Chapter 11 Close Friends — Copy

Robert King and Fabienne, were continuing to celebrate their reunion. The beach, backed by endless rows of palm trees was only meters from the terrace outside their room. They had made a plan to spend the late afternoon basking in the sun.

‘ I am a film star?’

‘Yes Just enjoy it, Fabienne,’you are a pretend film star, it will  mean that we have total privacy.’

‘But who is paying for this.’

‘Dont worry about it. It is simply a reward for sevices rendered.’

They had been invited by Fabienne’s friends from Paris, Gaétan and Gabrielle to spend two weeks, longer if they liked, at an adults only resort on Matamanoa Island.  Apparently, Gabrielle’s’s parents owned a unit, a very special unit, at the resort.

‘I have not told them there will be no-one  else on the island.’

” I don’t think they need to know.’

Currently, Robert and Fabienne had taken a room for two nights at the Sheraton on Denaru Island whilst the awaited the arrival of the flight from New Caledonia. Thanks to years of land reclamation  Denaru was no longer an island, but more of a tiny peninsula between two rivers.

Fabienne flowed into the hammock, strung from the palms outside their bungalow in one effortless movement. She stretched her sun bronzed leg and thrust her toe into one of the diamond shaped apertures. She then gently flexed her thigh muscles until the hammock rocked to a sinuous rythym.

“At Fiji marketing, we belieeve in Qualiteee” she sang softly. Robert chuckled. As the hammock swung to and fro Robert lay almost beneath, at the extremity of its motion. This was not the woman he had married seventeen years ago. She was decisive; assertive; adventurous. These were not qualities he would have associated with his wife during the five hundred days of their marriage.

Round her neck, she had a necklet of a hundred stars. Tiny sparking crystals which appeared to float in a never ending nebula. The elegance of her slender feet was emphasised by gold anklets linked to a toe ring by a  heavy gold chain. Matching bracelets adorned her wrists. She wore a crotcheted bikini which concealed absolutely nothing.

As she swung the hammock, the chains adorning the anklets and bracelets also oscillated in harmony with the song she sang. It was a magical moment enhanced by the alternating fragrance of ozone and frangipani brought to them by the variable breeze.

The previous evening they had travelled into Port Denarau on “The Bula Bus”.The bus had no sides, was crowded and the conductor was in full voice, singing along to the music blasting from the bus’s stereo system. Bula in Fijian possibly means hello, welcome, enjoy, or more likely a subtle variation of all three. The Bula Bus conveyed tourists between the various resorts on Denarau Island and the island port, gateway to the outer islands of western Fiji. The signs at the side of the road said “ Quiet please, residential area” but that did not seem to apply to the Bula Bus which pierced the quiet night with its unsilenced engine and a variety of songs. All the songs were delivered with the rhythmic South Pacific sound, born of a melding of tribal traditions and Christian missionary hymns. The song Fabienne now gently mimicked was one of the trademark Bula Bus songs.

The restaurant at Port Denarau had been crowded. Despite weather forcasts which predicted stormy weather, it was a perfect winter’s night, warm but not hot, high but not unbearable humidity. It was nights like this which have made the Fijian Islands famous. Both men and women wore the absolute minimum to meet common standards of decency and the dress codes of the better restaurants.

Now Fabienne sang softly, deliberately, to foster a mutual reminiscence. She then stopped and flipping onto her side addressed him, only inches below her.
“ You know Roberre, there is something I av not told to you”
“Oh! And what might be”. She was, he reflected, much better at teasing him than he remembered.

“When we again talked, I learned that you enjoy to sail les voiler. I therefore learned to sail also. I thought that this we might do together and”, she reached down and touched his head “that it was something we might enjoy”. She rolled again onto her back but her voice betrayed her self satisfied smile.

‘Maintenant, I av done something about this.  I av booked the sailing ship, le voilier. It calls itself ‘ Pacific Peace’ and will take us to many tiny islands where we can picnique and swim with the fish.’ It visits Matamanoa every day and we can choose the day we use it .’

Robert rolled his eyes and pulled her gently from the hammock so that she lay on top of him.

He kissed her gently

‘You, of course, know that the weather forcast for the next week is for heavy storms?”.

She smiled innocently and kissed him back.’ If we have the stormy weather, it will make it more exiting, no?’

‘If you want to do this, why not hire a yacht and sail it ourselves, we can both sail?’

Yes of course and we can peut-etre do that a little later. I just thought that to use a tourist boat, the sailors will know exactly where to go for the best swimming… to watch the fishes…plongée libre…snorkling… oh whatever!

The next morning dawned fine; there was no sign of unpleasant weather. They waited at a restaurant and Fabienne’s friends were exactly on time.

Fabienne pointed exitedly .’There they are.’

Robert could not fail to be impressed.  The couple positively glided along the board walk.

Gaétan wore a white shirt,  lightweight trousers rolled up to just below his knee,  bare feet.’  Gabrielle wore a bikini top and a rainbow coloured lightwight skirt slung low on her hips. She word gold anklets and bracelets very similar or perhaps identical to the one’s worn by Fabienne. In addition, She wore a heavy gold choker necklet.

