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The wind was blowing through her hair and she was smacking on some orange flavored bubble gum. Apparently, the top of the mustang was able to come off and she loved feeling the humid air filling her up. Bill had the car blaring some loud music he liked, and he looked amazing to her. His red flannel shirt was clinging to him, sweat stains appearing at his armpits. He was wearing black sunglasses and his hair was curling a bit as the wind pushed through it. Even Cotton, who was tied by leash onto the back of Bill's seat, laid at the floor of the car sunbathing.
"Come on, Hillary sing this song with me. I'll restart it," Bill said. He had been playing the song Magic by Pilot for the past half hour.
"I think you've been managing just fine. Besides, you can't sing with gum in your mouth," she said. He shook his head.
"Next time we stop at a gas station to use the bathroom and what not you're not allowed to get gum," he said. He then restarted the song and began to sing loudly. His deep voice was amazing and it seemed like he hit all the notes right on pitch.
"Oh, oh, oh it's magic. C'mon Hilly," he said singing loudly. She shook her head and laid back against the seat. They were currently in Tennessee and it was the second day of their trip. The car ride had consisted of lots of Bill's singing and their talking. They had talked about a lot more things as usual, their classes, the future, music, and much more. The night in the motel with Bill in West Virginia had also been pleasing. They had stopped at a small motel and they had shared one king sized bed.
She had been tired, even though he had been doing all the driving, and had gotten in the bed as soon as he had unlocked the door of their room. He had chuckled and went about his nightly routine as he had brought both of their overnight bags with them. After he had been done, he had gotten in the bed, lying down next to her. Automatically, she had moved her head from the pillow to his chest.
"I'm like your personal body pillow aren't I?" He had asked light heartedly.
"It's your fault you're so comfy," she had replied and buried her face in his chest. She had loved being able to feel so close to him. After his confession of his past, it seemed like a wall had been torn down between them.
"I'm not complaining. You feel so good," he had said and had begun to run his hand through her hair. He had fallen asleep right away, tired from driving a lot, and she had stayed up for a while watching him. His face had seemed much more young and relaxed. Occasionally he would mumble something indecipherable, but sometimes he had just said her name . At one point during the night, his face had grown tense and he had said her name over and over again. It had seemed as if he were having a nightmare. She had been able to calm him by stroking his hair.
"I'm here. It's okay, I'll take care of you," she had whispered. Although still asleep, his body had relaxed at the sound of her voice and his sleep had slipped back into ease.
That had been the beautiful part to her, being able to soothe him.
She now looked at him, as he finished singing the last part of the song he loved dearly. He really did seem so joyous and it brought herself joy as well to see him in good spirits.
"We'll be arriving there soon, in a few hours. Are you okay? You know they will like you," Bill said now turning down the music.
"I think I'll just wait to get there. I don't want to set my expectations too high, and then be
disappointed," she said. She had been worried beyond belief at first, the thought of meeting his family was intimidating. Now, she could still feel some nerves but she kept them at bay by keeping her mind occupied on other matters. Worrying would do no good and serve no other purpose other than stressing her out.
"What? Disappointment? I think you'll like it. There will be lots of things for us to do," Bill said. Over a quick breakfast at the motel this morning he had told her of some of these things. He had suggested they could go fishing and horse shoe tossing. These all seemed out of her depth. Still, Bill had made it sound so fun and interesting in the way he always did.
"Do you look like your mother, Bill?" She asked now as a thought popped into her head. That thought was that Bill was so wonderful and beautiful; and the thought of his family looking like him was comforting. It wouldn't be so nerve wracking if she was greeted by those familiar features she had grown to love so much.
"A little a guess. We have the same hair color and face shape. Most people always said I looked like my biological father. I wouldn't know. Why?" He answered her then looked at her curiously. She blushed a little but continued to meet the gaze she knew she was getting underneath the sunglasses.
"Because you're so beautiful. It would be nice to see all your familiar features reflected in your family," she confessed. In response, his face turned almost as red as her shirt. 'Yes! I can make him blush just as hard,'she thought.
"Shucks, sweets. You're such a doll you know that? You're always so good to me," he said still smiling. She loved that smile, and that joy she could bring him. She wanted to see more of it, see the smile get even bigger. She turned up the volume of the music and restarted the tape.
"Oh, oh, oh it's magic! C'mon Billy," she said as she began to sing the song very off key. As she had anticipated, his smile grew even larger.
"Yeah! You see Hills? You can sing!" He said and joined along with her. He didn't seem to mind that she was off key, rather he seemed to enjoy it.
She laughed while singing, sometimes getting the lyrics wrong, and they held hands. The roaring of the wind, tires against road, and the music, their symphony.

