I'm awakened by the emerald shimmering from the lagoon in the early morning, at night the color of the water turns to deepest black and the tourists disappear into the silence. Stephanie leads me through the claustrophobic alleys, over fairy tale bridges and into the canals. Every fifty yards a light, the strings of laundry hanging like barbed wire across the midnight skies.
We stop at a corner and listen to the water and the gondolas. Stephanie holds my hand, her Armangac breath an inch away and a distant glow in her eyes. "How's Henry" she asks but doesn't wait for an answer. We start running, faster and faster, the sound of our Gucci heels against the pavement like a steady heartbeat. Another morning is just hours away and the black will turn to daylight.