Philip read the news article about Leo and Anthea both getting a check-up before marriage and how they were lauded for it. He sneered, if only he had managed to give Anthea something nasty to take away with her when she left him. She had probably run from his bed to the king’s bed. He was well rid of her. Maybe she had been two-timing him all along.
He began to see himself as the hurt party. The innocent man who had been duped almost into marriage by a conniving promiscuous woman.
He had begun another relationship with a woman he had met at several formal embassy occasions. She worked in some secret government post, with a cover as an official in the arts academy. That much he had already learned from her. From the night he had first invited her out, theirs had become a passionate affair. Philip enjoyed the return to a regular sex-partner. He shuddered when he remembered what the encounter in the bar had led him to.
From his new lover, Penelope, he discovered more of the ‘open’ underworld in the capital. People who traded secrets for money, people who could create a scandal out of little real evidence. He began to have a case built against Anthea, hoping to release it to the press just before her wedding. That would serve her right!
One day Penelope found the pencil sketch of Lisa that Anthea had given him. She looked at the broken edge and missing glass and then asked him if this was the woman he had been involved with, and what had happened to the child, assuming it was his.
He replied offhand that the picture had been a present and that Anthea had broken it in a fit of jealousy, thinking he admired the woman in the picture.
Penelope suggested he have the frame repaired and the glass replaced. “Thomas is an up and coming artist. This should be worth something in a few years.”
She continued explaining how Thomas had been one of the young prodigys in the arts council. “But he’s left the city now; he lives in some rural dump with a couple of women and a child. He says he’s very happy there” she finished.
Philip wondered how Thomas had managed to have two women on a regular basis, as his only attempt had not been that successful. He thought back to it. Theresa had suggested it, it was her fault, she had stolen Lisa away from him. Another bitch he’d like to see made sorry for that.
He thought about Lisa, how docile and always available for sex she had been. He missed that. Other women seemed a lot of effort by comparison. He wondered if he could persuade her back to his bed now and then with no strings attached. Then he remembered seeing her with that artist, in a very passionate embrace, and her very pregnant at the time. Must be the artist’s child. Another faithless woman. Nude modelling was probably how she got herself pregnant in the first place.
Meanwhile he was gathering other information and passing it back to his home country. No one ever suspected dear Philip of being a spy, he was too busy being charming and competent. As his controller had told him “Mr Above Board, with a busy social round, always charming and polite is seldom a suspect. Most people are more likely to suspect a quiet type or a very gung-ho type like James Bond.”