Monday, 31 May 2010

17 Domestic Service... A New Life.

My vision blurs as I watch former colleagues move off reluctantly. It hurts deeply knowing they leave me behind... I quickly envisage every cloud has a silver lining. The feel of cold steel as it nestles snugly against my thigh helps to make me feel secure.

Tuesday 20th April 2010.

After spending many hours in the air, it felt wonderful to be back on solid ground. I’m also happy to report the children managed to sleep through the whole flight. Kristina retired an hour after being in the air and I cheerfully spent time chatting with the guys. I know time with them is drawing to a close. I also know the new guy Jonathan... is a little bit too introverted for my liking...

At some point I fell asleep.

Once on the ground I start to feel a little insecure, unsure about procedures. I need Jake to accompany me.

The plane’s main door opens and within seconds several people are on board. Kristina obviously knows these individuals and smiles reassuringly in my direction. True to my job I observe every moving muscle. I listen to every whispered comment and I’m also fully aware of Jake’s final duties. I watch as he prepares everyone for his departure.

When Kristina approaches, I realise with gratitude she’s kindly arranged for me to say farewell to my colleagues in private. She advises me she’s going to leave an agent behind who will accompany me later to the senator’s family residence. The remainder of the CIA agents whisk the family off to waiting limousines already parked on the runway.

Finding ourselves in a private room within the airport, Jake informs me he and Eric will be leaving for the United Kingdom on the very next flight. Feeling emotion rise to the surface, I’m touched by Jake’s uncharacteristic show of sensitivity as he warmly puts his arms around me, hugging me tight.

The break in his voice is soon cleared by a cough.

“It’s really good that you’re being kept on with the senator’s family, this is going to be a wonderful opportunity for you Crystal”

“I know Jake; it just feels really strange because from here on in I feel I’m going to be on my own”

A tiny waitress bustled into the room bringing a tray of refreshments.

Eric made himself busy pouring coffee and helping himself hungrily to a sandwich.

Drying my eyes, “I’m sure it will be fine” I mumbled.

During the remainder of our time together, we talk about possible consequences for my future assignment. Jake and Eric spoke of tips and ideas which could be used in carrying out my job as a British protective agent.

I noted for us all hugging goodbye was difficult.

Following the airport representative Eric left the room, Jake hugged me again, this time he whispered softly...

“Don’t turn your back for a second, trust no one, be very sure you always know what’s going on questioning everything and very importantly, don’t be a stranger”

Pulling back to look at me, he further said.

“I’m a phone call away and just so you know lovely lady, you’re gadget works from a distance”

Looking at my wrist... I smile, feeling instantly reassured.

”why didn’t you tell me that before” I laughed.

“You never asked” was his smart response.

Bathed in sadness, I watch as former colleagues walk away... A few minutes later I realise the contradiction between my senses because within seconds, I find myself following the CIA agent and it feels really good... Jonathan the new guy quickly and without emotion turns to look behind, obviously making sure I’m keeping up.

Just ahead of him I see through the airports enormous revolving doors, a black limousine.

Phew... I thought this is so exciting.

Like a true gentleman, Jonathan opens the car door and as I willingly step into the luxuriousness within the vehicle I sigh inwardly, feeling a deep down contentment and then for extra comfort I gently touch the now warm steel lying against my thigh, It confirms I’m on my way to a new life.

16 Domestic Service... A Journey of dreams.

Motivation, inspiration and ambition... Key ingredients to accompany us on a journey of dreams... It helps to be in the right place at the right time. Let me share something with you... for me, that time is NOW. Please understand, I'll continue to remain loyal, steadfast and completely encased within the growing spiral of strength that revolves around my dreams... Important message for your own safety... "Do not forget, whatever happens don't mess with me or my family"

Monday 19th April 2010

The agenda on the list today was phenomenal. On a positive note the packing is done. Leaning against the kitchen’s counter, sipping my fourth cup of coffee I hear Kristina and the children’s screams of laughter. Outside they’re soaking up glorious Spanish sunshine and swimming happily in the villa’s magnificent pool. I’m deep in thought and waiting patiently for Jake to return from making this evening’s final arrangements for our journey.

