Marie sat at her vanity, gazing at her reflection as she brushed out her dark curls. Less than a month ago she and Ian had attended a reception at the Spanish embassy. With a well-timed smile and a lingering glance, Marie’s conquest was a success. For most of the evening, she danced in de la Rivera’s arms while Ian pretended to drown his woes at the bar.
Now she juggled her time between the two men, an arrangement favored by Hector when he learned of Ian’s access to Eisenhower.
She added a touch of hairspray to an unruly curl then picked up the lustrous strand of pearls nestled on midnight blue satin. The present had arrived earlier in the day along with a bouquet of white rosebuds. An extravagant gift from her Spanish admirer.
Running the strand through her fingers, she reflected on how the pearls symbolized her assignment.
The mysterious men of the Twenty Committee, the gifted puppeteers working behind the scenes, were the string that held everything else together.
She touched the pearl nearest the clasp. Ian. As part of their charade, he was desperate enough to recapture Marie’s wandering attention to impress her with classified details of Allied military strategy, especially the planned invasion. Though he knew of her dalliance with de la Rivera, he couldn’t bring himself to give her up.
The second pearl. Me. She whispered Ian’s secrets to Hector, and together they laughed at the lovesick British captain. Sometimes Hector asked her to find out specific details about strategic plans, and she seldom disappointed him. Through Ian, the Twenty provided her with the information she needed to establish her credibility. Some of it was even true.
The third pearl. Hector. Though he didn’t know it, he, too, played the part the Twenty Committee had assigned him. Through their double agents and Ultra decrypts, the Twenty had confirmed that Hector had sent their chosen information to the Germans.
Marie placed the pearls back in the case and snapped it shut. Playing Titania, the Fairy Queen, was a skip in the woods compared to the role she played to her Spanish audience. At least she had a respite from him for a few days. He’d left the city for a long weekend at the country estate of a Member of Parliament. But while he was away, he expected Marie to spend the weekend with Ian and take photographs of the contents of his briefcase.
Only she, Ian, and a few select others knew that the documents were phony, created specifically to mislead the Spanish embassy officials, and hence the German High Command.
The wall clock chimed the quarter hour. Marie picked up her overnight bag and a light sweater, then headed downstairs to wait for Ian on the iron bench in the front garden. She supposed the other boarders would look down their noses at such unladylike conduct, but she didn’t care. She couldn’t wait to be alone with Ian. These days it seemed the only time she could be herself was when she was with him. Not an actress playing a role in a Shakespearean play or the troublesome girlfriend of a British officer or the temptress to a Spanish embassy official.
Just simply Marie.
Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current works in progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman. Click here for a full list of rules and suggestions.