Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Blitz: Loving the Senator(Book 1 in the Capitol Affairs series) By Mia Villano

Loving the Senator by Mia Villano
(Capitol Affairs #1)
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: October 28th 2014
Genres: Adult, Erotica, Romance

To Prudence Romaine, Alex Conrad is the perfect man. He is gorgeous, rich and has just been elected to the U.S. Senate by the state of Virginia. The only problem is Alex is seventeen years older than Prudence, and he still thinks of her as the little girl he tried to rescue. But that all changes the night he is elected senator.

The sexual tension between Prudence and the senator reaches the tipping point. Prudence is no longer a little girl. She’s been in love with Alex for some time. But Alex has continually pushed her away time and again — for both their sakes. At least, that’s what he thought.

But Alex can only hold out for so long, and once they give in, the passion they’ve held back for years threatens to undo them. But loving the senator is not all its cracked up to be.

Prudence must learn to handle the pressure that comes with being with a high-profile politician, his jealous ex-girlfriend and the demands of the people if she wants to make this work.

LOVING THE SENATOR is an erotic romance aimed at mature audiences.



Mia Villano

chapter 1

“God, he is gorgeous,” I whispered to myself as the new senator took the stage. The things I thought about doing to him were sinful and possibly illegal.
     As I watched him walk to the podium, I couldn’t help but admire his confidence, masculinity, and mind-blowing presence. He was sex and sin rolled into one perfect package. His good looks were just an added plus to the incredible politician and leader he was. He looked amazing, but he always did with his wavy dark hair, sensual pouty lips, dark chocolate eyes, and a five o’clock shadow perfectly placed on his face. I was so preoccupied with admiring him, I didn’t realize he was staring back at me.
     At that moment, I decided I would not hold back my feelings for him. He was no longer my boss, and we were past the point of any negative press that could hurt the election. I didn’t care if he had a girlfriend, or he was seventeen years older than me. All that mattered then, was that I wanted him, and I planned on doing whatever it took to have him.
     He adjusted the microphone, his eyes locked onto mine, and he winked. I felt myself get wet. It wasn’t the first time he’d had that effect on me, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. My entire body became hot and flushed as he smiled. I stood amongst the crowd, drinking my first, well-deserved glass of champagne. The icy-cold bubbly felt great going down my dry, hot throat. I watched Alex get ready to deliver his acceptance speech to a crowd shouting his name. The temperature in the room seemed to shoot up twenty degrees as he held my gaze. In a room full of people, we only noticed each other.    
     “Conrad, Conrad,” the crowd shouted, which brought a bigger smile to his gorgeous face.
     The crowd hushed to a quiet roar as he began to speak.
     “Thank you, thank you. We did it, and I’m grateful for everyone who has helped to get me here. Tonight we are winners, and together we make one hell of a team!” The crowd erupted in cheers.
     “I’m honored to represent our state, the great state of Virginia. I want to thank my parents. Though with me in spirit, their values made me the man I am today. Thank you, Mom and Dad,” he said. Alex looked up at the ceiling and blew a kiss as the crowd roared even louder.
     “My faith in God got me through a tough campaign. Thank you for your faith in me.” Again, the crowd cheered.
     Flanked by the American and Virginian flags, Alex looked like something out of a movie. With his signature five o-clock shadow and the confidence of a man who’d been elected in a landslide victory, Alex Conrad looked as if he owned the world. Above him, balloons held by a giant net, waited for release at just the right time. Soon, we’d be swimming in a sea of blue. 
     When several of the campaign workers began chanting my name, I smiled and shook my head from side-to-side. He owned this night, and he deserved the recognition, not me. They couldn’t have elected a better man than Alex Conrad. At forty years old, Alex was the new, energetic, young senator everyone seemed to love.
      “I want to thank the leader of our campaign team, Prudence Romaine. For the past year, she worked, went to law school, and spent her spare time getting me elected.” He seemed to chuckle with that comment.
     “She comes from a long line of politicians herself, and I knew she had in it her to take this to the finish line. This was her first campaign, and she did a remarkable job. Everyone, please give her a round of applause.” The crowd erupted in cheers and my campaign workers chanted my name.