Poor Jake I thought, awake for most of the night... making vital, final arrangements. I think he managed to get an hour’s sleep. At the early morning meeting, Jake informed us we would be leaving the villa at 8.30pm sharp... A private jet will be waiting and our estimated time of arrival in the USA would be 5.30am. At our final destination there will be a fresh turnover of staff. The American government feel under the circumstances this is advisable. Immediately I asked if that meant our services would be no longer needed. Jake's response,

“No, Crystal, your services will be on going from a direct request made by the senator”

Ok, what about you and Eric?”

“Our roles will be over once we touch down; they have their own security blanket, this will come into effect on touchdown”

For the first time during the job, I felt stabbed by an overwhelming sadness. There and then it hit me; Jake had become my security blanket.

Jake and Eric entered the kitchen bringing me out of my thoughtful state...

“Any more coffee in the pot” Eric smiled rubbing his hands together.

“Everything’s on track, we just need to keep moral up” Jake said “Graciana is no longer required”

Both men downed their coffee and with a final catch-up they left. Still leaning on the kitchens counter, I embraced flimsy thoughts of having to reluctantly talk to Graciana. She was on duty later this afternoon; I would gently break the news to her then.

The day and its events fly by without too much trouble. Kristina appears to be back to her old self and her delightful children are as happy as before. After my little chat with Graciana, I find myself wishing I was on board the plane and getting on with the next part of the journey. Before I knew where the day had gone it found us safely within Palma airport, boarding an exquisite private jet. The children very tired because it's well past their bed-time. Once on board Kristina and I settled them calmly. We then relaxed, watching the never ending load of cases disappear beneath the plane.

“Crystal Just think, I’m going to be reunited with the senator in a few hours” twisting her wedding band around her finger the light in Kristina’s eyes shone brightly.

“I’m looking forward to seeing America” I replied.

“Have you been before?”

“No” I said “Never, but I’ve always wanted to visit”

We are interrupted briefly as Jake and Eric board the plane along with the most recent member of our team. A CIA agent who’d arrived earlier. The agent introduced as Jonathon possessed an athletic build, 6ft 2” tall with the darkest hair and olive skin... I observed him to be very good looking. His persona though came across as rather aloof.

All seated and belted in, the engines start up... Our captain came through the speaker system talking about the journey ahead, weather expectations, also giving a little chat about the ash cloud and how fortunately at this moment in time it wasn’t affecting the United States and this was because of the wind and its direction.

Leaning back in my comfy seat I got a sense of relief from within our enclosed space. Closing my eyes I think about the next few days... A shiver of excitement coursed through me and I know this is going to be a journey... my journey of dreams. Yes, I know... it’ll be hard work and at times stressful, especially in terms of the role I play... but who wouldn’t love this particular career? I know there’ll be good times ahead... As the plane leaves the runway I know I'll continue my faithful service with the family. It will be a good experience. It’s just sad I have to leave Jake and Eric behind.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

15. Domestic Service. Villains, Vermin and Vagabonds

The world is full of villains and just so you know, all of you make me sick... So whatever you do don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Sunday 18th April 2010

Witnessing an exhausted Jake tumble into the villa's bright lemony kitchen, I instantly felt a deep inexplicable gratitude.

“Jake?”

“I’ve contacted head office; because the incident is a serious threat to the safety of our assignment, we’re now on operation ‘mover’ extra patrols have been allocated on foot and by vehicle, providing extra security and assistance until we safely relocate”

With a pained expression Jake drew a deep breath.

“I’ve been assigned as lead investigator but at this moment in time and given the seriousness of the assault, my priority is to relocate the family”

Jake brushed bronze hands across a ruggedly handsome face, as if he was trying to simply eradicate the past 12 hours.

“I’ve already spoken briefly to the senator” he continued, “The senator is understandable concerned and extremely upset”

“I have to tell you Jake, Kristina called earlier asking for us both to catch up with her ASAP, I advised we would meet on your return.”

I gently pushed a hot cup of coffee towards him; his eyes gave away his anxiety for the operation.

