Before You Read
hello guys. i've been thinking and i think it is best to write books as i feel it connecting with me. some books may fall into a series line up, and others will not. i will write because my heart desires to. if there is a large request for another book in a series, then i will write it!
so request for any of the ones above. Liam's storyline is actually already being written because i think he is so underrated and deserves so much more attention. he is literally the sweetest guy. how could someone not write something on him?
anyway, ill post this in all the books i've started that correspond with a series.
thank you for your support but back to the disclaimers!
as usual, you know me, the main characters will be plus size, in all the books. if you have a problem with this, please leave this book right now. if not, please enjoy!
this book is loosely inspired by the hit television series, Scandal, on ABC. this does not mean i will copy shonda rhimes. the book is merely inspired by her. nothing more, nothing less.
Stefania Farrario as Ophelia Kensington
Harry Styles as President of the United States
Tara Lynn as Charlotte Story
Jeff Bridges as Richard Kensington
Diane Lane as Angela Kensington
Rose McGowan as Valerie Morgan
Liam Payne as Chief of Staff
Niall Horan as Vice President of the United States
Louis Tomlinson as Head of the Secret Service
Chris Evans as Gregory Ashbridge
Dania Ramirez as Jacquelyn Cordova, Press Secretary to the President
Constance Wu as Elizabeth Yang
*As more characters appear, I will add them.
now, we must list some disclaimers before it all starts:
[one] this is a mere work of fiction. that means, the characters & plot, are all figments of my imagination and I do have a rather large one.
[two] the book is placed in an alternate universe. the boys are not famous, and they do not act as if they do, or may appear, in real life.
[three] please do not steal or translate my work. i created this, thought of it, and wrote it for the enjoyment of others and my own. you will be reported if there is any instance that i am notified of stealing.
[four] all images used in the production of the covers are not mine, and do not belong to me. I only used them to produce a visual for the readers.
[five] this book will include mature content such as:
+ possible non-graphic sexual scenes
+ mention of sexual scenes
[six] please enjoy it as much as i did writing.
- dani xo
One: Table for Kensington
"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence." - George Washington
O N E : Table for Kensington
O P H E L I A
Nine hundred and thirteen days. That's the exact amount of time I've been within several jobs, but not a solid career. Desk jobs that include filing, copying, and organizing for prestige lawyers in Massachusetts are a drag to participate in. The pay grade is higher than what an average college graduate would earn, and it mortifies me that I only stay for that alone. Not for the context and excitement a career should bring.
My father exclusively pulled one of his favors within the state to place me in this uncomfortable office chair at Ashbridge & Erickson, a top criminal law firm that handles Massachusetts' biggest murders, robberies, and other criminal convictions. The gentleman are both intelligent human beings, and have offered me, multiple times, dinner or a promotion (to either of their personal assistant) which I rightfully declined. Working beside them was decent, but it was not enough to fulfill my natural desire for writing.
I am the leader of the words that translate on to the paper; the metaphorical lines I write transform visually for the reader as they are snatched inside the imaginary world of no limitations. Inside this fictitious land, I hold an astounding amount of power. However with my talents, my father did not allow the participation in the construction of fiction novels. He preferred non-fictional pieces that would 'attract intellectuals' rather than mere dreamers. He called my dream of becoming an author a joke, yammering about how we always want what we certainly can not possess. If only.
"Fee," A voice called out to me to distract from my daydream, "Daddy Dave would like to see you in his office."
Charlotte's slouching figure over the front desk collected as I blinked rapidly to return to reality. Her coffee-colored strands happened to fall from the bun that flopped around on the top of her whenever she moved. Because of our closeness since the beginning of high school, my father agreed that having Charlotte with me, with a load of men prancing around the office, would be a plausible idea. He worked up on Dave Erickson to permit her as an intern on the payroll.
"You really should stop calling him that," My legs supported me as I rose from the chair, flattening the wrinkled material of my pencil skirt. "Before he actually hears you."
"And what is he going to do?" She quirked her eyebrows upwards as she straightened her posture.
Dave Erickson was an elderly man who thought he was in the peak of his twenties. With his wealth, women naturally flocked to him with the hopes of wooing him enough to land on his will, and because of that, his head filled with the legend that instead of being nearly seventy, he was twenty five. Personally, I think he is going through a end-life crisis but who am I to judge?
"Ophelia, baby," Dave's voice raised through the open doors of his massive office a few steps away from the reception desk. "I need you in here right now."
The manner in which his croaking, but raspy voice used that construction of a sentence frightened me enough to quietly snicker with my beloved friend. She gestured me to hurry, then figured she would return to her assigned office space near Gregory Ashbridge's side. My heels pattered across the granite flooring until they crossed over the hinges of his portal.
"Dave, you wanted to see me?" I leaned to the door frame, sweeping the curl of my pixie cut off the line of sight.
"Yes. Have a seat," I followed his orders to plop in the cocoa colored, leather chair in front of his cherry oak desk. "Do you have any idea why I called you in here?"
