After Gerard, Leo and Anthea had seen the ambassador; he returned to the embassy and tried to call Philip. The phone re-directed to an international call, and then just rang. He then called David Blane into his office and asked if he knew where Philip was. David told him all he knew. That Philip had taken a few days off to “Watch some plans come to fruition”. That was all David knew.
They chatted for a while and David admitted that Philip had not been around much recently. He was at work, and at official functions, but outside of that he was not seen in any of David’s social circle. A few had commented on it. One had seen him in a restaurant with a stunningly beautiful woman, so they had assumed a new affaire and left him to it.
The ambassador asked about Anthea. David was nonplussed. He said he had never understood what had turned them from such a happy and loving couple into two people separate and with Philip so upset. The ambassador asked a few more questions, and then thanked David for his time.
The ambassador called his head of security and asked him to find out if Philip’s diplomatic passport had been used recently, and if possible to find out where he had gone.
Then he settled down to a long distance call, back home, to Philip’s mother. By the time he had finished the conversation, he was frowning, and looking worried.
He settled back into his daily routine until the security officer returned to tell him that Philip’s passport had been traced out of the country and then via Frankfurt to Tripoli. The trail went cold there.
The ambassador went to bed that night a rather worried man. He could not afford any of his staff to be found out in activities that showed any wrongdoing. Not after that cousin of his wife’s in his previous posting. The man had gone crazy, seducing underage girls and raping a woman. And then claiming diplomatic immunity! What was causing all these men to go crazy about woman? He himself appreciated women, but to let passion for one overrule one’s intelligence and common sense was ridiculous.
Family, well there was another burden for a man of intellect. They always seemed to want money, a position, influence. And he needed some of the influence to make his own way, why did they think they could all ask for favours and then never make him able to point out how well the favour had gone?
Well, it wouldn’t do him any harm to be seen by the king here as having acceded to his request. He would put pressure on Philip to move immediately, or face a poor performance report.
He turned off the light and immediately went to sleep, the problem solved in his mind.
Over the next few days he tried to call Philip several times. Once he received an engaged signal, and just once the phone was answered, but the line quality was so bad he could not make out what was being said. At least Philip was still out of the country. That was important until after the royal wedding and crowning ceremonies. The last thing he needed was some nastiness that could be linked back to his embassy.
He and his wife took their places in the cathedral on the day of the wedding, when Leo walked down the aisle, smiling and greeting some people, he made a point of catching Leo’s eye and smiling to reassure him.
Then he saw Leo look at his watch. Good, the man should be impatient for the wedding to begin, it usually made for a happier marriage. He saw Leo look at a man with a handset, then as the man walked over to Leo and he saw Leo’s face freeze, his own heart sank. Surely Philip hadn’t managed anything through all the security around Anthea.