Gladsheim (Part 3)
Margaret Bradshaw had spent the afternoon walking in the extensive grounds and talking at length on her mobile phone. Covert cameras had tracked her every move and some had even picked up snippets of her conversation. Ingrid made notes, which she added to the ones taken from the breakfast encounter with Matthew Evans and placed them carefully in her file. Replacing it on the shelf above her console, she then skilfully adjusted the camera controls until her master screen filled with a sharp image of the jacuzzi and its two departing occupants. She smiled to herself, picked up a small holdall and left the office in the direction of the lift.
Margaret Bradshaw's room showed no sign of occupation whatsoever, apart from a suitcase resting on its stand against the far wall. Ingrid lifted its lid cautiously, only to find that it was empty. She then walked across to the wardrobe and slowly opened the door, but as she did so, noticed a small piece of paper flutter gently down towards the carpet. She picked up the paper fragment, wedged it back into the wardrobe door frame and carefully reset the trap. It was immediately clear that her visit had been anticipated.
Ingrid did not like being anticipated and with some annoyance she unzipped the holdall and took out a small digital listening device. Room 21 looked out onto the rear lawns and as she crossed the room towards the large bed she glanced out and saw Margaret Bradshaw striding purposefully towards the house. Ingrid hissed a Viking curse, quickly pressed the adhesive coated device onto the back of the bed head and left the room.
Lars sat at his desk in the office writing up notes from his afternoon ten minute sessions. As he did so, he fought to suppress the rising geyser of molten Nordic anger that was slowly fighting its way upwards within him. Margaret Bradshaw had missed her appointment and he was furious. Nobody ever missed an appointment at Gladsheim, nobody ever defied the will of Lars without incurring the wrath of the gods. Lars completed his task, placed his folder in the desk drawer and sat absolutely still in his chair. He closed his eyes and went in search
of the rainbow bridge that would lead him back to Gladsheim. Slowly,
he built the bridge which crossed the molten anger and returned to
the controlled ice filled palace of the gods. The door opened and in
walked the two disciples, Eva and Ingrid. He smiled at them with
everything except his eyes.
It's no good Gordon, I can't go through with it,' said Margaret Bradshaw as she sank onto her bed. 'I've met the man now and I'm not at all sure that I could resist. Even using just his voice in our first relaxation class this morning was enough to put me to sleep. If I get too close to him I'm convinced he would have control of me, however hard I tried to resist. You've read the file Gordon, you know what he can do.'
Margaret rose from the bed and walked over to her window, phone still pressed to her ear. 'No I haven't told anyone I'm a reporter Gordon, not yet anyway.' She swapped ears as her editor began to crank up the pressure.
'Well there's this one guy I've spoken to a couple of times who seems like a reasonable candidate. A bit of a loser, but he's never been here before and he seems like a decent enough guy. I'll have a long talk to him after dinner this evening and try to get him on side.'
As she spoke, Margaret turned away from the window and walked towards her wardrobe to check her tell-tale marker. A cold shiver ran down her spine.
'Someone's been in my wardrobe, the marker I left this morning has been put back in the wrong place. They must be onto me already Gordon, what do I do now?'
She began pacing anxiously across her room as her editor made it perfectly clear to his chief investigative reporter that if she came back without the proof they needed, he would take the cost of the course out of her salary.
'Well I'll do my best Gordon, but this place is beginning to spook me. I'll talk to my guy tonight and ring you with a progress report tomorrow at twelve noon. If you don't hear from me then, something will have gone horribly wrong and you come looking for me.'
Margaret terminated the call before Gordon could tell her not to be so bloody silly, dropped her phone onto the bedside table and flopped onto the bed. She closed her eyes, took control of her breathing and slowly began to build the rainbow bridge. As she built up the colours in her mind, the hypnotic voice of Lars drifted, unbidden, into her semi conscious state and eased her gently into oblivion. Her gentle snoring drifted out of the speaker in the control room and and laid itself to rest on the recorder's hard drive.
Matthew Evans had reached oblivion via a different route during his sumptuous massage session with Eva. He'd never been to a spa before and most certainly had never been gently stroked into a stupor by a near naked blonde Viking goddess. He lay on his bed in room seventeen feeling absolutely spaced out and relived the massage session in his mind. Eva's magical hands caressing waves of pleasure into his very being, while her gentle voice coaxed out of him every word Margaret Bradshaw had uttered. Within seconds, the snoring on the first floor had gone stereo.