Author's note: This is the final chapter of 'The weekenders'. It ends romantically, with a promise of what will be.

Chapter 9 – C and J

The Queen watched Joseph, who studied the floor maps of the stables and the garage. He seemed impressed with the improvements. Not that she believed he cared for the new bathrooms in both buildings, or for the neat kitchen that was made in the stables.

His unconsciously made nods approved of the monitor room above the stables and of the number of cameras keeping an eye on the wall surrounding the estate.

The stables could house five servants, divided over three rooms. An attic had been made in the garage to accommodate up to ten.

´I think,´ Joe said, ´that I will claim the single bed bedroom above the stables.´

´Have you seen everything on these maps Joseph?´

He nodded. The Queen folded the maps.

´Her Majesty will have one guard at the mansion, and I think it will be best if you stay there also.´

The Queen unfolded the mansion's floor maps.

Joe cleared his throat and asked her which room was hers. She showed it to him: it was the room where she had slept before.

Joe asked her where he was to stay.

´Let's see,´ she softly said, ´where is it...´

She checked the floor maps and bent a little over her desk to point at the map of the third floor.

Joe calculated how long it would take to reach her suite in case of danger.

He'd have to run down the corridor, open the door, go down the stairs, open another door and rush into the second floor corridor. Her room was the last one on the right. The fourth door. Thirty two seconds at most. He would check it to be sure.

´Is everything all right Joseph?´

´Yes ma'am.´

´Good. For I wouldn't like having to give up my suite because of security risks.´ Looking at the map again, she added: ´It is lovely, a sitting room with a big fireplace and a bedroom in a tower.´

The fact that his Queen, with all her riches, could be enthusiastic about a suite that was small compared to the one she had in her majestic Castle, made Joe smile.

He rested his right hand on the desk and his left on the back of her chair to study her rooms again. The rooms she liked so much.

Joe now noticed that the tower included a small winding staircase. It was right above her nail. He checked the other maps. The stairs didn't go down. Good. They did go up. To his room.

´We had a nice time there,´ the Queen mused.

She looked over her right shoulder. From the look on Joseph's face she concluded he had found out about the winding staircase.

While the Queen chatted about the roses she and her friend planned to grow, Joseph's mind started to drift. In case of danger, it might be of vital importance that the door at the bottom of the winding staircase opened without a sound. When she and her friend would explore their property, he would check the door. He could move as silent as a samurai: even if she was a light sleeper, she'd never hear him. No! Seeking into her room to stare at her! It's ungentlemanly and not at all professional!

He stood straight, to make the distance between him and the luring lady to his left a little bit bigger. Not that her perfume couldn't make its way to his nostrils. At least her lovely refined voice wouldn't enter his ears when she was asleep. He wanted her. In real life he settled for a smile, a caress, an almost kiss. But in his dreams...

´Joseph?´

He grinned. It made his Queen smile.

´What is it?´ she asked.

He could hardly tell her that in his dreams his name from her mouth came out quite differently.

´I think that roses would look good there Your Majesty.´

She had been talking about roses, but the subject had been the florescence of varieties, not where to plant the rose-bushes. She couldn't resist teasing him.

´In the swimming pool?´ she asked, raising her eyebrows.

He stared at her as if he was caught at something forbidden.

She threw her head backwards and laughed.

Joseph caressed her neck with his eyes, his hands safely behind his back.

She rose and stepped toward him, still smiling.

´I really look forward to the weekend,´ she told him. ´But I've kept you here too long, my talk about roses doesn't interest you. Well, your forte is security, not flowers, so as long as you are satisfied with the room arrangements, it's fine with me.´
She cupped his check and smiled at him. It reminded him of the smile she'd given him in front of El chalet.

The Queen seated herself again, folding the floor maps to clear her desk, which he considered to be his cue to leave.

As he walked to his office, he thought about what she'd said. As long as you are satisfied with the room arrangements... No Joe, that was a perfectly innocent remark: as long as you are satisfied with the room arrangements, it's fine with me.

She's never neglectful when it comes to security. She simply checked if you were satis- if you were fine with the arrangements. Her eyes sparkled because she's looking forward to the weekend.

Don't get carried away.

OoOoOoO

The Queen unfolded the maps again.

I want to kiss him. And I will, at El chalet.

She hadn't kissed him yet. Afraid someone would enter. Afraid they wouldn't be in a blind spot of one of the many cameras.

She wanted Joseph. But she didn't want the world to know for she couldn't bare to lose him.

El chalet was a blessing. There were no servants and no cameras inside the mansion. Of course B would be there. Dear B who noticed everything. Her friend wouldn't mind if she would invite Joseph to come to their sitting room to have a drink or so. But what if B would be in a teasing mood? Could she deal with so much as B winking at her?