     He caught my eye again; I waved as he pointed at me and smiled. His speech went on for a few minutes longer in between the cheering interruptions of the crowd. When he was finished, his campaign song came on. As the song played, and the balloons fell, he walked out into the mass of people wanting to be near him. They congratulated him with high fives and pats on the back. I watched as women swarmed around him to get closer to this magnificent man. The ballroom erupted in utter chaos as Alex tried to make his way through the crowd.
     After about twenty minutes of mingling, he made his way over to me. I stood beneath a campaign sign that said it all “Alex Conrad, the Man Who Can Get it Done.”
     “Prudence, come here and dance with the new senator? I owe this to you, of course,” he said. His voice sounded gravelly and strained from his speech. When I heard him say ‘come’ it made me ache as I imagined clothes- ripping-up against- a-wall-sex. 
     He ran a hand through his hair and I felt his gaze slide over me as he bit his lower lip. I couldn’t believe he wanted me to be his first dance as Senator.
     “I’d love to dance with you, Senator. You didn’t have to thank me up there. I didn’t do this. You did it; look around at this crowd. Everyone adores you,” I smiled. Alex took my champagne glass, swallowed the last of it, and set it on the table, never taking his eyes off me.
     He held out his hand, and I nervously grabbed it. My heart raced when he pulled me closer. His hands were so strong and soft, and I caught a glimpse of his very expensive Cartier watch peeking out of his sleeve. I noticed his crisp white shirt, opened at the neck with his tie hanging loosely. He chose a crimson red tie for the evening and it looked incredible against his black Gucci suit. I spotted a few wisps of black hair on his muscular chest sticking out tempting me. His arms came around me and his hands rested on the curve of my back.
     The band started to play one of my favorite old songs, “Unforgettable” as we danced closer.  I wanted to melt into him forever.
     “I love this song,” he whispered in my ear. The wisp of his breath made me tingle.
     “Me too.”
     To be that close to him was something I only dreamt about.  It was only a dance, but to me it was so much more. I wanted it to be more.
     “Thank you for your help with the election, Prudence. I meant what I said up there. You worried me at first, and I was leery of letting you take on such a big job, but you proved you were a Romaine right off. Your grandfather would be proud of you.”
     His hot minty breath was warm on my neck. His skin was hot against mine, and it brought back thoughts of what the two of us could be doing together if we had been alone. Since the first time I met him, I’ve thought of him, dreamt of him, and longed to see him again. Now, seven years later, I danced in his arms celebrating a new chapter in both of our lives.
     “I enjoyed every crazy minute of it, Senator Conrad,” I said.
     Alex’s campaign had been exhausting, and I ran it well, yet relieved it was over. Guided by my wonderful Aunt Toby, this was my first as a manager. He took a chance when he agreed to let me be in charge, and it paid off for both of us in a significant way.
     His on again-off again girlfriend Jade stood close by watching our every move. I saw her out of the corner of my eye, glaring at us over her exotic neon-blue drink.
     Jade Crenshaw, a tall, overly tanned brunette with big brown eyes and legs that went on forever, was his date for the evening. Once a model, and now a professional interior designer, she loved the spotlight and never seemed to be far away from her man. She stared at us with her over- injected, glossy lips in a perfect pout, clearly upset.
     “Your girlfriend is giving you the evil eye,” I said.
     I kept my cheek pressed to him, inhaling his exotic scent; leathery, expensive cologne that fit him perfectly.
     I’d come to know him and his quirks from the time I’d spent around him. He liked black coffee, cold pizza, and cherry seltzer water. He loved vintage Fiats, fine Italian leather boots, and collected old luggage. At forty-years-old, his body looked toned and perfectly muscular, like someone half his age. He was everything I ever wanted in a man, and I was determined to make him mine.
     It didn’t get any better than Alex Conrad, and he had no idea how I wanted him in my bed and in me. While I had him to myself for a moment, I waited for the opportunity to let him know.
     “She’s mad at me tonight,” he said.
     “Were you a bad boy, Senator?” I asked. I tried to sound playful, hoping he would get the hint.
      “I guess, and I will pay for it later. On the most important night of my life, she wants to make me miserable. She hasn’t said a single word to me all night. Not ‘I’m proud of you.’ Nothing.” He sounded upset.
