That man! Always popping up to divert me, yet never actually getting close enough for me to find out if this is purely a physical attraction, of if there is possibly more. Of all things, a diplomat! They get sent all round the world, I need to stay here. This seems doomed from the start.
Then one morning, my first board meeting to come and on the way to work there he is running along the side of the road. At first my eye just caught what seemed like an attractive male form, then it turned into him.
As he came running up he took a really nasty fall, and between hopping around, and looking rather silly it suddenly turned into something a bit more serious, he’d really damaged his ankle. Helping him into my car I was acutely aware of the scent of him, very masculine. It really made me want to stay and see him to a hospital, but I promised my father a chat before the board meeting, I realised there were issues he’d wanted to raise and needed my support. So I did the next best thing and got Philip back to his hotel and got help to get him inside. It’s a good hotel with great staff, so I knew he’d be looked after.
The board meeting went well. I was relieved, as it was quite a big step for me.
Then the ball at the palace. I noticed him sitting at a small table, crutches leaning against the table and looking pretty morose. Before I could go over, I was scooped up by the King to dance and dance. He said to me “I’m so tired of Marianne, but she won’t take the hint. Help me tonight keep me occupied and make it look sort of official”. So we danced and danced, talking and laughing.
I didn’t see Philip again, but the old King told me at breakfast that I’d better re-think my interest in that one, “He drinks”! The old man misses nothing.
Then one of the people from the company we arranged the deal with came over. In passing me mentioned that he, like Philip ran, and just how bad Philip’s injury was. Two operations and a lot of pain. That explained the apparent drunkenness at the ball. I felt so relieved. I hoped he wasn’t really like that. Suddenly I was very interested again. The man explained Philip had had an interesting career in the army, very inventive, yet demanded foreign service in disaster relief.
A few weeks later there was a dinner for the representatives of his government and the original delegation who’d come to us with for a deal on using our processing methods. I knew he’d be there as he’d been pivotal in discovering what we were doing and organising the introductions that made it all possible.
I bought a new outfit, took time out to go to the hairdresser and have my makeup done professionally. I really wanted this time to make an impression such that he’d pursue me.
All that effort in vain! He wasn’t there. Some family crisis back home. That stopped me dead in my tracks. What if he was married? Damn, I’d never considered that as a reason for his not contacting me.
How to find out?
Of course, the protocol officers at the palace would know. So on a visit, I popped in to the most friendly of them, got the low-down on his background and came away relieved. NOT married. He hadn’t brought a partner with him. And was apparently regarded as a great ‘spare man’ for dinners, not gay, not attached, intelligent and witty was the description.
So how to get closer? That was the next project.