The X Factor
Notting Hill, London
Scarlett gazed at Frank, lying next to her in bed. His tousled hair covered part of his face, eyelids framed by dark curly lashes fluttered in sleep. She stroked his hair. He opened his eyes and looked into hers.
“Good morning,” he said, yawned and stretched, and kissed her on the mouth.
Scarlet sighed and held his hand. “Why do you always disappear?”
“Because I’m a spy.”
“Liar, if you were, you wouldn’t tell me.”
“True, but it could be possible — the X-Factor.”
“There’s something spooky about you. I can’t put my finger on it, but you go away for a long time, never call, then you surface and ask me out.”
“I told you. My job requires me to travel.”
“Why don’t you call when you’re away?”
“What’s the point? I won’t be able to see you.”
“Is that what this is…