Again, No I don't know any of these guys!
. 1 .
The meeting had gone on long enough. A decision needed to be taken.
‘It is obvious. We have the evidence in four different countries. Now we need to collect it and get it to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee in New York.’
The four men on the split screen nodded.
‘How are we going to do this? Once they find out who holds the evidence, that person is in danger. They will try and eliminate him.’
Sylvia was very aware of that fact. But this evidence would shut down a serious terrorism threat as well as close the money flow funding all those activities all over the world.
‘Put the evidence on a nano-chip. I’ll have it picked up and transported. You don’t need to know how.’
Sylvia was the highest ranking person in the meeting and it had been up to her. She had a plan but was not sure she should put it in place. It would endanger some nice men.
Closing the meeting, she left her office in the building of Scotland Yard. Europol had offices in each major location. London was her home base but she was not often there. Today she was and she was late for her next meeting.
Using the underground, she quickly made her way to the other side of London.
‘Miss Davison, please to meet you. How can we help?’ the man greeted her warmly.
‘Please, it’s Sylvia. The European Community would like to fund a photo shoot with the group in four countries and then present the results in New York. The towns selected for this shoot and this group are London, Brussels, Paris and Madrid. Other towns and their presentation before the UN will be done by other artists.’
‘Sounds good. I’m sure the guys will look forward to it. When would you like this to happen?’
‘That is the snag. It needs to be done this coming week. Is that possible?’ She held her fingers crossed. This had to work. Too much depended on it.
‘Let me make some calls. Please wait here.’
The man left her in the office with a cup of tea.
‘Urs, how are you doing?’ he asked in his sweetest voice.
‘I’m fine. What do you want?’ Urs knew there was a reason why their PR guy was calling on a Saturday morning and usually it meant work, a lot of work.
‘Urs, so hostile.’
‘We are supposed to be having a few weeks off. I’m working on my bike.’
‘I know. But how would you and the others like to travel to London, Brussels, Paris and Madrid for a quick photo shoot and then present the photos at the UN?’
‘We are already in London.’ Urs said dryly.
‘See, then that would be easy enough. Come on. It’s for the tourist board of the European Community.’ He asked pleading.
‘Have you talked to the others already?’ Urs asked.
‘Not yet. I thought you might want to do it.’
‘You did, did you? And what is in it for us?’
‘Urs, you get to travel!’
‘Again. I like to enjoy my home once in a while.’
‘It wouldn’t take so long. Tomorrow we’d do London, and then over the next couple of days the other three towns. Then a hop over to the US and done.’
Urs sighed on the phone.
‘OK, I’ll call the others. If they agree, we won’t do it tomorrow. That’s Sunday. Monday at the earliest.’
‘I’m fine with that. Let me know as soon as possible.’ And he put the phone down.
It was a gorgeous Saturday morning. Putting down the dirty cloth after whipping his hands, he picked up the phone again.
‘Hey David, want to come over for some barbeque? I’m calling Seb and Carlos as well.’
‘Sure, I’ll bring some beers.’
‘OK, see you at 3.’
Next he called Seb.
‘Where are you?’ Urs shouted through the phone.
‘Car Wash!’ Seb answered. That explained that noise.
‘You should wash it by hand.’
‘You’re the grease monkey, not me. I like it easy.’
‘Very funny. You coming to my barbeque this afternoon? David is bringing the beers.’
‘OK, I’ll bring some steaks.’
‘Brilliant. See you around 3.’
This left only Carlos to call.
‘Ola, Amigo. Que tal?’
‘Ola, Carlos. David and Seb are joining me for a barbeque. You bringing the wine?’
‘Sure, I’ll be there.’
‘See you at 3.’
Having completed his calls, he allowed himself another hour on his bike, showered and drove to the shop for some more vegs and fruit.
Just before three, he started up his barbecue. Preparing the salads, Urs was humming away, thinking about the photo shoots. It would be nice to do it. He never said but he liked photo shoots once in a while. He may take up photography one day, if he had a lot of time. But what would the others say.
The door bell rang and soon his friends were all busy doing something. David gave everyone a bottle of beer, Carlos opened a couple of bottles of wine and Seb prepared the steaks.
‘David, we’ll have to take you on a beer quest on day. Why do you always bring Stella? It’s horrible. Go for a nice Spanish or Belgian or even German beer.’ Carlos complained.
‘Hey, Stella is very popular here and in the US, and Belgian.’ David defended.
‘Anything above 5% alcohol is popular in the US. Not a good reference.’ Urs joined in.
‘Next trip we take, we’ll try out some other beers.’ David succumbed.
‘That could be sooner than you think.’ Urs said carefully.
The others looked at him, waiting for Urs to continue.
‘Had a call.’
The others lifted their eyes.
‘And you said we’d do it.’ Seb finished.
‘No, not yet.’ Urs said.
‘He knows he has to call you to get us to do something. You are too nice at times, Urs.’ Carlos commented.
Urs looked a little guilty. He just liked his work and he liked helping people. What was wrong with that?
‘So what do we have to do?’ Seb asked.
‘Ah, we get to go to Brussels, Paris and Madrid after a photo shoot here in London.’
No reaction from the others.
‘And then we get to present the photos before the UN in New York.’
That surprised his friends.
‘The UN, in New York? Our photos?’ Seb looked at Urs unbelieving.
‘That’s what I’ve been told. But we need to do it this week. They wanted us to start tomorrow but I put my foot down and said not on a Sunday.’
Carlos shook his head and smiled.
‘That is so nice of you, my friend.’
They al laughed.
‘So, are we doing this?’
He looked around the group and one by one they nodded.
‘OK, I’ll just make one call and then food.’
Urs walked in the house and exited 20 minutes later with a smile on his face.
‘What are you smiling about?’ David asked.
‘This is going to be fun. No suits but casual wear, jeans, shorts, t-shirts and leather! We start Monday morning at the Eye. Sylvia Davison will be our contact for the four shoots. I’ve asked to book some nice hotels.’
‘So considerate of you, Urs.’ David smiled.
The rest of the afternoon, they enjoyed the food, drink and company.
Monday morning around 8 they all gathered at the London Eye. It would not open until 10 so they had plenty of time to change into whatever was needed for this shoot. Sylvia was waiting for them outside the building where she had secured a room for the men to change in.
‘Hello, I’m Sylvia Davison. Thank you so very much for doing this on short notice.’ She smiled while shaking every ones hand.
‘You have Urs to thank for this.’ David said.
Sylvia lingered a bit when Urs shook her hand.
‘Thank you.’ She smiled.
If only she did not have to do what she was about to start. But there was no way back.
