004. A Quiet Word

Exeter sat down next to Weston and took out his cigarettes, lit one up. Weston turned and stared at him, incredulous.

‘You can’t do that here.’

‘But I just sat and watched you do the exact same thing with that stinky cigar not ten minutes gone.’

‘But I’m …’

‘What? Special. I think what you are, Mr Weston is a fucking liability who draws attention to himself. And might I say how bloody inconvenient it is for the likes of me who have to come and slap the wind out of you bloody demand feed babies.’

‘You’re from the agency?’

‘I am, and you, sir, are lucky to be seeing me and not receiving a full metal jacket in the back of the head.’

‘For what? What was your name? I didn’t catch it.’

‘If you find out my name, sir, it will be endgame for you. Do you realise how many protocols you have broken with your little missive you sent? Do you have any inkling of how many people you have exposed to the danger of being identified or targetted? I am thinking you are what you look like – a clueless and selfish fuck.’

‘Well, I …’

‘Yes, I know, you want to protest. I will save us both some time and let you know that I don’t really care about anything you might have to offer up as a reason or excuse. I have a message to deliver and that is that you will do nothing else to respond to this person. You will let us know the next time you receive something, and you will do that via sanctioned channels.’


‘Goddamn, I hate you Fiction Department fucks – you are so unprofessional. Or … I will paint the wall with your brains you stupid motherfucker. Go back to being anonymous and not giving me a headache or you will die.’

Several sentences jostled to come of Weston’s mouth, but thankfully they all died before they reached his lips … his inability to pick a stupid thing to say was probably the only reason he survived the encounter.

Exter was biting his tongue and holding himself back from just returning to that seat and killing this problem. It was going to happen eventually – this kind of thing didn’t go away when you had people like Weston who could not keep quiet.

He’d go home and he would file his report. He alerted someone to make a soft contact with Weston – someone trained to divert any attention a target had from the things he wanted to do into something much more relaxing. Bartlett had been running smother operations for years, and she tasked one of her best to keep this quiet … Bulstrode, for all the fireworks she set off in most men’s hearts, was quite capable of convincing a plain and uninteresting specimen like Weston that she found him stimulating and worthy of her time.

Exter was going to a lot of effort not to kill Weston, and he knew that Weston would not appreciate that restraint in the least. It was always preferable to handle these things quietly if possible though.