From the Author
As for the circumstances, especially the political side? All I'll say to that is that it was an interesting exercise....
From the Inside Flap
She looked down in astonishment. It was Noah. He was swaying. Visibly. Was he drunk? Was he insane?
A different kind of fear went through her. If anyone spotted him here, in this condition, his chances of being elected were over.
She ran for the door, throwing the locks open, flying down the stairs, nearly slipping on the carpet in her bare feet.
Frantically, she flipped the locks on the lower door open.
"Noah," she said, "what are you doing here? Are you out of your mind?"
His eyes focused on her, bathed in the light of the streetlights, her hair tumbled and tousled over her shoulders, the thin white robe hinting at curves, nipping in at the waist, the deep v of it tracing her cleavage. She'd been in bed, if not asleep, her face bare of makeup.
"I can't stop thinking about you. It's all your fault."
He looked at her blearily, bathed in the light of the streetlights, she wasn't angry, but worried, concerned about him. In the back of his mind it touched him to see it. She did care.
"You're drunk," she said.
With a sigh, she said, "My fault, huh? Get inside before someone sees you."
Even so, she had to drag him in by the arm before she could get the door shut behind him.
"What were you thinking?"
Turning from locking the door, she found him sitting on the bottom step looking more bewildered than angry. All her own fear and anger dropped away.
With a sigh, she wondered how many times she had seen this or something like this?
"Come on upstairs and we'll talk about it," she said, gently.
"I don't want this," he said, looking at her.
Slinging one of his arms over her shoulders to steady him on the steep steps, she said, "I know."
Me, either, she wanted to add. Not this and not this way. But that wasn't who she was. She could no more turn away from him now than she could for anyone who was hurting.
"So, tell me about it," she coaxed, as they made their way up the steps.
"Why did you say that?" he demanded. "Why'd you have stir things up? I'm fine. I'm just fine."
"I can see that," she agreed.
"You had no right," he said.
"I only had no right if I was wrong," she said, reasonably, steering him to the door, propping his weight on her shoulder as she unlocked it and then relocked it once they were inside, as she had the downstairs door.
She didn't turn the lights on, giving them both the anonymity of the darkness.
"Was I wrong, Noah?"