“Kristina knows who we are” I said lamely.

“I'm aware of that the senator's already informed me, he also insisted he had no choice but to advise his wife in view of the situation and because of the imminent threat to himself and his family. Being a high profile politician has put him in a very vulnerable position; it appears unfortunately he’s been targeted due to his new status within the senate”

Time stood still for approximately 60 seconds.

“Right Crystal let’s get this action on the road, there’s a lot to organise”

Quickly draining the rest of my coffee I felt the boom, bang, bump within my chest. I realised... I was going to have to recall all my training for the continuation of this assignment.

Several hours later, the meeting with Kristina went as well as could have been expected. Jake advised her reassuringly everything that could be done was being done, obviously her concern was for getting her children and herself back to her husband in America.

The plan had been discussed and drawn up. Jake advised Kristina the plans would be confirmed by first light in the morning and hopefully the ash cloud would not interrupt travel plans. Kristina smiled for the first time since the incident.

“I have to tell you both I’m so grateful for your professionalism, I’m sure you will appreciate my anxiety in looking forward to a speedy confirmation of our travel plans tomorrow and consequently in the hope of this I’m going to pack our things this evening in preparation"

Jake and I watched as Kristina walked away fighting back her emotional tears from re-surfacing.

“Jake, I’ll go and help Kristina, if you need me don’t hesitate”

“I have much to do” he responded, “You help organise Kristina, the operation will be moving ahead tomorrow.

Walking swiftly after the senator’s wife my mind was much further ahead than packing a few cases and organising a family and its domestic service staff to relocate. It went much further... There was the journey, the destination and our safe arrival. Much was happening, little did I realise the determination of one of Americas darkest threats.

Unfortunately, I've discovered there are many fanatics out there...

existing

in this great big wide world of ours, who disproportionately believe the United States is the cause of their people’s problems, so International terrorism is a very real possible and immediate threat.

But the same question persistently cruised around doing complete circles within my brain...

Why target a newly instated senator and his family? In due course the answer to this question is what we would eventually find out...

Sunday, 23 May 2010

14. Domestic Service... Hell Hath No Fury.

Watching Kristina's tears fall silently I realised... Hell hath no fury like a mother whose efforts to protect her children are thwarted, consequently endangering her precious offspring... On my journey back to the villa, little did I know what we were all in for?

Sunday the 18th April 2010 continued:

I remained shell shocked from the experience on the beach, my thoughts now returning to the aftermath of the terrible incident. What was going on? ... Who the hell was that on the beach? I was more than eager for Jake to return as soon as possible, obviously after he had helped the Spanish police with their enquires. Come to think of it we had some serious investigating of our own to do.

On our return, Eric rushed off to initiate a security meeting and to wait for Jakes return. Graciana had most things in order. The thing I soon discovered on locating the family was the raw emotion they were feeling. Kristina along with her children was in the family room, appropriately on the phone to the senator. The children looked sad; Kristina’s silent tears cascaded down a lovely but concerned face, her voice broke with emotion about the incident and of her fears. Unseen, I backtracked out the door heading towards the kitchen to give the family some privacy.

I felt the stirrings of my own of tears; I needed to relax, to remain calm for the job ahead. In the sunny kitchen I put the kettle on and prepared to make a large pot of coffee.

Graciana approached me with tremendous emotion she wrapped her arms around me.

“Are you ok Graciana” I asked gently.

“Si” she replied “Hemos tenido un susto muy mal en la playa”

Heading for the bubbling coffee pot I sympathised agreeing wholeheartedly, that we’d all received a terrible fright.

Pouring my coffee I offered Graciana one, swiping away tears she declined then left the kitchen. Sitting like a stone statue deep in thought, I gripped my coffee cup ... I jumped as Kristina came into the kitchen.

“There you are Crystal, I wonder if you could spare a few moments?”

“Of course Kristina, I was just waiting for Jake to return from helping the police”

Sitting opposite me Kristina involuntary sobbed.

“Crystal I want to thank you for what you did today”

I went to speak but Kristina held her hand up motioning for me to wait.

