Thank you for continuing to read GAMES AT DEAUVILLE. I'm glad you're enjoying it.
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I would like to refer you to my other story appearing on Nifty: DARK PRINCE that is in the scifi/fan folder.
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"Heil Hitler!" Hauptscharführer Müller said, coming to attention just inside the door of the train compartment, his hand extended out in the perfect plane of the Party salute. Gisele von Kys wondered how long it took old fighters like Horst Müller to perfect the salute. He could even stand at military attention with the rolling of the train under them and do it.
Stefan Schmidt closed the door to the compartment and returned to his bench across from her.
"Sit, Müller," she told him. "There, beside the Obersturmführer." She watched as the man who had served her husband lowered himself onto the bench beside Schmidt. Müller sat ramrod-straight, watching her, waiting patiently. He was in civilian dress but there was no way to conceal that he was a military man.
"Your detailed orders-" she said and reached into her handbag for the sealed envelope. "These are to be memorised and destroyed before you reach the French coast, Hauptscharführer."
He nodded once in understanding and waited.
"You are to continue to Le Havre on this train. There, you will take the Channel ferry to Dover and a train into London."
She glanced at Schmidt. So tall and slim. He was beautiful. She'd still not got him into bed. She hoped that he wasn't an invert like Janus had been. It would be such a waste to have to kill him.
Stop it, Gisele! she told herself sharply. You're here on Reich business. She smiled slightly. But there was no reason that they could not mix business and pleasure once they were at their hotel.
She turned back to Müller. "In London, you will be met by an Englishman. One you know-"
"This James Crooksall whom you mentioned yesterday, Obersturmbannführerin?" he interrupted.
"Yes. He will escort you on to Coventry and take you to our operative in the village near Petersholme's estate. He also will need to work out your escape route with you. You are in charge there, Hauptscharführer. You may use this Crooksall in any way that you feel necessary."
He nodded at the instruction.
"You will execute the Drecksau Jorsten there and return my son to the Fatherland - the execution order, signed by the Reichsführer, is with your orders. There can be no failure. Are there any questions?"
"None, Obersturmbannführerin. It will be as you have ordered."
"Good. You may leave then, Müller."
"Heil Hitler!" the old fighter answered, effortlessly rising to his feet, coming to attention, and saluting.
She looked out her window as Stefan Schmidt showed Horst Müller out of the compartment. They were already in the eastern suburbs of Paris. Dusk was rapidly settling.
She'd been angry when she learnt that Petersholme would already be in Deauville before she got to France. She was still several hours away. It was more likely four hours - because the security man from the embassy would fawn all over her and have already mucked things up. But it could not be helped. She would catch up to the Engländer by the middle of Tuesday.
She smiled at her reflection in the darkening window. The SD's mole in Colonel de Gaulle's regiment had been quite clear in his report. Petersholme would not meet with the nationalist firebrand Reynaud before Friday. De Gaulle was already at his estate for Christmas. And the French had put Petersholme in the hands of a novice officer who knew nothing about security. The son of the French Pretender no less! She could not imagine such stupidity, even in the French. The damned Engländer would be able to do nothing before she had killed him.
* * *
A short, fussy man broke from the crowd on the platform and trotted towards her as Gisele von Kys left the carriage at Gare du Nord. He stopped in front of her and clicked his heels. "Obersturmbannführerin, it is my honour to welcome you to France," the man said to her - too loudly. "And you as well, Obersturmführer. I am the security officer at the embassy and am at your complete disposal." People leaving the train glanced strangely at them as they passed them.
"Get a hold on yourself," she growled at the man. "Or I'll report you to Berlin. We are not to be identified as members of the security forces." She glanced towards the terminal. "I'm going inside," she told the man and rolled her eyes at Schmidt over the short man's head. Neither of them was publicly travelling as an official of the Reich. Why then did this moron insist on identifying them as such? The man endangered her mission by calling attention to her. Couldn't he understand that?
Beyond Paris, their car slowed on the main roadway to Normandy and turned onto a lane that immediately entered a copse of trees. The security officer had explained to the Obersturmbannführerin and her subordinate the arrangement for them to meet the men who were to help them in France.
Stefan Schmidt peered through his window, trying to make out the car that was supposed to be waiting for them. Von Kys stared straight ahead, pointedly continuing to ignore the embassy security officer as she had since leaving the train station in Paris.
