Sins of the Past – Part 2







 Wednesday 13th April

1 pm

Bishop Walden School


They had taken an early lunch, and now the girls were waiting with just one thing on their minds.


All of them were nervous, as they sneaked lipstick out of their schoolbags and touched up their lips or their eyeshadow.


“I swear this is designed to torture us,” Cassie fidgeted as she and the other girls in her homeroom awaited their turn to be photographed.


“Oh I know it is designed to do just that,” Liz looked down the line trying to judge how long it would be before they were finished.  We have other things to do tonight you know.”


“Is Pepsi still picking us up Katy?”


“Yeah – but remember we have plans for tonight?  So we do what we decided, and get out quickly.”


“My Mom loves the pictures though,” Shawnee smiled, “she has them all mounted in a special album.”


“Yeah Heather does that,” Sandy pulled out a small mirror from her bag to check her appearance.


“You look fine Sands.” Katy laughed.


“So says ‘Miss Model’ .”


“Stop putting yourself down Bestie – Kurt was vey taken with you at the wedding after all.”


“Do you ever look anything other than amazing Katy?” Lynn sighed.


“You should see me first thing, or when I’ve been kidnapped.”


“Ouch,” Lynn said as Shawnee shook her head.  "How is George looking forward to tonight?" she asked as the line shuffled forward.

"He sees it as just another date," Katy looked round, "but I guess it helps having Jack and Peps there, at least they are more our age."

"So what is your Mom cooking?" asked Cassie.

"It’s a huge secret, she won’t even tell me.  But Uncle Adam’s mother is coming, so somehow I think pork and shellfish are off the menu."


“You think,” Sands said with a laugh.


“Alexandra Richmond.”


“See you on the other side,” Sands said as she walked through, Katy waiting to be next in line.


“I heard you and Sands talking,” Lynn said, “did you really go to a women only bar in Munich?”


“We did – but we were kept out of trouble,” Katy said as she remembered what had happened.


“Katherine Carter.”


“Here we go,” Katy said as she made her way into the room.  The young photographer looked up – and then looked again.


“Are you?”


“Yup – Katy Carter reporting for photographic duty.”


“So I get to photograph Katy Carter, and it’s not going to cost me anything,” he laughed as he checked his equipment.


“Hey I could call my agent and she can set a fee for you if you like?” Katy laughed back.


“Not necessary, so if you could sit and smile for me...”


“All done,” Sands said as Katy joined her.


“All done – now we see what comes out...”



1 pm

St Angela’s


“Okay Mom – I’ll see you after the shoot tonight.  Doc’s mom is going to chaperone for us.


“Have fun – bye for now.”


"Who was that Nikki?" Ama asked as they walked round the schoolyard.

"My Mom, she's taking Gale Callaghan to look at apartments this afternoon."

"Well with Allan they are going to need something bigger soon." Pepsi observed.

“Indeed – when Mister Callaghan called to see Mom this week, he mentioned they needed to move up,” Ama said with a smile.  She then looked at her cell phone and smiled.




“No – he is otherwise engaged tonight.  It was Maisha, asking if I would call round tonight and we could talk of her experiences at the Palace.”


"So all set for tonight Peps?" Jeannie asked.


“I am, Jack is preparing – the strange thing is going to be the rest of Adam and Mom’s families there, especially Captain Ball.”


“Does she know,” Doc whispered.  Pepsi just nodded, before she said “so a very different evening, I think.”


“Well, beats a night with Differential Equations,” Jeannie said with a grimace.


“Says the girl who is flying out with friends after the party on Friday, and taking the whole first class of the plane with them to spend a weekend...”


“A working weekend,” Jeannie added.


“A working weekend in Paris,” Pepsi said with a smile.


1.30 pm

Park West Cafe and Deli

Corner of W 108th and Central Park West


"Doesn't a racing trainer have to be up at some unearthly time of the morning?" Eleanor asked Katherine as they shopped for the items on Janice's list.

"He does,” Katherine said as she picked up some rub, “but he reckons that he can pull a Cinderella..."

"Meaning what?"

"That as long as he's home by midnight he can still get enough sleep."


“Fair enough,” Eleanor said with a smile. 


“So who are you bringing?”


“I have asked a fellow officer along – Captain Leroy Vance, USM.”


“A marine – does he know Adam?”


“In passing...”


2 pm

FBI Field Office


Adam looked round the door and said "Alright if I run out for 30 minutes Boss?"

"Sure Adam," Tom Callaghan looked up, "can I ask why?"

"I have to collect my monkey suit from the cleaners for tonight."

"Oh I'll definitely not stop you then," Callaghan laughed, "Janice would skin me alive if you look anything less than perfect."


“Tell me about it – with my mother there as well as the Leventhals...  I hear Gale is apartment hunting today?”


Tom groaned.  “I know – and we need a larger place, true.  But some of the places she is looking at...”


“Sorry – no Richmond Trust places at the moment as far as Jan knows.  The last one is been outfitted for Marina and Kylie when they come here.”


“I would not want to live near you guys anyway – no offence, but work and home are separate.”


“None taken – back in thirty...”






4 pm

Bishop Norton School


“Thanks for helping us out with this,” Katy said as she got into the front of the car.


"Are you all coming to Nikki's party?" Pepsi asked as her sister’s gang squeezed into her little car as well.

"We are and thanks so much for taking us shopping Peps," Katy smiled.

"Well I only have a big chemistry test to study for..."

"Liar," Katy giggled, "that was today...Ama told us this morning."

"Alright, but I still want to be home quickly if we can make it."

"We will be as quick as we can...PROMISE!" Liz beamed.

"I know that look too well Elizabeth, you are all up to something."

"Who us?" Sandy smiled.


“Yes you – so where are we going?”


“Saks – and relax Pepsi.  It’ll be fun...”



9 pm CET

Munich – the Buchenwald townhouse


“I have the plane reservations – we will leave in the morning,” Willy said as he looked at Natalya.  “I hope that you are feeling better?”


“I am – and I apologise for causing you so much concern today,” Natalya said as she smiled at her husband.  “It must have been something I ate yesterday that was causing me so much discomfort.”


“I understand – well, I have to make a telephone call,” Willy said as he stood up, walked over and kissed Natalya on the cheek, before he left the room.


As Natalya sat back, she heard a text coming on her own mobile phone.  Taking it out, she looked at the message, and then went to the library, switching on the laptop and waiting.




“I have,” Natalya typed into the chat window, “and I am minded to say Mister Breitz needs to be dealt with.  Can you help?”




“I need him in Paris over the weekend, and I need him there in a state where he will talk to me on my terms, knowing he has no choice.  If that can be arranged, then the rest will be in my hands and at my instigation.”




Natalya thought for a second, and then typed “Destroy him – destroy his reputation and his standing.  And then destroy his records as well.”




“Thank you – you are in my debt,” Natalya typed before the screen went blank.


4.30 pm Local Time

Necker Island


“Who was it darling,” Juliette said as she sat on a recliner.


“Uncle Willy,” Klaus said as he came back.  “Apparently, he and Natalya will be meeting us in Paris.”


“Oh,” Juliette said as she looked over, “is everything all right?”


“He said Aunt Natalya had been unwell, but was better now.  So we will have a small reunion.”


“I can’t believe our time is almost over, and we have to go back.”


“Sadly, the real world awaits us,” Klaus said with a little smile.  “And you are expected in the office on Tuesday after all...”


“Sadly true,” Juliette said with a smile.  She had been thinking, thinking hard of something...




5 pm

West Central Park




“In here,” Jan called out from the kitchen.  As the two older women walked in, they saw her chopping chicken breasts into pieces.  Bowls of butternut squash and mushrooms stood to the side.


"Reporting for kitchen duty," Eleanor smiled as she and Katherine tied aprons on.

"Well I'll admit I need the help," Janice brushed a hair out of her eyes.

"Well what can we be doing?"

"You can start prepping those Mom."  She pointed to a pile of heritage tomatoes.


“Eleanor, there’s Crostata dough in the fridge – it needs working up.”


“Good – aggression cure,” Eleanor said as she went to the icebox.


"Did you get the Kosher salt Mom?"

"I did Love," Katherine pulled out the packet.

"Well I know no one is that strictly orthodox, but I do want this to be just right."


“It looks good so far – so where are the girls?”


“Katy and her friends were going shopping with Pepsi’s help – so she should not be too much longer...”


“I’m back Mom,” Katy called out, before she came into the kitchen.  “Whoa – do I need to back out before I get a job?”


“No,” Katherine said, “get a drink, and then do your homework before we need to get ready...”


6.30 pm

The Morse Townhouse


“Thank you Tom,” Yvonne Leventhal said as she accepted a drink.  She was wearing a dark blue gown, with black heels, as she sat back and watched her husband take a seat.  Sir Colin, as well as Tom, was wearing the regulation black tie and dinner jacket, while Clare was wearing a cream coloured dress.


“So how have you spent the day,” Clare asked as she sat down.


“We visited the Metropolitan,” Clive said, “took in the culture of the setting and the exhibitions.  Young Simon joined us for the morning, but he said he had something important to take care of this afternoon.”


“Which was true,” Simon said as he came in, adjusting his tie as Bobbi followed him in, wearing a black evening dress.  “After all, what could be more important than your partner?”


“Quite right my boy,” Clive said as Yvonne kissed Bobbi.


“So how are things at Amherst, Roberta?”


“Well, I have my exams coming up, like Simon, but I also have an internship lined up now for the summer.”


“In my office,” Tom said, “as a very junior office junior.”


“And the election Tom?”


“We start work after the convention – now that Hillary just about has the nomination sewn up.  I did hear Rupert Brooks is running against me again.”


“How does he feel about Trump?”


“He tries to avoid mentioning him as much as possible,” Clare said, “we’re going to have an agreement again not to fight on the leaders, but on the issues.”


“Well, that will make it a unique contest,” Clive said.


“And what about you Clive?  The EU Referendum must be causing you some concerns?”


“Some,” Clive said as he sipped his drink, “but I am not one of the total doomsayers.  Whichever way the vote goes, there will be problems to deal with, but in the long term things will work out.”


“As they usually do,” Tom said with a smile as Becca came in.


“Oh – yeah, you’re all going out tonight, aren’t you?  Well, say hi to Katy for me.”


“I will do,” Bobbi said as Becca went back to the kitchen.


“Katy?  I saw the reports of her kidnapping – it must have been a great ordeal for her.”


“Well, she seems to be recovering,” Clare said as she looked round.


“So who else will be there?”


“Katherine is bringing Toddy,” Tom said.


“The trainer, John Todd?  I see the reports on their horse this year are promising for the race in Kentucky.”


“I know they were disappointed at not racing the derby, but they are doing the right thing,” Simon said.


“And you know this because?”


“I do see Jack from time to time,” Simon said with a smile.


“Well, we should get our coats on – the car will be here soon,” Tom said as he stood up.


7.15 pm

West Central Park


“Well, here we are,” George said as he, Pepsi and Jack got out of the cab.  While both George and Jack were wearing suits, shirts, ties and highly polished shoes, Pepsi was wearing a dark blue cocktail dress with her pendant hanging round her neck.


“So we are in high company,” Jack said with a smile, “Simon’s parents are great people, and then you remember he is one of the top financiers in London...”


“Okay boys,” Pepsi said, “best faces forward and let’s go.”  They walked into the apartment building, and then a few minutes later knocked on the door.


“Hello,” Adam said as he opened the door, “come away in.  The others are in the front room – except for my mother’s partner for tonight.”


“Thank you,” Pepsi said as Adam took her coat, and then they walked through.


“Wow, you look amazing,” George said as he saw Katy standing there, wearing a black coloured silk dress with a scallop style skirt.  Jan was wearing a red velvet dress, and Katherine a green short sleeved dress.  Eleanor was wearing a long white dress, smiling as she saw Pepsi there.


“So where is your partner,” Jan said as she stood with Eleanor.


“That will be him now,” Eleanor said as she went to answer the door.  When she returned, she was with a tall grey haired man, smartly dressed as she said “I’d like you all to meet Captain Leroy Vance, USM.  Leroy, Jan is our host for the evening, and this is her mother Katherine.  I believe you know my son.”


“I certainly do,” Leroy said as he and Adam shook hands, “it’s been a long time Sergeant.”


“It has been sir – I should have known Mother would ask you.”


“And this is Katy and Nicola, with their partners George and Jack.”


“An honour,” Leroy said as he kissed the girls and shook the hands of the boys.


“And finally, Katherine’s partner for the evening, John Todd.”


“A pleasure, “Toddy said as they shook hands, while Jan slipped into the kitchen.


“Ah – and we have the rest of our guests for tonight,” Katherine said as she went to answer the door.


As she answered it, she smiled and said “Tom, Clare, welcome – please, come in.”


“Thank you,” Tom said as he took his wife’s coat.  “You remember Colin, Yvonne and Simon of course.”


“Of course – please come on through and I will make the introductions.”  As they went through to the main room, Jan came forward, smiling as she said “Yvonne – I’m so glad you and the family could come with Tom and his family tonight.”


“It’s our pleasure to be here,” Yvonne said, “and it is good to see you as well, especially after the last few weeks.  How are you Katy?”


“Very well, thank you Lady Leventhal,” Katy said with a little curtsey, “this is my boyfriend, George Richmond.”


“Can we agree to drop the formalities – it’s Yvonne, and I’m very pleased to meet you again George.  Nicola, Jack, it is good to see you both as well.  And Toddy we met before, which leaves...”


“Yvonne, Colin,” Adam said quietly, “may I introduce my mother, Captain Eleanor Ball USNR.”