"Not particularly, sir. Is it something I did wrong?" The faxes he instructed me to send to his client was both double checked by Charlotte and I this morning. The spelling, grammar, and structure should of been precise and understandable. Could it be that I misjudged that error?
In the midst of my self-doubt and examination, Dave mustered a chuckle at my spike of nervousness. His fragile frame leaned back in the chair he sat in, twiddling an Ashbridge & Erickson pen between his fingers. What was so funny?
"You are not in any sort of trouble, Ophelia. Your father just told me to tell you that after today, you will no longer be working here." My father told him that? There must be some sort of mistake. Why would he exert so much of his time to provide this job when this would be the result?
"I don't understand, sir."
"Neither do I, but if you ever need a job, you always have a home here. Gregory agrees with me." He nodded his full head of gray hair, rising from his chair.
I must call my father about this. It is rather weird. "Thank you Dave for your generosity. I'll pack up my things from my desk," I outstretched my palm to shake his, but out of sadness, Dave preferred a charitable hug. I caved in to his quivering lip, wrapping my arms around him with a soft giggle. "Thanks Dave. I'll miss you."
"I'll miss you, Ophelia. You were a great help. Especially during the Throne case," He reclined from the friendly gesture to flash an award-winning smile and resist his desire to tear up. "Stay in touch, alright? Old people want to hear all about your accomplishments."
"Of course I will, don't you worry."
I was dismissed from his office, trailing my steps to have a pick at my daddy's confusing brain and the plans he housed there without my permission or recognition of my wants and desires. My fingers dialed at the keypad, applying pressure to the chair I rested in enough to counter back with a creak. My father answered the phone call within seconds, his sharp and sturdy tone speaking into the line.
"Ophelia, what is it? I'm in the middle of writing a business proposal."
"I apologize, father. I just would like to know why I was pulled from the law firm," I tangled the phone cord with my index finger, twirling until it almost cut off the circulation of blood. "I thought you wanted me here."
"I can't tell you right at this moment, Ophelia. I'll tell you and Angela over dinner at DeClare's."
"I suppose. I will see you later, father."
"Angela will text you the details. Goodbye." With that, he hung up the phone and the line went dead with the screeching sound of the operator. I placed the receiver to the base, huffing in defeat at my father's compassionless emotions. I dug into my Prada handbag for my iPhone, guessing Angela would have an idea of the situation.
Do you have an inclination of what he's planning?
I do, but it's a surprise.
A good one, don't worry.
Alright. I won't. :(
What time do we meet at DeClare's?
Your father said it should be around five.
Remember, he just wants the best for you.
She was correct as always. Angela had a way of speaking all the right words and sentences to ease your thinking to a calm mindset of tranquility. For a large part of my years on this earth, Angela has become the mother figure that any girl would need in her life of hardships and complications. I recall the day I met her on my fifteenth birthday, at an exquisite Italian restaurant with menu choices I couldn't pronounce. She was a stunning woman, extremely knowledgeable beyond her years. She showered me with compliments, telling me how much my father has told her about my pudgy teenage frame.
"Your day will come my darling, I promise."
So fluently I remember her whispering my worries away, replacing my past image of a mother with her kind and gentle words. She was a jewel to my father, and I'm glad they married one another that next spring.
My mind casually returned to the real world as I stuffed the device inside of the pockets of my purse. I idly stood to search for a box to store my belongings, the knick knacks and office supplies I've bought since I was employed over a year ago. The supply closet held one on the top shelf, which I struggled to reach even on the sole of my stilettos.
"Need some assistance, Miss Kensington?"
"Oh, yes-" The aroma of a musky cologne whipped into my nostrils vibrantly. The person's chest collided with mine, but with the advantage of height, I could only see the dotted, but expensive pattern on their tie.
"Miss Kensington, I would prefer you not to leave," The voice registered as Gregory Ashbridge, the young lawyer that was reaching the mid section of his thirties. His face was chiseled with a thick beard, the luring oceanic orbs piercing holes into my skin but the pain was a subtle pleasure to endure. I've had a crush on him for quite some time, but he was mildly concerned with finalizing the details of his divorce and I would only meddle in his affairs.
"I have no choice, Mr. Ashbridge."
"I'll contact your father, tell him that you can not leave just yet." His persistence was admirable but my father will not allow a man to stand in the way of the future he has planned for me. My departure was inevitable.
"Mr. Ashbridge, thank you for your efforts," My breathless attempt to remain unruffled at his close contact. He was inches away from brushing his cherry lips to my quivering rims, and the amount of space was causing me to grow anxious."But I would not allow you to waste your time on my father's unmovable opinions. I'll keep in contact."
"I would like your. . .phone number if you wish to give it to me," There was a cloud of deepen shades of crimson from the peak of each ear. I haven't seen such an image on him before but I would not allow an opportunity to relic in the moment to pass. "Only if you wish."
