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PresidentDavid
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Short Interactions During the Day With Texas Governor Anthony Sparks

 

 

 

Location: Austin, Capitol Smoke Room

 

"I'll put down the cash. What do you have Sparks?" The freshman state senator eagerly watched the governor to see what his next move would be. The joint-chiefs of staff, the Texas secretary of state, and the lieutenant governor were all in the game. The state senator, William Booth, was invited as a welcome to the congress by the lieutenant governor. Once a week all of these important men met to play poker down in the bowels of the Texas capitol building so that they could catch up on the internal happenings of the State and national politics. It was actually quite the operation to keep the weekly games secret and for the Texas Rangers to maintain security for all of these important people while they are all in the same room of the same building. It was easier said than done, but it was done. 

 

"I don't know Booth. You could have a very good hand there," said Sparks. He dabbed his cigar in his ashtray and took a breath of smoke. He let the white fog slowly escape his lips while he contemplated his next move. "You're down fifty-bucks, my friend. I think this is just a very good bluff." He took another puff of smoke into his mouth and the back of his throat and then released it to the room again. "You're bluffing," he called out. Anthony showed his cards, "A full house senator. You're down, what, seventy now? We wouldn't want to bankrupt the only senator from Waco now would we-" Booth had a very big grin on his face; Sparks didn't like it. "Four of a kind, Governor Sparks. Maybe I'm getting some beginners luck here." Anthony held his hands to his face and sighed while everyone in the room cheered the senator. 

 

"Congratulations Booth, the governor usually wins on the first Monday of the month. Looks like you have lost your winning streak sir," joked the governor's chief of staff. Sparks sighed and turned over his money. Booth happily took back some cash and posed a question to the room, "Why don't y'all invite any women here? Just circumstance or?" The room fell dead silent. Anthony seemed uncomfortable and the secretary of state patted the senator's back, "We involve women in a lot of things, this is just a guy's night to get away from it all. Besides, Olivia will join us occasionally. She's a woman." Everyone in the room nodded in agreement as if they had to defend themselves; everyone except for the secretary of public safety. 

 

"I mean she's a woman but she's not...." he didn't finish. It was a pretty awkward way to end a discussion, so the chief of staff raised an eyebrow while he lit Anthony a new cigar. "She's not a what?" The secretary of public safety stretched and spat the words out quick, "She's not a babe.... She's just Olivia. We need some hot women-" Anthony blew a gust of smoke into the secretary of public safety's face. "How do you define a babe?" he said almost sarcastically. Olivia and Anthony were known to have a "relationship" but this was only public news among the governor's staff and it wasn't something that was talked about often. The secretary of public safety thought for a moment and pulled out his phone. "I'll give the the definition of a perfect babe.... let's see. Tina Fey said it pretty good, 'every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll !@#$.'"

 

"Who is Michelle Obama?" echoed someone in the back of the room. Everyone else in the room was too busy laughing at the direct quote the secretary gave. "You're right, that doesn't describe Olivia. She's not all of those things. I'm not that picky though. I mean you can't just expect the perfect woman to fall out of a tree can you?" Most of the men shook their heads. Anthony started dealing out cards. "Well what do you look for in a woman, governor? Be honest. We're all men here." Anthony puffed his cigar, "Well if she can stand me - because I think you can all agree there are a few things I do that women might find.... annoying like smoking these cigars or being a little blunt - I'd look for a woman with a nice, sweet personality that isn't bossy, a good pair of !@#$, and a cute face. There, now you know." 

 

Booth shrugged off the short response, "It doesn't sound like you are picky at all governor. Are you sure you're being honest?" Anthony looked over his new hand of cards and took his first sip of whiskey for the night, "How many women have you met with those three characteristics? Almost every woman in the city of Austin is a %&$*#.  That's why I like Olivia-". The room fell silent. Anthony looked around and understood what he had just said. "She's just a good secretary, is all."  

