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‘O.K,” conceded Nat “you have convinced me, my view of the events surrounding the passion of Christ, have a latent tendency to be disgusted with men’s obsession with death and the necessity for it. The accounts of those days have been rammed down women and children’s throats for centuries by men who have lauded it over the rest of humanity because of their ability to be enthroned as guardians of all that is holy whilst murdering, raping and plundering the bulk of humanity. The people were not given the opportunity to read and understand the very documents that allowed the clergy to set themselves up as the intercessors between God and man. When we finally get the opportunity to read these documents ourselves and can quite clearly see the errors and fabrications that have been imposed on us, we are told that for the sake of the unity of the corrupt system that has formed around an élite of elegantly clad academics, we should not rock the boat .

Well, I say ‘screw that’ and not because of a feminist rave, as you would suggest, because of a right to object and insist on the real and accurate version instead of a unified boy’s club version, that has only allowed women to join if they shut up and conform to the previously dictated rules that monopolized the system in the first place. I will… don the Arbitrament of Judgment… and sit in a position of one who cares for the whole body concerned, but I will not forgo that which I know to be true for the comfort of those that have lied.”

“Well said,” applauded Buzz “Your appraisal of the situation is spot on, I wouldn’t have you take a different tack on it and what you described about the events we spoke of may well be accurate but my concern was for the consequences, for you, if you attack that Theologically based cabal. They are merciless in their right to be right and have traditionally directed their great resources towards tearing down and persecuting anyone who would disagree with their dogmatic structure. Do not forget that those that you would offend with your alternative view are the most powerful people in the world today. The Pope is not just the head of the largest religion ever but also the friend of the greatest military build-up that the planet has ever known, backed up by the heavily funded security services like the C.I.A and M.I.5+6. It’s not that they care about the truth of the matter but insist on propping up the existing powers because they are the ones that fund their organizations; so if you don’t want to end up like Jesus and left hanging from your particular cross, think twice about your desire to reveal the truth you adequately described. Don’t think for one second I would support their case over yours; if we can formalize it and back it up with a logical thesis, then you will have my total support. It makes a lot of sense and I have faith that the source you have tapped into is authentic and worthy of my heartfelt devotion.”

Natalie melted to the words Gabriel had so honestly poured out onto the pallet of conversation which had become the most physiologically intimate she had ever had. Momentarily all they had been talking about started to recede in importance compared to the emotion she was feeling towards her confidant. She squirmed in her chair and weighed up her considerations on weather she should continue the conversation or circum to the heightened feelings she was having towards this man who was fulfilling all her needs. The sharpness of mind she had been experiencing was not confined to maters theological or political but also how she thought about her personal life. Her logic was weighing up how the very establishment they were coming into conflict with were the ones who relegated people’s sexuality to the classification of sinful and at the moment she had no more respect for that aspect of their belief system, than she had for their interpretation of scripture.

The look in her eyes startled Buzz as he was still thinking in the direction that the conversation had been flowing but obviously her mind had shifted, he crossed his legs accordingly. This stunningly beautiful woman in front of him spoke in a voice he had not been privileged to until then and it did not go unnoticed.

“Have you had many women in your life?” she asked


“Have you been involved with many women that you have cared about?”

“Yes, No,” stammered Buzz “I’m experienced with girls.”

“You haven’t been married then?”

“Well no, not exactly”

“Ever been in love?” she asked

“Sort of, kind of”

“So, tell me about the last one.”

“She was a student and until I had to get serious about finishing my degrees, we had an excellent understanding.” He answered

“Did she leave you or did leave her?”

“Neither, we just sort of fell out of love”

“Then it wouldn’t bother you if I did this.” She said as she stood up and straddled him in his chair


She grabbed his head and kissed him like he had never been kissed before, long and passionately. Finally breaking from the kiss he said “I’m flattered.”

She covered his mouth again with her intoxicating lips and by the time she allowed him to breath again, he was speechless. Feeling the need to put him at ease she said “In the way that you described to me about your experiences with girls, I can say to you the same about boys.”

This affected Buzz more than he could have predicted, he responded by taking hold of the moment and kissed her with all the passion he possessed. She moved herself in such a way that melted any reserve he had and prompted him to confirm his good fortune by asking “would you like us to be lovers?”

Natalie answered him by standing up and moving over to the rug in front of the fire and she made herself more comfortable by removing more clothing, before reclining.

Gabriel had to shake himself into the reality of the moment; he stood up and went to her via the table with their drinks on whilst removing his shirt. She purred and giggled at his nervousness which prompted him to pause and pick up his glass, which became his refuge at times like this.

“Don’t panic” she said, trying to keep it light. “Come over here and let me get a good look at you.”

Immediately obeying, he closed the gap between them and knelt down beside her still clutching his brandy balloon. She purposefully ran her gaze over every inch off his body, touching lightly as she went.

