Love and Other Murders

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Chapter 95

A car is waiting in front of the Martinez. The chauffeur steps aside and opens her door with a polite unconcern. She sinks onto the seat and fondles the shopping bags piled up next to her. She feels deeply satisfied. It was great to spend without counting and the encounter with the unexpectedly reappearing was an added bonus. It seems that she hit the jackpot, hopefully her luck will last! A black cloud taints suddenly the deep blue of the Cannes skies. She shivers. ’Stop it Magda, you have nothing to do with your disappearing lover. You were on a job, a job better to be forgotten, it’s over now. Let the sleeping dogs lie.

She shoots a glance at the driver whom she has never seen before. How could she have been so foolish to enter a car without knowing who sent it?

“Where are we going?” She asks feigning unconcern.

“We have arrived, Miss.” He stops the car in front of the “Eden Rock.”

“Alex!” She cries out happily seeing her boss and lover opening the car door for her, his chestnut hair tousled in the breeze, the bronze of his eyes glittery as gold.

She steps out and directs herself to the Eden Rock. Miracles never end!

Alex hooks his arm through hers.

“That’s not where we are going, Magda, at least not right now. Let me invite you for an ice-cream first. You, a genuine connoisseur, can’t miss a first-class ice cream parlor without giving it a fair chance. By the way, you are ravishing, sweetheart. Has anything special happened to you? Tell me, do!”

He leads her to a table for two to enjoy the ice cream, worthy of its reputation, melting in their mouths. She looks at him in two minds what to do; ‘tell him about her encounter with John or keep it a secret? Was his interest in the reasons for her good looks a trick question?’

“Tell me, sweetie, don’t be shy!”

Magda gives him a searching glance; he knows what happened and she must tell him!

“Well, I stumbled across someone I used to know in Paris and, just imagine, he works for one of Dunaev’s business partners. Isn’t it a coincidence?”

“Is that so, Magda? And you thought that a little, or not too a little seduction is a part of your job, am I right?” He leans over her, his breath scolding hot.

“You reek of sex like a morning after in a brothel, Magda! Next time have the decency to take a shower before meeting me!”

She glares at him in shock. His face a while before uniquely handsome, wears the grimace of a vengeful freak. She touches soothingly his hand clenched in a tight fist ready to hit.

“But Alex isn’t getting into close contact with your clients good for my job? I thought you’d be happy to get at an excellent source of information.”

Her eyes, welling with tears, erupt in a desperate weeping of an unfairly punished child. He watches her appalled. Until now she has always been well behaved; often in a surprising way but never like an ill-mannered brat! He hands her his handkerchief.

“You are all snotty, Magda, clean your face! I apologize for my bad temper, of course you haven’t done anything wrong, and of course you will be rewarded. Would you like to have another ice cream or anything else before I have brought you back to Dunaev? I recommend their hazelnut ice cream with a generous portion of egg-liquor. You’ll have it? Great!” He waves the waitress to take his order.

“Now listen carefully, Magda. I am interested in any transaction between Dunaev and Gordon. Copy any files concerning oil on Dunaev’s computer. Do you know how to do it? No? You are hopeless! Oh no, don’t start blubbering again, I’ll ask Elijah to give you a couple of lessons, you are a smart girl, you learn fast! Give me a smile, sweetie, that’s it! If weeping doesn’t suit Electra it does even less Magda! And keep in mind; she who climbs a high tree has a right to the fruit! Now I’ll pass you on Eli. A propos, I have got something for you.” He fastens a locket on a golden chain around her neck.

”This is a very special jewel, a camera to make photos of documents. Here are a few pennies for special treats. Spend it without counting, there will be more.”

He kisses her hand, pays the bill and leaves as if there were more urgent things than to spend a pleasant moment at the Eden Rock.

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