"Why didn't you say goodbye, Hillary?"
Hillary stopped packing her things and turned to Bill whose back was facing her.
He turned to her, and Hillary could see his eyes glassy from unshed tears, his lips formed a straight line. He was trying to hold himself together.
Bill was the kind of man that was not afraid to show his vulnerabilities. She had seen it when he campaigned by admitting his mistakes. It made him human to others. It was part of his charm: that he was flawed just the rest of them. Despite the seemingly tough and charming exterior that he showed to people, he was actually vulnerable. It was the result of his loneliness. His mother was gone too soon before he won as President. He had no brothers and sisters. His father left him when he was a child. The only family he knew was his grandfather, but then, he was killed right beside him. He told her that he didn't know what love was because he never experienced it. It was why he wasn't afraid to lay down his armor and confront her why she walked out of his life without a word because he had nothing to lose.
"I gave you some time so you could think," He said then spread his arm, "I didn't expect that you'd use the time to get back to Tim." He bit his lips before he continued, "I waited for you every night with hopes that you'd forgive me for asking you to sign that NDA and for us to work on our relationship, but you chose to break my heart."
Hillary felt her throat closed torn between telling him the truth or keeping it with her. She didn't want to be saved. She was so used to figuring out things on her own. It was the way she was molded by her parents. She was a fighter. But for some reason, she couldn't stand there seeing the pain from Bill's eyes. It was her undoing.
"Bill, you don't understand…"
Bill wanted to be angry with her but he found himself that he couldn’t. His love for her eclipsed his pain and anger.
He went to her and when he was close enough, he said, "Then make me understand…"
"I chose to get back to Tim so I could protect both of us."
The space between Bill's brows furrowed, "That's your solution? Get back to the person that hurt you? I don't believe that you are that kind of person."
"Bill, I'm just starting my career as a Senator and you just started your term. This scandal would ruin us both."
"But you don't have to get back to Tim," Bill reasoned. He gently spun her to face him so he could look at her eyes. "You don't have to force yourself to be with him to divert the attention of the media." He sighed. He missed seeing her face that close. He brushed her hair back. "I cannot sleep every time I think that you are sharing your bed with him, Darlin’." Bill brushed her cheek with his thumb. "I couldn't find peace knowing that someone else is holding you every night when it's supposed to be me." He gently pulled her closer to him, "I know that you still love me, right?" He reached to tip her chin up, “Right, Hi’ry?”
Hillary felt her knees weak. She was glad that he was holding her. She supposed that she could lie so she could escape the sweet torture of being that close to him but she couldn't do that. She couldn't lie about her feelings when Bill was this vulnerable to her. She wasn't that cruel.
She heard Bill release a sigh of relief. He gently drew her to him, enveloping her in his arms - holding her tight as if he was afraid to lose her.
"I love you," He whispered against her temple, then he started raining small kisses on her face. He tipped her chin up and Hillary felt the butterflies in her stomach by the way he looked at her - so loving, so gentle.
It was her weakness - this kind of love.
"Tell me," Bill said in a hushed tone.
"What?" She asked.
"That you love me."
Bill looked like a little boy with his puppy eyes begging to be loved. It was part of his charm and the nurturing part of her wanted to fill up that void in his life.
She flattened her palm on his cheek and smiled at him, "Of course, I love you."
Bill smiled, he turned his head to kiss the center of her palm. He closed his eyes and gently closed the space between their bodies and held her close, savoring the feeling of her body in his arms. For all the women that he held, nobody fits his body the way Hillary does. It felt like she was made to be in his arms.
He thought that he already lost her and he couldn’t be so grateful that they managed to fix things between them. Maybe that really happens when people love each other. Nothing could tear them apart.
Hillary pulled back from him, and looked down on the tips of her shoes, “We cannot get back together. We can't be together at least not for now.”
“I’ll wait for you.”
Hillary looked at him, “That’s three years from now…”
“Please, don’t walk out on me…” Bill choked on his words, feeling as if something got stuck in his throat. He was desperate because he never wanted to have someone as much as he wanted Hillary to be with him. He was afraid that she would leave him. “I have no one else, I...I need you,” He pleaded, blinking his tears.
She looked at him and reached out to wipe the track of his tears on his cheek. How could she leave him after this? She wondered. She couldn’t. She wouldn’t abandon him. Not ever, she thought in fear.
