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Leave It All Behind

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1992 - January 

Mack McLarty stood next to George Stephanopoulos as they waited for Bill to arrive in the White House; they arrived rather too early. It was discussed that they wouldn’t be in the convoy and that they would take care of some details in the White House by coordinating with the current staff of the Outgoing President. 

Outgoing President, George Bush with his wife Barbara, were waiting for advice if the limousine taking Bill was near. President Bush looked rather grim. It was evident that President Bush wasn’t thrilled to be welcoming the President-Elect. He wasn’t shy in saying that he has reservations in having Bill as the 42nd President.

Bill was a rather unconventional choice, but Bill was intelligent, charismatic, and a force to be reckoned with. He came from a middle-class family from Arkansas, brought up by a single mother. Bill graduated top in his class, a Rhodes Scholar, got his JD at Yale, and a civil servant. On top of Bill’s intelligence, he has a good persona, and he was very charming. Mack wouldn’t be surprised if he could even charm a snake.

Bill was elected as Governor in his hometown in Arkansas when he was thirty-two years old. He was the youngest Governor ever elected.

What people liked about Bill was that he kept his promise and was always down to earth. He would invite even the low-class people in the Governor’s mansion - farmers, carpenters, and the like. He would always invite his enemies and his fiercest critics so they could find a common ground. 

Bill was widely popular, and of course, he was popular with women. Bill, though, a serious politician, lived a very bachelor life. He knew how to have fun and wasn’t exactly apologetic for the image he built. Bill, however, was very cautious. He was a smart and fun guy but he wasn’t an idiot, that was why while Mack was standing and waiting for Bill to arrive, he was doing a checklist inside his head if he and his team had taken care of the laundry list. 

“Have you already taken care of the NDA?” George mumbled standing next to him. Any minute now, they would get a glimpse of the black limousine.

“What NDA?” Mack asked, his mind suddenly going through all the NDAs that they need to settle in his laundry list.

George looked at him in disbelief, “The Catherine NDA.”

Oh, of course, Catherine’s NDA. Catherine La Beau, Bill’s last woman. She was a French actress that Bill met last six months ago at a party, but unfortunately, their affair had to end when Bill won the Presidency. Catherine was a vixen that caught Bill’s eyes. They hit it off and warmed Bill’s bed for a certain period. Bill told George about Catherine just to make sure that whatever was going on between them would remain between them.

“Of course, I have taken care of that,” Mack said. 

George turned his head forward, “We cannot let this slip past us again. We cannot have that Flowers incident again.”

Yes, of course, the Jennifer Flowers scandal. They had forgotten to give her an NDA hence the spill in the media. It nearly brought damage to Bill’s campaign after Jennifer exposed Bill’s secrets. Bill’s campaign team and the man himself were smart enough to handle the scandal and he was able to overcome it unscathed.

“You don’t have to lecture me with what we need to do.”

“Jesus Christ, Mack! Don’t be offended. I’m just being merely cautious. I cannot keep track of Bill’s affairs. I’m just saying that we need to check each other’s laundry list or else our ass will be on the chopping board and Bill’s head will be in the guillotine if we ever missed anything again.”

Right, George and Mack needed each other to ensure that Bill’s Presidency would be a success. Bill was deliberate in his policies and goals. He couldn’t afford any scandals or anything that the Republicans could use against him. The GOP was ravenous for any information to ruin Bill’s chances of being successful and become a two-term President. They didn’t like his progressive views or the fact that he was a bachelor. They deemed him as an immature President.

“Here comes our man,” George said. 

Mack and George looked at the limousine that Bill was on as it traversed through the driveway and stopped in front of the White House. President Bush and Barbara were already out and ready to welcome him.

Bill sat with his back straight after an hour's drive to the White House. It took him some time to leave the hotel where he was staying because he wanted to look immaculate. He wanted everything to be perfect. He made a last-minute check before he rode the limousine, hence, it took him a while as predicted. He wasn’t at all late, he was just a few minutes off the clock. He looked beside him inside the limousine - an empty space except for the newspaper he brought with him. Usually, Presidents rode with their family on the way to the White House, but Bill had none. His mother died last year and he didn’t have any siblings. His eyes dropped on the Washington Post and his brow hiked up as he looked at his picture with his arm raised with fist close as he celebrated his victory. His neck-tie and few of his buttons were undone. He looked victorious and a little drunk. 

The Washington Post had a caption just above his picture that says: “First-Ever Bachelor President of the United States - shocking!”

A smirk appeared in his face as a little inscription indicated about Bill’s behavior and why someone like him would lead the country in disaster.

Well, let’s see about that, the proud side of him thought.

His attention diverted when the chauffeur announced, “The White House, Sir.”

Bill looked at his new residence. The heart of leadership of America - the White House. The residence of the President. Bill took a deep breath as he saw the Outgoing President and his First Lady stood outside waiting for him.

He promised to make his Presidency the best and he intended to keep that.

***

Hillary's Office, same day

"He is handsome isn't he?"

"Well, I wouldn't put him in that category but he has a sex appeal."

"I think he is charming."

Hillary arrived in her office and heard the comment from some of her female staff as they watched the inauguration of the forty-second President. She just arrived in her office after a long discussion with her dad.

Hillary's father, Hugh, was the former chairman of the Republican Party and he was telling Hillary that he already had the support of the party to have her as the Senate Minority Leader.

Hillary wasn't thrilled. It wasn't as if she did not want to become the Senate Minority Leader it was because of the reason why her father wanted her to have that position. They wanted her to be the thorn on President elect's side.

"I want you to take him down, Hillary!" Her father stressed.

She scoffed as she ignored her father. "You listen to me, Hillary Diane, this country cannot afford to have that debauched leading the country."

"Dad, I will do what I need to do for this country, but not because you are so angry that President Bush lost."

"Listen to me, Diane! The Republicans must lead." He stressed, "We need you to take the lead to bring him down."

Hillary sighed, and she went to her room to get ready for her work.

That was the problem. While her family was a staunch Republican, Hillary was more open-minded. She didn't want to classify herself as centrist but she knew how to strike a balance between what was good for her party and what was good for her country. She wasn't a politicking kind. She wanted to classify herself as a public servant through and through. Not exactly loyal to her party but loyal to the people. She deviated from being a party loyal when she went to study at Wellesley College. She was an active student leader and she got herself exposed to the civil rights movement. Her sorority taught her to be open-minded, that her once conservative views, slowly cracked.

It was a secret that her father didn't know. She did not intend to switch to the Democratic party. She envisioned changing the view of Republicans - to influence them. Besides, she already started to gain popularity in her party, why would she even change?

"Don't waste your time watching the inauguration there's nothing special in there," Hillary said plainly as she sauntered into her office placing her handbag on her table.

The ladies turned to Hillary and they started to move away from the television inside her office.

"Your meeting with Mr. Dobrey is already arranged, Senator," One commented.

One of the ladies took the warmed coffee and started filling up her empty mug, the other straightened and her back while holding the remote. "Do you want me to turn off the telly?" 

Hillary smiled at her and waved off her hand, "No, leave it alone. There's nothing urgent that I have to work on anyway."

The staff nodded and said, "Don't you think he is handsome, Senator?" 

Hillary smiled as she reached out to the planner that the other staff was handing her, "Hmm, he isn't as handsome as George Clooney but he isn't ugly."

"Who is handsome?" 

Hillary looked up at the familiar voice of Congressman Timothy Duke. She smiled and stood up as she nodded to the ladies to leave them alone.

Timothy Duke and Hillary were exclusively dating for a few months already. He was blonde, tall, and athletic. He was the Republican Congressman for Alabama. Catholic and true-blood Republican. Her family approved of Tim because of his connection to the Republican party and because of his achievements and ambition. He was what her family wanted for Hillary.

Hillary's family wanted her and Tim to make their relationship official because joining their family together would make them powerful in politics. However, Hillary has reservations with Tim. While he treated her well, he was too conservative for her. He believed firmly in the dichotomy of roles for men and women. He could also be arrogant or racist sometimes. 

Hillary went to him. He turned his head towards the television after she kissed him on the cheek. A frown appeared on his face. 

"Why are you even watching his inauguration?" 

Hillary chuckled as she turned her head to the television and watched Bill shake hands with the Outgoing President and First Lady. 

"I wasn't watching. My staff was watching before I arrived at…" 

Tim harrumphed, "The greatest tragedy in American history. Here are the papers you asked for." He said as he handed her a thick folder. Hillary took it from him then he reached out for her other hand, "I'll see you later, we have dinner with my parents."

Hillary smiled and nodded. Tim leaned and kissed her. She reached out to wipe the lipstick that smeared from his lips. "Enjoy your day today."

Tim smiled then he turned and said good-bye. 

Hillary sighed and watched Tim leave her office. When he was no longer in sight, she turned to the television and watched as Bill smiled and waved to the crowd.

She thought about her staff's question, 'Don't you think he is handsome?'

If she was going to be fair, she thought Bill was... Well, he was handsome. 

She sighed and waved her hand to dismiss her thought. "Unfortunately, his morals and values are not quite as handsome," Hillary commented before she turned off the television and went back to her work.

Chapter Text

Nighttime, White House, 1992

Bill stood facing the window in his new bedroom in the White House called the President's suite. He looked at Lafayette Square. He finished taking shower earlier, but instead of heading to bed, he decided to look outside. He still couldn't believe it. He, the small-town guy from Arkansas, was the forty-second President of the United States. This was what he was waiting for, but for some reason, something was missing and he just couldn't figure out what. 

His room was already dark, it was past midnight and he still couldn't fall asleep, nor he felt tired. He did not bother with lights. Ironically, he was not used to being alone in the dark. He used to have someone if he would ever sleep in the dark. It was something he never told anyone. Tonight though he wanted to change that the darkness still made him uneasy so instead of leaving his room in total darkness he opted to sleep with his bedside lamp on. He reached for the lamp and flicked it open casting orange glow inside his bedroom. Bill gently tugged the curtains to give him privacy, when they were already in place, he turned toward his bed and undid the knot of his robe and took it off leaving him stark naked.

Bill slid into the bed and pulled the cover just below his waist. He stretched and folded his arms under his head, cupping the back of his skull. He sighed and suddenly the thought of having a bed partner crossed his mind. However, his days of carousing was over. He couldn’t just get women because his every action was under the radar. His critics were just waiting for him to make a wrong move and he didn't want to give them that. If he would find a partner he needed to do it decently. He sighed and smirked. Why was he even contemplating about women when he has a lot to do? He thought. 

There was a lot to do, a lot to accomplish and a lot to prove. The next one hundred days were critical. He was poised to accomplish all of them, if not, most of them, but doing so he needed the support of the congress and senate. It was on his immediate agenda to host a dinner with them. He hoped he could set a common ground so they could work productively.

He took a deep breath and closed his eyes praying things would work out fine.

***

Hillary watched Tim sleep beside her. She couldn't sleep still reflecting what happened earlier during their dinner.

Tim's parents were keen for them to get married, but to begin with, they were not yet even in a relationship. Tim did not even bother to correct their assumption. She looked at him when his father asked if they were already discussing their wedding. She wanted to correct his father but she didn't want to embarrass Tim.

When they were on their way back to Tim's place, Hillary confronted him.

"Why didn't you say something about our relationship, Tim?" 

Tim looked at her, "What do you mean?" 

"Earlier? Your father is already talking about marriage and we are not even there yet."

Tim frowned, "Well, I don't want to disappoint him and say that you haven't decided for us."

"Must you bring that up?" 

Time looked at her, "Chill down, Hillary. It's not as if everything is set on stone. I did tell him that we haven't thought about it didn't I?" 

"Even so! At least tell him that we are still dating and we are not yet committed to each other."

Tim's lips straightened and turned his head forward. "Why? Are you seeing someone else?" 

"That's not the point!" Hillary argued. "We are still setting the wrong expectation."

"Hillary, why are you beating me about this? Are you having second thoughts about us?"

Hillary took a deep breath. 

Yes. 

It was on the tip of her tongue, but she didn’t say them and instead looked at her hands. 

“It’s not that I am having second thoughts about us but it’s because I don’t want to lie to anyone and especially to your family, Tim.”

Tim seemed pacified about her reason that he kept quiet for a while, then as they reached his apartment, he reached for her hand.

“I’m sorry for that,” he said.

Hillary nodded accepting his apology and Tim leaned kissing her on the lips. Hillary smiled after he released her and she responded, “Forget it, let’s get inside.”

Tim was a good man. He was the kind of man that a woman would take home to meet their parents and they would be at ease and knew that their daughter was in good hands. But Tim didn’t thrill her. He didn’t excite her or made her heart flutter. He couldn’t incite the feelings that she was looking for, couldn’t even make her reach her orgasm. But he was a comfortable kind. The kind that you go home to and know that everything would be alright - that no leaking roof and leaking pipes. She could imagine having a good and comfortable life with him. She just couldn't put it but something was missing. She wondered though if what they have was enough? Was she ready to settle down?

Hillary sighed. It was too early to contemplate marriage but it was not in her mind. At least, not for now. 

***

White House Dinner, Few Days After

The cacophony of laughter, music, and conversations echoed in the halls inside the White House as the dinner for the Senators and Representatives started. The East Room held large circular tables where Bill's guests would be seated. It was carefully selected who would be seated next to whom.

Dolly Peters who was in charge of White House affairs checked her list ensuring that everyone was exactly seated where they should be seated.

"Is everything all right?" Mack asked.

Dolly nodded. "Yes, everything is ready, just waiting for the official start of the ceremony."

Bill was going from one circle to the next ensuring he would exchange a few words while waiting for the host to announce the formal start of the program. He was talking to a group of Republicans when from his peripheral he caught someone who just arrived in the East Room.

He turned his head as if someone called his name. He caught a glimpse of a man whom he was able to identify as the Congressman from Alabama. Timothy  something . He couldn't remember his last name. He looked at the lady behind him and their eyes met across the crowded room.

Hillary arrived in the East Room with Tim. She walked behind him feeling her stomach in knots. To be honest, even though she was used to formal events like this, social gatherings still made her uneasy. She wasn't just the kind of person who prefers socializing.

Before they even entered the room there was something in the pit of her stomach. Nerves, perhaps. They just entered the East Room, Tim walked ahead of her as he saw someone familiar. Hillary walked a step behind but the moment that Tim cleared from her sight her eyes met with President Bill Clinton's eyes.

Bill felt a tingle run down his spine - making the hairs on his nape stood up. For a fraction of second, Hillary stopped as if a deer caught in a headlight. The way they gazed brought goosebumps on her arms sending sensation all over her body. Instead of holding his gaze, she turned her head where Tim was and started to follow him breaking her eye contact.

Bill shook his head and turned his attention to his guest as he started to move to different circles. Bill ignored the temptation to look for the guest earlier. He tried to wrack his brain remembering her name. Senator Rodham. He was sure of it but couldn't remember her name. He wasn't just paying attention enough with Republicans that now he quite regretted it.

Bill was about to reach her circle when Dolly reached him and gently touched his arm. 

"We're about to start the program," Dolly told him. 

Bill nodded and followed Dolly back to his seat. He forgot about Senator Rodham as the event started.

Hillary couldn't shake off the feeling that went to her when her eyes met President Bill's, but it was probably just nothing. She tried to ignore it as Bill took the podium and gave a speech. She kept her eyes on him just as everybody did, and she couldn't help but remember what her staff asked about him being handsome. She never really met him personally and she knew little of him beside the fact that he was a notorious ladies' man and a debauched just as what her father called him. He was handsome. She wanted to chuckle at the direction of her thought, imagine her thinking that President Clinton was handsome, her father would most likely get mad at her if he knew what she thought of the debauched as handsome.

All throughout the time, Bill was able to focus on the event getting to know some a few influential members of Congress. He wasn't able to meet everyone yet and he thought to do it during the socials. He was sitting next to Senator Kerry exchanging stories when he saw Senator Rodham laughing next to Senator Biden. His curiosity piqued remembering her. He leaned towards Senator Kerry.

"Senator Kerry, what do you know about Senator Rodham?" He asked casually hoping that Senator Kerry wouldn't it find it odd that he was asking about her.

Senator Kerry looked at where Hillary was sitting and he responded, "Hillary Rodham. Two-term Senator from New York. Her father is Hugh Rodham. Does he ring a bell?" 

"Former GOP Chairman?"

"Yeah, been hearing that he's rallying to have his daughter get the Minority Leadership amongst the Republican Senators."

Bill looked at him, his brow raised.

"Hugh is a cunning fellow. He's the strategist for the GOP. Rumor has it that Senator Rodham and Congressman Duke are together. It's never announced though, but Dukes and Rodhams are very popular in their party. A very influential lot. Tricky people and not good company, mostly that Timothy Duke. Senator Rodham is quite a surprise, though."

"Why?" 

"I worked with her and she's very different from Hugh. If she isn't a known Republican I would have mistaken her for being Democrat. She's so easy to work with and supportive if you asked for her help. Doesn't go with the flow with Republicans. But she's also a formidable opponent and quite a tough one in debate. Very smart. She and Duke would be quite a popular couple in the GOP if they married. The merging of their family would be a powerful one."

Bill nodded realizing the reason why he saw Congressman Duke with her. It would be a bad idea to entertain any thought about her, specifically find the reason why he felt this magnetic pull towards her. However, he wouldn't deny that he was still curious about her, but perhaps, not really a good idea to have someone to cross with considering her father and her association with Duke. What he could see, however, hearing from Senator Kerry, he could win her on his side. She could be his way to the Republicans if what Senator Kerry said was true but he needed to be very careful or else she might lead to his fall. 

***

Bill frankly enjoyed parties but sometimes he found all of these a bit exhausting. While everyone was dancing he decided to sneak out just to unwind.

"Just gonna catch some air," He told Mack as he left the East Room.

Bill quietly left and headed to the first floor to go to the library. When he reached the library, he turned to the Secret Service agent who was following him. "Give me a few minutes, Harold."

"Yes, sir." Harold agreed and stood outside the door.

Bill closed the door and leaned against it. He tipped his chin up and took a deep breath. It was dark inside the library despite a dimmed orange light on the corner. He slightly loosened his bow tie and exhaled. 

He meant to take some air in the library because being surrounded by books comforted him even during his childhood days. He didn't mean to stay long and he was about to leave when he caught a movement on his left. He turned his head to that direction where the light was coming from and he found himself looking at Senator Rodham standing on that corner holding a book and looking curiously at him.

Chapter Text

When the dancing started, Hillary went out of the East Room while Tim went to socialize. She thought to excuse herself. She first visited the powder room just near the East Room but when she found it crowded someone told her that she could use the one on the first floor near the library, so she did. The powder room there was empty to her delight. However, after she finished freshening up, instead of going back to the East Room, she thought to check out the library.

She turned to look around if someone was watching, and when she found it clear, she turned the knob and welcomed herself in.

The White House Library is used for teas and meetings hosted by the President and First Lady. It contained a wide array of rare and precious books. It wasn't at all intimidating inside and she found it very homey. The smell of a clean room and leather greeted her as she walked around. Her footsteps silenced by the rug. She scanned the shelf with her fingertips brushing on the spines of the leather books. 

She turned on the lamp on the side as she looked at the books on the shelf facing her. She was impressed by the rare volumes. She pulled out an antique Karamazov Brothers book. She opened it and ran her hand on the page —

Click

She turned her head towards the door as the sound of the knob turned, she heard a murmur then someone came in. 

Click

The door closed. She was on the corner of the library with only one dim light on, but she couldn't mistake who just entered, it was President Clinton.

She watched as the President leaned against the door with his head tipped up and his eyes closed. He took a deep breath then loosened his tux. She watched his hand move, a little mesmerized by the movement. He took a deep breath again, and she wondered why he seemed to be running out of breath. 

As if he heard her thoughts, he opened his eyes and turned his head to look at her. 

Damn. 

His striking blue gaze made Hillary shiver even though the room wasn't cold. She felt sensations travel through her body just like the first time their eyes met. 

Torn between surprise and horror she ended up stuck on the spot. They both looked at each other for a split second before Bill straightened and greeted her in his smooth Southern accent, "Senator Rodham."

"What are you doing here, Mr. President?" She asked as if he didn't belong in that part of the house.

The moment she asked them, she hoped she could stuff the words back in her mouth.

Bill’s brows furrowed - confused then returned the question with the same directness, "I should be the one asking that question, what are  you  doing here, Senator?"

Hillary made a nervous chuckle then shook her head. "Of course, I apologize. I don't mean to be obtuse."

They both turned their head to the door as the knob turned and Agent Harold peeked and looked at the President and then to the Senator. 

"Everything alright, sir?" 

Bill nodded, "Yes, thank you for checking, Harold. Please close the door."

Hillary felt her stomach tighten as Harold, a Secret Service Agent she assumed, nodded and closed the door leaving her alone with the President.

Bill approached her and the way he walked towards her he reminded her of a panther stalking his prey. He moved with such grace that exuded power and sex appeal. She suddenly reminded herself that people called him charming because he was  definitely  oozing with charm. It was the way he carried himself — so confidently as if he was wearing that belt that bore his position as the President of a powerful country. He hadn't even said a word yet but he had that magnetism in him that could be both dangerous and attractive.

“I think we haven’t been introduced, I’m Bill Clinton,” He said as he reached her. Hillary looked at his hand as if he was offering her a snake. He was even overconfident to offer his hand. She turned his eyes to him and said matter-of-factly, “Etiquette says that men shouldn’t be offering their hands to women.”

Bill frowned and was about to withdraw his hand when Hillary broke a smile and said, “I’m kidding, etiquette be damned, I’m Hillary Rodham. Republican Senator from New York.”

She slid her small and soft hand against his - making the hair on his nape stood up by the sensation. 

“Do you often tease someone at the first meeting?” Bill asked, still holding her hand. 

“No, not really. I am sorry, I have that bad habit when I am nervous." She responded, grinning at him.

“Apology accepted.” Bill bit his lower lip before a smile broke his lips and said, “Bill Clinton, Forty-Second President of the United States of America. Democrat.”

Hillary wanted to laugh at his introduction, “You, do you go around telling everyone your position?” She asked, then she released his hand realizing that they were shaking each other's hand for some time. 

He looked at her smiling eyes and overbite smile before responding, “Depends if they enjoy  my  position.”

Hillary didn’t miss the sexual innuendo, so her lips straightened and gave him a reproving look, “I'm not sure if we are still talking about your distinction in society, Mr. Clinton?”

Bill heard the censure in her voice and relented, “We are now Ms. Rodham.”

Silence.

“I guess it’s my turn to apologize now for making such jokes.”

“Do you joke around when you meet someone new?” Hillary asked in return.

“Only when I am nervous,” Bill said using Hillary’s response. Hillary chuckled at his response, finding it odd why they were talking that way as if they knew each other for so long.

“Shouldn’t you be up in the East Room and dancing?” Bill curiously asked, trying to indulge her in a conversation to prolong the moment. He could not understand why he felt compelled to spend time with her.

"Shouldn't you?" She asked back.

Bill arched his brow, amused on their verbal ping-pong.

"Touché," Bill responded, he put his hands on his back just to make sure that he wouldn't touch her. He couldn't dare to touch her even though how platonic the touch would be.

"I'll tell you, but only if you will also share your reason why."

"Go ahead," He said with a crook smile on his face. 

Although he wasn’t sure of the reason why they were both indulging each other of the trivialities, he knew,  and damned if he got it wrong , that she also felt, perhaps, something compelling between them when their eyes locked on their first meeting, and they both wanted to know where that would end. Besides, if the Senator didn't feel anything, he believed that she wouldn't hesitate to excuse herself and leave him alone in the dimmed room of the library.

Hillary contemplated his question. She wanted to tell him that her date, Congressman Duke, did not really prefer dancing because he always - as in always - used that kind of free time to socialize instead. Tim wasn’t at all romantic, he was pragmatic. He wasn't really emotional but rather a practical kind. But for some reason, she didn’t want to tell Bill that, so she looked for an excuse. “My feet really hurt because I am wearing heels, you?"

Bill couldn't tell her that he was feeling faint earlier, because that would mean opening the dark side of his life. The one that he kept hidden from anyone. He thought to go for a better reason, "My special cognac is stored here. I wanted to share it with Senator Kerry."

Hillary nodded, seemingly accepting his reason. Bill looked at her blue high heeled sandals. “Well, as for your heels, that’s unfortunate to miss the dance.” He empathized. She looked at him and so he added, “You can remove your shoes and dance with me here instead.”

Hillary looked at him not believing he just asked her for a dance. Bill, on the other hand, regretted saying it. Misinterpreting her silence for rejection, Bill opened his mouth to tell her ‘nevermind’, but then she smiled at him showing him that beautiful overbite smile that he already found alluring, and she said, “Alright.” 

She moved fast and Bill assisted her as she slipped her foot out from her shoes one by one and when she had them off, Bill smiled down at her childish excitement, “Shall we?” She asked.

The unexpected small happiness from her brought a pleasurable response from him as if she gave him a spoonful of honey to swallow.

"Of course, Senator." He gave her his hand, "It will be a pleasure."

They slowed dance to the faint music echoing from the second floor. Bill cupped her hand gently as if he was holding a bird in his hand while his other hand held her waist. Hillary mirrored him with her hand holding his, and her other hand on his waist. They swayed slowly while smiling at each other’s eyes, seemingly not aware that an event was happening just right above the floor where they were. They went around and round as Bill guided her to a basic tango that he knew. Hillary followed gracefully enjoying the moment with him.

When the music ended, Bill let go of her hand and stepped back. They gaze at each other that made Hillary feel a little conscious. She turned around and reached for the book she was holding to distract herself to return it on the shelf. She needed to leave the room, she didn’t like the way she responded to him.

Bill dropped his eyes on the book that she was holding, “You like Dostoevsky?”

She smiled looking longingly at the book as if it was a prized possession, “Yes, I love this novel.” Unconsciously she pressed the book against her chest like a dreamy child who was lost in her thoughts recounting why it was her favorite. “The conflict in the story between faith and doubt is appealing to me. Dostoevsky illustrates it beautifully by imagining three brothers with conflicting values - Zosima and Alyosha who believe vehemently in God, while Ivan is more of a skeptical kind. The dichotomy of their contrasting beliefs -” Hillary caught herself suddenly realizing that she was opening herself to Bill Clinton, the notorious playboy charmer, the man her father wanted her to take down. She stopped and released the book from her chest. She looked at the book and gave it a last careful caress before she turned around and placed it back on the shelf. 

“I’m sorry for coming into your library,” She said, almost whispering. For some reason, she felt the need to speak in a hushed tone as if she was afraid to be heard by anyone.

Bill felt that too, “It’s okay, Ms. Rodham.” He stood next to her as he watched her slide the book back. Hillary turned around after and found herself standing rather too close to him.

Her body was sounding the alarm telling her that she was exactly doing what she warned herself to be careful of, but there was something magical at the moment that was beckoning. She could smell his perfume - dark, alluring, seducing her to come closer. She felt her heart trip hammering inside her chest because she knew that if she looked up to his eyes, the chances of him kissing her was already a foregone conclusion. She didn’t know why she felt like indulging in this magnetic pull instead of fighting against it.

Bill didn’t know that Ms. Rodham could be tempting. Interesting. Enticing. She piqued his curiosity the moment that their eyes met, the brief knowledge about her told him to stay away from her and not to cross her or Timothy Duke if he wanted to win the Republicans. As if the Universe had some ill-humor, she was in the room that he didn’t expect her to be in. She should be in the East Room dancing with Timothy not in the library where he wanted to fight off his demons, not in here talking to him about why she likes Dostoevsky’s book, nor teasing him about etiquette, nor exactly tempting him with her presence standing there a breath away from him with her midnight blue dress that was hugging her curves and her shiny blonde hair tied up perfectly. Every fiber of his being told him not to do what he intended to do — kiss her because kissing her was like a pandora’s box, it would lead to complications that he didn't want in his first one hundred days nor the coming days ahead of his Presidency. Imagine: President Clinton — a newcomer, a confirmed rake, seducing Republican Senator, Hillary Rodham while hosting a dinner in White House. Not now, not ever.

Hillary heard Bill take a deep breath, then he took a step back and looked at her. “You shouldn’t be loitering around the White House, Senator.”

She looked at his face and saw his jaw bunching as if he was angry or annoyed. The warmth of his gaze now clouded with coldness. “I… uh… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be nosy.”

Bill looked at the door. “I’ll leave now, please return to the East Room after a minute that I left so as not to make someone think that we spent the time together locked up in the White House library.”

She nodded and watched him turn away from her and marched towards the door leaving her alone and cold in the library.

***

Hillary returned to the East Room after some time. She tried to stifle the urge to look for that salt and pepper hair but instead looked for Tim. She found him standing next to Congressman Jackson, when she reached him, she playfully excused and said: Gentlemen, I hope you don't mind if I take this gentleman for a dance.

The congressmen chuckled and said, "Go ahead, Senator. Claim him now."

Tim smiled at her, "Wow, that's an aggressive move."

Hillary laughed as Tim placed his arm around her and held her hand. He twirled Hillary and then gently held her as they slow-danced. His chin touched her crown, as she leaned her cheek against his chest. "I'm sorry for being away," He said. 

"It's okay," Hillary responded, trying not to think about her shared dance with the President. "I am just glad to be dancing with you tonight."

Tim smiled gently at her and kissed her forehead then whispered against the smoothness of her skin, "You have enough support to get the minority leadership."

Hillary gently pulled back to look at him not sure if she would be horrified by thought or be glad.

Bill was talking to some Republican Congressman and mid-way from drinking his whiskey when he saw Senator Rodham and Congressman Duke approach the dance floor. He diverted his attention back to the men he was talking to and told himself that he was being ridiculous for seemingly getting affected with the sight of the couple.

After the dancing ended and everyone returned to their seat. Bill returned to his seat too but he was rather occupied. He tried to focus on the program but he couldn't. It annoyed him that he found Senator Rodham attractive and interesting and that what he felt when he saw her dancing with Duke was something akin to jealousy that burned in the pit of his stomach.

It was ridiculous that it made him angry with himself. Why should he be jealous? But it was there, he couldn't deny it. 

The thing with Bill was before he got elected as President he could get the women that caught his eyes, so Senator Rodham's unavailability made it a novelty for him - and a challenge that was just too sweet to ignore. He wouldn't deny that, but she was off-limits. He needed to do something before his attraction gets out of hand.

Chapter Text

Hillary was angry. When Tim announced to her that she has enough support for Minority Leadership she understood that Tim was soliciting and selling her off to be the Minority Leader.

What made her angry was the fact that Tim was already deciding for her — just like her father. She felt that she was pushed in a situation that she did not want. When they were already in Tim's chauffeured car, Hillary did not stop arguing with him. 

"Why didn't you tell me your plan?" She asked, infuriated. 

"I talked to Hugh and this is the best place to do it."

"Best place? What the fuck, Tim? You should have consulted me if I even want the leadership?"

Tim scoffed, "Don't tell me you don't want the leadership."

"I don't want it! I don't want to take that position for the reasons that you and dad want me in—"

"Hillary!" Tim cut her, "We cannot afford to have Bill lead the country for two terms. Don't you understand?" 

"You don't want him to lead because you want our party to hold the helm of leadership regardless if a Democrat is successful leading it."

Tim turned to look at her. It was the first time he looked at her ever since they got inside the car. "Democrats cannot lead the country!" Then he stressed, "They must not lead the country! They will bring changes that will disrupt our values and morals. People will be empowered to be degenerates! Abortion everywhere, restrictions on our second amendment, homosexuals in our military! Bill's loose moral values will bring problems."

Hillary looked at her hands on her lap. Her hands closed in a fist as she tried to stifle her anger. "You will not decide for me what to do or not to do, Timothy." She glared at him. "I will not be used as a weapon to bring Bill's presidency down."

"Why are you so concerned about him?"

"I am not concerned about him. Bill Clinton won the presidency fair and square. He fought for the Presidency just as Bush did, but obviously, President Bush did not do enough. People selected him! He needs to be given a chance to lead."

"Given a chance to lead?" Tim asked, outraged. "He would ruin this country for the next few years!" 

"You don't even know about that?!" Hillary retorted. 

"Jesus Christ! Aren't you paying attention to his policies?" 

"I did, Tim! But that's why we are here. We can work together without tearing each other apart! And —"

"I don't care, Hillary!" Tim snapped, silencing her. "I want him gone after four years. End of story."

Hillary looked at him, her jaw dropped. She couldn't believe hearing this from Tim. He was a cold person and a politician first before a public servant. 

"You don't care that if we sabotage Bill's success, it means that we will also bring down our country? That means livelihood lost, down economy, loss of a job—heck, even war! Tim, we cannot—"

"Hillary," he stressed, "If Bill fails, we will step in. That's where our party comes in. We will repair whatever damages his Presidency will do."

Hillary looked at Tim's unwavering stare. Tim could be frightening sometimes, with the way he thinks. He was the epitome of White conservative. He thought that Whites should always be leading, who believed in the teaching of Christianity through and through. He was very privileged and believed in a caste system but never acknowledged it but it was in his blood. Hillary could see right through him now, and this was the man her father wanted her to marry. Why not? Her father was a staunch Republican. He would be proud to have Tim as his son-in-law.

Hillary felt her skin crawl by the thought of being married to him.

Hillary tipped her chin up, "Edward," she said referring to his chauffeur, "Please take me home."

She saw Edward look at the reflection of the rearview mirror to look at Tim for his direction. Tim nodded.

They did not talk on the way to her home. When they reached her house and the door next to Hillary was opened, she turned to Tim and said, "With your coldness and heartlessness… It is the very reason why I can't bring myself to marry you."

Tim looked at her with an even stare, "Good night, Hillary."

Hillary didn't respond and instead turned on her heels and went to her home this time. 

A few weeks after, White House, Morning

Bill just finished discussing the update of Roe vs Wade and was about to return to his office, when Mack stopped him and said, "Ford company wanted you to join them in their Anniversary Party."

Bill remembered that Ford Company supported him, so making an appearance was necessary. "Does it fit my schedule?" 

"Yes, we checked it." 

Bill sat on his executive chair just behind the massive wooden Presidential desk.

He just sat when his Senior Strategist, Paul, came in his office and announced, "Here are the newly elected leaders in the Senate and Congress." 

Paul stood next to Bill's table as he continued, "Perkins and Rodham are the Minority leaders respectively." 

"Duke did not run for leadership?" 

"No, he was elected to another position - Republican Whip."

Bill wasn't listening, he was elated for Hillary to get the Minority leadership. He could certainly build a relationship with her so he could win his way with Republicans. He couldn't wait to call and congratulate her. He just needed a good time to do it. 

Same Day, Hillary's Office, Night-Time

The problem with Tim was that he would never acknowledge his fault. He would pretend that everything was fine. After a few weeks, he never approached Hillary and apologized to her for taking matters in his own hands.

He appeared in her office like everything was okay.

"Hey," He greeted, standing in her doorway.

Hillary looked at him from her seat. "Tim, what are you doing here?" 

"Not happy to see me?" He asked he inserted his hands inside his pockets. 

Hillary looked down again on her papers. 

"I heard you didn't throw a party for your election," He said, welcoming himself inside her office.

"Tim, what do you want?" 

"Hillary, can we talk?"

Hillary stood up, "Go ahead and talk because I am still working. I have a few things to do."

Tim brushed his hair with his hand - a habit he built when he was frustrated.

"I can't believe it, you're still angry with me?"

"I don't think you have apologized for what you did?" 

"Hillary, you are already elected what are you complaining all about?" 

"I got elected not because of my merit but because you and Dad rallied for me for God knows what?!" She exclaimed, flattening her palms on the surface of her table.

"Hillary, I just want the best for our country."

Hillary looked at him, so he continued. "I'm doing everything to keep things the way it should be. I don't like the ideology of Dems, and Bill leading the country will open doors for people to liberate. Not everyone will embrace that and there will be chaos fighting for power." 

Hillary's chest heaved then she leaned against her chair. "I cannot believe that you just said that."

"Hillary," Mary, her assistant knocked. She looked at the couple before responding. "Your father is looking for you."

"Thanks, Mary, I will follow."

When Mary was no longer within earshot, Hillary turned to Tim. "Find your way out of my office, Timothy."

Hillary stood and when she reached Tim - he reached out to hold her arm. She looked at his hand on her arm then to his ice-cold stare.

"Hillary, whether you like it not, we do not live in a world where everyone has an equal opportunity. It doesn't go that way."

She pulled her arm and left her office leaving him alone. Tim tipped his head up as he heaved a sigh. 

Ring ring ring

Tim turned to Hillary's phone ringing on her table. 

***

It took a while for Bill to have the time to call Hillary. He was so occupied the whole day so when he was done with his work after dinner and found himself relaxing in his office ready to call it a day, he decided to finally call Hillary. 

He gazed at the phone, took a deep breath then dialed her number. He tapped his fingers on the surface of his table waiting for his call to connect and to his delight it did, then her phone rang.

After consecutive rings, someone answered it. 

"Hello?" 

Bill's brows furrowed because the voice certainly didn't come from Hillary or a woman. It was as a man who answered Hillary's phone. 

"Hello?" The guy repeated.

Bill hung up. He was able to identify the voice as Congressman Duke's. He was glad that his number was private devoid of any indication that he was calling Hillary. He couldn’t explain but he didn’t want Tim to know that he was contacting Hillary.

He looked at the phone contemplating if he would even attempt to try it again, perhaps later. But then he immediately canceled the thought. 

He sighed and concluded that he didn't need to try again besides he didn't even need to call and congratulate her.

Ford Anniversary, North Carolina, Few Days After

"Everything is done?" Mack asked Agent Harold, referring to the perimeter check as Bill would be driving a top-down Ford Mustang.

Ever since the murder of President Kennedy, Secret Service became wary of the open parade.

"Yes, everything is already set," AgentHarold said. He reached for his radio.

Mack shifted as they waited for Bill to arrive.

Bill arrived at the event. He was driving a mustang next to the Ford President, Henry Parker who was sitting on the passenger seat. Bill cruised his 1967 icy blue Ford Mustang Convertible at the Charlotte Motor Speedway with several black security cars that surrounded him. Bill waved at the crowd. He was wearing a visible red sports jacket. 

"It's such a shame that you can no longer enjoy driving a car," Henry commented. 

Bill nodded without looking at him still waving at the crowd while keeping one hand on the steering wheel, "That's one of the saddest things, I guess, aside from the fact that my life is under constant scrutiny." 

"Sounds like a prison."

Bill chuckled. "Well, I get to make a difference."

"I guess that makes it worth it?" 

Bill looked at him with a boyish grin, "To make the lives of Americans better, it is worth it."

Henry clapped Bill's shoulder. "I don't regret ever supporting you."

"Thanks, Henry."

"By the way," Henry added, "We will be throwing a secret party tonight, I trust that you will be attending?" 

"I wouldn't miss it for the world."

White House, Night-Time

George was sitting in his office ready to call it a day when he heard a knock on his door. George looked at the door as Mack opened it and peered through the gap. 

"Do you have a second?" 

"Yes, what is it?" 

"Billy is in the Crossover Bar right now attending a party that Henry hosted tonight. It's already late."

George scoffed. "Why are you so worried?" 

Mack sat down on the chair facing George's table. "You know during our time at Yale. I just know Bill so much. He has problems and you damn well know that."

George nodded. He, Mack, and Bill belonged to the same Fraternity and got to know each other there. They built a strong brotherly bond and looked for each other's back.

"Bill is already grown up, Mack."

Mack pursued his lips. "Either way, we need to get him from that bar."

"Why would I come?" 

Mack looked at him in disbelief, "We can't Bill stay at the party now, can we? Besides, what is it that you said? Our ass will be on the chopping block if Bill ever gets into a scandal." 

George brushed his face with his hand, damn, of course. "Harold is with him isn't he?" 

"Yes, he is, but I doubt Harold can stop him if he does anything stupid."

George sucked his teeth and groaned, "Well, why do I feel like I am in my fraternity days again?"

"Tell me about it," Mack scoffed. 

Crossover Bar and Restaurant, Night-Time

Bill was in the VIP room with Henry. The Crossover Bar was the popular bar in Washington. The usual guests there were celebrities, politicians, and rich people as not everyone had access to the exclusive bar. The Crossover Bar had a room for VIPs and the like. Henry brought his special guest there tonight. Bill was particular with security and privacy. He told Harold to make sure that the place was secured and that no photos would be taken.

Henry took Bill to the underground VIP room. It was partly dark, but the sound inside was already blaring. Bill could hardly hear Henry. When they entered the room, Bill was surprised by the ladies inside. There were five of them. Harold looked at Bill warily, particularly not comfortable that there would be women. Henry saw the exchange look. 

“Baaah, don’t worry about the women, man,” Henry said. “They are with me.”

Bill nodded to Harold and he nodded back. “I'll be just outside the room, Sir. I'll leave some with you here inside."

Bill took a seat and he could see from Henry’s behind through a dark glass the number of people in the main lobby - dancing and getting drunk.

“Don’t worry about ‘em,” Henry said, “They couldn’t see us from here.”

Bill sat down and he was suddenly surrounded by women. Bill wasn't paying attention to the ladies that surrounded him. He said that he would just stay for a while just to hang out with Henry since the guy had supported him during his campaign.

Bill was true to his words, he stayed there and wasn’t touching any of the alcohols that Henry was serving him. Henry was a notorious womanizer. There were stories that he would even host orgies in his mansion. He invited Bill many times during his gubernatorial days but Bill always ended up rejecting it with an acceptable excuse.

After a while, some other VIP joined them. The Secret Service conducted a body check before allowing anyone to come in. Bill drank his glass of water as he talked to other guests inside the VIP room, then he took a seat on the expensive-looking leather couch opposite Henry who looked already drunk. Some of the ladies surrounded Bill. One lady threw her arm around him and leaned her head. One Agent came and placed a hand on the lady's shoulder, giving her a warning. 

"Not too close, please," The Agent said but the lady just shrugged her shoulder. 

Henry laughed. "Leave 'em alone. She wouldn't hurt the President!"

Bill shifted on his seat uncomfortably.

It was his time to leave.

Bill was about to get a drink and say goodbye when he was surprised to see George and Mack barged into the room. They scanned the room and then saw Bill sitting on the couch with a woman sitting next to him. 

“Why on earth are your men here?” Henry asked, his words a little slurred.

“Sorry, Parker, the President invited us,” Mack said, taking one of the ladies’ hands particularly the one sitting next to Bill whose arms were dangling around on his neck.

Bill looked at Mack confused because he didn’t invite them.

“Can't-miss such a party,” George said, sitting in the space next to Bill. “What do we have here?” George said, taking one of the glasses that was filled with a dark hue of browns.

“That’s 1676 Whiskey,” Henry said. “My boy Billy here no longer enjoys life ever since won the Presidency.”

George chuckled and he sniffed the alcohol before taking a sip. “Well, you can say that.”

Mack was looking at George with reprove. He cleared his throat and turned to Henry, “Anyway, Henry, this is such a party but it’s late. We need to go.”

"Babysitting, my boy Billy now?" 

Bill sighed, “Right, Henry, it’s late. I gotta go.” He reached for the whiskey and took the drink in one gulp.

The three of them stood up and said their goodbyes to Henry who didn’t pay attention to them and started kissing the woman sitting on his lap.

“Thanks for rescuing me,” Bill mumbled as the escort guarding the room opened the door. They stepped out just in time that the waitress who was holding a tray with shot glass accidentally missed a step causing the drinks that she was holding to fall. Bill shot his arm to hold the waitress, but by doing so, some of the drink spilled on his shirt. 

“Gee, man, some warning!” George shouted at the guard. 

The secret service agents that were with them helped the lady and Bill reached for a towel to wipe his shirt. 

“Let’s go, it’s not looking good in here,” Mack said warily, surprised by the number of people at the darkened bar.

Harold approached them and led the way, “This way, towards the back exit.”

They were about to step out but a guest spotted Bill and said, “Hey, it’s the President!”

Mack moved to cover Bill. He didn’t turn to the call of his name but they saw a flash on their peripheral. They exited hurriedly hoping that no one got a photo of them.

White House, After Few Days

Bill just got off from a National Security Meeting when George entered the Oval Office. Bill sat on his executive chair and pulled out a Cuban Cigar and looked at George who turned on the television in the corner.

“I think you have a television in your office,” Bill said, then he huffed then a white smoke billowed as he puffed his cigar.

“Here we go,” George said after selecting a channel. He stood up and moved away so Bill could see.

Bill saw Senator Rodham being interviewed and looking glorious and beautiful as ever. 

"Why are we watching this?"

George ignored him and the interviewer asked Senator Rodham.

"Given your new role as the Minority Leader will you be hard on the policies that the President will want to pursue?"

"I think there's always a wrong impression of our role. Being the opposition doesn't mean that we are always going to contradict, but we are here to strike a balance in power. I wouldn't say that I will be hard to work with but I will make sure that check and balance are in place and that policies are created for the benefit of all Americans."

“Senator, do you think that it is alarming that the President is seen hanging out with the notorious Henry Parker?”

Bill felt his stomach plummet. He stood up. 

"I beg your pardon?" Hillary asked, pressing the earpiece in her ear. 

"Pictures are circulating that the President is seen in the Crossover Bar recently." 

Pictures of Bill flashed on the screen. Specifically, the ones where Bill was seen with his shirt open on the throat and a burgundy stain on his shirt, then Hillary's video came in again as she answered. 

“This is the first time I've seen this. Uh… Well…" She stammered. 

"What do you think of this news?

"Given… Given the pictures, Henry Parker is notorious for these parties and Mr. Parker isn’t even shy about that," She paused. "The pictures… It's concerning that the President has seemingly not outgrown his Bachelor days. This… This kind of demeanor is totally unbecoming and unpresidential. I hope White House answers this.”

Bill’s jaw dropped, the cigar almost slipping from his lips when he continued to listen as the reporter told the story flashed his pictures on the screen with his white shirt stained with visible alcohol and a smudge of lipstick on the collar.

Oh, damn, he did not want this.

Chapter Text

Hillary's Office, Few Days After, Morning

Hillary looked at her phone and was contemplating if she would give Bill a call to explain that her interview was not shown in full but only a soundbite. Few days had passed but her interview and his pictures were still circulating, putting her in head-to-head verbal sparring with him. She had been thinking about it but couldn't make a decision. 

She couldn’t shake off the feeling of why she felt like talking to him about her interview because it made him look bad. To begin with, she was caught off guard by the interview. She didn’t even expect it. She thought she would be asked about her election as the first female elected as Minority Leader. She thought it would center to the first progressive move from Republicans.

Hillary cheered for her Party by saying that Republicans weren’t as stuck up to the past as what others perceived by having her elected as the Minority Leader. She was talking about her election and what would the people expect from her as a Minority Leader when the host pivoted and suddenly asked her about President Clinton attending Henry Parker’s Party and they flashed his picture with his stained shirt. She was caught off guard and while she carefully chose her words, the way it was aired sounded as if she was criticizing him.

To say, it was okay to criticize him. To begin with, there should be no problem with her criticizing the President because that was one of her roles as Minority Leader. It was just that sinking feeling that she couldn’t shake off. Admittedly, she actually enjoyed the short moment they shared in the White House Library. It was the only good thing that made the night better considering what Timothy did afterward, so setting a wrong footing after her election as opposed to working amicably with the White House seemed to make her feel off. 

She took a deep breath. Okay, she wouldn’t apologize, how about just asking how he was doing? 

What the hell?  She thought, outrageously. Why does she care about him? 

Hillary shook her head and stood up from her and started to pace bothered by the turn of her feelings and thoughts.

“Hill, hurry, look at this—” 

Hillary spun to look at her assistant, Mary, who went to grab the remote control of her television and turned to a news channel.

“What’s happening?” Hillary asked, her attention turned to the television. She turned as some of Hillary's aides and staff entered her office. 

Something was up.

A female reporter appeared on the screen and said, “...News about President partying continues to spread but the White House has been evasive of the question. Earlier, at Ohio, while the President was attending a public event, his mobile phone rang and the President took a jab on Senator Rodham’s comment.”

Hillary gripped her chin with her thumb and forefinger watching as Bill’s face appeared on the screen. He was wearing a light blue collared shirt and was addressing the crowd when his mobile phone rang. He wasn’t able to ignore it as the sound of the ringing blasted, he seemed to hesitate first but then gave in. He leaned a little and fished for his phone and said rather playfully, “Wait a minute, my phone is ringing, ‘must be Senator Rodham callin’ to lecture me for my demeanor today for being damn casual in my speech.”

The crowd laughed as Bill continued to throw some jokes.

“This bozo thinks that he can get away with anything!” Hillary's staff commented, then someone shushed the staff. 

Hillary turned away from the television. She was annoyed that the Bill did not take her message seriously, and instead, made a fool out of her. She thought he would at least address the issue rather than mock it. 

Jennifer, Hillary’s PR, entered the room and went to her, “Did you see what the President did?”

Hillary didn’t respond and instead went to her chair again thinking about her move. I am such an idiot! She thought. Five minutes ago she was thinking about making a friendly call with the President to talk to him about her interview and perhaps find a common ground that they could work on together. But as it seems, he didn’t need her friendly call.

They looked at Hillary for some instructions. She pressed her palms together thinking and then she looked at Jennifer. "Can everybody leave except Jennifer?" 

Everyone left one by one and she was left with her PR, "Call Stanley, let’s make sure that next time we don’t let the President take our message lightly."

White House, Same Day, Night-Time

Bill’s playful jab against Senator Rodham’s message seemingly worked well for him. Although, he felt a nagging feeling that he did not handle the situation seriously. It was just stupid of him actually. They intended to address the incident; it was that they were caught off guard by the release of the photos. It was just that it was a spur of the moment as well when his cellphone rang and his National Security Advisor, Greg Hamilton, was calling him about the situation in North Korea.

On the other hand, George thought that Bill’s playful jab was actually good, because most of the people stopped paying attention to that news, and instead had taken it lightly as a bachelor being a bachelor.

***

White House, Next Day, Morning

Bill was in the war room with the National Security Team including his Secretary of State and Vice President. They were discussing the growing tension between North and South Korea. This happened ever since North Korea started to progress on their Nuclear program. His team was maneuvering to have a Nuclear deal just to put a halt in the regime’s program.

Bill was being briefed of what was taking place between them and was about to conclude the meeting with Robert Gelko, Bill’s Chief Negotiator saying that he and his team would be conducting an intense negotiation with North Korea.

“We need to bring this discussion with the Congress before they snoop around us thinking that we are already taking steps about North Korea without involving them in the discussion,” Robert added.

“We'll have a word with the Congress,” Bill ended. He turned to Paul, his Senior Strategist, "Call the team in my room. We need to plan this discussion accordingly." 

He stood up and went to Mack who was waiting for him outside.

“Can you get George for me? We need to discuss the North Korea situation with the Congress leaders.” He said as they started to walk out of the War Room. He casually nodded to some staff who greeted him.

“Right," Mack responded. Bill saw some people gathering in a corner and watching the television. He nodded to where they were gathering.

"What's up with them? Don't they have work?" Bill asked. 

Mack looked at the people. "Well, you might want to straighten up with the issue with Senator Rodham."

Bill briefly stopped and looked at him. “I thought I’ve already handled it?”

Mack sighed, “She released another press conference though. Directly attacking you for not taking the situation seriously.”

“Geez…” Bill said in aghast. “We are dealing with more pressing matters and Senator Rodham is still attacking me for my behavior?”

He pressed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.

“Republicans,” Mack said as if it was enough reason to answer Bill’s disappointment.

When they went to George’s room, Bill stood in the corner as they watched Hillary make a statement about Bill’s demeanor.

Bill leaned against the wall then crossed his arms against his chest seemingly running out of patience as Republicans were hammering him for flimsy reasons rather than talk about what matters to Americans. He watched in consternation as Hillary’s face appeared on the television.

“The President thinks that taking the accusations of his partying as a laughing matter speaks volumes about his leadership. The President represents the country and his photos circulating in the media and published globally put us in a bad light. He should be cautious…”

Bill pushed from the wall that he was leaning against, “George, address it, so we can already close this discussion with the Senator. I don't want to spend any more minutes talking about this. Apologize on my behalf, keep it succinct.”

He left George’s room and went to his office and started to pick up his work. 

***

Hillary’s Home, Same day, Night-Time

Hillary was already on the bed drinking a cup of camomile tea while reading her papers on her lap when her phone rang. She ignored it initially thinking that it was Tim as he was eager to patch things up with her, she already told him to stop calling her because she needed time. She instructed her staff when he called earlier to tell him not to talk to her in the meantime. 

However, the ringing continued so Hillary placed her mug on the bedside table and reached for her phone. She looked at the screen but no number appeared and instead indicated that it was a private call.

“Hello?” She answered.

“Hi, is this Senator Rodham’s phone?”

Hillary’s eyebrows furrowed, wondering who the caller was but the distinct Southern twang already gave her an idea who it was before the caller could even say his name.

“President Clinton?” She asked.

“Uh, yeah, this is Bill…” Bill said. 

Bill was still in the Oval Office when he decided to call her. He wanted to sort out this animosity between them, though the nagging side of his head told him that he really just wanted to call her. He brushed his hand on his face and told himself that he wanted to talk to her so he could sort out this. He just didn’t need it. He shook his head trying to dislodge the partial truth of his reason why he was calling. 

Hillary straightened, “This is an unexpected call.”

“Yeah, I know, I’m sorry. I hope you are not busy?” He asked. 

Hillary looked at the papers that she needed to read. “No, not really, why did you call?” She asked, tidying her papers and placing them on the bedside table.

Bill took a deep breath then said, “I’m sorry about joking on your statement. I shouldn’t have done that.”

“Well, you’ve already said it…”

“I know, and George already released a statement to address my behavior.”

“Yeah, so I’ve been informed. I’m glad you did that,” She added.

Silence.

“So I hope we can put this issue to rest?” Bill asked, gripping the body of the phone. He wanted to slap himself for asking that because frankly, he didn’t need to ask for her permission to put it to rest. Senator Rodham could drag the issue if she wanted to.

“Yeah, of course. I didn’t really want to continue with the tirade. To let you know, what I initially said in my interview… it’s only a soundbite.”

“I see,” Bill responded. He bit his lips, thinking that there was no need for him to stay in the line. He already said what he needed to say, and so he could already hang-up but for some damn reason he couldn’t understand, he wanted to stay in line with her. 

Hillary was wondering about that too, she was waiting for Bill to say goodbye, but he didn’t.

“What else are you supposed to say, since you mentioned that it’s only a soundbite?”

“Why do you…” Her eyes narrowed, but there was a small smile on her lips, “Why do you want to know?”

Bill chewed on his lip then teasingly asked, “Is it a secret?”

Hillary chuckled, “Silly,” She stopped realizing that she called the President - silly. “I mean…”

“It’s okay, I’m teasing,” Bill said.

WHAT? Is he flirting with her?  Hillary’s mind went kaput when the President admitted that he was teasing her. 

Bill closed his eyes as if in pain. Did he just admit that he was teasing her?

“I’m just -”

“Anyway -”

They both said at the same time and they both stopped.

“Go ahead,” Bill encouraged.

“What are you going to say?” Hillary asked.

“I’m just joking.”

“Nervous?”

“Maybe.”

Hillary bit her lower lip not understanding what was going.  What the actual fuck?  Her mind was going crazy.

“Anyway,” Hillary said to distract them both, “I was supposed to say that I didn’t know the story behind that picture and I am basing my conclusion on what the reports showed and that I think it will be appropriate for the White House to address it first before we make any formal comments.”

Bill nodded. “That’s good.”

“Okay...” Hillary said, giving him an opening to end the conversation.

“How...How are you?” Bill asked. 

“What?”  Where the hell is this going?  She thought.

“How are you?" Bill asked, feeling like he was getting dumb by the minute. 

“I’m good,” Hillary responded bereft wondering what kind of segue Bill did. “And you?” She added, she pressed her palm on her forehead. She was crazy about indulging in this conversation, but for some reason, she couldn’t stop.

Bill relaxed, and he took a deep breath and laid his head against the headrest. “I’m okay, a little bit rattled earlier, but I am good.”

The way he responded made Hillary smile. It was how easy he let his defenses down, did it for her. It was as if he was able to breathe after their few initial exchanges. “I’m glad to hear about that…” She paused, seemingly thinking of what to say next, then asked, “What was rattling you anyway, if you don’t mind?”

“Well, calling you for one.”

Hillary snickered, “Calling me, huh?”

“Yeah,” Bill said as a grin appeared on his face, “I… I didn’t know if you would even answer the phone, so I feel a little rattled.”

