Friday Oct 28
I opened my eyes slowly, waking to the sound of the radio in the background and the pungent smell of coffee in the air. I felt a deep peacefulness, a happiness that engulfed me. It was the morning of the count, and the tallies were being discussed on the radio. I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs. As my bare feet hit the cold tiled floor of the kitchen, it sent a shiver up my body. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of Chris, freshly shaved and dressed with his tie hanging loosely around his neck. I loved seeing him in these private moments of getting ready before he presented his smartly dressed persona to the outside world. These were the moments that grabbed my heart, that made us feel real. His eyes moved from my face to my toes, taking in my naked torso, and back up to my face. As I came closer, his face was impassive but his eyes were full of warmth and desire. I wondered if he felt the same way about seeing me getting ready for the day. Probably not; Chris loved sex in the morning, so he probably just saw ‘hot.’ Wrapping my fingers around his wrist, I led his hand around to the under curve of my buttocks.
A smile teased the corners of his lips, “And good morning to you, beautiful.” He gave me a quick slap against my thigh. I jumped at the sting and gasped as warmth radiated on the spot. “Hmmmm, you like that,” he smirked.
Chris shifted to lean back against the breakfast counter and pulled me between his spread legs, both his hands lightly gripping the back of my thighs. He nuzzled his nose against my forehead, passionately whispering, “I think you like pain.”
He slapped me on the other thigh harder than the first one and the sending a burning pain through me causing me to jump and dip into his statuesque form.
“Stop, darling,” I moaned.
“I can feel it. It’s turning you on,” he murmured in my ear. “Do you want me to kiss it and make it better?” His fingers slipped between my thighs, touching my clit, casually rubbing it. “God, what you do to me,” he said.
“What do I do to you?’ I breathed heavily.
“I just look at you and you turn me on.”
He smelt good, felt even better. I wrapped around him then started to disengage. “I guess I have to get ready for the count center,” I said, my reason taking over from my longing.
He yanked me up on my tippy toes, grinding me against his hard-on. Pulling on his tie, I put my open mouth on his and devoured him, my tongue wrapping around his, stroking it liberally, sucking it hard. Chris swiped my hair into a ponytail, holding me in place, taking over the kiss. It felt like he was fucking my mouth, drinking me in. A heat surged through me, my skin grew humid with perspiration. His lips soft and firm against mine, his grip angling me the way he wanted, his teeth scraped gently across my bottom lip. We could not get enough of each other. We were addicted to each other. The taste of him slightly tinged with coffee intoxicated me. I clutched his hair in my hands, holding on tight, my toes flexing to push me closer. Always wanting to get closer, never close enough. We were interrupted by Chris’s mobile. It rang once and when he ignored it, it rang again.
“Sorry, cupcake, it’s an important day. I better take the call.” He leaned back, grabbing the mobile from the counter. “Good morning, Joe,” he answered, his attention shifting. I left him with a quick kiss on his shoulder and went up to prepare for what was to be a very long day.
This was my first visit in years to Dublin Castle, which had been at the heart of Irish history for more than 800 years. A commanding building, it was built in the 13th century on a site previously settled by the Vikings, on a high ridge on the south side of the River Liffey, in the heart of the city. It functioned as a military fortress, a prison, treasury, courts of law and the seat of English Administration in Ireland for 700 years, and was now used for important State receptions and presidential inaugurations.
My last visit was when I worked for the Irish Presidency in 1989–1990, before I started my fashion business. It was a particularly important presidency, as it followed the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the Irish Presidency held two major EU summits at Dublin Castle, at which the EU welcomed German reunification.
That was the one job I loved more than any other. I often got pangs of regret that I did not follow a career in EU politics. I had maneuvered and mixed with the dignitaries effortlessly, a testament to my life growing up as a diplomat’s daughter. It taught me to understand the varying nuances in different cultures. It gave me a confidence to mix in political, diplomatic senarios. They were long days, but very fulfilling.
This time, there was a massive media presence as we approached the venue at which the election counts from county to county were announced. Large broadcast vans, preparing for the day’s evolving events, were parked against the grandeur of the castle’s facade. Chris had organized our accreditation, which allowed us into the venue. We collected our badges at the entrance to the purpose-built conference center and then shuffled through tight security.
It was hard to believe it only took six weeks and four days to arrive at this day. So many of the emotions of life lived out in such a short time period. I looked around the large ugly room hosting the count; it defied the grandeur of the architecture that the rest of the buildings on the site boasted. The room was shrouded in red curtains and lit with harsh florescent lighting. Low-hanging tubular steel encasements holding wiring ran across the ceiling. Trestle tables were laid out in orderly rows along one side of the room, all hooked up to the Internet, allowing the press and staff of the candidates to access and share information instantly. Two large stages dominated either end of the room—one to facilitate TV crews for interviews, and the one at the back to announce the count details. The place was heaving, the air filled with anticipation. The rivalry over, the campaign teams were now mixing and chatting nervously.
