Do It Again

After what was an extremely productive and progressive week, it is time to capitalize on momentum. I have a phenomenal amount of old content quite literally gathering dust around these parts, and it is high time some of this stuff was found a better home. Therefore, this week I’ll be concentrating on submitting to a number of poetry organizations with open windows for work.

After that…?

It was suggested to me that there ought to be something other than writing and exercise to give my brain a chance to work through the various issues I’m having, and having lost a friend to COVID this week, it seemed only right and fair to see if the work/life balance could be restored via some gaming. I’ve found a lovely survival game called Valheim, thanks to a mutual. It looks as if it has distinct potential, and can be attacked very much at my pace.

With the middle of the month coming up, my son is being invited back to University and so there’ll be one less person here, with life (very slowly) returning to what used to be considered normal before this all began. The first Patreon project of 2021 is moving towards completion, and the next few months are beginning to look like they’ll be writing fiction instead of poetry, which I’m very pleased about. There’s a lot to be done.

Honestly, this is all coming together very satisfactorily indeed.

Unputdownable

This week, I have indulged myself in long-form narrative, and it has been smashing.

This writing project was originally NaNo, dumped in frustration because of a plot hole it was simply too hard for me to negotiate. The reason for that was very much tied up in trauma, it transpires, and I realised some inescapable truths coming out of the latest round of submissions: everything I’ve done with this project was to make deadlines or to assuage a desire within me that was never properly explored or explained. It’s no surprise therefore that this week, returning to it has become a revelation.

The Spotify soundtrack has really helped too, and after six years of mucking about, it looks as if starting tomorrow it will have a new direction. It becomes my vanity project, in effect, alternative to all the other stuff which now, like it or not, have become part of a work remit. That’s totally right and proper too, because without summat to look forward to or indulge in, everything else gets boring quite quickly.

Plus, let’s be fair, I’ve had enough of poetry for the time being.

However, it’s not been forgotten about, far from it. I announced today in Patreon that the cover above will be my first ‘proper’ pamphlet: Reboot 2 $hell is a project I’ve been working on, back and forth, for a couple of years, and is so niche that I realise now the only sure-fire means of doing it justice is to publish it myself. As yet, I’m not totally sure what form that will take, but can do nothing with the collection until I’ve created a layout.

So, there will be this secondary project running alongside the fiction for a couple of weeks, until I can create summat I’m happy with. There’ll be updates on progress, but I have ideas for some things that will personalise the project sufficiently. Needless to say now it’s been announced via Patron, I am obliged to make the imagined into summat real and tangible. That’s always a good motivator. This time however, there’s potential for making some cash along the way.

Let’s see if we can get a project like this off the ground without too much fuss.

EX/WHI :: Part Nineteen

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If he says so himself, this is a damn fine job.

Putting down the black marker, Chris stands back to admire the completed, joint work. Massive expanse of wall is packed with two people’s reasoned observation, allowing moment of expectation that now completed, the aliens could yet wipe the whole thing clean and Ami won’t get a chance to read it. Nothing happens however: Chambers takes this as indicator there’s no need to wake up his partner just yet.

Her exhaustion is even more apparent in sleep: hardly moving, yet eyes rapidly flickering. She’s been through at least three cycles of REM sleep already, grateful a couple of moments of clumsiness failed to rouse her. He’s tired, could do with a comfortable place to sit… There is a chance alone to consider feelings, previously left well alone for a reason. Her link with the aliens is obvious, ability to empathise and gain favour… is he jealous of her ability to do so?

When they’d touched him, or moved body about, he could sense presence, yet never personal or focussed. This was very much the unseen hands of gods, controlling destiny and directing fate. Ami possessed something different, more personal and visceral, and there shouldn’t be annoyance they didn’t pick him as their conduit, but right now that’s what’s surfaced. He’s nine and annoyed his sister’s Prom Night preparations are pulling all the attention away from his Soccer tournament final…

This is not a healthy emotion to be experiencing at any point in proceedings, and Chris needs to deal with it.

He sits on the larger of several sofas scattered around the large area that absolutely weren’t here before. They must have appeared whilst the last of his notes were added: he’d like to think it’s because the chairs that initially were supposed to be here, reproduced in simulation, are hard, uncomfortable wooden seats that nobody in their right mind would ever actually manage longer than 15 minutes working on…

There’s the moment of revelation. He’d though the chairs were hard, then considered what would be preferable. Something yielding but not too soft so he can stay awake and still be on guard. The means to relax but not switch off, like the couch in his soon to be ex wife’s apartment. That whole thought process all took place in subconscious, before aliens reached inside a mind unaware of the intrusion and provided the wish. Ami asked out loud for the change of clothes and food. He hadn’t needed to, and was now comfortable.