 

He had decided he would tell Hillary about the bet as soon as they returned back to New Haven. He had decided on this due to the fact that she had been so receptive and understanding to his confession of his past. The days following his confession, she had shown her love for him in many ways. She would do things, simple small things, like lay her head in his lap while he read his schoolbooks or sometimes pause in what she was doing to place a kiss on his neck. These simple things had been done with so much love and trust, and had only reassured her previous statement: 'you're still Bill to me.'
So as much as it pained him, he would tell her about the bet and they could move on.
That would have to wait, however. Now, they were going to his hometown and despite what she said he could tell she was nervous. Still, the long car trip had been just as amazing as he had imagined it. She had often curled up in her seat, gazing out the window or at him. Her cream colored blonde hair had blown in the wind looking as soft as cotton candy. At times, she had fallen asleep during the ride and he would be talking just to look over and see that she was snoozing away.
"I'm that boring aren't I?" He had joked.
"No. Your voice is just so soothing, and slow like molasses," she had said complimenting him once again.
Now, as they drove past the 'Welcome to Arkansas, the natural state sign.' She squeezed his hand. As always, his home state welcomed him with the green scenery and the occasional tumbleweed on the side of the road.
"It's beautiful here," Hillary whispered.
"Yes it is," he said. He was looking at her however. She really did look well against the Arkansas backdrop of the sky and he loved how she seemed incredibly comfortable.
"This must be different from Illinois huh?" He asked.
"Very different," she said. It was obvious it wasn't a bad thing to her, but a new different and a refreshing kind.
"We still have an hour to go if you want to get some sleep," he said. They would be staying with his mother in his old house, and he knew she was still nervous. In her typical fashion, however, she kept it well concealed.
"Maybe. If you start talking to me again I might go to sleep. Your voice is like a lullaby," she said already laying back. He chuckled a bit.
"Tell me that story again about the time you chased a hog," she said smiling. When they had stopped to eat lunch at a deli earlier, he had told her that story and she had gotten a real kick out of it. Even though the story was embarrassing to tell since it consisted of him as a fourteen year old accidentally setting the blue ribbon hog loose at the Arkansas fair; and him having to chase it, he had enjoyed making her laugh.
"Alright. So I was fourteen and at the fair..." He began to tell her the story again and she closed her eyes, still smiling as his voice began to lull her to sleep.

 

