“What an eyeful!”
She resists the urge to walk away. These British always try so hard to be funny. He looks at her, a smug little smile on his face, expectant. She doesn’t give him the satisfaction of a visible acknowledgement of the line. The tourists bustle around them, snapping photos, oblivious to the momentous events unfolding in their midst.
“I heard you,” she snaps. “Did you bring the package?”
His smile collapses. He leans down and picks up a battered brown briefcase from by his feet and holds it out to her. She just looks at him.
“Jesus Christ, they told me you were stupid, but this is ridiculous. Do you really think I’m just going to take it from you, right here, out in the open?”
The crowd around them is slowing down, as people gather for the light display at the turn of the hour. When it comes, his face is lit by the twinkle. It is a picture of abject despair. He can’t believe just how badly this is going.
“I, um, I, er… Okay,” he says, putting the case back down “what do you want to do?”
I want to kill you right here is what she thinks, but she says “get on the metro and go three stops. Where you get off there is a bistro. There is a table there reserved for you in the name Caro. A meal has already been ordered and paid for. If you want wine with it, you can buy that yourself. When you’re done, go home, but leave the package behind.”
“And you’ll be by to pick it up later?”
She just looks at him. He looks embarrassed, shuffles his feet a bit. Finally he realises it’s for him to go, turns and hurries off in the direction of the metro.
Slowly, she counts to three hundred, then she does it again. She takes a cheap mobile phone out of her pocket and hits send on two pre-written text messages. The first of these is to a machine, inside that battered briefcase now halfway into town. The second is to her employer, to let them know the job is done.
Tomorrow the news will be full of stories about the british scientist turned suicide bomber. She doesn’t know why this needed to happen. She doesn’t ask those kind of questions.
She admires the tower, and smiles.