“Good morning, Mister Blake, Misses Blake,” the man said, stepping aside.
William led Mary down a flight of stairs to the basement. During the week, the basement housed a daycare center and preschool. Children’s artwork adorned the walls. Classrooms with tiny desks and reading nooks flanked a large open area. William spotted Sage in the back of the room speaking with the Reverend. Sage waved William over.
“Here,” William said, handing Mary the coffee cake. “I’m going over to see Sage for a minute. Bring this over to the baked goods table and mingle a little. I’ll be right back.” He felt Mary bristle and tighten her grip on his arm. “It’ll only be a minute, I promise.”
William gave Mary a quick kiss on the cheek and walked through the crowd. He did his best to nod and keep moving, lest he get pulled into any side conversations; holding his first Sunday-morning conversation with the two most important people in the room would signal his status to anyone observing the social dynamics.
“William, come on over here,” Sage said, slipping his arm around William’s shoulder and pulling him into the conversation.
William could feel many eyes on him. The physical embrace by the highest-ranking member in The Movement sent a subtle signal to everyone in the basement. “Good morning, Sage, Reverend DeWitt,” William said.
“Good morning,” Reverend DeWitt said. “I understand that congratulations are in order.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“A law degree in hand and a first child on the way; this is