Taking a lunch break, Lucy left the office and walked to nearby Central Park.
On the way, she stopped at an Italian deli and bought a chunk of salami, some mortadella and a wedge of provolone cheese. She carried an uncorked half-bottle of Chianti wine in a paper sack. Underneath many of the trees in the park, masses of red and yellow tulips waved in a slight May breeze. Jonquils, in a riot of colors, grew everywhere, giving the park a festive look.
She found a bench, sat down, fished a pocket knife out of the sack and cut a slice of salami. The spicy taste and aroma brought back memories of sitting in the ducal gardens in Ferrara. That happy earlier time contrasted with her present foreboding. She wasn’t going to be around long enough to have an affair. Just her luck to finally get back here only long enough to get a taste of life without any time to enjoy it.
Alex’s loan operation was turning out to be a disaster. Not only was Heaven out to screw it up, but everyone who applied for a loan was certain to go to Hell without any help from Alex. When Satan visited the shop tomorrow for a status report, he was sure to spot this flaw.
She needed a plan to rescue the loan venture. It was the only way she could stay around long enough to have an affair. The first step would be get rid of her father so Michael would stop interfering. How was she going to do that without insulting Alex? The man had an enormous ego, even though there was no reason for him to have one. Her only hope was to convince Satan that her original business model was better than Alex’s. She didn’t think her chances were too good.