The bourne supremacy, p.174
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.174

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 174


  `And let you loose? Havilland collapsed back in his chair. `Don't be ridiculous. I've talked with the President and he agrees. You're going to be chairman of the National Security Council. '

  `Chairman-? I can't handle it!'

  `With your own limousine and all kinds of other crap. '

  `I won't know what to say!'

  `You know how to think, and I'll be at your side. '

  `Oh, my God!'

  `Relax. Just evaluate. And tell those of us who speak what to say. That's where the real power is, you know. Not those who speak, but those who think. '

  `It's all so sudden, so-`

  `So deserved, Mr Undersecretary,' interrupted the diplomat. `The mind is a arvelous thing. Let's never underestimate it. Incidentally, the doctor tells me Lin Wenzu will pull through. He's lost the use of his left arm, but he'll live. I'm sure you'll have a recommendation to forward to MI6 in London. They'll respect it. ' `Mr and Mrs Webb? Where are they? `In Hawaii by now. With Dr Panov and Mr Conklin of course. They don't think much of me, I'm afraid. ' `Mr Ambassador, you didn't give them much reason to. ' `Perhaps not, but then that's not my job. ' `I think I understand. Now. '

  `I hope your God has compassion for men like you and me, Edward. I should not care to meet Him if He doesn't. ' `There's always forgiveness. '

  `Really? Then I should not care to know Him. He'd turn out to be a fraud. '


  `Because He unleashed upon the world a race of unthinking, bloodthirsty wolves who care not one whit about the tribe's survival, only their own. That's hardly a perfect

  God, is it?

  `He is perfect. We're the imperfect ones. '

  `Then it's only a game for Him. He puts His creations in place, and for His own amusement watches them blow themselves up. He watches us blow ourselves up. '

  `They're our explosives, Mr Ambassador. We have free will' `According to the Scriptures, however, it's all His will, isn't that so? Let His will be done. ' `It's a grey area. ' `Perfect! One day you might really be Secretary of State. '

  `I don't think so. '

  `Nor do I,' agreed Havilland. `But in the meantime we do our jobs � keep ,the pieces in place, stop the world from destroying itself. Thank the spirits, as they say here in the East, for people like you and me, and Jason Bourne and David Webb. We push the hour of Armageddon always a day away. What happens when we're not here?

  Her long auburn hair fell over his face, her body pressed against his, her lips next to his lips. David opened his eyes and smiled. It was as though there had been no nightmare that had jarringly interrupted their lives, no outrage inflicted upon them that had brought them to the edge of an abyss that held horror and death. They were together, and the splendid comfort of that reality filled him with profound gratitude. It was, and that was enough � more than he ever thought possible.

  He began to reconstruct the events of the past twenty-four hours and his smile widened, a brief, curtailed laugh escaping from his throat. Things were never as they should be, never as one expected. He and Mo Panov had had far too much to drink on the flight from Hong Kong to Hawaii, while Alex Conklin had stayed with iced tea or club soda or whatever newly reformed drunks want others to know they're staying with � no lectures, just quiet martyrdom. Marie had held the eminent Dr Panov's head while the noted psychiatrist threw up in the British military aircraft's suffocatingly small toilet, covering Mo with a blanket when he fell into a dead sleep. She had then gently but firmly rejected her husband's amorous advances, but had made up for those rejections when she and a sobered mate reached the hotel in Kahala. A splendid, delirious night of making love that adolescents dream of, washing away the terrors of the nightmare.

  Alex? Yes, he remembered. Conklin had taken the first commercial flight out of Oahu to Los Angeles and Washington. There are heads to break' was the way he had phrased it. `And I intend to break them. ' Alexander Conklin had a new mission in his fragmented life. It was called accountability.

  Mo? Morris Panov? Scourge of the chicken-soup psychologists and the charlatans of his profession? He was next door in the adjoining room, no doubt nursing the most massive hangover of his life.

  `You laughed,' whispered Marie, her eyes closed, nestling her face into his throat. `What the hell is so funny?'

  `You, me, us � everything. '

  `Your sense of humour positively escapes me. On the other hand, I think I hear a man named David. '

  That's all you'll ever hear from now on. '

  There was a knock on the door, not the door to the hallway but the one to the adjoining room. Panov. Webb got out of bed, walked rapidly to the bathroom and grabbed a towel, whipping it around his naked waist, `Just a second, Mo!' he called out, going to the door.

  Morris Panov, his face pale but composed, stood there with a suitcase in his hand. `May I enter the Temple of Eros?'

  `You're there, friend. '

  `I should hope so . . . Good afternoon, my dear,' said the psychiatrist, addressing Marie in the bed, as he went to a chair by the glass door that led to the baicot;y overlooking the Hawaiian beach. `Don't fuss, don't prepare a meal, and if you get out of bed, don't worry. I'm a doctor. I think. '

  `How are you, Mo?' Marie sat up, pulling the sheet over her.

  `Far better than I was three hours ago, but you wouldn't know anything about that. You're maddeningly sane. '

  `You were stretched, you had-to let loose. '

  `If you charge a hundred dollars an hour, lovely lady, I'll mortgage my house and sign up for five years of therapy. '

  `I'd like that defined,' said David, smiling and sitting down opposite Panov. `Why the suitcase?'

  `I'm leaving. I have patients back in Washington and I like to think they may need me. '

  The silence was moving as David and Marie looked at Morris Panov. `What do we say, MoT asked Webb. `How do we say it?'

  `You don't say anything. I'll do the talking. Marie has been hurt, pained beyond normal endurance. But then her endurance is beyond normality and she can handle it. Perhaps outrageously, we expect as much from certain people. It's unfair, but that's the way it is. '

  `I had to survive, Mo,' said Marie, looking at her husband. `I had to get him back. That's the way it was. ' `You, David. You've gone through a traumatizing experience, one that only you can deal with and you don't need any chicken-soup crap from me to face it. You are now, not anybody else. Jason Bourne is gone. He can't come back. Build your life as David Webb � concentrate on Marie and David � that's all there is and all there should be. And if at any moment the anxieties come back � they probably won't, but I'd appreciate your manufacturing a few � call me and I'll take the next plane up to Maine. I love you both, and Marie's beef stew is outstanding. '

  Sundown, the brilliant orange circle settling on top of the western horizon, slowly disappearing into the Pacific. They walked along the beach, their hands gripped fiercely, their bodies touching sc natural, so right.

  `What do you do when there's a part of you that you hate?' said Webb.

  `Accept it,' answered Marie. `We all have a dark side, David. We wish we could deny it, but we can't. It's there. Perhaps we can't exist without it. Yours is a legend called Jason Bourne, but that's all it is. '

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