     How could she be so careless with a man like Alex Conrad? She clearly didn’t deserve him. I swallowed hard. He held me tighter, and I let out a soft moan. Go for it. I closed my eyes tight, and did.
     “She should be making this your night. I would love to make this your night, Senator. If things get to be too much with Jade, you know where to find me. I plan on heading home and taking a hot relaxing bath, slipping into something comfortable, and curling up in my bed with a good law book. I would love for you to join me.”
     “Is that a fact, Miss Romaine?” His breath hissed out, as his lips brushed my ear. An uncontrollable wave of arousal pulsed through me.
     “That’s a fact, Senator Conrad.”
     “You have some effect on me, Prudence.”
     There’s no mistaking his rock-hardness, pressed up against me. It was pure heaven.
     I said nothing.    
     He had no idea how wet I was getting. On top of that, my nipples came alive inside my bra begging for his touch. But we were still in public and couldn’t get carried away. I stepped out of his hold and cleared my throat.
     “Who would have guessed the little girl I met at sixteen would change my life so completely seven years later?”
       “You have changed my life as well. If it weren’t for you, and my grandmother, there’s no telling what my life may have become.”
     He became silent, maybe lost in the memory. After a few seconds of silence between us, he spoke.
     “The little girl named after two Beatles songs and hated both of them.”
     “Please, don’t remind me,” I said. He smiled at me and held me gaze.
     The way he looked at me was the way I have always wanted a man to look at me or at least, the way I wanted this man to look at me.
     I stared back into his dark, mysterious eyes, and I imagined how good he must be in bed. The way he watched me, and the way his body moved next to mine was a sign of what kind of lover he would be. He had the looks of a politician, but I sensed him being a naughty boy in bed.
     An ache began between my legs where I needed him to be. I wanted to climb into the nearest bed or back room and show him how much I remembered him.     
     “Well, I’m not an insecure teenage girl anymore, Alex. I’m not living with my drugged out mother in a rundown trailer either. Thank God, Beulah got me out of there when she did. Those days are long behind me.”
      “How well I’ve noticed,” he said, moving his eyes over my body. My dress showed off my best assets. I felt my breasts swell, threatening to bust out of my bra as he gazed at them.
      “Your grandmother is a wonderful woman, and I’m sure she is very proud of the woman you’ve become,” he said.
     “I sure hope she is.”
      I certainly wasn’t the same pathetic, sixteen-year-old. I had grown up and became a confident woman. I took pride knowing I was well-educated and supported myself. I worked hard to change my life and my future.  
     For just a moment, we were in our own world. We looked at one another and whatever else needed saying, we said with our eyes.                 
     “Alex, I need you over here. They want to take our picture together,” said a very pissed-off-looking Jade.
     She grabbed Alex by the hand that held my waist and pulled him away from me. Cool air hit me as soon as his warm body pulled from mine. The band began playing a fast song, and the dancing kicked up a notch. As he walked away with his six-foot-tall girlfriend shaking her ass, he looked back at me and winked. I stood and watched as she led him across the crowded room.  
     I had put myself out there by letting Alex understand what I wanted. Now, it was up to him to take me up on it.
     I became suddenly exhausted. I had been at the law office most of the day, and I just wanted to go home and relax. I threw back one more glass of champagne, said goodnight, and made my way towards the back door. Alex caught my eye and began to make his way over.
     “Prudence, wait a minute,” he yelled as I pulled on my trench coat. He grabbed my coat and helped me get it on, holding up the shoulders as I slipped my arms through the sleeves.
     “Thank you,” I smiled, turning to face him.
     “You leaving so soon?” he asked. He looked so hot I wanted to take him home with me right then. He got close to me again, and the heat rolled off his mouthwatering body. 
     “It’s been a long day and a long campaign. I need a hot bath and my comfy bed,” I said, licking my lips.
     “Thank you again for everything,” he said. He looked around and ran his hands through his hair. His good looks once again mesmerized me. We were alone except a few waiters, cleaning up dishes.
     “I loved every minute helping you with this election, and I can’t wait to do it again,” I smiled a seductive smile at him.
     “Are you all right going home? It’s crazy out there. You need to be careful. Let me call you a cab,” he said, inching closer to me.
