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Review This Story || Author: Freddie Clegg

Sonnet 57

Part 1 Chap. 1-3


The time is 05:15am. Freddie Clegg and Ellie are asleep in the early morning in their flat in London.

Freddie has always had the habit of waking early, something left over from his army career. That was years ago, but habits once formed are hard to shake.

There is a soft click as the bedside clock-radio switches on. Freddie keeps the volume low, to leave Ellie undisturbed. In the soft and dreamy country between sleep and wakefulness, he hears the hypnotic recitation of the Shipping Forecast(1.):

“ … Here is the shipping forecast issued at 0505 on behalf of the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency. The general synopsis … low southern Norway 1009 losing its identity. High Biscay 1026 dissipating. New high expected Faeroes 1032 by midday tomorrow…”

The soft gentle voice of the newsreader carries Freddie back deeper into sleep as the meteorological lullaby continues through the list of the Sea Areas.

“… Viking: Northerly 5 to 7, perhaps gale 8 later in east. Moderate or rough. Fair. Good. North Utsira, Northerly or north westerly 5 to 7 perhaps gale 8 later in east. Moderate or rough. Fair. Good. South Utsira, Northerly or north westerly 6 to gale 8. Moderate or rough. Fair. Good. Fisher: North or north west 6 to gale 8. Moderate or rough, occasionally very rough. Showers. Moderate or good …”

By the time she reaches the western side of the United Kingdom, Freddie is returning to wakefulness and glad he is safe in a warm bed, on land …

“Southeast Iceland, west backing south becoming cyclonic later, 7 to gale 8 later. High or very high. Squally showers. Rain later. Poor …”

Freddie turns and snuggles close to Ellie as “the Latest Marine Observations from Coastal Stations” is read and the Inshore Waters Forecast is intoned. He dozes, serene and comfortable until, during “News Briefing,” he hears the word “Kushtia.” Kushtia is a place. Kushtia is somewhere Freddie knows well, somewhere he has worked and carried on business for several years. Kushtia is important to Freddie. Suddenly he is fully awake and listening …

“… and here is our Diplomatic Correspondent Peter Archer to set events in context …”

A different voice takes up the story …

“Kushtia is a small mountainous country nestling between Afghanistan in the south and west, Turkmenistan, Kazakstan and Uzbekistan to the north. It is a rocky, hard country and socially it is very traditional, many would say backward, and certainly oppressive towards women. The country has never had quite the strategic importance of Afghanistan and there has not been much international pressure for change. However, the NATO invasion of Afghanistan has changed all that. In its fight against the Taliban, NATO sees socially conservative Kushtia as somewhere extremists might seek sanctuary to plan attacks on coalition forces, so NATO will be delighted to hear news that a new Kalinin has been enthroned, particularly someone who is a western-educated technocrat, someone who wishes to see Kushtia step away from its cultural backwardness and become a more modern nation state. This will not be easy but the new Kalinin is showing an astute political touch and an awareness of the political sensibilities of the nations who might provide aid and development expertise. His first act has been a declaration of his intention to put women's rights to property, freedom of movement, and political rights on the same footing as those of Kushtian men. While that has been greeted warily within the country, it opens the door to investment and the promise of increasing prosperity to many ordinary Kushtians …”

By now Freddie is wide awake and out of bed. He knows all about the situation of women in Kushtia. He has helped a good number of western women to discover the unique pleasures of life in the country. The storm is no longer safe in Sea Areas Utsira or Southeast Iceland. The gravity of events in the East have caused the storm to wheel southwards, to vent its unpleasantness upon himself and Ellie and Freddie Clegg Enterprises.

    1. Twilight of the Gods?

Freddie and Ellie are driving from their flat in Knightsbridge to Freddies office in the work-a-day east end of London.

As in all large, busy cities, driving in London can be a chore and Freddie has opted for a radical solution. He would like to cruise through the streets in a Jaguar but, in fact, he drives a small electric Smart car (2.). The parking regulations are much more benign for electric vehicles and he does not have to pay the Central London Congestion Charge(3.). In addition, in a Smart Car, he does not look like the principal of a criminal organisation and Freddie likes to be self-effacing in these matters.

As he drives, Freddie finds Ellie in a reflective mood.



“If this upset in Kushtia had not happened, you know: no new Kalinin …”

“Yes …?”

“Well, would we still be doing this in twenty years?”

“Huh? Twenty years? How do you mean?”

“We are both in our sixties. In twenty years we will be in our eighties. New Kushtian Kalinin or not, I just cannot see us still doing this when we are in our eighties …”

“Oh … well no, I suppose not …”

“So when should retire? We're not short of money. And, quite frankly, I think we have worked hard enough for long enough. I would just like to retire. Do what I want to do, not what I have to do. Do you see?”

“Yes, I see.”

“Don't you feel it's all a tie? The continued commitment? All those girls? Worrying about how they'll turn out, where they'll end up? It's like having a family an infinite number of daughters.”

“How does the song go? 'When you're the father of girls... you do more than that, you pray, isn't it?”

“Freddie, be serious. We are not immortal. There has to come a time when we harvest what we have sown.”

“That sounds a bit ominous …”

“Well all right. If you prefer, there has to come a time when we start to live. Some people live to work. Some people work to live. It is time to live. Maybe these developments in Kushtia are a sign that life has to change for us.”

“Er, yes, well, perhaps you are right; it is just that I have enjoyed what we have done. Seeing the organization grow.”

“Are we talking FCE, the bit that everyone sees or Special Products?”

“Oh … well, both of them really. FCE was the most difficult. Special Products was the most exciting. Retiring? that makes me think I am getting old. I dont want to get old. Not just yet. Anyway, we cant dispose of FCE without a lot of careful thought. And, Ellie, we cant walk out of the Special Products Division just like that. We are going to have to put it to bed very carefully so it does not wake up and bite us.”

“Freddie, I think I know that, but the first step is to make a decision about what we are going to do with the rest of our lives. Then we can think about the transport business and, well, the rest of it.”

“Well, FCE is a private company. We could float the business or sell out. A competitor maybe, a venture capitalist perhaps. I'm not sure about flotation with the way the Stock Exchange has been lately. Selling out to a competitor would be better. That means fewer fish in the sea and so the fish which are left have more to eat.”

“Freddie, I think we are going to have to make serious plans. Let's make the decision and deal with the slavery business first. Agreed?”

“Yes … yes, agreed. It hurts but, yes, I agree.”

    1. War Cabinet

By 09:30, Freddie is in the “Board Room” in an anonymous commercial building in East London. He is with Ellie, Larry, Dr Pamela Jordan and Harry. Connie, his former Head of Training has left the organization to return to Africa. Sarah, Harrys secretary and a slave herself, would normally attend Board Meetings to take notes but, this time, she has been confined to her office.

Freddie begins. “This morning, I learned that there is a new Kalinin in Kushtia and his first act of government has been to announce very significant changes in the status of women. I learned this from BBC Radio 4 News Briefing, so it is safe to assume that the report is reliable and now widely known internationally. I am sure I do not need to tell you that the consequences for us could be considerable.”

Harry joins in. “Freddie, my first reaction is to ask if he will get away with it? Will this initiative last? What are the Kushtian household heads going to do without their domestic and other help?”

“And, how long will it take for these 'freedoms,' if that's what they turn out to be, to take hold?” adds Larry, the FCE liaison with Inward Bound, their subsidiary. “Is this anything more than 'window dressing' for a new regime? Heaven knows, there have been enough of them in Kushtia before.”

“The point is,” says Ellie, “the point is that the tide of events may be running against us. The immediate situation is that we have almost certainly lost our market in Kushtia. In due course, it could be months, it could be only weeks, some of our recent exports might get the chance to make contact with their own diplomatic people and appeal for repatriation. There is nothing to hold them. The Kushtian Authorities are no longer going to stop them leaving the country and, again in due course, they will tell their story.”

Freddie begins to speak again. “To answer your question, Harry, I think the Kalinins chances of getting away with it depend on whether he can bring prosperity to his people and, first and foremost, to his henchmen. Of course, it may well be that those who have taken delivery of our 'product' in the past aren't keen on this change, but they won't have quite the benign climate for their enthusiasms that they have had in the past. Further to which, the new Kalinin is going to get a lot of help from the international community the creation of an equal society is close to the liberal heart and, if you think for a moment about the amount of blood and treasure the Americans are spending in Afghanistan, sorting out Kushtia is going to be peanuts by comparison. Also, dollars spent there to prevent it becoming a haven for the Taliban might well sound to them like a very good investment.”

