The Senator's Wife

Free The Senator's Wife by Karen Robards

Book: The Senator's Wife by Karen Robards Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karen Robards
Tags: Suspense, Romance, Mystery
didn’t want to return to Sedgely at the moment. Her chest got tight just thinking about it. The memory of what had happened that afternoon came flooding back. Everyone would blame her for this latest public-relations disaster. And there would be reporters lying in wait.
    She just didn’t feel up to dealing with it.
    “Not yet,” she said, casting about for some valid means of delaying the inevitable. She patted the swing beside her. “Sit down and talk to me. No advice,” she added with a darkling look up at him, “just conversation.”
    Quinlan hesitated, then let go of the chain and sat down beside her, keeping the swing in motion with his foot, which was shod in the same dark sock and polished loafer he had worn with his suit.
    “About what?”
    Ronnie smiled at him, pleased at her success. “About you. If you get to ask me questions, then I getto ask you questions. How long have you been married?”
    “I’m not married.” He was gazing out over the swaying tobacco field, so that his face was in profile to her. Ronnie’s gaze wandered down his high forehead, along his straight nose, over his strong chin. He had a nice profile, ascetic yet very masculine.
    “But you said …” Ronnie clearly remembered him saying that he and Joanie had each married different people.
    “I’m divorced.”
    “Oh.” Ronnie thought that over. A possibility made her eyes brighten. “Are you involved with anyone?”
    “Why?” He glanced at her, his expression guarded. She thought she detected a faint speculative gleam in his eyes.
    “That’s not an answer.”
    “That’s the best I’m prepared to do.”
    “Thea is single—and looking.”
    “Who’s Thea?” His voice went slightly flat.
    “My press secretary. You met her today.”
    Quinlan thought a moment. “Short black hair, short gray skirt, nice legs?”
    “That’s Thea.” Ronnie frowned. “Did you think her skirt was too short?”
    “No, not really.”
    “Our skirts were the same length!” Ronnie pounced on the inconsistency.
    Quinlan shook his head. “So? She’s not the wife of a United States senator running for reelection. The stakes are not the same. It doesn’t matter if her skirt is short. Nobody is judging her.”
    “That’s what I hate about politics.” Ronnie subsided with a sigh. “Everyone is always judging me.”
    “You should have thought about that before you married His Honor. Why did you, by the way? Is it a great love match?”
    Ronnie started to reply, then shook her head. “Oh, no. We’re talking about you now, not me. What about your marriage? Was it a love match?”
    “Sure.” He smiled easily. As his cheeks creased and his eyes crinkled with amusement, Ronnie found herself relaxing and smiling with him. He had a wonderful ability to put people at ease, she thought. Or at least to put her at ease. “At the time. I was twenty-one, in my senior year of college. So was she. We were crazy about each other. She got pregnant, we got married. But it didn’t last.”
    “How long were you married?”
    “Twelve years. Oh, the marriage was really over after about five, but we hung on for the sake of the kid.”
    “You have a child?” Ronnie didn’t know why she was taken aback. It was perfectly reasonable that a man his age would have a child, or children. Marsden had two.
    “You met him,” Quinlan said, surprised. “Mark.”
    “Oh.” Ronnie suddenly saw the exchange she had witnessed between Quinlan and Mark in a whole new light. “I didn’t realize he was your son. How old is he?”
    “Almost seventeen. He thinks he’s thirty.” Quinlan’s voice was dry.
    “Does he live with you?” Ronnie was frowning. She had gotten the impression that Mark lived here, in thefarmhouse, with Mrs. McGuire. Did that mean that Quinlan did, too?
    Quinlan shook his head. “Not all the time. Christmas, summers, about every third weekend. It’s flexible. He knows I’m always available.”
    “Do you live with your mother,

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