‘OK, today we have jeans and t-shirt outfits. Everyone is waiting to get you ready. Our photographer for the different shoots is Blake Little. Don’t know if you know him already.’ She walked them in the building and to the room where a crew stood waiting to get them all ready.
Immediately they each got in a chair and hair & makeup started their bit. Then the clothes were brought in and each could choose the outfit they felt most comfortable in.
When they were nearly ready, Sylvia walked in again.
‘What I’d like to do is first do some individual shots and then we go up in the gondolas to take some more group photos. Is that ok?’
‘You are the boss.’ Carlos smiled.
‘Carlos, if you’d like to start?’
‘Sure, these guys always take longer to get ready.’ He said teasing his friends.
Sylvia walked him to the entrance of the Eye. A lot of tourists were already gathering for the first ride.
‘We are not going to take to long out here with all the tourists. I’ll just go get the others.’
Carlos did his thing with the photographer and Sylvia walked inside again.
‘David and Seb, if you are ready, can you join Carlos?’
She walked them to the photographer but returned immediately for Urs.
‘So how are you doing?’ she asked while his hair was being finished.
‘Yes, great. Love the clothes.’
He got up to walk out.
‘Hold on, Urs. Got this new aftershave we should be promoting. I’d like your opinion. Want to have a smell?’ It came out so innocently. Urs did not notice the whole crew holding their breath in anticipation.
She handed him a small bottle which he opened and smelled.
He pulled a face, not sure what was in the bottle. He started feeling funny, dizzy. He had to sit down.
Sylvia was quick to help him in his chair again. Urs was not quite out but not really aware of his surroundings either.
Sylvia nodded and someone gave her a hypo. Quickly she lifted Urs’ t-shirt and injected the fluid. Putting a small plaster on his arm she whispered:
‘I’m so sorry.’
Within minutes, Urs was already shaking off the effect of the bottle.
‘Hey, are you ok? You just went down.’ Sylvia explained.
Urs was not sure what had just happened. Shaking his head, he got up.
‘I just need some fresh air.’ He said quietly, rubbing his arm absentmindedly.
Sylvia walked out with him and by the time he reached the fresh air, Urs was ok again. Not thinking anything of it, he walked to the others and had his solo shots. Then they all walked into one of the gondolas and the wheel started.
Sylvia relaxed. Part one had gone well enough. She could enjoy watching these guys as they were photographed.
She noticed that once in a while, Urs rubbed his arm but he had not yet noticed the small plaster.
Slowly the wheel was making its way around. They had nearly reached the top now. The view over London was fantastic. The shoot was done so they could just enjoy the ride.
Urs had gone more quiet than usual, sitting down on the bench in stead of standing near the windows. Carlos noticed something was wrong.
‘Urs, are you ok?’
He simply shook his head.
‘What’s the matter?’ David and Seb joined him now.
‘Dizzy. I need to get out of here. I need air.’ Urs started to panic. He felt trapped and unable to breath.
He got up and started pacing around like a caged tiger.
‘Urs, relax. There is enough air in here.’ Seb tried to talk to him quietly.
‘Is he always like this?’ Sylvia whispered to Carlos.
‘No, this is odd.’ His face worried, not understanding why his Swiss friend was reacting like this.
‘Urs, come sit with me.’ David sat astride the bench. Urs looked at him, feeling more like yelling than sitting down.
But finally he did.
‘Now, lay your hands in mine, palms up and close your eyes.’ David continued.
‘David?’ Urs was not sure about this.
‘Trust me. It’s one of my yoga exercises.’
Urs closed his eyes and laid his hands in David’s hands. This one started to make circles at the base of his thumbs.
‘Breath slowly in.’ David instructed him.
‘And now out.’
Little by little Urs felt himself calming down, his breathing returning to normal. Suddenly a memory popped into his head.
Turning to Sylvia, he opened his eyes.
‘What happened earlier?’
‘What do you mean?’ She asked surprised.
‘You know. What did you make me smell?’ Urs asked coldly.
Sylvia searched in her bag and pulled out a small bottle.
‘This? You think this is the reason you are not feeling well? You just had to say you don’t like the smell.’
Carlos took the bottle and opened it.
‘Careful!’ Urs shouted.
Carlos smelled the content and gave it to Seb.
‘Not really my taste but nothing wrong.’ Carlos said. Seb had a smell and then let David smell as well. None of them had any adverse effect.
‘Are you sure you had enough to eat before coming out this morning?’ Sylvia suggested.
‘I always have a proper breakfast.’
‘What happened earlier?’ Seb asked.
‘I don’t know. I smelled the bottle and can’t remember a lot after that.’ Urs remembered.
‘You went very pale and had to sit down. After a couple of seconds, your colour came back and we walked outside. ‘ Sylvia completed the picture.
‘Hey, how are you feeling now?’ David asked, still holding Urs’ hands.
Urs looked at him.
‘Better thanks.’ And he tried to smile a bit.
Soon they reach the ground again and everyone walked out of the gondola.
‘Gentlemen, tomorrow morning we take the Eurostar to Brussels. The tickets are in your bags inside. Please be in time. We have a late afternoon – evening shoot tomorrow. Urs, hope you feel better and you get a good nights rest.’
Urs just nodded. Sylvia went off and left the guys to collect their bags. They had been allowed to keep the clothes they were wearing.
When Carlos dropped Urs off, he asked still worried
‘Are you sure you are ok?’
‘Yes, sorry for freaking out there.’
‘No problem. See you tomorrow.’
Urs walked in, dropped his bag on the floor and made himself comfortable on the settee. He could not understand why he felt so tired. It did not take long for him to fall asleep.
Urs did not notice during his shower in the morning how the little plaster fell of his arm and disappeared down the drain.
By 9 all four had gathered at St. Pancreas to board the Eurostar train to Brussels. Sylvia was waiting for them already.
‘Good morning, gentlemen. Ready to start this wiz tour around Europe?’ she smiled but kept her eyes on Urs. He seemed fine to her this morning.
‘Yes, thank you.’ Carlos said.
They had seats in first class but had to cue with all the other passengers. Once seated, they each got something out to do during the two hour train ride.
Carlos and Seb were reading a magazine, David was listening to some music and Urs was just looking out the window, enjoying the passing scenery.
After a while Sylvia joined them.
‘I have the first results from yesterday.’ She said exited.
‘Great, can we see?’ Urs asked.
‘I want you to select the best 5 pictures. Seeing you are going to present them in the US, we want you to be happy with the selection.’
The men gathered around Sylvia. She first handed then Carlos’ solo shots. Some of them were funny when Blake had photographed him when he was not aware. But Carlos looked good in each one of them. Finally they settled on the one they liked the best.
Seb’s photos were next. He had been a bit distracted by all the tourists but they found one photo that showed off his features and smile the best.
