I like this, it reminds me of a Sex and the City-type story. But with politics.
| Chapter one
Eight o’clock Monday morning. Another hectic week in the height of the season, elections would be coming up in another two months and her father, Brighton Mackenzie was running for the top seat at Capitol Hill against his rival Clarence Lavelle. Lavelle was a stout older gentleman with a pouch and thinning gray hair. He had a sweet disposition but was known as a pushover in the political arena. Her mother was a philanthropist and donated money to several charities and organizations over the course of each year. Her efforts usually centered on organizations involving young children and animal cruelty. She was also an ASPCA sponsor and a spokesperson for PETA.
Annabelle Mackenzie daughter to Brighton Mackenzie and Chloe-Anne Mcfarley-Mackenzie was the total opposite of both her parents. She grew up in the political arena and the high society with the debutante balls and the various social engagements her mother always felt a need to rope her into. She was donned the black sheep of the family living in a world where she felt she didn’t belong. No one ever seemed to understand her need to be something other than a socialite or belonging to the political scene. Her brother André’ was following in their fathers’ footsteps as a political major at Princeton. Her sisters Penelope and Madeline, the Mackenzie Twins followed the Washington society from one party to another. Both had just graduated from Radcliffe but their goal was to marry into wealthy man and be the society wife. Annabelle never shared any of their dreams growing up.
I lived my whole life in Washington and spent every summer since I was eight in Blue ridge Valley, Montana. When I was there I always felt like I was me again. Back in Washington I felt like I was only representing the dutiful daughter to mother and dear old dad. For my entire life I have wanted nothing more than to be something other than what I was. My family revolved around politics, debutante balls and social gatherings. That just wasn’t me and it never will be. I always wanted a career outside of Washington and the political scene. We were always going to one event after another, whether it is a bridge club meeting, which I absolutely detest, or a political dinner for one of the figure heads. Everyone in that town seemed so superficial. It was as if they were afraid to let down their guard so people could see who they really were.
After a week of ongoing parties for dad’s campaign we were invited to a gathering at Clarence Lavelle’s house, dad’s rival, hosted by his wife Phyllis Wheaton-Lavelle. She was very connected and came from old money. Her great-grandfather had started one of the top publishing companies in America and it is now a household name and on the fortune 500. Tonight’s affair was going to be one of the biggest events of the season. Probably everyone who revolved in Washington or Georgetown was there. The only positive was that my few close friends Bethany Brewster, Anna Sinclair and Genevieve Lémieux, would be there. Bethany is the head-strong one of our group. She has long- straight raven colored hair to the middle of her back with eyes the color of emeralds. She has the patrician features of her mother and the Sicilian skin and hair of her father Gino Kankaderes. She has the body of a dancer. She has being doing ballet since she was five. Her dream was to do be the prima ballerina in the New York City Dance Company or the NYC dc as most who are familiar with it know them. She would have too if she hadn’t torn her ACL the summer before the auditions. She had under gone surgery to repair the damage but it is not as strong as it once was and therefore she can no longer dance professionally with the demands her career would but on the ACL. Now she teaches at a local school for young girls in the center of Georgetown proper. Anna also currently has her eyes on Michael Westbrook, one of the wealthiest bachelors in town. Michael is the VP of Apollo’s Dream, a non-profit organization that gives grants to children in need of help. They cover everything from probono legal aid and surgery to rebuilding homes that are unfit. In addition to Apollo’s Dream Michael also has an internet business. In his looks, he is heart-breaking perfect. His eyes are a smoky gray with hair the color of chestnuts. Broad-shouldered and athletic, He’s roughly 6’2” and 175lbs all lean muscle, who wouldn’t want to catch his eye.