“Why would you be? It’s just me anyway.”

Exactly, why I should be rattled,  he thought. “I don’t know, I’m afraid you might actually lecture me about how I should behave.”

Hillary chuckled, then chewed on her lower lip. “I wouldn’t do that.”

Bill smiled, “If you want to lecture me, please, feel free to call me. I’ll gladly listen to you, Senator.”

“Right…” Hillary answered.

Bill took a deep breath, “I have an idea. There will be an upcoming gala in the White House. Will you be attending that one?”

“Oh, yeah, I will be attending it.”

“Maybe we can make an appearance, just to conclude that issue and let everyone know we have settled whatever disagreement we have.”

“Make an appearance…” Hillary echoed.

“Not… Not…” Bill started to reason but then he heard Hillary chuckle on her end, and Bill stopped and then smiled understanding that she was teasing him this time.

“Don’t worry, we’ll make an appearance,” Hillary assured.

“Yeah, it will be good,” Bill responded.

They stayed for a while not knowing what to say next but both were keen to savor the second they spent on the line without letting each other know. They couldn’t really pin-point where the seeming “fondness” was coming from but they couldn’t like each other, right? He was the Democratic President and she was the Republican Minority Leader. A polar opposite. 

“Well, I’ll see you at the gala then, Mr. President,” Hillary said quietly thinking that they should let go and put this conversation to end.

Bill bit his lower lip before responding, “Looking forward to that, Madam Senator.”

When Bill placed the phone down he looked at it as if he could see her by just looking at it. Bill shook his head as if trying to wake up from a dream. 

“Enough,” He told himself before he stood up and left his office.

***

White House, Gala Event, Night-Time

The East Room was converted to a ballroom with tables on the corner and a huge space in the middle. The gala was in honor of President Menem of Argentina who was fond of dancing and was visiting the country. While there were roughly thirty-minutes before the start of the event, people already started mingling and having fun filling the room with a cacophony of sounds.

Bill was in the East Room as well listening to President Menem as they discussed its rich history. The event did not start yet because they were still waiting for more guests to arrive. 

While Bill was listening to President Menem, he wasn't focused because he was paying attention to the people coming and going out of the room.

He was waiting for Senator Rodham. Bill wouldn’t deny the excitement that coursed through him by the prospect of seeing Hillary. He told himself he was happy because they would be finally addressing the “issue” and they could finally close the case and move on.

However -

Bill felt his breath hiked, Hillary arrived wearing a purple studded dress with her hair tied braided as if a crown around her head showing her neck. Energy ran through his body seeing Hillary unassumingly entered the room - alone.

Bill looked around and wondered where Tim but he was nowhere to be found. He took a sip from his tumbler before he placed them on a tray from a passing waiter. Bill excused himself from the circle of gentlemen and went to where Hillary was standing. Hillary was talking to some Senators when the people around her stopped talking. Hillary wondered if she said something wrong or she smudged her lipstick but even before she heard Bill speak, she felt his energy behind her - giving her goosebumps on her arms.

“Senator Rodham,” He greeted, “May I invite you for a dance?”

Chapter Text

Hillary looked at Bill's outstretched hand, "Of... Of course, it will be my pleasure."

Bill walked her to the dancefloor, his gaze not leaving hers. Hillary smiled at him as she felt butterflies in her stomach flying and flapping their lithe soft wings making her feel alive again for the first time. 

It was the way he held her gaze that turned her insides into a puddle. Bill's gentle and unwavering stare made her feel like she was the most important person for him in the room. 

He pivoted her until she was facing him. He bowed to her and she curtsied before offering her hand to his. Bill gently took her hand as they slowed dance.

Hillary noticed that every photographer in the room started working on their cameras, the flashes were coming from different places making her feel conscious.

"Relax," Bill whispered assuringly as if he heard her thoughts. He looked down at her, "Don't look at anyone, just look at me."

"What are you doing Bill?" Hillary asked, in the same hushed tone and smiling up at him.

"Appearance, right? I'm giving you the best appearance right now." He said before he swept her off her feet.

She didn't know why she felt her eyes pricking but she was just happy to be there dancing with him, and she never felt that way before; that genuine happiness just to be with someone. She felt special and it had been a while since someone made her feel special.

When the song ended, Bill bowed again to her and she curtsied. He tucked her hand in the crook of his arm as he brought her back to her place.

“I hope you enjoyed the dance.”

“I did… very much.” She said grinning, feeling a little lightheaded from bliss. They smiled at some photographers as they continued walking back to her place. When they were about to reach her seat, Bill leaned slightly to her to ask: “I’d like to get to know you better, Senator. I hope you don’t mind if I invite you for dinner some time?”

Hillary turned to him, with her mouth opened. She didn’t expect the invitation, everything just felt surreal.

“Are you sure?”

"Let's talk about it," He said, giving her a friendly wink.

She turned to him when they reached her seat. She hoped that no one could see the dreamy look in her eyes as she looked up at him. She couldn't say in words how much the dance and invitation meant to her but she knew she had to say something, so she ended up saying, "Thank you."

Bill leaned, kissed the back of her fingers, his gaze never leaving hers and she knew he understood how grateful she was.

Bill returned to his place as the host announced the start of the event. 

***

Hillary's Office, Few Days After, Morning

Hillary was reading her notes from her recent meeting with the GOP leaders in the Senate when her father barged in her office.

"Hillary Diane!" Her father called. 

Hillary groaned.

"Hillary Diane!" He barked.

Her father reached her corner with his stride angry, he was carrying a stack of newspapers with him.

"Explain this to me, Hillary Diane!" He said as he dropped the bunch of newspapers on her table angrily, covering the notes that she was reading.

Hillary was suddenly looking at her and President Clinton's picture on the front page of the Washington Post with a headline that says: Bickering Ends for the President and the Senator. She looked at other articles. All same shots but of different angles and close-ups with different headlines such as Truce between the President and the Senator, the Dance that No One Expected! 

Hillary didn't read the rest of the headlines, she turned to her father who was fuming mad. "What do you say?" He asked. 

"Dad, I danced with the President that's all."

"That's all?" Her father asked incredulously. 

Hillary sighed, "What do you want me to say? He invited me to dance. I said, 'Yes'. What's wrong with that? Besides, I no longer want the bickering to continue because it's not productive. It's better that our petty argument ended that way."

Hillary's father did not sound pacified, "I do not agree with you, Hillary. Our work as the opposition is not to work amicably with the Democrats! What are you thinking?" 

"Not work amicably?" She asked in disbelief. "This is the very reason why this country cannot get along because of these political agendas!" 

"Don't use that word with me!" Her father stormed. 

"What do you want me to say? You want me to reject him? What will I benefit from doing that?" 

The way her father's face fell knew she scored. He sighed. "Don't lose your sight on that fool. We have work to do!"

"I know," Hillary responded.

Her father took the newspaper with him, "I will see you tonight. Your mother and I are expecting you to come to join our dinner."

She nodded.

"Will you be bringing Timothy?" 

Hillary sighed, "I don't know."

Her father shook his head in disappointment. "I hate indecisive men. I cannot believe that Duke hasn't made his mind when to settle with you."

"Dad!" Hillary interjected. She was just tired of all this. Her father looked at her and she added firmly, "Stop."

Hugh took a deep breath and said, "Alright. I'm sorry. I will see you later."

Hillary nodded. Hugh turned and left her. 

***

Hillary's Office, Same Day, Night-Time

Later that evening while she was about to wrap up her work, her phone rang. An operator answered informing her that she would be connected to the White House and the next voice she heard was Bill’s.

“Hi,” He greeted. 

“Hey, hello,” She greeted back, holding the phone against her ear. Hoping her greeting didn't sound as if she was excited to hear from him.  

“I hope I am not disturbing, am I?” Bill asked he leaned against his executive chair inside the Oval Office. Holding the phone tightly, a little anxious making that phone call.

“No, you’re not disturbing. Why did you call?” She asked. 

“I just want to ask how you are…” Bill responded, smiling. 

Hillary felt her heart stopped. “Seriously? That’s… that's very thoughtful of you.”

“Why do you sound surprised?”

Hillary shook her head, it was just that it was unusual she thought. She couldn’t remember hearing that question from someone outside her circle of friends. “Nothing, I didn’t expect it from you.”

"Why not?" Bill asked, then bit his lip. 

Hillary thought to be frank, "Well, we are not friends."

Bill nodded, a little stung but it was a truth nonetheless.

"To be honest, you calling me is a surprise. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't appreciate it. I am just boggled."

Bill sighed. How could he explain to her this feeling of wanting to get to know her? It annoyed him but if he tried to ignore her, the more he craved for her presence. 

"I wonder about that too, maybe because I find a kind soul in you, so please, humor me, Senator. "

Hillary laughed, then hesitated and finally said, "Alright."

“So how are you?” Bill asked the way he said those words in his Southern accent made Hillary smile.

“I am… well… I am okay."

“Just okay?” He teased. 

She hesitated thinking if she would share her altercation with her father but she felt that it was too soon to share it, besides, this was the President for God’s sake, not her best friend Betsy. 

“There’s a lot of work to do today,” She said plainly. “You?”

“I feel a little bit pressured and stressed earlier dealing with grumpy old men,” He joked.

She laughed again. It was the first time for the past few days that Hillary laughed twice in the same period and it felt good. It was odd to get that good feeling from someone she didn’t expect.

“I feel you. Imagine how I feel.”

“What do you feel?” Bill asked, smoothly. 

“I…” She hesitated again, “It’s hard to share it here on the phone... it’ll be difficult for me to explain it,” She said, sighing.

“Great, then we have something to talk about when we have our dinner.”

She felt the butterflies in her stomach, flapping their wings softly. He was serious about dinner. She scoffed, “Right.”

“No, I am serious.”

Hillary chuckled. “Alright, then ask me so it's official.”

"But I already asked you last time."

"I didn't hear it..." She teased, "Humor me again, Mr. Clinton." 

Bill chuckled, then bit the insides of his mouth before he asked, “Ms. Rodham,” He started, “Would you be so kind to join me for dinner this Friday night, say seven in the evening?”

Hillary laughed. “Mr. Clinton,” She said biting her lower lip, then nodded, “That would be lovely.”

Bill bit his lip to stifle the urge to smile like a fool. “Great, I’ll have my staff contact to pick you then.”

“You don't have to. I'll be there."

"Cool."

"Alright, good-bye.”

“Bye.”

“Bye,” Hillary chuckled at their silliness, “Why are you not putting the phone down?”

“Ladies first.”

“Goodbye, Mr. Clinton,” she said as she hung up smiling.

***

Friday, White House, Night-time

"Fucking finally, it's Friday!" George exclaimed, stretching his arms in joy. He yawned as Mack looked at him. They were inside the Oval Office waiting for Bill to return from another meeting.

Bill’s executive staff and some aides gathered in his Oval Office for their Friday night discharge briefing. Their discharge briefings were conducted during Fridays to discuss their projects, the status of tasks, and a summary of what they worked on before the weekend starts. Bill wanted to ensure that before the weekend everyone was still aligned and were all on top of their projects and assignments.

Bill entered the Office followed by Vice President Gore and Secretary Albright. Everyone stood up when he came in. Bill nodded at them, motioning for them to sit down. He reached behind his desk and sat on his chair. 

Bill pressed his palms together as he listened to Mack conduct the session. He glanced at his watch, just thirty minutes before seven. He was anxious. Hillary would be arriving soon.

He didn't discuss it with anyone but with Dolly to arrange the room where he would have his dinner with Hillary. Initially, Dolly suggested the Family Dining room. However, Bill felt that the room was too big for the two of them. He opted to choose the small dining room next to the kitchen where some of the kitchen staff have their meals. It was decent, homey, and a little intimate. He didn't want any grandiosity. 

Dolly was flabbergasted because normally for dinners they would either use the Family Dining room, the Red Room, the Green Room, the Blue Room, the Solarium, or the President's dining room. Bill could choose anything but he chose none. He chose the Kitchen Dining Room.

"Bill…" Dolly asked, her eyeglass slipped on the tip of her nose. "The Kitchen Dining Room?" 

"Dolly, I just need a small room."

"I don't understand. We have other small rooms, Bill. If we used the Kitchen Dining Room, Senator Rodham might be insulted."

"Dolly, I think the Kitchen Dining Room is good."

Now though, Bill was anxious if he made the right decision and he was thirty minutes away before Hillary arrived.

He fidgeted on his seat because fifteen minutes before seven Mack wasn't wrapping up yet. 

Ten minutes… 

Mack wrapped up and people started to leave telling everyone to have a happy weekend. Bill stood up rather too fast and went out of the office not waiting for anyone. He jogged to go to the back entrance of the White House where Dolly was already standing. 

"Dolly," Bill called. 

"Bill! Senator Rodham is three blocks away." 

"Good," Bill said, rubbing his palms on his slacks. "Where should I be?"

"What do you mean?" Dolly asked, confused.

"Where should… Wh...where should I stand?" 

Dolly laughed at Bill's dilemma. "Are you nervous?" 

Bill cackled, "No…" Dolly raised an eyebrow, and he retracted his words, "Yes, Dolly, I need to ensure that I impressed Senator Rodham tonight. I want to close whatever disagreement we have."

Dolly scoffed and looked at him. "Wait for her here. I'll take care of the dining room."

Bill nodded. "Do I look good?" 

Dolly laughed, "Dashing debonair as ever."

Bill laughed.

He watched as Dolly left him alone standing. He nodded to the agent standing on the side. 

She would be arriving any minute now. Five minutes before seven he saw a black sedan.

Bill's back straightened as the car traversed the driveway and stopped just right in front of him. An escort sitting at the passenger seat got out and opened and pulled the door on the backseat.

Bill’s chest heaved as Hillary stepped out of the car bringing with her a confident air around her. She was already beaming at him even before she fully got out as if she was happy to see him. Bill's heart soared as a pleasurable warmth spread on his chest.

"Hello, I'm not late am I?" Hillary asked, smiling at him shaking his hand. 

His eyes softened at her wide smile. A croak escaped his lips - mesmerized by her radiance. "You're perfect… Perfectly on time, Senator." 

He motioned for her to walk with him, "Sorry for the lack of formalities for tonight's dinner. I'd rather keep it casual."

He helped her with her coat and gave it to the nearby butler. "Thanks," She muttered.

Hillary felt glad to be able to see Bill. She couldn't shake her excitement and trepidation in meeting him. She was nervous alright. She counted the minutes before leaving her office making sure she would arrive on time not too early so as not to appear excited and not too late so as not to appear disinterested.

To be honest, it was a mixed feeling but more of anxiousness. But seeing him standing there outside the entrance, she felt elated. Her nervousness - forgotten. She was happy to be seeing him. The only happiness she felt from the worries of her work to her disagreements with her dad to her argument with Timothy. It was like being able to breathe some fresh air.

Bill was strategic, he knew the floor map of the White House after he was given a tour. He knew where to go to get to the rooms without passing through halls where most of the staff would go. His superb intelligence made him good in visual memory, hence he knew where to bring Hillary without bumping to any of his executive staff.

"How is your day?" Bill asked. 

A smile appeared on her lips. She briefly looked at him and said, "Just glad to have a break from work."

"Tough day?" 

"More or less… You?" Hillary noticed that they were passing through halls instead of taking the usual route.

"Just glad that we are going to have dinner soon."

She side-eyed him and gave him a knowing smile, "Tough day?"

They stopped in front of a wooden door and Bill held the knob. He turned to her and gave her a boyish grin, "More or less."

Hillary looked down as if she found something interesting on the floor as Bill opened the door for her, but it was because she felt her cheeks heated when he smiled at her.

"What room is this?" She asked, looking at a rather very simple yellow room with a small rectangular furnished table that had six sittings. There were two separate adjacent doors. Two servers were standing on the corner. They both nodded at Hillary and Bill as they entered.

To Bill's surprise, Hillary went to the servers and shook their hands and thanked them for their service. Bill followed thanking them as well, then he motioned to the table. 

"Shall we?" 

There was a simple painting hanging on the wall. It was warm and cozy. The table in the center had some bouquet of daisies in the middle.

"I've decided to use the kitchen dining room," He answered plainly. 

Bill walked ahead and pulled the chair for her, "Please," he motioned. The table wasn't too wide but decent space for them.

Bill took the opposite seat, then he looked at the servers and nodded at them - signaling for them to prepare the dinner. 

"Why the kitchen room?" Hillary asked, looking at him. 

Bill was only wearing pristine white long sleeves and dark blue necktie. He didn't bother with a coat and Hillary wondered what kind of dinner they were having. She did not want to classify the dinner as a date because they were not dating. She couldn't imagine them dating because it would cause a scandal. 

"Hmm?" He asked, leaning against the chair, relaxed.

"I believe there are several dining rooms here in the White House. It's very peculiar that you chose this one instead," She said smiling at him.

"I thought that it’s very homey and less grand."

Hillary nodded. They both turned to the server who served them an appetizer - a pumpkin soup.

They both thanked the server and they started to eat. They ate quietly asking about each other’s day and their work. They kept the conversation simple until they got to the desert. Bill leaned - feeling a little full after having a steak and salad. “Do you care for the desert?”

Hillary smiled at him, chewing at the mints that were given to them, “No, I’d rather skip if you don’t mind. I’m a little full.”

Bill nodded, he looked at the servers signaling them that the dinner is finished. “Do you want to go out for a walk?”

Hillary looked at him and she was still puzzled about the dinner and she thought that going out for a walk would allow them to have a more private conversation compared to the kitchen room with servers who were a few steps away from them.

“Sure,” she said as she dabbed her lips and took the last sip of her water.

Bill helped her up and they went out of the room. “Thank you so much for the dinner,” Hillary said.

“Did you enjoy the meal?” He asked as he led the way out of the White House. "Yes, very much," She responded. 

They took her coat before they descended the stairs and arrived at the foyer, Hillary noticed the presence of the Agents. 

“If I step out of the premises they would follow me,” Bill said, noticing where her eyes went.

He nodded to the Agent. 

It must be already eight in the evening then there were fewer people in the White House save for some few who were still working. Bill was a little wary of people seeing Hillary because for sure people would start talking about it. They stepped out of the White House and went for a walk in the North Lawn.

The White House North Lawn at night was a bit dark save for a few post lights on the corner. Secret Service Agents, two of them, followed Bill discreetly. Bill turned to them and waved.

“Privacy is a luxury for me,” Bill said as he started to fold the sleeves of his shirt. Hillary watched, mesmerized by the way his hands moved. He added, “I couldn’t talk much in the dining room because whatever it is that we would be talking about, I am sure it will spread like wildfire. I am already sure that people will be talking about your presence tonight.”

"What will you tell them?" She asked.

"I'll tell them that I am trying to charm the Senate Minority Leader."

Hillary laughed, not knowing if Bill was joking or he meant it. He didn't say anything to clarify his statement and Hillary decided to forego it. She didn't want to invite any uncomfortable discussion between them.

“I know. I played along with your tune. I am not much of a talker anyway when eating," She said.

An impregnable silence followed. The silence between them was even comforting. Hillary started to appreciate his presence. He didn't need to talk but there was an aura around him that was just warm and friendly. She felt like a moth attracted to his flame.

Bill kicked a stone on his path, then spoke breaking the silence, "How do you like your new role, Senator?" 

Hillary felt her stomach plummet being reminded that she got elected because of her father and Tim's influence, "It's fine."

Bill scoffed, "Just fine?" 

Hillary briefly glanced at him, "Well, being surrounded by most male seniors made it a bit challenging for me to move around." 

Bill nodded understanding what she was saying. As it seems that despite her election, Republicans would never embrace female leadership any time soon, "I am sorry to hear that." 

Bill rubbed his chin, "If you don't mind me asking, but, Senator Rodham, I kind' a find some of your policies a bit progressive for Republicans. Are you sure that you are in the right party?" 

Hillary chuckled, "Checking out on me?"

Bill stopped walking and turned to her, his hands in his pockets. There was a boyish smile on his face that Hillary found cute.

"Well, I have to know everything about the opposition."

"Now, I wonder if being friends with you is wise." 

Bill laughed out loud. His laugh echoed in the empty quiet lawn. They continued to walk. Hillary was debating if it was indeed wise to be friendly and honest with him. She was afraid that he might use whatever information she revealed against her. She stopped walking and Bill stopped as well. She looked in his deep-set blue eyes and asked, "How do you know if you can trust someone?" 

"Faith."

Hillary sighed and they continued to walk, Bill broke the silence and spoke. "When I was in my sixteenth year, I decided to be in public life as an elected official. I loved music and thought I could be very good, but I knew I would never be John Coltrane or Stan Getz. I was interested in medicine and thought I could be a fine doctor. I knew I would never be Michael DeBakey, but I knew I could be great in Public Service."

Hillary took a hint of what he was doing. Bill was sharing private information about his life so she would share hers. He offered it without hesitation, to her concern. He couldn't be that trusting, couldn't he?

"My…" She hesitated, "My family has always been Republicans. My dad is a staunch Republican. It's also because he is a devout conservative Christian. Things changed for me though." That was all she could offer. She still couldn't trust him. Not yet anyway.

Bill felt Hillary's hesitation in sharing information and he understood that, but he couldn't help but pry a little, "How did things change for you?"

"Well, a lot. When I went to college and joined the sorority. Events around me changed me. I'm more or less open to negotiations now."

Bill turned to her and Hillary continued, "I want what's the best for the country and it has always been my priority. That's all."

The way she ended her statement made Bill aware of the fact that she didn't want to talk about it. He would give her that, besides, he also had some secrets he couldn't share with her as well. Not yet anyway. 

He rubbed the back of his neck itching to touch her. 

They walked more in silence and then he gave her a crooked smile, “You might be wondering why I invited you for a dinner d….” He caught himself before he ended up saying ‘date’. It wasn’t exactly a date but it wasn’t exactly business

Hillary stopped, looked at him, and supplied the word, “Dinner date?”

Bill stopped as well and gave her a level gaze, “I don’t want to call it a date because I don’t think it is a date. I don't want to call it a business dinner because it isn’t one.” He bit his lip, seemingly being careful with his words.

Hillary chuckled and found his uncertainty endearing, “We don’t have to label it, anyway. Relax," She teased.

Bill chuckled, “Right,” He inserted his hands back inside his pockets before he ended up putting them at the small of her back. “Going back, you might be wondering why I invited you for dinner.”

“I would be lying if I say that I’m not curious, but sure, go ahead, why did you invite me for dinner?”

Bill looked down at the top of his shoes and smiled sheepishly, “I actually want us to be friends.”

Hillary stopped and turned to him as if he offended her. Bill held her gaze, while she waited if he would announce that he was just joking, but when he didn’t, and he kept that straight face, Hillary knew he was serious.

“Bill,” She said, surprised that she used his name for the first time, “It’s different here in Washington. You just don’t make friends with anyone.” She continued walking, now they were turning on a curved pathway.

“And of all people, you don’t make friends with Republicans,” Hillary said, and she turned to him, “Not even me.”

A part of Hillary wanted to ask him what’s wrong with him? He was certainly not that naive enough to be this friendly. A part of her was afraid that Bill, who was notorious for being too friendly, would end up in a tangled mess if he would continue being one.

She continued to walk but stopped when she felt Bill reached for her wrist stopping her, “Why is that?”

Hillary looked at his hand on her wrist and he let go, “You cannot be that naive.”

“I always believe that people always have something in common, you just have to look closer… there’s always something in common, regardless of where you stood.”

Hillary’s chest heaved and she walked hurriedly and he followed her towards an oak tree. She turned to him and reached for his hand. She looked behind him and saw the agents were far from them, out of earshot. “Please, promise me you’re not going to trust anyone here easily.”

Bill looked at her worried eyes, pleading with him to say ‘yes’, “Please,” She repeated.

“Okay, I promise.”

Hillary tipped her head up feeling the rough surface of the oak’s trunk behind her. “I shouldn’t be doing this,” She said, particularly to no one.

“Doing what?”

Hillary turned to him, “Bill, why are you so nice?”

Bill chuckled, “Shouldn’t I be?”

Hillary pressed her hands on her face. She was in danger of liking him too much. She already even liked him. She took a step forward and framed his face with her hands, “Don’t. Don’t be too nice.”

Bill looked at her face feeling his heartbeat escalate. They were standing too close to each other now. If he leaned or she tiptoed they would be kissing and he was tempted to do so. He was touched that she was worried about him. No one was worried about him besides George and Mack. To know a woman genuinely worried for him was an unfamiliar feeling that made him a little soft. 

He tentatively reached and placed his hand atop hers, “Alright, I won’t.”

Hillary's eyes dropped to his lips and Bill felt his heart stopped. But she closed her eyes as if she remembered something, then she stepped back until she was leaning against the tree. She tipped her head back looking at the silhouette of the canopy above her.

"Are you seeing anyone?" Bill asked after a while breaking her trail of thoughts. 

Hillary looked at him and told him matter-of-factly, "I am seeing Tim."

Bill nodded, "Congressman Duke?" 

She nodded. "We've been dating for a while now."

Bill felt someone just punched his chest. He knew that but to hear it from her kind of stung, "He must be a wonderful guy."

Hillary stared at him then to the tips of her shoes. "My parents think so."

Bill's gaze lingered on her face, "But what do you think?" 

Hillary gave a self-deprecating laugh, "What I think doesn't matter."

Bill stepped closer and it was his turn to slide his hands along her jaw - tipping her head up to look at him, "Don't say that, Hillary." His thumbs brushed her cheek, "What you think and feel is important…if it's not important for others, it is for me." He searched her face, then whispered sincerely, "Don't ever allow someone to make you feel less, not even yourself."

Maybe it was the way he gazed at her, so gentle… so sincere that Hillary felt she was drowning by his blue eyes or maybe it was the way he held her face and brushed her cheeks that she found herself wanting to be kissed. Bill slowly descended his head towards her, her body trapped between the trunk and his warm one… oh she was going to be kissed - 

Crack 

Bill stepped on a twig that brought Hillary to her senses. She broke her gaze with him, “Don’t,” she whispered. Her chest heaved as Bill took a step back. “I’m sorry,” he told her. 

Hillary wrapped her arms around herself as if she was cold, “I… I have to go, it’s late,” she excused. 

“I’ll take you back to your car,” Bill told her but Hillary wasn’t listening. She continued to walk.

She didn’t stop him from walking with her but she walked ahead of him as if the very devil was chasing her. She was thinking what the hell just happened. Hillary’s mind was racing thinking that they were treading on a dangerous situation - being attracted to each other. The implication of that attraction would lead them to problems and she should be just wise enough to ensure that shouldn’t happen.

They didn't talk as she tried to hurry where her car was going to pick her up. She called her chauffeur to meet her in the entrance facing the North Lawn. When they reached the curve, Hillary's car was already waiting for her. 

Hillary hurriedly went to the car. She turned to him as her escort opened the door to the backseat. "Thank you for the dinner," She said simply.

Bill nodded and she got into the car. She didn't wait for Bill to say anything, she nodded to her security to close the door. 

When her door closed, she took a last glimpse of him standing outside a few steps away looking at her with a yearning stare before her car moved and drove her away from White House. 

Chapter Text

Hillary's House, a Few Hours After, Midnight

Hillary was already wearing her creamy silk robe inside her bedroom, standing next to her glass sliding door overlooking her pool and garden. She held a wine glass filled with Chardonnay, lost in her thoughts as she tried to remember what happened earlier.

Bill almost kissed her, and she would be lying if she said that she did not want it. She wanted to feel his kiss and was anticipating it, but common sense told her that she should be glad that it didn't happen because it would open a can full of worms if it did.

She should feel relieved, yet that night, after a few hours, a shower, and a glass of wine, she couldn't forget it...couldn't forget him. She couldn't forget how sweet and warm Bill's presence felt. He was nice and funny. There was something so boyish about him that Hillary couldn't resist. Then there was the way he held her that made her knees go weak and the way his gaze lingered on her before he descended his head to kiss her. 

It was…tempting. 

Hillary groaned, pressing the wine glass against her forehead. The way he slid his hands to cradle her face, the way he brushed her cheeks with his thumbs as he told her that her thoughts and feelings were important for him made her feel warm and fuzzy inside. 

Hillary finished her drink and went to her bed. She slid inside the thick duvet and laid on her side thinking about his lips, his hands… Hillary turned on her back, she needed to stop or else she would be falling through this spiraling and dizzying blackhole of what-ifs. The devil inside her head was tempting her though, urging her to think of what could have been… Hillary tossed and remembered the whispers of some people that moved in her circles saying that the French actress - that was once Bill's paramour - shared that he was passionate in bed and that he could set the mattress to a flame. She said that he was always the unhurried kind, the considerate, and the pleaser. 

Hillary closed her eyes, remembering his face, and fell asleep. 

Hillary jumped from her bed when her phone rang after some time. She turned her head to the phone and answered it. 

"Hillary…" 

She felt goosebumps on her arms as Bill's husky voice reverberated through the line.

"Bill…" She said, breathless.

"I am just checking if you arrived home safe."

She pressed her cold hand against her warm forehead. "Yes, I did. Thanks for checking."

"I am sorry about earlier…"

"It's okay. Why did you call?" 

"I couldn't sleep.”

“Hmm...” 

“Hillary…”

“Yes?”

“I want you."

Beep beep beep beep

Hillary shot up, her chest heaving as she tried to catch her breath. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath trying to calm her thundering heart. She slid back from her bed realizing that the call was just a dream. She sighed, realizing how much she wanted it to be true.

***

White House, a Few Weeks After, Morning

Bill was ten days away before his one hundred days expired. Before the expiry, he did a press conference about it. While he has several wins, he couldn't deny that he has several losses. For once, he wasn't having a good week: the tragedy in Waco, the defeat of his stimulus bill, and then the standoff in Bosnia. The stimulus bill just hit him hard. 

For his part, the White House met with the leaders of the congress but they never won over the Republicans. Bill's team met with the Republicans led by Republican Senator, Dylan Doyle. Senator Doyle was hammering him for his plan - ridiculing it rather than working with them to enhance the bill. There were a lot of negotiations and meetings so they could meet half-way, but it was a moot point. 

Bill wanted to call Hillary to discuss it but obviously, he couldn't do it. He fucked up their dinner date with his attempt to kiss her. He couldn't even believe that he did that. He got carried away that he wasn't thinking when he framed her face with his hands and brushed her cheek. Hillary looked so beautiful and vulnerable that the urge to comfort her was so strong.

So there he had it, instead of having an ally in Republican Senate leadership, he ended having none.

***

Hillary’s Office, Same Day, Afternoon

"I regret that the stimulus did not pass, and I have begun to ask and will continue to ask not only people in the administration but the people in the Congress whether there is something I could have done differently to pass that part."

Hillary watched in her office as Bill stood on the podium to answer the questions from the Press. She felt sorry for him because she knew that he was trying hard to get it passed but her team was politicizing the bill. Hillary reasoned out with Senator Doyle but she was outnumbered. The Republican Senators were vicious and seemed bent to make Bill’s political life a living hell.

“...I’ve been here for ninety days. And you know, I was a governor working with a contentious legislature for twelve years, and it took me a decade to get political reform there. So it takes time to change things. But I basically feel very good about what’s happened in the first hundred days with regard to the Congress.”

Hillary sighed, and she turned off her television. She sat on her seat, pressing her palms together thinking if she would give him a call. They haven’t talked for nearly three weeks now ever since their dinner. She saw him in the Congress but she did not greet him nor looked at his way. 

Hillary was relieved that they did not have to talk but she wouldn't deny that she actually missed talking to him.

Maybe giving him a call tonight wouldn't be so bad. 

***

Oval Office, White House, Night-Time

Work was officially done, but Bill felt a little restless. He was glad that he was able to pass the budget resolution just in the nick of time. Now, his administration was in the right direction to bring the deficit down and increase investments. He just needed a few players who could play well with him to bring this plan to fruition. 

If only he had any decency, he could still have Senator Rodham. 

Bill closed his eyes and pressed his ice-cold tumbler filled whiskey against his forehead. He couldn’t forget her, not how she looked at him. Her face lingered inside his head like some phantom.

He thought that weeks of not seeing her could cure it, but it didn’t. It made him want to see more of her. He had a glimpse of her alright, but not once she looked at his way. He couldn’t blame him. He might have scared her off. He didn’t attempt any connection for fear - 

Ring Ring Ring

Bill looked at the phone, he picked it up and an operator answered him. “Mr. President, Senator Rodham on the other line. Are you going to accept?”

Bill's heart leaped, surprised that she called him. 

“Sir?” The operator asked. “Are you going—”

“Yes," he answered. 

"Connecting you now," the operator responded, there was a beep, then her voice followed.

“Mr. President?”

Bill closed his eyes savoring the sound of her voice - steady and strong, and full of life. 

“Bill?”

He opened his eyes, “I’m sorry, it’s quite a tiring day.”

“I’m sorry, am I disturbing you?” Hillary asked. 

“No, it’s perfectly fine. I am done with work…” He hesitated, “What can I do for you?” Bill asked.

It was a tad too formal, and Hillary suddenly had an urge to find a work-related topic to talk about, but it was already Friday and past office hours so obviously, she wasn’t calling for work reasons. 

“I called to congratulate you on your first one hundred days,” Hillary said plainly, feeling a little bereft.

“Thank you?”

Silence.

“Is… am I supposed to take that sincerely?” Bill asked, unsurely. He noticed that whenever he was talking to Senator Rodham he always turned into a blithering idiot. He couldn't understand how he would interpret her words. She puzzled him. She mystified him, and it annoyed the hell out of him. He couldn’t understand what kind of magic spell she used on him because he met with other different beautiful women but he didn’t have this kind of response with them. He was a God damned Rhodes scholar but she always confounded him.

Hillary chuckled, oh the sound of her laugh… Bill gritted his teeth.

“I’m sorry, but I am truly happy for your achievement, it’s quite a feat," She said. 

Bill gave a self-deprecating laugh, “Senator Rodham, I’ll be an idiot to believe that you are actually calling to congratulate me for my achievements," He said disparagingly. "If I am not mistaken, your Republican colleagues are rather too keen to filibuster than reach a productive agreement, so hearing you congratulate me—" 

“Bill—” She called.

He stopped by the mere mention of his name, it sounds so unfamiliar coming through her lips. 

“I am sorry that your stimulus bill didn’t pass, neither getting the cooperation of Senator Doyle….”

“Senator Rodham, you are the Minority Leader. If you want to bargain with us, and if you really want to reach an agreement, I am sure we could find a resolution before the bill died. But instead, your party resorted to politicizing it!” Bill remarked rather scathingly.

“As if it’s that easy!” She retorted. “You don’t know what goes on in our meetings. You don’t know what I did to try to reach an agreement, but of course, you don’t know that because you are judging based on the party that I represent! If you are angry with them take it to them, not on me!” She ended thunderingly as her chest heaved from the exertion.

Silence. 

It was unfair of him to take his frustrations on her instead of the guys who weren't cooperating with them to find a solution. Also, Bill forgot, Hillary admitted that despite the fact that she was a Republican she loved her country first. Senator Kerry told him that she didn’t go with the flow of her party. Bill forgot about that and he judged her by her affiliation, and that was wrong of him. She was right, he didn’t know what was happening in their meetings; and even if Hillary wanted to negotiate with his team, but if she couldn’t get the support she needed in her party, her efforts would be useless. 

It was cruel, but it all made sense, Bill understood it now. Hillary was nothing but a poster girl for Republicans. Elected as Minority Leader but she clearly didn't have that much power in influencing her party. She was being used as a tool and Bill was suddenly filled with anger towards her party. 

“I shouldn’t have called—”

“I’m sorry,” Bill blurted. “Please, stay on the line. Please,” he almost begged. 

Hillary caught the desperation in his voice. “I shouldn’t have said that I am so sorry. I got carried away, Hillary, " He added.

Hillary felt that flutter in her stomach when he said her name. It sounded so intimate. He didn’t pronounce her name distinctly and instead said her name as Hi’ry.

“Thank you for that, and I am sorry for being ungrateful,” Bill said apologetically.

She nodded, “Forget it.”

“I am surprised you called,” He said, trying to change the topic. Bill bit his lower lip then added, "I thought I scared you with what happened after dinner."

Hillary rubbed her temple. She was happy with the change of topic but she wasn't ready for him to confront her about what happened that night. To be honest, he didn't scare her. Her reaction to him scared her. "No, you didn't. The past few weeks have been really busy."

"Then why did you flee that night?" 

Silence. 

Hillary held her breath, and sighed, "I think what happened was more than what we anticipated. I wasn't sure we were ready to face the consequences if we…" She struggled to say the word, "If we…"

"If we kissed?" Bill supplied.

Hillary felt the warmth spread in her chest up to her cheeks.

She wasn't imagining it then, she was already sure that she was going to be kissed if only she got distracted by the sound of the twig breaking under his shoe. She didn't know why she blushed, but hearing it from Bill just felt different, it felt real.

"Yes, if we kissed," She said, the word awfully feels unfamiliar to her. "I had to leave just to make sure that nothing happens after…" 

"I wouldn't do anything you don't want to do, Hillary. You know that, right?"

The sincerity of his word was her undoing, "How do I know if I can really trust you?"

"You just have to."

Hillary chuckled, "It's an expensive word."

"It is… It is an expensive word for both of us," Bill said matter-of-factly.

Hillary didn't say a word and instead thought about what Bill said because he was right. They both didn't know if they could trust each other.

"But Hillary…?"

"Yes."

"I am willing to try to take a risk and bet on that trust," He said.

Hillary felt the gravity of his statement that she suddenly felt like the air was closing around her making it hard for her to breathe. This was what her father wanted — his trust. If she wanted to bring him down, she could plot and do it. Bill was so naive to let his guard down so immediately and without a fight. It made her mad and frustrated. Was he really that—a sublime naive fool?

"Why?" She asked, whispering.

"Faith, Hillary. I have faith in you," He said.

It was suddenly quiet. Hillary was lost for words and she could only close her eyes, savoring what he said feeling a little lightheaded by his answer. 

"Bill—" 

"I know it will take time for you to trust me, I'll give you all the time you need."

She nodded, ready to give him that, maybe they could really be friends and work together to build the country again.

"Okay, Bill," She said, relieved. 

Bill smiled, feeling more relaxed now that they got that out of their way. His voice turned casual, "Let's get to a more relaxed topic, how is your day?" 

Hillary beamed, "It's really great."

They spent two hours on the phone discussing trivial matters, anything that was not work-related, getting to know each other.

Bill transferred the call and used a free handset as he made his way inside his Presidential Suite. He tugged his necktie while he cradled the phone on his shoulder.

He chuckled when Hillary told him about her fistfight when she was a kid.

"I applaud your mother for bringing up such a feisty girl," Bill said, now unbuttoning his shirt.

"Yeah," Hillary said, enjoying the time with him. "How about you?" She asked.

Bill paused from finishing his cufflinks. "How about me what?" 

"Do you have any childhood stories?" She asked, curiously. He felt cold sweat break from his temple while he tried to prevent his brain from remembering what happened to him when he was five years old that he tried to bury but deeply that affected him so.

"There's really nothing worth mentioning about my childhood, Ma'am," Bill said, his voice clipped.

Hillary heard his tone and wondered why it changed. She heard him sigh and said, "This was really a nice conversation, Senator. I enjoyed every minute of it."

"I am glad you did. I enjoyed it too."

Bill smiled but his lips didn't reach his eyes, "I better go though, time for me to take my beauty rest."

Hillary chuckled. "Alright. Good-night, Bill."

"'Night, Hillary."

***

Hillary's Office, Weekday After, Morning

Hillary went to her office and she found a bouquet in her office. She turned to Jen who was briefing her about their upcoming press appearance because Bill's plan to reverse restrictions on domestic and international family planning programs that were put into place during President Regan and George H. W. Bush would take place on Wednesday. It caused an uproar within Republicans. 

What they didn’t know was, Hillary already knew and was happy with his plan.

She believed strongly that women should be able to have a choice. She agreed that reversing it would keep abortion safe, legal, and rare. However, she was torn. She was torn between logic and the pro-life stand of her party. Her party had been attempting to restrict access to quality, affordable reproductive health care. While Bill was giving access to women's right to make a decision. 

When they reached her office, her eyes landed on the humongous bouquet that Mary was fixing on her table. Hillary's eyes narrowed. 

"Who sent them?" She asked.

"Congressman Duke," Mary replied. 

Hillary nodded to Jen to continue with her upcoming press release. "Speaking, will you still be appearing in Cooper's show?" Jen asked.

"Andy Cooper talk show?" Hillary asked trying to remember if she agreed to make an appearance on that. "I can't remember if I agreed to that."

"Congressman Duke called Jake and Jake informed me that you both will be making an appearance together?" 

Hillary gritted her teeth. Tim never learned. How many times does she have to tell him not to decide for her? She thought scathingly. 

"Jen you are my communications director, not Tim's. I did not agree to make an appearance to Cooper's show," Hillary said firmly. "Also, tell Jake not to take anything from Tim."

"I am sorry, I thought you both agreed to it."

Hillary nodded, understanding what Jen meant. Before, Tim would make decisions for both of them. She used to tolerate it, but not anymore. She noticed that the more they spent time together, the more he felt compelled to make decisions for her. She didn't like it. It makes her blood boil.

She turned to Mary, "Can you take that bouquet to someone else?" 

Mary nodded, taking the flowers with her.

"Jen, Mary, thank you," She said before signaling to them to leave her.

Hillary slumped on her chair. She needed to have a word with Tim, she thought before she started working. 

***

White House, Same Day, Morning

Bill was playing an indoor putter inside the Oval Office early in the morning. He woke up ahead of his alarm and started his day early, taking a morning jog, and thought to play a putter inside his office while waiting for his team to arrive. 

He felt invigorated, energized. He slept well. It was partly because he and Senator Rodham had another friendly conversation last night. He was getting to know her better. They discussed some of the pressing issues in the country. He asked her about her stand in abortion, and when Hillary gave him her thoughts, Bill told her of his plans.

"I am glad you feel that way," He said as he stretched his legs on his bed.

"Why?"

"I've decided long and hard about this, but I am going to reverse the restrictions for Roe vs Wade."

There was a silence on Hillary's side, then she asked, "Why are you telling me this, Bill?" 

"I don't want to surprise you. I am sure this will leak tomorrow."

Hillary rubbed her forehead, worried. "Maybe it's best that we don't talk about anyone's future plans. You don't owe it to me neither am I obliged to share anything with you."

“Well, you wouldn’t be able to do anything about it anyway since I’ll be reversing it this Wednesday.”

"I appreciate you telling me about this, but I feel uncomfortable."

"Why?" Bill asked, his brows furrowed.

"Bill, to be honest, this friendship just feels odd to me. Don't get me wrong. I like you as a friend but considering our position - you being the President from a Democratic party and me being the Republican Minority Leader…" She rubbed her forehead, "It's just odd, so maybe it's best that you don't tell me of any of your future policies or plans," She held her breath, "My team is very capable to find out what your plans are, so I don't need inside information." 

Bill chuckled, "Alright, whatever you say, ma'am."

There was an awkward silence that followed, "You know, I actually joined a civil rights movement before," She shared.

"Really?" He mused.

Hillary told him her experience in the movement and Bill listened to her talk about it until he ended up falling asleep. 

He woke up early in the morning apologizing only to hear her chuckle saying that it was alright.

“Don’t be silly, it’s alright,” She said as she clipped her earring on her left ear while cradling the phone on her right shoulder. “I figured that you are already asleep because I heard you snore.”

“I don’t snore,” Bill said.

Hillary chuckled, “I’m just teasing."

Is she flirting with him?  Bill thought, ecstatically. Hillary realized it too, she changed her tune then said, “I’ll talk to you later. I have to finish preparing for work.”

“Alright, bye.”

“Bye!”

***

Hillary's Office, Same Day, Afternoon

Hillary was working when Tim called her office.

"What is this that Jen told me that you are not making an appearance with me in Andy Cooper’s show?” He asked. 

“Thank you for the flowers, Tim.” She said.

“I’m glad you didn’t throw them,” He said sardonically. 

“No, I told Mary to give it to someone else.”

“Hillary, what’s wrong with you?”

“How many times do I have to tell you not to make a decision for me? Andy Cooper’s show? I cannot remember you even consulted me about it.”

“I’m sorry that I did not consult you but I have to make sure that we get on the show after Bill executes the reversal!”

“So you thought that should give you the liberty to make a decision for me?"

"I just want the best for you, Hillary."

Hillary took a deep breath trying to control her anger, "I am not a child, Timothy. I know how to make a decision. This is the reason why I am so angry with you because you keep on doing this!"

"Alright, then now I am asking you if you want to come with me on Cooper's show."

"You're not getting my point."

"Hillary! Listen to me, don't think about me right now. Don't think about us. Bill is making a decision to reverse Roe vs Wade. This is the right opportunity for us to talk about it," He pressed.

"That’s what I actually don’t get, Tim. If you want to negotiate about it, we bring it to the White House. We don’t have to bring our proposal to the Press! It’s counterproductive and useless.”

“Jesus, Hillary! I cannot believe that you are this fucking neophyte!” Tim responded angrily. 

Hillary felt her ears heated. Tim just insulted her and he noticed that he started stuttering for an apology. “I am so sorry, I didn’t mean that.”

“No, you fucking meant it, Tim!”

“Listen to me, Hillary—"

“Tim, I don’t think we should stop seeing each other in the meantime. This is just getting out of hand.”

“Hillary, please,” He implored. “I am sorry I said that, please, don’t make a rash decision right now because you are angry.” He sighed, “I cannot believe this has been happening to us, Babe.” Tim added. 

Hillary felt her heart constrict hearing his term of endearment that he used for her. It had been a long time since she heard it from him. “I’ll give you some space, but please, don’t say that.”

Hillary took a deep breath and ended their conversation, “I’ll talk to you soon.”

***

White House, Same Day, Afternoon

“Hey, Georgie!” Mack said seeing George in the hallway in the East Wing.

George spun to look at him, “What?”

“Are you noticing something?”

“What?”

“Bill is just odd today.”

“Meaning?”

Mack took a deep breath, “I am not sure if I am just being too observant but he is too energetic and too enthusiastic… is he seeing anyone?”

“Jesus, Mack,” George said, turning to him, while they continued to walk back towards George’s office. “Bill is just happy you think he is seeing anyone?”

“I know, I may be just interpreting things too deeply, but I know Bill. This kind of change in mood is something. Anyway, I am asking you because I know you are close to Bill. If he ever mentioned anyone...”

George nodded to the staff, and he pushed the door inside his office, his hands on his waist as he turned to him again. “If Bill is seeing someone, he’ll brag about it. I don’t even have to ask him. I don’t think he is seeing anyone. Maybe you are just being sensitive, Mack.”

Mack rubbed his nape, “Something is just off. Have you heard that he invited Senator Rodham for dinner?”

“Yeah, he told me about it, he said he wanted to win her to his side, but apparently, it didn’t work out. I am not surprised. Why?” George said, giving Mack a curious look. Mack pursued his lips thinking. 

George laughed. “Don’t worry about it, Mack. I don’t think he is dating anyone and don’t suggest that he is interested in Hugh Rodham’s daughter. Bill’s not dumb to consider being interested in Senator Rodham or anyone without letting us know.”

Mack sighed looking pacified. “I hope you are right. I cannot imagine the scandal if he set his eyes on her. See you later, Bud!”

Chapter Text

White House, a Month After, Morning

Bill tightened his necktie. The stylists were finished doing their work polishing his looks before he went to the Capitol to deliver a speech on Health Care.

Paul Begala, his Senior Strategist, went to his room holding a paper — his speech — and handing it out to him. "No amendment needed, there will be a rally later in the South Lawn after the Congress."

Bill looked at the paper that Paul was handing out to him, "No, thanks. I already have it printed."

Paul's brows furrowed. 

"Where's Al?" Bill asked, changing the topic. He stretched his arms as his stylist held and spread his suit for him to slide his arms without creasing his shirt.

"He is already in Capitol with Mack," Paul said, folding the paper and tucking them inside the inner pocket of his suit. 

Bill's digress was due to his sudden change of routine. Paul would usually hand him out a printed copy of his speech. The thing was, he worked on his speech with Senator Rodham the night before, so he got himself an early copy.

His phone calls with Senator Rodham became more frequent, that it was almost a nightly routine. They never talked about work, but last night, he asked for her thoughts about his speech. Despite Hillary's protest that she didn't want to hear it, he cajoled her, saying he wasn't exactly sure how his speech would turn out. Hillary relented. 

Soon enough, they were both re-writing his speech, laughing now and then and discussing how he would deliver it.

Bill would be lying if he said that Senator Rodham didn't make him happy. She made his nights less lonely. How many times did he fell asleep with the phone pressed against his ear? He couldn't count. How many times did she fall asleep? Several times. He liked it. When it happened for the first time, it caught him off-guard. It felt very intimate. He listened to her even breathing, a smile appeared on his lips. He felt privileged to experience it — Senator Rodham sleeping. 

Despite all that, he didn't want to look beyond the surface of fondness that he felt for her because it would be unwise. It would be a domino effect, but the gravity of the consequences would weigh heavily on her. She would definitely lose her position, while the Republicans would cement his moniker, 'Slick Willy, the degenerate playboy from Arkansas', it would be nothing but a speck of dust on Bill's shoulder, unlike Hillary… 

Bill felt compelled to protect her, he didn't want her to lose what she worked hard for. It was the first time that the Republicans elected a woman Minority Leader, and he would be damned if she lost it because of her association with him.

"Are we ready?" Bill asked.

Paul nodded, then turned to Agent Harold motioning for him that Bill was ready. Agent Harold picked up his radio and spoke something incoherent and left the room. Bill followed, and he was greeted by his team outside the room.

"Here's the card," Paul said, handing him the health card that he would be using later in his speech.

They entered the elevator that Harold cleared for them, others took the stairs. 

"Ready?" Paul asked. 

Bill smiled crookedly, "Since birth."

***

Hillary's Office, Capitol Building, Morning

Hillary shouldn’t feel tense, but for some reason, she felt tense. An hour from now, Bill would be entering the Capitol and she would be attending his joint address. She knew she shouldn’t be tense but the prospect of seeing him makes her stomach flutter. She felt restless. 

Last night, they had a good time discussing his speech. She knew the content she could even recite some of it because they went through it over and over again. She was excited for Bill and she was excited to see him. She was wearing a light pink pantsuit dress, and she trimmed her hair and almost a bob now. Her aide said she looked twice younger. They would see each other, but she was sure that there would be no contact, no talk because they had to pretend that they didn’t know each other well. 

She paced in her office waiting for the time for her to go down. Her team was already in the hall and she was left alone in her office. She told them that she would follow, she just needed to calm her nerves.

Click

Hillary heard the door to her office opened. She turned her head and her heart leaped to her throat when she saw Bill’s salt and pepper hair from where she stood. Her back straightened. 

What is he doing here? She thought, surprised. 

He turned his head and their eyes met across the distance, sending sparks shooting through her body. Bill smiled and went to her. 

“Hey,” He greeted when he reached her. 

Bill arrived in the Capitol earlier than they expected, he told Paul and Mack that he needed to have a word with Senator Rodham.

When he went to her office, he was filled with trepidation and happiness coalescing together making him slightly lightheaded. He was too excited to see her again after their dinner. 

Now that he stood there before her, Bill could only look at her and marvel at how beautiful she was with her pink dress, aquamarine blue eyes, and a wide smile. 

“W-what are you doing here?’ She asked, hoping that he didn’t hear the quiver in her voice. He looked immaculate in his suit and tie, polished and dashing that took her breath away.

It had been a while since the last time they saw each other. It felt like they were seeing each other for the first time again, but the difference was the bonding they forged during the nights they spent talking to each other made them closer. 

Seeing each other after a while felt thrice better. There was a palpable magnetism - pulling them together that neither they couldn’t control. And an attraction that was too strong for them to deny despite how much they try to conceal it. 

“I arrived rather too early, I thought to drop by to say, ‘hello’,” He said, his eyes went to her hair. “You cut your hair,” he observed, smiling down at her. He pulled back his hands then inserted them inside his pockets to stifle the urge of brushing her hair and tucking it behind her ear.

Hillary felt her cheeks heated and she hoped that she wasn’t blushing hard enough. She waved a hand dismissively, “Yeah, it’s hot,” she turned around and went to get something on her table.

He felt hot, Bill thought. He felt that pleasurable ache in his groin. Hillary was delectable. She looked like a treat and he wanted to taste. He stepped closer.

She felt Bill stood behind her, his voice a tone lower, “It’s fall, Hillary.”

She spun around and faced him, her chest almost bumped against the hard plank of his body.

He was standing rather too close. 

“I...uh…” She felt her tongue-tied. Bill reached under her chin with his thumb and forefinger. “You look good with your new hair.”

“Uh…Bill...” Hillary said, breathless. Her eyes turned to his eyes then dropped to his lips, then back to his blue ones as she slightly parted her lips. 

Bill held her gaze. His heart wildly thumping against his chest, he could hear his heart beating in his ears. She wanted to be kissed, and by God, he would indulge her and finally end this seemingly craving they both were denying themselves of. 

“Hillary—” Bill whispered, his head slowly descending.

“Bill?” 

Bill released her and spun around to the sound of Mack’s voice. 

“Mr. President? Are you here?” 

Bill took a step away while he tried to catch his breath, he waited for his heart to even in its beating. “I am here, Mack!” Bill responded he walked over to Hillary’s door. He turned to Hillary, who looked a little shaken. He went back to her, “Are you okay?” He asked.

Hillary nodded, feeling her heartbeat in a wild staccato, her head reeling from that almost kiss. 

“Oh, you’re here,” Mack said. He looked at Bill standing a few steps away from Senator Rodham, and Senator Rodham standing in front of her desk and a few steps away from Bill, her cheeks shades pinker as well as her neck. Mack’s eyes wandered from Senator Rodham’s pink cheeks to Bill’s pink one. “Hello, Senator Rodham,” He greeted.

Hillary turned to him, “Hi, Mack.” 

Mack pivoted to face Bill, “Uh… we… we need you in the briefing room now, Bill.”

Bill nodded. Mack waited for him just outside Senator Rodham’s office. Bill turned to Hillary. “I gotta go.”

Hillary nodded, she watched Bill leave her office along with Mack.

When Mack and Bill were out of earshot, he turned to him, “What are you guys doing?”

“I just returned the proposal she gave me,” Bill lied simply.

Mack nodded not buying his excuse as they left Senator Rodham’s office.

Tim saw Mack and Bill emerge from Hillary's office. He slowed down and his eyes narrowed as he saw Mack silently closed Hillary’s office door. When Bill and Mack turned to a corner, he went to her office. 

Tim found Hillary fixing herself, she spun around when he knocked on her door frame.

"Tim," She said upon seeing him.

"Are you ready?" He asked, looking at her.

Tim was trying hard to patch things up with her. Hillary was torn to let him back in her life, but Tim never gave up on her. She knew that he loved her in the way he understood what love was, but she wasn’t sure if she was ready to accept that. 

She nodded and walked to him.

“I saw the President and Mack here earlier,” Tim observed.

She nodded, “He sent over his proposal for the Health Care.” 

Tim nodded, as they walked in sync. He missed this, he thought. He just missed his Hillary. They went to the elevator to take them to the main hall where Bill would have his speech. They stepped into the elevator cab and he saw Hillary looking tense.

“Are you okay?” He asked.

Hillary looked at him. Funny, Bill also asked her that question. She nodded. Tim pressed the dial, smiled gently at her, just as someone called to hold the door. They didn’t pay attention and Tim placed his arm over her shoulder and gently pulled her to him as he pressed a kiss on her temple. Agents held the door and Bill, Senator Kerry, and Mack entered the elevator.

“Senator, Congressman,” Bill greeted, his eyes lingered from Hillary to Tim. Tim unceremoniously withdrew his arm. 

“Congressman! Senator! I hope you don’t mind us joining you for an elevator ride,” Senator Kerry said.

“There’s enough space for all of us,” Tim said in good humor.

Hillary felt picking at her skin as she shifted her weight from side to side. She didn’t know what Tim was going to do and she was caught off guard. She hoped Bill didn’t see the kiss but it seemed that he saw it. She was not obliged to explain anything to Bill because they were not dating. She could do whatever the hell she wanted and she still didn’t need to explain herself but for some reason, as she inconspicuously glanced at Bill, she could see the bunching of his jaw, and his back straight, she wanted to tell him that she didn’t know anything about Tim’s sordid plan to do a PDA.

