By Zoë Spencer
Two bulky men in expensive suits flanked Emily as she hurried out of the white stucco townhouse. They ushered her towards the Mercedes Benz. Its lights were on but the engine wasn’t running. Her dress rode up as she slipped into the backseat. Black car. Black dress. A flash of elegant black silk clad thigh. Neither man noticed. They were too busy watching for threats.
Matthew Adams was waiting inside the Benz. More bulky and even more expensively tailored than his colleagues, Matt had been her father’s director of security. The smile on his fleshy face said he had enjoyed the view. She grinned and slid across the seat towards him.
“I never could get the hang of getting into a car without giving the cameras a little something-something.”
He laughed then spoke across her to the driver.
“Jonesy, whenever you’re ready.”
The driver started the engine and Emily watched her bodyguards made a final sweep of the street before they left. They had been with her for a week now and she still knew nothing about them except they played defense with predators’ eyes. Mark Chester joined her on the backseat. Victor Lowndes walked around to ride shotgun. Both men rested handguns on their laps. Matt Adams slipped his own gun out of his shoulder holster.
Jonesy eased the big car away from the kerb and began to guide them through Belgravia. They were heading, she assumed, towards the Cromwell Road.
“Well, this is cozy.” Emily broke the silence.
Chester smiled. Matt Adams laughed again. Lowndes showed no reaction, which was typical of him. Not one of the three turned to look at her. They were focused on the streets outside.
It was barely five in the morning. There was very little traffic and few pedestrians. The Mercedes was armored and the glass was bullet-proof but Adams was entirely risk adverse – especially after what happened to Emily’s father.
“Any sign of a tail?” he asked.
“Nothing, Matt. ” Jonesy replied. “Far as I can see. I’ll circle around Cadogan to make sure.”
Halfway around the square, Adams told the driver to hit the brakes. They sat in the road, surrounded by tall redbrick buildings, while he counted slowly to twenty. Nothing moved except a cat and the wind through the trees.
“OK. Let’s be on our way.”
On the Westway, Jonesy opened up the engine and the Benz responded enthusiastically. Emily and her protectors arrived at Farnborough Airport no more than sixty minutes after they left the house on Gerald Road. She wondered if she’d see her home again.