The customer stepped into the doorway, his eyes sweeping the room, and then he left and carried on up Villiers Street. His confidence was palpable. Valentina could smell it. She noted it, caught the look, the bearing and remembered. It would be part of her body language now. All Londoners seem to have that confidence, that busy indifference.

She’ll have it too. She’s been watching and learning, and has been getting good. The others all think she’s sure of herself, and she loves it when they tell her so. And Marios has noticed too. She’s caught him taking glances at her when they’re both working on the coffee machines.

There are drinks at Lena’s flat tonight (hopefully her boyfriend won’t be there).

She’ll ask Marios then.


He’ll ask her.

And then a surge of customers bears down, bellowing orders, and there’ll be no time for thinking until the mid-morning lull.


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