"This is where I grew up," he said his lips at her ear. She had woken up a few minutes ago and was still dazed. The nerves came back, but she didn't pay them much mind. Bill had parked the car in the driveway as he had woken her up, and they would no doubt be greeted by someone any minute now.
"It's a nice house," she said. It was. The house reminded her of a white cake, the chipping white paint of the porch serving as a sort of white trim.
As she had predicted, a boy who had hair just as dark as Bill's came running out of the house. This must be Roger, she thought. Roger looked around sixteen and while he only resembled Bill in hair color, there was something familiar about the way he excitedly waved his arms around. "Come on, you'll be okay. I'll get Cotton," Bill said opening the door of the car. She followed his lead, and got out of the car herself. She felt a bit awkward watching the brothers greet each other. Cotton herself had jumped out of Bill's arms and onto the ground, going as far as the leash would get here.
"Roger, you've gotten so tall. Pretty soon you'll be taller than me," Bill said.
"I doubt it. You've always been so huge," Roger said laughing back. A woman came out, and Hillary felt herself gasp. She looked very much like Bill. He had said that he only looked a little like his mother, but to her the resemblance was undeniable. She was also tall, taller than Hillary, and shorter than Bill. She had the signature dark hair that Hillary was starting to notice was a Clinton trait. She also had the similar blue eyes that were shaped the same, but didn't include the gray specks.
She watched as the family greeted each other and she herself scooped up Cotton for something to do.
"Mom. Roger. This is Hillary Rodham, my best friend, my girlfriend, and my better half," Bill said taking her hand. She felt herself blush as all eyes were on her.
"Hello. It's nice to meet you," Hillary said shyly.
"It's nice to meet you as well. I'm Virginia," Bill's mother said coming up to shake her hand.
Her hand had the same warmth that Bill's had.
"We've heard a lot about you. Why don't you come in and I’ll help you get settled. Bill and Roger will bring up your things,” Virginia said. Hillary just followed her, with Cotton in her arms, and glanced back at Bill who was horsing around with Roger. The inside of the house was lovely. It was obvious that the house had some history. The walls were painted a light brown and the living room consisted of a fuzzy pink couch and a television set in front of it. Alongside the side of the living room, a huge brown dressing drawer stood high and mighty. On the top of the drawer, there were many pictures of Bill and Roger. She liked the pictures of Bill throughout his school years, and she especially liked the one of him in his graduation cap and gown from high school.
“You have a very nice house,” Hillary said.
“Thank you. It was always difficult to keep the house clean when the boys were younger, but now I can keep it how I want. You’ll be staying upstairs, it’s just this way,” Virgina said and led her to the stairs. Unlike the house she and Bill currently lived in, his childhood home was a two story house and she followed his mother up the staircase. Alongside the wall of the staircase there were even more pictures of Bill. Many were of him at saxophone competitions and band recitals and she loved them. In all the pictures he looked the same as he did now, but much younger. “You and Bill will be staying here in his old room. The bathroom is right across the hall. Roger and I are down stairs if you need us for anything,” Virgina said as she led her to the room. They now came within Bill’s old room and Hillary smiled. It was like if nothing had changed. The room was small and the walls were painted a light blue, and covered in various posters. The posters were mostly of democrat political symbols but some were of old movies he liked. His bed was huge and the bedsheets were those of some comic book characters, but the blanket was a solid blue. She noticed how he himself also had a small dresser in his room but the only picture on top of the dresser was of him meeting John F. Kennedy. To her delight, alongside the dresser was his old saxophone. Then she realized what Virginia had said, both she and Bill would be staying here. “Bill is staying here too?” she asked. Of course Hillary herself didn’t have a problem with it, but she just thought it was a bit embarrassing that his mother knew they would be sleeping in the same bed. She knew it was ridiculous, but she just compared it to how if they were visiting her family, they would never let her and Bill sleep in the same room since it was “improper.” She guessed the Clintons were more laid back.
“Oh yes, Bill was very specific. He said that if you didn’t share the same room then he would throw a fit,” his mother replied smiling a bit.
“I would. Hillary is the best snuggler, she helps me sleep,” Bill said as he entered the room carrying her duffle bag. Roger followed behind bringing in Bill’s bag and Cotton’s things as well. “Mom, Cotton will be staying in the laundry room right?” Bill asked helping Roger move the bags to the corner of the room.
“Yes. I’ve already made it up for her, there’s lots of space for her,” Virginia replied smiling at Cotton. Hillary sat down on the edge of the bed and put Cotton on the floor. This wasn’t so bad, and her nerves were starting to go away.
“Have you two eaten? I have some leftover pot roast if you want some,” Virginia said.
“Maybe later. Hillary and I are gonna unpack first,” Bill replied. His mother nodded and said that she would be downstairs. As she left, Roger moved to follow her.
“Roger, wait. You haven’t said anything to Hillary yet don’t be rude,” Bill said stopping his teenage brother. Roger groaned dramatically.
“Bill it’s fine,” Hillary protested. The last thing she wanted was more attention.
“No it’s not. Roger’s just in a hurry to go downstairs and watch TV. Roger say hi then you can go,” Bill said answering her then addressing his brother.
“Hi then you can go,” Roger said to Hillary causing her to laugh. He then laughed as he raced back down the stairs.
“Smartass,” Bill muttered under his breath but his voice was full of love for his younger brother. Bill then began to take his clothes out of the duffel bag and put them in the drawer. They would be staying here for a week, and Hillary was glad that her parents hadn’t given her too much grief about it. Her mother had been insistent that she go with Bill to Arkansa for break as it would be a good experience for her. Her father had been more hesitant since he hadn’t met Bill but had told her to go on anyway. The Rodman family only had one rule: that everyone be present for winter break and spend Christmas together. Due to this rule, fall break was more laissez-faire and laid back.
“Hillary, you can put your stuff in here too if you’d like,” Bill said breaking into her thoughts. She wasn’t much of a unpack sort of a girl when it came to vacations. Most of the time, she just left her clothes in her bag and took things out as she needed them
“I’m fine with leaving them in the duffel bag,” she said but got up all the same. She took a closer look at the room now, and went to open the closet. It was empty, but on the top of the mantel, there were Bill’s yearbooks.“You know my mom likes you? I can tell. She practically beams with enthusiasm every fucking time I touch you,” Bill said still putting his things away.
“Does she now?” Hillary said only half listening. She tip toed and plucked the yearbook from his senior year of high school off the mantel so she could look at it. She opened it and saw that he had many signatures from peers all over it. She flipped through the pages looking for pictures of him. She found his school photo and smiled at how handsome he had looked even then at eighteen. “Yeah. This is the first time I’ve ever brought a girl home. It’s the first time I’ve had a serious girlfriend,” Bill went on. She nodded, but didn’t answer. She was too immersed in looking through his yearbook. She had come across a picture of him and a bunch of tough looking guys, their arms wrapped around each other’s necks and they seemed to be laughing. From what he had told her now, she knew better. Bill had only stuck with these popular and tough guys to survive and not get picked on.
