9. Sweet little Claire

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                    9. Sweet little Claire

"Children must be taught how to think, not what to think."

Margaret Mead


"The fiscal policy of the government is strict for sure, but we have to support it. I have promised the prime minister our consent for the budget of the next year. We are in a critical recession as every western country."

Lord Andrew Corterel was rubbing his masculine jaw as he was sitting opposite Roselyn in Alexander's office. They were in their daily debrief, discussing thoroughly all the current state affairs.

"Mr. Corterel, supporting this budget means agreeing to new taxes, new reductions in peoples' salaries, more cuts in health and educational funding. We can support it only if the cuts come from the salaries of the parliamentary members and from Ministry of Defense."

"This is a silly idea! The budget is already settled. It just needs our approval. You just have to sign it and that's all."

Roselyn's brows furrowed. She was asked to approve a budget that would bring misery to this country. The rich would become richer and the poor poorer. She would be responsible for that.

"But... Mr. Corterel," she stuttered. "I can't... I can't consent...."

"Then, I'm afraid you have no place in this palace." 

"Father," the prince cut his sentence abruptly. All this time, he was watching in silence his erratic father try to terrorize the princess. He knew well that every time Lord Corterel's arguments were failing, he was using threats. "Roselyn is right. We have a plan, and we will present it to you and to the board on Monday. There are certain measures that can be avoided. Father," he said again and straighten his silky blue tie on his broad chest. "Our role is to support those in need, not to add an extra burden."

Lord Corterel glared at him with austerity and rose from his seat while buttoning his suit jacket. He definitely looked unsatisfied. Alexander had changed his point of view 180 degrees and it was that girl who had influenced him.

"Very well," he murmured. "Until Monday."

As he got out of the luxurious office, Hudson and his new assistant, Jade, emerged in. Jade seemed to enjoy her new job, and she was a fast learner. Roselyn turned to their side to avoid Alexander's intense gaze, who seemed extremely exuberant.

"Hudson," he instructed. "What's next?"

The groomed dark-haired man in his early forties stepped forth and checked his tablet.

"Sir, in an hour you are expected to arrive in ITAS, the Institute of Technology and Applied Sciences. We have to depart in less than twenty minutes. You will stay there for two hours and after a quick press conference, you will have lunch with the Dutch ambassador and his team."

"Good," he replied, with eyes fixed on her. "What about Rose's program?"

"Her Highness will meet the mayor of Redmond in fifteen minutes to discuss the issue with the homeless people."

"We will fund a center where the homeless of the capital city will be able to spend their days and nights," the woman replied seriously. "Food and shelter will be provided to them and there will be specialists to help them stand on their own feet."

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