Read Knights and Kink Romance Boxed Set Online
Authors: Jill Elaine Hughes
Tags: #Romance, #Historical, #BDSM, #Erotic Fiction, #Omnibus
A Capitol Affair, Knight Moves,
Mercenary Bride, & Tender is the Knight
All rights reserved for all titles. Copyright 2014
Jill Elaine Hughes
All rights reserved as permitted under the U.S.
Copyright Act of 1976. No part of these publications may be
reproduced, distributed, transmitted in any form or by any means,
or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior
permission of the Author. For information regarding subsidiary
rights, please contact the publisher.
These books are works of fiction. Names,
characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s
imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual
events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is
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Table of Contents: Four
A Capitol Affair
Tender is the Knight
A Capitol Affair
I stared at the rolling news ticker on my computer
screen in disbelief. According to the latest headlines on CNN.com,
Senator Howard Grayle, the conservative Republican senior senator
from North Dakota—and my boss—had just been caught with his pants
Apparently, Senator Grayle—one of the most
right-wing members of the Senate and an avid critic of gay
rights—spent last night sampling the pleasures of the cheap male
hustlers who worked the hiking trails of Rock Creek Park. (The very
same cheap male hustlers who provided their services to closeted
homosexual Washington powerbrokers under cover of night and thick
foliage.) Conservative, stuffed-shirt (and
gay-rights-hater or not, it seemed Senator Grayle liked getting his
blowjobs best from greasy, desperate heroin addicts when he was
cruising Rock Creek Park at three in the morning.
Only problem was, the greasy, desperate heroin
addict who the senator hired last night was an undercover cop.
An undercover cop with a film crew, no less. Grainy
video footage of the senator getting caught in a very non-“family
values” kind of act was all over the news media.
Take a super-right-wing senator, add in some illicit
gay sex, and sprinkle liberally with a slow newsday and America’s
appetite for sex-soaked tabloid journalism—it all added up to a
public relations disaster.
I had always prided myself on being one of the
slickest, savviest public-relations professionals on Capitol Hill.
After ten years in the business, there was hardly a Washington PR
disaster I couldn’t clean up in a jiffy with a well-written press
release and a few hot sound bites. That was the whole reason
Senator Grayle hired me away from Representative Dwight Harrison’s
office in the first place. After all, I managed to save Rep.
Harrison’s political career when he got caught cheating on his
second wife with his twenty-year-old stepdaughter once I
surreptitiously planted some vague terrorism threat stories in the
media. The networks spent enough time trying to chase down the
questionable leads I’d dug up on the Internet that the public
forgot all about Rep. Harrison’s little indiscretion long enough
for him to win re-election.
I know, I know—it wasn’t exactly the most ethical
thing to do. But public relations has its own ethics system. The
only ethic a Washington public-relations professional has to worry
about sticking to these days is doing everything possible to make
and keep their employer
, rather than
And I do mean
In my long PR career, I have done everything from
making up fake press releases, to telephoning radio and TV call-in
shows pretending to be a “concerned citizen” in order to name-drop
my employers on the air, to bribing newspaper and magazine editors
with boxes of Beluga caviar and Cristal champagne in exchange for
favorable headlines. I even gave the media coordinator at PBS’
program full use of my car one weekend last
winter in hopes that he’d give Senator Grayle fifteen minutes of
airtime to discuss his proposed Grayle-Rileman bill to legalize
gambling nationwide. (The media coordinator wrecked my car, then
cancelled Senator Grayle’s spot at the last minute. Not
surprisingly, the bill failed.).
My sometimes extreme efforts to generate press
attention for my boss didn’t always work, but they worked often
enough for me to keep trying. And the seriousness of Senator
Grayle’s latest public gaffe was calling for some very extreme PR
measures indeed—even by my standards.
The one line I hadn’t yet crossed in my PR career
was using sex as a weapon in the fight for positive media
attention. But I knew I just might have to cross that one last
threshold very soon. Senator Grayle had made such a public ass of
himself that going horizontal with at least one powerful Washington
news editor might be the only way for me to keep my job.
Or if that didn’t work out, I supposed there was
always Starbucks. I’d heard that they had plenty of openings for
eight-dollar-an-hour coffee baristas these days.
My public relations career was over.
“I should probably just go kill myself now.”
Rebecca, my cubicle mate in Senator Grayle’s office,
looked up from her game of computer solitaire. “Why?”
“You obviously haven’t heard.”
Rebecca cracked her gum and booted up another
solitaire match. “Heard what?”
“Our boss got caught buying blowjobs from boys in
Rock Creek Park last night.”
Rebecca’s gum flew out of her mouth and landed on my
“You heard me. Turn on CNN. They’re having a field
day with this.”
Rebecca flipped on the office plasma screen, which
we kept perpetually tuned to CNN. Senator Grayle’s chiseled, aging
WASP face and silver crewcut were all over it. The screen flipped
back and forth between the grainy sex-video footage and Senator
Grayle’s mugshot. He’d been arrested for solicitation.