There is a moment or two of silent reflection around the table before Harry begins again:

“Freddie, Ellie, I agree that we may have lost a market, but does this really mean that the whole business is gone? When you look around London, but I suppose it is going to be the same in all major cities in the developed world, there is a small number of people who have everything, and then a lot of people who have next to nothing, and finally a group in the middle in danger of slipping backwards towards the have-nots. The people at the top can have anything they want, have the economic clout to get it, and have the connections with the powers-that-be to hang on to it. If they want people to serve them slaves we can still supply. We are taking people from the bottom and supplying them to people at the top. We are just a specialized form of recruitment and employment agency. Also, the modus operandi of the business namely, request received, researching suitable targets, reconnaissance, abduction, training and export all that is still viable. The only thing we have to do now is merely to adjust our position in the market. Sorted!”

“Sorted? You think?” Ellies skepticism is obvious in her voice.

Larry picks up the conversation: “We all know times change. The world is not the place it was when I joined the company and it is definitely not the place it was when Freddie and Ellie developed the Kushtia market. Harrys pitch is very encouraging but, from my perspective, we need a safer business model. It seems to me that the Police are beginning to take people trafficking more seriously. The Government and the Police put it about that they are working to do what is ethically right but I am sure they are just as worried about uncontrolled immigration, destabilization of the labour market, bad press in the newspapers, things like that but actually it does not matter why they are taking more of an interest, they just are and that is a critical operational risk for us.”

He looks around the table. “I know you have been a bit skeptical about Inward Bound but Inward Bound really does alert us to submissives who might be potential slaves. Consensual at first but later, well … who knows? And we even get them to pay us for their training! We might be looking at a new way of operating the business, but I think we will still be a going concern in the future. Barring unexpected developments, of course.”

“Freddie, this risk business,” says Harry. “I can get Sarah to look at who we exported when and who their buyers were. I can review the information to see if I can have a stab at estimating the risk that any particular slave might pose.”

“Thank you, Harry, but I dont think we can rely on the slaves to wake up slowly to the new situation they are in. We have to think about the western advisors. We know about the reality of 'female oppression' in Kushtia because we have made a lot of money out of it. They know about it because it offends their liberal principles. You saw the fuss when the UN tried to run that cultural experience programme. They will be off to Kushtia to make the world a better place and to see how many oppressed women they can liberate and that is when the stories are going to be told.”

Ellie rejoins the debate. “Harry, you are right about risk, but lets start here, in London and the UK. What are the local risks we have to contend with?”

Harry looks down at some notes. “Right now we are between consignments. We sent out the last units a month ago. Now Connies contract is over, we have been looking for a new Head of Training anyway, so there is no one at the Warwickshire Centre. Thats empty. In London, we have got Sarah, here, and Dr Jordan, you have got Suki and Larry has that Rachel Kernow woman…”

Ellie responds. “So what are we going to do with them? Can we leave them where they are or can we put them somewhere else for safe keeping until we get a better idea of what the future will be like? We cant pack them off to Kushtia anymore, but maybe we could maroon them in some other middle eastern country doing normal jobs shop work and such, domestic help, anything like that but prevented from going anywhere because their employer has confiscated their passports from them. Slaves in fact if not in law?”

“Excuse me, but I bought Suki from Larry and, even though she is still a slave, she is my slave and we are de facto partners. I do not want Suki to go anywhere, nor does she need to,” says Pam Jordan, to keep the record straight.

“OK, thanks for that, Pam. That seems to deal with Suki. Larry, are you determined to stick with Rachel?” inquires Ellie.

“Rachel is fun, but I dont feel any sort of commitment to her. She is congenial company, but she is a slave so I am happy to think about other customers for her. What about Anatoly Kustensky?”

“Unreliable. He would always put his own interest first. We cant rely on him to get our chestnuts out of the fire,” Freddie replies.

“What about The Contessa?” offers Harry.

“Yes … mmmm … yes, I would go to her before I would go to Kustensky,” says Freddie and continues. “Larry? You bought Suki off Steve Glennis. He has his own Island. We can sell the girls to him or at least get him to stable for the time being or until we can sell them new owners, if it comes to that thats excepting Suki, with respect to Pam.”

Harry nods, “I like that idea. You can do business with Steve. The only problem is getting Sarah and Rachel across the Atlantic and on into the Caribbean.”

“Unless we ship them conventionally?” adds Larry.

Pam Jordan replies: “Uncooperative patients slaves in our context are always more difficult and technically challenging than newly broken slaves, who are normally the sort of subjects we are freighting out. Rachel might be an easier prospect if she felt inclined to cooperate. Perhaps if Larry starts talking about going on a Caribbean holiday, plants the idea in Racheals mind that she might have to be in custody for several weeks, and then Larry offers to take her with him, something like that? The biggest problem is Sarah. Sarah knows a lot about the Organisation. She also knows all our names. She will need secure enslavement abroad or we are going to have to make her an employee of the business and bring her on-side.”

“Yes, Pam is right. Sarah is a much more significant issue. I like the sound of Secure Enslavement. If Steve Glennis was to agree to look after only one of our slaves here, it would have to be Sarah,” agrees Freddie.

He glances round the table and sums up the meeting: “Very well. Let's leave matters there for now. I will speak to Glennis and the Contessa. I can level with Steve, but I will merely do business with the Contessa. Harry, you see what sort of risk estimation you can make about the units already in Kushtia. Ellie and I will decide what we are going to do with the Warwickshire Centre.”

“Freddie? Do you want me to do anything about Inward Bound just now?”

“Inward Bound?” says Freddie, blinking. “I think that is the least of our problems at the moment, Larry. Just keep the Inward Bound people happy …”

    1. References.

(1.) The Shipping Forecast on BBC radio: a long standing tradition with its own peculiar language, this weather forecast is a fixed point in many people's day.

(2.) Smart Cars : a range of small city cars, known for their high fuel efficiency and small size.

(3.) The London Congestion Charge tries to keep pollution in the capital at a tolerable level. It only applies to motor vehicles, people suffering with a bad head cold are exempt.


    1. Unsolicited Caller

Joe is at his desk when his mobile rings.

The screen announces an 02 number he does not recognise.

Joe sighs. He has had a rash of marketing calls recently of the “Hi, according to our records you were involved in a road traffic accident recently. Text YES to this number to discuss applying for compensation” variety. Ironically, Joe has suffered a major trauma in his life which has left him injured, and his wife even more so, but there is no compensation on offer for these all-too-real injuries. This will probably be yet another time waster but equally it could be related to one of the projects he is involved with. He answers the call, anyway.

“Can I speak with Joseph McEwan?”

“Yes”, says Joe with more brightness in his voice than he feels.

“Oh hi, Joe. Its Annie Elba…”

Joes heart sinks. The Police Psychologist, for goodness sake. Someone he could definitely do without speaking to just at the moment. He is definitely not in the mood to have to deal with Dr Elba. Joe makes a guess that she probably wants to ask if Jenny has said anything “funny” which might give a clue to what happened during her “absence.” Absence is what they call it. Abduction, Joe has decided, is what it was. Of all the people he has had to deal with, Joe now prefers to speak with Inspector Ackroyd. His flat, slow black-country voice is a very effective antidote to the dismay and fear which stalks Joe almost every day. Reluctantly, he tries to engage with whatever it is the woman actually wants.

“Have you a minute? I thought if I called about now I would catch you at the end of the morning but before you went for lunch. Is this an OK time?”

Joe smiles at the studied casualness of Dr Elbas patter. He hardly knows her, but she still says “Hi Joe. Is this an OK time?” Nevertheless, Dr Elbas choice of words is disarming and Joe begins warming to her, despite his feelings of the moment.

“Er, yes, I am pretty well done. How can I help?”

“Thats actually the wrong way round. Its more how can I help you? Can I see you in person sometime soon?”

“To talk about Jenny?”

“No. To talk about you.”