“Now there’s no problem here as far as I can see you fulfil all my expectations.”

This again upped the ante and like an epicurean about to start a banquet, that was laid out to impress, his indecision about where to start gave Nat enough time to override him and take control. She swiftly and smoothly took his Benedictine off him and tackled him into a position where she was hovering over him, in anticipation of what to do next. This time she paused and looked like she was going to pour the contents of the glass all over his naked chest.

“What do you expect from a lover?” Nat asked


“Perfect answer and I want to give you love but most of all I want to give you the best experience of love you have ever had.”

“Mission accomplished.”

“Are you saying I could stop right now and you would be perfectly satisfied?” she continued, making it hard for him.

“I have loved you from the moment we first met and it’s been the best experience of love I have ever had.”

“Tell me again how you would back me up against the powers that be even though it would put you in an awkward position.” she said in such away that it brought him out of himself

“Try and stop me.”

She continued to press herself onto him with the words “What if my ideal doesn’t fit your standard?”

She had him in a position where no movement was possible, he had to acknowledge that there wasn’t a lot of room in their relationship for the normal grinds that couples throw themselves into so he said “I don’t have to push my standard.”

This must have been what she was wanted to squeeze out of him before she could relax but not wanting to spoil the moment with premature commitments he remained rock steady and waited for her to fully accept him. So with hands on one another’s hearts, where they could feel the pulsing deep within, without any further words, they came together in understanding that no mater how tight their situation became, for better or for worse, they were in together.

Time melted like a Salvador Dali painting and neither of them could have been sure how long or how repetitive the déjà vu like moment became but eventually Natalie threw back her head with laughter because she had spilt the contents of his brandy balloon all over his naked stomach. She composed herself and found a towel while Buzz just laid there seemingly stunned by the experience, she had to playfully rough him up just to snap him out of it.

“That was unbelievable.” Was the first thing he said as he was coming around?

“I thought you might not be happy with me, it wouldn’t be the first time I spoilt the moment by throwing a drink on someone.”

“I didn’t even notice,” replied Buzz “I was miles away, I felt totally at one with you and the most amazing thing happened you must have felt it too?”

“I felt your heart was beating inside of me,”

“I felt as though I was seeing through your eyes and feeling what you were feeling, at the time.”

“I have never been able to get past that point with anyone before because they didn’t understand what I was feeling, at the time.”

What they had been going through was similar to a private matrimonial confirmation between one another; each needing to be sure in their hearts and minds that their love was genuine. Like an Isis selecting her Osiris, Natalie was weighing the heart of her chosen one and Gabriel was making all the right noises. There was no doubt in either of them they had selected wisely; the bonds that had brought them together were strong; their thoughts were synchronized into a focused application of well considered beliefs. Gabriel had studied long and hard to make himself eligible for partnering the complex Natalie, who had been raised to play the part she was so readily taking on. The unseen forces that had shaped both their lives were pleased with the two; you could feel it in the atmosphere. They were joining in harmony two aspects of humanity, which since time immemorial was acting on the broad canvas of history. Two individual personalities strong in the will and actions that was required whenever a bond of this nature occurred; a pair of egos that would normally clash unless the prerequisites were in place, a kind of union that could be flammable and destructive but when committed to a common goal can become unstoppable in producing positive outcomes.

That was exactly what was happening here and they knew it, a marriage of importance, brought together without ceremony but not unnoticed by those that surrounded them. Their union would produce an effect of ongoing movement towards outcomes required in the arena of international importance they were beginning to move in and the consummation of it would be the start of something that those who oppose them will regret. As their evening progressed, all these things and much more confirmed itself in the fabric of their very being and as they reached the deepest parts of one another, realizations flooded into existence that were previously unrealized. The solutions to their problems saturated the sponge of knowledge they both contributed to and eventually as they fell asleep in a shared embrace, they knew they were prepared for whatever the new day would bring.

The loud knocking on the old oak door brought them back into the harsh reality of the moment and they leapt into action. Happy, revitalized and really ready to get going again, Gabriel moved swiftly to the door but paused before opening it. Swinging his head around he saw the rear end of Natalie disappearing into her room.

“Mornin’ ” was the greeting as Sir Hamish moved through the opening doorway, carrying a breakfast tray

“Enter my good man,” came Gabe’s reply” pull up a chair and join us”

“Don’t mind if I do.” Said Hamish as he placed the coffee and croissants on the small dinning table and sat his large frame in one of the chairs surrounding it.

“Did you have a good evening?” asked Buzz

“Very productive, I’ll tell you about it while you eat. Where’s Natalie?”

“She’ll be joining us in a minute.” But it was less than that before she was sitting down with them eating and nodding while Hamish filled them in on what had transpired downstairs the night before.

