I straighten the covers and place the money in my safe box under the bed. Another night of work. I laugh at my own statement. Ha! Work! All you do is take rejected men’s money for a wild time.
I haven’t been doing this long. Only a couple months, but I’ve made more money than you can believe!
I know how people look at me. I see the stares of shame. How some women cross the street trying to get as far away from me as possible like they might catch something.
They wouldn’t. I don’t let any man go there. Only one man has ever taken me there. Only one man I will ever let go beyond the methods I use on other men. No one has touched me since the day he was murdered.
As I scrub the filth away from my body I think back to how Jerome took me. He had different ways of making me feel head over heels. Some nights he would take me hard and rough where the bed would get close to breaking, than other nights when he was feeling love sick he would worship me. He would thrust passionately kissing my body and telling me how beautiful I am.
I step out of the shower leaving the painful memories behind. I wrap a towel around my body and go down to the kitchen to make a drink. I get out the ingredients for a rock hard drink but then a knock on the door interrupts me.
I sigh and open it to see a man with cash in hand. He raises his brow and pushes past me. Is this really my life? He throws the money at me and sits on the sofa.
I walk over to him and set the cash on the hood in his trousers. “It’s late.” I say and make my way to the door to open it for him. He laughs and throws the cash at me with force. “Suck it whore.” This man was clearly drunk and out of his mind to think he can talk to me like that.
Though financial worries enter my brain. I need the money. I need it to get away from here. I sigh and rest on my knees giving the man what he paid for.
Once done I stand up quickly and feel like I should rinse my mouth out with bleach. Just then another knock rings out. A loud one. One of demand.
I move to open the door. “I can see why you’re so popular dollface.” I grasp the handle hard and turn to him with a displeased expression. “Don’t-” “CALL HER THAT!” A screaming voice beats me to it. I know that voice.
I open the door thinking I’m crazy. I’m hearing voices again. I swing open the door to see him. “J-Jer-” he places his finger against my lips and strides into the room seeing the man. He turns to me with fire in his eyes. “Did he touch you?” I shake my head gripping my towel closer to my body scared.
Jerome comes closer and I take in his appearance. Staples? I have to say it’s not his worst look.
The man on the couch scoffs. “No. She never lets anyone get in there. To stubborn. I’ve got to say she makes up for it man. Come here and sit. She does magic.” Jerome laughs. “Oh I know. She’ll ride me like a good girl any day.” The man once again scoffs. “Ha sure! She’s not gonna let some random person in there!” The man laughs.
Jerome turns to him with a smirk. “Oh I’m not a stranger. I was her first isn’t that right darling?” He asks lifting my chin up. “Well go on baby girl. Tell him how I’m the only one who’s ever touched your pussy.” Jerome moves me in front of the man and grips my hips. “He’s the only man to ever touch my pussy.” I say feeling Jerome move his hand beyond the towel and run his fingers over the skin of my hip. I shiver under his touch missing him exceedingly.
The man on the couch slaps his knee with a jealous expression. “Oh man! Lucky you! You’re okay with her doing this though? That’s what I call a working relationship!” Jerome’s hand goes further and slips between my wet folds. He circles my clit with pressure making my body lean into his. Jerome laughs and removes his hand. Instead he lifts up the back of the towel and grips my ass. “Actually no. You see I’ve been gone for a while. This is news to me. I find this…humiliating, and revolting.” Jerome then fiddled with his own trousers and releases himself. I feel him from behind as he starts to rub his head across my wet folds. The man on the couch just stares as if he’s in heaven.
Jerome laughs. “My my my doll. You really haven’t let anyone touch you. So tight I can even thrust into you, but as for you…enjoying the snow?” Jerome thrusts hard entering me. Filling me up like he use to. I arch back into him wanting more. Needing more. The man on the couch looks at me and nods his head.
Jerome laughs and pulls out a gun. He places the barrel to my head as he continues to thrust into me pulling my hair back. “Should I shoot you? Hm? Do you deserve to live knowing the things you’ve done? You dirty whore. Who do you belong to?” “You. You Jerome!” I moan out enjoying the blissful pleasure he’s bestowing upon me. “That’s right doll! I want you to do so for me okay?” Jerome whispers in my ear. “Shoot him.” Jerome says placing the gun in my hand.
I aim the barrel at him and pull the trigger with a rush enveloping me. The mans blood splatters on the wall and he falls completely limp. Jerome growls and rips the towel away turning me around. “You’re in so much trouble.” He says and pushes me against the wall hiking me up and thrusting into me hard and fast. I place my arms around him moaning his name over and over again. “Say it again doll. Scream it.” He says and moves his hand to rub my clit. I toss my head back against the wall in pure pleasure. “Jerome!” I moan out.
