Actions

Work Header

Out of Ashes

Chapter Text

October 1998

The White House lawn was packed. The press was literally everywhere. An assassination attempt on Al Gore, the Vice President of the United States was all the entire world was talking about. He and First Lady Hillary Rodham were giving a speech when a rogue shooter got off three shots at their podium. Mass chaos ensured and the Vice President was whisked away to Bethesda and Hillary was taken straight back to the White House and put on lockdown after seeing the staff physician.

President Clinton couldn’t move fast enough. The shock momentarily froze him in his place, but the moment Hillary’s name was uttered she was all he could think about. Assurances that she was fine and that her senior security detail was with her did nothing to abate his worry.

Long legs briskly carried him up the stairs to the residence and down the corridor to the Lincoln bedroom where he was told she was. Two Secret Service Agents immediately stepped out of the way letting him pass thru. “Hillary?” he called out, voice unsteady and weak. “Honey?”

Peter, her senior agent, came out of the bathroom holding her once beige coat and matching dress. “Sir…Mr. President …she’s uh…” unshed tears flooded his eyes. “She needs you.”

“Thank you.” Bill nodded curtly and proceeded into the bathroom Peter had just exited. “Hillary?”

 

She was standing outside of the shower, watching as the spray of water pelted the tile on the floor below. Still clad in her slip, drying blood coating the some of the lace of the hem, she turned to face him. Hands red, face and neck and hair catching some of the blood splatter as well.

“Oh my God, Hillary.” He approached her slowly. “Are you okay?” he asked, slowly and softly. His eyes darting over her, taking in every inch he could see. “You’re not hurt? Physically?”

She simply shook her head. “Al.” she sobbed. “Oh, Bill, there was so much…” she looked down at her shaking hands. “I don’t think he’s going to..”

“Shh.” He reached for her hands and steadied them in his. “He’s in the best possible hands right now. Things are different than when Kennedy was…” he stopped himself short of saying the word: assassination. “This is different.”

Hillary nodded and took a slightly uneven breath. “I know,” she sniffed. “I can’t...” she looked at the shower and then back at Bill. “I can’t…the blood…”

He cradled her face in his hands. “It’s okay, I’m here,” he assured her. “I’m right here, honey. Just tell me what you need.”

She squeezed her eyes closed, hot tears falling down her face. “I need to get…I need to get it off of me!” she cried in frustration.

“I’ll help you,” he said, softly. “I’m here, you’re safe.”

Hillary knew he was right. She was safe with him. Maybe too safe. The anger from his betrayal was still fresh and she didn’t want to fall back into old patterns. But right now, she needed him. She slowly opened her eyes and looked up into his worried face. “Okay,” she softly agreed. “Thank you.”

“You don’t have to thank me,” he softly caressed her cheek with his thumb. “I love you. I love you so much. I’ve been going crazy with worry. Even though they told me you were okay, I couldn’t…I couldn’t believe it until I saw you with my own eyes.”

Hillary closed her eyes again and she melted against him. “I love you too.” Because she did love him. Despite everything she desperately loved him. And the sobs came again. Uncontrollable and bubbling out of her like a fountain. This had been her biggest fear when Bill became president. And now it had happened to Al.

He wrapped her safely and securely in his arms. Wanting to take away everything that happened in the past three hours. He gently rubbed her back, soothing her even further. “I love you,” he told her, again. “Let me take care of you. Let’s get you cleaned up and then we’ll get you something to help you sleep.” He pressed a kiss to her temple. “Does that sound okay?”

She nodded against him, a soft yes was whispered, and she broke their embrace. She wanted to wash it all away. The entire day.
Bill helped her undress. He was gentle and delicate in his actions. Their separation was a difficult one because they still had to interact. “I was so scared. They told me two people were hit during the speech and all I could think about was you. You don’t know how relieved I am. I mean, I hate that Al was shot and Evans, but I’m so relieved.”

He stripped down as well and then stepped into the shower, reaching out his hand and guiding her inside. It was an incredibly intimate moment. Not physically even though they were both naked, but because everything was so raw. She was letting him take care of her.

The water began to cascade over her, hitting the darkened blood and turning it lighter as it mingled with the water and ran off her skin. Her stomach seesawed at the sight. Bill reached out to steady her. “Close your eyes,” he instructed, reaching for the soap and the washcloth. “I’ll wash you off.”

“It all happened so quickly, Billy,” she said, closing her eyes. “Evans was hit and still managed to get me to safety.”

“He has my undying gratitude.” Ever so carefully he began to wash her. Comfortable silence lingered between them and the thudding in his heart began to slow. She was safe and physically unharmed. And for that he would forever be grateful. “You have no idea how guilty I feel.”

Hillary opened her eyes to look up at him. “Guilty? Why?”

“Because I was an absolute idiot. Having an affair with an intern, a woman half my age. I’ve been stupid and you deserve so much better.”

“Bill, can we not do this right now?”

“I could have lost you today,” he continued. “You could have been shot and killed.”

“Yes, I could have, but that has nothing to do with your affair. You made that choice. Today someone else made a choice to fire a gun multiple times in my direction. It likely had nothing to do with you. Stop making everything about you. You fucked up. You’re sorry. I know.”

“I’m sorry,” he apologized. “I just wanted you to know how sorry I am.”

“Thank you.”

“I’m trying, Hillary.”

She was quiet. Things between them had been difficult. This affair was different from the rest. This one had played out on the national stage. It cut deeper and was slower to heal. It was been months and it still just fucking hurt.

“Here, let me wash your hair.” He reached for the shampoo bottle and poured some into his hand. “I want you to lie down and rest.”

“I’m so worried about Al and about Tipper. Their kids.”

He began to work a lather into her blonde tresses. “I know you are, I am too, but you need to take care of yourself as well.”

“I know.” she agreed. “Peter said he would let me know the updates as he received them. I promised Chelsea I would call her back as soon as I could. She was so scared.”

“I talked to Chelsea on my way here.” he told her. “She was still shaken, but she was much calmer now. Dorothy and I agreed that she should stay with her for right now because of the press. As soon as it lifts a little we’ll get her in here.”

Hillary leaned back into the warm water to rinse her hair. “As much as I want her here with me this is no situation for a sixteen year old girl. She’s safer with mom out of reach.”

“She understands that.” he reached for the conditioner. “Right now, we’re all on the same page, you need to be taken care of.”

“I can’t relax here, Bill,” she told him. The White House residence still made her uneasy. Everything that happened always had a way of rushing back to her every time she was alone with Bill in the residence. “Can’t I go home?”

Hillary had been spending the majority of her time across the street at Blair House. She was much more comfortable there.

He gave her a sympathetic smile. “How does Camp David sound? Would you be more comfortable there?”

Hillary mulled it over. “I don’t know, Bill,” she sighed. “But I can’t stay here with you. I can’t do it.”

“I understand,” he whispered. “You need to do what’s best for you.”

/////

Skipping out on her detail was much easier than she anticipated. She simply told them she was going to bed and then made her way out of a side entrance and down the street, blending in with some of the other aides and politicians making their way home for the evening. It didn’t take long for her to reach her destination. She knocked softly on the door and a few moments later it opened.

“Hillary.” John said, stunned. “What are you doing here?”

“I didn’t know where else to go.”

tbc…

Chapter Text

Out of Ashes

 

John reached out for her and quickly pulled her inside his residence. He glanced around for Secret Service or other onlookers as he shielded her with the heavy wooden door. “Are you alone?”

“Of course.” she replied. “Aren’t I always?”

John gave one last look around. “Even Peter?” he asked. Peter sometimes lurked behind her. Sometimes with her knowledge and he knew sometimes without.

“I went out the side service entrance.”

Satisfied with her answer, John shut the door and carefully locked it behind her. “How the hell did you manage to escape?” he damn near demanded. “After everything that happened today?”

“Resilience.” she replied. “And decades of experience.”

John’s eyes carefully roamed over her, quickly taking in every inch of her, cataloguing it to when he last saw her. “You’re not hurt?”

Hillary shook her head. “Not physically.”

“Press hasn’t said much.”

She shrugged. “Press doesn’t know much.” she countered. “It’s better that way.”

He sighed, running his hand through his hair. “You don’t need me to tell you that this was incredibly dangerous on your part.”
“I didn’t come here for a lecture.”

“No?” he questioned. “Why did you come here, Hillary?”

“Because I needed a friend. Someone who I knew wouldn’t judge. Someone who would listen and understand where I was coming from,” she explained. “I needed you.”

They had been here before, more than once since the scandal broke. And it was insanely dangerous territory. The attraction between them was too strong. Too palpable. He wasn’t even sure he could be friends with her. And whilst nothing had really ever happened between them they still seemed to be drawn to each other like moths to flames.

“I’m always here for you, you know that.”

“But what…?” she challenged.

He shook his head. “But nothing,” he replied. “I’m here for you.” She had been on his mind since the shooting. And he would be lying if he said he wasn’t relieved to find her on his doorstep. “I’m sorry.” he apologized, reaching out and cupping her face. “Are you okay?”

Hillary sighed brokenly. “No.” she whispered. “I’m not okay.”

He drew her into his embrace and wrapped his arms tightly around her. “You don’t have to be okay. You don’t have to be anything with me,” he whispered and then placed a kiss against the top of her head. “Just yourself.”

She practically melted into his warmth. She felt a safety and security with him that she had only felt very few times in her life, with her mother, with Bill, and with Peter. And all for different reasons. So when she felt it with John it initially scared her and she fought it. Danced around it. But once she left the White House earlier she had wanted to be with John. For his friendship and comfort and warmth, and most of all for the way he made her feel safe in the midst of chaos.

They stood together for the longest time, just existing. John wanted her to feel as comfortable and as in control as possible. She sought him out for a reason and perhaps that’s what scared him the most. Not knowing where the evening might lead. Because the last thing he wanted to do was take advantage of her vulnerability.

“Why don’t we go into the living room and I’ll fix you a drink?” he suggested. “We can relax and talk. Or maybe just exist. It’s up to you.”

“Yes to the drink.” she said, pulling back. “And yes to existing.”

John took her hand in his and guided her toward the modest living room. It was cozy and dimly lit. Full of leather and dark accents. Embers smoldered in the fireplace. There was an open decanter on the coffee table with an empty glass sitting beside it and a book laying facedown.

“Did I interrupt something?” she asked, glancing at the title of the book.

“Just a distraction.” he replied, making his way to the dry bar. “Make yourself comfortable.”

“Didn’t really take you for a Roald Dahl fan.”

“I became a fan when my girls were little. We must have read James and the Giant Peach a good two dozen times,” he laughed. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has always been my favorite though. Takes me back to simpler times, you know?”

Hillary smiled. “Yes, I do,” she slipped her shoes off and sank down on the sofa, tucking her leg up underself. “What I wouldn’t give to be about seven again.”

“Here’s to the past.” John presented a martini glass to her. “Vodka,” he announced. “Stirred. Three olives.”

“Perfection,” she complimented, accepting the glass. “Thank you.”

John sat down on the edge of the sofa and refilled his tumbler. “Hungry?” he asked, sliding back into a more comfortable position.

“Peter practically force fed me some pasta,” she sipped her drink. “Why are they so good when you make them?”

“That’s my secret.”

“Oh, yeah?” she challenged. “I guess I’ll have to appoint you my own personal bartender for all White House functions.”

He chuckled. “Now that would be an interesting room to work.”

“You have no idea.” she replied, dryly. The drink was downed and she placed the empty glass on the table.

“I’m sorry,” he immediately apologized. “I’m supposed to be making you feel better. You’ve had a hell of a day.”

Hillary took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. “I’m just relieved it’s almost over. Assasination has always lingered in the back of my mind but I never thought....I’ve never been so scared in my entire life.”

John reached across the back of the cushions to where her hand was resting and laced his fingers through hers. “Do you want to talk about it? Might help.”

She was momentarily taken aback by his gesture. It seemed so intimate but so natural at the same time. “I don’t know,” she confessed. “It all happened so fast I’m not even sure what actually happened.”

He caressed her hand with the pad of his thumb. “What do you remember?”

“Blood.” she said, closing her eyes. “So much blood. He didn’t even make a sound. Not that I heard anyway. Shots rang out. Loudly, So loudly. They echoed almost, it was like slow motion. We ducked and then I felt this weight sinking onto me, it was Evans and Butler shielding us. Al’s face was completely blank, I don’t think he realized what was happening.” she recalled. “I remember looking down and seeing blood all over my dress and coat. I remember pressing my hands against his wound, trying to stop the bleeding. I remember Evans asking repeatedly if I had been hit.” tears started streaming down her face. “I was rushed to a moving SUV and once the door was closed we sped away and the agents were all over me, pulling at my dress,” she opened her eyes to look at him. “I wasn’t even sure if I had been shot or not.”

John scooted closer to her and cupped her face in his gentle hands. “You’re safe now,” he whispered as he pulled her into his chest. “I’ve got you.”

Hillary buried her head into the crook of his neck. “Am I?”

“You’re always safe with me,” he said, stroking shiny blonde tresses. “Just relax. Nice deep breaths.”

They sat like that for the longest time until Hillary pulled back to look at him. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For welcoming me in,” she explained. “Things didn’t exactly end well the last time we saw each other. The last time I was here.” she clarified. They had worked together a few times over the past two weeks but her last visit to his townhouse ended in tears. “I’m sorry for what happened, John.”

“There’s no need to apologize,” he assured her. “I was trying to prevent you from doing something you would regret.”

Hillary sat up straight on the sofa. “I wouldn’t have regretted it.”

“You say that now,” he reached for his tumbler. “And you say that because I stopped things. I know you, Hillary, you would have been consumed by regret and guilt. Two heavy burdens to carry on top of this current shitshow.”

She sighed heavily. Maybe he was right. The press was scrutinizing every single move she made and she just wanted to feel something other than grief, anger, and pity. And truth be told she wanted to feel needed and desired . She wanted to be as selfish and reckless as Bill had been.

“I know, John.”

But her feelings had lingered and her mind wandered back to John and that night so many times. The feel of her mouth against his, the touches that passed between them, the feeling of pleasure that coursed through her veins. It was everything she wanted. And she was allowed to want too. To need. To desire. To seek pleasure.

“I couldn’t let you do that, Hillary. I couldn’t let you abandon everything you believe in, everything you hold dear for fleeting pleasure. You would never have forgiven yourself. You would have ever forgiven me.”

She eyed him, his feelings on his sleeve, his vulnerabilities just as painful as hers. After all his wife had done the same thing to him. The only difference was Teresa wasn’t the president of the United States. Her story was tabloid fodder for no more than a week. Hillary’s ran every single day. Each article more hurtful than the last.

“I’m a big girl, I can take care of myself,” she told him. “This is not the first time I’ve been through this.”

“This is the first time on the world stage.”

Hillary got up from the sofa and walked over to the window, peering out of the blinds, looking for Peter. He always had a way of finding her. Even when she didn’t want to be found. “And don’t I deserve a little grace? Don’t I deserve something?”

“We both know you’re never going to leave Bill,” he picked up her empty martini glass and carried it back over to the bar. “The two of you are a team no matter what.” He poured the remaining contents of the shaker into the glass. “You’re going to forgive him and move past this.”

“And you’ll forgive Teresa too.”

“Probably.” he countered, “But if I take you to bed then we won’t have the moral ground will we?”

“In this town morals are overrated.”

John handed her the full glass. “You don’t really believe that,” he challenged. “Especially not after today. Would you have really wanted your last thoughts to have been full of guilt and regret?”

She took a sip of the martini and pondered his thoughts. “Maybe the regret would have been not being selfish and doing something for myself. Maybe we should just take every opportunity we have to bring ourselves some happiness,” she finished off her drink. “Is that wrong?”

“Not at all,” he agreed. “I still think you’re vulnerable and hurting.”

“I am,” she concluded, placing her glass down on the bar. “And I would like to feel something other than hurt. Especially now. Especially today.”

“This is a conversation you should be having with Bill.”

“Why do you keep doing this? Why do you keep pushing me toward him?” her voice was a little louder and angrier than she would have liked, but she couldn’t help it. “I’m absolutely horrified and humiliated by him. We may work things out in the end but right now I don’t want to. Right now I want to be selfish and carefree.”

“I’m sorry,” he apologized. “I didn’t mean to…”

“Save it, John,” she sighed. “I shouldn't have come here. I don’t know what I was thinking. I knew better,” she told him. “Thank you for the drinks.”

John watched as she retreated from the living room and toward the door. “Wait!.” he called out after her. “Hilllary, don’t go.”

Her hand was already on the doorknob. “I think it’s for the best,” she began opening the door. “Goodnight, John.”

His large hand splayed over the heavy wooden door, pushing it shut. “Please don’t go.”

Hillary turned around to face him. “I don’t want to keep doing this with you. I can’t keep doing this with you. Every time we get close you push me away,” tears began to pool in her eyes. “I cannot handle anymore rejection.”

John’s hand remained on the door. They were close. So close. He looked down at her, towering over her. “Fuck!” he breathed out. “I’m not rejecting you!”

“Then what is it?” she asked, eyes wide and dark as she peered up at him. And when the silence lingered her hands pushed against the planes of his chest, shoving him away. “I’m leaving!” she turned to open the door but he spun her back around, pushing her up against it.

“We agreed to be honest with each other.” he told her. “I’m afraid. Okay? I’m afraid to do this with you!”

Hillary rested her head against the door. “Why?”

“Because you’re the First Lady!”

“I’m also human, John, in case you’ve forgotten!”

“I never said you weren’t!” he yelled back. “I’m afraid of wanting more. More than either of us can give.”

“There’s only so far this can go, John,” she assured him. “There’s no need to complicate things. No strings attached.”

tbc...

Chapter Text

Out of Ashes

 

 

“Are you sure?”

The question hung in the air like a fog. One so thick that it could have been cut by a knife. The room had grown warmer, her cheeks flush, his breathing heavier. The implications of a supposed tryst seemed to smother them to the point of breathlessness.

She wasn’t just someone else’s wife. And he wasn’t just someone else’s husband. They both held high positions with even steeper fallouts of their actions. Actions that they had condemned their own spouses of, although through two entirely different approaches. Hillary had erupted in despair and anger whilst John had gone silent and stoic. The outcome was the same though, both hurt beyond recognition, both shattered beyond repair.

“No,” she breathed out. “I’ve never been more unsure of anything in my entire life.”

His eyes burned into her deep blue ones. She could practically feel the heat emanating from him he was so close. His lips mere inches from hers. “I can walk you home.”

Her eyes dropped down to his parted lips and she found herself licking hers. “Is that what you want?” she asked, her eyes raising to meet his.

“No,” he replied, softly. “That’s the last thing I want, but I will.”

“That’s not what I want either.”

“What do you want, Hillary?” he asked, cupping her face in his strong hands. “You obviously had something in mind when you came here.”

“You,” she said, simply. “I feel as though everything is upside down and I’m afraid of spinning out of control. I feel safe with you. I know that you would never hurt me. I want to feel something other than…”

“You want comfort.”

“It’s more than that,” she assured him. “I want to feel desired and sexy. I want to feel you against me. Your kisses, your body…I want you so much. I haven’t felt this way about anyone else in a very long time. But if you can’t do this with me then I understand. I don’t want you to have any regr….”

He silenced her with a kiss. Soft lips caught her bottom one between his. And when a slight sigh escaped her, he deepened the kiss, his tongue brushing lightly against hers. That was all it took. They were going to go up in flames.

