Philip felt things were finally going really well between Anthea and himself. They spent every weekend together, and often time in between as well. They seemed suited in tastes and lifestyle as well as being madly in love.
Her family seemed to have accepted him, and he was more than sure his family would feel the same about her.
They had very few friends in common, and spent most of their time alone together. Anne and Ron continued to be very friendly and supporting whenever they spent the weekend out there. When Philip finally met their daughter and her fiancée he was reassured that she was definitely not Lisa.
When Philip had official activities that kept them apart, Anthea spent time at the Palace with her uncle and cousin. Leo seemed always ready to discuss the issues facing him as king in a democracy, and the projects to which he lent his name and support. He was always fun for her to be with, their conversations weren’t always serious. She noticed he seemed to have run out of mistresses. When she teased him, he just said “I’m waiting for you to decide to marry me”.
One evening she arrived at the palace to visit whoever was there only to discover Leo was having a dinner party for a few friends. She tried to leave unobtrusively, but he had been notified of her arrival and came to press her to join them. She had a wonderful time. His friends were largely people he had met during his university and working years, all intelligent and with humour. She realised she missed time with her friends, but Philip seemed to want to keep her to himself.
She had altered her working pattern, to spend two days every two weeks on the glass project and the rest of the time back at her normal job back home. On the evenings she spent with Ron and Anne, she was often swept up into the planning for Liesel and Kenjo’s wedding. Sometimes she ached to be planning her own. Her first wedding had been organised by a planning company and she had simply fitted in with all of their arrangements, selecting only her own dress and the wedding cake. She had been so young, she had been relieved not to have to do the planning.
This was more of the sort of wedding she felt comfortable with. Friends and family and a celebration that included details Lisel and Kenjo planned together.
Two days before the wedding, Philip was called back home, his mother was ill again. Anthea went to the wedding, and enjoyed every minute of it, imagining herself the bride.
She spent some time chatting to two women who were seated near her. One was her marketing consultant. They had never had anything like a personal conversation previously as they had been too busy with the marketing strategy and planning.
What she hadn’t realised was that the woman, Theresa, was gay. They were a couple who were obviously in love. What was interesting for her was how they were approaching making a workable contract for living together and sharing the baby one of them was carrying.
The happiness they so obviously shared, as well as the companionable way they interacted impressed her.
When Anthea mentioned that she was single that day because Philip’s mother had been taken ill and he had flown home for a few days, Lisa realised where she had seen Anthea previously. She realised that when she fell pregnant to Philip he was obviously already involved with Anthea.
When they got home, Lisa told Theresa the story of the evening at the Palace, and seeing Anthea and Philip together. They agreed they had both had a lucky escape from the man and discussed whether they should warn Anthea. Eventually they decided it was none of their business as Anthea seemed quite happy. Lisa wanted as little as possible to do with Anthea in case Philip was there too and maybe came to realise she was pregnant. She felt he deserved nothing to do with the baby.