“A great pleasure,” Yvonne said as she kissed Eleanor on the cheeks, “Jan has told me so much about you.”


“Hopefully, some of it good – my partner for the evening, Leroy Vance USM.”


“Well, let’s all have a drink – dinner will be ready soon,” Jan said as she started to pour some wine into glasses.


“So,” Eleanor said as she stood with Yvonne, “I am reliably informed Jan asked advice from you about me?”


“I cannot tell a lie – but may I say you seem to be in a far happier relationship with each other than I had anticipated.”


“I hope so,” Eleanor said, “recent events have opened my eyes to a few truths.”


“I am glad to hear it,” Yvonne said as she looked round, “Janice and Adam are a nice couple.”


“I see that now,” Eleanor said as she looked at the tall Englishwoman.  "Now I know you must have bought that dress in Paris Yvonne." She smiled as she took a step back to admire.

"Actually I didn't," Yvonne smiled, "I found it in a charity shop in Islington...but of course it is a Paris dress originally, I just had my dressmaker refurbish it."

"You must pass on the address of this charity shop for next time I'm in London, bargains like that deserve to be investigated."

"So a lot of my friends have agreed Eleanor." Yvonne smiled as her son brought glasses of white wine over.

"Thank you Simon," Eleanor smiled.

"My pleasure."

"He seems a very nice young man Yvonne."

"Yes he is," Lady Leventhal smiled, "and Bobbi is nothing but a good influence on him."

"I noticed." Eleanor paused, "so will he go into banking as well?"

"Probably, but I know he has in mind setting up a 'Green' investment company within the bank, and my husband thinks it might profit him to set something like that up eventually."

"Well from my own friends I know more and more people are really taking the environment seriously."

"Exactly."  Yvonne took a sip, and then said “so, seriously Eleanor, Adam and Jan?”


“I am coming round – and I have to admit, she has two charming daughters.”


“Ah good – makes it so much easier if you know,” Yvonne said as they watched Pepsi and Bobbi talking to Eleanor’s partner for the night.




"So Nicola how is school going?" Leroy Vance asked.


“Very well, Captain,” Pepsi said, “at least I think it is.”


"My daughter graduated last year from St Angela's." He said as he took a sip.

"Oh?" Pepsi knitted her brows, "don't say you are Belinda's dad?"

"Guilty as charged," he smiled back.

"You know I was on the soccer squad with her?"

"I did.  She said you were the backbone of the defence, while Ama brought real style to the team."

"I hear Indy had a great freshman season at Virginia."

"She did,” Leroy said with a smile, “she also did well academically."

"Well done that girl," Pepsi grinned, "it's amazing how small a world this often is."

"True.  After all, I had no idea I would meet Adam again tonight, but then I should have realised if Eleanor invited me."


“So what was he like as a Marine?”


“Just as he is now – dedicated and dogged,” he said as he looked at Adam talking to Tom and Clive.  “But he seems much happier now.”





"So Toddy,” Jack said as he stood with the trainer, “other than drawing Missy's wrath for letting my sister ride work for you again, how has the move back north worked out?"

"Oh,” John said with a smile, “we are settling back in your lord..."

"It's Jack...Remember?"

"Sorry, it's habit with the owners." Toddy smiled. "But as I was saying, we are back in our routines.  And as for the business with Angel and Missy, I would never let her do it if I did not have confidence in her abilities.


“And anyway, last time she was down she brought her friend Marnie with her.  To see them galloping across the flats..."

"Don’t worry, it’s a secret I keep,” Jack said with a smile.  “That was a nice winner you had this afternoon."

"Yes Chieftains Run,” Toddy said with a nod, “could be a nice horse in that class."

"Well at least till the handicapper catches up with him."



Jack smiled, "he paid $18.40 and practically has paid for this little jaunt to New York on his own."

"Well I'm glad you were on him."

"Oh I had an idle afternoon with Pepsi at school and shopping, where better to go then the track?"


“True – just don’t let it become a habit,” John said as he saw Pepsi looking at them.





"Has her experience made Katy more covered up Katherine?" Clare Morse asked as she spotted the tall, busty, youngster talking with Simon. "That shimmering black dress, I've never seen her wear one that covers her chest entirely before."

"Errr wait till she turns round," Katherine laughed as Katy laughed and then turned to talk to Bobbi. "Now look?"

"Oh my dear God," Clare’s jaw dropped as she saw that the dress was backless.

"Does that answer your question?"

"That is almost obscene..."

"Yes, my dear granddaughter is none the worse for her unfortunate experience," Katherine laughed again.


“Although it has to be said, she does carry it well...”


“Well, shall we go in and have dinner,” Janice said as Adam held the doors open, and they made their way into the dining room.  The men held the chairs back as their partners sat down, and then took their seats themselves as Edith stood to the side.


She then went to the kitchen, bringing through the Heirloom Tomatoes, which were tossed with avocado and mint, and the Winter arugula salad with grapefruit and pistachios, as well as warm sliced bread.


“Please, begin,” Jan said as they started to eat.


“How did the school photo go today,” Katherine asked as she looked over at her granddaughter.


“Very well, Gran,” Katy said with a smile, “we get the proofs – sorry, the order form next week.”


“I am sure you were the prettiest girl there,” Yvonne said with a smile.


“Oh no – Sands... Sorry, Alexandra is easily more beautiful than me.  She just does not want to model.”


“It is easy to see how much you have grown up since Christmas,” Simon said as he looked at the younger girls. 


“Well, there are only a few weeks of school left, thank goodness,” Pepsi said with a smile. 


“Have you made any plans for the summer yet,” Bobbi asked her.


“Not yet – there is the added attraction of Kylie moving here in July, and introducing her to the city.”


“Kylie?  Kylie Mitchell is coming to live in New York?”


“She is, Gran,” Katy said to Eleanor, “I’m surprised you have heard of her.”


“I’ve seen some of the articles mentioning her as an up and coming designer, but they all said she was returning to London from Hong Kong.”


“She was, until her friend Marina accepted a job at Complete Style,” Katherine said, “so they are moving into the apartment downstairs.”


“So another addition to the list to invite to events,” Toddy said with a smile.


“Ah yes – so when is the next gathering of the Saints and Sinners?”


“The main one is on 7th May – Kentucky Derby,” Tom said, “although there is a car race before then.”


“A week on Sunday – Veronica and I will be coming for that,” Eleanor said with a smile.


“But the wedding was so special,” Clare said as she looked round, “Juliette truly looked like a princess as she walked down the aisle.”


“They all did – you as well Katy,” Bobbi said with a smile.


“It was a truly memorable week, and a very special day,” Katy said with a smile.  “I think they return Sunday night, is that right Mom?”


“I hope so – we have a meeting of Huntingdowns on Monday night,” Jan said.  “She is in Paris before then for a meeting.”





8.30 pm

Park Avenue


“It is good to hear from both of you,” Nyala said in the Skype window as Ama and Maisha looked on.  “How are the preparations for your examinations going Maisha?”


“As well as can be expected – I am hopeful of passing well,” Maisha said with a smile.  “Not, however, an experience either of you have to face.”


“Not to the same degree,” Ama said, “but I still have end of year assessments, and I am sure you have as well Nyala.”


“I do indeed – but I look forward to them,” Nyala said with a smile.  “I am also hopeful we will have a chance to get together over the long vacation.”


“Well,” Maisha said, “Aunt Shirley has indicated she would be happy if you both came and stayed with me in London before we go to a special birthday party.  A mutual friend is having her eighteenth birthday at her grandparent’s home, and we are both going.  I hope you will be able to join us Nyala.”


“If my parents will allow it, of course – I will ask them and let you know as soon as possible.”


“I hope you can make it,” Ama said, “London is an amazing place at that time of year.”


8.45 pm

West Central Park


“Thank you Edith,” Jan said as the plate was placed in front of her.


“Does Edith work for you,” Leroy asked.


“No – she is Diana’s housekeeper,” Jan replied, “but she offered to help here tonight.”


“That would be?”


“Diana de Ros,” Eleanor said.  “Her daughter is Abigail de Ros?”


“Of course – she graduates this year from St Angela’s, correct?”


“That’s right,” Pepsi said.


“So are the seniors letting any secrets out about their charity stunt?  I still remember last years,” Jack said, before he looked at Leroy and said “Oh – sorry sir...”


“Not a problem – although Belinda took me by surprise with that as well,” Leroy said with a smile.


“Oh – what happened?”


Jan looked round as Tom wiped his mouth.  “What happened,” he said, “was the entire year signed one of their own bras, and put them up for auction on the internet.  A bold move – but at least we did not get into trouble with the police.”


“And they did before?”


“Our senior year,” Bobbi said, “kidnapped the principal and held her hostage.  I think Mom and Dad have just about forgiven me for that...”


“Just about,” Tom said with a smile, “although it did have an interesting aftermath.  Still, any idea what we can look forward to Nicola?”


“I’m afraid not sir – the Head Girls are saying nothing in advance, and if Abby is playing a part, she’s not saying.”


“Quite right too,” Clare said, Bobbi nodding in agreement.


"So Colin what exactly brings you to New York?" Eleanor asked the Englishman seated to her left at the table.

"A little pleasure,” Colin said as he took a drink from his glass, “and unfortunately a lot of work."


"Yes, I have to see some people from your Treasury Department and IRS over the weekend and into next week."

"I'm guessing regarding the new ideas regarding taxation of offshore based investment trusts?"

"You are very well informed Eleanor," the banker smiled. "Yes a lot of our clients might be adversely affected by the proposals."

"And you are here to argue for keeping the status quo."

"Exactly." Sir Colin ate a small piece of food, "but it also gives Yvonne and I a chance to meet friends and enjoy some American hospitality."


“We have tickets, and I have no idea how, to see Hamilton on Saturday night,” Yvonne said, “which will give Simon a chance to learn some American history.”





"Look I'll be plain about this Katherine I'd like you on my re-election committee." the Congressman looked at the lady to his right at the table.

"Well it's an honor to be asked Tom, but honestly what can I bring to the table to help?"

"Several years of experience of practical, on-the-ground, politics. An understanding of how to get out the vote, and a well-earned respect among the Irish community both for your work for the Daughters of Erin, but also for the New York GAA."

"Oh that," Katherine smiled, "I really just always liked playing Camogie."


“And she still wields a mean stick, by all accounts,” Adam said, watching as Jan, Katy and Eleanor grinned.

"Well be that as it may,” Tom said, “you also have a heap of common sense, and that is more than some of my committee can claim."

"You really should take him up on this Katherine," Simon to her left joined in. "Even Democrats need good progressive, liberal, voices like yours."

"I'll think about it," Katherine smiled, "and I'll ask some other friends if they think I should do it."


“I’ll take that as a yes,” Tom said with a smile.


“Do you get involved in the political discussions in the UK, Sir Colin,” Adam asked.


“Oh no – at this moment in time, the UK political parties are so focused on tearing themselves apart over the referendum, the sane thing to do is stay well out of it.  I have to say, I watch your upcoming election with just as much fear, Tom.”


“You’re not the only one,” Tom said, “I think this is going to be as bad as when we were students in 2000.”


“We certainly live in interesting times,” Leroy said as he put his knife and fork down, “and I do fear the possible consequences.”


"Changing the subject completely...  So you are aiming for the big mile event on Kentucky Derby day Toddy?" Yvonne spoke.

"We are,” Toddy said, “it's Saintz's best distance, it’s a big purse, and it will go a long way to establish him as the best miler of the year."

"Well according to my brother,” Yvonne said with a smile, “he is probably the best over the distance in the world this year."

"Well your brother might be right," a little twinkle appeared in the trainer’s eye.

"And her brother knows his horses." Jack spoke. "He's William Hyde-Andrews the trainer."

"Oh?" Toddy looked very interested, "you are Sir William's sister?"

"For my sins," Yvonne smiled.

"Well he has a useful miler himself in Acadaria."

"He does, and he's looking forward maybe to taking you on late in the year at the Breeders Cup Mile."


“Well we must make sure we are here as well,” Colin said with a smile as Edith began to collect the plates.


“So Yvonne,” Eleanor said as she refilled her glass, “I understand you know something about we mothers?”


“Ah,” Yvonne said, “I did share some of my experiences of the world of the mother in laws I have experienced with Jan, that is true.  Would you forgive me if I was frank?”


“Of course – I always prefer such approaches.”


“I married into the faith,” Yvonne said, “so I have made it a point to study the mother in laws of my acquaintances, to ensure – now what is that phrase...”


“That you do not make mistakes?”


“A very diplomatic way of putting it,” Yvonne said with a smile.  “So when I first met Janice last year, we got to talking, and I said if she ever wanted to talk, call me.  Well, when she first met you, she called me and asked for my advice.”


“And that was?”


“To be brave, to discuss matters with you – and to get you and her mother to talk and see what happened.  By the looks of things, that advice was taken to some extent.”


“Well, it helped – I know I was intimidating, but I can see now how right they are for each other.”  Sipping her wine, Yvonne smiled and said “so, if the time came?”


“We will see,” Eleanor said, “we will see.”


“They’re talking about us you know,” Adam whispered to Jan.


“Never,” Jan whispered back, “but I’m glad we’re getting along now.”



9.30 pm

Central Studios


“Definite improvement,” Helen said as she took a drink, “I think we are done for tonight.  I will see you both at seven thirty tomorrow in the gymnasium.”


Becca smiled as Doc and Nikki walked over, putting her books away as they mopped themselves with the towels.


