Dieter’s phone pinged several times. Yanko rolled over and pulled most of the covers with him. “Why didn’t you shut that off?”
Dieter scooted up against the headboard and picked up his phone from the nightstand. “Meg’s heading back with Gus and Luca. Looks like it may be a few days before their car’s released. And Alex is at his parents’ house.”
Yanko sat up. “Good. Megan really stepped up.”
“Oh she likes to play the cool, rational, detached business woman, but she’s got the heart of a momma lion.”
Yanko cuddled up close to him. “Glad we’re her cubs. So what time is it?”
“Just past noon. Message from the Chamber of Commerce.”
“On a Sunday?”
“Mayor Sterling’s going to make an announcement.”
Yanko groaned. “Not that windbag. I can’t stand him. It’s time for him to go. You know anyone that trusts him?”
“He’s up for re-election in November.”
“Like that matters. You know anyone with the money to run against a Sterling?”
Dieter smiled at him. “Actually I do.” He clicked on the TV and changed it to the local cable news channel. A commentator droned on over a shot of the terrace on the side of city hall. The bay was in the background. A dark band of rain came down in the distant Gulf. He turned down the sound. “I’ve been doing a little whispering campaign at the Chamber.”
Yanko sat up. “Not you?”
“Oh God no.” He laughed. “I don’t have the money and I’m no politician.”
“Don’t you think it’s time Bennett Bay had another Mayor Bennett, it’s been a good fifty years.”
“You mean Megan?”
“She wants to be mayor?”
His face flushed a bit. “Well I haven’t actually talked to her about it. But she has a lot of support in the business community and in this city that’s essential.”
“You haven’t told her?”
“Well… I wanted to float it around first.”
“You know what she thinks of politicians, right?”
“Yeah, but don’t you think she’d make a good mayor?”
“Kick-ass mayor. Oh, sleazy-pants is at the podium. Turn it up.”
A middle-aged man, built like a former football player with hair dyed an unnatural shade of yellow, stood behind the podium. Two black men in uniform, one the Police Chef and the other the County Sheriff flanked him. Several County Commissioners shifted nervously to his right. He started to say something, but stopped. He looked down at his notes and turned them over. He looked out over the crowed, dabbed his eyes then took a deep breath.
“Fox… My son, Fox is a gay twenty-three year old man. He could have been in that club last night. I could have been in that club. I’ve had a drink with my son down at the Jolly Roger on occasion. Gay sons, lesbian daughters, our trans family members and friends were attacked earlier this morning. Mothers, fathers, brothers, and friends supporting their LGBT loved ones were gunned down.
“Politicians posturing about whether it was Islamic terrorist or a home grown hate crime are irrelevant at this moment. Lives have been shattered. Our LGBT community has been attacked. You must know we stand with you. As has been echoed across the country and around the world… today, We are all Orlando.
“We are putting the haters on notice that the flame of LGBT Pride burns bright in this City by the Bay. The Spirit of Esperanza, the Spirit of Hope, which those Spanish explores found here four-hundred years ago as they sheltered from a raging storm is still here.
“Our country is gripped by a raging storm of hate. But, in Bennett Bay we are still proud of who we are as a diverse people. And, we have the hope that if we stand together, things will get better. We will be a stronger community. May God be with those devastated in Orlando. May God be with us.”
Yanko grabbed the remote and turned down the sound as the reporters started asking questions. “Okay. I didn’t expect that.” He saw the frown on Dieter’s face. “What’s wrong? Those were pretty good words.”
“Yes they were. The bastard just started his re-election campaign.”
Dieter took the remote from him and turned off the TV. “Very much.” He pulled Yanko to him. “Meg will be home soon and Innes and Kip are dropping by about two. In the mean time, let’s do something life affirming in the face of death.”
“You mean like crazy sex with wild abandon?”
Dieter nodded and moved in to nuzzle him.
“So, we’re the only ones in the whole building, right?”
“So the kitchen’s empty?”
Dieter raised an eyebrow. “What do you have in mind?”
Yanko whispered in his ear.
Dieter blushed. “Won’t that violate a number of health codes?”
A devilish smile spread across Yanko’s face. “We do have lots of sanitizer.”
“True. You really want to do that?”
He got out of bed and held his hand out to his husband. “You know a better way to say, fuck off to death and hate?”
He gave his hand to Yanko, who pulled him out bed and led him toward the door. “Not at the moment.”