She stares out the window onto Boulevard St Germain and reruns the plan and the conversation she’d just had with Pierre.

“At noon, he will unlock his door and kiss me. In 5 minutes we will be making love in the hallway, the door will remain unbolted, you know where the key is. By 12.30 you will arrive dressed as the best pizza boy in town.” She smiled at Pierre when she said this. She then took another drag from her cigarette and continued.

“I will wake him and force him to make love to me again.”

“Can he? I mean, will that work?” She looked at Pierre with a glance of contempt but then checked herself and smiled. “You have the basement code and the safe combination. Remember the painting covering the safe is worth 10 times the 3 million Euros inside the safe. Put the cash in your bag first. Then cut along the frame, roll up the canvass and put that in the bag also. You must do all this and leave the building quickly otherwise Jacqueline at reception will get suspicious. She hates me anyway, bitch.”

Pierre listened carefully to Maria, hiding his fear. Maria did not suffer fools lightly. 

“Are you sure you will be safe, in the months ahead?” Pierre asked.

“Yes.” Maria said. “I will leave the apartment with him. I have the perfect alibi. Once his wife finds out and all hell breaks loose, I will fade away into oblivion. Of course the police will question me but I have no record, I am just one of his many lovers. By the time we meet up in Lou Colonial, Nice, on Valentine’s Day, the heat, as the Americans say, will be off.” Maria then stared at Pierre with a look of control and desire. She exhaled smoke into his face. “We will then sell the paining to Simon in London and live happily ever after.” 

Pierre looked at her and faked a smile. “I don’t think he has many lovers,” Pierre said, in a matter of fact way. Maria ignored him. She had calculated everything. 

The one damn thing she hadn’t anticipated, was that Pierre would disappear with everything and that she would spend each Valentine’s day, alone. 

©DMM #inspirational_photograph by @sissadavid


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