The dream was always the same... Georgie glanced nervously over her shoulder, she was sitting beside Eshan in the cab of the truck. Her heart was pounding and she could feel the beads of sweat trickling down her back.
"What if we're stopped?" Georgie asked, terrified. "What if they catch up to us?" Adrenalin was flooding through her veins. Eshan looked relaxed though, like he'd done this a million times before. "It's ok Georgie, it'll be ok." He told her calmly taking one hand off the steering wheel to rub her arm soothingly. Just then a truck pulled out of a side road ahead of them. In the back of the vehicle were four men armed with guns. They were looking curiously at Eshan and Georgie and one of them banged on the roof of the cab and shouted something to their driver.
Eshan swore under his breath.
"What's your name?" Georgie asked.
"What?" Eshan said glancing at her, confused.
"What's your real name? We might be about to die and I don't even know your real name." She said, her voice rising with desperation.
"Elvis, Elvis Harte." He replied smiling at her.
Georgie laughed. "What a great name. It's so much better than Eshan. I love it! I'm so happy to have met you Elvis Harte."
Suddenly the truck in front slammed on its brakes and the four men jumped out and ran towards them aiming their weapons at Elvis and Georgie.
Her eyes wide with terror, Georgie turned to Elvis just as the first bullet hit him in the head spraying her face with his blood, brains and fragments of his skull...
Georgie woke up soaked in sweat and screaming Elvis' name. As usual, he was beside her in an instant.
It was a recurring dream that had its roots in an actual event. As they'd made their escape from the compound in Raqqa a similar conversation had taken place in the getaway vehicle but fortunately not the horrific ambush. Thankfully, in reality, they had managed to reach Elvis' contact to change vehicles and then proceed to the safe house without incident. Although Georgie had found the escape terrifying and had taken some time to get over the trauma once they reached their destination. Although the months they spent in hiding were equally traumatic, with the threat of discovery looming over them constantly and with several near misses of potential capture along the way.
She had spoken to her therapist many times about the dream and what it might mean. Her therapist suggested that escaping had been all she'd focussed on for those two years in captivity and it was obviously so important to her. Then when it finally happened, Elvis turned out to be the key to her freedom. Somehow she'd linked Elvis and her freedom so inexorably in her mind that they were one and the same thing. Her therapist suggested that this must be why she needed Elvis to be with her constantly as she feared without him by her side she would lose her hard won freedom.
Georgie could see the logic in what the therapist said but she knew her feelings for Elvis ran much deeper than that. Yes, he had definitely been her saviour in the physical sense. But there was so much more to it. The months they had spent together, in close confinement, had created such a strong bond between them. She knew he felt it too. They had come to know each other so well. She loved him for the person he was deep down, not the soldier or hero he sometimes was. He had opened up a whole new world to her. A life that she had never imagined was possible for her. She felt that to lose him now would more than she could bear. Maybe what the therapist said was true but not just about her freedom in the literal sense but her freedom to live the life she wanted. A life with him. But she could see that she was putting him in an impossible situation the way things currently were, here with her and Cam.
Gradually Georgie began to regain her strength. Her therapy sessions were going well and Elvis, although now on a semi permanent secondment as Georgie's Personal Protection Officer, had been able to take up some part time duties at the home office, to keep himself up to date on any current terrorist activities. He had not been particularly happy about the PPO secondment, as it restricted him from being called for active service but at the end of the day, the decision had been taken out of his hands by his superiors. However, he enjoyed spending as much time as he could with Georgie and always made the most of their time together.
Ghaazi had gone to ground and there had been no new intelligence on him in recent weeks so Elvis was keeping his ear to the ground, eagerly awaiting an update. In the meanwhile He decided it was time he and Georgie had some fun. Her parents had been around more often recently and were starting to put pressure on her to re-enter society. They felt it was time for her to start stepping up and being the dutiful wife to Cameron in his political career. Elvis could sense that her parents felt he was getting in the way of her marriage. They were extremely polite to him and had never stopped telling him how grateful they were to him for bringing Georgie back to them but they were clearly uncomfortable with his continuing presence in Georgie's life.
"Where are we going?" Georgie asked, bouncing up and down in her seat like an excited 4 year old on Christmas Morning. She loved Elvis' surprises. He was always thinking up fun little things for them to see or do.
"Well, I thought you might like to meet my family. Yours have been around so much lately, it got me thinking that I'd like ya to meet mine." Elvis suggested.
"Oh Elvis, what a wonderful idea. I'd absolutely love to!" She was thrilled at the prospect. She made him stop on the way there so she could pick up flowers and wine to take as gifts. She was so excited that she chatted animatedly for over an hour, all the way to his parents house in Hoddesdon, barely pausing for breath.
Elvis' huge family were delighted to see him. They were all there, his parents, his sisters and their families, aunts and uncles and cousins. It was clear that they were all very close and they made it obvious that they disapproved of the fact that they didn't get to see him very often. Georgie was made to feel extremely welcome and she was relieved that they didn't ask her any awkward questions that she couldn't answer. She made a mental note to ask him what he'd told them about her (and their relationship) afterwards.
Shortly after lunch Elvis grabbed her hand and they escaped the noise and chaos into the garden. Elvis led her over to the swing that had been there since he was a child and now fulfilled the playtime needs of his nieces, nephews and younger cousins.
Salvatore and Louisa Harte watched their son and his young lady from the dining room window.
"I hope he knows what he's doing." Louisa worried aloud. "Charles seemed so concerned about him when we spoke last week. He said that this relationship could even put his career at risk!"
Her husband wrapped his arms around her waist from behind and rested his chin on the top of her head. "He's a grown man my love, he has to make his own decisions, right or wrong. You can't tell him what he should or shouldn't do and you can't take away his pain, as much as I know you long to."
Elvis had sat down on the swing and Georgie was quizzing him about his family's Italian roots. He explained that his great-grandparents had been Italian prisoners of war and had decided to stay in England and settle in Hoddesdon after the war. Georgie felt that it made her roots seem quite dull in comparison. Elvis disagreed and pulled her down onto his lap. He knew he shouldn't do it but he couldn't help himself. Seeing her here in the heart of his family just felt so right. He gently pulled her face towards him and brushed his lips over hers planting a tender kiss on her lips. She put her arms around his neck and nestled into his shoulder.
"What the hell are we going to do George?" He whispered in anguish, burying his face in her dark silky hair.
As always, many thanks to all those who follow and review. Hope you enjoyed the update. x