Ding

As the doors of the elevator opened, everyone started getting out. “See you in the hall, Duke and Rodham!” Senator Kerry said. Tim said something in return but Bill didn’t say anything and continued walking along with Mack.

“Do you want me to grab you a drink?” Tim asked, breaking her trail of thoughts.

Hillary shook her head, “Tim, you can go ahead. I’ll go to the main hall in a while.”

Bill stood just before the doors leading to the main hall of the Capitol. He was surrounded by his team, particularly Mack standing beside him. Bill was zoning out, he wasn’t at all nervous. He delivered speeches before and was a very good public speaker. What took out the wind from him was what he witnessed earlier. 

He, Senator Kerry, Mack, and others were on their way to the elevator to go to the main hall. The agents held the door of the lift but before they could take a step inside, he saw Congressman Duke and Hillary on the corner of the cab. Tim’s arms curled over her shoulder and he pressed a gentle kiss on her temple.

Bill felt cold water doused on his back waking him up from the dream reminding him of the reality that Senator Rodham wasn’t his girl. He greeted them and was able to recover immediately. He was angry with himself from the jealousy that he felt that was burning inside of him. He had to control the urge from hauling Congressman Duke and manhandling him to take him away from Hillary.

They heard the overseer signaled to them, but from the corner of his eye, he saw Senator Rodham making her way towards him.

“Bill,” She called. 

Bill turned to her, and she fought her way in the sea of men and went to him reaching his hand - clasping it with her small one. She held his gaze, then gently and briefly laid her palm on his cheek. 

“Good luck,” She simply said, then she turned and walked away.

Bill watched her - stunned by how fast everything happened. 

The overseer signaled. Bill didn’t hear him.

“Bill, we’re good to go,” Mack said, looking worriedly at him.

Bill turned to look at Mack, nodded, and stepped inside the hall as the sound of cheers, and congratulations met him.

Mack stood at the back wondering what the hell just happened.

***

Capitol Hall, Same Day, Late Afternoon

Tim was extra clingy to Hillary. Tim sat next to Hillary as Bill made his speech, then he attended to her needs. Hillary wasn’t sure if Tim was being extra sweet because he was trying to make a point or because he was trying to hasten the process of their reconciliation.

If she was going, to be honest, she was only entertaining Tim because he was the option that made sense to both of their conservative families. It was a comfortable and logical choice to merge their powerful family. 

She brushed her hand through her hair, but she was actually torn.

If she was going, to be honest, she was starting to like Bill more. Heaven forbid, she was attracted to him. She cared about him. She was infatuated with him. If Bill decided to kiss her earlier, she would throw caution to the wind and leap on him then and there. But she couldn't do it because she was afraid of the consequences. 

"Are you okay? You are quiet," Tim observed as he looked at her.

"Yeah, just tired," She lied.

Tim scooted and he draped his arm over her shoulder. "Come, sleep," he gently urged and Hillary indulged, leaning her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes hoping she could feel something, anything so she could drive the feelings that she has for Bill.

After a few minutes' drive, Hillary fell asleep. She woke up when Tim gently rubbed his hand on her knee.

"Am I home?" She asked.

"Yes," They got out and he nodded to his chauffeur to wait for him as he walked Hillary in her home.

"What do you think of Bill's speech?" He asked, attempting small talk.

"It's fine," Hillary commented, then she yawned. She unlocked her main door and entered with Tim following her. She was hoping for Tim not to spend time with her because she wanted to sleep. She thought to humor him by allowing him to spend some time with her.

But she felt something in her gut…

They went to her kitchen and as soon as she took a step and was about to turn the light on when Tim reached for her wrist. She stopped and looked at him, he gently tugged her to him and crushed his mouth with hers.

Tim's kisses were aggressive, almost bruising her. He pressed her against the wall, trapping her with his hard body.

She wanted to feel aroused but she couldn't feel anything, but discomfort.

"Tim, no," she breathed.

"I missed you, Hillary," He rasped running down his teeth on her neck.

"Tim," Hillary said, putting her arms between their bodies. "I can't… Don't," She struggled, then she felt his hand on her thigh running up.

"I miss you, I need you," He said as his other hand fondled her breast painfully through her dress. 

Hillary panicked, she felt that cold sweat broke on her forehead. Her heartbeat against her chest out of fear. She heaved and she shoved him hard that was enough for him to step back.

"I said don't!" Hillary shouted, glaring at him. She wrapped her arms around herself. 

Tim slapped his hand on the counter angrily. "Fuck!" He shouted, closed his fist, his nose flared as he looked back at her.

"What happened to you, Hillary?" He asked. "Ever since your election, you changed," he said angrily. 

She shook her head. "Get out of my house, Tim," she said firmly. 

He went to her —

"I said get out!" She shouted.

Tim looked at her one last time before he turned on his heels and left her.

***

White House, Presidential Suite, Night-Time

Bill laid on the bed with his arms folded behind his head. He looked at the ceiling, memorizing the texture. He couldn't sleep. He did well in his speech, even the health care rally that took place went well. He should be elated but he felt a cold hollow in his chest robbing him of the triumph he should be feeling.

He couldn't shake off the jealousy he felt. He was so confused with Hillary. When he gave his speech, Timothy sat next to her seemingly more interested in her than his speech, then there was that kiss that Timothy gave in the elevator that was killing him.

He sighed, are they back together? He thought.

He felt sad because he was just a secret friend of Hillary. That was all he was in her life—a friend that she couldn’t even acknowledge publicly and it was killing him.

He wanted to know if she ever felt anything for him.

But maybe he was misinterpreting her, maybe he was really just a friend. Didn't they talk about that? About them being friends? But why did he feel physically ill thinking that the reason why she did not call because Tim might be warming her bed tonight?

He tossed.

He missed her.

He wouldn't deny it. He liked her, he liked her so much that it was driving him insane, but he couldn't have her.

If only he didn't—

Ring ring

Bill reached for his phone.

"Yes?"

"Bill?"

"Hillary?"

"Can I see you tonight?"

Bill sat up, "Are you okay?" 

She nodded, before she answered, "I'm okay. I just want to talk."

"It will be a little problematic if I go out, you can go here. Drive-by on the South Lawn. I'll meet you there."

"Thanks."

After a few minutes, Bill stood outside on the South Lawn wearing a white shirt, gray sweatpants, black New York Yankees sports jacket, and rubber shoes. He managed to sneak out without getting the attention of the night workers, save Agent Harold. He was wary though, with the tight security someone would see her car arrive late at night in the White House. He knew someone might say something.

He gave Agent Harold a call and told him that Senator Rodham would be arriving and to let her car in. He specifically told him to be the one to handle it. It was the best that he could do to lessen the witness. Agent Harold acknowledged, without further asking why Senator Rodham would be arriving in an ungodly hour. 

His eyes went to the car that smoothly cruised the South Lawn and then stopped in front of him. Bill stood next to the backseat door then he noticed that it was unoccupied. He looked at the driver’s seat and saw that she was driving the car.  Bill side-stepped until he was standing next to the passenger seat. The window next to him rolled down.

Hillary was gripping the steering wheel turning her knuckles almost to white, her eyes were focused on the dashboard staring in oblivion. Bill opened and pulled the door at the passenger seat. He slid inside and turned to her.

“What’s wrong?” He asked, his voice above a whisper. His eyes gentled as he looked at her. He reached to unclench her hand on the steering wheel.

“Hey, it’s okay, I’m here,” Bill said, slowly prying her hand open. When he successfully did so, he gently ran his hand on her arm. 

“What’s wrong?”

She turned to him, and Bill saw redness on the rings of her eyes as if she spent some time crying. He wondered what was wrong but he didn’t want to persuade her to share anything with him. She took a deep breath and looked at her hand on her lap. 

“Can you stay with me for a while?” She asked.

Bill nodded. “Do you want to take a seat on the back?”

She nodded and they transferred in the backseat. The moment that they settled, sitting next to each other, Bill asked her, “Can I put my arm around you?”

She nodded. 

Knock knock knock

They both looked up and Bill identified the intruder as Agent Harold. 

“Keys?” He asked without preamble. 

Bill smiled, understanding what Agent Harold was doing. “It’s still in the ignition.”

Agent Harold opened the door and got himself in. He looked at the rearview mirror and Bill nodded at him in gratefulness.

The car started and moved.

Bill draped and curled his arm over her shoulder, his hand cupping her arm. He gently pulled her to him. Hillary leaned her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes savoring the warmth of Bill’s body emanating from his clothes. She felt safe and it was what she needed.

Bill no longer cared about the implication of the moment that he was sharing with Hillary. He wasn’t sure about Agent Harold not talking. What was more important for him was to be there and to comfort Hillary. He would worry about the consequences once it fell on his lap, for now, he would hold her and would get whatever moment he could have to be with her.

Chapter Text

It took Hillary all her will power to call Bill. It was already one-thirty in the morning but she couldn't sleep. She felt disgusted with what Tim did to her. She couldn't believe that he did it — force himself on her. 

She showered but she could still feel Tim's teeth on her neck, could feel the way his hand fondled her breast painfully, and the scariest of them all, how he pinned her against the wall with his body.

It was sickening. She never felt so scared that she couldn't sleep. She did not know who to call without ruining Tim's name and causing scandal. She just needed someone to hold to. 

She initially thought about Betsey or Martha but figured that they would most probably pry why she called at that hour. She took her chance to call Bill instead and she was glad that she did. 

Agent Harold parked near the White House basketball court. It was a good place to park since it was partially dark. No one would see them here. 

“I’ll be outside, sir,” Harold said, before stepping out of the car.

Bill nodded, then he turned his head to look at Hillary whose eyes were closed. He kept his arm curled around Hillary's shoulder, his hand slowly caressing her arm. He cupped his hand on the side of her head gently cradling her against him. He leaned his head against the backrest. His head tipped up as he contemplated her and what they were doing inside at that moment. 

Hillary was still quiet, her eyes closed. He couldn't figure out if she was asleep or was just closing her eyes. He has hundreds of questions he wanted to ask but he couldn't dare to voice them out. He was worried about her, what drove her to him at two in the morning? Did something happen? Where was Tim? Why did she cry?

Then there was his other problem, his growing attraction to her. He cared about her, and he wanted her with him.

Logic told him to stop, to walk away while he could. He wanted to tell her how he felt for her but what good would that do?

Nothing but disaster.

In the meantime, he needed to be contented with what she has to offer — her friendship. Even though a secret one. He was glad that she found a friend in him because while they held their position, it seemed like it was all he could also offer — his friendship.

They held each other like that for what seemed like an eternity when Hillary stirred and looked at him. Her eyes were glassy with unshed tears. 

"What happened to you?" Bill asked, his voice above a whisper.

Hillary took a deep breath, "Just some disagreement."

"With Tim?" 

She nodded. She leaned her head back on his shoulder. 

If only she could tell him what happened earlier, what drove her to find solace in his arms, but she felt her tongue-tied. She finally understood why others, who encountered the same experience, found it so difficult to share them.

"Are you okay now?" He asked her. When Bill heard that the cause of her running to him was Tim, his chest clenched. He was glad that she chose to find comfort in him though. If Tim was capable of hurting or disappointing her, he would do his damn best to do the exact opposite. He would rather die first than hurt her. Exaggerated but true. 

Hillary nodded at his question. 

Hillary thought that finding comfort in the arms of the person her family and colleagues wanted to put down was an irony. But Hillary realized how much she liked it there. Bill smelled like aftershave and a clean shirt. He was warm and cuddly. His other hand that was cupping the side of her head was idly brushing her hair with his fingers, then the sound of his heartbeat was music to her ears. It was such a comforting place to be in and it felt all-natural. 

"What's your favorite flower?" She heard him ask.

"Hydrangeas."

Bill smiled against her hair. "I like that, it's very unassuming… Like you.”

Hillary felt her heart leaped to her throat. She smiled feeling like she wanted to melt in his embrace as he said those words. She looked at him and he gave her a smile that took her breath away.

"You?" She asked. 

Bill chuckled, "I haven't thought of that."

"Aren't you a flower kind?" She asked, looking and smiling at him. 

Bill looked down at her and shook his head, then his free hand reached to brush her apple cheeks. "I am glad you are smiling now."

"Thank you for being with me," She said in a hushed tone. "I hope I didn't wake you up." 

"I couldn't sleep, your call was just in time," He replied. 

"Why can't you sleep?" 

Bill wondered if he was going to lie to her, but then he realized that he no longer didn't want to do that, at least not with what he felt for her. 

"I was waiting for you to call," He replied sincerely. 

Hillary felt her eyes prickling by his answer, her throat closing as she tried to hold back her tears. Bill was waiting for her to call but she couldn't do so because she was trying to recover from what Tim did.

"I'm sorry," She sniffed.

If only they could be together. If only she wasn't a Republican Senator they could have a chance to be together.

"Shhh," Bill shushed her, his arms closing around hugging her. "It's okay, you're here and that's all that matters."

She nodded, her arms slowly coiling around him as well.

What are they doing? She thought. Where is this going? She wondered. They couldn't be together at least not right now. She couldn't lose her leadership. She needed that position to influence her party to be progressive. She needed to leave before it became more dangerous for both of them.

She tightened her hold before she loosened her arms, "I better go back at home."

Bill nodded. He knocked on the door, signaling to Harold that they were ready to leave.

They watched as Agent Harold opened the door to the driver's seat and stepped inside. 

"I'll have someone escort you to your home," Bill said, as Agent Harold started the car. 

She shook her head, "I can't. I don't want to use any of that." 

"I just want to make sure you get home safe. Please, this is all that I could do."

Hillary smiled at him gently, and brushed his cheek with her hand, "You've done a lot by being here with me."

He inhaled as he relented, "Alright, at least give me a call that you arrived home safe."

"I will," She said. She sighed when Bill pulled back his arm as they arrived in the South Lawn. The car stopped at the landing and Agent Harold got out and opened the door on Bill's side.

Bill turned to her, "I'll see you soon."

"Wait—" Hillary called when Bill was about to alight the car. He turned to her, and she leaned and pressed her lips on his cheeks.

"So you can have a goodnight sleep," She said after she pulled back. 

Bill smiled and alighted the car. He watched as Hillary transferred to the driver’s seat and started to drive her car away from the White House.

Bill felt his chest swell, feeling a bit giddy by that kiss goodnight. His heart never felt exuberance and peace. 

***

White House, Morning

George just finished reviewing the upcoming press statement that Dee Dee, the Press Secretary, would do later when Mack arrived in his office. 

"Hey, we are going to grab some burgers, do you want to come?" Mack invited. 

"Don't we have a prepared lunch?" 

"Well, Bill is in good humor and wants to take a walk outside to grab something to eat."

George spread his arms and folded them at the back of his head, "The press will have a field day following him." 

Mack rubbed his chin, "It's a good press."

Knock knock knock

"Sir, the President is waiting for you in the foyer."

"Let's go," Mack said as he turned around and went out of George's office.

George and Mack were laughing when they reached Bill and some of the staff waiting for them. 

"Glad you made it in time!" Paul jabbed at them. 

George didn't pay attention to what Paul did because his eyes went to Bill who was standing far from the group and was talking to a lady that he identified as someone working in the White House flower shop. Bill gave back a golden card that he signed. Mack gently elbowed him.

"Seeing what I am seeing?" Mack asked, slightly leaning on him not to be heard by the people around them. 

"Yeah, might not be anything serious, though," George replied. 

Bill went to the group, "Let's go?" 

They went across the park from the White House and grabbed some hotdog sandwiches and burgers. Everyone was in good spirits. Bill was humoring everyone, even the press. He bought cokes and sprites casually hanging out with the people - shaking their hands and having his picture taken. 

"Jessica called and said that Bill had some bouquet sent to someone, but it was picked up by a courier to deliver to an unidentified recipient. He signed the cards. What is interesting is that it's not only a bouquet but a whole set. I think he is impressing someone," George concluded before he took a bite off his hotdog. 

They watched Bill carry a toddler then he talked to the father. 

"What's the bouquet?" 

"Hydrangeas? It's a set so it's not only a bouquet, hence they needed the FedEx to handle it." 

"That's an odd choice - hydrangea."

"I also thought of the same thing…" 

Mack rubbed his chin, "Have I told you? About what happened in Congress?" 

George turned to him, "No, you are supposed to share something but you didn't continue, what is it?" 

Mack pursued his lips before speaking, "Well, it's Senator Rodham —" 

"Jeez, Mack, you're still pushing with that idea?" 

"No, listen to me…" He rubbed the back of his neck, "I don't know. I don't want to think that something is going on between them but it's just the way Senator Rodham told him 'good luck' before Bill stepped inside the hall. She touched his cheek."

George looked at him weirdly, "I think you are misinterpreting things, Mack. Senator Rodham is well committed with Duke.”

“Right," Mack relented, but seemingly not convinced. "Anyway, I think we need to figure out who is the recipient of Bill’s flowers.”

George chuckled. “It’s interesting, let’s find out.”

***

Hillary’s Office, a Few Hours After, Morning

Mary received the set of flowers from FedEx. The flowers, besides the bouquet, was a set that was enough to spread inside Hillary’s office. 

“Who sent them?” Jen asked as they waited for Hillary to arrive.

“I don’t know, there’s a card. Maybe from Tim?”

Jen, who had been working for Hillary, knew that Tim wouldn’t do something as grand as that, “I don’t think it’s Tim.”

“Why do you think so?” Mary asked. 

They both turned when they heard Hillary’s usual “Good morning!” Greeting to others.

They scurried away and Jen met with Hillary as Mary went to the coffeemaker. When Jen reached Hillary, she started telling her about their communication campaign for Women's rights.

“Wow!” Hillary exclaimed as her eyes went wide as saucers by the amount of striking pink and purple hydrangea in her office. 

“They are delivered for you,” Mary said handing her the card that went with the flowers.

Hillary smiled holding the card. “Thanks, Mary.” She turned to Jen and she placed the card inside the pocket of her blue suit. 

After Jen finished her business with her, Hillary’s senior strategist, Joel, went to her office. “The conference on Women’s issues in Mumbai is pushing through. Our plane is already booked.”

“Can you connect me to Secretary Albright for me?”

“Good call. I had a conversation with her yesterday because she said you cannot represent the White House at that conference.”

Hillary didn't flinch, “I am not a delegate. It’s not an issue, but I need to have a word with her.”

Joel nodded then handed her a Manila envelope. “These papers came from the White House, by the way, and it was intercepted by Senator Doyle.”

Hillary received the gun reform proposal from Joel, “How did you get these?”

“Mack reached out to me if I got the proposal and said if we have any feedback, I told him that I haven’t received it. We did some sleuthing and found that these papers were picked up by Senator Doyle’s team.”

“That bastard,” Hillary hissed. 

“Exactly my reaction.” Joel said then he shook his head, “This is the third time that Doyle’s team has intercepted a proposal that should have arrived on our table.”

Hillary's eyes narrowed, "Can you get some ears why is Doyle doing that?"

Joel nodded.

“Thanks, Joel. Thank you for doing a great job.”

Hillary took a seat when Joel left her office leaving her alone. The card poked through her pocket and she fished them out. She broke the seal and pulled out a gold card.

Maybe, one day.

- B

 

Hillary turned the card but it was all that he wrote. “Maybe, one day.” Then he signed it with his initials. She narrowed her eyes because his message didn't make sense. She spun her head and looked at the colors of hydrangeas he bought: pink and purple. He didn’t buy the blue and white ones. 

Hillary chuckled, pressing the card against her chest at the meaning of his message.

***

The Capitol, Same day, Afternoon

Tim had difficulty sleeping after what happened last night. He didn't mean to do what he did to Hillary. It was just he missed her and he wanted her. It had been so long since the last time they slept together. 

Tim wondered what went wrong. What he did for Hillary to be cold. He needed to make amends. He just couldn't imagine not having Hillary in his life. 

He bought some fresh tulips near the Capitol. He would give them to Hillary, ask for her forgiveness. Kneel if he had to and beg, whatever he needed to do to win her back. 

He made his way in her office carrying the bouquet of fresh tulips. 

He saw Mary on her way out. "Mary!" He called. 

"Congressman!" Mary greeted back. She eyed the flowers that Tim was carrying. 

"Where's Hillary?" 

"She has a meeting with Senator Kerry," Mary responded. 

"Will she be back soon?" 

Mary turned to her watch, "She should be back fifteen minutes from now."

Tim nodded. "I'll wait for her in the office."

Mary nodded, then she nodded at his flowers. "Is that the grand surprise flower for her?"

"What do you mean?" 

"We received the flowers you sent."

Tim kept his face straight, then he understood what Mary meant. "I am glad it arrived. Yes," He said as he cradled the flower he was carrying. "This is the grand surprise — myself and a bouquet of fresh Tulips from Holland." 

Mary giggled. "Hillary would love that. I'll see you soon, Congressman!" 

Tim made his way towards Hillary's office even but before he could step inside he already saw the flowers. He was surprised. They were everywhere inside her office.

Tim felt his heart sunk.  So this is the reason why she turned cold , Tim thought.  Someone is courting his Hillary. 

Tim went around looking at hydrangeas.  What a fucking bad choice. What kind of flowers are these?  He took one and crushed them in his hand. He turned his head looking for any sign who sent these offensive things. 

He hurriedly went to her table and saw a gold envelope propped on the side. He took it, looked around before opening the flap, and taking out the card. 

He read what was written and flipped the card.

Maybe one day, B,  he read. 

He felt his throat closed. B.  Who is this?  He looked around again before slipping the card back inside the envelope. 

Who is B? I need to find out who this bastard is , he thought before he took the bouquet and went out of Hillary's office.

***

White House, Same Day, Evening

Bill was enjoying a glass of whiskey on the balcony in the Solarium. He was already done for the day, hence he already discarded his suit and tie. He just finished his dinner and was watching the stars and just enjoying the night thinking about what happened for the past few forty-eight hours. He was interested in Hillary and he was now making an effort for her to get his message.

He sent her favorite flowers - hydrangeas then he chose a specific one: pink and purple because he was informed that it conveys a heartfelt emotion, while the purple meant wanting to understand someone. Then he said in his card: “Maybe, one day.”

It was true. He hoped that one day he would be able to show what he felt for her and he wanted to understand her more - without hiding, so maybe, one day.

He sighed, it wouldn’t happen any time soon. He wasn’t sure if Hillary would even break up with Timothy. Certainly, he couldn’t ask her to resign from her position because that would be unfair. 

He finished his drink in one gulp, then hissed as the burning session trailed on his throat by the strength of the liquor. He hoped one day he would be able to do that but he wasn’t sure if she was feeling the same way.

Ring ring ring

Bill fished his phone in his pocket and smiled seeing Hillary’s name flashing. He answered it.

“Hey,” He greeted. 

“Hey, how are you?”

“Just finished my dinner. Did you get my flowers?”

“I did, thank you,” Hillary responded, smiling. She was already in her bedroom then and just finished her shower. “Regarding your message—”

“Hey, don’t think about it that much…”

Hillary chuckled, “Let me finish first... are you nervous with what I have to say?”

Bill laughed, “I’m sorry for cutting you. I’m impressed you already know my signs of anxiousness and nervousness.”

Hillary laughed. 

“Go ahead, sorry for cutting you.”

Hillary held her breath, “I actually like your message. It…” She paused, thinking if she would tell him the truth, “It made my day.”

Bill smiled gently. “I am glad. I only wanted to make you happy.”

Hillary sighed, there he goes again, making her want to melt on the spot. 

“Bill…”

“Yes, Hillary…?”

She bit her lower lip before saying, “I hope one day too.”

There was a silence that followed not knowing where they would go after that declaration. They both now know that they liked each other, but not knowing what to do about it.

"Thank you for telling me that," Bill said simply. "I am just glad to be sharing a few moments with you."

"Maybe...one day, just as you said."

He nodded. "Maybe, one day."

Silence.

“I...I’ll be in Mumbai by the way next week so I won’t be around,” Hillary said, changing the topic.

"How long will you be there?" 

"Just two days. I will be attending the Women's International Conference."

"When?" 

"Twenty-second and Twenty-third."

"I'll be in Mumbai as well from twenty-second to twenty-fifth."

"That's nice." 

"Can I see you? There would be few people snooping around then."

"Bill… I am not sure. We still can't go public."

"I am not talking about seeing each other in public places," Bill responded. 

"Then where?" 

"We can see each other in your hotel or at my hotel." 

"Bill…" She pressed her hand on her head. They couldn't see each other in Mumbai, could they? 

"I just want to spend some time with you."

"I am not sure how we can pull that off without our staff noticing us."

Bill chuckled. "You are in the same country as I will be, I just want dinner. I don't think that would be scandalous."

"Oh!" Hillary exclaimed, feeling her cheeks heated. She thought he wanted to sleep the night in her hotel. 

Bill wrinkled the space between his brows, suddenly understanding her worry, "Are you thinking that I am going to…."

"No!" Hillary blurted, feeling warm all over. Embarrassed by her assumption. 

Bill chuckled. "I am not too straightforward. I just want to have another dinner with you, Ma'am."

"Oh, yeah. I think we could do that," She said.

Bill smiled, "I cannot wait to see you."

Hillary gripped the phone, feeling her heart soared, feeling lightheaded, and happy to hear that from Bill. "I can't wait to see you too."

Bill looked up towards the dark and clear sky, the stars visible and the moon bright and full. "Hey…" 

"What?" 

"You should look at the stars right now."

Hillary turned her eyes towards the sky, her mouth opened in awe. 

"Beautiful aren't they?" 

"It is…" 

"Looking at it makes me feel closer to you, Hillary."

Hillary chuckled. "I didn't know you could be romantic."

Bill laughed. "Didn't you hear that about me among other things?" 

"Rumor has it that you are a charmer, not romantic." 

"I like that you chose to be polite," Bill teased considering that he was a notorious playboy.

Hillary chuckled, "I am an accomplished diplomat."

"I am puzzled that you are still talking to me despite what people claim. I would have run as fast as I could if I were you back when you saw me in the library."

Hillary bit her lip, "Faith, didn't you say?" 

Bill was touched that he softened, he had to lean against the railing to support himself.

"You shouldn't say that," Bill said.

"Why not?" 

"Because you give me butterflies in my stomach." 

Hillary laughed out loud to Bill's delight. "I can't wait to see you soon, Hillary."

"I can't wait to see you too, Bill.

Chapter Text

India Air Space, Afternoon

Hillary looked outside the window as they approached Sahar International Airport in Mumbai, India. She felt her body a little tired from that seventeen hours flight. She couldn't wait to stretch her legs properly and get some sleep. The flight to India was anything but smooth. Hillary would be speaking in the Women's International Conference and would like to speak about the inequalities in the economic opportunities for women and women's rights. Secretary Albright was a little concerned with her speech but relented nonetheless. She went through her speech over and over again making sure that she would be deliberate in the issues that she needed to speak about.

She looked at the sun setting — an explosion of orange hues were all over. She marveled at the sight, feeling a little homesick and a little nostalgic at the view. She tipped her head up and closed her eyes as her migraine continued to torture her. 

"Here's some Tylenol for your head," Jen said sitting next to her, handing her the pills.

Hillary reached for them then smiled at Jen, "Thanks."

"Are you sure you don't need anything for tomorrow night?" Jen asked. 

At the very last minute, she told Mary and Jen that President Clinton had set up a meeting with her to talk about gun reform. She told them that he personally wanted to discuss it with her. Jen asked the right questions that Hillary had to dodge or lie about. Hillary wasn’t sure if Jen bought her reason why she did not want anyone with her in the room. Normally, under similar circumstances, she would have Joel or Maya with her to make sure that there was a witness with her in any political discussion, besides Joel and Maya were her trusted Political advisor. She was lucky that Jen didn't pry. 

Hillary waved her hand, "It's just going to be a dinner with the President that's all." 

"Alright, I did not arrange anything for that besides the instruction that you'll have your dinner your room, are you sure you still want to do it in your room?" 

It was a peculiar request to have a business transaction in someone's suite. However, Hillary's reserved room was a Grande Luxury Suite in Taj Mahal Hotel. It was large and decent enough to accommodate private meetings. She didn't want to bother having their dinner outside because she was sure their photos would be taken. 

"Yes, Jen. If we have our dinner outside, I am sure it will be all over the news."

Jen nodded, relaxing on the seat.

"By the way, how did the President know that we will be in Mumbai today?" 

Hillary looked at Jen. Yes, so how did Bill find out about their trip that wasn't a delegate one? Bill wouldn't find out about their trip unless someone from Hillary's team shared that information with him. Or Secretary Albright shared that information which sounds unlikely. Also, if she used that reason she would have to connive with the Secretary which was more problematic and, obviously she couldn't do.

Hillary opened her mouth to reply, but they both heard a click sound then the Captain's voice followed. 

“Flight attendants, prepare for landing please.” 

Then a feminine voice from the cabin crew followed, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have just been cleared to land at the Sahar International Airport airport. Please make sure one last time your seat belt is securely fastened. The flight attendants are currently passing around the cabin to make a final compliance check and pick up any remaining cups and glasses. Thank you.”

Hillary straightened on her seat and fastened her seatbelt, Jen's question forgotten, then Jen said. "Alright, I'll see you later."

Hillary nodded and watched as Jen vacated the seat next to Hillary and went to her designated one. 

Hillary relaxed thinking that she needed to think of a good and believable lie how Bill found out about their flight details in Mumbai. 

***

Air Force one, Next Day, Afternoon

Bill was inside his Presidential office inside the air force one when Paul entered his office. 

"President Sharma is inviting you for dinner tonight when we arrive. Are we going to accept?”

Bill looked up at Paul. His eyeglass propped on the tip of his nose. “I have an arranged dinner with Senator Rodham, don’t I?”

Paul looked at Bill with his brows furrowed. Questions were written all over his face that he was prioritizing a Republican Senator over the Head of the State. 

“Paul, the state dinner is set up tomorrow not today. I have already arranged dinner with Senator Rodham for us to discuss the Family Care Act. I want that bill to pass so badly this is the only venue that I can talk to her about it without her colleagues influencing her. Besides, you know that I don’t like last-minute changes in my plans.”

Paul relaxed, understanding what Bill was trying to say. 

“Say my apologies to President Sharma. Tell him that I am getting old and I need to get a good night rest," Bill said with ill humor. 

Paul chuckled and left him alone. 

Bill leaned back counting the hours that he would be joining Hillary. He couldn’t contain his excitement that he felt like a randy teenager who was about to see his girl.

Bill stilled, well, technically, she wasn’t his girl. The past few days, however, his "friendship" with her has become sweeter. It was starting to blossom to romance. They no longer talked about just trivial matters or work, they discussed things that were more of a personal level. Started to use terms of endearment now and then. She called him 'Honey' once or twice, and he called her 'Darling' several times. It wasn't awkward the first time they used it to each other. It felt natural and right.

There was something that was bothering him though. Now that he thought about it, what is he actually in her life? Where does Tim stand? 

He rubbed his chin. Hillary didn’t share any information about her disagreement with Tim. He wondered if they were still together. Bill didn’t really give a damn if they were together or not because he would still frankly pursue her.

He needed to know though where she stands with Tim. It was already problematic that his growing attraction for her was getting out of hand. His control was already threadbare and he didn’t want to get entangled in a mess, if they were still together. He needed to know if she was getting serious with Tim so he could back off and kill whatever romantic interest he has for her.

***

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai, Night-Time

Hillary held her breath, she felt restless. Bill would arrive any time now. They arranged that he would arrive at her hotel a few hours after his arrival. It was the only available time he had besides, she would be leaving the day after tomorrow. She initially protested thinking that he might be tired but he insisted saying that it was a luxury he couldn’t pass up.

She watched on the television as he arrived and the delegates welcomed him. She felt tingles run through her spine as he waved to the cameras when he stepped out of the Air Force One. He was wearing a suit and tie. He didn’t look tired. He was breathtaking and looked bigger than life.

Now, that the welcoming ceremony was over, she was filled with trepidation. She was pacing around. Restless and overly energetic.

She was wearing her purple suit dress, gold clipped earrings, and purple pumps. She looked like how she would do business because she didn’t want to look as if she prepared for a date instead.

She heard a knock and felt her heart leaped to her throat. A click. She turned around then she saw Bill’s towering frame enter her suite. 

Hillary's heart somersaulted.

Her feet carried her to him, almost jogging, then he spread his arms just before she crushed her body to coil her arms around his torso. 

She sighed feeling that finally — she arrived home.

Bill held Hillary, embracing her. Truth be told, he missed her. He inhaled the flowery scent of her hair and just enjoyed the luxury of holding her. He never felt this way before — that incredible sense of longing to hold someone. 

He pulled back and Hillary touched his face, "I am glad you are here."

"I have never been so happier, as well."

"How is your flight?" 

"Long and exhausting," He playfully whined. 

They released each other and she led him to the dining table. "Have you eaten?" 

"No, not yet," He responded, then he slid his arm behind the small of her back, Hillary also did the same to him. 

"Just in time then," Hillary announced, she turned to him. 

"How's your conference?" He asked. 

"I did good trouble in there. You might hear it in the news."

"I hope it will not put me in so much trouble then," He joked. He started taking off his suit and hanging them at the coat hanger. She watched as he also took off his tie, then folded the sleeves of his shirt. Hillary thought about how domestic it looked like and how much she enjoyed watching him do it.

Bill turned to her with his brow arched, "What are you thinking?" 

She smiled, "Nothing."

Bill went to her. and when she was close enough, he pulled her to him making her giggle. He reached to brush her cheek with his fingers, then he sighed. He very much wanted to kiss her but didn't know if she was still with Tim. He didn't really like the idea of being a third party.

"What's wrong?" She asked. 

Bill bit his lip before he spoke, "Hillary… I am so confused about us."

"What do you mean?" 

He gently pulled her to him and embraced her again. "I suddenly just realized how much I dislike being the third party."

She pulled back. "Bill… Tim and I… We are over as far as I am concerned."

Bill wrinkled the space between his brows, "What do you mean as far as you are concerned?" 

She brushed her face with her hand uncomfortable by the turn of discussion. She took his hand and led him to the couch and sat. "Something happened…" 

Bill looked at her worriedly, and he intertwined their fingers. "What is it?" 

She held his gaze, "Well, Tim… Do...do you remember the time I went to the White House past two in the morning?" 

Bill nodded, holding his breath. He placed his arm over her shoulder, he felt something serious happened and not just a disagreement.

"Tim...he…" She hesitated, feeling a little awkward saying it, "He harassed me… um… sexually harassed me that night. 

"WHAT?!" Bill exploded that he stood. His fist closed. He felt the blood drain on his face and felt his ears heated with anger. "Fucking bastard!" 

Hillary pulled his arm for him to sit down, "Don't shout." 

"I am going to fucking make his life miserable!" He felt his body shake with uncontrollable anger as he sat next to her. 

"Shh…" Hillary cooed. 

"Did he force himself on you?" He framed her face with his hand. "What did he do?" He gentled. 

Hillary closed her eyes not wanting to go back to that minute, but she figured she had to tell him what happened. "Well, it isn't so bad… it's after your Health Care speech. Tim and I have been having disagreements. We are trying to patch things up during that time. After your speech, he took me home and he followed me inside. I didn't actually see anything bad about it, but my gut was telling me that something was off… I am about to turn on the light in my kitchen… " She took a deep breath and looked down at her hands. Bill placed his large hand atop hers. 

He scooted closer and kissed her temple, "I am here, Darling."

She nodded and took that encouragement. "He took my hand and pulled me. He kissed me then pinned me against the wall." She looked at Bill, "I tried to feel anything but all I felt was discomfort. He fondled and groped me and…" She took a deep breath as her voice quivered. She tried to keep her tears at bay but then tears escaped her eyes, "I… I was so scared, Bill."

"Oh, darling," Bill pulled her to him holding her close. 

He gathered her to him and she ended up sitting across on his lap, her arms encircled around his neck, while she leaned her head on his shoulder. Bill cooed her, calming her down. 

"Cry if you have to, we have all the time for you to release what you kept inside," He whispered. "I am proud of you for speaking up, for sharing your pain with me."

Something just clicked inside Hillary's brain when he told her to release what she kept inside, maybe it was time for her to be honest with him as well.

She pulled back a little and looked at him, held his gaze, and gently kissed him.

Bill was caught by surprise but the moment that her lips touched hers, he sighed and relented. His arms wrapping around her holding her close. His heart beating wildly in his chest as he was melting in her embrace.

She held his face, angled them, pried his lips to open, and when he did, she caught his tongue with hers.

It was happening too fast and too soon, Bill felt himself harden as she started to slowly gyrate her hips - rubbing them on his lap. 

Bill pulled back, inciting a moan from her. He sighed, waiting for his thundering heart to calm down, then with the stillness of the night, his stomach growled. 

Hillary laughed muffling her laughter in the crook of his neck, he laughed as well. 

"I guess that's our sign to eat," She said.

She stood up, reached for his hand, and pulled him up.

Bill followed behind her with her hand still holding his.

"Are you feeling better now?" He asked as they reached the table. 

She turned to him and wiped the lipstick smudge on his lips. "Yes, I feel one hundred times better." 

He kissed her forehead. "When we get back to Washington, I will make Duke's life miserable."

She leaned back against his embrace and shook his head, "Please, don't do that. I will handle it."

He harrumphed, "I will let him get off the hook because you requested, but I will not be forgiving next time." 

She looked at him, "You'd do that?" 

He pressed his lips on her forehead, "I'd do what I can to protect you."

She smiled feeling a pleasurable warmth spread through her chest. She never experienced such protectiveness from someone before and it was such a wonderful feeling. 

"What do we have for dinner?" She heard him ask. 

"Curry, Prata bread, and some fruits" She announced, she turned to him, gently tugged him, and gave him a swift kiss, latching her mouth with his. She just couldn't get enough of him. 

Bill smiled at her, kept his arm around her. "I have to enjoy the kiss now before we start to eat." 

Hillary laughed, "Thank you for making me laugh. I have an extra toothbrush that you can use after." 

"Aww, you're too generous." 

They both exchanged stories more stories about Washington about India and their travels outside America.

After their dinner, Bill lounged on the chair as he sips his wine while waiting for Hillary to finish in the comfort room.

"Do you want to wash?" She asked after she finished. 

Bill looked at her with heavy-lidded eyes. She went to him, she brushed his hair, then her face softened as she asked, "Are you sleepy?" 

"A little," He said, then he stood up. "I'll just wash." 

He went to the comfort room, brushed his teeth, and washed his face. He looked at his reflection in the mirror thinking where this whatever was going. They need to make a decision one day but now they would enjoy each other.

Hillary was looking outside when Bill finished. He went to her and snaked his arms from the back - embracing her from behind. He nibbled the skin on the curved on her shoulder, the one connecting to her neck.

"What are you thinking?" He asked, he felt Hillary's hand on his head gently rubbing his hair urging him on. 

She tilted her head to give him more access. "I don't want to be pessimistic but I am afraid this might be the last time we might enjoy this moment." 

Bill stilled, he gently turned her around to face him, then he reached under her chin and tipped her head up, "Don't think about that. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Tomorrow? What excuse will we give?" 

"That we are not yet done with our discussion," Bill responded. 

Hillary chuckled, "You can't be serious."

"Why?" 

"My team already finds this meeting odd. Jen asked me how you found out about my flight details. If you go here and say that we will continue what we left off today, they will be suspicious. They might wonder why is this meeting so important that it can't wait until we reach Washington?"

"I'll tell them to fuck off." 

Hillary giggled at him. He reached out to tuck her hair behind her ear. "Please, at least let me try to see you again tomorrow."

Hillary looked at him, "I can't promise, I'll see what I can do."

Bill nodded, sighed, and looked at her, "I'll do whatever I can to see you again when we return to Washington."

She shook her head, "No promises, let's just enjoy this night."

Bill nodded and he leaned to kiss the space between her brows. She looked up at him after and encircled her arms around his neck, they swayed side by side, slow dancing to a music-less night. He held her hand and kissed the smooth skin at the back. Bill looked at her. 

"What are you thinking?" He asked.

"Nothing, what are you thinking?" She asked, her nose brushing against his. 

His lips hiked up to the side, giving her a crooked smile, "How much I want you but my time is rather very limited tonight."

"How long do you have?" She asked. 

"I have another hour," He said sadly. Hillary reached to kiss his throat, her hand wandering south feeling him hard against his slacks.

Bill chuckled and held her hand, "Not tonight. I don't want my men to knock on the door and tell me that I need to leave. However, I have another idea." 

"What?" 

"This," Bill said as he kissed her. He led her towards the couch. Hillary straddled him as they kissed. She nibbled his lower lip. 

"Don't nibble too much," He warned, she chuckled.

"If I can't have you tonight, I might as well enjoy you while I can."

Bill’s hand cupped the cheeks of her ass. "I like you this way."

Hillary laughed before it got muffled as Bill captured her lips with his. Bill brushed his fingers through her hair causing the goosebumps to appear on Hillary's arms. Hillary started to remove her coat briefly dislodging her lips from his. Bill helped her remove it, then placing a kiss on her shoulder as she freed her arm from the sleeve. When Hillary was left with her blouse she returned to him. Bill gently held her face, rubbing his open lips with hers. 

"Open for me, Darling," Bill seductively instructed. She parted her lips and Bill gently bit her lower lip making Hillary moan.

Hillary felt warm all over despite the aircon blasting in her room. She chuckled when Bill trailed his lips on her neck.

"Ticklish?" He asked, smiling against her neck. 

"That part," She answered, breathlessly.

"I'll put it in my mission to make sure that I know where else you are most ticklish," he teased, making her giggle. 

"You are such a surprise, Bill."

"Like a shooting star?" He teased.

She smiled against his lips, "Like a shooting star."

They spent the rest of the time making out on the couch. Stopping now and then when their kissing became too hot and demanding, teasing each other on the brink of their patience, laughing, and sharing stories about their day. 

When it was time for Bill to leave, Hillary helped him with his clothes making sure that he went out of her room looking decent and unwrinkled. She walked him to the door in her dress and blouse, her blazer already discarded. Before Bill reached the door, he turned to her, "Please, let me see you tomorrow night."

He looked at her with puppy eyes that she found adorable. She tipped on her toes and kissed him. "How can I ever resist you? See me at nine in the evening then I'd tell everyone to fuck off." She whispered against his lips before she let him go.

Chapter Text

Washington Post

International Showdown: President Clinton and Senator Rodham's visit in India causes controversy! 

Senator Hillary Rodham (R-NY) is invited in India to speak at the Women's International Conference (WIC). Senator Rodham's speech about the economic inequality and human rights issue for Women made some of the attendees' cheer for her, however, not everyone is happy. This made the Indian Government uncomfortable considering the issues are still prevalent in the country. Senator Rodham openly dared the Government to address the issue. Meanwhile, President Clinton arrived in India a day after Senator Rodham's arrival for a State Visit. President Clinton did not flinch nor retracted his comment about India's participation in the Nuclear Weapon Testing. Both visits are remarkable sparking controversy if we will see Senator Rodham emerge as one of the Republican frontrunners in the next Presidential election. She has a few years to prove herself and she has tremendously achieved a lot. We are sure that we will see more of her in the coming years. 

Bill’s day started early. He met with President Sharma and Prime Minister Rao for a round table meeting. They discussed a wide array of topics but the most pressing issue they discussed was the Nuclear issue which India and Pakistan engaged for weapon tests.

The tension was palpable between Rao and Bill because of his comment that South Asia was the most dangerous place in the world today. The comment that he did was specifically because of the spat between the two countries. 

During the dinner, Rao made a straight comment on Bill's statement by saying, "It has been suggested that the Indian subcontinent is the most dangerous place in the world today and Kashmir is a nuclear flashpoint. These alarmist descriptions will only encourage those who want to break the peace and indulge in terrorism and violence. The danger is not from us who have declared solemnly that we will not be the first to use nuclear weapons, but rather those who refuse to make any such comment."

Bill didn't flinch and kept a straight face. He wouldn't retract his words but he acknowledged the message by nodding at them.

The rest went easy, but Bill still wanted India to make sure that they would "walk the talk" hence when he passed a message to Secretary Albright thru Paul to make sure that they push the paperwork for them to sign on the Nuclear Deal Agreement.

During the dinner when everyone started to mingle with others, President Sharma shared his feedback to Bill casually.

"Your team is determined to make sure we sign the deal," President Sharma commented, his voice devoid of any criticism. He sipped his whiskey while Bill stood next to him.

"I am determined to make sure everyone participates in signing the deal," Bill responded. 

"I look forward to seeing Pakistan making the same commitment," President Sharma said.

"Everyone, including Pakistan," Bill stressed.

President Sharma turned to him, "Senator Rodham also made a very historic visit. She's pushing the envelope too far fighting for equality." 

"President Sharma, we value democracy. I don't know the business that Senator Rodham has. She is not our delegate. She had her agenda when she attended the conference."

"It was quite a ruckus and it did not put us in a good light. Have you seen her conference?"

Bill turned to him, "I've seen her conference…" 

"And…?" 

"She spoke what Americans stood up for. Regardless of our political difference, what she did there is admirable. I expected no less."

"You expected no less?"

"Senator Rodham has always been a champion for women in America even overseas. She dreamed of a world where women will be seen as equal to men—" 

"Rodham's message will cause an uproar, disturbing the traditions of our women. You should remind where the Senator belongs," Rao interjected, sternly.

"Rao!" President Sharma chided. 

Bill’s ears heated with the insult. Rao was one of the strong critics of Americans and he made that apparent. Bill could tolerate Rao insulting him but not insulting Hillary. Unconsciously, his fist clenched.

"President Clinton," Paul called, stepping in between Prime Minister Rao and Bill. Paul did that when he heard their conversation and he saw Bill's face flushed with anger. Agent Harold inserted himself between the men sensing the tension.

Bill looked at Paul, calming himself. He watched as some of President Sharma's delegates took the Prime Minister away.

"President Clinton, I deeply apologize for Prime Minister Rao's words," President Sharma said.

"President Sharma, you may want to have a word with your Prime Minister how to conduct himself in proper decorum. Additionally, I do not appreciate him insulting Senator Rodham. I will let him go insulting me but I want him to issue an apology for insulting Senator Rodham."

When the dinner ended and he was heading toward his limousine he turned to Paul. "Paul…" He started. 

"Yes sir?" 

"I have a meeting with Senator Rodham tonight."

Paul blinked as if his eyes caught some dust. "I-I beg your pardon?" 

"We didn't finish what we left off yesterday," Bill said plainly. True. He wasn't finished with her yet.

"Do you want me to go or have someone go with you?" 

Bill turned to him and gave him a friendly pat on the shoulder, his service car arrived. "No, I'll take care of it. I have Agent Harold with me."

"Paul," Bill added before he stepped inside his car, "Tell Secretary Albright that I am expecting Prime Minister Rao to send Senator Rodham an apology letter for insulting her in my presence."

Paul was left standing in the driveway trying to remember all the things that happened in the dinner so he could tell George in case the news reached the mainstream media. 

***

Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai, Night-Time

"I don't understand why the President is persistent for this meeting to happen now when you can have this in Washington," Jen commented as she sat on the couch that Hillary and Bill occupied last night making out.

"Jen, the President was too tired to be even coherent in his proposal last night," Hillary said. She said the words without even blinking. 

"It just puzzles me that we are making this arrangement. It's so peculiar," Jen observed. She looked at Hillary whose arms were crossed against her chest.

Hillary had to stifle the urge of wincing at her lie. Jen sighed. "Anyway, tell me if you need anything else. We have to move early tomorrow for our six AM flight." 

"Alright, Jen. I will take care of this."

Jen left her room without any further thought. Hillary was still dressed formally for a business meeting that she didn't bother to change because she was excited to be seeing Bill again. It would be their last night before she returned to Washington. God knows when they could see each other again. 

It took Bill forty-five minutes after Jen left before he arrived. When she heard a knock, she opened the door and found Bill still wearing the tux that he wore in the dinner that he had earlier with President Sharma. He was holding a folder. 

"Hello," Bill greeted, when he came in. He looked dashing that took her breath away. 

"Hello yourself," Hillary greeted closing the door. She chuckled at the folder that he was holding. 

"Props?" She teased. 

"I have to come prepared," Bill said as he followed Hillary inside leading him towards the dining table. He was full and he was not in the mood to even eat. He was there to just spend time with her. Hillary was wearing a green pantsuit dress. It didn't reveal any of her skin but for some reason, he found it very enticing. He was itching to remove them piece by piece like how he would open a gift. He was craving to see the skin behind all those layers. 

His eyes lingered at the smooth skin of her nape. He very much wanted to press his mouth there. 

The thought brought a pleasurable ache in his groin. 

"I am not sure if you want to eat, since you came from dinner, so I had charcuterie, instead," She said, turning to him. 

"Do you want to eat?" She asked. She noticed Bill's heavy-lidded gaze. She looked at his lips and unconsciously licked her own. 

A smile appeared on his lips noticing her movement, "I have a very different appetite tonight," he teased, reaching out for her waist gently pulling her closer. 

Hillary grinned, her arms creeping up on his chest until she encircled them around his neck, "What do you have in mind?" She whispered as Bill rubbed his nose against hers, smiling against her lips.

"You tell me," Bill urged. "I am not sure if she's ready for the feast."

Goosebumps appeared on her arms sending sensations all over her body. She wanted this, and she wanted him. However, something was nagging at the back of her head. She was afraid of the implications of sleeping with Bill.

He rubbed his open lips with hers warming her - seducing her of what was to happen next. He was giving her an option and before her conscience told her 'no' she crushed her mouth with his.

Finally. 

Bill wrapped his arms around her, locking his mouth with hers. He sucked in his breath as Hillary latched her mouth with his. He brushed his fingers in her hair sending prickling sensations on her scalp. 

He felt Hillary's hand on the back of his head while out of nowhere he felt her other hand cupping him through his slacks making him groan against her mouth.

She chuckled. 

Bill felt his body heated. He moved his hands to unbutton her suit, taking them off her. While Hillary's hands pulled off his tucked shirt then she started to unbutton his shirt clumsily. She unlatched her mouth from his, frustrated by the tightness of the buttons. 

Bill chuckled, "Take it easy, Darling. It's expensive."

Hillary giggled, muffling them on the skin of his throat. "Take them off will you?" She asked while working on his pants. 

Bill heard the clang of his buckles feeling the tingling sensation lick his spine. Hillary unbuttoned his pants and unzipped them. He held her gaze and released a sigh as Hillary started fondling him. He was midway finishing unbuttoning his shirt but his hands slackened. He had to hold on to the surface of the dining table as Hillary continued to caress him. She leaned and kissed the skin below his Adam's apple.

"Hold on to the table, Honey," She said before she went down and kneeled before him. Bill sucked in his breath as Hillary pulled his pants down and released his hardened shaft. She looked up at him with a smile on her face before she took him in her mouth.

"Fuck," Bill sighed, watching Hillary's head bob taking him in her mouth. He looked at her blonde hair as she worked on him. He touched the back of her head assisting her. 

Hillary loved the sounds that escaped Bill's lips while she took him in her mouth. Enjoyed the way he felt - velvety smooth and hard. The head of his cock turning purplish, the veins stood out. She watched as Bill gripped the table trying to hold himself. Hillary embraced the power she has over him. He, one of the most powerful men in the world, currently in her mercy. What a sight to behold. 

"Darling," He rasped, gently pulling himself out from her mouth, "Enough or else the night will end too soon."

He helped Hillary up then kissing him, partially tasting himself in her lips. Bill was trying to restrain himself for fear that he might shock her. As if she heard his thoughts, she unlatched her lips from his then whispered in his ears — "Don't hesitate, take."

Bill pulled back and he helped her out of her clothes kissing every inch of her skin that he revealed.

Hillary helped him out - doing the same, kissing every piece of his skin that he revealed to her and when they were both naked, he carried her to her bed. Hillary sat on the edge with her legs dangling. Bill stepped in the space between her legs, just marveling that he was there with her naked as they were born and they would actually do the deed.

She smiled up to him and Bill felt that tug in his chest at her smile - so trusting and genuinely happy to be with him. He leaned and kissed her forehead, "Lay down Darling."

She did as instructed - laid down on the bed with her legs dangling. Bill pulled her by her legs, then positioned her them and planted her feet on the edge of the bed. She felt exposed, her face and chest heated. She could feel her heart beating wildly against her chest that she could hear the beating inside her ears. She felt exposed and the urge for her to cover herself was so strong. But there was no going back. She wanted this and she was already wet with wanting. 

She felt Bill's head hovered on her core. Damn, he could see everything now.

“Bill…” She breathed, but before she could protest, a moan escaped her mouth as she felt his tongue run on her slit. 

“Oh, God,” She said, pressing her head against the bed and tipping her chin up. Bill pried her open with his fingers stretching her folds so he could lick every crevice. She felt hot - melting on the spot. She started to sweat and squirmed with what Bill was doing with her. 

Bill continued running his tongue then making a smacking sound as he sucked her hardened bud. He focused on that bundle of nerves that had hardened and had swollen. Her body curved in a perfect bow as he inserted a finger curling them inside her, running them in and out of her. 

She reached for his head as the sensations flooded her. He inserted two fingers, while his tongue circled her nub.

She thrashed her head as sensations overwhelmed her. She felt torn wanting him to stop but also wanting him to continue. She bit the back of her hand as her moans were becoming louder hoping that her staff who was sleeping next room wouldn’t hear her cries. 

"Look at me, Hillary," She heard him say. She looked at him in between her legs who smiled devilishly at her. 

Oh, God, she would come…

But then Bill pulled out his fingers from her and stopped licking her. “No,” she protested, she would come for the first time with someone after for so long. Tim never made her come and she could only do so when she touched herself. Now she had the opportunity to experience it again with Bill, but he seemed to have other things in mind. Her body was shaking from her unspent desire. 

“Please, don’t stop,” She said, she thought she would end up crying. She was clenching. She wanted to come but what the fuck was Bill planning? She thought in frustration. She propped up. She watched him as he went to retrieve something in the inner pocket of his suit and took something out of his wallet - a foil. 

Oh, of course.

He kept his eyes on her as he stood next to the bed and gently bit the side of the foil and tore it open. The way he gazed at her held a promise of what was to come. Hillary had to swallow. He took out the condom, pinched the tip, then rolled them on his shaft. He turned at her and winked. 

“Shh,” Bill cooed, holding her then aligning their bodies together. “I’ll make you come in a while,” He whispered in her ear.

She held him, “No, I… I need it now,” She said, her legs wrapping around his waist. Bill moved them until they were in the center of the bed. “We’re going there, but not yet, Darling.”

"Open your mouth," He instructed, and she partially parted her lips. Bill traced her lips with his digits and Hillary tasted herself - sweet, salty, and slick. 

Hillary's head was heady with desire. He inserted his index and middle finger in her mouth, her tongue running on his finger tasting more of herself. 

Bill watched as his finger went in and out of her mouth. "Sexy," He muttered before he took his hand away and covered her lips with his.

Hillary moaned at the back of her throat as she spiraled in sensations that Bill weaved her in. He unlatched his mouth from hers then trailed his lips and nibbled the curve of her ear, making her moan. Hillary couldn't stop her body from shaking, her hips moving to their own accord. Bill held her hips to stop herself from rubbing them against his. 

Bill dragged his lips from her ears to her jaw, then locking his lips with hers while he soothed his hand on her lower abdomen easing her tense muscle there. He moved down, down towards her neck to the valley of her breast then closing his warm and wet mouth on her nipples. 

Hillary couldn't do anything but succumb to the pleasure. She held the back of Bill's head with her eyes closed, savoring the feel of his tongue against her sensitive nipple while his other hand teased the other peak.

She started clenching again. She needed to come she thought that if Bill touched her core — she would explode. She wouldn't be able to hold it but Bill was manipulating her nerves, telling her to breathe and he was soothing her muscle. She wanted to cry out of frustration. 

"Turn to your side," Bill instructed. Hillary laid on her side, while he went behind her. He held her legs and draped it on his leg, opening her to him. His arm crossed around her chest cupping her one breast while his other hand held his shaft positioning them then brushing the head on her entrance. 

"Bill," Hillary rasped. 

He looked at her, "Please, I need you," She said.

He entered her, Hillary let out a moan so loud that Bill had to put his hand over her mouth. 

It was so good that Hillary felt herself melting in his arms. She jutted her back as he moved his hips slowly in and out of her. 