     That extra glass of champagne gave me the nerve to do what I was about to do. I reached for his tie, pulled him close, and kissed him long and hard. His lips, so luscious and warm; I wanted them all over my body. I took my other hand and let it lightly pass across his cock. He looked stunned and out of sorts. I licked my lips again and said, “Yes, I’m fine out there going home, a cab is not what I need, and you taste delicious. I want to taste the rest of you, Senator Conrad.”
     Wow, I laid it out there. I even shocked myself at what I said and did. My inner vixen came out in full force, and I couldn’t control it. After a few seconds, he finally spoke.
     “Christ, I’m so tempted to leave with you right now. We could sneak out of here together and be alone away from all of this, but what kind of senator would I be?” he asked, looking dark and intent with his hands in his pockets. His shirt, still unbuttoned, his jacket, off, and his hair, now wild from running his hands through it. I looked at his expensive dress pants and noticed I must have done something right. I could take him up on that offer right then and there.
     “My bed is always waiting for you, now or later.”
     I turned and headed towards the exit sign. I looked back, and he was focused on me. I waved and watched him. His campaign song came on, and everyone started chanting his name. Alex insisted on Barry Whites, “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” as his campaign song. As soon as he heard it, he ran off. The crowd cheered for this captivating man and sang along. Not able to take my eyes off him, I watched as he got up on stage, putting on his baseball hat that read “CONRAD.” I couldn’t help but smile. I would’ve done anything for that man. One more glance at me and he winked again, which sent an ache in my body. My senator. God, I wanted him.
     The sensation of his lips was still awake in my mind on the short ride to my condo. The outline of his cock through his pants had me hypnotized. Like my favorite candy, I hungered for more. I wanted to fuck him senseless and taste every sugarcoated inch of him. How could a man so much older than me have such an effect? There has never been a man that shook me up like Alex Conrad. Just thinking about him sent scorching currents through my body. I didn’t even know what my body would do if we had sex. I would probably transcend to a higher plane and orgasm to death.
     Outside, the streets were in an uproar as the new President would soon be elected. People crowded everywhere, inside and out, partying the night away. The streets, filled with policemen directing traffic, and celebrations that carried on into the night. I had to weave and dodge my new VW bug around stop-and-go traffic as I made my way home.
     It felt so wonderful to finally be home. I couldn’t help but smile as I walked in the door to my familiar surroundings and the peace and quiet of my own place. The steamy hot bath relaxed my overworked body as I lay there and let the water jet around. Working a campaign, entailed many long hours of speech writing, and many miles walked canvassing neighborhoods and organizing. My aunt Toby had started the campaign for Alex. After a while, she let me take over when he started soaring in the polls. My Aunt Toby, a congresswoman herself, was a long-time campaign manager. She taught me everything she knew, and I was so lucky to have her as a mentor. Overwhelmed at first, I caught on right away and loved the excitement.
     I enjoyed the quietness of being home alone in my little sanctuary. I sat in the hot water for almost an hour as I listened to Bocelli, and fantasized about Alex. 
     After I got out and dried off, I found something sexy to wear in case he stopped by. I wanted to look as hot as possible. I chose a short, black lacy nightgown that pushed my ample breasts up and barely covered my butt. I chose a matching thong, put my hair up loosely, and of course sprayed my bed and myself with my perfume. I climbed in my comfy bed with a law book, and a cup of coffee, fully intending to study. I snuggled in my flannel sheets and tried to read a couple of chapters to stay awake. I looked at the clock. Eleven o’clock. The party should’ve been wrapping up. By midnight, I drifted off to sleep. 
     The light streaming into my bedroom window told me morning had arrived, but I needed more sleep. My head pounded from the champagne and not enough rest. Disappointment set in when I realized my bed was empty. He never came. What would he want with a young girl from the other side of the tracks? He remembered where I’d come from, and how miserable my life had been. That had to be in the back of his mind when he decided not to come over. He saw for himself the drugs, poverty, and craziness that consumed my life every day growing up with my mom. I couldn’t compete with that ex-super model, Jade, and I’m sure my age bothered him. As           I do every morning, I turned the news on while I got ready, and I couldn’t believe Alex was the top story. Instantly, my stomach churned