"Well it's been a busy night Becca," Doc said as she looked up from packing her gym bag.

"Yeah I hope you weren't too bored," Nikki said as she tied her sneakers.

"Watching you two get tortured by Helen?" Becca laughed, "no that was fun, but the photo shoot? Well I've been to so many now."

"Still it was better than sitting home alone while your folks and sister went out to dinner...Right?"

"Yeah I guess so Doc, and between us I think we got those math problems sorted, and the formulae memorized."


“Well there you are – come on, I need a...  A cold drink,” Doc said, correcting herself as she saw Helen.  “Let’s hit the cafe before our moms come and pick us up.”


2 am Local Time

The Sisters Camp


“All quiet,” Liz said as she came into the tent, “time for a few hours sleep...”


“Agreed,” Charlotte said as she stretched and yawned, watching as Liz looked round.


“Reveille at 0700 tomorrow – Josias is due to check in then.”


"I need this periodically," Charlotte smiled as she checked her sleeping bag for things that crawl and slither in the night.

"Need what?"

"To come back home to Africa, and to connect with my roots."

"You know there are a lot of people think that sounds wrong coming from a white chick like you," Liz smiled as she climbed into her bed on the ground.

"Well we White Africans think just as connected to this land as anyone else."

"I know that," Liz dimmed the lantern.  “That’s why we’re here...”


9.45 pm

West Central Park


"George, I understand that you start the equivalent of high school in the fall?" Sir Colin asked as Edith served the dessert.

"I do Sir,” George said with a smile, “it's going to be strange reverting to being a new boy, but I'm looking forward to it."

"So,” Jack said, “any early thoughts on college?"

"Princeton," Katy laughed, "on his father’s side he will be the sixth successive generation to go there."

"That is indeed something George..."

"I know," the boy blushed, "but it does at times look like my future is totally planned out for me."

"I know just what you are talking about George," Simon looked at both his parents.

"Have you talked to your father about it George?" Leroy Vance asked.

"I have Sir, and he says that I should go where I wish, but when something is expected of one..."

"Just so George," Adam looked at his mother.

"If you had a free choice George where would you chose?"

"Well I do have a sort of inkling to go to school in Europe Sir Colin."


"Maybe, but I truly love Switzerland, and I'd like maybe try the ETH in Zurich to study management."

"Well George, I am impressed," Eleanor whistled, "you do know that its degrees are among the hardest in the world to obtain?"

"I do, but I like the idea of the challenge."

"Then aim for it George," Sir Colin smiled, "as I tell Simon, always aim for the highest peaks and do the best you can."


“Thank you Sir...”



“So have you been invited to the premiere next month Jan,” Clare asked as she finished her dessert. 


“We got an invite – I’m waiting for clearance to attend, given the Pussycat Gang is still an ongoing investigation.”


“How have they got round the problem of the certificate and Nikki attending,” Bobbi asked.


“Special licence from the Mayor’s Office,” Tom said, “to allow all the cast to come.”


“Well, that seems a sensible move,” Leroy said.


“What do you think of the film,” Jan asked with interest.


“I would need to see it – but you were the technical adviser.  What do you think?”


“Well, I haven’t seen the film yet,” Jan said, “but Cassandra Stone certainly seems to have done her research from what I have seen of the adverts.”


“And the victims?”


“All gave their permission,” Adam said, “in the belief it will make people more alert to them.”


“Well, it is going to be interesting to see the reaction,” Eleanor said, “very interesting indeed.”


11 pm


“Well, interesting as all this is,” Toddy said as he finished his coffee, “I am afraid I need to do my Cinderella act and bid you all a good night.  Thank you for a wonderful evening, Janice.”


“My pleasure Toddy,” Janice said as they stood up.


“Nicola, tell your father we’ll talk on Saturday.”


“He’ll see you at the stables,” Pepsi said with a smile.


“I suspect we should make a move as well,” Eleanor said as she and Leroy stood.  “I have a meeting in the morning.  Janice, Adam, thank you for inviting us tonight.”


"Now do you want to get me out of this dress George?" Katy whispered as the guests started departing.

"But won't it be too obvious Katy?"

"That we are having sex?" Katy giggled, "it's not like anyone doesn't know."

"That's true George," Bobbi whispered over his shoulder, "anymore then they expect Simon to go back to the hotel with his parents rather then come home to my bed."

"Or that I'm not going to exhaust Jack darlings." Pepsi drawled in Mandy's style.  "After such a great party I need a great..."

"Discretion Nicola," Eleanor whispered, as the captain brought her coat.


“Yeah – distraction.”


"Pass on my best wishes to Indy please Captain Vance," Bobbi smiled.

"And mine." Pepsi nodded.

"That I will girls."


“Edith, I cannot thank you enough for helping tonight,” Katherine said after she had shown Toddy out.


“My pleasure Katherine – I was glad to return the favour,” Edith said with a smile as Janice said goodbye to the Morse and Leventhal families.


“Right – now to...”


“Edith and I will clear up – you lot have time together,” Katherine said as they went to the kitchen.


“I’ll hail a cab downstairs for us,” Jack said as he and Pepsi went out, Katy and George heading for her bedroom as Jan took Adam by the hand, and led her to her room...




7.30 pm Pacific Time

Beverley Hills

Brian Goldstein’s Mansion


“Everything good with you now Emma?”


Emma Cromwell nodded as she sat next to Maddie.  “All good – so when will the final script be done?”


“Won’t take long to make these changes,” Rick said as they stood up.  “We can start rehearsals Monday as planned.”


“Good,” Brian Goldstein said as his housekeeper came in, “some dinner, and then we’ll watch the film.”


“What am I going to think,” Maddie whispered to Cassandra as they walked through.


“I’m saying nothing,” Cassie said with a smile.


“Did I hear you and the girls are considering getting together in the studio,” Brian asked as they sat down.


“Well, we were made an offer – so we’re going to do a collection of our hits, and record some new tracks to include with some re-mastered old ones.”


“She even asked if I would give permission to include English Rose.”


“Is that the one she sang at your wedding,” Rick asked with a smile.


“Yeah – it’s our song,” Emma said with a smile, “so I wanted to be sure Maddie was happy for us to include it.”


“Before I forget Cassandra,” Maddie said, “Missy Auerbach needs your help with something.”


“Missy?  How can I help you?”


“Young Nicola Colman has signed a contract with NorStar, and is appearing in a set of commercials for a cosmetic brand.  As it’s her second role...”


“Equity card – yeah, I’ll get the wheels in motion,” Cassie said with a smile.  “Let Missy know she’ll have the paperwork tomorrow night.”


“So young Miss Colman is considering acting?”


“No, young Miss Colman has stumbled into it, and now she needs the same protection as the rest of us,” Maddie said as the meal was served.  “She’s also apparently grateful the city allowed the premiere to go ahead without the MPAA rating applying.”


“Helps if one of the Congressmen is a former deputy mayor,” Brian said with a smile...



8.15 pm Pacific Time


“Well, everyone comfortable,” Brian said as they took their seats in the viewing room.


“Very much so,” Emma said.


“Right – let’s do this,” he said as he used a remote to turn the lights down, and then start the player.



10.15 pm Pacific Time


The sound of Elly Mental rapping the theme song played over the closing credits, Maddie allowing herself a little smile at the words “the events depicted in this film are fictional, but are based on police and FBI reports of crimes committed by the Pussycat Gang.  The producers are grateful for the support of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New York...”


“Wow,” Emma said as Brian brought the lights up.  “That is certainly an intense film – powerful, and also not what I was expecting.”


"Well Maddie?" Cassie whispered as she leaned over, "what did you think?"

"I think you captured the thrills, excitement, and danger perfectly...” Maddie whispered back, “but of course you know that from experience."

"I know, but it’s still nice to hear a true professional like yourself say so."

"Oh like that you aren't a professional as you call it yourself now?"

"Well...maybe...” Cassie said with a smile, “do you have any more work lined up?"

"Yes, but I also heard that Ju might need the services of all of us again."

"Oh you'll need fill me in on all that," Cassie raised her voice as Brian approached, "Madeline was just saying that she found the film thrilling Brian."

"Good...and I'm hoping maybe there are Oscars on the horizon."

"Well Cassie should get one," Maddie nodded, "I think her performance is easily on a par with that of Charlize Theron when she won for playing Aileen Wuornos."

"Agreed," Brian nodded, "very comparable roles in my mind...Thank you Sherry," he smiled as his latest blonde adornment brought over some glasses of wine.


“Well, I have to admit, the insight in why these women do it...  Did you know JD was Miss Bobcat?”


“No – and I need to ask you both to keep it quiet.  We’re not revealing until the press screenings and the premiere who is playing the other parts.  Having said which,” Brian said, “I think you may need to consider allowing her more time off Maddie.”


“I may have to schedule a chat with her and Tracey,” Maddie said with a smile.


Thursday 14th April

7 am Local Time

The Sisters Camp


“Little Mother – come in Little Mother.”


“This is Little Mother – how is the weather in Bulawayo Little Mouse?”


“Can’t complain – although the accommodation is basic.  On the other hand, my companions play a mean game of poker.”


“Who’s out Josias?”


“We’re even Liz.  Anyway, I bring good news for you today.”


“Oh now that I would like to hear...”


"Yes it seems the operation will need be postponed for 48 hours, it seems that the troops had a bad batch of beer and most of them are throwing up and shitting themselves," Josias grinned. "And it is fortunate since their officers were all called back to Harare overnight for an urgent meeting and could not have led them anyway."

"And I don't suppose you have a clue how all this happened do you Josias?" Liz asked in mock seriousness.

"Moi?  I am shocked you would suggest such a thing.  Although I may have left one or two things around..."

"Alright, but at least it gives us time to prepare our defences." Charlotte looked at the map. "Did Artemis place those charges to create a rockfall in the gorge?"

"She did." Liz also studied the map.


“Good – Josias, keep watch for me, and do me one more favour?”


“And that would be?”


“Arrange for the radio to go down.”


“Consider it done – Little Mouse out.”


“What are you considering,” Liz said.


“A staged defence – and we need to get word to our contact at the ranch.  I still think they have a mole in there – we need to know for certain...”



8 am Central European Time



Edwin Breitz sat at his table, dressed casually in an open necked shirt, jeans and trainers, as he talked on the telephone.


“I promise you, Hans, this is going to be the most explosive film I have ever produced.  A lot of questions are going to be answered, and a dark corner of our world finally exposed to the light.


“I have all the supporting evidence in a secure and encrypted place, and the final cut is nearly ready.  I just need to...”


As Edwin looked on his tablet, a sudden frown crossed his face.  He had logged into the secure store, where all his files and interviews, the photos and historical records, were stored.  Only they weren’t there now.  All that was there was a single icon, with “Click on me” written as the name.


“Hans, I’ll call you back,” Edwin said as he put the phone down, and thought for a moment.  “How...  Who...”  Finally, he double clicked on the icon.
















As he watched, the secure store started to load with files, and he could see them transferring to his tablet as well.  As he opened one, his face paled as he said “Mein gott...”


Ten minutes later, he was packing a bag.  Ten minutes after that, he sped off in his car – as sirens could be heard approaching his house.


7.30 am

West Central Park


“Jan,” Katherine called out, “it’s Tom on the phone for you.”


“Oh lord,” Jan said as she came out of her room, putting on her jacket, “don’t tell me...”


“No – not this time,” Katherine said as Jan took the handset, Adam following her out of the room.




“Yeah he’s here – why?


“Oh no – no, I quite understand.  Have you told Jock MacKay?


“Right – well, please pass on our condolences to Gale, and tell her we’ll be praying for her.  I’ll hear from you when you’re on your way back.


“Of course Tom – travel safely?”


“What happened,” Adam asked as Jan replaced the handset.


“Gale’s grandmother passed away last night  - they’re heading back to Omaha to wrap up her affairs.  I’ll pass the word on to the others.”


7.45 am

New Haven


“So we go back to New York after classes today, then on to Paris after the party tomorrow,” Carina said as she smiled at her daughter.


"Will we see Grammy and Grappy?" Judith asked as Carina packed her little carry-on bag for her.

"Yes we will, and Aunt Ingy."

"What about Mommy Annie?"

"No,” Carina said, “she has to stay here to watch her runners this weekend."

"Do they need to borrow Teddy?" Judith asked.

"No," Carina laughed, "I think they will win even without Teddy's good luck."

"So did you hear about Gale Callaghan's gran Cari?" Judy asked as she shuffled in wearing just her nightie.

"I did,” Carina said as she stood up.  “Poor thing - that was her last relative on her parents side left alive."

"Yeah...That sucks."

"Dat Sucks." Judith looked up from her Wheatabix.

"That makes it unanimous," Cari laughed.  “Right – eat up little one, and then we get you to nursery for today.”


“Yes momma,” Judith said with a smile.


10 am Local Time

Necker Island


Juliette looked at the screen as she heard the water lapping outside, and then sighed.


"Oh Dear, Gale Callaghan's grandmother died yesterday," Juliette looked up from checking her computer one last time before packing it.

"Please send our commiserations to Gale," Klaus looked up.

"I'm just doing so."

"Good,” Klaus said as he watched Juliette shut down the laptop, and then put it in the bag.  “Now are you finally all set to go?"

"I think so," Juliette glanced round, "just my hand luggage to do."

" come have some coffee."

"You know I'm so going to miss having coffee out here on the terrace each morning," Juliette sighed as she sat down.

"I know,” Klaus said as he poured a cup and handed it to her, “but at least tomorrow we will see all the girls, and as nice as this is, I know that you adore Paris."

