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Covert Affairs

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They courted through a series of well-plotted coincidences. These meetings were planned to happen at least once a month. They always happened around mid-day. They appeared to bump into one another on the sidewalk. They both feigned surprise and say things such as:

"Miss Genoard, I didn't know you would be here."

"Indeed, this is quite a surprise. And since we are both here, would you care to join me for coffee so that we might catch up?"

Anyone who paid attention could have seen through the flimsy pretenses to their true motives. The situations were always perfectly quaint and cliché. They never refused each another's company because of prior engagements. There were never any previous slights or hidden agendas that kept them from speaking. Again, all that was obvious if someone was paying attention. No one ever was.

Indeed, no one ever intruded. It helped that they purposefully set these meetings far outside their usual territories, sticking to the outskirts of the metropolitan area. Should they truly want to get away, they choose sleepy little hamlets that were still hurting from the downturn and happy for any money they could get. They were the outsiders who appeared on the level to those who didn't know better. Few looked at them and saw an immortal mafioso and an heiress of a faltering estate. They were just starry-eyed young people chatting over coffee.

Those who did manage recognize them knew better than to intrude. Friends, colleague, or even enemies were never insight. Should any of those people see them, they tended to disbelieve what they saw and move on, sure that they weren't who they thought they were. If they were recognized, it would be by a stalwart information broker for the Daily Days. They would never intrude even if they wanted: it was against company protocol.

And so Luck and Eve were left to their own devices. They always seemed oblivious to any background chatter, regardless of where they ended up. They usually took a table towards the back. They always sat slightly askew so that they both had a clear view of the door. But neither of them ever really paid it much attention. They were too wrapped up in each other and their heavily encoded conversations.

"Seven of our men were fired within the last week," he would say.

She would cringe. "I'm sorry. But investment banking was never a safe profession."

"Sad but true. And you still fight tooth and nail to keep your brother out of the racket."

"I keep hoping a steady hand will steer him toward purer professions. I can only take one banker in my life."

They always laughed, either at something truly funny or at the ridiculousness of their conversations. The laughs themselves were always warm and genuine and they would continue to babble away about the sacred and profane as the world spun on around them.

They both tipped well for the meager services that they required. Some speculated that these tips were a form of bribery. That didn't stop many a waitress from reminiscing to the Daily Days informants about the cute young couple and their generosity. If the money was really meant to buy someone's silence, it was generally met with failure.

They always said their farewells a few feet away from their destinations. In comparison to their earlier conversations, these pleasantries seemed halting, uncertain. Their voices grew quite as simple goodbyes passed across their lips.

One of them–it was never the same one twice–would give a casual glance around at their surroundings. Once a nod signaled that the coast was clear, she would rise to the tips of her toes and give him a faint kiss. She always seemed to hesitate as she broke away and would sigh something to him that only he could hear as she drifted back to the ground. He would merely nod and turn away.

She watched him walk away until he was out of sight. She then walked to the nearest phone booth and place a call. A few minutes later, her car would arrive to take her back to the city. Reports always placed him as leaving the town around thirty minutes after her.

Save a few memories, it was if they had never been there at all.