The office smelled of wood and old leather. Various pictures of heads of state; warm false smiles over brief hand shakes at photo ops; bedecked an antique dresser with worn brass pull handles. The air reeked of old money and born into affluence. One wall was lined with diplomas and various accolades from grateful charities. A large American flag moved softly with the gentle flow of air from the air conditioning. Beyond the oversized window, the Lincoln Memorial rose high into the blue skies over Washington.
Senator Davis Flatt was a man who was used to getting what he wanted. Born into wealth, he attended all the prestigious schools and acquired the contacts from the wealthy armament manufacturers that would make his run for the Presidency an obtainable goal. There was just one fly in the ointment. The Senators contacts were anxious for it to be removed. Failing that, they had off handily mentioned that they may have to shift their encouragement to another camp.
The consensus amongst the American people was leaning towards a winding down of military involvement and the shoring up of established industries within the American economy. There was no money to be made in peace and Senator Davis Flatt was all about the money. Though well concealed, his family interests lay deep within the Texas testing grounds, and his loyalties were to the men that made the delivery systems by which those tests were made possible.
Davis leaned in close to the man sitting opposite him, lap filled with files and folders, and breathed the words in a conspiratorial hush.
“ I hired you because they told me you were the best. But now I am getting the feeling that I was sold a bill of goods! Are you sure we are both on the same page here? Because if we aren’t I will then have to make other provisions!”
Bill Jacobs looked at the face of the Senator and saw the anger flashing in his eyes, and felt his blood run cold.
“We have done what we could to find the perfect person. We are still looking, but I think we may have found him.”
Davis fell back into the overstuffed leather seat.
“ May have? I don’t want answers of that sort Bill. We both know that Senator McCulloch is gaining power amongst the masses with his goddamned rhetoric about what a wonderful country this could be without America putting its ass out there in developing countries. He is coming off like John fucking Kennedy! And the people are eating it up. No Bill, you had better come up with something better then may have. America is on the verge of losing her interests abroad, and I am on the verge of losing MY interests here in America! And make no mistake about it, if that goddamned peacenik McCulloch does somehow manage to beat my sorry ass into the White House, you will not be around to see it! Am I clear on that Bill?”
The Senator had said what he wanted to say, and left no room for negotiation.
“ Our time is running out fast. The more people we bring into this scheme, the more chances we have being found out. And Bill, understand this; I have no intention of eating a bullet on this. This is your project and you will succeed or be forever branded a traitor to your country. Do not ever say may have to me again! Now, do you have someone in mind?”
Bill opened the file on his lap and looked at the information it contained. As he drew his eyes back into the face of the Senator sitting across from him, he sensed the murderous rage in the Armani suit.
“ Yes, I believe we have our man. Phillip Preston. He is new to the group, and we may need some time to confirm that he is suited to perform his task, but I strongly believe that he is the right man for the job.”
The Senator rose from his chair and made his way back to his desk. Sitting behind it and crossing his hands in an angelic fashion, a smile crossed his face.
“ Get him on board fast Bill for both our sakes. Time and money is running out.”
Phillip mumbled an inaudible apology and made his way past the officer at the door and into the cool evening air. The young officer turned and watched him trudge off to his waiting car then returned his look to his sister Melinda.
” What’s going on here Melinda?”
Melinda rubbed her nose with the back of her hand and replied; “ He just finished talking with Loryanne.”
The young officer rolled his eyes.
“ Ok, that would do it. Give me a sec sis. Let me see what I can do?”
With that, the young officer turned and yelled to Phillip.
“ One moment please Mr. Preston! May I have a word?”
Phillip was in no mood for further conversation and politely waved at the officer as he continued to unlock his car door.
“ Mr. Preston, it’s important that I talk to you for a moment. I really must insist that you come back into the house.”
His demeanor left no doubt to the seriousness of his remarks.
Phillip stared at the young officer for a few seconds and returned his keys to his pocket as he made his way back to Melinda’s front door and the awaiting policeman. At this point, Phillip was ready to turn himself in and be done with it. No good would come of this evening. He knew that. He also knew that he was returning to a house full of people who had committed a capitol offense. His only thoughts now were to find that bottle of Scotch and consume it with wild abandon. Perhaps this would all disappear in an alcoholic haze.
“ You know Phillip, Loryanne isn’t a shining example of the people who are here tonight. She is a very angry young woman. Mind you, she has every right to be, but still, I wish you had met the others here tonight. And yes Phillip, I know what Loryanne told you. However, not everyone here tonight has killed someone. My sister Melinda has never harmed a fly!”
Phillip stared incredulously at the young man at the door.
“ Then why is she here hosting this get together?”
The young officers face paled as he searched for the words; so difficult to find.
“ She is here because of me Phillip.”