THE DEVIL TAKES US
James dowsed the headlamps and darkness invaded the road.
He’d driven us through the night as fast as the Focus would go, chasing the signs to Sitia. Close to the town he turned off and headed to the airport. Soon enough a beaten down drive was highlighted with a small silver plaque reading in Greek and then English ‘El Candia: Property of T. Kiriakopoulos: Private’. It was a flinty, gravelly track more suited to farm equipment that fancy cars. There was no barrier. James didn’t turn up it but drove on a hundred metres or so and pulled into the roadside.
“Are you ready for this?” he asked.
“I think so; what am I supposed to be ready for?”
“That’s why I asked.”
James put a grimy hand up to my face. Most of the soil had rubbed away, but he still felt frightfully dirty. Despite it, the token gesture comforted me.
“You don’t have to come, Amy, this may get a bit wild and you’ve already been through a lot.”
I squeezed the hand. It was the best I could offer.
“No, James, I’d rather stay with you and see it to the end. Costas must have been killed for a reason. I’d like to know it so I can tell Sue.”
“Brave girl,” he said confidently, “Come on.”
I’d lost all sense of time. It could have been midnight or later. James had a mobile but I didn’t even ask him. The air was refreshingly cool. A breeze was wafting down the hillside through the vines and under it I could almost hear the sea. There were cameras at the front gate, so James first led me along the road, where we bunked ourselves over the four foot wall. We walked through the vineyard, keeping the main drive to our left. The warehouse and cellars loomed to the right and I saw two more delivery trucks like the one we’d stolen and another overhead camera focussed on the yard. Other than the CCTV, there didn’t appear to be anything in the way of security.
My feet slipped on the rough terrain. James was making better progress, brushing aside the branches laden with fat black grapes, almost ripe to pick. I didn’t ask him to slow down, but he did, pausing at the end of the first terrace. We crossed the path and stepped up onto a second terrace, this one laced with white grapes.
James plucked at one, popped it in his mouth and hummed, “Muscat; the man has taste.”
We were heading towards the house, but I couldn’t see it until we pitched onto the third and final terrace, which sloped gently up hill. The flood lights were on, the ones hidden in the patio, and turned the mansion a bright sparkling white. In contrast the red dome, I still thought of it as a dome, looked black and mysterious on top of the bathed limestone walls. The internal lights were on in some of the rooms but as the windows were high, we had no idea who was inside.
There was a car port close to us. Inside it, a black Rolls Royce headed a row of different coloured Hyundai’s. The green version was slewed at an angle to the mansions entrance. The barred iron gate was open.
James paused as we reached the threshold of the gardens, ducking back behind the laurel bushes. He held a finger to his mouth and I nodded my silence.
I could hear someone. They were moving along the perimeter approaching where we crouched. Feet crunched on the gravel. It was one of the gardeners. We let him pass. James watched the silhouette until it had reached the far side of the kastra. It took ages, but James never once lost his concentration. A large spider decided to pay me a visit, but I pushed the ugly thing away with my foot.
Now James was on his feet and sprinted up the drive to the gate. I followed him, nervous our foot falls would make too much noise. James slipped inside and, out of breath, I did the same.
We could hear raised voices.
“Doesn’t sound good,” whispered James.
He inched around the corner. Across the courtyard one set of French doors were wide open. The same one we’d looked into yesterday. People were inside.
We crossed the courtyard, past the trickling fountain, and crouched low next to the balconette. The voices were in Greek. I recognised the slightly shrill tones of Lini Kiriakopoulos, but the other one was lost to me. It sounded cracked, aged. For a moment I thought James was going to hurdle the balcony, but he didn’t.
Instead he waited, listening as the argument continued.
Huddled next to him I was distracted by the sound of an engine. An approaching car! Silently I tried to attract James’ attention.
He’d already heard it, grasped my hand and still bent double we rushed across the courtyard. The door was closed, but not locked and we passed through into the passage. The tiles were cool underfoot. I shivered with surprise.
James’ gaze fixed back in the courtyard. At last he ducked away and closed the door. We shrank back against the wall, inching around the first corner. It was no good. The door swung open. We heard heavy footsteps. They came closer, almost thundering down the corridor.
It was Aris. He wasn’t armed when he turned the corner, but the gun appeared in his hand lightning fast. He was more efficient than Zaro. He didn’t flinch but walked purposefully forward and indicated we should stand away from the wall. He was talking as he walked.
“Bond,” was the last word I heard.