“What are you doing?” Bill now asked coming up behind her and wrapping his arms around her waist.
“Snooping,” she joked. At the back of the yearbook on the blank pages, there were more signatures most of which were obviously from girls. She rolled her eyes and finally shut the book. “You don’t have to snoop. I’d tell you anything you want to know,” he said nibbling at her ear. She giggled and for a second she was glad that Roger and Virginia were staying downstairs. She wouldn't have been able to control all her giggling if they were around. Bill’s nibbles turned into warm kisses at her ear then moved down to the lower part of her neck. She felt surges of pleasure run through her as his lips worked their familiar magic. He turned her around and his lips came down on hers, hot and heavy. If it weren’t for the book still in her hands she was sure that she would have hoisted herself around his waist. Unfortunately, the book was still in her hands and she had to make do with what she could. She bit his lip causing him to groan and he picked her up himself.
“You’re so lucky my family is downstairs or there would be so many things I would do to you right now,” He said his lips going back to where this had started all at her ear. She felt herself grow aroused at his words. Lately, she had been wanting him more. They still had only been kissing and fingering, but in the days following Halloween, their kisses had grown hotter and longer, and the fingering had gotten rougher.
“Sure you would,” she said still panting. He plucked the book out of hands and placed it back on it’s spot on the mantel, with one hand while the other effortlessly still held her up. Her arms were now free and she was able to wrap them around Bill’s neck. She knew she wanted him, that had become painfully clear to her the night before they had left for Arkansa. She had woken up, her face flushed from the dream she had experienced. She knew it had been a dream but it had felt so real. Most of her dreams were about Bill, but that one had been different. In the dream, his hands had been all over her and she had been experiencing all of him. So it had been a wet dream. She had wanted it so badly to be real, and ever since she had been trying to keep that lust at bay. When she finally decided to have sex with him, she wanted it to be out of love and not because she was horny.
“I’m so glad you’re here, even if you are snooping,” he said placing her back on the ground. She left her arms around his neck and smiled.
“You said you would tell me anything right? Well there’s one thing I want to know,” she said teasingly.
“Yeah? What’s that?” He asked biting his lip. She tried to keep her eyes away from his mouth, that sinfully pink mouth that could take her to heaven.
“Why the comic book bed sheets?’” she joked. He groaned and rolled his eyes.
“It was a phase, and my mom refuses to change anything from the room,” he said. She laughed and at last took her arms from his neck and walked to wear her bag was. She had never been an unpacking kind of girl, but she would unpack here. This wasn’t just a temporary vacation, and she felt that she would be visiting here again.
“Hillary actually works with kids mom. She loves it,” he gushed. He had in fact spent all of dinner gushing over Hillary even though her face turned bright pink.
“That’s lovely!” his mother responded enthusiastically. The way Bill saw it, Hillary could just as well had flippers and a tail and his mother would have thought that was lovely. He had meant what he had said earlier, his mother was beaming with joy every time he touched Hillary in the slightest way. He knew it was because his mother worried about him, and worried that he would be alone the rest of his life. He had thought that as well, except he hadn’t worried about it, that had simply just been his fate.
Not anymore.
Hillary was his always and she had been very at ease after they had finished unpacking and he had taken her fishing down by the creek. Luckily, they had been the only ones there.
“You see, I told you this is easy,” she had said smugly as she had caught several fish even though it was her first time. He had only shook his head, there was not a single thing she was bad at, well except bowling.
“Hey Clinton, come here,” she had said giggling. He had walked over to her where she was by the creek knowing she was up to something by the mischief in her voice. He had been right, because she had pushed him into the creek so the bottom of his pants were wet. She had laughed as if it was the funniest thing in the world.
“Naughty girl,” he had said and pulled her in the water fishing rod and all. Since she was much smaller she had gotten more of herself wet except her upper chest.
“Seriously Bill?” She had joked with mock anger and splashed him. Next thing he knew, they had been splashing away at the creek until not an inch of either of them was dry. The fish had been long forgotten, as they each drenched the other with the creek waves.
“You started this,” he had said as he cradled her to his chest in the creek. Water droplets had been all over her glasses and she had pouted.
“You escalated it,” she threw back. So he had, but it had been fun and he knew she had enjoyed it as well. They had stayed in the creek for a while longer and the splashing had turned to kissing. Wet lips against wet lips. He had thought they would have stayed there forever if it hadn’t been for the sun starting to go down. So the seats of the mustang were currently soaked and they had returned to his mother’s house soaking wet, but his mother hadn’t seemed to mind. She had simply given them towels and they had dried off before entering the house to change clothes.
“The kids really are lovely. There’s this child named Cody who looks just like Bill, it’s adorable,” Hillary now said bringing his mind to the present.
“Yeah. It’s great mom, he even has a little crush on Hillary it’s so cute,” Bill said joining in. They were eating some of his mother’s leftover pot roast for dinner along with the bread she had baked, and the kitchen smelled incredible.
“You didn’t tell me that! Is that what Cody was talking to you about on Halloween?” Hillary asked from across the table. The table was small and round, and Hillary was sitting next to Roger and His mother, while he sat on his mother’s other side. They had been kicking at each other's feet playfully throughout dinner, and Bill had vowed to himself earlier that as soon as they got back to their room he was going to make her pay for teasing so much.
“Yeah, Cody asked if he could date you once I was done dating you. Since I have no intention to stop being with you ever, I told him he could look after you when you’re at the daycare,” Bill said. His mother practically seemed to have a happy stroke at Bill’s statement of being with Hillary forever. Hillary herself was flushed that beautiful rosy color he had come to associate with her.
“So why were you guys all soaked earlier? I thought you went fishing not swimming,” Roger asked. That only made Bill and Hillary laugh.
“It kinda turned into both,” Hillary said blushing harder than before.
“Tomorrow I’m taking Hillary to my old high school and to other cool places around here,” he said trying to move the conversation away from their wet adventure.
“That’d be nice Bill, make sure you take her to the tier park,” his mother said. Roger and him shared a knowing look and started snickering. “What’s the tier park?” Hillary asked innocently.
“You’ll see,” Bill said and left it at that, he didn’t want to spoil the surprise.

