DISCLAIMER: Bits of this belong to other people, including the Waldorf Hilton, which in London is at Aldwych, hence the title.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Tomorrow Zurich, today Aldwych
"Good morning Madam," greeted the doorman of the Waldorf Hilton as the tall, impeccably dressed brunette strode through the door, passing her damp umbrella to him in one smooth motion. For early October, the weather was unseasonably mild in central London, hence her lack of overcoat; the London drizzle however, remained.
"Thank you," she murmured, her hands now free to adjust the left cuff of her shirt which had managed to catch itself inside her suit jacket, creating a sensation she could live without. It wasn't irritating. Nothing irritated the brunette...except, well, nothing worth thinking about now. Instinctively glancing to her left (nothing except two tables, currently deserted) and ahead (three steps and the reception desk, currently busy but non-threatening), she looked to the right, spotting her target seated in a large couch, sipping a glass of champagne.
"Jane," greeted the redhead, smiling warmly, but not getting up.
"Moneypenny..." Jane stepped around the table, leaning down and pressing a demur kiss to the woman's cheek, enabling her to whisper, "...let me take you to the suite now Moneypenny..." which only earned her a rather half hearted slap on the thigh and a look of playful disappointment.
"Jane..." she warned, enjoying every second of this illicit flirtation, "...do behave."
"I'll try Moneypenny, I'll try," laughed the spy, as she unbuttoned her suit jacket and assumed a relaxed pose in the armchair, her elbow resting lightly on the arm, fingers poised ready to attract a waiter when one next appeared in the hotel lobby.
"I have your papers," explained the efficient secretary, discretely glancing at the briefcase tucked beneath her legs.
"Thank you, have you read them?"
"Naturally...Jane Bond, financier, specialising in clients who are in the need of Swiss bank accounts with few questions asked and very good interest rates."
"I'm the front man for the Nazi Gold accounts you mean," muttered Jane, her smile shifting slightly from being one inspired by fun to one required for show.
"Ladies, a drink?" interrupted the waiter, responding to the subtle flick of the brunette's fingers.
"More champagne Moneypenny?"
"I mustn't," protested Moneypenny, thinking about all the work she had to do for M that afternoon, thoughts which Jane managed to read immediately, prompting the return of the amused grin.
"Champagne, Clicquot '95 if you've got it...and I'll have a vodka martini."
"Very good Madam...the Martini, unless Madam objects, will be served shaken, not stirred."
"Excellent." As the waiter melted away again, Moneypenny returned to the business at hand.
"You fly to Zurich tomorrow for your meeting with Zobel, the head of your bank, before flying on to Rio de Janeiro for the Embassy reception."
"Ours...the Ambassador's in on it, so you won't have to worry about that." If Moneypenny's tone coloured at all, Jane chose to ignore it.
"Last I'd heard she had settled down with the in-house spook...I'm yesterday's news."
"Whatever you say Jane...there are six people we're interested in, their details are in the briefcase."
"Why so cold Moneypenny?" asked Jane suddenly, her personal interest in Moneypenny twofold - one, the waiter was returning with their drinks, and talking about work wasn't such a good idea; two, if she wasn't so scared of M doing something hideous to her, Jane would have tried to seduce the beautiful secretary years ago.
"Why so hot Jane?"
"I..." The words died on Jane's lips as she felt herself, for the first time in a long time, not wanting to make some glib remark. Instead, she distracted herself with dealing with the waiter.
"I'm sorry Jane, that was..."
"A valid question Moneypenny. Tell me, would you do me a favour?"
"Yes, of course."
"Ring M and tell her I've made you run some last minute errands for me, that you'll be back in the office tomorrow."
"What for?" asked the loyal secretary. She'd do anything for the Service, but she'd do everything for her favourite spy.
"Because..." pondered Jane, downing her martini in one smooth swallow, "...I don't have to fly to Zurich until tomorrow..."
"So, I think I'd like to make love to a beautiful woman today."
"Oh." Frowning, Moneypenny began to reach for the briefcase, looking around the hotel lobby trying to spot who Bond was after now.
"Will you still be here in five minutes Moneypenny?" asked Jane softly, reaching down to still the agitated woman's hands.
"So I can watch you whisk off that bimbo for a quick fuck Jane?" asked Moneypenny bitterly, willing herself not to cry.
"No, so I can escort you to a suite for a long afternoon of making love."
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