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Spies and Lies


He observed her through hooded eyes, as she painstakingly slid out of the old four-poster bed, picked up his discarded shirt from the floor and slipped it over her naked body, its length almost covering the knees of her long, lovely legs.

 She threw a furtive glance at him to reassure herself that he was still asleep, and then she gracefully slithered across the room, not causing as much as one board in the ancient floor to creak. 

At that point, he fought the urge to throw off the sheet and call her back to bed. But something stopped him, a niggling feeling in the back of his mind, an awareness that he could not explain but felt strongly compelled to heed.  His inherently suspicious nature seemed to be on full alert, and it gnawed at him more than he wished to admit, even to himself.

She then did something that altered his world.  Glancing at him again, she gently lifted his suit jacket from the chair back where it had been hastily discarded earlier that evening in his desperate need to be close to her. She quite obviously knew exactly where to find his secret pocket and extracted the papers within, taking them to the window and reading them by the light of the street lamp. 

After she had betrayed him, she pushed back the heavy blonde hair that had fallen over her traitorous eyes, threw a rapid glance at him again, and then returned the papers to their secret place in his jacket.  All appeared as it had been only a few brief moments ago. And yet, nothing was the same.  It could never be again.

Her hips swaying, she casually strolled across the room and picked up his package of cigarettes from the bedside table.  Pulling out one, she lit it and carelessly flung the package back onto the table. She then swayed across the room to the window. A thin wisp of smoke from the cigarette lingered behind her, its musty odour mingling with the heady scent of her French perfume. Leaning against the window frame, she carelessly pulled back the curtains a few inches, took a long drag from the cigarette, exhaled deeply and then stared absently into the pea soup fog of the night.

He continued to observe her from across the dark room, dispassionately studying her as she stood in the dim light by the window, almost a shadow, while his common sense waged a war with his anger and his profound hurt. He was immeasurably relieved that she didn’t return to bed, knowing full well that he would not be capable of making believe that he had not just witnessed her treachery, or worse, afraid that his anger would overwhelm him and that he would do her serious bodily harm. 

It had seemed too good to be true, when this blonde goddess chose him as opposed to the other men in his team. Her actions had just unequivocally proved that this really was too good to be true.  It was crystal clear now that there was something far bigger at risk than his feelings of hurt and his complete mortification.

He knew that he was not the most handsome, and he certainly wasn’t the most articulate.  He wasn’t even the most intelligent. But, he was the senior team member and as such, kept the records of their hard work. His anger was palpable that he had been set up in this manner, and it took supreme willpower on his part to control that temper.  If this was what the past two wonderful weeks had been about, then he could play the game.  And this was a game at which he was very, very, very good. 

Deciding that his team must be briefed in the morning, he struggled with the knowledge that it would be very difficult and more than a little uncomfortable for him to admit that his normally razor sharp acumen had been overridden by something far more basic. But, his team would understand. That was a fact upon which he did, and would stake his life. 

Then, he and the team would do whatever it took to help him turn this situation to their advantage. They had all taken an oath, and they lived by it. They stuck together through thick and through thin.  It was what they did.  It was what kept them all aliv


Surveying his guests mulling about the family room, John felt a sudden surge of pride.  The surprise birthday party for his cousin Peter, had gone precisely as planned.  The guest of honour had been totally surprised and was now animatedly telling a joke to their elderly aunt and uncle, Willi and Jake. Several other members of their large family, including John’s wife, Sara, surrounded the merry group listening to the joke.

Sensing his glance, Sara looked up and velvet brown eyes locked with electric blue.  The look that she gave him caused John’s face to break into a silly grin. It was the same boyish, goofy grin that he had flashed at her the very first time that their eyes had ever connected.  He felt the same rush, the same electricity, even all these years later.

John reflected that Sara looked even more beautiful to him now, sixteen years after the fact, and several thousands of miles from where their paths first crossed. She was currently sitting comfortably in their family room, dressed in a casual pants outfit, but his memory flashed back to the short shorts and halter-top that she had been wearing the fateful day in Greece when the gods had sealed their fate.

Remembering it as if it were yesterday, he could still feel the simmering heat, see the brilliance of the Mediterranean sun and experience the thunderbolt that paralysed him when their eyes first met.  He recalled her alabaster skin, incredibly white amongst the other tanned bodies on the beach.

She had been sitting in some shade, trying to avoid the unrelenting Mediterranean sun. Glistening brown hair was braided and pinned on her head for coolness. She had looked up at him with bewilderment as he stumbled and almost crashed into her. Luminous eyes registered surprise, and then a flicker of awareness as he tried to apologize, but became too tongue-tied to say what he desperately wanted to say.  All he seemed to be able to do was watch her uncurl those long legs and to help her to rearrange her beach towel. And, as she brushed the sand away…

“Earth to Johnny!” A cheery voice interrupted his reverie. Smiling sheepishly, John threw his arm around his cousin Susan’s shoulder.

“Yeah, Johnny, where were you just now?” This question came from their cousin James, as he joined them, completing the triad that had formed when they were young children. Of all the many cousins in the family, they were the closest in age, and had always been the best of friends.

