Gordon and Prudence, a relationship that looked set to last
Monday, 01 December 2008 09:22

It was good while it lasted, he admitted to himself as he walked smartly up the final few stairs that led to Tanya's apartment. He let himself in, as he always did, safe in the knowledge that he had carefully avoiced all the surveillance cameras along his route. He personally had taken the trouble to make sure the cameras were angled so that there was a clear path. He thought to himself that the £1500 a month it for the apartment was reasonable bearing in mind its central-London location. Near enough to the centre of power to walk, but far enough away that many of his colleagues were likely to see him. Of course there were the MI7 operatives who always kept a respectful distance, and who knew exactly where he was at every moment. They had of course been briefed on what they could expect if they had an 'indescretion'. They knew what the euphamism 'Room 101' meant and were not anxious to be used as guinea pigs for the departments psychological information extraction programme. They had heard the rumours about zombie-like survivors, even though it was a punishable offense even to know about the programme without written authorisation. He contemplated Tanya's 'allowance' as he liked to think of it. The salary she received from the non-existent Whitehall department with its special address and top-level security classification. So useful for keeping certain people and things away from the prying eyes of the press and scrutiny of any kind.

Two gin and tonic's were already poured, slices of lime, not lemon adorning the fine Swarovski crystal glasses, a gift from a foreign conference host. Tanya, 32 years old last week, slim, evenly tanned, long natually black hair cascading over her shoulders with a hint of fragrence that evoked a fierce passion that coursed through his body. Three years their relationship had run, and still when that fragrence crept into his nostrils he felt the passion rise and surge through his body. How was this, why did it still excite him? Was it the illicit nature of their relationship, the excitement of deception. The risk, the ever-present knowledge that discovery be so hard to handle, the headlines, the media focus. Best just put in out his mind. The details were taken care of, it was like so many things, not his concern once the orders had been given. The two opertives from MI5 were in constant contact with their superiors and they had that sealed brown envelope in the office safe. Only he knew the contents. He had personally written its contents, on a single sheet of paper in his own handwriting, then sealed the envelope and signed it several times over the flap and other joins before covering all the joins with sticky tape. There was no way anyone would read the contents without his knowledge.

The contents were indeed shocking. The envelope could only be opened under special circumstances, but it gave him security and a sense of total freedom to know that once that envelope was opened Tanya would never have existed. Even for him this was a significant achievement. The simultaneous removal of someone from so many databases was tricky. It was the ability to remove, or insert someone into survellance footage that was crucial. He smiled as the cool drink slipped down and he mused on the political opponents who languished in jail well out of harm's way as a result of simply adding them to CCTV footage at the appropriate time and place. It was so easy to add them in. Then there is was; irrefutable proof. Of course one did have to be careful to check where they were before adding them, just to be sure they were not somewhere where they could appear on other cameras, but that was not a detail. He concerned himself over detail, but only as far as telling his subordinates to take care of the details.

Tanya of course had not even an inkling of what would befall her if they fell out, or when he tired of her. Still, better not to dwell on that, just enjoy what he had come for. Tanya was exciting. Brutal. Tanya was everything that Prudence was not.

Prudence was dependable, stoic, a pillar of society, cerebral. Tanya was hot, impulsive, adventurous; especially in bed. He had wondered once or twice why this slim exciting woman was enfatuated by an overweight politician who had been in government for too long. But thought had barely had time to surface in his consciousness before it was drowned out by a tsunami of sensation coming at his brain from all angles as her smooth body moved over his, fingernails biting deeply, arms and legs squeezing and tongue exploring.

How she could excite a man! How she could satisfy his needs; needs that Prudence would not have even recognised. What pleasure he felt, what fantasies were lived out as their bodies writhed together . . .

Prudence had been his favourite during his rise to power. He loved to hold her up as a role model, especially when addressing youth rallies. Prudence was always there. Sometimes he was troubled be her lack of excitement, but she was ever present and had served him well.

The financial crisis came without warning. It seemed to be sparked off by an event that looked trivial, but one that snowballed to the point that action was needed. He prided himself on his ability to take action. Quick, decisive action. In this case nothing seemed to be working. Interest rates were cut to the bone, borrowing and spending were hiked up but still nothing seemed to work. All the rules, the norms, the certainties of life were gone. Something new was needed, something outside the box.

The thought processes moved slowly, drifting, looking for certainty. His mind skimmed across the mental landscapes, through valleys of despair over oceans of emptyness and across deserts of desolation seeking out an anchor or certainty. That embryo of success ready to grow with his nurture. It came in the most unlikely of places when all hope seemed to have gone. In a dark place as so often happens, when the mind is clear of visual stimulus that point of light appears like a guiding beacon of hope. Two trembling hands lunged forth and enclosed this glimer of light, holding it, encasing it, then slowly opening to allow a fearful eye a glimpse inside, ready to snap closed if the idea made a break for freedom. It was still there, pulsating with life.

Phone in hand he called MI7.

"Frank" he began, his voice faltered a little "are you ready for a coffee?"

Frank knew exactly what that meant, and looked around his office just to check nothing was out of place. Of course he need not have bothered, everything was in place and he knew it, but he still liked to check it out.

"Frank, I would like you to do something for me" he began

"Of course Sir" came back

"Prudence was not well when I left this morning, would you mind calling round and checking she's ok?"

"You did say Prudence Sir?" there was a hesitation in Frank's voice as he spoke her name

"Yes Frank, Prudence looked a little off colour and I'm really tied up so would you check please"

"I'm on my way Sir" don't worry I'll make sure she's alright.

Frank had handled four previous situations like this. He knew the drill. He had expected that Tanya would be the next, not Prudence.

Next day the news was full of condolences, messages of sympathy from around the world and public sympathy at home. So sad, Prudence taken suddenly and unexpectedly. A tragic accident that could not have been foreseen.

Life will be different without Prudence he thought, but let's live a little!


Characters depicted in this story are fictional. Any similarity with an person living or dead is purely co-incidental.

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