On reflection, this feeling isn’t jealousy at the responsibility Ami carries, Chris grasps with more than a measure of reassurance. There might be the hint of discomfort he can’t predict what’s going to happen, but if the means exists within to conjure what is required to make his partner’s task easier, that ought to be the way forward. Look after her above everything else: keep mind focused, stress to a minimum, so that if anything important does need to be communicated from however far above them these zookeepers were, it happens in the most efficient way possible.

Ami’s stirring now, light sleep close to wakefulness: Chris knows that if he moves again, she’ll surface, so in his head comes recall of last time in London with Alex West, MI6 liaison who could be a celebrity lookalike for that guy who plays 007 in the movies. He’d been here for training and intelligence briefings but had ended up with a dozen pints of passable lager and fantastic curry at Spitalfields Market as the more enjoyable result.

Taste suddenly ignites on his tongue, magic trick that then unfolds in front of his eyes beyond impressive.

His memory of the restaurant is reproduced down to the finest detail, part of the space transformed with a corner booth, ambience and decoration exactly as remembered. However it is the smell that hits nostrils from food that steams invitingly doing things to both brain and stomach that Chris is powerless to ignore. It’s not just him either: Ami’s awake, sitting up and staring with considerable amazement at her wish made real.

‘Am I still dreaming, is that really-?’

‘Chicken Jalfrezi, Lamb Bhuna, plain and pilau rice, plain and peshwari naan plus a section of sides and poppadoms. I’m a man of my word, Ami, and have just worked out how I can make life better for both of us going forward.’

‘How did you -’

‘I’ll explain while we eat, because I’m not waiting around in case it all vanishes. Shall we…?’


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EX/WHI :: Part Eighteen

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She dreams of their child, created by aliens.

Foetus grows in an opaque, circular space, suspended mid-air, culmination of this bizarre experiment. A child is ‘born’ from her egg and Chris’ sperm, no worries in subconscious that part of this equation is impossible to complete. Unseen beings are not bound by the same rules as the humans that have now become their scientific research: theatre show to be watched, characters manipulated.

Ami comprehends without doubt that this will be her child, created as nature intended.

The presence inside subconscious is risking a fair deal by
confirming possibility as fact.

For millennia their kind have returned to Earth, caretakers of humanity’s fledgling intelligence. Each time the dominant population appeared capable of causing major damage to surrounding ecosystems, an intervention had resulted: reason why they had now returned. Her planet was at a tipping point, moment when decisions must be made: is this iteration of humanity worthy of continued, unrestricted ransacking of resources, or is it time for an inevitable reckoning?

The presence in Ami’s head offers stories grasped as previous truth: Atlantis washed away, Egyptians sandblasted out of history, Pompeii buried to prevent evil that would have risen and altered history… but then finds herself compelled to respond subconsciously with images of Auschwitz, Baghdad… New York’s Twin Towers. How were your interventions so important and yet these other horrors allowed as acceptable? She expects no response and when one comes, its dispassionate commentary is not nearly as surprising as expected.

The significance of particular events alters when viewed from a distance.

If linear time is only her prison and not theirs, a wider overview would pinpoint exact moments for interference, consequences were it not to take place. However, possibilities from this moment must be infinite: how could others arbitrarily make decisions in this fashion? The being in her head remains silent, undoubted uncertainty generated in the space where they sit. Dream imagery fades until all that is left is warmth and comfort, reassurance provided for a reason.

Keep acting on instinct, remain yourself. This strength will see you through.

There is a version of her future, tantalisingly placed just beyond Ami’s reach, echo of what could be should they succeed in these tests. This is a game, after a fashion, means by which the rest of the planet would be judged. Scenarios require thoroughly completion with no room for error or fear. This is the job she is now charged with; prize is not simply her life, returned better than it was.

The alternative, also offered without comment, is as chilling as it is now fully believable. Should she fail, her World will have humanity wiped from it. Everything else would remain: plants, animals, all natural wonders and even geological uncertainty would continue untouched and vibrant. Her brethren, wilfully destroying existence, completely eradicated in a breath as anything related to mankind’s influence was irrevocably eliminated.