John indulged them in decadently slow, erotic, kisses his hands tangling in blonde tresses as he pressed them tighter against the mahogany door. She wrapped her arms around his neck pulling him impossibly closer to her. Warmth spread throughout their bodies and radiated outwardly between them. And suddenly kisses weren’t enough no matter how deep or passionate or breathless it made them.

“Does that answer your question?” he asked, leaning his forehead against hers.

“Yes,” she breathed out, titling her head up so that their lips met again. “I want you so much.” Her hands went for hem of his tee shirt, sliding up underneath the soft fabric, her fingertips grazed over his stomach, his skin warm, his muscles tight.

John pulled his shirt up over his head and discarded it on the floor next to them. He was well toned, but not overly so, graying chest hair making him even sexier than she imagined. Her hands slid up his chest, caressing as she went until her arms went up around his neck, pulling him down for another devouring kiss. One that started out smooth and unhurried but grew sloppy and rushed as his large hands gripped her hips tightly, pressing his lower body into hers.

Hillary moaned into the kiss and when she felt his fingers on the button of her jeans a chill ran down her spine and heat settled heavy between her thighs. She was aching to be touched, to forget about absolutely everything. Even if just for a while. And John was a damn good distraction. There was something mysterious about him but yet familiar and comforting at the same time. His build was similar to Bill’s, but his touch different, lighter. That of someone exploring her body for the very first time and that alone made her want more and more of him.

“You’re so sexy,” his breath was hot against her ear and she shivered as his fingers dipped down into her now open jeans, brushing against soft lace. “Can I touch you?” his fingers toyed with the band of her panties before slipping down inside. “Here?”

Her breath caught in her throat. “Yy..yes.” she stammered. “Please.”

His eyes locked with hers as his fingers swirled over smooth skin. His eyebrow ticked up in surprise.

“Something wrong?” she asked, smirking.

“Not in the least,” he smiled back, his fingers made their way between her thighs nudging them apart ever so slightly so that his fingers could explore more of her. Her breath hitched when he parted swollen lips. “Mmm,” he hummed. “So wet.”

Hillary reclined her head back against the door and bit down on her bottom lip as he dragged his middle finger through the slickness of her sex. When the tip of his finger grazed over her clit she gasped, her entire body jerking from the sheer pleasure. “John,” she exhaled.

“Yes?” he drew small circles, her hips bucked faintly against his touch. It was too much and yet not enough at the same time. She began to whimper under his ministrations, her body needing more and more. “Upstairs?”

“No,” she protested.

His wet finger swirled around her clit again. “Sofa then?” he asked. “I can’t really do much with these jeans in the way.”

She opened her mouth to respond but was caught off guard when his fingers entered her, easily slipping inside tight slick heat. A full-on moan escaped her parted lips as her walls involuntarily fluttered around him. “Fuck.”

“Yes, let’s.” He slowly stroked in and out of her. Her hips following his fingers. But she wanted more, he knew she did. He could feel the desperation in her body. Reluctantly, he pulled away from her but before she could protest his hands went to the back of her thighs and he lifted her up into his arms, her legs wrapping tightly around his waist.

John carried her into the living room and sat her down on the edge of the chaise lounge of the sectional sofa. His hands reached for the waist band of her jeans and swiftly pulled them and her panties off before dropping down to his knees between her parted legs. “You’re so beautiful.”

“Shh,” she silenced him, pulling him to her for another kiss. “Just feel.” Hillary pulled back and lifted her sweater over her head and then reached around and unhooked her bra. She was completely bare in front of him but for some reason didn’t feel exposed. She felt sexy. Wanted. In control.

His eyes roamed over her appreciatively and he instinctively licked his lips. He leaned in and his open mouth covered hers. The kisses that passed between them were liquid smooth and growing more erotic by the moment. John dragged his warm mouth down the side of her neck, down between the swells of her breasts, before finally taking a hardened nipple into his mouth and sucking ever so lightly.

Hillary’s back arched into him, offering more of herself to him. The burning between her thighs now damn near unbearable. “John,” she damn near panted. “Please…”

His moved to the other breast, his tongue swirling around the nipple before sucking it into his mouth. God, he wanted this. He needed this just as badly as she did. He needed to feel something other than anger and misery and the feel of her at the moment washed everything else away.
“I can’t…please…John.”

“Tell me what you want.”

She tugged at the waistband of his pajama bottoms. “Take these off,” she damn near demanded. “Come here.”

Hillary watched, rapt, as he stood and began pushing his bottoms down. His hard, thick arousal sprang free from the confines and he groaned in relief. He watched her watching him. Eyes taking him in, the way her tongue swept over her lips and drew the bottom one it into her mouth, biting down before releasing it with a soft moan that made him swallow hard. And when her eyes reached his again, he found them to be darker and desire laden.

“Come here,” she reached out for him. Her hand slid over the smooth shaft of his hard cock, her mouth automatically opened as she moved closer, ready to take him inside.

“No,” he protested. His hands were firm on her shoulders, and he used his weight to push her back so that she was lying flat against the chaise. “You relax,” he instructed, standing between her open legs. “Let me take care of you.” His hands gently caressed the silky skin of her outer thighs. “Please.”

Hillary took a deep breath and slowly exhaled, she raised her legs so that the soles of her feet pressed into the cushions.

“That’s it,” he husked, his fingertips dancing across her knees, “spread your legs for me, baby.”

She automatically did what was requested of her, her thighs falling open, spreading herself for him to see. Her breathing quickened, her heartrate sped up, the reality of what she was doing…what they were doing…threatened to crash down on her.

His fingertips slowly moved down to her parted thighs, grazing the skin lightly before coming to hover over her drenched sex. And she was absolutely drenched, she glistened before him even in the low lamp light. Again, he dropped to his knees before her and all previous thoughts started to slip from her mind.

Hillary raised up on her elbows watched as his open mouth descended upon her, his eyes flicked upward to hers, his breath hot against her sex. His head dipped and when his warm, smooth, tongue touched against her every thought of guilt she had vanished.

An upward stroke of the flat of his tongue made her gasp and then hum her appreciation. And so, he did it again and again and again until she was moaning repeatedly. He brought his slick tongue up to her clit, licking over it with the tip and then sucking it into his mouth. Hillary laid back against the sofa, no longer able to hold herself upright.

And that’s when he practically devoured her. He become more determined to pleasure her, his tongue licking and sucking and teasing to the point that her thighs began to shake. She was close, he could tell by the way she kept arching to him, her hands threaded into his salt and pepper hair, encouraging him to continue.

“John,” she whimpered. “I can’t…” she panted.

His stiffened tongue delved into her core and his hand went to her hips, holding her down against the chaise as her orgasm crashed over her in rippling waves. It went on what felt like forever, her echoing curses fading into sexy little whimpers as she caught her breath.

He kissed back up to her mouth and moved forward onto the sofa with her, his body sliding between her open thighs. “Fuck,” he hissed, his cock rubbed audibly against her wetness. “Tell me what you want.”

“More,” she breathed. Another surge of arousal rushed through her veins. The taste of herself on his lips, his cock resting against her. The high of sexual indulgence engulfed her. And left her wanting more. It was what she had wanted, to be selfish and pleasure driven.

Her hand moved between them, covering his arousal and guiding it to her slick entrance. The head of his thick cock pressed against her made her hips lift up to meet his, wanting to take all of him inside in one swift motion. John granted her wish pushing through velvety warmth until he was deep seated inside of her.

They moaned out in unison at the sensation. Both of them needing the relief and the release that the moment of penetration brought them. Her walls fluttered around him, still coming down from her orgasm. She was stretched out tightly over him and he honestly didn’t know how long he could last before coming. It had been so long.

A slow, smooth rhythm started. Long thorough strokes that made her hips lift up to meet his. A push-pull dance that let their bodies acquaint themselves. And it didn’t take long. They started to move out of need, out of want for more.

John grunted as he stretched out over her, her legs wrapped tightly around his waist so that he could slide in deeper. But it still wasn’t enough for Hillary.

“Wait!” she panted, pressing at his chest with both of her hands. “Stop.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I want to be on top,” she said, pushing him off of her.

“Oh,” he grinned devilishly as he sat on the sofa. “You want to be in control?”

She moved to straddle him. “No, I want to ride you.”

John’s hands went to the curve of her hips as she hovered above him. “I like that idea.”

“I figured you might,” she slowly sank down on him with a loud groan of satisfaction. “God, that feels good.”

His fingertips bit into the flesh of her hips. “Jesus, Hillary.”

“Too much?” she asked.

“Just right,” he replied, using his grasp to tilt her hips. When she whimpered at the sensation, he raised his hips up, sliding deeper, finding her tighter and hotter around his rigid cock. He fought the urge to slam her down onto him again and again until they both came. Whilst they both needed the release, they also needed the prolonged pleasure, the buildup, before the crash.

Her hips rolled against his, taking him deep inside of her and then almost completely out again in a torturous tempo. His hips chased hers, his grunting echoing off her panting each time they met deliciously in the middle. She was so snug fitted around him, and he stretched her open with an aching divineness she had forgotten existed.

John threw his head back on cushion of the sofa, his mouth slack, long, loud, hungry grunts pouring from his lips as she continued to ride him with wild abandon. All her pent-up anger and frustration seeping out of her body with the rise and fall of her hips. Every rough brush of her clit against him causing her to squeeze his cock so tight she could feel every vein, every throb, every hard inch of his smooth skin filling and stretching her to the point of no return. She had to come.

He could sense her need, her body begging his for release. He wrapped his arms around her, steadying her against him, slowing her down and easing her lips apart with the tip of his tongue. “You want to come,” he said, before his lips claimed hers.

Hillary moaned into their kiss. God, yes! That’s exactly what she wanted. She allowed him to indulge her in sensual kisses as his hands slid down her back, grabbing her ass and pulling her further onto him. Hot walls tightened, wetness flooded around his thick cock, and she began to flutter around him. “Oh, fuck!” she rasped. “You’re so deep…I can’t…John!”

“Don’t hold back,” he whispered, hotly, against her lips. “Come for me.” His hands threaded into her thick hair and his warm breath danced against the flushed flesh of her neck. “I want to feel you come on me, Hillary.”

The smoothness of his words. The implication of them. The sheer desire to let go and give in won her over. And so that’s exactly what she did. She pressed down against him. Her body jerked against his and then she stilled, riding out the incredible orgasm he was offering her. Her inner walls grasped him, rippling like waves against his hard cock, thick fluid flowing over him, whimpers that turned into gasps and then full on moans that echoed off brownstone walls. She was whole again. Full again. Her again. Hillary Rodham! Bill Clinton be damned!

He practically held his breath through the onslaught of her orgasm. And when it peaked, and the rolling stopped he pushed up into her and held her hips tightly in his hands. Her body taking everything he had to offer. Every last hot spurt of him coursed through his swollen cock and into her depths. Consequences be damned. All of them.

And when breathing had returned to normal and she lifted her head off his slick chest to look at him, he waited. He held his breath and waited for the onslaught of guilt to unravel. But it never came. She was so sexy disheveled. Tousled hair, flushed skin, swollen lips.

Not only did the guilt not come, but she seemed to be peaceful. Calm. Not just vindicated in her actions but at total peace with them. The wetness seeping between her thighs was a reminder of that. A reminder that she had wanted him. Every solid inch of him. And that he wanted her just as much.

“Thank you,” she panted, “I needed that.”

He couldn’t stop the grin that spread over his lips. “Yes, I could tell.”

“Don’t gloat,” she laughed. “It’s uncouth. Not very gentlemanly.”

His hands caressed up and down her sides. “I suppose I should say thank you as well.”

“It sure as hell wouldn’t hurt.” she joked. “We’ve made quite the mess, Senator.”

“I have a remedy for that.”

“Oh, yeah?”

“A nice hot shower,” he told her with a wicked smile. “Care to join me?”

“How could I possibly say no?”

The shower proved to be a lengthy one. And a hot one at that. Leading to another exploration of their bodies. This time a quick round, but just as fulfilling as the last. It seemed to be addictive. Seeking pleasure with no strings attached. For a brief moment Hillary understood Bill’s fuckups. But she pushed it down because what she was doing was different. It was a direct cause of his actions. Somehow it made it rational in her mind.

A loud obtrusive knocking at the back door was a stinging reminder of reality. One that Hillary knew she would have to face the moment she stepped foot outside of John’s home. She had just finished dressing and she could hear the conversation taking place in the kitchen.

The moment John opened the door, Peter pushed it open and made his way inside. “Do come in, Agent North,” John said, closing the door behind him. “What can I do for you?”

“I came for the First Lady, Senator Kerry.” Peter told him. “I know she’s here.”

John nodded. “She is.”

Peter just stood silently waiting. He wasn’t there to make small talk. He was simply there to make sure Hillary made it home safely. It was his duty and one that he took very seriously.

“Well then.” John sighed. “I’ll let her know that you’re here.”

Peter nodded, never wavering from his position.

John came into the living room to find Hillary slipping her shoes on. “Your Fairy Godmother has arrived. Seems you’re about to turn back into a pumpkin.”

She glanced at the clock on the mantel. “I can’t believe it’s taken him this long,” she replied. “Peter is nothing if not thorough.”

“Will he say anything?” The thought of this causing any sort of trouble for her was more than he could bare.

“No.” she replied, with confidence. “Peter is my guy, not Bill’s.”

“I just…I don’t want you to get hurt. Judged.” he clarified. “Tattled on.”

Hillary chuckled. “Relax, John. It doesn’t work like that.”

John nodded. “Good.”

“What we do in our spare time is nobody else’s business,” she told him. “I’m certainly not as stupid or naïve as an intern. I can trust Peter. Like I know I can trust you.”

“I don’t kiss and tell,” he chided.

“You damn well better not,” she smiled as she stepped closer to him. “Because I really think I would like to do this again.”

Tbc…

Chapter Text

Out of Ashes

 

Peter North led the way out of John Kerry’s brownstone, stopping to help Hillary down the two steps from the stoop to the carport. He kept her hand in his, eventually tucking her arm in his as he led her down the small alley way and onto the main, lit street. There were still a handful of people out and about, moving along the street, either on their way home from work or dinner.

 

“No car?” Hillary asked as they started down the street toward Pennsylvania avenue.

 

“I thought the night breeze would help clear your mind,” he replied. “Besides it’s not quite ten o’clock yet.”

 

Hillary remained silent, her arm resting securely in his as they made their way down the sidewalk. The echoing silence was eating at her though. In fact, she didn’t know how much more she could take. “How did you know where I was?” she finally asked.

 

“Wasn’t that difficult to figure out.” Peter wasn’t much for small talk. He was all business, but Hillary knew that deep down there was an inexplicable soft spot. One that she had gotten a glimpse of on a few occasions. Most recently the events of earlier in the day after Al’s shooting.

 

“Why didn’t you come for me sooner?”

 

The question hung in the air for several long steps of silence. “I knew where you were,” he finally replied. “Given today’s events.”

 

“I know I should have told you, Peter.”

 

“Would have made it easier, ma’am.”

 

“Sometimes, it’s just too much. All of it. Even before….Monica.”

 

“I know,” he said, softly “I give you far more leeway than I should. But you have to understand that it’s my duty to keep you safe. Especially after today.”

 

“I’m sorry, Peter,” she sighed. “I just…I felt as though I was suffocating. I had to get out of there. I had too.”

 

His hand slid down into hers. “Next time just tell me,” his thumb gently caressed over the back of her hand. “No one has to know. It can be just between the two of us.”

 

“I don’t want to…involve you…Peter,” she explained. “I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize your career.”

 

“I’m yours for life, ma’am,” he replied. “I’ll be by your side for as long as I serve. The more open you are with me the better I can protect you. You have to make the decision to trust me.”

 

“Oh, Peter,” she sighed. “I do trust you. I’ve always trusted you. It’s just that…dammit this is hard for me. Today sure as hell didn’t make anything easier. It’s complicated, it’s messy, it’s incredibly surreal. I have no idea what the hell I’m doing.”

 

“You can count on me, ma’am. I promise you can,” he assured her. “Just be honest. That’s all I’m asking.”

 

“Fair enough,” she agreed. “Thank you, Peter.”

 

“Always, ma’am.”

 

“Hillary,’’ she corrected him. “Please, call me Hillary.”

 

“Ma’am, we’ve discussed this…”

 

“How about just when we’re alone together?” she asked. “Hillary, okay?”

 

“Hillary,” he repeated. “Let’s get you home.”

 

/////

It had been three days. Three, hectic, fast days. And in those three days Hillary had expected for the guilt to come. For it to rain down on her like heavy ash and suffocate her in the smoldering embers of her transgression. But it never came. Instead she was happier, lighter, more herself than she had been since that hot August morning.

 

Al’s prognosis hung in the air, whilst he had survived surgery, he still had a long road ahead of him. The doctors had yet to lift his sedation, leaving Tipper and their children in limbo. Her heart broke for them, but it also reminded her that she could have very much suffered the same fate, or worse. And that in itself was a stinging reality. Maybe the very reason she was so at peace with herself.

 

She had only encountered Bill twice since coming back from John’s. Both times in a professional setting, once in the East Wing and once in the situation room. At first, she had wondered if Bill knew, but then quickly decided that she didn’t care. Right now, she was focusing on herself. Letting herself heal and breathe and live.

 

All of that was about to change. Hillary just didn’t know how much. Peter knocked softly on her private office door and waited for her to reply before pushing it open and entering.

 

“Peter,” she smiled as she looked up from her work. “Care to join me for a cup of tea?”

 

“Uh…no thank you, ma’am….Hillary.” he replied. “The President has requested your presence in the residence.”

 

“What does he need?”

 

“I wasn’t told, just that he wants you to join him.”

 

Hillary closed her file. “Very well then,” she huffed. “I hate being summoned.”

 

“I’m sorry,” he apologized. “I’m just the messenger.”

 

“I know.” she replied, slipping her shoes back on. “I don’t understand why he couldn’t have just come here. I would have at least been more comfortable.”

 

“Would you like me to extend the invitation?”

 

“No.” she shook her head. “It’s easier for me to go there.”

 

/////

 

Hillary found Bill at the dry bar in the family room of the residence. He was pouring two glasses of what appeared to be whiskey.

 

“Drink, Hillary?”

 

Well that was ominous, she decided. “Sure,” she agreed. Anything to soften any interaction that was going to take place between them.

 

Bill extended his right hand with the tumbler in it. “I’m glad you came.”

 

“Did you think I wouldn’t?” she asked, excepting the drink.

 

He shrugged. “I wasn’t sure.”

 

“So, what’s this about?”

 

“About?”

 

“Yes. What did you need, Bill?” she asked. “What was so important that I had to be summoned over here? You know I hate that.”

 

He took a sip of his drink. And then another. Like he was trying to work up some courage. “I heard you have abandoned some of your latest projects. What kind of example does that set for your staff?”

 

“I did not abandon my projects. I found someone better suited to replace me and I stepped aside. Is that what this is about? Because I delegated some tasks?”

 

“Yes.” He almost bit out.

 

“Mmm.” she sighed, raising her glass to her lips. “You’re lying.”

 

Silence hung between them for several moments. And then finally he calmed his inner thoughts down enough to speak. “Is it true?”

 

“Is what true?”

 

“You know,” he insinuated.

 

She shrugged, sitting her glass down on a nearby table. “Really, Bill, I don’t. You’re being incredibly vague.” And when she was met with silence again, she turned to leave.