"True," Juliette smiled as she sipped from her cup.  “But it also means returning to real life.”


“Such is our burden,” Klaus said as his cell phone rang.  “Klaus Furstenheim.


“Frau Strecher?  Is there an emergency at home?


“I see,” he said as he looked at Juliette, “well, thanks for informing us.  If anyone asks in Paris, we will deny any knowledge.”


“What’s happened,” Juliette said.


“The police are looking for Edwin Breitz,” Klaus said, “apparently he has been accused of relations with children...”



9.30 am

The Marais Apartment


“Well, here we are Adam,” Jeanne said as she opened the door, Henri carrying the car seat in as he inhaled the smell of coffee.  “Your home.”




“Hello Diana,” she said as they kissed each other on the cheek, “is Mama here?”


“She went to get some bread – come, sit down and let us see our newest little one.”


Henri set the car seat down on the floor as Diana sat down and looked at the sleeping baby.  “Welcome, little one,” she said quietly as the door opened and Celeste came in, carrying a paper bag.


“Ah you are here,” she said with a smile, “welcome home little Adam.”


“Sit, I will pour coffee,” Diana said, “after I give you one piece of news.  Gale Callaghan’s grandmother passed away yesterday, so she has called to say she will see you when she returns from Omaha.”


“Oh – of course, she needs to be there with Tom,” Jeanne said.  “For now, however, it is good to be home...”


2.30 pm CET


The Buchenwald Townhouse


"Did you confirm our reservations at the Champs Elysees hotel Willi?" Natalya asked as she finished her late lunch.

"I did,” her husband said, “and they are sending a car to the airport to pick us up when we arrive."


"You know,” Willi said, “I think we are going to enjoy this little trip."

"Oh I'm certain we will," Natalya practically purred.

"And such an auspicious start...both my horses won today," the Count beamed.

"Well I can spend some of your winnings at Maison Dior," Natalya laughed.

"Yes you can," Wilhelm smiled, after the events of that bad night it was good to see Natalya back to being her old self.

"Oh and remember to pack those two books from the library we promised Carina she could read."

"Already packed my love."


“Forgive me Baroness,” the maid said, “a telephone call for you.  They said it was urgent.”


“I will be back shortly,” Natalya said as she went to the stand.  “This is Baroness Buchenwald.”


“This is Edwin Breitz, Baroness.”


“Mister Breitz – I hear the police would like a word.”


“Not before I talk to you.”


“Well, we are going to depart for Paris within the hour.  I suggest you...”


“I will contact you there – so that we can talk.”


As the line went dead, Natalya smiled.  All was going to plan...



3 pm Local Time

The Sisters Camp


Charlotte looked up as the entrance to the tent opened.


"I've been talking to locals about why your uncle is so well regarded locally Little Mother," Liz came in and sat on the floor.

"Other than the fact he stands up to the government as best he can?"

"Yes, other than that," Liz smiled as she took a mug of coffee. "He's a good neighbour, he shares his water and pasture fairly, he pays his bills on time to the local stores, and most importantly he pays his workers more than just a living wage, but also in good, hard currency, US dollars."

"Yeah," Charlotte nodded as she looked up, "that will certainly help a lot of people."

"I learned something else as well."


"A local Matabele holy woman has heard of our presence and she wishes to come and bless us, and to help us."

"Well as that proved in Mogola,” Charlotte said, “it can be very helpful having the spirits on our side."

"It's said she's a direct descendant of Lobengula himself."

"And that I have superior magic because of that," a young woman said as she came in and squatted in the tent, dressed in a neat white pair of jeans, and a green shirt.

"Are you an Mlimo?" Charlotte shook her head.

"I am, and don't let my appearance fool you, I can get all tribal if you wish."

"No," Charlotte laughed.

"Anyway, I'm Karen Khumalo." the black woman smiled, "and I come by the accent from going to school at Peterhouse."


“Of course,” Charlotte said, “but how did you hear?”


“Oh not important – and I thank you for allowing me to do my blessing.  I heard of what you did in Mologa, and for the children of Mazengwe.  Your fight is my fight.”


“In that case,” Liz said, “have some coffee, and then you can begin.”




Friday 15th April

9 am CET

Marriot Champs Elysees, Paris


“Welcome your highnesses,” the desk clerk said as Klaus filled out the form, “we will have your bags taken to your room, but I have been asked to give you this message upon your arrival.”


Juliette took the note, looked at it and said “thank you – is we could have the pass key?”


“Of course – here you are,” she said as she handed them each the door pass.  Juliette was wearing a grey trouser suit with a white blouse, and Klaus a blue suit with an open necked shirt.


“Who is the note from?”


“They’re in the breakfast room,” Juliette said as they made their way in, Natalya and Willy standing as they walked over.  Natalya was in a white dress with a blur floral print, and Willy a shirt and grey pants.


“Ah there you are,” he said as he greeted both of them, “you both look tanned.”


“It was amazing,” Juliette said as she kissed Natalya on both cheeks, “how are you?”


“I am better than I was,” Natalya said, “sit, have some coffee with us.”


“Thank you,” Klaus said, “so what is the latest on Breitz?”


“Disappeared – the police are looking for him,” Willy said, “but I refuse to let that man spoil this weekend.  So come on, how was the island?”


“Amazing – white sands, blue seas and very few people around,” Klaus said.


“Well, you both look much the better for it,” Natalya said as she looked across the room, and nodded slightly.  “Now, tell us all about it...”


11 am Local Time

The Bavaria Ranch


“it’s very good of you to invite me to visit again, Uncle Fergus,” Charlotte said as they sat in his den, sipping her coffee.


“Well, even someone like you needs time off from time to time,” Fergus said with a smile.  “Where’s that assistant of yours?”


“Ellen?  Your maid Mindy wanted to talk to her about something.  I hope that is all right?”


“Of course it is – so, found anywhere useful?”


“I think so – but we had an unexpected visitor yesterday?”


“Oh – who?”


"Karen Khumalo came up to us and introduced herself Uncle Fergus."

"Our local Witch of the Mountain Spirits eh?"

"Indeed – she wanted to offer her support and blessing for our work.”  Putting her cup down, she smiled and said “she's not my preconceived idea of an Mlimo."

"I know,” Fergus said with a laugh, “but she can do the full mud, feathers, and skins thing, I knew her great grandmother, and she taught Karen well."

"Do you believe she works magic?"

"Charlotte,” Fergus said quietly, “you know that in Africa magic can be in the mind...but in answer to your question, I have seen too much to not at least respect Karen's magic."


“Well, we accepted – she’s doing her thing now.”  Looking hard at Fergus, she said “you would tell me if something was wrong, wouldn’t you Uncle?”


“Of course I would,” Fergus said as Belle came in.  “Forgive me – I’ll be back in a minute, Charlie.”


As she went out, Ellen came in with Mindy.  They waited until the door closed before she said “greetings, Little Mother.  I have told Ellen your suspicions are correct, but I cannot give a name yet.”


“Keep looking, and let us know – we have a plan to delay, but be ready to move at a moment’s notice.”


“For the Heart and the Strength.”


“For the Heart and the Strength,” the other two replied.


8.30 am

St Angela’s


“And here she comes,” Becky said as Nikki and Doc walked over from the gym, “just promise me you are done for the day?”


“And for tomorrow,” Nikki said with a smile.  “so I relax today, and tonight we par-TAY like it’s my sixteenth birthday.”


“Which it is,” Pepsi said.  “And given Jack goes back tomorrow, our last time to party together for a while.”


“All right you lot, in you go,” Grace said, “busy day ahead...”


3 pm

The van Roon Townhouse


“Do the hand jive...”


Paulie van Roon looked round the old ballroom and smiled inwardly, the decorators had done a first rate job of turning it into what looked like the gymnasium of a high school from around the date 1959. Everything from the hand-painted signs, to the improvised stage at one end looked just right.

"Grease is the word eh Paulie my love?" Gus put his arms round his wife.

"Indeed," she smiled up at him.

"So,” he said, “do you think in a year of memorable parties this shindig will stand out?"

"Oh I think so," Paulie smiled again, "and it's going to be so nice seeing some LIFE in this place again."

"I know, you know it seems a lifetime since we held Liz's dance in here."

"It practically is.  I mean, Simon’s only a year or two older than Nikki."

"I know," Gus sighed, "are we getting old?"

"NEVER!" Paulie giggled and started to give her man a passionate kiss.

"Ummm Madame," one of the caterers coughed discreetly, "we do need to set up."

"Oh go ahead, don't mind us," Paulie laughed even more.


He smiled as he walked away, the couple dancing to the music.



9 pm Local time

The Bavaria Ranch


Out in the tall, but parched, grass of Western Matabeleland Charlotte felt the hand device vibrate in her pocket. Opening it up she couldn't help but utter a couple of giggles.

"What does it say?" Liz asked as she put down the binoculars with which she had been scouring the horizon.

"Grease is the word..."


"Oh it's nothing important, a young lady of my acquaintance is having her 16th birthday today in New York, it's a Grease film themed party."

"Hence, Grease is the word?"

"You got it Liz."


“Ever regret the fact you can’t be there?”


“No – this is more important...  Hang on a minute...”




“When the heck did he come into town?”


Liz looked through the glasses and smiled.  “I have no idea how he does it,” she said, “but he does it.”




“Thank you,” Fergus said as Belle put the tray on the table, and then left the room.  “I wasn’t expecting company for dinner, but I’m actually glad you dropped by.”


“Well, I was in the area,” John said as he accepted the coffee, “and I always like to look up old friends.”


“Just on the off chance,” Fergus said as he sat on his desk, watching as John stood up and walked to the window.


"I see the trees are growing nicely," John looked at the screens of Jacaranda trees that shielded the house and garden from the setting sun.

"They are, it's beginning to look a little like it did before..."

"Before our 'little' war." the Colonel grimly smiled, "and I see you replaced the tin roof with thatch again."

"Well,” Fergus said as he sipped his whisky, “all that old fear of RPG's hitting it and setting the place on fire have long since faded."

"Have they Fergus?" John stood still.


“John, why are you here?”


"I know that you know that I know what you have been doing here."

Smiling, Fergus said "I guessed John” and took a sip.

"I've run cover as far as I could,” John said as he joined Fergus, “and I'm trying to still help..."

"Hence your little unofficial jaunt in from Botswana?"

"Hence that..."

"And the presence of Charlotte and some women soldiers?"

"You spotted those eh?"

"I remember Liz used to work for you in Pretoria.  I saw her on the ridge and around town – but I thought she had resigned.  Has she?"


“Yes – and no.”


“So – why are you here?”

"Well man,” John said, “we are trying to extricate you from the shit."

"Will I lose Bavaria John?"

"I don't know Fergus," the colonel looked grave, "but we are going to try to discourage the takeover, and just hopefully leave you smelling of roses."

"Well I'm ready to flee if needs..." Fergus was suddenly very pale.

"And if need be we'd get your people away as well."

"Thank you old friend.  So Charlotte?"


“Takes a lot after her father – maybe she’ll explain to you.  One day.”


3.30 pm

St Angela’s


“And there they go, exhausted yet happy after a week of learning,” Sarah said as she looked out of the window.


“Well, most of the Sophomores have one thing on their mind,” Annie said with a smile.


“Indeed – So, should I dress like Eve Arden Grace?" Wilhelmina Tennant asked the Dean, "I do not usually get invited to such affairs.”

"It might be a good idea," Grace shuffled her notes, "I'm going for something far tighter, and I hope sexier.  Then I have the same flight as some of the others to catch."

"Well you have the body for it." Kate Hardisty smiled, "what about you Ingrid?"

"As my husband puts it, me miss an opportunity to wear skintight leather?"

"Oh dear lord," her friends and colleagues laughed.

“So I think my finest Sandy will come out tonight – complete with blonde wig.”


"I think it was nice of Mrs Colman to invite some of the staff as well." Kate Hardisty said as she sipped her coffee.

"Well it will certainly add to the ambience," Harriet finished scanning the grades she had awarded into her computer before she took the chemistry class.


“And what are you planning to wear,” Ingrid asked Harriett.


“Tell me – have you ever heard of Alma Cogan?”




“She was a pop singer in the fifties – fine jazz voice.”


“How appropriate,” Wilhelmina said with a smile.



6 pm

The Huntingdown Apartment


“There – you’re a little looker now.”


"I ought always have my hair like this Momma." Judith swished the ponytail that Carina had pulled her hair back into, "I look like a horsey."

"You do, and now so do I," Carina finished tying the bow on her own ponytail.

“And I have a horsey on my skirt,” Judith said as she twirled round, her pony skirt rising in the air.


"You both look gorgeous," Ingy came in, her own hair slicked back into a fair imitation of a man’s DA.

"You look pretty hot yourself Sis," Cari took in Ingy's skintight blue jeans, black T shirt, and leather jacket.

"Pwitty hot." Judith nodded, "Look at my hair Aunty Ingy."

"I can see.  So when do we need to be at the airport?”


“Ten thirty – a minibus is booked for ten to take all of us there.  We take off at eleven, eight hour flight, arrive midday tomorrow over there.”


“Okay then – let’s go...”


6 pm

The Colman Home


“Nikki – are you ready yet?”


“Give me a minute Mom,” Nikki said as she sat at her dressing table, carefully applying the red lipstick as she looked in the mirror.  Her blonde hair was held back by a white Alice band, and she was wearing a short sleeved white blouse with a small lace collar, and a long pink skirt with a black elasticated belt around her waist.  A pair of white bobby socks and black shoes completed the look.


