The situation was pressingly urgent. Things needed to be handled quickly and the agent manoeuvred into place right away.
Somewhere on Park Avenue in mid-town Manhattan is an over sixty year-old building with a few private offices inside there. And a couple of expensive restaurants on the ground floor.
Twin sets and pearls are ridiculously intimidating attire in today’s era. So is a mink coat. And when you combine these with pale blonde hair and a few grey hairs, blue eyes of dominating fire, and that ‘interesting age -,’ you have a problem disguised as an ordinary woman walking about in plain black suede shoes and high heels.
Vera-Lucien was a specialist and deliberate tactical problem, though, owned by a government agency, and reporting directly to another woman in that same agency, much more responsible you would think, in theory, and quite a bit older too yet again than herself. It’s how things were. Vera-Lucien was a person of somewhat vague sexuality – which created a lot of problems with her male colleagues, some problems with some of her female underlings, but then again, most of the women got on with her because she was no competition to them and they knew it, even though she was far and away the most good-looking woman on the new ‘bleed blue team’ that worked inside of buildings. And then of course there were those who mostly worked outside of buildings too...
Syuzanna was an agent who worked mostly on the outside, which meant that when she got called up to a lunch meeting with Vera-Lucien at the quiet and rather austere expensive restaurant on the ground floor she didn’t feel very comfortable even walking up to the front doors. This was not her natural territory. These people all knew they belonged in here; Syuzanna didn’t feel like that.
Even the decision to wear a pants suit had been a fraught one in her mind. She knew what the reputation of Vera-Lucien was. So Syuzanna got the agency to stand her a for-the-occasion real Saint Laurent crinkled velvet blue jacket to go with the mid grey slacks, and an over-length Alpaca and Merino shoulder scarf that made everything completely not ‘business-attire’ even though it came across as pretty upscale too all the same, especially with those shiny black pointy-toe stilettos that she matched to the outfit.
Vera-Lucien met her just behind the entry front doors and insouciantly took her by the hand and led her deep into the place, through the first section, past the usual entitled Manhattan lunch small groups, and then into the furthest recesses, where the atmosphere changed considerably yet once more, from that feeling of mere moneyed upscale to the actually rarefied.
Syuzanna was avowedly heterosexual but she was quickly conscious of something like a frisson, indeed she was sure she felt her face warm up slightly... Well, it certainly seemed right from the get-go like as if the older woman was setting out to be very nice to her, that she found Syuzanna attractive as well, and even though that was not going to lead anywhere, it was a good feeling to know that you were liked of course; yes, certainly it was a good feeling. Syuzanna packed it away into that box in her head like that.
But Vera-Lucien was so so clever though; astute, insightful maybe, in all those very important little nasty adult ways too. She was a real seductress of either sex.
“Oh now there there. You don’t have to worry about me. I’m not going make advances on you. I have your complete file. There’s nothing to worry about from me...”
She had this ridiculously cultured perfectly accent-less breathy resonant voice, not deep but lower like all the rich people mostly had. And confident. Could have been a touch arrogant, too... Like the utterly brand new but then totally socially decadent mink coat: rich, supple – full of secrets. “Of course don’t expect me not to pull your leg though every now and then, right!” She smiled broadly and raised just one eyebrow. And moved her gaze away from directly at Syuzanna’s face and eyes, and looked off somewhere into the distance, into empty space. Then she suddenly did something with her pupils, side to side rapidly, and returned her eyes back onto Syuzanna. Well that was Langley Virginia right there if there ever was a tell.
“It would make my job a whole lot easier, Syuzanna, if you let me just pretend to flirt with you at least. Now don’t take it too seriously.” She extended a beautifully manicured hand and placed a gleaming red varnished fingernail’d finger underneath Syuzanna’s chin and lifted that up. “It won’t go too far, I promise.”
Secretly, inside, there was this sudden question materialising in Syuzanna’s psyche: oh but what would ‘too far’ even look like, though...?
She could have slapped Vera-Lucien’s hand away then but it was the smile - it was cute and funny, and it made things seem not as insidious as the woman probably really was behind the glim.
She found herself rising to the humour. “Lipstick lesbians. Is that the phrase for it?”
“There you are!” Vera-Lucien announced in a tone of purring approval. “I think we shall get on.”