The Price of Ambition

Washington D.C, 1996

Robert Kinsey nursed his drink, his eyes unreadable. Single malt scotch, a bit of a splurge but Robert had a feeling that his situation was going to be improving drastically. It had taken years of maneuvering, of promises made, and blackmail, but here he was at last. Robert Kinsey, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Yes he could get used to this. He who controls the money, controls everything. The NID would have to come begging to him now, dance to his tune. He smiled. It was a delicious thought. And his newfound position was bringing other players from the woodwork. He glanced down at the business card: Wolfram & Hart Attorneys at Law. There was a knock at the door.

"Come in," he called. Kinsey studied the man as he entered. Tailored suit, confident gait, a few gray hairs, but Kinsey had more than a few of those himself. Years of experience in Washington had honed his instincts. No this lawyer was not a man to be underestimated.

"Senator," the lawyer said. "I'm Holland Manners, from Wolfram & Hart." Kinsey reached out to take the offered hand.

"Please call me Robert," he said, gesturing for Manners to take a seat.

Manners said lowering himself gently into the indicated chair. "Allow me to congratulate you on your appointment Robert. It was expertly done."

"Thank you Mr. Manners."


"Holland," Kinsey nodded. "What can I do for you?"

"Actually I was wondering what I could do for you." Holland Manners smiled. "You see Robert, the Senior Partners have been very impressed by your drive and ambition. Particularly how you handled poor Senator Flaherty. Who knew he had a mistress in Stratford?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Kinsey struggled to keep his mask in place. He'd been so careful. Yet somehow Wolfram & Hart knew. It had taken a great deal of effort to stage-manage Flaherty's scandal, he would not be out maneuvered by some two-bit law firm.

"Of course you don't," Manners said neutrally. "A man with your talents could go far, Senator. We offer a wide array of services to help facilitate continual success, yours and your associates." Manners's smile was entirely too innocent for Kinsey's tastes.

"What sort of services exactly would your firm be providing and what's the price?"

"Well Robert," Holland Manners leaned forward slightly. "I think the real question you need to be asking is just how much do you want to be President?"

Kinsey's eyes widened. The words certainly had a ring to them—President Robert Kinsey. Yes he could get used to that. He matched Manners smile for smile. To hell with the price…