"Yes! Yes!" She shouted, but her voice muffled against his hand as an orgasm hit her after a few thrusts. She wasn't finished yet but Bill pulled out then flipped her. He rolled them over and was now above her. He reached for her legs and positioned them on his shoulders in an unobtrusive angle. He entered her and went deeply that she felt him rubbing in her cervix. Bill plowed into her unobtrusively. He did it hard and fast and it was enough to make her reach her orgasm again. Hillary's nails bit into Bill's back, scratching his skin - making him hiss. He muffled her moans with his mouth. He continued to thrust deeply in and out, not letting go of her until he felt his sack tightened and soon he came as well.

He rolled and gathered her to him waiting for his heart to beat back to normal. He held Hillary close - protecting her in his embrace.

The silence engulfed them was comforting. When Hillary regained her strength she peeked at him and found him watching her. His eyes looked heavy as if he was sleepy.

"What are you thinking?" She asked.

Bill leaned and kissed her forehead, "You are wonderful and beautiful."

Hillary smiled and touched his lips. He felt himself starting to harden again. Bill felt slightly embarrassed as if he was just having his first taste of a woman but Hillary was different. She was so different that he didn't want the night to end.

Hillary continued to rub his mouth with her fingertips realizing that it was the first time in her life that she experienced such passion. The whispers were right, Bill could set the mattress in flame. Her cheeks pinked when the thought of wanting him again crossed her mind. 

"What are you thinking?" Bill asked. Hillary scooted closer until her lips started to rub against his lips. 

"I want you again," She responded smiling.

They made love again until Bill used the three foils he packed in his suit. He felt depleted that all he wanted to do was to sleep but he needed to leave before twelve and before his team became suspicious. 

He laid on his back cradling Hillary on his side, his hand brushing her skin. It was already eleven o'clock, he needed to go soon. Hillary sighed, her eyes closed as she was fast asleep. He turned his head and pressed his lips on her forehead. He didn't want to go. He could lay here with her for the rest of his life. He could give himself another fifteen minutes then he would take a shower and leave.

Hillary stirred when Bill started to move. "Where are you going?" She asked, her voice hoarse.

"I have to go, Darling. It's eleven-fifteen. I'll go for a shower."

"Can I join you?" She asked with her one eye closed. 

Bill chuckled. Hillary looked like someone who was just thoroughly fucked and enjoyed every minute of it. She looked fresh with her pink cheeks, slightly swollen lips, and messy hair. He couldn't resist her, he reached out his hand and pulled her up to join him.

Bill turned the knob of the shower then checked the temperature first before stepping under the showerhead. Hillary followed, taking the soap and started lathering some on his chest.

"Why do you look sad?" Bill asked, looking at her face. She didn't want him to go and that was the truth. She wanted to sleep in his arms and to wake up with his kisses but she couldn't enjoy that.

"No, not sad, I am just sleepy," She lied. She didn't want him to think that she was being too needy. 

Bill chuckled, "I thought you are sad because I am about to leave." 

She looked up at him, taking his jibe as encouragement, "Well, I am… a little sad about that."

He gently pulled her to him embracing her, "We will see each other again."

After they finished the shower, she watched him dress up. 

She already missed him. 

Bill looked at her after he finished, "What's in your mind?"

She went to him and gave him a kiss that took his breath away, "Last kiss before you leave."

Bill touched her face, "I'll see you in Washington." 

Hillary smiled but it didn't quite reach her eyes. "Good night, Honey." 

He touched her cheek - grazed them with his fingertips. "Please, smile for me." 

Hillary smiled. 

"Good night, Darling," He said, smiling down at her, holding his folder, before he left her room. 

Chapter Text

Mumbai, India

Patrick Donovan was overdue for another breaking story, but for the past few months, he wasn’t at all successful. He was trying but stories were evasive, he wanted something sensational, something worth selling that would put his name back in the game. He went to Mumbai to get something but he didn’t get anything worth sharing, at least not yet. His last chance was to snoop some stories from the staff in the hotel.

When he went to the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where President Clinton was staying, he didn’t get any juicy information, but there was a comment that he found a little curious. The doorman said that one time the President arrived at the hotel late. 

Initially, Patrick didn’t really think about that, because normally during State visits, the President had a full calendar. What really got him was the thought of why the doorman thinks that it was peculiar that he needed to share that information with him. 

Patrick pursued his lips, watching from his car looking if the doorman who shared his information was already on duty. It looked like he wasn't. He wanted to talk to him more about that and perhaps give him some money for sharing information. People can be bought for little information. It was always like that then maybe by the end of the day he would be lucky.

White House, Afternoon, Washington

Bill’s three-day visit to India was a success. They had India’s commitment to the Nuclear Deal, announced their shared commitment to energy and in the environment. It was such another historic event that Bill received good praise even from his critics. 

He was back working a day after his visit. He focused his efforts on his advocacies that day. This time for his other agenda: Family Care Act. He wanted this to be endorsed by Congressman Arthur Ford. He had his team in the Presidential Conference room by nine in the morning so they could already discuss it since Mack forwarded the drafted proposal to Congressman McGelly who was co-sponsoring the bill a few days ago.

“These all went back yesterday, Congressman McGelly is contesting the proposal and said that the chances of this to die is likely,” Mack said, holding a folder as he entered the President’s conference room.

Bill looked up at Mack and gently placed his mug on the table. "What didn't he particularly like?" He asked, leaning against the backrest of his seat. 

"McGelly said that Republicans are contesting that since females are the ones benefiting in this act, the employers might engage in subtle discrimination against women in the hiring process.”

Bill scoffed, “That’s their argument? When did they care about women’s rights?”

Congressman Ford looked at Bill as if it was obvious, “Well, since they elected Senator Rodham.”

There was an impregnable silence that followed. “I don’t think that they have softened towards policies that benefit women regardless of electing Senator Rodham,” Bill added skeptically. He knew all about it since Hillary would share her frustrations with him. He never said out loud his thoughts to her but he got that impression.

“How did you know that?”

“I just know,” Bill said matter-of-factly. 

Senator Kerry looked at him and chuckled, “I didn’t know that you have the skills of a fortune teller.” Senator Kerry then leaned forward as a thought struck him, “Don’t tell me you have a mole.”

Bill laughed, “No, I don’t do mole.”

Paul, who was sitting on the corner outside the conference table, raised his hand. Everyone’s eyes turned to him. “If I may, gentlemen,” He started, then he turned to Bill, “Sir if I am not mistaken during our visit in India, you mentioned that you have a discussion with Senator Rodham about enhancing the bill.”

Bill felt a cold-sweat break on his back as he felt all eyes shifted to him. He kept an unwavering stare at Paul. He cleared his throat. “Yes, I had that conversation with her.”

“That’s a surprise, and?” Congressman Ford asked, leaning forward with interest. 

Oh, God, he wanted to throttle Paul for bringing it up. He didn’t expect that Paul would even remember.

“We never reached an agreement.”

“Did she look at the documents?” Congressman Ford pried.

“She did, and she has few points for amendment on the proposal,” Bill lied. He wasn’t good at this, he thought dreadfully. 

“She has a few points on the proposal? But there are no changes in the proposal,” the Congressman commented, confused. 

“It’s because I didn’t like her proposal,” Bill ended. 

“What’s her proposal?” Mack asked, reeling from the revelation. Oh, Boy, Mack thought, something smells fishy. He knew it. His mind was screaming,  what the fuck? Did they meet in secret?  Meeting Senator Rodham was not in the plan.

Something was definitely going on. Bill looked flustered, even embarrassed, while Paul looked clueless. Mack watched from his seat as Bill tried to evade questions from the two Senators. He was hiding whatever discussion he had with the Senator in private.

"Her proposal is still with me. It’s a moot point for us to discuss it," Bill said, he tried not to wince or even blink hoping that his face wouldn’t give way that he was lying.

The meeting took only one hour but it was the longest one hour in Bill's life. They were prying about Senator Rodham's proposal but he was tight-lipped saying that he disregarded their discussion because he didn’t approve of Hillary’s conditions. The truth was there was no proposal at all. 

“I have told her to give me a counter-proposal,” Bill said.

Senator Kerry was leaning casually in his chair, his legs crossed, “You don’t have to discuss this with her. I can take this with her.”

Bill looked at John, “Honestly, John, I am trying my best to win Senator Rodham on my side. If you take this with her, she would think that I am not sincere in collaborating with her.”

John nodded, understanding. When everyone left, Mack remained in the Conference room. Bill turned to him. 

“Anything you want to tell me?” Bill asked.

“How come we didn’t know anything about your secret meeting with Senator Rodham? It wasn’t even in the plan.”

Bill arched his brow, “If I told anyone then it wouldn’t be a secret meeting at all.”

“That’s what I am saying, Bill. We’ve sworn to protect you and make your presidency a success but if you start hiding things from us…” 

Bill took a deep breath, understanding why Mack needed to say those things, but he couldn’t tell anyone anything about him and Hillary. It was a secret that he and Hillary should only know. 

“I am sorry about that Mack. I know what you mean but I am trying to gain access to Republicans and the only I can do that is through Senator Rodham.”

“Anything that we need to know about your secret meeting?” Mack asked, a tone of censure in his voice.

Bill shrugged, “Nothing more.” 

Bill left the room while Mack watched him leave. Mack sighed, torn between believing what Bill told him or thinking that there was something more going on. He wouldn’t tell George the things he learned today because he knew that George wouldn’t buy his explanation again. George couldn't be convinced that Hillary was going behind Congressman Duke. Mack, however, had pieced the stories together. The things he first-hand witnessed. George didn't believe him, but he wasn't imagining things. It was intriguing and definitely puzzling. He felt there was something beyond their supposed working relationship and newfound partnership. He knew Bill, and if it was just another innocent working relationship, he wouldn’t be so secretive. 

He sighed and grabbed his folder heading out. He would get more information but for now, he would let this pass.

Hillary's Office, Afternoon, Washington

Hillary just finished a meeting with Senator Gingrich when she arrived in her office and Mary read to her some of the messages left while she was away. She also handed her an envelope. 

"What's this?" Hillary asked.

"Sent by the embassy of India in-behalf of Prime Minister Rao. Secretary Albright said for you to call her once you are done with the letter," Mary said. 

"Thanks, Mary. Also, can you get Huma for me?" Hillary instructed before opening the sealed envelope.

Hillary sat on her seat and scanned the letter. Her brows furrowed confused why she was getting an apology letter from the Prime Minister, what struck her was the sentence:

My sincerest apologies for speaking ill to you in front of the President. 

She didn't have any idea what happened. Bill didn't tell her anything the last time they were together in Mumbai. Well, she thought unashamed, there was no time to talk then.

She phoned Secretary Albright who filled her in the details. 

"The Prime Minister commented on your speech in the convention and Bill didn't like it. He insisted for the Prime Minister to send you an apology letter."

Hillary was touched by Bill's protectiveness, although it was unnecessary. She could handle the criticism, but oddly enough, she softened by Bill's protectiveness. 

She smiled after her conversation with the Secretary, happy about the gesture. She would call him later to thank him. Besides, it has been a while since they talked… and she already missed him. 

She sighed and rubbed her forehead. She was starting to get attached to him. She deliberately tried to avoid him for the past few days because she was trying to slow down her growing attraction. They were going too fast. Sleeping with him already changed the game but she couldn't afford to fall in love with him.

She actually comforted herself that what happened to them was just sex and nothing more. But was it really just sex?

White House, Night-time, Washington

There is nothing more than frustrating when your political opponents take down your proposals not because they have a better idea but because they just want to sabotage your success. These were Bill’s thoughts as he contemplated his Family Care Act proposal. He and his team needed to come up with a better proposal that would appeal to both parties, and for that, he needed Hillary's help.

He sighed. He didn’t hear from her for the past few days ever since their last time together. He was anxious if Hillary regretted the night they shared. He couldn't blame her. The implications and consequences of what they did weigh heavily on her. 

Bill stretched and folded his arms under his head looking at the ceiling. He couldn't stop thinking about her. He liked Hillary, liked her so much in fact. He hoped that Mumbai wasn’t their last time to be together.

His eye-lids were closing, he was ready to call it a night because as it seems she wasn't going to call-

Ring

Ring

Bill’s eyes snapped open and looked at his mobile phone. Excitement coursed through him as he saw Hillary's name flashed on the screen. He answered the call.

"Hi," Hillary said breathily. 

"Hey," He greeted, sitting up.

"Are you sleeping?" 

"About to." 

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you."

"No, please...stay," He said.

There was a silence that followed. Bill wanted to tell her that he missed her, that he couldn't forget about her, but he didn't want to scare her with any of that. Meanwhile, Hillary gripped the phone thinking how much she missed him and how empty and lonely she felt when they parted, but she didn't want to come across as needy. She was so relieved to hear his voice. 

"I am so glad you called," Bill said, almost whispering.

Hillary smiled, "I’m sorry it took me so long to call.”

“No, you’re always just at the right time,” Bill comforted, he paused for a second before asking, “How are you, Darling?”

He bit his lower lip, anxious. It felt different this time using that term of endearment after sleeping with her. His mind was screaming at him though, asking what was their status? For him, the call of endearment after sleeping together seemed a little too official. 

“Don’t say that,” Hillary said grinning, finding his term of endearment sweet. She felt like flying by how he said those words.

“What? Why?”

“Because you’re making me like you more.”

Bill chuckled. “I see your problem.”

“I called because I received the letter from Prime Minister Rao. Secretary Albright explained what happened to me.”

Bill leaned against the headboard, “I am glad that he did what I told him to do.”

“You didn’t have to do that.”

“Why not?”

“It’s unnecessary.”

Bill sighed, "I don't like anyone insulting you."

Hillary felt a pleasurable warmth spread through her chest. It was such a wonderful and unfamiliar feeling and she wanted to bask on it. 

"Bill…” She touched her head, not yet over with what Bill told her. 

“Yes?”

“That’s really sweet and I appreciate that, but I am not your responsibility. You know that we can’t be together, right?”

There was a silence that followed. They both knew that they couldn’t be together in the meantime because of their circumstances. 

He sighed, “I know, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy each other’s company, or I would allow anyone to insult you, right?”

Hillary quite opposed the idea because she understands that whatever they were both currently enjoying would most likely end in heartbreak. And the one that she feared would lose the most - would be her.

By the end of this affair, chances were she would be broken, her reputation would be tarnished, and she would be shunned by her family. 

On the other hand, maybe,  just maybe , she could allow herself to be detached from her emotion. Maybe they could really enjoy each other for a while without those things that she feared happening.

“Are you still there?”

“I’m sorry, I’ve been thinking…”

“What are you thinking?”

“How much this scares me…” She took a deep breath, “but at the same time I don’t think I can ever stop myself from wanting it… wanting you.”

“Oh, Darling,” Bill breathed. “I want you too.” He ran his fingers through his hair, tipping his head up. “I cannot forget Mumbai. I cannot forget you, the way you felt in my arms, and the way you taste." He sighed, "I'd do anything to share another night with you.” He paused, then continued, “Please, tell me that you think about it too."

"I do think about it so much, Bill. I've been trying not to obsess about it, but I do... I think about it every night. I hate that you had to leave then. I laid on the bed afterward and I could still smell you on my bed and feel your kisses," She shook her head and gave a nervous chuckle. “I try to relive the moment, actually.”

"Really? How?" He teased. 

"I just replay everything in my head."

"Did you enjoy thinking about it?"

"So much," She responded, grinning.

"Did you touch yourself while thinking about it?"

"Always."

Hillary heard Bill’s rough breathing, then he said in a low scratchy voice: "Touch yourself, Darling."

Hillary stilled, then felt a heat spread through her body. She hesitated. She never did this. It sounded wicked and outrageous. 

"Wh-what?”

“I want you to touch yourself while I stroke my cock.”

Hillary swallowed, feeling warm all over, but before she lost her nerve, she thought to play his game, “Do you want me to take off my dress?”

Bill smiled, “Yes, take them off. Join me in my nakedness.”

“You sleep without clothes?” She asked as she started to lift her dress up taking them off her body.

“Yes, Darling. I don’t sleep with any clothes. Are you naked now?”

“Yes, I am, Honey.” 

“I love it when you call me ‘Honey’. Touch your breast with one hand,” He instructed, then he asked after a while: “Are you doing it?”

“Yes,” She answered. She started to breathe heavily. 

“Good, now play with your nipples. Tease them, like how my tongue did,” Bill rasped. He started to touch himself, slowly stroking his cock. 

Hillary moaned, remembering exactly how his mouth sucked her breast, how he tongued her nipples. 

“Use both of your hands on your breasts, Darling.” He instructed. Hillary did that exactly then she moaned in the process. Loving the way how it felt. Her body starting to get sensitive - whatever her hand touch brought pleasurable sensations. 

“Yes, damn, you make the sexiest moans, Darling.”

“Oh, God, Bill,” Hillary answered, as she continued to tease her nipples. 

“Don’t stop, Darling. Not until I told you to. Does it ache?”

“Y-yes.”

“Are you wet?”

“Yes.”

Bill brushed his face with his hand, remembering how she tasted. “I love the way you taste. God, I could remember how you tasted on my tongue. I’d make you come again with my mouth.”

“Yes!” Hillary responded.

“Do you want my cock?” He teased.

“Yes, I want it. I want you.”

“Do you want to come now?”

“Y-yes,” She responded, her body started to shake. 

“I’ll make you come, we’ll come together. Run your hand to your stomach, Darling. That’s it, yes, then spread the folds of your pussy.”

Hillary moaned, turned-on by his dirty talk. 

“Fuck, I can picture in my head how your pussy looks like - glistening, pink, tight, warm,” He rasped. “Just thinking about it makes me salivate.”

“Oh, Baby, please.”

“Are you still spreading yourself?”

“Yes!”

“Okay, touch yourself - “

Hillary hissed.

“Yes, run your finger on your clit,” Bill instructed, his breathing labored as he started to increase his pace stroking his cock.

“Are you stroking your cock for me, Honey?”

“Yes, do you want to ride me next time?”

“Yes, oh, God!” Hillary said as she felt her muscles clench. 

“Wait for me, Darling, don’t come yet. Slow down. Alright?”

Hillary nodded, “Yes,” but she could feel the ache in her lower belly, she would come soon. She heard the low groan from Bill.

“Okay, Darling, rub yourself faster now. Fuck, I’m going to come soon,” He said, as he felt his balls and thighs tightened. “Oh, God, come with me, Baby.”

“Yes! Yes!” Hillary screamed, then she said his name as she continued to rub her clit as her orgasm hit her, then she heard Bill groaned on his end. 

“Fuck, yeah, Baby,” Bill hissed as he spurted his seed in his stomach. He took a deep breath, as he waited for his thundering heart to calm down. His body felt heavy and satiated then he heaved a sigh.

“Good?” He heard Hillary asked. 

“Yeah,” Bill chuckled. “Did you come good?”

“Yes,” Hillary responded. 

“I made such a mess, let’s clean up?” 

Hillary giggled, “Like showering together?”

“Yeah, like showering together. Don’t end the call. Let’s return after.”

“Alright.”

After they cleaned up, they went back to continue their conversation. 

“How was your experience?” Bill asked.

Hillary smiled, “Thrilling, but not as good when you are with me.”

“Of course, Darling. I’ll do what I can to go there.”

“You’ll go here?”

“Well, it’ll be more challenging if you go here. I’ll try to make an arrangement.”

She nodded. “I hope you can arrange something that will not put you in trouble.”

“Did you miss me already?” He teased.

She thought not to tell him the truth, but then they were beyond pretense so she said that truth: “I do.” 

“I missed you too,” Bill said. 

The silence that followed them was comforting. It reminded Hillary the first time that they spent walking outside the White House after their first dinner together. It was always very comforting.

“By the way,” Bill said, breaking the silence. “I got in a little trouble.”

Chapter Text

"What do you mean you are in trouble?" Hillary asked, lying down on her bed. Her body felt heavy but pleasant.

"I told Paul that the reason why I am visiting you in your hotel is that we are working on the Family Care Act. I had a meeting with Congressman Ford and Senator Kerry discussing amending the initial draft and Paul told them about our meeting. I told them that we did not agree when we were having our supposed discussion. Now, we need to work amending it because they are looking forward to your revision.”

Hillary laughed. 

Bill’s brows furrowed. “I am not sure what’s funny?”

Hillary laughed out loud. 

“What?” Bill pried, feeling relieved that she was finding the whole thing funny as opposed to being outraged. 

“Well, I guess we need to work on our lies,” She pressed her hand on her forehead, not believing that she was now resorting to lying. 

“Because?”

“I have told my team that we are working on Gun reform.”

“You what?” Bill asked, sitting up.

“I need to talk to them,” Hillary said calmly.

“You seem not bothered?”

“I have no reason to worry…” she said casually, “Not when we just finished what we did.”

“Oh…” Bill said, suddenly relaxing. He was surprised how their supposed mini problem did not bother her at all. He felt a little ridiculous for worrying about it. 

“Besides,” she said, her voice in a lower timbre, “it means that we have reasons to see each other. I'll talk to Jen and fix our little lie.”

Bill chuckled, then he sighed realizing that he was slowly, so slowly starting to fall in love with her. He wasn’t there yet, but he was heading there. She was sexy, intelligent, charismatic, empathic, and smart. He couldn’t ask for more. He felt like he found someone who could match him in all ways. 

“I miss you, Darling.”

He bit the insides of his mouth as the word slipped from his lips. He didn’t mean to say it but it was the truth. He missed her that it was torture physically not to see her when he craved for her presence.

Hillary stilled, it was the first time that Bill said his emotions out loud. “I miss you too, Honey," She said not hesitating because she felt the same.

It was natural and right to say it after all they started being honest about their feelings. 

Bill chuckled. "Can you believe how things developed between us?" 

Hillary smiled, feeling a little ashamed how her warning backed fired on her. 

"Yes," She sighed. "I warned you not to befriend me." 

"I guess we are even way beyond friendly."

Hillary stopped. She was thinking about this and it was a good opening for her. 

"Hey, this… Whatever that we have between us… It's not just sex, isn't it?" 

Bill straightened, "Of course, it is not just sex."

"I don't want to think that this is just a fuck buddy thing as well?"

Bill gripped the bridge of his nose. "Hillary, it's not anything that you are thinking. We have a good connection. I care about you."

Hillary tipped her head up, pacified. There was, however, something nagging at the back of her head. While she should feel comforted that Bill was not taking their encounters lightly she was bothered by how temporary everything was between them. 

"I dislike it when you are quiet."

Hillary giggled. "I am sorry."

"No, don't be. It's just that I don't know what's going in your mind and it makes me anxious."

"I am finding it hard to believe that I make you anxious."

"Why?"

"I don't know…it's just me."

"That's exactly what makes me nervous, it's you." 

"I don't get it."

Bill bit his lower lips before saying, "I can afford to disappoint others, I can't afford to disappoint you, Hill."

Hillary felt that butterflies in her stomach again. She felt jubilant by what he said. She sighed. "You certainly have a way with words, Bill."

Bill laughed. "Silly, it's true."

"Say something like that again I would demand that for you to come over here."

Bill laughed, "As you wish."

"I am just kidding."

"I'm not."

They spent the entire night making each other laugh and exchanging thoughts and stories until Hillary fell asleep to Bill's delight. When he started to hear Hillary's heavy breathing and soft snore, Bill's decision to see her firmed. He would see her soon and he would move heaven and earth just to do exactly that. 

***

White House, Next Day, Afternoon

Despite Bill’s busy day, he was still thinking about ways he could go to Hillary’s home tonight. He already had an idea and that was to arrange with Agent Harold since he could trust the agent. He just needed time to tell him that.

When it was lunch and Bill returned to his office, he ordered his chief secretary to call Agent Harold in his office, and after a minute the agent arrived. 

“Sir?”

“Harold,” Bill said, “I need something from you.”

Harold remained silent waiting for Bill to continue.

“I am planning to see Senator Rodham tonight approximately eleven at night. I need your help to make an arrangement. Please make sure that we only keep a small unit and use the unmarked service.”

The agent remained stoic, and Bill wondered if the Secret Service were also trained to remain and look emotionless. 

Bill sighed. He wasn’t exactly obliged to explain anything to the Agent but he was making their lives hard by making that kind of arrangement. But he owed that to him.

“I know you might be wondering why I keep seeing Senator Rodham in secrecy…”

“Not exactly sir, no explanations needed. We are here to protect you and it’s our job to do that exactly.”

Bill nodded. “I appreciate your job and your loyalty, Harold. I hope I can also trust your team to do the same.”

Agent Harold nodded. When he left, he reached out to call Hillary and tell her his plan.

***

The Pelican Bar and Restaurant, Same Day, Afternoon, Washington

Tim turned his wrist to look at his watch. Five minutes before twelve. He invited Hillary for lunch. He was expecting Hillary to turn down his invitation but to his surprise, she actually accepted. It had been quite a while since the last time that they saw each other. He reached out to her multiple times but she was either not available or she was away. He particularly asked Mary to tell him exactly her availability and if he could see her in the Pelican Bar and Restaurant. Mary told him that she needed to confirm first. 

Tim expected another rejection from Hillary, but to his surprise, she accepted. Hillary told Mary to tell him to meet her in the restaurant for lunch. So there he was, waiting for her to arrive. 

He bought some bouquet - this time daisies. He wanted to apologize to her for what happened that night. It wasn’t right that he did that and he hoped that she would forgive him for it. 

At exactly noon, Hillary entered the restaurant wearing an emerald green pantsuit dress with her short shiny hair. She looked immaculate and wonderful, that Tim immediately regretted hurting her.

Hillary looked around and their eyes met. He stood up and waited for her. When Hillary was near, he reached out to give her a peck on the cheek but Hillary avoided the kiss by pulling back.

Tim sighed. 

“I guess I deserve that,” He said with dry humor.

“Hi,” Hillary greeted, she placed her small handbag and mobile phone on the space near her plate. They were neatly stacked together.

“These are for you,” Tim said, handing her the bouquet. Hillary didn’t take them and instead just looked at them.

Tim placed the bouquet on the table. “How are you?” Tim asked. 

“Did you actually invite me for casual conversation?” Hillary quipped. 

“No, I invited you so we can patch things up.”

Hillary looked at Tim in disbelief. He had been reaching out for her persistently but she was avoiding him by giving excuses, hoping that he would take a hint. Apparently, he couldn’t. So When he particularly asked Mary to book an appointment for him in Hillary’s availability, she relented. She knew that he wouldn’t stop until she sees him.

The thing was for her their dating status was over. He couldn’t get it so she thought to say it to his face.

“Tim, just stop.”

Tim looked at her. 

“Look, whatever is going on between us, it’s over.”

“You can’t be serious. You cannot break up with me.”

Hillary arched a brow -  of all things that he would say!

“Actually, I just did.”

Tim looked up as if he was trying to be patient with her. “Look, I am sorry for what I did to you. I shouldn’t have done that.” He exhaled, “I just missed you so much.”

“You missed me so much that you felt like the need to force yourself on me?”

“I’m sorry I said. What else do you want me to say, Hill?”

Hillary shook her head, “There’s nothing that I want you to say. I am informing you that we are over.”

Tim’s face hardened. It was a look when he was angry. “Are you seeing someone?”

Hillary looked at him unflinchingly, “No, I am not seeing anyone.”

Tim’s face remained blank he wasn’t buying what she said. A part of Hillary suddenly got worried considering Tim’s access and what he could do. She felt inclined to accept his apology for fear that he would set his sights on her and discover that she was seeing Bill.

It would be difficult to make Tim an enemy and she understood that. She changed her tone. “Tim, listen to me, I am no longer happy with what’s between us. I don’t think it can ever work out. I forgive you for what happened that night, but please, let me go.”

Tim looked at her impassively. “Hillary, I love you. I would do everything to make you happy. We have plans together. We have dreams together. You just want me to let things go?”

Ring

Ring

They both looked at Hillary’s phone. The screen flashed and “B” appeared on the screen. She reached out for her phone and turned it off hoping that Tim did not see the name.

She turned to look at him. “I know we have dreams together, but maybe, those dreams are not meant for us.”

Tim sighed. “Please, don’t ever end what we had. Think about it.”

Hillary sighed. “The only thing that I can offer you in the meantime is us being friends.”

Tim nodded. “I’ll take that… in the meantime.”

Hillary nodded before she stood up. “I have to go.”

Tim watched Hillary walk away - feeling angry more than ever. She was lying to him. She was clearly seeing someone. He saw the name “B” appear on the screen of her mobile phone before she snatched it and turned it off. It was the same initial who gave her that bouquet in her office.

He looked at Hillary outside the restaurant looking both sideways before she crossed the street. Tim reached out for his phone and dialed a familiar number. He didn’t save the number in his contact just to make sure someone wouldn’t find out that he was using this person when he needed someone to be investigated.

“Congressman,” The man with a husky voice greeted. 

“I have a job for you,” Tim announced. He was still watching Hillary from afar. “I want you to find out something for me.”

***

Hillary’s Home, Night-Time

Hillary was filled with trepidation as she paced inside her home. Bill said that he would be arriving at eleven. It was already eleven fifteen and she couldn’t reach his phone. She was afraid that something might have happened.

When she left the restaurant, she called him and asked why he called. Bill told her his plan - saying that he already arranged with Agent Harold to escort him in her place. 

She was worried for him but after a few more minutes she saw the headlights reflect outside her home, her heart jumped to her throat. She went to the nearby window and saw three black vans and some agents went out first and then someone opened the door to the passenger seat of the van in the middle of the convoy.

She felt excitement coursing through her when she saw Bill step out from the van wearing a black sports jacket, jeans, and black baseball cap. Agent Harold trailed him. Hillary went to the door waiting for Bill to step in front of her door. 

Bill could feel the knots in his stomach. He was nervous about this small adventure. He was afraid that someone might find out that he was visiting Senator Rodham at an ungodly hour. She was living in an exclusive neighborhood but it wasn’t a guarantee that a paparazzi wasn’t following them. He was extra paranoid by the thought that someone would find out about them.

When he arrived in her place and Agent Harold opened the door of the van, he did not hesitate to jog towards her home. He was about to knock when the door suddenly opened and Hillary yanked him inside. 

It took a while for him to register just what happened because after he was yanked inside, Hillary crushed her mouth with his.

He bent as she wrapped her arms around his neck. He cupped her backside, he heaved and hauled her to him until she ended up wrapping her legs around his waist. He pulled back after a while, “Easy, Darling.”

“Oh, God, I thought you wouldn’t arrive!” Hillary said embracing him.

He looked around at her dimmed house. “You turned off the lights?”

“I am trying to keep the lights to a minimum,” She said as she started to nuzzle his neck, then she looked at him. “I missed you,” she said brushing his cheek with her thumb.

“I missed you more that's why I went through all the trouble to be here,” Bill jest.

Hillary laughed, “Then let’s make your effort worth it.”

Bill arched a brow, “And how will you achieve that?”

She leaned until she reached his ear, “I’ll fuck you hard tonight.”

“Where’s your bedroom?” Bill asked in all seriousness. 

Hillary chuckled. “Put me down, I’ll take you to my bedroom.”

***

After they made love that night, Bill told Hillary that he would be staying until three in the morning. Hillary was lying on his side with her head pillowing his chest as she told him about her lunch with Tim. Bill, however, was falling asleep. His eyes were closed as he continued to make lazy circles on her shoulder. “I hope he didn’t see your initials though.”

Bill smiled lazily while keeping his eyes closed. “I am sure he didn’t. Besides, it’s only ‘B’ there are a lot of people with ‘B’ as their initial.”

“I should change your name on my phone," She paused, “Bubba?”

Bill opened one sleepy eye and tipped his chin down, “Bubba?” 

She chuckled. “Are you sleepy already?”

Bill closed his eyes and sighed. “You wore me down, Senator.”

“Hmm…” Hillary expressed amusedly, she propped herself up and reached to kiss him. “I don’t think I wore you down.”

Bill laughed, then grunted when Hillary climbed and straddled him. Bill’s eyes landed on her neck and he reached to rub the reddish mark he left earlier. 

“Oh, God,” Bill groaned. 

“What?” 

He gently pulled her to him so he could get a better look. “Oh, damn, I left a hickey.”

“What?” Hillary said with a hint of alarm in her voice. She rolled out of him and went to the comfort room stark naked to check her neck. 

Bill propped himself up and watched her from the bed. 

“Oh, my God, Bill, you left a hickey. I told you not to,” Hillary said disgruntled.

Bill followed her in the comfort room naked as well. He stood behind her as they both looked at her reflection.

“Let me see,” He said, turning her around to face him. He gently rubbed it with his thumb. “I cannot remember I did that.” He got turned on that he left that mark on her neck. She would be wearing it for others to see. It was primitive but he was oddly satisfied. He wanted everyone to know that she belonged to him.

Hillary rolled her eyes. Bill leaned and kissed it, darted his tongue to taste it. 

“Honey,” Hillary sighed, holding the back of his head. Feeling her knees starting to get weak. “I thought you’re sleepy?” She asked, whispering.

Bill’s mouth traveled up to the side of her neck as his hand started to move South from her waist down to the v of her legs.

Hillary moaned as Bill’s fingers touched her core, brushing her slit with the back of his fingers. “Still wet for me,” She heard Bill whisper. “We might as well make the most of it.” He said before he moved swiftly and carried her in his arms and brought her back to the bed. 

***

White House, Six-thirty in the Morning

George was pacing outside the Breakfast room when Mack saw him.

“Are you alright?” Mack asked as he took a sip from his cup of coffee.

“Where’s Bill?” George asked. 

“Is he not yet here?” 

“Good morning, General!” George exclaimed as General Powell arrived. 

“No, he’s not yet here. I thought you were with him?” George asked, confused.

“No, I just arrived. Maybe he is still dressing?”

“Where’s Bill?” Dolly asked, looking worried as the guests were starting to arrive. Bill was supposed to arrive by six-thirty as arranged.

“Maybe he is still getting dressed?”

Mack gave George his coffee. “No, I know Bill. He wouldn’t be late.”

Mack ran to Bill’s presidential suite. He was surprised that the door to the Presidential Suite was still closed. Normally, if Bill had a meeting, he would be awake in the morning. He would jog first then take a shower, get dressed, and then have breakfast.

Mack knocked, then when no one answered, he urged the housekeeper to open the door. When the housekeeper opened the door, Mack found the draperies still closed. It was so dark inside that it practically looked like evening. His eyes turned to a sleeping Bill facedown and still snoring.

“Damn, Bill, wake up!” Mack said, shaking him.

“Hmm?” Bill asked hoarsely. 

“Don’t hmm me! Man, it’s already six-thirty in the morning. Why are you still sleeping?” Mack exclaimed.

Bill’s eyes snapped open suddenly remembering that he had breakfast with the generals. 

“Damn, it’s six-thirty?” Bill asked. 

Mack looked at him incredulously. 

“Go, wash your face, and brush your teeth. I’ll take your suit out of the closet.” Mack said and watched as Bill went to the comfort room swaying. 

Mack went to his wardrobe and fetched his suit and tie, then he went around looking suspicious because Bill smells heavily of perfume which he didn’t normally do. Besides, Bill never wore perfume unless he had to go somewhere. Lastly, Bill was wearing a white shirt and boxers. He knew that Bill sleeps naked so it was strange why he changed his routine. 

Mack saw Bill’s jeans hanging on a nearby chair. Mack turned to look at the closed door of the comfort room and then he went to check the pocket of his jeans. He found them all empty.

He saw his wallet on the nearby bedside table and Mack flipped them open, he found a few dollars and some credit cards, he looked at the inner pocket and found nothing suspicious. He found his sports jacket hanging out and Mack reached for it then sniffed.

Mack blinked. He couldn’t mistake the smell. It was the scent of a woman's perfume. The smell was so distinct - flowery and light. He reached in the pocket and found them empty but the inside pocket had two unopened condoms. The one had a small tear as if it was accidentally torn.

Mack looked at it. 

Bingo.

Chapter Text

The Daily Call

Night Rendezvous?

Blind Item

My friends, I have something to tell you. Quite juicy I must say. A friend of mine who is currently working on this story tells me that these two famous personalities who have made some headlines when they visited a country met in secret!

What really sparked an interest in me is that these two personalities are rivals, but this male personality has visited the female personality’s hotel - TWICE.

Their identities cannot be revealed yet because my friend still doesn’t know what is their business and why this guy visited this lady twice, but it is quite an intriguing story because this female personality is very much committed.

Clue? They are quite everywhere nowadays.

***

White House, Afternoon, Few Days After

Mack knew that there was definitely going on between Bill and Senator Rodham. He just didn’t know how to confront him. It was the way they both looked at each other when Senator Rodham arrived in the White House earlier. He just couldn’t put it together without looking insane or losing his mind.

When he found the condom in Bill’s sports jacket a few days ago and he told George about it. George wasn’t at all happy that he was snooping around Bill’s stuff but he was also alarmed. 

“If you confront Bill about that he would be pissed as hell,” George told him. 

Mack nodded. “I know. He doesn't like being spied on. I just don’t get the secrecy.”

“Bill has always been transparent to us with his affairs. I know he would reveal this one with us.”

Mack raised a brow at him, “I hope he tells us before the journalists get it first.”

Mack had a strong suspicion that it was Senator Rodham, but he also couldn’t believe it. Bill wouldn’t be that stupid and, definitely, the Senator wasn’t that stupid. They couldn’t be having an affair when this could potentially ruin their career, right?

However, what really bothered Mack was when Senator Rodham arrived in the White House and she saw Bill, Mack couldn’t mistake the look they both gave each other. Mack couldn’t shake it. It bothered him because he wasn’t imagining things.

Something was really going on between them.

Even now that they were in the conference room. Bill sat next to Hillary instead of the opposite. The sitting arrangement confused the hell out of Mack. It was supposed to be the President’s team on the other side and the opposing side on the other. Now it was all jumbled. Bill was sitting next to Senator Rodham and both her team and Bill’s including Mack were all sitting randomly.

***

Bill shouldn’t be turned on, but he was the moment that Hillary stepped inside the White House with her team. He had to stifle the urge of running to her and swooping down and kissing her red lips. She gave him a knowing glance but tried hard to appear all stoic and business-like.

“President,” She greeted, smiling at him. Her smile was small, unlike the wide and grinning ones that they shared in her bedroom.

Bill already knew Hillary’s perfume, flowery and light. It was enough to make him salivate. He knew where she dabs them - just behind the ear, under her jaw exactly where her pulse beat, and in between the valley of her breast. He loved pressing his nose in those areas and inhaling her scent. He loved that she would imprint the smell in him when they both get sweaty under the sheet.

"Senator Rodham," He returned then saw her cheeks pinked to his delight. He waited for her to give her her hand, then when she did, he took and shook it firmly.

"Ready?" He asked, giving her a teasing and knowing smile.

"Yes," She responded, avoiding his eyes.

Hillary had predicted that it was going to be a bad idea that instead of them working together through a phone conference, he decided to bring her team to the White House. He wanted to do that because he wanted to put a “show” that Democrats and Republicans could indeed work together. She only relented because it would benefit them both.

However, a few minutes after she arrived, she was overwhelmed by her sense of longing for him. She never had the chance to spend the day with him, and seeing him during the day time looking dashing and handsome in his three-piece suit and pink cheeks left Hillary wanting him.

After the greeting they were escorted into the Presidential Conference room, Bill was walking beside her.

"Did you have a goodnight's sleep?" He asked.

Hillary turned to look at him if he was teasing her, but he wasn't. He knew damn well that she did have a good night's sleep because she ended up falling asleep on him after they spent the night having phone sex. 

"Y-yes, I did," She responded as she followed his lead.

It has been three days since the last time he touched her and she was already starting to get wet by seeing him. He told her to wear lingerie for him and she did. She was wearing a lace Brazilian bikini for him though she had no idea what he was planning.

Bill placed his hand on the small of her back. She was about to take a seat but he ushered her to the other side of the table. He pulled the seat for her. She sat, then to her horror, he sat next to her.

"Uh…" Hillary commented unsurely. Jason, Hillary's senior policy strategist, sat next to her. Bill's senior strategist sat next to him, the rest of her and his team sat on the available seats.

The arrangement was a mixed bag and Hillary was confused about the arrangement but Bill seemed not to mind. 

He leaned towards her, "Do you need anything?" 

Hillary shook her head and took the portfolio that Jason gave her. 

"Tea, coffee, water, or scotch for your nerves?" Bill teased. 

Hillary looked at him with censure, annoyed that he was teasing her in front of their team, "Stop," She hissed, holding his gaze.

"You seem very tense."

"Bill..." 

They both looked at each other for a while until Paul cleared his throat and realized that everyone was looking and waiting for them.

"Thank you for joining us today, Senator Rodham," Bill started.

"What everyone didn't know is that we've been trying to close a deal to fix the Family Care Act ever since…" he paused, "...uh...ever since in India."

"Yes," Hillary interjected, cutting Bill, "I know you've rejected my proposal before but we have modified the plan, my senior strategist, Jason will be presenting the modified plan that we have. We want to amend your Family Care Act to the Family and Medical Leave Act."

Hillary nodded at Jason to start presenting. Jason had set up his laptop, and he nodded if the lights could be dimmed so he could project his screen. Jason stood next to the white canvas so he could start presenting.

Hillary glanced at Bill and he smiled at her. He leaned a little towards her, "I am sorry," he whispered. 

Hillary smiled back at him. Everyone turned to the screen as Jason started playing a clip. Unbeknownst to them, Bill reached out under the table to grab Hillary's hand.

She briefly looked at him but Bill was still watching the clip. Hillary relaxed, her hands warming against his then she moved to intertwine their fingers together.

It has been a few days since they held each other. It was tricky and dangerous if Bill continued to sneak into her home so they needed to do it less frequently. Hillary leaned against the seat while she was cradling Bill's hand on her thigh. She stiffened though when Bill moved his hand and started to caress her inner thigh.

Hillary's head snapped toward him and he held her gaze. She felt her body heated and her heart started hammering inside her chest. She inconspicuously glanced at their audience but they were all looking at Jason's presentation.

The room was a little dark so they couldn't particularly see what Bill's hand was doing. She felt him hitch her dress partially as he tried to reach for her undies.

Hillary looked around hoping no one was watching them. She slid down the portfolio to cover a bit of Bill’s hand on her. She bit her lip when he touched her core through her lingerie. She knew he felt her wetness, his fingers lingered where she was the hottest. 

Hillary felt lightheaded, she was afraid that if he continued to slowly rub her through her panties she might actually moan. She bit the insides of her mouth as he continued to feel her. She closed her eyes feeling his finger. She moved a little hoping he could put more pressure but then his hand withdrew as Jason started to move and he took the front and started explaining their modified version of their Family Care Act.

She sighed and kept her head down looking at the portfolio hoping no one would see her red cheeks.

The rest of the discussion went smoothly to Hillary’s relief. Bill no longer tried to tease her nor flirt with her. What boggled Hillary was that she was so horny while Bill remained looking unaffected from what he did earlier.

When the meeting ended and Hillary’s team was about to leave, Bill asked if she could remain for a while.

Hillary was standing next to the door when she turned to her team and said, “Go ahead, I'll follow.”

Bill stood up from his seat and went to stand near her and closed the door. He smiled down at her. “I’m sorry about earlier."

Hillary smiled, “I’m sure you are not sorry.”

Bill reached for her waist and pulled her to him, he wrapped her in his arms and embraced her tightly.

“I missed you,” Bill said, his voice muffled as he said the words on her neck. Hillary wrapped her arms around him, she chuckled and she softened by how sweet he was. He moved his hands up cupping her backside. He pulled back and looked at her, “And you really wore lingerie for me. I thought you wouldn’t!”

Hillary framed his face, “Well, you wished didn’t you?”

"But I wasn't expecting."

"Aren't you glad?"

"Damn, I am so glad you did." He nodded, “Knowing you wearing one and three days of not feeling your arms around me, Babe, you're going to kill me. I don’t know how long I can live without spending the night with you.”

Hillary chuckled and gently pulled him to her until they were nose to nose, “Do you want to come to my place?”

“Can I? Tonight?”

Bill looked so boyish that Hillary couldn’t help but laugh at him. 

“You’re so cute, I hate it,” Hillary said.

Bill leaned brushing his lips against hers, “You wouldn’t find me cute tonight.”

Hillary nodded, “I’ll look forward to that.”

Bill’s eyes dropped to her lips, “My God if I am just reckless, I feel like taking you on that table.”

Hillary bit her lip, “Can’t you?”

Bill laughed and pulled her to him until he could prop his chin on her crown. “Oh, don’t tempt me. I might actually try. I’m just afraid someone might come in. It’s too early.” His hand traveled under her dress feeling her underwear.

“Can I see your lingerie?” Bill asked. 

“I hope that there are no cameras here. I don’t want anyone seeing my ass.”

Bill chuckled. “I wouldn’t be holding you if there are any cameras here.” He lifted Hillary’s dress and revealed her backside until he saw her black lace lingerie. He gave a wolf-whistle. “Wear that tonight,” he said, swiftly kissing her. 

She smiled saucily and tapped his cheek. “I will.”

“Go, before my team and your team becomes too suspicious that I am holding you here quite longer than expected.”

Hillary laughed but yelped when Bill surprisingly gave her backside a tap.

When Hillary already left and Bill went out of the Conference room he found Mack waiting for him in the hallway.

"You need something from me?" Bill asked. 

Mack looked at him, "What's with you and Senator Rodham?"

They walked together back to the Oval Office, "What about us?"

"I don't know. It's just the way you both looked at each other when she arrived."

Bill stopped and looked at him, "What are you trying to say, Mack?"

"Bill, we are not your enemy. I am your friend. I am only saying is that if something is going on between you and Senator Rodham, you better tell me."

Bill chuckled and clapped his shoulder. "Don't be ridiculous, but if ever I set my sights on her, I'll let you know."

Oh, he hoped he never had to do that in the future.

***

Rodham Residence, Dinner Time, Same Day

Hillary went to her parents' house as they invited her for dinner. She knew that the reason why her father called her to come and it was to discuss her “break up” from Tim. She didn’t feel inclined to tell her father anything about the breakup because, to begin with, she and Tim were never exclusive, but of course, this concept was something her parents didn’t understand.

Hillary felt that she was eating sand as she chewed the chicken breast that her mother prepared while she continued to listen to her father berate her for breaking up with Tim.

“What I don’t understand is how you could give up on Tim. Tim is a good son, he is a good lawyer, a good politician, Tim is perfect for you, Diane!”

“Dad, I told you, I am no longer interested in Tim. Besides, I realized how different we are in terms of what we believe in,” She justified. After thirty minutes into dinner and all her father discussed was about Tim. He did not even ask about her. 

How typical and how disappointing.

Her father raised a brow, “What do you mean?”

She shrugged, “He is too conservative for me.”

“I don’t see that as a problem. You are not thinking about our future, Hillary. You have to think about what your partnership will do for the party. Besides, if you marry him, our family will take the lead back. Aren’t you thinking about that?”

“Aren’t you thinking about me?” Hillary snapped, as she heard those words from her father. She turned her head towards her mother then back to her father. “Throughout my life, I’ve dedicated it to you, for the party. Have you ever thought about what I want?”

It was the truth. It was always for the family, for the party, it was never about her. 

“How dare you speak to me like that?!” Her father demanded angrily.

“Hugh!” Her mother called, stopping her father. Hugh looked at Dorothy then she added, “Enough of pressing our daughter of what you want.”

She turned to Hillary and reached out to place her hand atop hers, “Go, follow what your heart wants, Sweetheart.”

Hugh harrumphed. “You both are not thinking what will we lose if Hillary doesn't end up marrying Duke!”

“Then go marry him!” Hillary answered flippantly. She stood and had enough of the conversation. Her father never changed. He always cared about the damned Republican Party. She took the napkin from her lap and threw it on the chair.

“I realized that I no longer have an appetite,” She said, going where she left her coat, leaving her parents surprised that she stormed away from them.

“Come back here, Diane! I am not yet done with you!” Her father shouted. 

“Damn right, I will not be back. I will not be back until you take that I am no longer with Duke!” Hillary retorted as she continued to walk away from her father.

Hillary went out of her parent’s mansion and went to ride her car that was already waiting for her. She was so angry and heartbroken that her father never cared about her, not even when she was a child. He would always care about their reputation and his ambitions for her, but not once, he ever showed her love and acceptance.

“Damn it!” She cursed as her car took her away from the house that she once called home. 

***

Bill brought his saxophone with him and thought to show Hillary his skill. He wanted to do something else besides sleeping with her. Besides, he could teach her to play the sax too tonight.

When he arrived at Hillary's place, he felt how familiar the place already was to him. How he looked forward to going home to her one day.

He stilled as his thoughts went that direction, but it was the truth. He liked Hillary more than he could imagine so it wasn't hard to envision himself going home to her. 

Well, that could happen if things weren't just complicated.

He was about to knock when she opened the door and let him in. 

“Hi,” She greeted, a little less enthusiastic. 

“Hey,” Bill greeted back and looked at her. He caught her eyes and it was a little red. 

"Are you crying?" He asked. 

"Huh?" She asked as she avoided looking at him. She started to walk towards her room but Bill placed his saxophone case on the floor and he reached for her hand stopping her.

“Hey,” He called, and Hillary turned to face him. 

“What?” She asked. 

Bill gently pulled her to him and caught her face with his hand, “Why the tears?”

Hillary sighed and cradled her head. “I just argued with my father.”

Bill wrapped his arms around her and held her. “What happened?”

Hillary felt her throat closed again and her eyes turning blurry as her tears gathered. She didn’t have the heart to tell him that the cause of their argument was Tim so she said, “It’s nothing.”

“Please, tell me. I may not be able to do anything about it, but I want to listen.”

Hillary pulled back and looked at Bill’s sincere blue eyes. There was something in the way that Bill looked at her - so trusting, so caring that she finally found a kind soul who was going to just listen to her. 

She nodded, “Okay, I’ll share but perhaps later. I just spent the time crying and I don’t want to cry again.”

Bill smiled and kissed her forehead. “Alright. Anytime you are ready.”

“What did you bring?”

Bill smiled boyishly at her, “My sax.”

“Why?”

“I thought to serenade you tonight.”

Hillary looked at him, then she took a step closer and reached him. Bill closed the distance between them and kissed her full on the lips. “Don’t ever change, Honey," She said, sighingly. 

Bill smiled down at her, “Not ever.”

When they reached her bedroom, Bill placed his sax case on the floor and locked the door behind him. He watched as Hillary started to remove her robe, he approached her from behind and coiled his arms around her, his palms landing on her waist. She looked over her shoulder as he spoke, “We don’t have to do this if you don’t feel like doing it.”

She turned to face him and gazed into his eyes. It was the way he held her gaze that made Hillary realize that she loved him. She didn’t recognize that she already did, but it was the way he always made his presence felt. The way he listened to her stories, to her complaints, the way he would always make time to call her despite how busy his schedule was, and now that she needed someone to comfort her, he was there. He wasn't lying when he said that it wasn't just sex, but he deeply cared about her.

He didn’t even have to care, he didn't have to do all the things that he was doing but he was already offering them without anything in exchange. It made her soft, and it made her warm and fuzzy inside. She said she would be careful not to fall in love with him but he easily made his way inside her heart. She was afraid to say it because the future still looked uncertain, but she didn’t care at this time, at this moment. She didn't even give a damn even if he didn't return her feelings.

“What are you thinking?” Bill asked worriedly.

She gently laid her palm on his cheek and said achingly, “I want to love you tonight."

Chapter Text

"I want to love you tonight."

Bill’s eyes softened and he framed Hillary’s face. “What?” He asked, his voice above a whisper. Did he actually hear her correctly? Did she say that she wants to love him tonight?

Hillary’s eyes roamed his face and thought that she was sure about what she felt for him. “I told myself that I will be careful not to fall in love with you,” she brushed his cheek with her thumb, “but you made it so easy for me to love you.” She bit her lip and told him sincerely, “So, yes, I want to love you tonight, Darling.”

Bill’s eyes turned glassy as he gently pulled her to him, holding her captive in his embrace. He never experienced a love so genuine and so sincerely that he wanted to stop the moment and just cherish it.

He pulled back and brushed her lips with his thumb, “I don’t know what I ever did to deserve your love,” he reached for her hand and placed them at the center of his chest, “I want you to know, that this heart of mine cares deeply about you. It beats for you.” He pressed his lips in between her brows, “I have never loved anyone besides my mom and grandfather—"

Hillary pulled back a little and looked at him, "What?" 

"Well, you know my story."

"I actually know little about you."

Bill pursued his lips, "So I guess you don't find me intriguing when I was campaigning?" 

Hillary laughed and rubbed her hand on his chest. "I wasn't interested in you."

Bill raised a brow at her, "You find me interesting now I guess?" 

Hillary chuckled and kissed his throat. "I find you more than 'interesting', I should say."

Bill chuckled. 

Hillary stilled, "It's odd that we discussed each other's past so little."

Bill leaned back and looked at her. "I have nothing interesting to share. My past is bleak. It's not a nice topic to share at this time."

Hillary gazed into his eyes and realized that this side of him would be something hard for her to know. She understood that it would take time for him to share something so personal.

She nodded to Bill's relief. 

Bill kissed her forehead. "I am not exactly sure if what I feel for you is just the same as what you feel for me." He sighed. "I admire you. I adore you. I want you ever since I’ve seen you enter the East Room."

Hillary smiled, "That's enough for me." 

She tilted her head as Bill's lips moved from her temple to the side of her jaw, then to her neck. "This should be love, isn't it?" He asked. 

"What?" She sighed. 

He stayed there nipping the column where her pulse beat. It was one of his favorite places. "This constant need of your presence." 

"It can be…" She breathed. She felt Bill started to suck the vein in her neck so she warned, "Don't leave a hickey."

Bill chuckled. "I'll leave somewhere else." He slid his mouth down towards her collar bone. "It must be love if I just want to see you happy?"

Hillary nodded, feeling his hand reaching for the clasp of her demi-bra and taking them off of her. Her nipples stood in peaks as the coldness of the room touched her skin just as goosebumps appeared on her arms.

Bill took a deep breath and sighed. He reached to brush the tips with the back of his fingers sending a pleasurable ache in between her legs. He gazed at her, happy to see the joy in her smile. "I want you this way, Darling." 

"Then join me in my nakedness?" She said. She reached and then helped him out of his jacket. 

Bill sighed. "I intend to serenade you tonight then make love with you. I hate that I have limited time. The five hours that I have with you is not enough."

Hillary giggled at his frustration.

"Don't laugh. I am seriously frustrated that I don't have enough time with you. I want to serenade you, and then I want to make love to you..."

Hillary chuckled and Bill frowned at her. "I am sorry. I don't mean to laugh," She added. “Then choose what you want to do first?”

Bill sucked in his breath as Hillary worked on his buckles. "I hate that we are sneaking out." He reached to tipped her chin up. "You deserved to be courted not like this."

"I am sorry."

He leaned and kissed her. "Don't apologize. It's not you. If we have enough time, I want to court you, love you in ways you wanted to be loved."

"You'd do that?" 

Bill embraced her. "I'd do anything for you."

Hillary smiled against his skin. "You're so good to me, Bill. I hope nothing changes."

Bill leaned back and looked at her. "We are not sure of what the future holds, but I want you to know that I will be here for you. You know that right?" 

She nodded thinking how scary the future looks for them. There still was no guarantee that it would all end amicably, but there was no point in thinking that in the meantime. They should live in the moment, so to distract herself she tipped-toed and captured his lips with hers. 

“So what will you be serenading me or are you going to fuck me?” She teased after kissing him, while her hand started to fondle him through his slacks. 

Bill laughed. “That potty mouth of yours...please make sure you keep that only for me."

Hillary chuckled. 

“I’ll play for you,” He said, but stopped when Hillary removed her underwear. He swallowed feeling himself harden. “Then we can make…” She reached for her emerald green satin robe, “We can make love.”

Hillary chuckled and went to him, her arms encircling around his waist. “I have a robe there, do you also want to get naked?”

Bill smiled smugly at her. “I cannot wait to be going home to you, Babe.”

Hillary’s eyes softened, almost dreamy. Bill reached for her cheek, “I hope one day I can come home to you.”

Hillary felt her throat closed because she almost felt the same. “Please, don’t make me hope so much.”

Bill pressed his lips against her forehead, “Hope springs eternal, Darling.”

She sighed and looked at him.

“I’ll take off my clothes, can you give me the robe?” He asked. 

Hillary nodded and went to the comfort room to get him a robe. Bill removed all of his clothes and placed them on the couch. He turned around and retrieved his sax case to get his sax and he felt Hillary embrace him from behind.

“Thanks for serenading me tonight,” She said. Bill smiled and reached for the robe. “You’re welcome.”