“The man we have detained turns out to be an over qualified courier that was sent to Zurich on behalf of some very influential people. He eventually came around to seeing things our way and volunteered all the information we need to know to proceed along with our plan.” He finished off with while helping himself to a cup of coffee.

“We know all that.” Said Nat

“Oh, do you now?”

“Yes,” added Buzz “he also told you he was working for the Vatican.”

“Very perceptive”

“What you are wondering about is how we would use this information in our Quest and how would that differ from what you and Laurence have already planned?” pondered Nat

“Now that you mention it”

Natalie took her time finishing off her croissant, while standing up and leaving Hamish waiting for her to speak. She circled him a bit and then took on a dramatic pose in front of the fireplace.

“We have ascertained were my father is and how we are going to get him back; you will have to follow our instructions to the letter. Do you understand?”

“Yes, but how?”

“Don’t worry about how at this moment, just give me your word you and your accomplices will carry out our plan, not interfere and we should all get what we want out of it.”

Sir Hamish was looking a little apprehensive and had a puzzled expression on his face,” where in the world do you think your father is?”

Tadmor Military Prison,  one of the most brutal prisons ever.

“Syria,” answered Buzz “he is being kept in a very small cell under the Tadmor Detention Center, being tortured into revealing the whereabouts of the original Breastplate but he has told them nothing. They have told him he will rot there if he doesn’t co-operate and we feel time is of the essences in getting him out.”

“I thought they got the original Breastplate when they got him.”

“Apparently not, it seems like he had time to send it to some one before they grabbed him and he is very insistent in not telling them who.” Said Nat

“That’s good then”

“Well not for him at the moment.”

“So what do you plan to do about it?” Asked Hamish

Buzz stood up as well and joined with Natalie at the fire place to present a united front,

“We have to convince them the fake breastplate we have is the one they want.”

“O.K you have my commitment.” Pledged Sir Hamish

“It involves you and Laurence escorting our friendly courier to the meeting with his contact in the Vatican, convincing him the breastplate we have is authentic and the only way they are ever going to get their hands on it is to give us Joe McHale. While you are doing that we will be travelling to Egypt with the fake breastplate and positioning ourselves for the exchange in front of the Sphinx.”

“I think we should all go downstairs and explain this to the others.” Said Hamish

“No, I think you should go downstairs, explain this to the others and if they have any problems with it then they should come up here and we will have it out.”

“Yes Mam.” Came the considered reply

Natalie gave Buzz a delightful morning kiss, as Hamish bustled off through the closing door. She radiated with the glow of a woman who was in control of her environment, her emotions and wasn’t shy in expressing her newfound confidence. Gabriel’s approval and admiration was seeping from him, as he received her advances and matched them with some of his own; both were intent on enjoying every moment alone with one another and happily batted away bantering, that only couples in love would truly appreciate. This set the standard for the day as they readied themselves for the expected second advance of the troops and by the time the whole crew was filling into their suite, the air was decisively in their favour. The shuffling into various corners of the shrinking room accentuated Laurence and James’ sheepishness as Natalie berated them for not being totally upfront with her and Buzz.

“I can understand why you might have felt the necessity to keep certain things from us,” she said “but from now on you will be completely honest with us. I know what you are thinking before you think it and until the completion of our goals you will not be able to hide anything from me; so you may as well get anything off your chests before we go any father.”

“What makes you think you can just change plans, mid stream, without consulting me and expect us to just go along with it without question?” asked Laurence

“Because, my dear man, I have seen the outcome of your plan and I don’t think you would like it. If you don’t believe me, then I suggest you contact Dorothy to confirm what it is I am saying to you.”

Laurence stepped back and shifted his gaze towards his shoes before quietly saying, “I already have, she did predict that this was going to happen and tried to tell me that I shouldn’t argue when it did.”

“I know,” said Nat confidently “now, if there are no more objections, I suggest you ready yourselves for your trip to Rome and arrange for James to have a vehicle to drive us back to the Villa.”

“Yes Mam.” Replied Laurence

It was still early as they were all assembling in the car park of the ancient monastery and packing themselves into the two separate modes of transport they’d be using to leave the mountain retreat. Buzz was checking the communication devices that would be utilized to keep in contact whilst they were heading in two separate directions; the need to co-ordinate and make continual adjustments to their plan was going to be an essential part of the unfolding nature of the journey still in front of them. Hopefully everything would go smoothly from there on in and the cruise down from the Alps of the Swiss-Italian border back to the Mediterranean Villa, they felt so welcome at, would be a pleasant affair.

The easing of the tensions of the last few days were beginning to permeate the mood of this day and both Nat and Buzz were feeling like the cover, they were creating, of a honeymooning couple was more reality than invention and although nothing had been resolved, other than the consummation of their union, the backseat of the car James was piloting carried two very happy people.

Chapter Twelve


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