Anna Sinclair, she is the reserved one of the group. People often think that her shyness is an act to win the gentlemen but in all actuality it is genuine. She has blonde shoulder length hair with piercing blue eyes the color of sapphires and alabaster skin. Most people who come into connect with Anna think she has blue blood but she doesn’t. Her mother worked as a concierge at a hotel in downtown Washington until she met Anna’s current step-father Remy Silver. Remy owns one of the horse tracks in Georgetown and another in Baltimore. He has two Geldings of his own and one race horse, Liberty Belle. Since marrying Maryellen, Anna’s mother, Remy has found it his duty to find Anna a suitable husband. So far, every potential suitor has been a complete disaster. First there was William “Billy” Carmichael; His father ran the Carmichael plantation down in Atlanta. They produced everything from cotton to tobacco in the early years but now the company is centered on textile production. Billy seemed to be perfect at first until you got to know him. He had an unfortunate penchant for the bottle and bordello’s. Poor Anna, she really liked him but Billy wasn’t willing to change. Next came Connor Lavalley, He was a corporate attorney in Washington. Lately most of his clients tended to be embezzlers and inside traders. He worked so much he didn’t have time for a love life or so she thought until she stopped by his office to bring him lunch and found him with his secretary Suzie Martinez. What is it about men and Latino women? Her latest beau, Raphael Beaumont so far seems to be flawless but Remy wasn’t associated with this potential love match. Anna met him at a company fundraiser for the hurricane Katrina victims.
Raphael is the son of an Italian father with supposed connections to the mob and French mother who was an actress turned writer whose fiancé’ left her when Raphael was only 3 years old for some British socialite, or at least that is was Margaux told everyone. So what actually happened to Antonio Torritino? Raphael has the looks of a full-blooded Italian but he is fluent in both French and Italian. 6’4” and 200 lbs of pure lean muscle, with jet black hair and eyes the color of steel. He certainly is a looker. They really looked made for each other as well. With Raphael’s strong build and Anna’s willowy frame they complement each other. What beautiful babies they would make!
Genevieve or eve to those who love her; The hot tamale with a quick temper, she has long red mass of curls and a curvaceous figure that Pamela Anderson could crave, but all her talents are god-given and not man-made. No nips and tucks on this southern lady. Blonde hair and baby blues with honey kissed skin, Hell; she may look like something the devil spawned but her the child of a southern Baptist. Her mama teaches Sunday school and volunteers at the youth center during the week. Eve is certainly one in a million. She was always the first one to jump in the cold lake or go skinny dipping when we were kids. Today she is enigma that not many people can figure out.
Its 6 o clock on Tuesday evening and I am dreadfully late for the dinner party at the Lavelle’s. “How could you be so stupid Annabelle? Locking your keys in the trunk of your car the night of the party is not one of your brightest moments. It certainly isn’t your shinning glory”. Pulling the cell phone out of her left pocket of the black pin-stripe dress pants, Annabelle opened it and hit speed dial number two.” Ring...Ring... Come on Eve pick up the DAMN phone!!” Eve picked up the phone on the fourth ring.
“What took you so long?” said Annabelle
“Well, hello to you too miss snooty”
“Funny Eve but I am in a jam and am I need of your assistance.”
“What did you do now Belle? “
“Nothing out of the ordinary just locking the keys in my car for the fourth time this week, I would have called AAA but they take too long and I’m already late for the dinner party.”
“Okay, belle. Where are you?
“Between Lexington Avenue and Dillard Boulevard”
“Be there in ten.”
“Thanks a mill Eve, I owe you one…click.”
I hung up the phone with Eve praying that she would get here soon and not be stuck in the typical downtown traffic of Georgetown for once in our lives. While I was waiting I paced back and forth wearing a grove in the dirt path that led to the park across the street. Ten minutes later head lights lit up the street and Eve pulled up in her black Mercedes-Benz CLK550 Cabriolet. She got out of the car and rounded the hood. Surprisingly she can walk like lightning in those 5-inch stilettos. Which were paired with a red Versace number that fit like a glove.
“Hey Belle, how are you doing?”
“Better now that you’re here.” She was leaning up against her red Carrera Ferrari Sport with her arms crossed across her chest, her present from mother and father for graduating from Georgetown with honors.
“Miss me much? I got the key to your problems?”
“Yes, Eve I always miss you. Give me that damn key! What has been, Two weeks?”
“Something like that. Here’s the key. Like my dress? It’s new. Daddy bought it for me.”