“I am not walking out… just give me some time,” She asked. “I just need to take care of something, then I’ll get back to you, okay?”
She honestly didn’t know where their relationship was going. To her, she could see the dead-end from afar. There was no way their relationship could survive. The only way to save it was if she would make a sacrifice.
If they would continue with the relationship the only correct thing for her to do was to resign from her position as a Senator but was it what she wanted? Would she throw away what she worked hard for - for this man that she met less than a year? On the other hand, she couldn’t mistake the love that Bill has for her. It was genuine. It was in his eyes and the way that he held her now. It was all that she wanted in life - to be loved. Unconditionally. Irrevocably.
She felt her heart constrict. Truly, she couldn’t have it all - either she abandoned her dream of becoming a successful Minority Leader or she would take that leap of faith to follow the love that she wished for.
Bill nodded as Hillary slid her arms around his shoulder until she encircled them around his neck. Bill closed the distance between them and Hillary tipped up so she could reach and kiss him.
Nothing could compare to how sweet it was to be kissing her again, Bill thought. He felt a tingle run through his spine at the same time a sigh escaped Hillary’s lips when their lips met. He angled his head so he could fit them properly. They kissed slowly, getting himself familiar again with the taste of her. He held her hips with one hand, while the other, gently curved around her nape.
A tear escaped his eyes, he couldn’t imagine that he would have her back today. It was the only good thing he had for the past few weeks.
Hillary dislodged her lips from his and leaned against him. She felt a little lightheaded from his kiss. Bill nuzzled her neck - the place where he would always go.
"There's something I have to know…" He said as he placed small kisses on the smooth skin of the side of her neck.
“Yes?” Hillary asked breathily, her eyes closing while she enjoyed what Bill was doing.
"Are you…" He held his breath, "Are you sharing your bed with him?"
Bill leaned back and looked at her, “No?”
She shook her head to Bill’s relief then he kissed her forehead
Hillary suddenly remembered that she was delayed. “There’s something I have to tell you…”
Bill looked at her, worriedly.
“I am a week delayed in my period…”
Bill’s eyes lightened, “Are you pregnant?”
Hillary shook her head, “I’m not sure. I’m going to get tested. If you’re wondering…”
Bill framed her face with his hands, “No, I am not wondering… I thought you said you would take care of it after we did it without protection?”
Hillary sighed, “I am no longer young so I didn’t think you could get me pregnant so easily.”
Bill snickered, “Don’t doubt my ability, Darlin’.”
Hillary chuckled, and Bill muffled her laughter with his lips, while he held her hips. He wanted her to be pregnant, he thought. Oh, God, if she would be pregnant it would mean that he would have his own family soon. It was what wanted in his life to be surrounded by Hillary and their little Hillarys and little Bills.
“I hate to break it to you, Darlin’, but if you’re pregnant, you’ll have to marry me.”
Hillary suddenly felt her stomach drop. “Marry you?”
“I’m not going to let you or my child away from me. I want you both with me.”
“Bill but... that would mean that... I…” She cleared her throat, she wasn’t expecting the turn of events, neither could she grasp what would change in her life if her pregnancy was confirmed, “that I would leave it all behind? Leave the life I knew...everything.”
If she married Bill she would leave her family, her dreams, her plans, everything she built for him.
She wasn’t sure if she was ready to do that.
Bill touched her cheek, “I’ll be here. I’m not gonna stop you from pursuing what you love, you can do a lot more being my first lady.” He pressed his lips against her cheek, while his hand splayed on her flat stomach. “I would give you everything... you and our child... everything.”
Goosebumps appeared on her arms as she listened to Bill’s promise. He was offering the world on a platter. It was so tempting yet so frightening. Her life would take a shift and she wasn’t sure if it was for the best or the worst.
“When are you going to get tested?” Bill asked.
“Will you be able to know the results immediately?”
“I don’t know… after two weeks?”
Bill nodded, then he reached to hold her hand. “What are you thinking?”
Hillary chuckled and looked at him, “I am not expecting this to happen today…” She chuckled. “I thought we’d just be discussing health care…”
“Aren’t you glad?” He asked.
“I am,” Hillary shook her head, and looked at him, “I am just…”
“I am just so afraid.”
Bill embraced her as Hillary leaned against his chest. She was afraid of what the future holds for her. Bill might be there for her but the criticism she would get… The heartbreak that she would cause to her parents... The disappointment of those who supported her was too overwhelming for her to imagine.