“Me?” Joe begins to feel very much more anxious now. Have the police begun to wonder if he was in some way involved in Jennys abduction?

“Yes. You and Jenny have both suffered a really significant psychological trauma. I know Laura Malvern is looking after Jenny and its probably best if she does not also look after you. It avoids a conflict of interest and Jenny will want to know that what she says to Laura cant accidentally leak out in any session Laura has with you. Anyway, I just thought you might find it helpful if we had some time together ourselves. What do you think?”

“Isnt there another conflict of interest here as well? Jenny doesnt really like you. I dont want to feel I am some sort of informer well obviously I dont so what about the things I might say to you? Where would they go?”

“I think if you have any information about Jennys time away, you should tell it to Brian Ackroyd. I was just thinking about you. Why dont you think things over and let me know?”

Joe sighs. The feeling of fatigue begins to build inside him again, yet here was an offer of help …

“OK. Lets meet. But where? I do not think the house would be good. I dont really want to see you here at the office …”

“The house? The office? No way, but I could find some neutral ground in Coventry. Would that work?”

“Neutral ground sounds like a building site.”

“I was thinking about a redevelopment site. A friend of mine works at the Cathedral. I could borrow a room. Its easy to get to. What do you think?”

    1. Blitz and Reconstruction

On the night of 14 November 1940, the Luftwaffe razed Coventry almost completely to rubble, destroying 4,300 homes, two-thirds of the other buildings, and leaving the city centre in ruins. Amongst the buildings lost was the sublime Gothic Cathedral of St Michael. In the years after the war, the building was replaced by the flashy and confident architect Basil Spence, and the new cathedral has become something of a symbol of regeneration and reconciliation (1.) (2.).

Joe plays with these ideas in his mind as he approaches the building, the gaunt and blackened skeleton of the old cathedral standing in attendance to one side.

Joe feels no desire for “reconciliation” with Jennys abductors. He would like to feel that he was reconciled with his wife and there was no doubt at all concerning the need to see regeneration in their relationship. Perhaps, he thinks, Dr Elba has chosen a suitable venue for their meeting after all?

She is standing in front of the main door. She does not disappoint his first memory of her. She is wearing a black leather biker jacket with a bright blue scarf at the neck. She wears blue denim jeans which end far enough above her ankles to show a pair of bright blue-and-white striped socks disappearing into a pair of cherry red Doc Martens shoes, the red of the uppers set off by the yellow stitching joining the uppers to the dark brown soles.

Despite himself, Joe feels a thrill of sexual interest in her and then feels a stab of guilt about wanting a woman who was not his wife and wanting that other woman here, of all places.

Dr Elba sees Joe, smiles broadly, and walks up to him, shaking his hand. Joes hand is cold and rough. Annie Elbas hand is warm and soft.

“You need coffee and cake,” she says. “Lets eat before we talk. There is a branch of Starbucks over in Broadgate.”

The short walk through the city centre and the conviviality of Starbucks warms Joe both physically and emotionally. Now, sitting with Annie in a small quiet room in the Cathedral, he feels much more relaxed and ready to talk. This is probably one of the techniques used by psychologists, he thinks, to help their clients open up. He has to admit that the technique clearly works. He also wonders if this is one of the ways Jennys abductors wormed themselves into her mind and her affection? Did she ever sit with one of her abductors, drinking coffee?

Joe begins. “So, why the interest in me?”

“I am still attached to the case, as you might say. I am also a psychologist.

“You are a victim of crime well, we are not exactly sure, but its a fair guess. Jenny is getting looked after by Laura Malvern, so I thought I should look after you.”

“I am paying for Jennifers care and I am glad to pay, but how much are you going to be?”

“Ah, well, you are part of the investigation so I am being paid for by the Met

“So, is this an interrogation then?”

“No, its really not. I just wanted to see if you are OK and I thought it was part of my duty of care to touch base with you, to see how you are getting on, to talk a bit about how its been with you and Jenny, and to give you some advice on how you should deal with some of the things she might say or do. If it looks as if you are going to need more extensive counseling yourself, I will point you to someone here who could look after you, but not Laura Malvern, for reasons we both know.”

“Were you in Coventry anyway?”

“No, I came up specially to see you when you agreed to meet me.”


“So, whats it been like?”



“I dont really know where to begin.”


“If I say things, do you have to report everything to Inspector Grantby?”

“If Jenny was planning to rob the Bank of England, Im sure Chief Inspector Grantby would be interested to hear all about it, but surely we are not talking about that sort of thing, are we?”

“Jenny attacked sexually attacked her friend.”

Annie Elba visibly winces. “Oh, now that is serious. You had better tell me about that.”

“It was just before Jenny began to see Laura Malvern …”

“Before we go on, has she done anything similar since she has been seeing Laura?”

“No, not at all.”

“Does Laura know?”

“I am not exactly sure. Jenny and Laura meet on their own.”

“Oh … well, Joseph, I did not expect to be in so deep, so soon. I think you should tell Laura or I could, if you would prefer?”

“Can I tell you what happened, first?”

“Yes, please …”

“Jenny had gone back to work to see their Human Resources people and had a pretty unpleasant encounter with her Professor. You know Jennys friend, Cathy Corbin. had identified some academic work Jenny had done here before she disappeared, written up in a foreign journal after she went away?”

“Yes, I had heard that.”

“I think Professor Dawney accused Jenny of deliberately giving data away to the Professors foreign competitors. Anyway, Jenny went to see Cathy afterwards, to recover from the verbal attack she had suffered at the hands of the Prof, and Cathy asked too many questions. The result was that Jenny had a major flashback and tried to rape Cathy. Cathy told me that she thought Jenny was doing some of the things she must have been forced to do or was expected to do when she was away.”

“So how on earth did matters end?”

“Cathy managed to talk Jenny down. Told her to stop and she stopped. Like an automaton.”

“She has been all right since? She has not behaved like this to anyone else?”

“No. Jenny has not been back at work. She stays at home till I get back. She goes to see Laura Malvern well, I take her.

“The only other thing was when she came to Birmingham with me. I had a meeting at Aston University and Jenny went to the shops. She got lost …”

“Anyone could get lost in Birmingham …”

“I know, but she called her abductors to ask for help, not me. I was so … so … well, I didnt know what to think.”

“Mmm, I heard about that, too. Strange foreign women ringing you up and giving you orders …”

“Yes. Not very nice, really.”

“No. Not nice at all.”

Dr Elba looks carefully at Joe and says:

“Are you afraid of Jenny, now she has attacked her friend?”


“Yes. Afraid she might do the same to you?”

Joe sits back in his chair and takes a deep breath. It had not occurred to him to be afraid of his wife. Should he be? Although she was a woman she was now an Amazon of a woman. He had seen her at the Gym. He had seen her lift weights easily that he struggled to lift at all. When he thought about it, she could most likely overpower him in a fight, or in a rape … “

“Do you know”, says Joe, “I have spent two years longing to be back with Jenny that it never occurred to me that I should be afraid of her. Cathy thats the girl Jenny raped said she did not think I was in any danger but just to get professional help for her, to keep Jenny calm and to keep her away from people she could not handle, like Professor Dawney. What you are asking me to think about is if I have I got back the girl I lost? Thats it, isnt it?”

“Yes it is. Jenny will be deeply marked by her experiences. That will make her a different person. And you are different, too. In due course, you might need counseling as a couple if you find your relationship is becoming difficult.”

“Do you think I should be afraid of Jenny?”

“No, I dont but I just wanted to know if you yourself had concerns and plant the idea that you have both changed, that you will never get back to exactly where you were before and for some couples it proves difficult to the point of impossible to go on in life together. You two might need other help. Do not be afraid to ask for it. Ask me or ask Laura Malvern and we will make the best arrangements we can but both of you would have to want help. You cant have counseling for someone else or on someone elses behalf. If you need relationship counseling, both of you have to want it.”

“Let's change the subject,” Annie Elba continues, “So whats it like at home?”

“Its like being married to one of the Stepford Wives (3.). Jenny is obsessed with cleaning. All the tins and packets in the cupboards are aligned. The house is immaculate. You could eat your dinner off the kitchen floor. All our clothes and the sheets and towels are perfectly organized in the drawers. When Jenny and I go to the supermarket, she has me buy … I suppose you would call it athletes food. Salad. Vegetables. Fish. Lean meat …”

“So, no burgers?”

