He stood back and Alex saw his cheek quiver in that peculiar way manly actors employ to convey deep emotion in rite of passage films. She was about to make a joke about having converted him from politics to religion when she realised that there were tears in his eyes and he was struggling to control them.
“Drinks, darlings. Over there. You must be gasping.” She detached herself from his emotions by waving her friends across the refectory to another committee member who was smiling and holding up a bottle. As they moved through the throng, Alex reflected on the power of music. Or was it something else? Was it a heavenly or an earthly influence that had provoked such a powerful response in David? She had only ever seen him as a smoothly groomed career politician until now and had never suspected that a soft heart lay beneath his professionally polished surface.
And as she wondered about David’s reaction, she saw again that tall figure in the doorway, surveying the crowd. Her face was calm and imperious. She looked across the room and smiled, a slight, secretive Mona Lisa smile, then turned and left.
Alex watched her, transfixed, but then looked back at her guests, desperate to know who or what had made this strange woman smile. And she saw Charles gazing at the empty doorway, straining his neck as if to catch a last glimpse of this aloof enigma.
Alex frowned and bit her lip. She was an ungroomed woman in a drab old raincoat. Why should anyone possibly be interested in her?
“What’s the matter, darling?” Charles was by her side, surreptitiously fondling her curves again. “It went well didn’t it?”
“Everyone seems to think so, though that awful culture snob Richard Graham said it was much more effective when he heard it performed years ago at the Roundhouse. They put the audience in the middle of the singers apparently so the singing encircled them.”
“Well I think everyone here really appreciated what my little baby has organised,” he said reaching behind and giving her another slight squeeze.
“Charlie, be careful. People are watching.” Alex purred and pushed herself back against his hand. It was so reassuring, knowing that she could make Charles want her and that Nick was still available too.
to be continued February 25