"I-I'll provide you with that information before I leave," I collected the energy to articulate under the nerves that accumulate under the layer of my skin. "See you at four o'clock, Mr. Ashbridge."
With a quickness of my feet, I sped out of the closet with the pounding to echo through my eardrums. I fantasized and wrote about a moment like that, but instead, he would be ascending from a grand white stallion to present a dozen roses-
"Miss Kensington!" Mr. Ashbridge's voice called to pause my frantic escape, head snapping to view his clothed figure holding the box I originally came to gain from my supply closet trip. My pale cheeks reddened at my forgetfulness, fingers fiddling away with each other. "You forgot this."
"I'm rather forgetful. Thank you, Mr. Ashbridge," At all cost, I avoided eye contact with him as I quickly took notice of his resistance of completely giving me the box.
"I would like to tell you a few things before you officially leave at four o'clock. Please wait for me then," He mumbled between our huddled figures, "And, I am nervous around you. You aren't the only one."
The amount of shock that consumed my figure mustered enough confidence to glance towards his face and all its features. The line of redden skin was more prominent on his skin, his eyes meeting mine in a heated, but telepathic communication of our feelings. My heart raced, ripples of every emotion withering unconsciously across my limbs. The feelings were mutual.
"I'll see you at four o'clock, Miss Kensington."
Mr. Ashbridge's loafers dashed to his office, a slam of the door to be heard within the proximity of the space. Assuming Charlotte watched the whole situation, I masked my blushing cheeks to the normal pale shade. She would jump to conclusions about what she had seen, even if she was completely correct.
I attended to preparing myself to leave, permitting a thought every now and then of Mr. Ashbridge to arise. Why did I have to go for him to admit his feelings?
Even then, I wouldn't have the words to express the excitement my heart would hold.
"Table for Kensington."
DeClare's was a restaurant for the wealthy to mingle amongst with others who matched their net worth value. My father, Richard Kensington, was notable for his monetary influence throughout the town of Cambridge. He supplies funds for the governor, and in return, he gains exclusive opportunities. It's rather corrupt if you were ask me, but I choose not to upset my father. He invited me here to reveal the next section of his plan, and for once, I was actually looking forward to what he would say. Angela commented on the matter as a 'good' change, but she could be saying that for his beneficial means.
After I spoke my last goodbyes to the employees at Ashbridge & Erickson, my car could not travel faster along the funneling roads of inner city Massachusetts. A Range Rover could only go a certain speed without catching a ticket to fracture my perfect crime-free record. In a rush, my heels stomped through the double doors to greet the young hostess at a tall podium. I provided a name for my father's reservation, and without any further words, she escorted me to the outdoor table my parents had chosen.
"Ophelia, you are late," That was quite a greeting to your only daughter, don't you think?
"Oh, Richard," Angela tapped his bicep in a scolding fashion, furrowing her eyebrows together. When she altered her expression to face me, a simper stretched across her nude lips. "Please have a seat, Ophelia. He's just anxious to tell you the news."
"It's all right." The chair slid from under the table in front of the lovely couple, my bum meeting the cushioned pillow to scoot closer. "When can I know the news?"
"Right now. Tell her Richard," Angela encouraged, anxious herself. "She'll be delighted."
"All right. As you know, I have an exclusive connection to one of the employees in the west wing of the Oval Office," My father began, "I've been talking to them about you and your accomplishments, and they found a open position that is right in your major."
"Creative writing?" It would be a long shot, but things could of changed in his perspective.
"No. English. I presented them with a few examples of your non-fictional work, and they are intrigued. They would like to interview you for a speech writer's position for the president."
The president of the United States of America? The bitter, arrogant Republican I didn't bother to vote for in the primary? Of course, I told my father I did vote for him, but unfortunately, my soul could not tolerate his infuriating methods of getting elected. Never would I vote for such an imbecile.
"Father, that is wonderful!" I pretended to appreciate his news and efforts, but within my heart, I knew otherwise. To be truthful, he craved an avenue to impact himself on the president. My father thirsted after power like some animal.
"The interview is in a few days, and I already arranged your plane ticket. Angela and I bought an condo for you and Charlene to stay in," My father mentioned.
"Father, you know her name. It's Charlotte. We have known each other since high school," A giggle echoed from my vocal cords, hands covering the impolite manner of my ruthless smile emerging. "Did you two order already?"
"Yes, I ordered your favorite," Of course he did. He assumes that I favor things that he thinks I would enjoy, but I do not like what my father picks out. He never asks for my opinion, but I fear for my life if I were to arise with an opposed perspective.
"Thank you, father." I nodded my head instead of speaking my other demands, adjusting to place my purse in the vacant chair beside me.
"So, does Charlotte have the ability to move out with you to Washington?" Angela questioned, her hands dropping to the surface of her crisp white skirt. "I bet your father can find a job for her within the west wing? Could you, Richard?"