 

“Kerry.” he uttered just above a whisper.

 

“I’m sorry?” she turned to face him again.

 

“Is it true that you’re seeing John Kerry?”

 

“Seeing?” she pretended to ponder the word over in her head before answering. “I see John almost every day. We’re on the same committee.”

 

“I know you’ve been spending time with him,” he confessed. “I’ve heard the rumors.”

 

“Have you, now?” she shook her head. “Since when is anything I do any of your concern?”

 

“You’re my wife.”

 

Hillary scoffed. “For now.”

 

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

 

“Like I told you before, I’m weighing my options, Bill.”

 

He finished off his drink and practically slammed the empty glass down on the bar. “What the hell does that mean?”

 

“It means I’m putting myself first,” she stood firm, stood her ground. “We’ve been through all of this before.”

 

“You want a divorce?” he concluded. “If you want one just ask. Just come out and say the words, Hillary!”

 

“I never said that.”

 

“So, what I’m just supposed to let this affair with Kerry go? Just let you carry on with him? Let you do whatever it is that you want?” he was turning red with anger. “Because that’s sure as hell not going to happen.”

 

“I’m not asking for your permission, Bill,” she told him. “I just want be as selfish as you have been. I want to be able to have my cake and eat it too. Just like you’ve done in the past. Just like you’ve done with that young intern.”

 

“I’ve apologized. I’ve made amends in the past. I can make things right again, Hillary, you know I can.”

 

She shook her head. “I don’t know if that’s what I want anymore. I don’t think I can do this again.”

 

“It will never happen again…”

 

“I’ve heard that bullshit before. I’ve swallowed it down and excepted it. But that won’t do this time. If I don’t give you any more chances, then it will for sure never happen again.”

 

Bill was seething. Absolutely seething. Even though he had fucked up and royally so this time he couldn’t help but to be enraged. “Then what do you want, Hillary?”

 

“I want the grace and the forgiveness I’ve given you all these years. I want to know I’m worthy.”

 

“You’ve always been worthy.”

 

“I want to know I’m worthy of your forgiveness.”

 

Her words hit him in the chest like a ton of bricks. “So, it’s true then?” he asked, again. “You’ve been having an affair with Kerry? You’ve been sleeping with him?”

 

For some reason Hillary felt…empowered. Justified. “I’ve been spending some time with John, yes.”

 

“I want to hear the words!” he bellowed. “Are you sleeping with him?”

 

Hillary took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. “That’s not any of your business…”

“Hillary!”

 

“I’m not answering your questions, Bill,” she said, her voice firm. “I don’t owe you anything. Not a goddamn thing!”

 

Bill looked at her defeated. Like all the air had been let out of his ego. His shoulders slumped and he hung his head. “I know you don’t.” All the bravado was gone. And he had never felt so vulnerable. Never felt so sure he was going to lose her. “I’m sorry.”

 

She scoffed. “Yeah, you’re always sorry. But never sorry enough to get help for your issues.”

 

“I am this time,” he implored. “I’m going to be a better husband, a better man, you can count on that.”

 

She just shook her head.

 

“What?”

 

“I’m just…I’m so bored of this shit!” she said, loudly. “Of the lying and the cheating, and the fucking meaningless apologies!”

 

“I’m trying, Hillary!”

 

“Not hard enough!”

“What do you want me to do?” he sobbed. “I’ve started going to therapy. I’m taking charge of this. Isn’t that what you’ve always wanted?”

 

“Because you want to? Or because you’re trying to make yourself look good for the Nation? For the world? Is this for real or a publicity stunt? Do you want to change, or do you want to keep up appearances?”

 

“Appearances,” he repeated. “Is that what you think this is?”

 

“Honestly, Bill, I don’t know anymore. I have no idea what to think or feel about any of this I just know that it’s been a long two months and I’m tired. So tired. I want better. I deserve better.”

 

“And you think Kerry can give you better?”

 

“This isn’t about John, this is about you. This about us and right now, we’re broken, Bill. As broken as we’ve ever been.”

 

“I’m trying to fix this!”

 

“That’s just the thing, Bill, I don’t know if this can be fixed. If I want it to be fixed,” she admitted. “I have to do what’s right for me for a change. Chelsea is older now, and she understands so much more. What kind of example am I setting for her? What kind of example are we setting for her?”

 

Bill lowered his head, hung it in defeat. She was right, absolutely right. They could no longer hide things from Chelsea, could no longer cover them up, or explain them away. He has set a horrible example for his daughter, forced Hillary to do the same. Now he had to take responsibility for his actions. And that hurt beyond comprehension.

 

“I’ve made a mess of things.”

 

Hillary nodded. “That you have.”

 

“Can this be fixed?” he asked, again as he raised his head. Tears swam in his ocean blue eyes. “Am I ever going to be able to repair the damage I’ve done?”

 

“I don’t know, Bill,” she shrugged. “This is decades worth of trauma.”

 

The room grew quiet, eerily so. So much had been said. So much had been heard. And now they were digesting it all. Where they went from here was so undecided. For the first time in all their years together this really did look like the end for them. Endings were terrifying. So finite and definite.

 

“Mr. President,” a firm voice echoed throughout the silence. “Mr. Podesta is on his way up.”

 

Bill nodded. “Thank you, Max.”

 

“Meeting?” Hillary asked.

 

Bill shook his head. “No.”

 

John Podesta entered the room, his shoulders held back, head high. But his eyes, his eyes betrayed him. Something was wrong. Very wrong.

 

“John?” Hillary questioned, moving toward him. “What’s happened?”

 

“I’m glad the two of you are together.” he said, looking between the President and the First Lady. “Makes this a little easier,” he told them even though his voice betrayed him.

 

Bill blanched. “It’s Al isn’t it?”

 

John shook his head. “I’m afraid so, Bill. He suffered a massive coronary about an hour ago. The doctors…they did everything they could…he…Al didn’t make it.”

 

The news stunned Bill speechless. His eyes welled up with tears and he swallowed thickly. He wasn’t prepared for this. The entire time he had only thought positively, he couldn’t afford to think any other way.

 

“Thank you, John.” Hillary broke the silence, wiping away tears she wasn’t aware had fallen. “I’m sure there’s a protocol in place?”

 

He nodded. “Yes, ma’am,” he replied. “The Gore’s have asked for some time to notify family and friends.”

 

“Whatever they need,” she told him. “Bill and I will do whatever we can. Nobody makes an announcement until Tipper gives the word.”

 

“Of course, ma’am,” he replied. “I’ll be in my office.”

 

Hillary closed the door behind John as he left and looked over at Bill. He was distraught. Absolutely distraught. Her heart broke for him. No matter how mad she was at him, she loved him with all of her heart and soul. “I’ll get you a drink,” she made her way over to the bar and poured a generous amount of whiskey in his glass.

 

Silent tears streamed down his face. “This is it, isn’t it?” he asked, sniffling. “I’m all alone. Momma’s gone, Roger’s an opportunist, Chelsea can’t even look me in the eye, and you’re leaving me.”

 

She looked down into the amber liquid, pushing down her personal feelings. “I’m here, aren’t I?” she asked, lifting her eyes to meet his.

 

Tbc….

Chapter Text

Out of Ashes

 

Hillary shut the Master bedroom door behind them as Bill went for the corded phone on the nightstand. He knew that this was the hardest call he would ever have to make. He had been touted as a master speaker, with no shortage of words for any occasion. But in that moment, he was stuck. His brain and his words wouldn’t align. They were caught in his throat and all he was left with were choking sobs.

“Bill,” Hillary reached for the phone in his hand. “Just wait awhile, okay? You don’t have to make the call right now. Give Tipper and the kids some time.” She placed the phone back in place and guided him to sit down on the side of the bed. “Give yourself some time.”

He nodded, silent tears streaming down his face. “I let him down. I let everyone down. It should have been me out there…it could have been you, Hillary. You were there. You and Al have taken on so much responsibility since I fucked everything up. Maybe I should have just resigned.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, resigning isn’t an option.” she said, firmly. “It never was. Your personal faults have nothing to do with the way you lead this country. You’re a damn good President. And no matter how I feel about you right now that is an unwavering fact.”

“My personal recklessness is responsible for Al’s death. That was my event booked months in advance, I was the one who should have been there at that podium.”

“I know that you’re feeling incredibly guilty, and for so many reason’s right now, but this isn’t your doing. It’s not your cross to bear. This country, our country, needs a leader right now. More than ever. We cannot let them down, Bill. We will not let them down.”

Bill sat, quietly, digesting her words. He knew that she was right, they needed to be a united team. He needed to take the reins and be the leader she believed with all her heart that he was. “I cannot do it without you, Hillary.”

“I’m right here with you,” she assured him. “This is going to be a defining moment in this presidency. This is where we’re going to show them just what we’re made of, Bill.”

He reached out for her hand and pulled her closer to him. “Thank you,” he said, looking up at her. “You have no idea what this means to me.”

She wiped away his tears with the pads of her thumbs. “Oh, I think that I do,” she smiled, softly. “I do love you, Bill. Very much.”

Instinctively his hands settled on her hips. “I love you, too, baby,” he wrapped his arms around her middle and pulled her closer to him, burying his face into her stomach, right below her breasts. “I’m so lost without you. I need you so much.”

Hillary ran her fingers through his salt and pepper hair. “I’m here,” she whispered, “We’ll figure this out together.”

He tipped his head to look up at her. “I don’t deserve you.”

She gave him a slight smile. “No, you don’t.”

“I never have,” he replied. “But maybe one day I will.”

“Maybe.” she hummed.

Bill buried his face back into her warm letting her sweet scent surrounding him, calming him like a balm. Hillary went back to stroking his hair. And together they just existed in the moment. Husband and wife. Deep down they both knew that they needed each other to survive but papering over the cracks was no longer an option.

They weren’t quite sure how it had happened, what had started it, and whilst neither of them had stopped it. It was explosively dangerous territory. An action that would solve nothing and hurt much more once it was over. But it was what it was, and they were who they were. And lovemaking had never been their weak spot.

The undressing was slow, tedious, almost. Unhurried in their quest as though they were the only two people that existed in the entire world. Soft touches and even softer kisses had passed between them until she was situated under him. Blonde hair fanned out on elegant bedding, open thighs cradled his body, lust laden eyes drinking him in.

Words weren’t need. Not when they cold touch and feel and explore. Not when everything between them had already been said a million times over. Although, it didn’t stop him from whispering them against her flushed skin, willing them sink into her entire being. Her hips raised in invitation and when he didn’t follow through quite quickly enough, she snaked her hand between their naked bodies and pressed him against her sopping entrance.

She was so wet. And for a raw moment she felt ashamed. Ashamed that she had not only given into him, into their desires, but that her body had the audacity to betray her so powerfully. She was so desperate for him, for his touch, that the wetness seeped from her body and dripped onto the bedding beneath her.

The mushroomed tip of his throbbing cock pressed against the tight muscles of her core wanting nothing more than to be surrounded into the wet warmth he knew awaited him. But he didn’t want to cheapen the act. He wanted her to feel as much love as possible, so he ignored his enate instinct to get them to the finish line quickly and slowed them down.

“Hey, wait,” he pulled up to look at her. “Give me your hands.” He threaded their fingers together and placed her hand against the mattress on either side of her head. “Now,” he breathed out, not knowing how much he could withstand. “Now, take me inside,” he husked. “Slowly.”

His eyes burned down into hers and suddenly everything felt heightened. She couldn’t look away from him, from the love that he was pouring down onto her., into her. On his lips was a silent prayer that it seeped into her soul and that they could healed together.

With an upward tilt of her hips he was slipping inside of her. He held his breath at the sensation of her wet heat stretching around his thick cock. Nothing had ever felt more right, more perfect. It was more than that, it was home. And when he was buried deep inside of her he felt tears spill from his eyes. He was thankful, grateful, and incredibly humbled at the creature beneath him. Feelings he never wanted to forget.

Hillary closed her eyes at the onslaught of emotion, her own tears slipped down into her hair. She felt so full. Her heart, her soul, her body. This is what he did to her. This is always what he did to her. And it made forgiveness come quickly and wholeheartedly. But she would hate herself for it later. Right now, she was going to enjoy him. Them.

“Look at me.” Bill said, softly. “I want to see you.”

Her eyes struggled to open, but finally he came back into focus. He was handsome and oh so sexy, looking down at her like she was his most prized possession. Possession. Maybe that was the problem. She was his. Rather she wanted to be or not.

An obscene moan unabashedly escaped her kiss swollen lips. One that echoed in her throat and burnt her lungs. Her hips bucked in response to the fullness of his hard cock and he pressed deeper into her, still. Never retreating, just pushing deeper and deeper until she was so sunken into the mattress she couldn’t move.

A gut-wrenching sob tore from his throat, one of pleasure and mixed with pain and relief all in one. This is where he belonged. He was desperate for her, desperate for her favor, for her love, and warmth. And right now, all of that was attainable. Anything was attainable in her arms.

Kisses passed between them, decadent ones that were sensual and measured. Ones that breathed a lifeline into the other. Their bodies began to move out of need, falling back into a well- known rhythm that they reveled in. This is what love was supposed to be like. All consuming and quick to forgive.

Small whimpers and deep breathing fluttered around the room as they continued the push-pull dance. He was so swollen inside of her it created a delicious ache between her thighs. One that would be etched into her brain and her muscles for days to come.

Bill blushed as he continued to thrust in and out of her, his whole body on absolute edge. The way she looked at him, her body’s response to his, everything felt so good. Too good. Better than he deserved.

“Can you come for me?” he asked, dipping his head to nip at her neck. His lips slid up to her ear. “Please?” His breath was so hot against her and she whimpered, a shiver running down her spine.

“I….I need…”

Bill knew exactly what she needed, he adjusted the angle of his hips and she immediately pulled her legs back toward her, opening herself up to him even more. The thrust of his hips that followed were hard and intense, but still liquid smooth. Her back arched and he pounded deeper and deeper until she was whimpering incoherently.

She practically bowed beneath him, her hips arched up to meet his, swollen clit finding delicious friction against his lower abdomen. Oh, how she had needed this, had needed him. Sex with John was damn good, but sex with Bill was indescribable. He knew her body and exactly what it needed even before she did sometimes.

“You’re so close,” he groaned, feeling her grow tighter and slicker around his cock. Tempo of his strokes never relented, keeping up an incredible pace that had his balls so tight it was painful.

Dark blue eyes were locked with his, willing them to say everything she could not in that overwhelming moment. He looked down at her with such tenderness and love that she came beautifully undone. White hot rippling waves coursed through her entire being, velvety walls convulsing around his still thrusting cock. She sobbed in such immense pleasure until everything around her went momentarily black.

Bill bit down on his bottom lip and growled at the scene before him. He loved her more than words could ever express. So beautiful and sexy and sensual. He grunted repetitively, tears spilling from his eyes as he gave into her, letting her warm rippling walls milk every last drop of come from his body.

He collapsed down against her completely spent and she welcomed him, wrapping her arms around him. No words were needed. She gently stroked the hair at the nape of his neck, and he cried into her curve of her shoulder. The silence between comfortable and powerful.

After what felt like an eternity, when their breathing had regulated and his tears had ebbed, he pulled up to look at her. They were both striped down of brava and incredibly raw. Her lips meet his for a tender, lingering kiss. Euphoria engulfed them. They were meant to endure.

The sharp ringing of the telephone pulled them out of their bliss. A striking contrast of reality and the outside world. “You need to get that,” she whispered, emotion choking her. “It’s probably Tipper.”

Bill eased back from her warm embrace, whimpering a bit as he separated their bodies. “Sorry,” he blushed slightly at the mess they had created.

“It’s okay,” she gently touched his cheek. “I’ll take care of it. You answer the phone.”

He shifted and sat up on the bed. “Hello?” he answered, willing his voice to be calm and measured. “Of course, John, put her through.” He took a deep breath as he waited for them to be connected. He watched as Hillary made her way to the master bathroom, whimpering slightly with every step. He smiled to himself, God how he loved her.

“Tipper,” he greeted her and then took a deep breath. “Hillary and I are…we cannot find the words to express how truly sorry we are...” As Bill continued his conversation Hillary emerged from the bathroom and started to redress. His eyes followed every movement, watching her intently. When she reached down to pick her sweater up off the floor, his eyes zeroed in on a red mark at the top of her shoulder blade. He couldn’t take his eyes off of it, he squinted to make sure of what he was seeing and then his eyes grew larger on recognition.

He struggled to get through the rest of the conversation. He shut his eyes and swallowed hard, trying to refocus but it only made matters worse. His wife’s lover had left a mark on her pale skin. There was no mistaking it. The rumors were more than true. She was sleeping with John Kerry.

“How is she?” Hillary asked when he hung up the phone.

Bill took a few moments to compose himself before replying. Moments ago, everything was bliss. And now he was drowning. “You need to go…” his voice was sharper than he meant. “And get ready,” he amended, softer. “We’re going to have a press conference in about an hour.”

Hillary nodded, the reality of what had just happened between them sinking into her like a hot iron. His tenderness was gone and his anger from earlier had returned full force. “Of course,” she replied, tears springing forth in her blue eyes and she willed them not to fall. “I’ll meet you in the situation room.”

Tbc…

Chapter Text

Out of Ashes

 

The press conference, although a brief one, seemed as though it took forever. At one point, Hillary couldn’t hold back her tears and decided instead to just let them flow. They were not only for the Second Family, but the First as well. Bill had fucked up, she had fucked up, and together they had made an absolute disaster of things.

 

Something shifted between Bill and her from the time they made love to the time he was on the phone with Tipper. It wasn’t until she had gotten back to Blair House and got ready for the press conference that she realized what it was. There was a small mark on the back of her shoulder. She remembered John’s lips sliding over tender, wet, flesh when they were in the shower together a few days prior. Something she never thought about, something she never had to think about before.

 

Ending up in bed with Bill again was an absolute disaster. One of the worst decisions she could have made, but in the moment God, how she had wanted him. How her body craved his touch. And she knew that if she had to do it all over again, she would be on her back with her legs spread for him. Even at this very moment if he would ask.

 

He was always her weakness, always her soft spot. He knew it and he used it to his advantage, and she often used it to hers. But things were so different. It danced heavy in the shared air between them. The weight of her infidelity somehow hung over them like a dark cloud. Like in his own fucked up way there was no coming back from this.

 

Hillary closed the door to his private study, the catching of the latch caused Bill to look up from his desk. His glasses were perched on the end of his nose and his hair was disheveled from running is hands through it. “You can go home now.”

 

Her temper flared, but she swallowed down her anger. She would not be dismissed. He would not dismiss her. “I think we need to talk, Bill.”

 

“I don’t have time.”

 

“Make time.”

 

Bill went back to his work. “I have a lot of figure out right now,” he said, dismissingly. “In case you’ve forgotten I just lost my Vice President.”

 

Hillary was in front of him now. “In case you’ve forgotten, I was standing beside him when he was shot,” she placed her hands down on her desk, leaning over it slightly. “We need to talk, Bill.”

 

He sighed heavily and leaned back in his chair. “What’s so important?”

 

“What happened?” she asked. “Why all of the sudden are you shutting me out?”

 

“I’m just busy.”

 

Hillary scoffed. “You weren’t busy two hours ago.”

 

“No, two hours ago I thought I was reconnecting with my wife,” he told her. “Turns out she would rather be spending her time with someone else.”

 

“What the hell does that even mean?”

