Joe Doe was once again ruffling feathers among his conservative, right wing constitutes that elected him. They wanted some new blood but not someone out to reinvent the wheel. Less government and big business was a platform most Southern Republicans ran on. Pro life, close the boarders, the right to bare arms, stand your ground laws and no gay marriage is what they believed. Strong Southern Baptist, God fearing pro death penalty folks put him in office and now he was slowly betraying their interests.
The Rooney family had plans to build a new plant on some land that was not zoned for commercial construction. A vote would be held and Joe Doe’s vote was needed. From everything he had said in the past, there was great doubt that he would vote to rezone the area. He would effectively be once again slowing the big business that the voters wanted him to support. Enter Bill Rodgers.
Joe Doe was enjoying lunch with his assistant and a couple of staff members when he was approached by a tall older gentleman dressed in a grey suit and boots. On his face was a pleasant smile as he was intercepted by one of Mr. Doe’s people.
“Hello sir, how can I help you?”
Bill looked over the shorter gentleman’s shoulder and made eye contact with Doe.
“I just wanted to have a quick word with Mr. Doe. I have some sensitive information that I’m sure he’ll want to see and hear.”
The man looked Bill over then turned to his boss. Joe gave a signal to let the man know to let Bill pass. Bill smiled and walked up to the table. He extended his hand; it was taken by Joe Doe.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you. Bill Rodgers.”
“It’s good to meet you as well. Joe Doe. What is it you would like show and tell me?”
“You may want to clear the room. I don’t think you would want anyone else to see this.
“Well would could it be?”
Bill’s smile melted away and his eyes shown a serious glare.
“Are you sure want all of these folks here to be privy to information unknown to you or would you like to speak in private?”
Something about Bill’s demeanor troubled Joe so he asked his people to give them some privacy.
“John, Tim please give me and Mr. Rodgers here a moment.”
He gestured for Bill to take a seat and Bill gladly accepted.
“Thank you for your time sir.”
“Okay now, what is this oh so important information you want to share with me?
Bill simply pulled out photos and spread them across the table. Joe’s eyes got wide when he realized what it was he was seeing and he quickly gathered them into a pile and turned them over. He whispered angrily back across the table to Bill.
“What the hell are you doing?!”
Bill met his glare and topped it off with a snarl.
“What the hell were you doing in those photos sir?!”
Joe tried to conceal just how angry he was.
“What do you want from me? Why are you showing me this?”
Bill looked around the room and smiled at everyone.
“You know what this is. If you don’t want these photos to see the light of day on Tuesday you will vote the right way. You are a Republican sir, certain people are responsible for putting you in office and what are you doing to repay them? You act like a bleeding heart liberal half of the time. This time you’re going to toe the line, understand?”
Joe grit his teeth and flexed his jaw before answering.
“I can’t hear you.”
Joe spoke up louder while standing and shaking Bill’s hand.
“Yes sir! You can count on it.”
Bill pulled him close and whispered in his ear while placing a card in his palm.
“This is my number be sure to call me from a secure line tonight at eight sharp, understood?”
Both men smiled wide as if they had just completed some business to both their satisfaction. Joe Doe’s people slowly gathered around the table as Bill made his exit. He looked back at Joe one last time as he turned the corner. Joe was shook to his core; he had no idea who had seen those photos. He was more than anxious to talk to Bill that evening to gain more understanding.
Their conversation that night was brief and to the point. Joe understood that as long as he did what he was told that those pictures wouldn’t see the light of day. The day of the vote came and Joe did what he was told. The Rooney’s would break ground in two months and more animals and wildlife would be displaced. Joe’s secret would be kept and Bill would be his Rooney handler only he wasn’t exactly doing it as an order from the Rooney’s. This all was the workings of a wrathful Rebecca.
Rebecca recorded every meeting and interaction between Bill and Joe. She would use those materials quite effectively in the future. Her daily routine with Ruth was wearing thin and grating her nerves. She just couldn’t wait to spring her trap on the vile woman who thought tormenting her to be a funny little game she liked to play.
