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"…Sorry, Richard, I'm not embarrassed with your question or anything like that. It's just that the whole Parfait family has the trait of which you speak; although the men are able to suppress it. Sometimes they use a strong scotch whiskey to break their feelings; it hits them right in the solar plexus; like a low-level punch. Then after a few rounds of some alcoholic reinforcement, things settled down. The women just get red in the face and turn away to apply more face powder."
"Some individuals have strong connection to their vagus nerve Marceline, and it causes some intense reactions to certain situations."
"Yes I heard of that; but for now Richard, you could be my prince in shining armor by helping me get my head straight, before Sarah gets here. I'd like to expand my explanation for being at this fine inn. At the moment, since Darôk and I were put together by my Uncle Phillípe, Darôk is just my business associate. My uncle told me the demands of technology in Belize, required my expertise in arboreal biology. Our meeting, which was quite impromptu, was based on his intent to improve growing operations down there. There is also the possibility that he wanted to exploit my research, invention and patent. But I can't prove it so I'm playing his game until I find out what he is doing."
"Well, thank you for that bit of honesty, Marceline, I'll help you in any way I can, but considering our age difference, can you trust my advice; I'm twenty-six; and you are?"
"I'm twenty-two, Richard, but Darôk is twenty-eight; that's quite a difference in ages and he is from another country and culture. As far as trust is concerned, you have an honest and refreshing face; besides I like your gentlemany disposition."
"You know what they say about forbidden fruit, Marceline, romance always more interesting when it's from another town or actually foreign?"
"If I may speak of meeting people totally different from family, Richard, my brother Rôméo was in a similar situation in business situation, and currently through the grace of God, he has settled down. Now he is going with a girl from Romania and they are steadies; in fact, he has asked her to marry him. We talked about his engagement on FaceTime, and I think by now Arianña Pasăre, that's her name, which by the way means beautiful bird in Romania; she, might be his loving fiancée as we speak. Rôméo writes that Arianña is a wonderful girl, and I think she will be driving back to France with him in the spring. So if everyone's luck holds, we will all meet up at our home next year on the Côte d'Azur for the summer's holiday season. Coincidentally, he will be racing in the Monte Carlo, Grand Prix in May."
"That meeting was fortunate for him, Marceline, finding a lovely girlfriend and possible life mate while on business. Did he meet her in Romania or in Europe somewhere?"
"Well, Eastern Europe actually; they met a stationary store in Constantça, Romania, when he was looking for high-quality gold-plated ink pens to sign a big multi-year contract for a large shipment of Romanian hardwoods. They have a tradition over there that a big deal requires a formal signing, with souvenir pens for each executive participant."
"How unique, and in this situation very romantic, Marceline. Meeting at an ordinary stationary store and falling in love. I suppose it could happen anywhere on this wonderful planet."
"Even a small lumber town like Redwoodville, amongst forest-covered mountains?"
"Why yes of course, Marceline my friend [word]; even here…I mean… it could happen anywhere."
Marceline, took a chance that Richard understood what she meant by her remark, and kissed him on his cheek. It was a light peck just to say, "I love you and I think you are a marvelous person," but not much more than that. Marceline figured that if she was going to be embarrassed and red faced it should be worth something.
Richard kissed her back full on her lips with passions built up from months, perhaps years of not expressing his emotions with someone he just casually met. Usually Richard was most times very cautions with clients and conveyed good judgment, metered out sparingly to passing strangers at the Humboldt Inn. The two impromptu lovers then sank into the realm of love on the foyer settee. They embraced for a time, felt their passions welling up between them and then sat apart, like two young lovers on their first date. As they let their passion cool a bit, Richard broke the silence by saying, "Our meeting here like this, in the semi-evening light with one small luminaire casting deep shadows across the inn reception foyer, is like Rodolfo and Mimi, getting together over matches and candles in Giacomo Puccini opera 'La Boheme'"
"Oh, you know that opera, Richard? It is one of my favorites."
"Yes, its mine as well; the music moves me to tears without reason when Mimi sings her aria about her being a poor embroidery worker and what the month of April, as a harbinger of spring and the bringer of flowers means to her. I think that opera is the world's most romantic. I'm glad you like it, Marceline."
"For me it was a three-handkerchief affair Richard; it was a terribly romantic story; she is very frail, and in spite of he condition makes a large beautiful embroidery for her employer, but soon dies of consumption at the end."
Richard added his bit of understanding about the opera, by saying, "Puccini must have had the purposeful intention of making a very moving opera; either that or he had stock in a worldwide tissue production company."
"That's an interesting angle, Richard, whenever I hear that opera, I will think of you, in addition to remembering my brother in his circumstance of meeting a possible fiancé while looking for a one-of-a kind writing instrument. Along with very grand pen from a downtown Constantça street, he discovered the love of his life."
"Now and forever more, Marceline, after this conversation, when I hear La Boheme, I will always think of two modern-day lovers meeting over an ink pen. I also hope your family's plan for the summer holiday is warmly fulfilled and this Arianña is everything your brother needs to fulfill his life..."
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