Hillary watched as Bill played some blues and jazz for her while enjoying her Chardonnay. She watched smiling at him as Bill serenaded her. Hillary never felt this fortunate to have him play for her. She took a sip of her wine as Bill played his piece for her. She got him a glass of wine and he also enjoyed a drink. 

Bill licked his lip after taking a sip of his wine. “Come here, I’ll teach you how to play.”

Hillary’s face lightened up, “You’ll teach me?”

“Yup, come here,” He said, taking off the lace from his neck and helping her with the sax. Bill sat on the edge of her bed, Hillary stood in between his legs, her back facing his front. Bill told her how to position her tongue that made her laugh out loud. She tried her best to blow it properly but she couldn’t because she was already partially drunk with all the wine that they were sharing. Plus the fact that they were both laughing.

Bill stood behind her, his hand above hers as he told her what to press, his other hand on her waist but Hillary had another idea and she reached and kissed the side of his throat that made him chuckle. 

Bill was a little tipsy and red from alcohol, feeling himself harden already with all the touching and stolen kisses they shared.

“Alright, I guess that’s enough serenading and sax lessons,” He said, taking off the lace from her neck. Hillary turned and pressed her mouth against his collar bone, kissing whatever she could reach. She wanted him with such ferocity that also surprised her.

Bill placed the sax on the side of the bed making sure that it wouldn’t slide then groaned when he felt Hillary fondled him.

“Darling,” He breathed as he ended up sitting on the edge of the bed as Hillary started to stroke him. She hovered above him, her lips near his. Bill’s eyes half closing from the pleasure. 

“Do you like it, Honey?” She asked as she continued to work on him, while her other hand fondled his sac. 

“Y-yeah,” He responded breathily, “Damn, I love what you are doing,” He added. Hillary kissed him as she started to untie her robe and slid them off from her body.

She yelped as Bill wrapped his arms around her and pulled her towards the bed. She threw a fit of giggles as he attacked her neck with kisses. 

“No more playing, I want you now,” Bill said as he straddled her.

Hillary looked at his shaft that stood mostly upright and she clenched marveling at his size. He looked where his pants were thinking about his condom but the thought left his mind when Hillary touched him that made him jerk back. 

“I have an idea” She said. 

Bill looked at her as Hillary stroked him again, “Can we do it without the condom?”

Bill’s lips straightened thinking about the consequences, “Are you on pills?”

She bit her lip and shook her head. 

“What if I get you pregnant?”

“Are you afraid?”

“No, I am not afraid. I am worried about you though.”

She shook her head and reached for his arm, “No, don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.”

Bill chuckled and brushed his nose against the side of her nose. “Do you want to feel me, Darling?”

She nodded, then let out a sigh as she felt him touch her core. 

“Hmm, already wet for me,” Bill said brushing his lips against her. He reached for her leg and anchored them on his hips. “Wrap your legs around me, Darling,” He instructed as he held his shaft and positioned them on her entrance. He brushed the head against her slit coating it with her honey, he took a deep breath before he slid inside slowly. 

Hillary let out a moan and arched her back feeling him inside her - smooth, warm, and hard. Bill nibbled the slope of her neck and shoulder. He groaned feeling her tight around him. He continued to move slowly - trying to savor her heat but the overwhelming desire for them to reach the orgasm was driving him nuts. 

He continued with the slow pace until he could no longer hold it. “Do you want to come now?” He asked her. He felt her nodding so and he leaned back and held her hips as he built his pace. 

Bill focused on driving in and out of her, holding her in place as he continued thrusting his hips. After a few solid strokes, he felt Hillary clenched around him and her back curved as she let out his name and clasped the bed sheet when she reached her orgasm. Bill held back waiting for her orgasm to end before he continued thrusting, and after a few strokes, he felt that tightness in his sac, his breath hitched as he reached his climax and spent himself inside her. 

After a while, he fell on top of her and Hillary held him feeling his warm seed inside her. A part of her was already calculating how to prevent conceiving but a part of her dared… then the thought left her when he rolled them over and gathered her in his arms.

He intertwined their fingers as sleep was starting to creep into him. He wanted to indulge but he didn’t want to, because if he woke up, he would be leaving, and he didn’t want to leave, not now or not in a while. He wanted to be in this constant bliss.

He felt his heart start to beat normally, and with the last of his strength, he gently reached for her hand - the one that was intertwined with his and kissed the back. 

He turned to his side so that they were face to face. He gathered Hillary closer until they were almost facing each other. He brushed her cheek. “I just realized something…”

“Hmm?”

He pulled her close so he could hold her, “I think… I think I am in love with you.”

Hillary looked at him. "You think?" She asked. She saw Bill's eyes turned glassy. “I don’t know…” He said, his voice almost a whisper then, “But I just know that maybe I do… maybe this is what being in love feels like.”

Hillary grinned at him, “What does it feel like?”

“This...bliss.”

***

“Please, leave my grandson alone.”

Bill looked up at his grandfather who was confronting the masked man who stopped them on the highway. Bill and his grandfather were about to go home after working on a mill when a group of masked men stopped them. One of the men asked for his grandfather’s money and his grandfather gave everything to them. 

He felt his grandfather's hand hide him behind him.  

“Easy son,” His grandfather said to the masked man, “Please take everything, take my wallet an’ all of my money, but leave me and my grandson alone.”

Bill could remember that night it was so dark and all he could see the stars from above. He was only seven then but knew that they were in trouble. He silently prayed as he continued to hide behind his grandfather’s back. He didn’t know what was happening but one of the masked men reached for him and Bill fought and bit the man’s hand, then he heard a gunshot. Bill turned and saw the group of men started to run as his grandfather fell to the ground.

“Pop-pop,” Bill said. 

“Billy-”

Bill watched in horror as he saw the blood on his grandfather's chest. 

“Pop-pop,” Bill cried. 

“Bill...”

Bill shot up from the bed, but panic engulfed him when he saw nothing but total darkness. 

“Hillary!” He called. 

“Hillary!”

He felt his throat closed and he almost ran but was relieved when he saw the door in the comfort room opened and Hillary got out and went to him. She reached for the bedside table and turned the light on, “What is it?”

He yanked her to him and embraced her. “Oh, God, I thought you are not here.”

Hillary held him, worried by his panic, “I am here, are you having a nightmare?”

Bill nodded, then he released her and did some quick breathing exercises like what he usually does when panic engulfed him. He leaned against the bed rest and took a deep breath. Hillary climbed the bed and went to him. “What happened?”

He closed his eyes waiting for the panic to subside. He felt Hillary comfort him, rubbing his chest, then she went to grab some water for him and he drank. She looked at him worriedly. “What did you dream about?”

Bill looked at her and he took a deep breath but nothing came out but a sob. “I saw my grandfather died, Hillary.”

“Oh, Love,” Hillary said and embraced him.

They stayed in the bed quietly after. They just listen to each other’s breathing. Hillary was lying with her head pillowing his chest. She enjoyed listening to the beating of his heart. They did not talk after that and she didn’t press him to share his story but she just remained there for him - holding him.

“I never told anyone this,” She heard him speak. She turned her head to look at him. He tipped his chin down to look at her. “I am actually afraid of the dark.”

Bill waited if she would chuckle or laugh but Hillary didn’t do any of that. She held his gaze instead, so he continued, “I grew up with my grandfather. My mother used to work as a nurse late at night so she handed me over to my grandfather to look after me. I would accompany him in his work in a mill...he’s my favorite. He’s really good and kind at me.”

Hillary watched as Bill’s throat worked as if he was swallowing water. “One night, we were about to go home from his work, when some men tried to rob him… I didn’t know what was happening, I could hardly remember why the men ended up shooting him.” He closed his eyes, “All I could remember was how dark it was… and then my grandfather was lying on the ground reaching for me.”

Bill’s eyes clouded with tears as he remembered that unfortunate night. “He died in my arms that night. It was so dark and I was so afraid. I cried, Hilly.  When he laid there, he embraced me. I cried because I know he would die and I tried to stop him from dying, but I couldn’t, Hilly. He told me that he loved me very much. I told him that I love him too, I held him, but he died, Hillary.”

Hillary reached to wipe his tears, “Please, don’t cry, Honey.”

“I love him, Hillary. I wish I could turn back the time and say it once more.”

Hillary kissed his cheek, “I am sure that your grandfather loves you, Bill.”

“I want to forget that night, but I couldn’t.”

Hillary embraced and held him, “It’s alright, I’m here.” 

Bill looked at her and nodded, “Thank you.”

They held each other for the rest of the night until Bill had to leave. Leaving was becoming harder for them. He didn’t want to leave after sharing that moment with Hillary. He never opened himself to anyone but to her and it felt right. He was glad that he shared that part of himself with her because he couldn’t think of anyone deserving to hear that part of his life.

“So when will I see you?” Bill asked, looking at Hillary as they stood next to her door. 

“Soon. I’ll see you soon, okay?” 

Bill nodded. 

“Please smile for me,” Hillary asked, reaching for his chin. 

Bill tried, but he was sad because he would be leaving. “I don’t want to leave your side.”

Hillary chuckled and briefly kissed him. “I’ll call you later.”

He nodded and stepped out, returning to the van that was waiting for him. He nodded at Agent Harold as he escorted him inside the service car.

Bill looked at Hillary’s house as the car started and moved away from her home.

***

 

What happened in Mumbai?

By: Patrick Donovan

… twice it happened that President Clinton visited Senator Rodham’s hotel in Mumbai. He first visited her when he arrived and the day after. He managed to squeeze a few hours before Senator Rodham’s flight back to America. 

It was very intriguing why the President visited the Senator late at night especially on his first day. My informer told me that he was initially invited for dinner but he turned them down because of his scheduled “appointment” with the Senator. 

I have called both of their offices and neither denied the visit. They said the two nights they were together in Mumbai, the President, and the Senator worked together to discuss the gun reform and the Family and Medical Leave Act that.

While this was reasonable, I couldn’t help but wonder why this supposed discussion couldn’t wait until they both returned to Washington and why it needed to be conducted late at night? Why was there so much secrecy between the two?

Chapter Text

Washington, Morning

Bill was not expecting to be grilled early in the morning by George and Mack. They were talking to him, not as their Commander in Chief, but as their friend ever since Patrick Donovan’s article exploded.

Initially, they ignored the news but other evidence showed with Hillary reaching over to Bill and touching his face before his speech in Congress about Health Care. Though both Hillary and Bill shrugged off the news, Mack decided to confront Bill with George.

"We need to know what's going on so we can protect you."

Bill looked at them exasperatedly. 

Mack pressed, "If this blew up, how can we ever defend you?"

Bill tipped his chin up. He needed to call Hillary, but he couldn't, not yet though. No, later they would have a meeting. He wondered how she was holding up. 

"What do you want me to say, Mack?"

"Just tell us the truth."

Bill looked at him. Mack told him his thoughts and observations. Mack wasn't wrong. Yes, he and Hillary were having an affair, an affair that was nobody's business but theirs. However, Mack was right. They needed to know the truth so they could protect him. He was sure they wanted to know the truth not because they were in for the gossip but to make sure they could protect him from scandals. It already happened before with Jennifer Flowers. He was glad Mack and George were there to cover him. 

He stood up and brushed his hand through his hair, unsure if he would tell them, and then propped his hands on his waist. He took a deep breath and looked at them.

Mack and George had been his friends since college. They already had proven their loyalty. Besides, they all knew about his affairs.

"Yes, I am having an affair with Hillary."

There was an impregnable silence that followed. There was no emotion on Mack's face as if he was expecting this news. George who was leaning against the wall was the first one to move by pushing himself away from the wall and spoke.

“With Senator Rodham?” George asked as if he wanted it to be re-confirmed.

Bill just looked at him.

Mack gave George a knowing stare. 

“Jesus, so Mack is right. You are having an affair with her. I cannot believe this.” George said. He ran his hand through his hair, “Bill, of all women, you decided to have an affair with Congressman Duke’s girlfriend and the Senate Minority Leader.”

“She is no longer Duke’s girlfriend.”

George shook his head, “It doesn’t matter. Duke would think that you stole her from him. They would use that against you.”

Bill shrugged. “I don’t care about Duke.”

George gave a self-deprecating laugh. “Yeah, you obnoxious son of a bitch. You don’t care about anything as long as you get to sleep with someone.”

“Hey!” Bill called George. “I am not just sleeping with Hillary.”

George raised an eyebrow at him. 

Bill remained quiet. How could even explain that what he felt for Senator Rodham was more than they were thinking? They wouldn’t understand the level of affection he felt for her and he didn’t want to explain because it would further complicate things.

"When did this start?"

Bill shrugged. “We’ve been in touch for quite some time.”

“What happened in Mumbai?”

Bill looked at him incredulously, but George just returned his stare. Bill took a deep breath. It was important for him to disclose this to them.

“I am sharing this because I trust you both. I care deeply about Hillary. Something I know you might not understand. I am sharing this because I want you not just to protect me but to protect her.”

“What happened in Mumbai?” George pressed.

“First time we slept together.”

Bill suddenly thought if it was right that he shared this information with them. “We’ve started as friends and it just happened.”

“So this is just a solid affair with a Minority Senate Leader,” George said.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“This is going to be a big scandal, Bill. Not for you perhaps, but Senator Rodham will be receiving a lot of backlash for this.”

“That’s why I want you to protect her.”

George leaned against the wall again, “What made you think that she’s not going to throw you under the bus?”

Bill eyed him. “She won’t.”

“She’s Republican. For all you know, she is already plotting how to take you down,” Mack stated.

George heaved a sigh, “We need to have her sign the NDA.”

Bill’s eyes widened. “No, we don’t have to do that. I trust her.”

Mack looked at him. “It’s for your protection, Bill. We need her to sign the NDA that she’s not going to talk about this. We don’t know what she’s doing, you don’t know what’s going on inside her camp.”

“She’s not dumb. She’s also being asked by the media about what happened between us in Mumbai, why does she need to sign the NDA?”

“Well, remember the Jennifer Flowers?”

Bill heaved a sigh. “This is different.”

“Like Jen—”

Bill gave George a hard stare.

“Look, just tell her that you are having her sign the NDA to protect her as well.”

Bill shook his head, “She’s not going to buy that.”

“You are worried about her not buying your reason?”

Bill just looked down on the tips of his shoes, unsure about that.

“Have her sign the NDA, Bill. It’s for your protection. Unless you want us to ask her to sign it. ”

 

###

Hillary’s Office, Late Morning

"There was no basis of that allegation. The Senator and the President were working together to ensure the passage of the Family Care Act." Jen responded.

"It still doesn't explain why it has to be conducted at night?" 

Jen kept her face cool. "The President is trying to collaborate with the Senator to get the Family Care Act passed without distraction hence the meeting took place in Mumbai because both of them are away from their party and any of the media."

Hillary watched in her office as Jen answered the questions. She heaved a sigh at the questions thrown at Jen suggesting as if they were having an affair or they were doing anything prohibited.

“So what’s really going with the two of you?” Martha asked, Martha was Hillary’s friend. She went to see Hillary and have lunch together. Hillary requested if they could hang around in her office in the meantime until Jen finishes the conference.

“What?” Hillary asked, dragging her eyes away from the television to look at her friend.

“The news has been circulating about the President and you, ever since Mumbai,” Martha observed as she lounged on Hillary’s office couch. 

Hillary gave her a side look, “Nothing is going on between us.”

Martha smiled. “I cannot imagine you being connected with the President though.”

Hillary tilted her head to the side to look at her, “What made you say that?”

Martha narrowed her eyes at her, “I just don’t think that the President is your type.”

Hillary chuckled.  If only her friend knew.

“Tim is the kind of man you like - predictable, dignified, and reliable.”

“Reminds me how dull my types are.”

Martha giggled. “I want to see you with someone like the President though.”

Hillary kept her face blank, despite her surprise. 

“You need someone totally opposite you, someone who could fuck you hard, I guess.”

“Martha—” Hillary chided.

Martha just chuckled. “So you and Tim are really over?”

Hillary sighed. “Yes, we are over, Martha.”

“I cannot imagine you and Tim are over. He’s really crazy about you.”

"I wasn't really into him. You know that it's my dad who has been persuading me to go out with him." Hillary pursued her lips, thinking if she should tell what Tim did to her. “Anyway, let’s go and have lunch. Jen’s conference is already over anyway.”

Martha smiled and stood up, “Finally, but don't think I will stop prying about you and this President.”

***

 

Congressman Duke’s Office, Same Time

Timothy finished watching the conference by Hillary’s Press Secretary. He crossed his arms not believing what he heard. Hillary and the President having a business discussion alone in her room in Mumbai.

The reason why he couldn’t believe it was because he knew Hillary. She would never do business past her working hours. For her to entertain Bill at eleven o’clock was very suspicious. It was either she was funneling information to him or, the one he couldn’t stomach, something was going on between them.

He didn’t want to entertain the idea but he was already putting the pieces together - the Mumbai, her touching his face before Bill’s speech in Congress, and the person who called her before with “B” as initial.

The evidence was already screaming at him but he just didn’t want to entertain it, not until he had strong evidence he could use to confront Hillary. 

He pinched the bridge of his nose, he prayed to God that it wasn’t what he was thinking or else, he might actually do something bad.

***

White House, Near Evening

Despite the news between them, Hillary still went to the White House to attend a meeting with Bill. She didn’t want to skip it because it would seem as if she was affected by the news. She knew the best way to handle it was to continue with her activities.

She and Bill hadn’t talked after the news broke out because there was just no time at all. But she was surprised by how distant he was when she and her team arrived. Totally different from the first time she arrived in the White House with her team. There was no teasing, and no knowing looks. He kept a straight face throughout the time. He was formal when he greeted her and then even kept a very safe distance as he walked with her to the conference room.

At the back of her head, she knew it was because of the news but she couldn’t help but wonder why he suddenly looked really affected by the news when he used to get involved with more scandalous stories before.

The meeting went on normally and the seating arrangement was no longer a mixed bag as it used to be. She was sitting on the side with her team while on the opposite side was Bill and his team. She didn’t want to think something was up, but she could feel in the pit of her stomach that something was definitely wrong. She couldn't wait to know what it was all about so the uneasiness that she felt could leave her.

***

Bill could hardly contain his longing when Hillary arrived. He knew that Mack who was also attending the meeting with Hillary’s team would be watching him like a hawk. He was filled with longing for her. He wanted to ask her how she was and how she was dealing with the news but he couldn’t. 

He had to be stoic and appear as if he didn’t care because he didn’t want to draw some attention. It wasn’t just Mack who was watching him but everyone else. They would watch their every move today. He just couldn’t afford to draw any attention to them. 

He remained quiet throughout the meeting. He spoke only needed. He would steal glances at Hillary if he could because it was all he could do in the meantime.

***

When the meeting ended, Hillary was not expecting anything from Bill because he appeared not to be in the mood. She was surprised, however, when it was time for them to leave, Bill spoke and asked: “Senator Rodham, can I invite you to the Oval Office?”

Hillary looked at him, trying to gauge what he had in mind, but when he remained poker-faced, she nodded. She turned to Jason, “Don’t wait for me, I’ll have my chauffeur take me home.”

They walked side by side quietly until they reached the Oval. Bill motioned for her to go first and when they entered the office, he locked the door.

Hillary watched and waited for him to speak.

Bill turned to her and drank the sight of her, “How are you?”

“I am okay,” She said simply. “How are  you ?” She asked.

Bill nodded, “I am good.”

Hillary chuckled. “You’re lying.”

Bill looked at her and looked at the window behind her. He walked over to the window and closed the blinder. He did the same until he was able to close everything. “There would be people speaking considering that I had you here.”

“They would talk more considering you are shutting the blinders.”

“I have to.”

“Why?”

Bill turned to her and closed the distance between them. He surprised her when he yanked her to him and enveloped her in his embrace, “So I could hold you.”

Hillary’s arms were on her side but gave in when he embraced her. She returned the hold wrapping her arms around him and sighed. “We’re taking too much risk by doing this, Bill. People are already talking.”

He nodded. “I know, I just have to.”

He pulled back and brushed her hair. “I miss you already.”

Hillary framed his face with her hands, “I missed you too.”

Bill placed his hand atop hers. He had to remind himself why he invited her even though all he wanted to do was to kiss her and hold her. He slowly pulled back. “I invited you here because I need to talk to you.”

Hillary felt bereft without his arms, but she kept her ground. It seemed there was something important that he needed to say to her seeing his tense muscles.

“What is it?”

Bill looked at the ceiling first and then looked at her, “We need to protect ourselves, Hillary.”

Hillary kept a straight face, so he continued. “This relationship... this will soon leak.” He held his breath and went to deliver what he needed to say, “There’s something that I need you to do.”

Hillary felt something in her gut, telling her that she wouldn’t like it.

Bill exhaled and said, “I need you to sign an NDA.”

Hillary looked at him as if waiting for him to tell her that it was just a joke, but when Bill remained standing, she realized that he wasn’t kidding at all.

“Go fuck yourself,” Hillary said, turning around to walk away but Bill was quick and reached for her arm.

“You don’t get it. I only wanted—“

Hillary pulled her arm from his hold, “You bastard! I trusted you and you’ll do this to me?!” 

Bill wrapped his arms around her, holding her captive in his embrace. “Hillary, listen to me I only want to do this so—”

“Get off me!” She shouted. 

“Listen to me, please!” Bill implored. 

Hillary glared at him, “If you don’t take your arms around me, I will shout.”

“I will let you go but promise me you will listen to what I have to say,” Bill pleaded. 

“You don’t get to give me conditions, Bill." She stressed. He remained quiet, so she added: "Let go of me, you bastard!”

“Please, I just want you to listen to me for a second.”

Hillary gave in because she knew that he wouldn't let go. She nodded. Bill loosened his arms, then Hillary pulled her arm and swung, hitting him across the face.

“If there’s anyone who should be asking for an NDA, it should be me!” Hillary retorted, her eyes glassy with tears. She couldn’t believe that Bill didn’t trust her enough and thought that she would be the one to spill about their relationship.

Her face contorted with anger and sadness. “You don’t know what I will lose if I spoke about our relationship. I risked a lot for you!" She looked at him accusingly. "I went despite my hesitation and despite the danger. I didn't even consider what I will lose by being with you." She bit the insides of her mouth to prevent her from sobbing. "You don’t get to tell me to sign an NDA, Bill.”

“Hillary—“ Bill implored, reaching for her, but she held up her hands stopping him.

“I trusted you, but it seems that you don’t trust me enough, Bill.” She said before her voice break. She stormed out before she would allow him to see her tear up.

***

Congressman Duke’s Office, Night-Time

Tim leaned against his chair drinking his whiskey. It was his fourth glass. He was trying to dull the ache he felt in his chest. He shed some tears earlier but he wouldn’t be shedding another. He felt miserable and broken. He would, however, get his last laugh on this. Hillary thought she could fool him. In the end, she would always belong to him. She would return to him.

Tim pressed the cold tumbler against his head, his eyes landed on the table. He could see the envelop where the photos were stored. He had enough looking at them. He already knew. He already knew the damn truth.

He didn't expect that he would be getting the result of his private investigator's work soon. But he called to tell him that he already has the truth. He said that he could no longer wait to send it to him after seeing the press conference that Hillary's camp did. So he sent him the images.

Tim's hands were shaking when he received the envelope. A part of him was hoping it was someone else. A part of him was hoping it was just nothing. He took out the images inside the envelope. There were five images. All in black and white. 

Despite the grainy texture of the image and the lack of color. They were very recognizable. The first image of three black vans parked outside Hillary's house. The second image, a man alighting the second van wearing a sports jacket and cap. The third one a close-up image of the guy’s profile. Tim's eyes widened because even with lack of lighting, but the moonlight reflecting on the man's face was enough to tell him that it was indeed Bill. He couldn’t mistake that nose nor that profile. The fourth image was of a silhouette of a seemingly couple locked in an embrace. The last one of Bill leaving Hillary’s home.

After seeing the images, all Tim felt was a stabbing pain. Hillary betrayed him. How could she do this when he made her? He was the very reason why she got elected, and why she was the Minority Leader.

Anger followed by the knowledge that he was duped, but he knew he had the key to ruin everything for Hillary and Bill. But he wouldn’t use this evidence to ruin them though, he would, however, use it to get Hillary back. 

She would go back to him and he was sure of that, and then he would exact his revenge on her and on the President.

Chapter Text

White House, Night-Time

Bill forgot to reason with Hillary when he asked her to sign an NDA. He, who was a Rhodes Scholar and a good debater, failed to make a good case why she should sign an NDA. He was nervous when Hillary entered the White House because of the knowledge that he needed to bring it up to her. He didn't want to give it, but he had to, to protect them if ever her party pressured her.

He breathed out, he didn't even notice that he was holding his breath as he tried to relive the moments earlier. Hillary was hurt by the NDA. She was insulted, and she had every right to be. He couldn't forget the look on her face that was contorted with anger and sadness. Her eyes turned glassy before she left him, and he surmised that she cried or perhaps shed a tear after leaving the room.

It was stupid of him to ask her about that, but his team didn't trust her. They needed to be sure that whatever happened between them remained between the two of them. He couldn't blame Mack and George for asking her to sign an NDA. It already happened before and it was a lesson for all of them. He didn’t let Jennifer sign the NDA and she exposed him. To them, Hillary being the daughter of a former GOP chairman and a new Minority Leader was already a red flag. His camp was just being careful that Hillary wouldn't have an upper hand in the situation. 

It was too soon to prove Hillary's loyalty, but common sense dictates that if Hillary spoke about their relationship, the people would crucify her for it. Bill may not be able to say that she was loyal to him, but the consequences of her spilling about their relationship wouldn't be good for her. Just like what happened to Jennifer. She got blamed, despite the fact that she was the one who broke the story. Although it affected him and nearly ruined Bill's success in the election, he only got a slap on the hand. Jennifer was branded as a whore and it ruined her career.

What would happen to Hillary if she spoke about it, he thought, he was sure that her party would ask her to resign because they could no longer trust her. Her father would detest her, and Tim would loathe her. So for Bill, it didn't really make sense for her to be the one to throw him under the bus.

He brushed his hand on his temple. It was really tricky. The GOP had a history of doing a hit job. The GOP did not play nice. He just needed to be careful.

He reached for the phone. He just needed to talk to her to explain. He really hoped they could sort it out. 

Even though he knew she wouldn't answer, he found himself reaching for his phone and calling her. He needed to at least try. 

×××

Hillary's Home, Night-Time

When Bill told her that he wanted an NDA from her, Hillary felt as if he doused her with cold water on her back. She was surprised and she did not expect that from him. It was understandable but she was hurt that he wanted their relationship to be on paper when he could just simply trust her.

She felt like she was one of those women he slept with. It made her feel everything about them was nothing but a passing moment for him. It hurt her because she was serious about him and about what she felt for him.

She turned her head to her phone that rang. She knew it was Bill and she didn’t have the heart to talk to him. Not yet in the meantime. She needed some space.

However, Bill’s call went to her voicemail. She hurriedly went to the phone to hang it up because she didn’t want to hear his voice. Too late, because before she could reach the phone, she heard him speak.

Hillary … 

She felt the hairs at the back of her neck stood up as his raspy Southern accent broke the silence in her room. 

I know I have offended you... you have every right to be angry and hurt. There’s no excuse for what I did, I should have trusted you…. I’m sorry…I just… Please, don't think that I feel differently for you. I care about you a lot — I lo—

Hillary reached for the phone and slammed it shut, feeling her heart racing. She didn’t want to hear his feelings for her before her longing and love for him got the best of her.

She took a deep breath, clutched her chest still feeling the wild beating of her heart. She couldn't talk to him, not now and not yet anyway.

×××

Hillary's Office, Morning, Next Day

The news about her relationship with Bill continues to puzzle the media, however, with the lack of evidence, Hillary knew that it would dissipate soon. The picture that circulated with her touching Bill's cheek before his speech in congress was already answered saying that it was nothing but her wishing him good luck. Although, she knew that if the media ever stopped talking about them, they would be very watchful for her and Bill's action.

As she tried to focus on her notes but she couldn't. She thought about what to do with her relationship with Bill. Reason told her to end it because it was going nowhere. They couldn't be together unless she resigned from her position and left her party, which she couldn't do. Her father wouldn't approve of it, it would break her mother's heart, and it would cause so much disruption in their life. Would she completely abandon everything for him? 

Knock

Knock

Hillary looked up to see Timothy standing outside her door as if he was the answer to her question. 

"How are you holding up?" He asked. 

Timothy looked at her evenly like the good old times. He has this air in him that was both alluring and obnoxious. He reminded her so much of those preppy guys she met at Yale. 

"I am good," she responded simply. 

Tim inserted his hand in his pocket while his other hand was cradling a brown envelope. 

"You are still working?" 

"It's only five in the afternoon, Tim." She responded then she turned to look at her notes pretending to be interested in the content.

"Can I talk to you?" 

Hillary looked at him, "Even if I don't invite you, you've already invited yourself in, you might as well talk."

"I'm sorry, bad habit, I suppose," He said evasively.

Hillary tried not to notice that he was again looking for excuses in his actions, as always.

Tim sat on the opposite chair on the other side of Hillary's desk. 

"So what's going on between you and Clinton?" He asked without looking at her.

"Did you come here to gossip?" 

Tim dramatically turned his head to look at her, "I just want to know."

"Because?"

Tim exhaled, "I still care about you.”

Hillary wanted to scoff but instead went to her notes again.

“Hillary, I know I am the last person you might want to share your secrets with, but honestly, I am...apparently, the only person who has the key to the truth… Well, besides you and Bill that is.”

Hillary looked at him, the space between her brows crinkled in confusion. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Tim nonchalantly placed the envelope on her desk. He rubbed his lip with his forefinger as he looked away from her and waited for her to react to the evidence that he brought with him.

Hillary felt her heart trip-hammering on her chest, a part of her was already horrified. It already felt as if the floor tilted and she wanted to grab hold on to her seat, but she found herself reaching for the envelope with her hands slightly shaking. She hoped it wasn’t visible enough for Tim to notice.

Hillary opened the envelope and looked at the pictures. Her jaw dropped as she saw the incriminating images stare back at her. The black SUVs parked outside her home, Bill alighting a van, his close up picture, their embracing in the dark, and Bill leaving her home. 

Hillary felt her cheeks heated as seething anger for what Tim did by invading her privacy crept to her. She wanted to throw the pictures back to his face and tell him to go to hell, but before she could do any of that, Tim spoke again, albeit quietly.

“I have a proposition for you, Hillary.”

She was tempted to tell him to shove his proposition in his ass but kept her mouth shut. She needed to hear this first before she made her next move.

“This photo stays with me but you would stop seeing Bill. Second, for this news about the two of you to die a sudden death, we’ll be appearing together in the upcoming fundraising event.”

“That’s it? You just want me to stop seeing Bill and for us to appear together?”

Tim looked at her with an expressionless face and a stare so cold that somewhat terrified her.

“I am not talking about us just appearing together,” He clarified, “I am talking about us being together...again.”

×××

White House, Three Days After

The news continued to circulate commentators were speculating what was between them and what was the implication if they were having an affair. CNN even brought a body language expert analyzing the picture that emerged.

These so-called experts said that the way Senator Rodham laid her palm on his cheek was more than her “wishing him good luck” but it was affectionate considering their body position.

“You can see here that she was reaching out to him despite the distance between them,” The expert said, “She didn’t have to do that, she could just shake his hand, but Senator Rodham decided to lay her palm on his cheek and wish him good luck.” 

They zoomed on their facial expression, “Their eyes here were soft…”

It was ridiculous how the media was turning the issue into a circus.

One day while George was explaining the benefits of the NAFTA agreement, some reporters still continued to ask about Bill and Hillary’s affair. George evaded the question but as one more reporter ask the same question, George opted to answer:

“We’ve already answered that, Hank,” George responded to a reporter. “This question about the President's relationship with the Senator is nonexistent. They are friends, and we’ve already answered anything that has to do with that story.”

After George’s press conference, he decided to talk to Bill. He was thinking of Bill giving a press conference clarifying that story between him and Hillary, but before they could do that, he needed to know one thing: Did Bill already have Hillary sign the NDA? 

It was lunchtime when he was informed that Bill was in the Oval Office working. He entered and found him focused on reading some papers in his binder. An eyeglass was perched on the bridge of his nose, while a cigar was in between his lips.

“What’s up?” Bill asked looking up at him. 

“So did you have Hillary sign the NDA?” He asked. He watched Bill as he pulled the cigar and placed them on the ashtray.

Bill looked at George for a second - thinking if he would lie or not, then decided not to, “No, I didn’t.”

George’s face remained blank so Bill opted to explain, “George, I know you would tell me that I am being careless for not asking her to sign, but I can’t do it.”

George folded his arms across his chest, “Why not?”

Bill leaned back against the headrest. He and Hillary had not talked for three days already since he asked her to sign the NDA. “I care about her, George.”

There was silence on George’s end, Bill continued. “She was hurt when I gave her the NDA.”

George exhaled, “Can you tell me what really is the extent of your relationship with Senator Rodham?”

Bill looked at him, “If I say it, you wouldn’t believe it.”

George walked closer to him, “Shit, don’t tell me you are in love.”

Bill held his stare. 

“Damn, you are really in love with her then?”

“George, I’ll be honest with you. This might sound something you may not understand because I know that the relationship I had with previous women were all sexual, but this one...it’s different,” Bill said, sighing. He looked up at the ceiling looking at the texture while remembering how Hillary made him feel.

“We first met when I threw a party in the East Wing to meet the members of the congress, you know that right?” Bill asked.

George nodded. 

“We met there… We’ve shared some moments together, nothing romantic, but there was something in between us when we first met. Something just clicked.” Bill looked at him and gave him a sardonic smile, “You might think I have lost my mind.”

George shook his head.

“Then we established a good friendship. We’ve been calling each other every night. Initially, I just want us to be friends…” He took a deep breath, “But it’s more than being friends. I consulted her, talked to her about my dreams, about my past. We both shared how we envisioned America together.”

Bill exhaled, “It went on every night. We called each other and the feelings of fondness just grew there. We would talk and she would fall asleep on me and I found how much I love it when I hear her soft snore.” He looked at George expecting him to laugh at him, but George kept a straight face. “I think Hillary felt the same. What happened in Mumbai was the culmination of what developed in between those nights that we exchange phone calls and seeing each other in Congress.”

He smiled at George, “I never felt anything this deep for someone, George. Hillary was one of the very few people who managed to make her way inside my heart without even trying.”

George observed Bill as he spoke about Hillary. It suddenly made him realize that his friend who rarely ever allowed anyone close was, indeed, in love. It was the way his eyes turned glassy when he spoke about what he shared with her, the way he looked sad considering how their relationship turned out and how they could not bring their relationship publicly. At least, not while Bill was the President.

“I trust her George. She wouldn’t do that to me. I cannot have her sign the NDA because that would put her in the same category as the other women that I went out with. I don't want to do that. Besides, I trust Hillary with my life, George.”

George rubbed the muscles at the back of his neck. “Gee, Bill. I don’t know what to say. I am sorry about what you and Hillary went through.” He sighed, “I hope what you are saying is true, that you could trust her. To be honest, I couldn’t trust the Republicans, so I am skeptical with Senator Rodham. I hope you are right. I pray that you are right.” He sighed, “I guess we couldn’t do a press con with you denying your relationship.”

Bill eyed him curiously, George continued. “I am thinking if you want to answer the question about your relationship with her through a conference. However, considering that you didn’t have her signed the NDA, we would look like an ass if you deny your relationship and she decided to speak about it.”

Bill held his hand, “Hillary wouldn’t talk about our relationship, but I also don’t agree with the conference. We have answered them sufficiently, that was all that they needed.”

“It's not enough, Bill. They are still pressing me to answer your relationship with her. We are talking about NAFTA and the reporters still want to know the real score. They would continue to drag it…”

“The news will die soon, George.”

“Why?”

“I hurt her with that NDA, and I don’t think she would be talking to me soon,” Bill answered sadly.

George looked at him. “Are you saying that it’s over between the two of you?”

“I’m not sure. I hope not.” He reached for his cigar, and said, “I don't know where this relationship is going but I have faith in us.”

However, the days became a week and Bill hasn’t heard from Hillary. He was getting gloomy by the situation. He didn’t attempt to reach out to her thinking that maybe she just needed time. 

When he reached the second week, Bill was sure that Hillary no longer plans to resume whatever they have left off. 

He made that realization that night of the second week. He found himself looking outside the window, gazing at Lafayette Square. Every night a part of him would hope that Hillary would call, but the nights had passed and he ended up with nothing. The silence inside his room was the only thing he would hear before he ended up sleeping. 

It didn’t help that his nightmares returned again that he would wake up in the middle of the night. In his nightmare, he was again at the night his grandfather got killed - sometimes more vivid. The days were exhausting but so were the nights.

When Bill knew that the night would be just similar to the nights the past few weeks, he decided to go to bed. But instead of laying on the bed which he normally did, he sat on the edge of the bed and looked down on his lap - feeling angry and hurt. 

If Hillary no longer plans to continue, he thought. He hoped she could give him a call and tell him not to expect from her again, not like this… where he was left hanging. 

He stood up and paced, his eyes becoming blurry as tears collected in them. 

Was she so angry by the NDA that she decided to throw everything away? It didn’t make sense! He thought confused.

He brushed his hair with his hand out of frustration. He felt his throat closed as the threat of sobbing was overwhelming. He was hurt that she was treating him that way as if they never shared anything.

I love you, she said… he thought. But she didn’t love him enough to give up easily.

Bill felt his heart crushed as his tears fell remembering what he felt when she told him that she loved him. He pressed the heel of his hands against his eyes, trying to stop himself from crying, but he couldn’t stop them. 

He tried to recall everything they shared, but it seems, they were now just memories. 

He ended up sitting on the edge of the bed as he cradled his head and wept. 

×××

Bill felt like shit the next morning. He was glad that it was the weekend. He decided to go to Camp David to nurse his broken heart just for two days. He just needed to gather himself and convince himself to start moving forward.

It should be easy, he thought. 

He was looking forward to reaching Camp David. He greeted the staff when he arrived. However, instead of hanging out and talking to people, he decided to head to the Presidential Cabin to take a rest first. 

He just settled when his phone rang. 

“Hello?” He answered.

“Hey,” It was George, “You may want to check out CNN now.”

“What’s up?” Bill asked while he went to the living area where the television was. 

“Just watch it,” George said.

“Okay,” Bill said, and ended the call.

He turned the television on and watched as the reporter narrated the list of guests of a certain fundraising event while a clip was showcasing the arrival of these guests on the red carpet. 

Bill was hardly listening, wondering what he needed to see, but what he saw next made his stomach turn and his heart drop - it was Hillary looking gorgeous in a red dress arm in arm and back with Timothy Duke.

Chapter Text

2 Weeks Ago

“I am not talking about us just appearing together,” Tim clarified, “I am talking about us being together...again.”

Hillary had to keep her face straight when Tim told her that he wanted them to be together again. She wanted to ask him if he had lost her mind but instead bit her tongue. She felt sick to her stomach to even imagine a future with him after what he did to her.

“Tim," She started exasperatedly, "What is this obsession that you have with me? Can you not understand that I don’t want you anymore?”

Tim pursued his lips as if he was contemplating her question. He had that haughtiness in him when he knew he had the upper hand in the situation. It used to amuse her but she found it despicable now.

“Let's just say that I just don’t want to lose to that bastard…" He said, then he turned to her and added: "Besides, I am not over you.”

Hillary took a deep breath to keep her patience in check and then dreaded to know that her day would be damn long. "You've already lost me, Tim. I've already seen through you. You may impose this to me but you will never have me."

Tim tapped the surface of her table with his fingertips, “Well, if you’re not going to agree, then I’ll be forced to give these pictures to Donovan. I heard he was crazy to prove his story right.”

Hillary’s jaw dropped. “Are you crazy? That will ruin me.”

Tim looked at her, his jaw set, “That’s why I am giving you a solution,” he said menacingly, “I am only doing this to make sure that you don’t ruin our party and your name. You are lucky that I care about you.”

Hillary laughed almost hysterically, “Care about me?!” She exclaimed. She looked at him with disgust. “It’s ironic that you say that when you are threatening me just a few seconds ago.”

“Well… if you don’t want…”

Hillary held his gaze while she thought that the only way for her to stop this and prevent him from spreading the pictures from ruining her and Bill was for her to get the source of the picture. She wouldn’t be able to do that without being with him. Even though she strongly opposed the idea and everything about her rebelled on the thought, she felt compelled to give in so she could protect herself and Bill.

“Okay,” She said through gritted teeth, “I’ll give you a chance to make things right again, provided you don’t release the image and provided that you give me some time. I am not going to move in with you neither will you lay your hand on me.”

“You mean we are not going to sleep together?” Tim asked. 

Hillary felt like hurling the pictures to his face. “I said I need time.”

Tim looked at her, “You mean, you want me to court you then?”

She tried to summon the last patience she had, she nodded. 

Tim smiled at her and released a sigh of relief. “Then that settles it. I’ll see you in the gala.”

Tim stood up as his business with her was over. Hillary watched him leave her office. She was throwing daggers on his back with her glare, then when he was about to reach her door, he turned to her and said: “One more thing, I want you to wear that red dress I gave you on our Anniversary.”

Hillary gritted her teeth but she didn’t respond. It seemed her nightmare just started. She just hoped this nightmare could end soon.

***

Hillary's Home, Same Day, Night-Time

Hillary had the strongest impulse to call Bill and tell him what was happening and what was her plan. However, the only thing that was stopping her was the thought of Bill solving the problem on his terms. She surmised that he wouldn't hesitate to solve it when she was reminded of how he reacted when she told him that Tim had harassed her. He told her that he wouldn't let Tim off the hook next time. 

If he found out what Tim was doing, Bill would get him first.

While she didn't care about Tim and Bill could rip him apart, she was worried about the scandal it would cause. To be honest, she wasn't ready to face the scandal. She wasn't ready to lose her position as Minority Leader. She knew how vicious her critics could be. They already opposed her election as the Minority Leader, if they found out that she slept with Bill and betrayed her party because she wasn't wise enough not to fall prey to Bill's charm despite the warnings, she wouldn't have any career moving forward. They would be vicious. She wasn't ready to give up her dream to become a successful Public Servant. She didn't want anyone else to know about her relationship with Bill. If she would be successful in retrieving the film, Tim wouldn't have any evidence at all. It would save her and Bill.

The only thing she needed to make sure of was to get the source soon, so she could fix things with Bill and tell him the truth.

With that all in her mind, she closed her eyes and silently regretted the pain that she would Bill. 

***

Camp David, Presidential Suite, Present Day, Night-Time

Bill was shocked to see Hillary with Tim and he couldn’t recover from the surprise of the turn of events. Instead of taking a nap, he ended up mulling about everything. He wasn’t even able to change clothes yet. Although he already removed his coat, he was still wearing his white crispy shirt and grey slacks. 

He was expecting Hillary to stop seeing him, not like this.

He tried to think of her reasons why she suddenly just left without a goodbye. He could understand if Hillary got scared for Donovan to find out about their affair, but he couldn’t understand why she returned to Tim. She didn’t have to. She could just stop seeing him without reconciliation. 

He wondered, did she return to Tim to kill the rumors immediately? But why didn't she tell him before doing that?

He felt his throat closed, so he shook his head and leaned against the headrest of a leather seat. He reached for the tumbler of whiskey that he had on the table and took a sip. 

The heat trailed along his throat then burning on the pit of his stomach.

Bill leaned forward with his elbows propped on his thighs. He was holding his glass while he dwelled in his feeling of confusion, anger, and heartbreak. 

He looked at his whiskey in his tumbler as if he was mesmerized by the burgundy liquid, but the view blurred as his tears collected in his eyes. 

Did he deserve an explanation? A goodbye? He thought and blinked as his tears fell and landed on the carpet.

He felt a dull ache in his chest as the image of Hillary back with Tim tortured him.

“Stop,” he whispered to himself, shutting his eyes, trying to block the image.

He knew this was coming and he expected it. He wasn’t just prepared that she would find her way inside his heart and she tore it apart. He placed back the tumbler on the table when he felt as if a thorn was stuck in his throat. He fished for his white handkerchief inside his pocket and pressed them against his eyes. 

He just couldn’t stop himself from crying to his annoyance.

What hurt him so badly was the fact that she didn’t even say goodbye. She didn’t have to explain herself, but he wished she didn’t leave him hanging. He thought that even though they were never in a real relationship, he deserved that. After all, didn't she say that she loved him?

He wanted to curl as a great sob racked his body. He felt alone again and it was devastating. It brought him back when he cradled his grandfather when he died all alone in the dark. The only person who ever loved him - gone. He should’ve learned his lesson already. Don’t let someone in. They would rip you apart when they leave you. 

He didn’t learn his lesson it seems.

It was his fault why he was hurting, he should have prevented it.

Bill took a deep breath and stared at the ceiling. He would allow himself to grieve now, but tomorrow, he would pick himself up and start all over again. Even though it would be painful, he would start all over again.

He would devote himself to his work and that would be the only thing that he would focus on starting tomorrow.

***

White House, Monday Morning

George wasn’t exactly sure how Bill took the news about Senator Rodham and Congressman Duke being together again. He didn’t call him by Sunday and gave him some space. He was expecting to see an angry Bill or a stoic one.

However, he wasn’t prepared to see a calm and energetic Bill.

George arrived in the White House early in the morning and went to the Oval Office. Bill was already there and seemed to be up early in the morning. He was sitting on the couch already holding his mug with coffee. Bill greeted everyone with enthusiasm and was already prepared with the discussion as if he spent the weekend reviewing them and as if he spent the weekend relaxing.

George observed Bill and realized that what he was seeing was the playboy that he knew. Bill’s relationship could end and it would never evoke any emotion in him as if he wasn’t at all affected. Well, George knew that Bill wasn’t emotionally tied up with his past girlfriends, but the way he talked about Senator Rodham and admitted that she made his way in his heart effortlessly gave him an impression that he learned to love the Senator.

He suddenly wondered if Bill just misunderstood his feelings? Did he wake up and realize that what he felt for the Senator was nothing but infatuation? Or it was just all a fling?

He shook his head, anyway, it wasn’t his problem. He was just glad that Bill was back in his old self.

“George,” Bill called when the meeting ended. 

George turned to him. “Yes?”

Bill went to his table and placed the binder that he was holding, “You mentioned before about me doing a press-con, right?”

George kept a straight face urging him to continue.

“I want us to do that. I want to talk about NAFTA and perhaps address the rumours about me and Senator Rodham.”

George looked at him and waited to know if he was joking but Bill had the seriousness in him, so George responded with, “Sure, I can arrange something for you. What else do you want to talk about?”

Bill reached for his cigar, put it in his mouth, and reached for his lighter. George watched Bill huffed and puffed as the smoke billowed above him, “I have no preference.”

George nodded. “Alright, I’ll let you know.”

Bill watched George leave his office then he reached for another binder that contained reports about Bosnia. He read through them but then something nagged at the back of his head, was he using the Press-con to get back to Hillary? 

No, he thought. He would use it to make it official on his end - that nothing was between them. He hoped that Hillary could get his message, just as he got her message.

***

Hillary’s Office, Few Days After, Afternoon

Hillary just finished his conference with Senator Doyle when she was greeted by Mary in her office. “Hello Senator, Maya and Jason are already waiting for you in the conference room.”

“Thanks, is it okay if you call Tim and tell him that I would be late for our dinner tonight?”

Maya nodded. 

It was odd but after her appearance with Tim in the gala, Tim treated her as if he was a gentleman. She was surprised that he did not do anything untoward to her. Although, her guard was still up. She knew that behind that cool exterior lurked the real Timothy Duke - cunning and vindictive. 

Days after, as part of their agreement, Tim pursued her. He delivered flowers to her office then he would invite her for dinner or lunch, which Hillary usually rejected. She was expecting him to threaten her again, but he didn't. He seemed to accept her excuses.

After the nth time of rejecting him, Hillary remembered that she needed to treat him nicely so she could get the film, so when he invited her again for dinner, Hillary agreed.

Hillary entered a small conference room and saw Maya and Jason focused on watching Bill’s interview. She stopped short and felt as if someone just punched the air out of her lungs. 

It has been a while since the last time she saw Bill. She tried to avoid watching the news about him for a while so she wouldn’t feel any longing, so seeing him unexpectedly, caused her to react. She felt her chest constrict but she kept her face straight.

She looked at his face and thought how much she missed him and that ... she still loved him. 

There was no night that she didn’t think about him. 

Maya and Jason turned to her, “Sorry, we got hooked watching the interview,” He was about to reach for the control to turn off the television but Hillary waved him off, “I’d like to listen to what else he has to say...”

“It’s about to end…” Maya said, but then they all turned to the television when Anthony Wallace, the interviewer from CBS, asked Bill: “There are rumors circulating about you and Senator Rodham, what’s the truth about that?”

Maya and Jason looked back at Hillary in silence, but she kept her eyes fixed on the screen. Bill and Anthony were sitting outside the White House. Bill was wearing his usual suit and tie, he kept that calm and cool demeanor in him as if nothing bothered him… as if her rejection was nothing.

There was no hint of pain or anything, which was surprising. Hillary had to admit that it stung to know that he didn’t look affected by their “separation”.

“There is no truth to what they claimed. Yes, I did visit her hotel when we were in Mumbai but it was because I wanted to make sure that I could talk to her about the Family Care and Medical Leave Act without any prying eyes or anyone disturbing us, but that’s all.”

“I think, Mr. President, the people are wondering why you conduct that discussion at an ungodly hour. I think this is where the speculation started.”

Bill smiled, “Good point, but because of our schedule, I am forced to meet her during those hours.” He gave a self-deprecating chuckle, “I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t exchange my time to sleep if it’s not important, but the passage of that bill is very important to me.”

“Would you say that you and Senator Rodham are friends, Mr. President?”

Bill looked at the camera, “I wouldn’t say that we are on each other’s circle of friends, we are public servants, nothing more.” He paused, “I hope that these rumors about us would stop. She is happy with..." He started as if he was tasting the words in his mouth, "...with... Congressman Duke. We don’t want to ruin a lovely...couple… they are quite a match made in heaven, I guess.” He chuckled again.

Hillary felt her ears heated when she listened to what Bill said, she was flabbergasted by his message, what was he trying to imply? 

Maya turned off the television, “Well, I guess that settles the rumors. I cannot imagine you being with such an arrogant man.” She said smiling at Hillary but Hillary was still staring blankly on the screen. 

“Hillary…are you ready?” Maya asked.

Hillary blinked, turned her head to Maya, and broke a smile - remembering what she should be doing. “Yes, I am ready.”

***

Bill watched his interview in the Oval Office. He watched as he answered all of the questions Wallace had from questions about Bosnia, his clarifications about the benefits of NAFTA and his message to his critics, the progress of the Family Care and Medical Leave Act, personal ones, and of course, the rumors about him and Hillary.

He was glad that he was even able to answer the question with a straight face and even break a chuckle. It was convincing enough, he thought. 

He looked down at the tops of his shoes and thought about the direction of his thoughts. 

If he was honest, despite being able to do that, and send a message to Hillary that he wasn’t affected by the way she left him, he didn’t feel accomplished. There was no joy in it nor he was happy with what he said.

He wouldn’t admit it but he did that to save his ego. He wanted to send a message to Hillary that she couldn’t hurt him. It was what he wanted to accomplish, but even though he did it, he felt empty.

He sighed as he felt that dull ache again in his chest. The truth nagged him that regardless of how he convinced himself that he was over her and he was ready to move on, he really wasn’t. He was still in pain but he was ignoring everything he felt about her. He didn’t want to acknowledge it, but it was there. And if he was truly being honest with himself, he still loved Hillary. He was just drowning in pain and anger.

Chapter Text

Hillary’s Home, Seven Weeks After, Morning

Hot Tempered Clinton

By: Patrick Donovan

A leaked discussion about pulling out Senator Rodham in the Health Care discussion ignited an investigation of leakers within the White House.

You read it here first that the President considered no longer collaborating with Senator Rodham and wanted his close ally, Senator Kerry, to lead the discussion with Senator Nickles instead.

When the President found out that someone leaked this information, he expressed his anger towards his staff and wanted to investigate who was sharing the information with the press. According to some insiders in the White House, the President seemed to have lost his humor the past few weeks and was certainly hot-tempered and was difficult to manage.

Even close aides were surprised when he berated George Stephanopolous in front of the communications team when the discussion leaked. George Stephanopolous was President Clinton’s close pal.

Hillary closed the article that placed them back on the table and turned to her friend Martha who was asking her where she would be spending her thanksgiving.

“I’ll be at home,” Hillary responded, contemplating if she should tell Martha the circumstance she was currently in. She was dying to tell anyone about her predicament and tell her if she was doing the right thing. 

It had been a few weeks already and she was not yet successful in retrieving the film. She suspected that it was in Tim’s bedroom and it would mean that she needed to get into his bedroom to retrieve it. She was not ready to sleep with him. She couldn’t even imagine sleeping with him, not after her feelings for Bill were still strong.

She was thinking if she should let go and tell Tim to do whatever the hell he wanted but then again was she ready to lose it all? On the other hand, the longer it takes for her to retrieve it, the higher the chances that she would lose Bill. 

She was afraid that Bill was becoming the man driven by anger. There were discussions that he intended Senator Kerry to collaborate with Senator Nickles instead. It wasn’t confirmed yet but she wouldn’t be surprised if that was true. If it was true, it seemed that Bill was no longer interested in working with her. 

That shouldn’t hurt her, but it did. 

“Hey, are you okay?” Martha asked, looking at her worriedly.

Hillary looked at Martha thinking, but Martha beat her to it as she leaned towards her and asked, “What’s wrong? I’ve noticed that you’ve been very distant and quiet.”

Hillary reached over the coffee table and placed her hand atop her friend’s, and said, “I have to tell you something, but please, promise me that you’re not going to tell anyone about this.”

Martha looked at her worriedly but she held Hillary’s stare and placed her other hand atop Hillary’s. “I’ve been your friend Hillary. You can trust me.”

Hillary nodded, thinking about what she should keep and what she would share, but then decided against it and went to tell her everything. 

She took a deep breath and said, “I...the President and I had an affair.”

Martha kept a blank face as if she was not surprised. Hillary looked at her hand and heard her friend ask, “What happened?”

Hillary brushed her hair back, “I just need advice, Martha. I am not sure if I am making the right decision…”

“Tell me… I am here,” Martha said comfortingly. 

“Our affair was something we did not expect to happen. It just did. We started out as friends and our fondness towards each other grew… we would call each other at night after work to keep each other company. He was there for me when I needed someone to confide to. He made me laugh...he made me feel things that I didn’t feel with anyone else.” She took a deep breath. “Tim… he assaulted me, Martha. Bill was there to comfort me.” She felt her throat closed as she remembered that night when Bill joined her in the backseat of her car just to hold her. “Something happened between us when we were in Mumbai.” She looked at Martha to see if there was any hint of censure in her eyes, but when there was none, Hillary took that as an encouragement. She took a deep breath again, “We continued the affair when we went back here. Bill would sneak into the night and he would visit me at home…” She bit her lip, “But Tim found out about it.”

“What happened?”

“Tim has evidence that I am having an affair with him. He threatened me that he would release the photos and give them to Donovan if I don’t go back to him.”

“That bastard! Did you tell the President?”

Hillary pulled back her hand and reached for the glass of water in front of her and took a sip. “I didn’t.”

“Why not?”

Hillary stood up and looked up, “Because I know that Bill would take matters in his own hands. I don’t want that.”

“You don’t know that.”

Hillary inhaled, “When I told him about what Tim did to me, he said that he would not allow Tim to get away next time.”

There was some crease in between Martha’s brows as she contemplated Hillary’s situation. “You no longer care about Tim, right?”

Hillary seemed to be taken aback by Martha’s question. “What do you mean? I care about him but not in a romantic sense.”

“No, I mean, what about what happens with his career, do you care about that?”

“No, I don’t care about that.”

“Then what’s stopping you?”

Hillary looked at her, hesitated, and said, “I am not ready to take the risk and lose everything I worked hard for, Martha. That’s why I wanted to be the one to solve it.”

Martha looked at her, “Does the President ever say that he loved you?”

Hillary nodded. 

“I don’t think he would let that anything happen to your career.”

“I would lose my reputation if I ever went out and admitted our relationship. I already have denied any romantic connection that I have with him.”

“Hillary,” Martha started and she reached out to hold her hand, “I know your reputation and career means a lot to you, but if you keep Bill in the dark…you will also risk losing him for the wrong reasons.”

