“The reception at the French Embassy”
Candy was standing next to the French Ambassador smiling with all her teeth. What was she doing there? She was escorting her father to the reception at the French Embassy and now was the French Ambassador’s date? That man was charming; he had trapped her do she could stay with him. But she could’ve done worst than the French Ambassador; it could’ve been the British Ambassador!
The British Ambassador was fuming. The French Ambassador just stole… stole? But he didn’t do anything to invite her to diner or lunch and he wanted her to be his date for that reception, but of course she turned him down, big time… he took too long. The French Ambassador stole Candy’s attention in a very diplomatic way.
He was standing by the big table where the buffet was served; it was full of treats of all kind. He had always loved French cuisine, but the fact that Candy was near the French Ambassador, was making him very angry.
- Your Excellency, he heard
He turned around. It was Tuba, the Turkish diplomat.
- Hello Tuba.
- What am I seeing? Isn’t that your future ambassadress with the French Ambassador?
- Don’t tell me about it! I want to strangle my French counterpart…
- What happened? I thought that the British charm was stronger than the French charm…
- He took me by surprise
- Under your own nose? The audacity! Said Tuba laughing
- She was with her father
- Instead of being with you? You still haven’t invited her?
- I did…
- So, she’s being difficult
- And you’re used to those easy local trollops… Good for Georgie’s girl! Said Tuba laughing
-You think it’s funny?
- I can’t stop laughing! Said Tuba still laughing
Other diplomats approached them.
- Who’s the young woman next to the French Ambassador? Said a woman, she looks familiar...
- It’s the Australian Ambassadress, said a diplomat
- No, said Tuba, it’s the Australian Ambassador’s daughter
- Ooh! Said the diplomat’s wife, who had just talked, I’m confused…
- You really think that the Australian Ambassador would lend his wife to the French Ambassador? Said Terry walking away
The receptions were full of gossips. He went to talk to other diplomats, but it seemed like the talk of the day was the French Ambassador’s date.
- She's beautiful! Said the Mexican Ambassador
- Isn’t she? Said a diplomat
- and she speaks perfect Spanish, said Cecilia, the Colombian Ambassadress
- Is that why her name is Candice-Bianca? Asked the Mexican smiling
- It’s the first time I find myself in a country where there are so many single Ambassadors, said the Columbian Ambassador smiling
- The French Ambassador is irresistible, they say, said Cecilia, maybe Georgie’s daughter is what he needs
- According to the rumours, no woman can resist him, said the Columbian Ambassador
- She’s here for the summer holidays, said Terry, she’s not going to let herself seduce
- Your Excellency, said Cecilia, are you interested in Georgie’s daughter?
- I’m only giving my humble opinion, said Terry
As a good diplomat, he avoided the questions and left his group. There was no other subject of conversation at this reception? He found a group of members of Foreign affairs ministry, who were speaking in Romanian. They smiled when they saw him.
- Your Excellency, said one named Ion Ratoi with a strong accent, hello
- Sirs, said Terry smiling
- Have you seen the French Ambassador’s date? Asked one of the men
- She’s very beautiful, said Terry
- She’s the Australian Ambassador’s daughter, said Mr. Ratoi
Romania was a former socialist country, from the cold war time, when everything was known by everybody, and despite the end of the cold war, old habits die hard.
- Yes, she just finished her studies in political science, said another one
- The French Ambassador is irresistible, added another one, if she’s lucky, he could marry her and not dump her like he usually does
Even the Romanians were taking about Candy and the French Ambassador! It was a conspiracy! Terry got fed up to hear about the same conversation everywhere… he walked away again and he met Candy’s father. Maybe he will talk about something else than his daughter?
- Well Laurent, how is your charming wife, whom I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet? Asked Terry
- She’ fine and I miss her every day, said Laurent
- Is she coming back among us soon?
- She’s spending time with her family, her father is ill
- She seems a little bit too attached to her family…
“If only you knew” thought Laurent to himself
- A little bit too much, he said out loud
- But not to the point to forget the one he left here...
