Olivia looked in the mirror applying her lipstick. Her hair was half up and half down, straightened with a pulled back bump in the front. Her makeup looked flawless as usual. The cream floor length dress she wore perfectly complimented her skin tone. The shoes were comfortable and not too high. She put on her lipstick and left him behind her, drawing circles in her back like he normally did.
"Edison, don't ruin anything, it looks perfect," she laughed.
"I'm sorry you have to take my place at the State Dinner tonight; I'd go if I could but I have to get to Georgia. Are you sure you don't want to take Harrison or Huck? I don't want you to be too lonely without me," Edison asked kissing her cheek.
She shook her head no putting the lipstick in her purse. "Those two would be so bored. I'll be fine alone tonight. You go take care of business and I'll be home when you get back. Besides, Cyrus will be there, I can chat with him if I need to."
"I still wish I didn't have to go tonight."
"But you do and it'll be fine. The limo is going to take you to the airport and I'll drive myself to the dinner. Let's go. The sooner you leave, the sooner you come back."
Cyrus ran through the checklist one last time before he went with Fitz and Mellie to the dinner. The guest list was right, the setting was great, and Fitz was in a good mood. He sat on the couch in the Residence waiting for the President and First Lady to come out.
"Mellie, perfect! You look great!" Cyrus told her. She looked wonderful in the long red dress with matching heels. "Where's Fitz?"
"He's on his way, he'll just be a minute," she replied. "How does everything look down there?"
"The place looks great. People have started to line up to come in at security and all that. Everything is being handled."
Fitz put on his red bow tie, matching Mellie's dress. Ten months had gone by since he spoke or even saw Olivia but no matter what was happening, every day his mind drifted to her. Was she still waiting for him? Did she even care that he wasn't speaking to her? Many times things during the day would happen and he would pick up the phone to call her but never dialed the number. He imagined what tonight would be. Would she be there? Why would she be there? Olivia wasn't part of his administration anymore and had no reason to be at the State Dinner. The argument they had at Verna's funeral stung him every day. She was finally willing to wait for him and he told her not to. And worse yet, called her the one thing she never was to him: mistress. For the couple weeks after the funeral, he drowned himself in the scotch. After the christening, he went back to it. He treated her like a whore, used her like a slut, belittled what they were to each other and went on with the day.
He shook his head out of the misery that was his life to get back into reality. Fitz tied his laces and went out to the living room joining Mellie and Cyrus.
"Ready?" All three of them went to the dinner hall.
Greeting everyone individually was a tedious task but something both Fitz and Mellie had to do. They shook hands with Prime Ministers, Congressmen, Secretaries, and Defense leaders, anyone who was invited. It had been a good half hour later when it started to die down from the incoming guests. One of the lasts to arrive was Olivia.
She handed the attendant her coat, revealing her dress and catching Fitz's face. Luckily for her, he hadn't noticed her yet.
"It doesn't matter anymore, you've moved on," she told herself.
She thought she might be able to avoid the Fitz and Mellie but knew she had to represent Edison. That was the reason she came to the event. The whole reason for getting dressed in this outfit and going out to the White House. Slowly, she moved down the steps, willing herself not to trip, run, yell, cry, but to remain calm and even. All she had to do was shake their hands and thank them for the invite for Edison. How hard can that be?
Olivia walked across the carpet ready for the intake. Mellie looked down to see who was coming and smiled brightly at her as Fitz greeted the guest she just did.
"Olivia, it's great to see you!" Mellie told her as she moved in to hug her. "You look wonderful."
Sweetly, she walked closer to her hugging her back. "Thank you, you look terrific, Madam First Lady." Liv tried to keep it simple while talking to her. Remember her place and the things she knew.
"Liv, formal? I've been meaning to call you for a lunch; we should catch up next week."
"Have your secretary call me and we can work something out. How are you anyway?"
Fitz sent the Congressmen he just greeted on to the tables and turned to Mellie. Unexpectedly, he caught Olivia's face with his eyes.
"Gorgeous as always. My Livie." He thought to himself.
"Busy, just so busy," Mellie told her. "I see that you've been good. All your work is great Liv."
"Thank you. Have a good time tonight," Olivia said smiling at her. "Mr. President."
Fitz smiled at her, his eyes soft and gentle. He loved that she was there, no matter how much hurt it was before, the sight of her healed everything. "Olivia. How are you?" He stuck out his hand for her to shake catching her left hand in his. He could feel it. A foreign object that was never on her hand. The ring.