Of course usually I prefer watching my guest enter from a safe distance, the hotel opposite or from a parked car, but there’s probably nothing to worry about here. Straight in and straight out. I wouldn’t have chosen this restaurant – the clientele isn’t exactly conducive. But I adapt. It’s what I do.

Straight in and straight out. Did that waitress just arch her eyebrow?  She’s coming over. Of course I’d like a drink, I thought you’d never ask. Despite the somewhat undercover nature of my work it never ceases to amaze me how far a reputation will go. No I will not have a Martini. I suspect I know what is coming next…yes, there she goes. That’s right – Shaken not Stirred. No I’ll have a bottle of Krug 1998. Yes, I know it’s two and a half thousand pounds but Her Majesty’s Government is paying so run along.

Actually I suspect they themselves would raise an eyebrow at my expense account being used for an online date, but really they have to move with the times. It’s just quick – flick to the right, swipe to the left and bam. I have a type and it makes sense that using algorithms I get what I want quicker. No I’m not armed, if you were wondering. But I am disarming.

The tailoring around here leaves a little to be desired. I’m leaning on a frayed purple pillow in a window booth. There’s a book shelf next to me. Who leaves these books behind? You are supposed to take one and replace it with one of your own. Lurid pink titles – women in the playground of London life, but can they have it all? A career, a baby, a man as suave as a spy?

Suavity, suavete…is that French? It is a reflexive response of mine when presented with a woman. Well some women. I kill men. It is just as easy. And as luck would have it my laconic style, which is the natural result of my doing something I love and which comes so easily to me, gives off its own spray-like attraction. It’s that chemical. How else could you make love to, not that I am counting, 11,000 women. You are seized by the moment, carried off into sentiments of pure pleasure (with one foot still on the floor for the sake of propriety) and then it is off before breakfast. People ask me, James, why don’t you take anything seriously? Because I see the fun in everything…. politics, the cut and thrust of debate, orgies? It’s just high spirits.

Hello? Quite a presentation. Megan. She’s instantly recognised me. I do it. My surname first. Not that I want her to call me Bond. She’s foreign. Very good. Spanish? No, just generic foreign she says, something like L.A by way of Spain doing a Russian accent. Her arms, I’m afraid are covered in tattoos. I’m lost in them, reading from the tips of her fingers to her slender shoulders.

“You threw me with that chair thing,” she purrs, “I had no idea men still did that”. We establish early on that modern man is a sore disappointment to her. She appreciates how privileged I am, and again, we discover that she admires a man who has all the natural advantages of life – a good education – a Cambridge Degree. Although when she says these things, sounding a little déclassé I must admit, she isn’t smiling. Well Russian girls never smile. Spanish girls do though. I’m a little confused so I raise my eyebrow…I don’t seem to be what you were expecting Megan.

It soon becomes apparent we can’t talk about politics. It’s safe to say she’s not a Trump fan. The Krug is starting to taste a little bitter. My patter is not pattering so to speak as the list of subjects we can’t talk about starts to mount. I hear myself saying ‘my dear girl I don’t identify as anything’ before she starts again, her moist lips moving up and down like a kinky venus fly trap.

You know every so often life leaves you confused. The union of men and women, the romance of two people, two beautiful people in a room together should be one of the great pleasures in life. Take this very expensive bottle of Krug here – it should be a grand accompaniment to getting to know a woman. Preferably a married woman. But, she seems angry. She cannot be placated. How can one go on a date and be angry? It’s like taking your old man out of its pouch and laughing. It doesn’t add up. Must we talk about politics say I sotto voce.

You know women never cease to amaze me. It is remarkable how far they have come. 1929 and they didn’t even have the vote. Now Megan is talking about her wife. If any of this made sense to me it certainly didn’t after a second bottle of that delightful ’98. Genderqueer she says and for once I agree. We toast life in all its queerness and kinkiness and at last she’s laughing. Sucking longingly on strawberries and laughing. I thought this evening would never end but at last…she suggests something we can agree on, though of course it’s not quite how I would have put it… let’s go back to my place and fuck.