The taint of pollution, global warming, globalisation, deforestation… all would cease to exist: planet left as it had been before the first apes evolved, stumbling out of their caves. This can still happen, unless she sacrifices everything. If Ami is prepared to give her life to ensure that future does not come to pass, so much more will be possible.

She must die, allowing planet to survive.


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January Short Story :: Conjoin

This story was first serialised in 31 daily parts via the @MoveablePress and @InternetofWords Twitter feeds at 9am and 4pm GMT respectively. It is now reproduced in a complete form, a number of small edits and corrections made to improve narrative flow and maintain correct continuity.

WARNING: This story deals with adult themes and should, as a result, be approached responsibly.

Enjoy.


Conjoin

This girl’s fate is anything but destined.

Celebration outside heaves and shakes its way into the fourth cycle, under light of one waxing, another waning moon: the last time this happened it took the Capitol nearly two transits to adequately return to a semblance of normality. In the small and crowded Room of Preparation handmaidens continue fussing and fiddling with the girl’s ceremonial robes. Just enough midriff is exposed as ancient runes are painted accurately on the Given’s back: gift from people of the South to their Northern counterparts. This girl, however, has absolutely no intention of being given to anyone.

Through twelve seasons of life and four of preparation, complicity has remained absolute: devotion to a cause that must finally be changed, diverted from the destructive path of repetition and oppression. Allana is a rarity: meek encircling brilliance, slight body yet keenest of minds. If she were not Given, fate would direct her as Traveller or Trailblazer. That those in the South understand her significance is as much of a rebellion as what might follow if this gambit pays off.

The Boy destined to be King has reached his eighteenth cycle: he must now forcibly take what’s given from the South. Reinforcing this power, action cements absolute and unquestionable Monarchy that then binds both disparate continents to the same man for the next forty rotations. This boy is innocent, untouched by female hand or sex. His father fiercely clings to the rock of power, infirmity slowly scarring reason. This is the longest a King has held the throne since records have been kept: prosperity and security wrought upon the lands are unparalleled.

When withered hand finally curls, which will not be long, son will inherit a misogynist legacy many in the South are keen to see crushed. His ways are not the New Truth after all, but they are tolerated through respect and necessity. Death hands opportunity to wipe history clean. Caravans have traversed roads, lakes and inland seas, carrying not simply the Given’s dowry but plans for reform and reunification. As the King’s only male heir his rights are without question in father’s mind. The four daughters that preceded his birth, however, have other ideas.

Into their ears the South chose to whisper, planting differing seeds of disquiet. You are just as worthy to rule, each brilliant in your fields: diplomat, politician, humanitarian, artist. Four sides of a robust shape, surrounding inherently flawed, outdated bureaucracy. Let us be ready to provide, the South has implored, not simply a vessel for change. We bring the consummate mix of tradition and revolution, genuine revelation. Help us to redefine what this Empire has become, and what it might yet have the potential to fulfil.

The North has, as yet unknowingly, allowed balance of power to shift downwards, away from comfort of familiarity and reason. The South, more than ready and willing to redefine tradition, brilliantly subverts the process.

This girl, lock and key, binds a New Age to her keepers.


Allana sits quietly on the bed, eyes closed, ignoring the familiar yet disturbing secondary presence in her mind. This willing intrusion does not show with obvious external signs of discomfort, yet both tickles and itches: irritation she wants to scratch but is unable to reach. That internal presence knows their target is outside, will be having difficulty fitting into his own Ceremonial Robes. Both have seen his face: handsome and pleasing countenance, yet fattened and lethargic from time in a Court close to being drowned by immoderate consumption. It is all too aware of the child’s discomfort: an unavoidable, growing disquiet. To invade the mind of someone so young was a necessary evil, and this joint reality remains intractable. The untimely death of her mother necessitated Transfer far earlier than originally planned.

It is testament to Allana they have both borne loss and unscheduled change of plans with humility and determination. She is third in the line, triangle’s final side: journey that began with a rediscovery in the Red Desert of ancient processes long forgotten by Southern Mystics. Refined and condensed, practised and replicated, they finally provided the most suitable set of subjects: three generations have given lives for one opportunity to shift the balance of power. To destroy rotations of diplomatic and scientific endeavour would be unthinkable.

It will not be long now the presence reassures Allana. This journey is almost over.