“Baby…” Bill said as he comforted her. He understood her fear. If she married him, her critics would crucify her, everything she worked for would all turn to dust.
Hillary pulled back to look at him and pleaded, “Please, just give me time to take care of things…” Bill opened his mouth to respond, but Hillary added, “Please, promise me.”
When it was time for Hillary to leave, Bill had the urge to have someone escort her home. He wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if something happened to her. They walk side by side with a decent distance between them.
“Will you be able to manage to get home?”
“Can I call you tonight?” Bill asked.
Hillary turned to him, so Bill added, “To discuss health care?”
Hillary laughed. Bill didn’t want her to reject him so he thought of a valid reason to call her. “I thought you said you’ll be reviewing it?”
Bill bit his lips, “I realized that doing policy with you is so much better than doing it alone.”
Hillary smiled, touched that he said that. “Alright, call me.”
When Hillary got into her car, she looked at Bill who was standing at the driveway looking at her. She smiled at him then she waved goodbye. She felt a lump on her throat. She wouldn’t go home yet because she thought that it was finally time to settle things with Tim.
She would end Tim’s game now.
“Reuben,” Hillary said, calling her chauffeur’s name.
“Take me to Timothy’s home.”
Tim's Home, Same Day, Night-Time
Hillary went to Tim's home after leaving the White House. She was done playing this game that Tim wanted her to play along. She would get that film and destroy it once and for all.
She looked at Tim's home and saw the light in his room turned on. She turned to her chauffeur. "If I am not back after thirty-minutes, please get inside."
Hillary didn't wait for her chauffeur to open the door of her car for her, she opened it and went to the front door.
Hillary was about to knock but she was seen by Tim's bodyguard.
"Is Tim here?"
He nodded. She reached for the knob of his main door and helped her in. Tim's home was already dim. The lights were already off except those in the corners. He would do this to signify that he was ready to take his rest. Hillary knew this because Tim was a person of habit.
Tim's home is usually quiet. He didn’t like the noise. He said that he had enough noise in the Congress that he didn't want it inside his home.
Tim was also a very minimalist person. He only bought furniture, not for decoration but function. He also liked spaces and cleanliness so that he ensured that the color of his interior was pure white and gray.
Hillary suddenly thought how eerie his house seemed. It was cold like the person he was. With how long they had been together, it surprised her that she realized it just now. She was glad that she was able to see it now.
With her knowledge of his house, Hillary made her way into his bedroom then knocked on his door.
"Who is it?" Tim asked, his voice muffled by the door.
There was a pause.
Hillary opened the door and found him on the corner fixing himself a glass of wine. He was still wearing his white shirt and black trousers.
"Finally, you are here. I just arrived from work." He said as he sipped from his glass.
Hillary turned her head to his shelf. "Where is it?" She asked, her voice clipped.
She looked crazy as she tried to search for his stuff, scrambling the items, and flipping them. Tim watched her as he sipped again. He knew why she was there.
"The film!" Hillary responded.
He watched unamused as he leaned against the wall while Hillary started pulling the drawers. She wouldn't be able to find that film, he thought. It wasn't in his home.
"Why are you looking for it, Sweetheart?"
Hillary spun around to face him. She was shooting daggers at him as she glared. "I no longer don't want to play games with you, Timothy. I want the film."
Tim felt his ears heated. It wasn't from the wine but from her boldness to get into his house and demand that he surrender the film to her.
"What makes you think that it's with me? And more importantly, if it is with me, why would I give it to you?" He asked sardonically placing the glass of wine on the nearby table as he crossed his arms against his chest.
Hillary took a step closer until he was just an arm away from her. "Because you know that whatever you do I would never love you—"
Tim's arms shot and grasped her arms. He yanked and pulled her until her back hit the wall. His hand went to grip her jaw to look at him while the other held her arm.
Hillary was sandwiched between the wall and Tim's hard body. She was suddenly afraid of what Tim would do. She felt that cold fear spread through her chest as she gazed at his blazing eyes.
"Listen to me, you ungrateful bitch," He spat, through gritted teeth. "Without me you wouldn't get where you are!"
"Let go of me, Tim. You are hurting me!" She said, her voice loud. Tim didn’t budge.
"If you think I would let you do this to me, you are wrong. I would ruin you, your family, and everyone you love!" He threatened. It was the first time that Hillary saw him this angry, seething. "That bastard would never have you. You are mine, do you get me?" He tightened his hold on her jaw. Hillary felt her eyes stinging from the pain.