“Today has frightened me beyond repair, I have spoken with the senator and I’ve informed him I want to return with the children to America where I will feel safe”

I painfully observed Kristina as she tried to brush away her overwhelming sadness.

“When Jake returns I would like to speak with you both further, the senator was adamant that he would want you in particular to accompany the children and I on our return journey and if I could also say Crystal, after what I witnessed today I would also rest a little easier knowing we were under you’re care”

“Kristina I don’t have a problem with anything you have discussed, as soon as Jake returns we will come and see you”

“Thank you Crystal”

“Where are the children?” I asked.

“They’re drawing with Graciana, the children are sad but I know they didn’t witness the possible horrendous incident, I’m the one traumatised just knowing what could have potentially happened”

“When Jake returns, we will arrange a meeting to finalise the agenda and then confirm the plan”

“Thanks again Crystal, I’m truly grateful for your expertise, over the last few hours I have realised your cover is perfect and although I’ve had my suspicions for some time, they have just been confirmed by the senator who really had no other choice but to tell me exactly who you all are”

Kristina took a moment to compose her-self before she continued.

“I hold great comfort in the fact my husband had our best interests at heart, but that doesn’t mean to say I think he made the best choice for us”

With that, she touched my shoulder and left the kitchen.

Sitting in the same statue like position... holding a now cold cup of coffee, my mind fervently alive with a thousand thoughts...

Me... Us... You... America?

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

13. Domestic Service. Missing the Senator...

If someone would have said... today will end in tears, I'd definitely have cancelled the beach date... Rearranging a further date with the hope; disappointment for everyone wouldn’t be too much. So sit back and listen to what happens on a beautiful day and how the day changed the course for a family and their future...

The journey to the beach took approximately 45mins; the children’s chatter seemed to be non-stop they couldn’t wait to get there and every now and then we heard the distinct words,

“Are we there yet?”

This inevitably managed to get a giggle from passengers in the vehicle.

I was more than aware of the very strict protocol. The plan was in place. Security was accommodated in and around the beach as well as the local area. On board we had Kristina, her two children, Eric and of course Jake, myself and Graciana, the extra nanny who often accompanied us. I was determined the family were going to have a great day, they were missing the senator and the last few days had been a little glum.

Treading onto soft silvery sand, I customarily scanned the area ensuring nothing unusual was going on. I insisted within the vehicle that the children and their mother did not wander off; Kristina obviously aware of the unit’s safety nodded, then she pulled her children closer whilst we set up chairs, tables, towels along with buckets and spades. The children began digging immediately, it was then I observed their mother gently smiling. I also saw a look in her eyes, the look of sadness.

“You ok Kristina?” I asked as quietly as I could.

Smiling, she whispered sadly.

“Yes”

But, I knew she wasn’t... she was feeling the stress of the separation from her husband and today had brought home the raw fact she and her children were being protected. Life for her wasn’t normal, it never could be.

I looked towards the rolling hills which were quite close to the beach. I was on the lookout to ensure security was present, but the more I looked the less I saw. My attention spun round when I then heard the loud roar from a speed boat; my focus quickly diverted out to sea. For some reason I was beginning to feel uneasy.

Jake approached me,

“You ok?”

“Not sure” I said looking around again.

I quickly brought chairs, tables and sun umbrellas closer to the family as they built sand castles.

Eric approached us.

“All plans in action” he mumbled as he fiddled with his walkie-talkie.

I nodded, just about to kneel down by the children when I saw the glint of steel, it was in motion moving towards us. The person holding it had emerged from the sea, throwing what looked like a wet suit onto the sand... every nerve started to scream out to me.