The wooden door swings open, then Prince Ferdim appears. He is a man-mountain, with his extra girth at least twice the size of his father yet kind, serene features and presence of long-dead mother. He has one task in this room, to deflower this Southern virgin, metaphorically reinforcing the relentless plundering of South by its Northern dictators, an act that has continued for countless generations without hindrance: yet the young man’s confusion and fear are unmistakable.

Both women grasp this weakness, further strengthened by realisation. Beneath those clearly restricting robes, there is no erection, has not been for some time. This boy’s weakness does not simply extend to the genitalia, but winds around an uncertain mind, increasing restriction. Ferdim is trapped by legacy, and at a loss as to how he will first subdue and then overcome his bride. Allana looks for the vial in his hand, drugs that will counter impotency and allow fulfilment of destiny, but it is her presence within that shifts body from bed to his side.

That huge bulk is shaking as a slim hand takes the vial away, without resistance. He is strong enough to toss this girl across the room like cloth, but this will not happen. Subconsciously, he is already succumbing to direction. Here and now, ancient dominance will be altered.

‘There is no need for this, my Prince. There are many other ways to please, that will not require drugs as stimulation. Come to our bed so I may look at you under the moon’s light.’

Ferdim’s fear is all too apparent, relief at being taken in hand and not having to use the drug.

‘To truly enjoy a woman does not involve pinning her beneath you. Southern minds can teach a great many things, if you will take time to listen.’

As the young woman speaks, Ferdim finally appears to relax: sitting on the bed, his wife’s true beauty is all the more apparent. Pale skin, smooth and flawless, eyes blacker than night sky, hair bluer than water that cascades from Palace fountains… chosen for purity and strength, yet so easily manipulated, as is also the case with her husband. Both are young, pliant and finally under one woman’s control.

The living consciousness of Allana’s grandmother brings both bodies to rest, slowing two heart rates. The plan had been to dominate the Prince’s mind and let her grand-daughter free, before using him to suffocate his bride; she cannot condemn her own flesh and blood this way. Her mother had killed herself when the South’s endgame became apparent, forcing grandmother into her progeny’s mind far too early. As all this damage had been wrought by the South’s blind desire for power so they will now suffer for the outrage. She would heal and control both.

Allana would think Ferdim was her, and Prince would embrace both women within his consciousness. Conscience would teach both to use desire to heal the other, then strengthen. She will gain muscle, he must shed fat. They would become tools for change, and revenge. Once inside Ferdim’s surprisingly accommodating mind, Allana’s grandmother hypnotises, then finally removes all memory of negativity and anger from the young woman who would wake next to her husband the following morning both alive and happy, yet without intercourse taking place.

The Prince would provide details to the Mystics that proved, without doubt, he penetrated his bride. He had no knowledge of such practices, but Conscience would provide the context, and memories of an experience taking place. She would protect chastity and family in the process.


Ferdim allows the presence in his head to believe she is unhindered, watching as it reassures the young woman she will not be harmed either by his bulk or via violence. Then he will wait for the moment it has settled fully into consciousness before exerting his own mind control. The North’s splinter faction knew this was coming: their renaissance already in the ascendancy. As sisters poison, then remove father’s grasp on power, Ferdim ensures the South will not rule unopposed.

Then he will ascertain if both prisoners are willing to accept an alliance…


Iron

Yesterday, after an awful lot of sorting and rearranging, I picked the project I’ll be using for serialised content later in the year.

Ironically, the project has already seen the light of day here but was never finished: mostly because it was never a complete work to begin with. I was foolish and thought it could be written as it was published, and that ended up destroying all love of the project at the time. However, a couple of things have transpired in the last two weeks to make me reassess and accept that this was a) a pretty good idea and b) is utterly worth the effort in resurrecting.

358a0-sayers

That original ‘publication’ was almost two years ago, according to my saved files, and a lot has changed between then and now, including my ability to effectively edit. I should redesign the front cover book image as a matter of priority, and there’s other stuff to be tweaked… but it’s still a decent story, has come cracking action sequences (which I’ll be able to write with far more confidence due to the Bondfic) plus a satisfying conclusion. All in all, there is cautious optimism this is going to happen.

As a result, you’ll be hearing more about this work in the coming weeks.

