"Do try and act natural, my dear," Archer says, smiling at her in the dim yellow light. "A carefree young man and his beautiful wife, out for a stroll in the park in the early evening. The perfect cover; no one could question it. Just pretend I'm your husband. I daresay I'm much like him."

Because you imitated him, Gracia thinks, and tries hard to keep any hint of her true thoughts from showing on her face. Because you lusted after his success, and aped his every move, hoping his aura would rub off on you. But it didn't.

"I'm so glad I can assist the military even in a small way," Gracia murmurs, fighting to keep her tone level. She hadn't offered her help, hadn't wanted to leave her daughter to come out here in this cold and windy evening to act as glittering bait. But when the acting commander of the Intelligence branch, the man who controlled her widow's pension, requested and required this service... well... well.

Archer's smile widens. He slides his arm around her back, pulling her stiff form closer against his chest. "Relax," he whispers into her ear; dry, cold, lips brush against the shell. "Just play along, that's all. It shouldn't be difficult. He and I were so alike, after all."

No, you aren't, Gracia thinks, as his hand slips around her front, curling possessively about her breast. You're just a cold, sad, empty shell of a man. You're nothing like him at all.