Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
~**All the President's Men**~
"I like the job I have, but if I had to live my life over again, I would like to have ended up a sports writer." ~Richard M. Nixon
The wind was gently blowing a welcoming cool breeze on an otherwise late, hot June afternoon in Washington D.C. Edward Cullen stood under the shade of a giant magnolia tree, watching as his beloved Irish wolfhound, Jake, raced across the expansive green lawn, chasing a bright red ball Edward had just thrown for the beast.
It wasn't often that Edward was able to spend time by himself, allowing his mind the freedom to roam in whatever direction it pleased. Instead, he was often followed by an overwhelming team of people, each holding multiple cell phones, files, documents, folders, planners, and computer tablets. Each had something that needed his immediate attention, approval, or signature of veto. Schedules had to be coordinated, security details to be formed, foreign policy meetings attended, intelligence briefings, and commissions to be determined if he was going to get his workday done.
So it was a rare treat when he was able to have a few minutes to himself, but it was the price he'd been willing to pay for this job.
After all, he'd been dreaming of being in this position since he was a little boy of six years old, bright red hair and skinned-up knees. All of the plans he'd made, the sacrifices made by his family and friends, compromises and deals he'd agreed to along the way, all led to him being here.
Playing a quiet game of fetch with Jake on the South Lawn of the White House.
President of the United States of America.
Smirking, Edward realized how lucky he was to be doing what he'd always dreamed of as he watched the large dog chase down his toy. Edward scratched Jake's ears when the dog loped back up to him, dropping the ball and wagging his tail in excitement.
"Good boy," Edward praised, picking the ball up to throw once more, smiling contently as the shaggy black animal took off after it with a loud bark.
Edward inhaled deeply, enjoying the fresh air. He knew it wouldn't be long before he was pulled from his quite solitude and thrust back into the world of politics. His Chief of Staff, and older brother, Jasper, would see to that.
It had taken a great deal of bargaining and pleading on his part to have this time today. Although Edward knew his role as the leader of the free world was vital, so was his peace of mind, which is what he told Jasper when he asked for a small break from the meeting with the Secretary of State, Rosalie Hale. Jasper was hesitant, but after a short conference with Ms. Hale, the meeting adjourned for a small break.
Which is when Edward slipped away, using the time to relieve some of the tension he could feel welling up inside.
It was with this in mind that Edward left the dark gray suit jacket behind, taking off in his slacks, crisp button-up and tie to grab Jake, and then made a break for it. He didn't want to think about anything or anyone that had to do with running the free world.
All he wanted was forty-five minutes to be Edward Cullen, the man instead of Edward Cullen, the President.
As always, when Edward found himself alone, his thoughts drifted to the time he felt the most joy in his life.
"Be careful!" Bella warned, eyeing Edward nervously.
"I'm being careful," he replied, his eyes focused on the beauty before him. She was so small, so delicate and precious to him. Edward ran a finger down her cheek, the skin soft and warm.
His daughter gurgled at his loving touch; a toothless smile on her little lips, her brown eyes shining in delight. Small, chubby hands smacked lightly at his larger ones, wanting to continue their play. Edward complied, of course, gently tossing his daughter in the air and catching her quickly, earning the most amazing sound possible for his efforts: her laugh.
"Edward, she's going to get sick and spit up on you," Bella attempted to scold, but amusement rang in her tone. Edward glanced at her, finding the dark brown of her eyes just as bright, just as warm and loving as his daughter's.
"Fine, fine. I'll just have to eat you up instead, princess," he declared, smiling at Bella over the baby's shoulder. He cradled his little one close, and pressed loud kisses to her neck, his eyes never leaving the beautiful woman who sat across from him on the couch.
"Oh, Beth, you taste yummy! You should have some, Mommy," he teased both girls with a wicked grin. Bella rolled her eyes at his antics, but smiled and shifted closer, pressing her own lips to the other side of their daughter's face, blowing raspberries loudly for a moment before she turned quickly, capturing Edward's mouth with her own, and pressing a sweet kiss to his lips.
