Grant reached for Marina's hand. They interlaced their fingers and smiled at each other. "I'm sorry," he said. "I'm just protective of you."
"And I think you're very sweet."
Grant cocked one eyebrow. "And sexy?"
"Is it sexy if I order myself a double bacon cheeseburger with fries now?"
"It won't be here for at least thirty minutes. Join me in the bedroom while I wait for my midnight snack?"
"Order me fries, too, all right? I'm an only child. I don't share well."
"I don't, either. So promise me something."
"Anything." Marina wrapped her arms around Grant's neck and smiled up at him.
"Promise I won't have to share you on this trip. It's just a few days. I want us to unplug and enjoy each other."
Marina nodded. "Mm-hmm," she said. She reached up for a kiss. She felt Grant's hands on her backside and suddenly she was in the air, her legs wrapped around his waist. "I promise," she murmured, as he carried her to bed.
Matthew Werner was late. His wife, Annabel, sat alone on the veranda of their Geneva flat, wearing a black cocktail dress and the long sable coat that Matthew bought for her when they first moved to Switzerland. A hairdresser on the Cours de Rive had coaxed her auburn hair into a twist. Her shoes, five-inch pumps that a salesgirl in a boutique on rue du Rhone convinced her to buy against her better judgment, pinched at the balls of her feet. In the dressing room mirror, the shoes had made Annabel's legs look impossibly long and slim. Two black satin ribbons extended from each heel and laced up around her ankles and lower calves, giving the impression of a ballerina en pointe. Back in New York, she might have lingered by a window display of shoes like these. But she wouldn't have gone into the store. She wouldn't have bought them. Too impractical, too expensive. In New York, Annabel wore mostly flats or wedge heels, with rounded toes suited to days spent on her feet. In New York, Annabel had worked. She had taken the subway, not a car with a driver. She didn't spend her money on shoes that cost a week's salary. Here in Geneva, she'd sign the receipt before bothering to glance at the price tag.
At home, she found she could hardly walk in them. In the harsh lighting of her closet, the lacing at the ankle looked theatrical. She wasn't sure if she looked like a banker's wife or a courtesan. All the other wives shopped at the boutique where she'd bought the shoes. They all looked the same, dressed the same, played tennis together. Sometimes Annabel felt as though she missed a memo when she had arrived in Geneva: How to Be a Banker's Wife. Most of the others were polite but distant. After an initial spate of lunch invitations, Annabel stopped hearing from them. They were polite enough at firm events, of course, but they seemed to understand, as she did, that she was different from them. Annabel had decided this was fine with her. Most of the other wives just wanted to talk about the Paris fashion shows and their country houses and their latest weekend jaunt to Sardinia. And they dressed up for everything, even a casual brunch on the weekends. Of course, it would be nice to be included some of the time. But most days, Annabel was content to wander a museum by herself, sit in a cafe with a book, and go to bed early. Charity balls and black-tie dinners held no appeal for her. And she had always hated tennis.
The shoes had been so expensive that she couldn't bear not to wear them. Once, at least. Annabel hoped they looked as expensive as they were. Matthew loved to see her in expensive things. It was the reason he worked as hard as he did, he said. He liked to show her off.
For now, though, Annabel unlaced the shoes and released her feet from their bondage. She tucked them up against her slender thighs to keep them warm. She was tempted to light a cigarette to take the edge off but stopped herself. Matthew would be angry. For all Matthew knew, Annabel hadn't touched a cigarette since New York. She kept a pack hidden behind her art books in the living room. Matthew never looked at them, so Annabel was in no risk of being found out. Art had never interested Matthew, unless it was a client's investment, and then it was just that: an investment. Annabel allowed herself one cigarette—occasionally two—at a time, but only when Matthew was away for the night. Lately, that was often.