01 September 2013

Ambush in Bartlette: Chapter 20

Maddy gave her best smile and wave as she turned away from the apartment door and walked down the hall toward the stairwell. She made sure to keep that little extra swing in her step until she was halfway down the stairs and out of sight. Then she relaxed.

Thank God she got him to agree to go out before she started talking politics. She’d come armed for bear and had a twenty dollar bet riding on whether she could actually get the guy to go out with her next Friday. She even wore the damned spiked heels. Not the ones which had platforms in front – the ones with her toes on the ground and her heels pushed far too high in the sky. They were down right painful, but they presented her assets so that no man with a drop of testosterone in his body could ignore her. When she got back to her car she slipped off the heels and slipped on a pair of boat shoes for the drive home. Unfortunately, she couldn’t do anything about the Spanx; she would just have to tolerate her stomach being crushed into her spine until she got back and could change into a sweat shirt and comfortable pair of jeans.

As she drove away, she reflected on how quickly everything slipped out of her control once the topic had changed to politics. Up to that point she’d had Yusif off balance and completely under control. In fact, that had been the plan. Every woman in the county knew this guy was a disaster when it came to dealing with women and she had every intention of using that to keep him off balance while she got him to agree to be the Democratic candidate for commonwealth attorney. But the moment she said they wanted him to run the giant boy who was clueless what to do about her - maybe even with her - was gone.

The man who replaced him was all business. He knew that the Democratic Party intended to run C. Mansford Sifford for the office and wanted to know why she was talking to him. The reason she gave was that Brad Dollersby was going to lose the next election. No commonwealth attorney could win without the support of the Sheriff’s office - if for no other reason than that there were so many deputies, and family members of deputies, who would vote for the candidate they thought would best prosecutor for the Department. The Sheriff was clearly at war with Brad and that meant Brad would lose. The Democrats wanted to make sure that the man who filled the slot knew what he was doing and Mansford was mostly a civil attorney who would handle a traffic ticket every couple months. Yusif would be a far better fit.

The real reason was that Mansford was a blithering idiot. However, he was a blithering idiot who had given lots of money to the party over the years and he was Daddy’s friend. And Daddy was the Democratic Party in Bartlette County.

When she’d come to her father with the proposal that they recruit Yusif into the fold she expected a fight. Instead, she found out that her father had already tried to recruit Yusif. He called in a favor with some people he knew in Roanoke and they sent a lawyer who did a lot of work for the Party to talk to him. The meeting never really got off the ground and the lawyer went back to Roanoke. A week or two later a deputy from Bartlette went to Roanoke and beat the poor guy half to death. Her father backed way off after that. Still, when Maddy asked if she could take a direct shot at recruiting Yusif, her father had been game. In fact, the only question he asked was when she planned to talk to him.

Maddy left her father’s house with a feeling he was up to something. She wasn’t sure, but decided to leave him to his own devices. After all, she hadn’t been completely straight with him either. Her main purpose for going to talk with Yusif wasn’t to get him to run for office. He was one of maybe five single guys this side of Bristol who wasn’t divorced, didn’t snort pills, had a decent job, and had a graduate degree. He was also tall, dark, and had an exotic look to him that wasn’t at all hard on the eyes. She’d been playing with the passive aggressive playbook for months now and it had failed miserably so she decided to just go for straight aggressive. All she’d needed was the excuse to corner him.

When he accepted her invitation to run, and started talking tactics and strategy, she was the one caught flat footed. She’d known that getting him to run was a long shot and figured that if he did it would be because she got him off balance and fast talked him into it. Instead, he started asking questions about funding and advertising on local radio stations and what the laws were for placing road side election signs and at least a dozen other questions.

She hadn’t known the answer to a single one of the questions and it was her turn to stumble through an awkward conversation as she made guesses and semi-promised things she wasn’t sure she could actually provide. Yet, that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst of it was that when he started to plan his political campaign he got comfortable with her. And it wasn’t a good comfort. Once he got his feet under him, the idea of running for office completely eclipsed the fact that a smoking hot woman, dressed to kill, had cornered him in his apartment. In effect, she was completely neutered - and she did not like it.

The next thing she knew, she was leaving the apartment, making promises to set up meetings with the bigwigs in the Democratic Party as soon as possible so that things could get rolling. He actually shook her hand as she walked out of the apartment. Shook her hand. In a fit of pique, she seriously thought about jumping on him and giving him one helluva kiss. She knew that would rock him back on his heels.

However, she had promised Daddy a candidate and she didn’t want to scare him off - from either the campaign or the date next Friday. So, she left with a smile on her face and plans in her head - a few of which even had something to do with politics.

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