Characters from the film The Thomas Crown Affair are used without permission.
They call her the woman in sunglasses - la femme dans des lunettes de soleil. Her French is Parisian: her shoes are Italian and her gloves English. Every year she books the same date, the same room, every year a different name. She dines alone on the terrace. Her taste in wine is worthy of the sommelier's undivided attention, but she picks at her food and does not order dessert.
She retires to her room scandalously early.
He arrives late. Every year a different car: a Bentley, a Morgan, a Jaguar in British racing green, the upholstery butter-smooth leather and the trim polished teak. He smokes Pall-Malls. His suits are Savile Row bespoke and his shirts hand-stitched on Jermyn Street. He shaves with a cutthroat razor and does not use cologne. His French has a Swiss accent.
At the bar, he drinks Remy Martin.
After they have checked out, which they do a scrupulous two hours apart, the maids will clean both rooms. In hers, there will be damp towels piled on the bathroom floor and sheets splayed haphazard across the bed. Two ashtrays, one on each of the Louis XIV side-tables. The chess set will be set up by the fireplace. The windows to the terrace are often open. Sometimes, there will be a trace of her scent in the bathroom and once she left a book, the binding white leather - Sun-Tzu.
His will be undisturbed.
is a strange affair.