“Sir? What flight?”
The woman at the desk was brusque and impatient. The line was getting longer by the minute. She didn’t look at or speak to Petra.
“2 adults to Lisbon.”
She prepared their tickets and stamped them, her eyes boring into Roberts’ eyes as they were slid across the counter with immaculately groomed and sharpened red claws. She seemed to notice Petra for the first time and eyed them both close and tight. Robert took the tickets and dipped his hat, turning to walk away with a hand at Petra’s back. “90 minutes.”
He could feel the shape of a target in the middle of his back as they made their way to the gate. They didn’t stop at a lavatory or a café. They walked until they reached the gate, then they sat down.
Petra knew that they looked nervous and suspicious. Everything was riding on this, and her mind whirled with Chicago and Monaco. Then she thought of London. She turned to Robert and looked into his eyes. Her eyes were soft like a matinee siren, her hand on his arm, sliding down to his hand and intertwining her fingers with his. She leaned and he just sat there. She leaned further and kissed his lips.
At the touch of her lips he pressed back and they kissed like lovers, softly at first, then fiercely, like they might devour one another. They were animals. They may very well consume each other before the running was over. The one who could take it and not get caught in public would be the last one standing. When he broke the kiss he leaned in and pressed his rough cheek against hers, his hand around her head. His lips went to her ear and he whispered so no one but she could hear.
“If any of this is a ruse, if I end up alone in Brazil, or at the end of the barrel of a gun that you led me to, you will die a painful death and never see anyone you care about again. If this is real, you will never want for anything. Ever.” His hand was huge, and nearly covered her head. His fingers were pressed into her skull and he finally relinquished their grip and pulled his hand back. He stood up and took out a cigarette. Lighting it up. He didn’t talk anymore. He went to look out the window at the air traffic coming and going.
On the plane, they were cordial to one another. Petra was polite and worried, and Robert was quiet. When she fell asleep, she leaned against his shoulder. When she shivered, he took off his jacket and covered her with it. When they landed, they accomplished the task of disembarking and walked out of the airport, taking the first taxicab they found. He had one piece of information to make it look like he knew what he was doing. He had the name of a hotel, a hotel with a bar next to it. He also had the name of a man who could help them with their legal trouble, possibly make it sweet, so that they wouldn’t have to leave South America at all, for a long time.