He moves to sit on the couch next to the dead man still spilling blood. “What do you say princess? You wanna ride me?” I nod eagerly and place myself above him cock and sliding down on him. Jerome grips my hips as I bouch on his cock making us both feel pleasures we haven’t had for a year.
Jerome rubs his fingers against the blood on the man’s wound and covers his hand in the thick red liquid. He proceeds to trail his hand down my body making a line from my breast, to my stomach, and right above my crotch. “Ah you’re such a good girl. You’re going to cum aren’t you? Go on doll. Cum for me.” I do as he says and release on him and seconds he fills me up with his own cum.
Jerome moves my hair out of the way and kisses me. “You’re mine. Don’t be so stupid to think otherwise. No other man looks at you. Ever! Understood?” He caresses my cheek with a smile. “Yes J.” He laughs and picks me up. “Then why don’t we make up for lost time? Sound good?” I smile and kiss his nose. “Sounds perfect.”
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women
Do you have any advice for writing characters undercover? Thanks!
So, we’ve covered this topic a lot in the past. Undercover operatives, intelligence agents, black ops, assassins, and spies I’d start with a spies search on our website, as that’ll get you started. The really good references will be there. My
big advice for writing any kind of spy fiction is to have a clear idea
of what you want and which genre you’re chasing. Do want James Bond or George Smiley? You can blend these genres, but it’s a good idea to have a clear idea as that’ll define your narrative.
The first thing to understand about spies and any sort of shadow operative is the Burn Notice quote: “A spy is just a criminal with a government paycheck.”
Take a look at this passage. This is a character (Thirteen) trained as
an undercover operative exiting a bad situation. What do you see?
Limping down the hall, I forced one foot before the other. Slowly, my stride lengthened. The silver door at the end didn’t open, so I pushed it, and stumbled out onto the launch pad. My gaze fell on a string of oval automatic airstreams parked all in a row. No, I frowned, eyes sweeping to street and the vehicles winging by in the air overhead. No self-respecting AI would let me drive in this condition. Robots always insisted on hospital, and I had no time to hack. To get out fast, I needed a human. A cabbie. Older, preferably female. Fingers to my neck, I tapped twice. Up came the ODS, my thoughts linking to: call a cab. Human.
A string of numbers and faces appeared before my eyes, the oldworld men and women working a dying industry. Better for No Questions Asked rides in our digital world, no one else called when they could pay a corporate run robot for half the cost.
I picked the first female face that flashed across my dash.
Time to pick up… thirty seconds.
I gripped my injured arm, and ran an analysis. Tucked out of sight, Sixteen’s pistol rested against my ribs. Ammunition at less than half a magazine, so seven rounds. Eight, if I counted the one in the chamber. The Uplink already registered the irreparable damage and severed the blood flow to the damaged limb. So, no more bleeding out. My upper lip curled. A bad trade off for no more arm. Damn, Sixteen.
I couldn’t hide in the shadows. Needed to seem desperate, distraught. Call up tears.
My blurred gaze flicked to the skyline, watching for black. The Ghosts wouldn’t appear in the datastream. Still, NIS hadn’t cut my access. Not yet.
A beat up airstream in ruby red dropped out of the sky to the left, pulling up to the curb. They were early. From the shabby state of their car, probably desperate. Good.
I limped over quickly. Even if they weren’t my ride, they were human and sitting in the driver’s seat. A car enthusiast who needed no AI systems to handle the steering. Likely to have built in cameras. More likely to possess a slow Uplink. Slow data received poor police service. My fingers seized the handle, flung open the door, and threw myself inside.
“Need a ride?” the voice was sympathetic, unfamiliar.
I slid across the bench into the seat behind the driver. My free hand tight on my damaged limb, couldn’t do much about my nose. So, instead, I tilted my head and caught her reflection in the mirror. Younger. Mid-thirties. Red hair worn short with one gray streak, tied back in a severe bun. Clear hazel eyes. Talk like you’re in pain, scared, but putting on a brave face. Tears. I wiped the blood from underneath my nose, sniffling. “Y-y-yeah.” I cleared my throat. “Yeah. Thanks.” I tried for a half-smile, half-grimace, and leaned on the window. “Just looking to get away. The address should be—”
“You don’t need to worry, I have it,” the driver said. “Came in with your order. Grace, right? You want to go downbelow, the Rep Shop.”
“Yeah.” Resting my cheek against the glass, I closed my eyes; Uplink sizing up her car’s systems. Automatic turned off, but easy enough to hijack. My free hand drifted off my injury, and moved near the pistol hilt jabbing my ribs.
“I’m Marla, I’ll be your driver today.” A pause followed. “You sure a pretty girl like you wants the Rep Shop? Not a hospital? You look pretty banged up.”
“No,” I replied. I got what she suggested, this was a nice neighborhood. “I just need… need to go…”
I grimaced, eyes squeezing shut, and wished I felt a twinge of guilt. It’s like the Overseer always says, love is just a cover.
