I cannot believe how many positive reviews I've gotten. Thank you so much for thinking that this is a good story. I hope you all like this chapter too. I've got a few surprises for their past and for their future. Thanks again and as always reviews are appreciated, but you don't have to.
Rory just looked at the man in front of her. There was no doubt it was him. He looked older from the last time she saw him, which was fourteen years ago so that was understandable. Glasses were sitting on his nose, which gave him an intelligent look. Dare she say, he looked good. It's not like she didn't expect him too. He always looked good to her and that obviously had not changed, even if she wished it had.
He started speaking to the people around them. "Everyone could you please give Miss Gilmore and I, a moment alone please?"
She heard them all mutter "yes, sir" and "of course."
Before he had a chance to say anything, she started talking. "You are not the ambassador. The ambassador's name is Vincent Corzano and your name is Tristan Dugrey. And even if you are the ambassador, that's not possible, because you're my age and that's just not possible."
"Rory, calm down."
"I will not calm down! How do you expect me to calm down? I'm suppose to live and work here for two years and there is no way I can effectively do that with you not only being here, but let alone my boss."
Tristan took the glasses off his eyes and began the sarcasm that Rory knew all too well. "Is working a solitary activity too? Or is it just me that you object working with?"
Rory shot him a look and if looks could kill. "Don't start Tristan," she said shortly.
He chose his next words carefully. "Let's not make this harder than it has to be Rory. I have no doubt that you are wondering how I got here, so I might as well save myself from your tongue lashing. Well I went to Duke University and the state department recruited me my senior year and I've been working for them ever since. Ambassador Corzano recently resigned his post after his wife became very ill. They needed someone in the interim and the state department recommended me and the president approved. So that is how I ended up here."
"And how exactly did I end up being your secretary?"
Tristan took a deep breath. He knew this question was going to come up. "The state assigned you here and I had no say in it."
"You have absolutely no control? I don't think that's possible."
"Rory, I'm being honest here."
"Tristan, you were never honest."
His eyes moved away from her figure. It hurt him for her to say that. Although one thing was for sure, she wouldn't know it hurt him. "This is my job Rory. If you don't like that, then I can put in a request for you to be reassigned. I'm not giving this up."
She didn't know why she said the next thing. It was almost like instinct to her. "Well I'm not giving this up either. I've been in the foreign service for six years and this is the opportunity I have been begging for."
"Then I believe we are at an impasse. I'll do my job and you do yours. We worked well together before and I'm sure this partnership will be no different."
"Good. I'm sure that you will find your stay here comfortable. Now if you could please excuse me I have to make some phone calls." He sat back down in his chair, flipped his rolex, and dialed a phone number.
Rory practically stormed out of the office. She hated that he brought that side out of her. The side that had this appetite for just beating him at everything. There was this sudden need for her to beat him. To beat him at his own game. If she was going too do that, she would have to study. Study really hard. This was Chilton all over again.
For the rest of the day, she got acquainted with her tasks. Basically all of Ambassador Dugrey's calls would come through her first. She would make sure that they were worth his time and if they weren't she would tell him he was busy. Secondly she had to keep track of all his appointments and make sure he made them. That shouldn't be too hard, she thought. Then of course there were the odds and ends she had to do.
When she left work at five o'clock she went straight home, made a pot of coffee, turned on her computer, and went straight to She ordered a good ten books, thinking that was a starting point, then took to the newspaper. Luckily there was an English version, but she knew that if she was going to do this well she would have to learn the language. Perhaps she would talk to Signor Franco about tutoring her.
Although she tried really hard not to think about him, she did. She came to the conclusion, that perhaps this whole would be easier if she didn't think of him as Tristan, but Mr. Dugrey or Ambassador Dugrey. This way she might be able not to think about how it use to be. He would be like whole different person to her. If she drilled it into her head, not to see him how he use to be, but solely as her boss, she might be able to do her job well. And she would do her job well there is no doubt about that.
After about four hours of studying to the best extent she could, Rory decided to call her Mom.
"Hello this is Lorelai Gilmore Danes speaking," Lorelai answered the phone in a British accent.
Rory knowing her mother's nature and needing a little bit of cheering up decided to play along. "Hello Mother. How has your day been?"
"It's been absolutely wonderful darling. What about yours?"
Her only response was a groan.
"That is no way to respond young lady. You must speak with words not sounds."
"Mom, the ambassador wasn't who I thought he was going to be," Rory said vaguely.
"What do you mean? Is he some greasy, slimy Italian guy?"
Taking a deep breath, "No something even worse than that. He's Tristan Dugrey."
Lorelai started laughing, "Now Rory he can't be that bad."
Impatiently she replied, "Mom you don't understand. He is Tristan Dugrey. As in the ambassador's name is Tristan Dugrey. As in the guy who completely ruined my life ten years ago."
All Rory heard was a ceramic cup drop through the phone. "Mom? Mom are you okay?"
"Yeah I'm fine. I just dropped my coffee. Rory, are you okay?"
"Oh I'm just peachy," she responded sarcastically.
"Mom, I'm going to do my job whether or not Tristan is my boss. And I've realized that I might be able to look past who he is and just see him as my boss and nothing else. I will have no emotional grudge against the ambassador." She was serious and her mother was perhaps the one person to understand that.
"That's very big of you Rory." Lorelai's admiration of her daughter was also self-evident, but in this particular circumstance when Rory didn't have to be the nicest person in the world, she still was and that made Lorelai proud.
"So do you like everyone you're going to be working with?" Lorelai changed the subject to a lighter tone.
"They all seem great. Robert Young, the director of communications, has been more than generous."
