Chapter XVII


“Good morning, Sir.  Here is your coffee.”

“Jack, book two tickets to Rome, ASAP.”

“I assume we are going to see Monsignor Angelo Pietro?”

“Snap.  Have you found him?”

“Yes, I was able to trace him to LAX and from there I tracked him to Fiumicino.  The taxi he took went to the Vatican.  Do you want any further sightings?”

“No, unless you saw him leaving Rome.”

“I believe he is still in Vatican City.” 

“Good.  He knows more than we do and if I have to kidnap a nun to get him to talk I will.  This whole series of events smells and he always seems to be connected.  For all I know he is the cause of it all.  First rule of being a good investigative reporter is to suspect everything and everyone.”

“Very good, Sir.  I guess that is why you are one of the best.”

“I know you are just programmed to be pleasant, Jack, but thanks.  Order breakfast while I shower.”

About five minutes later, while the master was still in the shower there was a crisp knock at the door.  I would have expected it to be breakfast, but I had not heard any wheels on the carpet with the approaching footsteps.  I went to the door and opened it.  Standing there was Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Somerset, Countess of Strathearn and Lady Pomeroy.  Or as the press called her – Princess Marianne. 

“I came to see Frank.”

“Come in your Highness.  Please have a seat.  Mr. Huntington is currently involved in his morning toilet, but he will be out shortly.  Would you like me to order you a cup of tea?”

“Thank you, no” she said with her smooth voice as she took a seat and proceeded to take out a cigarette to smoke.

About a minute later Frank walked out with only a towel wrapped around him.

“Princess, what a surprise.”

She got up and came over and kissed him lightly on the cheek.  She stood there in front of him and looked into his eyes.  Frank looked into her eyes.  I was about to ask Frank if I should order another breakfast for the Princess when she threw her hands around Frank and gave him a very passionate kiss full on his lips.  As you can imagine, basic human physicality followed, which I will not describe.  I stood respectfully over to the side.  Based on Frank’s past performances he was about halfway done when there was another knock at the door.  I knew for sure it was the breakfast tray.  I opened the door and took it from the delivery robot.  I had doubled the order when I saw the lovemaking beginning just in case Frank and the Princess felt like eating afterwards.  Humans often do feel peckish after sex.

Frank and the Princess laid very still breathing deeply.  Frank was on top of her and he gently was kissing her.  Finally he said, “You are a very interesting princess, Princess.  It would be very easy to fall in love with you.”

“You have the same effect, Mr. Newspaperman.”

“So what is the reason you would look me up in New York?”

“I’m actually here for a conference for Feed the Children.  It is an organization tied to the United Nation’s effort to end malnutrition.”

“How did you know I was here?”

“I called your paper.”

“Clever girl.  You should be a reporter.”

“I’ll stay being a princess.”

“Are you going to remain Mrs. Lutts?

“Yes, of course.  I do love my husband.  It is just not very sexual.”

“No sex?”

“No, we do it, but he seems to stay satisfied for a long time.”

“Good for him.  Even better for me.”

“You know, after our first lovemaking I started reading your paper.”

“Good.  I like a well-read woman.”

“I liked your article on how the non-religious have a higher rate of suicide.  Being a new member of the ‘no religious affiliation’ I can understand how suicide rates could be higher.”

“You’re not having any problems are you?”

“No, of course not.  I feel liberated by atheism.”

“Good, I like these visits.”

“Sometime you will have to come to me.  It would be only fair.”

“Don’t you think your husband might notice you’re not being in his bed?”

“Actually, our sleeping arrangements are more along the line of traditional royalty.”

“Does he make appointments or decrees?”

She laughed at Frank’s remark and then said, “It’s not that bad, but when he gets involved in his big projects he barely makes time for eating or sleeping.”

“So what project is keeping him from doing his husbandly duties to you?”

“I don’t know.  I do see him most days.  He is good about that, but he never discusses his work.”

“Do you ever ask?”

“I did at first, but now I know I will just get a vague answer or he will change the subject.  Do you keep secrets?”

“From my editor – all the time.”

“You men are all alike.”

“And does your husband know about this little secret?”

Frank stroked the princess’s bare breast.  She looked into his eyes with a smile and said, “Touché.”

“Do you think he knows?”

“If he wanted to, yes.  I don’t think anyone can hide anything these days.”

“Speaking of 24/7 surveillance, Frank, how about serving us breakfast in bed?”

“Yes Sir.”


Chapter XVIII




















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