 

“I know you slept with John,” he offered up. “You cannot deny it this time. I saw the mark, his mark, on your shoulder when you were getting dressed earlier.”

 

“You fucking hypocrite!” she slammed her hands back down on his desk and he startled in response. “How can you sit there and keep a straight face?”

 

“I thought we were rebuilding, Hillary?” he asked. “I thought we were going to work on our marriage?”

 

“Rebuilding?” she asked. “We weren’t rebuilding anything, Bill! We had sex. That’s not a magical solution.”

 

“Then why did you let it happen?” he asked, on the verge of tears or eruption, she couldn’t be sure which.

 

She knew she was at fault too, maybe even leading him on a bit that things were better than what they were. “It felt right in the moment,” she said, honestly. “It just doesn’t make everything okay again, Bill. Not this time.”

 

“Do you regret it?”

 

Hillary drew in a deep breath. “Bill…we just found out about Al and…”

 

“Do you regret it?”

 

“No.”

 

“See,” he pointed out. “It obviously meant something to you.”

 

“Of course it did,” her voice softened. “It just didn’t erase everything that’s happened between us.”

 

“Can you be honest with me?” he asked. “Honest about John Kerry?”

 

Hillary exhaled heavily and sat down in the chair across from his desk. “Without going into…details, I’ll answer your questions.”

 

“Thank you.” He knew it was far more than he deserved given the current circumstances. Because she owed him nothing. And he owed her everything. “I know you’ve been spending a lot of time together."

 

I wouldn’t say a lot.”

 

“Okay then…you’ve been spending some time together.”

 

“Yes, you put us on the same project back in the Spring.”

 

“When did it start?”

 

“What?” she questioned. “The friendship?”

 

“No, the relationship.”

 

“My relationship with John is friendship, Bill. That’s it. We’re friends,” she explained. “We’re both going through the same thing right now. I’m not carrying on a grand love affair with him.”

 

“You’ve obviously had sex with him” he pointed out, motioning to his shoulder. “There’s an unmistakable mark right above your left shoulder blade.”

 

Hillary’s heartbeat quickened. She had never been on this side of the questioning before, but she had agreed to answer his questions. “Yes,” she confirmed without elaborating.

 

“Yes…what?” he wanted her to say the words. He needed her to say the words.

 

Her mouth was suddenly dry. “Yes, I’ve had sex with him.”

 

“When did it start?”

 

“Just recently.”

 

Bill nodded, digesting the information. “I see.” Several long moments passed between them. “Are you going to continue…sleeping with him?”

 

Hillary shrugged. “I don’t know.”

 

He choked on a sob. “You don’t know?”

 

“You wanted me to be honest, Bill, and I’m being as honest as I can,” she explained. “I’m sorry you don’t like my answers.”

 

“So this is it? Our marriage is just…done?”

 

“I never said that,” she countered. “I just need some time, that’s all. I need room to breathe and space to figure things out for myself before I make any decisions on the future.”

 

“I don’t want to lose you.”

 

“Oh, Bill, I don’t want to lose you either,” she said, through tears. “I just need to live for me for a little while. Find myself again. I don’t want to come back into this marriage with what-ifs and regrets. I want to do it with my eyes open, my mind free of doubts. Isn’t that what you want, too?”

 

“Yes,” he answered, hoarsely. “I just don’t like the thought of you with someone else. I never have. I can’t help it. It eats at my soul.”

 

“And you think I enjoyed it?” she asked. “I enjoyed sharing you with those whores? You don’t think it made my skin crawl? Made me jealous? Made me feel as though I wasn’t good enough? Sexy enough? Beautiful enough?” her voice climbed with every question she asked. “So, I’m sorry, Bill, I really am. Sorry that just this one time I’ve made you feel like that when you’ve done it to me countless times!”

 

Bill winced at having his transgressions read back to him. All the pain he had caused her over the years, the pain he had caused their marriage, and their daughter. Their precious, innocent, daughter. The daughter that could no longer look him in the eye. “All I can say is I’m sorry. I’m sorry and I’m working on my actions to do better,” he told her for the hundredth time. “But you and I are different, Hillary. You’re better than me. This thing with John, it’s so beneath you, beneath your morals and dignity.”

 

“I’m not sure I have any dignity left, Bill, you’ve managed to shatter that for me. Half of the nation looks at me with pity and the other half thinks I got what I deserved.” she shook her head. “There is no dignity, just shame. Brutal, gut-wrenching shame.”

 

“I’m sorry,” he apologized again. “You deserve better. I’m just asking you not to do something that you’re going to regret. Something that will cause you even more pain.”

 

“Yes, I do deserve better,” she agreed. “And if you want this marriage to work then you’re going to have to do a hell of a lot of work on yourself. I love you, Bill, but I will not stay in this marriage if you can’t change. And I know I’ve made myself a hypocrite, but I have to know if staying with you is what I truly want.”

 

Bill nodded, taking it all in. He scrubbed his hands over his face and when he looked up, he saw Hillary in tears. He was immediately on his feet, quickly stalking over to him. “Please don’t cry, darlin’.” he crouched down in front of her. “Please.”

 

Hillary reached out for him, wrapping her arms tightly around him and sobbed into his shoulder “I’m sorry, Bill.” she cried. “Please don’t hate me. I just can’t…I can’t anymore…but I don’t know how to live without you.”

 

He held on to her, tightly, “It’s okay,” he soothed her. “We’ll figure it out. We’ll figure it all out. Together. I promise.”

 

“I’m sorry.” she sobbed over and over.

 

“Shhh,” he whispered, pressing a kiss into her hair. “Don’t apologize. Just let me hold you.”

 

/////

 

Hillary closed the bedroom door behind her at Blair House and leaned up against it. Everything was so open and raw. Bill. John. Al. Every aspect of her life was a mess. In the past three days she was shot at, had broken her marriage vows, had broken her own vow by having sex with Bill, and now the survivor’s guilt of Al’s death was crushing her. Everything was so out of control, so out of her control.

 

Tears started to fall all over again and for what she wasn’t entire sure. One aspect just as heavy as another and all of them combined were devastating. There was one thing for certain, she didn’t want to be alone. That was an unbearable thought. The telephone was in her hand before she realized it, but she couldn’t bring herself to dial the number. With a heavy sigh she placed it back in the cradle and left the bedroom instead.

 

Peter was filling out some paperwork in the Foyer. He had heard her coming, his Marine training had heard the unlatching of her bedroom door and the padding of her shoes against the carpet on the stairs. He was immediately on his feet.

 

“I’ll get the car,” he said. “A little too cold for a walk tonight.”

 

Hillary shook her head. “I don’t want to go out, Peter.”

 

He arched his eyebrow. “No?” he questioned. “I can arrange for Senator Kerry to come here.”

 

“Thank you, but that’s okay,” she told him. “I don’t want to be alone, but I don’t want see anyone either.”

 

“What can I help you with then, Hillary?”

 

She smiled at the use of her first name becoming easier for him. “Could you just come upstairs in a bit and stay with me until I fall asleep?”

 

“Absolutely.”

 

“Thank you,” she replied. “I’m going to get ready for bed, so about twenty minutes or so.”

 

“I’ll inform the others. I can I bring anything up for you?”

 

“You can bring whatever you were working on, I won’t bother you, I promise. I know it’s an odd request…”

 

“It’s not,” he assured her. “I’ll be up in twenty minutes.”

 

“Thank you, Peter,” she smiled softly. “You are my saving grace these days.”

 

Hillary settled comfortably into her bed. She was exhausted but sleep seemed to be eluding her. Peter was sitting across the room, low lamplight shining on his paperwork. She watched as he knitted his brows in concentration as his pen slid across the paper.

 

“Does your wife mind when you work the evening shift?” she asked, sitting up in bed a bit.

 

“She’s gotten used to it over the past few years,” he replied. “Isaac still isn’t sleeping thru the night so when I get home it allows her to take a nap. I take David to school and then the baby and I go to Mommy and Me or in my case, Daddy and Me.”

 

Hillary laughed at the image of 6’4”, former Marine Seal Peter sitting around in a circle with mostly other mothers. “I think I would pay to see that.”

 

He flashed a genuine smile. “At first it was an adjustment,” he told her. “I’ve been made part of the crew now. It’s pretty fun. Sometimes Natalie joins us.”

 

“Family time is so important, Peter. Before you know it, your boys will be teenagers. Make sure you savor every precious moment.”

 

“We try our very best and of course it’s helpful that everyone here is so nice about trading shifts and being flexible.”

 

“Good, I’m glad.” she laid back down against the pillows. “Time is the one thing you can never get back.”

 

“I know you miss Chelsea,” he said, softly. “We can arrange a trip if you would like.”

 

“I do,” she sighed. “But the best place for her right now is with my mom. At least until things even out a little here.

 

“She’ll be home soon,” he assured her. “Just a few more days.”

 

Hillary closed her eyes. Just a few more days. She could get through a few more days. And it would give her time to pull herself together.

tbc…

Chapter Text

Out of Ashes

 

The halls of the White House were eerily quiet for a place that never slept. Hillary had only passed a few people upon her entrance. The East wing seemed to be entirely deserted. She let herself into her office, leaving the door ajar. She needed a distraction of sorts. Something to focus on to keep her head from eating her heart entirely.

She was to be one of many to eulogize the Vice President. Brief and heartfelt was her goal. But every draft she came up with wasn’t what she wanted to convey. It was something she wanted to do herself, no speechwriter, no aides, just her voice in her own words.

The surrealness of the past twenty-four hours was starting to wear off and reality was slowly sinking in. Why she was spared she would never know. It weighed heavily on her mind, so heavily that her vision blurred from the stinging tears filling up her eyes.

“Hillary,” Peter called out, softly as he pushed her office door open. “Senator Kerry is here to see you.”

She wiped at her tears in vain and reached for a tissue across her desk. “You can send him in. Thank you, Peter.” She blotted her eyes and tossed the tissue in the waste basket.

“You’re welcome, ma’am,” he replied. “I’ll be just outside if you need anything.”

John entered her office and Peter gently closed the door behind him, leaving the two of them alone.

Hillary immediately rose from her chair.

John held his hands up, “No, please stay seated,” he told her. “I’m not here to interrupt you. I just wanted to check on you.”

Instead of sitting back down she rounded the desk, quickly, and his arms were wrapped around her instantly. He held her tightly, enveloping her in as much comfort and peace that he could possibly give her at that moment. And she melted into him, into his warmth and friendship.

“I’m here,” he whispered. “Whatever you need, I’m here.”

“I feel so lost,” she sobbed. “I can’t even function, John.”

“You’re tired and you’re overwhelmed. You need to give yourself a break. Just relax and breathe for right now.” He instructed. “Just breathe.”

Hillary pulled back a little and looked up at him. “I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for the past week.”

John took her hand and pressed it against the center of his chest. “Just relax,” he said, calmly. “Breathe with me.”

The rise and fall of his chest under her palm was soothing. His hand warm and comforting against hers. After a few breaths she found herself matching his pattern. Long slow breath in, long slow breath out. “Very good,” he smiled, slightly. “Just keep breathing.”

Together they existed in silence for several long moments, just refocusing their energy on something simple and comforting. “How do you feel?”

“More centered.” she said, tipping her head to look up at him. “Thank you, John.”

“How else can I help you?”

“Just having you here with me helps,” she told him. “I feel so alone.”

He kept her hand pressed to his chest. “You are far from alone,” he assured her. “You just have to let people in, Hillary.”

“I’m finding that increasingly difficult given the circumstances,” she admitted. “All of them.”

“That’s understandable, but let your friends help you. Your family. They’re all just waiting for you to allow them in. I know you think you can handle most things on your own, but the truth is you don’t have to.”

“I know, it’s just difficult for me to open up when I’m not even sure of what I’m feeling. Just when I thought I was getting my bearings things got turned upside down all over again. And in a much different way this time.”

John moved to cup her face in his hands. “I know you’re scared and that’s okay.” His eyes searched hers. “I’ll help you in any way I possible can right now. Even if that means just sitting here with you while you work on Al’s eulogy.”

“I could use the company,” she smiled, fleetingly. “Thank you. I really do value your friendship, John.”

He leaned in and pressed a kiss between her eyebrows. “I value yours too. I don’t know how I would have gotten through the last few months without you after Teresa’s affair came out. I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you that. Thank you.”

“That’s what friends are for.”

“You’re a good friend, Hillary. Let me return the favor. Whatever you need, just ask,” he told her. “I’ll do whatever I can to make it happen.”

She slowly nodded. “Okay,” she agreed. “Will you help me with this eulogy?”

“Of course,” he replied. “Then we can go back to my place and order in some Chinese. What do you say?”

“I’d like that.”

/////

Bill listened in the hallway of Hillary’s office. He wasn’t exactly sure of what to expect between the two of them, but he didn’t hear anything off the mark. He also didn’t see the embrace they were locked in. They really did seem like they were good friends. Maybe he didn’t have anything to be worried about after all. Other than his wife had been to bed with the Senator at least once.

Peter came down the hallway to find the President outside of Hillary’s private off. He watched as Bill retreated and started walking away from the door and in his direction. “Mr. President.” Peter greeted him. “Would you like to see the First Lady? She’s in a meeting but I’m sure it’s fine.”

He shook his head. “No, that’s okay North, I’ll come back later.”

The President disappeared around the corner and Peter knocked on Hillary’s office door and then let himself inside, closing it behind him. “You wanted to see me, ma’am?”

Hillary stood up from her seated position on the sofa and walked toward him. “John and I are going to order some takeout and then head back to his house can you arrange transportation?”

“Yes, of course,” he replied. “But there will have to be some sort of curfew tonight because we’re expecting heavy traffic tomorrow morning for the Vice President’s memorial.”

“What kind of curfew?”

“Preferably midnight,” he lowered his voice. “Definitely before 5 a.m.”

Hillary inwardly balked at the thought. She was desperate for a break from everything. And the only way that could happen was away from all Government structures. John’s house provided that in spades for her.

“I can make arrangements for you at Blair House,” he offered. “That way you’ll be where you need to be in the morning.”

Something about having John in her personal living space didn’t sit right with her. She felt as though that would be crossing some sort of imaginary line of her already skewed boundaries. Besides, she wouldn’t be able to relax with him there. That was the beauty of his house. A suspended atmosphere of reality.

“No,” she immediately whispered. “We’ll make curfew work.”

Peter nodded. “Give me about fifteen minutes,” he told her. “Do you need anything from your place?”

“No, I’m good. Thank you, Peter.”

/////

Dinner was delivered and devoured over light conversation and heavy laughter. Hillary couldn’t remember the last time she felt that light and airy. Like she was floating on a cloud. It was a much needed evening after a week of absolute hell. They had gravitated to his living room, to the dry bar, and the promise of bad television.

“God, I’ve needed this,” she sighed, accepting another drink from him.

“My special martini’s?”

Hillary chuckled. “Well, those too, but this,” she gestured between them as he took a seat on the sofa next to her. “Friendship.”

John clinked his glass against hers. “To friendship.”

She took a long sip of her drink. “Is Teresa coming in for the memorial?” she asked, sitting her glass on the table in front of her.

“She’s arriving late morning,” he replied, taking another drink. “I haven’t seen her in months.”

“How do you feel about that?”

“I’m not sure,” he admitted, honestly. “I miss her but every time I think about what she did…I get so mad I can barely see straight. I mean adultery is wrong, we both know that, but to carry on a relationship was someone else it’s just…” his words fell away.

“Incomprehensible,” she finished for him.

“We took vows and she just threw them all away for some cheap affair that hurt more people than it brought pleasure to.”

Hillary nodded, understanding John’s pain all too well. “I think when Teresa gets here the two of you need to sit down and talk. It’s painful but in the end, it’ll do the both of you some good.”

“I don’t know if I’m ready for that.”

“You’ll never be ready,” she picked her glass up and took another drink. “It’s like ripping off a bandaid, the quicker, the better.”

John mulled her words over. His relationship with Teresa wasn’t as well defined at the President and First Lady’s. They weren’t as intertwined and dependent on one another. Maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing. “How are things with Bill?”

She was silent for several long moments. “Complicated,” she finally answered. “I can’t go thru this again, but at the same time I don’t think can leave him either.”

“So, what are you going to do?”

“Establish some ground rules, maybe. I’m really not sure. Right now, I’m not sure about anything. I just want to get through tomorrow.”

“I think your eulogy is beautiful,” he told her. “I think it’s going to be very well received. You spoke from your heart, Hillary.”

“I was the last one with him,” she blinked back tears. “The last person he saw before…it’s a tremendous…weight. He shouldn’t have died. It’s unfair.”

“Unfair, yes but it can’t be undone. All we can do is move forward, just as you said in your eulogy. Live and love fully as if every day could be your last.” John wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer. “What do you say we leave all this heavy stuff for tomorrow and enjoy the rest of the evening? Watch a little I Love Lucy? Bewitched?”

Hillary snuggled down further into his embrace. “I would like that.”

It was a little after midnight when John gently nudged Hillary awake. “Hey, it’s late.”

She struggled to open her eyes, they were heavy, and she was utterly exhausted. The past week had more than took its toll on her and her body gave into the sleep and relaxation that being away from the White House allowed her. She failed to stifle a yawn. “I should get home.”

“Stay,” he said softly.

“John, I can’t…I…”

“You need sleep,” he interrupted her. “You cannot keep going like this. “

“I know,” she sighed, “But I have to give Al’s eulogy tomorrow and…” her words fell away.

“All the more reason for you to get some much-needed sleep,” he argued. “You didn’t make it thru half of the first episode before you were out. Just come upstairs with me, you’ll be much more comfortable in bed than here on the sofa.”

Staying the night wasn’t something she had planned on, but she also hadn’t planned on being so damn exhausted either. “Okay.” she reluctantly agreed. “Peter says I have to leave at 5am.”

“He’s already made the arrangements.”

/////

John handed Hillary one of his pajama tops. “I’m afraid the pants will be far too long.”

Hillary chuckled. “You don’t say.”

“I just want you to be comfortable.”

“I am,” she assured him. “I very comfortable with you, maybe too comfortable.”

“No strings, remember.”

Hillary nodded in agreement. “No strings.” And she meant it. Friendship was as far as it could go. Bill was the absolute love of her life.

“I don’t expect anything from you, Hillary,” he told her. “I just want you to be able to relax and sleep.”

“Oh, John, I know that,” she sighed, her fingertips brushing over his jawline. “You’ve been so good to me.”

His hand slid over hers and he brought it down to his lips, placing a kiss against the palm. “We’ve been good to each other,” he clarified. “And we deserve a break. Right now, that break is sleep.”

/////

Bill trekked down the hallway of Blair House. He had narrowly escaped his security detail but managed to make his way in thru the back entrance to the residence with little fuss. Afterall, he had been dodging security detail for decades.

The closer he got to Hillary’s bedroom the harder his heart pounded in his chest. So loudly in fact that he could hear the reverberation in his ears. He quietly turned the knob and then pushed her bedroom door open just enough that he could make his way inside, shutting it behind him.

What he was greeted with was an empty bed. He glanced at the clock on the nightstand. One fifty-three in the morning. And no Hillary in sight. His heart clenched and sank in his chest. Her bed was still made, she wasn’t there and hadn’t been.

“Kerry,” he breathed out. “Fuck!” He fought the urge to slam his fist through the drywall. Instead, he retreated out of the room and headed for the nearest exit. He needed some air.

