copyright 2011/all rights reserved
OIL IN WATER
a novel by
CHAPTER THREE (a)
The fund raiser for Governor Jackson Randall was in full swing. White-gloved butlers circled the Philadelphia Visitor’s Center with delicacy-laden trays. Champagne flowed. Marty exchanged his empty glass for a full one and Ruth, declining her own, took a sip of Marty’s. The orchestra began a swing tune.
“Wanna dance?” Marty asked.
“Don’t change the subject.”
“I’m not.” Marty rolled his champagne around on his tongue and puckered.
“You know I have terrible night vision,” Ruth said.
“Duly noted. I will be clean and sober by the stroke of midnight. Now, please. Dance with me.”
Ruth basked in Marty’s adoring eyes. Resplendent in her slightly risque gown, the vigor of her convictions adding a blush to her cheeks, she looked to be a woman ten years younger. If Ruth Eugenia Tirabi missed the earlier version of herself, she never showed it. A brilliant strategist and a great campaign manager, she was courted by many a politician, even those whose social agenda ran far afield from her own. Had she been a man, she could have been governor. But soon after marriage, she got pregnant with Kori and four children and twenty-four years later, was still working politics into the peripheries. She was in no rush. Statistically speaking, Ruth had a fifteen to twenty-year greater life expectancy than her male counterparts; she could jump start her career at any time.
Ruth kissed Marty on the lips, slipping him a bit of tongue. It wasn’t lost on him.
“Let’s blow this clam bake,” Marty whispered. “I got somethin’ to show ya’.” He dipped her, and rolled his eyebrows up and down, a lewd gesture. Ruth laughed out loud as he set her upright.
“A little while longer. C’mon. Let’s dance.” Ruth grabbed Marty’s arm. Marty set his champagne down and twirled Ruth onto the dance floor, sidling up next to the Governor and his wife. Mrs. Randall laughed as if her husband had just said something supremely funny.
“Enjoying yourself, Mrs. Randall?” asked Marty.
“Immensely, Mr. Tirabi.” She looked at Ruth. “I can’t thank you enough.” Mrs. Randall whirled around so the women could dance shoulder to shoulder. “You gave him back his idealism.”
“Hey, Ruth. Sure I can’t convince you to hit the campaign trail with us tomorrow?”
“Thanks, Governor. But I must respectfully decline.” Ruth said.
“Well, aren’t you going to give me a pep talk or something?” the Governor asked.
“Give the people more than they ask for.”
Governor Randall gave Ruth a peck on the cheek. “Thank you. For everything.”
“I’m just a phone call away if you need me,” she said. Ruth squeezed the Governor’s arm, then looked at the watch on her gloved wrist.
“We gotta go. Not only am I dying to get these gloves off, but we need to get home and make sure the kids haven’t blown up the place,” said Ruth.
“Sometimes I close my eyes going down our street,” Mrs. Randall said. “Our 16-year old loves to host some wild parties.”
“Good luck, Governor,” Marty said and escorted Ruth off the dance floor. Ruth blew the Governor and his wife a kiss before fading away.
to be continued. . .