Edited by PresidentDavid
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Location: The Governor's Mansion

 

"I don't know what's wrong with him, but it has to be something serious on his mind," Olivia said to the other members of the governor's staff. Davis Snow, the governor's chief of staff who was a blunt older man from Dallas, uncomfortably folded his arms and made a suggestion. "It's... a philosophical problem  that he's dealing with; I think it would be best if we just left him alone to think, alright?" The others sensed that it was a sore subject, but Olivia pressed on. "Wait, you talked to him? What's the problem?" Davis sent the others members of the staff back to work and brought Olivia into his office. "I wouldn't be talking to you about the governor's private affairs normally, Olivia. He and I have a friendship that involves trust-" Olivia raised her hands in frustration. She was having a secret relationship with the governor, she knew about trust. "Look, just tell me. I wont tell him you said a word, I'll just ask him what's going on - I just want to know what I'm getting into." 

 

Davis sat down behind his desk and thought out a well-worded response. "He's going to be on the 'Late Night' show tomorrow. They sent me office some questions that they might ask and a lot of them have to do with equality for women and minorities - one of them was "What is your stance on interracial marriage?'" Davis stopped talking and let it sink in. "Are you saying the governor doesn't believe in interracial marriage?" Davis kept quiet for a few minutes. "I don't know what he believes, figure that out yourself. I just know this entire situation brought up some bad memory in the governor's past and he's trying to make sense of it all." Olivia got up with uncertainty and started for the door, but behind her hand touched the knob she asked the obvious question. "If it bothers him, why doesn't he just lie?" Davis powered up his laptop to begin looking through emails. He shrugged and looked up from the screen a few seconds, "'Sparks don't lie, they fly and catch fire.' That's what he told me." She thanked him for the information and left. She made her way down the hall to Anthony's office but stopped on the way when she saw a young black woman going through a big stack of papers at one of the interns' desk. An eager intern crept up behind her.

 

"Can I get you some coffee, ma'am?" Olivia turned and saw a perky blonde in a checkered skirt eagerly standing with her hands behind her back. she was short and very young, possibly eighteen. Her hour-glass figure and bright blonde hair was only outmatched by her full chest which grabbed most others' attention when she was wearing a sweater - that day she was wearing a button up blouse and neglected her collar-button and two buttons below it. Olivia narrowed her eyes and looked the girl over like they both worse the same dress to prom. "Who have you been assigned to? You're a little... young." The intern maintained a jubilant smile and answered proudly, "I'm a freshman majoring in political science here at UT Austin; Davis Snow is my grandfather. I'm assigned to be an assistant for the governor three days a week after my classes. You're the governor's secretary right?" Olivia's face turned red with frustration, the girl didn't do anything wrong but she was a very protective/jealous woman. "You can dress better next time you come here," Olivia said coldly. She buttoned the girl's last button and tried to do the second but the blouse was a bit too small to accommodate for the rest of her bust. The girl blushed and folded her arms, "Yes ma'am..." Olivia took out her phone and pretended that she was looking at something important, "What's your first name?" The girl shyly said "Juliet" and Olivia acted like she was taking note of it. "Do you know who that woman is over there? The one going through those papers?" Juliet turned her head and thought for a minute. "That is the Deputy Secretary of State of Texas, Michelle Dupre. Am I in trouble?" 

 

"Just go back to work, we can talk later." Juliet quickly scampered away while Olivia observed Michelle. After a few minutes of thinking she walked over and interrupted the diplomat. "Deputy Secretary, my name is Olivia. I am Governor Sparks's secretary. Do you have a minute?" Michelle put a few papers in an envelope and sealed it shut. She could be any older than twenty-five. Olivia didn't remember Michelle being nominated but then again not many people know who the Deputy Secretary of State is. "Oh hey Olivia. Be my guest, I was just going through one of my intern's work he did on the governor's of the other States. It must have been mind-numbing but he actually did it all. Is there something I can help you with?" Olivia nodded and brought her head closer to the deputy secretary so that she didn't have to speak too loud. "The governor is having a... social problem that he's trying to get over. I was wondering if you could talk to him?" Michelle put down what she was doing and looked concerned. "I'm... I'm not going to be asked to resign will I?" Olivia resisted the urge to giggle and shook her head, "No no, it's not that but it is something serious. I can't really tell you about it because it's.... personal. But he must have liked something about you if he appointed you. It has to.... do with racial issues. Do you think you can handle that? I wouldn't ask for a favor like this normally, but I haven't seen the governor in this type of mood before. It's effecting is ability to govern so I-" Michelle got up and made sure her clothes looked sharp and smooth. 

