Rags to Riches 5
This is book five in the Rags to Riches series.
Sometimes fate brings us the right person to make our world perfect.
Dayton VanHooren is a United States senator who doesn’t really like his job. He’s been too busy to date, much less pick anyone up for sex. Being openly gay means he doesn’t have to worry about scandal, but he’s looking for something more than a good time.
Mickey O’Leary can barely think, he’s so exhausted. Working three jobs to help pay his brother’s hospital bills keeps him going and helps him forget about how lonely he is. Mickey would like to meet a nice guy who won’t run at the first hint of Mickey’s problems.
A wedding reception and a thunderstorm are catalysts to bring these two men together. What can they do when they discover the perfect man for them but fall in love?
“Congratulations, Adrien. I wish you and Ion many years of happiness.” Dayton VanHooren shook Adrien Bellamy’s hand when he got to the head of the receiving line. “It was a wonderful ceremony.”
Adrien grinned at him and touched his new husband’s shoulder. “Ion, I want to introduce you to junior Senator Dayton VanHooren. Dayton, this is Ion.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” Dayton said as he smiled at Ion. “Adrien has proven yet again how good his taste is.”
Ion laughed. “Ah, I see that being a politician comes naturally to you. Flattering the voters is a good way to get elected.”
“Only if it works, but unfortunately, Adrien didn’t vote for me in the last election. I somehow managed to get the seat anyway.” Dayton bumped Adrien with his shoulder. “I’m still trying to convince him to donate to my campaign.”
“How would it look if I donated to a Republican?” Adrien shook his head. “People would think I’ve gone off the deep end.”
Ion eyed Dayton. “You’re a Republican and you’re here at a gay wedding?”
Dayton shrugged. “I don’t see those two things as mutually exclusive. I’m openly gay and am a Republican. There are more of us out there than you think.”
There was a cough from behind them, and Dayton clapped Adrien on the shoulder. “You have others here to congratulate you. We’ll have to get together for dinner sometime soon when I get back to the city from Washington.”
After strolling away, Dayton glanced around the crowded backyard of the Bellamys’ Hamptons mansion. The phone in his pocket vibrated, but he ignored it, not wanting to think about work for a few hours. Being a junior senator in the United States congress had turned out to be a little more overwhelming than he’d thought when he chose to enter the race for the empty district seat. Yet as frustrated as he was at times, he found he enjoyed his work. It was complicated and interesting.
Politics hadn’t been something he’d wanted to get involved with. After following the family path of going to law school, he’d practiced at his father’s law firm for two years before his father had suggested he tried for a vacated senate seat. Dayton had always known his father’s political ambitions, but figured it would be his younger brother, Kendall, who would be shoved into the arena. Yet Kendall had resisted their father’s urging while Dayton had decided he’d give it a try.
He’d never expected to win since he was openly gay and had told his father he wouldn’t go into the closet for the campaign. Having lived his entire life out and proud, he wasn’t going to act ashamed of who he was simply to win votes. If the people he was supposed to be representing didn’t like him because of whom he loved, it was their problem and they weren’t worth his efforts.
His entire campaign crew had been pleasantly shocked when he’d won. It hadn’t been a landslide by any means, but still, he’d come out on top in the votes and that was all that mattered.
“Not working today, brother?”
Dayton turned to watch Kendall walk up to him. They hugged before he winked. “I’m playing hooky. I told Misha to take the day off and go shopping or something. I didn’t need to bring her to this. I thought she’d like having time to spend on her own, catch up with friends and things like that.”
“But she’s been texting and calling you since you got here, right?” Kendall chuckled. “She’s a bit of a Type A personality, isn’t she?”
He nodded. “Which is great since I tend to be that way as well, but I really want to just enjoy today before I jump back into the fray that is DC.”
Kendall nodded. “Sounds like you need it. Dad was telling me last night about the difficulty you’ve been having getting a bill passed for veteran care reform. I’ve read what you put together and it makes perfect sense to me. I’m having trouble figuring out why your colleagues are balking at it.”
Dayton held up his hand. “I don’t go back to DC until Tuesday. We’ll get together for lunch or dinner on Monday and we can discuss it. I truly don’t want to talk about work this weekend.”
“Fair enough, brother.” Kendall gestured toward one of the bars set up around the edges of the backyard. “Why don’t we go get a drink then we can discuss what we’re getting Mother for her birthday?”
“Sounds good to me.” He followed his brother through the crowd, stopping once in a while to greet friends and constituents, making sure he didn’t get caught in any long, drawn-out discussions.
After they had got their drinks, they claimed a table farther out on the lawn, close to the path leading down to the beach. Dayton removed his suit coat and tie, hanging them over the back of the chair next to him. He opened the top two buttons of his shirt before rolling up his sleeves. Leaning back, he sighed.
“DC getting to you?” Kendall asked, though his attention seemed to be drawn to something on the beach.
“It’s not quite what I thought it would be, but I’ll deal. It’s just nice to decompress once in a while. I’m thinking about going scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef during the next congressional break. You want to come with me?” He sipped his whiskey.
Kendall nodded. “Sure. Let me know when and I’ll make sure I don’t have any cases on the docket, so I can get away.”
A waiter cleaning off one of the tables closest to them caught Dayton’s gaze. He was older than the others who were working the reception. His strawberry-blond hair glistened with streaks of gold and copper as the sun danced along the strands. He was tanned and broad-shouldered, as though he worked at a different, more physical job. Yet he handled the fine china plates and crystal glasses with a gentle touch.