By the time Max strapped himself into his seat and found himself hurtling down the runway he was so excited. He felt like he was emerging from a shell, freeing himself from the confines of his own, self-inflicted mediocrity. No – no longer would he think of himself as just a footballer. Now he had something else to prove.
He felt strangely liberated from normality, like he’d finally put pen to paper for the suicide note. But he knew that this was a vastly different contemplation from that of suicide. In theory at least, he was heading in entirely the opposite direction – up, on the Graph of Happiness – not down.
On the other side of the world, flying in precisely the opposite direction, indeed banking gently through a collision course with Max’s plane, Julia Porten-Wilde, a little known American Intelligence Agent, contemplated the three empty seats beside her.
Something was wrong.
Her boss who she hated more than anything in the world – that defunct freak Marlon Sands - was supposed to be on this plane with her.
And he wasn’t.
She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
You know Julia… you really should never have sent that report in the first place. You should have just sat on it – nobody would have been any the wiser. You could have been just like everyone else, quietly allowing it all to happen in its own good time – enjoying yourself…
Now you’ve got to deal with him.
Pierre’s hair was tied high, sharpening his face, accentuating the graceful sweep of his cheekbones. There was always a hint of a smile in his eyes but right now he was positively beaming with joy, as happy as the Prime Minister had ever seen him.
The P.M. slowly got into the Jeep.
“Don’t worry,” he said. “They won’t follow us.”