Well, between the gay sex video, the arrest, and now
an impending divorce, things were not looking good as far as
Senator Grayle’s re-election campaign were concerned. Hell, at this
rate I could even forget about getting a job at Starbucks, which
considers itself a squeaky-clean family establishment. I’d probably
be filing for unemployment within a matter of weeks.
I turned up the volume on the TV just in time to
hear the news announcer add that Senator Grayle was still waiting
in jail for someone to bail him out, since his wife apparently left
him upon hearing the news.
“You know that means he’ll be calling one of
to bail him out,” Rebecca quipped. She would know. As
Senator Grayle’s personal secretary, she’d suffered such
indignities as scraping the senator’s vomit off the floor of a
limousine when he got drunk on tequila at President Bush’s second
inauguration party and running telephone interference between Mrs.
Grayle and the senator’s three known mistresses.
Rebecca poured herself a cup of strong coffee and
sighed. Like me, she knew she’d likely be out of a job by
Christmas. “I knew the boss was a sex fiend after working here for
almost six years, but this is the first I’ve heard about him having
a thing for boys. He sure did a good job of covering that up.”
“It’s always the ones you least expect,” I said.
“I guess so.” Rebecca shut down her solitaire game
and punched up Senator Grayle’s online media directory for me. “And
I guess that means you’re going to want to start damage control
with the press right away, Jasmine.”
I sighed and bit my lip. “Of course. Not that it’s
going to do any good.”
I scanned Senator Grayle’s directory of media
contacts, which he and a whole series of PR reps before me had
spent years cultivating. Grayle had been in Washington for over
thirty years, after all—and I’d spent the past two years working to
refine his image with his existing stable of press contacts, not
trying to build up new ones. A mistake, I realized then. Grayle was
going to need all the friends he could get in the media, and the
fact was, he just didn’t have enough. I wished I’d worked harder on
establishing new, loyal contacts for the senator at the networks
and newspapers instead of just kissing ass with all his old
fair-weather friends. I knew it would only be a matter of time
before almost every editor, journalist, and broadcaster in Grayle’s
tried-and-true directory would abandon him—or at best, make him
into their latest punch line.
There was only one name left in that press directory
I could possibly count on in a crisis like this.
Rodney Doyle, editor-in-chief of the
Rodney Doyle was king barracuda in Washington’s
veritable sea of razor-toothed press predators. His paper, the
, was the lead rag when it came to hyping up
right-wing politics and tearing down liberals. A rich whiz kid from
an old New England family, Doyle had founded the paper right out of
college by cashing in his trust fund in the early nineties, and had
built it into the highest-selling conservative political paper
nationwide within five years. The
far-reaching influence in conservative circles that no Republican
could get elected to anything—not even to his local
wastewater-treatment department—without the
endorsement. In addition to his influential newspaper, Doyle was a
fiery political commentator who appeared frequently on television
and had his own high-rated syndicated radio program and two dozen
national bestsellers to his credit. Doyle’s huge media presence,
magnetic personality, and red-hot political rhetoric could turn the
tide of public opinion any way he wanted.
And Rodney Doyle wasn’t afraid of weaving his own
personal brand of fantasy into a very stretched-out version of the
truth if that’s what got him the results he was looking for. The
Democrats could thank Rodney Doyle and the
for being shut out of the White House for eight years,
among other things.
And there was no level too low for the paper to
stoop, either. The
was America’s closest
counterpart to an old-school British tabloid, and it seemed no
scandal was too sordid for the paper’s pages as long as it had at
to do with our elected officials in
Washington. The paper used scandal (preferably sexual) whenever and
wherever it could to manipulate the nation’s political winds in
whatever direction Rodney Doyle wanted them to go.
skills were so
sharp, in fact, he even managed to make over Monica Lewinsky from
sleazy tramp into glorious political savior of the nation during
the Clinton impeachment scandal.
It went without saying that Rodney Doyle was a
brilliant, slick, slimy bastard.
Or so I’d heard, anyway. I’d never actually
the man in person before. Sure, I’d sent his paper press
releases whenever Senator Grayle needed an endorsement or a photo
op, but truth be told, I’d always been a little afraid of Rodney
Doyle’s cutthroat reputation, so I’d never spoken to him in person—
even for a follow-up on a press release or to get Senator Grayle a
slot on Doyle’s radio program. And I’d never had to. Up until now,
Senator Grayle was a popular, established politician with a high
media profile who’d never had any serious opposition in his home
state. Senator Grayle had never needed more than a routine
endorsement from the
But then again, Senator Grayle had never been in
such dire political straits before. Senator Grayle was up to his
wrinkled, old-man balls in the biggest sex scandal to hit
Washington in years. His career—and consequently, mine too—were in