- Of course not, she knows that the children are safe with me and with Candy home for the holidays
There! Candy was mentioned, the subject of the day!
- I tried inviting her to come with me here
- You were supposed to invite her before that, said Laurent
- Well, I had other obligations…
- I’m not forcing you to go out with my daughter… My wife and my children are the most precious things to me in this world. You’re young and I’m sure you have a long list of female friends…
- As a matter of fact…
- I also know that your Lord Marlowe’s protégé and you’re almost engaged to his daughter…
- I can assure you that I’m not engaged, Your Excellency, Said Terry unashamed
Terry was asking himself why Candy’s father was talking to him and not to the French Ambassador. It only meant one thing, that Candy liked him and he didn’t want him to hurt his little girl! Terry felt his heart getting lighter and lighter, like he had wings! He had to restrain himself not to jump of joy. Candy liked him! Otherwise, why would her father warned him?
- If you hurt my daughter, you’ll answer to me, said Laurent
- I got the message, Your Excellency.
Terry went to speak to the Congolese Ambassador and his wife.
- Terrence, said Henriette, what’s going on? What is Candice doing with the French Ambassador?
- It’s a long story, said Terry
- Well, Your Excellency, you have to act fast, or your queen is going to slip through your fingers
- Terrence, don’t let that Don Juan steal Candy from you, said Henriette
- Candy doesn’t belong to me, Henriette, if she’s seduced by the charms of my French counterpart, so be it!
- You’d be perfect for each other, said Freddy
- Well if we’re destined to be together, come what may, said Terry smiling
They changed conversation and they started talking about the communist era and the big changes made after the revolution.
The French Ambassador was very happy to have Candy by his side, she was the perfect hostess and she was natural with conversations on any subjects. She was beautiful, charming, like her mother, whom he admired a lot in secret. She was like a flash of fresh air and as opposed to her mother, she was available…
- Candice Blanche? Did I tell you how wonderful you were?
- Only a 1000 times…
- Then it’s going to be the 1001 time
- Thank you Your Excellence for the 1001 times
- And for the 1001 time, I’m asking you to call me by my given name, Francois…
- That will not be appropriate, Your Excellency, M. Ambassador Renaud…
The Ambassador burst out laughing.
- You’re exactly like your mother!
- Don’t tell me you hit on my mother?
- It was a total waste of my time…
- I can believe that, said Candy laughing, does my father know about this?
- If your mother doesn’t hide anything from him, he probably knows
- And he trusts my mother 110%... I understand why my father left me with you… he knew you were going to drive me away eventually…
- I wanted to take my chances with you…
- You’re very charming, Your Excellency, but the fact that you hit on my mother, shows that you have no respect, what so ever for the sacred vows of marriage… and I really don’t want to be on your very long conquest list. I need a man who’s going to respect me and marry me. I don’t do one night stands. Thank you for this wonderful reception, the hors-d’oeuvres and the appetizers were excellent. You’re lucky, in another time period; my father would’ve challenged you to a duel for my mother’s honor. Now, excuse-me, I need to go see my father…
And Candy left him there and went looking for her father who was talking to the Turkish diplomat with the name of a music instrument.
« ♪♪ Y’en a qu’un croyez-moi, pour jouer comme ça…♪♪ »
She was the one with Terry the other night at the British cultural centre… and Candy was jealous! She was smiling at her father, her father was married! She was going to get her father!
- Daddykins? Said Candy
- My baby girl, are you done flirting with my French counterpart?
- Yes… did you know he hit on mum?
- Your mother doesn’t hide anything from me, said Laurent, I know she loves me and I love her with all my heart
- You also tell her everything, right?
- Of course, said Laurent, you know Tuba?
- Hello, said Tuba, I’m from Turkey
- My daughter, Candy, said Laurent
- Pleased to meet you , said Candy smiling
- Your parents are the most loving couple I’ve ever seen, and seeing you, I realize that they’ve been married a lot longer than we thought, said Tuba who had felt Candy’s hostility for her
- I want a marriage like theirs, said Candy smiling
- Are you ready to go, baby girl? Said Laurent
- Yes, let’s go!
