“We shouldn’t be here,” Debbie leaned close and whispered into Ivan’s ear. “It feels so clandestine, so wrong, “ Debbie laughed wickedly as she shrugged out of her faux fur jacket, scarf, and gloves. Ivan reached forward to smooth down her hair that sprung up when Debbie snapped off her cap. “Champagne my darling,” Ivan handed her a flute of sparkling champagne. “My, my do you get paid to drink on the job?” “This bottle was just going to waste sitting in the back of my refrigerator, I guess that I was just looking for a special occasion to open it.” Debbie raised her eyebrows at Ivan as she took a sip, “And this is special because??” “Because the economy sucks, I don’t know if I will meet my commission this year, and I have to sit in this damn office all day because I am the only broker with an SUV and thus the only one who could make it to work on a snow day.” “That doesn’t sound special.” “Maybe I just wanted to share it with you.” Ivan grabbed Debbie around the waist and planted a hard kiss on her mouth. “Just a minute, just a minute, this romance in the work place stuff is new to me. What if someone I know or you know stops by today and wants to see a lot?” Ivan grinned lasciviously before grabbing her again and kissing her on the neck. He started undoing the buttons of Debbie’s blouse. “There is no school today, everyone is home with their little ones. Who would risk life and limb to come in today and tour vacant lots that they can’t even see?” Debbie gently moved Ivan’s hand away from her blouse. She took another sip of champagne as she raucously pirouetted around the show room.
Ivan watched, amused. This love affair was everything he could have hoped for. It helped that Debbie was married like him. Ivan had vowed long ago to quit having affairs with single women, they all ended up wanted more than he was willing or able to give. Outside the snow continued to fall in graceful sheets across the empty housing development. Ivan didn’t want to look at the empty lots for long. Only one lot out of thirty had sold. Prior to this economic downturn, Ivan had hoped that the sales from this development would be enough to carry him for the next couple of years. Enough of the negativity now, Ivan told himself. Flashing his newly whitened teeth, he advanced confidently towards Debbie and took her in his arms. She smelled of designer perfume and all things perfect. Like an old married couple, they stood, arms and waists entwined, sipping champagne and watching the crisp snow fall from the grey sky. Ivan started kissing Debbie’s ear, slowly this time, working his way down her neck. She responded, draining her flute of champagne and returning his kisses. “Oh look, a family.” There they were, a happy family of four, sledding on the hill outside of Debbie and Ivan’s love nest. Debbie laughed loudly, one of the children turned and peered intently through the showroom office window. “It looks like we have an audience,” Ivan joked. Ivan and Debbie waved at the child who scampered quickly back to the sledding hill. Ivan took Debbie’s hand and led her into the back room of the small building, a storage area of sorts for real estate signs and building supplies.
“Oh you shouldn’t have!” Debbie exclaimed when she saw the two sleeping bags and fluffy pillows laid out on the floor. She laid down on the soft bedding and pulled Ivan on top of her. As it always had been, their lovemaking quickly became passionate, Debbie could feel the heat, like fire, scorching her naked body. Debbie felt delirious, she thought she saw a shadow outside the window. Ivan’s body was like fire on top of her. She arched and tried to shake free. The shadow in the window came closer. A fist broke the glass. Debbie felt like she was suffocating. She tried in vain to move Ivan. He was passed out, dead to the world. Debbie felt dizzy and unbalanced, what was in that champagne? The flames where coming closer, invading their love sanctuary. Debbie grabbed a sleeping bag to cover her naked body. She stumbled as she lurched towards the broken window, her one chance to reach safety. Sirens sounded in the distance. The shadow become more distinct, through her blurred vision. It was a woman wearing a huge ski parka. A fur trimmed hood surrounded her unrecognizable face. Like the grim reaper, she beckoned Debbie to come through the broken window. Debbie felt the glass cutting into her bare feet. She twisted and turned her sleeping bag covered body through the window frame. The parka-clad woman pulled her through the last part. “There is someone else inside,” Debbie whispered as she fell into the snow. She looked up, but the woman was gone. That was how the firefighters found her, partially covered, surrounded by blood, face down in the snow.