Taken In

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Cover image: pixabay.com

Submitted: April 27, 2019

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Submitted: April 27, 2019

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Taken In

Eduardo still could not quite believe it. That he could have been so taken in, so swept away by emotion; it was beyond his comprehension. Calm in a crisis, trusted, relied upon for both his ability to be discreet and to take any necessary action, he had made such a mess of things. And now there was no one else that could put things right.

Althea; he had met her by chance at an exhibition of photography, one that he had been required to attend. That is what he had thought at the time, how fluky that they had both been present, that they had ever met at all. But now he knew differently. It had all been a set-up and he had been the target.

She knew her stuff, Althea, for she had played it so cool at first. Just showing a hint of interest, that over time and over dinners grew more and more. She had played him like a pro, and he had not suspected a thing. He was supposed to know what he was doing, he was supposed to be wary of everyone, and yet he had had no reservations with trusting her.

Of course he had not blurted out any secrets immediately. He was way too professional for that. Yet as the relationship between himself and Althea, had developed in to something very close and intimate, he would have to admit that he had let down his guard. He had spoken of things that he knew very well should not be spoken of outside of his immediate ‘work colleagues’.

Even when secrets seemed to be spread, that there appeared to be some kind of leak of information, Eduardo had not for one second suspected Althea. She loved him, he loved her. There was nothing more or less to their relationship than that.

No, it had to be one of the others; most likely Paul who was known to like the liquor that bit more than was good for someone in his line of work. Or it could have been a bug, planted on any one of them. Not Althea, never Althea, and yet he could hear her inside the next room, behind the closed door.

What language was it that she was speaking in? Not one that he immediately recognized, but he could pick out enough words to know that she was the leak. Althea was the one that was betraying him, them, the country. And he had been the one that had allowed her to do it.

The worst thing was that he had really loved her, had really trusted her. He still loved her but it was his mess and he was going to have to deal with it, no matter how hard it proved to be. Zero-tolerance for traitors; that was the policy. He would shoot carefully, ensuring that her punishment would be permanent but painless.

Her phone, her computer, he would whisk them both away. The experts would go through every scrap of data so thoroughly that her contact would have no way of evading detection.

It was quiet within the room now. Althea had finished verbally stabbing him in the heart, had finished giving away state secrets. He lifted the gun up in front of his face and stood in silence, waiting for the door to open.

He had failed in trust, had failed in love; there was no way that he would fail in the execution.


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