David’s photos were good as well. The choice was difficult.
There were not that many solo photos of Urs as he had been the last and the Eye had been ready to start. They finally settled on one where his eyes were smiling.
Then they only had to select the group photo in the gondola. Blake had taken a lot of photos. One of them was of David and Urs sitting on the bench, Urs eyes closed and his hands in David’s hands, Carlos and Seb in the background looking worried. It was a beautiful, sensitive photo but way to personal to put in front of people they all agreed.
They finally settled on one where they seemed to be the only ones in the gondola, looking out of the windows dreamily.
‘What is going to happen with the rest of them?’ David asked. They were all worried that some of them might find their way to the internet.
‘Don’t worry, I’ll make sure they are kept save.’ Sylvia assured them.
She wanted to get up and leave them again but Seb stopped her.
‘Why don’t you sit with us? Tell us a bit more about what you do.’ He asked interested.
Sylvia hesitated. She did not really want to get to close to them, especially seeing she would have to lie to them.
‘Please, sit here.’ Urs made some room for her to sit.
Sylvia sat down.
‘I guess you guys are used to all this travelling. Do you like it?’
Sylvia tried to steer the conversation away from herself.
‘Good try, Sylvia. You know we travel a lot. And we must like it or we would not be doing it so much. But now about you.’ Urs commented.
Sylvia pointed at herself as if to say: who? Me?
‘Yes, young lady. You. What do you do all day?’ Urs asked.
Why did he have to be so sweet?
‘I work for one of the European institutions. My home base is in the UK but I travel a lot as well. This job is a bit of fun now after a couple of very busy months.’ She explained.
‘And what was so exiting in Europe?’ David asked.
‘Ah, well, if I told you that I’d have to shoot you. And seeing I don’t want to do that, I’ll just keep it to myself.’ She joked, hoping they would drop the subject.
‘OK, so tell us a bit more about the Brussels shoot.’ David asked.
‘You are going to love this. Did you know that the king of Belgium is a great Harley Davidson fan? Once, before he became king, he was made an honorary member of the biker club and he was photographed all in black leather on a Harley.’
‘My kind of man.’ Urs agreed immediately.
‘So in this shoot, you will be wearing some or all leather. We’ll be photographing in front of the Atomium with some bikes. Should be good!’
‘Thank you Sylvia!’ Urs was all exited already. He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. That made her blush.
Urs looked at her, endeared by her reaction to his kiss. There was more behind this woman. He felt attracted and scared at the same time. Why was that? Perhaps the coming days would help him understand these feeling better.
Two hours is not long when you are in good company and soon Brussels-Midi was announced. A car would pick them up from the station and drive them to the Atomium.
A whole area had been cordoned off. There must have been at least 30 Harleys parked on one side of the park. Urs jumped out of the car and made a beeline for them.
‘Yes, I’ll carry your bag, Mr. Bühler.’ Seb shouted after him. But Urs was already in deep conversation with some of the bikers.
Sylvia caught up with her crew. The photographer was already getting set up. She exchanged some words with him and then rejoined the men.
‘If you don’t pull him away, we’ll be here waiting all day.’ Seb said.
‘Let’s try.’ Sylvia answered. She walked over to Urs and the bikers.
‘Excuse me.’ She interrupted their conversation.
‘You must be Mick. I’m Sylvia. We spoke on the phone to set this photo shoot up.’
‘Yes, Sylvia. Where do you want us?’ Mick shook her hand.
‘Well, I still need to get the wardrobe from around the corner. But I’d like to take Urs and the others to the changing room first. Can you hang on for about an hour or so?’ Sylvia explained.
‘Sure, no problem. Urs, we’ll talk more later.’
Sylvia and Urs walked back to the others and entered the Atomium. The lift took them quickly to the middle ball and from there they had a staircase to one of the side balls. This was not open to the public and was used as a changing room. Sylvia’s crew were already there.
‘Guys, you can leave your bags here if you want. They’ll be safe. I need to go and pick up the gear. I should be back in an hour or so. In the meantime, feel free to visit the Atomium or Mini Europe. Just be careful. This is a very touristy area.’
‘Want me to come with you?’ Carlos asked politely.
‘No, no thank you.’ Did she say that too quickly? She did not want any company where she was going first.
‘That’s very sweet of you, Carlos. But I’ll be fine. Just enjoy the free time.’
She turned around quickly and left back down the long stairs.
Urs looked after her but soon turned back to his friends.
‘How about we go and check out some more of the bikes downstairs?’ Urs suggested. The others looked at him.
‘I’m going to visit this odd building and find out more about it.’ Carlos said.
‘I’m joining you.’ David and Seb said simultaneously.
Urs looked a bit disappointed.
‘Ok, we’ll visit here first.’
They made their way back down first and took the elevator all the way to the top where you had a perfect view over Brussels and its surroundings. The rest of the exhibition told how the building was made in 1958. The whole tour ended back down on ground level where the bikes were shining in the sun. And that was fine for Urs.
Sylvia used the car to drive to the other side of town, to an area where it was not always safe, with women sitting behind windows trying to lure everyone in. Imagining what the guys would think of this trip made her smile.
Her contact was waiting for her at the agreed location. They did not speak. He pushed a small package in her hands and disappeared in the crowd again.
Now for the clothes.
It had taken her longer than she had thought to get back to the Atomium. But when she arrived she noticed Urs immediately sitting on one of the Harleys. Blake was waiting patiently.
‘Where are the others?’ she asked him.
‘Carlos and Seb have gone to Mini Europe and David is upstairs doing yoga.’
Sylvia lifted her eye brows.
‘Gather them all but make sure they don’t come upstairs in the next 10 minutes.’ Blake just nodded.
Sylvia quickly made her way to the changing room. It was nearly deserted. One of her men was keeping an eye on David as he sat quietly away at one side of the ball. He had his headphones on, eyes closed and did not hear anyone come closer.
Sylvia was holding a piece of cloth and carefully held it under David’s nose without touching him.
He pulled a face at the unfamiliar odour but the vapours already had him from the first breath he took. Like Urs, he was not quite unconscious but completely unaware of what was happening to him.
Sylvia quickly took the hypo she had in her pocket, lifted the sleeve of his shirt and injected the fluid into his arm. A small plaster hid any signs.
Then she left him to wake up again. Hopefully he would think he had fallen asleep and not remember like Urs had.
The noise from everyone entering the room 15 minutes later woke David up.
‘Hey, sleepy head. You were supposed to do your yoga, not sleep.’ Seb called to David.
David got up a bit unsteady on his feet and joined his friend. Time for the photo shoot.
Sylvia had brought different style they could choose from. Urs went full biker gear, black with just a hint of a white t-shirt showing through. David selected a casual pair of leather trousers with a comfortable t-shirt. Carlos went for a smart leather jacket with casual trousers and Seb was in jeans with casual leather jacket.
