Chapter Twenty-Four

Adam was on a final campaign swing around the state. He telephoned Jennifer several times, but he was always surrounded by his entourage and it was impossible to talk, impossible for Jennifer to tell him her news.

Jennifer knew the explanation for Mary Beth's pregnancy: She had tricked Adam into sleeping with her. But Jennifer wanted to hear it from Adam.

"I'll be back in a few days and we'll talk then," Adam said.

The election was only five days away now. Adam deserved to win it; he was the better man. Jennifer felt that Mary Beth was right when she said it could be the stepping-stone to the presidency of the United States. She would force herself to wait and see what happened.

If Adam was elected senator, Jennifer would lose him. Adam would go to Washington with Mary Beth. There would be no way he could get a divorce. The scandal of a freshman senator divorcing a pregnant wife to marry his pregnant mistress would be too juicy a story for him ever to live down. But if Adam should lose the race, he would be free. Free to go back to his law practice, free to marry Jennifer and not worry or care about what anyone else thought. They would be able to live the rest of their lives together. Have their child.

Election Day dawned cold and rainy. Because of the interest in the senate race, a large voter turnout was expected at the polls despite the weather.

In the morning, Ken Bailey asked, "Are you going to vote today?"

"Yes."

"Looks like a close race, doesn't it?"

"Very close."

She went to the polls late that morning, and as she stepped into the voting booth she thought dully, A vote for Adam Warner is a vote against Jennifer Parker. She voted for Adam and left the booth. She could not bear to go back to her office. She walked the streets all afternoon, trying not to think, trying not to feel; thinking and feeling, knowing that the next few hours were going to determine the rest of her life.

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