Century Members Club was nearly impossible to get into for a celebrity, let alone for an average person, but this sort of thing never stopped Denny Rogers. Sporting a fake thin moustache and casually twiddling a fancy golden pocket watch, he sat on the roof terrace reading ‘The Grifters’. Right now he was a lawyer though ten minutes ago – when he’d tricked his way into the club – he’d been James Blunt’s agent.
Denny was a self-proclaimed con artist and his most recent target group was celebrities. Directly across from him, in the shade, sat his mark; a frequenter of this establishment. She was an American actress, famed for her stupidity, had two kids (one named after a vegetable or perhaps it was a fruit) and, most crucially for Denny, she was currently going through an expensive and public divorce with a British musician.
The idea to target her occurred whilst getting his haircut in Saville Row. The barber had recently cut her soon-to-be ex-husband’s hair. In addition to discovering the singer was receding, Denny found out that the divorce was not quite as amicable as had been made out in the papers (she had called the split a ‘cognisant unlinking’ or words to that effect). She now wanted the studio flat in Pimlico, the Porsche and the 100k in her account, which he wasn’t happy about. It didn’t sound so amicable to Denny… As soon as he paid the barber, he had formulated his plan.
So there Denny sat, in Century Members Club, facing away from his Chai-latte-drinking mark, waiting for his plan to come alive.
That’s when the man dressed as a waiter entered…
“Excuse me Sir.”
“Can I help you?” Denny asked politely, looking up from his book.
“Sorry Sir but did you drop this card? It seems to be a business card for a… Roger Denton, QC.”
“Oh yes, thanks. Thank God you found it, I’ve got so many clients as it is, imagine if someone had found it at this place! I’d be up to my knees in more jobs still.”
“Pardon me for asking, but what does QC stand for, Sir?”
“Queens Council. I’m a lawyer. But I’m on my holidays so keep that to yourself will you? Lawyers never get a holiday…”
“Of course Sir, mums the word. Can I get you anything to drink?”
“Not for now thanks.”
The man dressed as a waiter left.
“Excuse me?” Denny heard the American actress say behind him. He turned around in faux diffidence.
“Who? Me?” Denny asked.
For the first time he properly studied her: she was attractive in a vacuous, well-preserved, sort of way. Like a ripe, none fertilised banana. Her teeth were whiter than his shirt. Everything she wore was Gucci.
“Yeah… I couldn’t help overhearing… Did you say you were a lawyer?”
“On his holidays, but yes I’m a lawyer.”
“I don’t mean to badger you on your vacation but do you think I could ask you a question?”
“Oh but if I answer your question I have to answer everyone’s questions. Where do I draw the line?”
“Oh I know but I promise I will just ask one.”
“Very well but please be quick.”
“Ok. I’m not sure if you recognise me or not? I’m an actress in movies.”
“Sorry, I rarely go to the cinema.”
“Oh that’s okay. Well, anyway, my husband and I are currently going through a divorce. It’s very amicable and we are agreeing on most things except for a few… You see, I drove here today in the Porsche but he wants that back now. Also, I really want our studio in Pimlico but he wants it too… and I want the savings… They’re all in my name but he bought them and saved the money so I am worried the courts might give them to him.”
“What are you asking me?”
“How can I legally keep those things?”
“Ah I see, I see… Well I suppose you would need to put them under a different name. Whilst they are under your name they could be seized any second by the court as marital assets. But if you were to sell them or put them under a new account then they are safe. Now if that is everything…”
He returned to his book and turned away from her. He could feel her eyes bore into him still.
“Sorry just one more thing…”
“Yes?” he sighed.
“How would I go about putting them in a new account?”
“Perhaps offshore – though that’s risky – or a friend – but you should trust them.”
“My friends are a little sparse at the moment… our English friends mostly took his side…”
“Look, this is all very easy to do… it would actually be easier for me to just do it for you than to explain it anymore. If you want, I can do it now, then perhaps you will leave me in peace to read my book?”
“You would do that?”
“Yes, yes… if you are quick. We just need to draw up a quick contract and exchange some bank details. I can do the contract quick enough. As for bank details… do you have an offshore account?”
“Right well it just needs to be temporarily out of your account for when the divorce begins then they can be put back. Look, if you want, I have a client account… you can put it in there?
“You would do that really? How much do you charge?”
“If we can do it quick, it’s free of charge.”
Two minutes later she had transferred the £100,000 into his account and he promised to draw up the contracts before meeting her tomorrow.
“Thank you sooooo much,” she said flashing her million-dollar smile.
“It’s quite all right. Now if you now excuse me I need to check the bathroom to make sure I didn’t drop any other business cards in there… A lawyer never has a holiday…”
He walked out from the roof terrace but not into the bathroom. He took the lift right down to the foyer. As he walked out he noticed a skinny, floppy haired chap who he vaguely recognised from TV.
“Mr Blunt, nice to see you” the Century host said. “Your agent has arrived.”
“What agent?” He answered in his high-pitched, plummy voice.
This is when the real waiter appeared looking confused.
“Alberto, where have you been?”
“Sorry Sir, I found myself locked in the broom cupboard.”
Denny slyly sneaked out just as ‘Goodbye my Lover’ began playing.
Written by Gareth Brown | @GarethBrown26
Check out Gareth’s Youtube Channel and Booksie Page for his films and short stories.
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