We got out and the garage door closed behind us. Christopher put his arm around my shoulder and we started walking. When we turned around the corner I saw the huge, dark shape of a mountain that looked more like an island as the sea surrounded it. The fortress-village was connected to the Laconian coast where we stood now only by a long, narrow causeway at the end of which I could see the castle gate. From where we stood, it seemed uninhabited. Although it was dark, except for the lamp posts that illuminated the causeway and the spotlights on the medieval castle walls, it looked absolutely enchanting, reminding me of pictures from storybooks.
‘Nobody knows of this hideout besides Suzan and Tom.’ he said as we were walking towards the castle.
‘It’s a house, a guesthouse actually, that belongs to an old friend of mine, Sebastian. He’s a retired senior officer of the American army, and a Senior Confidant, of course. He has been living here with his wife Martha for the last ten years. She’s German but she can speak English. She has no idea about the League but she’s been very helpful and wise enough not to ask any questions.’
‘How did you get to know them?’ I asked him, trying to fight back the state of torpidity I was still in after the long, night-drive to Monemvasia.
‘I helped Sebastian once, when I was on a mission in the Gulf, and we became close friends since then. He has offered me shelter whenever I needed it.’
‘Then I’m not the only one you’ve saved.’ I said approvingly. He shook his head.
‘It’s not the same. I saved Sebastian simply following orders. He was very important to the League back then. I didn’t choose to save him.’
‘Still, it sounds as a noble action to me. I think you have forejudged and condemned yourself Christopher. You shouldn’t be so harsh about your past.’ I insisted.
‘I give myself as much credit as I deserve, believe
’ he just said. I had
no more strength to argue with him. me.
It took us about twenty minutes to walk to the gate. Behind the heavy door and the medieval castle walls, we walked through arches under which the cobbled streets intersected, surprisingly throbbing with life.
The narrow, pebbled alley was lined with gift shops, coffeehouses, traditional guesthouses and romantic candlelit bars. It was a cool night and people, mostly young couples, were enjoying their drinks, chatting under the soft sound of music. I looked around in search for any black- suited men that might have followed us, but nobody seemed to be paying attention to Christopher and me.
We crossed a square with tall trees and benches and a very old Byzantine church in the middle. I remembered having read that there were forty churches inside this medieval fortress.The alley became even narrower and more complex, like a labyrinth. We took a last turn and Christopher stopped in front of a stone built, three-storey building. It was a guesthouse with the name “Pelagos” carved on its wooden door.
Gate Deadlock is only 99c on Amazon kindle.The Gate Deadlock series, Book 1.