“Absolutely no burgers. No cake or sweet stuff, either. Porridge for breakfast. Only rye bread. Fruit well, berries, but no sugary fruit like grapes and we mostly drink black tea and water and hardly ever any wine and she always wants us to be in bed for half past nine in the evening.”

“Did she …”

“Buy this sort of stuff before? No. We bought normal things. I mean, I suppose this is very good for me for us but it is very different to what we did before and now she will not vary from it. I just feel someone else has taken over our lives and is dictating how we live. Even down to how we clean our teeth.”

“Clean your teeth?”

“Yes: I was not doing it correctly, apparently. Jenny practically stands over me to check I have done it right.”

“Not literally?”

“Well, no, not quite literally, but it feels like that some times. The thing is, what she wants to do, what she does, what she wants me to do is, on one level, obviously the right thing to do …”


“Yes, technically.”

“Like cleaning your teeth correctly?”

“Yes, that sort of thing. Right food. Right way of living. I dont mind doing it but I want to feel that we are doing it because we want to do if for ourselves. I dont want to always have the feeling that I am following orders given to Jenny by someone else

“So, if you do things which are technically correct, you always feel that you are doing what other people certain other people want? Wow, Joseph! That is some carry on … !”

    1. Joharis Window

“So, how long were you married before Jenny disappeared?”

“Three years.”

“So you were still getting to know each other?”

“Thats right, and the way things were going, I was beginning to think that Jenny was seriously different to the girl I thought she was.”


“She had a much better sexual imagination than I had. Whilst I wanted to care for her and to be the best husband I could be, she wanted me to be some sort of Dom with her as sub.”

“Did you play a lot?”

“No, we did not play domination and submission games at all. I felt it really was not my thing.”


“My Dad was very domineering towards my own mother and I did not want to be like him.”

“Joseph, there is a serious difference between domineering behaviour and being a sexual Dominant. Domineering is destructive. Being a sexual Dominant should be a game. Amateur dramatics. A role you play and put aside. After all, you would not expect Lee Marvin, for example, to behave in life as he does in films?”

“Well, no, I suppose not. Anyway, after Jenny vanished, I went to look for the girl I had married in the things she had done.”


“I went to Inward Bound, went to a local Munch, and then to a fetish party, and I actually did a session with a Dominatrix well, more than one.”

“Wow! You would not be the Dominant there? How did you decide who to go to?”

“It was someone who worked at Inward Bound, so I thought she would be safe or as safe as these people ever are.”

“Sure … so how was it?”

“It was brilliant. Totally brilliant. Well, I suppose I really mean she, the Domme, was brilliant and I really enjoyed myself.”

“So now, you have a wife behaving like a slave or so it sounds and you personally actually enjoy being the submissive?”

“Yes, that is about it.”

“Hmmm …” Dr Elba pauses for several moments, as if she is carefully weighing what Joe has said, and then she says:

“Joseph, I would like to move the discussion on a bit and mention one or two things I think you might need to know.

“On the one hand, people are not like a pat of butter exactly the same all the way through and in any way you slice them.”

“Well, I think I know that.”

“Maybe you think you do, but lots of people are surprised when their spouse turns out to be like a labyrinth of different rooms. When they get to look inside, some you like, some surprise you, and some you find difficult.

“As Jenny recovers, she will have to revisit some of these rooms and try to deal with what is inside. She will be able to invite you into some of the rooms easily. Some she will want you to stand close by when she opens the door. Some she will not want to open in your presence or she will be able to open them to other people but not to you. It does not mean she does not trust you or does not like you, but you do need to be patient and let her work things through at her pace.”

Joe sighs and sits quietly, digesting Dr Elbas geographic view of the world.

She picks up her thread once more:

“In the nineteen fifties, there were a couple of American psychologists who described something they called Joharis Window (4.). The name comes from mashing their first names together. Joseph plus Harry makes Johari. Think of a square and divide it into four. Like the windows little children draw when they draw a house.

“In one square, you have the things you know and the things other people know about you. This is called the Arena. In the second square, you have all the things you know, but other people dont know. This is called the Faηade its not surprising why it is called that! In the third square, you have things you do not know about yourself but everyone else knows and this is called The Blind Spot. Finally, in the fourth window, there are things which you do not know about yourself and nobody else knows either and this is the mysterious Unknown Area.

“I think that the people who had control of Jenny were very aware of what was in her Blind Spot, could see behind her Faηade and worked hard to place ideas into the Unknown Area where they could sit, secretly exerting control.

“A more up to date picture would be a computer virus controlling your computer in the background but otherwise leaving no trace.”

Joe, the engineer always at home with technicalities interrupts. “Computer viruses always leave a trace at least to a trained expert. You need to find a different analogy.”

“I am sure thats right, Joe,” replies Annie patiently, “but I am only giving you an analogy, painting a picture to describe what is happening to Jenny using ideas you might have come across before in more familiar contexts. Analogies are not often completely perfect … Anyway, the point is that the window panes change size. There is a lot Jenny might not want to appear in the Arena and other things which sit behind the Faηade which she does not want to explore with you, because she does not know if you will still love her, or even like her when they come to light …

“My advice is to be patient and then gentle as she increases the size of the Arena and reduces the size of the Faηade.”

    1. Rapture in Blue

At home, in the quiet of the late evening, Joseph and Jennifer are in bed. They have gone to bed early as Jenny now prefers. Jenny usually falls asleep quickly, tired after her housework during the day, but not tonight. Neither of them sleeps.

Joe is worried that, in some way, Jenny knows that he has been speaking to Annie Elba. Has he called out her name as he sleeps? But he has not been asleep and there are dozens of legitimate reasons for him to be late home from work, apart from the real reason: his assignation (for so it feels) with Annie Elba in Coventry Cathedral. Joe realizes that he is being completely irrational but he still feels that, somehow, Jenny just knows.

Vyera is thinking about the man she has been sent to be with tonight. She knows him and yet he is strangely unfamiliar. Tomorrow, she will feel as if she is a different person. The day-time person, Jennifer, is difficult. She has to make decisions, take initiatives, speak to unfamiliar people. As Jennifer becomes tired during the day, it is easier to be Vyera, the person she was trained to be, the person she is now. Vyera is a comforting person to be. She does not have to make decisions, she only has to do what she has been trained to do. Nice things happen to her when she just does.

Without warning, Vyera sweeps the duvet off the bed! She places a hand firmly on the mans chest to pin him down until, a moment later, she has straddled his chest, her head and hands towards his genitals, her feet on each side of his body, pointing to his head. Jennys strong hand grips his testicles, forcing them to the bottom of his sac. She stretches out to lick! Her tongue travels from her hand, up over his taut sack and on up to the tip of his shaft. He has become erect, which is nice. It is a sign she is performing well.

Neena, her supervisor, will be pleased. “Vyera: sluts are made, not born,” Neena says and Vyera wants to be a good slut just as she wants to be a good slave, to please her supervisor and to make her Owners proud of her. Like a good slut, she takes the head of the mans cock into her mouth and begins to rub with her tongue. Around the corona, over the glans, into the urethra and, finally, to pop her tongue stud into and out of his urethra, again and again and again.

Joe is just beginning his journey towards sleep when Vyeras attack comes. The sensation is alarming because it is sudden and it is unexpected but also erotic. From Joes perspective, Jennifer the Predator has pounced upon her prey.

He feels her swallow the head of his cock into her mouth, swirl her tongue across the head, rub her teeth up and down over the sensitive ridge on each side of the frenum attachment, and then the sensation of her tongue tip playing with the lateral edges of his corona.

Joes breathing becomes quicker. He feels a tickling sensation behind his knees. The more Jennifer works on him, the more tender his cock head becomes. All the while, she keeps tight hold of his balls, squeezing them, stretching them. Finally, the cocktail of sensation becomes too much, the squeezing, the rubbing with her teeth, the ticking with her tongue and, in a moment, he has ejaculated, long and hard, right into her mouth.

Vyera can feel the tightening of his testicles as the mans orgasm approaches. She relaxes her grip just enough to let his balls retract, before ejaculation. She maintains the momentum of her assault on his cock and suddenly feels the hot musky salty taste as ribbons of squidgy semen begin to fill her mouth.

