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"The Grace X Files"     
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                                                                                 Grace X Contents Page
by Othello
(with consultation
from Grace X)
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Comment from: Grace X
Date: February 3, 2012

OMG Othello hon, you never do anything half way, do you? When we brainstormed this
story together (which was ever so fun!) I expected a quickie Bond pastiche with lots of
sex and murder, but you have gone and thrown in so many clever references I can't
rightly believe it! A full blown XXX prequel to Goldfinger, holy shit! I mean, are you
kidding me? The 1956 Olympics...Ariel Frost??? That would be what...Miranda's
grandmother? You are just too much honey, with the catholic upbringing,
Spanish-Italian references...got me! If only I HAD grown up in Rome lol. I can't tell you
how much I love this, and I can't wait for Part 2!

XOX Grace

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Comment from: Astrokill
Date: February 4, 2012

Not only is the story awesome, but also the gold woman photo accompanying this
story!  Not only that, the font design really helped that it read like a novel.


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Comment from: Othello
Date: February 4, 2012

Thanks Grace and Astrokill! (Nice to see the two of you together, as your marvelous
screenplay "Conspiracy Code" is going to be the next Grace X File).

I'm glad you are enjoying "Body of Gilt". We DID have fun brainstorming this, didn't we
Grace? Credit where it's due, it was your idea to revisit Goldfinger;  to make it take
place before the events of the novel, and to not involve 007 himself.

Beyond that, well, all writers worth their salt should do their research, my dear! The
details in this story come from the 1959 Ian Fleming novel, rather than the film. Thus
Goldfinger's (Gephart's) appearance is as described by Fleming, rather than the
physical characteristics of Gert Frobe. "The Korean"  is of course Oddjob, wearing a
bowler hat as he did in the novel, rather than the top-hattish look he sports in the
movie.

Here is a little checklist of other tidbits from Fleming lore in this story:

"The Richest Man in the World" was Fleming's original title for the novel.

The Rolls Royce Silver Ghost is, of course, Goldfinger's favorite ride.

Goldfinger had a penchant for employing people from the losing side of WWII,                  
including ex-Luftwaffe flyers, and now an ex-prostitute and sometime-secret police        
assassin from wartime Italy named Grace X...  

Good eye on Ariel Frost, Grace! When I researched the 1956 Melbourne Olympics for     
this tale, I discovered to my delight that a British woman did indeed win the gold medal
for the lone fencing event open to females...from there transforming her to Miranda
Frost's (who I know is one of your favorite bad Bond girls) grandmother was just too
fun to resist. Olympic aspirants do tend to appear generation to generation in real
life."Ariel" and "Miranda" are of course both characters from Shakespeare's "The
Tempest", so  there is wordplay in their names as well. Just wait till you really see Ariel
in all her glory in the next installment!

And thanks, Astrokill, for your comment on the font  and formatting. I am having so
much fun with this as a "novel" of sorts...formatting it to look like one seemed like an
enjoyable touch.

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Comment from: Grace X
Date: February 4, 2012

Well I am so completely flattered that you would take time from your real writing life to
do this for me, honey. You know I have read all your novels out there in the real world
and you are freaking amazing.
If you weren't such a sweet man to boot I confess I would be too awestruck to say more
than boo to you, much less "would you like to screw and murder my alter ego" lol!!! I
love that you are so supportive to all the other writers here on Chris' site too.

Thanks so much love. This all blows me away.

XOX Grace
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Comment from: Othello
Date: February 4, 2012

Thanks for the good words, Grace...but believe me, the privilege is all mine. What
writer with a secret erotic death fetish (not so secret around here!) wouldn't be
completely enthralled to have the opportunity to write for a woman as beautiful,
intelligent, enthusiastic, and wickedly sex/death fantasy-enamored as yourself? I
consider myself fortunate beyond words.

And I'm proud as can be to share the company of the other writers who appear here on
Chris' site. Incredible talent! Hitomi, Moon Shiner, Nighthawk, Liquidator, Astrokill and
Chris B. himself are all splendid authors (and I hope we will see many more!). I could
see any one of them landing a book or movie deal at the drop of a hat.

So you are very welcome. Much more to come on this tale...after all, Grace X the bad
Bond girl assassin isn't dead yet!
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Comment from: Nighthawk
Date: February 5, 2011

Othello

My friend, I just got home today, and read the first chapter of your story, I thoroughly
enjoyed this, and I am waiting now for the next chapter.

I love how professionally you have written it, I strive to do that in my stories, but I see
now, how far I have yet to go, all I can say is thank you very much for posting this, for
everyone to read.