"I already pulled some strings. She'll be an assistant to the vice president's press secretary." His fingers typed mindlessly on his iPhone, oblivious as always to the world surrounding him when his contacts chose to speak. "She doesn't have to interview, but they need her there when you start."
"I don't need an interview?"
"Yes, of course you do, but I am sure you will succeed above the competition, Ophelia. Am I correct?" He asserted, his head sharply snapping to view for my lips articulate the correct answer.
"But I don't kno-"
"Am I correct, Ophelia?" His darken orbs shot daggers to my uncertainty, nearly making it impossible to protest. I had to succeed in this interview or I'll be severely punished for my lack of effort.
"Yes, sir." I articulated with a gulp, frightened to match his chilling stare.
The conversations between the three of us were hushed, and fragmented. Angela tried to start a discussion, but as usual, my father was pulled away from the table because of a phone call. Several times to be accurate. In my opinion, the dinner was stained with a deeper coat every time his phone rang, but there was not much to say. Angela was disheartened at the evening, but she, too, didn't have the power or energy to inform my father of this.
The car ride to return home was longer than expected. There wasn't as much traffic as before, but enough to slow down my commute. I reached the Primrose Garden apartments' garage, cruising to the usual parking spot near the east elevator. My heels met with the concrete beneath, the steps counted by my mind without a conscious effort. I was on number forty three when the elevator's number was pressed inwards by my index finger.
"What took you so long?" Charlotte's voice shrieked as her frame hopped from the couch in front of the television screen. "I was almost about to pass out. What's the news?"
"Angela was trying to talk with my father and I but you know how that always turns out," I shook my pleated blazer off my narrow shoulders to toss the material to the nearby love seat. "Did we drink my Armand de Brignac?"
"Wait. You only drink when something is wrong. Fee, what's the matter?" Charlotte's mouth maneuvered into a frown, her figure beating me to the cabinetry where my vintage wine collection was stored. "Tell me or no wine."
I huffed. Ultimately, I knew Charlotte would never allow me to go the evening without spilling my feelings openly with her. My figure leaned to the granite countertop beside me, palm flat to the surface. "He got us jobs in Washington."
"Like Washington state or Washington the capital?"
"The capital," I pointed out, "He told me that someone in the west wing managed to score me an interview for a speech writer's position. For the president."
"You mean the sexy President Styles?" Her eyebrows arched upwards with her pale finger pointing with all seriousness. "He's the first single president in all of history."
"I know, and a complete idiot. He ran on the basis of his charm, appearance, and his parents' wealth," I grumbled, passing through her arm to pop open a perfect bottle of Armand at this hour. "I didn't even vote for him."
"Never mind that. You would get to work side by side with the president of the United States of America. Imagine that," She claimed with her voice following my trail, "Not to mention that you are totally gorgeous. He'll be on his knees for you."
"What if I don't even want him?" I filled a wine glass half way, bring the rim to the opening my lips. "Gregory confessed his love for me."
"Ophelia Naomi Kensington," Charlotte snatched the glass to assert herself of what I mumbled, "What did you say?"
"He confessed his love. Before I left the office today."
"My goodness, but if you get the job, the relationship would never work. You'll be like six states away," She discussed, supplying me with the glass of crimson liquid. "Maybe you can pull the whole long distance relationship thing."
"I suppose, but you never asked me about your job," I gulped down a bit of the alcoholic beverage, removing my stilettos that were most likely bruising the exterior of my ankles. "I think you'll love it."
"Then spill girl," Charlotte enticed.
"You'll be the press secretary's assistant,"
"That isn't something I would love," she turned on her heels to march to the blaring television.
"For the Vice President." She halted in her pattering steps, her chin slowly being placed on the crown of her shoulder to gaze at me for confirmation of my words.
"So, I might be rubbing elbows with the second most attractive person in this great land?" Charlotte insisted to know.
"I think you will be."
The rest of the evening was spent through the collection of our belongings from the apartment we shared. Clothing was beginning to falter into boxes, folded and neatly stacked for my wardrobe, but tossed and disorganized for Charlotte's. Most of the furniture would be sold to the highest bidder on Craigslist's, since Charlotte insisted on our need for new furniture.
At exactly two in the morning, I laid cradled in the sheets of my queen sized mattress. The city of Cambridge provided a few dim lights, but much of the businesses were sealed off until their opening times. I would miss the city I grew up in, but here is a toast to new beginnings.
Two: McPherson Square
"Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak." - John Adams
T W O : McPherson Square
O P H E L I A
"This place is awesome!" Charlotte could not restrain from barging in through the door of our new condo to view what we would be staying in. She volunteered to only carry a single box because the 'movers' could complete the heavy lifting. I observed as she ventured through the amenities of the living space, possibly visualizing the furniture we have yet to purchase.
There were tiled granite flooring throughout the space, cream colored walls to balance with the wooden cabinetry, and shelves. The delicate white curtains hung in front of the large window, and from the fourth floor, the view was breathtaking. I was astonished by the amount of money my father must of spent on this, which makes obtaining the interview much more important than before. As I traveled further into the living room, I discovered a glass slider as a door for the bedroom section. I suppose Charlotte already located this feature, because the door was slid open and a fading voice could be heard.
