THE MONGOLIAN GIRL – CHAPTER FIFTEEN
He went up to his room, took a quick shower, brushed his teeth vigorously, and changed into his most youthful looking clothes, a blue denim jacket and jeans. He whistled as he combed his hair in the mirror. His eyes were a bit red and his throat felt sore, but that wasn’t going to stop him going down to the Axe Hero bar tonight. She might be there.
He was still whistling as he picked up his wallet and headed out of the door. He was standing in the hallway, hunched over, turning the hotel key, with its gold plastic tag swinging, when he heard the phone start to ring inside his room. He hesitated for a moment then extracted the key from the door. The phone continued to ring. Tom sighed and put the key back in the door, simultaneously turned it and the aluminium door knob, pushed open the door and hurried to the bedside phone.
A cultured woman’s voice answered, “This is Daphne Farquharson, the ambassador’s wife.”
Tom frowned in concentration. Why is she phoning me?
Daphne broke the silence, “Gerald told you about the Steppe Inn tonight, didn’t he? He told us he had.”
Tom’s tongue audibly sucked the roof of his mouth. God, I’d completely forgotten about that. “Yes, he did mention something about it.”
Daphne continued, “We thought you probably wouldn’t know your way round UB yet, and the buses can be dangerous at night. I’m down here in the lobby.”
Tom reflected, that’s the last thing I wanted to do tonight, but said as cheerfully as he could, “I’ll be right down.”
He put down the phone and wondered, why would the British ambassador’s wife bother to collect me? Am I that important?
When he arrived downstairs, Daphne, was smiling and chatting to the receptionist in Mongolian. She turned and extended her hand, “So pleased to meet you.” Tom took her hand. It was surprisingly warm. Her hair colour was just a little darker than his, pale auburn, with a thick fringe touching her eye brows. Her brown eyes were flecked with green. She was, Tom guessed, in her early forties, and one of those people who everybody takes an instant liking to.
They headed out through the hotel’s revolving door. Tom noticed that the snow had stopped falling. Then he saw her coming up the steps towards them. Her eyes sparkled as he turned to watch her. She was beautiful.