The First Time
The Tower Bridge had always had good connotations for Robert before that night. He was waiting nervously by the north tower, as they had agreed, when the woman emerged out of the evening fog and walked towards him, high heels clicking confidently on the pavement. She was prettier than he had imagined from her voice on the phone. She walked past him a step, then paused and waited for him to fall into step.
“Where are we going?” he asked.
“A café near here I use for this sort of thing.”
“In public? What if someone notices?”
She gave him a mocking smile. “This your first time? Trust me, no one cares.”
She led the way to a small café and took a corner booth. She held up two fingers to the waiter and two espressos appeared as if by magic.
“Now,” she said, leaning forward. “What have you got for me? Come on; the first time’s the hardest, but it gets easier.”
“I saw my neighbor, Gavin Henry, reading an anarchist newsletter,” he mumbled. “He holds meetings at his house sometimes. Here, I have photographs.”
She held up a hand. “No need for evidence. We’ll find our own. You’ve done a great service to your country. You should be proud.” She took out a thick envelope.
Robert pushed it away. “Actually, I was hoping that you could give me information on my daughter instead. She was arrested five months ago. I can’t find anything about her.”
The woman grimaced. “Next time. For now, take the money.”