Hillary sighed and stood up. She started to pace. “What do you suppose that I should do?”

Martha looked at her straightly and said, “Take a leap of faith.”

***

The Peninsula Golf Course, Same Day, Morning

“You need to reconsider taking out Senator Rodham in the negotiation table, Eagle.” Senator John Kerry said as he watched Bill weigh his new putter then tested his swing.

Bill wasn’t listening. He was pissed off and he needed to win this match with Kerry. He wasn’t happy that his plan of taking Hillary out of the negotiation of Health Care got leaked. He wanted Kerry to negotiate with Bob Doyle to have someone else on the table. He knew he was being petty that the reason why he wanted to take Hillary out of the table was that he wasn't over her yet. Having her collaborate with them would mean that she would be going in and out of the White House. They would discuss what would be the content of the Health Care that Republicans and Democrats could agree to. He wasn’t just sure that he was ready to work with her in a confined room considering that the memory of how they flirted and touched each other while working in the White House still haunts him. 

Bill gripped the club as he slowly practiced his swing then calculated his distance from the first hole.

“It wouldn’t look good that we are suddenly trying to undermine Hillary by going to Bob and negotiate with him to have Senator Nickles on the table.”

I am sure, Hillary would be grateful that we are taking her off the table, Johnny,  Bill muttered to himself before he took a swing.

John watched as the tee fell in the trap fifteen meters away from hole one. He chuckled. 

Bill turned to John and glared, “Can we not talk about work here?” He asked. 

John shrugged. He walked and approached Bill. “When do you want to talk about it?”

“I don’t know, man, maybe after our game?”Bill suggested sarcastically. 

John chuckled, amused at Bill’s short-temper. “Why are you so grumpy for the past few weeks?”

Ask your good friend, Johnny , Bill thought. 

“I am telling you, taking Hillary out of the negotiation is a bad idea and very disrespectful,” John said as he took his position and pulled the putter that he would be using. 

Bill sighed, well, John was right. Since the information already leaked in the media that he wanted Senator Nickles to be the Republican representative, it was already too late. If he took Hillary out, Donovan would prove to everyone that he was right.

Besides, Hillary would accuse him of being a bitter and jilted lover. He gripped the club and wanted to hit the ground using it until it broke. 

Damn it, alright. He was still angry and hurt with what Hillary did and he thought that the only way he could move on from her when he finds a replacement or he would stop seeing her.

Well, he couldn’t find any women… not yet anyway. It would jeopardize his work. The media would go after him. Besides, all the women he met so far were dull in comparison to Hillary. The only option he had was to completely stop seeing her.

Plok

He watched as John hit the tee and it landed five meters from the first hole. John turned to him and winked. 

“You won’t win by being angry, Eagle.” John teased as they walked towards the trap where Bill’s tee fell.

“Well, I won’t win if you continue to be this talkative, Kerry.”

It would seem he has no choice but to continue working with Hillary to his dismay.

***

Eight Weeks After, White House, Night-Time

Hillary was wearing a pink flower-patterned dress to attend the gala in the White House. She wasn’t still ready to meet Bill but she knew that she couldn’t forever avoid him. It would be wise to get used to seeing him so even though she was dreading to see him and was reluctant to go, she relented.

She waited in her apartment for Tim to arrive. In fairness to Tim, he was being amenable and she was glad because that was all she needed. She didn’t want to worry about him taking advantage of her. He apologized profusely and she already accepted.

What boggled Hillary about Tim was his seemingly two-faced persona. He could be a gentleman but he could be very possessive and vindictive. Regardless of the good things he showed her, Hillary was over him. She was just agreeing to see him because she needed to get that damn film.

Her bodyguard signaled that Timothy was already outside. Hillary went out and saw his sleek black BMW parked.

When she got inside, she was surprised by Tim’s flowers. 

“You look wonderful tonight,” Tim said. 

Hillary smiled, “You look nice too.”

Tim’s blonde hair was combed perfectly. His customized Italian suit looked crispy. Tim looked very polished with his smooth oval face, Patrician nose, and blue eyes. He was the typical preppy guy that she used to date when she was in college. He was so far from Bill. And she realized how she preferred Bill’s rugged, Southern features. 

Tim turned his head to her, “Everything alright?”

Hillary leaned and kissed him on the cheek. “Thanks for taking me tonight." She said, pretending that she was enjoying her time with him.

Tim smiled at her, although the smile was small. Hillary turned her head towards the window next to her and hope she wouldn't regret what she was doing.

***

Bill was mingling with the guests while waiting for the party to officially start. He wasn’t sure if Hillary would go but she was invited. He partly wished for her not to because he wasn’t ready to deal with his feelings.

He was halfway from drinking his wine when he saw Hillary and Tim arrived. Bill felt like the air had left his lungs. He was looking at Hillary intently and she seemed to have felt his stare because she turned her head where Bill was standing and their eyes met.

Goosebumps appeared on Hillary’s arms as they caught each other’s eyes. She almost made a sound, because she wasn’t expecting Bill’s intense stare. She gripped Tim’s arm that she was holding and turned her head away from Bill as she followed Tim’s direction towards their seat. 

Bill wasn’t expecting that the first emotion that he would feel when he saw Hillary was longing, then followed by a fit of poisonous jealousy when he saw Tim beside her. 

Bill felt like he was having a deja vu - the way she stirred him when she arrived the first time they saw each other was oddly similar. The only difference was she invoked curiosity in him when their eyes first met but tonight, he felt nothing but jealousy and bitterness. 

If Bill wasn’t speaking, he would watch whatever Hillary was doing even though she was a few tables away. Hillary, Bill thought, seemed to have lost some weight. But that made her cheeks appear more prominent. She looked lovely in her pink and patterned gown, revealing her neck.

Bill gripped his glass as he remembered his favorite place to leave a hickey. Hillary would always reprimand him for sucking or nibbling exactly where her jugular vein was until he would leave a mark. 

Suddenly his treacherous mind wondered if Tim also did the same?

Bill hissed and tossed the rest of his whiskey in one gulp.

Senator Kerry who was sitting next to him chuckled and said, “You’ve been staring too long at Senator Rodham, Eagle.”

Bill turned to him with a smirk on his face, “I’m just thinking how beautiful she is tonight.”

Kerry laughed, “Remember she’s taken or else that rumors about the two of you will resurface again,” John made some gestures with his hand as if painting the picture of what the tabloids would say, “President Clinton, couldn’t keep his eyes from Senator Rodham.”

Bill chuckled half-heartedly. He took another sip as he watched Hillary lean against Timothy. 

Hillary wanted to leave the party. She was unnerved by Bill’s stare. She had to stifle the urge to look back so she kept herself occupied by chatting to the people at the table that she was sharing with. She was sitting with few celebrities and with Senator Hawkins and Congressman Davidson.

Hillary watched Bill take the podium to give his remark. Hillary thought that he looked as if he lost a bit of weight. There were stories that his jogging was more frequent now and longer. But regardless, he was still as enigmatic and dashing.

“Are you okay?” Tim asked during dinner. 

Hillary nodded, although she felt like she was eating a sheet of paper. She couldn’t taste them and she couldn’t wait for the night to end so she could retreat to her apartment. 

In the middle of their dinner, her attention diverted as the band that was playing suddenly halted.

She watched as Bill took the podium with his sax. The people cheered at him. 

“I hope you don’t mind that I serenade you while you all enjoy the rest of your dinner.”

“Oh, my,” The actress, Sarah Harper, who was sitting at the same table with Hillary blurted out. 

Hillary looked at her as the actress was seemingly very taken by the impromptu performance. Bill, playing sax, was quite an exceptional occurrence. She stiffened though when Bill played Elvis Costello’s  She  the one that he serenaded her with.

Hillary watched him as she felt her throat closed. Her mouth was left hanging as memories that night flooded her. She particularly remembered when he arrived in her home with his sax.

“What did you bring?” She asked.

Bill smiled boyishly at her, “My sax.”

“Why?”

“I thought to serenade you tonight.”

Hillary looked at him, then she took a step closer and reached him. Bill closed the distance between them and kissed her full on the lips. “Don’t ever change, Honey," She said, sighingly.

She shook her head because she didn’t want to remember them but also couldn’t stop herself from remembering that night. Hillary understood that he deliberately played that song to hurt her. 

She looked at him and her view blurred as her tears collected. 

“Here,” Tim quietly said, distracting her. She looked down at what he was offering - a handkerchief. 

“Don’t let anyone see you tear up,” Tim advised. He looked annoyed but Hillary ignored him. She took the handkerchief and dabbed her eyes. 

She looked up and sniffed as the crowd clapped. Not once did he look her way as he waved at the guest.

Bill didn’t know what possessed him to do that: Hurt her. But he did. He played the song that he used when he serenaded her in her bedroom because he wanted her to remember. He played the song with such passion that he overdid himself. He had to focus on the notes even though he felt like breaking down and cry.

Why couldn’t he let go of her?

Why couldn’t he forget her?

When he finished playing and everyone clapped, Bill went to his seat quietly without ever looking at Hillary. 

He didn’t want to see how she reacted but he was also so damn curious. He wanted to know if she remembered that night like how he remembered them. Did it hurt her just how it hurt him too?

A part of him hoped that he could drive her away so he could see that she was affected. He wanted to see her, just to see her hurt. So when the socials started, Bill was looking forward to arriving in her circle.

He went from one circle to another greeting his guests and making small talk. When he reached her circle he noticed that she was again holding on to Tim’s arm as if it was her lifeline. Bill greeted everyone with a “hello” instead of using their names. A way for him to avoid greeting Hillary. 

He felt like he just swallowed a bag of sand, so he reached for a glass of whiskey from a passing waiter.

“I hope you all are enjoying the night?” He asked particularly no one as he took a sip. He peered at Hillary as he took a sip and waited for someone to respond.

Hillary kept her eyes away from Bill and was avoiding them. She was biting the insides of her mouth to keep herself from saying something because she knew that he was being deliberate to provoke her.

 “Yes, it’s such a lovely night,” someone responded, and Bill turned his head to the smiling actress, oh, yeah, Sarah something, he forgot the last name. 

“That was quite a performance, Mr. President,” Tim commented. 

“I am glad you like it, Congressman Duke,” Bill responded then he looked at Hillary again.

“Enjoying your night, Senator Rodham?” He asked. 

Hillary finally dared to look at him, “Yes, thank you, Mr. President.” She was glad that her voice didn’t break.

“They say that you are a good player, it’s the first time I ever saw you played. I am very impressed,” The actress said eagerly.

Bill turned to the actress, “I am afraid we are not yet introduced, Madam.”

“Oh,” Sarah broke, she transferred the glass of wine that she was holding on her right hand then extended her and to him, “Sarah Harper, Mr. President.”

Bill smiled and reached for her hand. 

“A pleasure to meet you, Ms. Harper,” He said before he leaned and kissed the back of her hand. 

“How long have you been playing?”

“I’ve been playing since I was a child.” He responded, then he looked back at Hillary and held her gaze. Hillary tipped her chin up meeting his eyes.

A small smile broke from Bill’s lips. He loved that she wasn’t cowering.

“Oh, nice. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the sax!” Sarah commented.

Bill dragged his gaze from Hillary back to Sarah and said, “If our schedule permits, I can teach you how to play privately, Ms. Harper.”

Someone from the circle whistled at the blatant flirtation. Hillary glared at Bill feeling betrayed by what he said. He wanted to hurt her and damn, it was working. She hated that he offered to help Sarah openly like the playboy that he was without regarding her feelings.

But it wasn't his fault, right? The back of her nagged. You kept him in the dark.

Take a leap of faith, her friend, Martha, told her.

She suddenly felt the room too crowded, she needed to get out. She needed to breathe. 

“Wow,” Sarah said to Bill, “But before that, maybe you could humor me to a dance?” She asked, extending her hand.

Some men in the circle clapped Bill’s back. 

“It’s my pleasure,” Bill responded, taking Sarah’s hand.

Hillary watched Bill walk away with Sarah. They were going towards the dance floor and it was the perfect time for Hillary to go.

“I need to go,” She told Tim.

Tim nodded, who seemingly understood. 

Bill was hating himself for what he did, but as he stood there in the circle with Tim and Hillary he wanted to make her jealous and Sarah gave him an opening to do that. 

But did he feel happy? No. He felt miserable.

He turned his head as he watched Hillary leave the circle and out of the East Room.

He knew that he would regret this. 

And he already did.

Chapter Text

Few Hours After The Event

Hillary ruined other women for Bill. So far, he couldn’t find anyone interesting. He thought he could be distracted by someone available like the way they used to. Sarah Harper was the kind of woman that Bill used to accompany him to warm his bed. He invited Sarah for a walk so they could get to know each other, but Bill found her too available for him, too enthusiastic for his attention. 

They spent some time outside the White House walking in the gardens. He just wanted to see if there was any chemistry between them. He tried to see something interesting about her, and he just couldn't find anything. She was a beautiful woman with her Auburn hair, Hazelnut colored eyes, a lithe body, and fair skin. She could be one of those women who warmed his bed, but his treacherous heart couldn’t be swayed.

He found himself wanting Hillary. He wanted her wisdom, her full-hearted laugh, the way she challenged his ideas, her potty mouth in the bedroom, her overbite smile, her striking blue eyes, and her thick blonde hair. He wanted her gentleness and softness that he couldn't seem to find elsewhere. Hillary was both hard and soft, wise, and funny. She stirred his curiosity and challenged him intellectually. He wanted that, but she walked out on him without a word, without an explanation. She did that a few days after said she loved him. 

He wanted to focus on Sarah who was talking about her life in Hollywood. However, his mind was replaying when Hillary walked out of the East Room. Every fiber of his being told him to follow her. He wanted to apologize and tell her that he didn’t mean to hurt her.

He followed Sarah to the grassy area in the North Lawn. They stopped and stood near the Willow Oak. Sarah was just talking about the films that she did. 

He was just looking down at her, pretending to be interested and the next thing that happened Sarah threw herself at him and kissed him full on the mouth.

It happened too fast, as she clung to him. It was all he needed to distract himself from Hillary. He angled his lips and latched them into hers. 

This was what he wanted - a willing woman. His dates should be like this - all physical and uncomplicated, not like the ones that he shared with Hillary on their first dinner date. 

"Promise me you won't befriend anyone here in Washington," Hillary warned him while cradling his cheek.  

It was almost in the same location. How odd it was that he remembered that night. It surprised him that she cared enough to warn him about the people in Washington. They almost kissed then but they were both not ready for that. 

Now he had this… This woman wasn't hesitating, but Bill preferred Hillary who was too afraid to indulge and ran away from him. 

Bill stiffened, he wanted to, he really did, but he couldn’t do it. He held Sarah’s arms and gently extracted himself from her. 

“I’m sorry, Ms. Harper. I think it's late.”

Sarah looked at him in surprise. Her cheeks pink from embarrassment, she turned and walked away without preamble. Bill watched her go and ended up standing alone under the tree partly glad relieved, partly sad. 

A few hours later, he stood there inside his bedroom looking at the view of Lafayette Square thinking if he should call Hillary. He wanted to call her and apologize for being an asshole, and at the same time demand an explanation. But he stopped mid-thought thinking that maybe Tim was with her spending the night in her arms.

Bill looked down with his hands on his hips, feeling defeated. No, it wouldn't be wise to call her. He didn't want to know if Tim was with her. It would kill him to know that she was sharing her bed with him - that bed that Bill got himself so familiar with.

***

Hillary's Home, Same Time

She wouldn't cry. She said that she wouldn't shed a tear, but she couldn't stop her tears from falling. She wouldn't let out a sob, though. She wouldn't. She had too much pride to do that. She did this to herself, she should swallow her pain. 

If only Bill knew the truth… 

She stood next to her sliding door inside her bedroom holding a glass of wine looking out at the cloudless sky, hoping for her nightmare to end. The way Bill scrubbed the invitation right on her face was too painful. The way he flirted with another woman in front of her sliced through her.

He wanted her to know that she was replaceable. He wanted her to know that he could find someone with whom he could share the same memories. She got the message loud and clear. 

She wondered if Bill ended up taking Sarah to his bed. She looked so willing, so available for him. Would he teach her how to play the sax like how he taught her?

"Put your fingers here," He gently told her as he stood behind her.

"Blow, but don't blow too hard," He whispered, while his hands steady on her waist.

"I thought you liked it if I blew too hard?" She cheekily teased, making him chuckle. He leaned and nuzzled her neck, nibbling that favorite spot of his.

Hillary let out a sigh. Bill smiled against her skin. 

"Don't tease me, or we will not finish this tutorial."

Hillary shook her head trying not to remember everything. She finished her drink and placed her wine glass on the bedside table. Hillary laid on her side, and regardless of how much she told herself that she didn’t care, and how much she tried not to be affected, she found herself crying staining her pillow with her tears. 

She wanted the pain to stop, but it looks like she had to endure it in the meantime. 

***

Hillary’s Home, Few Days After, Morning

They say that time was the best healer. While Hillary was still healing, the pain of what happened between her and Bill was no longer that sharp. It was there alright, but the pain somehow dulled.

She still thought about him. She was still trying to find that film that Tim hid. She still wanted to get back to Bill if he would have her.

Few days after the gala, Hillary anticipated news about Bill and Sarah. There was none. It wasn't that she cared, it was just that he wanted to know where she stood in Bill's life. 

Hillary woke up early to prepare herself for the day's event. One that she dreaded. She sighed heavily because today she would be in the White House to meet with the rest of the task force for the National Health Care Reform. It would be the first time that they would convene to enhance Clinton's universal health care. It was initially rejected after his speech in Congress. It didn't get endorsed. The Republicans wanted to be part of the team, so Bill relented. 

The team was a mixture of Republicans and Democrats to appeal to both parties.

Hillary dreaded working on this because she would be going to the White House as frequently as she didn't like. It would mean that she would get to see him as frequently as well. Bill was relentless in pursuing his promise, so he wanted to be involved in the project that was close to his heart. 

She looked at her reflection in the mirror inside her comfort room when she was about to start her morning skincare routine. She stopped short, suddenly remembering something.

Hillary pulled the drawer in the vanity and took out her calendar. She counted the days, a crease in between her brows appeared. She brushed her hair and tucked them behind her ear as a cold sweat broke on her back.

She was one week late. She wetted her lips and counted her weeks if she got it correct…. But damn, she was indeed one week late. She did a fast calculation in her mind and thought that the last time she slept with Bill without protection was just eight weeks ago.

Paranoia crept into her with that fact. She needed to get tested if she was pregnant. She brushed her face with her hand. She was just forty and while she could still conceive it wouldn't be that easy. Admittedly, she did not take care of it after she told Bill not to use protection. It was reckless but she didn't think he could get her pregnant that fast.

She paced thinking. She was never late in her period. Maybe she was just stressed? But she needed to know just in case. 

If she was pregnant, Bill needed to know the truth. She wanted to laugh at the irony of it all. She was trying to protect herself from scandal by staying with Tim and finding that source of evidence, but this pregnancy was a piece of a bigger scandal that would eviscerate her career. 

On the other hand, it was too early to say. She could just be delayed.

She let out a nervous sigh and calmed down. The best thing for her to do was to get tested, then she would face the problem when she gets the result. She just hoped that the result wasn't the one she feared the most.

***

White House, Same Day, Afternoon

Hillary arrived on time in the White House. She was surprised though with the amount of press and media preparing to get inside. She was wearing a blue pantsuit dress that day. She met with her team in the foyer. 

"You look wonderful today, Hill," Maya greeted, holding her steaming hot coffee in a to-go cup from Starbucks and her file case on the other hand. Jason was holding his ice-cold coffee in one hand and a leather briefcase in the other. 

"Ready?" Hillary asked. "What's going on here?" She asked as they made their way towards the second floor of the East Wing.

"The President will address the criticism about the mission in Somalia," Maya said as they made their way towards the executive conference room.

A month after the battle of Mogadishu, Bill and his administration was heavily criticized for the death of nineteen soldiers. 

As they passed through the hall near the Oval Office they could hear Bill shouting inside. His voice was thunderous and angry. Hillary, Jason, and Maya turned their heads towards the door but they didn't linger as the Secret Service motioned for them to move along.

"It seems someone is not having a good day," Jason commented.

As they arrived in the executive conference room, Senator Kerry was already waiting for them, along with other members of the task force. 

"Ah, Senator Rodham, I am glad you are here, we are just getting ready for the meeting," John greeted. He kissed her on her cheek.

"Are we going to wait for the President?" Hillary asked. The conference was set up because he wanted to know about the plan first hand in the preparation of the press conference that he would give to the business leaders.

To her surprise, John chuckled. "Why are you curious if he would be joining us?" 

Hillary rolled her eyes as they walked side by side. "This meeting is arranged to be conducted here particularly by his request. If he wouldn't be joining us, then we should have this meeting in the Capitol instead."

Before they entered the room, John stopped her. He turned to her with a playful gleam in his eyes. "What's going on between the two of you? Besides the rumor that was spreading..."

Hillary snickered as she entered the room ahead of John. "I am surprised that you like to gossip."

John chuckled as they went to their respective seats. John took the middle seat and Hillary sat next to him, and he continued, "Not that I like to gossip. You see, my curiosity is piqued. Last time in the gala, Bill couldn't take his eyes off you. He even commented on how beautiful you look. Now, here you are curious if we would be waiting for him."

Hillary shrugged but felt a pang of pleasure by that information. Did Bill really look for her?

Hillary did not comment on that, she was glad that Mack, Bill’s Chief of Staff, signaled for the start of the discussion distracting John.

***

Hillary was relieved because, throughout the discussion, Bill was not present. He was inundated with other meetings and pressing issues. She was glad that their path didn’t cross this time. She wasn’t ready to face him after knowing that she was delayed in her period. 

She was deciding whether or not to inform him on that day. A big part of her wanted her to do it because she already kept enough information from him. However, she didn’t want to be faced with that dilemma today. So not having him around was welcome news.

Except for thirty minutes before the meeting ended, Bill entered the conference room.

Hillary stiffened on her seat as Bill entered. Everyone greeted him. John stopped answering questions.

“Afternoon' Mr. President,” John greeted.

John motioned for the middle seat that he took, but Bill waved him off. Bill sat unassumingly on the side reserved for the aides.

Hillary was sitting on the opposite side of Bill so she could see him in her line of sight. Bill looked exhausted. He wasn’t wearing his coat and there was a scowl on his face that signaled he wasn’t having a good day.

“Well, too bad you came and joined us late, Mr. President,” John commented as he wrapped up the meeting.

Bill leaned back and crossed his legs. He was tired of even looking at the dossier given to him by Mack. He took his gold-rimmed glass in his chest pocket and slid them on. He bent his head and scanned the dossier. “Who is chairing this task force?”

“Senator Rodham is chairing this,” John said.

Bill was supposed to nominate John to be the chairperson, however, he changed his mind and gave the task force the liberty to nominate and elect their chairperson.

Bill peered at John through his glass with a blank look on his face.

It wasn’t that Bill didn’t like the idea of Hillary taking the chairmanship of the task force, it was just the timing. He had a long day and he needed to know the enhanced plan. He wanted someone to give him a go-through because his conference with the business leaders would happen tomorrow.

Bill didn’t acknowledge it, he just returned to read the dossier.

When the meeting ended and everyone was ready to go, Bill broke his silence and said, “Can you stay Senator Rodham?”

Hillary was talking to Jason when Bill said that. She turned to him and saw him with his head still bent reading the dossier on his lap. 

“I beg your pardon?”

Bill dragged his gaze from the dossier that he was reading then up to her face, “Will you stay?”

John looked at Hillary then to Bill, and Bill added, “I want you to give me a go-through of this enhanced plan.”

Hillary looked from Bill to John and said, “Senator Kerry can do that.”

“Why would you endorse Senator Kerry to me when you are chairing this task force?”

There was a palpable tension between them. John wanted to laugh at the hilarity of the situation. Hillary looked like a deer caught in the headlight while Bill looked unamused. John figured that something might be going on between his two friends. 

“Well, Mr. President, Madam Senator, I’ll go now.” John took his notes and said, “I hope you both have a great time with the go-through.”

Hillary said something to Maya and Jason as they said their goodbyes. She was still standing as she watched everyone leave one by one. She felt her stomach tighten as she watched the people go. She was embarrassed by how Bill chastised her in front of everyone like an idiot. It was her fault though for trying to avoid him by suggesting for John to give him a go-through instead. 

She took a deep breath as she contemplated Bill sitting there reading the dossier with his manly crossed legs. She wondered if he was doing that because he was taking things personally. 

When they were finally alone, she broke the silence between them and asked, “What do you want Bill?”

Bill looked at her and said, “You.”

Hillary paused, then blinked.  Did she hear him correctly? 

“W-what?” She asked, choking on her words. 

Bill tilted his head to the side, “I said I want you to give me a go-through of this proposal, didn't I? Have you gone suddenly deaf?”

“You arrogant—” Hillary held her tongue and closed her eyes trying not to lash out at him.

“What?” Bill bit out, daring her to complete her statement.

Hillary looked at him, exhaustedly. It was a long day and Bill was cornering her to annoy her.

“I know you are angry with me—"

"Don't go there, Hillary," Bill warned. He stood and Hillary suddenly felt like cowering because he was towering over her. Besides, when Bill was displeased, something was terrifying in him. But she held her ground. She would be damned if she would show him some weakness.

Bill approached her but then thought twice and he stopped. He held on to the backrest of the nearest chair.

He sighed and bit his lip before he spoke, "I want you to stay because I need to know what's the enhanced plan all about." He gave a self-deprecating smile. "Well, I forgot you have a problem with staying..." 

He pulled back the chair and sat on it. Hillary watched him - hurt by his accusation. If only he knew the truth.

"If you want me to stay, stop doing that.” She paused, “I know I hurt you, but there's a time for us to talk about that. Else, I'm going. I'm tired."

“Hillary—“ He called. 

She stopped and looked at him. 

“Please,” He said sincerely. “I am sorry.” He swallowed. “I’m tired, and I am not having a good day. I am sorry.”

Hillary eyed him cautiously. "If you are not in the mood, this meeting will not be productive."

He stilled, "No, please, I really need this."

Hillary sighed and gave in. For some reason, regardless of what happened between them, she just couldn't abandon him. And she wondered about that. On the other hand, Bill was bombarded with criticism with what happened in the battle of Mogadishu, then tomorrow he needed to be prepared to pitch the Health Care Plan to the business leaders. He looked weary, so she relented even though a part of her wanted to tell him to go to hell. She took her binder with her and sat next to him.

"Will you cooperate with me?" She asked, almost a whisper. 

He nodded at her with those pleading puppy eyes. 

They looked at each other for a while and Hillary and the strongest urge to brush his hair with her fingers.

I couldn't believe it, he would be the father of my child,  she thought.

***

Bill didn't know what got into him but he was spoiling for a fight. He was angry that the Conservative Republicans were pushing him to pull out the troops and leave Somalia before the operation's objectives could be achieved. They were politicizing the issue. He didn’t want to pull out without doing an orderly transfer to the United Nations.

His patience was threadbare and having Hillary close made him want to turn his anger and frustration to her. He felt like a petulant child though for doing that.

He half-listened to Hillary as she went through the dossier explaining what they have enhanced from his initial proposal. Bill’s mind was elsewhere. He remembered how he used to enjoy laying his head on Hillary’s lap when he spent his time in her bedroom. He loved that after a long day's work - the way she would brush his hair while she would read her work papers. He thought he could use that after dealing with the pressures of politics. He was just upset by the turn of events most especially when he remembered what happened in Somalia. He could use really use a bit of her touch.

He glanced at her profile, looking at the curve of her jaw and then at the shell of her ear. She dabbed her perfume behind her ears. He wondered she did that today, and he wanted to press his nose to that part to find out.

He shook his head and turned to look at Hillary’s dossier that has a lot of remarks. 

"We have already incorporated your comment in this second bullet," Hillary commented. 

He turned his sight on her small hand that was splayed on the paper. A smile appeared on his lips. Such a small hand, he thought, but that small hand could grip his cock so firmly.

He felt himself harden. He hissed, making Hillary stop. She turned to him.

Hillary tried to focus on her dossier and explain the content but having Bill near her was just making her hypersensitive. Bill was a touch away but she felt his gaze on her shooting sparks all over her body. Bill wasn’t paying attention, he was staring at her. 

She tried to ignore it even though all she wanted to do was pull him by his necktie and crush her mouth to his. She wanted him to take her in the conference room - on the table or against the wall and quench their thirst for one another.

She shifted and took a deep breath before she continued. “The plan still has Congressman Lee to introduce the bill in the house, we already have one hundred three sponsors, then Senator Kerry will present this in the Senate. We have twenty-nine cosponsors for this,” She said without looking at Bill. 

She pointed out a bullet on the sheet of paper, “The task force agreed on a state-based cooperative that would sell approved health insurance plans to consumers and regulate insurance companies…" She took a deep breath, "The regulation of the insurance companies is what we have amended.”

Hillary felt warm, she could feel Bill’s eyes linger on her neck, then she heard him hiss. 

She slowly turned her head to him and found Bill looking at her, his lips slightly parted. 

Bill wanted to be kissed, Hillary thought.

“A...are you okay?” Hillary asked.

Bill saw her cheeks turning pink, and he wanted to lean and nuzzle her apple cheeks. She was so beautiful and she was so within his reach. He could hear her breathing heavy, her eyes dropped to his lips. 

Bill bit his lower lip. 

The room got warmer, he would be damned, Hillary wanted to be kissed.

“I... I need to go to the comfort room,” Hillary said, pushing back the seat. She stood so fast as if the cushion caught fire. 

Hillary needed to put some distance or else she would end up jumping on him and that was the last complication that she needed. 

Bill nodded and watched Hillary go. Bill brushed his face with his hand thinking about this dance that they were both playing. Hillary still wanted him. He could feel it, he could see it the way her body spoke to him. It was just like their first dinner date. She was stifling her attraction to him. When it got too intense, she ran like a scared cat. He was glad that she excused herself because now he had time to think instead of being carried away.

If he kept Hillary longer in this conference room, it would be hell. They both wouldn’t be able to take their hands off each other. He wouldn’t hesitate to take her if she wanted but it would complicate things for him. He had so many problems to fix, and he didn’t want to add this to his list. It took him a while to move on, so he couldn’t start all over again. 

Besides, what future do they really have? He thought.

Hillary splashed some water on her face and took a deep breath. She needed to finish going through the dossier so she could leave already. It would be difficult if she would stay longer.

When she returned to the conference room, she found Bill standing next to the window looking pensive. 

She tried to approach him but she stopped when he spoke, “You can already leave now, Senator Rodham. I’ll read the dossier tonight.”

There was some disappointment that she felt but she ignored it. It wasn’t the time for her to feel any disappointment.

She nodded and she went to retrieve her things. 

Bill could feel Hillary move around, he desperately wanted to ask her if she ever felt anything for him. If she ever loved him like what she told him before. But he found himself tongue-tied, his feet planted on the ground. 

The way she moved right now, taking her things made him feel as if she was walking away from him again. The pain was oddly the same, making it hard for him to breathe. The view outside blurred as his eyes turned misty. The pain resurfaced, overwhelming him that he couldn’t help himself to ask achingly: “Why didn’t you say goodbye, Hillary?”

Chapter Text

"Why didn't you say goodbye, Hillary?" 

Hillary stopped packing her things and turned to Bill whose back was facing her.

"Bill—,"

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 nodded. 

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?"

"No."

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.

“Tomorrow…”

“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…”

“What?”

“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.”

He nodded.

***

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?”

She nodded. 

“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.

“Ma’am?”

“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."

"Yes, ma'am."

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. 

"It's Hill."

There was a pause. 

"Come in."

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. 

"What?" 

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. 

"Always."

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. 

"Witness?" 

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."

"Why?" 

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."

"Tim's?" 

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?" 

"Not yet." 

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."

"Alright—" 

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."

Chapter Text

Washington, Few Hours Before Flight to New York

It was three o'clock and Bill just settled on his bed. His national security team was studying about him issuing a warning to Serbia's President Milovanic that if they attacked the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo they would face consequences. He wanted to reiterate the warning issued by the Bush administration after getting an intelligence report of what they intend to do. 

Afterward, he finalized the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that he would be signing at the end of the month.

As he lay there, he was tempted to call Hillary. He just wanted to hear her voice and remember that she admitted that she still felt something for him, but given the time, she must be already asleep. 

It warmed his heart thinking that a few hours from that time Hillary would be taking her pregnancy test. He could be a confirmed father two weeks after. He already imagined Hillary with her belly huge with his kid. She would be sleeping on this bed as his First Lady one day. He could already envision it. If she wasn’t then it would be another story. 

Frankly, he wanted her to be with him. It might be a little selfish of him, but if she was willing to cross the line and decide to be with him, he would do whatever it takes to protect her. Their journey together wouldn't be easy he thought that as long as they were together, they could survive it. 

He succumbed to sleep with that in his mind. 

***

Bill barely slept when he was woken up to prepare for his flight going to New York. When Bill was about to alight the Marine One and Mack met him inside, he finally thought of saying his current status with Hillary to Mack.

Mack was discussing the current staff and the reductions that they would be doing next year. He also went through with him the policies from the Health Care that Hillary and John worked together.

“These bullets here,” Mack said, his pen gliding through the list on the paper, “are the amended items. According to Senator Rodham, we couldn’t release this yet not until next week.”

"They haven't decided whether or not we would include the health care reform in the Budget Reconciliation Act?" Bill asked.

"No, because Senator Rodham and Kerry were too careful. Senator Rodham wanted to add it to the budget because if we pass this health care as stand-alone, the chances of this to die is high. Senator Kerry already said that Senator Franklin would not allow the inclusion of the non-generic items in the budget reconciliation bill. Kerry will try to make a case to Senator Franklin next week at their meeting. Meanwhile, Senator Rodham would try to win her party because if Senator Franklin wouldn't relent then there's no other way but to pass this bill on its own."

Bill peered at Mack through his eyeglass, by the sound of it, their only chance was Hillary vouching for the bill because Senator Franklin would certainly not make an exception for it to be added in the budget reform. However, Hillary, for all the efforts and achievements she had done for her party, seemed like they didn’t respect her position at all. Senator Doyle had the upper-hand in the party.

Without even saying a word, Bill and Mack had little confidence that Hillary could convince her party. His initial proposal got rejected. If this didn’t push through under the budget he knew that Republicans would kill the health care.

Bill nodded. Mack eyed him warily. 

"Didn't Senator Rodham tell this when you asked her to stay?"

Apparently, they discussed something else.

“There’s something I have to tell you, Mack.”

Mack held his breath. He didn’t like it when Bill said that statement. After being his friend for more than twenty years he was familiar with Bill’s idiosyncrasies. Bill used that kind of statement as an introduction to bad news.

“I have reconciled with Hillary.”

Mack kept a straight face. He wasn’t at all surprised. He found it interesting and frustrating that instead of discussing the bill they ended up getting back together. Bill, for his intelligence and knack of politics, his craving to be loved and accepted could get the best of him. It seemed like this relationship was more important to him than the bill.

“Is it an official relationship now?”

Bill leaned back against the leather seat. He looked outside and they were a few minutes from arriving at the Fortune building.

“No, not yet an official relationship. We still couldn’t go out together.”

Mack crossed his arm, his forefinger rubbing on his chin. 

“I don’t know, Bill. I feel like this relationship is heading towards a disaster in the end. You both hold a position from a different party. People would feel betrayed most especially by her. They would think, instead of having a balance of power, you are using her. Regardless of how you justify that there was no abuse of power, it would still seem to people that you are using your relationship to infiltrate the Republicans. There’s also the fact that you both denied the rumours when Pat Donovan talked about it which would make you both look untrustworthy.”

Bill tipped his head back thinking about the truth of Mack's statement. “I know, Mack. That’s why I am telling you now. I understand the consequences if we go public. I am thinking that if we are going to go public, Hillary needs to resign.”

“You’ll ask her to do that?”

Bill brushed his hair with his hand, “I haven’t, but she understands this. I don’t want to pressure her. She told me to give her time to sort things out.”

“Then I guess we need to prepare.”

Bill nodded, while Mack already calculated who else to involve in this impending doom. He needed to be careful who to share it with considering that someone from the White House was leaking information in the press and media. Mack could already foresee the gargantuan problem that would eventually explode on their face. He looked at Bill sitting there and he couldn’t help but ask: “Is it worth it, Bill?”

Bill met his eyes evenly, “You can’t even imagine.”

***

New York, Afternoon

Bill’s conference was a success. He shared the accomplishments so far of the Clinton Administration to Fortune’s top fifty business leaders. He was met with a standing ovation and applause. He briefly told them about Universal Health Care and asked them for their support. The majority was supportive. Others were not yet convinced. He was on track and that was all he needed. 

Bill and his team were headed next to the United Nations Head Quarters. He wanted to pressure the delegates to persuade President Milovanic not to attack the ethnic Albanians. 

The Presidential car was already parked outside the building. Bill waved at the crowds in front of the Fortune Building. He was a few steps away from the limousine when he heard three gunshot sounds then suddenly all hell broke loose.

He saw Harold moved and covered him, then he was shoved inside the car. Bill dove and landed on the floor and felt a hot intense pain on his arm. It dawned on him that he was shot. His leg also hurt like hell. Did he twist it? He couldn’t remember but both parts felt incredibly painful.

“Sir, are you hurt?”

“Fuck, God damn it, yes, I am hurt!” Bill yelled, his face contorted in pain. “My arm… I got shot. My leg…”

Bill could smell his blood and he suddenly had a flashback of the scene when his grandfather was shot and he cradled him while he died in his arms. The strong metallic smell surrounded him. Is he going to die? He thought. He couldn’t die. He was about to become a father. Not yet. He wasn’t done yet. 

He felt lightheaded as the smell surrounded him. He could feel his blood dripping on his arm, he looked at the ceiling as the view seemed to tilt. Harold continued to speak to him but it was as if Harold was in a tunnel. He looked at him as Harold checked his pulse. Hillary, he thought, then total darkness.

Harold was on the seat and he was touching Bill checking if he sustained other injuries. “Joe take a 'round.”

It was an order meaning for Joe, the official Presidential driver, to take a detour. Harold spoke on his intercom stating Bill’s condition while he unfastened his belt and created a tourniquet just a few inches above the wound.

“Right arm, laceration,” Harold stated, he looked at Bill’s prone body on the floor and then adjusted Bill’s leg. “Leg also hurt, possible fracture. Unconscious.”

After a few minutes, the car limousine stopped as they arrived at the nearby hospital where the emergency team was already waiting for them.

Harold looked out, it was going to be pandemonium. 

***

Hillary’s Office, Washington, Afternoon

Hillary watched in horror as they saw on the television what happened. Her worry went overdrive as she saw Bill being shoved in the limousine. 

“The status of the President is yet to be known.” The newscaster said, “Suspect, Graham Tool, was already in custody and now under investigation.”

She was about to make a phone call when Thomas stopped her.

“Don’t!” He warned. “Don’t make a scene.”

Hillary looked at Thomas, her eyes a bit misty. She was visibly shaking. “I just want to be sure that he is okay.”

“Hillary, if you start calling, people would find out.”

She swallowed.  Would she risk it?  To be honest, she no longer cared. People would find out anyway. She just couldn’t live with the thought that Bill might die without her beside him.

“Thomas, please, I just need to know.”

“I’ll take care of it, Hillary. I’ll call you.”

Thomas took his coat and exited her office. Hillary pressed her palm on her lips as a sob escaped her. She was afraid of what could happen to Bill. She wouldn’t be able to know what to do if something happened to him.

***

Presbyterian Hospital, New York

Mack paced outside the operating room where Bill was being stitched. The doctor already confirmed that he was out of danger. He needed some stitches for the laceration that he got from the gunfire and he needed to get an operation on his knee for a tendon that he tore when he dove inside the limousine. 

The suspect was already apprehended. They got word that he wanted to kill Bill because of the Brady bill that he would be signing by the end of November. He felt that Bill was a threat to his Second Amendment Right.

George arrived a few hours later. "Is he alright?" 

Mack nodded. “Doctor said he woke up earlier after he got stitched. We will be transporting him tonight back to Washington. The Secret Service argued that it would be safer if he would recuperate in White House rather than here.”

George nodded. 

"I'll leave and return to Washington to arrange his arrival."

"Alright, I'll be right here and arrange the press conference."

***

Hillary's Home, Same Day, Night-Time

Thomas informed Hillary that Bill was already safe and that he would be transported to the White House tonight.

"He got a laceration on his right arm and he also hurt his knee when he took a dive in the limo. He was awake earlier after losing consciousness…"

It was all she needed to know but she couldn't stay put. She felt restless. Thomas warned her not to go to New York. However, she couldn't do that. She needed to be with him. 

She reached for her phone and contacted George.

George was talking to Dee Dee when his phone rang. George looked at the name flashing on his screen. His brows furrowed at the unregistered name. Thinking that it was just any other member of the Press or Media, he answered it.

"George?"

"Who's this?" 

"It's Hillary."

George looked around checking if someone was nearby who could eavesdrop. 

"Senator Rodham, what is it?" 

"I heard that Bill is okay?" 

George walked away from his current position and started to find a vacant room. 

"Yes, the President is fine. What can I do for you?" 

Hillary bit her lower lip knowing that she would finally step into the light and reveal a little about her relationship with Bill. She held her breath and said, "I am thinking of seeing him tonight. Would that be possible?" 

"Senator Rodham I would really advise you not to go here." 

Hillary's eyes narrowed by George's warning. "How did you know?" She asked.

"Bill told me what's going on between the two of you."

Hillary bit the insides of her mouth as she felt the heat spread on her neck.

"I see…" She didn't want to resort to begging but she thought she couldn't just stay in her home waiting for news.

George gripped the bridge of his nose torn between not allowing or allowing her. These two couldn't stay away from each other, he thought. Obviously, whatever it was between them it wasn’t just a passing fling. Logic told him to tell Hillary that it wasn't a good idea. However, he couldn't be that heartless, Bill had been alone in his life, he never got involved with anyone. He almost lost his life today. He also deserved to have someone who truly cared about him. 

"Senator Rodham, if you want to see him, I would advise not in the hospital. There are a lot of people in this room. The last thing we want is people talking about you visiting the President."

"I have to see him, George. I couldn't stay passive and just wait for the news." Hillary reasoned.

Silence. 

"I really care about him, George. I don't want to be away from him… Most especially at this time."

George took a deep breath and said, "The President will be back in White House in a few hours. I'll give you a call when he is settled. I'll advise Mack to arrange for you."

"Thanks, George. I really appreciate that."

George called Mack and informed him of Senator Rodham’s visit.

“George, I am not sure if we are being smart here by allowing her to visit.”

George was done dealing with this.

“Give them a break, Mack. Bill almost lost his life today. He never had a chance to have someone care for him. I think Senator Rodham is really important to him. Give him his happiness for crying out loud.”

Mack sighed, well he was right. “Okay, I’ll arrange something. Tell her I’ll meet her in South Lawn by eleven o’clock.”

***

White House, Same Day, Night-Time

Hillary arrived in the White House exactly at eleven o'clock. She followed George's instruction and met with Mack at the South Lawn.

Mack was just wearing his white shirt and his black slacks, his necktie already off. He looked like he had a long day considering his bloodshot eyes.

"Senator," Mack said as she alighted the car. 

"Mack," She greeted. She tried not to feel uncomfortable meeting him because it seems he already knew that she wasn't there just as Bill's visitor but rather as someone who cared deeply about him. She didn't know if Mack and George knew the extent of their relationship, but frankly, given what happened she no longer cared.

"Follow me," Mack said without preamble. He turned and allowed Hillary to follow him. He took turns and didn't go to the usual route like what Bill did when they had their first date together.

She sighed thinking that it felt like that happened a decade ago. Mack turned to her and misinterpreted her sigh.

"These halls are built as an emergency exit for the President," Mack said, "Not everyone knows this,” he added.

She nodded.

"Senator Rodham, Bill is not just a President for us. He's like a brother to us. We've been friends since we are in college. We care deeply about him and we wanted him to succeed in his Presidency. It's the reason why we are very careful because we don't want him to fail."

They stopped in front of a white wooden door - The Presidential Suite.

"Mack," Hillary said, "So do I. I don't want him to fail."

Mack nodded and reached for the doorknob. "Don't let the sunrise shine on you, Senator Rodham."

She nodded and stepped into the room as Mack opened the door for her.

Hillary looked around at Bill's dimmed room. The Suite was humongous. It was quiet inside, her eyes landed on the bed enough to fit four people. She saw Bill asleep half-naked with a blanket covering his waist down. He didn't wake up as she walked around and went to his side.

Her eyes blurred as her tears collected. She almost lost him today, she thought. Her eyes landed on his right arm, where just a few inches below his shoulder, a gauze covered his gunshot wound. She wanted to see his wound but was afraid to touch him and woke him up. She looked at his face and she smiled because he looked very relaxed and at peace.

She turned to look for a nearby chair to sit on and when she saw one near the window she approached it. 

“Don't sit there,” She heard Bill speak, his voice scratchy and hoarse. 

Hillary felt goosebumps appear on her arms. She turned and looked at him. A smile hitched in his face, his eyes partially close but he was awake.

Hillary went to him and without hesitation, she framed his face with her hands, leaned down, and kissed him full on the lips. 

"You scared me," She said against his lips after.

"I didn't mean to," He whispered.

She brushed the tip of her nose against his, "Don't do that again."

“Promise I won’t,” Bill chuckled. 

"How did you get here?” He asked.

“Mack.”

It dawned on him that Hillary wouldn’t be able to go to his room without admitting their relationship. It didn’t need to be said but they both had a grasp of the situation that their relationship was no longer a secret anymore. It was something that they needed to face but there would be a time for that. Tonight, it didn’t matter. He wanted to savor the time together.

“Come lay here,” Bill invited, tapping the space beside him. 

Hillary took off her coat and removed her shoes when she went to join him on the bed and settled on his side. She kissed his cheeks when she was close enough. “I love you,” She whispered. 

Bill looked at her and a small smile appeared on his face, “I love you too.”

She reached to brush his hair, “I thought I wouldn’t get the chance to say that again.”

She cupped his cheek with her palm, “I was so afraid that I would lose you. I thought to myself if I could hold you again…” She stalled, Bill held her gaze as he turned his head and kissed her palm, “You thought what?”

She bit her lips, “I’d do whatever it takes to be with you.”

Bill smiled, “Darling…” His eyes softened at her, “I wouldn’t ask of that if you are not ready.”

Hillary’s eyes blurred because what happened made her realize how vulnerable life truly was and their tomorrows weren’t promised. She found herself pleading to God to keep him safe. It made her realize that she would rather lose the life that she knew than not to have him in the future. 

She shook her head as her tears fell. It hurt her to think that she would leave everything behind and the people she would be disappointing for him.

Bill smiled, moved to lay on his side so he could face her but then he groaned when the pain shot on his knee.

“Don’t move,” Hillary chided.

“I just want to look at your face,” Bill said.

Hillary chuckled and then muffled them on his chest. She laid on her side and then inched closer to him until her face was close enough to him. “Better?” She asked.

He nodded, he reached out to her, his hand curving on her neck as he looked at her face, “Whatever your decision will be, I’ll be here. I won’t let you go through it alone.”

She nodded and blinked her tears away. Bill wiped her tears with the pad of his thumb then gently pulled her to him as he kissed her. When he released her and they both looked at each other, he asked:

"Did you already take your pregnancy test?"

She nodded, "You still think about that?" 

Bill chuckled. "Yes, of course."

Hillary was touched that Bill seemed to welcome the thought that she could be pregnant, but then something else occurred to her. She thought that it was time for Bill to know the truth about Tim.

“There’s something I have to tell you,” She started. 

“Yes?” He asked, tipping his chin down to get a good look at her. "Is this a good news?"

She shook her head, "Something else."

His brows furrowed.

“There’s a reason behind why I got back with Tim.”

Chapter Text

Bill tipped his head down while Hillary laid her head on his chest. She was absentmindedly drawing circles on his skin wondering how she would say it without causing an alarm.

“What is it?” Bill asked, noticing how she paused after telling him that there was a reason behind why she got back with Tim.

She sighed and then sat up, “Tim knew about us. He has evidence of you going to my place at night. There are incriminating photos of us in an embrace and you leaving my house.”

Bill remained silent, so she continued. “He… he threatened that he would release the photos to Donovan if I wouldn’t get back with him.”

“Christ,” Bill hissed. He carefully moved to recline on the bed, he grunted along the process. Hillary helped him up. His chest heaved as he leaned against the headrest, he took a few deep breaths from the exertion. Hillary scooted closer to him.

“Are you okay?”

He nodded, then reached to touch her face, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

She shook her head, “I don’t want you to get involved. I want to solve it on my own. You have too many problems to worry about, I was thinking that I can handle it on my own.”

Bill frowned. “Hillary…” He started, “Darlin’, you don’t have to solve this on your own.” His eyes roamed on her face noticing the sadness in her eyes, he brushed the back of his fingers on her cheek, then cupped them with his palm. “You don’t have to go through things alone...you have someone...” He whispered sincerely, “…you have me.”

Hillary felt her throat closed, her eyes prickling as her tears were threatening to fall. Throughout her life, she was her own person. She faced her own problems, dealt with her own setbacks without help. Her parents taught her that. Her mother taught her to be tough, and she got used to it. But to hear from Bill that he would be there to fight with her was her undoing. 

Her vision blurred as her tears gathered in her eyes. 

A small teasing smile appeared on Bill’s face as he watched Hillary struggle to keep her emotions at bay. 

“You can lay down your guard now, and rest your head on my shoulder, Love.”

A sob escaped her lips while she slid her arms around him embracing him. She buried her face in the crook of his neck. Bill smoothened his hand on her back. They stayed in that position for a while until Hillary heard Bill ask.

“What are you planning?”

"With Tim?

"Yes."

"My legal counsel will be talking to him tomorrow."

"Let me know the result of his discussion."

"Of course."

"How about your other problem?"

“If I am pregnant you mean?”

Bill nodded.

“I’m planning to talk to my team, then I will discuss my decision with my family,” She bit her lip and thought about what her announcement would look like when she told her parents that she would be resigning from her position.

“And if you’re not pregnant?”

Hillary contemplated that. Right, what if she isn’t pregnant? Would she still resign from her position? Would she still pursue a relationship with him?

Hillary started to loosen her hold so she could look at him, but Bill touched her hand stopping her. 

“If you’re not, what would you do?” He asked her.

“I don’t know. What do you plan to do?” She asked back.

“I don’t want you to throw away your life for me, Hillary. I don’t want to ask you to resign from your position to be with me. I’ll wait for you if you want.”

“It will take us three years…”

“We can sneak around, can we?”

She nodded. “I would feel terribly guilty that I am having a secret relationship with you. It feels like a betrayal to my party and to the people.”

“You can leave your party and become an independent. You can still serve the people. What is important is the result of your work and how you could help them. That’s all that matters.”

“It's not gonna be easy..." She frowned, "Leave my party…” Hillary shook her head. She was a Republican ever since. Her family was pure Republicans and she couldn't imagine that she would reach the point of leaving her party for him.

Bill looked at her and held her gaze, “I’ll be honest with you, Darlin’, but your party doesn’t respect you as a leader.”

Bill bit the insides of his mouth thinking if Hillary would defend her party. He pressed further, “You know that, right? You keep on fighting your way inside. You keep on fighting for your position and for your leadership to a party that wouldn’t even support your decisions. They don't deserve you.”

Hillary knew that. She has been trying to win her party by achieving a lot but it seemed to no avail. She hasn’t given up but hearing it from Bill was somehow hurtful.

He held her hand, “You could run as an independent,” then he gave her a lopsided smile, “Or you can join the Democratic party, besides with your vision, your values… you’d be a great asset. I could vouch for you.”

Hillary’s eyes lightened and out of her sheer happiness, she threw her arms around him making him hiss when she hit his bandaged arm. 

“Oh, my God, I’m so sorry.”

Bill chuckled, happy that she looked relieved. 

“You’d do that?” She asked beaming at him. She could easily identify herself with the Democrats. In fact, she found that their values were aligned. The only reason she continued being Republican was because of her family. Now, she has a reason to switch.

Bill brushed her cheek with this thumb, “I’d do whatever it takes to make you happy.”

Hillary softened. Bill, for his claims, that he didn't know how to love was definitely capable. She leaned and kissed him. “You make me so happy, Honey,” She said in between kisses. 

“Do I?” Bill asked with a heavy-lidded gaze.

Hillary nodded while she trailed her lips along his jaw until she started to nibble the soft pad of his left ear.

Bill sighed, “I…” He said breathily, “I… I can’t do much.”

Hillary softly giggled, her hot breath tickled his ear sending a pleasurable ache in his groin.

“Don’t worry, I’ll do all the work tonight,” She said, her voice above a whisper.

Bill could do nothing but just nod. Hillary got off the bed and stood next to him. She held her gaze as she undressed before him. Bill watched, his mouth-watering. It has been a while since they slept together and it oddly felt as if they were doing it for the first time.

There was something so seductive watching Hillary undress right before him. The moment that she removed her blouse and was wearing her bra, his eyes landed on her stomach which was still flat. He felt himself harden thinking of it looking big with their baby. His eyes went to her breasts when she unhooked her bra and removed them. Her nipples stood erect from the coldness of the room. He watched as goosebumps appeared on her arms. Her breathing was heavy. Her gaze focused on him while she worked her way to remove her dress and her underwear. 

It was so unfortunate that he couldn’t walk or else he would have jumped from the bed and pulled her to him like a crazy man. But he couldn’t, so he had to wait for her to finish taking off her clothes.

When she finished and stood before him naked, Bill’s jaw slackened and all he could do was just stare at her in awe. 

“My God,” He breathed, his eyes holding hers, “You are beautiful.”

Hillary’s body was shaking. She didn’t know if it was from her nervousness, from the coldness, or from her unspent desire. She never stripped naked for anyone. She was a little conscious while she was in the process of removing her clothes but the way Bill looked at her with that fire in his gaze urged her to continue. 

When he called her beautiful, Hillary took a step closer, leaned, and closed the distance between their lips.

The way they made love that night was unhurried as if they have all the time in the world. She was careful because of his injuries. She reminded herself that his knee was still in need of operation and his right arm was still healing from the gunshot wound.

She carefully straddled him as they kept their mouth locked. Her arms around his shoulder while Bill's arms coiled around her waist.

"I miss this," Hillary said as she let go.

"I missed it too," Bill echoed nibbling her lower lip

Despite the cold weather of November, the room felt hot. She felt electricity ran through her back as Bill feathered his fingers on her back tracing her spine. She arched her back like an overindulged cat. She tipped her head back and jutted her chest out as leaned against his touch then felt Bill’s warm mouth closed around her nipple. 

She sighed. 

“I could say how much you mean to me in a thousand ways,” Bill whispered against her skin while he gently gathered her to him, his lips feathering from the slope of her breast to her collarbone, his tongue tasting her skin there, then his lips moved towards his favorite spot on her neck. 

Hillary bit her lip while Bill continued, “But it would never be enough.”

He moved his head until he was brushing their nose together. Hillary framed his face with her hands. “I love you,” He said.

She waited for this kind of love, this kind of passion, and she couldn’t believe that she finally found it. She looked into his deep blue eyes and she couldn’t help but fall a little deeper in love with him. 

“I love you too.”

Bill peppered her neck with small biting kisses, then he groaned when he felt her reach for his cock.

"Ah," He breathed when she positioned his shaft in her entrance. 

"Hill..." He whispered as if he was in pain. He held her hips, assisting her while she lowered her body onto him, pushing his shaft deep into her. 

Bill hissed when she slid down fully to the hilt. Sitting down on his hips.

"Does it hurt?" She asked, worried about his knee. 

Bill curved his hand on her neck, gently pulling her to him, "No, it feels so fucking good."

Hillary started to gyrate her hips, but she was doing it too slow that it was driving him insane.

"Baby, you're killing me," Bill pleaded, "Move fast...I can't stay long."

Hillary gave him what he needed. She moved her hips faster, building the momentum that he needed. She held to his shoulders to anchor herself. She continued with her rhythm until he felt his sac tightened. He would come soon he thought. He hoped Hillary would come first. As if she heard him, she reached in between their body and started to rub her nub. 

It was too much for him. Bill buried his face on her neck, his lips locking on her skin. He held himself while hoping she would come first. After a few more rolls of her hips, he felt Hillary's muscles tightened around him. She moaned low, bit her lips as an orgasm hit her. He watched her lose herself in pleasure. She continued to move her hips while he gripped them. He groaned at the delicious way she moved her body. He was so near.