Vyera is pleased! She has made him come. Like a good slut, she will swallow every drop and then have some fun of her own! She has noticed that a boy will become very sensitive in the moments immediately after ejaculation. How they squeal and buck when she sucks the last of the cum from their cock, and gives the head a farewell rub with her tongue. Tonights man is no different. How he gasps and squeals! Well, that is just too bad, because a slut knows how to clean up carefully and thoroughly and Vyera wants to be has already become a very good slut.

Jennifer lets him go! She lets his cock loose from her maw. She releases his body and cuddles next to him. She asks, “Was I OK?”

Joe says, “OK? For goodness sake, Jenny! I hope I am as good for you when it is my turn?”

Jenny pats Joe on his shoulder. Well, perhaps you can try tomorrow, I am so sleepy now … By the way, I think you should keep pubic hair off your equipment? Let me shave you, or better still, have yourself waxed. Let me see if I can find somewhere in Coventry or Warwick for you to go. Then you will be smooth, like me, and I could perform even better on you. Will you?”

“Get waxed?”

“Yes, its just a small thing.”

“But, I have never been waxed before. Do men do it?”

“Of course they do, but, even if they dont often do it here, I would like you waxed all the same …”

Joe embraces Jenny and cuddles her close. “Its late,” he says, “lets sleep.”

Jenny smiles and says, “Yes … lets.”

Vyera notices that the man has not said “no” to being waxed. If the man does not say “no” he must mean “yes?” Tomorrow she would see if she is able to make arrangements …

    1. References

(1.) Coventry : On the night of November 14th 1940, the Luftwaffe attacked Coventry. The bombing of Coventry was seen as the biggest test of British resolve up to that stage of the Blitz. Over 400 bombers attacked Coventry that night destroying the medievakl cathedral and much of the city centre.

(2.) Sir Basil Spence and Coventry Cathedral : Sir Basil Spence is most famously associated with his modern design for the rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral following its destruction by bombing during the Second World War. Building commenced for his competition-winning programme in 1955, and by the time the new cathedral was consecrated in 1962 it had become an international symbol of regeneration and reconciliation.

(3.) The Stepford Wives: Ira Lewin's book Is a satirical comedy thriller novel in which a young mother comes to live in the idyllic Connecticut town of Stepford where all the homes of those they meet are immaculate and the wives docile and submissive, but are the women really robots?. Filmed in 1975 by Brian Forbes and again in 2004 by Frank Oz. Bryan Forbes 1975 movie is great but stay away from the 2004 film!

(4.) Joharis Window: a tool for visualising character in four possible areas. The name comes from a contraction of the forenames of the tool's creators (Joseph Luft & Harrington Ingham)


    1. Radio Astronomy

Eva Smith is a Case Officer working for MI6, now officially referred to as The Secret Intelligence Service, the part of the British government security apparatus which collects secret information from abroad to further the welfare and safety of the United Kingdom and its citizens. (1)

Eva works under the supervision of the Director of Operations and her present task is to provide further information to assist enquiries begun by the Metropolitan Police and her colleagues at MI5, officially The Security Service and that part of the security apparatus concerned with internal security. It is also the part which works most closely on a day to day basis with the police. She is to verify the information found first by the police concerning Anna Semyonovna Tereshkova and then to look into the academic career of a Vyera Anatolyevna Kuznetsova, both targets in Moscow.

According to the Police, Anna Tereshkova is a young woman who came to the UK in 2009 for a weekend with friends and left aboard a private aircraft belonging to Anatoly Kustensky after she had suffered a riding accident, except the Police are not entirely happy with the events surrounding her departure and they wish to have more information about her, to see if what she says about herself is really true.

Vyera Kuznetsova is an academic and junior author of a research article in a Russian academic psychology journal, but is there anything more to be found out about her? Her home address, her friends and family? Other articles she has written? Her personal history?

Eva has access to the relevant SIS archives to give her any available background information on her targets and she can access records of any signals intelligence, the mobile phone and email traffic from her targets if any has been intercepted by GCHQ, (2) the third arm of the British Security Services which works on signals intelligence. The organisation evolved from The Government Code and Cipher School which during the Second World War, undertook an ambitious radio eves-dropping operation to monitor German military signals traffic. In due course, the Organisation built and operated the worlds first electronic computer to routinely break the German Enigma codes and read the enemy signals traffic.

There was a time quite recently when much of this had to be gathered by MI6 agents working abroad, in the field, often at considerable personal risk. Nowadays, since the birth and spread of the Internet, Eva never fails to be impressed by how much foreign intelligence can be had from a few hours spent carefully, in the safety of an office, in London.

The job is rather like radio astronomy: searching for meaning in a stream of data transmitted by distant galaxies in the sky and the task in front of her at the moment is a classic example.

Eva Smith is particularly well placed to conduct this investigation because she has an intimacy and familiarity with Russia and Ukraine, from childhood. Evas father, Maksym came to the United Kingdom after the World War as a Ukrainian Refugee: a refugee from war and a refugee from the Stalin Terror. He sought safety, security and as far as possible, prosperity. His efforts met with success and now his youngest daughter works to defend the country he made his own. She is in fact Evgenia Maksymovna Babayeva, as he likes to remind her but now she shelters behind her married name: Eva Smith

Eva Smith starts with Anna. Anna has an active Facebook page which links to friends, stories of her adventures, lists of her likes and dislikes, tastes in music and hobbies. There are photographs which clearly show who she is and, along with the rest of the pages, suggest a very personable, attractive, self-confident and lively young woman. The Page talks about her hobbies, where in Moscow she goes horse riding and about the gymnasium she visits.

There is mention of the Hospital Institution where she works Eva finds the hospital website easily on Google and verifies a picture of Anna apparently going to work at the institution, after saying farewell to friends, corresponds to a picture of the institution posted on Google Street View.

There are stories about her adventures on holiday. One of these is of great interest to Eva and her colleagues at the Metropolitan Police: the account of an ill-fated long weekend in London when Anna suffered an accident and had to be flown home.

As she explores the Facebook page, Eva is struck by how easy it is to learn about Anna, how the pages are clearly laid out and written in easy Russian for any casual visitor to see. It is surprising just how much people are prepared to reveal about themselves nowadays on social media but there is another possibility. The page clearly verifies Anna as a real person and establishes particular facts in her recent history. Is this innocent, or perhaps created by very careful and artful design?

Eva now turns to Vyera Anatolyevna Kuznetsova and begins with her academic career. She decides to probe more carefully, anxious not to draw attention to her investigation. She finds a more local site, looks for the most appropriate telephone number and dials …

“Royal Society of Medicine?” says a voice. (3)

“Library, please.”

“RSM Library ... , ” says another voice.

“I would like to undertake a literature search on publications by a Russian author called Vyera Anatolyevna Kuznetsova. The only reference I have for her is in a Russian psychological publication called Psychological Letters earlier this year. The authors were II Mendeleyev, JV Romanova and VA Kuznetsova. The authors work at Moscow State University, according to the article. Would you be able to help?”

“I can certainly give it a try. Are you a member, may I ask?”

“Yes, of course ... ”

Eva supplies the details of a colleague who is an MI6 officer and a doctor and a member of the Society. She gives the librarian an “innocent” email address for the reply.

“Is there anything else?”

“Well yes, actually. VA Kuznetsova has a PhD according to the article I mentioned and I just wondered if there is further information about the degree anywhere?”

“If the academic work done for the degree has been published, the result will come up in the Publications in Medicine database or in a thing called Medline, which is the National Library of Medicine database. This is the American National Library of Medicine we are talking about, but they try to list every single medical publication in the world which comes to their attention. Beyond that, you could always try looking up the Faculty of Psychology, Moscow State University on Google or see if you can reach the catalogue of the university library on line. I guess you might need a native Russian speaker to help you there and unfortunately we do not have a member of staff who speaks Russian at least, not at the moment.”

Russian interpretation is not a difficult hurdle for Eva Smith, who of course grew up as Evgenia Maksymovna Babayeva but she keeps carefully in-role as an interested doctor and merely says, "Well, thank you so much for what you have been able to do already oh, but actually there is one other idea. If I can find a Russian-speaking colleague, I suppose I could read VA Kuznetsova's actual thesis. Can you get a thesis from a foreign university on an inter-library loan?”

