Love and Other Murders

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Chapter 98

Butterflies in her stomach flutter madly their wings when Magda enters the conference room clutching the recorder to her breast. She is the last one to arrive. They are all there, lined up like a firing squad. She casts an anguished glance at her wrist watch; ‘she is on time! Though, very probably a secretary is supposed to be half an hour in advance.’

They acknowledge her presence with curt nods.

“As we are all here now, let’s start!”

Dunaev’s voice is purposefully bland. Magda’s plea for his support falls on a stony ground. John catches her eyes in flight and motions to the recorder.

’Recorder, of course, she has to switch it on!’ She asks God, chronically absent from her mind and heart to keep it going and the Heavenly Father with a soft spot for a damsel in distress answers the prayer of his erring child.

The meeting over they pass to the lounge to toast each other with champagne that Magda, as their hostess, knows how to serve in a professional way followed by admiring glances; something she succeeds with flying colors.

“Thanks, John; I’ll make it up to you!” She whispers handing him a flute of Cristal.

“Aren’t we both in the same leaky boat, sweetie?” He gives her an encouraging smile and she tries hard not to fall for this gorgeous specimen of manhood, alas a gay hustler by his trade.

“I expect you to be at my office shortly, Miss Horvath!” Dunaev proffers her his glass for a refill, voice sharp, eyes chilling.

They take leave one after the other, John as the last one, taking with him her hope for his help. ’What had Dunaev in mind ordering her to his office? Should she put on something cute? But then, in case he meant business, she would feel like a fool.’

She knocks at his door and his cool “come in” gives her no clue. Of course, Dunaev isn’t a teen-ager waiting with bated breath for his girl friend; neither is she his sweetheart but a spy leading him on. Her heart madly beating she regrets to have abandoned her former uncomplicated life. And to think she considered it boring!’ Inhaling deeply she enters the lion’s den.

He takes the recorder to which she clutches like to a life vest and draws her onto his lap.

“You naughty girl, I could hardly concentrate seeing you so seductive even in your office garb.”

He whispers pulling down the zipper of her skirt, unbuttoning her shirt. Leaving her clothing in a puddle on the floor he makes love to her on his writing desk under the purring of the recorder recapitulating the main points of the meeting.

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