Thread Rating:
  • 1 Votes - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Looking for Bertie Part VI
05-03-2012, 05:00 PM
Post: #1
Looking for Bertie Part VI

Saturday 26 March 2011
Percy farm near Masai Mara

Harry stood on the veranda. The view over the valley was spectacular. Morning mist was gathered in the lowest hollows, and the savannah, dotted with acacia trees, stretched as far as the eye could see. He called Tim, who had stayed behind in Nairobi, and organised for him to receive the money and to leave it in the place dictated by the kidnappers.
“They want you to leave it in the trash bin outside the entrance of the Makina market. It’s in Kibera. Will you do it?”
“Of course.”
“No funny tricks, Tim. Just leave the money and walk away.”
“You trust them to keep their word and release the poor bugger?” Tim asked dubiously.
Harry watched a line of zebras walk down to a waterhole. “Yes, I do. They got the wrong man – they just want to recoup what they can out of this whole mess. However… Do you still run that group of stringers in Kibera?”
“See if they can follow whoever picks up the money. If the kidnappers do renege, I want to know where they are.”
“Right. I’ll let you know how it goes.”

Harry snapped shut his mobile and braced his hands on the low wall. Ruth appeared at his side and placed another cup of coffee in front of him. He smiled at her gratefully and they stood quietly, gazing out over the Masai Mara. Both were mindful that this was a rare moment of shared peace in their turbulent lives. Harry turned his head and watched as the morning sun lit one cheek, eye and nose of his companion, and his heart missed a beat.
“Ruth,” he breathed, his voice low and hoarse with yearning.
He saw her swallow, and then she said, “I was thinking-“
“Don’t think,” he pleaded, reaching out a hand to turn her face to his. “For this one moment, let’s not think.”
The longing in his eyes dried up her words of protest and her gaze dipped to his lips. That was all it took. He leaned towards her and kissed her, slow and soft, a promise for the future. His stubble scraped lightly against her skin and she knew with sudden clarity that this was what she would like to experience every morning for the rest of her life. When he pulled away she kept her eyes closed for a few seconds, a warm smile spreading across her face. He waited for her to open them before he spoke.
“If I survive the Inquiry, perhaps we could…?”
She nodded happily. “I’d like that. Very much.”
David appeared behind them. “Your man has picked up the money. He’s on his way.”

When he’d gone back into the house, Harry said, “He was in those photographs on Brent’s desk.”
When she frowned in confusion, he elaborated. “Nathan. I thought he looked familiar. He was part of that group that posed with every new car of David’s. I should have made the connection sooner.”
Ruth sighed and folded her arms. She leaned a hip against the wall and let her eyes sweep over the valley before coming back to Harry’s face.
“Just when I think that people can’t surprise me anymore, something like this happens,” she said.
Harry watched her, saw the little frown etched on her brow.
“What is it?” he asked gently.
“Something David said has been bothering me. He said he’d sent Nathan out to impersonate him to keep his parents off his back. Harry, he expected them to know he came here.”
Harry stared at her. “You think Lady Agnes has known all along?”
She shrugged helplessly. “Maybe, I don’t know. You said she was hiding something. But if that were the case, I can’t figure out why she would hire us to look for him.”
Harry looked troubled. He had an inkling, and it was too awful to contemplate.

- 0 –
One hour later

Tim called. “I’ve dropped the money. My people are in place, they’ll follow whoever collects it. If we find their hidey hole, do you want me to tip off the police?”
“No,” Harry responded. “I want to talk to them personally.” There was an ominous note in his voice that didn’t brook any argument.
He looked at Ruth. “Now we wait.”

- 0 –

The kidnappers kept their word. Forty minutes later Tim got an SMS with a location. When he reached it he found Nathan, blindfolded and hands tied behind his back, sitting on the kerb. Tim took him to hospital and waited while he was checked out. He was about to inform Harry that Nathan had not sustained any serious damage when he received another message.

- 0 –
Late that night
Abandoned warehouse, Nairobi

Uhuru sat in the darkness and listened to his own breathing. It was fast and ragged with fear. He could not hear any sound from the men who had grabbed him from his house and brought him here. Once again he tested the binds that tied him to the chair, but they did not budge. He wondered if he would die here – live by the sword, die by the sword, was that not the saying? He had failed to deliver on the agreement, and perhaps this was the price he had to pay. Not for the first time he cursed his own greed – if he had allowed them to shoot the Englishman on the spot perhaps he would not be in this predicament. There was a faint sound, and he held his breath and pricked his ears. It grew louder and he realised a vehicle was approaching. A heavy door slid open and he was momentarily blinded by the headlights of a car that swept into the warehouse. By the time he was able to focus, two men and a woman had alighted. One of the men walked towards him whilst the others stayed near the car.