I noticed he had a hands-free attached to his ear.
A moment later Spiros Xenakis appeared, unruffled but a little out of breath. He’d run to catch up. He stayed behind Aris’ shoulder, keeping the line of fire clear. James kept retreating, taking small steps. He virtually dragged me with him. The two Greeks stiffened their pace.
“Mister Bond, well, well,” Xenakis almost sneered. Almost, but not quite; he was too smooth for that.
“You took your time.”
“We didn’t find Miss Kiriakopoulos. We went back to Gournia. We didn’t like what we found.”
“Good. I think your boss has already found his daughter. Shall we join them?”
James’ hand was already on the door knob. He pressed, pushed and yanked me after him.
The arguing died instantly.
The room was much larger than Bond remembered and was extended at the far end by a Cretan arch, under which was a sturdy desk littered with paperwork. Large geometric patterned amphora, big enough to sit on the floor, lined the walls like statues. There was no carpet, only pine tiles and a single Turkish rug, weaved through with imperial purple, the ancient colour of Cretan wealth. As he remembered one wall was covered in faded colour photographs.
Papa K was seated in his wheel chair, in a dressing gown and pyjamas, a rug thrown over his legs. He looked older if that was possible and even more worn. His head had screwed towards the intruders. A mixture of annoyance and curiosity blanched it.
Magdalini Kiriakopoulos was hardly composed. Caught in the middle of a tirade she spun on a heeled shoe and looked stunned at the interruption. Bond noted her sleek, straight black skirt and white cotton blouse. She looked, Bond considered, every inch the professional businesswoman she claimed not to be.
Spiros Xenakis walked forward, passing an instruction to Aris, who retreated into the corridor closing the door behind him with a soft click.
“Get out!” shouted Lini.
She’d spoken in English and Bond assumed the remark was addressed to him. The reply was itching on his tongue when Xenakis cast a creased, almost condescending look towards her.
“Not yet,” he said and, ignoring the heiress, he went and stood next to Papa K, but a little to one side. He whispered in the old man’s ear.
Papa K raised his eyes as the message sunk in.
“Mister Bond, how good of you to join us,” he said. The voice was remarkably clear, “You look like an urchin; it has been a rough night, I gather.”
“I’ve had better. I’m looking for explanations.”
Lini broke in, “Papa,” she mewed, before a single restraining raised finger cut her short.
Bond saw the movement, judged the reaction. The girl was afraid. Even sat in a wheelchair, dying form disease, Theo Kiriakopoulos exerted an iron grip over his daughter. It was the sort of response someone gave who was used to bowing at tough disciplinarian.
“Is that so?” murmured Papa K. It wasn’t really a question, “I was hoping somebody, maybe you, Mister Bond, could help explain my misfortune.”
“I don’t see how, as I haven’t the faintest idea what the hell’s going on either.”
The old man inclined his head in query.
“What I do know is this,” continued Bond, “You have some very nasty people working for you, people responsible for Peter Conrad’s murder. They certainly haven’t helped your circumstances. But I’m not convinced your misfortune as you tactfully put it, isn’t partly your own fault. Perhaps it’s time for Lini to explain.”
Bond’s eyes switched back to the photograph: a greying man sat in his large armchair, his young daughter, a girl on the cusp of puberty, sat on his knee and he propped her up with a hand on her waist while she wrapped an arm about his shoulder and rested her head on his chest, by all terms a traditional family portrait. He strode toward it and pulled open the two halves.
He heard Amy utter a little cry of alarm.
Underneath was a nude photograph. It was of the same girl at the same age on the same chair. She was staring with unknowing seductiveness at the camera, one hand caught up in her hair, one leg dangling over the arm of the chair, her legs, her intimacy splayed. The picture had an erotic undercurrent which could not be considered healthy.
Papa K seemed to quiver.
Bond looked at the little girl’s face. It was unmistakeable. He’d seen that nose, those fawn-like eyes, that same abraxas, when he’d made desperate animal love to her on a deserted island. The girl in the photograph was Lini.
“Stop it! Get out!”
The shrill sound burst through the silence.
It was Lini’s voice. She was shaking, taking rapid furtive looks at everyone in the room, as if she was exposed again, now before them.
Papa K sliced his hand through the air, ordering quiet and getting it. He seemed to have recovered his composure, but he spoke even further from the corner of his mouth, “This is none of your affair, Mister Bond.”
