“No fricking way,” said Stella, looking around.
“This is perfect,” said Linda in a breathless whisper.
Linda was dressed in her secret identity—sensible shoes, socks, pleated skirt, sweater, and brown wig. Stella had on a blue sundress, but she was hardly unrecognizable to anyone from Chicago. The apartment agent, a middle-aged man in a very sharp grey suit ushered them past the entryway.
“As you can see, the entry opens into the dining room. We have double doors here into the kitchen, which has an island bar and three stools. This is all furnished of course, just like you see it.” They moved through the kitchen and into the living room with a very high ceiling. “Just the right size. Plenty of room and yet still cozy. The couch and a couple of armchairs, entertainment system, and a beautiful gas fireplace, and right through those doors is one of the two balconies.”
“This is perfect,” said Linda again.
“It is perfect for two young and important ladies, such as yourselves.” He gave Stella a wink. “If you go right from the entrance, past the linen closet and the powder room, you find a guestroom, which of course could be made into an office or a study or an armory, and the smaller of the two master bedrooms. It has its own bath with a combo shower-tub, a walk-in closet, and its own balcony. The larger master bedroom is through here.” He pointed at double doors leading out of the living room. “It has a larger bath, with both a shower and a tub, as well as a walk-in closet, but alas, no balcony.”
Linda danced from one foot to the other as though she had to pee.
“Can you give us a minute?” asked Stella.
“Of course. But one thing before I go. People in, how shall I say it, a certain line of work, might well expect to provide a considerable security deposit, especially if their previous residence was completely destroyed.”