On Her Majesty's Secret Service

James drove the Aston Martin on, smoothly caressing the steering wheel, quietly telling the car that it needs to turn up the steep road before it actually does. Next to him, his wife looks excitedly out the window, exclaiming at the sheer drop on the other side of the barrier.

Then James tells the car to stop. It does so, rolling slowly to a standstill.

She turned to look at him, a hint of surprise making her seem ever the more beautiful. Her smile curves slightly upwards, almost at the same time as her eyebrows, asking James why they had stopped.

James returned her smile, the one that couldn't quite bring the words to his mouth. He let his actions do the talking, leaning over to her, kissing her lightly on the cheek. He then reached slowly to the glove box compartment, unlocking it and unveiling ceremoniously a bottle of France's finest.

Oh James!” she squealed with delight.

As if by magic, a pair of champagne appeared out of thin air in James' arms. He flipped expertly, and gave one to her. She took one, and he uncorked the champagne bottle. The loud pop was followed immediately by laughter, as the overflowed wine bubbles made their mess in the car.

Not that James was in the slightest minding it.

They settled after a while, her in his arms, looking into the distance across the furthest of seas.

What do you think will come of us, James?” she asked. “Won't there ever be a time when you will have to leave me?”

He lazed his gaze over hers. Her eyes, blue and sparklingly beautiful, never failed to delight him, to tease his heart strings and make it sing. This time, however, there's a sense of apprehension, a grey cloud that formed on the horizon.

He leaned over and planted a small peck on her forehead. “Don't worry, my sweet,” he reassured her. “We have all the time in the world.”

His warm voice makes her feel all fuzzy inside. This really is what love is like, she thought to herself as she snuggled herself ever closer. It feels nice.

What happened next seemed to slow time itself. In the distance behind them, a quiet rumbling almost thundered its way into existence. James instinctively turned his eyes upwards, against the rearview mirror. A light blue Thunderbird was rising fastly into view, becoming ever bigger in the mirror.

It is the person in the passenger seat, however, that chilled him to his bones.

It's Blofield!” he shouted. “GET DOWN!”

He pushed her head down, trying to hide her from view, while retrieving his gun at the same time.

Blofield made the pass, leaning out of the window, a sub machine gun in his hands. He fired it, shattering the windows of the Aston Martin into mindless, chaotic debris. And then, almost as quickly as he appeared, he ducked back inside his car.

James unlocked the safety on his gun, and rolled outside, straight into a shooting position on his knees. He fired, but the shots hit nothing as the car went around the bend and disappeared from sight. He threw it to the floor in frustration.

It's Blofield!” he said, turning back towards her. “I don't know how he managed to...”

And he couldn't finish his sentence.

She lies there, unmoving. Her head slumped to her right shoulder, as her hands covered the bullet wound in her stomach smeared with blood. Her eyes were wide open with shock.

A tremor shook his body, deep from inside of him. No no no no NO NO NO came the voice from within. He rushed around to the other side of the car, almost tearing the door open off its hinges, and cradling her simultaneously. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO....

Time seemed to stop once again, but James wouldn't be able to tell you that. He wouldn't be able to tell you anything, as the pain in his heart threatened to overwhelm his every sense of existence, on this plane and the next. He wouldn't, couldn't begin to put the slow throbbing his heart felt, and yet the sheer loudness of it ringing in his ears. He couldn't even hear his own screams of anguish that tore into the silence of the Mediterannean sea like a lion's roar.

He couldn't.

No one could.

Eventually, a police officer trundled along on a motorcycle. It was almost comical, the presence of a law enforcer when the enforcement of the law itself could have prevented this. The policeman, however, was blameless as he looked in through the driver's side. “Is everything OK?”

James looked up at him. “It's OK, officer,” he said “She's just resting now. We have all the time in the world,” his voice soft at this juncture, before looking into her eyes, those eyes, for the last time. He closed them slowly.

We have all the time in the world.”