To move back to D.C gave Olivia Pope a bad case of nostalgia. She had practically grown up in the city. Spent countless years, whether it was her childhood at Sidwell Friends or her undergraduate years at Georgetown University, the city had been her oasis for a large part of her young life. So when she had finally decided attend Harvard Law School and break the chains that bound her to this city, she had hoped to explore the greater world. And she did.
She traveled, spent five years working at a consulting firm in England, as well as traveling extensively throughout Europe for her work. After deciding to come back to the United States, she avoided D.C with like the plague. Despite her mother's whining about how she was single, childless and too far from home, she settled in the one city that would keep her that way.
New York had been her adopted home. She loved the bustle of the city, the culture, the food and the constant feeling that if she went to sleep she was missing out. Not to mention she had access to the best shoe stores in the world. One of the perks of being VP of Jacob & Collins, a very powerful and influential public relations firm that represented corporations, celebrities and everything in between, however having a co-op on Central Park West and accumulating an impressive wardrobe was no longer satisfying.
But sweetie, you have the perfect life! Why would you want to leave that behind? Her good friend Katie Chong had asked her one night over cocktails at the Soho House. But Olivia had an epiphany during a board meeting, when her company had taken on the PR for a real estate company that was buying up inner city neighborhoods and turning them into hipster ridden enclaves. The whole thing disgusted her, the poor tenants with their petitions attempting to save their homes while big business snakes sucked the life out of communities that were bound by a sense of purpose, history and culture.
She had reached out to old contacts, and after months of pontificating, planning and registering as a lobbyist, she was now an employee for The Sterling Group, a boutique Washington lobbying firm that focus on issues involving the environment. It was a subject near and dear to her heart, seeing that she had been an active member of Greenpeace in college and double majored in Public Administration. For the first time in years, she felt like she was alive, with purpose. She was going to make a difference…
"You are going to be wonderful!" Janice Richardson said politely, smiling. Janice was a tall, striking woman in her mid-50s, with a very stylish pixie haircut that Olivia only hoped to be able to pull off 20 years from now. They were sitting in a black Lincoln on their way to the White House.
The past few weeks had been a blur, filled with unpacking boxes, meetings with congressional members and a lot of drinking with old college friends who now worked as staffers, lawyers and political reporters. And today, was going to be the merry go round from hell.
The Sterling Group's new focus was to get the Environmental Economic Initiative, a bill being written by a bipartisan group of house members, passed. Its purpose was to create a new sector in the economy based on environmentally friendly jobs. Not to mention the investment in the technological research to broaden the use of solar and wind energy.
Olivia had spent weeks researching and gathering notes. But despite it all, sitting in the limo with her boss, she still felt nervous. This was the White House, after all. It was not like she was completely foreign to the place, in fact; she had been there more times than she could count. She had worked as an intern for a Speaker Lorry years ago and she had accompanied him to meetings there and her father had been friendly with past presidents, so lunches and invites to the state dinners were commonplace during her childhood. Not to mention, her old mentor and good friend, Cyrus Beene was the Chief of Staff to the president.
No, what was worrying her was more so the man who ran the White House. She had been hearing whispers about how politically astute President Grant was. That he was a formidable politician, with a silver tongue, and an ability to argue his way out of anything. It was not something she needed to be told. She followed politics long enough to reach that conclusion herself. Bill after bill, legislative battle after legislative battle he not only won, but won over the American people with the kind of political finesse not seen since Lyndon B. Johnson (hence the 63% Gallup approval rating three years into his presidency).
"Oh, sorry, I'm just a little nervous." Olivia said smiling back at Janice. Janice shook her head.
"Oh, nonsense darling, you have fried bigger fish than this!" Janice said enthused. Olivia laughed nervously.
"But this is the White House. There's nothing bigger than this."
Janice rolled her beady brown eyes and pursed her lips. "Honey, you are one of the hardest working people I know, you are going to kick ass. Just do what you do, stay focused and don't get swept up in the sparkling stones of sexiness.
Olivia was confused. What was that supposed to mean?
"The sparkling…what?" She asked, but the older woman smirked, as she buttoned up her blazer and smoothed out her hair. From the looks of things they were getting closer to Pennsylvania Ave.
"The sparkling stones of sexiness, otherwise known as the President's eyes. My God, the man is so good looking and charming, I almost went crazy the first time I saw him. It was like a rush of…"
She shuddered with the memory of the thought. Olivia laughed even harder. That was so ridiculous. Sure, the president was a good looking and he was charismatic (part of the reason she had voted for him, secretly) but he was not a movie star. He was the freaking President! And most importantly of all, he tragically had lost his wife in a car accident, shortly before winning the election. He was a widower, with two teenage kids and was kind of the leader of the free world. The last thing she needed to do was develop a school girl crush on the man.
"You're ridiculous; Janice, and frankly, you need to get laid." Olivia joked, pulling out her blackberry to review her talking points.
Janice laughed. "Ha! So do you. But I'm telling you honey, when you meet him, you'll be wishing you were getting laid, but by him."
Olivia rolled her eyes and took a deep breath. This was going to be an interesting day.
"Cyrus, now I know the president has a full plate, but this is a cause worth considering. A study by the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at UC Berkeley reported that the renewable energy sector generates more jobs than the fossil fuel-based energy sector. This is not only a good thing for the environment; it is beneficial to the economy." Olivia said passionately.
