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It was night when Alana drove to the Brighton Inn, a less-than stellar motel that was a favorite getaway destination for Jack Warden and his mistress, Sherry Taylor.  Alana parked, waited, and watched. Finally, the car she had been waiting for pulled into the motel's parking lot and Jack and Sherry got out and went into the motel.  Alana looked in the rear-view mirror and straightened her wig, took her shoulder bag, walked quickly into the motel, and got in line behind them.  As soon as she heard the hotel clerk tell Jack that he had room 132, she went to a couch in the lobby and watched Jack and his mistress went to their room. When they got in the room, Sherry took her overnight bag and went into the bathroom, and Jack quickly undressed and got into bed. A few minutes later, Sherry appeared wearing a sheer negligee and holding a pair of handcuffs.

"See what I have, baby?" she said holding up the cuffs.

"Oh, baby, do your thing," he said and Sherry slowly got on top of him, kissed him passionately, and cuffed him to the bed posts.

After thirty minutes, Alana went to their room, looked up and down the corridor, took a card from her shoulder bag, swiped it through the reader, and nudged the door open a few inches. Then, she put the card in her bag and took out her gun, tightened the silencer, slowly opened the door, entered the room, and closed the door.  As Alana closed the door, Sherry turned toward her, screamed, grabbed a blanket and covered herself as she jumped off the bed.

"Jesus, who the hell are you?  Waddaya want?"  Jack yelled and pulled at the handcuffs.

"Jack, she has a gun," Sherry screamed.

Alana walked quickly to Sherry and shot her in the head.

" God.  You killed Sherry."

"That's right, Jack, and guess who's next?"

"Why...why are you doing this?" Jack stuttered and pulled at the handcuffs.

"You can stop pulling, Jack.  Thanks to your playmate, you're not going anywhere.  Now, you want to know why I'm doing this. Well, Jack, your wife got tired of your screwing around, so she decided that you should stop, which is why I'm here.  To stop you."

"My wife?  But..."

"I know, Jack.  You thought you could play around, and she would accept it.  Boy," she chuckled, "were you wrong.  You made a life-threatening mistake," she said and put the gun to his head.

"Any last words, Jack?"

"Yeah.  Drop dead, bitch," he yelled and spit in her face.

"Those were good last words," she said, wiped her face, and fired. "Good job, Alana," she said, put the gun in her shoulder bag, took off her reversible, black coat and turned it inside out so that the white side showed.  Standing at the door, she took off her wig, let her hair down, and put her wig in her shoulder bag.  After listening at the door for a few moments, she opened the door slowly and checked the hall.  Seeing that it was clear, she left the room, went down to her car, and made a call on her cell phone.  "You may tell the client that her message was delivered," she said, ended the call, and drove home.

Several weeks after her husband's death, Mrs. Watson went to the plush offices of the Stern Detective Agency.  The receptionist looked up as Mrs. Watson entered the office.  "Good morning, Mrs. Watson.  How are you, today?"

"My dear, I am absolutely wonderful," she said, and gave her an envelope.  "I would appreciate it if you would give this to Mr. Stern."

"I'd be happy to."

"Thank you, dear.  Have a wonderful day," she said and left.

Four days later, when Alana returned home from an assignment out of town, she got a call from her contact.  "Check your P.O. box for your next assignment.  A warning. Your affair with Dr. Fleming could mean trouble," her contact said and hung up.  “Unlikely,” she said, and called Dr. Fleming to tell him she'd call him when she got back from a conference.

When she returned from her assignment, she called Rick.  "It's me. I just got back.  Can you come at six?”

“I’ll be there.”

At 6:00, Rick went up to Alana's apartment.  After a long embrace, they talked.  “Rick, it wouldn't hurt if you spent some time with your wife.  Let's make sure she doesn't become suspicious."

"Suspicious?  Carol?  Not a chance," he said confidently, Alana went into her bedroom, and Rick called his wife.  "Carol, it's me, Honey.  Dr. Wayne asked me to cover for him for a while at the emergency room.  Not too long.  Russ should be back in a couple of hours. I'll be home as soon as I can.  Love you, too. Bye," he said, and went into Alana’s bedroom.

While Rick and Alana were locked in each other's arms, Rick's wife called the emergency room. "Hello?  May I speak with Dr. Fleming?  He isn’t.  Then may I speak with Dr. Wayne?  Oh, it's his night off.  Uh, no, thank you. I'll be able to take care of this problem myself," she said and hung up.

Rick believed that his wife trusted him and would never become suspicious. Well, he was dead wrong.  Carol wanted hard evidence, so she hired a private detective, Joshua Stern, to follow Rick; the hard evidence was videos of Rick going in and out of Alana Day's building.

“Mr. Stern, you did your job, and I thank you.  I’ll take care of matters from here," she said and went to the door.

"Mrs. Fleming, what are you going to do?”

"Mr. Stern I want them dead,” she said angrily.

"Mrs. Fleming, please.  Don't ruin your life."

"I won’t.  I’ll ruin theirs,” she said firmly and went to the door.

