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Christmas Male

By:Cara Summers

Christmas Male

Cara Summers


Prologue




Washington Post—December 20

Is True Love In the Air?

THE RUBINOV DIAMOND EXHIBIT at the National Gallery has created a lot of excitement in Washington during this holiday season. Although whether people are flocking to see the stone because of its long, sometimes bloody history…or its acclaimed ability to bring lovers together, has yet to be discerned.

The brilliant blue diamond boasts a long and somewhat checkered history. After disappearing for generations, sometimes centuries, it always resurfaces—and always with a new owner. Like other large diamonds, rumors of obsession, murder and theft swirl around it. At one point, it is said that the diamond spent some time in the possession of pirates in the Aegean. More recently in 1999, master jewel thief Arthur Franks was credited with facilitating the Rubinov’s reappearance on the market. Neither story has ever been authenticated.

But what seems certain is that whenever the diamond reappears, a new love story is born.

According to the legend, the diamond’s power to ignite an intense attraction between true lovers dates back to ancient times. A few scholars argue the stone originated in Greece, and some even favor the theory that it was Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who first brought the stone to earth and gave it to a mortal she desired above all others.

Its current name, the Rubinov, was bestowed on it in 1917 when Count Peter Rubinov, a close friend of Tsar Nicholas of Russia, fell in love with one of the servants in the royal household and had the diamond made into a necklace for her. Shortly afterward, Count Rubinov, his lover and the necklace disappeared. Many believe it was through the power of the blue stone that they escaped when the Tsar and his family were put to death.

And Count Rubinov’s romance isn’t the only one. In another story, Helen of Troy was in possession of the stone when Paris first saw her, and it was his irresistible attraction to Helen that compelled him to kidnap her.

Another account claims that Merlin gave the diamond to Guinevere to solidify her relationship with Arthur. Instead, she wore it when she met Lancelot…

In more current stories, it is maintained that the Rubinov played a role in bringing Bonnie and Clyde together before they went on their bank-robbing spree. And though Britain’s royal family has always denied it, there are a few insiders who believe the Rubinov was briefly in their possession when Edward first met Mrs. Simpson.

According to my own research, Jacqueline Bouvier photographed it when it was last exhibited in Boston while she was dating John F. Kennedy. The picture she snapped of the necklace is still archived in the John F. Kennedy Library.

But the clincher as far as this reporter is concerned is the number of stories that have crossed my desk since the Rubinov Exhibit opened on December 15. Love is definitely in the air in our nation’s Capitol. The latest announcement came from Senator McNeil of Wisconsin, who insists that his daughter met her new fiancé in a chance meeting at the exhibit.

Regina Meyers, spokesperson for Gregory Shalnokov, the reclusive owner of the Rubinov, says Mr. Shalnokov is very pleased his diamond has contributed to the joy of the season.

Clearly, the Rubinov diamond is a matchmaker extraordinaire. This reporter’s advice: The clock’s ticking. If you want to make the legend of the Rubinov live on, run, don’t walk, to the National Gallery. The diamond is scheduled to return to the private collection of Gregory Shalnokov on December 23.





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POLICE LIEUTENANT Fiona Gallagher looked up from her brochure to survey the crowd waiting to get a look at the legendary Rubinov Diamond.

The long line was being threaded through the exhibition room in a zigzag pattern similar to the ones used for security checks at airports. Her fellow viewers were a diverse group, ranging in age from small children to a couple just ahead of her who appeared to be in their eighties. She’d even spotted a couple of teens dressed in black and wearing red scarves and Santa hats in honor of the season.

Fiona had yet to figure out what the hell she was doing at the exhibition. In the five years she’d lived and worked as a police detective in D.C., she had yet to visit the National Gallery. Two or three times during her wait in line, she’d been tempted to leave. Diamonds with romantic legends surrounding them weren’t her cup of tea. True, her boss, Captain Natalie Gibbs-Mitchell, had been nagging her to see it. But Natalie always thought Fiona needed more in her life than just her job. Fiona didn’t agree. Her work in the high-profile crime division Natalie ran always gave her the challenges she thrived on.

Perhaps she’d come today out of boredom. She wasn’t currently working on a case. That bothered her a bit. Christmas was far from her favorite holiday, and she always depended on her job to get her through the season. But it wasn’t like she didn’t have things to do. She was running a toy drive at the precinct that would benefit the families of returning vets, and she had a meeting at Walter Reed hospital in less than an hour. After that, she had to make an appearance at a Christmas party, which meant she needed a change of clothes.

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