Brace yourselves - this is my sequel to Skyfall, featuring a Bond girl like nobody you've ever seen before! After M's death, Bond is taking out his grief on every criminal he comes across. Concerned, Gareth Mallory - the new M - gives him a new assignment and a new partner: a woman who just happens to be the late M's sister, Lady Margaret Mawdsley. Together, Bond and Lady Maggie work to solve a tangled mystery of deceit, murder, and betrayal, and Bond learns just what it means to be the property of a lady.

I was inspired to write this story not only after the events of Skyfall, but in response to rumors that Maggie Smith was going to be in the film. Sadly, she wasn't, but if she were in a Bond film... well, this is my idea of the type of character she'd play! So, this story is lovingly dedicated to her.


The old cliché held that it was thicker than water. It was the source of life when flowing through one's veins, and the source of death when leached from one's body. It could boil in one instant and run deathly cold in the next, a person could be murdered in cold blood, and one could also be after another's blood… just as James Bond was right now.

Pelting hell-for-leather down the back streets of London, Walther PPK drawn and sweat pouring down his face, Bond was in hot, reckless pursuit of the tosspot who had stolen something he held dear… something very precious. And the tosspot in question was barreling ahead of him with the speed of bloody Superman, legs pumping for all he was worth – which didn't amount to much, if you asked Bond. Breaking into the flat of an MI6 double-0 was stupid enough, but stealing a precious artifact from said agent's flat and running into the agent on the way out? No wonder the world was going to seed; even petty criminals were getting dumber by the day.

The situation was idiotic; it really was. Bond had just stepped out to pick up his order from the Chinese takeaway down the street and returned home, beef and broccoli and eggrolls in hand, when his door swung open before he could even fish in his pocket for his keys. Tosser, as he was now calling the thief he was chasing, had frozen for a split second, stared at Bond with wide eyes, and then bolted for his life, carrying an all-too-familiar box in his arms. Dinner be hanged, Bond had thrown down his bag of Chinese food and hurtled after him, racketing down the stairwell and sliding down the rail when it seemed like the idiot was in danger of getting away. Now, he was running around London like a madman, on the tail of a nobody whose last "job" had probably been picking pockets on the Tube during rush hour. This is so bloody ridiculous, Bond fumed to himself as he continued to thunder along, dodging people and cars as he went. Chasing down a twenty-something kid. If this pillock were a real thief, he wouldn't have stared at me like a codfish and then bolted. He would've thought fast and… oh, NOW he pulls it on me!

No sooner had they whipped round a corner and into a dank alley than Tosser pulled out a pistol – a peashooter compared to Bond's calibrated Walther – and fired off two rounds at Bond, who dived forward in a somersault to avoid the bullets. Pulling himself out of the somersault and right back onto his feet, Bond took aim and fired, missing Tosser by six inches as he suddenly zigzagged. "Are you trying to kill me?" the idiot shouted over his shoulder, never stopping for a moment.

Are you serious?! "Well, I'm not trying to friend you on Facebook!" Bond bellowed back; that only made Tosser run even harder. In that instant, Bond knew he was going to have to switch tactics; picking up the pace to match Tosser's would have only succeeded in getting him so winded he could no longer keep up the chase. His keen eyes roving over Tosser's escaping form, Bond quickly decided that the thief no longer needed a leg to stand on. Raising his Walther one more time, Bond aimed true and fired; Tosser let out a howl and collapsed to the ground, blood bursting from his right thigh. He barely had time to crawl away before Bond leaped over a dustbin that had been knocked over in the chase, sprinted the remaining length and tackled him back down, pinning him to the pavement.

The two of them rolled off down the alley in a vicious tangle of arms and legs, aiming kicks and punches in every vulnerable spot possible and leaving a trail of blood behind them from Tosser's leg wound. Before long, however, it appeared that there would be more blood joining what was already on the ground – Bond was sporting a bloody nose and a cut above his right eye, and Tosser's face was well on its way to looking like a Rorshach test done in red ink. Tosser was a strong kid with a nasty right hook, but Bond was taller, stronger, and had the advantage of MI6 training and a license to kill, which he was seriously considering putting to good use if the little whelp beneath him didn't surrender the item he had stolen. "Give it back!" Bond snarled, one of his hands clenched on Tosser's chin and the other behind his head, as though he were going to snap the kid's neck.

Tosser growled, trying to wrestle his way out of Bond's vise-like grip. "Go to hell!"

Bond grabbed a handful of the kid's lank hair and stuck his face just inches away from his foe's. "I'm already there." Without warning, he pulled back his right fist and delivered Tosser a roundhouse punch to the side of his head, knocking him out cold. The boy's body went limp as unconsciousness settled in, and Bond, inhaling great gulps of air, finally stood up and wiped the blood from his face. Hearing the sirens of police cars in the distance, Bond quickly surveyed the alley for... yes, there it was, lying eight feet away from Tosser – the box stolen from his flat. Picking the box up and cradling it in the crook of his arm, Bond pulled the lid off and breathed a sigh of relief as he lifted out a small china bulldog with the Union Jack spread out over its back... his last gift from M. "Thank God," he murmured as the sirens came closer and car doors slammed behind him, heralding the arrival of the police. "She'd never forgive me if I lost you."

I know it's a little short, but I tried to make it as much like the opening of one of the Bond films as I could - and after all, the opening scene of Casino Royale was pretty short. The story's title I took from one of Ian Fleming's Bond short stories, purely because I thought it was such a great title and it fit so well with my story's plot. When we return, Bond's going to be in deep trouble with Mallory - and he's going to get a big surprise. Reviews are always appreciated!