“Before anything else, let me get one thing clear with you, Clinton: I don’t like you.”
There was an impregnable silence that engulfed them. Bill expected a cold welcome but not this kind of aggressiveness. He was glad that he wasn’t sensitive and had grown calloused by how his opponents criticize him. So Hugh’s comment didn’t incite any emotion in him.
Hugh pulled out a silver case cigar in his pocket, took out a lighter in the other. He tilted his head on the side as he lit a brown cigar as thick as his forefinger. He normally wouldn’t be so obtuse, but Bill ruined everything he worked for so his impulsiveness got the best of him.
"I didn't expect you to like me, sir, " He heard him speak.
He slightly turned and he saw that Bill pulled out a cigar in the inside of his pocket - a cigar case, his cigar was stored in a sleek leather case.
There was something humble about him. He wasn't flamboyant even though he rose to power, the boy was even wearing a Timex timepiece for Christ’s sake.
Bill maneuvered his wheelchair and parked next to him. Almost a month of using his wheelchair, he seemed to have adjusted, Hugh thought.
They both were now looking at Dorothy's garden. The smoke flitted above them as they huffed and puffed both of their cigars.
“Does Hillary know that you smoke?” Hugh asked.
“I don’t smoke.”
Hugh raised a brow at him, “What do you mean?”
“I don’t inhale.”
Hugh bit back a laugh. Boy, he was smooth. Of course, Hugh knew about Bill’s notorious claim about smoking weed but not really smoking it because he ‘didn’t inhale’. He was taken by surprise that he used it now.
“I smoke only when it deems necessary... like right now,” Bill responded. He held the cigar in between the crook of his forefinger and middle finger.
Hugh scoffed, “You think you know politics, but you don’t. You think it’s all about charm and good heart, but it will not get you far. It’s so unfortunate that you’ll take my daughter down with you when you fail.”
Bill raised a brow at him, “Is that a challenge?”
Hugh looked at him, he didn’t mean to make it a challenge. He was stating a fact. He kept a straight face and said, “Take it if you will. It doesn’t matter to me.”
"I have paved the way for Hillary to become a Senator so that one day she could run for Presidency. She is smart, decent, and she has everything to make it," He tipped his head up, and puffed, "Imagine - the first female President, my daughter." He turned to look at him with slight annoyance, "But you took that dream away. You seduced her, took her from her respectable boyfriend…"
Bill sighed heavily bored with the same accusations, “With all due respect, I know that you think I don’t deserve Hillary. Hell, I don’t think any man deserves her, but let me get one thing right, I did not seduce your daughter. I certainly did not take her away from her undeserving ex-boyfriend—"
"Then what do you call… what you did?" Hugh snapped.
Bill met his eyes and said matter-of-factly, "I loved her."
Hugh felt as if Bill just gave him the uppercut. He didn’t flinch as Bill continued, "I love her in a way that others may not understand. We tried… We tried to stay away from each other because of the implication of our relationship, but we couldn’t.” Bill took a deep breath, “So I’m sorry, but I disagree with you. It’s not just seduction. If it's just seduction she wouldn't be so stupid to throw her life away for a passion that doesn't run deep."
Hugh smirked at him, ”They said that you have a way with your words… I can see it now, you are truly the kind of man who would show vulnerability when you deem it necessary… like right now.”
Bill kept a blank face as he noticed how Hugh used his words earlier against him.
“You’re lucky because I won’t be able to stop…” he motioned with his hand trying to find a word fitting with what Bill and his daughter have, “...this whatever you and Hillary have.” He turned to the garden again as he huffed his cigar, “She’s too stubborn like her mother.”
Bill didn’t respond.
“Since it seems like I will not be able to change anything, maybe you can tell me more about yourself, so I know what kind of man my daughter is going to marry.”
Bill looked at him.
“You’re going to marry her, right?”
“With a heartbeat - yes,” Bill said succinctly.
Hillary’s stomach was in knots and she wondered what was going on between Bill and her father. She was tempted to check on him just to make sure that her father hadn’t killed him.
“Sweetheart, don’t be too worried, your dad might be tough but he isn’t a bad person.”