“Right – I’m coming down now,” she said as she walked into the front room – and then stopped as she saw her parents there.  Elaine was wearing an open necked short sleeved black blouse, with a matching knee length skirt, and black stiletto heels.  A clack chiffon scarf was tied round her neck, but it was the pink baseball jacket with “Pink Ladies” embroidered on the back that really caught her daughter’s eye.


As for Bradley, he wore a black leather jacket over a black t-shirt, dark jeans and black shoes, his hair swept up and back.  As he smiled and said “Well, what do you think,” he turned round and Nikki saw the “T Birds” logo on the back.


“How did...  Where did...”


“Friends of friends,” Elaine said as she gave a twirl, “now, we’re going in our car, but someone else is coming to give you a ride to the party.”


“Oh – who?”


“That will be them outside now,” Bradley said as they heard a car horn sound.  Looking out, Nikki saw a pink 1948 Studebaker Commander Regal parked, Roy Razinski smiling as he nodded to her.


“Hey Colman,” Doc shouted out of the rear window, “come on, we haven’t got all night.”


“We’ll see you there,” Elaine said as Nikki grabbed her purse and ran out, jumping into the back of the car with Doc, Pepsi, Ama and Becca.


“All right then – let’s hit the road,” she called out as Roy got in and drove off, Elaine and Bradley driving off behind them.




7 pm

The van Roon Townhouse


“Oh my goodness,” Elaine said as she walked in, “this is amazing.  I can’t thank you enough Paulie for everything.”


“It’s just what this place needs,” Paulie said as she looked at the young people who had already arrived, “and it’s good to see everyone has got into the spirit of the occasion.”


“So I can see – even the chaperones,” Bradley said as he saw Grace talking with Sarah and Harriet, all three wearing short sleeved dresses and white heels.




“Roy said he’d take them for a drive round, give them a tour before he brought them here,” Tonia said as she stood with Pussy and Frieda.  “After all, wouldn’t do for her to arrive too early, would it?”


“Of course not,” Pussy said as more of Nikki’s classmates came in.  The music was playing as they started to dance, while Alex came in with Caroline.  Alex was in a jumper, shirt and slacks, and Caroline in an open necked white blouse with long sleeves, a knee length skirt in black with a large white check, and a wide black leather belt.


“Nice outfit,” Blair said as she came over.


“Well, I’ve got an overnight flight,” Caroline said, “I need to be comfortable as well – I think you’ll find all of us on the plane tonight will be wearing this or skirts.  Besides, I found this and Ama’s outfit especially.”


“Don’t tell me,” Blair said, “Mary Quant?”


“How did you guess?”


“Well Jeannie is wearing the skirt,” Alex said as John pushed her in, wearing the same faux fifties full skirt and crinoline, her hair tied back in a ponytail and a short sleeved peach mohair sweater on her upper body.  The white bobby socks and white heels completed her look.


Barbara smiled as Jeannie wheeled herself over, carrying a box as she said “Presents?”


“Over there,” Elaine said as Diana and Abby came in.  Diana was wearing a blue jacket and skirt, white gloves and blouse, and heels, while Abby was wearing a peach coloured short sleeve blouse, long cream skirt with a broan belt, and brown heels.


“So, we have Maria and Francis,” Pussy said with a smile, “who is Anita?”


“You called?”


“Of course you are,” Abby said as Jo came in, wearing a blue dress with a brown see through jacket, and blue heels.  “At least we’ll be comfortable on the plane.”


“Wish I was coming,” Curt said as he appeared in a white t-shirt and jeans, “but I have the open house on Sunday.”


“Hey,” Carina said as she came in, Judith holding her hand and Ingy following, “where’s the birthday girl?”


“Should be here in a few minutes…”



"Thanks for taking us and chaperoning us all Heather." Shawnee grinned as they all walked down the stairs and climbed into Heather's van.

"No boyfriends?" Heather said as she looked round.

"They said they'd meet us at the party." Liz answered.

"Alright, so this is everyone?"

"Looks like it to me," Sands counted girls, "one, two, three, four, five...and Katy will meet us there...Yup the posse is assembled."

"Sounds good to me." Heather started the engine.




“So what is your mom wearing,” George said as she waited in Katy’s front room.


“I think she and Adam are coming as Frankie and Sandy,” Katy said as she tied the white scarf on her hair.  She had on a tight scoop necked top, and skin tight white jeans with heeled sandals.


“In other words…”


Adam came in, wearing a striped shirt and shorts, while Jan was wearing a bikini top with a cropped blouse over it, and white shorts.


“Like that,” Katy said with a smile as she stood up.  “right – we need to get there on time…”





"Beatniks at a Grease party." Paulie smiled as the group of freshmen made their entrance.

"Well it wasn't all Greasers and straights back then," Gus smiled.  The group were all wearing black or striped jumpers and stretch pants, with flat shoes and berets.

"No it wasn't," Pippa said as she came towards the hosts. "We thought we'd try something to stand out."

"Too much?" Denice asked.

"No perfect," Paulie smiled at Poppy.

"So where do we put the presents?"

"Over there,"

"Thanks Aunt Paulie."

"And these as well?" Erica asked.

"Yes dear."

"Jessica you look positively amazing," Gus looked at the Spanish youngster, "I can practically close my eyes and see you back then."

"Thank you."

"And you girls too," Paulie smiled at Dawn and Louise


"Well we looked at a lot of old pictures."


“It’s a fantastic look,” Nessa said as she came in with Alex and Sandy.  The two women were wearing poodle skirts, a pink one for Sandy and a yellow for Nessa, and sleeveless blouses, while Alex was wearing a letter jacket over a white t-shirt and grey shoes.


“Is that your jacket, Father Richmond?”


“It is indeed Jessica – and I can still get it on,” Alex said with a smile as he put a box on the table.


“Now then, where is…”





“Mary – what surprises have you got lined up for us tonight?”


“Moi – what makes you think I have any surprises lined up,” Mary said as she saw the nod from the door.  “Excuse me – got to see a man about a song.”


As she slipped into the back of the room, the main doors opened as everyone cheered for Nikki, the birthday girl walking in as her friends followed her in, all also wearing short sleeved blouses, long skirts and shoes apart from Ama.  She was wearing a mohair cardigan over a white blouse, a knee length pleated skirt and heels, a wide belt round her waist as well.


“Thank you, thank you all,” Nikki said as she came in, waving and smiling, and then hugged her mother and father.


“Looks like we’re fashionably late,” Ally said as she and Nell came in, wearing skin tight black satin pants, a gypsy style top, and a leather jacket, with heeled sandals and their hair like Sandy at the end of the film.


“And yet in time for the main event,” Nell said as they went over to join the others.


“Trust you two to do it again?”


“Do what again, Ms Smith?”


“Turn up in time for the birthday girl,” she said as the girls came in with Heather.




“Well, don’t you both look amazing,” Mary said as she came over to Carina.  "I love your little poodle skirt Judith."

"Fank ew Auntie Mary," Judith said as she twisted round.

"I figure I let her play and dance, and she will sleep the entire flight." Carina kissed the older woman.

"Ai, that might work,” Mary said with a smile.  “So I heard your sister looks amazing tonight?"

"Well judge for yourself,” Carina said as she nodded “here she and Adam come."

"Wow, that man’s outfit on her looks..."

"Wunnerfull." Judith finished the sentence before she ran towards Jennifer swishing her pony tail, and shouting, "look at my hair Jen Jen."


“I like it,” Jennifer said, “want to dance?”


“All right everyone,” Elaine said as she came to the microphone, “we are here to help my wonderful younger daughter celebrate her sixteenth birthday, but our hosts want to say a word first.”


"Before we start the real entertainment, can I please say what a pleasure it is to once again see so many happy faces in this old house." Gus paused for the applause.

"We'd like to thank the Colman's for giving us the privilege of hosting this Sweet Sixteen for Nicola." Paulie continued. "And for letting us all share in this happy occasion."


“So please welcome, to greet Nicola and wish her a happy birthday, a true super star – Mister Neil Sedaka!”


The room cheered as the veteran singer came out, kissing Nikki before the band started to play, and he started to sing, after saying “this is for the birthday girl!”


“Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la
Happy birthday sweet sixteen
Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la
Happy birthday sweet sixteen


“Tonight's the night
I've waited for
Because you're not a baby anymore
You've turned into the prettiest girl I've ever seen
Happy birthday sweet sixteen


“What happened to
That funny face
My little tomboy now wears satins and lace
I can't believe my eyes
You're just a teenage dream
Happy birthday sweet sixteen


“When you were only six
I was your big brother
Then when you were ten
We didn't like each other
When you were thirteen
You were my funny valentine
But since you've grown up
Your future is sewn up
From now on you're gonna be mine so


“If I should smile with sweet surprise
It's just that you've grown up before my very eyes
You've turned into the prettiest girl I've ever seen
Happy birthday sweet sixteen


“If I should smile with sweet surprise
It's just that you've grown up before my very eyes
You've turned into the prettiest girl I've ever seen
Happy birthday sweet sixteen


“Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la
Happy birthday sweet sixteen
Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la
Happy birthday sweet sixteen
Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la
Happy birthday sweet sixteen
Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la
Happy birthday sweet sixteen
Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la”


As Nikki clapped and cheered, Neil said “Want to hear another one?  I wrote this for an old friend.”


As he started to sing “O Carol…” Nessa turned and smiled.  “You made it,” she said as she embraced Miranda, Julia and Yvonne.


“Well, after the last few days, it’ll be good to revisit our youth properly,” Miranda said.


“What have they been doing,” Paulie asked Sandy.


“Recording a few tracks – we may share one later,” Julia said, “but first, a drink – and a chat with that dreamboat…”


“Which one,” Yvonne said.


“Him,” Julia said as she looked at Neil…




“Wow – now that is one way to start the party,” Nikki said as she joined the others, “and he’s given me a dozen front row tickets for Beautiful as a present.”


“Now that sounds like a night out!”


“Aileen!”  Nikki hugged the four latest arrivals, John Gaunt wearing a thin tie with a white shirt and blue suit, as well as a pair of black brothel creepers, while Eve, Aileen and Catherine were wearing black cocktail dresses with white collars and cuffs at the sleeves.  “I’m so glad the four of you could make it over.  Where are your parents?”


“Over there,” Eve said as she indicated where Tom and Paula were talking to Caroline, “we’re going to make a weekend of it, even is Caroline and others are going over to the other side of the pond.”


“Well then, we all need to meet tomorrow afternoon,” Nikki said, “I’ll get Ama and the other girls along as well, give you a chance to meet them.”


“If I was you, sis, I’d make it Sunday morning.”


Nikki slowly turned round to see a tall, blonde haired young woman standing behind her, wearing a red sleeveless blouse and blue jeans.


“HARRI!”  Nikki embraced her older sister and said “you made it – but why didn’t you come home first?”


“The flight was delayed, so I came straight here and got changed – hey mom, pops!”


“You made it Harriet,” Elaine said, “come and have a drink.”


“In a mo – Nell, Ally, you’re both looking good.  Catch up with you later,” Harriet said as she went to the table.


“Is that Harriet Colman,” Jo said as she joined the twins.


“Yeah – gotta admit, she looks good,” Nell said with a grin.





"Hey Monster Momma...” Cari said as she looked to the doors, “you are late."

"I know darling," Annie kissed Carina, "training ran late..."

"Momma, Momma...look at my hair," Judith ran over.

"Well don't you look special," Annie bent over and kissed the youngster.

"I've been dancing with Jen Jen."

"Good for you.  Can I dance with you in a little while?"


“Yes please,” Judith said as Carina handed Annie a diet Coke.  “Sit down, take the weight off,” she said with a smile.


“Thanks,” Annie said as she sat, her jumper rising a little to show her bump.


“Now that I do not miss.”


“Jeanne,” Annie said with a smile, “who’s watching young Adam?”


“The adoring grandparents,” Jeanne said as Natasha walked over, “they said I deserved a night out.”


“You have no idea how jealous I am of you right now – and of Frieda,” Annie said as she rubbed the bump.  But soon, soon…”


“Jeanne!”  Pussy came over and kissed her on both cheeks, as she said “so, our newest member of the mothers club has joined us.”


“Oh yes – I was sorry to hear about Gale, but I will catch up with her when she gets back.”





"My younger grandson looks good in that black turtleneck," Gus talked to Liz, while Simon stood chatting with Erica.

"It's an important night for him Dad."

"How's that."

"Well when a boy starts dressing to match a girl, it means it’s getting serious."

"But they are both just 15..."

"And that means what nowadays?"

For a moment Gus thought, "i suppose a lot less then when I was 15."






“So how are things out west,” Nell asked as she sat with Ally and Harriet.


“I can’t complain – and I’ve got to say, it’s good to be able to mix in a place like this without worrying about Nuns versus Angels.”


“That’s in the past or this is neutral territory,” Jo said as she joined them.  “Glad you could make it Harriet.”


“So am I – a flying visit, and then back for the exams and return in mid-May with the rest of you.  Got any plans for the summer yet Jo?”


“At the moment, a few fashion shoots, and the grand round the world trip some of us are doing?”


“Oh yeah - I heard we had a trip to France on the cards,” Harriet said, “and then you lot are going to Sydney.”


“This is the bit I really can’t believe,” Jo said, “that I am talking about doing things like this as if it is perfectly normal.”


“Like flying to Paris for the weekend and coming back Monday?”


“Yeah, just like that Allyson Rochermann.”


“Do my eyes deceive me, or is this Harriet Colman?”


“Buffy McGeorge?  All right, now I know this isn’t home,” Harriet laughed.