NH
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Comment from: Othello
Date: February 5, 2012

Thank you for reading, Nighthawk. And don't sell yourself short as a writer, my friend! I
have been impressed indeed with the quality of your stories. If you are striving for a
professional career as a writer, you have all the skills, no doubt in my mind.

Things change a lot when you finally break through into becoming a professional
writer; the opportunity to work with seasoned editors and publishers is a remarkable
experience. Getting there can be a study in perseverance -- I had written stories
enthusiastically since my teens, and did not have my first book published until I was
over forty --  but in the decade-plus since then I have had the tremendous good fortune
to continue living what for me is a writer's dream.  Never give up on that dream, if it's
one you want. You have what it takes!

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Comment from: Moon Shiner
Date: February 10, 2012

Othello,

I have tried to read your story, but alas, I believe it is in a PDF format.  My reading
software will not process that type of file.  It treats it like a photograph, a picture.  I can
only read TXT type files.

I don't suppose you could convert this to  a TEXT type file?

Thanks for listening.

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Comment from: Othello
Date: February 10, 2012

Consider it done, Moon Shiner.  I enjoyed setting up the formatting "novel-style", but
you are right, it made the story pages image files rather than text files. I knew you had
troubled eyesight, but I had no idea you needed to make use of reading software.

My pleasure to reformat it in order to make this story accessible to you, my friend.


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Comment from: Chris B.
Date: February 12, 2012


Such splendid writing my friend! I must say it put a pep in my step this fine Sunday!
Thanks for all that you do! Chris


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Comment from: Othello
Date: February 12, 2012

Thank you, Chris!

And thank you too, for your generosity in sharing your site with so many of the creative
people in our community. You really are one of a kind, not only in the skill and
versatility of your own artistry (writer, filmmaker, musician, actor...) but in your
support of all of us. You are so much appreciated!

Glad you are enjoying "Body of Gilt". I am having so much fun writing this. Grace is the
most amazing muse.

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Comment from: Moon Shiner
Date: February 23, 2012

I enjoy the mingling of history with fantasy, a great setting for the story.

The symbolism and double meaning of AG and Grace X, very clever, I enjoy those make
the reader think qualities.

The exchange of jabs, between Grace and AG, very well done.

A 1956 Silver Shadow, now there is a classic car, the hoods were sealed at the factory,
only a Rolls Royce mechanic was allowed to open the hood.  It was guaranteed for life.
A great car, fitting a man like AG.

Grace was quite wicked, your description of her beauty and charms, that concealed
her true cold, dangerous interior, really set the mood for the story.

Your skills as a writer, certainly show, every sentence has a purpose, dialog is both
intelligent and clever.  The described action logical , smooth and precise.

I'm looking forward to the next chapter.

Grace Xavier love that name and her history.

Grace your eyes again, that wide dark pools of innocence masking your killer stare, the
downfall of many.  Its a good thing, the coach didn't work for you, sexual harassment
would be in your future, although I don't know any man worth his salt that would
complain about that.

Othello, your aces in my book, thanks for converting the story.
________________________________________________________________________

                                                             Chapter One
                                                    The Richest Man in the World


The Rolls Royce Silver Ghost slowed, and then stopped right by the Olympic Mural on Bourke Street.
Grace smiled slightly as she looked out the tinted window of the back passenger seat. There was her
target, standing with hands in his pockets, looking up at the mural.

Her companion in the back seat smiled as well. He called himself Albert Gephart, but of course Grace
knew perfectly well that wasn’t his real name. But if he wanted to be Gephart, well hell, she’d call him
whatever he liked. It had already been a whirlwind trip from Rome here to Australia, and she enjoyed
globetrotting. Her usual employers, various branches of European Intelligence who contracted her as
a freelance assassin, were used to her disappearing for long periods of time, as opportunities arose
on one part of the world or another.

Her target looked as if he was going to stand there ogling the mural for a while. Typical Romanian,
probably used to squalid neighborhoods in Bucharest. Standing there staring like a peasant come to
the big city. Grace let her own gaze trail upward—the mural was impressive, with its hugely enlarged
scenes of the raw Outback making a striking contrast to the current busy Melbourne street. The year
1856 in bold black provided a window into the Australian landscape of exactly a hundred years ago.
Grace got the message. Australia had come a long way since its Pacific backwater penal-colony days, to
this present-day point of pride: hosting the 1956 Summer Olympics.

Gephart reached into a compartment recessed in the door of the Rolls. He pulled out something
compact and narrow, wrapped in black felt.

“Here you are, my dear,” he extended it across the length of the seat to her.

Grace took the small parcel, surprised at how heavy it was. She gave Gephart a wry smirk. “What’s it
made of, lead?”

