- Legal stuff
The threatening lawyers' letters and e-mails started flooding in to Jean-Marc's office.
Kloch had evidently run away to Dubai supposedly in a last ditch attempt to raise some money from a Lybian pipeline magnate - the real reason was far different: the pressure from his girlfriend's Russian mafia friends had become too great and he was hoping that a meeting with them on "neutral" ground in the Gulf might lead to some profitable mutual business. In any case, it was far enough away from Texas where most of his creditors seemed to come from.
The Fairmont Hotel on Sheik Zayed Road is home to possibly two of the best restaurants in the Middle East: the famous Spectrum on One which is a vast temple for world cuisine with different areas serving specialités from Japan, India, Indonesia, China, Europe and elsewhere. Jean-Marc had himself spent much time here several years before and, by pure co-incidence, Charles Kloch had selected the same venue for his summit meeting with the Russian Mafia. However it was not to take place in Spectrum on One but the other more select restaurant The Exchange Grill where the Kobi beef was flown in daily from Japan. This beef comes from animals that have been fed on beer and have had been massaged every day since they were calves, one of the great delicacies of Japanese cuisine and a price tag to suit.
Kloch's plan for the Russians was typically twisted. He intended to appropriately impress his future father-in-law and associates (using the money he had effectively extracted from the Gourmet Delights operation), ply the Russians with good food, wine and cigars and get them to invest their mountain of cash in the purchase of his "Palm Island Little Australia Theme Park and Resort" project. As this cash was in desperate need of a good laundering and Kloch was "almost" in the family, he had no doubts about his success, the tricky part was going to be how to keep the money for himself and avoid spending the rest of his life running away from anyone and anything remotely connected with Russia. This is where his Egyptian "associates" would play a vital role - in return for a piece of the cake they would just delay things, bog everything down in a mountain of paperwork and administrative details, seed confusion and contradiction throughout the bureaucratic process and, in the end, politely tell the Russians that they need more money invested to keep the project alive. By this time Kloch would be gone with the proceeds of a resale of his share and the blame would fall on the Egyptians, not him.
"Really? Where in England? We can go and visit him and eat in his restaurant - is there an airport where we can land the LearJet nearby?"
Kloch was regretting this line of conversation.
He noticed the twinkle of an eye and half a smile on the face of his girlfriend as she looked over at her Daddy, maybe she wasn't as stupid as she seemed.