8:25 P.M.

The deejay plays "Soul Bossa Nova" by Quincy Jones.

Brother Vadge stands in the middle of the ballroom, unmoving.

There is an uncomfortable pause in the conversation, then Helen says, "Excuse me, I have to go powder my nose."

"Are you actually gonna put powder on your nose, or are you gonna take a leak?" the governor says, laughing heartily.

"Well, you know," Helen says, looking uncomfortable.

Asher laughs again, then swats her on the ass, turning to you and saying, "I'm the kind of guy who thinks people should say what they mean."

Helen mutters, "Excuse me," and hurries away, disappearing through the door by the bar.

As soon as she is gone, Asher smiles at you and Amanda and jokes, "I thought she'd never leave...anyway, I've got to go make the rounds, but I will see you at nine."

Amanda smiles seductively at Asher as he looks her up and down lasciviously, then he and the gorilla exit to the front hall. As soon as he is gone, a look of revulsion sweeps over Amanda's features. She mutters "Pig..." under her breath, then hurries over to the bar.

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