"Ma'am you left your phone on the counter with your coffee."
Olivia glanced up, bewildered, her phone in her hand. Then paused, catching Tom's wink.
"Thanks," she murmured as he passed her the phone and the coffee-to-go she hadn't yet ordered.
"Just the way you like it," he whispered, his lips barely moving.
"Thank you." She smiled, watching as he left the cafe.
In less than a minute, the phone rang.
"You got me a new phone," she said softly, walking towards her car.
"I miss you."
A shiver of need ran through her. "It's barely been a day."
"I miss you every minute of every day."
"I want to see you."
"You did. For an hour... all night." She closed her eyes, reliving the beauty of his touch, his kisses, his love... in the house he'd built for her… for them… and their children. She fought back tears, glad of the privacy in her car.
"Livvie…" Fitz breathed her name in a husky undertone that caressed her skin. "I need more than that. Come over. We'll talk."
"You want me to work on your campaign?" she murmured thickly, trying to deflect.
There was a long pause, then he replied softly, "I want to hold you."
"I love you."
He waited. This time she forced the words out, the ones she always carried in her heart. "I love you too, Fitz."
He sighed. "Thank you," he breathed softly. "I know that wasn't easy."
She gave a small laugh. "I have to go."
"No, there's car waiting on the corner. It'll bring you to me."
"That's not a good idea. We can't do this now."
"We can. We can pretend it's about my campaign if you want."
"Liv, the car's waiting. And so am I."
"Lauren, is he..?"
"Go right in, Ms Pope. He's waiting for you. You won't be disturbed," she paused, giving a slight smile. "By anyone. President's orders."
Olivia felt her cheeks heat as she opened the door and walked in, to find Fitz already heading around his desk, towards her.
"Mr President," she said softly.
He grinned, she smiled back.
Then she was in his arms, his mouth on hers; her hands in his thick, curly hair. It was later – much, much later – that she remembered the cameras.
"It's okay," he murmured, brushing a thumb across her cheek. "Tom is on archiving duty tonight."
She leaned her cheek into his palm with a soft smile, prompting a soft groan to escape him before he reached for her lips again.
"Fitz... we have to stop," she moaned, eyes closing in bliss as his mouth shifted to trail down her neck.
"No," he whispered back, pressing his lips against her sweet spot, the one he'd discovered, the spot that was wholly his.
She shivered again.
"I want you."
"You have me."
He raised his head to look at her.
"Not for a few stolen moments. I want you. With me. Always. I love you."
She couldn't say it back to him. Not here, not in this house - the White House no less - that he shared with his wife. So she smiled, reaching up to cup his face, her heart full.
His gaze was solemn as he stared back at her. "I love you, Livvie. I'll keep saying it until you believe me. Until you realise you're everything to me. I want us to be together."
"We will be. When the time is right. In Vermont..."
"I don't want to wait."
She stared at him, slowly dropped her hands. "What are you saying?"
"When can you move in?"
"Fitz!" She laughed.
Olivia stepped, away from him, folding her arms across her chest. "I don't have to move in to work for you."
He gave a crooked smile. "This isn't about you working for me."
"And Mellie is okay with this?" She began pacing. "The three of us living under one roof – you, your wife and your mistress?"
"Oh, that's right, only you get to call me that when you're angry. To Mellie, I'm just a whore!"
Fitz rocked back on his heels, adding quietly, "That's what I want to change."
"Which part?" Olivia asked sweetly, "The mistress or the whore?"
She stopped pacing to stare at him. "Fitz! You're running for re-election!"
"I know. I don't care. I'm getting that divorce."
"This would ruin you! You won't stand a chance! They'll crucify you, at the very least impeach you-!"
He reached her in a couple of steps to gather her in his arms, waiting until his quiet strength calmed her. "I want to run again, with you by my side. I don't want hide anymore."
"Fitz, you can't."
"We can. We're standing in a place of big ideas, Livvie. Great things can happen."
"A divorce won't be considered great, not by the people, not by your party. Fitz, do you want that to be your legacy?" She raised her head in despair.
"Livvie," he groaned, cupping her face. "I don't want to do this anymore. Not without you."
"With me, you won't be President. There's never been a divorce in the White House."
"Perhaps it's time for this President to show that he is just a man who wants to be with the woman he loves, and that's okay even in the White House." Fitz reached for her hand and led her to the couch, settling her next to him until she was snuggled up in his arms.
"Imagine," he murmured against her temple. "This could be us. After a meeting of the joint chiefs- just like this - me chilling on the couch, telling you all about it, getting your advice, while I give you a foot massage."
That made her smile but when Olivia drew her head back to look at him all she said was, "Fitz, this isn't a love story, it won't have a happy ending."
"Not if we let Cyrus or Mellie write it. But this is our story, Liv. Yours and mine - our love."
"Our painful devastating love…"
He gave her a quizzical look. "Is that what you think we have? Even after Vermont?"
"It hasn't always been like that. We've hurt each other."
"We've hurt each other when one of us is trying to push the other one away. It was painful when we stopped trusting each other; devastating when we let our secrets almost destroy us. But when we're together, what we have - is heaven. Pure heaven. Our little piece of heaven on earth."
"Oh Fitz," She closed her eyes, but the tears she'd been holding back ever since she'd heard his voice seeped through her lashes.
He kissed them away. "We can do this. Trust me. Trust us."
"I'm so afraid..."
"Afraid of what, my love?"
A sob escaped her, as she opened her eyes and locked gazes with him. "Afraid that I'll destroy your career and it would be for nothing, because you'll realise that it wasn't worth it."
She broke his heart, she could see it on his face. His loving, handsome, honest face. "Livvie, I knew you'd be worth it from the first moment I met you."
"You wanted to fire me."
"Yeah," Fitz grinned ruefully, tracing her bottom lip with his thumb. "I was a fool."
"No, you were being protective of your marriage."
"My marriage, in which two people are legally contracted to live in bitter, lonely martyrdom, not even knowing it doesn't have to be that way, until the love of your life arrives to hold a mirror to your life, showing you everything that's been missing and everything that's possible."
"And now you want to thank me by destroying your career."
"Livvie, I. Love. You. You're the love of my life. I want to share a life with you. I want what we shared in Vermont here in the White House with you."
"Fitz, this isn't France."
"We're close enough to Montreal to pretend."
She tried for exasperation, but a giggle escaped.
"I really hate you."
"You love me."
"No, I really, really hate you right now, Fitzgerald Thomas Grant,"
"The third." She scrunched her nose at him, making him chuckle as he added,
"Why, Ms Olivia Carolyn Pope?"
She kissed him.
"You can kiss me, but I still want to know," he murmured, slipping his tongue into her mouth for a taste, a taste that set the curling warmth in her belly ablaze.
"Tell me, Livvie."
"You're making me believe...in a happily ever after... for us."
He grinned at her, that same cheeky 'let's be inappropriate' smile he'd given her all those years ago in the shadows of a campaign bus. Only they weren't in the shadows. They were sitting on a Presidential couch in the Oval office, under the scrutiny of ever present cameras, contemplating political disaster.
"Livvie, stop," he breathed against her lips. "I can see that brilliant mind of yours come up with all the ways this will not work - but you're the fixer and I'm the President. We can do this. Let's make this happen. We've earned it. We've earned the right to be happy."