Squire’s Isle Created by Geonn Cannon

Sunday, February 12: Born To Run

 

Patricia pinched the knot of her tie, winced, and tugged it free to start over again. Her blazer was visible on the closet door behind her. Her hair was neatly braided, Jill’s handiwork, and she was wearing her eyeglasses for a more professional look. She had saved the tie for last because she knew it would be a pain in the ass.

She glanced at the clock out of the corner of her eye, sneered at it, and went back to trying to make the perfect Windsor knot. She had to meet James Dugan at a lunch meeting that would be attended by the entire city council. It was there that she would officially announce her candidacy for mayor, and Mayor Dugan would endorse her. She figured having a sloppy tie would only count against her.

Jill appeared in the bedroom door, still dressed in sweatpants and a tank top.

“How’s it going?”

“Once I get this tie figured out, I’ll be fine.”

Jill put a hand on Patricia’s shoulder and turned her around. She undid the tangle Patricia had been working on and started over.

“You should have worn that red dress.”

Patricia smiled, her chin in the air to give Jill room to work. “You just hate that I’m wearing a suit.”

“I don’t think a woman has to dress like a man in order to get respect.”

“That’s because you’re not a man. The people I’m going to be speaking to this afternoon are set in their ways. The mayor’s job may not be a traditionally male profession, but the people have this town have only known the past seven mayors as ‘Mr. Dugan.’ I need them to open their minds to the possibility of a woman in that role. A suit is traditionally a man’s outfit. If they see me wearing one and wearing it well, then subconsciously it might be easier for them to see me as mayor.”

Jill clucked her tongue. “Devious. Good thing you’ve never tried those Jedi mind tricks on me.”

“Don’t be so sure. You married me, didn’t you?”

“That was my mind trick on you. See how well it worked?”

Patricia chuckled, and Jill finished. “There you go. And your plan has one thing going for it; you do look fantastic in a suit and tie.”

“Thank you, sweetie.” Her arms slipped around Jill’s waist and pulled her close for a kiss.

Jill pinched the tie between her fingers so she wouldn’t wrinkle Patricia’s clothes. When they parted, Patricia turned around to look in the mirror. Jill took the blazer off the closet door and helped Patricia put it on.

“Are you nervous?”

“About announcing my candidacy for the highest-ranking job on the island? A job that has traditionally been held by one family? No, why would you think…?” She exhaled sharply. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

Jill smiled and fished in the pocket of her sweatpants for the small item she’d been hiding since Friday. “You know the art period my class has every Friday? This week I decided to make something. I know that you’re waiting until everything is official before you think about a campaign manager or bumper stickers, yard signs, whatever. But I wanted you to have this.” She slipped her arms around Patricia and pinned the button to her lapel. It was yellow with black writing that said “HOOD-COLBY, 2012” in Jill’s unmistakable handwriting.

“Aw, Jill.” She blinked back her tears and brushed Jill’s fingers. She turned in Jill’s arms again and looked into her eyes. “Thank you for supporting me.”

“You bet. I can’t wait to be First Lady.”

Patricia rocked her head back and forth. “Yeah, well, we still have the campaign to get through. And there’s no guarantee the other Dugans are going to take the end of their dynasty well. I may have a fight on my hands. And if that happens, there’s… a chance that some bad stuff may come out.”

“Anything I don’t know?”

“No. But I wanted to make sure you were prepared for the whole… affair issue will come out again. You may have to hear a lot more details than you want to know.”

Jill sighed. “I know. I also know that’s not who you are anymore. It wasn’t even who you were then. Don’t worry about me; you have my vote. No smear campaign is going to change that.”

“Good. And hey, some of the smears might be about you.”

“What?” Jill blinked. “What do you mean?”

Patricia leaned in and whispered in case someone was already bugging their bedroom. “Remember the time we were in the ferry lanes, heading over to the mainland to pick up Michael, and we slipped into the backseat and fogged up the windows? There were a lot of other cars around. Someone might have peeked in… I might get accused of public indecency.”

Jill was blushing. “That was right after we got together.”

“Our first weekend alone.” Patricia brushed her lips over Jill’s cheek. “I learned so much about you that weekend.”

“Now what I meant…” Jill cleared her throat. “That was five years ago. You really think anyone would remember it?”

Patricia gave a theatric shrug. “You never know, when it comes to politics.”

“I’ll risk it. Let them say whatever they want, because it doesn’t matter if you made love to me in a semi-public car or if you made some questionable decisions during your questionable first marriage. The bottom line is that you deserve to be mayor. The voters on this island can either reward your hard work, or they can hand it to someone just because he happens to have a certain last name. I have faith. Even if it’s a hard road, I’ll take it with you.”

“Thanks, Jill. Are you sure you don’t mind me skipping out on lunch?”

“Not a bit. Michael and I can hang out.” Jill kissed the corners of Patricia’s mouth, then kissed her solidly. “Knock ’em dead, Trish.” She turned Patricia around and put her head on her wife’s shoulder. “Mayor Patricia Hood-Colby. How’s that sound?”

Patricia smiled and leaned her weight against Jill. “Plausible. Like it could really happen.” She kissed Jill’s temple and Jill slipped away from her.

“I’ll see you in the kitchen. Michael’s making you pancakes.”

“I’ll be there in a minute.” She watched Jill go, then looked at her reflection in the mirror. She adjusted the collar of her shirt, careful not to disturb Jill’s careful knot in her tie. Her fingers moved down the lapel to the handmade button on her chest. It was small enough to be unobtrusive, but the yellow drew her eye. She brushed her thumb over the top so that it shone even in the dim light of the bedroom and took a steadying breath.

Mayor Patricia Hood-Colby.

Definitely plausible.

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