"Wait." he said.  "I can’t let you ruin your life.  I can arrange what you want."

"You mean you kill people, too," she said wryly.

"No, I do not kill people.  However, I know people who do.  Now, do you want my help?

"Yes, I do."

"Alright.  Bring me $20,000 in three days.  Keep in mind that once I make the arrangements, they can't be cancelled.  Any questions?"

"No,” she said and left.

Rick had been invited to deliver a paper at a medical conference, and he was excited about the honor, but he was more excited about being able to spend time with Alana without having to lie to his wife. Unlike Rick, Alana was worried and she paced in her living room.  "I can't be seen in public with Rick; I can't take the risk," she mumbled.”  She was worried because she had been feeling that Rick's wife knew about them.  "How could she not have known or at least become suspicious."  She was worried because she knew better than anyone what often happens to a cheating husband…and his play mate. Though worried, she decided to go because she wanted to spend time with Rick.

Alana's cab stopped in front of the hotel where Rick's conference was being held, and, before she left the cab, she put on her sunglasses. After she entered the hotel, she went to a house phone. "Please ring Dr. R. Fleming’s room." Alan said quietly.  When the operator said," Dr. Fleming is in room 225.  I'll…" Alana hung up, walked up to Rick's room, took off her sunglasses and knocked on the door.

"Ah.  A gift from the gods," Rick said and she entered the room."

Alana dropped her bag on the floor and they kissed passionately.

"Wow.  Alana, I think we should continue this in bed, don't you?"

"No.  I think we should go to a nice restaurant.  I am famished, After we eat, we can do whatever you want."

"Okay.  I guessed that you'd be hungry, so I made a reservation for dinner at the hotel restaurant."

"Rick, people who are attending this conference will probably be going to go to that restaurant for dinner.  I want to eat someplace else?"

"But it's a fine restaurant, and you'll get to meet some of my friends."

"I don't want to meet anyone.  Remember, you're a married man.  People will wonder why you're with me and not your wife."

"Don't worry.  Most doctors don't bring their wives to these conferences."

"What will you say if someone comes to our table?"

"What will I say?  Okay.  You are a dermatologist.  How's that?"

"Dermatologist?  What if a dermatologist comes over to say hello?"

"Don't worry.  I know for a fact that you will be the only dermatologist there.  Now stop worrying, and let's go.  I'm starving."

As they walked out of the room, she put on her sun glasses.

"Why the sun glasses?"

"I need them."

"As you wish, Dr....Dr....uh… Dr. Wilson from New Mexico, shall we dine?"

While they were eating, a large, smiling man came to the table, grabbed Rick's hand and shook it vigorously.  "Rick, my boy that was a wonderful presentation.  Wonderful."

"Thank you, Al.  Uh, Al, I'd like you to meet Dr. Wilson from New Mexico.  Dr. Wilson is a dermatologist."

"A dermatologist.  Uh, it just so happens that I've been looking for a dermatologist.  I have this rash on my..."

"It was good seeing you, Al.  Thanks for stopping by."

"I can take a hint, old buddy.  Nice meeting you...Dr.  Wilson."

"That's it.  I can't stand this.  Please.  I can't stay here."

"Okay, Alana, we'll go."

She adjusted her sunglasses and looked down as they left.  "Let's walk up.  Okay?"

"Okay, Alana, if it will make you happy."

"Rick.  Please don't be angry with me.  I don't want to make your life miserable, but I wouldn't be able to eat a thing if I had to eat in that restaurant.  For tonight, can't we just stay in the room and order room service?"

"Well, it has been a long day, and I am pretty tired.  Okay.  We'll go out tomorrow," he said and they went to his room.

When they got to his room, Alana took off her sun glasses, put them in her bag, and hugged and kissed Rick.  "Could I interest you in dessert before we order room-service?"

"I think that's a great idea," he said smiling.

"Good.  You get into bed, and I'll go change into something more comfortable," she said, took her bag and went into the bathroom.

Rick took off his clothes and got into the bed.  After a few minutes, Alana and came out, and went to the bed.  After they made love, Rick fell asleep.  Alana looked at him and whispered his name; he didn't move.  Then she slowly got out of bed and went into the bathroom.  After a few moments, she came out, went to the bed, and looked down at Rick.

"I love you, Rick, I really do, but I have no choice."

She raised her gun and pointed it at Rick's head, and his eyes popped open.


"Rick, you were wrong about your wife.  She knew about us.  She hired a detective and had you followed.  Instead of divorcing you, she took out a contract on you and your lover.  It's ironic.  She paid to have you and your lover killed.  What do you think she would say if she knew that the killer she was hiring was your lover?"

"Alana, you can't.  We love each"

"Yes.  I love you, but I have to.  It's my job," she said with tears in her eyes, and fired one shot.

After a few moments, she picked up his limp hand, and, as tears rolled down her cheeks, held his hand close to her.


The End



Bio: While teaching, Mr. Greenblatt wrote short stories and plays, one of which won a reading at Smith College.  After retiring, he wrote short stories, novellas, and plays.  Several of his stories were published in on-line magazines, and others were published in print anthologies.




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