13

WEDNESDAY

Sweat was beginning to form on his upper lip. He wondered if she noticed. He couldn’t help noticing her—the full ruby lips, the deep green eyes, the graceful rise and fall of her ample breasts beneath the thin material of her blouse as she handed him the form: 1040-ES. Great, he thought. Estimated Individual Income. He slid the desk drawer open slightly, enough to make sure there were fresh batteries for his calculator. Things might get rough; he liked having backup. Her voice broke his reverie, something about lost receipts. Of all the cubicles in all the government offices, why did she have to walk into his? He needed a drink and he needed it quick. This wasn’t the “Life as a Federal Tax Attorney” that he’d pictured. He tried to remember what those three bigwigs had told him then—Brig Gulya, the hotshot Tax Counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, Steven T. Miller, the “very” Special IRS Assistant, and the dame, Clarissa Potter, wasn’t she Acting Deputy Tax Legislative Counsel? They met at noon at the U.S. Capitol Building’s Mansfield Room. Yeah, it had only cost him $15. He wanted to call (202) 638-0252 for reservations. He wanted that drink. (Dave Nuttycombe)