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Max Grant

I’ve always led a charmed life. I was born into a wealthy family, part Scottish and part Russia, lived in London and the highlands, and went to Eton and Oxford. Always been close to my siblings and cousins. Most of my family chose to either go into the military or the civil service. But I always wanted to be a spy.

    Of course James Bond and his cars were one reason. It seemed romantic and, perhaps because my life was so easy, I looked for adventure and danger. With my facility in languages, MI6 recruited me while I was still at university. I fell into the life hook, line and sinker.

    I decided early on that having relationships was not feasible. Too many of my colleagues were divorced because they had to lie to their families about everything. What was the point in getting attached to anyone when you knew  your relationship would end in heartbreak?  I just poured my energy into work. I play rugby with an "alumni" group of aging jocks. Two of my colleagues and I run regularly.

    But my real love is cars. It's a family thing. My brothers and I are collectors. Dad used to be, but these days he's content to enjoy our fleet of sports cars. A day out at a Formula One race is nirvana.

    A few years ago I retired, went back to school and moved into the field of cybersecurity. Once I had finished the program at Oxford, I was offered the position of CISO at CyberSec, a branch of Global Security Unlimited, owned by Clay Brandon and JL Martin, I moved to their headquarters in Chicago. I've been in the States for six years now and my only regret is that I hardly ever have time to get back to Scotland.

    While I don’t need to live a secret life any more, it’s hard to break the habits of a lifetime. Still no relationships, although there is still the tantalizing thought about the woman who got away. My family likes to tease my about that.

    Twenty ago she ran into me with a bicycle. For some reason, I don’t know why, there had been a feeling of attraction all those years ago.

    Funny thing yesterday I saw her give an interview on TV. Seeing her on the screen, I felt the same electricity running through me. She’s going to be signing books this weekend and I feel compelled to talk to her. Find out if she remembers me. But then I wonder how much of myself I’d be willing to give to a relationship. Time to gird my loins, so to speak, and see what happens.

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