When the light started to fade, the lights on the Atomium came on giving it a fairy appearance. Sylvia was very pleased with the shoot and it showed the guys were enjoying it as well.
It was all over too soon again.
‘We are not staying in Brussels tonight. I found a small hotel in a town just 30 minutes away. Mick suggested it. It’s right next to a brewery.’
Sylvia informed them.
‘Hey, David, time to try something new.’ Seb said immediately.
‘Is Mick riding back to . . . . to where?’ Urs asked.
‘Mechelen. And yes he is.’
Urs’ eyes lit up. Sylvia looked at him with questions in her own eyes.
‘What?’ she asked.
‘You think they have an extra bike I could use?’ he asked with his sweetest smile.
‘Euh, I don’t know. Are you sure you want to do this?’
Urs nodded furiously.
‘I’ll ask Mick.’
Urs followed her like a puppy. Carlos shook his head, smiling at the antics of his friend.
The way Urs reacted they knew immediately he would not join them in the car.
‘Just be careful. I don’t think your management would appreciate it if you got hurt. And I still need you as well.’ Sylvia said before Urs put on his helmet and climbed on the Harley he was given.
‘Mick, get him there in one piece.’ There was no mistaking the underlying warning.
The bikers took of with Urs in their middle.
Sylvia walked back to the others.
‘He’s like a little kid with these bikes, isn’t he.’
‘Yes.’ The three of them agreed together.
Their bags had already been brought to the car and so they got in and Sylvia drove them to the hotel. They soon caught up with Urs and followed them to Mechelen.
At the hotel, Urs had to say goodbye to Mick and the Harley. It was indeed a smaller hotel but nice clean rooms. It would do for the night.
Sylvia brought them to the pub next door.
‘So what is this about beers and David?’ She asked as they sat down.
‘David always brings Stella. So we want to introduce him to some other beers.’ Carlos explained.
‘Well, this is the right place. Can I order?’ Sylvia asked.
‘Go for it.’ David said.
In no time three big bottles had appeared on the table, each holding 75 cl.
‘This is the local beer in three different versions. Personally I prefer the dark one.’ She poured them each some of the beer and waited for them to taste it.
‘Wow, that is different from a Stella. Nice, I like it.’ Urs agreed.
David picked up the bottle and read:
‘11%! Darned, I don’t think I ever drank anything that heavy. Sure to have a headache in the morning.’ He commented.
‘Not at all. Good beer is like good wine. If you drink quality, it won’t sting back.’ She lifted her glass and they all joined in.
After trying the lighter versions, they agreed the darker was the best.
‘How is this called?’ Seb asked.
‘Cuvee van de Keizer – Brew of the emperor.’ Urs translated for them.
They decided to have something to eat there as well – dishes made with the local beer.
By the time they left the pub, they were glad the walk to the hotel was short. Not that they were that drunk but they were over the limit.
It had been a nice evening. And before retiring they gave Sylvia a quick hug and each went to a different direction for their room.
As it turned out, Sylvia’s room was next to Urs’. So they walked together. When she reached her door, he turned to her and held her hands.
‘Thanks for this afternoon. I really enjoyed it.’ He said quietly.
‘You are welcome.’
‘And thank you for your wonderful company this evening.’
He leaned to her and gently kissed her lips.
Then he turned and walked to his own room.
Sylvia was pulled back to reality when her cell phone went off. She answered it quickly while walking into her room.
‘We have a problem. London has been eliminated. And we can’t get hold of Brussels.’
‘No, not yet. This is too soon. Did they find out where the information is?’
‘We are not sure but . . . .’
‘But what?’ she nearly screamed.
‘It was not a quick death.’
Sylvia closed her eyes. She had worked with Chris in London. And now he was dead. They must be desperate to stop this information from reaching the UN.
‘Perhaps Brussels is still ok. Keep me posted.’
She put the phone down.
Tomorrow to Paris and then Madrid. Would she be able to stay ahead of the assassins?
The next morning David was indeed surprised he did not have a headache. But how did that plaster get on his arm. When he took it off there was nothing to see so he put it down as a prank of one of his band members.
They had a quick breakfast and then left for the station to take the TGV to Paris. The train ride would only take 2 hours.
Sylvia had collected the photos for them to look at. It was difficult to choose Urs’ photo this time. There were so many good ones. They finally picked the one where he was lying on the bike, on his back, looking up at the Atomium. Carlos’ photo was one of him just looking at the bikes, Seb was sitting on the bike and David sat astride one. For the group photo they selected the one where they were all on the bikes.
It was fun being able to go through the results and it made the time go quickly.
Paris was already in their sights. They were picked up by a car that drove them to the Concorde La Fayette hotel.
‘Qui, c’est parfait.’ Seb said pleased.
They checked into the hotel. Sylvia gathered them before they went to their room.
‘This afternoon we have the shoot at the Eifeltower. This time it is smart casual. So I’m going to shoot off and I’ll see you in one hour back here. That ok?’
They all nodded and walked off towards the lifts.
Sylvia knew her way around Paris and reached her contact in no time. As becoming in Paris, she sat at a little table drinking coffee, when her contact approached and put down his newspaper on her table before adjusting his shoelace. Then he walked on. Nothing was said.
Sylvia looked around for a while, making sure no one was following either her contact or her. But the area was only flooded with tourists.
Getting back to the hotel, Sylvia first contacted London.
‘Any news from Brussels?’ she asked worried.
‘Yes, good news. Brussels is OK.’ Sylvia was pleased Frank had not fallen victim to their plan. Perhaps she had more time after all.
Now she could concentrate on the photo shoot. She quickly called the guys to her room so they could choose the clothes they wanted to wear.
That did not take too long.
‘If you can change into them. Hair and make-up will be on site.’ They left her room and she started to tidy up the mess.
Suddenly two hands were put on her shoulders. Sylvia stiffened. But when she turned, she looked into the smiling face of Urs.
‘Did I startle you?’ she asked.
She just nodded. He was too close for her to say anything.
‘I liked my goodnight kiss.’ He whispered.
She smiled. She had as well. But no, nothing could happen.
‘Urs, you don’t want to know me.’ She tried to push him away. But he pulled her closer still.
‘But I do.’ And he kissed her passionately. She was melting in his arms, heart and head in conflict.
He smiled once more and then turned to get dressed, not saying anything any more.
Had he felt a bit warm? Or was that the effect of the kiss?
Shaking her head, she quickly finished and went down to wait for everyone to get ready.
The photo shoot started at the bottom of the tower. Each had solo time and then group time. Then they went to the top of the tower.