“Love it. Dressed to kill are you tonight? Adam is going to be floored when you walk into that dining room tonight.”
“That’s the intention. Lately I can barely pull him away from the office. Hopefully, this will do the trick and if it doesn’t someone else is sure to notice and make his jealously rear its ugly head.”
Belle took the key from Eve thanked her and walked over to her car. She got in, waved good bye then drove off. Eve followed suit by revving her engine in good-bye. Annabelle had to make a quick stop at the local Sunoco station before continuing on to the party or she would never reach it with the gas gauge in the red and the gas light blinking profusely. She had meant to stop this morning on her way into town but there had been heavy construction on the boulevard that created heavy traffic to her already late start, therefore deciding to deal with the gas issue at a later time.
She pulled into the station and rolled down her window. The Attendant’s name was Butch. He looked like a slacker with his mop top, facial hair, and stained clothes. “How are you today miss, what can I do for you?” Butch said. “I am doing fine today thank you for asking. I would like a fill up with the premium gas please butch.” “Very well, miss.” He took the pump and set it on fill, leaving it to fill the car while he assisted the next customer. While she waited Belle drummed her hands on the steering wheel to the tune of Daughtry’s it’s not over. The pump clicked and Butch came to collect payment.”What’s the damage today?” “Fifty-seven dollars and sixty-two cents please miss. If you don’t mind me saying so you sure look pretty tonight. You going somewhere fancy?” “Yes, I am as a matter of fact, to Mr.LeVelle’s dinner party. Thank you for the compliment Butch, I really do appreciate it.” She handed him the money with a hefty tip and drove off.
Twenty minutes later she pulled in to the circular drive at the estate and let the valet park the car. “Thank you, Anthony.” “You’re Welcome, Ms. Mackenzie.” She took off at a brisk pace and continued up the path that led to the grounds. “Why did I have to wear six inch heels today? I know they look good and match the outfit but by the time tonight is over I am not going to have any feeling left in them. Oh well, that’s the price you pay for beauty these days.”
Going up to huge double doors she rang the bell and waited. Looking at her watch to check the time she realized she was seriously late. “Better late than never they always say.” Slowly the door opened and a butler appeared before her. “May I help you miss?” She cleared her throat and said “Excuse me. I’m sorry to be so late but I had car trouble on the way here. My father is Brighton Mackenzie and I was invited personally by the Lavelle’s.” The butler looked at her as if gauging whether the story was true. “Please do come in, everyone is in the ballroom.” “Thank you.” She walked slowly by the butler as he closed the door behind her. The foyer in the house was grand in comparison to her family home in Georgetown proper. They didn’t live in a shabby house by any means but this house was done out in the finest money could buy. The floor was made of hand-carved tiles from Indonesia. “Impressive. But a little much if you ask me. They are probably just trying to flaunt their money.” She quickened her pace and you could hear the steady rhythm her heals made on the tiles. Slowly she approached the ballroom and was relieved to see the party in full swing therefore her late arrival would go unnoticed or so she thought. “Belle, where have you been? We’ve all been waiting for you. Did something happen?” Her mother looked at her disapprovingly and grabbed a flue of champagne from a passing waiter putting the empty one back on the tray. “Sorry mother but I had some car trouble on the way over. Everything is fine now though. “Well, that’s good to hear Annabelle why don’t you look around. There is a small buffet on the other side of the room. Also there are plenty of eligible men floating around so I’m sure you won’t be lonesome tonight” “Mother will you give up already. The only reason I am even here tonight is because you begged me to come and the girls will be here tonight. Other than that I have no interest in men at this moment after what happened with Preston.” “Preston was an unfortunate occasion and you need to move on from that. Otherwise you will never be happy.” Anna belle slowly backed away and smiled. “Mother I am happy but please try not to drink too much tonight. After all you have a conference call in the morning at 8 am sharp. “
Telling mother not to drink is like giving a kid a choice between candy and vegetables. Simple no brainer but one can always hope. Mother isn’t an alcoholic or anything she just has a tendency to become her alter ego when she has a large consumtion. We like to call her maybelle.
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