by Martin McConnell
“Excuse me, Mister Grand?”
“Shouldn’t you finish your phone call first?” He cut another piece of steak, and pulled it off the fork faster than the last bite. The cuffs of his jacket slid back, exposing expensive gold cufflinks. Fitting attire for this top notch restaurant. His elbows rested on the table.
“I’m sorry, but I need your help with something. Girlfriend doesn’t believe me about the last minute dinner. She wants proof.”
He held the phone out, looking apologetic for the interruption. Mr. Grand swallowed the juicy morsel, and took the phone, shaking his head.
“Yes. Hello? Yes, this is Mister Grand. Your boyfriend is out having dinner with me. We have business to discuss. You want me to send a picture of my passport? Where do you think he is? Ah I see. Well you know, you shouldn’t be talking about his trustworthiness to his boss. That’s not really the best way to make sure he stays employed and out of trouble. I’m sorry, but I can’t verify my identity any better. I’m going to hand the phone back to him now.”
The black device passed again.
“Yes hun. Was that good enough for you? A selfie?”
Mr. Grand stared from behind the delicious scent of a thirty dollar steak and twice baked potatoes smothered in butter.
He might have to pick up the tab. He tapped his pocket. It didn’t matter, he had already found another job.
“I’m telling you that I’m here. Is that good enough? Okay, bye.”
Mr. Grand was already chewing another cube of steak.
“I’m really sorry about that. Where were we? The merger report. I almost have all of the information ready, but I really need to spend some more time on it. I might come back and work tonight once I get her straightened out.”
It was late. The building was empty, and they were one voice print away from the prize.
She stroked his back. The security was down, the cameras dead, and nobody was the wiser. She held out her phone and played a spliced message. “Hello? Verify—my identity. This is Mister Grand.”
The lock box opened. Grand was something of a collector. He appreciated fine gold coins, and he always said that real money wasn’t made out of paper. There was quite a collection inside. She held out the bag, and he swept the contents of the safe into it. Passport, paperwork, and about ten or fifteen pounds of gold bullion.
He looked into those wonderful green gems, and planted a kiss on the island of red not far south of them. “I love you, baby.”
“I love you.”
“But don’t call me at work again.” He winked.
She smiled before turning to the door. “We need to get going.”
He closed the safe.
The next day, Mr. Grand closed the deal with the security company, pointing out several weaknesses prepared in the report.
Even if he didn’t get a raise for prepping the report, he had one hell of a bonus. One investment of two steak plates netted a return of 200 ounces of the purest gold.
Mr. Grand wouldn’t check the safe again for a week.
If you like my stories, I’m planning a short story compilation in the future. Hosted stories as well as some new ones. I’m setting up an email list for anyone interested in hearing about it when it goes live. If you want to be included, send an email to email@example.com and just say “sign me up for the story list” and I’ll add you. No spam, in fact, the publishing announcement might be the only email you get back as a result.