/////

It was a little after three in the morning when Teresa Kerry keyed herself into the side door of the residence. Peter had watched as she approached, confirmed her identity, knowing full well he couldn’t stop her from entering the home. He prepared himself for the fallout that was about to happen. But it never did.

Lamp light turned on in the downstairs guest room, and then was off in less than ten minutes. Everything remained eerily quiet, and Peter relaxed his shoulders and exhaled heavily. A stay of execution had been granted. He just hoped he could get Hillary out of the house as quickly and as quietly as possible.

tbc…

Chapter Text

Bill stormed out of the master bedroom in a huff. He was so anxious that his hands were shaking. He was barely able to button his dress shirt, but the tedious task of his tie was more than he could handle. He clenched the silk in his hands as he made his way toward his secret service detail.

 

“Bill?” Hillary called out, rounding the top of the staircase. “What’s wrong?”

 

He stopped in his tracks, his shoulders slumped, and he gave into his helplessness. “This goddamn tie.”

 

“Here, don’t wrinkle it,” she tenderly took it from his hands. “Let me help you.”

 

He nodded his approval. “Thank you.”

 

Hillary went to work, making sure that the knot of the tie was perfect before smoothing it down the front of his crisp white shirt. Silence hung between them. “There,” she smiled softly up at him. “Good to go.”

 

“Hey,” he grabbed her hand as she went to move it off his torso. “Where have you been?”

 

There were several long moments of silence. “Penelope was helping me get ready. Hair, makeup, you know?”

 

He nodded, his words stuck in his throat. He hummed slightly before giving a well measured reply, “You look beautiful.”

 

“Thank you,” she replied. “Where’s your jacket?”

 

“Still hanging up,” he replied, never letting go of her hand. “I came looking for you last night at Blair House.”

 

Hillary stiffened. She knew Bill could feel the shift in her touch. “Oh?” she breathed out. “I worked on Al’s eulogy in my office for quite a while. It took longer than I thought it would.” She knew he could tell she was skirting the issue.

 

Bill knew the truth but with her standing there in front of him for some reason he was willing to let it slide. “You were able to finish?”

 

“Would you like to read it?”

 

“No, no, I’ll wait,” he told her. “I’m sure you did an amazing job.”

 

“Well,” she sighed, letting go of his hand. “Let’s get your jacket and then head downstairs. It’s almost time to go.”

 

/////

 

“Hillary?” her name echoed in her ears she knew that voice, the accent undeniable. Teresa Heinz Kerry. She was sure of it. She took a deep breath and slowly turned around to greet her. “Teresa, how are you?”

 

“How am I?” she repeated. “How are you?!” she asked. “I’ve been thinking about you so much this past week. I can’t believe what happened, my mind is still in absolute shock.”

 

“Mine too.”

 

“Seriously, how are you?” she asked, taking her hands in hers. “Woman to woman here.”

 

“It’s been difficult,” she willed herself not to cry. “I’m just trying to take it a day at a time.”

 

Teresa gave her a sympathetic smile. “Always the stiff upper lip, huh?” she said, softly. “Just let it flow, dear. We’re all here for you. We must stick together in tragedy.”

 

Hillary’s mind flashed back to the previous night, of being wrapped in John’s arms, safe and sound. How he brought her a kind of peace she had been urning for the past few months. How cold she was as she climbed out of his bed and got dressed in silence, knowing that Peter was waiting for her on the other side of the door. “Thank you, Teresa. That’s very kind of you.”

 

“I’ll pray for your peace, Hillary,” she gently squeezed her hands before letting go.

 

Before Hillary could have time to respond to her Bill was by her side. He exchanged pleasantries as he took Hillary’s hand in his. “We should probably go in and get seated.”

 

She nodded as she swallowed, thickly. “Yes,” she agreed as they started walking. “This is…I’m overwhelmed Bill. I feel a panic attack coming.”

 

“Shhh.” he whispered against her hair. “It’s okay, let’s go have a seat and work through your fears. We can do this. Together.”

 

Once they were seated, Bill did everything he could to help her feel as relaxed and at ease as he could, but she was still struggling. Her body was fighting to give into the comfort and the calmness that he was offering her. She couldn’t do this with him again, she could not let her guard down and let him back into her world as though everything was forgiven and forgotten.

 

“I can’t.” she whispered. “I need a minute,” she said, standing up. “I’m sorry.” Hillary made a mad dash for the side exit in search of Peter but instead bumped into John.

 

“Hey, where are you running off to?” his warm hands enveloped her arms to steady her.

 

Hillary swallowed hard. She couldn’t get her brain to focus on anything. “Peter,” she finally breathed out. “Have you seen him?”

 

“Yeah, he’s around the corner. What’s wrong?” he asked. “Are you okay?”

 

“Uhh…no.” she answered, finally looking up at him. “It’s too much…Al and then Teresa was talking to me and Bill…I can’t.” she started breathing heavier and heavier.

 

“It’s okay, it’s okay.” John took her hand and led her into the small office he had passed only moments before. “Just sit down and take a few deep breaths,” he guided her to the chair. “I’ll get Peter. Be back in just a few moments.”

 

Peter appeared in the doorway in record time, taking something out of his breast pocket before kneeling down before her. “Open your mouth,” he instructed, shaking a pill from the bottle. “Tongue up.” He placed the long white pill under her tongue and watched as her eyes fell shut. “Now I’m going to count and you’re just going to listen.”

 

John slipped out of the small office only to be met by Bill. “Mr. President.”

 

His temper flared, anger was written all over his face. “Where’s my wife, Kerry?” he bit out.

 

“Inside with her detail, Peter,” he informed him. “I think she’s having a panic attack.”

 

Bill moved inside the small office to find Hillary sitting in a chair with Peter knelt down in front of her, her hands in his, counting. He could see she was starting to relax, the tension starting to roll off her shoulders, the set of her jaw. He gently closed the door behind him and waited outside.

 

After a few minutes Hillary opened her eyes. “You’re okay.” Peter whispered, softly. “Feeling better?”

 

“A little,” she whispered back. “I felt like I couldn’t breathe there for a minute.”

 

“What happened?”

 

“Teresa Heinz happened,” she told him. “I knew she was going to be here, but I didn’t expect to actually talk to her. She came right up to me and touched me and I…I don’t know…I just…and then Bill was there, he tried to help but it only made things worse.”

 

When he has retrieved her from the Kerry residence, he never mentioned Mrs. Kerry’s arrival. Some things were better left unsaid. “Shh,” he soothed her. “I’m here now. Let’s get thru the next few moments together. One thing at a time.”

 

“You need to go home and rest, Peter.”

 

“I got a solid five hours,” he told her. “I didn’t trust anyone else here with you today.”

 

“You have no idea how much I appreciate that,” she smiled. “After the burial I want you to head home to your family.”

 

“Hillary…”

 

“That’s a direct order, Agent North.”

 

He smiled and shook his head. “Yes, ma’am.”

 

There was a slight knock at the office door and Peter was immediately on his feet to open it. “Mr. President,” he addressed him. “The First Lady is fine, just needed a little extra help.”

 

“Thank you, Peter.”

 

“You’re welcome, sir.” He turned to Hillary. “Would you like me to help you back to your seat?”

 

“No, thank you, Peter,” she gave a slight smile. “I can manage with Bill’s help.” She watched as Peter left, leaving her alone with her husband. “I’m going to be okay.”

 

Bill took Peter’s prior position, kneeling down on the floor in front of her. “You know it’s okay, you don’t have to do this. You don’t have to do any of this. Everyone would understand.”

 

“No, Bill, I have to,” she reasoned. “I want to.”

 

“You’re sure?” he asked. “Absolutely sure? Peter can take you home right now if you want. I know you’re not okay and I don’t want to push you into something that’s going to hurt you worse.”

 

“Oh, Bill,” she brushed her hand over his cheek. “You have no idea how much I appreciate that, but I need to do this as much for me as for Al.”

 

“I respect that.”

 

“Yeah?”

 

Bill nodded. “I admire it.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

He stood up, extending his hand. “Come on, you lead the way.”

 

Hillary placed her hand in his and stood up but instead of moving, she lingered. “I’m sorry.”

 

His eyebrows furled. “For what?”

 

“You lost Al.” she said, softly. “I know the two of you weren’t exactly best friends, but your working relationship was solid. Most of the time.”

 

He smiled slightly. “Thank you.”

 

/////

 

The service went beautifully. Everything was perfect from the music to the lectors. And Hillary let herself feel. There in the sanctity of the church walls she allowed herself to emote freely and openly, bringing her heart so much peace and relief. When it was all over, the rituals and the formalities, and the niceties, Hillary felt herself clinging to Bill. Her fingers intertwined with his and warmth and comfort exuded between them as they made their way out of the church and to into their awaiting limo. This is who they were. An unbreakable team.

 

The limo ride started out mostly silent. Hillary rested her head on Bill’s shoulder and he gently stroked her silky blonde locks. There was a heaviness of grief between them, but also an easiness that neither one of them had experienced in months.

 

“You did amazing up there,” Bill murmured into her hair. “I’m so proud of you. I know you could do it.”

 

“I held it together better than I thought I would,” she admitted. “I tried not to look over at Tipper and the kids because it made my heart clench, but I wanted them to hear my words more than anyone. I wrote it for them.”

 

“You spoke from your heart and it was beautiful.”

 

“Mmm,” she sighed, returning to silence. The ride to Arlington was going to be a long but she was so tried. Releasing all of her pent-up emotions had cleansed her soul and made her entire body heavy. She longed for privacy and the warmth of Bill’s arms around her, the silence, the intimacy. The mere existence of them.

 

“Bill?” she spoke softly after long moments of silence.

 

“Yes, darlin’?”

 

“I miss you.”

 

He dropped a kiss into her hair. “I miss you too, baby.”

 

“I want to come home.”

 

Bill’s heart thudded in his chest. Those were words he longed to heart but feared he never would. “Are you…are you sure?”

 

Hillary pulled back to look at him. “Yes,” she replied. “We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but I want to do it together. I want to come home with you when all this is over today.”

 

“I want that too.”

 

“Today made me realize that I don’t want to lose you. Not even after all the shit we’ve put each other through. I want us to build and grow. I want us to be solid and unbreakable. Like steel.”

 

Bill leaned forward and kissed her softly, oh so softly. “I love you. God, I love you! More than anything in the world!”

 

“We can’t let anyone else in, Bill. It has to be just us. On every level. We can’t let other people in, they destroy us.”

 

“We’ll do whatever we have to. I promise you that, Hillary. We’ll rise and defeat them all.”

 

Tbc…

Chapter Text

Hillary’s head lulled back, and she fought to stifle a moan, but instead a deep throaty whine escaped her kiss swollen lips. It bounced off the walls of the empty conference room almost like an echo.

 

Bill leaned further over her, inching her thighs further apart, and pushing his weight down into her, his cock deeper into her. “Shh,” he hushed her as he brought his lips next to hers. “You don’t want us to get caught, do you?”

 

“I don’t care,” her lips grazed his before indulging him in a thought freeing kiss that had his grip on her outer thigh only grow tighter.

 

Her skirt was pushed up to her waist, her blouse undone and where her panties were, she hadn’t the slightest idea. It didn’t matter. The only thing she cared about in the moment was them. It was her intention to only tease him once everyone cleared out, but he had her atop the conference table before she could even get her bearings. Her hands freeing his thick cock from it’s confines within record time.

 

“You’re going to be the absolute death of me,” his fingers skimmed down between her covered breasts. “Who would run the country then?”

“I guess your grieving widow.”

 

“Mmm, Madam President,” he growled, the pace of his thrusts picking up. “I like that.” The desire to make her come was his main priority, and every time he brought her too the edge, he slowed them down wanting to draw out their pleasure.

 

“Oh, fuck!” it spilled from her mouth before she could think. Perhaps louder than the last time.

 

Bill pressed deep into her and stilled. “You’re going to make me come if you keep doing that.”

 

“Isn’t that the point?” her hips rocked against his.

 

“Eventually.”

 

“I have an idea,” she said, pushing him away.

 

He whimpered at the loss of contact but before he could complain she was off the table and leaning over it. Bill’s hands immediately went to her ass, squeezing handfuls of delicate skin. “I love where this is going.”

 

“I thought you might,” she smiled back at him over her shoulder. “Well, what are you waiting for?”

 

A glance between their bodies only intensified his need for her. He teased her with the tip of his cock. Rubbing circles over her engorging clit, sliding up and down the parted lips of her dripping sex, pushing against her tight entrance before repeating the sweet torture all over again.

 

“Bill,” she managed. “Please don’t tease me.”

 

He pressed himself to her entrance again, he was so hard he didn’t know how long he could possibly last. Especially in this position. As soon as the smooth head made contact with her, she thrust her hips back, sliding down on him and pulling his thick length inside of her.

 

“Christ!” he huffed out.

 

She slid up and then back down again. His elegant fingers bit into the pale flesh of her hips as he held her down on him, his cock throbbing wildly against her deliciously tight walls. A deep groan bubbled up his throat and he felt her become slicker around him.

 

“I’m so close, Bill.” she managed. “I have to…” her eyes slammed shut. “….come. Please, I need….”

 

He eased her hips forward and then slammed her back down on his cock. Once. Twice…and then she was convulsing around him. Squeezing him so tight that he thought he was going to pass out from pleasure. His leaned over her, the fingers of their left hands intertwining, as he poured every ounce of himself inside of her.

 

A hot puff of air caressed the side of her face. “I love you, I love you, I love you,” he repeated like symphony.

 

“Bill,” she rasped. “Damn, that was…” her words fell away.

 

“Round two?”

 

“Tonight.” she promised. “Right after dinner with Nancy Pelosi.”

 

Bill reached in his jacket pocket and retrieved his handkerchief. “I can reschedule Nancy.”

 

“We need a vice president.”

 

“I know.”

 

Hillary could feel leakage start to trickle down her inner thighs. “Could you clean me up? I’m late for a meeting with my staff.”

 

Bill begrudgingly pulled away from her, using his handkerchief to wipe at their coupling. Hillary jumped slightly at the stiff material brushing against her well sated sex. “Sorry baby.”

 

“You did that on purpose.”

 

He grinned. “Tender?”

 

“Just a little overstimulated. Don’t worry, I’ll recover before tonight.”

/////

Peter’s knock at Hillary’s third floor private office went unnoticed. He knew she was in there she had informed him of her destination before she left her East Wing office. He knew she was alone, he had past the President in the corridor of the West Wing only moments before.

 

“Hillary?” he called out, pushing the office door open. “Are you in here?”

 

He was met at the sight of her resting against a stack of pillows on the sofa. Eyes shut, a pen in her hand and a legal pad still on her lap. “Hillary?” he called out softly, again as he kneeled down beside the sofa. “Wake up.”

 

She blinked a few times in rapid succession before fully opening her eyes. “Peter?” she asked, groggily. “What time is it?”

 

“A little after six,” he informed her. “Your new assistant Adam is looking for you. He’s picked out a few options for dinner tonight.”

 

“Mmm,” she sighed, trying to shake off the sleepiness. “I’m sure whatever he’s picked out is fine. He’s got a great eye for fashion. And accessorizing.”

 

“Another headache?” he asked, rising up to sit down on the coffee table in front of her.

 

Hillary instinctively rubbed at her temples. “They come on so sudden and intense. They never seem to go completely away.”

 

Peter opened his blazer. “You’ve been complaining about headaches for weeks now,” his hand slipped inside his breast pocket. “You’re always exhausted.”

 

“Comes with the job.”

 

He shook his head. “I beg to differ,” a thin, white and purple box was pulled into view. Hillary’s eyes widened upon realization of what Peter was holding, but more importantly what he was suggesting. “When Natalie was pregnant with David she had these terrible hormone headaches and was exhausted all the time.”

 

Hillary swallowed thickly. “Peter, I just turned 43 last Autumn.”

 

“My mom was 45 when I was born.”

 

Touché. “Bill and I had a very difficult time getting pregnant with Chelsea. I’ve some issues with endometriosis.”

 

Peter held the box out for her. “Things always change and happen when you least expect them,” he told her. “You and President have made a lot of progress in the last eight weeks.”

 

Hillary blushed slightly. There were at least two occasions that she knew of that Peter had caught them. “I appreciate the concern, Peter. I really do, I just think that you’re wrong about this.”

 

“Prove me wrong.”

 

Silence lingered between them for several long moments. Hillary snatched the box from his hand and disappeared into the adjoining bathroom.

 

“I’ll leave you to it then,” he stood up from the coffee table.

 

“Oh, no!” she called out as she shut the door. “You do not get to leave, Peter North. You need to stay and see this through.”

 

Peter exhaled heavily at the click of the door latch. He sat down on her abandoned seat on the sofa. He heard the toilet flush and then the running of the tap. Hillary emerged a few moments later with a thin white stick with a purple cap. She sat down next to him and placed the test face down on the table in front of them.

 

“Five minutes,” she told him.

 

“Well, these are going to be a long five minutes,” he lamented, playfully.

 

“It was your idea.”

 

“Honestly, I didn’t know I was going to be held hostage during the wait.”

 

Hillary laughed. “You thought wrong, Peter.”

 

“Can I get you anything ma’am?”

 

“Ma’am?” she teased. “You brought me a pregnancy test, Peter. We are forever passed the ma’am stage. In fact, I think this calls for entering into the cutesy little nickname phase.”

 

Peter glanced down at his watch. “What did you have in mind?”

 

“Oh, I don’t know…Sport? Big Guy? Bunny?”

 

“Bunny?” he looked at her.

 

“Yeah, you know, like Peter Cottontail.”

 

He laughed. “I’m going to pass on that.”

 

“Oh, Peter,” she sighed. “You are such a good sport. You don’t have to stay if you don’t want to.”

 

“No, I’ll stay,” he told her. “I want to be here with you.”

 

She patted his knee. “Thank you,” she replied. “I could use the support.”

 

“That’s why I’m here, Hillary.”

 

“How about right now you distract me?” she asked. “Tell me about your wife and babies. I’m sure you have tons of stories after a long weekend.”

 

Peter did just as she asked and recounted some of his weekend to her. They were laughing and chatting so easily that when Peter checked his watch six minutes had already passed. “You can look now,” he said, lifting his eyes from his watch to her face. “Time’s up.”

 

Hillary reached for the stick. “When this says negative you owe me, Peter. I want to shop my favorite places in D.C without a ton of detail. Just me and you and Carter trailing.”

 

“And if I’m right?”

 

She held her fate out in her hand. “If you’re right, which I highly doubt you are, then no weekends for a month.”

 

“Deal.”

 

Suddenly Hillary’s heart was beating so fast she could hear it thumping in her ears, her throat was starting to get dry, and her hands began to shake. The possibility of it all hitting her like a ton of bricks.

 

Peter sensed her nervousness and reached for the test. “It’s okay,” he said, softly. “I’ll look.”

 

Hillary could only nod. She watched as Peter looked down at the test and when she couldn’t read the Marine in him, she started to grow even more anxious. “Peter?”

 

He raised his eyes to meet hers. “You’re pregnant.”

 

“What?”

 

“You’re pregnant,” he repeated, turning the test around to show her the two bright pink lines. “It’s positive.”

 

Hillary took the test from his hand and studied it. “This cannot be,” she tried to reason. “Bill and I…we haven’t used any birth control…for years now. This isn’t right. This can’t be right.”

 

“The test is 99 percent accurate,” he remembered from when his wife had found out with their youngest son. “Your doctor will be able to confirm it.”