“Well ... er ... theoretically yes, but in practice it is not exactly straight-forward. The library copy may be the only copy an institution has for general perusal, so they are usually reluctant to lend to other institutions. The fear is that they might not get it back. However, nowadays a thesis is written as an electronic document. It is difficult to imagine why anyone would want to write in hard copy. So the author of the thesis may have a copy they could send by email or you could always ask permission to read it in the library in Moscow and visit in person, I suppose?"

“Ah ... Moscow is not terribly convenient if you live in London. I see that the article gives an address for correspondence so perhaps I can email the senior author and ask if they could forward my email to Dr Kuznetsova? Anyway, thank you once again for all your advice. This has been really useful.”

“Please, do not mention it. It is our job. I should be back to you soon with the results of the Medline and PubMed searches. Let me just confirm your email address ... ”

Eva pauses for thought. A direct approach to the senior author would show that someone was interested in the work published. To II Mendeleyev, the senior author, an unexpected interest in the third author on the paper would be odd and provide a warning, which the Archivist is very keen to avoid.

She finds the main site for Moscow State University and begins to explore. (4) The “virtual tour” is outstanding, showing flamboyant if rather over-powering “Stalin-esque” wedding-cake buildings in lots of panoramic shots all taken on sunny days to show the University at its most attractive.

The site map directs her to the Faculty of Psychology page and this is rather sober compared to the glories of the Virtual Tour. Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive list of staff, although the Dean is mentioned in person and his email address is quoted.

She clicks the link to the University Library. This page has to be read in Russian, and although she is a Russian speaker, she calls another colleague, to have a second pair of eyes on the problem. The two of them carefully search the library pages, but fail to locate a list of theses. They also fail to find VA Kuznetsova in the librarys catalogue index, searched in case Kuznetsova's thesis had been catalogued in its own right.

Was this surprising? If VA Kuznetsova is a recent graduate and the academic paper she had helped to write was taken from the data collected as part of her PhD research (the title of the article in question referred to “A Strategy For Investigation,” after all) the Library might merely be in the process of entering the details in their catalogue but it was disappointing to find no reference to her at all.

When the return email from the Librarian at the Royal Society of Medicine arrives, there is only one result: the article Eva already has in her hands. This adds to her impression that VA Kuznetsova is a young researcher (already implied because she is the third and most junior author). Perhaps this article represents her first serious academic publication?

What about the telephone book and Facebook? Has Vyera Kuznetsova the same energetic social life as Anna Tereshkova? It might be expected in one who is researching BDSM Play Behaviour? Eva smiles at what some of the research might have entailed. Entertaining, even if merely making observations?

She begins by entering “Moscow telephone directory online” into Google and finds a site called She puts Kuznetsova V A and Moscow into the search bar. There are 225 residential numbers listed. The link to, the popular Russian search engine, offers 670 references to people called VA Kuznetsova in the first 67 pages of results with every sign of many more pages still available.

Young people enjoy Facebook. Does she have a Facebook page?

She launches Facebook under an alias and enters VA Kuznetsova. None of the entries has any information which would correspond to a young research psychologist at Moscow State University. Researching Adult Play Behaviour and BDSM Games had to be one of the more racy topics for investigation. Was it the sort of topic that a shrinking violet whose social horizon did not even extend to a Facebook page would be able to handle? It seemed unlikely.

Despite her very best efforts, Eva cannot find any further trace of the enigmatic Vyera Anatolyevna Kuznetsova .....

    1. Some Local Field Work

Stuart Rawlins opens a secure email from MI6 in London and scans the contents. He is one of the MI6 officers attached to the British Embassy in Moscow. He is asked to verify that Anna Semyonovna Tereshkova lives at the address associated with her on her Facebook page, to verify that she goes to work at a private hospital in the city, and to verify that she pursues her equestrian interests at the Izmaylovo Club, near the Izmaylovsky Park (5)

Everything so far is easy and can be accomplished with some careful long-range photography, but the final paragraph of instructions is much more challenging to his ingenuity. Could Anna be engaged in conversation and some discreet questions asked about a short weekend she had enjoyed in London in 2009?

“Ah ...”

Stuart checks the accompanying information about Anna once again.

The information to be had from her Facebook page is innocuous to say the least but not completely. Take the hospital where the girl works. This is not just any private clinic. This is the clinic which looks after the rich and powerful, so Anna is almost definitely a somebody in her chosen profession and perhaps in other places, too. If the benign contents of her Facebook page are a clever cover for some underhand work Anna is involved in, it is likely certain that she would be more than capable of telling the same story if asked some casual questions, questions which would alert her to the idea that she had come under scrutiny in Britain. He reads through the background briefing once again.

“Enquiries at the request of the Met” ... well, that explains some of the naοvetι of the request to question Ms Tereshkova. Some over-anxious London police officer wanting to tie up loose ends, no doubt. Stuart sighs once more. What should he do? The surveillance tasks could be accomplished discreetly and effectively. The interrogation was another matter entirely. He could flatly refuse this part of the request. Yet, was there a way? Someone would need to happen across Anna in casual non-threatening circumstances when her guard is down if ever it is. Who might be suitable?

He goes through the list of his colleagues. The issue he faces day-to-day is always how to keep them away from the attention of the FSB. But, what if he sent someone who would be returning to the UK soon, in any case? What about ... what about Martha?

    1. Moscow Joggers

Anna Tereshkova is a creature of habit. It is amongst the information about Anna that Stuart Rawlinss colleagues have discreetly and successfully collected and now the MI6 surveillance is in its final phase. It is 19:30 on Friday evening and if Anna keeps to her routine she will go jogging, snaking through the streets near her flat in Lyalin Pereulok towards the Bulvar, the circular road which carries traffic around central Moscow and provides, between the clockwise and counter-clockwise carriageways, gardens for Muscovites to explore and enjoy in the summer and autumn evenings.

Beginning at the southern end, Anna will follow the gardens northwards before turning east and reaching her flat from the opposite end of the street except today things will be different, because today she will have unexpected company.

Martha Holmes emerges from Kity Gorad Metro at the entrance on Varvarskiye Vorota Square and treads a course southeast, along Ulitsa Solyanka, Podkolokolni'yy Pereulok to meet Anna head-on as Anna emerges from Ulitsa Vorontsovo Polye before the two of them turn northwards along Pokrovsky Bulvar. By the time Martha draws alongside Anna, Martha calculates she will be warmed up and actually look like a runner. In this way, she hopes to disarm Anna and make it easier to initiate conversation.

Anna is running to time quite literally. As she rounds the corner and runs past the Higher School of Economics Building, Martha can cross the main road at the pedestrian crossing, taking care as she crosses the tram line and turns sharp left, to discreetly fall in behind Anna.

Martha has seen photographs of Anna but this is the first time she has seen her in the flesh, so to speak. She is about 5 foot 10 inches, slim but quite muscular. Her skin has a healthy tan and she sports a short spiky crop of hair which is the white blond colour Russian women seem particularly fond of. She wears white asics running shoes, white ankle socks, blue lycra shorts and a red T bar running vest which shows off her shoulders. She reminds Martha of an upside-down version of the Russian flag with her head as a white topped flagstaff. Anna has also found her pace which is graceful, flowing and just a shade faster than Martha would like.

Just beyond Dura'sovski'y, a street joining from the right, there is an entrance into the gardens and both runners turn left using the pedestrian crossing and turn sharp right to continue their run in the relative quiet of the gardens as the traffic rumbles on either side of them beyond the trees. By now Martha has edged alongside. She makes a conscious effort to steady her breathing …

“Hi, …”


“I'm Martha. You?”

“Me? Anna. Good to meet you.”


“You live near here?”

“Yes. You?”

“No. I live elsewhere. Exploring. The Bulvar is lovely.”

“Yes, very lovely. In winter, often icy.”

“In winter? In winter, I run at the gym.”

“Me too, but sometimes if weather dry …”

“Aha. Sokolniki Park is a very good place to run.”

“Yes, I like Sokolniki. You, you are not Russian?”

“No, I am British. Big accent, huh?”

“Ha! No, you speak very well. How many years in Moscow?”

