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The Syndicate - by Ashblonde (~FFA, ~BHM, Romance)

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Busy writing
May 8, 2006
~FFA, ~BHM, Romance - An FFA's odyssey through the world of political espionage finds her unexpected love

The Syndicate
by Ashblonde

Part 1

"What do you do?" he asked with interest, sipping his gin and tonic.

"I manage graphic communications for a congressional campaign," I gave my canned answer with a sticky sweet sparkle.

"Whose campaign?" he smiled, moving a step closer to me.

You're adorable, I thought to myself, and I'm about to give you information that you'll love... too bad it will ruin your chances at getting in my pants. "Congressman Davis," I stated nonchalantly.

The knowing grin on his face was unsurprising. "Nice! Davis is a great guy," he exclaimed, as if he played golf every Wednesday with the Congressman.

Freedom Party networking events were such a bore, but I couldn't help but make eyes at him. He was a great looking kid with his adorably patriotic face and fresh, chubby cheeks. He had a nice spare tire around his waist too. I thought briefly about how lovely it would be to help him add a few more inches around said waist, but I knew that wouldn't happen. I learned a long time ago not to lead on young and innocent bystanders.

Sure, I'm young too, but far from innocent. I have a naive facade: bright, perky, and blithely charming. With my button nose and bleach blond hair, I fit the preconceived notion of what it is to be an enthusiastic member of the young Freedomists. But looks are deceiving.

The reality is that only a handful of people in the world know what I actually do. But I don't like the words that get thrown around for it... "Mole" sounds so mousy and unglamorous. "Spy" sounds too pretentious. The work I do is part of an underground movement that we informally call the Syndicate. We go about our business, doing straightforward tasks for the Freedom Party. Yet in reality, we're covert agents reporting back to the other side: the Equality Party.

We feel passionately about the goals of the Equality Party and are willing to achieve them by any means necessary. Not to mention that spying is a whole lot more painless than violence and rioting. We're totally detached from the main organization and most elected officials in our Party have no idea that we even exist. Streamlined and decentralized, we never leave tracks or a paper trail. In fact, we often become part of the Syndicate without even realizing that it's happening.

As a college freshman at the University of Roxboro, as soon as I walked into my first meeting with the young Equalitarians, I was invited to a private meeting and enlisted. It was easy to get sucked in by more exciting work than cold-calling voters or stuffing envelopes. Our initial tasks were harmless fun, like surreptitious phone calls and spoofed email contact. They pulled us into unethical areas slowly and methodically until we were too far along to blow any whistles.

The truth is, I fell in love with playing pretend and got a thrill every time I successfully conned someone. Posing as a bubbly, wide-eyed young woman allows me to enjoy the sweet irony that I'm underestimated due to my looks, but using them I can affect outcomes in ways they never imagined.

I was lured further into a life of political espionage by a boy who had me wrapped around his finger. It was supposed to be Jason, the handsome, charismatic guy who led me to an alternate meeting room. He was the ladies man who usually pulled attractive young idealists into the fold. But it was Brian, a brilliant, baby-faced political wunderkind who truly seduced me into the sub-organization with his intellect, eloquence and soft, round body.

Brian and I had a very exciting but secret affair. Sexual undertones had been building for months between us before the opportunity came along to ignite the spark. It was a late night in January, while we were alone planning the infiltration of a mayoral campaign. There was a full-blown blizzard outside and I was going to have to stay at his place across campus from my dorm. I took my jeans and sweater off, down to my tight t-shirt and panties and stretched out on his bed. His eyes grew wide when I patted the bed and said, "Are you going to keep me warm tonight?" He came over next to me and the kissing gave way to groping and all kinds of body exploration.

I was even more thrilled when he finally stopped letting his delicious fatness keep him from making love to me with confidence and dominance. But we were careful to never let these lustful interludes be known. The Syndicate's ban on sexual relationships is totally inflexible. If a relationship soured, say a lover was cheated or spurned, it could jeopardize the whole operation.

We carried on for two years and all the while he piled on quite a bit of weight, which I loved infinitely. He sometimes joked that his weight was a good cover for our relationship because no one would think a princess like me would hook up with a fat boy like him. I fought him on that notion, but nonetheless, everyone around us seemed totally unaware.

As our relationship got deeper, he began to hold real power over me. He was my mentor and had a tendency to closely manage my life. I naively accepted it back then, but looking back I realized that he was often controlling and made me feel very reliant upon him for every decision I made.

After graduation, Brian went to work in media relations for a Senatorial campaign. It was a great opportunity for him, but it meant he had to leave our college town and go legit. It was a very difficult separation for me, because I had depended on him far too much.

By the time he landed the press secretary position with the newly elected Senator, he had seemingly disconnected himself from the Syndicate. We met for lunch nearly a year later and he had become almost thin and very conceited. Our disastrous reunion made me feel very lonely. Not only had I lost my first lover, I had lost the desire to give my heart to anyone. If someone I thought I knew so intimately could leave me feeling that disappointed, whom could I ever trust?

But putting up with Brian's condescensions and then losing him altogether may have made me tougher in the long run and even better at what I do. Trust can't really exist in my world anyway. Given what I have become, I really don't think I even trust myself. I just seem to live day-to-day with no plan other than my current assignment. Ironically, it feels like the safest place to be.

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