"There's the car," her subordinate said, turning to his two companions as their sedan slowed to a stop. He opened the door and walked around the boot to open the door for her.
She stepped into the snow. She heard one of the men mutter: "Une femme! Mon Dieu!"
Smiling as she approached them, she brought her arm up in a short salute. "Heil Hitler," she greeted them. "I am Obersturmbannführerin von Kys - and my assistant, Obersturmführer Schmidt."
"Waffen-SS?" a cultured voice asked and she decided that it had been the older, taller man who had spoken.
"I am Major Urnazy of the Army of France," the man continued, speaking in German low enough that he would not be heard by the occupants of the other car. "My companion is Maurice Pelletier of the Sûreté. We are at your service."
The men were alone; they would not be overheard as they drove out to Deauville. They would be able to speak freely. She glanced back at her car and watched as the chauffeur opened the boot. "If we may transfer our luggage-?" she said as she looked to the man from French internal security.
Gisele von Kys relaxed as the French car pulled back onto the main roadway. She had been uncomfortable with the embassy's security man and his driver. She accepted that the two Frenchmen in the front seat were more than just sympathisers - they had been cleared by the Sicherheitsdienst for this mission. But the embassy's security officer had seemed like the type who didn't know how to keep his mouth shut.
She leaned forward so that both of the Frenchmen could hear her. "You understand the mission? This British nobleman is to be killed before he can give Reynaud's people his information." Pelletier from the Sûreté nodded glumly and silently continued to drive.
Urnazy smiled. "We understood as much, Gräfin von Kys. I have guaranteed that we have time to carry out the mission properly. A staff officer was assigned as Baron Petersholme's escort during his stay here so that things will remain a bit muddled. Several our our friends in the Premier's party are finding ways to prolong Minister Reynaud's negotiations-"
"Jude!" von Kys hissed at the mention of the French Premier. No wonder the French sided with the English - they had the damned Jew, León Blum, leading them.
Soon, though - as soon as the Führer ordered the Wehrmacht to unleash its Panzer divisions - France would be quickly brought into the Teutonic fold where it belonged. The Pretender might even be put on their vacant throne to keep them in line - like Mussolini kept Vittorio Emmanuele on the throne in Rome.
The major waited several moments before continuing. She thought that he seemed to be studying Schmidt more closely than she would expect and wondered if the Frenchman was a Schwul like her husband had been. "The officer ensuring the Baron's well-being is of noble birth-" he said finally and chuckled. "He will be able to keep the Englishman entertained."
"Isn't he the heir to your uncrowned King?" Schmidt asked. Von Kys was surprised that he had interrupted but didn't show it. It pleased her that the man had read the reports as closely as she had. It showed that he had more than just a perfect Aryan body. He would go far under her direction.
"He is, Obersturmführer." Urnazy smiled as he turned to face him.
For the barest moment, von Kys thought that she saw recognition in the man's eyes, but it disappeared almost as quickly as it had appeared.
"As hidebound as the English are, I thought it would be a nice touch to put this Petersholme in the hands of a member of Royalty. It should keep him pleasantly amicable to having to wait for the Minister - while we put our plan for his death in place."
"You've already given thought to that?" Gisele asked sharply, pulled back from wondering about the major's sexual tastes.
"I have suggested a stag hunt on Wednesday to Capitaine d'Orléans. He thought it would be a pleasant interlude for the English Baron. I meet with young d'Orléans for breakfast tomorrow to plan it."
"Is there a wooded area from which we can shoot him?" she asked. The major nodded and she laughed. "Good! The Baron Petersholme becomes the stag and we, sitting in our blind, become the hunters." She glanced quickly from Urnazy to Pelletier. "We will follow this plan. I will need one of you as a back-up marksman to me."
"To you?" Pelletier grunted from behind the wheel.
"To me, Herr Pelletier. I take the point position."
"Gräfin!" Urnazy gasped. "Why? You have both Maurice and the Obersturmführer-"
"My orders are to kill the Englishman, Major," she told him as she sat back in the seat. "And I learnt to use a rifle from my father as a child. I don't need a back-up but shall have one - just in case." She glanced over at Schmidt before returning her gaze to Urnazy.
"The Obersturmführer will ensure that escape remains viable. You, Major, should be in the hunting party. That leaves Herr Pelletier to support me in the blind. Is this acceptable to everyone?"
She turned to face Schmidt.
