Philip felt that he was achieving his goals. The photographs edited to have Anthea’s face were graphic enough to make even he, who knew they were faked, feel rather queasy. The story, with written evidence from the man who had ‘so conveniently’ died, made for riveting story. A tale of satanism, sadism, bestiality, murder. It was all so good to know that Anthea would marry with this nice scandal hanging over her head.
The international media would have a fine time with it all. There hadn’t been a nice juicy scandal involving any of the royal families for quite a while now, so it would be lapped up and spread all over.
Even if they tried to prove it false, there would always be suspicion, and the reality of her first husband’s well documented lifestyle would simple lend more substance to the rumours.
He was oddly pleased that Penelope didn’t know what use he had made of these contacts she had given him.
As for the other information gathering, the time could be ripe for action. His country could act, destroying some of these monopolies that countries like this held, just because of patents. What he had found could, if used properly, create dissention between these countries, leaving his homeland able to take advantage well before the patents expired. Industrial, pharmaceutical, energy generation, each country’s secrets ready to be used against it. His country could benefit from the distrust created.
Philip had taken some days of leave so that he could oversee the publication of his pictures and story about Anthea.
The day after the story had been leaked to the Sun, Philip rose early to buy the morning edition and see the fruits of his labours. Penelope was still asleep in his bed. She was stunningly beautiful, he was delighted to have her.
A block from his apartment, near the newsstand, two men suddenly seemed to be walking next to him. He felt a sharp prick on the neck and within a few paces began to feel dizzy and weak. The men caught him under the arms and ‘helped’ him into a car.
They sped off. Philip was barely aware of where he was. All he could think of was that Penelope was at his apartment, still asleep. She would raise the alarm that he had been kidnapped. She would add to the stories about Anthea, that she and Leo had had him kidnapped. Then the world darkened as he fell completely under the effects of whatever drug it was.
He roused a little and managed to sit up. He was in a bare room, just one door and no windows. There was a table and two chairs. He was lying on a rather flat and uncomfortable mattress in one corner. There was a basin and a toilet against the far wall, away from the window.
The light fitting was behind heavy duty metal mesh. There were several security cameras in the corners next to the ceiling. The whole room was painted white, even the floor, and it smelt still of fresh paint.
He wondered where he was, and decided it was probably one of the palace dungeons, rumoured to exist, but never openly discussed. Maybe he was to be tortured, with Anthea and Leo able to watch on the in-house TV system and enjoy it. Well they wouldn’t enjoy it for too long.
Two men came into the room, one stood guard at the door, and the other came over, checked his pulse, and looked into his eyes. He grunted and the two of the left the room.
A while later one of the men returned, this time with another man carrying a tray; food and water, a tin plate and mug, plastic utensils.
Philip groaned. He would miss the publication of the story and photos, and all the ensuing confusion and embarrassment for that bitch who had left him. Then panic struck him, what if he was to be interrogated. He had his military training, but had never been trained in how to resist torture.