He saw her across the room, and the world went into slow motion. She was tall, and reminded him of Grace Kelly. They locked eyes and, he smiled at her. She made her way across the room. They talked throughout the evening, and he ignored the rest of his friends. The next night they met again at an awards banquet. At the end of the evening, she gave him her card. It said she worked for a Brussels-based energy firm.
They went on a few dates, and when it became clear that this was more than a casual fling, she ventured to tell him her big secret. She told him what she did. His first question: "Is your real name Valerie?"
They became a couple from that point on. They moved into the Watergate apartment building shortly after that. Upon his divorce from his second wife in 1998, they got married. Wilson retired from government service that same year to work as a management consultant; the progress of Plame's career brought her to more managerial work centered on CIA headquarters, and they settled into a life together in Washington, D.C.
But their newlywed idyll would not last.