No, she would ask Joseph to join her for a late night drink in her suite.

Perfectly innocent.

She dreamingly touched her collar bone.

She would say: we were interrupted. And then she'd cup his cheek and pull his head down. First kiss. Long, passionate.

Step by step.

OoOoOoO

In the Royal Palace in the Netherlands princess Emma entered the Queen's office.

Her mother was making a phone call.

´I'll bring champagne C, so we can open the mansion in style. I trust you will prepare a little speech too?´

Emma heared her aunt's warm rich laughter and she smiled.

´Yes, it will be just perfect,´ the Queen replied to a remark her friend had made, ´so we'll see each other on Friday.´

Princess Emma stopped staring at her mother's parrot.

´I'm looking forward to it also. Bye C!´

´Friday?´ Emma said after the connection was broken. ´You told me that you would arrive at El chalet on Saturday.´

´I will.´

´But you just told aunt Clarisse you'd meet her on Friday.´

´I know.´

´So?´

´She and her Joseph need time alone. I told her that I will have one of the guards stay at the mansion, so she could feel free to house Joseph there also.´

Emma, shaking her head, grinned.

´On Friday, when I am sure she has arrived, I will contact her, saying that my secretary neglected to inform her aid that unfortunately I can't make it until Saturday. I will be ever so sorry...´

´You devil!´ Emma said approvingly.

´Devil, devil...´ Beatrix replied, ´I'd rather say Cupid.´

OoOoOoO

A knock on the door of the Queen's office announced Prime Minister Motaz's arrival.

The Queen rose to greet him.

´I appreciate it that you are sacrificing your evening,´ she told him.

´Since this time is more convenient for you than Friday afternoon, it's my pleasure to meet you now Your Majesty.´

The Queen smiled.

´I can leave for Spain without fear,´ she said, gesturing toward the evening paper.

´Even the Pyran Courier believes that the intended removal of that horrid TV game show is worth mentioning on the front page. It might indicate that Genovia is a quiet, peaceful country.´

Mr Motaz smiled: ´Many people like The five letter show, ma'am.´

´And that frightens me Sebastian.´

The Prime Minister laughed. ´You will meet the Queen of the Netherlands again I believe?´

The Queen nodded, an amused smile on her face. She knew what he really wanted to ask her. He knew that she knew and he turned red. Fortunately for him, his liege was in a good mood.

´Her Majesty does not have appointments in the area this time, if we leave out of consideration the opening of the mansion.´

The Prime Minister laughed gratefully. From the Queen's diplomatic reply, he deduced that the Dutch Queen would not be accompanied by General Coligny.

It was almost 10:00 pm when Mr Motaz left Her Majesty's office. The Queen remained behind to work so she could make up for the time she would lose during the weekend. It wasn't the first time she did so this week. But today she had promissed herself a treat: at 11:30 pm she put aside the files and unfolded the floor map of the mansion's second floor.

In December she had a weekend without appointments and she had instructed her aid to make sure it remained free. She was quite confident that her friend wouldn't want to spend those days at the mansion, for it was the first weekend of the month, so B would be celebrating Sinterklaas then. In The Hague.

In December, with no one observing them and no one hearing them, she would take the next step.

She trailed a finger over the map to the window-seat.

´Here.´

To the shower.

´Here.´

She tapped her index finger on a spot on the map. And this is where we will start. I will say: don't you think this is a perfect place... and then I will kiss his lips and add: to make love?

Or... I will whisper in his ear, and after 'perfect place', I will nibble his earlobe. The one with the ring. And then I'll finish my line.

She smiled naughtily.

What if we kiss, and I trail my fingers up and down his neck, and I say I haven't taken care of certain protection. But I feel perfectly safe with you.

Her eyes sparkled.

He will not believe his ears but he'll understand what I am referring to... And he will look at me wide-eyed, surprised to hear me say that.

She thoughtfully bit her lower lip. I'd better use the first option or he will think that I'm drunk and he wouldn't want to take advantage of the situation then. And we wouldn't want that, now would we?

She covered her mouth with a hand, aware of the guard outside her office. Her shoulders jolted from repressed laughter. After wiping her tears, she sighed and switched off her desk lamp.

First things first.

The coming weekend she could kiss him. Finally.

And when the two of them would be all alone, three long months from now, she would have Joseph right in front of the burning fireplace.

...

...

Author's note: After having finished reading all nine chapters perhaps you'd like to leave a review? I'll very much appreciate it.

In case you want more C&J: I posted a sequel to The weekenders called Field day and it's available on this site.