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TEN
With the bell above the Bella Vallarta’s sliding door again tinkling Leticia looked up from her counter but this time she did not address the man who entered. Her plan had been to speak to Joseph when he came back inside and confirm that Mary and Bryan Brown were indeed supposed to take his luggage up to his room for him but she felt it would be impolite for her to break off her conversation with the Redferns, the couple who was asking for some details before they set off on their early morning adventure.

“We have bus service to take you to Playa Los Muertos beginning in two hours. The bus runs from the hotel to the beach every hour from nine a.m. until nine p.m., so you have plenty of time to enjoy breakfast before you leave,” she assured the middle-aged husband and wife with whom Beth and Brian had just spoken. “The trip is just over ten kilometers so it should not take more than a half-an-hour each way. The camioneta returns on la media, the half hour, from nine-thirty to nine-thirty and your trip ticket allows you to leave and return when you please, but be aware that if you miss the nine-thirty return bus you will need to call a taxi,” she added with a smile as she leaned around Pat, trying and failing to make eye contact with Joe.

“Ten kilometers,” Keith said, “so worse comes to worst we could walk?”

“Oh, Keith!” the woman replied to her portly husband, shaking her head. “We’ll be home for a late lunch if I know you.”

Keith exhaled hard and looked at his wife out of the sides of his eyes. “Yes, dear,” he said. “Just asking.”

“It is a very safe part of town and the boulevard has sidewalks the entire distance so yes, of course one could walk.” Leticia replied, returning her eyes to the couple as Joe, plucked flowers in hand, walked around the corner and headed to the staircase.

“Or run?” Pat asked.

“Uh, claro, of course. The southern half is mas linda, uhm, more scenic? The first part you would take primarily Highway 200 which has wide sidewalks but is not as pretty.”

 “I have no intention of running six plus miles,” Keith said, tilting his head down and looking at his wife from the tops of his eyes.

“Chocante,” Pat said, a mischievous smile on her lips accompanied by a gentle elbow jab to her husband’s midsection.

“I would suggest taking the bus and running either along the beach at Playa Los Muertos or the boardwalk rather than back to the hotel.”

“From your lips to God’s ears,” Keith said with a wink. “Or in this case the goddess’ ears. Okay, thanks. We need two tickets please. Pay now or charge them to the room?”

“Now please, Señor. The camioneta is affiliated with the hotel but is a separate entity.”

“No worries. Pat,” Keith added, “we need to pay please.”

As Pat paid Keith asked, “Any place you might suggest for desayuno that has more than coffee and rolls?”

“At the plaza just down the street there are many fine restaurants but for breakfast my favorite is Breakfast At Tiffany’s,” Leticia replied.

Keith snorted then laughed out loud. “Really? That’s the name of the place? That’s hilarious. Thanks! That’s where we’ll head, I mean, if we’re going to the beach of the dead then a jewelry heist is only apropos.”

“Excellent,” Leticia answered nodding slowly. Her smile returned as she turned to Pat and handed her two bus tickets and her credit card. “It is a bit expensive there but I find it well worth the price.”

Keith nodded, his eyes beaming as he laughed. “I would expect nothing else from Breakfast At Tiffany’s than for it to be muy caro. Gracias, Señorita!”

“De nada. Enjoy your day.”