The bottom fell out within days of Olivia discovering Ashanti. She had been strutting her way through the White House when the gossipy part of news came on. The announced that Jake had moved on to the young woman who by profession was, of all thing, and Opera singer and she also was an accomplished Equestrian. She was twenty-six, and the daughter of a single mom.
The fact that Jake had 'dumped' Olivia begged the question "Who was the father of her unborn baby?" The rumors returned of her alleged affair with President Grant. 'Close sources' to Ms. Pope claim that Grant was the father of the baby slated for a Christmas delivery. Olivia was upset, turning red as pictures flashed of Ashanti and Jake going to dinner, the sweet couple on horseback. Then bam! Pictures of Olivia, alone, pregnant working on Grant's campaign, behind the scenes.
Jake had ruined everything and she was furious. She knew this exact thing would happen. If he wanted to date, why couldn't he do so discreetly? Now she had these rumors on her back as well as an overactive baby roaming around in her body causing her many discomforts. Despite the fact her feet were hurting and her day had been a mix of dodging paparazzi, and fighting with Fitz, she headed to Jake's condo knocking, defiantly. It took him a long time to answer but she knew he was home. His car was in the parking garage, she could see lights on from underneath the door. Soon he came to the door and upon seeing her face he gave an exasperated sigh, the look her gave her, a simple head shake and releasing of breath through his nose. He stepped into the hall making her roll her eyes, he pulled the door up and stood in front of it. "Liv, it's not a good time." He told her.
Olivia switched her handbag to her other forearm. She brought her shoulders up then back down, trying to calm down. She was still such a small thing even with her protruding belly. But her intimidating nature was never small. "You will not put me on a backburner Jake. Have you seen the news?" She paused and tried to calm down. "Will you please let me in, I do not feel like blabbing my business in the middle of this hallway. Also my feet are killing me." She said, her hand unconsciously rubbing her belly. "Olivia, I can't right now but I can come over to your house later, we will talk, just not now." He said.
Olivia narrowed her eyes but agreed with a head nod. He was distressed, he was doing this thing with his neck which was his tell. When he held his that way and he rubbed his neck just so, all his tension had gathered there. She turned to leave and he opened the door. Olivia was much faster on her sore feet than Jake was because she darted inside his home before he could get out a world. She wanted to laugh and revel in her victory but she caught a sight that stopped her in her tracks. Freckles was pacing in Jake's bedroom, talking to herself with a face full of tears and running nose. She kept touching her head saying something inaudible but it sounded recurring, some mantra about calming down.
Jake closed the door and got in front of Olivia. "Olivia you need to leave. Ashanti is having a hard time with this whole paparazzi thing and being on the news. I promise I will come over to yours later, I just need to handle this first." He explained. Ashanti heard them and peaked in. Her breath hitched and she could not help but sniffled louder as she had more tears now. "Calm down Jake. I can fix this." She said handing him her coat and bag, then also her gloves before making her way into his bedroom. She knocked on the door softly and waited to be acknowledge.
Ashanti wiped her eyes half-heartedly and looked up. "Hi. I am Olivia. I'm probably the last person you want to see right now but I can help. I don't know if Jake told you what I do but I am fixer. Politics are messy, people are messy. Over the years I have just become very good at knowing what things to do to make things blow over and look good, I fix broken things, messy situations. Ashanti, what's wrong?"
Ashanti looked at her in disbelief. Ashanti was statuesque and tonight she was in short jean shorts and a Henley top. Her curly hair was swept to the side and she looked incredibly youthful. Even the instant puffiness in her face reminded Olivia that they were at least ten years apart in age. "It's just the news and tabloids following us, and digging into my personal life. I like Jake a lot but I didn't know he came with all these complications. I didn't know he dated someone as accomplished as you, that your drama could become mine. I just can't handle it." She confessed looking at Olivia but her eyes kept resting on her bump. Olivia nodded taking in all her words, not taking offense from her just yet but she knew later she would. She smiled lightly as she handed her tissues and encouraged her to have a seat. She noticed she settled into bed really comfortably and she sat in the armchair across from her.
"You can run from this and miss out on a really special guy. Or you can embrace this, tell a story, get a little publicity and keep your Romeo in there. If you want to do the latter I can help you. If you want to run, just leave now because Jake does not like fair-weathered lovers." She goaded. "How do you know he is special… to me?" Ashanti wondered. "You would not be crying so hard if this meant nothing to you. I know this awkward coming from me, as I am pregnant with his child but I know my part in this. As I said being in politics is messy. They make up stories about you just because you are close in proximity." Olivia's voice cracked. "I have to deal with these kind of things daily but I'm really sorry you both got dragged into it." She said then took a tissue herself.
"How can we fix it?" She asked hopefully. "I just want to get the press away from my family. My mom is a really private woman and they keep showing up at her home." She expounded. "We have to get you an interview with a reputable news outlet, or a blog those are trendy now. You wear something young but sophisticated. They'll ask you about you but they really just want to know about Jake and what you know about me, if you know about an affair with the president. I'll help you answer all these questions, change the direction of all these things. If this a success they'll just take pictures in passing. Those black people who love Opera will know your name and look for you all the time now. In about three news cycle a week at the most, they will forget all about this." She mapped out. Ashanti didn't need specifics. Jake had come to the door and listened. Ashanti looked at him. "Is she as good as she thinks she is?" She asked him. Olivia pursed her lips, and waited for him to answer, she was amused. "There is no one better than O.P." He confessed. "I'll do it." She said, Ashanti was much calmer now. Olivia stood. Her work here was done.
Ashanti did just as Olivia instructed. She was private but lovable. She had a presence that can be gauged through a five minute spot on an entertainment segment of news. Ashanti deliver her 'lines' naturally, making even the lies seem genuine. "Olivia and I are very cordial. She and Jake are adamant on be amazing co-parents and it surprised me how Olivia has included me." Ashanti said that with ease and Olivia was glad she had killed two birds with one stone. She saved Jake relationship and cleared her 'good' name. And as promised the paparazzi died down, left Ashanti's mom alone, and Olivia was back to being a shadow in D.C.