 

“This bed smells even more like you than you do!” She giggled against his chest. They had gone through their nightly routine after dinner, and after watching a television program with his mother and Roger.
“You’re so cute, you know that? And so very bad too, playing footsies with me all throughout dinner,” he said remembering his promise of making her pay.
“But you played back didn’t you?” she retorted and rolled off his chest so she was lying as far away from him as she could get. So that’s how she wants to play this, he thought.
“I did. Goodnight, Hillary,” he said and turned so his back was to her and he was pretending to sleep. He knew that she had expected him to beg or to chase her, so he did the opposite. He could practically feel her disappointment and he knew she was pouting without even looking at her. “Bill?” she asked finally breaking the silence.
“Yes?” He asked trying to hide the smile from his voice.
“I want to cuddle,” she said softly.
“You rolled away, darling now you have to deal with the consequences,” he said still not moving. It took everything in him not to go to her and press his body against hers like she wanted.
“Ugh whatever, goodnight,” she said growing frustrated. He tried to keep from laughing and again they were quiet for so long he thought she had gone to sleep.
“Bill?” she said finally speaking again. He decided to ignore her to see what would happen. He moved a little so she knew he was awake.
“Bill pay attention to me!” She said sounding like a child. It was so adorable and when she started pounding her little fists against his back he rolled over so he could look at her.
“Yes darling?” he asked even though he knew what she wanted.
“I said I want to cuddle,” she said now looking even more desperate. At this point, he was at the end of his rope as well, and very much wanted to cuddle her too.
“On one exception,” he said pulling a her on her. She, however wasn’t as compliant as he was. “What? No fricking way, Clinton. I want to cuddle and if I don’t get cuddled now I’m leaving,” she said. He raised his eyebrows at her almost cursing, she never cussed. His arms finally went around her bringing her back into his warmth.
“I was just going to tell you to say sorry for rolling away,” Bill said laughing about how she angrily nuzzled her face into his chest.
“You should be the one saying sorry for not begging me to come back,” she said at last at ease. “You’re so silly. Where were you going to go exactly?” he asked. She looked up at him mischievously.
“New Haven, or maybe New York I’m sure they would still love to have me,” she teased. His grasp on her tightened playfully.
“That’s a low blow, sweets. It’s just cuddles it’s not that serious,” he said.
“It’s never just cuddles. Besides, all’s fair in love and cuddles,” she joked then yawned. Fuck, he loved her, and he loved that she was here with him in his childhood home and in his old bed. “Hillary?” He called her name softly.
“Hmm?” she replied almost on the verge of sleep.
“I’m sorry for not begging you to come back,” he at last conceded to their little game and closed his eyes himself. Tomorrow would be a new day, and he couldn’t stop thinking about it.

 