 

She nodded. “Yeah,” she replied. “I’ll call her and see if she can come here and take some blood to test for sure.”

 

“Sounds like a solid plan,” he agreed. “Are you okay?”

 

Hillary couldn’t stop staring at the double lines on the test. “I…I don’t know,” she said, honestly. “I really didn’t think this could happen, you know?” she looked up at him with tears in her eyes. “I was confident it was going to be negative.”

 

“Is this a bad thing?” he asked. “I mean I know the timing isn’t exactly ideal. Especially with the push to find a new Vice President.”

 

Vice President. Her mind immediately flashed back to the shooting, and then to the events afterward. Having sex with John at his townhouse. Having sex with Bill after Al’s death. Her stomach see-sawed. “Oh, shit.” she breathed out. “We might have an even bigger problem, Peter.”

 

“I can coordinate security and secrecy, you don’t have to worry about anything,” he assured her. “No one will know.”

 

“No, it’s not that,” nausea rolled throughout her entire body. “It’s important that if I am pregnant that I find out exactly how far along I am.”

 

For a moment Peter didn’t follow, and then the realization hit him. “Tell me what you’re thinking, and I’ll make it happen.”

 

“I need to visit my friend Mary in California,” she explained. “Her cousin Allison is a gynecologist out there. Can you help me make the arrangements?”

 

“Absolutely.”

 

tbc….

Chapter Text

The front door opened, and the moment Hillary stepped inside Mary bombarded her with an all-consuming hug. The kind that warmed you to the bones and made your worries melt like ice cream in California weather. The hug where you could fall apart and be put back together all before it was over.

 

Finally, Mary released her from her embrace, only to get a good look at her friend. “God, I’ve missed you so much!”

 

“I’ve missed you, too.” Hillary’s hands slipped down into Mary’s. “This is the first place I should have come when the shitstorm hit. You don’t know how many times I just wanted to leave it all behind and fly out here.”

 

“Well, you’re here now and that’s all that matters,” she gave her hands a gentle squeeze. “I’m so happy you’re here! I mean telephones are wonderful, but this is just so much better.”

 

Hillary laughed. “Much better.”

 

“Come, I have a bottle of wine and some sinful snacks,” she led her down the hall of the foyer and toward the open patio doors. “Franco is cleaning the pool. Shirtless.”

 

“Who can deny that?”

 

“Mmm,” she sighed, dreamily, “Doesn’t speak much English, but he’s gorgeous.”

 

“Sounds like the perfect man,” she joked.

 

Mary led them to a shaded table under a large umbrella. “How was your flight?”

 

Hillary sat down and slid her shoes off. “Too long,” she replied. “Too much time to think.”

 

“I thought things with Bill were going well? You’re still seeing the therapist, right?”

 

“Oh, yeah. It’s just that recently things have gotten a little complicated.”

 

Mary uncorked the wine. “You know the offer to help you dig still stands, right?” she said, half joking. “His profession is going to make it a little tricky, but we’re smart women. I think we can handle it."

 

Hillary laughed. Really laughed. God, this is exactly what she needed. An escape from it all. Someone to share grief and happiness with. Someone she could be herself with. But that was what she was doing with John, too, right? Being herself? Letting it all go?

 

“Hillary?” she called out for the third time. “Can you take your eyes off Franco for a moment.”

 

“Hmm?” she sighed, looking over at her friend. She wasn’t even really looking at him, just letting her mind wander. “Sorry! I don’t know where I was there for minute.”

 

She glanced over at Franco. “That happens to me sometimes too.”

 

“You’re awful, Mary!”

 

Two full glasses of wine were poured, and she slid one across the table to Hillary. “Drink up, we have a lot of catching up to do.”

 

Hillary reached for the wine glass, fingers brushing over the thin stem, and pulled it closer to her. “Yes, we do.”

 

Mary raised her glass up. “Here’s to good times and even better friends.”

 

The glass of wine was delicately lifted and clanked against her friends. “I couldn’t have said it better myself.” Instead of taking a drink she sat the glass back down on the table, the move not going unnoticed on Mary.

 

“It’s your favorite Chardonnay,” she told her. “From that little winery in the valley.”

 

“You always remember my favorites,” she smiled, warmly.

 

“Hillary, come on, what’s going on?” she asked.

 

“Nothing, everything’s fine.”

 

“Liar.”

 

“I deserve that.”

 

“Is alcohol a problem?” she asked and then watched as her friend’s eyes snapped up to meet hers. “We’re all guilty of indulging, especially when things are bad.”

 

She absentmindedly swirled her finger around the edge of the wine glass and looked into the distance again. “No, no, it’s nothing like that.”

 

“Then what is it?”

 

Hillary relaxed back into the chair. “Pretty sure I’m pregnant.”

 

“Pretty sure?” she repeated. “What do you mean?”

 

“Home test was positive.”

 

“Wow,” was all Mary could say. The word hung in the air uninterrupted for several long moments, maybe more. “What did Bill say?”

“Bill?” she repeated. “I haven’t told him. I’m not even sure if I’m really pregnant yet.”

 

“Those pregnancy tests are super reliable now.”

 

“So, I’ve heard,” she scoffed.

 

Mary digested it all. “What’s the plan?”

 

“Plan?” she repeated. “I honestly don’t know. This is incredibly unexpected and very complicated. Before I can feel anything, I have to know if I’m truly pregnant.”

 

“And if you are?” she inquired. “What are you going to do?”

 

“I guess I’m going to have a baby.”

 

Mary got up and scooted her chair closer to her friend. “There’s something you’re not telling me. I know you, and you would be thrilled to be pregnant. You would be bursting at the seams. You wouldn’t keep it from Bill. The two of you would be, pardon the cliché, but over the moon. So, what’s going on, Hilly?”

 

Tears sprang forth in her eyes as she mustered up the strength. “Oh, Mary,” she breathed out. “I really fucked up. I mean, Bill, he fucked up with the intern, but I’ve really outdone him this time.”

 

She moved forward and gently cupped Hillary’s face in her hands. “Tell me,” she gently, implored. “Please tell me what’s happened, and we can fix this together,” tears began to well up in her own eyes as she watched one of her dearest friends struggle.

 

“Please don’t judge me.”

 

“What? No! I could never judge you. You know that.”

 

Hillary’s eyes gazed into Mary’s for several long, agonizing moments. “I slept with John Kerry.”

 

“John,” she repeated, resting her hands on Hillary’s shoulders. “Okay. Okay,” she slowed her reeling mind and refocused on the blonde. “Good for you. No! No, that’s wrong I shouldn’t have said that. I’m sorry. It’s just that…well you know how I feel. I know you love Bill, so do I, but sometimes revenge is a dish best served ice cold,” Mary gently shook her head to gather her thoughts. “Back to the pregnancy, John is the father?”

 

Hillary took a deep breath. “That’s part of the reason, I’m here. I need to find out how far along I am. If I’m only six or seven weeks, then the baby is definitely Bill’s.”

 

“And if you’re farther along it’s John’s?” her question was met with silence. And then more tears from Hillary. “No? What am I missing?”

 

“I slept with John the night of the shooting.”

 

“I assumed as much.”

 

Hillary wiped away her fallen tears, smearing eye liner along the way. “Bill and I happened to be together when we found out about Al’s death…”

 

“Holy shit,” she breathed out. “You had sex with both of them within days?”

 

“Yeah, something like that,” she replied, shame seeped through her pores and tinted her flesh pink. “God, Mary, I’ve made such a mess of everything. After the shooting I lost control of everything so quickly. John and I were already crossing lines that should never have been crossed and, the fallout just sent me over the edge.”

 

“Hey, hey, Hillary,” she took her hands in hers. “What’s done is done. We cannot go back and change things, right? We just need to move forward now. First, we need to find out if you’re pregnant and then if you are we have to see how far along you are. Until we have those two pieces of information we just have to relax, okay?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Easier said than done, I know,” she said, sympathetically. “Does Bill know about John?”

 

She nodded. “He suspected and I told him the truth,” she admitted. “Bill and I have been doing so well, Mary. Everything has been going so wonderfully. We’re doing our counseling sessions together and apart. We’ve worked so hard these past few weeks to build the marriage I always knew we could have. And now this.”

 

“Let’s just get some answers first, alright? I’ll give Allie a call and we’ll head over after her office closes. Sound like a good plan?”

 

Hillary simply nodded in agreement. Deep down she knew that things were about to get a hell of a lot more complicated.

 

/////

 

Pregnant.

 

Definitely pregnant.

 

The loud, fast, thumping of the baby’s heartbeat reverberated throughout the small, dark room. It pierced her ears, and she knew that she would hear the echo for days to come. Tears streamed down her face and into her hair. And why she didn’t know. Fear. Elation? The beginning of the end of everything?

 

Mary held on tightly to Hillary’s hand, her thumb gently caressed small circles on the back of her hand. Allison continued to be fixated on the screen, measuring and calculating. Wanting to make sure that everything was okay with the First Baby.

 

Allison glanced back at Hillary and then back up at the screen. “Would you like to see your baby?”

 

Her eyes were still firmly closed. “I just need to know if everything is okay. Is the baby alright? Healthy?”

 

“Absolutely,” she replied. “And quite the squirmer too. Now rather it’s a ballerina or a football player we won’t know for a few more weeks.”

 

Hillary slowly opened her eyes and looked over onto the sonogram screen. And there it was. Her baby. She could make out the entire thing. It was fuzzy but it was definitely a baby. She knew from the development that she was further along than seven or even eight weeks.

 

“Looks like you’re close to twelve weeks. Almost out of the first trimester.” Allison informed her. “But everything looks really good, baby is healthy and growth is on track. Going off of my measurements I would say you’re due around July Fourth.”

 

“July Fourth.” Hillary repeated. Oh, what karma. What absolute karma she was being served up.

 

“Perfect date for our future First Baby,” Allison smiled at her. “Congratulations, Hillary.”

 

She was still transfixed by the image on the screen in front of her. Her heart leapt for joy, but her mind kept fighting her. “Sorry,” she immediately apologized. “I’m just a little overwhelmed right now, Allison. Thank you so much, I really do appreciate everything.”

 

“Of course. It was a privilege,” she told her. “Would you like me to print off some pictures for you?”

 

“You can do that?”

 

“Yeah, absolutely,” Allison said, turning her attention back to the ultrasound machine. “I’m sure the President will be thrilled since he wasn’t able to be here in person.”

 

Thrilled. Hillary had absolutely no idea what Bill’s reaction was going to be. Thrilled though wasn’t one of the words that came to mind. Livid. Furious. Enraged. And rightfully so.

/////

Mary drove, mostly in silence as Hillary starred out of the window at the passing California scenery. Conversation was at a stalemate. Every time she spoke, she either didn’t get a response or got a hum or sigh as a reply. She glanced in the rearview mirror, watching as Peter’s black sedan trailed closing behind them.

 

“How about some ice cream?” Mary asked as she put on her turn signal and took a left. “There’s this great little ice cream stand down the street that serves the best hot fudge sundaes.”

 

Silence lingered.

 

“Come on, Hillary,” she said, “You’re having a baby! Let’s celebrate!”

 

“Celebrate?” she was on verge of tears. “What? Everything blowing up in my face?”

 

Mary pulled into gravel lot and put the car in park. “There’s a clinic about five miles from here. I hear the procedure is quick and painless. You could probably set it up for tomorrow morning and be back in D.C tomorrow night. No one will ever have to know.”

 

Hillary turned to her with wide eyes. “A clinic? An abortion clinic?”

 

“Yeah,” she breathed out. “That would solve all your problems, wouldn’t it? No baby, no issue. You can go back to life as you know it. Bill wouldn’t even have to know.”

 

“Strawberry.”

 

“What?”

 

“I want a strawberry sundae,” she told her. “No whipped cream but I still want the cherry on top.”

 

Mary smiled. “Yeah, that’s what I thought. What should I get Peter?”

 

“Banana shake.”

 

She grabbed her wallet. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

 

The moment the car door shut, Hillary reached inside her purse and took out one of the sonogram pictures. A baby. “You’re already so perfect,” she whispered, looking down at the black and white image. “You’re mine and Bill’s. I know you are. You have to be.”

 

tbc…

Chapter Text

Out of Ashes

 

Bill’s long legs took three stairs at a time as he made his way up to the residence. The moment he was told Hillary was back from her visit with Mary Steenburgen and her husband, Ted. It had been a long three days without her. Just three days? It was like the beginning of their relationship all over again. Counting down the time until he could see her again.

 

“Darlin’?” he called out, making his way into the residence. “Where are you?”

 

He could barely here her from the master bathroom. “I’m in here.” she cleared her throat afraid her voice would betray her. “I’ll be right out.”

 

Hillary quickly wiped her eyes, but the tears just wouldn’t stop flowing. And crying definitely wasn’t the way to start out the conversation she needed to have with him. After a quick glance in the mirror, she headed toward the living room, but Bill met her in the doorway of the master bedroom.

 

His hands landed on her upper arms. “I just heard you were back.”

 

“Yeah, I’ve been here about ten minutes.”

 

“I thought I would be your first stop,” he pushed a stray piece of hair out of her face.

 

Hillary couldn’t seem to read him, rather he was joking or hurt. Her emotions were clouding everything. “I’m sorry…I knew you were working with the Republicans.”

 

“All the more reason for an interruption,” his hands circled her hips. “I’ve missed you so much.”

 

“I’ve missed you, too,” she smiled.

 

“You look so beautiful,” he told her. “You’re glowing.”

 

She almost choked. “Glowing?”

 

“Yeah, California sun definitely agrees with you,” he leaned in and pressed a soft kiss against her lips. “How about a drink and you can tell me all about your trip?”

 

“I don’t want to bore you with the details,” she chuckled. “Especially not when you’re supposed to be working.”

 

“I called a lunch recess,” he informed her, sliding his hand down into hers. “Come on, let’s get a martini,” he turned toward the living room. “And I do want to hear about your trip.”

 

Hillary planted her feet firmly in the plush carpet. “It’s a little early in the day, don’t you think?”

 

Bill glanced down at his watch. “It’s almost one o’clock.”

 

No, no, no, this wouldn’t do. She definitely didn’t want to risk anything with a martini, not even enough to lie to Bill. She wouldn’t lie to him; she made that decision in California. Oh, God, the tears were coming again.

 

“Hey?” he said, letting go of her hand and gently cupping her face. “What’s wrong, baby?”

 

Baby. Not that word. Her eyes were filling quicker now, and she couldn’t do anything to stop it, her eyes were burning with unshed tears. “I just missed you, that’s all.” And that was not a lie. “I know it’s stupid, but I can’t….”

 

“Shh,” he silenced her, pulling her into a tight hug, his left hand rested on the back of her head. “It’s not stupid, not at all,” he gently stroked her silky blonde hair. “I guess we’re in a honeymoon period, again, and that’s definitely not a bad thing,” he pulled back to look at her. “I love you, so so much.”

 

“I love you, too,” she whispered back.

 

“Now, how about that drink?”

 

Hillary reached for his tie. “How about something a little more stimulating?” she asked, already pulling it off his neck. “How long is your lunch break?”

 

His hands found purchase on her hips. “Hour and a half.”

 

“Sounds like the perfect amount of time,” she smiled, going for the buttons down his shirt. “No?”

 

“Never. There will never be enough time with you,” he said, softly. “But given we have this opportunity I’m dying to show you exactly how much you were missed.”

 

“Mmm,” she hummed, sliding his shirt off his broad shoulders and allowing it to hit the bedroom floor. “I do like the sound of that.” Her short, manicured, nails scrapped slightly over his chest trailing down to his abdomen until his hand encircled her delicate wrist.

 

“What’s the rush?”

 

“I’m not rushing, just a little impatient,” her eyes lifted to meet his. “Afterall, it has been three long days.”

 

“Hey, I’m not the one who rushed out of here to go to California for a little R&R without my spouse, that was you.”

 

Hillary wrapped her arms around his neck. “You know what I think?”

 

“Hmm?”

 

“You talk too much.”

 

“Oh, yeah?”

 

“Yeah,” she lessened the distance between their lips, and indulged him with a slow, smooth, languid kiss. One that seemed to go on and on until his back was flat against the bedroom door and his hands were sliding over her rounded bottom, pulling her into him.

 

He groaned into their kiss, his mouth opened wider, as he pulled her impossibly close. Hillary knew she had his undivided attention and that’s exactly what she wanted. The kiss grew more intense, sloppier with each passing moment, stealing their breath and their thoughts.

 

His hands snaked underneath her sweater roaming over soft skin, and inched expensive cashmere up her body along the way. God, how he absolutely ached for her. “Off,” he demanded, pulling back from her mouth and stripping her of the purple nuisance.

 

“You’re perfect,” his fingertips traced over her kiss swollen lips, down the expanse of her neck, and further down until he was tracing where the swell of her breast met the silkiness of her bra. “Absolutely incredible.”

 

A shiver ran down her spine and she whimpered slightly when it met the liquid warmth spreading throughout her core. She closed her eyes and let the moment overcome her, let his worshipping touch entrance her. A whisper of a kiss was pressed against the curve of her neck, and the next thing she knew he was ridding her of her slacks. She opened her eyes to find him kneeling before her.

 

Warm breath wafted across her belly as he took in the very scent of her. Devouring her was the only thing on his mind. And nothing would deter him from his task. Soft lips caressed the delicate skin just below her navel, gently kissing the faded caesarian scar.

 

Tears began to sting her eyes and she did her best to hold them at bay. One thing was certain; she couldn’t do this, couldn’t let this continue without being completely honest with him about everything. Even if that meant the possibility of losing him, of losing them. Honesty was the best thing for everyone involved, if his scandal taught them anything it taught them that.

 

“Bill,” she said, softly. Her hands slipped through his thick hair. “Wait…”

 

“Shh,” he murmured against her skin. “Relax, let me take care of you.”

 

The rough tugging of lace down her thighs sent a sobering shockwave against her core and any thoughts of tears were replaced with an audible gasp. Featherlight touches ran along the inside of her thigh, skimming across her center, and down the other thigh. The moment he looked up at her with pleading eyes, dragging his bottom lip between his teeth, all her thoughts flew.

 

“Bed,” he spoke. It wasn’t a request in the least. It was a rapid transition from the door to her back. Thighs parted, soles of her feet pressed into the linen of the bed, and his large, gentle, hands slid under her ass bringing her closer to his awaiting mouth. It was though she were an offering from the gods and with one swipe of his tongue she was as good as sacrificed.

 

The first swipe of his tongue was a soft tease, the tip licking upward from her core to the hood of her clit. It was more than enough to take her breath and upon hearing her barely audible inhalation Bill dove back in. The second time he used the flat of his smooth tongue, lazily dragging it upward and circling it over her engorged clit.

 

Divine sounds came from deep in her throat and floated out of her open lips, echoing throughout the large bedroom. She gripped handfuls of the duvet cover as he continued his sweet assault, his attention focused on her clit as what felt like a river flowed from her with each lash of his sinful tongue.

 

She moaned his name again and again and again as he devoured her. Her hips chased his mouth as he nipped and licked and sucked and hummed until she couldn’t take it anymore, all her nerve endings were completely raw. His tongue delved inside of her, and everything came unraveled. Her hips rolled and stilled as he drank from her sopping core.

 

“Oh, God, Bill!” she practically shrieked. “Fuck!”

 

He licked up the expanse of her sex, sucking her clit into his mouth, and massaging it with his tongue.

 

“No, no, too much.” she managed between puffs of breath as she tried to push him away.