“Jake, move the family”

Jake and Eric moved like a pair of bullets. Graciana although she had not been asked, firmly grabbed Kristina and the children and moved with precision towards the approaching officers. As I presented myself in front of the tables and chairs, I heard a surprised protest from little Felicia who didn’t understand what was going on but I saw from the look of her mother’s face, she did. I watched several armed men move down from the hills which indicated to me they had also seen the problem and its weapon. I began walking towards the man, who was now striding towards me. He blatantly held on to the gun and I realised this was the moment I had waited for... with a flick of my head, I turned to the left to ensure the family were out of his line of fire. I turned back to see the individual rushing towards me... I knew Jake was coming, I'd heard him call for me to drop and roll. I was going to but only once I was nearer to my target. I had no doubt I could take this guy down... My secret was going to be revealed but still I would have preferred that not to happen... I was first and foremost a protective agent, my assignment was in danger so I had to get on with it and not hold back... Closer to the runner now, I watched as he brought his hand up, the silver glinted and it was then I observed the top half of his body was covered and taped with a bomb, the glinting silver in his hand was not a gun, it was a trigger... In the back-ground I heard the urgency in Jake's voice but I knew, even if I did drop and roll as requested this piece of scum would try taking me with him... without question I knew what had to be done...

I shouted for Jake to keep back... running I knew I’d have to literally fly through the air, grab his hand keeping the detonator depressed and run into the sea with him. Would this work? Let’s find out.

I sensed adrenaline pulsating through my system; its process had commenced and my speed had revved making my feet leave soft white sand. There was no time to think, my heart now racing at an amazing rate, ensured secret skills were about to materialise... The process enabled me to grab the individuals hand without him even blinking... I grabbed him using extra hyped up energy and I lifted him off his feet while running faster than I’d ever felt myself run before... was this because never before had my secret been fully exposed to the full momentum of flooding adrenaline. It took seconds but I was able to run into the sea, throw him with superhuman strength and run back on to the beach. I heard rather than saw an almighty explosion and the water appeared to reach for the sky.

When I opened my eyes I saw Jake and Eric looking right back at me.

“What the hell was that” Jake said, concern etching his rugged features.

Lifting his walkie-talkie Eric screeched for someone to get an ambulance.

It was then I saw blood, my blood. Looking up at Jake I mumbled an apology and tried to reassure him I was ok.

“You stupid girl” was all Jake could say “What the bloody hell were you thinking of”

“Jake seriously I’m fine” I pushed myself up and examined myself to see where the blood was coming from. The explosion had penetrated my right leg and the gash was significant...

“Watch Jake, watch” I insisted.

Jake held me; Eric knelt down wanting to see for himself.

Both looked at me and then looked at themselves. They did not believe what they were seeing and as I watched incredible disbelief cross over both concerned faces, I smiled realising for the first time they really cared for me. As the gaping wound miraculously healed...

“What the F***” they both said in unison.

“It’s ok, honest” I looked towards the back of the beach... Both vehicles had left which meant the family were safe and so was my secret.

“Guys, can we please keep this to ourselves” I asked.

Jake started moving his hand over my leg.

Eric just sat back on his haunches.

“I think you’ll both be happy to hear, I’m indestructible”

“Where the hell did they get you from” Jake said pinching my skin.

“Well between the three of us, as well as being indestructible I’m also super human”

“But how” Eric asked

“I’ve been genetically modified” I explained further as I stood up.

Eric’s walkie-talkie burst into life.

“Yeah Mike, tell the senator’s wife all is well here we’ll be back shortly”

“How come I wasn’t told about this” Jake demanded.

“Because Jake it isn’t well known, it was my own little secret”

“Well young lady the next time I say drop and roll you damn well do it”

“Sorry Jake, no can do”

“WHAT” he cried.

“Think about it, if I would have followed that particular order, he’d have put you all in danger, I clearly saw the detonator already depressed in his hand”

Waiting for Jake to recover, I played with the beautiful soft sand with my foot.

“I will always follow orders Jake, you know that”

We all looked up as an ambulance and police car pulled up.

“I have so many question Crystal” Jake exclaimed running his fingers through damp hair.

“That ok, I have all the answers, but can we go please go for coffee and check on the family” I asked.

“Eric you two get back to the villa, I’ll stay to help with their enquiries”

Walking towards the road I turned around, Jake stared after me so I smiled... he did something he very rarely does... he smiled back.