 

"Anything for our governor Olivia. Is he free right now, or would you rather me come by later? I'm free for thirty minutes." Olivia pointed at two large doors at the end of the hallway, "He's in there right now just thinking. That's his office. I'll let him know that you are here to see him. Just talk about that governors thing you were looking over and pretend like you notice he's being distant. He should open up to you, he has a soft spot for, well, women." She knocked on one of the wooden doors and heard  a weak, "Come in." Olivia saw Anthony staring out of one of the windows in his office. "Deputy Secretary of State Dupre is here to talk to you, I told her you were free." Anthony just nodded. She popped her head back out of the door and signaled Michelle to enter. 

 

"Governor Sparks, its very nice to see you again sir. It's been a while since we have talked." Anthony composed himself the best he could and turned around. "We're both really busy, sometimes too busy. What can I help you with Miss Dupre?" She took out a folder and offered it to the governor who set it down on his desk and ignored it. "You're from Houston, right Michelle? Do you mind if I call you Michelle?" 

 

"I don't mind sir, and yes I grew up in the Third Ward. Why do you ask?" He avoided eye contact. "You aren't an old woman, of course, so you didn't go through the sixties like my parents did; but how much racism did you have to deal with in Houston? Was it bad?" Michelle was blindsided by the question but it didn't take much time for her to formulate an answer. "No matter where you go there'll be racists sir. There were some in Houston, but all-in-all everyone got along. It's just a fact of life that some people don't like other people who are different. You can't hate those people, because then you're hating people who are different in a way too. You can either try to show them how you are normal and not some anti-white, FEMA where's my check black person or you can just go on with your life - but I just tried my best to get along with people. My high school was almost entirely black, so most of the other kids there couldn't afford to be racist but every now and again you'd get a girl who was just trying to entice another girl into fighting or you'd get a boy who was from Vidor... Is something on your mind governor?" 

 

Anthony took out a cigar from his desk reached into his pocket for his lighter. He flicked it once, and again, and again, and again but it wouldn't light. He flopped it down on his desk in frustration, but Michelle picked it up and lit his cigar in the first strike of her thumb. "Thank you Michelle," she nodded with support. "I have to do an interview about equality this week and I'm not going to lie to the people; but I'm afraid that I might have a few racist beliefs. I'm worried I might have to admit that." Michelle didn't really show any emotion, but she maintained support in her voice and put her hand on the governor's. "Governor... Sir, if you are a racist then you should be given an Oscar. You're the only Republican governor outside of Reconstruction that won a majority of the black vote, you fought the poverty and unemployment in Houston for your first year and half in office, and you made me the first black woman to be Deputy Secretary of State of Texas. I remember you went door to door in the Third Ward during the election with Reverend Stanhope and Father Washington. You're a champion of the African American community in Texas. You're not a racist governor, I'm telling you that you're not because I know, but we can talk about why you think you might be, if you'd like to?" 

 

"Interracial marriage," he said coldly like the words had robbed him of his childhood. "What about it?" she said. He puffed his cigar a few times and reached under his desk to grab a bottle of water. "I am not sure how to explain it to you Michelle. I'm not sure if you can understand or relate to how I feel about it. It's really conflicting..." He puffed his cigar some more and dashed the ashes into an ashtray at the corner of his desk. "My stance, on that subject, is conflicted... It's just conflicted. I-.... I will tell you right here that I believe anyone has the right to love whoever they want. I don't care if they're gay or black or Asian. I don't care if she's twenty-two and he's thirty-five. I really don't. But what I feel is different than what I think, if that makes any sense. When I see it in public, it just bothers me. It doesn't ruin my day, but I feel that it is wrong. I feel that it shouldn't be. It doesn't look right, it feels wrong, and it almost frustrates me. Do you still think I'm not a racist?"

 

She didn't know what to say. She cupped his hand with both of his hands and shook her head. "Things happen to us that make us think certain ways. I've never met your parents, or your friends and family in Amarillo, but it might have just been the way you were brought up. When everyone around you believes something, it can be hard how you feel about that subject when it was drilled in your mind to feel a certain way. You've changed the way you thought, governor, but whatever made you feel this way is probably just a fact of your life that we can't change. I can relate - my dad is the same way. I married a white man, and he hasn't talked to me since then, over four years sir. My dad still thinks the way that he feels, but you don't. You know the difference between right and wrong, even though there is some backwards feeling that tells you to follow emotion instead of logic." 