chapter 2

I turned up the volume and sat on my bed to keep from passing out.
     “Top news this morning: Newly elected Virginia Senator Alex Conrad, was involved in an accident late last night. The investigation is still ongoing, but it’s believed that he was downtown near the university after his victory party, where the accident occurred. We are unsure of his condition only that he is being treated at St. Theresa’s hospital. We will update further as we find out more.”
     Oh my God. He was near my condo when it happened. I jumped off the bed, threw on clothes, and brushed my teeth. I put my shoulder-length red hair up in a ponytail, put on mascara and lip-gloss hurriedly, and headed out the door. I drove as fast as possible to the train station. I parked my car, purchased my ticket, and searched my phone to check for more updated news on Alex. None of the news feeds updated. After the quick twenty-minute ride, I made a quick stop at the coffee shop on the way in and grabbed a coffee for myself and a second one for my coworker, Thomas.                  
      Thomas was already in the office when I arrived. He shopped on the Internet early in the morning pretending to work, but I caught him when I walked in. I handed him his favorite, mocha Frappuccino, and he excitedly clapped his hands, with a smile.
     “Please don’t do that again today. It is way too early for your gayness,” I said. I hoped he had information on Alex.
     “You love my gayness, honey.” He laughed at me turning around to face me in his cubicle.
     “Thomas, did you hear about Alex this morning?” I asked.
     “Honey, all I heard is he had an accident. Nobody is saying a thing on the news. This is between me and you, but I believe he was going to meet a woman,” he said. He tried to whisper like he knew a big secret.
     I put my purse in my desk drawer and my books on the shelf above my computer. Little did Thomas know, that woman might have been me?
     “Thanks for the little piece of heaven. I’m going find out about Alex; I will be right back,” he said. He slurped his coffee through a straw loudly and headed down the hall. I got settled into my cubicle and turned on my computer.
      It only took him a couple of minutes to get the scoop that I longed to hear. I counted on Thomas to get information or gossip faster than breaking news.
     “So Stacy in clerical told Monica, the receptionist, that, after the party around midnight, he was in his Maserati heading downtown near the campus, and someone ran a stop sign. He is okay, but in the hospital getting checked out, and he has a black eye, cuts and bruised ribs, nothing too serious. I still say he was going to see someone. Hey, while I’m thinking of it, do you want to go out Saturday night with Bruce and me? He found out about a new club that is off the charts,” he said.
     He began snapping his fingers and dancing, unconcerned about anything else.
     What happened to Alex took over my thoughts and I couldn’t think beyond that. He had to be coming to see me if his accident happened downtown. I had to find out. I had his number in my cell phone from the campaign. With shaky hands and my heart beating rapidly, I typed out a message to him. 
     “Just heard u were in an accident. Pls tell me u r ok.”
     I sent it and waited. 
     “Miss Romaine,” said Victoria Lyndhurst. She’s the law firm’s reigning prosecuting attorney, and I definitely hadn’t expected her to sneak up behind me.
     “Yes, Victoria,” I said turning around in my seat, hoping she didn’t catch me texting. Victoria didn’t scare me, but everyone else in the office feared her. Thomas said when he hears her voice, he shrivels up everywhere. She’s one of the best prosecuting attorneys in the state and meaner than a rattlesnake. When she finished with someone, he would be missing either one or both of his balls, and she had them in her fist. I admired her.
     “I want you in court with me this afternoon. I’ve got a real doozy, and I want you to watch me destroy him. I need to be there by one o’clock, so be ready. This prick is a wife abuser and his latest wife, the fifth one, is dead. I’m going to nail his ass to the wall and watch him cry like a bitch,” she said sipping the green tea that she drank obsessively.
     “I’m your girl, Victoria. I love to watch you nailing asses to the wall,” I said. 
     I really did. What she did in court could’ve been considered a work of art. I witnessed many grown men, accused killers and one mafia hit man, cry when she finished with them. Victoria was ruthless.
