The senator gulped the remaining wine. He held the glass out–someone filled it. He took a sip interrupted by a voice and then stumbled when he turned to face a young woman.
“Samantha Tyler.” She extended her hand.
He bent over to kiss it, but the room began to spin.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
“War thing.” Where the hell is Jackson? He took another long drink.
From across the room Jackson eyed the man he had once admired—but that was before his sister revealed what the senator had done to her. He spotted Sims from the Times.
“The senator wants to talk to you,” said Jackson. Sims followed the aide across the crowded room.
The senator had his arm around the young woman. They were both looking straight ahead at a small group of people who were looking at them.
“Senator, I have a question for you,” said Sims.
The senator slowly withdrew his arm from the woman. He tilted left, then right and finally fell forward, grabbing the reporter to break his fall.
“Scuse me,” he said.
“Are you drunk, Senator?” asked Sims.
“Old war injury—got to sit down.”
Sims and Jackson helped the senator to a nearby chair.
“It’s the shrapnel in his knee,” announced Jackson to the onlookers.
Jackson, head down, walked away with a smile. Soon, an anonymous caller would tell Sims to check the senator’s military record.