NaNoWriMo :: Day -1

Now that my Bond Fiction is officially finished (though not yet completely serialised, see here tomorrow for details) I can turn my attention to more important projects. Starting Tuesday, the first serious stab I’ve ever made at a long-form novel is getting an official reboot, and I’m going to start working on that whilst in tandom there’ll be another 50k’s worth of words on a different subject. For NaNoWriMo 2016 I have invented a new genre (Alternate Historical Superhero) with a story that’s been in my head now for a couple of years. Only now do I have the courage to pull it out of my head and stick it into reality.

chameleon_final_small

Except, it isn’t just courage pushing me forward this time, but the understanding I needed to be more technically competent to be able to produce this novel in a manner in which I’m happy with. Bond gave me that opportunity, allowed me to flex fiction muscles that had previously never been exercised. That’s not the whole story, however, and for that you’ll need to hope I finally get this to the publication stage. I’m also intending to do a ‘liveblog’ (not in real time, but you get the general idea) of the process, with (hopefully) some insight into how this whole shebang works. Last year I cheated and didn’t go from scratch, but this time the challenge of getting from start to finish is something I’m rather looking forward to.

This piece of music is the prompt to the place where the modern portion of my story will begin, but I realise that it won’t make sense without a fairly lengthy prologue. So, the first task is to do some research, and tomorrow’s Wikipedia pages are already open: the Tarot on my Novel’s cover is very significant, as is the Priestess’ card. However, I’m already getting ahead of myself.

There’s a synopsis, for those of you who might now be interested in this new journey:

‘And so it was written, in the time of Old Gods and New Empire, that a woman was left to die in the Temple at Delphi…’

Detective Sergeant Duncan Jackson’s life is turned upside-down when compelled to save a woman from drowning in the Thames. She’s anything but a stranger: he’s been dreaming about Alexx Francis since his teens. The country stands on the edge of a historic Parliamentary vote, preparing to accept or reject the existence of a group of people who have lived as an oppressed minority for decades, and suddenly Jackson’s forced to confront his true heritage, and that of the woman who becomes his responsibility. In doing so, a second world emerges, told only in whispers and fairy tales since the dawn of modern civilisation…

If that sounds like your cup of tea, I’ll tease you as time goes on. There’s also a fairly substantive musical soundtrack for this one (as has become the norm for my works) and I’ll show you how these work into my processes too.

For now, I’m getting ready to crack on. first thing  Tuesday morning. I look forward to seeing you there.

DEFAULT :: Part Forty-Four

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On the other side of the planet, Bond opens eyes, swearing in his head across several disparate languages. The uplink died nearly fifteen minutes ago but he doesn’t want to move, can’t as the memory of the kevlar corset consumes all rational thought. It is the only thing Ronni has worn in his dreams since Venice, accentuation of curve from rib-cage through waist to hip: hands at first trace smoothness, silken fabric under sensitised fingertips, warmth of body as he controls, manipulates. Heels set her just at the height required to penetrate, fucking without pressure, focusing purely on friction. For a man who loves definition, this stopped being animal a long time ago. It’s not sex either, and the word he’d willingly utter suddenly alters an entire landscape.

Accepting love for this woman makes the whole world a very different place.

Body remains unsatisfied, groin still primed and aching despite two orgasms in under an hour: the last time he did this for real was with the woman who’s insane half brother has now murdered to the top job in the western world’s most notorious criminal organisation. It’s a memory he’s well on the way to erasing, but will need work, and not simply by the redefinition of this relationship. Veronica had become arbiter not simply for his ashes, but their future, multiple points of connection to begin a mission combined. His life had been returned by her: after penance for a decade of sins it seemed only appropriate to offer himself to another’s care, once and for all.

004 was determined, brilliant, funny and utterly dedicated, without equal since Vesper. No, she was better, because Lynd had deceived: Flemming’s honesty was both refreshing and beautiful. He doesn’t care that for a third time hand grasps engorged flesh and that he’s allowing imagination to blossom, wondering if she’s still doing the same, in the abandoned farmhouse on the western Italian border. He imagines her still naked, lying alone, fingers insider her own body, thumb stroking in a slow, firm rhythm outside, and his whole body shudders with the thought of someone else’s arousal.

Then he detaches from the Hotel, focusing solely on imagination merged with history: wearing just his dress shirt, hips pinning to the bed, rocking backwards and forwards, audible gasp as he recalls the skill at her internal control. He tries to postpone the orgasm but it’s arrival is instant, panting for air as he comes, hard and long, feeling body ache with a memory he’d forgotten. That first night together, in the dark, making him talk when he’d normally just fuck. Pushing him as she had every day since: always questions; thoughts and queries, assessment meshed with consideration.

