Chapter Twenty-One

Jennifer and Adam had lunch together almost every day, and once or twice a week Adam spent the night at their apartment. They had to be more discreet than ever, for Adam's campaign had actively begun, and he was becoming a nationally prominent figure. He gave speeches at political rallies and fund-raising dinners, and his opinions on national issues were quoted more and more frequently in the press.

Adam and Stewart Needham were having their ritual morning tea.

"Saw you on the Today show this morning," Needham said. "Fine job, Adam. You got every single point across. I understand they've invited you back again."

"Stewart, I hate doing those shows. I feel like some goddamned actor up there, performing."

Stewart nodded, unperturbed. "That's what politicians are, Adam - actors. Playing a part, being what the public wants them to be. Hell, if politicians acted like themselves in public - what expression do the kids use? - letting it all hang out? - this country'd be a damned monarchy."

"I don't like the fact that running for public office has become a personality contest."

Stewart Needham smiled. "Be grateful you've got the personality, my boy. Your ratings in the polls keep going up every week." He stopped to pour more tea. "Believe me, this is only the beginning. First the Senate, then the number one target. Nothing can stop you." He paused to take a sip of his tea. "Unless you do something foolish, that is."

Adam looked up at him. "What do you mean?"

Stewart Needham delicately wiped his lips with a damask napkin.

"Your opponent is a gutter fighter. I'll bet you that right now he's examining your life under a microscope. He won't find any ammunition, will he?"

"No." The word came to Adam's lips automatically.

"Good," Stewart Needham said. "How's Mary Beth?"

Jennifer and Adam were spending a lazy weekend at a country house in Vermont that a friend of Adam's had loaned him. The air was crisp and fresh, hinting at the winter to come. It was a perfect weekend, comfortable and relaxed, with long hikes during the day and games and easy conversation before a blazing fire at night

They had carefully gone through all the Sunday papers. Adam was moving up in every poll. With a few exceptions, the media were for Adam. They liked his style, his honesty, his intelligence and his frankness. They kept comparing him to John Kennedy.

Adam sprawled in front of the fireplace, watching flame shadows dancing across Jennifer's face. "How would you like to be the wife of the President?"

"Sorry. I'm already in love with a senator."

"Will you be disappointed if I don't win, Jennifer?"

"No. The only reason I want it is because you want it, darling."

"If I do win, it will mean living in Washington."

"If we're together, nothing else matters."

"What about your law practice?"

Jennifer smiled. "The last time I heard, they had lawyers in Washington."

"What if I asked you to give it up?"

"I'd give it up."

"I don't want you to. You're too damned good at it."

"All I care about is being with you. I love you so much, Adam."

He stroked her soft dark brown hair and said, "I love you, too. So much."

They went to bed, and later, they slept.

On Sunday night they drove back to New York. They picked up Jennifer's car at the garage where she had parked it, and Adam returned to his home. Jennifer went back to their apartment in New York.

Jennifer's days were unbelievably full. If she had thought she was busy before, now she was besieged. She was representing international corporations that had bent a few laws and been caught, senators with their fingers in the till, movie stars who had gotten into trouble. She represented bank presidents and bank robbers, politicians and heads of unions.

Money was pouring in, but that was not important to Jennifer. She gave large bonuses to the office staff, and lavish gifts.

Corporations that came up against Jennifer no longer sent in their second string of lawyers, so Jennifer found herself pitted against some of the top legal talent of the world.

She was admitted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, and even Ken Bailey was impressed.

"Jesus," he said, "you know, only one percent of the lawyers in this country can get in?"

"I'm their token woman," Jennifer laughed.

When Jennifer represented a defendant in Manhattan, she could be certain that Robert Di Silva would either prosecute the case personally or mastermind it. His hatred of Jennifer had grown with every victory she had.

During one trial in which Jennifer was pitted against the District Attorney, Di Silva put a dozen top experts on the stand as witnesses for the prosecution.

Jennifer called no experts. She said to the jury: "If we want a spaceship built or the distance of a star measured, we call in the experts. But when we want something really important done, we collect twelve ordinary folks to do it. As I recall, the founder of Christianity did the same thing."

Jennifer won the case.

One of the techniques Jennifer found effective with a jury was to say, "I know that the words 'law' and 'courtroom' sound a little frightening and remote from your lives, but when you stop to think about it, all we're doing here is dealing with the rights and wrongs done to human beings like ourselves. Let's forget we're in a courtroom, my friends. Let's just imagine we're sitting around in my living room, talking about what's happened to this poor defendant, this fellow human being."

And, in their minds, the jurors were sitting in Jennifer's living room, carried away by her spell.

This ploy worked beautifully for Jennifer until one day when she was defending a client against Robert Di Silva. The District Attorney rose to his feet and made the opening address to the jury.

"Ladies and gentlemen," Di Silva said, "I'd like for you to forget you're in a court of law. I want you to imagine that you're sitting at home in my living room and we're just sitting around informally chatting about the terrible things the defendant has done."

Ken Bailey leaned over and whispered to Jennifer, "Do you hear what that bastard's doing? He's stealing your stuff!"

"Don't worry about it," Jennifer replied coolly.

When Jennifer got up to address the jury, she said:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I've never heard anything as outrageous as the remarks of the District Attorney." Her voice rang with righteous indignation. "For a minute, I couldn't believe I had heard him correctly. How dare he tell you to forget you're sitting in a court of law! This courtroom is one of the most precious possessions our nation has! It is the foundation of our freedom. Yours and mine and the defendant's. And for the District Attorney to suggest that you forget where you are, that you forget your sworn duty, I find both shocking and contemptible. I'm asking you, ladies and gentlemen, to remember where you are, to remember that all of us are here to see that justice is done and that the defendant is vindicated."

The jurors were nodding approvingly.

Jennifer glanced toward the table where Robert Di Silva was sitting. He was staring straight ahead, a glazed look in his eyes.

Jennifer's client was acquitted.

After each court victory, there would be four dozen red roses on Jennifer's desk, with a card from Michael Moretti. Each time, Jennifer would tear up the cards and have Cynthia take away the flowers. Somehow they seemed obscene coming from him. Finally Jennifer sent Michael Moretti a note, asking him to stop sending her flowers.

When Jennifer returned from the courtroom after winning her next case, there were five dozen red roses waiting for her.


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