Love and Other Murders

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Chapter 20

As usually there is a long line in front of Angelina’s. Vincent is signaling from a window table to come in and join them. He gets up at their arrival, greets Alex by a friendly tap on his shoulder, kisses Nathalie’s hand and holds her the chair before introducing her to Magda. The girls evaluate each other surreptitiously. Nathalie is immensely relieved by her lack of jealousy when recognizing Magda as the girl in Alex’s bed and not minding to see her openly flirting with Alex and Vincent.

“Nathalie!” Alex touches her hand.

“Do you see the man with a snake-skin briefcase entering the shop? You do? Good! I need you to get his briefcase and remove from it some files. Will you do it for me, please?”

“I don’t know if I am up to it, Alex!” She feels the panic rising in her like a tsunami wave.

“Of course you are! It’s just a matter of good timing. See? He has put the briefcase down and is absorbed in the menu. Get up, pass him on your way to the powder room, drop your shawl, bend down and pick it up together with the briefcase. Once in the ladies’ room remove the files, hide them under your dress, drop the briefcase and get back to our table. Don’t look at me so desperately, Nathalie! It’s quite simple, particularly with Magda’s assistance.”

He throws the shawl around her shoulders and she gets up on her cottony feet while Vincent is whispering instructions into Magda’s ear. She nods her head and follows Nathalie. Reaching the man, delighting in his chocolate cake, Magda totters and falls onto his lap. Giggling helplessly she pushes her gorgeous bosom into his face while Nathalie uses the diversion to pick up the briefcase. Once safe in the bathroom stall she tears the briefcase open so brusquely that she splitters her nail, gets the files out and hooks them under her slip. To put the briefcase back is a piece of cake. Magda is entertaining her easy prey holding all her trumps on the ready, wriggling flirtatiously on his lap, pushing her breathtaking cleavage under his very eyes making him blind as a bat to anything but her luscious body.

“Well done, Nathalie!” Alex praises her leading her out while she holds her arms over the files like a pregnant woman protecting the fruit of her womb. He hails the passing taxi and pushes her inside.

“To the Plaza Athénée! Make it fast!” He instructs the cabbie.

The room is reserved and the timing is perfect. They hear Magda’s high pitched giggle when she is passing by their room just when Alex has finished copying the files. At the same moment a fake room service enters their room. Alex hides the files under the napkin of the service cart which carries a bottle of champagne to be brought to the adjacent room.

“Now it’s on Magda to play!” Alex opens his arms to take Nathalie in. She shrinks back. How long has it been since she saw him making love to Magda?

“Wait, Alex, first explain me one thing. What is Magda to you?”

He watches her unbelievingly and bursts into laughter.

“Have I understood you well? This can’t be true, Nathalie! Are you jealous of Magda? Let me make one thing clear. Magda works for me when need arises, that’s all she is to me.”

“Any kind of “need”, Alex?” She asks, the tears of an impotent rage welling in her eyes.

“Oh that! Now I understand what you mean. How do you know about it? Was Magda boasting? Don’t be ridiculous, Nathalie! Men enjoy having fun. It has nothing to do with love. It’s how we are. Come, my sweet little girl, let me prove you what making love is.”

He takes her in his arms and brings her to bed. She accepts what she is offered and resigns to ask for the moon.

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