He chuckled, then leaned back comfortably in the seat.

An odd character, Gephart. Short, and ungainly in a way, with unusual disproportion to the contours of
his body. He hardly looked like what she knew him to be: the richest man in the world.

Grace unwrapped the black felt and nodded slightly. Very pretty indeed. She’d never seen a
switchblade made of solid gold before.

Albert Gephart, sure. AG. The letters of the chemical symbol for gold.

“I’ve heard a rumor that you’ve got a solid gold prick.” Grace let her smirk twist into a slightly malicious
sneer. Goading rich assholes, even if they were paying her tab, was a pleasure just too satisfying to
resist. “So this is your phallic substitute?”

He chuckled again.

“One day I’ll teach you a proper use for your mouth, Miss Xavier,” he commented with seeming
equanimity. “A golden touch…that I have. Or a golden finger, that turns anything I touch into gilt.”

“Gilt or guilt, one or the other.” Grace pressed the stud-release and snapped out the blade. Razor
sharp if she was any judge, with a few nice jagged serrations near the hilt that would be particularly
effective for a killing jab into the spine. She regarded it with approval. “Awful lot of trouble you’re
going to, to dispose of a Romanian fencing coach.”

“You have no idea what constitutes ‘a lot of trouble’ in my world, Miss Xavier. And I love elaborate
productions. These few moments soon to come out in the street, displaying your unique talents, will
ultimately reap me some unique benefits.”

“All for your sweetheart, the Limey fencer?”

“My sweetheart.” The chuckle took on an undisguised, disdainful tone. “Why yes. Exactly right. And she
is magnificent. There’s only one woman who’s a better fencer in the world. Olga Orban-Szabo. The
protégé of our Romanian trainer out there. She is heavily favored to win the gold medal in the
Women’s Foil today. But I do so want my…sweetheart to be the one who will stand on the high podium
to receive that medal. So it is so simple, eh? When you stick that beautiful object into her trainer, my
lovely Ariel Frost’s only real competitor will certainly end up too distraught to put on a winning
performance.”

“Whatever you say, Albert honey.”

Grace retracted the blade and palmed the loaded hilt, favoring Gephart with a ravishing smile as she
opened the door and stepped out.

Normally Grace Xavier would turn heads on any street, with her long black hair, brown eyes with
exotically wide pupils that often disconcerted men when one tried to gaze into their depths—and of
course the lush curves of her figure were enough to stop traffic. Drop dead gorgeous applied quite
perfectly to her. In a low-cut black gown and heels, smoking a cigarette, any man between Rome and
Melbourne would look at her and promptly topple into an abyss of lustful fantasy. But today she’d
dressed inconspicuously, tied her hair back, and put on sunglasses. No sense standing out while she
performed this particular task.

She glanced back for a second as Gephart pulled the door to the Rolls shut; pompous ass, really,
driving a car like this to a hit. The only thing that made it even a marginally acceptable risk was the
presence of plenty of other ostentatiously wealthy vehicles on the street today—the Olympics would
do that for a town. The front windshield of the Rolls wasn’t as heavily tinted, and Grace caught a
glimpse of Gephart’s driver, the Korean. Another ass. The man never spoke a word, and looked like a
clown in the bowler hat he always wore. Grace didn’t know his name, and had no inclination to ask.

She stepped to the curb, and melted into the flow of passers-by. Time to become invisible. Grace knew
that Gephart had hired her, not only because she never missed a target, but because she was
untraceable. As an orphan on the streets of Rome, the catholic priests who had sheltered her from
time to time had gifted her with the name Grace, and she had tacked on the Xavier later as a nod to
Saint Francis Xavier, a Spanish icon of the church. Despite not knowing her parents, her own mix of
Italian and Spanish blood was plain in her features, contributing largely to her dark charms. Fifteen
years back, during the war, the priests had put her out on the street, unable to tolerate her violent
attitude and rampant promiscuity. Well, if the Virgin Mary hadn’t been on her side, the goddess Fortuna
had been with her; she had lost no time in setting herself up as a prostitute, and had become a favorite
of men belonging to Mussolini’s secret police. With her hard, sharp mind and complete lack of
scruples, they’d turned her into the perfect tool for getting rid of “unwanted elements” in wartime Italy.
A hooker with no official identity other than the name Grace X, who could take a troublesome politician
or suspect-turncoat military officer to bed in the sleaziest part of the city, screw the daylights out of
him, and while he snored away afterward, put a bullet in his head.

Even now, the World War long over and even the Korean War far in the rearview, she had no traceable
identity; Gephart had brought her to Australia on a forged passport. So she might as well have been
invisible…a figure of implacable and inexorable death. Just right for a man like Gephart to use for a
while, before she vanished back into the shadows.