When she woke up, Bill was gone. The bedsheets were all over her as if he had retucked her in before leaving. Methodically, she got up to get dressed for the day. The only reason she had woken up was due to the fact that a rooster had crowed in the distance, jarring her awake from her sleep. She was sure Bill would get a kick out of that. She could hear his voice in her head ‘silly
city girl can sleep through traffic and lots of other nonsense, but a rooster wakes her up.’ When she finished changing into her white tee shirt and blue jeans, she went to the bathroom to brush her teeth. Already, she could smell the aroma of biscuits and gravy, and it was very pleasing, she suspected that’s where Bill was; he was never far from food. After brushing her teeth and putting her hair into two french braids, she walked down the stairs.
“I really do love her, mom,” she overheard Bill saying. She stopped in her tracks by the stairs where they couldn’t see her. She was interested in hearing the rest of the conversation before walking in on them. Snooping again, she thought.
“I’m glad she makes you happy. She’s a very smart girl,” Virginia said. Hillary felt the last of her nerves which had been hiding finally dissolve, his mother liked her.
“She is. Fuck, I hope she likes it here. After Yale I want to comeback here you know. It would mean everything if she came with me, I think one day I want to mar- Fuck Roger put it back outside!” Bill’s statement that she had been longing to hear was cut off by Roger coming in through the back door making a bunch of noise. From what it sounded like, that rooster that had she had spoken of earlier was not so distant now.
“Bill watch your language. Roger either go outside with the rooster or just leave it outside,” Virginia said. From what is sounded like, it looked like she was used to dealing with this sort of thing. Hillary heard the back door slam and suspected that Roger had gone back outside. She waited to see if Bill would continue what he had been saying, but there was only the sound of Virginia cooking. She at last entered the kitchen, and Bill’s eyes grew soft with love when he saw her. He opened his arms to her.
“Come here, pretty baby. Did you sleep well?” He said as she went to his open arms. She blushed a bit and again she wondered how he could be so affectionate despite the fact that his mother was there. She just nodded as he wrapped his arms around her and rocked her gently.
“Good morning, Virginia,” Hillary said to be polite.
“Good morning, Hillary. Would you like biscuits and gravy? They are Bill’s favorite,” Virginia replied.
“Yes please,” Hillary said and shot Bill a look that said ‘I know you left me for biscuits.’ Bill just smiled at her apologetically, and pulled her so she was sitting on his lap.
“Bill, there’s plenty of chairs for me to sit on,” she said still a little embarrassed. Bill only rolled his eyes.
“You’re sitting here, we do this at home don’t we?” He said as Virginia served Hillary’s plate in front of her. The biscuits did look amazing drowning in gravy and for a moment she almost forgave Bill for leaving her alone, almost.
“Bill when the timer goes off on this cake turn it off, I’m going to go shower then I’ll be back,” Virgina said then left the kitchen to do just that. Hillary ate her biscuits, trying to avoid making a mess by using the fork and knife Bill had obviously not used.
“I eat them with my hands,” Bill noted as he tugged on one of her braids. “I really like this. It’s fancy,” he said about her hair.
“Thank you. My hair is being extra frizzy here so this is the result of that,” she replied and drank out of Bill’s leftover coffee. Her thoughts went back to what he had been saying before. ‘I think one day I want to mar-’ What had he been going to say before the rooster ruckus had interrupted him?
“After breakfast I’m going to show you more of the places that made me who I am. We can bring Cotton too, she was a bad girl last night and took shits in places that weren’t her litter box,” Bill said still tugging gently at her hair.
“Sounds nice, minus the poop part. Bringing Cotton sounds like a good idea, she’s family too,” Hillary said and finished the last of the biscuits.
“Yep. my girls, my two favorite pussies,” he said causing her to almost spit out her food.
“Bill! You always do that when I’m eating,” she said but she was laughing. Being here with him, in this house that was so personal to him, only made her love him more.
“You fucking love it though don’t you?” He said and began to kiss her neck softly. The kisses soon became rough and she knew that he was feeling that same desire she had been feeling. She whinged a bit as she felt that arousal come on.
“Bill stop,” she said but she knew she didn’t want him to, if she really wanted him to stop she would have forced him to by now.
“You don’t want me to though, I can tell,” he said his mouth moving to the nape of her neck. She couldn’t take it. She turned and caught his lips on hers and bit his lip roughly. His hands began to move to cup her butt and again her dream came back to her, she wanted him badly. Perhaps, she had always known it. He had after all, caught her attention that night that seemed so long ago when he had cleaned her dress. She had after all, bought birth control and had started to take it regularly, even though she kept it hidden from him.
Again, there was that fire storm between them that was only interrupted by the timer of the oven going off. Bill made no intention of getting up to turn it off, as he continued to kiss her lightly. So it was up to Hillary to break their embrace and untangle herself from his lap. She turned the timer off and when she turned back around she saw that he was looking at her with awe.
“Now. Let’s go to those places you were talking about earlier,” she said.

 

The first place he had decided to take her was his old high school. He didn’t want to go back in the building, fuck that place, so they walked around the perimeters and he took various pictures of her and Cotton with the new polaroid he had bought at a gas station on their trip here.
“I don’t understand why you need pictures of me here if you hated it here so much,” she said as they sat on one of the school benches now. It was hard to put into words, but for her he would try, he would always try.
“It’s like this. You know when there’s a really ugly patch of land and people plant flowers and what not to make it better, it’s like that,” he said and began to put the pictures in the other see through flap of his wallet.
“So which am I the ugly patch of land or the flowers and what not?” she teased.
“You’re definitely the ugly patch of land,” he joked back. She pretended to be upset.
“Just as I thought,” she said making a tsk sound. He loved that she was always so playfully, and always in good spirits. Many of the bimbos he had been with had terrible attitudes, he had looked past it just to get a quick fuck, but after Hillary, he could never do that again.
“In all seriousness, you’re the flowers and what not. This school is the ugly patch of grass. You make it better, you make it beautiful,” he said taking her small hand in his. It was beyond him how someone so perfect could exist. He had never cared much for religion or for God, but now looking at her, he thought that there had to be something more to this life. Maybe it was God, maybe it was fate or some other mystical shit, but her existence was too perfect to merely be a result of random molecules and atoms.
“I know after I lost weight and became a ‘bad boy’ I was a popular asshat. I still felt like shit though, but being popular could almost make me feel normal. I felt like terrible doing the things I did, stealing, bullying, anything you could think of I did. Still, to everyone I looked happy and normal. To my mom it seemed like I had a lot of friends so I just continued with it so I wouldn’t worry her. High School was fucking shit,” he said ranting out loud Hillary scooted closer to him. “High school was freaking poop,” she said agreeing in her own way. He laughed and wrapped his arm around her neck bringing her closer. One place had been healed for him because of her, now there were only three left to go.