Hillary gave a nervous chuckle as she played with her fork, her appetite was already gone. “I don’t know about that, Ma. I never seem to have understood Dad’s overprotectiveness.”
Her mother gave her a gentle smile, “Well, you know how controlling he could be, he just wants the best for you. You are our only child after all.”
Hillary smiled at her mother. Her father was strict with her because of the rough life he went through and she understood why he was doing it, but sometimes it could just be so choking. He might have succeeded in controlling some aspect of her life but he never won her heart because of this.
Her mother, however, was different. She was strong but very loving. Firm but magnanimous. She was very opposite of her father. Her mother usually played as the middlewoman patching things up between her and her father. She thought that without her mother, she and her father would have gone separate ways ever since she stepped into College. Her mother was just so understanding...
“There’s something I have to tell you, Ma,” She said, suddenly realizing that it was the best time to tell the news to her mother while her father was not yet around.
She held her mother’s eyes and told her the news, “I’m pregnant.”
Her mother’s mouth opened as if she was going to say something, but then her face changed as she slowly beamed at her with her eyes glassy with unshed tears, “Oh, my God, I’m finally going to be a grandma,” she sobbed. “I’m going to be a grandma.”
She extended her arms to Hillary and Hillary went to her and enveloped her in an embrace.
“Are you happy for me?” Hillary asked after her mother released her from her embrace.
“Of course, Sweetheart, I am happy for you.” Her mother said as she framed Hillary’s face with her hands. “Why would you think that I am not?”
“Because I am not sure if you even approve of Bill.”
Dorothy gave her a tender smile, “I trust your judgment. I know you, and I know you will only choose the man you think is worth it, so don’t think about it.”
Hillary smiled and nodded.
“I don’t know much about that boy, but I could see the way he looks at you. I know that he loves you, Sweetheart.”
“Do you drink?” Hugh asked as they entered his study. Hugh went to his table and poured his tumbler a drink.
“Yes, I do, but I am going to skip drinking tonight,” Bill said following him.
Hugh looked at him.
“Doctor’s advice,” Bill responded.
“So suppose that you married my daughter, what will become of her? A trophy wife? Someone to grace and entertain your guests?” He asked, peering over his glass as he glared at Bill.
A small smile hiked on Bill’s face. “I assure you, Sir, that being a trophy wife and a host is the last thing Hillary might want to do.”
Hugh raised a brow.
“You said it yourself, your daughter is smart and I am a witness of that. I wouldn’t stop just letting her become one of those that you mentioned, although, I wouldn’t complain about her being a wonderful wife - which I think she would be. I would support her if she wanted to take a very active role as my First Lady.”
“Even make policies with you?”
Bill smiled, “It’s going to be a partnership, among other things. We’ve worked together and Hillary is a good policymaker. She understands the law. I imagine working with her creating policies.”
Hugh laughed out loud. “Son of a bitch, you married my daughter because you’ll leverage on her intelligence and use it for your own advantage.”
Hugh looked at him with a snicker on his face, “You’re smart.”
Bill shook his head, “You might think about that, but I am not using your daughter for my own benefit. I want Hillary to succeed in her own way. I’ll support her whatever she wants to do and to become. But I guess it’s too soon for me to prove my words, you’ll see.”
“Indeed, I’ll see.”
Hugh then tossed the drink and emptied his glass in one gulp. “Don’t get me wrong, I’ll try to be civil with you for the sake of my daughter, but I’ll keep an eye on you, young man.”
“We’re not yet done, but I’d rather that we return to the dining room. I don’t want Diane to think that I have killed you or something.”
Bill smiled at Hugh’s attempt to exaggerate.
They both made their way silently back in the dining room only to find Hillary and her mother in an embrace.
“What’s going on here?” Hugh asked, confused.
Dorothy turned to him with a huge smile on her face, her eyes glistening from her tears. “We’re going to be grandparents, Hugh.”
Bill held his breath hoping that Hugh wouldn’t jump on him. He saw him unconsciously clenched his fists.
“I see,” Hugh said tersely.
“Aren’t you going to congratulate them?” Dorothy asked, confused by his lack of enthusiasm.
