Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Stevie's plan for a couple of quiet,crack-of-dawn hours at her headquarters computer evaporated as soon as she saw the fire trucks, police cars, and television vehicles. "Stevie, over here," Rhoda was beckoning her and other volunteers. "It happened about three-thirty," Rhoda began, her round face drawn with disbelief. "Arson, they said. Somebody smashed the window and threw in a couple of firebombs. No one was hurt, thank God. The main floor looks like a total loss.
The senator and his wife were in Sacramento last night. The TV people are circling like vultures to get his reaction to the damage. He doesn't need something like this just two weeks before the debates."

After commiserating over the tragedy for several minutes, Rhoda and Stevie agreed to meet at the city library later in the morning to discuss backup plans for the two fax bulletins. As the discussion concluded, Stevie turned to see Wes Bellardi standing alone in the street, staring at the fire-damaged building. “Wes, did you just hear the news?" Stevie asked, approaching him. "The cop at the house woke me up about twenty minutes ago," Wes answered. "Are you OK with ... all of this?" she asked cautiously motioning toward the fire-damaged building. "You mean, am I concerned for my dad?" "Yes, exactly." Wes shrugged. "Sure. But I suppose
I don't need to be. He always seems to land on his feet somehow."

"I guess this means no faxing on Friday," Wes said. "Not necessarily. Everything is on disk. We're not going to let some amateur pyromaniac derail the Bellardi Express." "Amateur?" Wes asked. "Of course. If the guy really wanted to burn the place down, he—or she—would have used something more potent than a couple of Molotov cocktails.

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