“We buried the hatchet, same as Cari and Holly,” Ally said, “now, let’s dance!”




“You look like the odd one out,” Paulie said as she sat with Annie.


“I know – but I guess it’s only for a little while.  Junior will be here soon.”


“Juliette said you two are been very cagey on whether or not it’s a boy or a girl.”


“Yes, yes we are,” Annie said with a smile.


"So what chance for the Angels at the meet on Saturday Annie?" Paulie asked.

"Oh we should win okay,” Annie said, “though again we have weaknesses in the field events, but real success will be how many girls we qualify for the city championships..."

"And from there on to the state championship."


Closing her eyes, Paulie smiled and said "I ran in the city championships once."

"You did Paulie? I didn't know you ran track."

"Oh yeah I was Private Schools champion in the 200, and I thought I was pretty hot till I ran against all those girls from the public school system."

"The standard was pretty high eh?"

"Oh yes," Paulie remembered, "still I did make the semi finals, and I got to see some pretty good runners up close."

"Often the experience is more important then the winning and losing." Gus brought over drinks.

"That's what I tell my team." Annie smiled.  “I just hope they know the lesson is real.”


“And Cari gets back?”


“Flys back Monday with the rest of the family.”




“So, this short that Olivia has organized,” Marnie Paget said as she stood with her cousin, “it has a specific theme?”


"The idea is that it should look like a house fashion show circa 1954," Jeannie enthused, "and I'm dying to be part of it."

"Your daughter sounds keen." Catherine remarked to Barbara as they stood to one side.

"Oh she's keen alright...last couple of days she can't talk about anything else."

"Well,” Catherine said with a smile, “even I'll admit I'm a little excited."

"According to Mandy, the early preparations are going well." Eve Gaunt remarked.

"Darling I'm in heaven." Catherine drawled in a perfect imitation of the Marchioness.

"Exactly," Eve laughed loudly.


“So who plays which parts?”


“We find out when we get there…”



“All right everyone,” the lead singer of the band said, “on the floor and let’s do the hand jive!”


Alex smiled as he pulled Ama onto the dance floor, George and Katy following with Simon and Erica.


“Shall we?”


“CHET!”  Doc threw her arms round her boyfriend’s neck and kissed him, before they went on as well, dancing and moving their hands as the band sang/


“Before I was born, late one night, my papa said everything's alright
The doctor paid, my mama laid down, with her stomach bouncing all around
Cause the bebop stork was about to arrive
Mama gave birth to a hand-jive


“I could barely walk when I milked a cow, when I was three, I pushed a plow
While chopping wood, I moved my legs, and they saw me dancin' while I gathered eggs
The town folk clapped, I was only five
Outdanced 'em all, he was born to hand-jive


“Oh yeah, yeah, yeah – everybody”


The girls all cheered as Grace led Wilhelmina and Kate with the other teachers, Wilhelmina in a classic ball gown with thin shoulder straps and white gloves, Ingrid in a pair of black leather pants and matching jacket, and the others in strapless taffeta gowns with skirts that flowed back and were also gathered – before they all joined in as well.


“Born to hand-jive, baby, born to hand-jive, baby - yeah

How low can you go, how low can you go, how low can you go, how low can you go

Higher, higher, higher and higher

“Now can you hand-jive, baby, oh can you hand-jive, baby
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, born to hand-jive, oh yeah”



“Oh I am so glad this is being filmed,” Abby laughed as she stood with Letty, “it will…”


“Not be shared except with those who have not seen it,” Annie said.


“So most of New York then,” Mercy said as she brought her daughter a drink.


“True,” Annie said, “very true.”


“Ladies and Gentlemen,” Paulie said, “to sing for the birthday girl, please welcome to the stage some friends of all of us – Ness and the Monsters!”


“Hello The School,” Nessa called out they came to the stage, “we want to sing you a couple of songs, starting with this one!”


The band started to play as Nessa took the microphone and started to sing as Miranda, Julia and Yvonne lined up at the back.


“My boyfriend's back and you're gonna be in trouble.”


As Nessa smiled, the other three sang “Hey, la-di-la, my boyfriend's back.”

“When you see him comin', better cut on the double”

“Hey, la-di-la, my boyfriend's back”

“You've been spreading lies that I was untrue”

“Hey, la-di-la, my boyfriend's back”

“So look out now 'cause he's comin' after you”

“Hey, la-di-la, my boyfriend's back”


All four then sang together

“And he knows that you've been tryin'
And he knows that you've been lyin'”



“She really is enjoying this,” Sandy said as she danced with Heather.


“He's been gone for such a long time”

“Hey, la-di-la, my boyfriend's back”

“Now he's back and things will be fine”

“Hey, la-di-la, my boyfriend's back”

“You're gonna be sorry you were ever born”

“Hey, la-di-la, my boyfriend's back”

“'Cause he's kinda big and he's awful strong”

“Hey, la-di-la, my boyfriend's back
And he knows about your cheatin'
And you're gonna get a beatin'”


The band then played for a few minutes as the friends went through a dance routine, before Nessa began again.


“What made you think he'd believe all your lies”
You're a big man now, but he'll cut you down to size
Wait and see


“My boyfriend's back, he's gonna save my reputation”

“Hey, la-di-la, my boyfriend's back”

“If I were you, I'd take a permanent vacation”

“Hey, la-di-la, my boyfriend's back”

“La-di-la, my boyfriend's back
There he comes”

“La-di-la, my boyfriend's back”

“Yeah, my boyfriend is back”

“La-di-la, my boyfriend's back”

“Look out now”

“La-di-la, my boyfriend's back”



They stopped, raising their arms in the air as the crowds cheered, and then Yvonne said “here’s one for all four of us.”


“Once I had a secret love
That lived within the heart of me
All too soon my secret love
Became impatient to be free”


“They really do know how to harmonize,” Alex said as they all stood together.

“So I told a friendly star
The way that dreamers often do
Just how wonderful you are
And why I'm so in love with you

“Now I shout it from the highest hills
Even told the golden daffodils
At last my heart's an open door
And my secret love's no secret anymore”


The guitarist went into a solo as the four looked at each other, and then started again.

“Now I shout it from the highest hills
Even told the golden daffodils
At last my heart's an open door
And my secret love's no secret anymore”


"Thank you  - the CD is out soon.  And if all of you don't purchase a copy so that we can say we at least sold some...well then I will want to know why?" Nessa sounded like the old Vanessa.

"Hey like you need the money Nessa," Augie van Roon shouted.


“It’s going to the Jamie Kirkham fund – did I forget to mention that?”


“Right – we’ll take several,” Diana called out, everyone else cheering.




"So where is Mick tonight Nell?"

Nell looked at her watch, and said "he should be just going on stage in Buenos Aires about right… now."

"Wish you were there?" Judy asked.

"Yes...and No.”  Nell sighed as she looked at her old friends.  “I miss him like crazy, but he's a star and he's on the road most of the time. I get used to it."

"Do you?...Well you know?" Bobbi asked quietly.

"No she doesn't," Ally broke in, "my sister is celibate to the point she's become boring."

"Still that leaves more men for you Ally."

"True Jude." Ally laughed.

"Don't you miss it?" asked Bobbi.

"Yes, of course I do - but don't you miss it when Simon's not there?"

"A lot," Bobbi looked reflective, "hey I suppose this means now we are all one man women?"

"Speak for yourselves." Ally looked longingly at the drummer in the band.


“Some things are never going to change…”






"Did you hear from the Callaghan's today Adam?" Congressman Morse asked as they stood to the side.

"I did, it's a pretty sad occasion from what he said. However even he was surprised at what Gale's likely inheritance will be."

"Well,” Tom said, “I knew Gale's family had a large ranch."

"And a lot more it seems." Adam sipped his drink.  “Apparently her grandmother had a number of investments and a trust fund they knew nothing about.”

"She will have to decide what to do with it." Jan joined the talk.


“Well, if nothing else, I suspect they will be able to afford the new apartment now if they want.”


“True – but it’s still a gut wrenching thing, and it reminds me how lucky we both are we have our mothers still with us.”




"Who are those three girls with Nikki?" asked Shawnee as she looked over.

"The Gaunt sisters, the Duke of Lardarn's daughters, and their friend - we got to know them in Ireland and at the wedding." Katy smiled. "Come on I'll introduce you."

As the group walked over, Eve turned round and smiled.  “Well now, look who’s here.”


"Hi Katy," Aileen grinned, "this is a great party."

"It is," Katy grinned back.  “I’m so glad you lot could come over.

"You recovered...?" Eve left the question hanging in the air.

"Yeah I have...Now look you know Sands of course, but these are the rest of my friends from school."

"Hi!" Catherine waved.

"This is Lady Eve," Katy pointed as she looked at her friends, "and her sister Lady Aileen and this is their friend the Knight of the Red Knife, or Christine if you want to be boring."

"Just call me Kit please," Christine said as they shook hands.  “I can see Caroline over there, is Jo…”


"Is that long tall brother of yours here girls?" Jo asked as she dragged Curt across the room. "This is Curt," she looked proud, "my wonderful boyfriend."


“Pleased to meet you all,” Curt said with a smile.

"John was getting us all drinks." Kit replied.

"And are you two?"

"Oh yeah my brother saw the light at last," Eve laughed.


“Well, sometimes it just needs my glasses cleaned,” John said as he carried a tray of glasses over.  “Hello Jo – and this has to be Curt.  John Gaunt.”


“Pleasure – let’s grab a table over there,” Curt said as they made their way over, sitting round as they sipped their drinks.  “So,” he finally said, “what did Jo here get up to in Ireland?”


“Well, she modeled jumpers,” Eve said, “and got pulled round by dogs.”




“Irish wolfhounds,” Jo said with a smile, “how are they anyway?”


“Healthy as sin,” Kit said with a smile, “and when they saw your picture, they barked like crazy.”


“Oh joy,” Jo said as she shook her head.  “So, how about you Ailenn?  Weren’t you going to try out for your school team?”


“Well, I did – but they made me a reserve,” Aileen said.  “Having said that, they did say it was close.”


“Well good for you,” Jo said with a smile.  She then looked as Kit whispered in John’s ear.  “And you two are together?”


“We are,” John said as he put his arm round Kit’s shoulder, “and damn what people say.”


“Right attitude,” Curt said.


“I hear you’re off to Paris tonight?”


“Yeah – Olivia Savage wants a group of us to shoot an ad for her fashion house, so we’re doing an overnight flight.  It does mean we meet up with Ju and Klaus and get to fly back with them.”


“Which is something,” Eve said, “especially after that wedding.  We literally floated home after that.”




"Oh I love this song...darling can your old father beg this dance?" Nikki's father led her out on the floor as the girl singer with the band started to croon the words of the Tennessee Waltz.

The floor cleared to allow father and daughter to dance round, and conversation stopped.

"She looks so happy tonight," Pepsi whispered in Jack's ear.

"I know, but you looked more beautiful at your party my love."

"Oh THANK YOU!" Pepsi rewarded him with a little kiss.

"This is a tradition that I hope lasts forever," Gus smiled as he stood besides his daughters.

"Dad if you don't forget I trod all over your feet," Puss shook her head.

"I know darling, but it was worth every bruise."

"Now I on the other hand always looked radiant dancing with you dad." Liz smiled.

"Well now that sounds like an invitation.” Gus swept Liz onto the floor for the second half of the song.


“May I?” 


“Of course, Uncle Alex,” Sandy said as they came on as well, Heather watching from the side.


“They seem to be growing up so quickly,” Diana said as she walked over.


“I know – look at them,” Heather said with a smile, “and Abby graduates in a few weeks as well.”


“I know,” Diana said quietly, “sometimes I still see the little girl who arrived at Juliette’s apartment with me. But she has become a beautiful young woman.”


“And you are very proud of her?”


“And I am very proud of her,” Diana said with a smile.




"Oh shit these are amazing," Nikki said as she held up the diamond earrings.

"Well they have become something of a tradition," Ally and Nell laughed.

"I hope you'll wear them for really great occasions," Kelly said as she kissed the youngster.

"Oh I will," Nikki bubbled, "starting with my first movie premiere."

"Talking of which," Elaine smiled, "someone out on the west coast wants a word with you.  Can you hear us, Los Angeles?"

"Hi Nikki." Cassandra said as she came up on a big screen.

"Hey Cassie, Hey JD," Nikki waved at them.


“Nikki, we couldn’t let the fact this is your sixteenth birthday pass without offering you both our congratulations,” JD said, “and also to tell you two things.”


“First,” Cassandra said, “you and your friends are all coming to the premiere next month, as VIP guests.”


As Nikki looked at the other girls, JD said “and second, Maddie and the crew on the film wanted to send you a present – but because we can’t be there in person, we asked a friend of Cassie’s to deliver for us.  He should be coming in right about – now.”


The doors to the ballroom opened, as the room cheered the man who walked in.


“So,” John Travolta said, “where is the birthday girl?”


“That would be me,” Nikki said as Harry, Elaine and Bradley watched.


“Nikki, please accept these presents from Cassandra and the cast of the film,” John said as he handed over a jacket, “and also accept this.”


He handed over a signed copy of the original Grease cast album, before he kissed Nikki and said “may I have a dance?”


“Ladies and Gentlemen, we wanted tonight to be a night that evoked Grease – and with John here, we certainly have that - but we know you all like more modern songs,” Gus said in the microphone, “so we have tonight the best of both worlds.  Please welcome Big Daddy!”


“Oh I love these guys,” Harriet said, “they do songs in the real fifties style.”