"I know. I think this might be okay. Besides the whole Tristan thing I think that this could be a great experience," Rory hoped.
"There's the optimistic girl I know and love. Sweetie, I'm sorry but I got to go, Sookie just walked out here crying about how the french onion soup is going to be horrible tonight. I love you and talk to you soon," Lorelai said rushed and went off to attend to the best friend the chef.
"Love you too." Rory knew her mom didn't hear it, but it never felt right not ending a phone conversation without the word "love."
Changing into pajama pants and a tank top and turning off the lights, Rory climbed into the comfortable bed and feel asleep. Unlike the night before though this sleep wasn't dreamless.
Rory was standing on the balcony of an apartment overlooking the ocean. It was light out and Rory could smell the salty air and the ocean breeze. She was dressed in an orange sarong and a white tank top. This was definitely good weather for December. For a moment she thought about the cold Connecticut weather that her mother was facing, but her thoughts were interrupted as she felt and heard a rumbling. It wasn't very strong, but she still felt it.
Then she saw it. There was the biggest mass of water. It overtook her. At the last moment she grabbed onto a tree, right next to the edge of balcony. There was nothing in her mind, just this blankness. Nothing. She felt the water around her, but didn't feel it. It engulfed her and she tried her hardest to keep her head above water, but she couldn't. She tried, but couldn't do it. Taking one last breath, the water covered her forehead...she woke up.
Her chest brought her head from the pillow. She was panting heavily and covering her heart with her hand. She was reliving that day. She had to get her mind off it.
Rory looked at the clock on her night stand and saw that it read 3:15. Her head fell back on the pillow and to herself she said, "Well I can't very well sleep now." She laid there for a few more minutes, then got up and took a nice, hot, long shower. By the time she stepped out of the steamy bathroom, the clock read 4:01. She had four hours to kill.
Making herself a cup of coffee, she opened up the second book she had brought with her. The next thing she knew it was seven o'clock.
An hour later she arrived at the embassy and was ready for another day of work.
She got through the first few hours fine. Most of the callers were from the U.S. or people that knew to speak English.
At her lunch hour, she realized that everyone's breaks in this country were two hours long. She found it very charming that husbands and fathers went home to their families for lunch.
Deciding to take advantage of this long lunch hour, Rory walked around Rome. She stopped at a pizza shop and ordered pizza a taglia (pizza by the slice). After she was finished with that she realized that she had to yet to try Italian gelato, so she found the nearest store and ordered some. After a big heaping of the best ice cream she ever tested, Rory strolled back to the embassy.
The ambassador had not returned from lunch yet, so Rory organized her desk and went over some paperwork that had made it's way there during her lunch hour.
Interrupting her tasks, an all too familiar voice spoke to her. "Rory, can you come into my office for a moment?"
"Yes sir," Rory said properly.
Tristan at first didn't notice Rory's formality. Then it struck him. Why was she calling him "sir"? He decided not to call her on, but made a note of the occurrence.
Before he said anything he sat down at his desk and instructed Rory to do the same.
"How was lunch?"
"It was fine," Rory said shortly. "And yours?"
"Productive," Tristan responded, following Rory's suit. He always seemed to fall right into step with her. That was something he never really liked about his actions when he was around her. "The reason why I asked to speak with you is because on Saturday night, well, there is the annual ball that Italy's Prime Minister hosts every year for all the foreign dignitaries and me being one of them, I have an obligation to attend."
"Do you need me to make an appointment or something?" Rory asked tucking a piece of hair behind her hair.
Watching that small action, made this more and more harder for Tristan to do. "No not exactly."
"Well what is it then?"
He wanted to make this sound as business as possible. "You see everyone there is going to be there with a date."
"Do you need me to find you a date?" she asked, wondering what exactly her involvement was going to be.
Tristan cleared his throat nervously, "No, I was wondering if you would go with me."
"Me? Why? You could get any girl to go with you."
"Well I need someone who can make a good impression with everyone that is present and who better than my assistant who has my same agenda."
"Don't you think that might give people the wrong message or something Mr. Dugrey?"
"No. I need an appropriate date. This isn't exactly just a ball, it's more like a business event."
"I see." Rory didn't really like the sound of this. He wanted her to be his date for some fancy ball. First, she didn't well with those types of things. Second, she just didn't want to go with him. And thirdly, she just didn't want to go with him. It's funny how that one little detail of him made the whole thing unattractive.
He knew that she didn't like these types of things and if he could he wouldn't be asking her this at all. Although he knew that this was the one thing he couldn't bring some blonde clinging on his arm to. This was going to be his formal introduction to the international arena and he had to make a good first impression. For that alone, he would do anything to make sure that Rory would be his date.
As much as he didn't want to go about it this way he had a feeling he knew would have to. "Rory, this is important not only to my career, but to yours."
"What is that suppose to mean?"
"It means that if you don't go, your career could very well be in..."
"Be in what? Jeopardy? You are unbelievable!" she said exasperated.
"Don't turn this into anything more than it has to be. I can schedule a fitting appointment for you at any of the designers in Rome. Just remember that you need to have everything together by Saturday night. I'll be picking you up at seven."
Angrily Rory rose out of the chair, "You know I can't afford any of those places. I have a dress I can wear. And I'll meet you there. You're not picking me up."
"That's not possible. First, you can't wear a dress you've had since college. Second, money is no object. And last, but certainly not least I am picking you up because you don't know where the ball is," he countered.
All he needed was that frustrated look on her face. It was resignation for her. He knew her faces all too well. "So what will it be Prada or Gucci?"
A/N: The chapter title is "Of All The Gin Joints In All The World" by Fall Out Boy.