"I said let go!" Hillary said then she exerted all of her strength to push back. Tim took a step back releasing his grip on her.
"If you get back to him, I will ruin you and that bastard,” Tim threatened.
"Go to hell, Tim," Hillary said as she walked away from him.
Hillary left Tim’s home empty-handed. She didn’t want to stay longer for fear that Tim might do something to her. She found her way back to her car with unsteady legs. She was still shaken by what happened.
As she got inside the car, she was left with no choice but to tell Bill the truth.
Hillary called him the moment that she got into the car - to his surprise.
"Are you already home?" He asked.
"Yeah," She lied.
"Darlin', I am sorry, I couldn't stay on the line. Something came up. I'll have an important meeting to attend to."
Hillary nodded, "Alright, I'll talk to you soon?"
Bill smiled. "I'll call you tomorrow after my conference. I'll be in New York. Why don't you take a rest?"
"What time would you be leaving tomorrow?" Hillary thought thinking if she could call him before his conference.
"I have to leave six in the morning. Do you need anythin'?" He asked.
"No, I am just asking," She said as she looked down at her hands.
"Miss me already?" He teased.
Bill smiled. "I'll talk to you soon. I have to go now. Good night. I love you."
Hillary's Office, Next Day, Afternoon
The next day, Hillary made an appointment with her Senior Legal Counsel, Thomas Moore, so she could strategize what she could do next.
Thomas Moore had been Hillary's friend since they were in Yale. She had asked him to be her senior legal advisor when she became a Senator. Hillary explained to him what happened last night.
"Did he leave any marks?" Thomas asked, looking at Hillary’s face.
Hillary shook her head.
Hillary shook her head.
Thomas whistled. "That would be hard to prove."
Hillary paced. Thomas watched her as she moved back and forth. It was a habit Hillary does when she needs to think.
"We could file a case against him for blackmailing and physically harming you."
Hillary brushed her hair with her hand, "There's too much circus going to happen if we do that."
Hillary looked at Thomas thinking if she would tell him that she had taken a pregnancy test early in the morning; that she could be carrying the President's child. However, she needed to tell him so that he could also strategize the best move they could do.
"Thomas," She started, "We've been friends since Yale, so what I will tell you… you need to keep it between you and me."
Thomas looked at her worriedly, "Of course, Hill. What is it?"
Hillary wrung her fingers, "I just took a pregnancy test earlier."
She shook her head, "Bill's."
"Bill?" Thomas asked, confused.
Hillary sighed looking at him, then it clicked. Thomas understood who this Bill that Hillary was referring to.
"Damn it, Bill Clinton?" Thomas asked, shocked.
"It's really a long story…" Hillary said waving a hand dismissively. She suddenly felt a headache coming in. It seemed like she opened Pandora's box and now she was inundated with problems to deal with.
"I want to lessen the impact of our action. I couldn't deal with one scandal after another."
"What do you like to happen then?"
"I want to have a private negotiation with Timothy: He wouldn’t release those pictures. In return, we wouldn't file a case against him. Is that something we could do?"
"I suppose we could do that. Did you talk to your dad about what he had done to you?"
"No," Hillary responded.
"Well, you might as well talk to your dad about it."
They both knew that Hillary's dad became a chairman of the GOP because of Tim's father. If Hillary made an enemy out of Tim it would be destructive to her family.
"Are you also sure that the film is with him?"
"He didn't confirm it, but he has those photos."
Thomas pursued his lips thinking. "Hill, we could intimidate Timothy not to release those photos. I am not sure if that would work though. Did you tell the Bill about this?"
Thomas raised a brow at her.
"Look, I don't need Bill to save me from my own problems. Besides if I pulled in Bill in the situation it would just cause further problems. I'm trying to keep this problem contained between Tim and me. I don't want to leverage on Bill's power."
"Well, if Timothy releases that photo, Bill would be dragged on the situation. Why don't you involve him already?"
"I was about to inform him last night but he couldn't stay in the line because he needed to take care of the situation in Kosovo."
"Do you want me to call his legal counsel?"
She nodded. "I'll talk to Bill first, but Thomas, please try to reach out to Tim and inform him of our next steps if he would release the photos."
They both turned to the door when it swung open and Jen popped in and announced, "Turn on to the news cable now, the President has been shot."