"What do you think?" smiled Dulles Samuelson (who wast not at all thinking about his adoptive father, or the Argentine father he had never known). Dulles showed off the cleaned-up houseboat, Singapore Surprise, which he had just moved into. "See, I got some hammocks, petunias, tomato plants. I took out that navy plaid in the interior and replaced it with turquoise." (He had noticed she wore turquoise a lot.) "I know sometimes you go out of town for work, but you could stay here whenever you want." He was hoping that would be all the time, but he didn't want to push his luck. "Roommates," he added, though he was pretty sure she knew he was hoping for more than that down the road.
Angela sat in the hammock, giving him a smile but no promises. She loved the feel of the rocking boat and the swaying hammock above the demon-free river. (She knew the Warrior had located Ardua of the Potomac out in a pond at Trump National Golf Course, but that felt like a thousand miles away.) "This is a perfect day," she said, which was a lie, but she did feel really good in the sunshine looking at the unexpected sweetness which was Dulles. (Neither of them had any clue what was still hidden on the boat by the previous owner, a Navy admiral going to prison for corruption.)
"That's the one," said Marcos Vazquez, pointing to Singapore Surprise as they sailed past it in the catamaran they had rented for Father's Day. "When the Admiral was in town, he always stayed there--never bought a house anywhere."
"Or that's what he told them," said Golden Fawn, smiling.
"He had to cough up plenty of that bribe money," said Vazquez.
"Sure, just not the money he already spent."
"Well, he never had the reward of the true love of a good woman!" exclaimed Vazquez, leaning over for a kiss and accidentally pulling the sail the wrong way.
"Dad!" cried Joey Bent Oak from the other side, where he had been letting his step-grandmother use the binoculars, but the sail was quickly righted.
A few miles away, that was not the case. "How am I going to get this ship righted?" asked Congressman Paul Ryan, who had taken to talking out loud to his Thaitastic masseuse because she barely understood English.
"Yes," she said, as always. (She did not let him distract her from the hard work of realigning his joints and ligaments.)
"Two GOP governors' saying they won't vote for Trump. Surely Lindsay Graham and John Cain will start a #NeverTrump movement in the Senate! And then what?"
"Oof! I mean, I don't think his foreign policy is going to be totally nuts when he has actual national security professionals giving him daily briefings, right?"
"Nobody respects me. Could you believe those Democrats revolting about gun control, throwing a hissy fit in the House after that moment of silence for Orlando?"
"Oh! Maybe Hillary would be alright on foreign policy, but she'll never sign any of our domestic bills!"
"Gaaa! Honestly, considering how much people hate both of them, you would think more dirt would have been dug up on both of them!"
"Well, at least that socialist didn't win the Democratic nomination. Oof!"
The Speaker of the House looked up in surprise. Why does she know that word? Maybe she's not Thai at all? Maybe she's Chinese? "Ah!"
"Yes," said the woman, who had been born in Singapore.
Not far away, Charles Wu had not yet returned home to the Father's Day surprises he knew the English nanny had helped his daughter prepare. Right now, he was still stuck at Froggy Bottom trying to redirect "C. Coe Phant's" China advocacy at the State Department.
"When the economy stalls, the government--"
"You mean the Communist Party," interrupted C. Coe Phant.
Wu did not like being interrupted, particularly by somebody he had paid plenty of money to over the years.
"The rulers of China have a stalled economy, and whenever citizens feel financially pinched, they complain more. This leads to more government reaction."
"Like making Hong Kong booksellers disappear into black hole prison sites?"
"Yes!" said Wu, who had grown up in Hong Kong and had spent many years carefully balancing his work for Hong Kong against his work for mainland China. "Things are not going well domestically, so the government is cracking down on opposition and seeking to score nationalist victories by expanding naval power."
"In international waters," said C. Coe Phant.
Was was about to ask "whose side are you on?" when the triple agent remembered how much he dreaded that question himself. "I know this is not an easy time to advocate for Beijing. I'm only asking you to keep hammering the intelligence analysis that the government is anxious about domestic economic grumbling. Any increase in human rights diplomacy would be counter-productive at this time."
"I suppose they're upset that Obama met with the Dalai Lama?"
"That is the least of their concerns--the average Chinese doesn't even know it happened."
"But what about Singapore?" whispered C. Coe Phant. "Forbes calls it Asia's most influential city, and some are saying that Beijing hackers are trying to undermine it. Is it true?"
"Of course not," said Wu, but he wasn't going to tell him what was really going on there.
A few miles away, U.S Attorney Atticus Hawk was in his Justice Department office, ignoring the beautiful June day to make more progress in the Panama Papers investigation. He was following a thread that seemed to wind its way back and forth around the globe several times, linked to a man with several aliases. Then he pulled up Facebook on his phone to check something about his old pal Wince's former fiancee--the name of her husband. "Marco Pel!" He looked back at his computer. "You have been a very bad boy." He hesitated a couple minutes, then decided to text Wince a link to a public registry. "Don't ask me how I stumbled across this, but Bridezilla's husband, using a different name, has a wife in Singapore."
Back on Singapore Surprise, Angela smiled at the pink dolphins splashing nearby, pushing out of her mind the battles still to come.
COMING UP: Washington Water Woman is heading out of town, so please be patient in waiting for her next post!