Melbourne was one hell of a hot city. Strange to be here doing the Summer Olympics, when the
calendar said November…but that was the way the seasons went on the underside of the world.

She moved closer to the target. He was finally moving on himself, finished with looking at the mural. He
strolled along the sidewalk toward a less busy part of the street. Just perfect.

Grace felt the tingle between her legs that always appeared when it was time for a killing. Jesus, too
bad it had to be in the open—she preferred taking her work to a secluded room where she could enjoy
some seduction—letting him strip her, caress her, before the hit. And her favorites weren’t the ones
she finished in their sleep: best of all were the men who were fucking her with everything they had in
the moment she pulled the gun from under the pillow, smiled, and put a beautiful, precise hole in the
mark’s forehead. Ah, that felt like nothing else in the world. She’d even experienced the phenomenon
of the “dead man’s erection” more than once…all that blood in his rigid cock combined with the
freezing shock of death keeping it hard while she continued to ride him, giving her exquisite pleasure
while she watched the red trickle from the hole in his head.

The Romanian was heading back in the direction of the Olympic Village. Grace swung into even closer
proximity, falling into step just behind him. The Rolls had wisely refrained from trailing her in the
street—at least Gephart’s jackass driver had enough sense not to be hanging around right there when
she made the strike. The other pedestrians had thinned out, and Grace was timing their movements
toward and away from the mark, plotting a moment to slip in and nail him without a witness right on top
of them. But then the Romanian had one of those ever-so-sweet moments of stupidity that made
everything so much more easy. As Bourke Street curved a little away from the direction of the Olympic
Village, he changed his course, obviously intending to shorten his walk by using an alley that cut
across the arc of the boulevard. The tight space between buildings offered a welcome shade from the
searing Australian sun—cutting through must have seemed like a stroke of brilliance to the poor fool.

Grace stepped into the alley after him. At the far end, a few hundred yards ahead, more light showed
where it would emerge into a cross street. But that short tunnel of muted dimness would be the
Romanian’s personal last mile. Before he was even aware of her presence behind him, she flicked the
blade out in a smooth movement, put it into his spine, and gave it a vicious twist. He didn’t even turn
his head—just gave out a tiny gurgling noise and crumpled as if struck by lightning.

As he fell Grace allowed the gravity of his collapse to free the blade from his body. The sight of wet
crimson on the gold blade made her lick her lips. Beautiful. Now that was putting gilt to good use.
Blood and gold…she felt the thrill of a low-level orgasm blossoming through her. The kick of murder.
Oh, how it rippled and racheted up her nerves, sending a lance of delirious pleasure through her.
Stabbed right along with her victim, but with a perfect, sharp edge of lust instead of a golden blade.

Letting out a long breath, she used a foot to turn him over. She lowered her sunglasses. Not a drop of
blood showing on the front, but his eyes were wide from surprise and his mouth hung wide open. Too
bad they were still so close to the street. She would have loved to linger and cut his clothes away. Ah,
the only time men—or women, for that matter when her marks were female—achieved aesthetic
perfection: when they were dead.

Too chancy to play with him for long, though. But Grace couldn’t resist a touch more to follow up the
sweet burn of the kill-orgasm. She planted one foot at either side of his head and lowered herself
down toward that inviting, open mouth.

With the tip of the bloody switchblade she teased his lips even further open, then reached in with two
fingers and tugged up his tongue, which lolled at the corner of his mouth when she released it. She
cradled a hand behind his head and yanked him up to push the slack mouth and tongue under her skirt
and against her soaked panties. Too bad or him, not being able to appreciate her taste, but the sight of
his staring eyes while she rubbed his mouth against her brought a quick, searing aftershock to her
orgasm. She raised the switchblade to her own tongue, snaking out the tip to taste the coppery tang of
blood on the flat of the metal blade.

Hey, if not the dead man’s erection, then the dead man’s cunnilingus would do. Probably a better lover
dead than he ever was alive.

All right, enough fun. She dropped his head back to the pavement, straightened up, and closed the
switchblade. She’d leave the blood on it—a little present to playfully taunt Gephart with. Since the
richest man in the world was reputed to have more than a little molten gold in his veins, she’d give him
a trophy marked with the real, red kind.

Reaching into the Romanian’s pocket she scooped his wallet. Poor guy just ran afoul of a Melbourne
mugger. So many of those out and about preying on Olympic tourists.

Grace straightened her sunglasses and quitted the alley. Well, Gephart’s pet British fencing bitch
ought to win her gold medal now. And then, on to the next part of her commission for golden boy,
which she was distinctly looking forward to.


To be continued…