“You two brag that you know me so well – you tell me!” John challenged them cheekily, invoking the close friendship the cousins had shared all of their lives.

Susan threw back her head of short red-gold curls and chuckled. It was a sound that they had heard often throughout their lives, and it sounded like a golden melody to John. “All right, Smartie Pants! You have that goofy grin on your face. You were thinking about Sara!”

She then nodded her head with certainty, her navy blue eyes merrily sparkling with confidence, eyebrows lifting in emphasis as she simultaneously lifted her wine glass in toast.

“Good guess, Sue!” James approved immediately.  “He does get that goofy look whenever he’s around Sara.  He always has!”

Throwing his hands into the air in defeat, John’s full mouth slowly curved into a huge smile and he began to laugh.  “I surrender!” You two really are good, guilty as charged!” All three began to laugh, a sound that caused the rest of the party guests to turn and look at them.  It was a sound with which the family had become very familiar over the years.

“Oh, oh, the ‘Terrifying Trio’ is at it again!” Pete’s face lit with laughter and a rueful grin.  “You would think they’d have grown out of it by now!”  As he teased the jovial trio fondly, his bright blue eyes sparkled with glee, and the soft lighting in the room picked up the silver just beginning to show in the temples of his lustrous black hair.

“You’re just jealous because you were never included.  Jealousy will get you nowhere!” Joking with his guest of honour, John lifted his glass in salute.

Gloating triumphantly as childhood memories lit up his bright, china blue eyes, the same eyes as John’s, Peter grinned triumphantly. “Aha, but it was sure handy to blame you three for everything that happened when we were kids. You have no idea what Mike and I got away with!” he continued, with a sidewise, conspiratorial glance at Mike.

“Don’t believe a word that he says, little brother,” Mike’s blonde eyebrows lifted in mock horror, his dark-lashed, steel-blue eyes glittering like diamonds.  “Pete’s just had too many vino.  After all he is fifty and they say that the memory is the first thing to go!”

Everyone chuckled, recalling when they all were children and the ‘Terrifying Trio’ as they had been dubbed, were constantly together and unfailingly in trouble.

Susan stood with her hands self-righteously upon her hips, a well-known gesture to all the family.  “Aha! Finally the truth! I told you two all along that they were blaming us!  I always knew they were, but I just couldn’t prove it!”

James’ brow furrowed. “Yes, you did!  Right as usual, Sue.  But, who had more fun than we did?  Those two were too chicken to attempt some of the stunts that we pulled off!” His huge grin and brown eyes dancing with joviality, betrayed his recollection of some of their more risky encounters, some of which their families were still unaware and about which they would never be enlightened.

“Thank the Lord for small mercies!” Aunt Willi announced, and threw her hands in the air in an exasperated motion.  “None of us parents would have survived if all of you had joined in with these three in their escapades!”

“No problem, Mom!” James threw his arm around his mother’s shoulder.  “We’re all grown up now, happily married and settled down.  No more hair-raising adventures for us, right Sue, right Johnny?” With an animated lift of his dark, mobile eyebrows he challenged his two cousins, and a charming smile, almost a carbon copy of his cousin John’s, began to cross his rugged face.

John’s poker faced reply was instant. “Damn straight, Jamie! Pillars of the community we are, staid and sedate as they come!”

That statement caused everyone else in the room to break into gales of laughter.  Susan, John and James were a great many things, but staid and sedate they decidedly were not, even now.  The evening continued in the same light-hearted vein, until one by one the guests began to call it a night.

“Bye Johnny, great party!” Susan reached up in a familiar, lifelong gesture to kiss his cheek.

“You’re leaving early – for you.  Is everything okay?” He was instantly concerned, trying to ascertain if Susan was ill or if she had a problem of some sort.

Susan shook her head and smiled affectionately at her cousin and best friend.  “I’m absolutely fine!  Jamie and Martine are really feeling the time change from Toronto to Calgary and Uncle Jake and Aunt Willi are beginning to fade. It’s been a long trip for them, especially at their age, so we’ll get them all home to bed.  Kevin’s already warming up the van.  I’ll say good night to Sara, and then get Sophie bundled up. Call you tomorrow.”  In typical Susan fashion, she promptly disappeared from the family room and went in search of their hostess.

Smiling lovingly as he watched his cousin seek out of his wife, John reflected how fortunate he felt to have both of them in his life.  Susan had been his childhood best friend and between her and James, had been the shoulders upon which he could and did lean and count upon when his father had been killed.  He was closer to these two cousins than he was to his own brother, Mike.  Much as he loved his brother, there had never been the same easy camaraderie with him as there was with Susan and James.

It had seemed to John, particularly when they were younger, that Mike was perfect, always succeeding and never screwing up.  He, on the other hand, never had the right answers and couldn’t find what he wanted to do with his life, despite a good education and ample opportunities.  This was a fact of which his mother never failed to remind him.  Then his father had been killed, and his world had forever changed.

“Good night, Johnny, this was a wonderful party!” his Aunt Willi’s hug and words brought him out of his reflection.  “We’ll see you at Sue and Kevin’s for dinner tomorrow,” the elderly lady remarked as John helped her into her overcoat.