"Fee, come look at this," My friend called out with a voice that weighed with volume. The tiling transferred to a cool, grey carpeting as I strolled to appear next to her frame that was attached to a grand window. The city of Washington, D.C. was simply magnificent in all of its elements. We had touched down in the capital of this fine country during the early hours of the evening. A day before the nerve-wrecking interview. The nation's capital building could be seen from the height, the dimmed lights that glistened over the river that attracted tourists nearly every day. I had no words to describe such a view.
"Are you excited for your interview tomorrow?" Charlotte detached herself from the window, her orbs to study my body language as I were to answer her question.
"No, I am nervous. If I don't get this job, my father is going to crucify me," The air that consumed clenched in the contractions of my throat, "Possibly literally."
"Relax, Ophelia. You were at the top of our class, graduating with a 4.3 grade point average. I don't know how that is possible, but you did it. You can do this," She flattened her palms on the crown of my shoulders, providing a little shake, "And if that doesn't work, you can use your good looks."
"Good looks won't get your far in this town, Charlotte."
Later that evening, Angela surprised us both with a whole order of furnishings for the condo. An interior designer, a local pleaser of elected officials and their homes, knocked on our door with a train of men to place the individual pieces of furniture inside all of the rooms. She reminded us of her name, Rebecca if I can recall correctly, almost three times before taking her leave. When midnight arrived, Charlotte and I found ourselves plopped on the couch, devouring a local eatery that delivered to the building. They sold delicious Italian cuisine, which was surely anyone's favorite.
"Tomorrow, you walk in there, confident," Charlotte swirled her fork full of spaghetti, "Which is the opposite of your entire personality, and own it."
"I don't know. I only hear my father's possible threats if I don't get the job." I digested half of my Stromboli, and rose from the couch to store it inside of the stainless steel fridge.
"For once, Fee, forget about him. He's an old man with a bit of influence," She enforced, "Not to mention we are in an entirely different state or city or whatever."
"I suppose you are right. What should I wear to the interview then?" Charlotte jumped to the opportunity to decipher through my boxed up clothing that I have yet to arrange in my closet. She slurped the last of her spaghetti before galloping across the flooring to my chosen bedroom. Her bare feet weighed on the carpet, creating footprints that journeyed to the sea of cardboard. She kneeled in front of one box labeled 'Work Attire' and peeled open the panels to find different clothing options.
"You always wear pencil skirts. So we are going to show off those long legs of yours like a real woman should," Her fingers lifted a pair of pleated white bell-bottom pants. I've read in several fashion magazines that those pants provide you with the presentation of a super model. I do not refer to myself as that, and possibly wouldn't either, but the pants were on sale. Bargains can not be missed, even if you are wealthy. "We are going to wear this with a dotted peach blouse, and those white ankle strap heels I got you for your birthday."
I examined the outfit she displayed on the mattress, my fingers sliding across the fabrics with curiosity of what my figure would look like in this. My rear would be emphasized as the material of those pants do hug your body like its adhesive. "I'm not too sure about this, Charlotte."
"You wore pencil skirts every day when we at work, and those hugged your butt like latex gloves," She wasn't the least bit wrong. The only reason I chose to wear such revealing clothing is because Angela suggested a change to my drab attire that consisted of the basic shades: gray, black, and brown. Those colors were professional, and my father advised me to look as such. "So, you are wearing this and that is final. No exceptions."
"All right, I'll comply with your wishes this time," I gestured my index finger to her, "But, it's only because it's plausible to make a first impression that one would remember."
"Thank you. Now, what time is the interview?"
"I don't kno-"
A chime, one that is popular among iPhones, interrupted my sentence with its alarming sound. We temporarily froze to confirm it was from our condo, and not from a wander lurking in the halls. My bare soles ambled to the living room, the sound growing in volume as I approached my handbag to hang off the dining room chair. "It's my phone."
"Who is it? Your father?"
One New Email from The Chief of Staff
"It's from the Chief of Staff," I murmured, purely in shock at the contact attached to the emailed notification. My finger slid across the keypad to enter the lock device, channeling the email application to read the entire document.
The presidential seal was stamped on the top region of the email, implying the secure and official status for its reader.
Dear Miss Ophelia Kensington,
I am pleased to say that you have been chosen for an interview with myself and the Press Secretary for the President of the United States of America. You are to report to the West Wing of the White House at nine a.m. sharp for your interview to take place. We advise you arrive early to head through the security protocol.
We have received your résumé, and several examples of your incredible non-fictional work. We look forward to meeting with you.
Thank you for your time,
Liam Payne, Head Chief of Staff
West Wing - President of the United States
"Charlotte, it is really happening," My wrist maneuvered to reveal the email to her lingering figure. I allowed her a few seconds to read over the words, several times actually, for her to realize the validity of the situation. "I'm going to an interview."
