(Last Sunday Chartan realizes one of the three women he is driving to Berkeley is Elisa, the one woman he fears.)
Chartan reached the Berkeley restaurant without further contact from his passengers. When he opened the door, the first woman slid out without making eye contact. The second woman smiled briefly at him as she eased out of the limo. He waited for Elisa, his right hand gripping the door handle, eyes fixed on the green hills in the distance. Thirty seconds passed without Elisa. He was tempted to look inside, but assumed this was part of her game.
“Elisa, are you coming?” asked one of the women.
“In a minute.”
She is trying to make me wonder why she is not coming out. In a way, it’s working. But for what purpose?
The sound of clothing brushing on leather prompted Chartan to lower his gaze from the far away green to the soft white skin of Elisa’s thigh. He blinked and returned to the hills.
She whispered. “It’s a shame about those three businessmen.”
He refused to look at her and silently mouthed: why do you care?
With his eyes still pointed away from Elisa, he heard someone say they’d be ready for pickup in two hours.
A few minutes later Chartan, hands on the steering wheel, considered how he should spend the next two hours. He started the engine. Whatever he was going to do, he didn’t want to risk parking near the restaurant where Elisa might pay him a visit. Yes, he feared her. He would find a shady place, stop and call Gina from the limo phone. He needed to hear her voice.
To be continued next Sunday.