Dan Putnam sat in the first pew of Church In The River led by Pastor Dan Newberry. At his side sat his doting wife. A few pews back sat his adult children and their families. In the pulpit stood Dan Newberry delivering a heartfelt message. The congregation was energized and engaged. Suddenly the doors of the sanctuary flew open and six half naked women marched through the doors and to the front of the church. Two of them walked right up on stage and put their arms and hands all over the pastor. Two other women went and sat on the lap of Mr. Dan Putnam to his wife’s surprise. The last two women stood on either side of the stage with blow up posters of the pastor and the politician in and around the whorehouse with women.
Rebecca then walked through the doors in disguise carrying a bullhorn. The pastor tried to take back control of the room as the congregation gasped and whispered.
“Ladies please; this is a house of worship. If you didn’t come for the service, I’ll have to ask you to leave. Please ladies release me.”
Rebecca chimed in loudly with her bullhorn.
“These men are not who you think they are. Your pastor Dan Newberry and this politician Dan Putnam frequent this town’s whorehouse and they use our money to pay for it! Your tithes are going into g-strings and bras or worse yet to some pimp. We pay the salaries of the elected officials and for them to squander it on whores is repulsive. These men need to repent for their sins; we all know God forgives and saves. You folks have a Blessed day now.”
Rebecca turned and flipped the red wig she was wearing under her sunhat and big shades. As she exited, the six women filed out behind her. She could hear the ruckus in the sanctuary behind them as people tried to figure out exactly what was going on. People wanted answers but Dan and Dan didn’t have many, just a lot of shame.
Rebecca recruited the girls from a local theater group. She paid the girls peanuts but to them it was awesome. They actually had a paying gig. Rebecca used cash she’d siphoned from the Rooney’s account to pay her performers. To her it was money well spent.
The next afternoon there she was recording Bill doing his business with Joe Doe. She knew it was time she turned the screws of Joe herself. Rebecca the master of disguise, put on a blond wig and blue contacts then headed to Joe’s favorite lunchtime eatery. Again his people tried to shield him but her charm was the key that unlocked that lock. Before she knew it she was sitting in front of the man being offered beverages and appetizers. Rebecca declined; she wanted to get right down to business.
“I am here today sir to help you to save you. I know that you find yourself between a rock and a hard space right now. You’re being squeezed and I know it can’t feel good.”
He looked puzzled. Rachel quickly showed him footage on her phone of him at the whorehouse and in meetings with Bill Rodgers. She quickly pulled the phone away and put it in her purse. Joe was demoralized.
“So, what do you want from me now?”
Rebecca smiled placing her hand on top of his then she allowed his blues to meet hers.
“I don’t want anything from you sweetheart, I just want you to do the right thing. We need for you to be the good man that you are. This is not you. This isn’t the behavior of and average Joe. The people who elected you love and trust you. You can’t sell out to save yourself from a little embarrassment or just to keep your job. If you don’t have your integrity, what do you have? Don’t you want to be your own man again?”
The weight of her words were starting to settle in on him.
“I know Bill Rodgers, do you?”
“Yes, he’s the guy shaking me down.”
“Do you know who he works for?”
Joe looked puzzled so once again Rebecca pulled out her phone and showed him Ruth and Bill together in a meeting. Rebecca called the meeting and Ruth had no idea about it. Bill showed up to her luncheon and just took a seat while Rebecca sat there and filmed their interaction. When Joe saw Ruth’s face he knew exactly who she was. Suddenly his righteousness came back to him. He knew what it was he had to do. Joe refused to be under the Rooney’s thumb and he would get that yoke off his neck no matter the price.
Joe Doe held a press conference the very next day announcing his resignation. He exposed himself and alluded to his office being compromised because of his transgressions. Joe offered to work with the authorities in apprehending those responsible for the bribery. Stepping down in shame never felt so good. Joe Doe cleared his conscience and got himself back at the same time. He was relieved.
Across town Ruth celebrated by ordering Rebecca to get her a bottle of champagne from the chiller. She toasted Doe’s downfall despite him voting in their favor for the first time since he’d taken office. Rebecca smiled and laughed with Ruth. Rebecca’s joy came from a different place. She knew that the hammer would drop soon and she would be sure it fell directly on Ruth’s head.