The two people were, once again, meeting in the same restaurant. As before, the sophisticated surroundings and the delicious food were hardly noticed or acknowledged by either of them. The atmosphere was tense, which was normal whenever they were together. The two people might have ties to each other but it was far from being comfortable and friendly. It was an unwilling but necessary alliance.
“The situation is progressing.”
There was no panic, no fear in the commanding voice. The path was obviously clear in the mind of this person.
“What do you mean? What’s happened?”
“Nothing very surprising. Michael has decided to acknowledge the child as his own. I knew he would as soon as he saw her. The resemblance is unmistakable. And, there’s no doubt that he had an affair with the woman during that time frame. I personally kept a close eye on the situation. Naturally, he believes the girl is his. He doesn’t even want to carry out further testing.”
“So now, it’s time for phase two and that’s where you become involved.”
“Me? Phase two? What do you want me to do?”
There was a thread of panic in the voice.
“There’s plenty to be done, but don’t worry, we’ll find someone to help you. Of course, I wouldn’t expect you to do it all by yourself.”
This was delivered with a cold smile and a look of disdain.
‘I don’t understand. What’s phase two?’
It didn’t take long to outline the specifics of the plan. As the details were recited in a deadly calm voice, the other person’s brow furrowed in worry. Hands were being wrung under the table, out of sight of the speaker.
“I’m not sure I want to be involved in this. It’s too dangerous.”
This statement was not well-received. The response was quick and hard, hissed, making it clear there would be no backing out, no disagreement, and no breach of authority.
“You will do as you are told, without question.”
Then the voice adopted a deceptively softer tone.
“After all, you have as much, maybe more, to gain from this than I do.”
There was a moment’s hesitation.
“What is it you want me to do?”
The message had hit home.