When President Alvarez dies unexpectedly, Enry Pruitt is forced into the foreground where he fears his long held secret may be exposed. The new president is gay, and the object of his affection is an officer in the armed forces of which he is commander-in-chief. Navigating his way through the rough seas of a country in crisis, the inexperienced young president must deal not only with his desires, but with a trail of horrendous atrocities from an unknown assailant as well. When an old friend tries to locate him, Enry fears that a lost weekend in Singapore years ago may threaten his career and so much more.
Greg Downs crashed into the Newark City diner and crumbled his large frame into a booth. The world was spinning around him with adrenalin pumping out of proportion. He managed to order a cup of coffee from the waitress who wondered if he was on an acid trip. His breathing was labored and he wasn’t sure if he was in the grip of a panic attack. Newark was used to street people living on the edge of sanity. They were merely ignored, and for this moment in time, Greg was grateful that he was blending in. Waves of nausea held him hostage, and he struggled to maintain some kind of poise in the tiny little world of his booth. The mug of coffee arrived and he couldn’t keep his trembling hands around it long enough to lift it to his lips. Thankfully, the waitress had thought to bring him some ice water, and he put his head down to the glass to sip on the liquid coolness. He was hyperventilating and the diner was growing dimmer and dimmer in his vision. Everything was a blur when he finally passed out in his booth, overcome by excitement and the thrill of the most dangerous escapade of his life. He had just blown up the junior U.S. senator from New Jersey.
“My wife and I met when I was in flight school as a dashing young officer and she was a senior in college. We met in a bar of all places and began dating almost immediately. One of the things I loved about her was that she had a streak of nymphomania running through her. I found her terribly exciting and open to almost anything sexually. A few years into the marriage she confessed that she had no desire to have children, which was contrary to everything we had talked about while we were courting. Then she said she wasn’t satisfied in bed and wanted to experiment with another man in our bed, the three of us. I foolishly agreed to it, and one thing led to another, but I discovered I was fonder of having sex with a man than with my wife.”
Enry sat there enthralled and fascinated, and moved. Michael was opening up his deepest secret and shame, and it drew the president more closely into the mystery of General Michael Shimibura.
“One thing evolved into another, and all I wanted sexually was the pleasure and strength of another man. Valerie’s presence began to turn me off completely. I was away a lot on tours of duty, and after ten years of marriage, we were merely orbiting each other, and I officially moved out. I send her an allowance every month and we agree to live apart until I retire. Mr. President, tell me about President Alvarez.”
The question caught Enry off his usual poise, and Michael could tell that the president’s emotions were rising to the fore. Enry stood up, walked behind the sofa, and put his hands down on the back as he faced Michael to answer the question. Michael watched Enry gather the soul within him to answer a question he had not had the time to deal with in the days since the death of Diego Alvarez.
“Diego, sweet Diego. I can’t imagine a better president. He was genuinely gracious, genuinely kind, and genuinely intelligent. He was a peacemaker. He could bring in members of congress who hated him and they would leave offering to polish his winged-tip shoes. And he was personally gracious towards me.
“Diego was a damned good friend, and I wish he were still president.” He was embarrassed by his emotion but couldn’t contain it. For the first time, he had unearthed his sentiment towards his fallen friend and mentor, and felt exposed by the display of his emotion.
Michael rose from his seat and went to his president. “Mr. President, you’ve been through a terrible ordeal, and you need to get all of this out of you. From the beginning, you have handled this with great purpose, and I was genuinely impressed at your swearing-in ceremony, when you held the head of the chief justice to your chest and comforted him. You are a man of great ability to love.”
Enry could feel Michael’s strong hand massaging his shoulder in comfort.
“Mr. President, Enry, in case you haven’t heard it from anyone lately, you’re a wonderful man and a beautiful human being. The most exciting thing I’ve ever known in life has been the past few weeks with you.”
Enry’s ears melted in the calming voice of Michael Shimibura, and after a shared three bottles of wine, he stepped into the abyss. As he looked into Enry’s eyes, his hands moved to unwrap the presidential belt buckle.
“Enry, don’t say a word. I’ll say it for both of us.”
“Accidental President,” political thriller/romantic suspense by Dominic Lacerva, is available from Apple, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Bookstrand, All Romance ebooks, Kobo, and Coffeetime Romance. Also available in print from Amazon. Our website is http://www.beautobeau.com.
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