"Ambassador To Danger"
A Michelle Kwan Mystery
Chapter One : "Skating Diplomacy
"O.k., so let me get this straight."said Michelle,"After tonights performance, you guys accompany me to the dressing room where I meet the daughter of the president of ...?
"Rajikastan". said the tall blond agent seriously.
"It's a small but significant new ally in Central Asia" added the gray haired one.
"So, I sign a few autographs, say a few nice things and that's it." Michelle laughed."Piece of cake!"
"Perhaps," the same agent added."it all depends."
"Depends on what?" Michelle asked incredulously.
A tall, attractive, female agent piped in. "As we said Ms. Kwan, Rajikastan is an important new ally,our President
and the state dept. feel that while the President of this country and his family are here in the US, the next few days we should be at
"Does we include?..."
"Yes Ms Kwan, "she added "Neesha is very enamored of you and she's also as they say," Daddy's Little Girl"."
Making a good impression on her could help lead to an important strategic alliance between our 2 countries."
"It sounds so serious" Michelle said.
"It is very serious." the gray haired one added.
In spite of the pressure about her "mission", Michellle was suddenly very upbeat. Tonights show wasn't a competition after all, and the idea of serving her country made her feel proud.
Carrying the usual bouquets as she walked off the ice, she was suddenly surrounded by the same group she had met earlier. "Wow, Secret Service escort." Michelle smiled at a tall cute one with a radio plug in his ear. He winked back and then quickly turned serious.
Down the stairs they went. Coming toward them was another similar entourage. Suddenly from out of a group of mostly large men stepped a small, dark girl about 12 years old. She was holding a bouquet of dark , red roses that looked bigger than she was.
"I'm most honored to meet you." she said in perfect English as she bowed and handed the roses to Michelle.
"I hope you enjoyed the show." Michelle said kindly.
"You were magnificent as always. " the girl responded.
Michelle blushed. Somehow the adulation of this unusual little girl was quite moving.
"My name is Neesha, daughter of the President." she said graciously.
"Your President told my father that we could have a skating lesson?" Neesha added with a question.
Michelle was taken aback. She looked at the many stern faces surrounding them. She knew she could only say one thing in response. "Oh yes, the President. Sure we can have a skating lesson." she laughed
"So this evening, here on the ice." Neesha added.
"Hey, I'm tired!"Michelle wanted to say, but couldn't.
Slightly annoyed at the agents surrounding them, Michelle decided to take charge.
"Look , "she said firmly to the group surrounding them. "You need to get out of the way and let us put on some practice clothes. You're blocking the door to my dressing room."
They all nodded and backed away quickly like a swarm of insects.
Inside, Michelle quickly peeled off her tight, clingy, white costume and stepped into a pair of old gray sweats. She handed a similar pair to Neesha who had still not broken her adoring smile. Nedless to say, Neesha had brought her own skates.
On the ice, Michelle was suprised to notice that Neesha's warm up excercises looked like those of a serious skater.
Neesha mimicked Michelles simple moves perfectly but became a little awkward when the difficulty level increased. Still, all in all, she had the potential to be a competetive skater.
"So you've been skating since...", Michelle began.
"Since I could walk." was the quick reply.
"Does your country have a skating team?" Michelle wondered.
"Not yet, but soon I hope. " Neesha beamed back.
Michelle could see that Neesha was in heaven. She had probably waited years for this meeting. And though the whole thing was inconvenient, she was happy for the young girl.
As Michelle pointed her head upward, something caught her eye. It was was an object falling rapidly down toward the ice. Down toward Neesha. In a quick reflex, Michelle lunged toward the girl, pushing her out of the way as a large lighting fixture crashed down next to them on the ice.
Suddenly there was panic all around. A tall, muscular woman jumped across the ice covering Neesha with her body. Radios blasted, people shoved and in a flash everyone was off the ice.
Heading down toward the locker room, Neesha walked covered by the arms of the large woman, obviously her bodyguard.
"Oh Michelle," Neesha shouted suddenly regaining her composure. "Let me introduce you to my closest friend. This is my protector, Tahmeana."
Putting her hand out to Michelle, she smiled. "I'm most honored." she said in an accent.
"Thank you for watching out for Neesha." she added.
"Yeah, that's supposed to be your job Tahmeana isn't it?" laughed Neesha.
The weirdest thing to Michelle was how quickly everything seemed to turn to normal again.
Neesha turned to her bodyguard saying plainly in front of Michelle. "Do you think we can ask Michelle to go to the ranch with us this weekend?"
"Oh Neesha," she said sounding like a mother."Ms Kwan has been so kind with her time already. We couldn't ask her to do any more."
"But it would be so much fun!" Neesha insisted. "You do like horseback riding don't you Michelle?" she begged "and there's going to be a big party in the evening. It's a western theme. We all get to pretend to be cowboys.. oh I mean cowgirls." she laughed.
Michelle didn't know what to say. Suddenly from behind she felt a hand on her shoulder and heard a familiar pleasant woman's voice. "It's more than a big party," the voice whispered to Michelle. It's an important reception honoring Neesha's father. It's being held on the ranch of a friend of mine. You could do your country a great service by attending."
Turning around Michelle could see it was the state's governor who she had met before and admired.
"We can ride horses all day and party all night!" Neesha exclaimed.
Again, Michelle realized she'd have to accept. It might even be fun she thought.
"Of course. I'd love to go." was her automatic response.
Walking out toward the parking lot, Michelle encountered some of the agents she had met before. "Do you think that light falling was really an accident? " she asked politely.
They all heard her question, but no one answered.