Love and Other Murders

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Chapter 21

“I’d like you’d explain me something, Alex. Why couldn’t I have “fun and games” with Vincent if it has nothing to do with love?” She probes resting in Alex’s arms warm and contented and well aware that now she is asking for trouble.

“In case if it is not clear to you now, after having been given the proof of what love is, to explain it to you in words would be a waste of time. Girls like Magda are an occasional snack between meals. Women haven’t got this kind of appetite.”

“I am not so sure about that, Alex. Maybe we are not so very different from you. If fooling around is a mere nothing why did you object to my flirting with Vincent while you were momentarily away?”

The ringing of the phone saves Alex from finding a plausible answer for a much too logical girl.

“Of course she’ll get a reward, Vincent. She did a great job.”

“Any amount you find appropriate.”

“No, I won’t join you for the celebration.”

“Of course I know about the problem. There is another day tomorrow. Enjoy and give Magda a good time.”

“No! I am categorically against it! Count Nathalie out! Understood?” He bangs the receiver down.

“You are easily angered, aren’t you, Alex? May I know what has that poor Vincent done to be treated so badly?”

“You may not, Nathalie!” He barks and starts to dress.

“Stay, if you wish. I have now to go. Enjoy the Plaza, Nathalie!” He adds on a conciliatory tone.

“I am sorry to have been rash with you. Having urgent things to do doesn’t justify me to treat you as I have. I am sorry, sweetheart. Let’s meet at my place in the evening and until then I’ll try to find some way to make myself be forgiven.”

Shall she stay in bed, open the huge flat TV screen and watch a film or take a bath and make use of all those cosmetics she caught a glimpse of on her arrival? A knock on the door solves the dilemma.

“It’s me, Magda! Let me in, Nathalie!”

“The door isn’t locked, come in, Magda!”

She enters holding a silver platter with a champagne bottle and two flutes in her arms.

“Isn’t it great we made it to a palace; and that fast?” Magda’s voice sparkles with satisfaction.

“Isn’t a job done together a good beginning of a great friendship?” Magda settles down on the edge of the bed, puts the cooler down and fills the glasses to the rim.

“On Paris, on us, cheers, Nathalie! I had never dreamt about such a luxuriant life carrying on with my day-to-day existence of an Art School student in Budapest until Elijah fell in love with me and brought me to Paris, braving all the risks. I don’t quite understand why he did it. He didn’t ever ask me to go to bed with him and, once in Paris, passed me immediately on Vince and Alex. If what I have just done is all what is expected from me in exchange for this enchanted life then I hit the jackpot. The man we robbed was sweet, sex with him was not too bad, he treated me to Beluga caviar and I am on my second bottle of the bubbly, all expenses paid.” Magda replenishes their glasses giggling.

“Look! He left 500 euros on the bedside table and had nothing against using a condom I had to ask him to put on as Vincent insists on protected sex. Do you think I should tell Vincent about my little present? I’d rather not. I’ll put the money in my piggy bank. It will come handy in case of need. A propos, Vince gave me a signed blank check for both of us to do some shopping. All he asked for was to be reasonable. Now I must stop drinking before I make myself legless. Anyway the bottle is empty and the next one would be on us. There is one thing I don’t understand, Nathalie. How come you landed also at the Plaza Athénée? Your contribution was limited to lift the files at the coffee shop, right?”

“It’s not difficult to fathom, Magda. I brought the files you had to smuggle into the briefcase and this was simpler having a room.”

“Don’t give me that, Nathalie! I am not naïve! Alex could have passed it as well on his fake room service in the corridor. He brought you here to make love to you in this big, luxuriant bed, didn’t he? You are his girlfriend, it’s evident! It is why when we were all three fooling around in bed he has never had sex with me. I thought he was gay, had a crush on Vince and participated in our threesome as the only means to get at him as Vince is straight as straight may be. Oh well, this is not my worry. As there is nothing more to drink let’s go and explore the boutiques. Get out of bed and put some clothes on you. By the way, don’t forget to pick up all the lovely cosmetics in the bathroom. They were paid for. It would be a shame to leave them here!

“Here you are, silly!” Magda passes on her a robe noticing Nathalie’s reluctance to be seen naked.

“For someone with your great body there’s no need to be shy. Make it fast, I beg you! I can’t wait to spend on clothes what I earned in the nude.”

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