“Five, but I go home soon.”

“Oh. Sad. I always live in Moscow. Turn right now.”

“What? Oh … Moscow: many changes?”

“Yes, many.”

“I am an administrator. You?”

“I am a nurse. I work at Polyklinik.”


By now, Anna has had the opportunity to look at Martha. She sees a very personable Afro-Caribbean girl with a pale brown skin and hair neatly tied back. Martha has a tiny gold stud in the side of her nose and cheeky sparkling eyes. Anna likes what she sees very much …

“You live in London?”

“Yes, but family live in Barnstaple.”

“Bar-n-stap-yel? That is a funny word! Where is Bar-n-sta-pel?”

“South ... West ... England.”

“Oh ...”

“You ever visit UK? London?”

Gradually Anna has increased the pace and Martha is forced to work much more than she is comfortable with just to stay alongside Anna. As their rate of physical work increases, the flow of the conversation begins to suffer.

“London? Yes, two-oh-oh-nine. Autumn. Visit friends. Near Windsor. Windsor castle. Queen and Royal Wedding! William and Kate! Kate very beautiful. And dresses beautiful also. Alexander McQueen dress? Hmmm tasty! Sister of Kate … Philippa? was Rear of the Year, yes? I turn right here …”

“What? Oh … er … yes, I think so.”

“Careful: traffic on the road …”

“Yes, Queen sometimes lives Windsor Castle. You visit castle?”

“No … well, was plan … but I ride horse. I fall. Injure back. Go hospital in London then plane home. Friends have business friend. He has plane. Private jet. Very nice!”

“Ah … oh … sorry to hear that … you OK now?”

“Now? Yes, I am OK. I can ride horse again. We turn here … You?”


“Yes. Me, too. And here is my flat ...”

Both runners come to a halt and stand for several moments breathing off the effects of the last two kilometres. For several moments, breathing takes precedence over conversation. Judiciously, Anna picks up the initiative before Martha has fully recovered.

"Would you like some water? Coffee? Orange juice?”

“Er … oh … er …”

“You are tired. Thirsty. Me, too. Come on …”

“Ah … er … OK. Thank you!”

“Youre welcome.

Martha and Anna climb the stair to Annas flat. The entrance hall is disappointing. The carefully crafted detail of the graceful wrought-iron bannister has been submerged under layers of pale blue institutional paint but, once inside Annas flat, the building is a revelation. The rooms are tall, large and airy. The ceilings join the walls with a flamboyant plaster cornice. Anna has a Scandinavian minimalist taste in interior decoration and has used a clever palette of colours to create a refreshing yet warm interior. (6)

Anna pauses inside the door and bends to take off her shoes and socks. Taking shoes off is normal polite behavior when you go to a Russian home and Martha is aware of what is expected. She follows suit. Anna leads Martha into the kitchen and pours cold orange juice for both of them.

“Let's get washed first”, says Anna. “You are sweaty and so am I.”

“But I have not got a change of clothes,” replies Martha, her anxiety at being inside her targets lair steadily increasing and I should go home now.”

Anna merely shrugs and points to the washing machine. “You are wearing lycra. It will dry very quickly and I have a dressing gown if you are modest. Come on, clothes off. The sooner they are in the wash, the sooner they are ready.”

To encourage Martha, Anna begins to peel her own kit off and in seconds she is standing naked in her kitchen. Without looking she holds out her hand to accept Marthas damp sweaty kit. When Martha does not immediately follow through, Anna glances up and repeats:

“Come on!”

Martha deploys her rear-guard of reserved, considerate, polite British behaviour. “Thank you for the orange juice. You have been really kind but I dont want to put you to any trouble.”

“It is no trouble! You cant go back across Moscow in cold wet clothes, even if you run. Now give them to me. All of them.”

Now Martha is in a dilemma. There might be more to learn from her target, so there is merit in prolonging their meeting but she had not expected to spend her opportunity naked, yet Anna is determined to be hospitable. She raises her eyebrows and spreads her hands as if to say “Well, come on, then. I have not got all day.” So, finally, Martha allows her reservations to crumble and strips. Running vest. Sports bra. Shorts. As she does so, she is aware of Annas eyes on her.

As she peels off her shorts, Anna giggles and says, “Aha. I thought so. I saw no panty line. You went commando. Me, too. I am pleased. That is very good!”

With that, Anna takes Marthas hand and leads her into the bathroom. The age of the flat had prepared Martha for ancient plumbing but the bathroom is very modern. The showerhead, for example, discharges straight onto the floor, composed of sparkly white tiles which have a gentle fall to a drain. Still holding her hand, Anna leads Martha into the deluge of warm water and, soaping her hands from a convenient dispenser, starts to wash Martha.

“They say English girls are very shy,” she says, “but I am an old-fashioned communist and this is a collectivist bathroom so we will wash each other!”

Its a joke and, in the circumstances, a very funny joke which succeeds perfectly in further breaking down Marthas reserve. She laughs and returns the compliment and is immediately aware of Annas hand heading south across her tummy and down to her mons and, before she can react, Anna has arrived. Soaping. Caressing. Cleaning. It does feel so nice and nice things deserve the compliment of a return.

Over the next few minutes there is nowhere on Annas body which is not visited by Martha and nowhere on Marthas body that is unexplored by Anna. Toes. Arm pits. Breasts. Nipples. Scalp. Neck. Mons. Vagina. Anus.

“California!” says Anna. “What do they say in California? Save water. Shower with friend!”

Presently the shower is over. Anna says, “Coffee?” casting a glance over her shoulder.

“Yes, please,” replies the ever-polite Martha.

Anna snuggles into her bathrobe whilst Martha dries herself and, when she has finished, Martha realises that Anna has not given her anything to wear. The promised bathrobe is nowhere to be seen and the towel is too wet and too small to serve as any reasonable type of garment.

“Er, Anna?”

“Yes?” calls Anna from the kitchen. “Come on through.”

“But I have no, I mean there is no …”

“Come in to the kitchen! This is how you pay for your coffee. You are on display, for me to admire!”

It occurs to Martha that there is a serious risk she will not emerge from Annas flat with her virtue entirely intact. How does she feel about that? Is the information she was supposed to collect worth this? Should she just retrieve her wet running kit from Annas washing machine and walk straight out of the flat? Stuart is supposed to be shadowing her. He should be down in the street somewhere. She could just go but then, could she just go? She is trying to make some casual enquiries, so Anna does not form the idea that she, Anna, is being interrogated for some very specific information. In the context of her mission, Martha would have to stay and play her part?

“Marta! Come, now!”

The words of one of her Instructors now take the opportunity to emerge from memory, to come into conscious light and bring themselves to Marthas immediate attention: An Intelligence Officer will do whatever is required to complete a mission successfully Martha recalls that the Instructor placed emphasis on the word whatever. The things people have to do, thinks Martha, the things people have to do for Britain! (7)

“Sorry, coming.”

“Cumming?” exclaims Anna, raising a quizzical eyebrow and keeping Martha from assuming some modest pose by pressing a cup of coffee into one hand and a shot glass of ice cold vodka into the other. “Not yet but definitely later. Now, drink. This is Russia. Vodka first!”

“Today is Friday. I am back at work on Monday. You?”

Martha is on her back on Annas bed. “Yes, me, too.”

Anna is sitting on her tummy, pinning her down with her weight and by locking her feet beneath Marthas bum. “Monday?”

Anna herself is naked now. “Yes, Monday.”

Martha has no dry clothes so she has no other choice than to be naked. “Ah, so I can keep you as my naked prisoner till Monday. That is nice

Anna leans forward and takes one of Marthas nipples in her mouth and sucks, gently pulling the nipple deeper into her mouth. “But I cant go to the office in my running kit!” gasps Martha.

“Why not? You are beautiful.”

Anna nuzzles Marthas other breast. “But its not what we do.”

Annas tongue begins to work its magic on the second nipple. “Oh. I work at Polyklinik. You?”

“Er … ah … ahahah … ah … I work to promote British trade.”

“British Trade?” replies Anna, sucking on the nipple of the moment, pulling, stretching, swirling her tongue around it.

“Yes, trade promotion,” says Martha to say more but to supply no more details.

