Magda brings the ring close to her eyes evaluating her gain; it was a complete success in any regard. She isn’t even hangover after all that champagne of last night. It’s no wonder when indulging herself on the best of the best. She did her job, she was paid. So why does she feel down? She wanted to give Dunaev a present. She was paid. What was she actually dreaming about? To marry an oligarch fallen madly in love with her after a one-night stand? Grow-up, Magda! Life is not a cheap novelette! She should be glad for that magnificent ring and count her blessings. She had a highly satisfying sex with a handsome, generous man; it was great fun with great winnings. Isn’t that enough?
“Yes, Eli, I am on my way!” She answers his call, jumps out of bed and concocts an appropriate version of her tryst with Dunaev while taking a shower.
Wishing her good morning on a hand kiss Elijah takes note of the ring on her finger and his tightening lips stifle a moan. She gives him a searching glance. Will she ever know what he feels for her?
“Nice ring!” He smirks.
“As Dunaev met you for the first time last night it must be pure chance that it reflects the color of your eyes that closely; wonders will never cease.” He drops mockingly.
“Maybe I am the one he saw in his dreams.”
“It must be something like that. As we are free until Alex’s new orders tell me what you’d like to do after breakfast, Magda.”
“I am not yet sure. I promised Goldstein to call him but there’s no rush. Should I ring him up? What do you think, Eli?”
“That’s completely on you, sweetie.”
“Wouldn’t you mind if I started an affair? Have you no feelings for me, Eli?”
“Why should I mind? What you give to other men is not taken away from me; it’s what I shall never have. As for my feelings you may make my heart bleed but you can’t break it. Don’t worry, Magda. You won’t ever lose me. I’ll be always there for you, no matter what we do, either of us. Can you understand that, Magda?” He asks with a note of urgency that makes her shudder.
“Alex!” Elijah jumps up as if he was hit.
“Surprised, Eli? Am I failing your plans?”
“Won’t you give me a kiss, Magda?”
“With pleasure, Alex. It’s great to see you! I miss you, you know?”
“Of course you do, sweetie!” He reaches after her enclosing her in an ostentatious embrace.
“Will you have breakfast with us, Alex?” She offers after having got her breath back.
“Thanks, Magda, I may; but let’s pass by your room, first.”
He has never yet made love to her with this brutal greed as if devouring her until the last scrap not to allow any other man to soothe on her his hunger, treating her like a bungler wrecking a luxury car not to let anyone else drive her after him.
“You are hurting me, Alex!” She moans swallowing the blood on her lips ripped by the violence of his kisses, her body mangled by his sharp set teeth. ‘He must be mad; how else would he be damaging his goods? Now it will take ages before he can send her on a job!’
One last crazed thrust and he slides down from her. They lay motionless one beside the other destroyed by the abuse, hating each other for what they have allowed to happen.
He turns the ring around her finger his mouth screwed in a heinous smirk.
“A great stone for a great job, you are my treasure box, Magda! Or is it rather my Pandora’s Box? I suffer hell when you open yourself to others, yet I must allow it. I can’t afford you otherwise. Tomorrow you are starting to work for Dunaev as his secretary.” He says in a voice not allowing her any objections.
“But, Alex, I don’t know how to do it! I have no secretarial skills! He will sack me at the spot!”
“Not that kind of secretary, you dummy. It has very little to do with the normal routine, don’t panic, Magda. It will concern mainly his public relations. You will organize his social life, answer his letters, take care of his engagements, social or any other, spare him any avoidable disturbance and be always there when he needs you. What I expect from you is to fill me in on his activities as insignificant they may seem to you, do you understand, Magda?”
“Are you asking me to spy on him, Alex?”
“That’s exactly what I do!”
“Why should I do it?”
“For no reason that may interest you, sweetheart.”
“And if I refuse?”
“You won’t, for that I know you too well. I am offering you a pleasant, well paid job. Oh yes, my little Magda, you’ll get paid every month and most generously so, not talking about all the extras, and allowances for your maintenance at the best beauty parlor in Cannes. Here is my emergency phone number, use it sparingly and never let Dunaev suspect you are working for me as well. That will be all for the moment.”
He jumps out of bed, slips on his jeans and T-shirt and is gone with the nonchalance of a hotel guest who booked his room for one night only.