"You have to head to bed, like now," Her eyes flickered at the clock subtly ticking away. "It's nearly midnight, and you don't want to arrive looking like a homeless person."
"You are a Kensington after all," She mocked my father's iconic statement for when he used to motivate me into reaching for goals I thought were impossible to reach with my brain capacity. He would speak with a grave attitude, but as Charlotte chanted the sentence repeatedly, I couldn't help but permit a slip of a giggle to arise in my throat.
"Now, head to bed already. We both need to actually," She tapped her chin in thought, "I'll see you in the morning!"
Charlotte scurried her toes to her own bedroom across the hall, sealing her door closed. On my own will, I decided upon checking if the condo was locked to prevent any intruders to show up. I fastened the hook on the door, disposed of any trash we left behind, and placed Charlotte's spaghetti in the fridge. Surely if I didn't, she would bite my ear off about the loss of delicious food.
Finally, I transitioned into my pajamas and crawled on to the mattress. My frame curled into the charcoal colored comforter, and added pressure to the pillow beneath me.
Within a few minutes, I dozed off into a deep, luscious slumber which assisted in the ease of my nerves. What could I expect? I only knew one thing: failure is not, and never will be, an option.
The bustling, crowded Washington D.C. streets in the morning are nothing but chaos. There isn't a single parking space available for your convenience, and everyone, in the entire city, decides that walking is the best idea. The news reporter on the five a.m. news said anyone would be a fool to drive their vehicle through the district, and I wouldn't want to label myself as such. My Range Rover was shipped by aircraft exclusively at my father's request, but Charlotte advised us to take the Metro instead. My father would murder me in cold blood if he ever found out I've taken public transportation. He would say several times to me when I was a child, "You are elite. Never mingle among the weak." You can imagine the childhood I've experienced.
As two females that must appear out of place, Charlotte and I wandered inside of the nearest metro station from the condominium building, Senate Square. Our brains could not figure out the terribly drawn map of the railing stations, and the employee in the glass office provided little to no assistance.
"Okay, so I googled it, and we are at DuPont Circle metro station. We get on the red line, transfer at Metro Center and get off at McPherson Square," Charlotte directed my attention across the colored lines on the metro map, creating a line of instructions that were not as challenging as before. "We will be there in no time."
"It's nearly seven so let's hurry," My eyes scooped the time illustrated on my Michael Kors chrome watch, "We still have to go through security protocol."
The next train to Metro Center, a transfer station, disembarked and came to a chilling halt. Passengers poured out in the hundreds as others, like Charlotte and myself, trooped into the nearest car. The arrangement of the train's appearance terrified my soul; the amount of mysterious stains on the carpeted areas, and the repulsive stench nearly knocked me off my feet. I settled with standing, hand covered by a Kleenex as my palm gripped a metal pole. Now, I mildly understand the reasoning behind my father's statement.
After switching from the red line to the blue line, the train ride to McPherson Square was not as long as one would suspect. In a mere ten minutes, Charlotte and I were above ground in the inner city of Washington. My lungs inhaled the scent of fresh air, as opposed to the foul smell that resided in every train. I regained my senses, patting down the possible wrinkled material of my clothing.
"Now, the walk is only ten minutes or so, but we have an hour before your interview begins. We could grab some coffee?" Charlotte dug her palm into the space of her handbag, retrieving her Prada wallet with pride. "I wonder what's a good coffee place."
"What about that place?" The Swing's Coffee Roasters attracted my attention. The large letters that were in bold were plastered on a neon sign a short walk away from where we stood. A few people funneled inside with a smile on their faces as if they were a regular to the establishment. "I assure you they have great coffee. Look at the name."
"Let's try it out then."
A swing of the glass door, and a powerful whiff of coffee beans consumed your sense of smell. There was a civilized line in front of the female cashier with a name tags that read, Abby. Her kind smile brought about a cheerful atmosphere to each customer, regardless of their mood before entering the shop. Soon, it was our turn to order a pick-me-up beverage for the morning rush.
"Welcome to Swing's Coffee Roasters! I'm Abby. What can I get ya?" Her high-pitched vocals generated a smile to form on both of our faces.
"Can I get an Eiskaffee and a cranberry orange scone please?" I browsed over the menu choices, surveying the calorie intake. I had enough weight on my bones and I do not plan to add more. The scone would be my only dessert for the week, and the sugar could serve as an energizer. I could burn the calories off with a run after the interview.
"I'll get an iced coffee and a croissant," Charlotte brought out her American Express platinum card, awarding it to Abby. I could of paid, but with her movements, it would be a failure. The purchase was successfully transmitted, and Abby indicated the appropriate area to wait, amongst other customers, for our order. I monitored the time, and made certain that we had well over enough time to make the interview with a few minutes to spare. Fifteen minutes transpired, and Abby motioned for us to acquire our order from the scoffed counter.
