She has never expected to live in such a luxury! Though something bothers her; why hasn’t he offered her to move in? She doesn’t dare to ask for his reasons, yet there must be some. The image of his gorgeous girlfriend flashes through her mind.
She slips on a silky negligee and steps out on the terrace surrounding her suite. Are the blood red geraniums a symbolic gesture, a personification of his passion for her, a spy in the house of love? Does he know why Alex rented her out to him? If he does he doesn’t seem to mind. He couldn’t have faked his passionate welcome, even if it was just a stratagem to win her. His only comment on her devastated body was his tenderness when making love. Even in the utmost of his passion has he crushed her in his arms, his lips on her bruises felt like a soothing dressing on her wounds. He left her on a hand kiss without a single word on her next duties. Is sex all they consist of? Not probable. Alex would have hardly sent her to spy on his bed manners.
“Come in, the door is unlocked.” She answers the knock on the door hoping it would be HIM!
“I am Irina; you are my replacement from tomorrow on. We met at Mr. Dunaev’s birthday party; I don’t know whether you remember me.”
“Who could not remember YOU? My name is Magda. Shall I be your assistant?”
“Oh no, I am on my way out. If you can spare me a minute I’ll put you in the picture right away. First I’ll show you around the suite; it used to be my home. I tried my best to leave it in perfect shape.”
She enters the dressing equipped with a designer garb any girl would sell her body for.
“They are yours, all of them… until further notice,” Irina can’t resist the jibe.
“I am not sure they are your size, though. Anyhow, you can get anything you need just for the asking. Your boss has his heart and safe made of gold and you have an open account at the best boutiques at the Croisette. I left my cosmetics on the bathroom shelves. Of course you can always throw them out and go for your usual brand. Your personal trainer will see you three times a week; here is his number, call him to fix your appointments. You can have any number you ask for at the beauty parlor at the Hotel Martinez. I recommend them; they are the best. I think that’s all. That must do as I am really short of time and must introduce you to your work.”
Magda slips some clothes on and they take a lift to the office building, a gleaming wonder of steel and glass built by a top architect whose name Magda hasn’t caught but didn’t ask to be repeated not to lower herself in the eyes of her smart forerunner. On the other hand she is able to identify the paintings in the office as two Lichtensteins and a Warhol.
“I see Mr. Dunaev goes for pop art! So do I!”
“Do you? Good to have another point of interest with him!” Irena puts Magda down with a smirk.
“In view of my time pressure I’ll give you just an overview of your duties, which are mostly public relations and…”
“Boris! You could make it after all!” She greets Dunaev by a radiant smile.
“How could you doubt me, Irina?” He reaches after her and, disregarding Magda’s presence enfolds her in a passionate embrace.
“I am certain Irina introduced you to your work, Miss Horvath.” He says flatly taking at last her presence into consideration.
“Come, Irina, you have a flight to catch and we have still a couple of things on our agenda before your departure. Enlacing her waist in a lovers’ way he leads her away.
Forcing Dunaev, making love to Irina in that generous bed above the sea out of her mind, Magda settles at the desk to go through the list of her tasks:
-Confirm the reservation at the Hotel Martinez, and call Mr. Severn to remind him about his dinner with Mr. Dunaev.-
She holds her breath. Is this a trap? Does Dunaev take her for so naive as to chat freely with Alex on the phone as if she didn’t know that all conversations are recorded! Didn’t Alex teach her from the beginning the essential rule of spying - Trust no one?
Alex answers at the first ring and she realizes how much she misses him, the man who can be cute, handsome and amusing depending on his mood. And what if this was love? ‘Cut immediately this nonsense, Magda!’ She restrains herself and in a voice as cold as dry ice she confirms his dinner date and puts the receiver down loneliness growing over her like a strangulating creeper. Yet to pretend unconcern is the only way how to prove her worthy of him.
-Ev’ry time we say goodbye
I die a little-...
She hears Rod Stewart’s coarse voice humming her heart out.
Tears welling in her eyes she makes herself believe in the song’s happy ending.
-For parting is no good bye, we’ll be together again.-