Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Monday, September 27, 2010

Heaven and Hell: The Dorchester

A brief passage from Chapter Five of the book that I thought I'd post today. I was looking at it, and liked the dynamic between the characters, so I thought I'd share it here....

The Dorchester was already busy in the early evening. The news had been announced several days ago about President Touqan’s visit, and so the party at the hotel was the place to be seen. Guests were milling about, chatting amicably while somewhere in the crowd, a pianist played soft music. Among the crowd of guests, waiters, politicians, and reporters were others doing their best to blend in: the security team. Members of the DPG, MI5, and the President’s own detail were circulating, all in suits or formal wear, scanning faces for anyone who might be on an Interpol or terrorist watch list. Though none of them showed it, each of them felt a palpable sense of worry and anxiety, and shared a common thought: Please, not on my watch.
Stryker walked into the party that evening, arriving after a hectic drive from the Agency safehouse. Feeling out of place among the great and good of London society, he was wearing a black suit and tie, opting for a black dress shirt. And he felt like he was being strangled by the tie. The thought brought out a light smile as he glanced around the room. There was Claire, talking with a couple of people, members of Parliament, he recalled. She was in tan evening wear herself, looking every bit the part of a high society lady. Spotting Campbell, he nodded. The MI5 agent discreetly nodded back, and continued to scan the room for any possible threats.
“So, there you are.” It was Devon’s voice, behind him.
“Yes, I managed to find a suit,” he replied with a smile.
He turned, and was impressed. Devon was, to put it mildly, simply stunning. She was wearing a silver cocktail dress that was sexy and elegant, in perfect keeping with her sense of style. She gave him an appraisal. “You look like an undertaker.”
He smirked. “And you look beautiful.” That was enough to fluster her.
“Damn you, Stryker, complimenting me after what I just said to you.”
“I like seeing you flustered,” he remarked. “You do look beautiful.”
She stepped a bit closer, avoiding his eyes. “Your tie needs  adjusting.” She moved her hands up to his throat, and he felt her tightening the tie. “Don’t worry,” she told him, smirking a bit herself. “I won’t strangle you. At least not tonight.”
“Oh, that’s good to know,” Stryker said, and Devon stepped back.
“There you two are,” Claire called. She walked towards the pair.
“Good evening, ma’am,” Devon greeted her, turning.
“Thinking of strangling him with the tie?” Claire asked.
“The thought had crossed my mind,” Devon admitted.
“How kind of you to admit to thinking it,” Stryker teased.
Claire rolled her eyes. “You see what I mean? You can clean up well when you want to, Stryker. It’s just a matter of making the effort, you know.” She looked around at the crowd. “The Prime Minister and the President will be arriving shortly. Time to go to work, you two. Circulate.” Stryker and Devon nodded, and moved off into the crowd, each hoping the evening would be, at least from their point of view, an uneventful one.

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