They tried to get all the equipment and themselves in the lift but not everyone would fit. As it happened Sylvia and Seb could not fit in.
‘We’ll take the next one.’ She shouted to her crew and closed the doors.
The next lift did not take long to come. Sylvia and Seb walked in. It was amazing going up this tower. Sylvia looked at Seb.
‘Hold on, you have something dirty on your face.’ She turned to him, holding a piece of cloth.
‘Close your eyes.’ Seb did as he was told.
As soon as she put the cloth over his face, he breathed in the vapours and slid down to the floor.
Sylvia quickly got the hypo out of her pocket. Seb was already wearing his jacket. She had to move fast. Unable to reach his arm, she pushed the needle in his shoulder, injecting the fluid and its precious content. A small plaster made sure no blood came on his clothes.
‘Hey, Silly. No time to sit down.’ She waved some smelling salts under his nose and Seb was up immediately.
‘You tell me. I go to clean up your face and you sit down.’
‘Did I?’ Sylvia quickly nodded.
Then the lift opened. Urs was waiting for her.
‘You guys ok?’ He asked.
‘Seb is a funny guy. Clean his face and he sits down in a dirty lift.’
Urs could not follow. He looked at Seb.
‘Don’t ask?’ Seb just walked out the lift, getting himself a bottle of water.
The last few photos were taken and then it was time to go back to the hotel.
The crew was already going ahead to Madrid that same night but Sylvia and the guys stayed at the hotel.
They had a light supper and then Seb insisted on taking them to the bar at the top of the hotel.
They sat down at one of the tables close to the window overlooking Paris by night. The Eifeltower was all lit up and Paris had never looked so beautiful. They ordered some champagne to drink.
Urs had pulled Sylvia next to him on the bench, putting his arm casually around her shoulders. Sylvia held his other hand in hers, looking at the long slender fingers.
The others noticed their behaviour but said nothing.
‘So, Sylvia. Is there a Mr. Davison at home?’ Carlos asked casually. Urs kicked Carlos under the table. ‘Auw’ Carlos mouthed to Urs.
For a moment sadness came to Sylvia’s eyes.
‘No, not any more.’
‘Messy divorce?’ David now asked. This time David felt a kick.
‘If only. No, he was a policeman killed in the line of duty, as they say so nicely.’
‘I’m sorry.’ Carlos said immediately.
‘I hope my work will help others and avoid them getting killed.’ She said dreamily, thinking back to that horrible day now 5 years ago.
The table went quiet. They all looked at her. Immediately she realised she had said something wrong.
‘If you’ll just excuse me for a moment.’ Sylvia got up and left them.
‘What’s with all the questions?’ Urs asked immediately.
‘What is going on between you two?’ Carlos retorted.
‘I like her, ok.’ Urs said.
‘So now you know she is free.’ David just stated.
‘And please stop the kicking under the table.’ He asked.
Sylvia walked to the ladies room, calling Dave in London.
‘Sylvia, it’s Brussels.’
No, she did not want to hear this.
‘Is he. . . . . dead?’
‘Not yet. But he may not make it through the night. Sylvia, he says he didn’t say anything but they had a photo of you. Please be careful.’
‘I just need two more days. We need a last pick up tomorrow and then I have to get these guys into the US. I’ll call you tomorrow.’
Sylvia joined the guys at the table again, leaning into Urs. She needed some warmth. But he was feeling warmer than she expected. Turning around, she felt his head.
‘You are warm.’ She just stated.
Urs wiggled his eye brows.
That made her smile.
‘Think I’m coming down with a cold or so. Nothing to worry about. I have some tablets in my room.’ He assured her.
‘So, Sylvia. What’s happening tomorrow?’ Seb asked.
‘Well, we fly to Madrid.’
‘Yes, my town!’ Carlos said pleased.
‘We are photographing in El Retiro, casual wear, shorts and t-shirts. May get you guys in one of the boats.’
‘Oh, and with the squirrels.’ Carlos suggested.
‘If you like. But it’s an early flight so I’m afraid I have to send you all to bed.’
‘Oh, Mum, can’t we stay up a little longer?’ David asked.
‘No, young man. Time for bed.’ Sylvia smiled.
They paid the bill and left just as the lights of the Eifeltower went out.
Walking back to their rooms, Urs held Sylvia’s hand.
They all said goodnight and got into their rooms. Sylvia and Urs were the last to get to his room.
‘Are you sure you are ok?’ she asked worried.
‘I’ll be fine. I’ll take an aspirin and I’ll be fine for the morning.’ He assured her.
He did not want her to go yet.
‘Stay.’ He whispered.
She looked into his eyes and slowly shook her head.
Pain showed briefly on his face.
‘It’s not that I don’t want to.’ She said quickly.
‘There is just too much going on still. Please, trust me.’ She asked with pleading eyes.
He nodded and kissed her softly.
He walked into his room and she walked to hers.
Behind the door, Urs listened for her to leave.
What was going on? He liked her very much so he’d be patient.
They reached the airport of Charles De Gaule when it was getting very busy. But Sylvia had a talk with the security and Il Divo was allowed through without further security checks.
‘Can you come with us all the time? Normally we have to go through the arch as well.’ Urs said.
‘Perks of the job.’ Sylvia simply said.
Urs seemed to be fine again this morning. Seemed he had been right and it had only been a cold.
She had booked them business class seats and they were soon called to board the plane. Once in the air the guys got up and surrounded Sylvia.
‘Yes, gentlemen?’ she asked even though she knew what they were waiting for.
‘Do you have the photos?’ Seb asked anxiously.
Sylvia smiled and got her laptop out.
‘We didn’t have time to print them of but Blake mailed them to me so we can see them here.’
Urs sat down next to Sylvia on one side and David on the other. Carlos and Seb stood behind her.
Again the photos were fantastic and it was hard to choose the best one out of the many available.
Paris – Madrid was only a short 2 hours flight and soon they landed at Barajas Airport. Warm sunshine greeted them as they walked out to the car that was waiting for them.
This time they were staying at the Sofitel in the middle of the town. After checking in, the guys waited for Sylvia to finish.
‘So, what’s up next?’ David asked.
‘Are you going to leave us again to pick up the clothes?’ Urs asked.
‘No, clothes have already arrived. They should be in my room. So let’s go and have a look.’
They all gathered their bags and took the lift to their floor. Indeed the clothes were already waiting in Sylvia’s room.
Different coloured shorts and T-shirts were all laid out. The men quickly choose what they wanted to wear.
A short drive took them to the park. It was beautiful. Lots of people were walking but it did not feel crowed.
Sylvia’s crew was already waiting. The first series of shots were at the lake, with the boats. David nearly fell into the water only because Seb made the boat rock. It was hilariously funny seeing him struggle, trying not to fall into the water.