     “Watch and learn honey, watch and learn. You will be doing this soon, so you might as well learn from the best. One less jackass out terrorizing women is an excellent day in my book,” she said.
     After that comment, she glared at Thomas. She loved that he was intimidated and afraid of her. 
     Victoria quickly became my idol. She showed no fear, and swore like a sailor, but had a timeless, classic style about her. Her platinum hair always worn up and I had never seen her without high heels. She was as old as my grandmother was, but didn’t look a day over fifty. She loved going to the opera, and I noticed after a huge win, she often celebrated by eating a McDonald’s Big Mac. Victoria had taken me under her wing and told me she planned on “grooming me for greatness.”
     Before I asked her something concerning another case, she whirled away, back into her office and shut the door. 
     I leaned back in my seat and looked out the window of our high-rise. For November, the weather was perfect. The sun shone bright, with not a cloud in the sky. I took a quick glance at my phone for any text messages. Heat radiated up my cheeks when I noticed his number flashing.
     Glad to hear from u. I didn’t make it to u. I tried. Sorry. I’m OK. Just banged up. Come see me.
     Relieved u r ok. When?   
     Thankfully I was sitting. 
     Going to court in a few w Victoria. Monday?
     Early. Need to see u.
    11 ok?
    Don’t forget. Looking forward to it.
     Don’t forget? Was he kidding?      
     He needed to see me. I wanted to stop working and go to him. The idea of pretending to be sick crossed my mind. But Victoria needed me, and I had to put my career first even though it killed me. I couldn’t run over on my lunch hour either. I would never make it back in time for court. 
     I wanted to tell Thomas, but I waited. I tell him everything, yet I needed to keep this to myself. He would never shut up and might accidentally tell someone. He looked over at me and must have noticed something was wrong. He ran over to my desk, flailing his arms around and laughing.
     “Are going to get sick? You look ill. Did that mean, nasty Victoria scare you? She did me. I’m pulling my balls out of my ass right now,” he said, rubbing my back.
     “Nothing is wrong. I’m fine. Just too much champagne last night and my head is killing me,” I lied. I rubbed my eyes. Focus. More people came in the office, and the place got loud. 
     “I have Ibuprofen if you want it,” he said. He sat on the edge of my desk facing me. He looked so cute with his gray pullover sweater and yellow scarf. Only Thomas could pull off that style. He was gorgeous with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a very muscular body. When we met in college, I wanted to date him. That changed one night at a party when he made it clear, women weren’t his thing.  
     “I will be okay. Why are you are acting weird this morning? Did you have sex last night? You always act mega weird after a good roll in the hay,” I teased.
     Since he started dating his new boyfriend Bruce Xiong, I had to listen to their “sexcapades” as he called it. They fought, and then had crazy make-up sex. I sensed it the next day because he always acted more annoying.
      “Well, yes of course. We had our celebration sex after the election. Alex looked hot last night. Oh and, by the way, I noticed you dancing with him; you little skank,” he smiled. Thomas was at Alex’s election party. He didn’t stay long but made an appearance when I was dancing with Alex.
     “He asked me to dance, big deal. He only asked because I ran his campaign, and it was the right thing to do. His girlfriend watched it all,” I said.
     “Say what you want, honey. I sense you have a thing for him. That’s why you were so concerned about him this morning. I haven’t seen you that concerned over anyone. You know, maybe, I have a thing for him. He might’ve been coming to visit me last night,” he said, laughing and walking back to his cubicle.
     “Good luck with that!” I yelled.     
     “Well, signal me if I need to call 911. I don’t want you flat-lining in your cubicle, honey. You look pale,” he laughed.
     “You’re an ass,” I smiled. Before he sat back down, he smacked his butt, pretending to gallop like a horse. Victoria walked out of her office and gave him a glare that could kill. His face got beet red and I couldn’t help but quietly laugh at him. My day went from dreary to fantastic in just a few minutes.

