McHale heard his outside office door open. Angie called out, “It’s just me, Scott. I need a few minutes.”
“Are you alone?” he called.
“I can give you more than just a few minutes…if you like.”
He heard the door to the shower room open, then close, and the lock click. The rustle of cloth, and after a minute the shower door opened. Her dark hair looped behind the ears with a string of pearls her sole remaining attire.
“Oh my goodness, Senator McHale. What do we have here? Were you expecting me or Mrs. Flores?”
He grinned and touched the soft skin around her breast. “I was kinda hoping for you. My God, you’re more beautiful every day.”
She stepped into the shower and for a few minutes, the world outside disappeared.
McHale dried second on the towel. By the time he walked out, she sat on the settee rolling a lipstick closed. A letter on White House stationery lay open on the coffee table.
He grinned. “Is that the invitation to lunch with the First Lady?”
She placed the cosmetic in her bag. “Yes.”
“Not bad for the grandson and daughter of Chicano field hands.”
“Language, dear. Latino, not Chicano. And my parents own the pistachio farm. Someday, that will be ours as well.”
McHale pulled at the tie’s knot and settled with a sigh onto the leather sofa. An electric fireplace filled one short wall with books on either side.
He pushed the White House envelope with a finger. “You’re due, Angie, you know. Who the hell else spends ten unpaid hours a day on the boards of directors for National Public Radio, the Red Cross, and Smithsonian, and then has time for the American Heart Association?” She smiled at him and tucked hair behind her ear. “But you know the real question is, how do we keep it going? I know it’s better to be lucky than good—”
“Stop that, Scott. They love you, that’s how you’ll keep everyone looking to you. Don’t give them anything they don’t want.” She straightened her skirt and leaned back. “You just need to pay attention to the polls and keep your eye on the presidential prize.”
He smiled. “Never utter those words outside our walls. Not yet, anyway. Naked ambition is not something the public appreciates.”
She watched him closely. “This will soon be our time, Scott. I know it. They know it. All we have to do is to convince you.”
He chuckled. “I love you, babe. Screw the world. I just want to sit here with you.” A knock at the door, and McHale glanced at the Seth Thomas on the wall.
“And, the world awaits.” She stood and picked up the letter, opening the door to Sylvia Flores. “He’s all yours until tonight, then he’s mine again.”