Later they went to the area of the park where the squirrels came right close to you. Blake shot some amazing photos of the guys.
But Sylvia was worried. Her contact should have been here ages ago. She did not dare call Dave in London in case her phone was being monitored. She was walking to Urs when her phone rang.
‘It’s me. I’m being followed. I’ll meet you later at El Molino.’
The phone went dead immediately.
She looked around the park. Was anyone paying special attention to them? Had they found her? She could not leave without the last bit of information.
‘Everything OK? ‘ Urs asked when he reached her.
‘You seemed scared there for a moment.’
‘No, it’s fine. Nothing to worry about. Are you done?’ she asked casually.
‘Yes, all done. We are packing up.’
Sylvia walked with him back to the crew, constantly keeping an eye on everyone around her.
‘Sylvia thanks for the opportunity. I’ll drop everything off in London as agreed.’ Blake shook her hand on leaving.
Sylvia and the guys stayed a bit longer in the park, enjoying the warmth and nature.
‘I’m getting hungry.’ David said.
‘We can walk out the park to a little tapas place I know.’ Carlos suggested immediately. They were all for that.
Walking along, Urs held Sylvia’s hand, not giving her a chance to get away from him. Sylvia did not object. Even for a brief moment she just wanted to forget all the problems and her worries and enjoy the warmth of a wonderful man.
The tapas bar was not far. They got a table and Carlos ordered them all different little snacks with some wine.
‘Don’t overdo on the tapas. We are going to El Molino this evening.’ Sylvia informed them.
‘Wonderful restaurant. You are going to love this, guys. They have this nice bread served with the baby lamb, some fries, a nice big salad in the middle of the table and a good bottle of wine.’ Carlos told them.
‘So we don’t get to choose what we want to eat?’ David asked smiling.
‘You could also go for the suckling pig.’ Carlos smiled.
‘How do you know this restaurant, Sylvia?’ Seb asked.
‘It’s my favourite. Each time I come to Madrid I try to eat there. Carlos is absolutely right. They have wonderful food and great wines.’
They stayed another hour in the tapas bar, talking, observing the people coming and going. Then they got back to the hotel for some personal time and to freshen up before going to dinner.
Parking is horrendous around El Molino, so they took a taxi to get there.
They were given a private area. The boss recognised both Sylvia and Carlos and was please to see them again.
‘Sylvia, how is Juan? He’s not been in for a while?’ the manager asked while walking them to the table.
‘He said he might pop in today.’ Sylvia said lightly.
They decided to go for the baby lamb, fries and big salad in the middle. And of course the bread.
‘And the wine?’ the maitre D asked.
‘Vino Alberti.’ Carlos and Sylvia said at the same time. They looked at each other, laughing.
They enjoyed the food and wine, and the light conversation.
Having finished dinner and ordered some coffees, Sylvia excused herself.
A text message just 10 minutes ago told her Juan would be at the restaurant soon.
She walked to the ladies but was followed by Carlos.
‘So what do you intent to do with Urs?’ he asked immediately.
Sylvia looked at him.
‘He’s a friend. I don’t want to see him hurt.’
Sylvia stayed quiet for a moment longer.
‘If I allow myself, I’d love him to the end of my days. I care very much for him, Carlos. Be there for him over the next couple of days.’ She said sadly, turning away and leaving a stunned Carlos.
What was he to think of this? Had she feeling for him or not? And what would happen over the next few days?
Sylvia met Juan just outside the ladies.
‘I need to do something now. I don’t know when Carlos will be on his own again. Go to the gents and sedate him.’ She instructed Juan.
Carlos was washing his hands when another man entered. He didn’t pay any attention to him until he saw the man walk to him with a cloth in his hand.
Carlos struggled to keep the man away from him but no such luck. The man pressed the cloth over his mouth. Carlos had to breathe and before long he was on the floor.
Sylvia walked in and quickly lifted the sleeve on Carlos’ t-shirt, injecting him like she had three times before with his friends.
‘Go. Hide for a couple of days.’ Juan ran out, leaving Sylvia to deal with Carlos.
‘I’m so sorry, my friend. I hope you understand one day.’
She ran out and shouted.
‘Help, David, Seb, Urs!’
They heard her and ran to the gents. Carlos was starting to come around again.
‘I heard a noise and found him on the floor.’ Sylvia said.
Urs helped Carlos up.
‘Carlos, what happened?’ David asked.
Carlos rubbed his head.
‘Someone put a cloth on my face and I was out.’
They looked at each other. They had never had to deal with this type of threat.
‘Do you think he wanted to abduct you?’ Seb was worried.
‘I think we should go back to the hotel. Just to be on the safe side.’ Sylvia suggested.
Soon they had paid the bill and walked out to find a taxi. But outside a lot of people had gathered. An accident had happened right in front of the restaurant. For a moment the crowd parted and Sylvia could see the young man on the street.
‘Juan!’ she whispered.
‘Hey, that’s the guy that attacked me.’ Carlos recognised him.
Sylvia pushed them all quickly to the other side.
‘No, it’s not.’ She just said. Looking around she saw at least three faces looking towards her and not the body in the street.
Luckily, a taxi was nearby and they reached the hotel quickly.
‘You are probably going to think I’m mad but I’d like you all to stay in my room for the night.’ Sylvia said as they walked in.
‘To be honest, Sylvia, I’d rather not be alone for the moment. This has freaked me out a bit.’ Carlos said. The others nodded as well.
They passed by at each room so the guys could pick up some personal stuff before going to Sylvia’s room.
Feeling a bit awkward they stood in Sylvia’s room.
‘Time for bed, gentlemen. We have a flight to New York in the morning.’
‘And where do you suggest we all sleep?’ David asked.
‘It’s a king size bed. Don’t tell me you have never shared a bed before.’
All four looked at her, stunned.
‘I didn’t mean, . . . you know. Just to rest?’
Urs smiled looking at his friends.
‘OK. At least three of you can sleep in the bed, without touching. One can sleep on the settee, I’ll use the small seat.’ Sylvia offered.
‘That’s not fair. You won’t be able to sleep.’ Urs said.
‘I won’t anyway.’ She said quietly.
Finally it was decided that Carlos, David and Urs would share the bed and Seb would use the settee.
Soon the lights were dimmed and the room was quiet. Sylvia looked at them, settling down in the dark. She could not sleep, thinking about Juan. Was he dead or just injured?
Suddenly her phone went.
Quickly she picked it up and walked to the bathroom.
‘Sylvia.’ She whispered.
‘It’s me.’ Dave was very quiet. She knew that meant bad news.
‘Juan, did he make it?’
‘You know!’ Dave asked surprised.