"Come for me, Honey," She whispered, and he did. His face contorted from pleasure as he reached his climax. He made a guttural sound as his arms tightened around her while he poured himself inside her. 

***

After they made love, Hillary stayed awake while Bill slept. She watched him sleep then wondered about their future together. They would make a lot of sacrifices, more so on her part, but she was ready. She thought it no longer mattered because as long as they were together, she knew that they could endure it.

Hillary started to pack her things by two-thirty in the morning. She didn’t intend to wake Bill up but he woke up when she started to move around. 

“What time is it?” Bill asked, his voice hoarse. 

“It’s fifteen minutes to three.”

“You need help?” Bill asked. 

Hillary looked at him and smiled. She went to him and kissed his forehead. “Sleep, and recuperate.”

“Will your driver pick you up?”

She nodded. He reached for her hand. "I'll miss you."

"I'll miss you too."

“I’ll see you later?”

“Of course,” She said and touched his cheek. 

***

Hillary’s Office, Morning

Hillary called three of her closest staff: Mary, Jen, and Jason. She wanted them to be the first ones to know what she was planning before she announced it to her whole team. Besides, Tim could release the photos anytime soon. So she wanted them to be prepared ahead of time. 

She met them in the conference room near her office before they arrived, she called Bill earlier to know his condition.

"How are you?" She asked.

“I’m okay, I’ll be seeing my doctor later to prepare for my surgery. You?"

"I'm good. I'll be talking to my team soon."

"Good luck, let me know how it went."

She nodded, "I will." She turned her eyes to the door inside the conference room as the three started to arrive one by one.

“I’ll talk to you later, they are here,” She said before she ended the call.

She turned to her staff all looking confused about why they were there. 

“Thank you for being here,” Hillary started as they took their seat. 

“What’s up, Hill?” Jason asked. "This kind of ad-hoc meeting scares the shit out of me."

“There’s something I have to tell you,” Hillary said.

They all looked at one another before Hillary dropped the news. She thought if she would beat around the bush but then decided not to. “I’m seeing the President.”

“What?” Jen clarified. Mary said nothing.

“What do you mean seeing?” Jason asked.

She took a deep breath and said, “We’ve been going out for a couple of months now.”

“Jesus, Hillary…” Jason started, “Pat Donovan is right?” 

She nodded. 

“What?” Jen asked, stunned. She was so shocked by the news that all she could say was ‘What?’ If it wasn’t just a serious matter she would laugh at the shocked faces of Jen and Mary. Jason was obviously more concerned about the implication of her relationship. 

She took a deep breath and started to give more details about her relationship. “Our relationship started when we were in India.”

She watched as the emotion played on Jen’s face from shock to disappointment. Mary remained blank. Jason was just surprised.

“Even before India, we’ve been in contact… we’ve been calling each other every night. Our… our relationship developed from there.”

“Why are you telling us this now?” Jason asked. He looked as if he was preparing for the worst surprise. 

“Hear me out. We separated for a while but got back together just recently after what happened to him. I’m telling you this now because…” She hesitated, just looked at their faces. The three of them looked as if they were holding their breath, “because we no longer don’t want to keep the relationship a secret. Plus, I could be pregnant with his child.”

“Jesus...” Jason expressed, he ran his hand through his hair.

Jen rubbed her temple with her hand while Mary was left gaping at her.

“The thing is, Tim knows about my relationship with Bill and he has evidence. He might release the photos of us together, so I want you to know it first before the photos get released.”

There was a silence that followed after her announcement.

“I know what I said now is too much for you to take—”

“Damn well it is,” Jason said. He stood with his hands on his hips. 

“Are you sure that Tim would be releasing the photos?” He asked. 

She nodded. “Thomas will be talking to him today to discuss what would be the repercussion if he leaked the photos.”

He nodded.

“Is there anything else?” Jason asked. 

“I’m so sorry for keeping this from you guys. I didn’t want to share the information with anyone because I am not expecting for our relationship to last, but with what happened, it made us realize that we can’t stay away from each other.”

She didn't want to sound hopeless romantic but there was no other way for her to excuse themselves but to admit that they couldn't stay away from each other. The three remained silent so she continued.

“There would be a lot of things that would happen after this. Things might turn to the worst if Tim leaked the photos and the result of my pregnancy test.”

“What could be the worst?” Jen asked. 

They looked at Hillary.

“I may end up resigning as a Senator because Bill insisted for us to get married if I am carrying his child.”

Silence.

“If not?”

“I’ll be resigning from my post as a Minority Leader and leave the party for obvious reasons.”

Jason held on to the backrest of the nearest chair feeling the gravity of the situation. Jen was quiet thinking about the problem ahead of them. She couldn’t imagine the circus that would follow if Tim released those photos and if Hillary was confirmed pregnant.

“Well, Hill, we are here for you,” Mary said firmly.

They all looked at Mary who was quiet earlier and just found her voice when they were still digesting the news.

Jason turned his head from Mary to Hillary and straightened up. Mary’s words were like water doused on their back - reminding them of the reason why they chose to work for Hillary.

“Yes, of course, we are here for you, Hill,” Jason said.

Jen nodded. “We’ll be ready.”

“Thanks, your loyalty means a lot to me. I hope that you could keep this secret in the meantime while we prepare how we would share this information to everyone.”

"Of course," Jason responded.

***

Later that afternoon, Thomas called Hillary to tell her of what happened to his discussion with Tim.

“I talked to Timothy and he practically said to shove our threat in our asses," Thomas said. He intended to deliver that statement with playfulness but Hillary seemed to have lost her sense of humor.

“We are in a losing position, Hill. We don’t have any evidence that he did what you claimed that he did. He said that you shouldn’t be afraid because he would only release the photos if you got back to Bill. He asked me if you are back with him.”

"What did you say?"

"I said nothing."

Hillary felt nauseated by the news. Tim had the upper hand in the situation. He would use the pictures to prevent her from returning to Bill.

“I am so surprised by Tim. I couldn’t believe that he is the same guy that I used to drink with. He is really crazy about you, so single-minded about you. The guy is a complete psycho.”

“What are you planning to do?” Hillary asked.

“What are you planning?” Thomas asked back. 

Hillary remained quiet thinking of her option as she started to pace inside her office, while she thought about her plan, Thomas added:

“I threatened him that we would sue him if he released the photos but that hardly scared him. He would fight us back. The only option that I could see is if we would relent to his wishes or prepare ourselves for war.”

Hillary bit her lip. She wouldn’t allow Tim to control her life. If he wanted a war he would have it. 

“Thomas, if he’s not going to relent, so are we. I wouldn’t let him control my life.”

Thomas chuckled, “That’s my girl. Best is we reach the White House to share this good news with them,” He said sarcastically.

She nodded. 

“Let’s do that tomorrow. I'll talk to Bill tonight after I talk to my parents."

Thomas whistled. “Good luck dealing with your father, Hill."

Chapter Text

Hillary’s Office, Same Day, Afternoon

After Hillary's work that day, she called Bill's to inform him of her whereabouts. 

“I’m on my way to my parent’s house,” Hillary told Bill over the phone. She was sitting in the backseat of her car as her chauffeur drove her there.

Bill, who was still in the Oval Office, nodded at Mack who gave him the papers that he would be reviewing. He cradled the phone on his shoulder.

“Are you nervous?” He asked, his eyes scanning the dossier that Mack gave him. 

“Not really,” Hillary said, downplaying her emotions. She looked down on her lap. She was nervous as hell. She was worried about how her father would react. She knew that her mother would support whatever decision she would make, she wasn’t just sure about him.

“You don't sound confident,” Bill observed, flipping the paper that he was holding to the second page.

“It’s impressive that you could observe and read at the same time,” Hillary teased trying to divert his attention.

Bill chuckled, “You could hear me flipping?”

“Yes, I could hear you flipping a page. What are you reading?” She asked. 

“My speech for APEC,” Bill said, “I know what you are doing. Now, tell me, why are you nervous.”

“How did you know?” She asked, smiling.

“That little pause you did before answering, and how you casually changed the topic,” Bill told her matter-of-factly.

She laughed a little. “Am I easy to read?”

“No, not really, but I learned to be familiar with little details that you do now,” He added.

Hillary felt that little tug in her heart. She likes how sensitive and observant Bill was when it comes to her. 

“Well…?” He pried.

“Well, my dad is not easy to please. I intend to tell him my plan to leave the party and that he could be a grandfather soon.”

Bill stilled. “Do you want me to come with you?”

“What?” She never thought of introducing Bill to her parents so soon.

“I don’t want to come off as a coward. If you’re going to tell them that you are pregnant, I want to be there.”

“Hon, we are not yet sure that I’m pregnant.”

“Well, I am already declaring that you are.”

Hillary laughed, how usual it was for Bill to make her laugh even at her most nerve-wracking moment. 

“No, seriously, I don’t want them to think that I am leaving you alone to deal with your pregnancy.”

“Honey, I really appreciate that. I’ll introduce you to my parents if we are sure that I am pregnant.”

“Even if you’re not, I hope I can meet them. This is one of the small things that I can do for you considering the things you have to do because of your decision to be with me.”

Hillary paused and took in what he said. Hesitating because her father could be downright intimidating. “Okay, I’ll set up dinner with them. Don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you.”

Bill chuckled. He had dealt with a lot of world leaders and Hillary giving him a warning about her father was almost comical.

“What happened to your legal counsel talking to Thomas?” He asked, then leaned towards his table as he jotted something on the paper that he was reading.

“Thomas isn’t relenting. He wouldn’t cooperate even with the threat that we would sue him if he shared the photos.” She rubbed her temple. 

Bill harrumphed, then read again his paper. 

“I’ll share the details later.”

“Will you be going here later?” He asked, briefly placing the paper on the table.

“Do you want me to?”

Bill bit his lower lip before he responded, “Of course, I want you beside me, always.”

Hillary chuckled. “Aren’t you clingy?”

“I should’ve warned you that I can be a little possessive, but I thought that you’d probably be turned off,” he joked. 

“Your warning came a little too late,” She chuckled, bit her lip, and said, “I guess I have to stick with your possessiveness.” 

She looked in front when she saw that they were nearing her home.

“I gotta go, Hon. We’re here.”

“Alright, tell me how it went.”

“Will do, thanks, bye.”

After Hillary hung up the phone, she looked through the window of her car and gazed at her parents’ mediterrean inspired modern mansion. She sighed thinking how things would change after an hour or two. Either her father would stop talking to her or he would be happy for her. A huge part of her thinks that it would be the former. 

She moved and alighted the car the moment that her chauffeur opened the door on her side. She took a deep breath before deciding to head and face them once and for all.

Her parents' housekeeper opened the door for her and greeted her. 

“Senator, good evening, you are just in time for dinner,” The housekeeper greeted. 

“Thanks, Cece,” Hillary responded. She followed the housekeeper towards the dining room. 

She looked around and tried to memorize how the interior looked and remembered the last time she stayed overnight. Thanksgiving would be a few days away and she would really be sad if she wouldn’t be staying home to celebrate it with her family. 

“Hillary!” Her mother, Dorothy, greeted. 

Hillary went to her and kissed both her cheeks and embraced her. 

“I am so glad that you finally joined us for dinner,” She said beaming at her. 

“I’m so sorry for not joining you for the past few days, I’ve been really busy,” She said, she placed her arm over her mother’s shoulder. 

“Am I hearing Diane’s voice?” Her father said who just arrived in the dining room.

“Dad,” Hillary greeted. She turned around, went to him, and kissed him on the cheek.

“How are you?” Her father asked after she released him.

They looked at each other and she thought about how their last conversation didn’t end up well. They argued about her breaking up with Tim. After that dinner, she avoided her father for a while and just maintained her communication with her mother. Her mother played as the middle person relaying messages for each other. She was glad that it was all forgotten in the meantime for her mother.

She hoped that the night would end differently, but she had a sinking feeling that it wouldn’t. Her father had always an opinion about her life which drives her crazy.

“I am good,” She responded. They made their way towards the dining table and sat on the chair.

Hillary looked at the meal they had prepared: salad, mashed potatoes, and steak.

“Gee, I am hungry,” She commented. 

“Let’s say our grace,” Her mother invited. "Lead it, Darling."

Hillary smiled and gladly took the role. In the back of her head, she disliked ruining the night by breaking the news later, but she had to do it. Despite how her father seemed to be at peace with her she had to do it. After she led the prayer, she looked at them as her mother and father started to get portions of the meal.

They talked about different topics - from politics to their relatives, to current events. Hugh with his elbows propped on the table and his hands' clasp was laughing at what her mother was saying.

"Do you know George?" Hugh asked Hillary.

Hillary took a sip of her wine and nodded. George Prince was her father’s close ally in the GOP when he was still the chairman of the party.

"George called earlier and told us that he was already a grandfather," Hugh announced. "Ever since he became one he skipped joining us on our usual golf play."

Hillary stopped drinking thinking if it was the best time to start sharing her news.

"Is he? That is wonderful news!" Dorothy exclaimed.

Hillary was so bad in breaking the news that she thought of breaking the news by saying -

“Well, who knows, you could be grandparents soon.”

Dorothy and Hugh stopped talking and they both looked at her surprised. It was as if they were waiting for Hillary to tell them that she was just joking, but she didn’t and said: “I took a pregnancy test just a few days ago.”

“Oh, my God, Darling!” Dorothy exclaimed elated by the news. Her face brightened up while Hugh was left gaping.

“Timothy’s?” Hugh asked.

She shook her head, held her breath, and went to deliver what she came for.

"It’s not Timothy’s…” She paused and added, “Timothy and I are no longer going back together."

“Who’s the father? And what happened to Timothy?” Her mother asked, the space between her brows crinkled. 

"He just did something that really hurt me," She looked at their faces. Her mother looked at her with sympathy while her father looked guarded.

"But I am okay now and I am seeing someone already," She stated.

"Who’s the father?" Her mother asked. 

"I am dating Bill."

“Jesus Christ,” Her father muttered.

"Bill…?" Her mother wondered.

"She's referring to Bill Clinton, the President." Her father said simply.

“The President?” Her mother asked, bewildered. “I thought that was just nothing but a gossip?”

Hillary was about to respond to her mother, but her father beat her to it with his thunderous voice.

“What are you thinking Hillary?!” Her father asked, standing.

Dorothy and Hillary turned to her father. 

“Your mother told me before not to get in the way of your relationship with Tim for the sake of this family. I did that.” He spoke enunciating each word, “Do you know what it means if you continued your relationship with him?”

“I know, Dad. That’s why I am here.” Hillary looked at her mother and father, then said, “I’ll be leaving the party.”

“Jesus Christ!” Hugh exclaimed, he looked at her as if he couldn’t stomach getting near her. “Of all dumb things, you’d make! This is the reason why I always get in the way!" His voice a notch higher.

"Hugh!" Dorothy called.

Hugh looked at Dorothy and seemed to have calmed down a bit. He looked at Hillary. "I do not know what you are doing, Diane."

“Do you really hate me that much? Are you doing this to deliberately punish me?” Her father asked. 

“Dad, it has nothing to do with you. I did not do this to spite you.”

“Then what?!” He yelled that her mother flinched, then looked imploringly at Hugh.

Hillary didn’t want to say the reason why because her father was not the emotional type, but there was no other reason so she opted to tell the truth.

“I love him…” She paused then added, “And he loves me.”

“Geez!” Her father snapped. 

Hugh brushed his face with his hand visibly disappointed and upset. "Listen to me, Hillary. I am not exactly a monster that you think I am. I only want what's the best for you." He placed his hands on his hips. "I wanted you to be with Duke because you are the future of our party. I know Timothy is unscrupulous and arrogant. I get it that you couldn't be with him… But this?" He threw up his hands in the air. "Clinton came from a broken family. He is a notorious womanizer. I am not surprised that you fell under his charm." He took a deep breath, "But for you to throw away your life for a man you met less than a year is not logical." 

"Dad,” Hillary pressed, “I knew Timothy for three years and he came from a very prominent and catholic family yet he did what I didn't expect him to do, so your reasoning is invalid."

Hugh looked at her as she hit a nerve. She knew she was right.

"Hillary… Hugh," Dorothy pleaded, “Stop arguing.”

Hugh looked at Dorothy who finally found her voice from the bickering that he and Hillary couldn’t seem to stop. Both reminded her how stubborn they could be.

“Are you okay with this?” He asked Dorothy.

“Hugh, please,” She implored. “Your daughter knows what she is doing, besides, she is no longer a child.”

Hugh looked at her surprised. “God damn it!” He grumbled.

“I am not sure if you both can understand what this means to you - Hillary. Can you understand the consequences of your action?”

“Dad... Bill and I know what it means for us if we continue this relationship.”

“And that’s okay with you?”

She nodded.

“If you’re pregnant is he planning to marry you?”

She nodded.

“If not?”

“We’ll continue with our relationship and I’ll be leaving the party.”

“As independent?” He asked.

“As a Democrat.”

“Damn it to hell!” He shouted, then looked up, praying for more patience. “I am going to kill that bastard.”

“Hugh!” Dorothy reprimanded. “Can you please stop cursing?”

“Dad, to be honest, I no longer resonate with the Party’s values and what it stood for.”

Hugh raised a brow at her.

“Not to offend you. Besides, the party hardly ever recognizes my position as Minority Leader. They hardly ever support or respect my ideas and my decision.”

“Hillary,” Hugh said, “Respect is gained. They wouldn’t give it to you on a silver platter just because I am your father. It takes time and it takes dedication.”

Hillary suddenly wondered about her father’s reasoning and she had to give it to him that maybe she was giving up too soon. It made her wonder if she was making the right choice to leave everything for Bill, but she has faith in Bill's love for her. She didn't doubt what he felt for her even when they broke up for a while. On the other hand, she had been with the party for so long, and not once did they recognize what she did for the party. So choosing to be with him and pursuing their relationship together, was something she knew was right.

“I know my decision would never make sense. You would wonder why am I willing to stay with Bill regardless of his past. I don’t expect that you would ever understand nor people would understand why I would follow my heart. I don’t expect anyone to understand my reasoning but I am choosing him.”

Hugh looked at Hillary defeatedly and sigh. "I don't think I can stop you regardless of what I am going to say, but I pray to God, that you are not making a mistake, young lady. You are throwing a lot of things for that man: your future, our party’s future," then he added, “our relationship.”

Hillary met her father’s gaze and felt her heart plummet. For all their disagreement, her father never said something like that. It sounded like an ultimatum. She felt a certain fear crept in her heart that her choice might forever dent her relationship with him.

She hoped it wasn’t true.

***

White House, Night-time, Same Day

When Hillary arrived at the White House she felt emotionally depleted and a thousand times more confused. After her argument with her father, her father had retired to the library. Hillary was left with her mother.

“Sweetheart,” Her mother started. She stood up and went to embrace her.

Hillary bit the insides of her mouth. She wouldn’t cry, she told herself.

“Your father wouldn’t accept your decision for now, but he loves you. He would eventually give-in.” She sighed and gently pulled Hillary to sit down.

Her mother looked at her lovingly. She reached to cup her cheek with her palm. “Your future wouldn’t be easy, but I know you, Sweetheart, you are a fighter.”

It was all she could remember before she finally said goodbye and left her parents' residence.

Her ride going to the White House left her questioning everything. Part of her wanted to give up on her relationship and continue doing what she was doing in the Senate, but when she thought about following what was reasonable it made her feel miserable. She just couldn't follow her mind, she knew she made the right decision for her, and she hoped that her father would eventually understand that. She buried her face in her hands feeling so deeply torn.

Agent Harold met her in the South Lawn and led her to the Presidential Suite. When she entered the room she saw Bill sitting on the bed, reclining against the headrest with his legs stretched on the mattress.

He is her future, she thought.

Bill turned to her and a smile appeared on his face. "Finally," He said, "You're home."

She smiled but her eyes didn’t reach her eyes.

Hillary couldn't meet his gaze as she took off her clothes and wore a robe that he prepared for her. Although the size was too big for her, it was comfortable and warm. 

Bill watched Hillary as she moved around noticing how quiet she was and her mind seemed to be elsewhere. When she joined him on the bed, he tapped the space beside him.

"Come here," He told her, "Let me hold you."

Hillary went to him and settled on his side. Bill curled his arm over her shoulder. She pressed her face on his robe inhaling his scent while allowing her tears to fall. She quietly sobbed hating that she met and loved him. She also hated the consequences that fell on her.

"What's wrong?" Bill asked against her hair. He kissed her crown while giving her a soft squeeze. He knew it must have something to do with her father. He had the feeling that the dinner did not end well.

Bill felt his throat closed. She was getting all this unnecessary stress for being with him, yet there she was, still beside him. Bill hated the price she had to pay for choosing to be with him. He felt like a bastard for being selfish. If he cared about her, he should let her go. But he couldn't do that. He loved her too much to let her walk away from him.

"I love you," He whispered against her temple. He said that because he didn't know what else to say. He was indebted to her for the sacrifices she has to make for them to be together.

When she calmed down a bit and they both laid quietly on the bed, Bill couldn't help but pry what happened. She laid her head on his chest listening to his heartbeat while he idly brushed her hair. It was lulling her to sleep.

She almost drifted when she heard Bill ask, "Do you want to talk?"

She paused for a second then nodded. They have so much to discuss first what transpired with her and her family, their situation with Timothy, then her making her first appearance with him when they bring him to the hospital to have his operation.

She sat up then propped her feet on the mattress while she hugged her legs. Bill sat up and reclined.

"Well," She started, "it didn't go well. My father didn't like that I would leave the party for you."

She turned her head to look at him. "He argued that it's not making sense for me to give up my future, my party, and our relationship for you."

Her eyes again started to collect tears. Bill leaned and kissed her cheek. He reached to gently place his arm over her shoulder.

"Hillary, Darlin'," He whispered. "I don't want you to ever think that when you decide to be with me, you’d be reduced as a decoration." 

"Look at me," He urged gently, reaching over her chin so she could look at him. He brushed his thumb on her cheek brushing away her tears. "I know what you are capable of doing. What I want with you in this relationship is not just love...or passion… or feelings… I want a partnership, I want us to build a life together. I want us to do what our country needs. So I would support you with what you want to accomplish.” He brushed her hair back, “I would give you the freedom to pursue what you like."

He wetted his lips before he continued. "Don't be afraid, I'll always be here."

"How could you be so decisive in your future?" She asked. 

He gave her a self-deprecating smile. "I have lost a lot in my life… I have nothing more to lose. I have to be firm with what I want: the future of this country… And you."

Hillary felt a pleasure spread through her chest. Bill might be the intense kind but he knew what he wantede. While she was confused and uncertain where she fit in the future, she was glad that he would be there for her while she tried to find her place in the world. 

"If you decided to marry me can I keep my last name?" 

Bill chuckled. "You can keep it."

She moved and embraced him as she heard him add: "I would never clip your wings, Hillary. I'll be there to help you fly." 

She pulled back and looked at him. Bill reached to place his palm on her cheek. "I would make all of your sacrifices worth it. Do you understand?" 

She nodded and she was glad to be loved by him. She reached and kissed him tenderly on the lips. “Thank you.”

***

They cuddled for a while thinking about what the future has in store for them and Bill suddenly remembered about Timothy. “What happened to your legal counsel’s discussion with Duke?”

Hillary sighed, “He’s not going to relent. He would publish the photos if we ever come out.”

“So he’s using the photos to prevent you from going out with me?”

She nodded. 

“That’s crazy. It doesn’t make sense. If he’s going to release the photo why doesn’t he just release them?”

“It’s because he is using the photos to lure me back to him.”

Bill chuckled. “Lure you back?”

“Yeah, he’s using it as blackmail.”

Bill pursued his lips, “I should have dealt with him from the beginning.”

She shook her head. “I think we need to come out first before he even releases the photos. We need to come out first.”

“What are you planning?” He asked, although Bill already knew what she needed to do. He just needs to hear it from her.

“I’m planning to resign from my post as Minority Leader and leave this week.”

“Are you sure?” He asked.

Hillary looked at him and held his gaze. “It scares me, but I have never been so sure that I should follow my heart.”

Bill tightened his hold around her as he kissed her temple. “I am so proud of you. We’ll get through this, Darlin’.”

***

Patrick Donovan’s Office, Midnight, Same Day

It was another day for Patrick. He had a good day. He just received a commendation from his editor that his last article about the implication of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act received good reviews. Admittedly, he deliberately misconstrued the information to get the attention of the people. It worked. He knew he should feel guilty because he sounded the alarm albeit too early. He didn’t mean to be an alarmist, but it was his job as a journalist to give his opinion on events so his article about how the Brady Bill could potentially harm the second amendment could be true.

He was about to leave his office when he saw an envelope lying on his table. It was the envelope handed to him earlier by the mailman. He forgot all about it because he had another story to work on. 

As he opened the envelope and poured out the contents, his brows furrowed. He turned and flipped them. His eyes turned wide as saucers by what was staring right before him - a picture of the President and Senator Rodham locked in an embrace.

Chapter Text

White House, Early Morning, Next Day

It was two-thirty in the morning and Hillary was preparing to leave the White House before three in the morning. Bill sat on the bed with his back resting against the headrest. He watched her with a heavy-lidded gaze while Hillary started to dress up. 

She woke him up earlier when she told him that she needed to go. He felt a little tired but his heart was full. They made love that night unhurriedly. Hillary was again in charge. He realized how much he liked it when she was directing what they would do. 

He felt warm when he remembered what they did earlier. It started innocently. He thought she wasn't even planning to have sex with him but then as they lay on the bed after planning how she would resign and her appearance with him when he takes his surgery, her hands wandered south until she started to play with his cock. 

It started there until they ended up doing it. It was so good that he fell asleep after. 

He smiled as he watched her with fascination. He thought that she was already very comfortable around him. She could strip naked without feeling the need to hide anything from him. He noticed that she was conscious in showing her skin when they were not making love, but now as she looked for her underwear and bra he couldn’t help but realized that.

It felt so domestic and it dawned on him how much he wanted that kind of small thing with her.

“Darlin’,” He called with a scratchy voice.

“Hmm?”

She turned and saw her underwear and bra. She picked them up and started to wear them. Her nose wrinkled thinking where she left her blouse.

“Honey,” He called again.

“What?” She responded without looking at him.

“Senator Rodham,” He called. 

Hillary chuckled. He wouldn’t stop until she looked at him apparently. She turned to him, “Yes?”

Bill gave her a lopsided smile. “Come here,” He said motioning with his hand. She shook her head. Sometimes he could be indefatigable.

"Come here, little wife."

Her mouth formed an O, "Last I know, I'm not your little wife?" She wrinkled her nose. 

Bill chuckled.

"You're my little husband?" She asked with a teasing smile on her face.

"I'm hardly small," He said matter-of-factly.

Hillary laughed. She went to him.

“What do you want?” She said as she stood next to the bed near him.

Bill tapped on the space. 

"Please," He implored

Hillary smiled as she sat on the edge of the bed next to him. She was only wearing her underwear and bra when she went to him but she knew he wouldn’t stop calling her until she gave him her attention.

He placed his hand atop hers, “Thank you,” He said sincerely.

Hillary snickered at him. “What’s with the sentiment?”

“I haven’t thanked you for choosing me.”

Hillary smiled at him sincerely and she reached out to place her palm on his cheek, “You made it so easy for me to choose you.”

“I love you,” He said, and Hillary beamed at him. She leaned and kissed him on the lips. 

“I love you too. Now behave so I can finish dressing up.” 

Hillary stood up and went to retrieve her blouse that she found on the foot of the bed and heard him speak.

“Darlin’,” He said, “If you find out that you are not pregnant this week…” He paused, “I want you to marry me.”

Hillary turned to him and Bill met her gaze unflinchingly. 

“I have a house in Arkansas… it’s small but it’s homey.” He wetted his lips hoping that he could sway her to say ‘yes’, “It has a garden, I think you’ll love it.”

“Bill—”

“Hear me out,” Bill stressed, “I don’t want anyone else.” He shook his head, “I want you. I want a future with you in this White House or in that quaint house in Arkansas… Anywhere, where you and I would be. I promise I would try to be an..." He chose the words carefully, "...an amendable husband. Anything... just to be your husband.”

Hillary felt her throat closed. She went to him and sat in the same place she vacated. She leaned and kissed him chastely. She pulled back and brushed his cheek with her thumb.

“A thousand times, yes.”

Bill encircled his arms around her neck and gently pulled her to him feeling his heart swell with the knowledge that she was ready to marry him. It was all that he wanted - besides the Presidency - a person who would always be there for him. Having Hillary fill his night and day just filled him with delight.

"You make me so happy, Darlin'," Bill said kissing her cheek.

***

White House, Morning, Same Day

One of the things that Paul Begala does in the morning was to read the morning paper. It was part of his habit. But he woke up late in the morning so he wasn’t able to get his usual paper on the way to the White House. In fact, he woke up so late that he was carrying his bagel in one hand while the other held his briefcase.

He was passing through Seventh street, the street near the White House. He was walking there when one of the newspaper stalls caught his attention. He stopped and took a few steps back. He tilted his head and read the headline.

 

The President and The Senator and their Secret Love Affair

His eyes went wide as saucers as he dropped his bagel. He grabbed the paper and threw some coins to the guy behind the stall and went to the White House almost running. He needed to get this to them the soonest.

***

Hillary’s Office, Morning, Same Day

Hillary arrived in her office and she was surprised by the lack of people in the hallway. It was unusual, she thought. She looked at her watch and saw that she arrived on time. She wondered where the people were.

She pursued her lips thinking about how odd the day seemed to be because when she rode the elevator earlier two of the passengers with her gave her a funny look. She wondered about that but didn’t really mind. She was thinking about how tomorrow would look like considering that she and Bill agreed that she would come with him when he had his surgery. She was also planning to strategize today with her team her plan of resigning.

She was about to enter her office when she saw one of her interns, “Is someone celebrating a birthday?” She asked. 

The intern looked at her surprised, “Oh, no, Senator. No one—”

They both turned when Jen suddenly appeared out of nowhere and said, “Hillary, there you are!”

Hillary almost jumped. She turned and looked at Jen who seemed to have gone through a press conference or something with her hair slightly disheveled too early in the morning.

“What’s up?”

Jen reached for her wrist and looked at her, “Timothy…” She broke, catching her breath, “Timothy released your photos.”

Hillary felt the blood drain on her face.

***

White House, Morning, Same Day

George Stephanopolous and Mack Maclarty were inside his Suite while his butler, Isaac, was working on his attire. Another assistant was holding him up while Isaac put his pants on. Bill flinched as he partially had to stretch his leg.

“My resource said,” George said as he read the newspaper, “That the President and Senator Rodham started their affair ever since their trip to India. The reports that I have conducted before are true. They never discussed any policies but rather they tumbled on the sheets.”

Bill chuckled. 

George looked at him frustratedly. “Are you taking this seriously?”

“I am laughing at how Donovan wrote the letter. Are you sure he isn’t writing for the Enquirer?”

George ignored him and continued, “How both the President and the Senator fooled everyone is astonishing. They both denied the allegations that I wrote. It makes sense that they did that because Senator Rodham is very much committed to Republican Congressman Timothy Duke. Besides, this also questions if they have violated any law by cohabiting -”

“Thanks,” Bill said as Isaac finished with him. He turned to George.

“George, we did not do anything wrong.” He said, stressing that fact. “There’s no law that ever said that we cannot be together. Hillary intended to resign tomorrow. She will be appearing with me when I have my operation later.” He reasoned. “I think we can start from there.”

Mack threw up his hands on the air, “We acted too late.”

George and Bill looked at him. “We acted too damn late,” Mack said frustratedly. 

What Mack sometimes disliked about Bill was what his critics called the Clinton Standard Time. He was known for being late and for acting late on things that mattered. Mack being older than Bill felt like he wanted to straighten him sometimes but Bill was stubborn.

Bill raised a brow at him, “Mack, will you calm down?”

Mack exhaled and placed his hands on his hips, “What do you intend to do then?”

“Like what I said, Hillary will be accompanying me when I have my surgery later. We’ll be ignoring this in the meantime then we will see how this spreads, then we will address it together. I think it is too soon for us to react without seeing what damage this news would do to us.” Bill looked at them, “I know you both are worried about me. I know you guys tried to warn me many times. Hillary and I are ready about this. We talked about this. I know that whatever happens we both would look like we have betrayed the people, but we didn’t. Well, prove to them that we did not do anything wrong. I hope you can trust us to handle it.”

George and Mack nodded.

“In the meantime, George, can you call Hillary?” Bill asked. 

***

Hillary’s Office, Morning, Same Day

By ten in the morning, Hillary’s office was abuzz with conversations. Maya had to scold the people for gossiping. Hillary and her closest team huddled inside her office. She had to break the news to them.

She sighed as she stood in the middle of her conference room as her team: Jen, Maya, Jason, Mary, John, Robby, Stephanie, and Brian sat there.

“You guys have heard the news and have seen the paper featuring me and the...uh… the President,” She took a deep breath, “And I want you to hear the truth from me, and… that is… the President and I are together.”

Her news was met with silence, so she proceeded.

“Bill and I had this relationship since India and we intended to separate but that didn’t happen. You’d be seeing more news about this, I fear. I am so sorry for keeping this to you.”

They looked at her with a blank look on their faces. Jason, Mary, and Jen already heard this and the rest were just hearing it for the first time. Hillary didn’t want to divulge the details and thought to just give them the important ones.

“Bill and I will be releasing a joint statement, but what I want you to know is that I did not intend to keep this. I’ve planned to announce it to the team today but I have to do it carefully because there are certain things that I wanted to handle with care, but Duke just beat me to it.” She looked at them and said, “I am so sorry.”

John who has been working with Hillary felt a little wounded that she did not choose to share this information with them, now that it exploded they have to fix everything.

“Why didn’t you share this with us?” He asked.

“The relationship that I have is supposed to be just between the President and me. We did not intend to carry out this relationship to the public.”

“You said that you intend to share this information with us but Duke beat you to it, what do you mean?” Robby asked.

“My relationship with him was supposed to be just a secret but things changed when he got shot…” She held her breath. She was deciding earlier if she would tell them of the possibility of her getting pregnant, she didn’t really want to share such intimate information but if she was confirmed pregnant and find out that she kept this information from them, they would feel betrayed again. Therefore, she decided to also share it. “... and I found out that I could possibly be carrying his child.”

John jumped from his seat and stood up, “Jesus,” He said. “I want to congratulate you but I am worried how this would beat us into a pulp.”

Hillary rubbed her temple with her hand, “I know.”

“What did the President say?”

“If I am pregnant I will be marrying him, but regardless, I have to resign my post as a Minority Leader and leave the party, since it’s the ethical thing to do.”

They looked at her with shock on their faces except the first three whom she shared the news first. The rest of the conversation didn’t go smoothly but she was glad that her team stuck with her. She profusely apologized to them and they have accepted it.

Next on her agenda was to call Thomas. Thomas answered his phone on the first ring. “Don’t tell me, I’m headed to your office.”

Hillary smiled. Thomas was always efficient and on top of the situation. She knew that she could rely on him. So while she was waiting for Thomas she sat on her seat and mulled over the article.

She looked at the front cover of The Daily Call, the headline said: The President and The Senator and their Secret Love Affair. Their silhouette photo was inset including Bill alighting the car. Their phone was constantly ringing asking for her response but she chose to ignore them in the meantime. She and Bill’s team need a concerted strategy on how to handle the situation.

She was waiting for Thomas to arrive when her phone rang, and she jumped on her seat. 

“Y-Yes?” She asked, her throat felt incredibly dry.

“The President is on the second line, Hill,” Mary said on the other end.

“Thanks, Mary, I’ll take from here.”

Hillary clicked a button on her phone and the next thing she heard was Bill’s voice to her relief.

“How are you holding up, Darlin’?” He asked, concerned.

“I am good. I just announced the news to some of my closest team. You?” She asked.

“I’m all fine. Here’s what we are going to do, we’re going to ignore the news in the meantime so we’ll see how other news outlets will respond to the article. Are you getting calls?”

She nodded, “Yes, I am getting too many calls but I’ve told Mary that we are not taking any.”

“Good girl,” Bill cheered. 

Hillary smiled a little, then she heard him continue to speak. “Then we’ll proceed with our plan for you to come with me when I have my surgery later. When will you get your pregnancy results?”

“The day after tomorrow.”

Bill nodded, “When we have our joint statement, we’ll be addressing your pregnancy situation, provided if you are pregnant. My legal counsel will be reaching to your legal counsel so they could talk about the implication of our relationship and we would be writing our statement.”

Hillary heaved a sigh of relief.

“Do you have any questions?” Bill asked. 

“No, but…” She looked up at the ceiling, then sighed, “Honey, I feel like regardless of what we are going to release, it would really look bad on me. We would look like a villain here. I know that we did not do anything illegal, yet the feeling of how these could turn ugly because Timothy beat us by releasing our photos first is just…” She shook her head.

“Heeey,” Bill said, distracting her. “Don’t think about that. The only thing we could do is to face this head-on. I know it’s scary, but I’m here. I’ll always be here.”

“I wish I had your confidence.”

Bill knew what she was referring to - Pat Donovan implied that Hillary was cheating on Timothy with Bill. It would definitely further damage her since Timothy was one of the Republicans that people loved. He was an epitome of a good boy, if only they knew what kind of person he truly was, Bill thought. 

“Regardless of what’s going to happen, I’ll fight them.”

“And how will you fight them?” Hillary asked. 

“I’ll them to fuck off,” Bill responded. 

Hillary laughed remembering what he told her back in India.

“My team would be picking you up later so expect a circus later.”

She sighed. “Alright.”

***

Timothy’s Office, Afternoon

Tim needed to act fast. When Hillary’s legal counsel visited him and threatened him. He knew he needed to take action. He couldn’t wait passively and see if Hillary would still pursue a relationship with Bill. He had a feeling that both didn’t stop considering that she never returned to him despite his message to Thomas. He assumed that Hillary was willing to take the risk and not relent to his demands.

It was why he sent those pictures to Donovan. He wasn’t done yet. It was just the beginning.

He took a deep breath as he contemplated what he would be doing next. He would ruin both Hillary and Bill. He knew his next step would hurt their image and most especially Hillary. He had set an exclusive interview with Barbara Walters. 

He teased everyone by remaining quiet on the news but he would speak out in his interview. He would appear like a jilted lover and he would try to win over the people. 

He smiled bitterly.

Hillary would regret that she crossed him, he thought. 

He hissed remembering her betrayal. He helped her gain her seat in the Senate. He helped elevate her in her position and this was how she repaid him: breaking up with him for another man. A man who didn’t deserve her?

She would regret it, he thought. She would regret dumping him.

Chapter Text

Hillary sat next to George inside the service car that went to fetch her from her home. Bill would have his surgery and part of the plan was for Hillary to appear with him. She had trepidations. She had a sinking feeling that something was wrong, that their plan wouldn’t go right.

She knew Tim. He wouldn’t just release those photos without anything to follow. She understood him better than anyone. He might look innocent, decent, and incapable of doing something cunning, but he was and he didn’t play fair. She knew this because she had seen him do this to his opponents.

She was torn between telling everyone not to proceed with the plan. She didn’t want them to appear together after the pictures leaked. She wanted to strategize but everything was already set to execute it. Their supposed original plan, if the pictures didn’t get into Donovan’s hands, was for them to surprise the people by having her appear beside Bill. After his operation, they would announce to everyone that they were exclusively dating, then she would announce her resignation. 

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It would just confirm what the article was implying: She cheated on Timothy.

It would both question their morality and would damage their reputation. 

“Are you okay, Senator?” George asked, noticing her silence.

She looked at him straight in the eyes and said, “I feel bad about this, George.”

George looked at her and there was a silent understanding between them.

“Do you want to talk to Bill?”

She took a deep breath. Bill wanted this plan because, for him, they had nothing to hide. They got together after she broke up with Timothy. He reasoned that regardless of when they would appear together it would still seem to everyone that she was cheating behind Timothy - unless they really stop seeing each other.

“You can still back out if you want to,” Bill told her earlier.

Hillary was afraid about what was to follow, but her fears didn’t matter now. It was either they dance to the tune or completely forget about it. And she didn’t want the latter. If they continued the affair they were just making big problems in the end and eventually they would still be found out. It was either she ended their relationship or stayed with him and admit to the public that they were together.

She shook her head. “No, I am afraid of what might happen next but either way, we’ll face this. We might as well do it now.”

George nodded.

George truly didn’t agree with the plan. For him, they were heading to a disaster. Bill and Hillary would appear untrustworthy after denying the relationship only to admit that the reports were true. And the people wouldn't be satisfied until they get the right answer.

George knew Washington and he was afraid that Bill was being naive. He lost in the discussion with Bill. He was telling him that either he and Hillary would separate in the meantime until the news dies or explain thoroughly the details of their relationship.

Bill agreed on providing information about his relationship with Hillary but didn't like the idea of thoroughly explaining the details of his relationship. 

George pressed for them to explain the timeline of their relationship. George advised Bill to explain that they got closer when they were in India, got together, ended the relationship, she went back to Timothy, broke up with Timothy after the shooting happened, and went back to him because she realized that she loved him.

Bill just got pissed because, to him, there were other important things they needed to spend time with. He snapped and said that his relationship with Hillary was personal and it shouldn’t be anyone’s business. What was important was that they didn't do anything unlawful. Bill didn't want to go through the timeline because they were opening themselves for further scrutiny. He just wanted to stress that he and Hillary got together when she and Timothy broke up, the granularity of the details no longer matter. 

George held his tongue and almost told him that he didn’t understand what mattered in Washington. But Bill could be stubborn, so George just prepared himself for the shit show that would happen soon.

The chauffeur brought them to the South Lawn and George helped her through the secret passage taking her to the Presidential Suite.

Hillary found Bill wearing a black sports jacket and black track pants. He was sitting in a wheelchair while he was talking to Mack and his doctor. They all turned to Hillary and George as they entered the suite.

Bill said something to them and then nodded to George, “Thanks for bringing her George.”

George nodded. He turned to Hillary, “Ready?”

Hillary nodded and George left her and Bill alone. Hillary looked at Bill and smiled although her smile didn’t reach her eyes. She couldn’t shake her discomfort and she totally felt something was wrong. She went to him and then when he was close enough she went down on her haunches until they were on the same eye level.

“What’s wrong?” Bill asked then he reached to brush her hair away from her face.

She sighed and patted his hand, “Nothing, I am just nervous. Are you ready?” She asked.

Bill nodded. “Yes, I am. They are waiting for us in the foyer.”

Hillary stood and Bill reached for her hand, “I can feel that something is bothering you, not just you being this nervous…”

Hillary looked at their hands and then she held his gaze, “I am just afraid of what Tim might do next.”

“Darlin’,” Bill said, trying to comfort her, “Whatever happens - I’ll be here. We’ll face this together.”

Somehow that alleviated Hillary. She just had to remember that her man would stick by her whatever happens.

“Please,” He implored, “smile a little for me.”

Hillary chuckled. She leaned and gave him a quick kiss on the lips. “Let’s go.”

***

Timothy’s House, Same Day, Late Afternoon

Tim wasn’t going to wait for their action. His schedule for the interview would be today - an exclusive one. He received a lot of calls but chose to go with Barbara Walters first. He liked the way Barbara asked questions because they could be too personal and a tad emotional. For someone like him who usually frowns at overly emotional interviews, this could work for him. He would appeal to the viewers.

People are usually moved by emotion and he would play with the viewer's emotion. He told Barbara’s team that he wanted the interview to be done in his home. The one he purchased just a few months ago. He intended to give up his bachelor pad and stay here once Hillary married him but that was all forgotten now.

He chose to wear just a white shirt and used a soft glow light because he would give them a show.

“Good afternoon, Congressman,” Barbara said, a little later when she and her team arrived in his home. Her tone was soft. She extended her hand for him to shake and he gently closed his hand around hers and gave her a soft handshake.

“Good afternoon, Ms. Walters,” He said.

“Oh,” Barbara said, “Just Barbara, Congressman.”

He nodded, and said in return, “Tim would work for me, being called Congressman makes me feel uncomfortable.”

She smiled and Tim led the way inside his home as her team followed her.

“I am so pleased that you answered our call…” She started.

Tim sighed, “I don’t want to keep on explaining my side… I know how you ask questions, I would prefer for you to ask all the questions that you think would answer people’s questions.”

Barbara turned to him with a glint in her eyes as if Tim handed her a winning lottery ticket. “No holds barred?”

Tim nodded and sighed as he led them to his study room. “I want to get this over with and move on with my life.”

Barbara nodded. She turned her eyes towards the towering shelves and she noticed the interior was a bit too feminine for him - yellow walls, white shelves, and Renaissance painting hanging on the wall and vases filled with flowers.

“This room is so lovely,” She remarked. “I like the color.”

Tim gave her a sad smile, “It’s Hillary’s favorite color.”

Barbara looked at him and gave him an apologetic look. “I’m sorry…”

Tim sighed. “It happens, I guess.”

“Barbara…?” Her team called her attention.

She turned to Tim, “Is this where we would have your interview?”

“Yes, you can tell your team to set up here.” He advised. 

***

White House, Same Day

Hillary wore her sunglasses and walked beside Bill as a White House nurse wheeled Bill towards the foyer. Hillary could feel her heart thumping hard on her chest because she knew that when they stepped out in the North Lawn the hordes of photographers, press and media would be waiting for them. They all would be shocked with her appearing beside him.

“Ready?” Mack asked, Bill.

He nodded.

The moment they all stepped out of the North Lawn the crowd of photographers, media, and the press started shouting questions and snapping photos. There were shocked Oohs and Aahs. Hillary ignored the reaction walked beside him feeling like she was walking in a den of lions.

“Senator Rodham! Why are you here?”

“Is this a confirmation of your relationship with the President, Senator?”

“Senator, why are you with the President?”

“Is it true that you are having an affair with the President?”

They stopped near the black Chevrolet van that would take them to Walter Reed Hospital. They seem to have forgotten that Bill would have his operation because they cared more about her being him rather than his condition. 

Finally, someone asked how Bill was and he gave a thumbs up.

“Why is the Senator with you, Mr. President?”

Bill chuckled and looked at Hillary, “She cares deeply about me.”

“Is this a confirmation of your relationship?”

Hillary didn’t answer. Bill had his hands up, “We’ll answer your questions, but first, I have a surgery to attend to.”

The people didn’t stop throwing questions but they stopped listening. The medical staff and the secret service assisted him then when Bill settled safely inside Hillary joined him inside the service.

She knew that their bumpy journey was just the beginning.

***

Timothy’s House, Same Day, Late Afternoon

“Ready?” The director asked Barbara.

She turned to Tim, “We're about to start...”

Tim nodded. 

“Good afternoon, Congressman, thank you for welcoming me here in your beautiful home.”

Tim smiled at her, “Thanks, this might be the last time you’d see me in this home though.”

“Why is that?”

“I’m planning to sell this one…” He bit his lower lip before adding, “This is supposed to be my home when I get married.”

There was a pause.

“You may have heard or read about the news that got out today…” Barbara struggled to say the word, but then continued with, “The news that Senator Rodham is having an affair with the President.”

Tim gave a self-deprecating smile. “Yeah, my friend called me early in the morning and asked how I was… I actually didn’t know what he was talking about until he told me what was on the paper.”

“Did it surprise you?”

Tim seemed to have wondered about that before responding, “Yes, it surprised me.”

He took a deep breath. 

“So what happened there?”

“Well, Hillary and I have had a rocky relationship for the past for weeks… uh… we have several disagreements. I… I actually didn’t like that she was working very closely with the President.”

“Did it ever occur to you that they are having an affair?”

“I didn’t know anything about the affair. I know that Hillary is working with the President because she really wants to support him and she wants to have unity between Democrats and Republicans… uh… I have concerns that she has been spending quite some time with the President.” He paused, “It’s usually our source of disagreement. I didn’t like it all. But with your question, did if it ever occurred to me? No. I never thought that she is the cheating kind.”

“Both of you were seen together at a Charity event just a few months ago, do you think she was already having an affair then?”

“Barbara…” He bit his lips, and took a deep breath, “I don’t know frankly. But our relationship has already gone cold when we attended that event. Maybe she is…maybe she’s not… I’m not sure.”

“It says here…” Barbara said reading the article, “that the affair has likely started in India… what do you think about that?”

“You know, Bill… the President… is notorious for being a womanizer. I have warned Hillary several times that I didn’t want her to work with him nor for her to meet him in India, but she insisted. I don’t know what went on in India… She was angry with me during that time. We had another disagreement before she flew to India. I don’t know… to be honest.”

"Would you say that the President pursued her while in India?"

Tim smiled a little, "He is a womanizer and a charmer. Let's call spade a spade, I think he seduced her."

“But when the Senator was in India… are you still with her?”

“Yes, we might have disagreement the night before but what I know is that we are not yet done during that time.”

“Did she ever give you a reason why she would cheat?”

Tim wanted to smirk at her question but he kept a straight face. “I don’t think I gave her a reason why she would cheat on me… maybe because I’ve been working hard and we’ve been away from each other. Plus, the fact, that we have been quarreling a lot since she has been working with the President.”

“You’ve been together for three years and then this news came out… how do you feel about that?”

The camera zoomed in on Tim's face. He had this blank look on his face as if he was pensive.

His eyes started to prick - more from anger than sadness. He looked at Barbara woundedly.

“I’m…” He said, his voice quivered. “I am... Angry…” He let out a sigh, “I am angry and hurt because I wanted Hillary to be my future. I had plans for both of us.” He motioned for the house. “I bought this house for us… and she threw it all away for an unscrupulous man. The President... he ruined a beautiful future we both could have had.”

He reached for his pocket and took out a handkerchief and pressed them on his eyes. He was actually crying. 

“I loved Hillary… and for her to betray me like this… is just so painful… and unacceptable,” He added.

Barbara looked at him sympathetically.

“Do you ever see yourself forgiving them?”

“One of the things that my Catholic upbringing taught me was to forgive and I forgive them… but I wouldn’t forget what they did to me.”

“Do you have a message for Hillary or for the President?”

Tim looked at the camera and said, “I hope that they are happy for doing this. I wish you both peace.”

***

Walter Reed Hospital, Night-Time

Hillary was waiting for Bill’s surgery to finish. She was in the waiting room working on her paper when her phone rang.

Jen’s name was blinking.

Hillary answered the phone. “Jen, what is it?”

“Tim… he appeared on the Barbara Walters’ show.”

Hillary felt her heart sink. “He gave an interview?”

There was a pause, “Yes… It doesn’t look good Hillary.”

Hillary rubbed her temple. 

“Have you recorded it?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Tell me…”

“He gave a very good show, he even cried on the air.”

“God damn it,” Hillary muttered.

“Exactly my thought. We need to address this soon before it explodes.”

“Anything else that I need to know?”

“Well, he really did a good acting and made it all seem like you and the President is a villain in this story.”

***

After Bill’s surgery, the doctor told Hillary, George, and Mack that he should be alright. He was sedated and might wake up later. 

“We are able to repair the President’s quadriceps tendon.”

“Is he okay?” Hillary asked.

“Yes, he would be a little groggy though but he could be released tomorrow morning.”

After the Doctor left them, Hillary asked if she could talk to George and Mack. She went to a nearby small conference room with both of them following her.

“Have you seen Timothy’s interview?” She asked.

“Yeah, we did.”

Hillary knew that George and Mack were Bill’s closest friends and they were still not embracing their relationship yet and neither had warmed up to her. She had to win them because they were all in the same boat. They all wanted Bill to succeed in his Presidency and they all cared about him.

“I think we need to do something about that.”

Mack crossed his arm across his chest and Hillary got his message.

“Mack, I know you are very protective of Bill, but you have to understand that I care about him.”

“I am not saying anything, Senator.”

“I can see it in your actions.”

Mack shrugged his shoulders. 

Hillary looked at Mack and George. “I know Timothy, he wouldn’t stop with just an interview. He would use this to ruin us.”

“I have figured out that he might do that,” George said, “It’s imperative that you and Bill have a joint interview to counter Congressman Duke’s interview.”

Hillary nodded. 

Mack slid his hands in his pockets, “What are you going to do next?”

“I’m going to hand my resignation before our interview.”

They all looked at her surprised. They knew about this but they were skeptical that she would go through with it.

“You’re going to do that?” Mack asked.

Hillary looked at him dead in the eyes, “You don’t know what I’m going to do for Bill.”

The rest of the time Hillary, Mack, and George brainstormed what they would do moving forward hoping their plan would appear to Bill. 

George and Mack were impressed by Hillary’s intelligence and her expertise in handling things like this. She knew what she was talking about and understood Washington very well.

“I may have underestimated you but I am actually impressed with your plans,” George said. 

“I’m sorry for being cold, but I hope you do understand why I am very concerned about Bill,” Mack added.

Hillary nodded, “It’s nothing personal. I understand why you are protective of him.”

George nodded. “We are going to leave, are you going to stay here?” He asked her.

“Yes, I’ll stay with him.”

***

Hillary went inside Bill’s room and found him asleep. She smiled looking at his face. He seemed to be so at peace and so relaxed that she was afraid to wake him up. How she hoped they could stay in this room and never go out and face their reality. She had a lot to face. Her mother called and she was upset. Her phone never stopped ringing because different news media and press were asking for her feedback about Timothy's interview. 

She went near him and lightly brushed his hair with her fingers then a small smile broke on his face.

“I like it when you brush my hair like that,” He said, his voice hoarse, his eyes still closed. 

Hillary’s eyes blurred with tears - partly grateful that he was okay and very relieved that he was awake. For her, his presence was like a balm on her soul. He was her comfort, her refuge. They had a lot to face but, for now, she would savor this peaceful moment with him.

She leaned, brushed her lips against this, and smiled, “Welcome back Honey.”

Chapter Text

Walter Reed Hospital, Night Time, Same Day

Hillary laid next to Bill since the bed was large enough to accommodate her. He cradled her on his side where his good leg was, she nestled comfortably with her head on his chest and his hand was idly brushing her hair.

She thought about what was happening and the colossal effects that would come after. Regardless of their defense, they would still appear as the villain in the story, especially if she was confirmed pregnant. It was most likely the case because she was already three weeks late. 

She stirred, bothered that they were not yet talking about their next plan. She wanted to bring up what happened because she didn't know if Bill already knew what Timothy did.

“Bill–” She started.

He stopped his brushing and gave her a weak smile.

“Yes?” He asked

She looked at him, seemingly unbothered by anything, “Are you always this calm?” She asked.

“Hmm…?”

She propped herself up and looked at him, “Timothy got an exclusive interview with Walters.”

He gave her a weak smile.

“Aren’t you going to say anything?”

Bill tried to fight off the effects of the anesthesia.

“Well…” He started, “Come lay beside me,” he urged, but she didn’t budge, so he explained. “It wasn’t that I am trying to procrastinate,” He explained, seeing her reaction, “Although, you might have heard about my infamous Clinton time…” He said with dry humor, “This night that we have might be the only night we have for a reprieve – the calm before the storm – I want us to savor it. Besides, I couldn’t give you my coherent thought with the effects of my anesthesia still coursing through my blood.”

Hillary sighed.

“I’m worried,” She said but laid down beside him and draped her arm across his chest. 

“So am I,” She heard him say, “But there’s nothing we should be afraid of when we know what’s the truth.”

She rubbed her cheek on his skin. Although she couldn’t shrug off the worry, she reluctantly gave-in. He was right, if she wanted his thoughts, he wouldn’t be able to share them because of the medication that they gave him. Second, he could also be right that that night might be the only night they could have peacefully.

“There’s a time for everything,” He whispered, quoting the Bible as if he read her thoughts, “Stay here with me, we’ll deal with the world tomorrow morning.”

She nodded after feeling him kissing her crown.

***

White House, George’s Office, Night-Time

George and Mack went back to the White House. George went to talk to the communications team in preparation for the onslaught of activities and controversies they need to face. Plus, he needed to contact Jen in preparation for Hillary's plan. 

Mack, on the other hand, needed to arrange Bill's Travel Office Staff. Bill urged him to reduce the staff in that section. Additionally, he needed to make some arrangements considering that Bill would still push through with the G-7 Summit next month.

“Did you reach Jen?” Mack asked as he entered George’s office.

“Yes, and she informed me that Hillary’s legal counsel would be checking her resignation speech.”

"Who would be writing her speech?" Mack asked curiously. 

"Senator Rodham writes her own speech."

Mack nodded, not really surprised. 