"This coffee is ah-may-zing," Charlotte sipped her caffeinated drink through a straw, peering up innocently like a child. "All right. Let's get you to the White House."
On the journey to the west gate, I picked at the scone that was surprisingly delectable. My taste buds ravished at the delicate flavors as I chewed the last piece before stuffing the rest into my handbag. I disposed of my coffee in a trash bin, dusting off my palms for loose crumbs. There wasn't much of a line as Charlotte and I patiently waited for our turn to arise. With time, the security guard turned his stone expression for our names.
"What's the names?"
"I'm Ophelia Kensington, and this is Charlotte Story," I introduced, planting my trembling hands to the pit of my blazer's pocket. My fingers fiddled with the stitching as I studied his pen moving across the paper.
"May I see a form of identification to verify?" We provided the gentleman with our driver's licenses from the state of Massachusetts, and with a clear nod, he approved our identity to proceed. "You may head inside."
Polished, tile floors with a pattern of white and vermilion. Previous presidential portraits hanging strategically from the walls to attract attention from the plethora of tourists entering every day. The ropes stationed to prevent certain individuals from certain areas and grand chandeliers that hung from the ceiling. The reflective light was hypnotizing, but I returned to reality in order to locate an employee to assist us.
A lady, wearing quite an extravagant simper, stood tall with her posture flawless. Her crimson blazer held a badge with the presidential seal, indicating her employment within the White House. I clasped onto Charlotte's wrist to escort over to the employed female. Once we were in her line of vision, her hazelnut irises examined our attire as judgmental as that may have appeared.
"Hello. We are looking for the west wing. I have an interview with the Chief of Staff, and she," My fingers pointing at Charlotte, "has a job as the assistant to the Vice President's secretary."
"Head to the west wing entrance, present your names and the reason for being here and you should be able to get in," The lady constructed a idiot-proof blueprint for our puzzled minds, and used her index finger, nail filed and painted with a pure white shade, to direct us to the proper location of our interviews. Charlotte clenched her palm to the bone of my wrist, accompany me to the pair of wooden doors. The time read little over eight thirty, which provided us with plenty of leisure time if the destination wasn't far.
"The Chief of Staff will be right with you," A middle-aged lady with soft, delicate black hair ushered my quivering frame to a pair of leather chairs to rest before the Chief of Staff is ready for my existence. There was incoherent chatter that slipped through a small crack of the two parted doors, and I would guess that he was conducting another interview. His voice was stern, nothing like I had imagined the night before in my startling nightmare.
Ophelia, my inner thoughts called to me, you can do this. I was a firm believer that self-motivation is the key to any line of success, but as the bone of my knee caps wobbling together, I begin to question that philosophy.
"Ophelia Kensington?" A man, who appeared to be in his late twenties possibly, burst one side of the wooden doors apart from the other. His frame towered over, the stubble of his chocolate-colored beard aged him more to his early thirties. The look in his eyes possessed power, the darken irises peering into your soul like daggers to the heart. The tousled strands of his quiff relayed perfect still, and as I nearly perked at his voice, he stood surprised. "No need to be nervous, sweetheart. The interview should go smoothly."
Majority of the large office was made of wood furnishings; the colossal piles of important documents were stacked neatly within two bins labeled, 'unfinished' and 'finished'. The overseeing, rectangular windows hid the shy spring sun behind the plastic blinds. Behind the enormous oxhide chair were five shelves of hard binding books of titles I could not read. The office's lightening was dimmed by the lamps in the adjacent corners.
"Please have a seat," His hands pointed to the matching chair set as the ones outside of his office. Hesitantly, I retracted my knees to bend, seating myself in the padded cushions for comfort. The sweat glands that perspired from the pores of my palms built up the moisture, causing me to drag the surface along the fabric of my pants. The gentleman found his place in the lavish chair, scooting himself to the desk to read over papers. "Miss Kensington, is it?"
"I'm Liam Payne, the Chief of Staff to the President of the United States of America. I serve at the pleasure of the president, and I make his life easier, which includes developing a new method of speech writing," Mr. Payne avowed in his rich, American accent, "I also apologize for the Press Secretary's absence. She'll be here soon enough."
"No, that's fine," The sweat glistening on my palms has resided, and the coolness of the atmosphere prevented the stains to circle on my white blazer's interior material. "May I ask how many interviewees there were?"
"It should not matter, Miss Kensington, but I would have you know that you are the most qualified for this position. Based solely on your résumé of course," His heavily pigmented lips, in a coat of pink, puckered themselves as the focus of his attention centered on the words and statements on my entire academic and professional career. "It says here that you are a Harvard graduate?"
"Yes. I was the top of my class, and the valedictorian," I supplied him with the accurate dose of information without allowing the quiver of my voice to display and have my nerves shatter into fragile, porcelain pieces.
"You had your work in several Massachusetts newspapers, and in TIME magazine. Impressive," He complimented my achievements, not bothering to participate in eye contact. His voice remained strict and was only used to articulate some of his opinions. "This is all well and great, Miss Kensington, but the president does not give speeches to bore people. He gives them to inform and excite the citizens of America. What can you do to offer that?"
