I kneel on the floor, hard cement digging into my knees and Ourumov's gun barrel pressed against my skull. Waiting to start the charade that will, finally, end my life as 006, I can only think of one thing: James' kisses always tasted like treason.
Not that we'd kissed at first. At first, it had just been sex, hard and urgent, aimed at celebrating survival, meant to commemorate the deaths of friends and enemies alike.
We'd had our share of knee-tremblers in deserted back alleys of abandoned corners of the former British Empire, hands frantically fumbling with zippers, cock grinding against cock, teeth biting at exposed neck and shoulder. We'd fucked in dingy hotel rooms on dirty sheets, one thrusting into the other with a fury that only a brush with death could bring.
But we hadn't kissed.
Not until that night at James' flat, when something gentler than survival and animal need had brought us together. When James had reached over, taken the tumbler of vodka from my hand and kissed me.
His kiss had been strange. Hesitant, but confident. Sweet, but with an underlying bitterness. Utterly truthful and completely false. A traitor's kiss. A spy's kiss.
A spy and a traitor myself, I could not fail to recognize it, could not fail to respond to it. My mouth moved with his, my tongue sought out his taste, his essence. Our hands reached out to each other, fingers linking together. I could feel his breath against my cheek, hear the rustle of his shirt as we moved together.
Then need took over once again and we came together more furiously than ever. Teeth clashed and bit. Clothes were quickly stripped and discarded on the floor. I gasped as his callused had trailed down my flank, trembled as his warm palm engulfed my cock, cried out as he entered my body, violated the fortifications I had raised around myself as no one else ever had.
When it was over, we remained on the hard floor, taking comfort in each other's warmth. I enjoyed the simple pleasure of combing my fingers through his jet hair while he stared at me with a fierce concentration, as if he would plumb my soul.
He blinked once, as if to pull himself away from whatever distant country had claimed him, and then he kissed me again. The kiss tasted of need and desire and loyalty. It also tasted of judgment, as if I had been examined and found wanting.
That kiss confirmed for me, more than ever, that he would betray me. I wanted to weep with the grief of this knowledge, but I maintained my cover, as any good spy would, as any traitor needed to. When he looked at me with an unspoken question in his eyes, I only smiled and kissed him back.
Here and now, Ourumov gives James an ultimatum and begins a countdown. I am stunned as James throws down his weapon and moves toward us, hands held up in surrender. It's not possible that he will choose me over the mission, not possible that he won't betray me. When Ourumov reaches two, I feel something in me break.
"For England, James," I yell. It's a reminder to James of his first loyalty, a dare to him to complete his betrayal, my betrayal. Our betrayal.
Ourumov takes my words as his cue and pulls the trigger. The sound of the shot is like a physical blow, and for a moment I think that it is Ourumov who has betrayed me, used a live round, not a blank. I fall bonelessly to the floor, lie on hard concrete, eyes open, unmoving but still alive, still breathing, not bleeding my life out on the concrete.
A living corpse, I am a mute witness to James' escape. I cannot help but admire his ingenuity and resourcefulness. Miraculously, I avoid being crushed by the hail of barrels he unleashes to cover his flight. I only stand as Ourumov and his men rush out of the complex to pursue my traitorous lover. I don't follow. I know what will happen. Know that James will find a means of escape, know that he will abandon me here. That is how it was always meant to be.
I stand in the middle of the cavernous room, amongst scattered barrels and bloodied corpses, amongst the moaning wounded, amongst the signs of James' passing. And even though I know that this is how it must be, that he will never betray his beloved England, will only ever betray me, I still long for one more kiss, one more taste of treason from his lips.
I am still standing there, when the unseen timer set by James' hand reaches zero. Still aching for his touch when the explosion triggers an inferno and the flames engulf me in one last Judas kiss.
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