Chapter One: Carlos De Vires

As Georgina Kalogridis stared down into the barrel of the gun she realised she had hit an all time new low.

"I said, give me your money!" the grubby looking man demanded waving the gun at her face.

"Yes, I heard you the first time. But you don't seem to realise that I need my money and my plane ticket to go back home," she reasoned.

The man looked blankly at her. He had clearly been expecting her to shriek, fling her money at him and raise her hands in surrender. However Georgina Kalogridis was no ordinary woman.

"Look here lady….." the man began snapping out of his stupefier but she interrupted him.

"No you listen to me! I came here for a nice holiday, to get away from the painful memory of my ex- fiancé," she jabbed a finger accusingly at his chest.

He shrank back from her words. "Do you have any idea how painful it is to have the one you love leave you for some…. For some skank down the road!".

"Lady just give me your money or I'll fucking shoot you okay?" he glanced nervously about him.

Georgina fell silent "Oh alright". She fumbled around in her bag for a while before producing her wallet which she thrust at him.

The filthy robber then shot off down the street as if hells hounds where on his heels.

"I hope you die!" she shouted after him, stamping her foot in anger. She groaned. This was not how her holiday was supposed to be! She was supposed to be having some fabulous affair with a wonderful Parisian man not being robbed by some grotty homeless man.

And now she was no better. Reaching inside her coat pocket she pulled out its contents.

On her palm lay a battered lipstick which she hardly ever used, a few receipts and what looked like thirty euros.

"God damn it!" she swore, thirty euros would not last very long.

She wandered about aimlessly for a while, passing down the narrow French streets. She caught sight of a bar which she ran to joyously. Just what I need she thought to herself.

The bar was a dark place with low hanging lights were appeared dim through the clouds of cigarette smoke.

But health fanatic Georgina was beyond caring. She seated herself on a bar stool and waited for the bartender to ask her "What can I get ya?".

"Hmm, that's a good question. What would you have if you were stranded in a foreign country with no money, nothing!" she asked him.

The man looked unaffected by her dramatic outburst. "Give me a vodka, make it a double," she sighed burying her face into her crossed arms.

The bartender slammed down the shot glass onto the bar, splashing some of her precious vodka over the sides.

"Thanks," she said dryly and sculled the liquid. She screwed up her face at its bitter taste and the burning sensation in her throat. But already it was working its magic.

A warm feeling spread across her chest lifting the tight oppressed sensation that had been there moments ago.

"You might want to slow down," a un-French voice drawled disdainfully.

"Oh really? And who the hell are…." her voice drowned out at the sight of the man sitting next to her.

"Oh my god! You're Carlos de Vires aren't you?" she gasped terribly embarrassed that she had spoken to him in such a tone.

"As you can see," he sighed merely flicking his eyes at her.

Perhaps from a single glance he had decided that she was unworthy of his attention. "What are you doing here?" she asked absently.

"I've stopped here to see my family, and then I plan to leave for New Zealand in the morning….. Why the hell am I telling you this? It isn't any of your business".

She bristled at his rudeness "Don't get so uptight about it". He made a sound in his throat that sounded like a small laugh. Now, Georgina Kalogridis had always prided herself on her resourcefulness and it gave her credit even now.

"You wouldn't have been seeing Alex De Vires by any chance would you?" she asked slowly, her plan was building up in her mind.

Carlos looked surprised by her question "How do you know my brother?".

"We were partners for a few months," she smiled sadly.

"He never mentioned a woman," he turned around and looked her dead on.

Her heart stopped beating for a second, he was gorgeous.

"Yes, well I wouldn't have expected him to," she said recovering.

"Why's that," he asked her inversely.

"I'm pregnant with his child and the bastard refused to give me any money," she lied forcing tears to rise up to her eyes.

Carlos looked taken aback and slightly disturbed.

"Would you be able to lend me some by any chance?" she asked, she knew it was a huge leap but she was desperate. "I don't have any money," he said gruffly taking a swing of his drink.

"I'm carrying your nephew!" she said loudly in French. Everyone in the bar fell silent and fixed Carlos with a poisonous stare. He looked startled and made hushing tones but she could not be easily persuaded

"I came to see seeking help and you deny me this small thing," Georgina smiled with satisfaction as he cringed.

"Shut up! For gods be quiet. How much do you want?" he hissed furiously.

She named a sum. He looked annoyed but smiled thinly at her "Of course, anything for the woman who is carrying my brothers child".

He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a wad of notes. He handed her the sum she had named.

"I will pay you back of course," she said.

"Yes I'm sure you will," he said doubtfully.

"You think I wouldn't?" she asked angrily.

She snatched a napkin from the bar and pulled out a pen which she hurriedly scribbled her address on.

"Here," she slid the napkin across the distance between them. He frowned at the napkin for a time and just when she thought he wouldn't take it pocketed it quickly.

He threw a note onto the bar and stood up adjusting his jacket.

"Don't think I wont be collecting what you owe me," he warned.

Georgina pouted at him and looked approachably at him. Once he had left the bar she quickly flicked through the notes.

"I'm saved!" she cried and felt the beautiful emotion of relief wash over her.

She would worry about repaying him later but for now she would enjoy herself as much as she could.

And just like that Carlos De Vires left her mind.