The meeting so far was not going well. The president's staff had given them the rigmarole giving all kinds of excuses of why they did not have the political capital, which was stupid, given Grant's approval ratings. Olivia had inundated them with facts, figures and compelling stores for nearly two hours. She had never worked so hard in her life. And what was more frustrating was the fact that Cyrus, her mentor the man who had taught her how to fight for what needed to get done was acting like a typical Washington insider, more concerned with the politics of it all than the policy.
"Mrs. Pope, we understand that!" said Billy Chambers, the deputy Chief of Staff frustrated, not allowing Cyrus the opportunity to respond. He looked thoroughly annoyed. "But we have so much we want to get done this year not to mention we have an election year coming up, the President is already putting a lot on the line with the Republican base to even consider this bill!"
"Mr. Chamber we are-"Janice began politely, but Olivia was seething. This was ridiculous, no wonder people got frustrated with Washington so soon. She cut her boss off.
"Well, excuse me for thinking that your job is not to protect the stupid interest of the rabid right-wing base-"
"Right wing, please! Typical liberal-"
"Oh! Don't you dare dismiss me by forming some half-baked bullshit opinion on my politics? I've been a Republican since I was 20 years old, I voted for this president! And he is my president. I am a concerned citizen, who cares not only about the economic future of this country, but the preservation of this great country's land and resources. We are spending billions of dollars on oil polluting our world, and enriching oil companies, which I've had the misfortune of representing when they fuck up, not to mention funneling money to terrorist pricks who want to nuke us!" Olivia had not realized that during this speech she had reason to her feet. She was shaking with rage.
Every one of the people in the Chief of Staff's office looked shocked and stunned at her reaction to Chamber's smugness. But she did not care. She pressed on. Even though Janice looked completely scandalized. And even though she heard the vague sounds of footsteps behind her….and the intoxicating smell of a musky, yet woody scent met her nose, causing her body to relax a bit. But it did not deter her from her mission.
"…and furthermore, the sheer level of disrespect this administration has shown toward the environment has been stunting, gutting the EPA, allowing big oil to run its economic policy , simply egregious and where is the President anyway? On one of the most important issues of the day, and we are stuck meeting with his staff? What kind of man does that?" Olivia finished.
But as she spoke, she could see Janice's mouth fall open. The collective attention of the group had moved from her to something behind her. She could care less; however before she could open her mouth to ask what everyone was staring at, a deep, rich voice met her ears.
"Wow, the President sounds like a real prick." This voice said jovially. Olivia knew that voice. She had heard it loads of times on television. The low, baritone full of confidence….as the realization hit her, Olivia felt her heart thumping so hard. My god, way to embarrass myself.
Olivia slowly turned around, horrified to see herself face to face with none other than the President of the United States.
And Janice was right; he was every ounce of charismatic. Olivia, whatever you do, don't look in his eyes, because if they are any better than the rest of his body, you will wet yourself with excitement.
He was taller than he looked on television, with broad shoulders that looked so good in his dark suit. His tan skin looked soft and contrasted beautifully with the crisp whiteness of his dress shirt. His jaw was square and all Olivia could think was how glorious it would be if she kissed along…
" -I'm soo…sooo" Olivia stuttered stupidly. It did not help that he looked so debonair standing with his hands in his pocket. And that he was staring at her so intently, with a playful smile dancing along his very kissable….
Olivia, snap out of it, you look like a babbling idiot. But he extended a hand. A very large, veiny hand with beautifully long fingers and smiled wider, dazzling her with his very white teeth.
"It's okay; I'm used to getting insulted to my face. And you must be Ms. Pope. Cyrus has told me all about you." He said. Olivia shakily extended her hand and in an instant, felt a bolt of electricity shoot through her.
In that moment, as he firmly shook her hands, the sexual portion of her brain kicked into over drive. Her eyes, which had been struggling to maintain focus on his flag pin on the label had made the mistake of meeting his eyes. And dear God was Janice right.
They were the most unusual color. It was if the lord himself had taken ice crystals and had carved them into eyes. She had never seen eyes that clear and penetrating…and grey to say the least. The sun's reflection pouring through the window almost made them opaque.
I want to tie him down and fuck him sense less, and nibble on is ears, then I want to kiss him, he has gorgeous lips, he has a great head of hair, I'd love to run my fingers through it… but those lips! He might be great at….
"Umm…Mr. President I was just-"
"Save it, it's okay. I see this meeting has reached something of a stalemate so why don't you follow me into the Oval office. I think talking like rational adults would be better suited not to mention, I yell at Chambers all the time to bust his chops, it is my own personal way of brightening my day, so it would probably be best if you did not take that simple pleasure away from me." He said grinning, putting emphasis on pleasure, in a soft and silky way. It was almost like a whisper.
Olivia was not sure if it was biologically possible, but she was pretty sure her vagina was going to explode from the sheer excitement of being in his presence.
But he cut her off again. "Oh, no, everyone else is done here, Mrs.…?"
He trailed off, but Janice finished for him "Richardson, sir."
"Yes, she's done here. I'm sure you've all had enough for today. We are a busy White House. But I want to meet with you Ms. Pope, alone. Now. Follow me."
And with that, Olivia mindlessly followed him out of the room, barely able to keep her composure. It did not matter that she had forgotten all her belongings in Cyrus's office. Because the only thing she could think as she followed him into the Oval office speechless was:
I need him in my bed as soon as possible….