“Don’t worry, no need to say it,” Marla said as the engine revved, the floorplates shook, and the airstream lifted skyward. “Shipped enough victims out of here to know.”
Notice, she pays attention to her surroundings and makes choices based on her condition in service of her needs. She needs to get out quickly, but would run into more trouble stealing a car so she calls up a cab driven by a human. Human’s are easier to manipulate in short order than code cracking. She specifically aims for a female cab driver, one preferably older than she is.
She’s female. Another woman is more likely to assume her injuries are because of a man, and a cab driver will have encountered this scenario often enough to not pry too deeply into it. An older woman is likelier to be maternal and protective, but not so protective that she’ll stay beyond when Thirteen needs her too. However, pay attention to the fact that Thirteen never verbally confirms it was a man who caused her injuries. She lets Marla assume, and fill in the blanks herself. This gives her an out later if she needs to change her story and place the blame on Marla’s shoulders for misunderstanding.
This is an example of what’s called social engineering.
Deliberately manipulating the people in your environment to divulge
confidential information or getting them to do what you want.
Notice also: After getting into the vehicle, Thirteen’s hand goes to the gun she stole. As she is playing to Marla’s sympathies, she is also assessing the possibility of killing this woman and taking control of the car if things don’t go the way she’s planned. Thirteen would prefer to exit by the easiest means possible, but a good spy always has a contingency. She won’t compromise her safety, and civilian lives mean next to nothing. A dead body is one more problem to deal with, one more attention getter that she doesn’t want, but she’ll go there. Violence is messy, and sometimes necessary.
There’s no real difference between a spy and a conman. Still, if you want to trick people there’s a few rules to follow.
What a spy isn’t:
A compulsive liar, an overseller, or lies all the time. An undercover operative needs to maintain their identity, that is one identity, singular. While a spy can create many false personalities, they should only be using one at a time with the goal of giving away as little information in trade as possible.
Notice: Thirteen does not tell Marla a story, she lets Marla create the story and then plays along. It is easier to convince someone of a lie when they’ll craft it themselves. Why say something when you can get just as much by saying nothing at all?
“You’ve told her three lies. Suppose she’s an asset, now you have to make all three lies true.” - Spy Game
Your character can’t just lie, a liar will be caught after a prolonged period of time. They need to manipulate the truth by creating a fiction. A cover is a fictional person with a fictional job who people think really exists when they check the character’s identity. Assume their identity will be checked, re-checked, and checked again. They are not maintaining a cover to a singular individual, but multiple ones. Their assets are the locals they are manipulating in order gain access to information, and who often run the jobs for them. These assets will, most of the time, not know the truth or not know the whole truth about who the spy really is.
Assets can be friends, business associates, girlfriends/boyfriends, wives/husbands, disgruntled employees, janitors, etc.
Your character can’t enter a business or government agency as a pretend janitor if they’re also going there everyday as a reporter or contractor or some other job. They must maintain the fiction of their identity.
This is the biggest problem most authors will get into when writing spy fiction. The concept of telling lies is something that comes easily to most of us, the problem comes in with keeping up a fiction over a prolonged period of time. The next step is to be able to lie without guilt and throw over people who help you without remorse. Crafting that dual identity of a person who genuinely cares about their friends and allies versus the real one who… really doesn’t.
You need a solid grasp of social functions, mores, and conventions in order to write a spy because a spy is manipulating all those points to gain access. You also need to understand these rules change based on what society your character is entering. Social rules change based on social groups, be it economic or cultural. The expectations for a man or woman in Mexico City versus Seattle are vast, and your character needs to be versed in the world they’re walking into. They need a cover identity to suit their work. Someone who has the freedom to go many places without being questioned, but unimportant enough to be neither needed nor remembered.
A spy is always looking for a way in, to slide into your confidences or sympathies however they can. They are going to use you to get where they need to go. They are very convincing actors and they are changing, modifying themselves slightly for each person they encounter. Not so much though that their falseness becomes obvious to the other people who know them.
When we’re working with a female spy, for example, all the “bad woman” societal traits you’re inclined to throw away are exactly what she needs to succeed. She will flirt, and flatter, and seduce, and manipulate the men (and women) around her to gain entry. She may rotate between being a gorgeous woman and an unremarkable one by the use of fashion and makeup. She is exactly what so many men are afraid of, a social climber who is manipulating their feelings and her attractiveness in order to get what she wants because it is the most expedient method to get what she needs. The one who is manipulating society’s view of women as nonentities, nonthreatening/replaceable objects in order to do her job.
Don’t be afraid of these characters. Don’t be afraid of “unlikeable” characters.
Spies are bad people who do bad things. They are often cold, calculating, impersonal manipulators looking for the most expedient method to get what they need. Your spy’s cover is just a cover. Never forget the real person underneath, especially when they’re lying to themselves.