 

He raised his head up to look at her. “You didn’t enjoy it?” his eyes were sparkling, and his lips were pulled into a smug grin.

 

“Too sensitive,” she panted, “But so fucking good.”

 

“Pleasure was all mine,” he said, crawling up over her. “You know how much I love tasting you. I’ve missed you so, so much.”

 

“I could tell,” her hand skimmed down his abdomen and began pulling at his belt. “How about I return the favor?”

 

His eyes fell closed as she made quick work of his belt and pants until his hard cock was surrounded by the softness of her hand. A groan tumbled from his lips. Even the slightest touch of her hand drove him mad. How he had fucked up so royally, especially this last time, was beyond his comprehension.

 

As her hand slid up and down his shaft he watched, mesmerized, the ache only intensifying with each delicious stroke. The very thought of her mouth on his cock made him want to burst. Warm, and wet, and oh the things she could do with her tongue. But not now. Now he had made that a dirty shameful act, and he would not allow her to degrade herself by pleasuring him orally.

 

A deep inhalation and a slow exhalation brought him under control. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt her, to tell her no. “I have a better idea.”

 

The pressure of her hand increased, her thumb swept over the leaking head of his cock. “Better than this?”

 

His entire body shook with want and need and blindingly white cravings that he wasn’t sure he could control if he let her continue for another moment. Suddenly, he moved off of her and onto his back, pulling her with him and reversing their positions so that she was now hovering above him. The movement caught her off guard and her right hand gripped the headboard for support.

 

“Bill!” she gasped. “What the hell?”

 

“I told you I had a better idea,” his hands reached for her hips. “Don’t you want to know what it is?”

 

Her tongue slipped out to wet her lips. “I think I have a pretty good idea.”

 

His eyebrow arched, “Oh yeah?”

 

“Mmmhmm,” she moved off of him and had him naked within seconds, his thick arousal stood at full attention. Smooth skin stretched out over hard flesh, veins bulging, head purple with anticipation. Her core constricted at the mere thought of him stretching and filling her, so much so that a small whimper escaped her slightly parted lips.

 

Bill adjusted himself so that he was sitting up against the stack of pillows behind him. His hands reached for her wrist and tugged her toward him. “Come here, baby.”

 

Seductively, she crawled back up his body, maneuvering herself so that she was straddling him, hovering just above his cock on her knees. “Is this what you had in mind?”

 

Large hands gripped her hips, tightly. “Almost.”

 

“Almost?”

 

His hands pulled at her hips, bringing her closer and closer to his throbbing cock until he came into contact with her soft, wet body. “Yeah almost,” he grinned, boyish charm still flowing from his every crevice. “I have to have you,” his voice was low and dripped with want. His left hand slipped to the base of his cock, offering it to her. “Take me inside, Hillary.”

 

With the slight shift of her hips, she pressed downward against him. Her body opened up, and his mushroom tip pressed between swollen nether lips and into her warm, wet, pink sex. Her body greedily swallowed him up, pulling him in deeper with each gentle rock of her hips. Her body quickly accommodated the delicious stretch of him filling her, thick and throbbing, and oh so deep.

 

“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” he muttered through clenched teeth. His fingers dug into the pale flesh of her hips. “So fucking tight! Goddamn!”

 

 

Hillary had noticed the sensation as well. He felt incredibly hard inside of her, deep and pulsating, and even slightly twitching as she sunk down into his lap, cock buried him balls deep, and remained still. She moaned damn near obscenely at the sensation. But she couldn’t help it, he felt so good inside of her.

 

“Miss me that much, baby?” he asked, a smile tugging at his lips.

 

“Yes,” she rasped. “And I’m so full of your cock, I’m not sure I can move.”

 

His hips began to rock under hers. “You can,” he encouraged her. “Ride me,” his left fingertips trailed inward until they were brushing over her engorged clit. She shivered and her inner muscles rippled against him. He teased in small circles causing her hips to buck and her body to become slicker.

 

The throbbing sensation was more than she could possibly bear. Her hips began to move of their own accord, sliding up just a few inches and then back down to the base, grinding her ass against his tightening sac.

 

“That’s it,” he encouraged, his hands covering her full breasts. She hissed at the rawness of his hands kneading the sensitive flesh, but it only made her movements more deliberate. “Keep riding.”

 

Emboldened by both his words and his body her pace picked up and she began to move in earnest. Sliding almost all the way off his cock, with only the tip remaining inside, before slamming back down and grinding herself against him. Wetness seeped from her body with every movement, soaking them both.

 

Bill raised his hips in an elusive attempt to follow her but was quickly shut down when her hands encircled his wrists and pinned them to the pillows on either side of his head. “Fuck, baby!” he panted. “That’s it, ride my cock Harder!”

 

Hillary whimpered as she continued her movements. Each time louder than the last as she grew wilder and more determined in her mission. The need to come was overwhelming. So much so that she was beginning to lose what little control she still possessed. “You feel so good!” she rasped, pert breasts bouncing, hands pushing into his shoulders to help her remain upright.

 

He interlaced his fingers with hers and squeezed tightly as her hips bucked repeatedly against his. Her body swallowed his thick, throbbing arousal again and again and again until he couldn’t take it anymore. Finally his hips raised on her downward thrust to meet hers and she let out a shriek of pleasure. “Oh my God, Bill!”

 

“Keep going, keep going,” he told her, his hips rocking in perfect tandem with her. “Keep fucking me, keep fucking my cock.”

 

“I am!” she panted. “It’s so good, Bill,” she said on the verge of tears. “I need to come!”

 

He thrust up harder and fast. “Me too, baby, God, me too.” He let go of her hands and immediately gripped her hips, slamming her down onto his cock with every upward thrust he gave. “Come on me.”

 

Hillary moaned loud and lyrically, she could barely withstand the delicious pounding her was giving her. The entire time her body kept right in tempo, bucking against his, swallowing his needy cock again and again as though it was her lifeline. She didn’t know how much more she could take. Her g spot was battered, and her clit was so swollen and stimulated she felt as though she would burst, but she couldn’t seem to stop.

 

She reached forward to the headboard for support. And leverage. Knuckles white from the strain as her body rode his, determined to bring them both to an earth-shattering orgasm that the Secret Service would be able hear from outside their private residence.

 

Breathless and nearing exhaustion she finally gave in. Her entire body was tingling and covered with a thin sheen of sweat. The waves started slowly, building and building, her body squeezing his cock so tight that he couldn’t move even if he wanted to. Ripples massaged him, pulling him impossibly deep inside of her, and everything seemed to go blindly hot and white and then dark blackness. His name fell from her lips repeatedly, each time louder and higher than the last.

 

Bill steadied her hips as she rode her orgasm out, encouraging her with dirty words mingled with his own pants, and groans. He was jerking wildly inside of her without effort, hot come spilling out of him and coating her torturous walls until his sac was bone dry.

 

As she collapsed against him boneless and spent. He wrapped his arms around her. “Wow!” he managed through his breathlessness. “Maybe you should take more trips,” he chuckled. “Damn.”

 

Her breath sailed over the crook of his neck in hot puffs. “I’m glad you enjoyed it because I’m so worn out.”

 

“You damn well should be.”

 

“Yeah, I did most of the work.”

 

“And you thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it!”

 

/////

 

Bill glanced over at the clock on the nightstand. He was supposed to be back in the conference room in less than five minutes. Carefully, he disentangled himself from Hillary, rolling her over onto her back. She was sleeping so peacefully that the last thing he wanted to do was wake her, flying always wore her out.

 

He eased out of bed, and reached for the blanket at the end, covering her body incase anyone made their way into the bedroom unannounced. Featherlight fingertips brushed stray lock of hair out of her face, and he leaned to press a kiss to her forehead.

 

After quickly dressing he made his way over to the desk and grabbed a note pad out of the drawer, but finding a pen was an elusive task. Afraid he would wake her by shuffling around in the drawers, he went for her purse sitting atop. He moved several things around before he came into contact with what he thought was her wallet.

 

He pulled it out and opened it up, hoping to find a pen inside to write her a quick note. Something slipped out and fell to the floor during his task, but he was on a mission. Taking the pen from the small holder he quickly jotted a note and placed it back before bending down to retrieve what he had dropped. A few small pieces of smooth white paper. “Hmm,” he sighed, placing them back where she had them. It was an odd texture, like film. He flipped them over to get a better look.

 

Bill wasn’t sure when he stopped breathing. All he knew is that he was struggling for air to fill his lungs, and it wasn’t coming fast enough. He looked over at Hillary and then back down at the film in his hand. Now, he was no doctor but that was clearly a sonogram of a baby. A baby that he could clearly make out, a head, and a body, and what looked like limbs.

 

Holy fuck!

 

Pregnant

 

Hillary was pregnant.

 

His heart leapt for joy!

 

And then fell to his feet.

 

John Kerry.

 

That baby wasn’t his.

 

Now everything suddenly added up. Hillary’s impromptu trip to visit Mary, her complaints of headaches, her tears from earlier. She was pregnant and hiding it from him. And God only knew for how long.

 

Tbc…

Chapter Text

Out of Ashes

 

Hillary awoke to a warm glow of the evening sun. She sat up, holding the blanket to her chest, and looked over at the clock on her nightstand. Sleeping wasn’t part of her plan, but her body must have needed it. Between the jetlag of time zone change and her pregnancy she had been fighting exhausting since she landed. She reached for the folded over note with a simple ‘H’ scrolled across it.

 

It was her intention to tell Bill everything, but she had gotten sidetracked by her emotions, and then by his hands on her body. She knew she should have never let it get that far but her desire for him was overwhelming. So much so that the dull ache he left her with did little to abate her needs.

 

Thanks for giving me the motivation I need to defeat the GOP
Love, Bill

 

Tears immediately began to fill her eyes. Guilt was eating her heart right out of her chest. She began to choke on sobs she did not even realize were seeping from her lips. She had to tell him and quickly because if she didn’t, she was sure she was going to explode.

 

A hot shower and some deep steady breaths helped to calm her nerves, but she knew until the words were out of her mouth and off her heart, she wouldn’t be able to relax. Even if that meant that tearing down every single piece of what they had been working to rebuild.

 

The fire flickered in the fireplace of the family room, and Hillary sa, staring into it, staring past it, somehow looking for a way out of her mess. Nothing profound came to her and she knew that she was just to take things as they came, had to bear the brunt of Bill’s emotions, to be on the receiving end this time.

 

Bill came down the hallway and headed toward the bedroom until he caught a glimpse of her. He made his way to where she was instead. “Hillary?”

 

The sound of her name on his lips was enough to pull her from herself. She swallowed hard and stood up as he made his way toward her. “How was your nap?”

 

Her eyes searched his. Such a lovely shade of ocean blue. Eyes she could and did drown in with a mere glance. How she loved this man, so holy, and without end. Even when he had brought her down to her lowest, her love for him brought her back up.

 

“I’m pregnant.”

 

And there it was. She had said it. The words were out of her mouth, but yet the crushing feeling in her chest only intensified.

 

Bill was taken aback by the sudden admission, even though he had known the truth for several hours. He had used the anger inside of him to push through and defeat every last republican standing in his way.

 

Silence floated between them. Uneasy silence. Finally, Hillary broke it. “Bill? Did you hear what I said?”

 

He nodded. “Yes, I heard you,” he replied. “I already knew.”

 

That was a move she wasn’t expecting. “You know? How…”

 

“I saw the sonograms in your wallet…I was just looking for a pen.”

 

Fuck! This was not the way any of this was supposed to go. God, what a mess! What a giant fucking mess.

 

“Oh,” was all she could managed.

 

“How long have you known?” he asked, calmly. “You seem to be pretty far along, am I right?”

 

Hillary simply gave a curt nod. “I haven’t known long.

 

“How far along?” he asked, again.

 

“Bill….”

 

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath inward and then slowly exhaled as he opened his eyes and look back into hers. “How far along?”

 

“About twelve weeks.”

 

“Week of the shooting,” he surmised. “Am I right?”

 

Hillary nodded, the word stuck in her throat until she was finally able to dislodge it. “Yes.”

 

Silence befell them again. Bill was quiet. So quiet. The set of his jaw suggested he was holding back anger, but the tears in his eyes suggested anguish. He was just standing there looking at her, expectedly. Waiting for the confirmation that of just who’s baby she was carrying.

 

“Bill…talk to me, please,” she pleaded. “Say something, say anything. But please, please don’t shut me out.”

 

“What are the chances it’s mine?”

 

Hillary swallowed thickly and took a step forward, which only caused Bill to back up. She swallowed down the rejection and remained in place. “I think this baby is ours. Yours and mine.”

 

“You think?!” he scoffed. “You think? And why exactly is it that you think that, Hillary? What variables helped you make that decision? Because it is not a science based one. And you know how much I appreciate facts and numbers. Tell me how you’re sure.”

 

She opened her mouth, but nothing came out…just heartbreaking silence.

 

“Did you use a condom?” he asked, outright. No reply. And God that was the question he both feared and was anxious for her to answer. “When you were fu… with the senator did you use a condom?”

 

“No,” she answered on the verge of tears. “It never crossed my mind.”

 

“I see,” he slowly exhaled. “Pregnancy isn’t the only thing a condom prevents.”

 

“You would know, wouldn’t you?” the words flew out of her mouth before she could think, and she immediately regretted them. He wasn’t on trial here, she was. And she owed him honest and up-front answers just as she had expected from him in the past.

 

“I know that you haven’t been on any sort of birth control in the past few years, probably since we moved in here. I know that I’ve had you more times than I can count, in more ways than I can count, and you’ve never gotten pregnant before now.”

 

“Excuse me?” she snapped. “You’ve had me?”

 

“Yes, darlin’, I’ve had you. So many times.” he took a step closer to her. “In so many places all over this giant goddamn building. You have not once ever come up pregnant, not even a scare. Now that Kerry is in the mix, you’re suddenly pregnant. What conclusion does that lead you to Hillary?”

 

“I really don’t believe this is John’s baby,” she was adamant about that fact.

 

“You don’t believe?” he damn near scoffed. “It doesn’t matter what you believe. You need to look at the facts, Hillary. You need to be realistic and truthful with yourself.”

 

“I am being truthful,” she insisted.

 

Bill slid back into silence and stayed there for several long moments. “How many times...how many times did you have sex with him?”

 

She was not good at being the other woman and she wondered how other women could assume the role so easily and without question. “Twice. Both times before you and I made…”

 

“Please!” he interrupted. “Please don’t finish that sentence. Especially not when you told me that it was just sex.”

 

“I never said that Bill!” she argued. “I said that sex wasn’t a magical cure. I never said it didn’t mean anything. Of course it meant something, doesn’t it always when we’re together?”

 

The connection they had was raw, deep, and completely co-dependent. They were so intertwined that sometimes they feared they would consume each other entirely before they would ever be able to let go.

 

“Does he know?” Bill asked, tearfully. “Have you told him that you’re…”

 

“Bill, you’re the only one I’ve told, okay? Right now, you’re the only one that matters,” she reached for his hands and was relieved when he didn’t pull away. “I need you. More than ever. I have no idea what to do.” She was nearing tears of her own. “I never thought that this could happen. I never thought I would be pregnant again. I had accepted my fate and moved on.”

 

“That’s exactly my point, Hillary,” he said, softly. “You always assumed it was you. That you were the reason we couldn’t conceive, but you would never find out for sure. You’re pregnant now and John Kerry is in the mix. Don’t you see what that means?”

 

Hillary was now full-on crying. “But it did happen for us before. And Chelsea is perfect. Is it so unbelievable for us to have made another baby?”

 

“Unbelievable? No.” he agreed. “Highly unlikely, I would say yes. You need to look at the whole picture. You need to be rational. The odds are just not in our favor.”

 

“I think that they are.”

 

He gently squeezed her hands. “No, you hope that they are. I hope that they are too. The reality is that you don’t know who the father is. You cannot be one hundred percent certain no matter how much you hope and wish and want to believe.”

 

Hillary knew deep down that he was right. There was no way to know for sure at this point in time. But this baby had to theirs, no other outcome would work, no other outcome would be acceptable to her. “What do you want me to do?” she asked, softly. “What are our options, Bill?”

 

“I guess the first question should be do you want to have this baby?”

 

“Yes.” The reply was firm and immediate. “There is no reason to terminate a pregnancy that I’m healthy enough to carry and that the child can be provided for.”

 

He let go of her hands and took a deep breath. “And that you want,” he added. “You do want to have the baby, don’t you? No matter who the father is?”

 

“I want the baby,” she told him. “I want you too, Bill. I want our marriage to continue to grow and thrive. We’ve been building such a strong foundation these past few months, and I don’t want to lose that. I don’t want to lose you.”

 

Bill hung his head, because he wasn’t sure who he was going to hurt more with this next sentence. But he had to be honest, he had to. because that’s what therapy had taught him. Honesty and transparency above everything else. “I don’t think I can do this, Hillary.”

 

She felt as though she had been punched in the gut and her lungs deflated. She knew that this was one of the outcomes of the situation, had been preparing for it. But, actually hearing the words cut her so deeply she didn’t know if she could ever heal.

 

“It’s okay,” she wiped at her silent tears, streaming down her face. “I can handle things on my own.”

 

“I’m sorry, Hillary, I just…I can’t.”

 

“And if this baby is yours? Ours? Then what?”

 

“I don’t know,” he admitted. “I know that I’ve made many mistakes in the past and that you’ve forgiven me. and we’ve been able to move on, but this…I can’t handle this. It’s too much.”

 

Her eyes held his, blue locked on blue. “So what am I supposed to do, Bill? Pretend that everything is perfectly fine and there’s not a baby growing inside of me?”

 

“I never said that.”

 

“Maybe I should just have an abortion and we can forget this whole thing.”

 

Bill was silent. The expression on his face relaxed slightly and Hillary felt as though she had been stabbed directly in the heart. Her breath caught in her throat and fresh tears stung her eyes. “I see,” she managed.

 

“I would never tell you what to do with your body, you know that.”

 

“You didn’t have to say the words, Bill. We’ve been together long enough I can read your thoughts. An abortion would make this easier for everyone, wouldn’t it? Especially for the President because his feelings are the only ones that matter. Even though you’re the one that set all of this into motion!”

 

“I take responsibility for my faults, for my part in all of this, but you made choices too, sweetheart.”

 

“It was never my intention to get pregnant. I never thought it could happen.”

 

“But you are, and it has and now you have to deal with the fallout of your actions, just like I dealt with mine.”

 

“I stood by you so many times, Bill, more times than I can count. And I did it because I love you. Because I knew that deep down you were a wonderful person and that I wanted to be with you despite your flaws. But what you’re saying is that my error in judgement is so much worse any of your transgressions that I’m not worth redemption. That I have to go it alone because you can’t handle it. You know what, I can go it alone, that’s fine. When this baby turns out to be yours, don’t expect to be let back in.”

 

Tbc…

Chapter Text

Out of Ashes

 

It had been two weeks. Two weeks that were simultaneously fast and slow, some days a blur and others a tedious drag. Everything was so completely upside down that Bill struggled for any of it to make sense.

 

The thought of being a family of four was an absolute dream. The idea of watching Hillary grow and nourish their baby gave him goosebumps. But then reality knocked at the door and John Kerry was all he could think about. The very real possibility that she was carrying another man’s baby made anger rush through his veins.