“Isn’t it?” he replied, “The police may turn a blind eye to your dodgy business deals and Cretan family feuds, but I’m sure the newspapers will be cock-a-hoop at uncovering a case of child pørnography.”
“Don’t hurt Papa,” interjected Lini.
“Why?” urged Bond, “Because he’s been hurt enough – that is what you told me, isn’t it, Lini?”
“Because I want more than that.”
She sounded vitriolic. Bond studied her for a moment. There was a wildness to her he’d not seen before, a controlled, carnivorous gaze; a lust – but for what?
“It’ll have to wait,” he clipped, “Right now I’m more concerned with Conrad’s death. And he is dead, isn’t he, Xenakis?”
“I had no part in Conrad’s death.”
Too quick to answer, thought Bond and pointed a finger accusingly at the sharp men.
“But you didn’t do anything to stop it. In fact even tonight you were quite happy to leave me and Amy to your ghoulish thugs. It’s a bloody miracle we’re both alive.”
“Then why don’t you stay alive and get out now?” Xenakis’ reached into his gun pocket. The weapon came out, covering Bond and Amy, but it was a half-hearted attempt.
“That’s not in the deal,” Bond said, gaining confidence in the hesitation of his audience, “What is in the deal is someone explaining why Peter Conrad received a cheque for €999, 999 from Lini Kiriakopoulos, a woman who told me she had no money.”
“How do you know about that?” said Lini uncertainly.
“Because I’ve seen it,” replied Bond, “Conrad hid it at his flat and I found it. I did a better job that our young friend Angelos.”
“I never sent him there,” answered Xenakis.
“Then who did, Lini?” asked Bond, already certain of the answer, “And why did you want the cheque back? What were you buying?”
Lini paused and looked around the room. She stepped back a pace and sat into a chair, taking a deep breath, clutching at the little black handbag she carried. It was a good act, as good as the one she’d pulled on him on Agria, but Bond wasn’t falling this time, even when she answered, the voice soft and trembling, he refused to believe it.
“I was buying his silence.”
Papa K scratched his chin. He reached out to the table next to him and picked up a lump of loukoum.
“Go on, my dear, I’m listening,” he said and popped the sweet into his mouth, chewing like a cow side to side rather than up and down, “It is after all the one million euros I gave you to open a turtle sanctuary, isn’t it?”
“Of course it is, Papa,” the girl cried, suddenly animated, leaning forward, her face starting to crack, the wear showing on the porcelain skin, “But I didn’t need it for that, I just thought, I thought you didn’t want to know what happened, what happened when I was young, what happened with him!”
She stopped and pointed at Xenakis, two fingers extended like a child’s imaginary pistol. The tears began to flow.
The tidy, immaculate man had stepped back, shock ruining his countenance. For a moment the gun rose then it pointed straight down, nullified.
“Go on, Spiros,” shouted Lini, “Threaten me again, you bastard, just try it.”
Papa K stared at the two people, a man and a woman, his two children, the most precious things in his life fighting with words before him.
Bond saw the despair and the realisation of betrayal on both sides. He stayed put, waiting for the accusations to play themselves out.
“But I didn’t threaten you, Lini,” replied Xenakis, “What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about the blackmail,” she shouted, “I’m talking about your love affair with your own sister! Me!”
“What?” Xenakis was stunned, “What are you talking about?”
“You deny it?” the girl continued to yell, standing up again and walking towards her tormentor, “You continue to deny it? After everything we did? You want to tell Papa where we did it? And how many times? Do you want to tell him or do you want me to tell him?”
“Lini, I, I don’t understand.”
“Don’t lie to me, Spiros, who else has been sending me letters with all my intimate details written down on them, emails and pictures, who else but Papa’s little security man? I gave you everything and you spit it back at me!”
Lini had completely lost control. She slapped Xenakis hard across the face. He barely flinched, but it seemed to act as a catalyst.
“Don’t accuse me, you stupid girl,” the tone was scathing, condescending, “Who’s been covering up for you all these years? Who’s chased across Europe to drag you back home? Who’s kept your secrets safe? It’s me Lini, I’m the only one who helps you and you accuse me!”
“I do!” shouted the girl, “I do because the only reason you’re doing this is because you’re jealous.”
“You’re jealous of your own father!”
“Lini, don’t say it…”
“Yes, Spiros, you knew everything, but you never did anything about that. You just kept dragging me back into the same hell. You’re as guilty as him!”
