[If you have not already done so, you must
read the Introduction
001 002 Prologue 001-002 003 004 005 Chap 1 003-005
Chap 2 006 007 008 Chap 3 007-008 009 010 Chap 4 009-010 011 012 013 Chap 5 011-013 014 015 016 017
Chap 6 014-017 018 019 Chap 7 018-019 020 021 022 023 Chap 8 020-023 024 025 026 027 Chapter 9 024-027 028 029
030 031 Chapter 10 028-031 032 033 034
Revenge Should Have No Bounds 035
Chapter 11 (4 of 10): The Mayor
“Oh, shit, Cait,” he said. “Is this really the right time?”
She said nothing but held his gaze without blinking. He broke the contact first.
“Look,” he cleared his throat, “nothing happened. No women.” There was a palpable lack of conviction to his words. “At least I think not,” he added softly.
“You see, that’s exactly my point,” she said, putting the drink on a side table and leaning over in her turn towards him.
“I said nothing happened.” Defensively.
“But we don’t know that for sure, do we? Anyway, that’s beside my point, and it’s all in the past. I do trust you on that score. What I’m worried about is that you don’t actually remember what happened all evening, do you?”
He would not look at her. His head was bowed toward the rug where he seemed to seek for answers in the intricate ply of the carpeting.
“I know,” he finally said. “It scares me, too.”
“Honey,” she turned on the sweetness, “you can’t do that now.” She came over and sat opposite him on the bed; she took his hands in hers. “You have a declared candidacy and you have a very specific platform you’re running on. You know you could lose this thing. And then where would our future plans be?” She gave his arm a companionable squeeze. “You can’t be taking chances like that. You can’t say one thing and then act otherwise. People just won’t stand for hypocrisy and recklessness in a candidate. It’s not the good old days anymore. You’ve got to be in control and you’ve got to show people you’re in control. You don’t do that by cutting loose. You know I’m not talking just women here.”
“You’re right,” he said. “I know you’re right. I know.”
She stroked his forearm. “The past is past, and nobody is going to find out about that. And you’ve proved over the years you don’t need the alcohol; you know you do much better without it.”
“I don’t know what got into me last night,” he said, shaking his head. “It was stupid. Unbelievably stupid. It won’t happen again.”
“I know it won’t, baby.” She wanted to believe him, and she kissed him on the cheek. The scent of him excited her. “Now go get dressed,” she said thickly. “You don’t want to keep old Bob waiting, do you?”
She moved back to the other chair and picked up her drink again.
Some of the bouncy confidence he had shown when he marched out of the bathroom had evaporated like the moisture from his skin, but getting dressed would clothe him in it once more. He unwrapped the towel and let it drop to the floor; standing with his back to his wife, he surveyed the closet.
Great ass, she mused and took a swallow. Still.
Roy Rany was fond of clothes. He still had the body to wear them and he certainly had the money to buy them. Bob had drummed into him that in modern American politics substance was all but meaningless unless it was ‘packaged’. And the packaging began with the candidate himself: don’t dress like a dandy, but don’t be too conservative, either. The tieless chino interview in loafers and no socks might be appropriate on some carefully staged occasions, but a day like today called for suit mode.
He surveyed the full closet. He selected a two-button worsted and hung it on the dressing stand. A belt in brown Italian leather would go well. From the dresser drawer he pulled out a solid white shirt with European ridged collar and button-sleeves. A pair of tan oxfords would complete the ensemble. Gazing upon himself in the full-length mirror attached to the closet door, he donned long black socks, underwear, shirt, pants, shoes, and cinched up the belt.
“What tie would go well here?” he called to Caitlin over his shoulder.
“How about that red one I got you in Chicago with the little blue and yellow rectangles on it?”
He held it up for a test against the white of the shirt. “Perfect,” he said happily, and folded up the collar so he could loop it around his neck. He tied his normal Windsor, and put on the coat. Turning, he shot his cuffs and asked, “Well?”
“Knock ‘em dead, baby! You look sensational. Just like a mayor!” She wasn’t lying. A subtle proprietary sense washed over her: he’s still a looker and he’s rich, and he’s all mine, he really is. All mine! And that’s the way it’s going to stay. “His whores,” she reflected, “had no fuckin’ idea who they were messing with.”
She tightened and relaxed the muscles in her thighs a couple of times. “I love you, baby!”
He smiled at her and bent over for a gentle kiss on the mouth. “I love you, too, honey. We’re in this together.”
She walked him to the door and gave his tie a final little tug before he started down the hall. His bodyguard closed around him like outriggers and walked him to the elevator banks.
Bob was waiting for him by the reception desk, surrounded by reporters and other flacks. He was jawing without interruption into the hydra-headed mikes that kept sprouting from the milling body. The equipment people were fiddling with gain-buttons and zoom-levers, and the pretty people were staking out claims near Bob so they could be seen to be reporting.
TO BE CONTINUED