She took her father’s arm with a possessive gesture and left.
- Bye, said Candy and Laurent at the same time
Father and daughter left talking happily, without seeing the French Ambassador.
Terrence looked at Candy leave with her father. He was relieved to see that Candy had dumped his French counterpart, to join her father. She didn’t fall under the French charm after all. He was glad. If her father was right, Candy liked him… He was going to try again with her until she accepts his invitation. Tuba came near him and took him aside because he was talking to other diplomats.
- Apparently the French Ambassador hit a snag…
- He broke his teeth?
- Big time!
- You know why?
- Apparently, he also hit on Candy’s mother, why would he tell her that?
- He took a risk… some men become more desirable in women’s eyes when they have a lot of conquest. For some women, learning that a man was interested in their mother, make them more desirable in their eyes… but not Candy…
- You’ve never seen Candy’s parents together, more in love than them, you die! I know a lot who tried to seduce the Ambassador to no avail…
- Why does it bother people to see a happy couple?
- Some people say that the perfect couple doesn’t exist and they everything in their power to destroy happy couples…
- I saw Juan Carlos, said Terry
- We’re not talking
- Because he asked me to keep an eye on you?
- He had no right to do that!
- You like your dear Andrew and you took advantage of this little incident to get rid of your ambassador, who is in the way…
- Your Excellency, what on earth are you talking about? I did no such thing!
Tuba’s cell phone rang. She answered:
- William? I missed you too! I can’t way to see you
Terry nodded at her and left. He walked to his French counterpart to say goodbye to him.
- I see that your date for the day, dumped you, said Terry
- I shouldn’t have talked to her about her mother…
- How could you make such a mistake?
- I overestimated the French charm
- Because you have charm? Said Terry ironically
They burst out laughing.
- Good luck, because I know she got your attention and vice-versa
- She couldn’t stop looking at you… but be careful; she’s looking to go all the way…
- There’s no problem without a solution, said Terry , see you next time
- See you next time…
Terry left the French Embassy with his driver, Mihai.
- How was the reception, Your Excellency?
- Better than I expected, Mihai…
- Do you need any company tonight?
- No thank you, not tonight, Mihai…
- Very well, Your Excellency.
He arrived at his big residence and once again, he regretted not having someone waiting for him like, a wife, children or even a dog or a cat… but it was easy for him to change things. He had told Susanna that he wasn’t ready for marriage. He still wanted to take advantage of his life, but time was passing by. If he wanted a successful political career, he had to get married and have a family, so he could be a good political man. On the other hand, being married would prevent his enemies from using a woman to cause his downfall. How many politicians got compromised because of women? For some of them, it cost them the White House… and he was British, what was his goal? 10 Downing Street? The British Prime Minister’s Residence. He had to be very careful he wanted his political career to rise like he wanted to. Lord Marlowe was his mentor, but did that mean that he had to marry his daughter? He was sitting in the living room having a drink of Scotch. He had turned on the television and was looking at the news through a satellite dish. The residence phone rang, he picked up.
- Good evening, Lord Marlowe
- How are you?
- I just came back from a reception
- It’s the French national holiday
- Did you go alone?
- Like a big boy…
- Terrence, you need a date to be with you in receptions
- I can manage on my own, Lord Marlowe
- It’s for your own good…as a single man, you’re exposed to scandals, while if you’re married and you’re faithful…
- You’re right… coming back in this big empty residence; I wanted to have a wife and kids waiting for me, or even a dog or a cat…
- You know, my daughter can filled that position with pleasure…
- Lord Marlowe, my relationship with your daughter is very complicated
- She’s very understanding, you know that…
- You mean that if I have a mistress, she’s not going to make any trouble?
- For example…
- I need a woman who loves me…
- She loves you…
- And that I love…
- Oh, she’s only good for you to warm up your bed from time to time?