It had been a perfect moment, Edward realized. He knew it then, but even more so now. That was back before everything was turned inside out and upside down. Before the plans he'd made changed everything. How he wished things were different.
Edward was pulled from his happy memories and troublesome musings by the sound of his Chief Secret Service Agent Emmett McCarty calling out to him as he approached.
"Mr. President," Emmett spoke, his voice deep and serious. Edward sighed, closing his eyes for a moment before turning to face the large man behind him. Emmett stood at nearly six-foot-five, a wall of muscle and strength. With dark brown hair and unflinching gray eyes, he was easily the most intimidating man working for Edward. Of course, those who really knew him knew that Emmett could be as sweet as cotton candy, but only when off duty and with those he trusted.
"Mr. McCarty," Edward replied, narrowing his eyes slightly due to the bright sun shining directly behind the large man. "How can I help you?"
"Sir, there is a situation that needs your immediate attention," Emmett informed him, stepping to the side so the President wouldn't be forced to squint.
"Is it Beth?" Edward asked with concern. When Emmett shook his head negatively, Edward sighed. "Well then, Emmett, I'm sure whatever it is can wait another," Edward paused, glancing down to the shiny, silver Tag Heuer watch on his wrist, "fifteen minutes."
"Mr. President, sir, it's imperative that you see to this as soon as possible."
"I understand, Emmett, but right now, I need to take Jake back inside and then get washed up to go back to my meeting with the Secretary of State. If I can get to it after our meeting is finished, I will. I suggest you let Jasper know what it is that's so pressing, and he'll make time for it in my schedule."
With that, Edward turned around and called for Jake, the large black dog bounding over with his toy in his mouth. After retrieving the ball, Edward moved to make his way back to the White House, Emmett falling in step beside him.
"Mr. President, I mean no disrespect, sir, but you asked my team and me to let you know if we ever found any information about the Feather situation. Sir, we've found something," Emmett gravely informed him, watching the President for his reaction.
Edward stopped short, his whole body freezing. He turned his eyes to Emmett, intently searching for a hint of possible deception.
"What?" Edward asked, his voice low and calm, belying the rising nerves and anxiety he felt with those words. "What have you found?"
"We believe we've found her, sir."
Edward couldn't move, his heart thundering wildly in his chest as he stared out over the grounds. He didn't register Jake impatiently waiting at his side. He was finding it difficult to process what Emmett was telling him.
His entire world had shifted with one statement; one simple sentence and everything was different.
"You found her?" Edward asked, disbelieving and fearful. He'd been burned before, and though it was difficult to do, he tried to push away the swelling hope surging in his chest until he could be sure. He looked at Emmett, who nodded solemnly.
"Let's go," Edward sharply replied, "Show me what you've found."
The two men walked briskly across the lawn, Jake tagging along behind as best he could with their clipped pace.
Edward hurried forward, desperate to see if who his team found was who he'd prayed it to be.
The other half of his heart. The missing piece of his soul.
His beloved wife, who'd been missing for nearly four years.
a/n: Well, hello there, Mr. President!
I couldn't resist posting this story today, what with it being America's birthday and all. (Yes, I'm that cheesy.)
I owe a huge thank you to all the ladies over in the Shahula Facebook group who gave me the inspiration to write this little story so, so many months ago. Thank you ladies! Without your continued support, Presidentward may not be here at all.
Also, many thanks to mauigirl60 for offering to beta this story for me. Trust me when I say, it's a lot better because of her input and keen eye.
I hope to update weekly with this one, so fingers crossed that works out. Yes, chapters are short and no, I don't see them getting a whole lot longer in the future.
I will not be pushing any sort of political agenda with this fic; it's just fun to dress Edward up in a suit and make him the most powerful man in the free world. I've done what I can with research, but not everything is going to be perfect, so forgive and let live, mkay?
Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear from you if you can spare the time.