chapter 3

I woke up earlier than was necessary Monday morning. I had anticipated my meeting with Alex all weekend. I got out of going out with Thomas to the club and spent the weekend working out and preparing for an upcoming case. Sunday night, I had gone to sleep early, though I tossed and turned the entire night. I had been in his office many times during the campaign, but this time was different. Since I had taken the day off, I dolled myself up more than usual and picked out an outfit I normally wore going out on the weekends. I straightened my shoulder-length red hair and wore my signature red lipstick. My new designer jeans fit my ass perfectly and I added a sweater that hugged my breasts. I topped it off with a distressed leather coat and knee-high boots, my new Tom Ford sunglasses, and the Gucci purse Beulah bought me for getting into law school. Lastly, I put on the gift Alex had given me seven years ago. I didn’t wear it the entire campaign. I didn’t want our past interfering with his election. I wanted to see if he remembered it, and what his reaction would be when he saw me wearing it.
     I walked into his familiar office building, stopping off at the restroom to freshen up. I spritzed on my perfume and reapplied my red lip stain. He always stared at my lips when they were red and glossy. I walked into his office, ready to see the man I wanted more than anything.
     “May I help you?” the receptionist asked as I approached her desk. Susan, who I used to see during the campaign, wasn’t there. It took me by surprise to see this new person. She was an older woman with a pointy nose and a sour expression on her face. I caught her eating grapes at her desk and then tried to hide them when I got close.
     “I’m here to see Senator Conrad. I’m Prudence Romaine. Is Susan out today?” I asked, smiling at her.
     “Susan is out with the flu. I’m a temp in for a couple of days. Do you have an appointment, Miss Romaine?” she asked. She adjusted her black skirt suit and then the blue scarf around her neck. Her gray hair hung in a short stylish bob just above her ears. She tapped her manicured fingers against the keyboard searching Alex’s appointments for the day. 
     She was the total opposite of Susan who always smiled, liked to tell dirty jokes, and complimented me on my hair whenever I came to Alex’s office. 
     “Yes, I have an eleven o’clock. I love your scarf,” I said. I hoped to make her smile.
     “Thank you. Please take a seat, and I will inform Senator Conrad that you are here,” she said. I caught a glimpse of a smile as I sat in the waiting area listening to bad elevator music. I had told Alex he needed to change the music and put in something more upbeat, but he never did.
     It wasn’t but a couple of minutes later when he came out of his office. The sight of him floored me. I almost couldn’t get up from the chair and walk. He took my breath away every time I looked at him, and to see him with bruises, broke my heart.
     His eyes were partially shut and had a bruise underneath it. I felt guilty knowing I was the reason he’d gotten into an accident in the first place. I wanted to take him back to his office and kiss away his pain, stroke away his anguish, and have my way with him on his desk, immediately.
     “Hold my calls while I’m with Miss Romaine, Margo,” he said. The heat crawled up my body. He just stood there and was focused on me as he spoke to this temp. I wished I could’ve read his mind.
     “Yes, Senator.” She smiled at him, but gave me a suspicious once-over as I walked back into his office.
     “Have a seat, Prudence,” he said, taking in my outfit. His look was somewhere between appreciative and shocked. I had never dressed like this when I worked on his campaign, and he seemed completely unprepared.
     I took a seat in one of the big leather chairs in front of his desk. I inhaled deeply enjoying the scent of his office, a combination of Alex’s cologne and the leather. A huge mahogany desk full of papers and books sat in the middle, facing the window and a perfect view of the city. Law books covered the cherry bookshelves along with pictures of people I assumed were his family and a giant dog. My mood changed as my eyes landed on a photo of Alex and Jade sitting on the beach. I noticed that picture before when I was in there, but this time was different. This time it gave me a sour feeling in the pit of my stomach. What was I doing there?
      “Excuse the mess. It’s nuts around here right now. I’ll be glad to get settled in my new office soon.” As he spoke, he straightened his tie and smiled.
      “You’re banged up pretty bad, Alex,” I said, wanting to touch him.
      “It’s no big deal. I’m just sore. I’m lucky it wasn’t worse. My car’s banged up more than I am.” He sipped his glass of water while looking me over from top to bottom and trying not to make it too obvious.
     “How did you explain this to Jade?”
      The air between us crackled with electricity.
     “Jade is history. She left me at the party. It’s better this way. It was time.” My face flushed. 
      My phone vibrated in my purse, but I silenced it.
     “Do you need to take that?” He nodded toward the phone.
     “No, they can wait.” 
     “I wanted to ask you something for a long time. Now since this whole election thing is over, I guess it’s okay for me to discuss it.”
     “Ask me anything, Prudence.” His tone contradicted his words, as if he anticipated the question he knew I would eventually ask. 
     I shifted nervously in my chair. “Why were you in Ohio with my mom?” 
     He grabbed his glass of water, took a long swig, and walked to the window, looking out.
     “I went to law school in Ohio, and our families were close. Both my father and your grandfather were senators at the time. They vacationed together, and we spent many weekends at their house. After your mom ran away, your grandmother found out about your mom’s drug use. She was mortified to learn she had a child and was living in a trailer in Ohio. She asked me to find you and bring you and your mom back to her. She thought since I went to school with your mom, and we were the same age, I could convince her to come home.” He stopped talking, and I had the impression he had much more to say.
     “You weren’t, in a relationship, with my mom?” I asked shifting in my chair again. I had to know if he had banged my mom back in the day, even though I hated having that image in my mind.
     He turned quickly towards me.
     “Dear God, no. When I got there and saw what a mess she was, and what was going on in that trailer, I wanted no part of what she was offering. My focus was on getting both of you, if not just you, out of there and to Beulah’s.” 
     He paused for a minute again, took another sip of his water, and sat on the edge of his desk. He continued as I cleared my throat in preparation for what came next.
     “She tried, several times to get me to do things with her. She was relentless sometimes. Your mom was not the same person I remembered when we went to school together. She was unrecognizable to me and I felt so sorry for both of you. When I tried talking her into taking you to your grandmother, she flipped out. The next day I found her unconscious, overdosed on heroin,” he said. He kept his eyes on me the entire time he talked.
