Okay. I surrender."
    "Lucky for you," she purred, poised for a moment like delicious doom above him before rolling off with a laugh. "Such games we have," she whispered in his ear. "You play wonderfully. Now tell!"
    Having given in, characteristically he stalled. "Sure you're not looking for a story for your Swedish newspaper?"
    She just looked at him. He could tell she was tiring of the delay.
    "Our interests are different," he announced as if he were the first to have that particular insight. "Germany won its war in Europe and will be busy consolidating its gains for years. Our situation in the Pacific is much the same: We've won; now it's time to consolidate. There just isn't any significant conflict of interest between us, and there won't be for a long time.
    "Hell, by the time they've consolidated Western Russia and the Ukraine and practically all of Europe, we'll be looking at the next century. Same for us, especially now that we have this China mess to worry about. We have no reason to interact with each other. Our paths don't cross. It's that simple."
    "What about the death camps we're hearing about?"
    "What about them? It's a shame what's happening there, but it's not something to start a war over." Personally he couldn't care less about the camps, but he wasn't about to admit that aloud to anybody - not when his president felt about it the way he did. Continuing with that line of thought he added, "Even my boss isn't about to throw away millions of American lives over it, and even if he wanted to Congress would never allow it. Victory in a war with Germany would not be a sure thing. Remember 1918? Germans are tough. Right now the only thing that could move us would be an invasion of England. That might do it."
    "Really?"
    "I know it for a fact. I heard my boss talking about it with the House Minority leader and the Speaker. They agreed. We don't dare lose England."
    "This is so exciting. You really do hear about everything, don't you?" Her fingers twined the fur on his chest.
    John maintained a smug silence.
    "But there's something more. I know there is. Something that nobody else knows. Now you must tell. Or . . . " she began to roll onto him again.
    "Okay! Okay! there is something more," he said hurriedly, laughing with just a hint of nervousness. He stirred at the movement of her fingers, which were no longer on his chest.
    "Can't it wait just a little while?" he panted, suddenly wanting her very much.
    "If you promise faithfully . . . "
    "I promise. Everything!" She was truly an artist. . . .

* * *

    His next coherent words were:
    "We're making this new kind of bomb . . . "

Copyright 1995 by Newt Gingrich & William R. Forstchen