"I am your second-in-command on this mission - shouldn't I be with you?" he asked.
She chuckled. "Killing the spy is our mission, but I would just as soon enjoy the view of the Reichskanzlerei from my office again. Making our escape a safe one is the most important thing you can do for this mission, Obersturmführer." She turned back to Urnazy. "I will want to see the entire area tomorrow, Major. We must be meticulous in planning this operation-" She paused to allow the silence to touch the three men. "And we must look for the ingredients of a second plan-"
"A second plan?" Pelletier groaned.
"As the major will tell you, things can go wrong and make a plan untenable," Gisele answered. "If an operation is to succeed, it is imperative to have a fall-back position."
* * *
Elizabeth Myers shut the door of her sitting room and leaned against it. She felt - she couldn't describe her feelings. She was almost light-headed. Giddy perhaps? She pushed away from the door and entered the room.
Warm? Yes, definitely. As if it were already spring and the very air around her was alive. She dropped her gloves and coat on the sofa and approached the fire. She could feel the fabric of her dress caressing her knees. She felt tingly all over. A smile curled her lips as she remembered the dance floor at the casino. And the music. She began to sway as she hummed. When Philippe had held her and-
"Robbie isn't going to like this at all!" She giggled as she imagined his face. She flushed as her cousin's perplexed face transformed into Philippe's in her mind. So close. Almost as if he were about to kiss her.
"And Alice!" She laughed, the image of Alice Adshead's eyes nearly popping now in her mind. She had to sit down.
Again, Philippe's face swam into view. His eyes so brown - so bright and warm. And tender - yes, tender. And kind. And loving. Touching her. Caressing her. But almost sad as well, as if he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders.
His lips! They were so inviting. Sensuous even.
"You're being ridiculous, Elizabeth!" she told herself, consciously making the decision to be serious. She promptly giggled again. She couldn't help herself. It felt so good. Warm and cozy, like a thick blanket wrapped around her that would hold her forever.
She'd never wanted to kiss anyone before. On the cheek perhaps - but not like they did in the films. Not like Robbie and Barry had that time she'd surprised them. Not on the mouth.
But Philippe? She knew that she could kiss him all day, every day. She knew that she would never get enough of his lips on hers. There was the promise of pleasure there. Pleasure that she could only imagine but that she wanted to experience.
"Silly, silly girl!" she hissed, making her voice sound like Aunt Alice's. She giggled again.
An eternity later, she forced herself to stifle the continuing giggles. "So, this is what love is?" she mumbled to herself.
Love? Yes. It had to be. She'd never felt this way before - not even when she'd been a little girl and dreamed of growing up to marry Robert and becoming his wife. It was at least the strongest infatuation that she could imagine.
She could hear Robert's calm voice in her mind: "Think, Eliza. Think this through."
Did you, Robbie? she demanded mentally of her cousin's voice. Did you think through what you were doing? With Barry? True enough, you did resist. It took some real effort to keep putting you two together - but I could tell that you were head over heels for him.
But she knew that he was right. She did have to think this through.
Philippe was royalty. It didn't matter that his family had not sat on the French throne for nearly a hundred years. He was still the same as a crown prince. There was little chance of anything coming of this week that they were together. In fact, it was absolutely impossible that it could happen. She had to realise that and protect herself from being hurt.
She stood and moved closer to the fire, swaying in time with the music that continued to play in her head - Tommy Dorsey's Begin the Beguine.
A prophetic song title definitely, she decided as she danced around the sitting room to the music only she could hear. Especially when Philippe had taken her hand and led her onto the platform before the orchestra. She had practically melted into his arms and they had flowed perfectly with the music. They had become the music together.
Philippe wouldn't hurt her. She knew that he didn't have it in him. It was herself that she would have to worry about.
But that was completely silly! She had never felt as alive as she had since she met him. She couldn't believe it had only been a few hours. She couldn't remember being sad or even worried once. It was almost as if she'd never had a care her whole life. It felt as if she'd known Philippe her whole life.
"But I will be sensible," she said aloud as she waltzed into her bedroom and began to undress. Robert was right about that.
But she was going to continue to enjoy herself while she was here. And enjoy how Louis-Philippe d'Orléans made her feel when he was with her.
As she slipped on her nightgown, Elizabeth wondered if this was how Barry felt when he had Robert's attention. She hoped so. Barry deserved to feel good.