“Son,” Mike Sloan finally spoke. His voice resonated deeply, a voice sufficiently full enough to star on Broadway. “My son announces for the United States Senate without telling me?” The volume cranked louder. “I heard it from goddamn CNN. C-fucking, N-fucking, fucking-N. Don’t you think I deserved a phone call from you and not from a reporter?”
          “I sent you a text.”
          “A text?!” Mike bellowed. “What the hell am I supposed to do with a text? Did you make me a buddy on the Facebook too?”
          Sloan cracked a smile at how his father often inserted “the” before web pages.
          “You might as well send out smoke signals.”


 Javier shared that she was troubled by his speech in Reno. She gently advised,
          “You’re a rock star. Flaunt it; celebs win. No more long speeches.”
          “I overreacted. I heard one professor backstage refer to me as a reality-show candidate,” Sloan explained. “My overpaid, pompous little aides pumped me with too many details. It was an off night; not every song McCartney wrote was ‘Yesterday.’”


Sloan had seen Bree Baker’s images on the web, but none did her justice. He extended his hand to greet her as she entered his Las Vegas campaign office. She wore an unstructured pink and black jacket, crisp black jeans, and a rose-colored t-shirt scrawled with Chinese script without apparent meaning. He noticed her multi-strapped high heels. Her wardrobe reminded him of his younger backup singers…at rehearsals.


 At 8 a.m., the desert sun was soft and innocent. The Strip’s casino gamblers were crashing from alcohol with dashed dreams and the mental grime of sleep deprivation. Slot machine addicts were numb after an all-night binge of mesmerizing sounds and lights that had slowly but surely drained last week’s paycheck. Sloan dabbed perspiration as he walked out of the batting cage. Bree’s crew and a horde of media filmed every gesture."