Monday, June 25, 2012


For the first time since Dougie's death, Stevie found herself tempted to take tranquilizers again. She felt the need for something to serve as a buffer between her and the grinding, incessant pressure of the debate team and the fax bulletins, something to quiet the gnawing guilt over her failures at home and work. Then, of course, there was the constant anxiety fueled by AntiCrist's threats against her candidate, his wife, and particularly their son Wes, who reminded her of her own son who was lost to drugs. She tried not to allow herself even to think about Jon and that felon he had welcomed into her house, but the fear of what could happen nagged at her more than she liked to admit. The temptation to get a prescription for just enough tranquilizers to get her safely past the election was strong, but so far she had been able to resist it.

Robert Johnstone had been a big part of the reason she had resisted. His very presence seemed to exude a strength that infused Stevie with a resolve to see this trying time through— minus tranquilizers—one day at a time. And with each of those passing days, the attraction between Robert and Stevie grew. Where once she felt uncomfortable when he was near, now she found herself missing him when he was not.

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