"What exactly do you want from me?" Renzo asked.
"We'll talk about that later," the devil replied. "I have to show you a few things first, to be sure that you're fully convinced about who I am and what I can do."
Somehow they were standing in the street again, not far from Corso Buenos Aires, although Renzo didn't remember leaving the coffee bar. The devil took his arm, and the two lifted off the sidewalk and ascended. It was like standing in an open-air elevator. The devil wasn't pulling him up: his grip on Renzo's arm was light. It was a magic that overcame gravity. Renzo looked up and saw that the sun was about to rise. He looked down and saw a single man standing in the empty street. The man stood stock-still, looking up, mouth open. His briefcase and newspaper lay on the ground where he'd dropped them in his surprise. Renzo looked into the man's face and their eyes locked in a moment of shocking recognition. It was Brambilla, his supervisor. Renzo gaped, unable to speak while Brambilla clutched his chest and shouted, "Christ Almighty!" and "Renzo, is that you?"
The two were rising at an angle that soon cut Brambilla out of view. Renzo turned, frightened and angry, toward the devil. "Are you trying to ruin my life?" he said. "That's my boss! What's he going to think?"
The devil smiled. "Don't worry," he said, "everything is part of a precise, detailed plan." He laughed aloud. "Do you think he'll fire you because he saw you fly through the air? Are you worried how this will look on your resume?" The devil chuckled, then turned with a mock-serious face toward Renzo. "You're not afraid of heights, are you?"
Renzo shook his head no.
They were just above roof level; it was early morning. No one looked up as the pair flew roughly south. Renzo knew Milan well; he was surprised at how different everything looked from this angle. The devil nudged him. "There's your buddy," he said smiling. Below was San Lorenzo, one of the oldest churches in the city.
"Oh!" the devil exclaimed, as if suddenly remembering. "Someone you know lives near here. We should go and see her." He gave Renzo a broad smile. "This will be a special treat for you."
Renzo frowned, trying to think. They were flying over the Naviglio, a Milan neighborhood famous for its canals. Renzo was sure he didn't know anyone who lived in this part of town! They flew low and fast toward the canal that leads to Pavia, then suddenly paused and slowly rose in the air until they were level with a certain third-floor balcony. There was a sound that seemed supernaturally loud: it was the sound of a hair drier, and it came from a large open window on the third floor of the apartment building. Renzo was more puzzled than ever: he was sure he had never been to this address; he didn't know anyone who lived at this address. Still, his eyes sought the source of the drier and popped wide open when he saw through the window a lovely, naked woman drying her hair before the mirror.
It was a woman in her early thirties, and she was perfect. She had a face like the madonna, clear blue eyes and light brown, nearly blonde hair. Her bosom and derriere were tight and supple. Her waist and thighs were smooth and buff. Renzo knew her; at least by sight. She worked in the accounting department but he didn't know her name. He was so entranced by her light graceful dancing movements that he forgot he was floating in the air. He forgot that the devil was next to him, holding his arm. She was lifting her fine hair with her hands and the breeze from the small white hair-drier she held in her hand as she studied herself in mirror and sang a song that Renzo couldn't hear. Then she set down the drier and went to work with both hands and a brush. When she lifted her elbows high, her breasts bobbed in unison. At the same moment she shifted her weight and the slight movement of her thighs and butt completely captivated Renzo. His face flushed and he felt the glowing warmth of arousal through his entire body. Renzo's penis stiffened to a rock hardness that threated to break through his trousers.
At just that moment, the woman looked out, directly into Renzo's face. Her mouth fell open, wordless as the brush fell from her hands. Renzo caught a last look of her delicious nipples and the small triangle of hair below her smooth flat belly as the devil pulled him high into the air.