The Moon And The TideBy: Derrolyn Anderson
The room boasted an entire wall of windows, displaying panoramic views of a fiery sun setting over the expansive Hong Kong skyline. Many stories down, luxury yachts and ferries traversed the harbor, tiny white specks on a blanket of indigo velvet. Seabirds swooped and dove all around the pink and purple sky, enjoying a last burst of activity before the dark of night descended.
More than a dozen women of various ages were gathered around an oblong table, all glowing with the unmistakable sheen of prosperity and success. Hailing from every sector of the globe, they displayed an authority that went far beyond the wealth and arresting beauty they all possessed. The room hummed with the tension of restraint; there was an aura of potent energy held in check.
An eclectic group, they were patrons of the arts and consorts of the powerful, a diverse mix of style and substance. An exquisitely dressed blonde film star sat next to the wives of international businessmen and financiers. The author of a number of bestselling novels eagerly perched on the edge of her seat alongside a famed political analyst.
The spectacular sunset view was wasted, for all eyes in the room were glued on a pile of tabloid newspapers that had just been unceremoniously dumped in the center of the table by a stunning raven haired beauty in a silk suit.
She pointed to the headlines with a long crimson fingernail as she stood to address the group, “A situation has come to our attention,” she announced gravely as the others gaped in shock and surprise at the lurid headlines.
“I’ll say,” gasped the film star, reeling back in her seat.
“I don’t believe it...” said the analyst skeptically, pressing her fingertips together.
“Impossible... surely it must be a hoax,” murmured a chic Spanish socialite. She perused a French tabloid with narrowed eyes.
“That’s what I thought, until we conducted a background check.”
“And?” an aristocratic looking silver haired woman raised an eyebrow.
“I’m afraid the girl’s father is closely connected to one of our number,” she replied dourly.
“Where is the girl from?” a russet haired woman with shrewd gray eyes asked, “Who is the guardian?”
“San Francisco,” replied the standing woman, “And that means–”
“Evelyn,” interrupted the redhead, lips tight with annoyance.
“Has she been summoned?” asked another.
She took a seat, nervously tapping her bright red nails on the table, “She should be at the helipad any moment now.”
“This ought to be interesting,” said the novelist, eyes afire.
The redhead walked over to the window and looked out, “She’s certainly mastered the art of marrying well... she’s no doubt skilled at subterfuge of all sorts.”
“We should reserve judgment… give her the benefit of the doubt,” said the analyst.
“I agree,” said the actress, “Evelyn has done more good than most of us combined.”
There was a murmuring of assenting voices that rumbled throughout the room, for no one could argue with the plain truth.
A security guard entered the room through two immense paneled doors, holding them open in anticipation of the tall elegant woman that followed him in.
“It’s so good to see you all,” she said in a carefully modulated voice, her ice blue eyes flickering to the papers scattered on the table, “I trust that you don’t believe everything you read.”
Aunt Abby’s glowing eyes met mine as my father’s name was called, and I returned her proud gaze with a happy smile. As our table stood to clap I looked around at our little group fondly. My cousin Cruz looked handsome in an immaculately tailored tuxedo and Aunt Evie was lovely as usual in an elegant gown that Cruz had designed and handmade. Even here in Oslo, fashion icon Evie was recognized by scores of admirers, and the full scope of her international fame had Cruz impressed beyond words.
Dad had been awarded a Nobel Prize, and we’d all traveled to Norway to attend the ceremony. His work as an agricultural scientist had developed crops and farming techniques that had saved entire nations from famine, and among his peers his surprise recognition was universally agreed to be well deserved. He’d delivered a speech at the university, received his medal and was now being honored with a banquet at The Grand Hotel.