 

He puffed his cigar again and again. "What do I say when they ask me what I think about interracial marriage?" She squeezed his hand and then let go, "You tell the truth. You don't believe it is wrong, governor. You just told me that, you just have some quirky feelings about it that you can't explain. You will be honest if you say that. Alright?" She reached over and patted his shoulder. He puffed his cigar in contemplation. "Are you just trying to show me that you're a good, normal person Michelle, or do you really believe I'm not a bad person for... feeling the way that I do?" She organized her folders and left them on his desk, "You're a good person, sir." She got up with the rest of her things, "I remember when you were considering me for this job there was that red head who was in the top three. We all know you love red heads, sir, but you still gave me the job. I say you're a good guy." She left the governor to his cigar. 

 

---

 

"Can I come in governor? I wanted to talk to you-" she heard excessive female giggling from coming in the room. Olivia swung open the door and saw Juliet sitting on the corner of the governor's desk with her legs crossed and her back bent so that her eyes were only twelve inches from his. He was writing something down and she was dragging on about something about Sam Houston. Anthony loved history. That bitch, Olivia said to herself. She cleared her throat loudly to get the attention of both of them. Anthony sat back in his chair and actually moved it back a few inches like his desk were on fire. Juliet kicked her legs back and forth like a schoolgirl. "Oh hello Miss Olivia. I was just talking to the governor about-" 

 

"Go get me a coffee, now." Juliet sighed and got up. Before she walked past Juliet she turned around and blinked her eyes a few time, "I'll be back later, sir. I'd love to hear some more stories. I'm free tonight, if you want to talk some more." 

 

"Coffee," said Olivia almost dumbfounded. Juliet left the room. Anthony had evidently recovered from his earlier conundrum. His hair was slick, his tie was straight, and his shirt was spotless. "Olivia I can explain-"

 

"I don't like the little brat."

 

"But Olivia she knows so much about Texas history! She could be a valuable part of the team."

 

"I meant bitch. But I'm a lady so I said brat."  

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Location: The Governor's Mansion

 

"Who's there? Show yourself..." Anthony picked up the candle on his desk to try to get a better look at the doors to his office. "It's me, governor. I'm sorry I was just dropping off some... things. Do you have a minute to talk?" Anthony recognized Olivia's voice and relaxed. "I always have time for you Olivia, come in." She cracked open one of the doors and squeezed in. Anthony's office was dark except for his desk which had a lone candle lighting a few papers he was examining. "Sir, you know that the Governor's Mansion was given electricity in the 1890s, right?" Anthony took off his reading glasses and looked up at Olivia who was barely visible in the dark room. "No, I actually didn't know the exact date. How did you know that?" She came closer and sat at one of the chairs across from his desk. "We had to take this ridiculous history test to be allowed to work in the mansion. I still remember some of what we had to learn. Did you know that this is the oldest home in Texas that has been constantly occupied?" Anthony was being out-historied by a woman who hated history. 

 

He shook his head and put his glasses back on. "It might seem kinda weird, but when there's not a lot of light it makes me more creative. Writing with a candle next to me makes me feel like I'm Edgar Allen Poe or something, I don't know. I'm not doing work right now, don't tell anyone." He smiled and wrote a few more words until he remembered she wasn't there to watch. "I'm sorry, what did you want to talk about?" She gulped and looked away from him. "Olivia?" She played footsies with herself and looked up like a puppy that ate half the Thanksgiving Day turkey. "What kind of relationship do we have?" Anthony suddenly felt the same she did. "We... we have a great relationship, why?" She blushed and shrugged, "We... get together here and sometimes you'll bring me on a trip but we're never just alone to.... enjoy each other's company or talk. I just feel like you might be, I mean I'm not accusing you, I just feel like you might be-"

"Don't say it"

"-embarrassed of me." 

 

He took off his glasses and blew out the candle. He got up from behind his desk, put his jacket on, and made his way to the door. "Governor I'm sorry I- I-" he opened one of the doors and raised his index finger at her, "Just wait a minute." Anthony closed the door and left her in the dark. He walked over to her desk and picked up her phone. After trying a few extensions he finally found one that worked. "This is the governor calling from Olivia's desk... Yes sergeant it's nice to hear from you too. Listen, I need the motorcade brought around front in ten minutes... Yes we're going eat out tonight. Thanks." He hung up and opened the door to his office. "Olivia?" 

