Saturday, June 28, 2014

What would you do?

I thought it would be fun to share an excerpt from Sexual Politics. 

Is the scandal worth it? Only she can answer that.

For two years Justine Hubbard has played the supportive wife role for her husband in public...and nowhere else. Senator Gary Hubbard’s philandering ended her love for him. But sometimes there are reasons people decide to maintain the illusion of a happy marriage when the relationship is over.

Living a lie until after the election wasn’t an issue—until she met Sean O’Donnell. She can’t fool the perceptive photographer. He understands her. He wants her. After feeling invisible to her husband, that’s an intoxicating discovery. But having condemned her husband for his hushed affairs, it would be hypocritical to give in to her desire for Sean.
All it would take is a whisper of scandal for her husband’s political enemies to bring him down. She wouldn’t dream of sacrificing Gary’s career, their causes, and her own good name. But how can she stay away from Sean now that she’s fallen for him? 


Continuing on to her favorite exhibit, Justine suddenly wished she’d kept her mouth shut earlier. All the things she admired so much about these pieces—the exquisite details, the muscle tone and graceful contours, various facial expressions, and the dramatic poses—was lost in a haze of embarrassment as she stared over and over again at the idealized human form. It didn’t matter that she was in her late thirties and knew the anatomical secrets of men. Like an overly curious pre-teen, she was drawn to every marble penis, every solid scrotum. Where was her self-control? She couldn’t stop herself from looking, though her innate good taste made her shy away just as quickly. Her hormones and head were in a strange, indecent tug-of-war.

“Like a frightened turtle,” murmured Sean out of the blue.

Snickering in surprise, Justine muffled her laugh and nodded in agreement before fleeing past some of her favorite pieces without giving them the consideration they deserved. Sean was forced to follow. Spotting a water fountain in the corridor beyond, she headed for it. He caught up with her as she bent for a much needed drink.

Blotting her lips with her hand afterward, she straightened and turned on him, stifling her giggles. “You’re wicked.”

He chuckled, his eyes twinkling. “Someone had to say it.”

“Was I so obvious?” she asked, cringing with shame, she still needed to know.

He shook with muted laughter. “You seemed…fixated in there.”

She covered her face with both hands and gave a painful groan, though she was smiling. “I can’t believe I did that.”

“Been a while, has it?”

She dropped her hands and sighed. “Just between us?” 

“Of course.”

“Too long,” she confessed.

“I suspected as much.” He arched an eyebrow at her. “There is a remedy, you know.”

“Not for me.”

He studied her silently for an uncomfortable beat before he finally nodded. “I see.”

Frowning, she looked around and noticed the quiet alcove housing ancient pottery behind her. She backed into it and waved impatiently for him to join her. Hands on her hips, she stood up to him. “I see what you’re thinking, but I’m married. It might not be the most satisfying or…” She looked around to be sure she wasn’t overheard and dropped her voice. “...ideal arrangement, but that doesn’t mean I can simply ignore my vows. It would be hypocritical to condemn Gary for his indiscretions then do the same thing myself.”

“I’m not suggesting you cheat on him. I’m suggesting you leave him. Leave him, Justine. You deserve better. You deserve more.”

She stared into Sean’s eyes and wished it was that simple. If it was, she’d go up on her toes right now and kiss those dusky lips of his. She’d hold him close and bury her nose in his collar. She was barely surviving on the occasional whiffs of his aftershave as it is. Like it or not, Sean drew her like every penis she just stared at in the last gallery.

He has one of those too.

Slamming her mental door on that unhelpful reminder, she sagged against the bare wall at her back and helplessly threw up her hands. “I know, but this isn’t a good time to leave.”

“Is it ever?”

“I can’t right now. Not until after the election in November. The race is too close. It would weaken him.”

There was an angry tick in Sean’s cheek she’d never noticed before. “He’s weakened himself.”

“But Gary’s still the best candidate.”

Sean laughed in disgust and shook his head. “Doesn’t that just paint a glorious picture of American politics? It always comes down to the lesser of two evils.”

Depressed, she stared at the toes of her shoes, wishing it wasn’t so. Sean startled her by moving closer and taking her hand. He held it, his thumb making patient circles over the top. Raising her gaze to his, she found a man equally sad and disillusioned looking back at her.

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