She wheeled around and pointed a finger at the old man. Papa K was raising his hand, feeble all of a sudden, trying to cut out the violent words or a host of troubled memories.
“But you got me too late,” her tone altered, softened, and became the lonely lost Girl Friday Bond had met that morning. Hips swaying she sashayed across the room, still cooing.
“Like father, like son, but precious Papa had already taken that little prize; many times, hadn’t you, dear?”
The sentence was almost a sneer. She stepped close to her father, whose expression registered neither fear nor astonishment. His face was fixed on her, rapt, as if she’d cursed him and this was the bewitchment. The girl stroked his hair with the tips of her fingers, ran them down his cheek and across his lips.
Indistinctly her swaying hips seemed to thrust forward.
“You liked it didn’t you, Papa, when you saw your little girl start to turn into a woman. You couldn’t resist it could you, you sick horny dirty old man, and you turned me into this, nothing but a whore for the men I meet. And there were many men, Papa, too many to name and number, I don’t remember them, but I did everything you taught me, Papa, I gave them everything, just like I gave everything to you, everything a daughter can give to her father, every little flower.”
“Dear god,” whispered Amy.
Bond touched her hand which still clasped his arm.
Lini bent towards the old man and planted a kiss on his mouth.
“And still you want to take everything from me, Papa,” she whispered.
Swiftly, Lini pulled something out of the handbag and lunged forward. She gripped a small pointed dagger and the blade sunk into the old man’s chest. It was so fast no one had time to react.
“That’s for the lies!”
She stabbed again.
“That’s for the hate!”
Xenakis stretched out a long arm and grabbed Lini by the neck, dragging her away, but the damage was done.
Bond and Amy rushed to the old man, who was floundering. Blood was seeping out of the wound and his body was sagging low into the seat, as if he was a deflating balloon. Bond placed his hand over the wound to stem the blood flow.
Xenakis staggered across the room with Lini in his grasp, but the girl was struggling like Medusa, her arms and legs and head like whipping snakes. An elbow nudged him and she broke away. The gun was on the floor by her feet. It must have dropped in the struggle. Bond saw her pick it up.
“No!” was all he had time for.
The gunshots sounded like a cannon in the enclosed space. Xenakis hurtled back against the fireplace, his stomach and chest a mass of red ooze.
The door burst open. Aris was too stunned to react. He stared at the confusion, at the blood, his mouth agape. It was Bond who forced him into action.
“Aris, there’s been an accident!” he ordered, “Phone an ambulance! Find the nurse!”
Aris left the room and his footsteps could be heard in the corridor outside.
Lini hardly seemed troubled by the interruption. She turned back to Papa K, the gun loose in her hand, but resting by her cheek. The sudden violence seemed to sensualise her even more. The tongue licked out and took a long taste of her lips.
“See, Papa, see what a good girl you’ve fostered?” she trilled, almost ecstatic in her achievement, “See what a bitch you’ve got for a daughter? I give life to men and I can take it away too. As good as any Imperial King, wouldn’t you say?”
“Stop it, Lini, that’s enough!” shouted Bond, “This has gone too far!”
“Too far?” she cried, the gun pointing straight at him, “Not far enough! Get away from him, James, I don’t want to hurt you, but I promise I will.”
Bond didn’t like the look of the gun. It was a Beretta 92 Series, a stopper, quite powerful. He removed his bloody hand from the old man’s stab wound and backed away towards Xenakis’ stricken body.
“You!” addressed Lini, the gun still fixed on Bond, “You, girl, move Papa to his desk.”
Amy took a frightened look at Bond, seeking confirmation. Not getting any, she wheeled the dying man back behind the desk. Papa K’s breath was fading to a whisper.
“Open the last drawer,” continued Lini, “It has a false bottom. The catch is at the back. Open it.”
I did as I was told. The shelf came loose and underneath I saw some legal documents. I pulled them out, a whole loose leaf file of them, and waved them vaguely in the air, not wanting to hand them over, but not wanting to keep hold of them. I could see they were stamped with the emblem of the Bank of Crete, but they were written in Greek and I couldn’t understand anything else.
“His legacy,” said James, “It’s still in your father’s name, isn't it? You want him to sign them over before he dies.”
“Get him a pen,” ordered Lini.
I was confused. There was a biro on the desk top and I laid the papers out, but I had no idea which document needed to be signed. I wanted Aris to come back with the nurse. It was taking him ages. Someone had to relieve the tension. I dropped the pen and sensed the heiress getting impatient
“Lini, this is insane,” said James, who still sounded very cool, “Where does Peter Conrad fit in all this?”
