The public part of the meeting with Carla went off smoothly. But as soon as the cameras were gone and Sharon, Carla and June were sequestered in Sharon’s hotel room, there were tears, screams and generous hugs.
“Are you all right?” Sharon gasped. “I mean, obviously everything went okay, but how are you doing?”
“I’ve been better,” Carla said. “And I’ve been worse, too. But I’m here and Daddy didn’t need his frickin’ commandos after all.”
June snorted. “Believe it or not, they helped. Trust me, my brother was seriously pissed off about the whole thing.”
“Oh, no,” Carla said.
“He’ll get over it,” said June. “The important thing is that you’re okay.”
Sharon smiled and nodded, but she was not nearly as confident as June that the President would “get over it.” In fact, Sharon had a bad feeling that she knew what was bugging Mark, but had no idea how to broach the subject with him, assuming things were not irreparably messed up between them.
She didn’t have long to dwell on it, however. There was another press conference scheduled just before dinner to document the president and Michael Wheatly meeting each other. It was supposed to have been a simple smile and shake hands for the cameras kind of thing. And the two men, indeed, smiled pleasantly and posed while flash units went off. But as soon as they departed to an inner room in the Nairobi hotel, tension filled the air. The two men retreated to opposite sides of the room, neither really glaring at the other, but it sure seemed like they wanted to get into a knock-down, drag-out fight.
“Oh my god,” June murmured to Sharon. “It’s like a couple of male dogs about to fight each other or something.”
Sharon nodded, wedging the middle knuckle of her left forefinger in between her teeth. Inez Santiago, Michael’s life partner, just patted Sharon on the back before picking up her camera to keep shooting. Sharon wondered which party she was supposed to stand with, but in the end, it didn’t matter. A casual dinner was served and even if the president and the rock star managed to stay well away from each other, neither seemed to notice or mind that Sharon was avoiding both of them.