And then she started to perform the “Snake Dance,” imitating Salma Hayek’s performance from the movie. A wonderful, unforgettable performance.  Instead of a live snake, Carmen used her black T-shirt, which she took off.

Smiling and holding his breath, Roy watched her dance. “Bravo, Señora!” He clapped his hands when the dance was over. Then he placed the glass of wine on the table, got up and approached Carmen, taking off his T-shirt on the way. He decided that finally—that day—she would give herself to him. For all her seeming accessibility, up until now Carmen refused intimacy, as if wanting to tease him even more, to ignite his passion.

Yes, he realized it would happen right here, and right now—in his apartment, on the bed he’d shared with Michelle, and only Michelle, for twelve years.

Michelle and Nick, of course, didn’t exist in that moment. They were at Sea Gate.

But their photographs hung on each wall of the apartment.

At that moment, Roy got a murky but intense premonition that his encounter with Carmen was not accidental, and that they would not be able part just like that.

He pressed her tenderly to himself, and he drowned in the delightful fragrance of her perfume and her body. Then he led her to the bed.

“Ah!” He suddenly cried out in sharp pain.

Pushing Carmen away from himself, he put his hand to his right cheek. Then he pulled away his palm from his cheek and saw droplets of blood on it.

“Why did you do that?” What’s wrong with you?” Roy asked, not understanding why Carmen now deeply scratched his face with her sharp fingernail.

She stood a few steps in front of him, staring at him at point-blank range, and her eyes sparkled with some wild gleam. Then smiling, without speaking a word, she put her finger, with a brightly colored fingernail, with which she scratched Roy, in her mouth, and then began to lick it from all sides with desire.

“What movie is this scene from?” he asked, stroking his scratched cheek.