Alternative scene from The Vow
The ambiance inside these creamy-colored sandstone walls of the briefing room at the White House is enough to tip the anxiety that is eating me inside. Although I am worried how Rick will react when he finds out I am here instead of Darlene. It was an executive decision made at the last minute. I have taken every caution to make sure baby and myself are safe. I left a message with his personal assistant, Beth, explaining Darlene’s family emergency, and I needed to replace her. Hopefully, he will come to DC and stay with me overnight.
I lower my chin to check my security badge hanging from the blue ribbon wrapped around my neck. The badge sits just above where I softly rub over my thirty-two-week pregnant belly. Butterflies now cause chaos in my stomach at the thought of being amongst the best journalists around the globe.
I mean… Marsha Conrad, for Christ's sake.
She’s, my hero. One of the best journalists in the world today. A grin rides high on my cheeks when a little one pushes against my hand. It calms me because somehow, she/he reminds me I am not alone. Thank you, I whisper to my baby, for making me feel at ease. I settle my hand on the area where little one remains, as whispers surround me about the President’s wife, health. It is the main rumor doing its round in the political circles. Mrs. Felicity McBride has been well-documented visiting a local hospital daily without her husband, which should verify this claim. There’s also another one—from a whistle blower inside The White House—President McBride is cheating on his wife.
In the corner of my eye, I watch the White House Press Secretary, Timothy Pascal, enter the room, dressed elegantly in an Italian black suit; even his blue glasses match his tie. He steps up to the podium, as the light above shines on his bald head.
“Good morning, thank you for coming today. Please keep all your questions for after when the President has finished his talk.”
Pascal takes a step back when the President steps into the room. Cameras flashes from behind me as President McBride takes his stand—tingles race over me—the realization sets in that the President may accept my question. This experience is already overwhelming. I can understand what other reporters mean by their first time in this room. I had felt like this when I interviewed the Prime Minister.
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.” I turn my attention to President McBride when he speaks. His dressed in a bespoke charcoal suit just like the one Rick wears. His dark hair, flicked back, in a short wavelength. Rick said he will introduce me soon.
Today changes that.
I observe the President adjusting his silver tie with blue dots on it. A sign that he is nervous.
“I have called you all here today to inform you I will step down from my presidency. Jonathon Greaves, the Vice President will take my place.” He states, void of emotion, although the grip on the wood of the podium, causing his hands to turn white, tells us a different story, as whispers move around the room. “Now, I would like to take this opportunity to discuss the rumors which have been circulating about my wife and myself. My wife is not ill. It’s my mother-in-law. The doctors informed my wife that she will not be with us much longer.” Just the recognition of what he just said, ages him by ten years.
His mother-in-law must be gravely ill. A part of me feels for him here, as he drops a gaze for a millisecond before raising them to address us once more.
“I believe in being honest with the American people. However, my reasons for stepping down are of personal nature because it affects those close to me. Please respect my family’s right to privacy at this moment. You may ask questions now.”
I stand, as do the other journalists. “Mr. President—Mr. President.” Hands rival mine to ask the first question.
President McBride directs his gaze to the left side of the room. “Mr. O'Connor, your question?”
All eyes zoom in on the Agenda reporter. One of my networks, fierce political competitors. Charlton Brooks' wife, Elise Fitzgerald, owns the company.
“Mr. President, my sympathy for your wife’s mother. Can you shed a light on your mother-in-law's illness?” O’Connor sits back down as we all face the President for his answer.
“Thank you for your question, Mr. O'Connor. Please understand, my wife does not want to disclose those details.” He firmly states. “Therefore, I cannot confirm that this is the reason for me standing down. Next question.”
People shout again, “Mr. President—”
His eyes shine down on me. “Ms. Moore?” He gestures to me.
I nod, rising from my chair. “Yes. Mr. President.”
His eyes light up. Rick must have told him about me. “Do you have a question for me?”
“Um. Yes, um,” the words stumble out of my mouth. My legs almost lose their strength, but I stand tall, not allowing people to see that I am nervous. It really does not matter how many important people you interview. A man of his power would turn anyone’s legs to jelly while the heat from everyone’s gaze is enclosing in on me.
Ignore the beady eyes surrounding you, Emily. You can do this.
“Yes, sir.” A quick glance down at the questions on my list, then I return to address him. “I understand your need for privacy, but the public deserves answers about the recent rumor of you having an affair. Is that true?”