She made him laugh in a way he couldn’t remember with anyone else, reflecting back his outlook, questioning attitude at every opportunity. It isn’t just her body he craves but the mind that it carries, because when both exist in his grasp there is nothing else he needs to be happy. Once upon a time he’d not grasp that significance, but now the truth is inescapable. This is the only person he never compromised to prove a point, or succumbed to under pressure. This woman was unique, had made him something better; rediscovery of soul thought ruptured forever.

Bond’s not sure how he exists when they take the designation away, but understands that if he is to survive after all of this is done, someone is needed to help maintain an equilibrium. In forty-eight years on the planet, only one person had ever fitted that bill so completely, and now he grasps that should he tell that woman that he loved her, this would effectively destroy the life worked so hard to create. There has to be a better way, and he needs to find it when all this is done.

For now, her future is what keeps him moving forward.


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OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER:

Everything related to James Bond (007) belongs to Eon Productions and Danjaq LLC, except the bits in here that are mine and I made up. I get how this works.

DEFAULT :: Part Forty-Three

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She stares, digesting the truth probably only thought and not spoken out loud until now.

‘What happens then?’

‘That depends a lot on you.’

‘It does?’

‘I need you in the same room before making those kind of choices seriously.’

Her heart is beating so fast, sudden adrenaline rush that is impossible to ignore. This isn’t passion, something more: inevitably at the revelation brain presents a counter, as it has every time before. You don’t need a happy ending to do this job. A man’s love is not required to make you complete. Veronica is worthwhile and relevant without either. Except this time, Ronni stares at the man half a world away and grasps that this is no longer the case.

Veronica can also be worthwhile, relevant and care.

Her hand goes to the screen, touching him as he returns her gesture, staring with the realisation that whatever happens now, this is no longer just business. Neither is there pleasure after the fact, but before, and that created something new and different, frightening in a moment alone than anything else felt in an entire lifetime.

Her desire to embrace the truth is suddenly inescapable, and so Veronica gives in.

‘When the uplink kicked in and you were mid… what were you thinking -‘

‘That night after your first successful mission. In my flat.’

‘The hallway?’

‘No, sofa.’

Their shared moment flares to consume: warmth of hands on naked back, him still wearing the crisp white work shirt, but naked from the waist downwards. He’d collected her from Heathrow and they’d fucked up against the front door, quick and dirty, and now he wanted to enjoy her at leisure. Ronni’s eyes close, arousal tasted fresh and sweet, watching mouth moving from one breast to the other, tip of tongue flicking spikes of pleasure straight into her sex. As she had ground down he’d thrusted up and body shudders uncontrollably with the memory, need overwhelming and finally unrestrained.

‘Ronni?’

‘Last night I had to lie to a stranger, and as I fucked him all I wanted was you. I can’t escape this, and don’t want to. Please just help me feel alive again. Please.

This wasn’t how she’d expected anything to play out: he’d be the one to chance his arm and now she was pleading, desperation driving, tiredness and emotional stress overflowing and the tears are bitter, painful horror. What is required is out of her reach, beyond ability, and she cannot stop shaking as arms surround her that aren’t his, yet again she imagines they are. Finally the tears stop and there are two men staring, concern from both all too obvious.

‘Q, what are you doing?’

‘I was working, waiting for an algorithm, I heard you crying and I needed to make it stop. Bond, I hope you don’t object to my intrusion?’

‘Not at all, Q.’

‘I… wasn’t expecting this to-‘

‘Ronni, 007 knows what you most desperately need, and I suspect you do too. I’m going to consider what happens from here on in as essential field work, and that you both require a particular form of relaxation off the clock. I’ll look the other way, both literally and metaphorically, knowing not only can I handle a Baretta with some confidence, but that I’m really not expecting any disturbances tonight. However, to make you feel better I’m going to go outside and stand guard until I know your uplink’s expired.’

The gesture is oddly comforting, knowing she’s not responsible at this point brings a relief that comes as a surprise in Ronni’s mind. Looking to Bond, there remains concern that she may not be the only person who’d require guarding.

‘Are you likely to be disturbed, James?’

‘If it helps I can ask Felix to stand outside my door. He’ll love that.’

‘He’d do that for you?’

‘You know, knowing him as I do, all he’ll need to know is that you require the reassurance.’