Hugh turned to Bill with his jaw tight and said with sarcasm, “Well, congratulations. You seemed to have accomplished your goal - marrying my daughter and getting her pregnant.”
“Dad, please.” Hillary implored.
Hillary watched the event unfolded and she was disappointed how her father reacted. It was as if he didn’t care.
Hugh turned to his daughter and he couldn’t mask the disappointment that he felt. He was torn from being happy that they would welcome a baby in their family, but he couldn’t be happy considering the fear that he felt in his gut that Hillary married the wrong man.
All through his life, Hugh wanted the best for Hillary, but this time, at her age, Hugh could no longer control her. If she chose Bill he wouldn’t be able to do something about it.
He went to Hillary and embraced her - partly glad and partly worried. “Congratulations, Sweetheart.”
Hillary smiled although her smile didn’t reach her eyes.
The rest of the dinner went smoothly albeit a little too stiff for Hillary’s liking. She tried to make light conversation, Bill was also trying to charm them. It worked for her mother, but her father’s guard was up. He joined the conversation with dullness and reluctance. He feigned interest in Bill’s stories. Despite that, Hillary realized that at least her father was willing, it seemed that he was trying for her sake. It was an improvement - even a small one.
When it was time for them to leave, Hillary gave her mother and her father a hug, while Bill smiled at both of them and bid them goodbye.
“How are you?” Bill asked as they settled inside the limousine.
Hillary heaved a sigh and turned to Bill - smiling at him, “I should be the one to ask that - how are you?”
Bill chuckled and draped his arm over her shoulder. “I survived it, we survived it. I guess that’s all that matters.”
"I am so proud of you," Hillary said.
He dropped a kiss on her temple and said, “Finally, I could marry you and make you my wife.”
Hillary giggled and then rubbed her face on the crook of his neck, “A few more roadblocks to clear, then we’re good.”
Bill sighed, “Yes, definitely. Our interview and then we’re free?”
“Yes,” She answered.
Bill tightened his hold around her imaging the impending doom that they would face, “As long as we’re together, we’ll survive it.”
“By the way, do you want me to stay with you tonight?” She asked.
Bill smiled down at her, “Do you want to?”
“Is it going to be scandalous if I do?”
Bill chuckled. “Would it matter if it is?”
Hillary laughed, “I guess that settles it.”
Congressman Timothy Duke’s Office, Same Day, Night-Time
Tim started working with Patrick Donovan to get all the names of the women that have a history with Bill. It wasn’t just the women that he was working on but he also started distributing the dossier to the rest of the Republicans in Congress. They needed to start using the words he specifically chose to deal with the rest of the Democrats. While others felt uncomfortable, they gave in and thought that it would work well for them if Americans remember their opponents as what Tim described: a cheat, un-American, a traitor.
Next to that, he was working on was getting a woman who he knew he could extort to claim that Bill sexually harassed them. He needed to be careful though because he didn’t want anyone to find out that he was behind the attacks.
He was busy reading the rest of his potential candidates’ profiles when his phone rang.
“Kathleen Woods,” Pat announced. “Does she ring a bell?” He asked.
“No,” Tim answered uninterestedly. He didn’t like being interrupted.
“I heard she’s really desperate for good pay ever since she got booted off from her modeling agency,” Pat Donovan told Tim over a phone.
“Why should I be interested in this information?” Tim asked.
“I heard she and Bill had one-night stand he was still a Governor,” Pat added.
That certainly got Tim’s attention.
“Do you think she can be bought?”
There was a soft chuckle from Pat, “Anyone can be bought with good pay.”
“Can you arrange someone to deal with her?” Tim asked.
“Of course, but I guess, I need another dough for that.”
Tim raised a brow, “Make sure that my payment is worth it.”
White House, Night-Time
Hillary walked next to Bill as Agent Harold pushed his wheelchair as they made their way inside the White House.
"Will your driver pick you up here tomorrow or do you want me to arrange a service for you?" Bill asked while they made their way towards the Presidential Suite.
"No, I'll have my driver pick me up tomorrow by morning."
"Harold is Jack still around?" Bill asked referring to his butler.