His eyes cast over, cloudy with a dull expression. I wonder if he is going to answer me, as seconds pass me fast. I keep my hand on my stomach for comfort from the little one as the hush words from other journalists surrounding me reach the same conclusion that I hit the nail on the coffin. Everyone snaps the head back to the podium when Vice President Greaves steps up there while the secret service ushers President McBride away. He directs his gaze to all of us in the audience.
Thank God, because by the look of his knitted brow, his not happy.
“I will repeat. President McBride will not answer questions of personal nature. And will state this—Family is important to him. It's his focus, right now. The President would like to thank the American people for having faith in him in the last four years of his term. I’m honored to be stepping into the role. I will be sworn in tomorrow. No further questions are to be taken today. Thank you all for coming.”
I remain wide-eyed at the stage where Greaves was minutes ago. They must have added an extra statement in case someone asked this question. I put the notes back inside the folder, then when I stand, I notice a few chairs are vacant. I wonder how long I have stayed here?
I better move it. Rick would have received my message by now. Then I am affronted by a burly man in a black suit. He is one of the President’s secret service. My heart pounds hard against my ribcage as I calmly rub where the little one is kicking the palm of my hand.
“Ms. Moore, can you please come with me?”
What do they want with me?
“I have to get back to my hotel room.”
“It will not take that long, Ms. Moore.” He gently assures me.
“Okay,” I clutch my folder and place my handbag on my opposite shoulder and follow him through the back of the briefing room. He directs me to a hallway, where I am rushed into a room. President McBride is sitting on the end of what looks like a table with clatters of boxes on the right of him. I don’t recognise the room. It must be one of the many rooms in the White House. But something catches my eye on the left side.
I gasped in horror. “Rick, I—” I don’t know what to say to him. He is here—sexy as hell—like he always is. Dressed in his three-piece gray suit, but what has my pulse high, is the glare in his eyes. He must have come here by plane as soon as he received my message. I know he will want answers why I never messaged him early this morning.
“Arnold, you may wait outside.” President McBride speaks.
“Yes, Sir,” the door closes behind me.
“Carson, you met my girlfriend.” Rick’s words could cut the air right now.
Yes, he is definitely mad.
“Yes, Rick.” President McBride answers precisely on cue.
The dryness in my mouth entices me to swallow.
I have really caused an upset with the love of my life and the most powerful man in the world.
Carson returns to face me. “Emily, it’s a pleasure to meet you at last, but you have certainly opened up a hornet’s nest. How did you come to this conclusion?” I squeezed my toes together with frustration at his question.
How could he be so at ease?
“Can I speak frankly?” I ask in bold manner.
“Yes, you may.” He announces softly, like he is expecting me to pounce on him with questions. I adjust my shoulders to hold my ground because it ain’t easy to stand up to a man like himself. Before I question him, I give a sideways glance to Rick, who has his arms crossed in front of him, with his chest puffed out. I believe somehow, he is proud of me for standing up to Carson. I know he saw my interview with the Prime Minister, but he is here in the flesh.
“It’s a rumor that’s been going around for some time, Mr. President. What is wrong with telling the truth?” I speak out of spite, because we, the people, deserve better. He drops his gaze to the floor with his hands on his hips for a second before he faces me once more.
“I agree with you there. However, it’s just not me in involved here, Emily.”
“Yes. I get that. But this should have been dealt with in another way.” I add.
He chuckles, the corner of his eye catches Rick. And for the first time, there’s lightness on his face. “Prime Minister was right about you. You don’t mince words. You’re tough, Emily. Hold on to this one, Rick.”
“Always,” Rick answers him. The President turns back to me.
“Emily, I’m not proud of what I did.” My eyes widen. So, it’s definitely the truth. “But in my situation, privacy is important, but what I say here now, must not go beyond these walls.” I nod. “I have done the right thing by standing down. You would have seen I had a statement prepared beforehand; in case the subject of my infidelity came up. My mother-in-law means the world to me, Emily. I don’t want to bring any undue stress on her. Her heart is already very weak. She may not be with us much longer.” His deep, husky voice declares. “I may be an asshole to my wife, but I care. All I ask of you is not to share this information until I am ready to do so. I swear on my life and my family that your network will get an exclusive interview with me.” His plea struck a nerve. He obviously put a lot of thought into this before I asked that question in the briefing room. I can clearly see that he is not protecting himself, just his family. It makes my job a lot harder in these circumstances.
I nod. “Mr. Sims will need me to report back to him. I just won’t mention this meeting. Until you are ready to do so.”
“Thank you.” He takes a moment to clear his throat. “I appreciate you understanding this matter.”
