Releasing Gillian's Wolves
Releasing Gillian's Wolves
T he moon drew a rippling arrow across the surface of the lake, exposing Edward and Sam making love on the dock. Rounding the point in my kayak, I stopped, mesmerized by the romance of the lake, the moon and two beautiful men wrapped in each other on an oversized deck chair. Good, I thought, good for Edward. My marriage is such a wreck. I silently paddled toward the next dock and home.
Not bothering to turn on the lights, I lifted the kayak into its rack. I stepped out onto my moonlit dock and breathed deeply, smelling pine and the fertile scent of decomposing lake weeds, turned and walked up the steep wooden steps toward the house.
Pausing on the landing, I could feel the muscles in my shoulders relax a little. I could see Jack working at the dining room table with his campaign manager, Mark McLaughlin. Mark almost always put him in a magnanimous mood. I climbed the last few steps, opened the screen door and passed through the kitchen into the dining room.
"Gillian, home from the sea." Jack toasted me with his highball. "Drink?"
"No thanks, I'm chilled. I think I'll make some tea. Hello, Mark." I motioned to the brochures on the table. "Are these the new fliers? They look good."
"Thanks." Mark blushed, color rising from the base of his thick neck to the top of his bald head. He didn't look at me, but that wasn't unusual. Mark McLaughlin's had a debilitating crush on me for twenty years, since Jack's first victorious run for State Assembly.
"Mark and I are going over the campaign schedule. There's a League of Women Voters meeting on Wednesday that I think you should address." Jack tapped the datebook, open on the table. "You could talk about my support for Maternity Leave legislation."
"You know I hate that sort of thing, and isn't it Family Leave legislation?"
He shrugged. "Same thing. How many men do you know stay home with babies?" He swirled the ice cubes in his glass. "Will you at least go shake some hands for me? Please?"
I sighed. "Okay. But no speech. Frankly, I don't have time to put one together. Tomorrow I'm cooking for the mailing party. I also need to drop off the dry cleaning and pick up your mother's prescription and make sure she has enough food for the next couple days and I promised Edward I'd drive with him to see his mother on Tuesday."
"Can't that new guy, what's-his-name, drive him? It's August, Gillian, I really need you here." Jack sipped his drink.
"It's Sam DaCosta, and would you subject someone new to Evelyn?" I held his gaze. "Although if you wanted to pick up your mother's prescription yourself - "
Jack waived dismissively. "I don't have time. You take care of Momma Pearl. Mark can write your speech."
"No speech. Has Jack offered you anything to eat?"
Mark smiled shyly. "Thanks, but I ate earlier. I'll take some tea if you're making it."
I turned toward the kitchen.
Jack mumbled, "Why can't she have girl girlfriends like other women?"
"I do," I threw over my shoulder. "You've just never liked Maggie."
"I like Maggie fine. But I wish you had more normal friends, like Katy Swanson and those girls."
I turned and stared at him for a long moment. Mark looked down at his hands. Finally I said lightly, "You wish I had more political junkie friends like Katy. I get plenty of politics at home, thank you. Caffeinated or something herbal, Mark?"
"Whatever's easy. I doubt I'm going to bed anytime soon."