Fabienne jumped to her feet to greet them. They indulged in a passionate three-way embrace.

The embrace told Robert that Fabienne knew this woman…and this man well… very well. He rose cautiously to his feet.

Fabienne broke away and beckoned Robert to join them. The introductions were only just completed when Gabrielle threw herself at Robert. She did not kiss him lightly on the cheek, which is what he had expected, but firmly, voluptuously, on the lips.

‘At last, I meet the famous Roberre. She wrapped both of her arms around Robert’s arm which was nearest to her and showed no intention of leaving go.

Robert snatched a quick glance at Gaétan. Gabrielle had pulled herself in so close that her bikini-clad breasts were now separated by his arm and his hand was pressed against her thigh. Gaétan showed absolutely no reaction.

Robert then looked directly at Fabienne, but she smiled with delight. ‘ Do you like my best friends Roberre.’ Robert mentally shrugged his shoulders. If Gaétan and Fabienne were unconcerned then he certainly wasn’t. The lady pushing herself against him was very, very attractive.

Gaétan pointed down the board walk to a jetty which gave access to a small marina. ‘The seaplane we have hired will pick us up from the jetty over there.

Gabrielle did her best to walk along the boardwalk without releasing her grip on Robert.  In the end, she broke away, as a seaplane circled overhead, landed just outside the harbour and taxied towards the jetty. ‘The pilot is a good friend of my father, I want to have a quick word with him.’

As she ran down the jetty. Fabienne guided Gaétan back towards Robert and linked arms with both of them.  Wonderful! I am so appy that it has been possible for you two to meet. The next two weeks are going to be so good.

Robert was left with something else to ponder. The pilot was very young, How could he be a good friend of Gabrielle’s father? It was not quite the correct term to use. But then… they were French, they were speaking a foreign language. Robert had no Idea what Yvonne had said to the pilot but he did not just take them to Matamanoa Island.

He then took them on an hours tour of the surrounding islands;  Mana, Tavua, Yanuya, Tokoricki, Monuriki and Monu. He spent more time circling Monuriki than any of the other islands. He explained that Monuriki was the island chosen to film the movie ‘Castaway’ which had starred Tom Hanks.

‘They are supposed to have built some luxury accommodation on the island where the cast and the technicians stayed whilst making the film, but although I have looked every time I fly over the island I have never seen it. I have no idea where it is or indeed if it ever existed.

He then flew back to Matamanoa and taxied up to the beach before he cut the engines. They left the seaplane by walking along the floats. As Robert jumped onto the beach. His sixth sense, born of over twenty years in the secret service started to jingle bells inside his head. There was something going on he knew nothing about and he was never comfortable with that situation.

2018 Two Australians were among four people arrested after a yacht carrying an estimated $15 million worth of drugs was seized in Fiji last week.

Authorities there say while they believe the drugs were intended for Australia, they could have ended up on the streets of Fiji, and that their actions should serve as a warning to other drug smugglers intending to use Fiji as a transit point.

One of the Australian suspects is well-known horse-racing identity John Nikolic and he’s now in a critical condition in a Fijian hospital.

2015The statement released by Fiji police’s chief of investigations and intelligence, Henry Brown, said two men, an Australian and a Fijian, were apprehended near the Vuda Point Marina in Lautoka on Monday with parcels of the drug found in their vehicle.

“Further investigations also resulted in the discovery of large amounts of Fijian and Australian currency from one of the suspects’ hotel rooms,” he said.

Assistant Police Commissioner Brown said the seizure was executed following weeks of intelligence gathering through a joint effort between Fiji police, its revenue and customs authority and Australian Federal Police (AFP).

“With investigations still into its early stages, no further detail will be released at this point in time,” he said.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro told the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation charges are expected to be against the two suspects.

Vuda Point Marina general manager Adam Wade told the Fiji Times newspaper the incident did not involve anyone from the marina, and it had agreements with various border control agencies to ensure customs compliance with all visiting vessels.

“To date, no vessel at Vuda marina has been found to contain any illegal substances, and through our close relationship with border control agencies we hope this continues into the distant future,” he said.

A Supreme Court jury in Bundaberg has been shown vision of how a yacht was modified so it could transport 300 kilograms of cocaine into Australia.

Julia Maria Boada Fernandez, 39, has pleaded not guilty to possessing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.

The crown prosecutor this morning told the jury Fernandez and her partner Ivan Ramos Valea had sailed the boat from Vanuatu to the Port of Bundaberg in 2011.

The court heard from an Australian Federal Police officer who showed footage of the inside of the yacht where authorities say the drugs were concealed in the hull.

Four Spanish nationals were allegedly involved in importing the drugs.

Three have already pleaded guilty and will be sentenced next week.

Mr Wade said the yachting sector generated more than $22 million towards the Fijian economy.

The most dangerous woman in the world

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