Both men are gone and Ronni’s suddenly alone, shedding clothing without a thought, knowing she’d come close to an emotional overload. Once what had happened with Marc was negated, it would be easier to move on, and were this London, that’s what she and 007 would do. There wouldn’t need to be sessions with Gregory, or a long drawn-up report on what had transpired. She knew how to be stronger, and that was with James inside her. There is a genuine laugh at the double-entendre despite the situation, and undoubted understanding she wanted to go home. Not for the dirt and noise in London, or the comfort of her own bed. She needs James wrapped around her for longer than the downtime between missions.

Like it or not, she‘d let him into a willing heart without a fight.

Bond returns to camera, this time dropping the towel at the side of the bed, and the room becomes undoubtedly warmer.

‘I told Felix the utter truth, and once he stopped laughing was surprisingly willing to oblige. You can check when we see you in Paris. That’s where Christian’s heading, and where we’ll finish this together. I know Q’s done with Beam’s data, you don’t need to be dead any more. They’re going to bring you back. I’ll make sure of it.’

She unclips her bra and lets breasts fall free, body finally naked and relaxed, and Bond doesn’t stare, instead his eyes close. There is a shift closer to the camera, whisper to her mind.

‘Nobody touches you here except me. No-one will ever hurt you while I’m this close. I promise.’

Leaning back she‘s imagining his hands tracing patterns across stomach, back in the Pimlico flat that night she’d confronted him over Maddy. Their kiss had been so strong and passionate it ignites as fuel, means to tie disparate moments together, convenient montage to increase arousal in her brain. The many moments Bond had treated with respect at the Barracks, augmented with visual highlights carried across the globe. The morning she’d watched him shower for five minutes without a thought and couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day. The Paul Smith tuxedo which made him look almost edible. Then there is a rapid replay of their couplings: at his flat, two days at hers after the first round of Skyfall clean-up, that weekend in early Octoberstanding in her bedroom, wearing just his dress shirt, watching James stare with desire that was inescapable and frankly addictive.

‘I didn’t realise how much I missed you until you’d gone. I should have made you stay, never let you go.’

The voice whispers from the laptop but he’s in her head, standing with hand on stomach, that first night they joined. Her preference is being fucked from behind, slow and measured, until the inside of her body screams, and that’s what‘s now imagined. It’s not her fingers manipulating, arms bending willing body across the back of his sofa, thrusting and rubbing, tender rhythm of need that takes an already tense body to new levels of sensitivity. The taste of diesel finally vanishes, replaced by whiskey, mouth pushed into hers, kiss blossoming into sensation now desperately craved.

It has been a very long time since an orgasm happened without electronic aid but she’s very close as body begins to shudder, internal spasm and external fire colliding, losing ability to remain silent as desperate gasps echo around the dense stone walls, hearing Bond cry out before a sudden burst of electronic noise. As her orgasm fades, Ronni grasps the uplink has gone, satellite inexorable in its movement across the Earth, and she’s laughing at the ridiculousness of the life she’d wanted so badly for so long.

As the adrenaline quietly dissipates, sleep embraces a body beyond exhausted.


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OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER:

Everything related to James Bond (007) belongs to Eon Productions and Danjaq LLC, except the bits in here that are mine and I made up. I get how this works.

DEFAULT :: Part Forty-Two

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As the laptop’s clock crawls towards 22.00, 004 sits alone, watching the uplink software refresh every fifteen seconds and wondering how 007 has been, uncertain of how this moment might play out. She’s certainly not expecting the satellite’s transmission to kick in early: as protocols establish a connection there is sound from the inbuilt speakers that causes the most arousing of double takes. About to check the connection, uncertain at what’s being heard, picture abruptly resolves as audio makes perfect sense. The reason for both becomes immediately and amusingly apparent, and all Ronni can do is stare in disbelief.

Bond’s got bored waiting, and is very much involved in a more creative way of wasting time.

The fact she’s caught him in flagrante is a surprise too glorious to interrupt, even if his position to camera doesn’t give a totally unimpeded view. The soundtrack is enough to make her entire body liquefy in short order, but this moment’s all too brief. His gasp at orgasm tells the story: he’s done, probably the perfect moment to announce her presence.

‘Can I assume you’re finished?’