My father had harshly criticized all of my creative writing pieces, and would not fail to mention the disappointment he felt. His cruel and bitter vocabulary stained my ability to possess confidence in my work, shaming the audacity I had to write against his wishes. This opportunity could be ripped from my clutches if I do not muster enough aplomb to exhibit my metaphorical manner of fluently typing my thoughts and vivid imagination against the keyboard. The seal of my Prada handbag was unfastened, making it easy to fetch my iPhone from the debris. I had an exclusive folder dedicated to the commissions, and with a few taps of the screen, one of my favorite papers was slid across the array of paperwork for his reading.
"That is one of my fictional, creative writing pieces," My voice hushed, "I did not submit these, however."
Mr. Payne's on every tense facial features loosened with each swipe of his finger. He scrolled patiently, skimming over the words to get a jest of the writing's purpose. My hands were clammy for the second time; the nervousness spreading to the pads of my fingers and the twitching involuntarily increased as his reading drew to a firm close. His throat bobbed as he swallowed his saliva, and within seconds as he glissaded the device to return to me, I could feel the weight of my heart drop to the pit of my stomach. The expression on his face was thick in disapproval, and I could tell the job was far from my own.
"Well, when can you start, Ms. Kensington?"
"I'm sorry, what?"
"When can you start? Can you start today?" Could this mean that my creative work was accepted? The only other breathing individual that read the passages were Charlotte, and her opinion could easily be altered because of her fear that her words will damage my self-esteem. Nothing is worst than my father's verbal assault. "We could have you meet the President, introducing yourself to formally prepare for rather, private sessions with him."
"I-I could start today if that is the best option," Mr. Payne rose from his seated form, implying that I should follow his leading actions. His arm stretched to hover in front of me, firmly for a handshake of verification. "O-oh, thank you for this opportunity, Mr. Payne."
"Call me Liam," He loosened the hold on my palm, that hopefully wasn't sweaty and disgusting, and paced to lead a scrambling figure like myself to linger behind his quicken steps of intensity. People stocking around the narrow halls in professional, business attire created the busy scene of the west wing. Echoes of conversations that are marked as private affairs cloud through the air, the people conversing ducking their heads protectively in the space between. "These are the halls of the west wing. They are normally busy, everyone reporting at the need of the President. I may warn you, he is a rigorous man that does not filter his words well."
It was challenging to keep up with Liam's steps. He shifted left to right as if he was a vigorous runner that craved to sprint across the finish line. The speed he ventured was impeccable but the incoming pain that mounted and spread among the muscles of my feet did not favor this action. The pain was bearable for the time being, but if we were to continue for any longer, I questioned if I will be able to withstand the journey home.
"Lauren, is the President in?" His words were too agile for the young woman; the interruption she wished to have projected on Liam was interfered with the grip of the golden chrome door knob. It swung open, and the frighten child within me camouflaged with the broad space of Liam's back. "Jacquelyn, you can not keep doing this. You missed the last interview."
"Liam, loosen up. She was with me. You made a decision, right?" A thick, sultry enunciation of such simple words pierced deep with bloody wounds to the knees. The voice held authority, and a fool would only assume he was not the president of the United States of America. "Where is the employee?"
Predicting by the projection and distance of his speech, the mystery man was gravitating forward to me. I huddled inwards with my eyelids screwed shut with agitation. The room grew quiet; there was no movement, and in an instant, I could comprehend the eyes that were broiling metaphorical craters in my clothing. With every strand of reluctance in my body, I parted the two eyelids to lay eyes on a impatient Liam in front. They were awaiting my cowardly action to cease. Excellent first impression, Ophelia, my thoughts criticized.
"Ophelia, there is no reason to be nervous. You have the job, and I have faith in you," Liam encouraged and motivated my breathing to steep to a normal rate, and introduce myself to the man behind him. "Now, say your name. That's all."
It's as if the Red Sea parted powerfully, whipping the two sides of gushing waters to spilt. The wind was kicked out of my lungs, the pupil of my orbs diluting deeply and surrounding the outer ring with the enlargement. I gulped down the amount of saliva that accumulated on my tongue, clutching the Prada bag to my chest for safety. The length of his brown locks dropping to pool at the beginning of those broad shoulders. His viridescent orbs glimmered like diamonds after a decent polishing, the sharpened point of his jawline clenching repeatedly as he awaited my words. The man was stunning, but I would not admit those facts to anyone.
"My name is Ophelia Kensington. I was hired to be your speech writer," I coughed up, releasing the deathly grip on my Prada bag to drop aimlessly at my side. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President."
He stood there, his jaded eyes stabbing the area of my skin with a keen knife. His figure was slouched over the woman, I assumed was Jacquelyn, but his attention remained on me. His chest raised, dismissing the woman with a flip of his two digits. "Liam, can we have the room?"