A Mere Pawn
Jeff and Crystal's triplets are nearly two and Crystal is receiving increasingly disturbing letters from a young Romanian diplomat who's obsessed with her. He eludes the British police and becomes a pawn in a much larger game of revenge played by a devious and ultimately ruthless Russian who comes out of one of the royal family's retainer's past to threaten the institution of the monarchy. More
Jeff and Crystal's triplets are nearly two and have developed a fixation with wanting Archie and Terri as toys. No-one can work out why and until an explanation is found the children's efforts to secure what they see as treasure causes the hot water bottle and cover considerable inconvenience. Crystal is receiving increasingly disturbing letters from a young Romanian diplomat who's obsessed with her. A psychiatrist has been consulted and advises that Vali, a young Romanian and author of the letters, is suffering with erotomania and should, for his own safety, be tracked down, arrested and receive treatment. But Vali eludes the British and becomes a pawn in a much larger game of revenge played by a devious and ultimately ruthless Russian who comes out of one of the royal family's retainer's past to threaten the institution of the monarchy. The plot moves from the Palace in London to Sydney where the innocent are targets and no-one is safe to the family estate at Claremore where secrets that have lain undiscovered for centuries are unearthed and used in the Russian's deadly game. In Archie's world things were a little different. Another reality prevailed that could take a little getting used to but once people did they found their lives populated with a much wider circle of potential friends and acquaintances than they could possibly imagine. There were varying human reactions to the discovery that objects were not only alive but had interests and loves of their own. If a person didn't have a particular gift, as well as an imaginative and open frame of mind, the discovery that everything is alive could result in extreme and negative reactions, including hearing and seeing things to such an extent that a trip to the loony bin or a regime of heavy and continuing sedation may follow. But really it doesn't happen often and the few known cases are considered inevitable but unfortunate. Such was the case with Archie, not merely an object but a hot water bottle who, with his beloved cover Terri, lived in a Palace and served Crystal, a princess who would one day be Queen. Crystal was married to Jeff and to Archie and Terri's present dismay, had borne triplets who were now approaching their second birthday. With the arrival of the three royal heirs Archie knew he and Terri's lives would never be the same but recently he'd learned that babies grow quickly and become mobile even faster. His information had come at first hand because he and Terri now lived in the triplets' nursery where the two nannies, Mary and Adam, were at times hard pressed to keep track of their charges. Although as royal heirs the triplets were ostensibly surrounded by security, Crystal and Jeff's babies managed to be active, independent, elusive toddlers who wanted to explore their surroundings and test their growing strength and agility whenever they could. This led to conflicts with the nursery regime which was designed to keep them stimulated but safe. Still being without fear and adventurous by nature, the children constantly derailed the program with ingenious escape attempts designed to expand their horizons independently of their minders.