Harry came to a stop a few feet in front of the prisoner and regarded him without expression.
“Hello,” he said mildly after a few seconds. “You made rather a hash of the whole thing, didn’t you? Not only did you decide against orders to kidnap David Percy rather than kill him, you didn’t even get the right man.”
He added, “What is your name?”
After a long pause the prisoner responded sullenly, “Uhuru”.
“Well, Uhuru, I think we can help each other,” Harry stated. “I’m sure you would prefer not to go to prison, and I can keep you out of it. In return I require some information: I would very much like to know who paid you to kill David Percy.“ He took a step closer and leaned forward. “The truth shall set you free,” he promised.
Uhuru stared at the unknown man before him, who so assuredly talked about freedom. He did not particularly trust this man, but he could see no other option. He began to talk.

- 0 –
Tuseday 29 March 2011, late night
London, Percy mansion

As Lady Agnes and her youngest son Edward entered her private sitting room, the light was off. She frowned and tried to remember whether she had switched it off when she’d left the room for dinner. Since the unpleasant developments in Kenya, they were all on edge. It was with a sense of apprehension that she flicked on the switch. Light flooded the room and she could see nothing out of place. Then, suddenly, the television came to life. On it was the face of a young black man and she heard Edward draw in a sharp breath.
“My name is Uhuru,” the man on the television said. “A few weeks ago I was approached by Edward Percy, the youngest son of the Duke of Suffolk. He offered me ten thousand dollars to kill his older brother David. He knew that his father had fired me two months ago. So not only did I need the money; I also felt resentment towards the family-“

Edward dived for the remote on the table, but another hand got there before him. Harry moved swiftly out of the shadows where he’d stood unnoticed and snatched it up.
“Harry!” Lady Agnes gasped. She was as white as a sheet. “You gave me a fright,” she added lamely.
Harry regarded the two people in front of him with contempt.
“Your devious little plan to pretend that your son was missing so that any investigation into his death would not be connected to you and Edward has backfired, I’m afraid. I should have discovered your nefarious intentions sooner,” he mused, “but regrettably I was blinded by your rather convincing display of concern for your eldest.”
Her eyes slid away from his and she licked her suddenly dry lips as she contemplated denying everything, but when she looked back at his forbidding expression she knew it would be pointless. She decided on another approach.
“It was not a decision I took lightly, you have to understand that. But my husband refuses to see David for what he is. He will be the ruin of this family, and given our social and economic standing, it would also do great damage to the country,” she said, trying to play on Harry’s patriotism.
“Oh please,” he said coldly. “You don’t care one iota about the implications for the country – none of you. All you care about is your comfortable life.”
Edward stepped forward aggressively. “Who do you think you are to come into our house and threaten us?”
“Edward,” his mother warned.
Harry stared the young man down. “Better listen to your mother, boy. Believe me when I tell you that I’m the last person you would want to make an enemy of. There are still some things in this world that money cannot save you from.”
Edward wavered, unwilling to back down, but one look at the fear on his mother’s face persuaded him otherwise. She obviously knew who this mysterious man was and was afraid of what he could do to them. He slumped onto the sofa and buried his face in his hands.
“I should never have listened to you,” he mumbled in his mother’s direction.

“What are you going to do?” Lady Agnes asked Harry.
He let the silence stretch uncomfortably. “First of all you will find you no longer have your pick of the rich and powerful to warm your bed. I don’t think it a good idea that a murderous sociopath should have sexual relations with men in influential positions, and I will make sure it’s known in the relevant circles.”
Lady Agnes closed her eyes in despair.
“Don’t worry,” he said caustically, “the streets are teeming with commoners, so you don’t have to become a nun.”
Her eyes flashed with something close to hatred, but she said nothing.
Harry continued, “And secondly, you better hope David lives to a ripe old age, because that tape will find its way to the Police in the event of his untimely demise. Even if he were struck by lightning, you can rest assured you and your youngest offspring will be the subject of intense police scrutiny.”
He gave them a last good long stare before making for the door.
“Oh,” he turned back and gestured toward the television, “you can keep that copy. There are plenty of others.”

- 0 –

Ruth’s car was parked half a mile from the gate of the Percy residence. She had insisted on coming along (and on driving, but that was a whole other story), but Harry had drawn the line at her accompanying him into the house. She had, therefore, kept vigil in front of the gate for the last hour. It was with immense relief that she saw his shape materialise out of the darkness. Her eyes stayed on him until he slid into the passenger seat next to her safely.
“How did it go?”
He grunted. “Lady Agnes was somewhat put-out by the idea that she would now have to associate with the unwashed masses if she wants to have a sex life.”
Ruth smiled weakly, unable to be as flippant about the situation as Harry was. When she didn’t say anything, he turned to look at her face properly.
“You don’t like it.” It was not a question.
“No, I don’t. And I don’t understand why you’re not angered by it. They should be prosecuted.”
His eyes never left her face. “Look at me, Ruth,” he commanded, and waited until she did. “You think this whole sordid mess doesn’t anger me?”
She scanned his face, noting for the first time the lines running from his nose to the corners of his mouth, the hard look in his eyes, and the stern set of his mouth. Her shoulders sagged and she raised a hand to briefly touch his chest.
“No. I don’t know why I said that.”
He relaxed fractionally. “Prosecuting them would solve nothing. It is their word against that of a young black man from Kenya who had recently been fired by the Duke. They would attain the services of the best lawyer money can buy, and Uhuru wouldn’t stand a chance.”
“Harry,” she said, touching his chest again, “I honestly don’t blame you. It was just my frustration talking. I know how the game works.”
He nodded. “Then I think you’d better take me home, Miss Evershed. Now that we have found Bertie you’re no longer supposed to fraternise with me.”
She smiled, but it could not hide the hint of sadness in her eyes.