‘We were just coming out of the restaurant when he was on the ground.’
‘I’m sorry, Sylvia. He didn’t, they made sure.’
‘They saw me.’ She whispered.
‘Sylvia, Sweetie. Frank and Martin, they didn’t make it either.’
Sylvia was stunned into silence. Four of her best friends, people she had worked with for year, all dead because of the information she was trying to get to the US.
‘Sylvia, you still there?’ Dave asked.
‘I am. Look, the guys are all here. I can’t talk more. We’ll catch up from the US. Be careful.’ She was near to tears by now.
Walking back into the room, she walked to the window, looking out, making sure no one was observing the hotel. But her thought drifted back to her friends. And slowly tears ran down her face. She put her hand in front of the mouth, trying not to make any noise. She was not surprised when two arms surrounded her. She turned around and hid her face against his chest. Urs let her weep for a moment.
‘What’s happening?’ He asked after a while.
Sylvia shook her head.
‘Can’t tell you. Not yet. You’d hate me.’ She finally looked up into his eyes.
‘Kiss me.’ She asked quietly.
Urs did not have to be asked twice. His lips touched hers and he kissed her passionately.
‘Come to bed. I’ll push David a bit more to the side. I’m sure you can fit in.’ Urs said.
There was room enough, especially as Urs spooned Sylvia. They did not take to much space. Soon they were asleep.
‘David, move your arm.’ Carlos said between clenched teeth.
Everyone woke up immediately, seeing David lying close to Carlos, his arm embracing him.
David sat up with a shock.
‘Sorry, thought you were someone else.’ He apologised.
‘I noticed.’ Carlos said while getting up from the bed. He looked at the seat expecting to see Sylvia but she was not there. Turning back to the bed, he saw her lying in Urs’ arms, looking at Urs. But there was something in her eyes, sadness. He did not understand and thought back of the short conversation they had had in the restaurant.
‘Time to get up, love birds.’ David pushed Urs.
‘I’m awake.’ Urs moaned. Did he really have to get up?
They all got up, washed and got dressed. Then, one by one they collected their bags from their own rooms and soon they were driving to the airport.
Sylvia tried to keep her distance from Urs. Soon they would be in the US and she would have to come clean with them. It would mean the end of their friendship, the end of anything that could have been.
Again Sylvia got them through security without much effort. They boarded the plane. Sylvia had gotten them first class seats and they were the only ones in the front compartment of the plane.
The plane left on time for a direct flight from Madrid to New York Kennedy airport.
Although they’d be arriving only 2 hours after their departure time, the actual flight took a lot longer.
After dinner had been served, Sylvia sat quietly by herself. She got some paper out to write a letter. But words were hard to find.
Urs saw her sitting and walked to her.
‘What you doing?’ he asked.
‘Writing a letter to a dear friend. But it is not easy.’ She answered.
‘Can I help?’
She shook her head, took his hand and gave it a quick kiss.
‘Ok, I’m going to have a nap.’
‘Did I keep you up last night?’ she asked smiling.
‘On the contrary. Join me when you have finished.’ He whispered.
He left her to finish her letter.
Half an hour later she knew the letter would never be enough but words failed her. Carefully folding the letter, she put it in her back pack.
Carlos came to her.
‘Sylvia, something is wrong with Urs.’ He said.
Immediately she got up and made her way to his seat.
Urs was looking terrible, shaking, and sweating with a fever that had spiked out of nothing.
‘Darned.’ She cursed.
‘Urs, please, Sweetie. Turn around.’ She had to look at his arm.
With difficulty he shifted his body. She pulled up his sleeve. The area around the injection point was all red and swollen.
‘I’ll get you something immediately. You’ll soon feel better.’ She assured him, lightly caressing his hair away from his face. Urs just nodded.
‘You know what this is?’ Seb asked.
Sylvia did not answer but went straight to David, lifting his sleeve as well. The same signs were visible there.
‘You starting to feel bad as well?’ She asked.
‘As a matter of fact.’ David confirmed.
‘Seb?’ she looked at Seb.
‘Bit stiff in my shoulder.’
Sylvia walked to him and pushed away his collar, exposing his shoulder a bit. The same signs but not as bad as Urs and David.
Sylvia cursed again. It had been a gamble, using that particular carrier but they had had nothing else at that short notice.
‘Carlos?’ Sylvia looked at him.
‘I’m fine. You want to inspect me as well?’ He asked suspiciously.
‘Just your arm.’ Sylvia said and lifted his sleeve. No signs of anything there yet. But then Carlos had only been injected last night.
‘Do you care to enlighten us please.’ Seb got upset.
‘In a moment.’
Sylvia walked off to return a bit later with a small pouch. She opened it and in it were four syringes.
She took one and went to Urs.
‘Sweetie, turn on your side. This has got to go into your backside.’
With a lot of effort, Urs turned around and loosened his trousers. Sylvia injected the medication quickly and put a small plaster on.
‘Hey, I’ve seen those plasters.’ David reacted.
‘I thought it was a prank.’ Sylvia shook her head.
‘Your turn.’ She only said.
‘What are you giving us?’ David wanted to know first.
‘You all have the flu. This medication will at least suppress the symptoms for the next 12 hours.’ Sylvia said.
‘Please David. You will only get worse, like Urs. And there is no time. Please trust me.’ She pleaded.
‘A bit hard to do for the moment.’
‘David, just do it.’ Urs said from behind Sylvia. He was fast starting to feel better already. His fever dropping and his temperature returning back to normal within minutes.
Reluctantly David loosened his trousers and allowed Sylvia to inject him. She did the same with Seb and Carlos.
‘But I’m feeling fine.’ Seb complained.
‘You won’t be for long.’ Sylvia just said.
‘Please sit down for a moment, I’ll be right back.’
Sylvia left them alone. They sat around Urs who was improving in front of their eyes.
Sylvia came back and sat down with them.
‘One more hour before we land. I’m going to tell you something. You are not going to like it and if I had had any other way of doing this, I would have.’ She looked at each of them to gage their reaction but they just waited.
‘I work for an organization in Europe called Europol. We help the police force in the member states with investigations related to terrorism, fraud, and other world wide crime.’
‘That’s not tourism.’ David simply said.
Sylvia smiled briefly.
‘No David, not tourism.’
‘So why have we been going from one town to the next and taking all these photos?’ Seb asked.
‘I needed to collect vital information on terrorism activities and their funding. The information was gathered by my friends in London, Brussels, Paris and Madrid.’
‘And you needed a cover to travel to all these places without attracting attention to yourself.’ Carlos stated.
‘Yes and no.’
‘What is it, yes or no? And why could your friends not get it to wherever it needs to go.’ Urs asked puzzled.
‘And what does that have to do with us feeling sick?’ Seb continued.
