Tokugen Numataka lay naked on the massage table in his penthouse office. His personal masseuse worked out the kinks in his neck. She ground her palms into the fleshy pockets surrounding his shoulder blades, slowly working her way down to the towel covering his backside. Her hands slipped lower . . . beneath his towel. Numataka barely noticed. His mind was elsewhere. He had been waiting for his private line to ring. It had not.
There was a knock at the door.
“Enter,” Numataka grunted.
The masseuse quickly pulled her hands from beneath the towel.
The switchboard operator entered and bowed. “Honored chairman?”
The operator bowed a second time. “I spoke to the phone exchange. The call originated from country code 1‑the United States.”
Numataka nodded. This was good news. The call came from the States. He smiled. It was genuine.
“Where in the U.S. ?” he demanded.
“They’re working on it, sir.”
“Very well. Tell me when you have more.”
The operator bowed again and left.
Numataka felt his muscles relax. Country code 1. Good news indeed.