“What sort of songs,” Ana said, and then they started to play Dancing in the Dark in a doo-wop style, the party goers dancing as well.



“So what else are you planning for the weekend?”


“While you enjoy Paris and I go back to college,” Curt said with a smile.


“Well, Nikki wants to meet up Sunday, and hopefully Ama will come along as well,” Eve said, “but tomorrow is a shopping and sightseeing day.”


“Good idea – on both counts,” Jo said as she looked round.  She looked at a group of boys that had come in, and frowned slightly.


“What’s up,” Curt said.


“Not sure – yet…”


“I know that look Joanne Smith – something’s bothering you…”





“Hey – are you the birthday girl?”


Nikki looked at the young man standing by her, and said “I am – I don’t think I’ve met you?”


“Oh I came with one of the girls – I’m Kendall…”


"Who is the young meat asking our birthday girl to dance?" Ally said as she cast an appreciative glance at the tall dark haired boy.

"Kendall Jenner," Abigail looked hard through her glasses, "and I hope she doesn't encourage him?"

"Oh why?"

"He's been suspended by Groton for the rest of the year after he was discovered in bed with his French teachers wife." Abby rolled her eyes, "it's been a huge scandal that the Jenner's have had to pay out a fortune to suppress."

"He's bad news," Letty looked at him hard, "I'm amazed he got invited."

"He didn't, he crashed the party with some friends." Simon Lodge gritted his teeth, "God I hate him."

"But isn't his brother Jamie Jenner?" House joined the conversation "I played football against Jamie in prep school."

"Yeah, Jamie is the good brother," Letty spoke again, "straight A's, will be going to Harvard in the fall."

"Kendall on the other hand, though he's by repute a genius, is lazy, worthless, and by all accounts thinks women find him irresistible."

"I can see why Abs." Ally looked him up and down. "Do I need separate him from Nikki?"



“Oh my lord,” Harry said as she stood with Buffy, “who let them in?”


“Who let who in?”


“Jenner Minor,” Harry said, “and a few others.  I hope mom or dad sees them, just in case…”


“Yeah – this could be bad news.”


"So who did he crash with?" Harriet asked Buffy.

"That bastard Brewster Kingman and a couple of his crowd."

"Brew Kingman?" Harry shook her head, "what is this, the Upper East Side's least wanted?"

"Brew I can just about tolerate..."

"Don't tell me you just said that Buffy?"

"I know, I know,” Buffy said, “and I remember what he did to you Harry, but I've been out with him a couple of times...and it was fun."

"You mean you didn't end up spending the night in a holding cell?"

"It was close..." Buffy giggled.

"Look should we get security to throw them out?"

"It will cause a scene...Is it worth it?"

"Let me know later after the fight, and if some innocent has had her cherry popped."


“Go and tell your folks – I’ll see if Caroline Jameson can sort out a security posse…”




"Heather I'd go break that up if I was you." Nell nodded across the room to where Sands was chatting with a boy.

"Oh,” Heather said, “why Nell?"

"Because Dwight Elton is serious bad news." Holly butted in, "he's only after one thing, and I'm pretty sure he is spiking those drinks he's giving to Sandy."

"He is?"

"Yeah he may be only 15, but he runs with a bad crowd," Nell shook her head. "And I may sound like a hypocrite but she's not ready for skunks like him and his pals."

"Warning heard." Heather nodded. "I'll alert Sandy and Uncle Alex."

"It might be for the best..." Nell nodded in return.

"And alert Katy, that she needs warn the rest of her crowd Heather."

"Will do Holly."  Nell walked over to where Katy was standing with Pepsi.


“Hey Holly – what’s up?”


“Where are your friends?”


“Well Sands is over there – Shawnee and Liz are with the two boys over there…”  Katy stopped and looked at her friends, and then said “will you excuse me a minute?”


She walked over to where her two friends were giggling away, the two boys allowing them to sit on their laps as they stroked the young girl’s legs.  George saw her walking over, and followed her.


“Hey Katy,” Liz said as she looked at Katy, giggling slightly as she did so, “what’s up?”


“You all right Liz?”


“Oh we’re fine,” Shawnee said as she rested her head on the fair haired boy’s shoulders, “we just had a drink, and needed to sit down for a few minutes.”


“I remember you,” he said as he kissed Shawnee.


“And I remember you,” George said, “you and your friend need to leave.




“It’s not your party,” he said as he stood up, his friend doing so as well, “we can…”


“Go before I call security,” Jan said as she came over, “or I could just arrest you.”  Looking at Katy’s friends, she frowned and said “or maybe I should have you searched for drugs.”


“Oh lord no – you didn’t,” Katy said.


“Gentlemen – you and your friends are not welcome.  I suggest you leave.”


The boys looked at Caroline, and then at the two security men as they gathered the other boys together, before they walked off.


“Who the heck was that,” Nikki said as she joined Doc, “mom and dad got the security people to show them out.”


“Gatecrashers,” Abby said, “let’s leave it at that…”


“I need a drink,” Shawnee said as she tried to stand up, and then sat down again…


“What happened?”


“Cassie?  Oh god what did they give you?”


“Nothing – I was offered a drink, but I refused.  I just went to the toilet…”  Looking round, she suddenly said “where’s Laura?”


“She was talking to one of the boys,” Shawnee giggled.


Jan and Caroline looked at each other.  “We need to search the room – now.”


“Toilets as well – and quickly.”


“Are you two all right?”


Katy turned round to see Holly standing there with Sands and Heather.  Holly looked at the two younger girls, and said “Aww no – is anyone missing?”




“Right – George, find House, check the boys toilets.  Buffy and I will check the girls.  The rest of you look round the room, see if you can find her.”


“Meet back in fifteen minutes…”




“You guys really do know how to make a girl happy,” Laura said as she stood outside with Kendall Jenner, Brewster Kingman, Dwight Elton and the others.  “Why did you leave?”


“Oh we all needed the peace and quiet,” Dwight said, “you look hot – why don’t you take your blouse and pants off, be cool?”


“Sounds like an idea to me,” Laura said as she stripped to her underwear, standing against the wall as the boys surrounded her.


“Let me show you a gift I got for you,” Kendall Jenner said as he pulled his own pants down, Laura’s eyes widening as she saw his cock.


"Is that what I think it is?” Laura giggled high on the combination of alcohol and drugs to the point she didn't know what she was doing.

"It sure is pretty girl."  Dwight laughed as Laura looked at it.

"Wow, the others said you guys can get huge," Laura tentatively touched the boy’s dick, "will that make me a woman?"

"You mean you are actually a virgin?"

"Of course I am," Laura giggled again. "Why?" she kissed the boy, "don't you want me now?"

"Put a damn condom on you idiot," Kingman growled.

"Why? the little bitch is begging for it?"

"Yeah, but little miss virgin here is the type that gets knocked up her first"

"Alright," the boy ripped open a packet as the giggling Laura, opened her legs wide.  He slipped it on, and then said “here we go” as he pushed into her, Laura gasping as her hymen tore and she felt him.


"FUCK!" Laura screamed as the boy pushed himself into her. "That HURTS!"

"It'll hurt worse if you continue to wriggle..."

"It can hurt worse?" Laura hissed out the words as the boy started to move in and out.

"Oh it can baby doll, I'm being gentle cos its your first."

"God he's a sick bastard." Dwight whispered in Brewster’s ear, as Laura threw her head back and let out a groan as her first orgasm hit her.



“Any sign?”


“No,” Buffy said as the others joined Caroline.


“What’s happened,” Cari said as she and Annie came over.


“Laura’s disappeared at the same time as the boys were thrown out,” Katy said.




“Annie, watch Judith for me will you?  Jan can you stay with the other girls?”


“I’m coming with you,” Cassie said as she looked at Katy.


“Go – I’ll stay with them,” Sands said as Cari, Katy, and Heather went with Caroline and Jan.


“Sharon,” she said as she passed Sharon Kennedy, “with me now.”


“Problem Boss?”


“Could be – come on.”



"Who wants me next?' Laura stood and giggled almost uncontrollably.

"God how much did you give her?" Kendall asked.

"Enough," Dwight grunted.  “My turn now.”




The five women walked out with Katy and Cassie, looking round the front of the townhouse – and then they heard the sounds from the side alley.  Walking round, Caroline took one look and said “Goddess…”




The gang turned as they heard Katy’s shout, Dwight pulling out of Laura as she fell against the wall.


“And who the hell are you little lady,” Kingman said with a sneer.


“Her friend,” Katy said as Jan and Heather walked forward, helping Laura to walk away and bringing her clothes with her.


"Are you okay Laura?" Cassie whispered as she saw the blood running down her friends legs.

"I'm fine." Laura's brain was still befuddled by the drugs as she grinned at her.

"Well I hope you 'men' are proud of yourself, gang raping a 13 year-old."

"Hey she was more then happy..."

"Only because of the drugs you fed her scum." Caroline was fighting to stay cool and calm.


“Still, she didn’t try and stop us,” Kingman said, “so what are you going to do about it?”


“I should…”


“No – Jan, if you do that it becomes a police matter.  You and Cassie take Laura in, get her cleaned up and dressed, as quietly as you can.”


“What are you going to do,” Jan said as she looked at them.


“Nothing fatal,” Katy said as Carina took off her glasses, folded them and handed them to Jan.


“Go – we’ll be in in a few minutes,” she said quietly as they heard Big Daddy start to play their version of Every Step You Take.


"Laura will stay at our place tonight." Janice said as she took charge of the youngster. "I'll make sure she's okay and talk to her when she fully understands what has happened to her."

"You do that Mom, meanwhile I want to join Caroline and the others in 'congratulating’ these so-called gentlemen on what they did tonight," Katy smiled viciously as she spoke.


Jan nodded as she and Cassie took Laura inside, Katy going to join the others.


“What do you think you five are going to do – especially you,” the boy whohad been with Shawnee said as he looked at Katy.


“Now that, boys, is an exceptionally good question,” Caroline said as the five of them walked forward.  “Normally, it would take time to explain what we would do, but a few of us have a deadline.”


“Oh – and what of we want to have fun with you instead,” Kingman said as he walked forward.


“Go ahead – try.”


She smiled as Kingman ran forward – and then flipped him as he tried to grab her, throwing him to the floor as she did so.  At the same time, Heather and Sharon ran forward and grabbed both Kendall and Dwight, twisting their arms up their backs as they called out.


“Shit,” the other two boys said as they tried to run off – only to drop to their knees as both Cari and Katy hit them in their stomachs, and then in their crotches.  As they fell back, they grasped their sacs, but were unable to stop the two smaller women straddling them.


“It’s always the cowards who think they can run faster,” Carina said as she and Katy pummeled the two men under them, their legs across their chests. 


“What the fuck do you…” Kingman tried to call out, but was silenced as Caroline thrust his face into the ground, and then pulled him up by his hair.


“I really do not like anyone who takes advantage of a minor,” Heather whispered as she pushed Kendall against the wall, “and I have anger issues.  Can you guess how the two are combined?”


“And as for me,” Sharon said as she turned Dwight round, and drove her knee into his crotch, “I just have anger issues.  Congrats you sick bastard – you get to be my venting whipboy for tonight.”


“Every breath you take,

Every move you make,

Every step you take, every break you take,

I’ll be watching you…”


The music from inside drowned out the groans as the five boys were lined up against the wall.


“When I tell the police about you…”


“You won’t” Carina growled as she grabbed Dwight’s ball sac, and squeezed, making him bite his lower lip, “because if you do, we explain we found you raping an underage girl against her will.”


"Now which of you went first?" Caroline growled.

"He did..." Dwight said as he ratted on Kendall.

"Okay then you go first again," Caroline said as he stuffed Laura's panties in his mouth as a gag.  She then pulled down his pants as the other four watched the boys – and then held them as Caroline drove the pointed tip of her shoe into his balls.


They looked on as Kendall’s eyes opened wide, and Caroline kicked him again – but all four then felt a hand gripping their own sac tightly, as Kendall dropped to his knees, and Caroline continues to kick him.


“You,” Heather growled as she looked at Brewster, “you were forcing yourself on her when we came out.  Do you want to know what I’m going to do to you?”


“Nnnnno,” Brewster stuttered.


“This,” Heather whispered as she twisted her hand round, the young boy gasping at the pain he was feeling.  It was excruciating, as Heather glanced over at Carina.  There was a look of pure pleasure in her eyes as she shoved her knee again and again into Dwight’s groin.


“For someone who was a kidnap victim a week or so ago,” Sharon said as she watched Katy drive her fist into one boy’s stomach again and again, “you fight back well.”


“You’re no slouch either,” Katy said as she watched Sharon hitting the other boy.


“Well, I needed the workout,” Sharon said with a smile as the five boys slumped to the ground.


“Now, some of us have to leave early,” Caroline growled, “but I know who all five of you are.  If I hear of any one of you talking to the police, then this,” she continued as she kicked Kendall’s jaw, making his head flying backwards, “is going to seem like a Sunday trip out.”


“And if any of you approach any of those girls again,” Heather whispered, “you will regret it.  Trust me – I will know.  Leave them with me Caroline – I’ll make sure they get the message.”


“No – we’ll all make sure before we go,” Carina said as she picked up a piece of wood.  The others did so as the boys sat on the floor, fear in their eyes as the wood came down between their legs…



“All done,” Jan said as they came in.


“Yeah – where’s Laura?”


“In the toilet with Sands and Cassie.”


“Cari, Caroline – time to go.”


“Okay – give us five minutes,” Carina said as they went to the restroom.


“Carina,” Sharon said, “I think you and I need to talk at some point.”