"Hmmm," says Anna, "that sounds like Embassy work. Embassies are full of spies. I think you might be a British spy. I must make you confess by torture! Slow sexual torture!”

In a flash, Anna has released Marthas bum and spun round so she is now astride her tummy but this time presenting Martha with a view of her buttocks. Anna bends forwards and begins to assault Marthas labia with her tongue. Just go carefully, she thinks. This girl is probably a bisexual virgin. Lets show her how nice another girl can be!

Martha continues to gasp with unexpected pleasure as her gentle rape continues. Anna makes steady progress at introducing Martha to the pleasures of a lesbian experience by beginning the insinuation of her tongue between Marthas labia and down towards her clit.

“You are hairy!”


“Hairy. Before you go, I must shave you smooth. You must continue after, every day, or you will itch. The itch it will drive you crazy, so you must always shave from now or wax. Understand?”

“Oh! Oh! Yes, of course. Im sorry. I will shave from now on. I promise!”

“What else shall I shave?”

“What else?”


“There is nothing else. I shave my arm pits already.”

“Yes, I see but there is something else.”


“I ought to shave your head! All smooth! It feels very nice. Very erotic!”

“Oh No! Definitely no, please!”

“Why not? I shave my head sometimes. I had a shaved head in Windsor in two-oh-oh-nine. Feel very nice. You will feel very nice too. Promise. Also, you have beautiful eyebrows and beautiful eyes. Eyebrows are important if you shave your head.”

“Is there something else we can do?”

“Of course, but maybe not as nice?”


“Well, perhaps I should spank you with riding crop, like I beat my horse if he naughty. You are a naughty spy so you deserve to feel the crop. On your bum. You choose. Have me shave your head or spank your bum? I want you to go back to your flat with a souvenir or our time together. So you will not forget me!"

“Spank my bum, please, Anna, just leave my head alone!”

Well, thinks Martha, desperately trying to justify the days ongoings, at least I have found out about what this girl looked like in two-oh-oh-nine. Lets just hope this is all going to be worth it!

“Spanking is an art! Takes practice. With boys, you must be firm. With girls, I am gentle at first, then it is important to make it sting! Now, your mistress orders you. Breathe out. Out, slow …”

As Martha follows instructions, Annas riding crop connects with her bum and leaves an itchy tickly kiss. Martha is pleasantly surprised. It really does feel not too bad.

Martha is on her knees. Her bum is in the air.

“Breathe out slow.” … snick!

“Ha!” … Slightly harder but still nice.

“Breathe out.” … snick!

Were these strokes getting harder? They still felt nice ...

“Breathe out.” … snick!

But definitely harder work. Martha has to breathe through the sensation. Itch is giving way to sting.

“You sure you want to keep your hair?”

“Yes, please!”

“Breathe out.” … snick!

“Ha! Aaaah!”

“Sure? You would be very beautiful with bare head. Very exotic!”

“Maybe when I go on holiday …”

“OK. I will remember that. Breathe out.” … snick!

“Ah! Ah! Ah! Ahhhh.”

“Just tell me if the crop is hurting too much and I finish spanking and I get my razor. First, I use hair clippers to get down to my scalp, then wet my head with warm water, then smooth on some shaving cream, then finish off with a razor. It feels completely wonderful, especially the first time and the first time is never the last time!”

“No, please carry on spanking!”

“Sure? OK. Breathe.” … snick!

The stripes are definitely harder now and Martha is having to work much harder to stay comfortable.

“Still sure? Hmmm?”

“Y .. yes, ..please.”

“Of course. Breathe.” … SNICK!

“Ah ha! Ah ha!”

“Oh dear! This beautiful British spy now has a very sore bottom. Looks very beautiful. OK, five more, hard. Marta? Think three, then one, then last. Now you must suffer for being spy and for not letting Anna shave your head. Remember, breathe out slowly …”

Martha is conscious that Anna is altering her stance. These are going to hurt, and yet she kneels and waits.

“Oh, Marta. Five? No, that is not good enough! Five is three from left and two from right. That is asymmetric. Asymmetry is not good. You will get six. Left three. Right three. Or maybe left six and right six? But definitely symmetric. Much better. Ready?”

“Yes …”



“Good ”

SNICK. “Ha … adeen.”

SNICK. “AH AH AH … dva.”

“Last from left … breathe.” … SNICK.

“AH … Tr … tre …eh …eh.”

“Good girl. Last three, now from right.”

Martha, even though her eyes are tight shut, can feel a slight movement in the air of the room as Anna changes her position.

“Now, tre.”


“NO? Why?”

“The last stroke was tre. This time it is chetyri.”

Anna chuckles. “OK, chetyri. From the right …”

SNICK! “Ah Ah Ah! Chyet ..chyet .. chetyri.”

“There is still time to ask for head shave …”

“No, please …”

“Please? You mean you want head shave after all?”

“No, please no shave.”


“Ah Ah Ah Ah! Pyaaaat.”

“OK, beautiful spy. This is the last kiss from the crop but not last kiss from you. This will hurt. Next time, you will go home with beautiful smooth head, but for now …”

Martha becomes aware that Anna has drawn her arm much farther back to deliver a very hard stroke. She can hear the crop as it makes a hissing sound as Anna accelerates it towards her …



“Shest, Anna, SHHHyeeest.”

“Oh look! Such attractive marks. You will think about me each time you sit down next week. Mmmmm. That is so very tasty!”

… and, reflects Anna, a pleasure delayed is often a pleasure enhanced. She is hoping Martha might be back for more and next time she will know exactly what she is in for. Meanwhile …

Anna lays down her crop and turns to the squirming, sweating girl. “On your back!”

Martha obeys. Annas anal bud is gently tingling from the effects of the peppermint gel she has applied to it. Anna straddles Marthas tummy again. Now, to round off the evening with something else which will be new for this demure English girl! Anna shuffles further and further back toward Marthas face. “Now! We should both be clean if you washed me properly. Now, lick

“But I cant lick your bum!”

“Why not? You wash carefully?”

“Yes, but …”

“But what?”

“Please, Anna …”

Anna answers by shuffling yet closer to Martha. Her crop is still in reach. As Martha grapples with what she should say to avoid having to perform anilingus on Anna, Anna brings the crop down sharply on Marthas thigh.

The pain is sudden. Unexpected. White hot. Burning. Before Martha can recover, Anna smacks the crop down again and then again. She turns to look at Martha. “Well? Lick, or I will start again …”

Tentatively, Martha extends her tongue. She connects with the skin above Annas anus. She is aware that Anna is pulling her buttocks apart, to provide better access unfortunately. Martha is immediately aware of the cool taste of peppermint on her tongue. It encourages her on, just as Anna guessed that it might.

From Marthas viewpoint, her journey is much less unpleasant than she feared it might be. She becomes bolder just as Anna pushes firmly back onto her face. Martha finishes with her tongue flat across Annas anus, just as Anna starts to rub herself forwards and back and whether she wished it or not, Martha gets the full anilingus experience as Anna rounds off her evening perfectly!

Meanwhile, Martha reflects once again on her training: An Intelligence Officer will do whatever is needed to complete a mission successfully.

Turning up at the office with a shaven head would certainly show her colleagues that she took her work seriously … and who knows what might happen before Monday …

    1. References.

1. MI6 also know officially as the Secret Intelligence Service

2. GCHQ (Government Communications Head Quarters) is the Signals Intelligence branch of the British Security Services.

3. The Royal Society of Medicine : is one of the country's major providers of postgraduate medical education

4. Lomonosov Moscow State University : scene of earlier events in this story

5. Annas Equestrian Club can be found on-line. Launch the video to look round.

6. Anna's Apartment. The location for Annas apartment was inspired by a report on the BBC Radio 4 programme From Our Own Correspondent. The essay, by the former BBC Moscow Correspondent Daniel Sandford was called In Moscow, History is Everywhere.

The Google Street View Car has been to Moscow and you can follow Martha and Annas run if you put the street names into Google Maps.

7. Tradecraft: Some insights into the Tradecraft of Intelligence Officers can be found in: The Spycraft Manual. The Insiders Guide to Espionage Techniques, Barry Davis, (Carlton Books, London 2005, ISBN 1 84442 577 0) and in Spy. A Handbook, Harry Ferguson, (Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 2004 ISBN 0 7475 7532 1)

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