“I told you, he used my affair with Spiros to blackmail me.”
“But Spiros has helped you before and he’s helped you again. Conrad is dead,” James said, “Your affair is still a secret. This is just, just…”
“Revenge,” repeated James.
Xenakis, his mouth bubbling with blood, muttered something.
“What?” James squatted next to the dying man, “Say that again.”
“I’m not his son.”
The man with the sharp suit, now crumpled and bloody, came to rest on the fireplace, his head cocked at an appalling angle, his body drenched in blood. I saw the chest give one last time and then it was peaceful, like a bloody sack, still and solid.
James stood up very slowly.
“Did you hear that, Lini?”
“He’s lying,” she countered, “He’s always lying.”
“But what if he isn’t? What if he isn’t Papa K’s son?”
She had no time to answer. The door slammed back, making us jump. A new person stood there, the dumpy nurse behind him. It was the young man with the toothpick. Lini’s shoulder’s seemed to relax, as if the toil of the last few minutes, the weight of her actions had been relieved.
“Does it matter?” the cherub asked, the toothpick revolving around his mouth, a silenced Beretta steady in his hand, “Come on, Lini, get the documents and we’ll get out of here. I’ll keep these two covered.”
“Yes, Angel,” said the heiress in an almost subservient fashion and she crossed to the desk, shoved me aside and started to search for the relevant documents.
“Angelos,” said James.
“Nice to see you, Mister Bond,” said the young man. He glanced at me, those blue eyes taking in my dishevelled appearance, bits of body indelicately on show,
“Hey,” I muttered. This was all getting too much. My mind was a blur.
“What’s this got to do with you, Angelos?” asked James.
“Lini and me, we, you know, well, we’ve been together.”
“It’s always the driver, isn’t it?”
“You read too many books, Mister Bond.”
“Enough to know you’ll have to kill everyone to even stand half a chance of getting away with this.”
“Who else have you killed?”
“That big Greek. Two security guards. Aris. Conrad indirectly. I could have saved him, but I didn’t want to, he’d served a purpose, a distraction while I really went to work on this old man. Who would think he’d be so scared of being exposed? After all, his daughter has been exposing herself for years.”
He chuckled at his bad tasting joke.
“Stop it, Angel, don’t be so crude,” tutted Lini. She really was the consummate actress.
I noticed the nurse, the black gowned widow woman, had crept into the room. She made her way soundlessly to the desk, and gave Papa K a sorrowful look. His face started to glow a little and his hand reached out to her. A dribble of blood appeared at his mouth and she dutifully wiped it away with a spotless white handkerchief.
“It’s been very interesting working at El Candia these last few years,” continued Angelos, “You uncover all sorts of gossip. You hear many things, some of it true, some of it lies, all of it useful. Spiros was never Papa K’s son. But you can create a story like that if enough people believe it. And of course you can frighten old men like this into making rash decisions. It’s like opening a tomb and robbing its riches. All I had to do was find this old bastard’s Achilles heel. Imagine my surprise when I learnt about this picture and its history. You were a dirty old
, weren’t you, old man? It took a couple of years to set the steal, but I think I’m winning.”
“What are you stealing?” asked James.
“Well, it’s more like inheriting now, Mister Bond,” said Angelos, without any trace of irony, “The Cretans have a saying: if you want to eat, pilfer, if you want to own, steal, if you want respect, inherit.”
I was watching the woman. She spoke something in Greek. The heiress replied very fast, clearly shocked and took a halting pace backwards. The woman continued to talk and Lini cut a despairing glance at the young man.
“No,” she stammered, “No, no, no.”
Angelos chuckled again, I thought contemptously.
“Love is so blind, Mister Bond, so blind the daughter doesn’t even realise her father has taken a new comfort: the only woman who has shown him any kindness over the past years, Kaethe, my mother. When Papa K dies, everything will become hers, and eventually mine. But I couldn’t have done it without you, bay-bee, because he’s only written that will and testament in the last few weeks. You made such a nuisance of yourself he finally lost patience.”
“Angel, you, you don’t want me?”
“Don’t want you at all, nor do I love you, if it matters,” the cherub looked like he was about to laugh again, the toothpick was jammed into the corner of his mouth, waggling as he spoke every line, “Nobody loves you, Lini, you’re just a whore, a pretty good one, but a whore all the same.”