- I don’t force her, Lord Marlowe, she’s a big girl, and she knows what she’s doing…
- You can try and see if it’s going to work between you two… for me?
- I can’t promise you anything…
- Have you met another woman? Are you finally falling in love?
Terry thought about Candy and his heart started to dance in his chest.
- Silence is tantamount to consents. She’s not a local girl at least?
- And why can’t she be a local girl?
- If it’s the kind to warm up your bed, once in a while, I don’t think it’s appropriate for your future political career…
- She’s not a local girl, don’t worry Lord Marlowe
- I’m relieved… so who is she?
- I haven’t gone out with her yet…
- Who is she?
- The daughter of the Australian Ambassador…
- The daughter of your Australian counterpart? She has to be a kid! How old is she?
- I don’t know her age; it’s not very polite to ask a lady her age…
- She’s a teenager? I didn’t know you like them young, Terrence
- She just finished her studies in political sciences in Oxford…
- Oh, she’s a diplomat, she’d be perfect for you and looks like you’re having feelings for her…
- But I haven’t gone out with her yet
- And why not?
- Because I’m confused… when I think about her, I go crazy, when I see her, I want to hug her…
- You seem hooked… Cupid didn’t miss you with her…
- I don’t know… since I haven’t gone out with her yet…
- You’re afraid, aren’t you?
- Kind of…
- Listen Terry, you can try with Susanna and see if she’s good for you… otherwise, invite the daughter of the Australian Ambassador and do your charm number. It shouldn’t be too difficult…
- She’s a diplomat; she would probably want to go back to Australia to get a job… it’s complicated to marry a diplomat when you’re a diplomat yourself…
- There’s no problem without a solution, if you marry her, she becomes a British citizen and we can make sure you two are in the same country at the same time…
- You’d do that for me? What about Susanna?
- You said it yourself, she’s a big girl… and I’m not going to force you to be with her if you’re not in love with her…
- Thank you Lord Marlowe
- You’re welcome. Only my daughter doesn’t listen to me… she going to come to see you one of these days… give her a chance…
- Thanks for the warming, Lord Marlowe
- Good night Terrence…
- Good night Lord Marlowe
Terry thought about his conversation with his mentor. He was giving him carte blanche. He could marry Susanna or the daughter of the Australian Ambassador… but he hadn’t done his charm number on her yet, and he’ll have more tact than his French counterpart, who hit a wall, big time.
Candy was in her bedroom with her sister Cassie.
- WHAT??? You dumped the French Ambassador??!! Are you insane?
- What? Weren’t you the one saying he had gray hair??
- I was kidding! He’s a good catch! An Ambassador! You were going to start on the top, not at the bottom of the ladder
- Sorry sis, the French charm didn’t work on me…
- You’d rather have your British who gets on your nerve?
-Yes… I’d rather have my Terry with his blue-green eyes like the ocean…
- Oh my God! You remind me of mum; for her it was “The eyes blue like the sky” with daddy.
- Mum is happy with daddy. I want what they have…
- Your British is not daddy… he must sleep with local girls…
- He’s a man with carnal desires…
- You’re making excuses for him!
- I’m not dating him… there was that Turkish diplomat with the name of a musical instrument …
- Like the song… « ♪♪ Y’en a qu’un croyez-moi, pour jouer comme ça…non non ne cherchez pas, ça ne se discute pas…♪♪ »
Her sister looked at her with big eyes.
- « Grand-papa joue au tuba » ? Said her sister.
- There you go ! That’s her name ! She was with Terry at the British cultural centre. They left together!
- You’re jealous! Maybe nothing happened…
- How do you know that?
- I heard the Mexican Ambassador was hitting on her but she’s dating William Andrew…
- He’s a rich American business man
- She’s a busy girl! If you add Terry…
- You don’t know that!
- They left together, so I’m assuming, the most pessimistic hypothesis…
- If you want to be sure about it, ask the Ambassador… the next time he calls you, don’t be difficult and accept his invitation!
- We’ll see, said Candy smiling with all her teeth