The Princess took the job at the College on the condition that she got some training from her predecessor, and told him about her decision – laying out her boundaries as she did so. The atmosphere between them was prickly.
The Prince was a very earnest man. He tried to put her at ease, saying “As far as I’m concerned, we have a business relationship, and we are both Christians. Being Christian sets up some pretty well defined boundaries. I’ve been told by lots of women that they feel safe around me”.
She retorted “I’m not ‘lots of women'” but decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. He appeared to be an honest man. Princess Eve knew him well, and she approved of him. She suspected the King definitely approved of him, judging from the way they had been brought together.
Prince Mentor mentioned he was worried about ‘uncomfortable moments’, explaining that he had already had some ‘uncomfortable moments’ with one lady who had thought he was God’s chosen for her. The Princess scowled. Why did he have to tell her that? Why did he feel the need to warn her off? She felt slighted, and annoyed at him. There were probably going to be lots of ‘uncomfortable moments’.
Why did he think she was there? He must have wondered. Iron sharpening iron? What would he do with what the King seemed to be revealing to her? There was some awkward man/woman stuff to get out of the way, but she did not want to confront it. The King had placed them right in front of each other, and he could reject her. How was that a safe place for her? He told her about a relationship he was in, telling her that “things were moving along with the woman he was interested in.” If that was true, where was she? Exasperated and put off, she laid down some professional boundaries.
The Princess reassured him that he need not worry about her being ‘interested’. She hadn’t chosen to get to know him, she didn’t know she’d be replacing him at the college, and she had taken no notice of him at church. It irked her that by stepping into this, she had to get to know him, and rely on him as a mentor. They were now working together on a casual basis as she had insisted on some training. She had to make it work, and was making the effort to get to know him.
Masking her true feelings, she politely told him she was glad about the ‘lady friend’, maybe she would meet her at the gathering of the King? She hoped there would be no ‘uncomfortable moments’, for a successful professional relationship, and expressed the wish that they could be friends. She wondered if he would be up to it. The King heard of her worry. “Father, I do not know if I even like him. He is cold and distant, not putting out any signs, not putting himself at risk. I find him very presumptuous. He thinks you have told him everything that is going to happen for the next few years! If that was true, he would know about me.”