"You have three days to come around. You may call Jane or I at the office if you need to clear up any... uncertainties. As hard as it may be to believe, Sarah, we care about you. Not just as an asset but as a person...."
"Stop! Just...no!" She rubbed he(more)r forehead with her hands, "Can you just shut up for a fucking minute, please?"
I backed off, turning my attention to the nighttime traffic passing up and down the rain slicked street. I had arrived to our meeting with a new assignment for her, but that would wait.
At last she spoke. "I don't have a say in this at all, do I?" She had straightened up in her chair and her hands were folded in front of her.
I could have soft-pedaled my response, but told the truth instead: "No, Sarah, you don't." Not long after, the meeting came to its natural conclusion, and we left in separate taxis.
Three days later, Sarah called the office. She was ready for the new job. With one caveat: that she be allowed to take the weekend off to look for a new apartment. In lieu of payment for the assignment, she told Jane over the phone, she wanted us buy her a place with a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower. Paris was to be her new, full time home and, so as long it didn't interfere with her work, I thought that could be arranged. Finally, she added, her name wasn't Sarah anymore. Henceforth, we were to call her by a new name.
When I met her in the conference room for briefing, she wore her hair in a new, shorter style. From her eyes I discerned a steel-edged intensity that hadn't been there before. Sarah was dead. This was Frederique.