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More Things In Heaven And Earth

More Things In Heaven and Earth
Ginny — 5 Oct 1998, 9:29 AM

Kathryn sat forward with her elbows resting on her knees. "There are two ways you could approach such an announcement, Owen. You could tell the truth--that you were secretly married for seven years to a woman who bore you two children, whom you essentially abandoned after their mother's death, because they were politically inconvenient."

"'Abandoned'" That's a bit harsh, don't you think, Kate?" The Senator shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

"No, I don't," Kathryn replied sharply, leanig back in her chair again. "And the family values crowd will crucify you for it."

Senator Paris grimaced. "I'd be lucky if they only crucified me. My other option?"

Kathryn continued. "You could say that you had just discovered a son that you never knew you had, the result of a youthful indiscretion. Of course, that's a bald-faced lie, and Tom would never go along with it. And even if he would, someone would inevitably find out that you were lying, and then you'd be in even worse trouble than you are now."

The Senator sighed heavily. "You're probably right, Kate. Lying about it--and getting caught at it--would be disastrous. But if I tell the truth, I could..." The Senator's voice trailed off, a thoughtful expression on his face.

A small crease appeared between Kathryn's brows. "What?"

Senator Paris said nothing for a moment, staring off into space. Suddenly, he jumped out of his chair and began pacing the length of the room. "It couldn't have been him, could it?" he murmured to himself. Furiously chewing the inside of his lip, an old habit that Kathryn recognized as a sign of intense concentration, the Senator turned and looked past Kathryn and toward the window overlooking Voyager City's main street. Striding to the window and pulling back the curtain, he stared down at the sidewalk below and said again, "Could it?"

Concerned, Kathryn began, "Owen, what--", only to be cut off by the Senator, who whirled to face her, a look of cautious glee in his blue-gray eyes. "What if, Kate, what if the announcement was not that I had found a son that I never knew I had, but that I had found the son I thought I had lost forever."

Kathryn shook her head. "That's still a lie, Owen. Tom will never agree..."

The Senator interrupted her, saying softly. "Not Tom, Kate. Nickie."

Kathryn's mouth fell open in astonishment, and she stood, motionless, stunned momentarily into silence. "Nickie? Oh, my God, Owen. Is he you know where...?" Kathryn floundered, shaken by the implication of Senator Paris' words. The Senator nodded, slowly, and started to chuckle softly. The chuckle escalated, and he bent over, his hands on his knees, his body shaking with laughter. Kathryn stepped forward, concerned, and laid her hand on his back.

The Senator sobered slightly at her touch, stood up, and took her hand in his, still chuckling. "You know, Katie, sometimes it's a damn sight better to be lucky than good."