DISCLAIMER:Political Animals and its characters are the property Berlanti Productions, Lawrence Mark Productions, Warner Horizon Television and USA Network. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To Geekgrrl.lurking[at]gmail.com
You can almost hear your mother's laugh now, echoing in your mind as if stuck on repeat, over and over again. As if she knows some secret inside joke, and she is just waiting for you to screw up. Just like she did, and just like you are terrified you will yet.
She always makes you question yourself, question the ivory tower you've set up for yourself, the perfection you strive to attain. Mother and T.J. are both cautionary tales of what can happen when you are not vigilant, went you are not able to be the ideal, to be what everyone wants you to be.
When you are weak.
You take a final drag of your smoke and crush it out. A nasty, filthy habit that you know you should quit, but you won't. You enjoy it far too much. You glance across the large hotel bedroom at the still sleeping form in your bed. Another habit that you shouldn't be indulging, but again you enjoy it too much.
Let's be honest, you enjoy her too much.
Susan Berg, the Pulitzer Prize winning, self righteous writer and a general all round pain in the ass.
The smile spreading across your face tells a different story.
'A new acquaintance' is what you said, but what you had meant was potential lover, given time and inclination. And so the dance began, with you standing there with your hand outstretched, offering her lemonade like some kid in high school. Offering so much more really, but Susan didn't realize it yet. You desperately wanted to trust in something, someone, but knowing that you shouldn't, deep down terrified that you would get burned in the end.
Like you were with Bud.
You shake your head, and try to remove the man from your mind's eye. You don't need him in your bedroom right now, especially with that beauty sleeping so peacefully there. Besides, he had his chance and literally fucked it up.
You sigh softly and stand, your bare feet silent on the plush carpet. You still don't know how this story will end. All you know for sure is that you want her; you want that bright political mind at your side, her sharp observations, and her biting wit, arguing with you, pushing you to bigger and higher goals. Still, it's a give and take kind of arrangement and she wants something from you. This you know.
This you understand.
Morning power walks had quickly become lunch or the occasional dinner, which became late night conversations over wine, and finally became this, whatever the hell this is. All you know is that it's passionate and consuming and you don't trust it for a second, but you can't seem to give it up, or stop it before it gets too big, too dangerous, before you find real happiness.
Happiness. There's a novel idea. Is that even possible for you anymore?
This shouldn't be happening. Not now. Not when it can derail your life, your career, your lofty goals so completely. You sigh and run a hand through your hair in frustration, slowly sinking down to the mattress. The warmth of her body calling out to you.
You are weak too, it seems. Or maybe just human.
Susan suddenly stretches, making that soft noise at the back of her throat in her sleep, kittenish and intimate, and your stomach clenches with need. Her dark eyes blink open and your smile widens, before dipping your head and claiming those soft lips. It doesn't take long for her to wake up, desire rising between the two of you.
Susan doesn't want the perfect you, the one with the expertly styled hair, and flawless makeup. She doesn't take you at face value, at the façade that you present to the world; she digs deeper inside you, deeper than anyone has dared to look before, deeper than you have let anyone in before.
It's not weakness, it takes incredible strength to truly share who you are with another person. An honour you do not bestow lightly. A trust that must be earned, if you allow it.
"I love you," Susan whispers, her voice raspy and hot in your ear, your body aching for more as your mind takes in the words. You freeze for an instant, fear gripping your heart, knowing that you should not want this so badly, but you do.
You pull back and meet her eyes, and you see her fear there too. She's afraid she's said too much, too soon, wondering in that instant if you will run or lash out, like a wild animal that is cornered.
Not today. Today you are strong in your convictions, in your desires.
Love may be an inconvenient truth, but it is the most honest thing that you have found since setting foot in the political arena. And nothing worth having is ever easy.
Finally you can't help it and you smile, the bubble of emotion rising deep within is too much to contain. You want this, you want her with you and you will have it. Is it really that simple? You laugh gently as you reach out and trail the back of your hand across Susan's soft cheek, still flushed from sleep. Yes, apparently it is.
"I love you, too." You murmur against her skin, before claiming her full lips, and you realize just how good it is to be free at last.
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