 

“I don’t get it,” She said looking at a park. Bill had brought her here after the school and she followed him as he walked to a vacant slide. There was no one at the park except an elderly couple reading a book together on a bench. The couple looked sweet to her, for a second she found herself thinking her and Bill could be that way, years from now. Cotton pulled her along by the leash as she struggled to follow Bill as well, Hillary sensed that somehow the kitten knew this was important.
“Cotton, calm down. Dad isn’t going anywhere too far,” she said as they at last caught up to him. “This is where I first lost Roger. I had been watching him and my Mom told me to keep an eye on him and I fucking lost him. The last place I saw him was this slide. I was sixteen and he was six so you can guess how freaked out I was,” he said. She took his hand, she sensed there was more. She knew that he was bringing her along to these places so he could erase these bad memories, and she was happy to help. She would always help him.
“My step dad was fucking pissed when he found out. You see I went home because I seriously could not find Roger and I went to get help from my mom and stepdad. Well this is around the time my stepdad got difficult right? So you know what he tells a scared sixteen year old? He tells me I’m fucking piece of shit and that I can’t do anything right. I told you he taught me how to box right? Well I was putting it lightly. He never intentionally taught me anything. My boxing lessons came that day as I struggled to escape his flying fists and they came every fucking day after that. Luckily a family friend found Roger and everything went back to fucking normal for everyone else. Not for me. My stepdad’s words came back to my head every fucking day. This is where it all started though, and for a long time I was convinced it was my fault,” he ended his story sighing roughly. She didn’t know what to say. She knew now, however, that he wasn’t cold and mean because he enjoyed it. No, he did it as a coping mechanism and it had been his stepfather who had been the one to blame.
“It wasn’t your fault though. It could have happened to anyone. It wasn’t your fault, Billy,” she repeated kiss his neck softly. They were silent for a while, just standing there and watching. Even Cotton now laid in the grass, quietly.
“Hillary I want to take a picture of you sitting on the slide,” Bill said finally speaking again. His voice sounded lighter, and more like a weight had been taken off his shoulders.
“Okay,” she said and scooped up Cotton in her arms. She went to sit on the edge of the slide and she smiled at him as he snapped the photo. When he was done, he came to sit next to her on the edge of the slide and laid his head on her shoulder. It was peaceful and only the sound of chirping birds interrupted their silence, but this comfortable silence was ironically her favorite sound.

They were at the last place he wanted to show her. The one fucking place, he never thought he would step foot in again, let alone bring someone with him. Still, her little hand in his gave him the strength he needed to continue through the cemetery and find the two tombstones he was looking for.
“Are you okay being here?’ he asked Hillary looking down at her. They had left Cotton in the car this time with the windows left slightly open.
“I’m fine. Please don’t worry about me right now. I want to be here with you, and whenever you go I go,” she said. Again he was reminded of how much he loved her and how grateful he was that he had someone he could feel so complete with. A lot of people spent their whole lives looking for something like this, lucky him had only waited twenty six years. They at last came to the tombstones he was looking for: William Jefferson Blythe Jr. and Roger Clinton. He felt Hillary’s hand tense in his.
“These are the tombstones of my two fathers. In a way they both kinda fucked me up. You know when my step dad died i was forced to come to the funeral. I didn’t want to, but my mom made me. In some fucked up way I’m glad I did, for once he wasn’t screaming and it was peaceful. You know he was sick for a while and towards the end when I came back to see him several times he was almost back to his old self, you see at first he wasn’t a jackass. I wish that could have been enough to fix all the damage he had done to me. His last words to me were, ‘Maybe you aren’t much of a fuck up as I thought,’” he paused here, letting Hilary take this all in. She leaned against his shoulder, her touch his comfort.
“You see when I say they both fucked me up I mean that my step dad was the reason I was so scared of being a jerk. Of course I did turn into a fucking jerk but it only made me feel more guilty. My biological father fucked me up because I was scared of dying young like he did. Of course, I put myself in a lot of situations where I could have died just like he did, but for some reason I didn’t. I guess I know the reason now, and that reason is you,” He turned and cupped her face in her hands. Her eyes were filled with tears and he wiped the ones that began to leak away. “Hillary Rodham, if there’s a God he has brought me to you. I love you, deeply. Thank you for saving me, “ he said and kissed her lips. She tasted like salt and in her kiss he could taste the vast waters of the ocean. She was everything, and he knew now that he would tell her the truth once they got home.
All the three places he had taken her today had been healed for him today. When he now thought of these places, he searched within himself, daring his demons to come forward. They didn’t. They were gone. Hillary had chased them away.