Rick moves towards me, pulling me into his side. I hug into his warmth. “I’m sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. You care deeply about those close to you. You love your wife, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do, Emily.”
Rick kisses me on the cheek. I gaze up at him, whispering, “I love you.” He winks at me. Maybe he will go easy on me when I plead with him.
“I will give you both a minute here alone before our car arrives to go to dinner.” I gaze at Rick to check that what our plans are. He confirms with a nod.
Before the door even has a chance to close, Rick has me pinned up against the pinewood door with a thud. He places my arms above my head while he runs his lips against my throat.
“Do you know how infuriating you can be sometimes, Angelface?” He locks his gaze on me. “You should have rung me personally; I don’t like second hand news.” I swallow at the brazenness of his voice.
I lick my dry lips.
“You have been impossible these last few days about my pregnancy. I felt closed in.” He shuts his eyes, then softly leans his forehead against mine.
“It’s because you mean the world to me, Emily.”
“I know—” He leans down to kiss me hard on the lips, while he releases my arms, bringing his hands to cup my face, to hold me there. The warmth and caress of his lips rose the heat to a scorching level. It doesn’t take much for me to get hot and bothered between the legs by him. He traces his mouth down my throat. While I run my palms down his firm chest, I could live in this cocoon forever. “Happy that you’re here with me,” I whisper.
“There’s nothing I would not do for you, Angelface.” He kisses me again. “Let’s leave before they come looking for us.”
If you enjoyed this alternative scene, and haven’t read Em’s Secret, why not grab your copy today?
See below the actual scene Emily met Carson in the book published:
Emily (last scene in chapter)
Marcy’s Playground music plays in the background when I open the front door and stroll with Colleen into the foyer. Rick loves classic rock music. He must be home. I’m about to call out to him when two boisterous voices travel from the direction of Rick’s office then a third voice joins in their banter, as they all laugh.
“You remember the time we got kicked out of the English literature faculty room?” The voice sounds familiar, but I cannot place it.
“Fuck. She was a tight ass too,” Rick slurs a little, and I smile. He’s drinking with his mates, I thought he was at work. I push the stroller over to the far corner near the entrance to the kitchen and dining area, near where Colleen’s play area is now, and take her out of the stroller. She shakes out of my arms, wanting to get down on the floor, and as soon as she is on her hands and knees she uses her little chair to help her stand. She is quite clever for her age. She turned nine months last Sunday, and can almost walk, but she is still finding her own ground and reaches out for my hand I offered her.
I help her walk to Rick’s office and she has a few falls along the way. The men are still rattling on about their days at university, and it just makes me smile, happy to see Rick in his element because he sounds so cheery. I know he has been busy of late, getting his new head office ready for the opening and with finalizing the deal for our property we have proposed to buy. It’s nice to hear him let loose a little. In my peripheral I notice Rick’s black office chair is empty against his mahogany desk.
“Hey Rick, we are home. We’ve just been to the park.” I stick my head in the room to check if he’s sitting on one of the lounges, and I’m first to notice the former President of the United States in Rick’s office. Now I can place where I heard his voice before, and of course Jay’s there beside him, sitting on the mahogany couch against the wall. Rick sitting on the loveseat with a glass of scotch. Colleen makes a rush to her father when she realizes where he is. He looks relaxed with the sleeves of his white business shirt rolled up his arms with his Sweeneys still on his feet, resting on the ottoman where Colleen grabs onto to him making him turn toward her. Rick’s blue eyes are lacking their normal luster—his pupils are a little dilated—I think he is on his way to being drunk. He glances up at me and winks.
“My two favorite girls in the whole wide world,” he slurs. Colleen giggles, I agree his voice sounds funny, as he drops his feet to the floor and picks up his daughter to sit her on his lap.
“Hey Em. Liz will be here shortly,” Jay comments, and I smile.
“Okay. Jay.” I turn to say hello to Carson. “Hey, Mr. P—” He laughs.
“Just call me, Carson, Emily. I haven’t been called president for some time now.” I nod as Rick comes up to me with Colleen on his hip, and I crane my head back as he looks down at me.
“I missed you.” He kisses me on the lips. He tastes like bitter sherry; he has been drinking for a while.
“Do we need to leave?” Jay adds, laughing.
“Oh, sod off, Jay,” I answer as Rick turns to Colleen.
“Did you have fun at the park?” She brings her hand up to Rick’s face, running her hand along his chin. She always finds his stubble fascinating, and he takes her hand into his and leaves a kiss on it, and she giggles.
