[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 10 028-031 032 033 034 035 036 037 038 039 040 041 Chapter 11 032-041 042 043 044 045 046 047 048 Chapter 12 042-048 049
Revenge Should Have No Bounds 050
Chapter 13 (2 of 7): The Hooker
“O.K.,” he said, sounding a lot calmer. “I’m going to tell you a little story from recent history. A fable with a moral, O.K. I’m sure you’ll recognize the outlines. It’s choice time for you, my friend.” He patted Roy on the shoulders. Roy took a sip of the vodka and spun the cold glass in his hands.
“Now listen,” Bob got serious, “as long as I’m running things we’re simply not going to do a Gary Hart on this campaign. We’re just not. Because you can’t keep it zipped? No, no way, my friend.
“Incidentally, Roy,” Bob went on, “you do remember Gary Hart, don’t you, Roy?”
Rany threw up his hands and rocked backwards, then sat forward tensely on the edge of the sofa. “Yes, I know, Bob. I remember.”
“Just to be sure, my friend, let’s review the matter. Gary Hart was ahead by about twenty percent in the Democratic presidential primaries, and then he got caught with that cross-eyed honey on the Monkey Business. Aptly named, by the way. And their weekend in the Washington town house. And this was a guy who kept spouting off about ethics and morality, especially his own, every time he opened his mouth. Remember that, Roy? And remember what happened? Everybody turned on him and ate him alive and his campaign imploded. Right?”
“Right,” Roy said glumly, his shoulders slumped.
“All that stuff you were orating about personal responsibility and family values at the press conference today … that was really great shit, Roy. But think real hard about this: Hart was operating in the swinging eighties, and look what he got. Just imagine how the Puritanical world of 2004 is going to treat a moral hypocrite like you with this … this Michelle?”
Roy said nothing.
“Talk to me here, Roy. This is very, very serious. I’ve got to know what’s going on. This is no time to be bashful. And don’t lie to me.” Bob was sitting next to Roy, close , wagging his finger in Roy’s face. “I’m not blind and deaf. I know all about Aspasia’s. Shit,” he snorted, “who doesn’t in this town? But they’re not running for mayor, Roy. Like you. See my point, Roy?”
He punched him lightly on the arm.
“Now, for God’s sake, talk to me, Roy! What do I need to know?”
“It’s private,” Roy sulked.
“Private? Private!” Bob was incensed. “You have no privacy. Come on, Roy, you know that as well as I do.”
“It’s not right.”
“Right’s got nothing to do with anything here. It’s not the time go into a sulk, Roy.”
Roy said nothing. He twirled his glass some more and stared into the icy clarity of its content. He lifted it to his mouth and swallowed the remaining liquid. When he started to get up and go for the wet bar again, Bob laid a restraining hand on his arm. Gently.
“Later,” he said. “Let’s get to it, Roy. Let me make it easy for you. I’ll ask the questions and you just answer. O.K.?”
“O.K.,” Roy replied, with little enthusiasm.
“Are you seeing somebody?”
A affirming nod of the head.
“What was that, Roy? I can’t hear you. Can you speak up?”
“Yes,” I am.
“More than one?”
“Hey,” Roy bristled, “watch it!”
“Don’t go indignant on me, my friend. It doesn’t play well right now.”
“What kind of question is that?”
“A legitimate one, I’d say, given the circumstances.”
The silence in the luxurious room was broken only by the muted tinkling of ice as Roy kept swirling his glass.
“All right. No, just the one.”
“This is straight, right?”
“Yeah? Do I hear a ‘but’ in there?”
“Well,” Roy fidgeted. Bob made note of the fact that his candidate actually blushed. This is not good, he thought.
“Go on. All of it.”
“Well, right now … the past few months or so I’ve just been seeing one girl.”
“But this isn’t the first time, is it?”
“No. No, it isn’t. But what am I supposed to do? I have needs just like the next guy.”
“Don’t whine, Roy. It doesn’t become you.” The mayor gave a small shrug and donned a pained a look of self-pity. “Listen, Roy, do you think all those guys out there you want to vote for you have needs too? And how many of them do you think have a Michelle stashed away somewhere they can call and have her send them up a young thing to the penthouse suite? How many Roy?”
“I don’t know. Not … not that many I guess … I …” His words dribbled off into incoherence. “Hey,” he perked up, “it sounds like suddenly you know more about Michelle than you let on before.”
“Well, you got that right, on both counts. Of course I know Michelle. Like I said, I’m not blind and deaf. I know what happens in this city. But what’s more to the point here is this, do you think the guys out there, what, are going to admire you if this ever got out?”
“Probably not, Roy. Yeah, that’s right, too. And what do you think the wives and the old folks are going to say when Mr. Family Values has got his private little pump on the side?”
Roy shuddered. “Don’t call her that. It’s such a vulgar expression.”
“What should we call her, Roy? When the reporters start flogging you with their lovely little questions. What should we call her then?”
Roy Rany put the empty glass on the table in front of him and took his head in both hands. And groaned. “Jeez, Bob, I don’t know.” He turned his head and looked at his campaign manager. “I guess it wasn’t such a smart thing to do, was it?”
“No, it really wasn’t, Roy. But it stops right now. This minute.”
“What? You mean I can’t …”
“… see the woman again. It stops now.”
“Gee,” Roy said, something like panic filling his eyes, “gee, Bob. That’s pretty drastic, isn’t it?”
“Let me ask you this, Mr. Mayor who wants to be a senator. How long will it take the tabloid, or the mainline press for that matter, too, to hire teams of operatives to watch you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week? And her, too? Roy, you’ve just became the star in every prurient imagination in the city. People want to catch you with your pants down – so to speak.”
“But we’ve been real careful.” Roy sat up.
“Roy, even you don’t believe that. If that’s the case, how did that reporter find out about Michelle?”
TO BE CONTINUED