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February Sunrise

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February 23, 2000 - morning

The soft orange light of dawn slithered through the gap of their thick curtains that landed directly on Bill's closed eyelids. He was lying face down with his cheek pressing against the white soft pillow of their bed. He turned his head away and gazed at the sleeping face of his wife. Although sleepy, he couldn't help but break a small smile. He might have been boneless and tired from last night’s lovemaking, but the memory was enough to give him the energy that he needed to start the day.

There was something that had developed in him - a certain possessiveness that he didn’t know existed. It started when Hillary finally allowed him back in their bedroom. It took a lot of asking for forgiveness and courting when Hillary made that bold move. When she did, Bill took the chance to make the most of it.

There was a certain hunger - a craving that he felt when Hillary opened her arms and took him back again. He made love with her for the first time after a while with such ferocity that almost frightened him. It was borne out of fear that he had almost lost her and fear for the future where she would shine the brightest and men be captivated by her glow.

He didn’t want to share her. The bastard that he was, he wanted Hillary for himself.

Hillary was still asleep with her hands curled under her chin, her lips slightly apart. The small lines beside her eyes were relaxed. She looks twice younger, Bill thought with amusement. He was itching to wake her up by rubbing the back of his fingers against her cheek or wake her with soft kisses and make love with her again before his valet and her lady's maid knocked on their door to prepare them for their day.

He was a little self-conscious because he felt he was more demanding when they reconciled. Their therapy session truly helped him see their relationship with a new pair of eyes. It made him treasure Hillary and recognize that she was the person he wanted to grow old with and he couldn’t imagine himself being with someone else or Hillary with someone else.

He was overanalyzing things when he saw Hillary flutter her eyelids and slowly open her eyes as she woke up.

“Hey,” She said, her voice hoarse from the sleep, “Why are you awake?”

Bill was tongue-tied. He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn’t know what to answer.

He didn’t respond but instead craned his neck to place a tender kiss on her forehead. “Good morning,” he said.

Hillary scooted closer to cuddle, her question forgotten. Bill's arms moved on their own accord, curling them on her shoulders gathering her to him.

“Good morning,” she greeted back.

He felt her inhale his scent when her nose touched the hollow space between his collar. She smiled against his skin and said:

“What time is it?”

“Ten minutes to six.”

She pulled her head back a little to look at him and gave him a knowing smile. “We got ten minutes before Fred and Lito come knocking.”

He gave her a crooked smile, “How do you suppose we spend the next ten minutes before my valets arrive?”

She laughed while she started to climb on him. “I don’t know, you tell me,” she teased after she straddled his hips.

"I'm sure, that by now, they have learned to wait," she said before she descended her head to kiss him.


Evening - 7:00 PM

Bill and Hillary were expected to depart the Residence by seven to meet King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.

Bill was already in the hallway, outside of their bedroom waiting for Hillary to finish dressing up. He was wearing a white tie with a black tailcoat, white waistcoat, and black pleated pants. Lito, his valet, took a last good inspection before saying satisfyingly, "Perfect, perfect."

Bill nodded, "Thank you, Lito."

Later on, Capricia Marshall emerged from the bedroom followed by Hillary wearing a long-sleeved black velvet dress with a royal blue ruffle that was sewn around the neckline. It was a modern take of Elizabethan collars. She accompanied the dress with simple gold earrings and a necklace with a stud that fell in between the space of her collarbone.

Bill sucked in his breath. The contrasting color of Hillary's porcelain skin against the color of her dress made her look magnificent - breathtaking even. However, how low the neckline was made Bill frown.

He wasn't exactly the kind of person who would dictate what his wife would wear, but he felt a little uncomfortable with how low the neckline was exposing the slope of her breast.

"You look handsome," Hillary commented when he reached her, not having any idea of the direction of his thoughts. Her comment earned a soft chuckle from him, though.

"You…," Bill started, he took a step closer and gave her an appraising look, "...look stunning." His eyes held a gleam that made Hillary's pulse quicken. There was something so possessive with the way he looked at her.

Hillary opened her lips to respond but was distracted when Capricia said, "Shall we?"

Bill walked next to Hillary distancing himself while Capricia continued to talk to them about the dinner. He was glad of the space because the other part of him - the one that he was keeping at bay, the possessive part of himself - was trying to break free.

It didn't want to share Hillary, not even with the crowd.

When they reached the North Portico, Capricia bid them goodbye and told them that she would meet them in the East Room later during the dinner.

Bill was quiet while standing next to Hillary. While both of them were waiting for a signal when they would walk out of the building. They both could hear the cacophony outside from people shouting directions to the faint sound of the clicking of cameras.

While all of these were happening, Bill was unaware of them. He was so deep in his thoughts that he was torn between telling her about her dress or keeping mum about it. He didn't want to come across as an asshole.

He doesn't really have a say about what she would wear, doesn't he? He thought.


They both turned to the staff who instructed them to start walking as the service car for King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia was about to arrive.

They walked side by side quietly. He was still undecided about what to do. He was afraid that King Juan Carlos, while a good friend but a notorious playboy, might actually take a peek at Hillary's breast. It was a possibility, but of course, he wouldn't out of respect. But what if…? He remembered how the King complimented Hillary back in '95 and how he couldn't keep his eyes off her.

What if he found her tempting? And what about the other men that they would welcome later on? Would these men check her out?

Bill took a deep breath.

The lights outside were blinding and they were a few steps away from reaching the frame of the entrance but before they could step outside, Bill turned to Hillary prompting her to stop. She looked at him confused. He held her gaze and he moved closer - crowding her. She stepped back. It almost looked as if they were dancing. He maneuvered them until he blocked her view of the crowd. He turned his back from the camera shielding her from everyone taking photos and videos of them.

"Bill—" she softly said, she said it so softly he almost missed them.

"Honey," he said, his voice low. He stepped closer, his eyes holding hers intently before he slowly dragged his gaze from her eyes down to her chest. He briefly inspected if others could see what was supposed to be for his eyes only. "I'm sorry you are married to an…" He paused, choosing his words carefully, "... overprotective husband, but I just want to make sure that others wouldn't be able to take a peek."

Hillary heaved a sigh and looked at him with amusement. A soft giggle almost escaped her lips but immediately caught them. Bill's eyes turned to her after his inspection, his gaze now soft.

"Apparently, honey, I just realized that I don't like sharing what's mine," he whispered before he engulfed her small hand with his and led her out to meet the Press and their Royal guest.