     “I remember that day. My best friend, Veena came home with me, and you came to tell me they’d taken my mom to rehab. You offered to take me to visit her the following week.”
    “Yeah. Within a day after she got out, she used again. I even took her to an AA meeting, but she snuck out and met a few of her friends and back to drugs she went. How is Veena? Do you still talk to her?”
     I could tell he felt guilty, like maybe he didn’t do enough. But he was wrong. He had done more than he realized. More than my own family had done for me, and my mom.
     “I haven’t seen or spoken to Veena since I left. I tried to contact her, but I have never heard back.”
     Suddenly, I was very out of sorts. I hadn’t expected to drudge up old feelings. Veena was my best friend in school and lived in the trailer park with her grandmother and sister. We were inseparable most of the time, and she was with me the night my mom told me to get out. I missed her terribly and would love to see her.
     “Why didn’t you just bring me back here and not tell her? You could’ve sneaked me out of that hell while she was in rehab.” I didn’t mean for it to sound like I thought he didn’t try hard enough.
     Alex’s face grimaced as if he was in pain. But I couldn’t tell if it was from his injuries or my questions. 
     “I could have, and be charged with kidnapping and a career in politics never would have happened.”
     I nodded my head in agreement and couldn’t stop looking at those lips and his handsome face. Knowing the details of how he had cared for me, and my mom, even back then, made me want him more.
     “Well, you did take a bullet for her.” I kept shifting around in my seat trying to get comfortable as his eyes burned into me.  
     “I took a bullet for you, Prudence. When I heard those thugs talking about hurting you, I went crazy. I couldn’t allow it. You had been through enough,” he said.
     My heart hurt when he admitted that. The more he revealed, the deeper in love I fell.
     “Where did you get shot?” I asked putting my hair behind my ears since I was nervous.
      “Right here in my stomach.” Alex pointed to the spot right above his belly button.
     “I spent two weeks in ICU and had part of my intestines taken out. I nearly died trying to rescue you. My failure has haunted me for the past seven years, Prudence. I couldn’t get you out of my mind, and not in a sick perverted way. I just wanted you to have a good life. I wanted your mom to come to her senses as well. She was so smart in school and had everything going for her.” 
     I thought I had worked through those feelings and I was ready to hear everything. Beulah had me seeing a psychologist twice each week and then a psychiatrist once a month. From the day I was born, my mom never hugged, loved, or offered any real physical contact to me. It wasn’t until I had moved in with my grandmother that I was touched in a loving way. My mom wasn’t on the “hard stuff” when she gave birth to me, in the back of the van. That didn’t start till later. She just looked at me as a burden to her and an intrusion to her way of life. 
     Alex stood up again and walked to the window. He looked to be in deep thought. I wanted to walk up behind him, wrap my arms around him, and hold him tight to me. I wanted to thank him for all he had done for me and my mom. To appreciate him and make sure he knew he hadn’t failed me. He didn’t let me down. The scent of his leathery cologne put me in the mood to strip him naked and take him right in his office. His truth was my foreplay. I was beyond ready. He turned around again as I started to speak.
      “I haven’t talked to my mom either. I’ve tried so many times to get in touch with her, and she has not responded to me. I’ve written to her once a month since I left and I send her a card on holidays and her birthday, but have received nothing in return. I’m not even sure if she’s still alive.”
      I looked down, remembering how dreadful my mom looked last time I saw her. She weighed no more than ninety pounds, arms peppered with track marks, hair falling out, and her skin gray and sickly. She was so strung out; she didn’t know I was her daughter. 
     “I’m sure she is in lousy shape if she’s still doing the same things,” he said.
     The trip going down memory lane upset me, and I snapped out of the memories. “Why did you want to see me today, Alex?” I asked.
      “Well, I wanted to see if you would go on a proper date with me?” he said, 
     Thank God for the seat; otherwise I might’ve passed out.
     “A date?”
     “The campaign is over and it wouldn’t be inappropriate. You surprised me with that kiss the other night, and what you said. Of course, that other thing you did caught me off guard. The way you took charge and grabbed my tie was sexy, Prudence. I had every intention on seeing you the night of the election, before this happened,” he said. He sat down again in front of me. I noticed how muscular his thighs were as they pushed up against the desk. I could only imagine what they looked like bare. His stomach was flat and his chest seemed broad as he leaned forward on his arms.
     “Yes, I will go out on a date with you. I waited for you the night of the election. When I woke up the next morning, I was disappointed you never showed up.” I uncrossed my legs and tried to be still as he watched me.
     “To get to know you better and be alone with you was how I wanted to end that evening. You had me very intrigued, to say the least.” He watched me expectantly-and maybe even nervously.
     “Well, I’m sure we can pick up where we left off.” I looked up at him and smiled.
     “Great. How does Friday sound? I’ll pick you up at your condo and we’ll have dinner and see what happens,”
     He touched his bruised eyelid with the tip of his finger and winced. I wanted to nurse him back to health. He needed a nice relaxing message, and I would love to volunteer.
     I glanced at my Gucci purse and expensive leather boots and couldn’t believe Senator Conrad asked me out on a date. It amazed me how far my life had come, from my hand-me-down clothes, poverty, and a drug-addicted mother, to sitting in a senator’s office and being asked on a date. I sometimes wondered if it was a dream that I would wake up from and suddenly be back to the nightmare of my trailer park life. Thinking about that reminded me of what I wanted to show him before I left. Now was the time.   
     I lifted up my arm and pulled back the sleeve of my jacket.
     “Do you remember this?” I asked, showing him what I had kept for so long. His eyes got big as he looked at my wrist.

Mia Villano's love for politics and romance inspired her to write her first erotic romance. Loving The Senator is the first book in the Capitol Affairs Series.

When she is not writing, Mia is hiking, cooking, and spending time with her two daughters.

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