 

But now, right now, looking at her from across the room made his heart swell and tears sting his eyes. He didn’t know if she was aware of the changes in her body yet, but he was. He drank in the sight of her standing at the small desk in their bedroom. The slight widening of her hips, the glow of her skin, the swell of her breasts pushed tightly against her camisole, and the slight curve of her lower abdomen peeking thru the gap of her top and pajama bottoms.

 

“Come here.” he reached his hand out to her.

 

Hillary looked up from her task of sorting thru papers on the desk. “What?” she asked, he had barely spoken to her the past three days and now he was calling for her, his hand extended as he sat in front of the roaring fire in their master bedroom, tumbler of what she assumed to be bourbon in his hand.

 

He placed his now empty tumbler down on the table next to the open decanter and continued to hold his hand out as an offering to her. “Come here, darlin’.”

 

Hillary swallowed hard and conquered her fear before moving across the room to him. “Yes?”

 

Bill’s hand gripped hers. “You’re so incredibly beautiful.” he spoke softly, looking up at her. “I’m sorry that I ever took you for granted.”

 

A small and genuine smile appeared. “Thank you, Bill.”

 

His eyes traveled from her face down her body, landing on the small gap of fabric that allowed the peak of pale flesh to show through. “I hope the baby is mine.”

 

Tears stung her eyes and all she could manage to do was nod. Because, God, she hoped so too. But the more time that passed the more Bill’s words about John’s probability of being the father sunk in. They haunted her. Woke her up a night. Taunted her throughout the day. And she couldn’t stop obsessing over the real possibility that this wasn’t their baby. Cheating was one thing but having it lead to pregnancy was something entirely different.

 

“We should think about making an announcement,” his thumb stroked the back of her hand. “Keep ahead of the game. The last thing we need is for the press to find out and make a huge mess of this.”

 

“I’m not ready for everyone to know, Bill.”

 

He tugged on her hand and pulled her down beside him. “I know I said I couldn’t do this. And I’m still not sure that I can, but you deserve support, and the American people will support you, I know they will.”

 

“You’re giving half of the country more credit than they deserve,” she replied, softly. “This is going to look like some sort of stunt to them.”

 

“You’re underestimating the fact that everybody loves babies. And this is the first baby in the White House in forever. The news will be well received.”

 

“It’s not just that,” she confessed, not being able to hold his gaze any longer. “I hate what this is doing to us. I’m not sure if I can continue to go through with the pregnancy, Bill.”

 

Bill swallowed down his stupidity. Even planting the seed of doubt in her head was something he regretted immediately. “I don’t think that’s necessary, Hillary. Like you said, both you and the baby are healthy. The baby will be well provided for. There is no reason to have an abortion.”

 

He seemed to be ignoring the elephant in the room and she wasn’t about to remind him of its presence. Especially not when they seemed to finally be connecting after the news of her pregnancy. “I’ll think about it.”

 

“Good,” he smiled. “Have you told John?”

 

Now they were back to square one. “No, Bill, I haven’t.” she told him. “I really don’t think it’s any of his concern.”

 

“You need to tell him; he deserves to know.”

 

“There’s nothing to tell,” she rationalized. “Like you said before, there’s a lot at stake here. I’m not even sure I can carry this baby safely.”

 

“You’re almost fourteen weeks,” he pointed out. “That’s the second trimester. The odds are greatly in your favor of carrying and delivering a healthy baby.”

 

Hillary shrugged. “I’m not so sure this is what I want, Bill,” she confessed. “I hate what this is doing to us. I don’t want to lose what we have, what we’ve built, because I had a huge lapse in judgement.”

 

He took her hand in his. “I am in no way going to tell you what to do with your own body,” he began. “My thoughts and my feelings should have no bearing on your decision.”

 

“I’m going to lose you.”

 

Bill shook his head ardently. “I never said that.”

 

Tears swam in her eyes. “You didn’t have to,” she whispered. “After everything that’s happened between us, I never expected my…infidelity…to be the reason we didn’t make it.”

 

“It wasn’t so much you being unfaithful as it is…”

 

“The baby,” she supplied. “There’s no way to know if this baby is definitely yours for a few more weeks. It’s an invasive procedure, there’s a risk of complications…”

 

“It’s your body.”

 

Hillary looked away from him, hot tears trickling down her face. “Please stop saying that,” she choked out. “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t continue this, Bill. It’s eating me alive.”

 

“You need to think things through, Hillary. We all need to sit down and talk about this. Get everything out in the open.”

 

She stared down at the patterns in the rug. “Teresa doesn’t know.”

 

Bill nodded, taking everything in. “I perhaps it’s time to bring her up to speed.”

 

“I can’t do that…to her.”

 

“You already have.”

 

“When did you get so goddamn pious, Bill Clinton?” she asked, raising her head up to meet his gaze.

 

“I’m not being pious I’m pointing out solid facts. Therapy has helped me,” he said, honestly. “It’s hard as hell but I wish I would have done this years ago. For me, for us, for our family.”

 

“God, Bill, I can’t do this anymore,” she confessed. “My mind is completely fucked. I just want it all to stop. Please make it stop.”

 

“How?”

 

“I don’t know.” she sighed as she slouched back against the sofa.

 

“I don’t know anything anymore. I just want everything to go back to the way it was before. Before…the baby and John and your stupid fucking intern. I’m just so tired of all of it, Bill. I think I want a divorce.”

 

Bill leaned back against the bathroom sink, mostly for support because her words absolutely floored him. “A divorce?” That wasn’t even in the realm of possibility for him.

 

“Yes,” she said, weakly. “I want a divorce. This isn’t working. We’re not working. We need to let each other go.”

 

“That was never part of the plan, Hillary. We took vows.”

 

“Vows you’ve broken more times than I can count. Our marriage vows were nothing more than empty promises. Just words that didn’t mean a damn thing.”

 

“So that’s it?” he asked.

 

“You can’t support this pregnancy and I can’t go through it without you. I’ve known the decision I was going to have to make all along. It was foolish of me to ever think otherwise. Keep the baby and lose you or keep you and lose the baby. Those were always going to be the outcomes.”

 

“You’re not losing me, Hillary,” he tried to assure her.

 

“I’m lose you a little more every day, Bill. I know because I’ve been on the flip side of this. Everything you’re doing…I’ve done. You’re angry, you’re pulling away, you’re weighing your options. I know that you are. Unless you chose to forgive me, truly forgive, then there is no path forward for us.”

 

Tears filled his eyes. “I cannot ask you to end your pregnancy,” he sobbed, “I also cannot raise another man’s child. I can’t do that. It would be unfair to me and to the child, and to John.”

 

“Then I guess I have my answer.”

 

“What answer would that be?”

 

“I’m going to have an abortion.”

 

“And if it’s our baby?” he asked. “If you go thru with terminating and it turns out that the baby was ours, you’re going to carry that guilt the rest of your life. You’re going to resent me and we’re going to be right back at square one, or even worse.”

 

“Then what do you suggest I do, Bill?” she asked, defeated. “Have the amino at sixteen weeks and then decide rather I carry this baby any further or not? It takes three full weeks to get all the test results back. I’m growing more attached to this baby every single day. The thought of continuing this pregnancy another month and then having to end it is more heartbreaking than just doing it now and getting it over with.”

 

Bill took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. None of this was easy. There was no right answer. He was a facts and figures guy but when it came down to it, down to his wife the rationality was forgone. She wanted the baby, had told him as much, and there was absolutely no reason for her not to have it.

 

“No abortion.”

 

“But Bill….”

 

“No abortion,” he repeated, again. “We’ll make it work.”

 

“How?”

 

“Like civilized adults. First, we tell John and then we go from there,” he suggested. “There has to be a starting point and it’s the Kerry’s.”

 

Tbc….

Chapter Text

Out of Ashes

 

 

 

Hillary awoke to a thumping sound reverberating off the walls. It was like a thundering repetitive boom and the more awake she became the louder it got. She blinked her eyes a few times and realized she was in the medical unit. Dr. Mariano stood over her in a white coat, a device in her hand. The feel of something warm and wet glided across her lower abdomen and suddenly her mind was on edge.

 

 

“My baby?” she asked, hoarsely.

 

 

“Baby sounds great.” the doctor announced, looking down at the numbers on the screen. “Nice steady heartbeat of 167.”

 

 

Tears that she didn’t even know were swimming in her eyes slipped down into her hair. “Oh, thank God!” She calmly and happily took in the thumping of the baby’s heart. It comforted her, gave her reassurance that she did the right thing continuing the pregnancy.

 

 

“Do you want me to continue?” she asked, after a few long moments. “I’m happy to let you listen for as long as you like.”

 

 

Hillary smiled up at her. “I feel much better, thank you, Connie.”

 

 

She turned off the machine and reached for a small cloth, wiping the gel off the first lady and pulling her shirt back down. “You gave everyone quite a scare, ma’am.”

 

 

“I’m not even sure what happened.” Hillary admitted.

 

 

Connie glanced over to the other side of the room. “You passed out in the middle of a meeting and Senator Kerry rushed you down here.”

 

 

Hillary’s eyes followed the doctors over to where John was leaning up against the wall. She gave him a nervous smile. “Thank you, John.”

 

 

“I’m just relieved that you’re okay,” he took a few steps closer to where she laid on the exam table. “And that the baby is okay.”

 

 

“I apologize, ma’am.” Dr. Mariano began. “Everything happened so quickly, and I had the doppler turned on before I realized the Senator was still in the room.”

 

 

She looked up at the doctor. “It’s alright, Connie,” she assured her. “Everything is okay and that’s all that matters.”

 

 

“Your vitals checked out just fine. I would like you to lay here for just a little while longer though. I want to make sure you don’t get dizzy again. I am going to sit you up though.” she reached for the button and elevated her head. “Can I get you anything?”

 

 

“No thank you,” she replied. “You’ve already given me peace of mind and that’s priceless.”

 

 

Connie smiled, the tension between the First Lady and the Senator was palpable. She thought it would be best if she cleared the room as quickly as possible. “I’ll be in my office if you need me. I’ll come back to check on you in about ten minutes.”

 

Hillary nodded. “Thank you.”

 

 

The door to the room was closed and John and Hillary were left alone. He brushed her hair back away from her face. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

 

 

“Yes,” she assured him. “My mind is still a little fuzzy, but I’m feeling much better.”

 

 

“I didn’t mean to invade your privacy.”

 

 

“It’s okay, John, you don’t have to apologize,” she told him. “We’re friends.”

 

 

“Are we?” he asked, pulling up a chair next to her. “Are we still friends? Because our friendship has seemingly fallen apart, Hillary.”

 

 

“Of course, we are. I’ve just had a lot going on. We’re struggling to find a Vice President. The Holidays were so busy. Bill and I have been working on our marriage and now….”

 

 

“And now the baby.”

 

 

“Yeah, and now the baby.”

 

 

John nodded. “Hey, I get it. You’re the First Lady, things are busy for you. With the addition of a new child things are going to get even busier. When is the baby coming?”

 

 

“Summer.” she answered, vaguely.

 

 

“Congratulations,” he said, sincerely. “I must say, I’m shocked though. I didn’t know having another baby at this point was in your plans.”

 

 

Hillary could feel the heat rising in her neck. “It wasn’t exactly planned, John. It just happened. I’ve only known for a few weeks. I found out kind of late.”

 

 

“How far along are you?”

 

 

God, she couldn’t bear to look him in the eye, instead she looked past him. “I’m in my fourteenth week. Officially second trimester.”

 

 

“Fourteen weeks,” he repeated. “That was rather quick, Hillary. You and Bill certainly didn’t waste any time reconciling.”

 

 

“Watch it, John, you’re starting to sound jealous. And friends don’t get jealous.” she meant it was a tease but wasn’t sure it came off that way.

 

 

“I’m happy for you Hillary, I really am. I know how much you love children. You’re a wonderful mother to Chelsea and I know you will be to this baby as well,” he told her. “I’m just pointing out that this whole thing has played out so quickly and…”

 

 

“What are you trying to say?”

 

 

He took a deep breath. “I hope that this baby isn’t some sort of Band-Aid in order to help fix your marriage, that’s all.”

 

 

If there was any time for complete honestly this was it. This was her opportunity to open the discussion she had been dreading since the pregnancy test turned up positive. “This baby is the furthest thing from a Band-Aid,” she assured him. “This baby may just end my marriage.”

 

 

He grew concerned. Maybe things weren’t all sunshine and rainbows with the First Couple. “What do you mean? This should be a happy time. You and Bill should be thrilled after everything that’s happened.”

 

 

Hillary pushed herself up into a sitting position. “John, this baby was conceived the week that Al was assassinated.”

 

The realization spread across is face slowly. “But you were on the pill,” he said, sure he was right. “When we were together, right?”

 

 

“No, I wasn’t on the pill.”

 

 

He immediately stood up and started pacing. “What you mean you weren’t? Why not?”

 

 

Hillary was taken aback by his response. “Because I’m forty- three years old, John. I’ve only ever been pregnant once before and it was a struggle, both getting pregnant and staying pregnant. As I’ve aged, I thought that door was permanently closed.”

 

 

John ran a hand through his salt and peppered hair. “Obviously not!”

 

 

“I can assure you that I did not do this on purpose, John.”

 

 

He took a deep breath and ran his hands over his face. “I know,” he exhaled. “I know you didn’t. I’m sorry.” He apologized. “I’m sorry. It’s just…wow!”

 

 

“It’s a lot, I know.”

 

 

He came back over to the chair and sat down. “So, I’m the father,” he concluded, taking it all in. “Of your baby. The baby whose heartbeat I just heard a few minutes ago?”

 

 

“It’s not that simple, John.”

 

 

“How is it not that simple? Am I the baby’s father or not?”

 

 

Hillary hung her head in something akin to shame. “I don’t know,” she whispered., honestly. “I don’t know who the father is,” she admitted, looking up at him. “I really want this baby to be Bill’s, but I’m just not sure. The more time that passes the more I question it.”

 

 

“Does Bill know?”

 

 

She simply nodded. “He talked me out of an abortion a few days ago,” she confessed. “I’ve been so conflicted about everything. Bill wanted me to tell you when I found out, but I couldn’t. I didn’t have the guts. I’m so sorry, John.”

 

 

John blanched, there was so much information to take in at once. “When did you find out you were pregnant?”

 

 

“About three weeks ago. I was exhausted all the time and I started having these awful headaches.” she started to explain. “Peter thought they might be hormonal headaches and brought me a test. When it came up positive, I went to visit a friend in California to have it confirmed. The dates are too close together to determine who the father is.”

 

 

He was quiet for several long moments, and she knew he was taking it all in. “When can we find out?”

 

 

“I can have an amniocentesis at sixteen weeks, but it carries some risk…”

 

 

“No.” he replied, immediately. “I’m not okay with risk. I don’t want to put you at risk. Not after everything’s that happened, not now.”

 

 

“If I don’t have an amino then we have to wait until birth to determine the baby’s paternity. That won’t be until the beginning of July.”

 

 

“I’m okay with that.”

 

 

Hillary shook her head. “I’m not sure that I am.”

 

 

“Does Bill want you to have the procedure?”

 

 

“Bill’s not exactly been supportive. After everything that’s happened, he’s not interested in participating in this pregnancy. At least not right now.”

 

 

John scoffed. “And if the baby is his? He’s just going to automatically step up and be involved all of the sudden?”

 

 

“I don’t know,” she replied, honestly. “Bill feels very betrayed right now and he’s entitled to feel however he would like. I’m not going to push him into anything he doesn’t want to be a part of.”

 

 

“He doesn’t believe this baby is his,” he concluded. “Why? It’s a 50/50 chance it seems.”

 

 

“We struggled for years to have a baby before I got pregnant with Chelsea. We tried again once he rewon the governorship and never conceived. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and gave up and went back to the pill.”

 

 

“Until recently.”

 

 

“For a few years now,” she admitted. “I should have told you; it honestly just never crossed my mind. I always assumed that I was the problem. This is a huge shock, John. For everyone involved.”

 

 

There was a soft knock at the door and Dr. Mariano reappeared. “Feeling okay?”

 

 

“Yes, much better,” Hillary sat up straighter, turning her attention away from John. “Do you mind if I listen to the baby’s heartbeat again?”

 

 

The doctor smiled. “No, of course not. I thought you might ask again.” she reached for the doppler and the squirted some gel on the top of the wand. “Lay back and relax for me.”

 

 

Hillary pulled her shirt up to expose her stomach and within moments a loud thumping was feeling the examination room just as it did before. But this time it was different. It felt different. John was standing next to her. The truth was out. Everything felt lighter. Easier.

 

 

And then the door opened, and Bill appeared. “Hillary?” he called out. “What happened?” he made long strides over to where she was. John immediately moved out of the way, Bill not even really registering his presence. “Are you okay?”

 

 

“I’m fine,” she tried to assure him. “I was running behind this morning, and I skipped breakfast.”

 

 

He took her hand and pressed a kiss to her temple. “Is she alright, Dr. Mariano?”

 

 

“Everything’s fine, Mr. President,” the doctor assured him.

 

 

The loud thumping suddenly registered in Bill’s mind. “Is that….” he couldn’t bring himself to finish the sentence.

 

 

Dr. Mariano nodded. “Yes, nice steady heartbeat,” she confirmed, moving the doppler around a bit. “Mother and baby are perfectly healthy.”

 

 

The thumping of the baby’s heartbeat and Hillary’s slightly protruding abdomen were the only things he could focus on. Everything seemed so real now. Bill smiled down at her, but she was so focused on the baby she didn’t see the tears in his eyes. “Hey,” he said softly, getting her attention. “I’m sorry.”

 

 

Hillary looked up at him, surprised to see such emotion on his face. She returned his smile, “It’s okay, Bill.” Her eyes moved over to John who had taken his early position in the room. “We need to talk.”

 

 

Bill followed her line of vision, now taking notice of the Senator in the room. He looked back at Hillary, his heart thudding in his chest. He wasn’t even sure what he wanted but Kerry in the room with them suddenly made him possessive and territorial.

 

 

Dr. Mariano minded her own business, monitoring the baby, and Hillary. Finally, she turned off the machine and reached for a towel. “It’s very important that Mrs. Clinton’s stress level remain neutral,” she said, wiping off the first lady’s abdomen and pulling down her shirt. “I would like to meet with her obstetrician and work together so we can be assured that happens.”

 

 

“Yes, of course.” Bill nodded. “Thank you so much, doctor.”

 

 

“Hillary you’re free to go but no more skipping meals, okay? Take your vitamins and get plenty of rest. Don’t forget to drink your water.”

 

 

She nodded, sheepishly. “Yes, ma’am.”

 

 

The older woman patted Hillary’s leg. “I’ll leave you to it then.”

 

 

Once again, the doctor left the room, and everything suddenly felt heavier. Hillary swung her legs over the side of the exam table. “Careful.” Bill instructed. “Don’t get up too fast.”

 

 

“I’m okay, Bill, really I am,” she assured him.

 

 

Bill looked between Hillary and John. He was suddenly incredibly uncomfortable. More uncomfortable than he had ever been in his entire life. “How much does he know?”

 

 

“I told him everything.”

 

 

The words just hung in the air for several long moments. John took a step forward, closer to the couple. “How do you want to handle this?”

 

 

“Hillary’s handling things just fine.” Bill answered for her.

 

 

“She cannot do it on her own.” John pointed out. “Hillary, you need support right now, you do not have to do this alone. If you want, I will be here with you every step of the way,” he looked over at Bill. “No matter who the baby’s father is.”

 

 

Tbc…