Around us the Cafe Insomnia caterwauled with youthful chaotica.
I looked down.
A brightly wrapped package.
I undid the packaging.
She appeared to have presented me with a portable CD player.
Tender is the night, as they do say in President Putin's school for hired killers.
A rueful smile creased my handsome features.
I doubted I would ever listen to this particular apparatus.
One of the problems with having a friend whom you think is an assassin working for the Russian KGB and intent on killing you, is that accepting gifts from her becomes something of an anticlimax.
"Thanks Genia," I murmured as soulfully as I could in the circumstances.
I examined the music box expertly.
I was wondering what part of it held the anthrax, or botulism toxin, or mini scorpion, or black widow spider, or cobra, or Polonium 90, or whatever it is the young sexy assassins are using nowadays.
Probably the earphones.
I peered at them.
They looked okay.
Gentle travellers of the internet, I know very little in life, but I am quite certain those earphones will never encase a finely honed preraphaelite Heelers' ear.
Although the earphones might be too obvious.
It's more likely the whole thing is a bomb.
"Would you like a coffee?" enquired Genia.
"I'll get it," I said hurriedly.
First rule of counter espionage: Don't leave her alone with the coffees.
I rose and made my way towards the counter, favouring her with repeated sweet smiles and many a backward glance as I sidled across the noisy cafe.
My sweet smiles like my oft repeated glances were the result not so much of hearfelt fondness as of a strong inclination never to turn my back on her.