Steven with a tall well built man just reaching middle age who I knew only as a business acquaintance. I never did any actual business with him and in fact knew very little about him except for the position he held with an importing firm in the beverage industry.
The only time we ever saw each other was at some industry function, a meeting or dinner. Our occasional meetings were casual with only small talk. As it happened one evening we did sit together at an industry dinner meeting and he told me this story. Why I have no idea but I am sure it is true. He had no reason to make up the story or try to impress me.
A few years before a French cognac firm, his importing company represented in the U.S., invited him to tour their facilities and plant. He went alone and after a few days spent with his French hosts then left to see Paris. He did not speak French and as he arrived by train into Paris he stood at the station rather puzzled as to how to proceed.
As he stood there an attractive woman, very well dressed, came up to him and asked him in English if she could be of help. She was obviously French, in her late thirties or early forties, elegant both in poise and dress.
He told her he had three days to spend in Paris before returning to San Francisco and that he would like a small hotel with a central location as a base for his visit.
She smiled, said she knew just the place, hailed a cab and together went to the hotel. She then suggested a restaurant nearby and again together they went to dinner. Over dinner it was agreed that she would spend the three days and nights with him and be his guide in Paris.
Steven said it was a memorable three days. She was a wonderful person to be with, intelligent with a keen sense of humor and certainly passionate in bed. But in all that time she never gave him her last name or told him anything about herself or how she became fluent in English. Steven was honest with her and told of his wife and children in San Francisco.
She had plenty of money of her own and asked nothing of him. Sometimes she would even pick up the check at a restaurant or bar.
As the time neared for him to go to the airport to catch a plane back to San Francisco she did confide to him that she was married, quite happily as it were, but her husband was away for a time.
As he stood by the cab to take him to the airport she kissed him good-by, waved and walked away.
It was the last he ever saw of her. We both agreed it was the stuff dreams are made of.
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