Two cups of
coffee later, Felicity was going to leave when Alex Portman walked into the
looked at her watch and saw it was still a half hour before her meeting with
Alicia, so she must have decided to get a coffee before facing the ice maiden.
Alex ordered a
coffee, and then looked around the room eventually going over to, and sitting down
at, a table behind Felicity. If she knew
who Felicity was, she showed no sign of it, going her a wry smile as she walked
Several of the
patrons saw her, but only one had a look of distaste, obviously judging her for
A moment later
she heard her voice, "Alicia, darling, it might be better if we talk in
that quaint little Cafe opposite your building.
I'll be there five minutes before.
Mochiato isn't it? Of
Why be here a
half hour before?
have to wait long. A short portly man
arrived and waddled over to her table behind her and made a lot of noise
recognised him as one of Xavier Walthenson's friends, Alexander Argeter.
like this one little bit." It was
clear that she didn't want to be there, nor deal with Argeter.
don't have a choice."
you know she would call me?"
knows what your ambitions are, and people like Alicia have piles of money to
throw at political candidates that can help them. That's what the pitch will be, but there's
always a price. She needs eyes and ears
inside to find out what's happening to the port land redevelopment."
think she has the title document?"
would surprise me. Her, or that other
might not want to disparage her in front of me, Alexander, or you will get
nothing more from me."
ever get the impression that either woman wants to be your friend. You are simply a commodity to both of them,
useful if you succeed, but nothing if you don't."
does that make you?"
with me, you'll see the knife coming. The title document. Walthenson had it, and he says its gone. Someone has it. We need it.
And we need to talk, so when you're done here, I'll be waiting at the
usual place." There was a short
pause, then, "If you want to succeed..."
yada. Now go away before she sees
sound of metal on stone, and Felicity just managed to see him waddle out the
late, and Felicity didn't see her arrive, only hearing her come over and sit in
the recently vacated chair, after a customary hug.
were closer than just mere acquaintances, but Felicity did not think Alicia was
gay, but only pretending to be, though Felicity also knew Alicia was not above
using her sexuality to get what she wanted.
thought sent a shudder through her.
sorry to sound blunt," Alex started, "but what do you want? It's become clear to me that people, like
you, seem to think that I might be useful if I become a councillor. You're not the first to make an
If Alicia was
fazed by this opening gambit, then her tone didn't betray it.
sure there will be more, and with more dubious claims. We are strong women, with purpose, and like-minded
in what we want, and I make no apology for wanting power and using that of
others to get it. We could be of mutual
benefit to each other. You need campaign
funding and friends, and I have an abundance of both."
you know well enough how this game goes."
the point where I get caught in the crossfire which, it seems, is likely to
happen. I did some homework before I
came. You and Giselle don't play nicely
"Giselle? What does she have to do with anything?"
"Everything. She is an old dear friend. I've known her longer than time itself, and I
know what you did. I know you're
ruthless, single-minded, and, yes, you want power, but you're not the sharing
kind. But, you're right, I need funding
and I need friends, so tell me, what do you really want?"
doubted anyone spoke to Alicia like that and was still breathing, but it
depended on how desperate Alicia was, and whether it was connected to the port
spell this out, so neither of us is in any doubt. If you are sitting on the port land title
that Walthenson so conveniently misplaced, then I suggest you arrange a meeting
to hand it over. If you have not, nor
know where it is, but expect me to keep you informed about any developments
related to that parcel of land, then you are wasting your time if you think you
can buy me."
have it, and I really don't know anything about it, but since it affects the
practice, I thought I'd better find out.
That was all I intended, a few simple questions and answers."
Her tone now
did betray her anxiousness. Felicity
doubted Alicia had been expecting a full frontal attack, or that it would be so
is simple with you Alicia, and you are just the sort of person I don't want to be
A scape of the chair and retreating footsteps. All that
remained was a shattered Alicia who was staring at the coffee cup when Felicity
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