She was laughing as she watched Bill chug a beer out of a huge brown wooden cup in competition with several other men. He came in first of course, and once he was down he came and kissed her as loud country music blared on speakers in the background. They were at a cookout that his neighbor was throwing. It was the same neighbor he had told her about before, the neighbor who threw cookouts on the opening day of baseball. Well, there was no baseball, but the occasion was that Bill was home. His mother had apparently arranged it all, spreading the news that Bill had brought a girl with him and as a result the whole town seemed to be here. Where was here exactly? Here was the clear open field where the town held the state fair. There were tables all over the place, and various men had brought their grills and were cooking things up. Then of course, there was a small sitting hollow covered by a rooftop that provided shade. “You’re amazing,” she said cradling his face in her hands. After he had taken her to those places, she had a better sense of who he was, and why he did and said the things he said. She felt like now she knew him like the back of her hand and she loved it; she never thought she could know someone so intimately.
“Bill! Come help us bring this log of wood in here,” his cookout neighbor, Bob, said. Hillary raised her eyebrows. Log of wood? Bill seemed to understand however.
“I’ll be right there Bob,” he said then turned to her. “I’ll be back, sweets,” he said pressing a quick kiss to her forehead and then running after his neighbor. Hillary sat there in the hollow and watched. The people here were very friendly, many of them had come up and introduced themselves to her. Roger was running around here as well with his wayward Rooster. This place seemed homely and she could tell why Bill loved it so much. HIs words from earlier came back to her again.
i‘t would mean everything if she came with me’
Could she live here? She got the sense that she could adjust well with Bill at her side. Already, she was loving the simple and calm country life. She felt a tap on her shoulder and turned to see it was Virginia.
“Hillary can I talk to you for a second?” Bill’s mother asked. She nodded and Virginia sat down next to her.
“I want to thank you for bringing my son back to me,” she said. Hillary didn’t quite understand what she meant but nodded anyway.
“He really wanted to come visit you,” she settled for saying.
“No I mean, more than that. Before you, he was different. I lost the little boy I loved so much because of his step-father. He was detached, and cold. He was still sweet to me and to his brother but with everyone else he was mean and cruel. I knew that wasn’t my son, and I was so scared that I had lost him forever. I was starting to think that he would be like that his whole life, alone and detached. Then you came, and suddenly I see the little boy I once knew. So thank you for that, Hillary,” she said. Hillary didn’t know what to say. It seemed like today was full of heartfelt revelations and she was falling short of words.
“You’re welcome. I love your son, you’ve raised him well,” Hillary said feeling the need to compliment her back. For a second, she wanted to ask her about what Bill had been going to say this morning and about what more he had said, but she was interrupted by Bill chasing Roger who was holding a log and chasing his rooster.
“Give it here, Roger. You know the guys like to use it to see who can break it with their hands,” Bill shouted.
“No, my rooster needs it!”
“What the fuck for?”
“To make a nest!”
“Rooster’s don’t make nests!”
Hillary began to laugh and so did Virginia.
“Those boys are so funny,” Virginia said. Hillary nodded, they were, and she was glad she was able to call them her boys too.

 

“Thank you for being so supportive today,” he told Hillary as he kissed her lightly on the head. They were once again curled up in his old bed and tonight there had been no fighting about cuddling; they had simply clung to each other, each needing to feel the other’s warmth.
“I’ll always support you,” she said kissing him back on the mouth. Her kiss wiped away all thoughts. Every problem he thought was wiped away from his mind. Bambi, Scott, and Packer, they were all gone when he was kissing her.
“We still have a few days here. I’m going to show you way more, except it won’t be as heavy this time, it’ll be more fun like when we went fishing,” he said as her lips moved to his neck. By now, she had become an expert at necking and her sweet kisses along with her occasional pants made him want to sink into her.
“I like it here. It’s nice. I see why it means so much to you,” she said. She stopped kissing now and rested her soft cheek against his neck. She was quiet for a moment, and he knew she was getting ready to ask him something.
“Bill, your saxophone is here like you said. You said you stopped playing because a fight you had with your mom. Can you tell me more about that, and would you ever play again?” She said. Her question surprised him but he supposed after everything this was no big deal. In fact, it kind of went hand in hand with some of the things he had discussed earlier.
“My mom and I had a fight because I wouldn’t play my saxophone at my step dad’s funeral. I also just stopped playing altogether after that because I felt like there was no joy in my life. I thought that someone as fucked up as me didn’t deserve music,” he said. She snuggled closer to him and brought her head down to his chest.
“Would you play again? I would like it if you did, you play beautifully,” she said. She was now his music. Her laughter, her voice, her heavy breathing when she went to sleep, these were all his symphony. She had brought the music back into his life.
“I will play again, for you. You’ve helped me so much,” he said and squeezed her lightly. She yawned again, adding another note to their symphony.
“Go to sleep, doll. We still have more days to discover Arkansas.”

 

And that’s exactly what they did. In the days that remained of their visit, they went hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. He even took her to the tierpark, which she had loved. The tier park was just what it sounded like. A park that consisted of tiers to climb on and tires as swings. He had spun her around in the tier swing until she laughed so hard and thought she was going to throw up. He also took her to meet many people including his old music teacher and his daycare teacher. He had also taking her to visit his grandparents. They were old and frail, but still very proud of Bill and had taken a liking to Hillary. There was no part of his home town that he did not take her to, and everyday was better than the last.
Now, as they finally arrived to their House in New Haven after an all nighter of driving, they quickly got their things and Cotton in order to go into the house.
“I’m going to put these things away, you can go on into our bedroom, I’ll join you in a second,” he said as he organized their things in the living room.
“Okay,” she said and gently put Cotton in her room that was previously the spare room. They had transformed it into a nice comfy room that had various cat toys. After that, Hillary disappeared into their room and he thought that she was being unusually quiet, it wasn’t even her usual thinking quiet. As soon as he finished with their stuff, he went to their bedroom. Hillary had changed so she was only wearing his button up dress shirt she had worn on their way back and his underwear. She was laying down on the bed and she seemed nervous.
“Bill if I asked you to make love to me would you?” she asked taking him off guard.