The Man Who Risked It All
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waited. I chose a Perrier. The atmosphere was subdued and pleasant. A restrained décor in black and white. The late-day sun reached into every corner, accentuating the ethereal feel of the place. A few tables were already occupied. I caught snatches of conversation in foreign languages. I couldn’t help but shudder when I looked out. Those beams were only too familiar. In the end, it was healthy to come back to the scene of my trauma. I experienced it as the possibility not of wiping out the
closed piano looked like a slab of black marble. Through the tall windows, opened onto the garden, I could see the first drops of rain sliding off the leaves. “Where is Igor?” She didn’t reply but looked away. “Oh … you know his real name.” “Yes.” She remained silent for a long while. “Alan …” “Yes …” She sighed. “I’ve got to tell you …” “What?” I could sense she was tense. “Igor is dead.” “Igor is …” “Yes. He had a heart attack yesterday morning. The servants could do nothing. Help
shortest possible time. We can scarcely cut them off, can we?” “That’s where I’ve got good news for you,” said Larcher, triumphantly. “Luc, tell us your second conclusion.” Luc Fausteri spoke without looking at us, his eyes fixed on his papers. “I’ve said that the average length of Thomas’s interviews is noticeably less than that of the less commercially successful consultants. Analyzed more precisely, the figures reveal something else: The duration of the face-to-face interview is especially
a neat pile, and his Mont Blanc pen was placed just so. A very slight perfume floated in the air. Perhaps his aftershave … I picked up the phone, a much more elegant model than we had in the rest of the department. “Al …” I was going to say my name to let the caller know I was not Thomas, but he didn’t give me time, cutting me off and talking at top speed with a voice full of hatred. “What you’ve done is shitty. I clearly told you I hadn’t resigned yet and was counting on your total discretion.
dark suit, was seated at the piano with his back to me. I watched his hands moving up and down the keyboard as the Rachmaninoff sonata rang out. And there in front of him, stretched out across the top of the immense grand piano, was a woman with long blond hair … entirely naked. She was propped up on one elbow with her head resting on the palm of her hand, looking at the pianist with a detached air. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from her grace, her beauty, her refinement, her extreme femininity.