‘And why did you look at our arms and Seb’s shoulder?’ Carlos asked.
Sylvia held up her hands.
‘Please, let me explain.’ Sylvia gathered her thoughts.
‘Yes, I needed a cover. Travelling with you allowed me to get to the different locations very quickly. The other reason is that the information can not be held by just one person. If that person gets caught, everything is lost. The information had to be transported by four people.’
Sylvia waited for a moment to allow them to digest this bit of information.
‘Hold on. Are you saying you have hidden the information on us?’ Urs finally asked.
‘More precisely, in you.’
‘What!’ they all shouted together.
‘What did you put in us?’ Urs asked angrily.
‘Please, it was the only way. It’s just a small nanochip. I injected each one of you. When we get to the US, the information on the chip will be downloaded and the chip will destroy itself.’
Urs had gotten up and came right into Sylvia’s face.
‘You risked our lives and said nothing!’ he shouted.
Sylvia got up.
‘I did not have any other choice.’ She said angrily.
They looked at each other furiously.
‘Urs, please sit down.’ Carlos tried to diffuse the tension.
Reluctantly, Urs turned and sat down again. He felt so betrayed. Sylvia saw the pain and hate in his eyes.
‘We normally use this method of transport for short terms. We hoped you would not have any ill effect from it before we got to the US but obviously that did not happen.’
‘And your friends?’ David asked.
Sylvia shook her head.
‘They were killed getting the information to me. Juan was the last one murdered yesterday evening.’
‘The man outside the restaurant.’ Carlos said.
‘They have identified me. Frank in Brussels was able to say they had a photo of me before he died. All we can hope is that they only come after me. What I need you to do when we land is drive straight to the UN building. They’ll be waiting for you. Use the code word Childsplay.‘
‘And you?’ Carlos asked.
‘Hopefully they follow me and leave you alone.’ She wished.
‘Hey, perhaps nobody is waiting for you.’ David tried helping.
Sylvia smiled and got up again. They were on their final descent and she had to get back to her seat. Urs had turned away from her, looking out the window.
‘Told you, you would hate me.’ She said quietly with a heavy heart and left him alone.
In the next hour the plane landed. Sylvia instructed them to leave all their bags. Someone else would collect them and bring them to the UN. She led them through security. Before walking out into the public area, Sylvia got her gun out. They had never seen her with it and only then did they realise the seriousness of the situation. She hid the gun in the small of her back beneath her jacket and walked them through the public to the exit.
They were about to get into the car when Sylvia noticed them.
‘Hurry. David, you know the way. Drive now!’ she shouted as she pushed Urs in the car and slammed the door behind him.
Suddenly bullets were flying everywhere, people dropping to the ground, screaming.
‘Move!’ Sylvia shouted.
David hit the accelerator and sped off.
Sylvia looked at them driving away. Because she was looking at the car, she did not notice the man behind her until she felt the gun in her back.
‘Give me the information’ he man hissed.
‘Never.’ She said.
‘You don’t have to live for this.’ He simply stated and pulled the trigger.
Sylvia opened her mouth, unable to believe what just happened. Stumbling forward a few steps, she looked down at the hole in her belly before collapsing to the ground.
In the car, Urs turned around just as Sylvia went to her knees.
‘Sylvia!’ he shouted.
‘David, turn back. Something has happened.’ Urs insisted.
‘No, she told us to get moving.’
Urs put his hand on David’s shoulder.
David looked at his friends. They nodded.
He made a full turn and drove back. They saw men getting in different cars and coming towards them.
He reached Sylvia. Urs opened the door and with Carlos’ help pulled her in the car.
She was hardly breathing. Urs did not know what to do. There was so much blood. Her head resting on his lap she opened her eyes and looked at him. A weak smile was all she could manage.
David knew the way to the UN but he was not sure if he could outrun the other cars. Their move coming back had confused the gunmen, getting out of their cars again. That bought them some time.
‘Faster, David.’ Seb urged him on.
‘What do you think I’m doing?’
They didn’t know how they managed but the UN building appeared in front of them. David nearly crashed into the barrier.
‘Childsplay!’ he shouted. The car was let through immediately.
Behind them the assassins came to a halt. They had lost, Il Divo had won.
Leaving the car at the entrance, they stormed in. Urs carried Sylvia in his arms.
‘Please, we need a medic now.’ Urs nearly shouted.
People were already rushing to them. Urs put Sylvia on the floor when the medic arrived. The man briefly looked at her and did nothing.
‘Come on. Do something!’ Urs shouted this time.
‘I’m sorry.’ The medic just said.
‘No, no!’ Urs moaned, dropping on his knees, next to Sylvia’s body. She could not be dead. He had been so angry with her. She died thinking he hated her.
What happened after was a blur to Urs. Sylvia’s body had been taken. They had been lead to a computer room where someone had downloaded the information from the nanochips.
By nightfall they were back on the plane towards London.
Dave had met them at arrivals and thanked them for their help. Then they had gone home. Over the next days they had all suffered with the flu.
Two weeks later.
‘Urs, can you come to the office.’
Simon called them all in for a meeting. They were quietly sitting around the table. Simon looked at them.
‘Guys, I did not know Sylvia Davison was going to use you like she has. There is nothing I can do about that. Yesterday a parcel was delivered. It said it had to be given to you all personally.’
Simon pushed the parcel to the middle of the table and left the room.
They looked at it, not knowing what to expect.
David finally took the parcel and opened it. Inside were all the photos that had been taken over those 4 faithful days. There was also a letter. David opened it and read:
‘Gentlemen, at Sylvia’s instructions we are sending you herewith everything that was photographed during the London, Brussels, Paris and Madrid shoots. She wanted to make sure you were the only ones to have the photos. She also left a letter in her belonging addressed to you.’
David pulled out the other letter. He looked at it and handed it to Urs.
‘I think you should read this.’ He said.
Reluctantly he took the letter. It was the one she had been writing on the plane. He recognised the paper. Slowly he opened it.
‘Dear Carlos, Sebastien, David and Urs,
If you are reading this letter, I’m not around anymore to say this in person.
I felt so privileged to work with you and to get to know you all. The last few days were fantastic for me.
My sweet Urs, in another life time you would have been mine. Thank you for making me feel loved these last few days. I never got to say it but I love you.
Take care, all of you.
Unable to stop the tears falling down, Urs put his head on his arm on the table. Why? Why had she been killed so brutally?
His friends got up and sat around him, comforting him as much as they could.
‘How about we choose one of the pictures with Sylvia.’ Seb suggested.
The next day a single photo was added to the website. It was of the four of them, with Sylvia when they had shared a silly joke. It had been such a happy moment. The caption only read: Il Divo and a very good friend.