12. Domestic Service. Unacceptable Threat...

Oh if only I'd known what was going to happen on that particular day, at that particular time? I would have been well armed, as well as emotionally prepared. But if I say so myself... The way I dealt with the incident, was commendable!

Saturday 17th April 2010.

Getting the senator off on Wednesday was an absolute breeze; there was very little interference due to the hush-hush nature of his departure. The few days that followed were interesting with several meetings taking place, this due to the senator’s understandable anxiety on keeping us up to date with protocol. The senator also felt anxious about the isolation of his family. Isolation at times was a good thing but very occasionally it could be bad. Sometimes I would think, I should enlighten the senator... if only he knew who I was and what I could do, I was sure his fears would have disappeared in a heartbeat, he would clearly understand his family, would always be safe with me. But sometimes, we had to run with something’s and patiently wait to see if an appropriate opportunity presented itself to divulge the truth.

Anyway, back to reality...

Getting organised for the promised outing was easier said then done. We were looking forward to this weekend very much. As I’m sure you would understand, being confined for long periods of time within four walls despite our absolute luxury, could be telling on even the most placid person. I had made the strictest of arrangements with Jake and Eric, as well as the senator’s wife Kristina. We would all be going out to the local beach on Sunday. Domestic staff on duty that day would understand from instruction what we would need, in terms of picnic food hampers etc. I had arranged for beach games, sun umbrellas, towels, small fold away beach chairs and if possible some allotted beach space to make sure there was an area of space around the family in case of unidentified possibilities. I had requested Eric drive out to view the beach... I was still waiting for his report.

This afternoon I was with the family around the villa pool. Kristina as usual was happily babbling away telling Max aged 9yrs and Felicia 7yrs; it was only one more sleep before the beach picnic. Squeals of delight followed by splashes in the pool, before I promptly jumped in to play their favourite game of ball.

This evening I literally dropped into bed and happily realised just how much I was enjoying the experience of working with this lovely family. I’d gratefully received word that the senator was safe and well after arriving in the states to carry out his duties and today he had arrived in Minnesota as planned. I didn’t know that much about American politics, but I did know the senator believed Minnesota nurtures an extraordinarily successful society and it was his decision to promote that.

Despite profound tiredness, I tossed and turned uneasily finding the welcome blanket of sleep that usually overwhelms, persistently avoids me. My head became full of thoughts, twisting and turning throughout my mind in a chaotic fashion stopping me from drifting off. I felt uneasy, yet excited at the prospect of a day out for the family. Little did I know what was about to happen.

Dreamy darkness started its embrace as heavy lids began to fall.. Ah well my friend tomorrow is another day!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

I watched Avatar.. and loved it!

When the film started to roll I shivered. I felt as if I had closed my eyes and was watching a sequence of events I was very familiar with...

Avatar for me is my own recurring dream, creatively brought to life... A wonderful breathtaking story set in a far away future, based around an ex-Marine who very sadly loses his twin brother and then finds himself thrust into conflict on an alien planet... A planet which is magically filled with exotic, alien life forms. When the marine closes his eyes, he opens them to find he is an Avatar, who is still cleverly in possession of his own human mind within an alien body. Extraordinarily he finds himself torn between the two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the native people.

From all accounts it took James Cameron more than ten years to make. Some may think it’s more impressive on a technical level rather than a piece of storytelling, but for me, Avatar will always be beautiful yet haunting, a singular gift of inventive, absorbing film-making. For those of you who are able to watch the film on a deeper level, you have to know rightly or wrongly, for me it was confirmation, that eventually when we go for that final sleep... We simply close our eyes and wake up in another world.

Here's something I very rarely say... I can't wait to watch it again!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

11. Domestic service... Dancing Secrets...

It's always just before we close our eyes that the best thoughts dance around in our head... My own thoughts never ending and my secrets swaddled softly within. If they emerged then push had come to shove it would then be the pusher who would be truly sorry...

Tuesday 13-04-10

The last few days have been long and drawn out the feeling amongst staff was very much that things have been unnecessarily complicated... but only because the senator needed to return to the states. Unfortunately the ash cloud was doing its worst in bringing the world to a complete standstill with many people being stuck and stranded. But I knew only to well, where there's a will there's a way!