- 0 –

She parked in front of Harry’s house and switched off the engine. They sat in silence; there was so much that they both wanted to say, but neither knew where to start.
Harry took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I’d ask you in, but…”
He lifted his chin in the direction of the two men watching from a car parked on the opposite side of the street.
She looked at him, and there was something in her expression that made his heart beat faster. “And I would have accepted,” she murmured, and he almost kissed her.
They just looked at each other for a long, long time.
“All right,” Harry said in the end and reached for the door.
“Harry.” Ruth grabbed his arm and held him back. “I’ll see you at the Inquiry,” she promised.
He began to shake his head. “No, Ruth, you don’t have to-“
“Yes I do,” she said determinedly, and he had to fight down a wave of emotion.
“Thank you.”

He stood on the pavement and watched until her taillights disappeared around the corner, an idea beginning to form in the back of his head. He might just survive the Inquiry with some indirect help from Ruth’s brilliance. Without sparing a glance for the watchers across the street, he turned and walked inside, already composing the first paragraph of the report that would outline Ruth’s value to MI5. His heart beat warmly in his chest, and for the first time since she had come back from Cyprus, he began to believe that they might have a future.


Thank you for reading, and if you were one of those who took the time to leave a comment, double the thanks!

[Image: cheersignew.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-03-2012, 05:18 PM
Post: #2
RE: Looking for Bertie Part VI
Fantastic last chapter and I loved the twist, I never guessed at all that the family were behind it all along! Another really well written story! The kiss between Harry and Ruth and the promise of a future together really comes through this and I can see it leading into S10. A great explanation of what happened!
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-03-2012, 05:38 PM
Post: #3
RE: Looking for Bertie Part VI
Damn! I was wrong again! I had a fleeting moment of suspecting the mother and a more than fleeting moment of suspecting the brother. Then again, I had a fleeting moment of suspecting everyone that wasn't Ruth or Harry! I finally settled on the idea that maybe the kidnappers had the wrong guy on purpose? That Nathan factored into it more than meets the eye? Oh, well. I failed miserably...again. But I like that your stories keep me guessing.

And (as I scurry to the internet to find pictures of Masai Mara Cool ) that was a nice moment with Harry and Ruth. I am glad that you did not take it "all the way" because that would be completely AU and I *think* this was supposed to be IC. You left it at just the right tone to pick up S10.

I look forward to more stories from you!

Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet [Spooks];
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

~Wm. Shakespeare, Hamlet
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-03-2012, 07:19 PM
Post: #4
RE: Looking for Bertie Part VI
Terrific last chapter with an twist or two that I didn't see so that was great. Lovely details of the Masai as well. Well done and I'm looking forward to what you come up with next. Cheers.

[Image: regnumdefende3.jpg]
Thanks to TygerBright for the wonderful sig.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-03-2012, 08:14 PM
Post: #5
RE: Looking for Bertie Part VI
Typical bonkers interbred aristocrats. Think they can do what they like. No match for our Harry and Ruth combo though, with a hint of Zebra.

Right mix of action, plot, romance. Looking forward to your next story.

[Image: Banner106smaller.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-03-2012, 10:37 PM
Post: #6
Ruth RE: Looking for Bertie Part VI
A delightful ending to this story. I should be surprised that Lady Agnes and Edward were behind all this, but I'm not. I did laugh at Harry's comments that Lady Agnes wouldn't have to live like a nun but that she was going to have to stay away from the aristocracy and pick from the commoners. Smile Glad that Tim wasn't a bad apple - for once a fringe character that I liked didn't turn bad! Loved the kiss between Harry and Ruth, so very sweet, so very them, and perfectly in canon. Thank you for sharing and I'm looking forward to your next story.

Zaf: "Shouldn't you be in prison or something?"
Ros: "This is the something."
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-03-2012, 04:53 AM
Post: #7
RE: Looking for Bertie Part VI
Great finish, Silktie. You have a real knack for weaving a story with a good plot and a touch of romance.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
13-03-2012, 04:28 PM
Post: #8
RE: Looking for Bertie Part VI
Just caught up on the last three installments! You restore my faith in Spooks!Thank youSmile
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
21-03-2012, 01:37 PM
Post: #9
RE: Looking for Bertie Part VI
Wow!!!! u are so goood at this, i could not stop reading. So wish there were more Spooks to see... And this totally could have happened between 9 & 10! Hope there are more of ur stories to come! Smile
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply

Forum Jump:

User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)