There’s panic from bedside as Bond registers the webcam is on, before losing balance completely, vanishing from sight with a thump. Ronni’s laughing, despite herself, embarrassment and pleasure combined as he clearly scrabbles off camera for composure before hitting something against furniture with a thump, emitting a loud ‘FUCK.’ Finally there’s a response, ignominy apparent from thousands of miles away.

‘Can I assume you found my efforts entertaining?’

‘You didn’t know the line was live, did you?’

‘I wasn’t really concentrating on the laptop.’

Finally he appears, towel hastily wrapped around midriff, and Ronni knows they’ve crossed a previously untrodden path. Masturbation could well be considered as recreationally acceptable for a 00 agent, but hardly activity you’d report back to London whilst undercover. She has to ask though, if only to prolong the torture a little longer.

‘You’ve never done that for an audience, have you?’

‘I wasn’t aware I was then, but I’m assuming you saw everything?’

‘There was enough context, imagination did the rest.’

‘This is not how I expected this exchange to begin.’

‘We both enjoyed it, that’s all that matters.’

Staring at the man he looks far better than expected, mostly because Bond’s in control, freshly showered and on a real bed. Ronni wishes she could will herself through the ether just for those luxuries, quite apart from the company.

‘I’m sorry, I’m not at my best right now.’

‘I don’t know, you look amazing for a woman who’s been dead nearly two months.’

‘I’m glad you knew the truth.’

‘As am I, having to spin that lie with conviction was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.’

‘I saw the news reports, Q played me the funeral. You’re a very credible actor.’

‘Tanner wanted to make sure we didn’t give Spectre even the thought that you might both still be alive. If we did…’

‘Did you write my obituary?’

‘That was Moneypenny’s job. It was outstanding. Words have never been my forte, I’m a deeds man.’

‘Yes, you are.’

‘Happy Birthday, Veronica. You can have that opening five minutes as an extra gift.’

They can both laugh, while the silence that follows is comfort and reassurance. Ronni sits, staring at him, grateful he’s capable and active. If that wasn’t true MI6 would not have sent him after his ex-girlfriend’s half brother, and that means that she can probably broach the subject without overly worrying over consequence.

‘When did you know Maddy was a fraud?’

‘The morning before the Stag night. I’d had my suspicions, that was when I was certain. I should have told you myself and not left it to M.’

‘You never have to apologise to me, really you don’t.’

‘That’s not true. I was selfish and rude at the restaurant, neither are ever warranted. I missed you. I still do.’

The simplicity of his admission is a surprise, and Ronni’s impressed her body’s continuing to be aroused, but there it is, as he leans back on the edge of the bed, inviting her gaze. Leaner than she remembers, there is undoubtedly more definition to muscles apparent even on camera, and only then does it register that he might be pushing himself again to make a point.

‘There are a lot of things I should have said to you before all of this happened, but only one is really important. When I was recovering after you saved me, there was a lot of time to think. After we first met I couldn’t compromise your position, even when I wanted to. This job doesn’t normally give you the luxury of getting to know your lovers. Most of the time you’re forced into action by circumstance. With the exception of Moneypenny, who I have never slept with, I now understand you are the only other female friend that’s ever mattered. I think I’m more scared of losing that than of anything else in my life.’

‘I promise I won’t go anywhere, you have my word. When Q stuck us together for my last assignment before I became a 00, I think he made a mistake.’

‘Why?’

‘I always thought I’d never need anyone to celebrate with. I’d assumed this job was about being alone, but now I know I’m wrong. I can do it on my own, but it doesn’t make me happy.’

‘What does?’

‘Having you to do it with. Knowing someone truly understands.’

The honestly is brutal and necessary, providing immediate relief. This is not a conventional relationship by any means or definition, but that’s what they have. The tears fall without a thought and she just wipes them away, watching him stare with the same vulnerability recalled when positions were reversed, the day her predecessor and his mentor were buried.

‘Yes, our employer thought of everything, made the whole dance both rational and acceptable. Friendship plus. I hear Q even made a briefing.’

‘He loves to use up to date metrics, is brilliant and caring in the field and undoubtedly the best handler I’ve ever known. You’d be proud.’

‘His heart and commitment have never been in question. I wasn’t sure how to deal with him until he turned up unannounced in Austria. We need more agents like you both and no more like me.’

‘Does that mean you’re really done?’

‘If I survive? Absolutely done.’


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OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER:

Everything related to James Bond (007) belongs to Eon Productions and Danjaq LLC, except the bits in here that are mine and I made up. I get how this works.