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The eye that knows

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He’s ordered a whiskey, but he drinks it with the smallest sips as he waits, not wishing to appear as though he has been there long. Graves is late, though that is hardly new. Seems Angus is destined to wait his life out for Hartley to show up.

He sees the waiter eye his table and then look away. It might be time to find a new establishment to do business, though breaking in a restaurant can be trying. The right table is imperative: near the back, discreet, but with a clear eye to the rest of the dining room. It can be so useful to know whom ITV is courting, or which presenters are on the outs with their wives, or which producers are meeting with officers of the Treasury versus MPs. There are only a handful of establishments in London where such information might be gained, and Angus is not yet important enough to have his own table at any.

Graves is, though. Sir William Hartley Graves, Director-General, now; long may he serve the BBC.

Angus sips. He doesn’t look at his watch.

Hartley has taken to calling him old boy when they pass in the hallways at the BBC. When he can’t avoid Angus, at least. There are times when Angus wants to reply that he never called him old boy before, when Angus was down on his knees sucking his schoolboy cock.

Instead he always smiles – tightly – and nods.

Angus has been Eden’s adviser for a year now, and Hartley at the BBC for only four months. And yet – and yet the man has not yet seen fit to make time for Angus, shunting him around to various producers instead.

Angus notices Hartley’s aide long before he reaches the table, and thus must sit with false patience for the long minute it takes him to cross the dining room, stop next to the table, and clear his throat. When Angus looks up, the man’s face is blank, even though they’ve met half-a-dozen times in the antechamber to Hartley’s office.

“Apologies, Mr. McCain. The Director-General is unable to attend your meeting tonight. He wishes you to call his office tomorrow to schedule a meeting there sometime next week.” The man nods his head, perfunctorily, and leaves as Angus murmurs cursory thanks.

Not in public, then. That, too, is not new: Hartley had always seemed content to gasp out Angus’s name in some hidden corner of the Winchester grounds and then let his eyes slide right over him in the dining hall, the library. It’s unspoken, this time, the assertion that their kinds don’t mix.

At least when Hartley had spat out your kind twenty-five years ago he had meant sons of middling insurance brokers, accepted at school on sweat and scholarships. And at least that time, he had the fortitude to tell him himself, to his face.

Angus knocks his whiskey back and gestures for another.