Mack whistled and sat on the seat in front of George’s desk. George looked at him feeling wary as well. They have been through a lot of shit storm. He wasn’t at all worried for Bill because he wouldn’t carry out the burden of the consequences of his affair with Hillary. He was actually worried about Senator Rodham.

“Did you call Dan?” Mack asked.

It seemed Mack was thinking of the same thing as well.

He nodded. Mack was pertaining to Dan Rather - the host of sixty minutes. An equally popular newsmagazine. Hillary said that appearing together with Bill before the NBA Playoffs started would allow them to get a wide range of audience since it was the finals of the NBA season with Chicago Bulls playing opposite Phoenix Suns.

There were two issues that they were addressing: The potential abuse of power that Pat Donovan was accusing them of while Timothy was tooting about her cheating on him. Between the two, Pat Donovan’s accusation was harder for them to fight off. To begin with, how could they convince the people that Bill never used his position to influence Hillary while they were together?

However, with Tim’s very controversial and emotional interview it overshadowed Pat Donovan’s accusations. Therefore, she wanted to veer away from Pat Donovan's accusation and address the cheating claims instead. Besides, Washington was more interested in trivial matters and drama - not really the politics. 

It wasn’t the best plan but it was a good strategy instead of Bill’s idea of shrugging off the issue and focusing on the three milestones of his administration: NAFTA, Family Leave and Medical Care Act, and the Brady Bill Gun Reform Act.

“What do you think of her plan?”

“It’s good enough for us, but for her? I am not sure. It depends what she would say.”

Mack pursued his lips. “It astonished me that she chose to be with Bill rather than keep her career.”

George looked at him and said, “I guess that’s what love does.”

Mack chuckled. “When did you become sentimental?”

George shrugged his shoulder, “I am just happy that Bill finally found his person. I just hope to God that it’s truly the end of Bill’s wandering days.”

Mack chuckled. “No longer having fun chasing the women he takes to bed?”

George brushed his face with his hand, “I’m glad that we are over that.”

Given their history working with Bill even during his Gubernatorial years, they knew all about Bill’s hordes of paramour. He couldn’t get that satisfaction from someone. He didn’t even want to commit to any women. But there was something different from Senator Rodham that captivated him. Mack wasn’t all convinced yet that Senator Rodham was the one. He hoped that she was giving up everything for nothing. On the other hand, George seemed convinced that Bill finally found his match.

"When will they have that interview?"

"After Hillary announces her resignation."

***

Walter Reed Hospital, Night Time, Same Day

“Do you want to sleep?” Hillary asked, taking a peek at his face.

Bill’s eyes were closed but he continuously kept brushing her hair lazily with his fingers. “I don’t sleep that much,” He responded.

“I noticed,” She said, “When I am with you, you hardly sleep.”

“That’s a different thing,” He said.

“Why?”

“Well, I stay awake when I am with you it's because our time together is always not enough,” He gave her a crooked smile, “I stay awake so I could enjoy having you a little longer. But I don’t really sleep that much.”

“Why?”

“I just think there’s a lot of things to do and twenty-four hours is not just enough.”

She smiled against his chest and started to draw circles on his skin. She wasn’t at all surprised. One year in his Presidency and he already achieved a lot. He may have missed some of his campaign promises but he delivered what he could, and so far he was on track. She was just so disappointed that the media wasn’t highlighting his achievements.

One year in his Presidency and Bill passed the economic plan, reduced the deficit, implemented the EITC expansion, the empowerment zones, a capital gain tax cut for small businesses, the childhood immigration initiative, and student-loan reform. Congress also approved national service, the Russian aid package, the motor voter bill, and the family leave law. He was also about to sign the Brady Bill in effect by the end of the month.

Bill was enjoying his success with the congress in his first year. It was rare for a President to be that successful. Besides him, President Eisenhower was also able to achieve the same thing.

“You should start sleeping more though.”

“Why?”

She gave her a teasing smile, “You might be sleeping less eight to eight months from now.”

Bill’s face lightened up.

“You already know your result?”

She shook her head. 

“But how did you know?” 

He looked up remembering something. “You’ll be getting your result tomorrow, right?” He asked. 

She nodded.

Bill chuckled. “I am so damn excited, but how did you know?”

She took a peek again at his face and smiled at him, “I am more or less sixty percent sure.”

“Sixty percent!” Bill echoed in good humor. “Sixty percent is good. What makes you think so?”

“I am already three weeks late and I’ve never been late in my life, so…”

She sat up and looked at him with a playing smile on her face, “My question is… are you ready?”

Bill laughed, “Oh, Darlin’, you don’t know… how ready I am to become a daddy.”

She leaned and kissed him. Bill curled his arms around her shoulders tenderly pulling her closer. “I love you,” Bill whispered against her lips. “You gave me the things that I needed in my life.”

She smiled and rubbed her nose with his. “You’re welcome.”

He reached to rub her cheek.

“What time will you be getting the result?” He asked as Hillary resumed her position, laying her head on his chest. 

“Mary will be the one to get the result. She'll tell me the result.”

He nodded.

“Will you be leaving before sunset?”

She shook her head, “There’s no point in hiding anymore. Besides, I am not ashamed to have you as my fiancé.”

Bill’s eyes softened, “Reminds me that I haven’t proposed to you properly.”

She smiled, “You don’t have to.”

“No, it’s non-negotiable. I want to properly propose to you and I want you to wear my ring.”

Hillary giggled, “Alright.” 

She sighed.

Bill chuckled, “What’s with the sigh?”

“If I am going to get married to you, you need to meet my parents.”

Bill felt slightly intimidated by the idea. He had seen Hugh Rodham before but only on television. Hugh with his size and piercing gaze could be very intimidating.

“Well,” He started.

Hillary giggled.

“Why are you laughing?”

“Well, you sounded terrified.”

“He would be my in-law soon. Of course, I’ll be terrified. I don’t think he would be thrilled to have me as his son-in-law.”

She smiled, “Dad thinks that no one is good enough for me. It terrifies me too that you would be meeting him.”

Bill held her hand, “He may be terrifying, but I am determined to win him over.”

Hillary smiled, grateful that Bill would do that even though her father openly didn’t approve of him as the President.

“Hillary Rodham Clinton,” She said, looking up at the hospital’s ceiling. She tasted her future new name and she thought how beautiful it sounded.

Bill smiled. “My last name next to yours suits you very well, my love.”

***

Timothy's Home, Evening

Tim was engulfed in silence. Barbara Walters’ team just left. Now, he was alone in his supposedly home with Hillary. That was true. He was planning to make this house their future home but they never fixed the problem they both have. What he did today would make it official that they were over. But to say, the moment that Hillary showed her presence with Bill already officializes their break up.

She chose him rather than fix their relationship. Three years for nothing.

He pressed his palms together as if praying. He was thinking of what he would do next - he would spend the next four years making Bill’s Presidential life miserable. He would spend money on a smear campaign. He would begin with Bill’s ultimate project: The Health Care Plan. He wouldn’t let it pass in the House and he certainly would influence Doyle not to let it pass in the Senate.

He needed to know what Hillary would do next. Common sense tells him that she would resign. Hillary was too ethical to stay in position after confirming her relationship with Bill by showing up next to him.

That truth hurts him more. How could Hillary abandon the things she worked hard for that man?

In any case, he needed to get Hillary out of the party. He would tell Doyle to pressure Hillary to hand over her resignation if she wouldn’t be resigning soon. Then he would spend the next few months getting people’s sympathy - like a jilted lover that he was and he stole the people’s heart by pushing his agenda and making him a budding candidate for President. He wouldn’t stop there, he would run for Presidency in the next election.

Hillary would regret she left him. 

Bill and Hillary might have won today but he would win against them next time. He would make sure of it.

He picked up the phone and dialed.

Someone answered after a few rings. 

“Duke?” He heard from the other line.

“Doyle,” Tim answered, “We need to talk.” He added.

"I assumed that you would be calling after your interview." Senator Doyle responded.

"Damn, well I would." Tim responded scathingly. "Hillary's been compromised. All this time, God damn it!" He added thunderously. "That's why Clinton's bills passed the Senate because he was using his relationship with her to know our weak points!"

"I knew I couldn't trust a woman to take the helm of the leadership," Doyle chastised. Doyle wanted the Minority leadership but Tim has a vast influence in the party so Tim was able to get Hillary elected. 

"I'm sorry about that, Doyle." He said. "I didn't know that Bill has seduced Rodham. If I knew I wouldn't get her elected."

"What's the plan?"

"Get her out of the Senate," Tim said. "Throw a press conference, tell everyone that she could no longer be trusted. I want her gone, then we will do whatever it takes for them not to succeed... I want them humiliated."

***

Walter Reed Hospital, Morning

Hillary and Bill woke up early in the morning to prepare themselves because they would be leaving the hospital at approximately seven in the morning. She woke up first and then washed. Now, she was pacing inside the room while the nurse was helping Bill wash. 

She was nervous because anytime Mary would be sending the result of her pregnancy test to her. Her pregnancy would change the game for them and it would be a hard one. To begin with, she agrees with Bill that delving into the timeline of their relationship would open them for further scrutiny. On the other hand, she understands what George is saying - the media and the people wouldn’t be pacified until their explanation made sense.

It was ridiculous but she knew how it works. The press and media would try to find out if they conceived the baby during their time in India while she was still supposedly in a relationship with Tim and if Bill abused his power by seducing her. 

It frustrates her that even though they made that baby during their time in India they were not doing anything wrong. She was not in a relationship with Tim and Bill didn’t abuse his power. But of course, they wouldn’t just easily accept that. They would twist the story that fits their narrative.

“You’re thinking too much early in this morning,” Bill observed as he watched her pace.

She stopped pacing and looked at him. Bill was wearing jogging pants and a sports jacket. The nurse was just finished with him and was now preparing his wheelchair.

She went to him and smiled, “Mary would be sending the result anytime now.”

Bill smiled, “Then that’s a good news.”

Hillary gave him a small smile, “Indeed,” She leaned and brushed her lips against his.

“Good morning!”

They both turned to Mack standing in the doorway knowing that he caught them kissing. “The service is ready,” he added. “A word of advice though there are photographers, media and press outside....” He said giving Hillary a warning.

Hillary nodded. “I’ll be walking beside him.”

Bill looked at her, “Are you sure?”

Hillary turned to him, “I’m already in hell, I should keep walking, right?”

Bill chuckled knowing that she was referencing Winston Churchill’s famous line. “I hope you don’t mean that being with me is hell.”

Hillary giggled, then she felt her mobile phone vibrate. Bill felt it too. She pulled out her phone and looked at the name reflecting on the screen.

Mary Williams

Hillary opened the message and read the content. 

It’s positive, Hill. You’re pregnant. Congratulations!

Hillary felt a lump in her throat. She automatically placed her hand on her stomach while Bill looked at her.

"What is it, Darlin'?" He asked. 

"It's positive... I'm pregnant." 

Chapter Text

“It’s positive...I’m pregnant.”

It seemed as if everything stopped when she said those words. The spell broke when Bill let out a sob and said, “I knew it…” His voice cracked, “I knew it, Darlin’,” he said, reaching out his hand for hers to take. Hillary went to him and then coiled her arms around him to hold him tight.

Mack watched all of it unfold before him.  My, God, Hillary is pregnant , he thought. While Bill and Hillary were caught by their emotion, Mack was already imagining what the tabloids, broadsheets, and the media would be talking about for the succeeding months until Hillary gave birth. Well, until for the rest of their life.

Mack felt reeling with the news. It would be a scandal, but he remained nonplussed. He didn’t want to show them that he was totally worried about their situation. This would be in the books, this pregnancy… this would be in their history. The child that was a result of a scandal and affair, he thought. The truth didn’t matter because the media didn’t care about that. They would brand the child the result of an affair.

Unaware of Mack’s racing thoughts, Bill and Hillary could only feel nothing but bliss. A child! They would have a child of their own. It was a blessing they both didn’t know they wanted. Bill, for his part, was ecstatic. He would be a father and he would fill up his child’s life with all the things he missed - a loving father and doting parents. 

He already loved the child that Hillary was carrying and the sweetness of the moment made him all emotional.

“Ssh,” Hillary shushed, reaching out to brush her thumb on his cheek. She leaned and kissed the trail of his tears. 

“I love you,” She said.

Mack cleared his throat.

They both looked at him.

“I’m sorry,” Mack said apologetically, “I’m really happy for you both, but we are going to be late.”

“Ready?” Hillary asked.

Bill nodded at Hillary, “Let’s go.”

Mack arranged an escape out of the Walter Reed Hospital where the media wasn’t waiting. Mack devised the plan to protect Hillary and Bill from the media. But for some reason, some of the photographers still caught them. Hence prompting some of the press to ask a very blunt question: Why did you go this route and are you trying to avoid the media? What are you hiding?

Bill motioned with his hand stopping the secret agent who was pushing his wheelchair. “No,” Bill said, “We are not hiding, the service van was in this direction because this is nearer to my suite.”

“What are you doing here, Senator?” Someone asked Hillary.

Hillary smiled down at Bill and then looked at the one who asked and she responded, “I’m here for him.”

“Is this already a confirmation of your relationship?”

“How long have you been together?”

Other media started to throw questions rapidly, but Mack spoke loudly enough to stop the crowd from asking, “Thank you everyone for being here but the Senator and the President need to leave! We will have a press conference to answer your questions.”

Bill and Hillary waved goodbye to the crowd before they alight the van that was waiting for them.

Hillary felt as if she was holding her breath as she settled next to Bill. Bill gave her a comforting smile and touched her hand. 

“You handled it well, Honey.” He said, placing a tender kiss on her temple. “I guess it’s the right time for us to talk about what’s going on.”

Hillary nodded. “I’m glad you want us to talk about this now.”

He smiled weakly, “I promised, didn’t I?”

Hillary smiled, “Tim already gave an exclusive interview to Barbara Walters,” She started, “And he played the victim - just as we feared that he would do.” She sighed, “He made it seem like we played him.” She looked at him while Bill absorbed the information, then she added, “I talked to George and Mack last night and we’ll have our own exclusive interview to counter Tim’s claims. However, to divert the attention of the people from Pat Donovan’s accusation of you abusing your power by getting in a relationship with me, we’ll tell them the truth - I didn’t cheat on him and that we were over before I went to India.”

Bill didn’t react, “Do you intend to tell the world that Tim tried to force himself on you?”

Hillary held his gaze, “I have to. I wouldn’t be too descriptive, I’ll just tell everyone that as far as I am concerned we are over the moment that he tried to get his way with me.”

Bill squeezed her hand, “If you don’t feel comfortable talking about it -”

She shook her head, “No, I have to.”

Bill relented, then she added, “We’ll be interviewed by Dan Rather in his Sixty Minutes show. It would be the best slot so we could get a wide range of audience considering that it would be NBA Finals as well.”

A smile hitched on his face as he gave her a lopsided smile, “Damn, the way you laid down your plans turns me on.”

His unforeseen glib made Hillary chuckle, then she saw Bill tightened his jaw and he turned serious again. “Does George have a copy of the interview?” He asked Mack who was sitting in front.

“Yes, we have it recorded.”

“I’ll watch it,” His nose flared as he hissed, “that bastard! He really went ahead with his plan.”

Hillary gave her a weak smile, “He wanted to go on war with us.”

Bill gave her a straight look and said, “Then we will give him that.”

“Bill, you don’t know how Tim plays his card,” she said worriedly.

Bill draped his arm over her shoulder and Hillary leaned on it. Bill brushed her hair away, “We’ll get through this, Darlin’.”

She nodded, then after a while as if she remembered something, she fished for her cell phone inside her bag and dialed Jen.

After a few rings, Jen answered it.

“Yes?” She asked on the other line.

“Jen, did Thomas already check my resignation letter?”

“I’m not sure, I’ll check with him. Why?”

Hillary felt a lump in her throat. She worked hard to get elected as Senator but there she was already in the line to end her career.

“I’m pregnant, Jen. I want Thomas to announce my resignation.” 

“Wai...Wha...what?” Jen asked, flabbergasted.

Hillary wanted to chuckle at Jen’s confusion. Jen, who has been working for her for so long and someone she knows who was usually stoic, was at loss for words for the first time.

“Wait, wait,” Jen started sputtering the words. “That’s two announcements you mentioned.” It was initially plotted that Hillary would be delivering the message but now she wanted Thomas to do it. 

“Jen,” Hillary started, snapping Jen from her frantic thoughts. “I need to buy time. If I delivered my speech, I would feel obliged to tell my current situation, but I don’t want to do that. I want to answer all of the questions one time and that’s through my interview with Dan. This is why I want Thomas to announce my resignation then I would do a proper farewell to my constituents.”

“Do you plan to inform the people of your pregnancy?”

Hillary sighed, “Yes, I would, but not right now.”

There was a pause. Jen understood that Hillary wouldn’t tell the people in the meantime because her stomach wasn’t huge yet. Jen was sure that Hillary would announce her pregnancy in the third month of her pregnancy and that made Jen feel uneasy. First, she felt uneasy because she knew how nosy the people were. Second, it wasn’t a good idea to hide this because it would stir people’s curiosity the more. 

“If you wouldn’t announce that now and announce it later, don’t you think that the people will figure out when you got pregnant?”

“Then it’s up for them to figure out. You know how they play this game, Jen, they wouldn’t stop with one question.”

Clearly, Hillary didn’t want to inform the people when she conceived the child. There was some silence between them because they both understood what Hillary was doing. It was their common strategy in handling the media: Don’t reveal too much because they would be used against you. 

“Alright, Hillary. God forbid, I only want what’s good for you.”

“Thanks, Jen, that really means a lot.”

After Hillary ended her conversation with Jen, Bill looked at her and squeezed her hand. “I’m so proud of you.”

“That’s one of the many things that we need to do.”

“Then tell me what’s next,” Bill teased.

“Honey,” Hillary started, “What do you think about me introducing you to my parents before our interview with Dan?”

Bill’s chest heaved and then he chuckled, “Well if you asked me to walk on fire, I wouldn’t say ‘no’.”

Chapter Text

Senator Doyle's Office, Morning, Day After

Senator Bob Doyle and Tim sat in his office as they watched Hillary’s senior Legal Advisor take the podium and deliver the news of her resignation.

After Thomas delivered his speech, he concluded it with this remark, thus subtly admitting that her new journey entailed her relationship with the President. 

“Senator Rodham understood that she couldn’t continue with her role as a Senator as she took this new journey. She would start doing her transition as soon as possible after she submits her resignation formally.”

“Why didn’t she give her resignation speech? Why you?” A journalist asked.

Before Thomas could answer, Tim turned off the television.

Tim sat with his jaw set, his nose flared. He was seething and appalled. He was angry that Bill corrupted the woman he loved and has so much potential. Unlike him, Tim wanted Hillary to be successful in her career not like this – a sidekick. He despised Bill for that and for Hillary destroying what they worked hard for and for betraying him.

“I couldn’t believe it, she actually resigned for Bill,” Senator Doyle remarked.

Tim stood up, his eyes devoid of emotion suddenly. He handed senator Doyle a binder. 

“Here’s what we are going to do moving forward, make sure that every Republicans in the Senate associates the words indicated there like: ‘Cheater’, ‘un-American’, ‘Liberal’, ‘Traitors’ when referring to Democrats - most especially to Bill and Hillary. We need to continue repeating and repeating these words until the people associate them to every Democrat.”

“You mean for us to demonize them?” Bob asked eyeing the binder as if it was a snake.

Tim looked at Doyle exasperatedly.

“Do you want us to win?"

Doyle responded, "Of course."

"Then we need to do whatever it takes to win." Even if we have to do it unethically? Bob wondered.

“I'll first ruin him with scandals,"

"What do you mean?" 

"We'll work with some women he had an affair with and get him accused of assaulting her."

"What?!" Doyle asked in disbelief. 

Tim gave him a dead stare, so Doyle added: "Would they believe us?"

“It doesn't matter if people don't believe us. They don't know the truth, we'll give them a show that's all they need. Circulate the news and drag it long until people would start to wonder if there is any truth to the allegations. Pat Donovan is good at spinning stories. We’ll work with him.”

Doyle looked at Tim with uncertainty. Doyle knew how to do politics but he never thought about going through this extent. It seemed to him too extreme! Plus paying a journalist to do this… was inconceivable. 

“We’ll ruin them this time, Doyle.” Tim said with finality as if he read his thoughts, “I’ll make sure that by the end of Bill’s term people wouldn’t trust him.”

Doyle shook his head. He couldn't fathom that they would resort to bribing and that made him uncomfortable. Tim pursued his lips reading the discomfort that ran through the Senator.

“Do you or do you not want us to win the Majority next election?” Tim asked. 

“Of course, I do.”

“Then if you are wise, you’ll do as I say.”

“We need to ruin them so they wouldn’t get the Majority again.”

Doyle nodded.

“Start distributing them," Timothy said motioning towards the binder. "I'll do the same."

Tim was about to leave but then he stopped and turned to Doyle again, "Oh, and don't forget to tell them that Rodham is already an enemy."

Senator Doyle watched Tim walk away from his office feeling a shiver run down his spine. Tim could be ruthless but this kind of ruthlessness was something he just saw now. Tim would bring hell to Bill and Hillary's life and Senator Doyle didn't know whether to feel relieved or terrified by the kind of enemy that Tim could be.

***

White House, Presidential Suite, Night-Time

Hillary watched Bill as someone assisted him on the bed. Mack was standing on the corner with his hands on his waist listening to him as Bill went through his upcoming activities, particularly the meeting that would take place in Helsinki. They were discussing if Bill needed to trigger the twenty-fifth amendment. His doctor, Dr. Wade explained to them that Bill didn't go through any general anesthesia but just rather pain-killers, thus he was capable of making rational decisions. Paul Begala and George were also in the room as they discussed the implications if Bill would end up not being able to carry out his role as the President.

“Do you want Al to represent you in your upcoming meetings?" Paul asked. 

Bill waved his hand. "I am good, Paul. We don't want the people to speculate that I am disabled and incapable."

They all turned their heads when they heard the door opened and saw Al arrived. Al went where they were huddling he was catching his breath as if he jogged to the suite. 

"How are you feeling?" Al asked Bill. 

"I'm feeling well," Bill responded. 

Al turned to Hillary who was standing next to Bill and he nodded at her. 

"Senator Rodham," Al acknowledged. 

Hillary smiled, "You're so formal, Al."

Al heaved and said, "I guess I have to get used to seeing you around here."

"Jealous?" Bill asked Al playfully. 

Al chuckled. "I am not used to having your attention divided," then he gave Hillary a warm smile and said, "I am happy to see you here, Senator."

Hillary shook her head feeling her cheeks warm knowing that everyone already knows that she resigned her position to be with Bill. 

"Please, drop the 'Senator', Hillary would be sufficient."

"Deal," Al said in good humor, then he turned to them, "so what are we talking about?" Al asked particularly to no one. 

"Bill would resume working as President and would still go to Helsinki," George said. "I guess your ambition to be President would be on a hold."

"Aww," Al said in good humor making George chuckle. He nodded at Bill. "Tough as a horse, I am not surprised, Pal."

"But we want to be in close contact with you and your staff, Al," Mack added. "In case you need to take the wheel." 

Al nodded. "No problem with me."

***

After a while when everyone left and Hillary was left alone with Bill, he turned to her. "Are you okay?" He asked. 

She nodded. "Dad has been calling me and he was upset that I resigned."

He tapped the space beside him, "Come here," He invited. 

Hillary removed her shoes then climbed on the bed and settled on his side. Bill draped his arm over her shoulder. 

"What's your plan now?" He asked. 

"We'll meet him by tomorrow for Thanksgiving and we'll tell him the news." 

Bill nodded. 

"We'll join them by dinner. Our interview with Dan is scheduled for Monday. We need to talk to Dad before our interview." 

Bill nodded. "How are you feeling all about this?" 

She turned to him and he held her gaze. "I want you to be honest with me."

Hillary smiled, "I don't intend to lie, I feel thoroughly sad about all of this, but this is what I want." She said, "I want you… I want to build a life with you."

Bill bit his lip and he leaned and gave her a quick kiss. "I'm sorry for being a selfish bastard." Bill said, "I know you don't like what you are going through to be with me," He reached to rub her cheeks, "But I would be devastated if you left me."

Hillary wiped the smudged lipstick on his lips. "I'll make you pay once we get married."

Bill smiled and kissed her temple, "Say your terms. I wouldn't mind becoming a pauper to be yours."

Hillary chuckled, muffling them on the crook of his neck. 

"Is there anything that I need to prepare when I meet your dad?" he asked. 

"He plays cards and chess, and I know you are good with both. Maybe you can invite him to play or something."

Bill pursued his lips, "He wouldn't like it if I beat him."

Hillary chuckled muffling them on his arm. "I would love to see you beat him." 

Bill raised a brow at her, "Is that a challenge?" 

"My dad is competitive."

Bill scoffed. "He hasn't met me."

Hillary laughed and Bill just watched her face glow when she laughed. He liked her like that, some people thought that she was all tough exterior but there was something in her that Bill felt privileged to be the only person who sees that most especially when her defenses were down. He liked it when her eyes twinkled, how she laughs without reservation, and how smart and brave she truly was. Not everyone knew it and Bill felt truly glad about that. 

"Why are you looking at me like that?" Hillary asked. 

Bill brushed her cheek with the pad of his thumb, "I love you."

Hillary felt her stomach in knots as she leaned and brushed her nose against his. "I love you too."

***

Rodham Residence, Thanksgiving, Evening

Bill sat next to Hillary inside the Presidential limousine as they neared the house of Hillary’s parents. Hillary’s hands were intertwined with his and he looked at the rows of mansions in the neighborhood. 

“Did you grow up here?” Bill asked. 

“No,” Hillary responded. 

Bill looked at her and he realized that they needed yet to learn a lot about each other.

“No, I didn’t. We didn’t move here until Dad ran as a Senator.”

He nodded. “Only three terms, right? Before he became a chairman in your party?”

She nodded. “Dad knew the importance of the party. He focused there and wanted me to take the helm from him.”

“Did you ever want to become a Senator?”

Hillary took a deep breath, “I wanted to become a lawyer and a professor but not really a Senator.”

Bill smiled. “Funny, I also wanted to become a professor too.”

“What life could we have if we never ran for politics, no?”

He reached to tuck her hair behind her ears, “I wouldn’t meet you if I didn’t become a President.”

“I grew up in Illinois, Chicago. My mother’s hometown.”

“You did?” Bill asked, surprised. 

“Yes, why?”

“When my grandfather died, I was supposed to live with my uncle who lives in Park Ridge, Illinois. It just didn’t happen because my mom and I missed the train.”

“What?!” Hillary exclaimed. 

“Why?”

“I live in Park Ridge, Illinois.”

Bill’s face turned serious and he just looked at her. “I don’t want to believe in fate, but you’re making me believe it.”

Hillary tugged his hand, “But don’t you think that this was all meant to be? We could have met in Chicago.”

“Things would have been different for us, Darlin’.”

“Why?”

“I was bitter with the death of my grandfather. I lived two lives. The one who was in control and the other who was lost.” He brushed his hand on her arm. “I wouldn’t want you to meet me during that time.”

“Why Bill?”

“I’m just broken then. I would have hurt you and you wouldn’t be able to forgive me.”

Hillary looked at his profile thinking if he was pertaining to his reckless days. Bill was notoriously a playboy - bedded women who were willing. She wondered if Bill ever addressed that. When he ran for President he seemed to have stopped because he was careful not to have any woman ruin his chances of winning the Presidency. She suddenly thought if he resolved his issues or he was all keeping them inside.

“Did you…” She started, “Did you ever fix your issues then?”

Bill looked at her, “You mean if I have ever sought any doctor for the trauma that I got from my grandfather’s death?”

She nodded.

“I never really got the chance.”

Hillary opened her mouth to say something but then the car halted and they both turned to the chauffeur. Hillary looked at her father’s imposing house. 

“Here we are,” She announced. 

Hillary alighted the car on her side, and Agent Harold helped Bill. He and another agent helped him in the wheelchair.

“I’ll do that,” Hillary informed Agent Harold, taking the handle of Bill’s wheelchair from him.

Bill felt his cheeks warmed. He wasn’t used to being incapacitated but he was touched that Hillary wanted to be the one to do the task even though the Agents could do it. 

“I am sorry, Honey, as much as I wanted to appear as capable to your father, we came in a very inopportune time.”

Hillary chuckled. “Don’t be silly.”

Hillary was met with her mother who was waiting for them outside. 

“Hello, Darlings!” She greeted them.

Hillary went to her mother and kissed her on the cheek then motioned to Bill. “Mom, this is Bill… um… my fiancé. Bill, my mother."

There was no hint of surprise on her mother’s face but she smiled at Bill and said, “I am glad to meet you finally, Mr. President.” She extended her hand for him to shake.

Bill took her small plump hand, shook them, and smiled at her. “Please, just call me Bill, Ma’am.”

“Well, just call me Dorothy, Bill.”

“My Southern roots wouldn’t allow me to call you on a first-name basis, Ma’am.”

Dorothy chuckled, charmed by him. They walked inside Hillary’s home and they both noted that her father wasn’t with her mother.

“Where’s Dad?”

“He’s in the study.”

“Can we meet him?”

“Perhaps a little later. He’s currently doing something but he will join us for dinner.”

Hillary nodded but her heart sank thinking that her father was deliberately being rude by not meeting them. Although she didn’t let that get her down, she was sad about it. She really wanted her dad to meet Bill but apparently, that wouldn’t happen.

They went to the dining room and Hillary was grateful for her mom's thoughtfulness by removing one of the chairs so Bill could park his wheelchair in the available space. 

Hillary left her mother and Bill to discuss what happened when he was almost assassinated. It was as if Hillary wasn't with them. Hillary was profoundly grateful that Bill could easily charm anyone that her mother easily eased around him.

"How long will you be in your wheelchair?" Her mother asked. 

"I will be in a wheelchair for several weeks until my tendon heals."

"Oh, it must be hard," Her mother commented, feeling sorry for him. 

"It is a challenge but I guess that is the privilege of being a President, I have a lot of people around me. It would be easier. Although, I have to admit I absolutely dislike being too dependent."

"I see. I hope you recover soon."

"Thank you, Ma'am. I hope so too."

"Hillary told me that you like peach pie. I made some, I hope you like it."

"That's very thoughtful of you, Ma'am."

When Hillary sat down next to Bill, and Dorothy sat opposite them, she motioned for them to start. 

"Can we say our grace?" She asked.

"Aren't we going to wait for dad?" Hillary asked expectantly.

"He'll join us soon. I don't want to keep you both waiting."

Hillary nodded sadly and turned to Bill. 

"I'll say grace," Dorothy said. 

They all bowed down their heads as Dorothy said a short prayer, then afterward they all looked at each other with a smile on their face.

"Go ahead and eat."

Hillary helped herself with mashed potatoes as Bill got himself with a slice of turkey. Hillary mumbled to Bill asking him if he wanted some potatoes and he nodded. Hillary scooped some and placed it on his plate. 

Dorothy watched them serve each other a meal with a smile on her face. It was evident that both cared about each other. She suddenly felt comfortable with Bill. 

"How did you both meet?" Dorothy asked curiously.

Bill smiled at her and said, "It was kind of an accident, I should say. It was during the first dinner I hosted for all the members of congress. It was during a break that I thought to escape, to find some peace. I went to the library on the first floor in hopes to find some solace… I didn't know that it was already occupied, " He ended with humor.

"You mean that Diane is trespassing?" Dorothy asked in surprise. 

Bill chuckled while Hillary laughed. "I wasn't trespassing, mother! I was merely just wandering."

Bill looked at her with a twinkle in his eyes, "That's the same thing, Love."

Hillary turned to her mother. "I was supposed to be using the main hall's comfort room but it was occupied. Someone told me that I could use the one on the first floor near the library. After I finished retouching my powder, I saw the door of the White House Library, my curiosity got the best of me. They said that they have one of the rarest volumes there, so I thought to check it out just quickly."

Bill rubbed her arm with his hand and he looked at her with tenderness, "that encounter is very memorable for me." 

Hillary smiled back and opened her mouth to respond but didn't when they heard heavy footsteps just before the entrance of the dining room. They all turned when Hillary’s father entered. 

“Can I have a word with you, Clinton?” Hugh asked, his voice in a scratchy low timbre. 

Bill and Hillary exchanged looks after her father turned around retreating to his study expecting him to follow.

“Are there any stairs that I have to climb?” Bill asked. 

Hillary shook her head. “The study is in the room on the right corner. Do you want me to bring you there?”

Bill smiled at her tenderly, “You don’t have to, Sweetheart. I’m perfectly capable of wheeling myself there.”

Bill looked at Hillary's mother, "Excuse me, Ma'am."

Dorothy gave him a sympathetic nod.

Hillary smiled at him encouragingly then Bill started to follow Hugh.

Bill dealt with a lot of leaders before and what he has learned was how power always would come to play. He felt a little at a disadvantage because he couldn’t stand in the moment. If only he could walk, he thought. 

Hugh Rodham with his large frame, bushy brows, and strong facial features made him look very intimidating. Bill knew that Hugh had the upper hand in the situation considering that they were in his lair and Bill was the unwanted guest.

There were two things that Bill could do here: be intimidated or take control of the situation. He would be damned if he took the former choice. 

When Bill reached Hugh’s study and he found the door already left open. It was a small sign of win because if Hugh was indifferent at all he wouldn’t be kind enough to leave the door open. It was already a gesture of his openness.

Bill’s gaze turned to look at Hugh’s room that smells heavily of leather and smoke. The interior was very manly with huge shelves filled with leather-bound books, a red brick fireplace, with a china cabinet filled with a collection of liquors. He turned his eyes towards a door on the far corner leading to a garden and he found Hugh there standing. He followed wheeling himself out.

Hugh sensed Bill’s presence even without turning. He took a puff of his cigar then huffed as the smoke flitted around him. Hugh tasted the bitter tanginess of nicotine in his mouth, then with his other hand cradling a tumbler of whiskey, he washed the taste by taking a sip. He hated to do this but he needed to do it to give Bill his thoughts. Besides, he loves his daughter, and even though he dislikes Bill as his future son-in-law, there was nothing he could do about it. Hillary was stubborn like her mother and he was sure that regardless of him not wanting Bill for Hillary, Hillary would still do what she wanted.

"Evening, Sir," Bill greeted.

“Before anything else, let me get one thing clear with you, Clinton: I don’t like you.”

Chapter Text

“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.”

Another silence.

"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.

“Yes?”

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.”

“Thanks, Ma.”

***

“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.”

Bill nodded.

“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.”

Hillary smiled.

“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. 

Bill nodded. 

"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?" 

"Yes, Sir."

"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.

Chapter Text

Al Gore’s Residence, Dupont Circle, Washington, Morning

Al and Tiffany’s room reeked of antiseptic. It used to smell like lavender, Tiffany’s favorite perfume but now that Tiffany’s breast cancer worsened, the smell was replaced with heavy disinfectant and medicine.

The doctor told them that Tiffany has roughly a year to live. It was hard for Al to see Tiffany slowly wither right before his eyes. She lost the energy she used to have, started to lose her hair that he loved, the color on her cheeks that would always greet him in the morning. It was killing him.

She still tried her hardest to smile for him, and it was heartbreaking to see her this way. He wasn’t ready yet.

“How are you?” Al asked, carrying the tray of food for her. He still has a few hours before he would leave to go to the White House. Serving Tiffany her breakfast every morning was the only way he could serve her.

“I’m okay,” Tiffany responded, her voice croaked. Her body felt heavy and she had a hard time sleeping, but she didn’t want to add any burden to Al. She didn’t want him to worry about her anymore. Ever since the doctors told her that she has a year to live, Tiffany already accepted her fate. She swore that she would try for them to enjoy the rest of the days and months that they both have.

Al sat on the edge of her bed as he placed the tray on the bedside table. He helped Tiffany recline and then placed the tray just near her lap. He smiled gently at her and reached for her straying blonde hair and then tucked them behind her ear. His eyes roamed around her face before he told her, "You're so beautiful, Tiff."

Tiff leaned her cheeks against his palm. She was worried that she would leave Al alone to take care of their children. They talked about this many times but Tiff hoped that he would be able to find someone to love again after she was gone. Al protested saying that he wouldn't. He didn't want anyone to replace her. She smiled sadly at him, but she urged him to find love again in the future. She made him promise, and Al gave in reluctantly.

She hoped that he would keep his words.

***

White House, Presidential Suite, Morning

Bill stood trying to balance using his crutches. Hillary stood beside him as George briefed them. 

"Take note that we have allowed Dan to ask questions without limitations."

Bill nodded, he slid his hand to hold Hillary's. "This is taped, right?"

"No," George responded. 

"Maybe we can ask them to tape it instead so, you know if something comes up…?" Bill asked with an attempt to humor. Hillary chuckled but George glared at him. 

Bill laughed and slowly leaned to kiss Hillary’s temple. 

“Are you ready?” Bill asked her.

 

“Are you?” Hillary asked back.

“Yes, of course,” He responded. “Are you feeling better?” He asked looking down at her. Hillary was feeling nauseous early in the morning that got Bill worried. Hillary explained that it was part of her pregnancy.

She nodded. “I feel better now.”

They both turned when Mack entered his room. “Dan is already here, are you both ready?”

"Yep," Bill responded. “Where’s Al?” He asked Mack.

“He’ll be late,” Mack advised. 

They all knew about what Tiffany was going through. Just a month ago they already advised the public of Tiff’s condition. Recently, her condition just worsened. Bill gave Al all the support he needed, so him being late wasn’t really an issue to Bill, though he wouldn't normally tolerate tardiness.

Bill and Hillary walked side by side. Hillary adjusted her pace because Bill was still getting used to using his crutches. They chose the tea room to have their interview done because of its very homey interior. Dan’s team had already assembled in the room and they were just waiting for Bill and Hillary to arrive.

Hillary was wearing a green emerald turtle neck and pantsuit dress while Bill was wearing a baby blue shirt and a black suit with a maroon patterned tie.

“Good morning, Sir, Good morning, Senator,” Everyone greeted as Bill and Hillary entered. Bill slightly shook his head and said, “Bill would suffice,” then he reached his free hand out to shake Dan’s.

“Hello Mr. Rather, please, just call me Hillary” Hillary greeted after reaching for Dan’s hand.

Dan smiled at her. Agent Harold helped Bill to lower himself on the couch, while Hillary took the seat next to him. Dan watched as Bill placed a throw pillow behind Hillary. He mumbled something inaudibly before they both turned to him. The staff briefed them on what would happen and how long the interview would go. 

“Are you both ready?” Dan asked after.

Bill nodded. 

Dan signaled to the crew and then the video started rolling.

"Should I say congratulations to both of you?" Dan asked. 

Bill stilled thinking if he was referring to Hillary's pregnancy. He also felt Hillary stiffened beside him. Did someone already leak Hillary's condition?

"I mean, for this new journey you both are taking." Dan clarified, making Hillary smile while Bill kept a straight face.

"Senator and Mr. President, walk us through your relationship, Congressman Duke accused you of cheating on him. Maybe it’s something that you can clarify?" 

Hillary nodded, "It’s very unfortunate that these private matters are dealt with publicly. Tim and I were over when Bill and I decided to make our relationship official.”

“When did you and the Congressman break up? And when did you and the President start seeing each other?”

Hillary opened her mouth to say something but Bill spoke first, “It happened spontaneously. We started out as friends. Hillary being the Minority Leader… we worked closely so we could come up with policies benefiting our country. It grew from there. We cared about each other even though we came from different parties.”

"There was speculation that your relationship started when you both were in India and you both vehemently denied that there was nothing going on. Are you prepared to say that your relationship started there?”

Bill had the urge to laugh at him. He knew what Dan was doing, he was trying to trap him and Hillary, so they could show the public that they were both lying.

“I am prepared to say that I became an admirer of Senator Rodham during our time in India. She went there and addressed women’s rights. We all know how impactful her speech was.”

“But did the romance blossom from there?”

“I admire her, is that romance? I think it depends on your definition of what romance is. We discussed the things that mattered to us during that time and I’ve gotten to know her deeply there.”

“Deeply meaning…?”

Bill almost glared at Dan, “Meaning…? Meaning how she deeply cared about the country, how intelligent and caring she really is as a person.”

Hillary casually leaned against Bill and added, “Dan, there isn't a person watching this who would feel comfortable sitting on this couch detailing everything that ever went on in their life. And I think it's really dangerous in this country if we don't have some zone of privacy for everybody…”

Dan nodded, “I agree with you, Senator. The reason that we are asking this is that your answer is not a denial...”

“Of course, I think the problem boils down to how this kind of question would go on and on trying to prove that we have lied. Dan, no matter what we say, the Press wouldn’t let this die. For us to pretend that this kind of question ends here is a naivete," Bill added.

Dan looked down on his note and moved on with another topic, “Before you went to India, Congressman Timothy mentioned that he didn’t like you going to India. Did he ever mention that to you?”

Hillary had to decide whether or not she would tell the public that Timothy sexually assaulted her and what he said in the interview was a lie. She was torn. Bill gave her the decision on whether or not to say it. It was an opening, but she was afraid that if she opened it up, it would be like opening a can of worms. It was the last thing she wanted. She wanted to move on from this and start a new life with Bill and their children.

“No, that was a lie. He never talked about his concerns about me going to India because before I flew to India, we were already over.”

“You broke up with him because…?”

Hillary kept a straight face, “I think it’ll be better for the two of us if I keep that part private.”

Bill turned to Hillary and she looked at him. He gave her an affectionate smile and slid his hand to hold hers.

Bill felt his throat working. He was proud of Hillary but he was seething inside. He was angry that Hillary had to keep the truth of what Tim did to her so they could move past this event. Bill swore that he would make Tim’s life a living hell after this. He would never get to hurt her again, not even touch a strand of her hair. 

“Did you know that he was about to propose to you? He mentioned in his interview that he bought a house for you already.”

Hillary shook her head, “No, I don’t know anything about the house nor of any plans of him proposing. In the course of our three-year relationship, we never talked about getting married. My father dislikes that about him - his indecisiveness. It came as a surprise that he brought that up during his interview.”

Dan turned to Bill, “Congressman Timothy accused you of seducing the Senator, what do you say about that?”

Bill had to stifle the urge of laughing out loud, “No, I don’t think Hillary would be swayed with seduction.”

Bill turned to her and the urge to tease her was so strong that he had to bite his lips. 

“Dan, that is… I really take offense in that, no, I don’t think Bill could sway me with his charm.”

“So what’s the plan for you now Senator Rodham? Now that you have resigned to pursue this relationship with the President?”

“It was a decision that we both made. We both understand that if I choose to start this relationship with Bill, I have to resign from my position. I am going back to practicing law instead.”

“Do you have any plans of getting married?”

Bill smiled at Dan and said, “We’ll let everyone know if we are going to get married,” He looked at Hillary, “But I do see my future with her.”

“I think most Americans would agree that it's very admirable that you've decided to pursue your relationship – that you've sorted out the hindrance of you getting together and that you've seemed to reach some sort of understanding and arrangement.”

“Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute, Dan. You're looking at two people who love each other. This is not an arrangement or an understanding. This is a serious relationship. That's a very different thing,” Bill snapped.

“I'm sitting here, Dan, because I love him, and I respect him, and I honor our relationship.”

Bill looked at Hillary while she said those words. It was the first time that she admitted her feelings for him publicly and Bill felt nothing but love for her. 

“During your campaign, you’ve mentioned about being truthful matters to the American people, can you say that you have been truthful to the American people?”

“Absolutely, we’ve been truthful to the American people since the beginning.”

“Do you think you can convince the American people to believe you despite what Congressman Duke said? Do you think you can also convince the Press to put this behind?”

Bill smiled, “That's up to the American people and to some extent up to the press. This will test the character of the press. It is not only our character that has been tested.”

“Thank you, Senator, and thank you, Mr. President.”

***

After their interview, Bill and Hillary went to the conference room near the Oval Office to finally break the news of her pregnancy. The people included in the room were Hillary’s trusted staff and Bill’s. They needed to announce Hillary’s situation so they could prepare. It was Bill and Hillary’s decision to exclude that information during their interview. They didn’t think that it was the right place to make that announcement.

Al arrived in the White House an hour late. He went directly to the conference room where he was informed that Bill would make a special announcement. He was still upset but he couldn't bring the melancholy that he felt at work. He wasn’t in the mood to work but there were a lot of things that he needed to do. 

He met George and Mack outside on the corner near the conference room talking intensely. He nodded at them, “What are you both doing there?” He asked. 

“Just discussing, something came up,” George said.

“I will no longer be surprised if you tell me that the world is about to end,” Al said with dry humor.

Mack chuckled. “How are you? How’s Tiff?”

“Tiff’s doing well. I’m good, thanks for asking. We’re trying to enjoy every moment that we have.”

Mack gave him a small smile.

“What did come up?” Al asked trying to change the topic.

“Heard about the circulars in the Republicans?”

Al’s face wrinkled, “No, I haven’t heard.”

“Well, rumor has it that Tim circulated a dossier to the rest of the Republicans both in the Congress and Senate - a communication strategy how they would start referring to Democrats,” Mack mentioned.

“What do you mean ‘they would start referring to Democrats’?”

“Well, according to the rumor, anytime they talk about Democrats there would be certain description included - a branding strategy. They would call their opponents: cheater, unAmerican, traitor, liberal, things like that until it becomes a branding,” George explained.

“Will that work?” Al asked, skeptically.

"It could,” George responded. "Another thing," George added.

"What?"

"I am afraid about this tip that I got that Tim seems to be going through Bill's past."

That got Al's attention. "What do you mean?"

"His affairs," Mack said. “It seems like Tim has started working to bring Bill and Hillary down."

They both turned when they saw Bill and Hillary making their way towards the conference room.

“How did the interview go?” Al asked. 

George beamed, “It went well. Senator Rodham’s last statement and admittance of her feelings for Bill were really remarkable.”

Al nodded, “I hope that’s the end of this.”

Mack turned to Al, "We don't think so. We think it's just the beginning."

***

Bill and Hillary stood in the middle as they looked at the faces of their staff. It was a closed-door conference meeting.

“Thank you for being in here despite the short notice,” Bill started. “We want you to know that the reason why you are here is that Hillary and I trust you. There are a lot of leaks happening, something we need to find a remedy soon, and it’s the reason why we have carefully selected the people to be here today.” 

Bill paused, “There are few things that Hillary and I need to inform you - a combination of good news and bad ones. For the good news,” Bill glanced at Hillary, “Hillary’s pregnant.”

There was a lot of cheer and congratulations, Bill raised his hand after a while and said, “We just recently got that confirmation, but thank you for your well-wishes. Second, Hillary and I are already engaged. We haven’t thought of where and when we are going to get married.”

Bill took a deep breath, “The bad news: this is just the beginning. There will be a lot of news that will circulate about this new journey that Hillary and I will take. I want all of us to have one voice. I want us to contain the leaks, I don’t want that my Presidency will be defined by what’s happening in our personal lives. I want the focus to always be on the issues that matter to everyone, not like this. Understood?”

There was a chorus of agreement.

Bill looked at them and then he draped his arm over Hillary’s shoulder. “I am so proud of us, proud of everyone. Hillary and I are indebted to all of you.”

There was a silence.

“Now, let’s all go back to work.”

Bill and Hillary went to the Oval Office after the conference. Both of them felt as if the weight over their shoulders has been lifted. They don’t know how their interview would be embraced by viewers nor by the media, but so far they were happy with how it turned out. Bill was extremely grateful for Hillary’s plan and for how she responded to Dan’s questions. 

Bill sat on the couch and Hillary sat beside him - finally having that time alone together. Finally away from everyone. Bill’s arm draped over Hillary’s shoulder as she leaned her head against it. Bill lazily brushed her arm with his fingers. 

“How are you feeling, Darlin’? Bill asked. 

Hillary tilted her head so she could get a good look at him. “I am feeling exhausted but I am so happy.”

Bill closed their distance to kiss her temple. “I am so proud of you, you really did amazing earlier.”

Hillary smiled. “I’m just as proud of you.”

“There’s something I have to tell you…” Bill started. Hillary’s face turned serious wondering what he would say.

“I know you have resigned on your post as a Senator, but I have promised your father that you wouldn’t be just my First Lady to host dinners and to grace our guests, I want you to take a very active role as my First Lady…” He reached to cup her face, “I want you not to be just my wife, the mother of my five children—”

“Five children!” Hillary burst then giggled. Bill dropped a kiss on her cheek. 

“I want you, Hillary Diane Rodham, to be my partner in everything I do, to bring change in this country.”

Hillary felt as if she swallowed honey from Bill’s statement. He truly wanted her to be his equal. He believed in her capability as a Public Servant. 

“I want you to be the light of this country, so I’m going to give you your own office in the West Wing—”

“In the West Wing!” Hillary said, suddenly jerking from her position. Bill was proposing something so big. First Ladies wouldn’t normally take an Office in the West Wing. Their office was in the East Wing. It would be a scandal.

“Listen to me, Love,” Bill interrupted, “I want you to have access to me all the time.”

“All the time?!” 

Bill pursued his lips as if he was thinking, “Yes, in case we need to do some lovin’ together…”

Hillary hit his arm with her hand, “Please, be serious!” She said smiling at him. Oh, she couldn’t imagine she could love him more than she already did but she felt that blossom in her heart - making her love him more. Bill could be funny, could tease her at the moment that she expected their conversation to be serious. It was something she loved and appreciate about him.

Bill’s eyes lingered on her lips, “But in all seriousness, I can imagine what kind of future this country will have if we both would work together. So I want you to be by my side.” 

Hillary nodded.

He leaned back, “Another thing…”

Hillary looked at him, “I thought about this over and over again, but I’ll be re-appointing you to still Chair the Health Care.”

Hillary’s jaw slackened. It would be controversial if he reappointed her as the Chairperson because such a role normally wouldn’t be given to a First Lady. It would be scandalous and she could already see how the media and their critics would use this against them, but she also knew how she could make it work.

“Are you sure?” Hillary asked, worried.

Bill tipped his head and closed his eyes, “I’ve thought it over, there’s no perfect person to Chair it but you. I trust Kerry to do it, but I’ve seen your work in New York. I’ve seen how you work as the Chairperson before you resigned. I don’t want to lose that.” He exhaled. “It’s going to be controversial, but it’s the risk I am going to take.”

Hillary leaned and draped her arm across his chest. They enveloped each other in an embrace. Their life together in the White House wouldn’t be smooth as it seems. Hillary taking an active role as First Lady would raise a lot of eyebrows but she was ready to take it on. Nothing mattered to her, but to see Bill as a successful President. 

Bill turned to her and he tipped her chin up so she could look at him. “The question now that I have to ask you is this - are you ready to take this rocky journey with me?”

It wasn’t just the journey of their new life in the White House, but their new journey as a family. She wanted to give Bill all the love he lacked when he was a child, and she wanted to fill his life with happiness. There might be some challenges along the way but the reward was incomparable. Oh, she was more than ready.

Bill misinterpreted her silence, his brows furrowed. “You can still back out…”

Hillary chuckled as her hands slowly slid along his jaw cupping his face, “You’re going to ask me that after I’ve already left everything behind?” She leaned and brushed her lips against his lips as he chuckled. 

“I’m just trying to be sure that you understand what you are signing up for.”

“Oh, Honey," She said, "you just don’t know that I’m more than ready to take this new journey with you,” she responded before finally kissing him.

Chapter Text

A Year After, White House, Night-Time

Bill looked at Lafayette Square from where he stood inside the Presidential Suite. He took a deep breath and a small smile appeared on his face, thinking about the changes in his life. He couldn’t imagine that he would arrive at this day - where he felt at peace. He felt his heart full, and that he could fall in love all over again. A year ago, he was skeptical. He didn't even think he would get married and have a family, but his life took a full turn when he met Hillary.

When he became a President all he wanted was to be successful and to bring America back to its former glory. He didn't expect that the Universe had a surprise for him - Hillary and their daughter, Chelsea.

Bill and Hillary got married the following month secretly in Arkansas. They extended their invitation to Hillary's parents but neither are expecting her father to arrive. However, to their surprise, Hugh arrived.

Before the wedding started, Hugh talked to Bill.

"My arrival here doesn't change the fact that I am still skeptical about you. If you ever hurt my daughter, so help me God, I will make you pay."

Bill nodded, grateful that Hugh set aside his disdain to walk Hillary on the aisle.

Hugh, Dorothy, and Hillary exchanged embraces. When it was Hugh's turn to hold her, he told Hillary: "I may not agree on your decisions but it is still my dream to walk you down the aisle."

Despite the strict measures, the media, paparazzi, and the press were still able to capture the moment. It was both very historic and scandalous. 

It didn't really matter to Hillary and Bill that their marriage was enveloped with criticism and praise. What mattered was they were together. They answered questions at them, but Bill partly felt so bad for Hillary because of how she was being treated by the media. They called her an opportunist and ambitious bitch seducing whoever would help catapult her to power. But Hillary was stronger than that. She didn’t flinch nor she showed weakness facing her critics and it was something that Bill loved about her.

Few months after their wedding, their next blessing was Chelsea's arrival. 

The moment that Bill held Chelsea's in his arms - a sudden burst of love and joy engulfed him. It was the same feeling when he fell in love with Hillary. 

He stood next to Hillary’s bed while he brushed his lips on Chelsea’s soft head.

“I love you,” He remembered whispering to their daughter.

It was amazing, he thought, how this little bundle of joy and love that he held could make him very soft. He might not have the best childhood but swore that he would make Chelsea’s life the best. He would be the best father for her and he would make sure that Chelsea has a future to look forward to. It was in Bill’s hands to make that happen.

“Hey, aren't you going back to bed?” Hillary asked, her voice hoarse from sleep. 

Bill snapped from reminiscing and turned his head towards Hillary who got up from the bed. Bill smiled then went to her. 

“How are you feeling”? He asked as he sat on the edge of the bed next to her. Hillary complained earlier of her back, so she retreated to their bedroom earlier than usual. 

Hillary gave him a weak smile. “I feel better,” She responded. “Where’s Chelsea?” She asked looking around, her eyes darted to the crib near their bed.

Bill leaned and kissed her forehead. “She’s already asleep. You should get some sleep too.”

"Why are you still awake?" She asked. 

He brushed her forehead, "Just looking at Lafayette," He said. “Some habits are hard to break.”

Hillary smiled and reached to brush his cheek, “You should sleep more. You don’t sleep at all.”

“I have a country to run, Sweetheart.” He joked.

"Come to bed," Hillary said, patting the space beside her. "We have to wake up early for Tiff's memorial service."

Bill obeyed. He climbed on the bed and settled next to Hillary spooning her. Bill's thought shifted towards Al, thinking how he was considering Tiffany's death. They all knew that she got one year, but last month, her condition worsened. His heart goes to Al who was now left alone to take care of their children. 

It made Bill think of the fragility of life and he couldn't help but tightened his hold around Hillary. He couldn't imagine his life now without her, without Chelsea. 

"I love you," He whispered, dropping a kiss on her nape before he closed his eyes and succumbed to sleep. 

***

Nashville Grand Baptist Church, Tennessee, Early Morning

Bill and Hillary flew to Tennessee to attend Tiffany's memorial service. Hillary was cradling Chelsea in her arms as they listened to the service.

Bill glanced at Al worriedly. It would be difficult for him to go through this journey alone considering that Al besides being a solo parent to take care of his children, also needs to serve as the Vice President. 

He felt Hillary shift on her stand and Bill turned to her. He understood what she needed, and he gently took Chelsea from her arms to allow her muscles to relax. Hillary smiled at him gratefully.

When the service ended, Bill went to Al. 

"How are you doing?" He asked. Al looked at him with blood-shot eyes. 

"I am not okay," Al responded. He thought about lying to Bill but there was just no point at all. "But I have to move on after this. Tiff…" His voice broke, "Tiff would want me to move on."

Bill nodded, "Take the time you needed."

Bill’s eyes went to the other end of the church seeing Mack signal to him. “Wait a minute, I just need to talk to Mack,” He excused. He patted Al on the shoulder and went to Mack.

"We have to go back to the White House," Mack said urgently. 

"What is it?" Bill asked, tensing. Judging from Mack’s voice he knew something was going on. He was thinking if it had something to do with the events in Ukraine that he was dealing with.

"Kathleen…" Mack said. 

Bill looked at him, confused, "What?" 

Mack looked at him dead in the eyes, "Bill, Kathleen Woods is going to have a Press Conference later to tell the world that you have sexually assaulted her."