Chapter 27

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Jools Siviter was quite pleased with himself.

He'd managed to accomplish so many things in just a few hours, all of them without lifting a finger.  

He had not bothered to wait out the confrontation between CO19 and Nathaniel, leaving Lucas and Liam by the side of the building as he returned to the comfort of his car.  From there, he gave the order for Nathaniel's termination once clear and present danger to someone else was established.  

And for that, he was grateful to Nathaniel George.  For if Nathaniel had not threatened to pull the trigger on Alexa, Jools would have had a lot of explaining to do once a dead man's existence would come to light.

But as he gazed at Nathaniel's body on the autopsy table, having gone to the morgue to see the body for himself, he knew it was all over. 

Ever since Jools finagled a return as head of MI6 with the help of his wife, long after the unfortunate misunderstanding in Washington, he'd been waiting for Arkady's return to England.  That Arkady would return as chief FSB resident in London surprised Jools.   He'd never expected the man to ever return as successfully as he did, his London position cemented for having managed to negotiate the release of an important Russian operative captured in the line of duty in exchange for Lucas North, MI5 operative imprisoned for the last eight years.  

Arkady's move to London, however, had become a problem for Jools.  For as long as Arkady was in London, he knew that his own career would be at risk.  After all, Jools had managed to orchestrate the defection of an important British diplomat without the poor man being aware of what he was doing.  For that was what the trade of Nathaniel George in exchange for Alexa's life had boiled down to - a defection.

Maybe to Nathaniel, the "trade" was a way to save his daughter.   But to Arkady, it meant that he became the key operative responsible for the acquisition and management of a major English diplomat, one whose expertise in nuclear energy policy was unparalleled.  After all, it had been common knowledge that though Nathaniel's career trajectory in the Foreign Office had to do with foreign policy, he also majored in nuclear physics at the university.  Combining the two had made him quite a catch to the Russians. 

But Lucas' return to England as part of the spy exchange had also set many events in motion, prompting Jools to convince Hillary to stay in Bahamas a few more days till it was alright to come back.

Arkady's demand for the file on Operation Imogen told Jools that Arkady had a few tricks up his sleeve.  It told Jools that Arkady knew something he did not.  That, of course, was the knowledge that Harry was Alexa's real father.  

But even Jools could not fault Harry for such weakness.  Every person had a vice, a human failing - an Achilles heel.  And of all such vices, sex always proved to be the most powerful of all, for humans long to feel love, to be loved - even if it meant just a few days or hours.  

That's why honey traps were invented, Jools thought.  Along with spying, prostitution was one of the oldest professions in the world and what was worse, was that there was little to distinguish between the two.  One only had to come up with the case of Samson and Delilah as an example, Delilah being the perfect honey trap sent to discover the giant's source of power.  

And Minerva was the perfect Delilah to Harry's Samson.  If the relationship had occurred twenty nine years or so ago, that would have been during Harry's stint in Cologne - Operation Omega.  Also around the same time Nathaniel would have met Minerva and asked her to marry him just six weeks later. 

But that was Harry's business now.  Jools had no time for domestic squabbles.  He had other things on his mind, other problems to attend to.

For Lucas' return back to England had also produced another problem.  

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