Absolution chapter 6

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Thanks to my beta belles comments welcome

Chapter Six. 

John realised he was being unreasonable, but it didn't make a damned bit of difference; he still snarled like a caged tiger at everybody who came within 50 yards of him. Following a couple of heated exchanges, people kept their distance. His frustration at the delay in getting the video link set up was threatening to erupt in an explosion of anger the likes of which Section Twenty had neither seen nor heard.  

The last time he had experienced anger like this had been years ago in Kenneth Bratton's company headquarters. After he had been discharged from the Army on medical grounds, he had gone and begged for a job, naïvely believing that because he had saved the man's life he would be given a decent job. What a fool he'd been! The humiliation he'd felt when Bratton had said his employees were qualified was what had fuelled his anger. In the reception area he had picked up a modern sculpture and hurled it through a window. He still recalled the satisfaction he had felt at the sound of the glass shattering. Security had come running, but whether it was his threatening to take them down or Bratton's shake of the head, they had backed off quickly. He'd shocked himself with his outburst as he didn't lose his temper often; a soldier who couldn't control his anger was of no use to the Army. 

He glanced at his watch again. What was taking so long? His fingers curled into a fist and he paced up down, desperately trying to control the urge to plant his newly formed fist into a wall or somebody's face. At the pressure of a hand on his arm, he whirled around, ready to lash out at whoever had touched him.  

It was Layla. He took a calming breath. God, if he'd hit her he could really have hurt her. He took another deep breath and shook his head as if to clear it. 

"John, here. Take this," Layla said, handing him a mug of strong black coffee. "If nothing else, it will give you something to do with your hands other than hit some poor sod who gets too close." 

"Thanks, Layla. How much longer will the techno geeks be?" 

"It won't be much longer, I promise. You should be able to talk to her in about fifteen minutes or so." 

"We need to get her out of there, Layla. If they realise there was an eye witness...." He broke off, unable to continue. 

"I know that, John. We are arranging to bring her home. She is in protective custody in Bogota. We will get her home." Layla touched his arm briefly. "In the meantime, I thought you would like to know that Katie Dartmouth is on her way in." 

"Katie's on her way here? Why?" 

"It turns out that she was the journalist who broke the news about the PM having fathered a child while he was at university."  

"Did she meet the girl?" 

"She is not a girl as such, John. She is twenty eight." Layla smiled. 

"Oh, right, I thought she was Alex's age. Did Katie meet her?" 

"Yes, and her mother. It'll be interesting to see what Katie thinks. When the story broke, the rumours were very firmly denied. " 

"What, by the girl?" 

"Her name is Rhiannon, and no, they were not denied by her. She left the country the day the news broke. Her mother and the PM denied it. 

John nodded. 

"I'd like to be on any discussion with Katie. OK, Layla?  

"That goes without question." 

One of the techno geeks approached. "Lieutenant, we are ready for you." 

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