'Can I help you?'
He shrugged. 'I don't know. Can you help me?'
'Why don't you tell me what you're looking for and I'll see what I can do.'
Her smile doesn't falter.
'What's your favourite item here?' he asked.
'My favourite? What kind of thing are you looking for? We have many beautiful pieces.'
He smirked at her. 'Don't give me that spiel. What is your favourite item in this shop?'
She lead him to a display cabinet, pointed at a set of earrings. 'Emerald, 18K yellow gold. I think the colour is extraordinary.'
'I'll buy them for you.'
Sweat began to gather in little beads on her face. Unsure how to respond, she laughed.
'Well that's very kind of you, thank you, do you have a special lady in your life you're hoping to buy for today?'
'Yes, you.' He strolled over to the woman behind the till, requested to purchase the emerald earrings. He paid the 4899, told her to leave them behind the till and wrote out a brief note.
He left as quickly as he had entered. She spent the rest of the day being followed by her colleague, who whispered in frenzied tones.
'Are you going to meet him? How presumptuous to expect you to just meet him straight after work, what if you had plans? He must be loaded.'
As she entered the restaurant she found him waiting for her in the bar with two martinis.
He kissed her hair as she stared at the coffee bean resting on top of the foam, bubbles shifting beneath the surface.
Over dinner he said 'Do you like jewelry? You don't wear much of it. Except earrings of course'. He laughed, gestured to the waiter to bring more wine.
'No, I don't wear much. But I like the earrings. Thank you. Please be more discreet next time though.'
He nodded. 'So why do you sell jewelry? If you don't like it? You must make a lot of money.'
She shook her head. 'I enjoy working in the shop.'
The emeralds blinked next to her green eyes as she looked up at the hotel ceiling. He thew her onto her front, the warm sheets wrinkled between her fingers and she saw only the bed beneath her.
She left the hotel in the night as he slept, smoked a cigarette outside the lobby, called a taxi. She arrived home, her husband was asleep.
She ate a small bowl of cereal, drank coffee and smoked cigarettes to sober up.
'What are those?' her husband pointed to the earrings on the counter. 'They look expensive.'
'About 5k, yeah.' she took a drag on her cigarette.
'What have I said about smoking in here?' he took the cigarette from her and stubbed it out. 'It makes the kitchen smell terrible.'
'5k for the earrings and another 5k into the account.'
He smiled. 'That's great, honey.' He flicked through the post, waiting for another pot of coffee to brew.
'I'm going on holiday. I want to take a break.'
'Okay, take a break then. You want me to set something up for you?'
'No. I mean a real break.'
He put down the letters.
'Okay, what's a real break?'
'A break from us.'
He sighed, poured the coffee into his mug without any for her.
'Have you had any sleep? You look like you need to sleep. I've got an important meeting this morning about the renovations for the new store.'
'Why don't you get some rest, see how you feel later? If you still want a break, that's fine, we can go together if you like. But if you want space from me, that's okay too.'
He kissed her cheek, drove off to the jewelry store. She watched him from her seat in the kitchen and lit another cigarette.