Jake had called for a meeting to be held later in the afternoon, with the agenda being centred on bringing us all up to date with the senator’s household... its wants, its needs and importantly a current plan. Already I was aware of most of the issues, but Jake and Eric had more security alerts they needed to bring to the attention of all the domestics within the building. I must admit though, It was really good being back at the villa, the family had settled right back in.

The meeting was scheduled for 6.30pm to be held in the villas bright airy kitchen. To facilitate my attendance I had ensured the children were in bed. Walking into the kitchen I could see everyone was present apart from Eric, who apparently was making sure the two security guards were rightly stationed at the main gates. Given the lateness of the day, Jake decided to start.

Jake went through the normal security plan for the building, discussing exits, boundaries but he concentrated specifically on the person we were all calling the peeping tom, who had unfortunately made an appearance just prior to the families recent trip with the captain of ‘The Captains Delight’ a cruise everyone onboard had thoroughly enjoyed. Jake informed us the investigation was still ongoing but as yet nothing conclusive had been found, which he felt was worrying but nevertheless everyone was asked to be vigilante in observing their surroundings and ensuring anything suspicious is quickly reported. There was talk about the senator’s imminent departure for the states, despite the no air zone problem it was thought the senator would be leaving the day after tomorrow (Thurs) and it would be courtesy of the navy... it was imperative he return to the states. During the meeting I noticed Eric appeared and as usual he smiled taking his chair next to Jake. The rest of the meeting went well with an appearance from the senator who spent a few minutes talking to staff, he also confirmed he would be leaving to return to the states... looking towards me, he further spoke about his family remaining at the villa awaiting his return.

The rest of the staff left to be transported home. Jake asked me to stay behind. Whilst the others were organising themselves I put the kettle on and prepared to make coffee.

Ten minutes later I found myself sat with Jake who surprisingly whispered advising me the senator would not be leaving on Thursday; his departure was scheduled for tomorrow (Wed).

“I think Crystal you will understand the reason for that little in discrepancy.”

“We can’t be too careful “he winked.

I nodded, understanding perfectly.

“How’s the new gadget I gave you” Jake asked.

“Fine as far as I know, not used it yet but I wear it just in case”

On the last night of the cruise, Jake had given me a new gadget in the shape of a watch it was something that would be useful if I needed to call for help.

“Good let’s hope you won’t need it, but don’t forget it’s also a microphone and a mini camera which can be used without the need to call for help.”

The kitchen door gently pushed open, it was Eric.

“Right Jake, staff have gone and the building is secure.”

“Ok, pull up a chair and have a drink” Jake said pushing out a chair with his foot.

“Thanks but I was thinking of having something a bit stronger” he grinned.

“No problem, already ahead of you there” he got up and produced 3 glasses and a bottle of JD.

I needed to be careful here... as much as Jake and Eric knew the security and plan for the building and the family, Eric didn’t know I was a protective agent and the pair of them didn’t know I had special skills or anything about my specific qualities. My secrets are what make me special and my specialism is what makes me exclusive to this particular assignment.

“Penny for them” Jake said.

“Oh no problem Jake, was just thinking in view of my role I’m thinking of planning a nice picnic for the children and their mother but we'll discuss another time”

“Yep, sounds good to me.” he winked.

“Right I for one have to be up very early, with two little souls who don’t understand the difference between 6am or 6pm” I re-filled my coffee cup and left making my way to my room.

In my room I moved around double checking its interior and carefully opening its French windows, this is something I’ve always done since the peeping tom episode. The night was beautiful and the sky was fully lit by a full moon. I thought about my speciality and warmly embraced myself knowing my skills were always going to be indispensable to my work.

Locking the French windows I showered. Eventually I jumped into bed... sleepy now from being up since the crack of dawn, I relaxed thinking about my origins... In the darkness I silently thanked my parents for using their instinct as well as their clever knowledge in genetically modifying me, transforming me into what I am today. I knew and it was understood my skills would save the day, with that last cheerful thought; I fell willingly into the land of delicate dreams.