“We do?”


“You do,” Caroline said, “but not now.  Let’s clean up and get going.”




"I hope the party doesn't just fizzle out with us all having left," Jeannie spoke as she was lifted into her seat in the minibus by John.

"No I'm pretty sure it will be fine," Caroline smiled.  “It seemed to be going really well.”

"What did you all disappear to do?" Barbara asked as she sat next to her daughter.

"Oh just something we had to take care of.  Ready for the trip, Judith?"


“Oh yes – do you like my hair Aunt Caroline?”


“I do, little one – are we waiting for anyone else?”


“Just the young lover,” Abby said as she sat next to Diana.  The group laughed as they saw Jo kissing Curt, and then running to the bus.


“Okay, okay, sorry sorry,” Jo said as she strapped herself in, Sharon and some of the other girls waving them off as the bus pulled away.


“Karen and Alice are meeting us at the airport with Marnie and Maggie,” Ingy said as she checked her phone.


“How was Laura,” Caroline whispered to Carina.


“Jan is going to take her to her place for the night.  She’s still really out of it, but Sands and Cassie have her cleaned up.”


“Well, I think they know they’ve crossed a line,” Carina said quietly.


"I gave Frieda the dregs of that drink they gave Laura," Caroline whispered in Carina's ear, "She's sure she can work out just what that drug was."

"Yeah given how rich those idiots are, it might well be some custom-made date rape thing."

"The more I think about it, you know the angrier I get."

"Well we gave them something to think about tonight,” Carina said as Judith cuddled into her, “we can figure out a more lasting punishment when we get back from Paris."



“Jan – is everything all right,” Pussy said as she saw Jan walking with Katy and a slightly green looking Laura.

“Laura is a bit unwell,” Jan said, “we are going to take her to my place.  I’ll call her parents and let her know."

“I called Shawnee and Liz’s mothers – told them they were going to sleepover with Sands tonight along with Cassie,” Sandy said as she came over.


"Okay Jan, well it was wonderful of you and Katy to come tonight," Elaine Colman nodded.

"Well I at least had a lot of fun." Katy laughed.

"Thank you for the presents." Nikki kissed all the Carter ladies.

"Just enjoy the rest of the party," Katherine hugged the birthday girl.


“Oh I intend to – the night is young.”


“Come on Laura,” Katy said as she hugged her friend, “let’s get you back and to bed.”



"Mom look at this?" Nikki shook her head as she looked at the envelope, "it's a promise from Kylie, Catherine, and Marina to make me a designer dress for the premiere as my birthday present."

"Very nice," Elaine smiled.  “And it means it will be unique.”

"Kylie wants me to ring her tomorrow to discuss ideas.  I’d better do it in the morning – the time difference and all that."

"What has you so excited?" Paulie asked as she came over with Gus.

"Kylie Mitchell is going to make me a dress for the premiere."

"Well that is indeed a special present." Gus hugged her.

“I know – I have been very lucky,” Nikki grinned.


"Now this is from Paulie and me..."

"But you've given me this party, I don't need anything more."

"Well this is maybe more valuable in the longer run." Paulie smiled as she gave Nikki an envelope.  Nikki looked inside and then gasped.


"Well we know you want to be a navy pilot one day," Gus hugged the young woman, "we figured your pilots license might be a help along the way."








Saturday 16th April

6 am CET

Marriott Champs Elysees


Natalya looked out over the road, busy even at this early hour, and sipped her coffee.  Willy was still asleep, but she had woken an hour earlier.  Somehow, she knew what was going to happen, and as the phone vibrated in her hand she said “Hello?”


“Baroness von Buchenwald.”


“Herr Breitz – your face has been a feature of the news for the last few days.  I had wondered what had happened to you.”


“I think you and I need to meet, Baroness – and I believe you know why?”


“I honestly have no idea,” Natalya said quietly, “but my suspicion is you do not wish to meet somewhere you will be recognized.  Equally, I am unwilling to meet you in a private place, so I suggest a compromise – the tower, in one hour.”


“Agreed,” the voice said before the line went dead, and Natalya dialed a number.


“Meet me in the lobby in thirty minutes – we have a meeting to go to.”



7 am Local Time



“Little mother.”


Caroline sat up, suddenly alert as she saw Athena in the entrance to the tent.


“Artemis is on the radio – we have a scouting party checking the road.”


“Damn,” she said as she sprang out of bed, making her way quickly along to the radio area.


“Little Mouse called thirty minutes ago,” Liz said as she joined them, “a small scouting party set out in the direction of Bavaria Ranch.”


“Artemis, this is Little Mother,” Charlotte said into the radio, “current position?”


“One jeep, about two clicks from the valley,” the voice came back over.


“Okay – are the charges set?”


“They are – a rockslide?”


“I think so – and make sure nobody walks away.  Fire the first charge to hit the jeep.”


“Understood Little Mother.  For the Heart and the Strength.”


“Well, it’s gonna start now,” Liz said.


“Yeah – tell the sticks to be prepared…”



8.10 am CET

Champs de Mer, 5 Avenue Anatole France



Natalya sat on the bench, her great coat fastened up, and looked round as some people were passing by.  She hoped he would not be much longer – she would need to be back at the hotel soon…




She turned and saw Edwin Breitz sitting next to her, a hood pulled up over his head, a scruffy beard on his chin.


“Herr Breitz,” she said quietly, “I saw the latest news reports.  You do seem to have some very special – and illegal – tastes.”


“Lies,” Breitz said quietly, “and I have reason to believe you know they are lies.”


“Me?  Herr Breitz, why would I wish to do that to someone who is working for my nephew?”


“Because I know who and what you are,” he said quietly, “and somehow, you found out, and somehow you destroyed all my notes.”


“Do you honestly believe, having filmed me and my family, I would do that Herr Breitz?”


“Then you know someone who could – someone who could put that stuff in my system instead.”


“Well, I am afraid I know nobody with that skill set,” Natalya said with a smile, “so why did you wish to meet?”


“To ask you a question, Baroness.”


“And that is?”


“Were two members of my family killed by ancestors of you?”


He looked at Natalya as she slowly turned, smiled and looked him in the eye.




“Mein gott,” he said quietly – and then gasped as the chloroform soaked cloth was clamped firmly over his nose and mouth.  He reached up to try and pull the hand down – but instead found his wrists in Natalya’s iron grip.


“We will talk later,” she said quietly as Edwin’s eyes opened wide, and then slowly closed, until his head fell forward.


“Can you take good care of him until tonight?  I have several people to see, but I will bring a special guest.”


“Of course,” her friend purred as she hoisted Breitz up, “I will tell you where to come.”


As she walked and dragged Breitz to a van, Natalya looked at her watch.


“Ah – breakfast time…”


9 am CET

Marriott Champs-Elysees


“Ah, there you are,” Willy said as Natalya walked into the breakfast room, “did you enjoy your early walk?”


“I did,” Natalya said as she sat down, “it helped clear my mind wonderfully.  Klaus, Juliette – join us please?”


“And how are you both now,” Willy said as Klaus and Juliette took their seats.


“More awake anyway,” Juliette said as she accepted some orange juice.  “I had a text from Carina to confirm the girls are on their way now.”


“Well that is good to hear.”


“Olivia darling,” Juliette said as she stood and kissed both Olivia and Fiona on the cheeks, “how are you?”


“Excited and scared stiff at the same time,” Olivia said with a smile, “but we’re having breakfast with…”


“With us darling – Juliette, you look positively wonderful.”


“Thank you,” Juliette said as she greeted Mandy and Angel.  “It’s amazing what time spent lying on the beach will do for you.”


“I can second that,” Klaus said with a smile.  “So when do you need to be at the studio?”


“Well, the others are flying in for lunchtime,” Mandy said, “so we have a buffet lunch set up at the studios.  Right now, Madame von Furstenheim – spill.  How was the honeymoon?”





Noon CET

Studio Paris


“I have to admit, he has captured the feel,” Juliette said as she looked round the set, “so the plan is to rehearse today, and shoot tomorrow, right?”


“That’s right,” Olivia said, “now all we need is…”




“There you are little one,” Juliette said as Judith ran across the floor, her pigtail waving as she did so, and let her grandmother pick her up.  “Is this what you wore last night?”


“Yes Grammy – See my hair!”


“She’s fallen in love with the hairstyle,” Cari said as she and Ingrid came in, “and we didn’t have time to change.  You two look amazing.”


“We feel amazing,” Klaus said as he was hugged by Ingrid.  “how was the party last night?”


“Great fun – John Travolta himself surprised Nikki with a present,” Ingrid said as Barbara pushed Jeannie in, Diana walking with Abby.


“Nice,” Jeannie said with a smile, “very nice.”


“Right ladies,” Mandy said as Klaus picked up Judith and kissed her, “lunch is over there.”


"In a way I'm sad we missed it, but with so many people I suspect we weren't missed too badly." Klaus said as he bore Judith away.  “Would you like something to eat and drink little one?”


“Yes please Grappy,” Judith said as they walked to the buffet.

"Did you read my 'private' message Mom?"

"I did Carina my love,” Juliette said, “it sounds like they got what was coming to them."

"Well if you ask me,” Carina said quietly, “they have a whole lot more due."

"It's something to talk about when we return home." Juliette whispered then put a finger to her lips as Jeannie approached.

"Bloody 'ell,” she said as she looked round, “it looks like just like in my old magazines."

"Jeannie love you lost an H there," Juliette smiled as she kissed the wheelchair bound model.

“Yeah, well…”


"It's lovely to see you all," Nick Wu said as he kissed everyone. "Do you know Adrienne Hulbert and Steven Cardiff?  And this is Duncan, the director for the advert."

"I do," Juliette shook hands.

"So what can you do with a girl in a wheelchair Nick?" Jeannie asked.


“Oh I think we can find something – but for now, let’s eat, and we’ll talk later.”


"I swear Missy is checking up on me." Angel said as she took some food, and shook her head.

"She is? Why darling?"

"Because I think she thinks Marnie and I are breaking her rules about riding Mother."

"And are you darling?"

"No, but that's not to say I won't sometime."

"Just let her cool off a bit." Marnie smiled. "Meanwhile we are here to work."

"You don't have to worry she isn't your agent Marnie," Angelica shook her head.

"True...Anyway do you know any of the male models Tufty?"

"A couple, one or two of the more mature guys were young men when my set were all young..."

"And they were gay." Juliette butted in.



7.30 am

West Central Park


Jan looked up from the table as Laura walked slowly in.  She was wearing a pair of Katy’s pyjamas, and had a haunted look in her eyes.


“Aunt Jan,” she said quietly, “what happened?  I remember been at the party, having fun, and then…”


“Come and sit with me,” Jan said as she walked into the front room with Laura, and sat on the couch, patting the seat next to her.  As Laura sat down, she said “do you remember a boy giving you a drink?”


“Yeah – he was talking to me, very friendly, and he gave me a glass of something.  I remember it tasted a little funny, and I may have been a little giddy.  Then he left with his friends, and I went to ask him what had…


“I went to ask him what had…”


She suddenly looked down at herself, and then at Jan, her eyes wide as she said “oh my god…”


“Come here,” Jan said as she held the young girl, and the tears started to come as she remembered what had happened.  She allowed Laura to cry as she said “oh no – they really did it, didn’t they?”


“They did Laura,” Jan said quietly as she held the young girl, “but they gave you something which meant you were unable to refuse them.”


“I remember them surrounding me, and then me taking my clothes off – and then he…  then he…”


There was another round of crying, before Laura said “there were at least three of them who did it – oh no, am I going to be…”


“Don’t worry about that just now,” Jan said quietly.


"Inside my head I knew what I was doing was wrong Aunt Janice, but I was encouraging them to all have me." Laura sobbed into the older woman's chest.

"I know Laura,” Jan said, “I know...they gave you a drug, it meant you didn't know really what you were doing.  You have to remember that – this was not your fault."


"The rotten thing Aunt Jan,” Laura finally said as she looked up, “is that while they were doing those horrible things to me, I think my body was actually enjoying it and encouraging them."


"Does that,” Laura said as she choked, and then took a deep breath, “does that mean I'm really a whore, or a slut?"

"No it doesn't Laura...You were drunk and they'd given you drugs...that will take away your will to resist."

"So I'm not going to want to do it again?"

"Probably, and with the right boy...”  Jan looked at the young girl, before she said “Look we aren't planning to tell your family, but would you like to maybe meet here in my apartment with a friend of mine who is a psychiatrist and talk this out?"

"But shouldn't I talk to Mom, or to Sophie?"

"Who is Sophie?"

"My nanny."

"Only if you want to...But remember that going public will make this very complicated and the publicity will be very hurtful."

"But won't the girls talk?"

"No they promised not to...And I trust them."


“It’s all right Laura,” Katy said as she stood in the doorway, “none of us are going to say anything.  Shawnee and Liz also got slipped some drugs – Sands and Heather will talk to them this morning.”


“Thanks – I mean it Katy,” Laura said with a smile, “but the boys…”


“Someone had a word with them,” Jan said quietly, “and they will be punished without you needing to be involved.  If you see them again, just ignore them and tell someone, all right?”


Laura nodded as Katherine came in.


“Hey – are we all up early?  How about I make some coffee, and then see to breakfast?”


“Sounds good Mom,” Jan said as Laura stood up.


“Are you feeling better Laura?”


“I am, thank you Mrs Carter.  I just need to go to the toilet…”


“Jan,” Katherine said as Katy went out with Laura, “what really happened last night.”


“Trust me Mom – you really do not want to know…”







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