He got out, shut the door, and stood against the car, not leaning, standing. And waiting.

As he stood there you would have said David Gergen stood out from the rest of that crowd, if you knew that kind of crowd. The car he stood next to was a German job, but it was decrepit, years older than anything in the lot, including the few golf carts that putted about. He had on a faded club shirt with the first signs of sweat stains now appearing under the arms, and worn khakis with old loafers. The loafers had pennies in them. Dust was settling on the shoes, coating the grime their forgotten creases held. David Gergen slouched markedly. He was clean-shaven, with a youthful appearance that was disarming. His eyes were remarkable: a piercing blue that starkly contrasted with his pallid face, and they now focused with laserlike intensity on the cluster of men by the shop door.

One of them was talking to the four men Gergen had followed from the city — and was now looking right at him. The stranger bobbed his head in Gergen’s direction and frowned subtly. The four men turned and looked at him. David Gergen stared straight at them. One of them said something and they split off from the stranger and quickly walked into the shop, the four men he knew.

Well, truth be told, he didn’t really know all four of them. He knew only three of them professionally: Sturm and Kampf had been White House speechwriters. Now they stood with their new employer, Lloyd Cutler, whom Gergen also knew from Washington circles. The other one — the young one, Hoskins — had come to the White House after David Gergen had left to go work at U.S. News and World Report. From Hoskins, Sturm and Kampf had heard quite about about Gergen’s proclivities.

Gergen didn’t know this. But he was about to find out.