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  • SLIPPING THEORY INTO LOVE: A Story in Six Parts
    Part Three:

    On that day in May, Chalbaud had a busy presidential day planned. An execution to sign-off on, a lunch to host a delegation of American engineers and oil lobbyists, a ceremony to open a new government building in the centre of Caracas, secured by him for a relative of his wife’s. When did it dawn on him that the day would end in assassination?

    Not at lunch: Lunch was the antithesis of anything dire. He charmed, he seduced and with many raised glasses of champagne, he made toasts inciting resplendent mutual gain. He and the Americans shook hands and all toddled off well-greased from palace cellars.

    Chalbaud might have noticed the change in driver and entourage but for the spell of lunchtime conviviality blunting his senses. When the limousine arrived to take him to the ceremony, he slumped into the back, content to siesta on its soft black leather. He would have seen the eyes of his traitor looking back at him from the car mirror, the flash of duplicity crossing through black irises.
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