Lini scrambled for the gun, but couldn’t pick it up among all the documents on the desk.
The Beretta thudded.
Lini spiralled backwards, her beautiful face obliterated.
At last I screamed.
The distraction was all Bond needed. He threw himself forward at the young man. The gun went off but the bullet missed and shattered an amphora. Bond was on him in an instant, one hand slamming down on the gun, the other slamming under the man’s chin, knocking back his head, throwing him off balance. The gun went spinning. The two men grappled furiously. Bond couldn’t get a purchase on the clothes. His hands were still sloppy, either with sweat or dirt. A punch slipped under his guard. Angelos’ foot lashed out and connected with his knee. Through blinding pain, Bond saw another punch come. Dipping under the impact he went into a crouch and tackled Angelos’ other leg, bringing the young man down with a crash. Angelos threw him aside and struggled up right, searching for the weapon.
It was closer to Bond. He twisted onto one knee and scooped it up.
“Mama!” yelled Angelos.
I saw the whole thing as if it was in slow motion: the surprise on the little angel’s face, his lips bizarrely forming a grin, the toothpick finally falling out of the mouth, his hands thrown out as if to stop the bullet, the sharp bang as the gun exploded, the cry as lead penetrated skin and bone and muscle, the body pirouetting on one foot like a ballet dancer, the smoke rising from the end of the little pistol.
And then silence.
It was like a Tarantino movie. Bodies littered the floor. Blood was everywhere.
Slowly the black caped woman came from behind the desk and stooped over her dead son. A single tear formed but refused to fall. She looked sadly at the corpse.
She still had the documents in her hands, whatever they were, wills, bonds, banking agreements, I didn’t care. I had witnessed carnage, slaughter, murder, patricide, I had no idea what I’d seen and who or what was responsible, none of it made any sense anymore. I think everyone was telling a pack of lies. Without pause, the woman started her exit.
James was still on his knees, but his eyes fixed hard on the woman as she strode past him. At the door she turned and looked once more around the room, at the blood and the death.
“It is a good Cretan tragedy,” she said in broken English.
We watched her go.
Eventually James got to his feet. He hurried to the door, paused and followed the woman. I didn’t hear anything, no gunshots, no shouts, no sounds of a struggle. I heard a car start.
James reappeared after a minute or so. He looked composed, as if a decision had been made for him and it removed his need to moralise.
It was a mask. It wasn’t him. I hated this image of James Bond. And yet I knew where it stemmed from. That need to live a semblance of a life, however unreal, however ghostly was overpowering and it had taken him over again. This wasn’t the James Bond I’d witness at the Café Du Lac, it was the viper I’d seen striking down Zaro and killing the driver.
“Come on, Amy, we’re getting out of here.”
He was terse.
“Why?” I responded, “What about the old woman?”
“There are enough problems here already. I don’t want to be a part of any of it. We’re leaving.”
“We can’t just leave,” I protested.
“I can and we will,” he said firmly, grabbing my elbow, “That’s not a request, Amy, it’s an order. I’m sure you don’t like them, but this one is in your best interest. We don’t know anything about this, we never have and we never will.”
“What about Costas? What about Peter?”
“Unfriendly fire,” he said, “Unsolved murders, I don’t care. There’s too much to sort here, Amy, too many motives, too many lies. Let the police figure it if they can.”
“I thought you solved problems?”
“No, I eliminate them,” he said plainly, “It’s not the same thing.”
There was a gentle howl from the far side of the room. Papa K was holding out his one decent hand. I’d forgotten about the poor creature. He was still in limbo. The trap door of death hadn’t opened.
James looked harsh. He walked to the desk.
The old man was wheezing.
A rattle echoed up his chest, came out of his throat, and spoke to us, “The devil brings us into the world…”
James had the dagger in his hand.
He ruthlessly shoved it into the wounded man. The fading body shook with the impact.
I stood motionless. The shock of the moment almost made me cry. I didn’t understand anything anymore. It was too dreadful to contemplate. I’d lost track of who was a villain and who was a hero. I’d lost track of good and evil. I’d lost faith in everything. In that one second James Bond’s reality fused with mine and I understood and hated the turmoil he lived with.
He pulled out the dagger. Quickly he wiped the handle on the hem of his jacket and then folded the knife into Lini’s curled palm.
“And the devil takes us away.”
James stood up, shook his head and turned back to me.
“That’s it,” he said, “We’re going.”
Edited by chrisno1, 11 November 2011 - 05:19 PM.