After a much quieter meal than I expected, Stacie rose to leave. “I’m worried about leaving you.” She leaned over offering me a hug.
“I will be fine. Call me tomorrow morning.”
Quinn piped in quickly. “When you call the hotel, ask for Leslie Caron’s room. And you will need-“
“Who’s Leslie Caron?” Stacie budded in.
Quinn paused and gave her an incredulous look. “Who is Leslie Caron? What rock have you been living under here?”
“Not only is she a famous French actress but she is one of the best dancers to ever grace the stage. She has danced with the likes of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.”
“Oh. Why did you pick that name? Cathie can’t dance.”
Quinn turned his eyes laced with intrigue to me. “Then I’ll teach her.”
It was nice to finally be noticed in the conversation but his look unsettled my heart again.
“Whatever.” Stacie stated as she headed for the door.
“Wait.” Quinn called out. “You will need more than a name to reach her. We have a password set.”
Stacie turned tail with one hand on her hip. “And it is?”
“You might want to write this down, Stacie.” He said with a hint of mockery.
Her other hand came up to the opposite hip. “Try me. I have an amazingly good memory.”
“Okay. Fourteen, fourteen, nine, twenty-one, seventeen.”
Stacie stood frozen for a moment and then stepped back to the table. She plunked down her handbag and rifled through it looking for something.
Quinn gave me a knowing wink and pulled a pen out from the folder enclosing the food bill.
She reluctantly but aggressively snatched the pen from him. “Say it again, please.”
“Would you like me to recite it in French?”
She glared at him without a sound.
He smirked and then spoke slowly. “1...4...1...4...9...2...1...1...7”
After Stacie wrote the numbers down on the palm of her hand she turned to Quinn. “Does that mean something special to you?”
Quinn nodded. “It is my name in numbers spelled backwards.”
Stacie closed her eyes for a moment and her lips mumbled through something silently. I wondered if she was spelling out her a,b,c’s to see if he was truthful. Suddenly her eyes popped open and she waved. “I don’t have time to figure that one out. Bye. And please stay out of trouble.”
I waved back as she strutted out the front door. I turned to Quinn. “You just have those numbers figured out off the top of your head?”
“No, it’s the password to practically everything I own.” He shook his head as if to dislodge something. “I can’t believe I just told that to a perfect st ...”
He stopped himself from finishing his thought. So I finished it for him.
“A perfect stranger?”
Quinn ducked his head in disgrace. “Sorry, Cherie. I-“
“Never mind.” I said as I stood. Quinn tried to stop me but he missed as I marched out the front door of the cafe.
As I let the warm air outside fill my lungs I tried to slow the emotions down that flooded my body.
Quinn showed up behind me after a minute. “Please wait for me. Do not go. I need to go back in and retrieve my credit card. Please do not go anywhere.”
He disappeared back in the restaurant only after I gave him a weak nod.
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