Saturday morning was laid back; no early appointments. My entire security group had an extended breakfast and discussed the events of the day.
Vicky and I were going to sign the contracts with Premier Cordeiro at noon in the palace in front of the cameras. Melinda and Hanna had front row spots in the media section.
At four we had an appointment with the royal hairdresser, then we were dressing.
The rest of the time we were spending in either the motel or at the US embassy that was not far away. Since this was the last full day here I instructed Andy to let the men and ladies have some time off to go sightseeing or to get souvenirs to take home. But they were to stay in groups.
The next discussion with Andy and Biff finished up – one we had started yesterday. The eight Suburbans were staying and after Andy talked to the men and ladies, sixty of the eighty were staying along with Biff until we filled all the positions with permanent employees.
They were going to be staying in a motel Marcy had found that was connected to one of the chains that gave us great discounts. The search was on for a place that we could lease or buy for housing. But that was going to have to wait until the permanent staffing was completed.
With a housing allowance some may decide to buy property and move here with their families, although I would never recommend that.
The men we were taking back were members of the special OPS team and my personal bodyguards.
Monday the search would begin in earnest for the security detail. Mischief and Mayhem had started on that yesterday.
At 1000 Jenny called with the final report from Howard – Howard and Fine, our corporate lawyers, and then a file containing the contract so that we could compare the documents to make sure that there had been no changes of language before signing.
At noon – with the cameras rolling and flashes glowing – Vicky and all the dignitaries signed the documents. I stood back and watched and then listened as Vicky took questions and held her own against experienced reporters and made the corporate statement.
What I would find out in a few minutes was ZNN cut into their normal programming and carried the signing live, including the after signing, hand-shaking and politicking.
Melinda, with the assistance of the local ZNN reporter gave an analysis of the summit, it’s possible effects on the local political landscape and a survey that the local papers had taken. She also added what local political pundits were saying. I guess they thought it was important. Maybe it was just a slow ass news day in ZNN land?
What was important was the free publicity that JBG was expanding our international security reach. The terrorism summit opened doors and this was likely to kick it into high gear. Already there were calls to the office seeking conversations and requests for terrorism summits.
One was from Canada – unusual because ‘we love diversity’ – Canada had routinely denied they had or were concerned or had issues about terrorism or terrorists.
After we finished Marcy, Jenny, Ching Lee and Lorrie did a live broadcast to all JBG sites from the office announcing the contract and a few details about the expansion for the security department.
Monday morning all JBG security personnel would get an email job location offer to fill the Portugal jobs. By allowing embassy security to move around it kept fresh eyes in the locations and broke the boredom. It also broke up things that could set up a routine that could prove deadly.
At 1600 we showered and we went to the palace hair dresser to get a style appropriate for a state dinner.
At 1700 we were back in the room to get dressed. All the clothes were placed on the bed in the order I was going to put them on. I was just stripping when there was a knock on the door. It was Hanna – fifteen minutes early – with Melinda tagging along.
Hanna was going to take pictures tonight of Vicky and me and send them to the family at home, starting with us getting dressed. She was early – oh well, she had seen us naked in the gym showers hundreds of times. Melinda – well, she would now.
First was the new bullet resistant top and underwear for both Vicky and I and then the thigh holsters, the new smaller lady’s Glock that fit perfectly in it and finally the dress.
“You’re even packing heat to an event like this?” Melinda asked.
“Never let your guard down; that’s what assassins wait for,” I replied.
Melinda became a helper with the flowing dresses, helping us get properly positioned in them.
She was also looking a labels, talking out loud. “A Rachael Gilbert evening gown, very nice.” After the dresses were situated and adjusted Melinda started passing jewelry. Hanna moved in to take close ups of the jewelry.
“A Jaeger LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Tourbillion watch that’s top of the line. I like the look, but at three hundred thousand that’s above my income,” Melinda said.
As she picked up the bracelet for my left arm, “Now this is unusual. I never saw anything like this.”
Vicky walked over to explain, “It is solid gold from our gold mine, 99.9 % pure. The row of birth stones in the center on this side are our birthstones, the four on the other side are our children’s birth stones and the two rows of diamonds on each side of the birthstones came from our diamond mine. They are two carats each; there are twenty four on each bracelet.
“The only difference is the placement of the birth stones so we know who the bracelet belongs to. We had six of them made, one for each of us,” Vicky said as she winked at me.
The look on Melinda and Hanna’s face was priceless. So that’s what the girls had nicknamed the room in the basement where the Princes bounty was kept – that and the cash from all of our illicit foreign endeavors – ‘the mine’. I fought to keep the chuckle to myself although I did shake my head a little.
The final piece was the necklace and after the explanation for the bracelet, the only thing Melinda said was, “Very nice.”
There was another knock on the door, this time it was Gordon and Sid. They were early but we were ready for Hanna to take pictures to send to the girls tonight.
A dozen photos later Andy carried us along with Hanna and Melinda back to the palace to walk the red carpet into the palace with all the other dignitaries. There was an abundance of cameras.
Taping the red carpet welcome was as far as any of the reporters could go, including Hanna and Melinda. Inside only the official palace photographer was allowed.
The leaders of other five scheduled countries pulled up as my security pulled away. Then two more – the leaders of France and Greece arrived. We met on the red carpet for the sake of the media. This was the first that the world knew the leaders were to be here.
Gordon was carrying my cell phone in one of the pockets of his tux. As soon as we were inside he handed it to me. I had set it on vibrate so as not to disturb.
It was Troy, “Just what the hell is going on there? You might be stepping on some toes mingling with that level of dignitaries. Did you know they were coming?” he said.
“I’m kind of rusty with my dancing so I’m sure I will – poor Gordon. I found out a couple days ago there may be some guests,” I text back.
Inside the first hour was social hour; everyone was nursing drinks. With Gordon on my arm or close by I carried the same martini around for twenty minutes before I could dispose of it. Vicky and Sid were following my example. The last thing I wanted was to be tipsy for the events that were coming.
I smiled, posed for the photographer with everyone there, and talked – even getting to use my Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French several times – very carefully I must add as I made the rounds. I had a good time in the social event with a lot of interesting side conversations. I know Vicky did as well; she and Sid were always surrounded and in conversation without a break.
The meal was exquisite with a variety of dishes available; steak, lobster, pasta, salads, fish and many more. Too many to sample and that did not count vegetables and dessert.
There was an hour and thirty minutes of dancing and then the waiter delivered a note to go to rear of the hall to the meeting room off to the left of the kitchen. The leaders received the same note from the waiter. Premier Cordeiro was already at the table.
“Have Hanna and Melinda wait, I don’t know how long this may take. It may go possibly to morning, but I am sure there will be a major news conference at the end.”
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.