"I have informed him, Sir, of our arrival," Agent Harold responded.
"Is Jack the one helping you not a nurse?" Hillary asked.
"Yes, Jack is very professional."
As they reached the Presidential Suite, Hillary turned to Agent Harold, "It's okay, Harold, I'll take it from here."
Agent Harold nodded and left.
When they entered the suite, Jack was already preparing Bill's toiletries.
"Evening Ma'am, evening Sir," Jack greeted.
"Evening, Jack. Hillary will be staying here tonight."
"Splendid. Do you need anything, Ma'am?"
Hillary smiled at him, "No, I am fine, thank you, Jack."
Jack turned to Bill, "Do you need anything, Sir?"
"No, I am fine. Have you prepared my bath?"
"It's okay, Jack. I'll take it from here." Hillary said, prompting Bill to smile at her.
"Excellent, Ma'am. I'll leave you both now. Please let me know if you need anything."
When Jack was no longer within earshot, Bill turned to her.
"You'll take care of me?" He asked with a teasing smile on his face.
Hillary leaned until they were on eye level. "I suppose since I'll be your wife, I might as well start practicing now," She said in a whisper before closing the space between them and kissing him.
"So what do we do first?" Hillary asked after she let go of him.
"Get naked?" Bill suggested.
Hillary laughed, “What?” She asked.
A teasing smile appeared on Bill’s face. “Jack already prepared the bath so I guess it’s just time for us to take a bath.”
Hillary’s mouth formed an O, before she chuckled, “Us! I didn’t know that I was part of the plan.”
Bill laughed, “Oh, Darling, I intend for you to join me in my bath.”
“No, I may hurt you.” Hillary protested.
Bill propped himself up off from the wheelchair, then he grunted as he balanced on his good leg.
Hillary held his arm, “Easy,” She told him.
Bill’s chest heaved and he tipped his head down to look at her, “Don’t worry, I’ll manage. Can you please reach my crutches, Honey?”
Hillary looked around his suite and picked up the crutches that were near his bed. Hillary gave them to him and Bill propped himself using them.
“Let’s get it on,” Bill said in good humor.
Hillary worked on removing Bill’s clothes realizing that she actually enjoyed taking care of him. She removed his coat and his white shirt carefully aware of his healing gunshot wound on his arm, then she worked on removing his pants carefully and struggling to get them off. Bill grunted as Hillary accidentally tugged the pants hitting his injured leg.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to,” She told him.
Bill nodded, “It’s okay.”
When Bill was already naked, Hillary helped him on the bath assisting him carefully making sure that he wouldn’t exert some force on his healing leg and at the same time holding him so he wouldn’t slip.
When Bill got himself inside the warm bath, he exhaled by the sheer effort he exerted but he felt relieved to finally settle comfortably.
“Do you want me to use a scrub on you?”
Bill shook his head, “No, Darling, I’m good with just a soap.”
Hillary took the bar soap and handed them to him. She started to remove her clothes so she could join him in the bath. Bill watched Hillary while he continued to rub the soap on his body, his eyes landed on the small bump on her stomach, her breast starting to look heavy. She was beginning to show signs of her pregnancy. A life they both created out of their love.
“Damn,” Bill said as his eyes wandered along her body.
Hillary looked at him confused, “What’s wrong?”
He beamed at her, “You’re so sexy, come here and join me.”
Hillary laughed, “You randy goat.”
“If I could I would have jumped from this tub and carried you over my shoulder and brought you here.”
Hillary turned to him naked - smiling at him, “What if I don’t join you?”
“Then there’ll be hell to pay,” Bill joked.
Hillary didn’t budge.
“Baby, come here, please. I want to hold you,” He implored.
Hillary chuckled and humored him. She carefully got into the tub, Bill was glad that the tub was large enough for him to spread his legs to allow Hillary to sit in between the space. They were careful so that she wouldn't hit his leg. When Hillary settled in between the space of his legs, Bill’s arms automatically coiled around her just below her breasts then he propped his chin on the slope of her shoulder.
“Thank you,” He whispered.
She looked over her shoulder to look into his eyes, “For what?”
“For loving me,” He said before caught her lips with his.