Rick gazes back at me.
“Jay, Liz, and Carson are staying for dinner, we will order take out” I nod.
“I’m taking myself and Colleen upstairs to get changed.”
“Okay, beautiful.” He leaves another kiss on my lips, as his hand moves down the side of my denim short skirt and underneath the hem. He grabs the cheek of my bottom while leaning down to give me a passionate kiss that takes my breath away and heat spirals in my stomach, only making me want more. But we have guests.
“Rick,” I softly whisper, as his kiss becomes more intense, pulling on my bottom lip and I groan when he squeezes my bottom again. It reminds me of the amazing sex we had on last Saturday night and every night since. We cannot keep our hands off each other lately, and I pull away before he gets more friendly.
“Behave.” I wink at him, and he chuckles as he hands over Colleen to me.
A smile of satisfaction spreads on my face with Emily telling me to behave, but I can’t help it. She’s wearing the short denim skirt that shows off her long legs and my grin spreads further as I remember before we were about to kiss. Our daughter wasn’t paying attention to us, as she was gazing at her Uncle Jay who was playing hide and seek with her.
He absolutely adores Colleen, like Aunt Liz does, and she’s still giggling as I watch her and Emily turn to leave. The fevered kiss I left on Em’s lips is still burning fiercely on mine, and it invigorates my longing to have her back in my arms. I playfully smack her on the bottom and she turns over her shoulder to look at me.
There is no need for words. The kiss sobered me up a little bit. Noticing the love of passion and fire in her dark brown eyes, it’s what I feel too. Emily flicks a smile, knowing exactly what is running through my dirty mind. Her beneath me, hot and sweaty.
She turns on her heel with Colleen looking back at me with wide eyes, as Em rushes off, out the door. I always miss Angelface when she leaves me, but I enjoy watching her walk out of the room, drawing my eyes on the back of her skirt that fits snuggly around the edge of her bottom.
“Who wants another scotch?” asks Jay.
I turn around to grab my empty glass from the desk.
“Yes, please, Jay.” I pass the glass to him.
“Me too, please,” Carson comments.
“So, the wedding is November twenty-fourth. What’s happening with the wedding plans?” Jay asks as he gives me my glass.
“The wedding planner recently went to visit my property in the Bahamas,” I comment.
“Good, did you mention about us wanting to stay at the resort the night before?” I nod.
“I’ll check with Emily as she was supposed to get a call today some time.” Jay nods back.
“I better have an invitation, Bear,” adds Carson.
“You can count on it. So, did you want to stay in the spare room tonight before you head back to Washington?”
“Yes, if you don’t mind,” Carson replies.
“Good. It feels like old times again back in London. I cannot wait until we officially move in there in the end of September because Emily needs to finish her contract with work.” Carson and Jay nod.
“It’s the property in Broughton Place?” asks Jay.
“Yes, we put an offer through for the terrace house, which was accepted yesterday, and settlement goes through in eight weeks. Emily has offered for me to stay in her flat when I go over there for the opening of the head office. That means we will live apart sometimes, as I am required there for the interim until our move is complete. I’ve already met all the staff and they are aware. I can’t possibly be away from Emily and Colleen while waiting for them to move over at the end of September.” Jay smiles.
“At least you will be there when the settlement goes through.” I nod.
“Yes, we haven’t decided on what we want to bring over from New York, and depending on my workload I will help Emily pack.”
“You’ll be missed, Rick. We’ll have to visit on special occasions, but with so much happening in Philadelphia there’s no way I am going anywhere at this stage,” Jay comments in a robust voice.
“Times have changed for us in a good way, Jay. How is this new business adventure going?” His eyes light up.
“Fantastic, although it’s taken me away a lot of the weekends because I am busy with the restaurant during the week. I will be glad to get some alone time with Liz when we go to your wedding in November.” I nod, understanding how hard you must work when you’re a business owner and you don’t always have the time for your love ones. Jay passes Carson another refill.
“If you don’t mind me asking, Carson. How’s your business going now that you are not the president?” Jay asks.
“It’s going great. McBride’s Corporation runs like clockwork. I have the best staff.” He takes a swig of his drink before continuing the conversation. “Also, I have a guarantee with the branches of the U.S. Government for my company to handle web designs which will remain in place for another five years, because of the contract I had drawn. I knew my reign in power would end one day.” He turns to me. “I even had a web design done for Rick’s company.” I nod.
“Yes, you did, and your employees did a marvelous job.”