“Good night, Aunt Willi.  Thanks so much for coming all this way.  I know Pete really appreciated it.” John smiled tenderly as he kissed his venerable aunt.  “We’ll definitely see you tomorrow.  Make him behave will you?” John playfully winked at her and motioning to his Uncle Jake.

“I wrote the book on good behaviour!” was Jake’s retort, to which Willi hooted with laughter as they chuckled all the way out of the door and into Susan and Kevin’s waiting minivan.

As they left, John remembered what a comfort Uncle Jake had been to him when his father had been killed.  Uncle Jake was as different from his older brother, his father Ivan, as John was from his.  Mike and their father were professionals, dedicated and driven in their professional lives, but not quite as successful in their personal lives.

Even as a youngster, John had been keenly aware of the strain in his parent’s marriage.  There had never been any doubt in his mind that his parents loved one another, but they simply seemed to have grown apart.  The greater the rift became, the more that they each retreated into their own worlds and lives.  His father’s time was spent at work, and any spare time that he had was taken up coaching peewee hockey.

Ilsa, John’s mother, longed to return to her native Holland and to her extended family.  Since her husband’s untimely death, she had spent more and more time with her family in Holland, eventually marrying a Dutchman and choosing to remain in Netherlands.

Sighing, John reflected that his mother seemed to have found peace and he was sincerely happy for her.  She and Mike had always been close, but he and his mother had never seen eye to eye. It was his father to whom he always turned.  John believed in his heart that his uncanny physical resemblance to his father disturbed his mother. And if he was brutally honest with himself, despite the fact that he loved his mother unconditionally, the geographical distance between them was no great hardship to him.  This was a fact that caused him much guilt.

“This was such a good night, wasn’t it?” Sara’s voice invaded his thoughts as her arms encircled his waist.

Instantly, John’s arms surrounded his wife and pulled her closer.  “I think so. I think that Pete was really surprised.  It’s so hard to believe that he’s fifty already.” John kissed his wife softly.

Sara was smiling playfully. “You’re not all that far behind! I talked to Ivan earlier.  He’s so proud to have been asked to baby sit Pete and Linda’s twins.  He has grown to be so responsible, even if he is only twelve.  Do you think that turning thirteen in June will make him change? It seems that just yesterday he was a tiny baby and your Gran was carrying him everywhere.” A wistful smile crossed Sara’s face and she sighed.  “I think I miss her almost as much as you do!”

“She sure was special!” It was John’s turn to sigh.  “It’s hard to believe she lived to be ninety-six and that she’s been gone for over a year now.” Memories of his grandmother invaded his conscious, causing his bright eyes to cloud with sadness.

However, Sara was very adept at changing the mood, and began to turn out the lights. “Time for bed!  Ivan’s staying at Pete’s overnight, so we have the house completely to ourselves. We can tidy up in the morning.  I can think of better things to do tonight…” Her sultry voice and animated brown eyes glittering seductively were impossible for him to resist.

John didn’t argue.  He couldn’t and he wouldn’t.  Opportunities to spend the night alone with his wife were rare with a pre-teen in the house and he intended to take full advantage of this unusual situation. Just the look in Sara’s eyes had his heart pounding and he felt a familiar rush of excitement at the thought of being with his wife. The household lights were turned off and hand in hand, they walked down the hallway to their bedroom.

The skylight in the hallway flooded moonlight through the open bedroom door, bathing the room in its silvery radiance and as Sara reached their bed and turned to look at John, her face aglow in the moon’s soft glow, her eyes radiant and welcoming, John’s bones felt like they were melting.  He stood drinking in the vision of his wife, the love of his life, and the woman that he believed in his heart of hearts had lifted him from a life of loneliness and failure.

Gilding across the room to join her as gracefully as a panther on the prowl, he delicately caressed her cheek, soft and smooth, sliding his hand to cup her chin, tilting it upwards to receive his kiss, gentle and loving.  Despite his best intentions, he was unable to stem the outburst of passion that flowed through his body with that one touch, and his kiss became one of need, one of lust and one of greed.

As John’s kiss deepened and became more and more demanding, Sara responded in kind, needing him, craving him, excited by his taste and by his hard, muscular body pulling her towards him, causing her to arch into him, the blood rushing throughout her being like molten metal, to seemingly fuse them together.

Clothing disappeared almost of its own volition. There was no conscious memory of undressing, they were only aware of their passion, the giving and taking of pleasure, as their now urgent need for one another drove them breathlessly over the precipice to the exquisite explosion of pleasure that was theirs alone.

Cradling his sleeping wife in his arms, John was awake for what seemed to be hours, revelling in the feel of her soft body curled into his, the fresh scent of her hair and the soft breath of her sleep.  He never tired of watching her sleep, her lovely face peaceful and childlike, so like their son’s.  And he was truly grateful for all that he had in his life.



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Spies & Lies

Spies & Lies Video PROLOGUE He observed her through hooded eyes, as she painstakingly slid out of the old four-poster bed, picked up his discarded shirt from the floor and slipped it over her naked body, its length almost covering the knees of her long, lovely legs. She threw a furtive glance at him to …

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