New York City. Brian, a young writer, is walking, he is in his head, we hear his voice: "...In New York City, you are never more than 20 feet away from someone you know, or someone you are meant to know." In front of the St Regis Hotel, smoking a cigarette is Arielle, an older, beautiful woman, the kind of beautiful that forces a young man to walk across the street and figure out something to say, not let the moment pass him by. Her cigarette is heady, European, either French or Spanish, but he does not speak Spanish. "Nous sommes exilés, les fumeurs..." he attempts. "Shall we continue in English?" she says. On a rainy day, a week later they meet again, same place, same time, different cigarette.
She is free every weeknight from 5 to 7, she says. They agree to meet on Monday, when he learns that the hours come with the knowledge that Arielle is married and a mother of two. Against his better judgment, yet unable to resist, he accept the rules, and so begins a 'cinq-a-sept' affair.