The campaign had taken its toll. I was sick of the bickering, of the Candidate’s lack of control and professionalism. In my gut, I knew he did not stand a chance of winning. Actually, it wasn’t just my gut feeling; it was a considered opinion based on the factual assessments of the Candidate’s campaign performance, which had been dismal. What I knew in my gut was that he should not be president.
I left Chris alone with Joe so they could get on with the last day of their jobs, talking to the press monitoring the tally count. The boxes from which the ballot papers would be counted were in forty-three centers around the country. The results to be announced were then relayed from this venue. The polling experts had a knack of being able to assess the likely official outcome, and their count estimation was the first to break on the news and social media feeds. The voting turnout was low, not boding well in particular for the Candidate, because it indicated that he did not succeed in mobilizing the gay community and social groups to vote. The Candidate was at Simmonscourt Dublin count center, posting tweets of the boxes opening, thanking everyone for their support. At 11.25 am, I noticed Chris looking around and realized he was looking for me.
“He is out of the running,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Wow, that was quick,” I replied, with slight disbelief that he knew so quickly.
“Yeah, the tally looks bad, Higgins is going to get it. Exactly what we thought.”
“Do you know what, Chris? All I can say is thank god. He would have been a disaster of a president.”
“Yeah, you’re right. He is going on Newstalk now to concede and wish Higgins all the best.”
“What do we do now?”
“We show solidarity and stay here until the official count is announced. That won’t be till later today. The Candidate will have to come over for it.”
“Oh, okay. Well, maybe we can grab a coffee?”
“Just give it a little while. Colette Fitzpatrick wants to interview me along with Seinn Fein’s Mary Lou, so I have to hang around for that.”
“Chris, I thought after last’s night appearance on RTE talking about our campaing you were told by the Candidate not to do any more official interviews or comments on behalf of the campaign.”
I laughed. He was right. “Fuck them.”
It had been a tumultuous few weeks. The Candidate started at the top of the polls with 21%. The support had dropped dramatically each week, until he finally headed into election day with a dismal 8%. Unsurprisingly, the Candidate ended up with only 109,469 first preference votes at 6.2%, finishing fifth of the seven candidates. The voting percentage was disastrous for him. It did not qualify him to receive the €250,000 rebate against campaign expenses. One big disadvantage with Cathal hijacking the campaign was a lack of financial transparency. However, I reckoned it had to be in excess of €300,000 spent, with only €20,000 raised. I didn’t feel sorry for the Candidate at that moment, though. He enabled the chaos. He would not speak to me or trust me, the only one other than Brian who had no agenda. I tried to support him and he fervently rejected the help. His arrogance became his Achilles heel. His intuition proved resistant to the brilliant rationale evidenced in his Senate debates. It’s like bacteria outwitting an antibacterial agent. The man I thought I knew exposed a mercurial nature as integral to him as his name and date of birth.
Hours later, we faced the result. All the team arrived at Dublin Castle at around 7.30 pm, along with the Candidate, for the first count. There was huge anticipation in the air. The man who had magnanimously offered the Candidate the Dublin City Council endorsement would be announced as the new President of Ireland later in the night.
As events were dragging out and the counts coming in slowly, meant it was going to be along night, we decided to go for a break from the venue. It offered no facilities, no coffee docks, no food, and the Wi-Fi was temperamental. Chris, Joe and I attempted to sneak out and grab a drink and a quick bite to eat. Looking straight ahead, not wanting to catch anyone’s eye, we promptly made our way to the exit. Suddenly, a shoulder hit hard against mine, knocking me. As Joe steadied me, I swiveled around to glare at Cathal. He locked on to my eyes, menacingly, pressing his body up to me.
“Tip me and I am calling the police,” I warned him, not disturbed by his behaviour.
Joe immediately stepped in, taking my elbow and leading me away from Cathal as I strained my head, watching him. When we arrived outside, Chris was waiting, agitated. “What happened to the two of you?”
“You won’t believe it. That crazy guy Cathal just knocked into me. Seriously, he is crazy.”
Chris put his arms around my shoulder, hugging me close to him. “Are you okay?”
“Thanks, darling. He certainly does not frighten me.”
It was a heady night. The full drama of the election played out on a podium rising high above the floor. At 1 am exactly, Higgins was announced as president, and the final line of the final chapter on the campaign was completed
We are on the way with Eventide Love; blog to book. A factual fiction, political, psychological, erotic thriller set in Ireland 2011/2012
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