"Yes?" she whimpered. He walked up to her and grabbed her hand to guide her out of the room. "Come downstairs. We gotta go." Refusing to give any explanation, Anthony brought her downstairs to the front room where the entrance to the mansion was. Two National Guardsmen stood still on either side of the doors in their ceremonial uniforms but real weapons. A Texas Ranger cracked open the door and popped his head in. "We're ready sir." 

 

"Ready for what?" asked Olivia. Anthony motioned for her to walk out with him. Outside of the mansion was the full motorcade usually used for travelling longer distances or going into very public events. The point of it was of course to protect the governor but it also garnered a lot of attention. A ranger opened the door and allowed both inside. Police sirens screamed once they took off. The governor's chauffeur pull down the privacy window in the front of the vehicle and leaned his head to the side. "Where will we be going tonight sir?" Anthony checked his watch to see how much time they would have. It was eight forty-five. They could go somewhere nice. "I'm feeling stake. Somewhere nice if you can Stephen." 

"Of course Governor."

 

Anthony closed the privacy window back and leaned his head against Olivia's. "We're going on an expensive date in a public place that I'm going to pay for and everyone is going to see. I'm not embarrassed of you Olivia." She scooted over to the mini-fridge and and reached behind it. She pulled out a small wooden box and threw it to Anthony, "Think fast!" It hit him in the face and he fell over on his side. "Ahgh!......" 

"Governor! Sorry! You played baseball I thought you'd catch it!" 

"Is that suppose to make me feel better?" he said with a smile. He rubbed the sore part of his forehead and opened the box which had three cigars inside. "I thought one of these would be a nice reward if you ever did anything sweet, sir." He chopped one of them and put it in his mouth. "What are the other two for?" She took the box back from him and put it under her seat, "We don't know yet." He gave her a shoulder hug just as the limousine pulled to a stop in front of a fine eatery in downtown Austin. The privacy window slowly came down and revealed Stephen's smiling face. "Sir, the Rangers would like to establish a perimeter before you  go inside." 

 

"Nonsense Stephen. Come open the door; I'm the Governor of Texas not the King of England."

"Of course sir." Stephen jumped out of the drivers seat and ran around the front of the car. The small Texas flag and the governor's flag gently mounted on the front of the limousine fluttered in the strong breeze as he moved to the door handle and pulled it open for the governor and his date. The police lights and the limo grabbed the attention of many people nearby. Well-dressed businessmen and some of Austin's influentials watched Governor Sparks step out and help his lady friend as well. She held onto his arm like she was a first lady and smiled politely to the onlookers and a few photographers hoping to get a snap or two of the rich or anyone famous at the restaurant. The Rangers opened the doors with perfect timing as Anthony and Olivia walked in with finesse. The host did a double take at the governor just after he turned away a couple who didn't have reservations. "Have a light sir?" 

 

"Uhh, err, of course sir. Here you are." Anthony puffed his cigar a few times to make sure it'd stay smoking and looked around the restaurant. "I'm sorry for the inconveince, but we didn't make a reservation. Are there any tables open?" The host looked through is chart and scratched off a name, "Ah, yes here we are sir. A table seems to have just opened up. Please, follow me." Others in the restaurant took notice when the governor and Olivia were seated. "Anthony I don't think this is a smoking restaurant," she whispered softly. He opened his menu and looked over some of the options, "I doubt any of these old people mind. See anything you like? I feel that t-bone calling my name. Say, did I ever tell you about that time I met Vladimir Putin? He's a fun guy, it's just too bad he's evil." Anthony rambled on about things he hoped she would find remotely interesting while she stared into his eyes and nervously thought about every action and reaction she made. What would she order? Should she pretend that she knows who Vladimir Putin is? Should she acknowledge that their waiter has been standing behind Anthony for about two minutes now but he's too afraid to interrupt him while he's telling a story? 

 

Ignoring the anxiety, she was just happy Anthony wasn't afraid of revealing his interest in her to the world - and that he didn't just want to have sex. 

Edited by PresidentDavid
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