"I still can't believe that he was cheating." Aaron said with a shake of his head.
Emily released her breath, placing her files down on her desk, "Tell me about it. I feel awful."
Aaron ran his hand through his hair, shaking a few curls lose without even realizing it. Feeling her eyes on him he peered over at Emily only to find her staring, "What?"
His natural curls – ones that Emily had only glimpsed twice. Once went he took her on his desk and the second time after they woke up together on the couch in his office. It had been a long day preparing for an upcoming NATO summit and they both accidentally fell asleep while filling out the necessary paperwork.
Seeing them now, for only the third time, she couldn't look away. She knew he gelled his hair back to be professional but she couldn't stop thinking how him it felt, his natural curls leaking a bit of his personality into his otherwise buttoned up version he presented at work.
"Nothing," she smirked, "I'm going to grab coffee. You coming?"
Aaron grabbed his file, giving her waist a squeeze as he passed, "I can't. I have a meeting in ten minutes. Dinner after work?"
"Chinese?" She smiled up at him, hoping the pleading look in her eyes would sway him. They had Chinese just a couple of nights ago but she was craving it.
Aaron rolled his eyes, walking backwards as to not disturb their eye contact, "Fine, but you owe me."
Emily smirked and shot him a quick wink, "Anything you want."
Aaron eyes dipped down her body, "So cruel." He uttered hoarsely before dragging himself away.
The last thing he needed was a physical sign to the rest of the white house showing how much he wanted her.
"So, 3 letters day huh?" Seth asked, approaching Emily.
She quickly finished pouring her sugar in her drink, not even caring the amount that was dumped in there. At this moment, all she wanted to do was run away, having to face what was coming was unavoidable but Emily was still going to try.
"Yep." Placing the lid on her cup she turned towards the door.
"Hey, Emily, can I have a minute?"
Emily forced her Chief of Staff smile before turning around, "Sure. What's up?"
"Look, I really value this thing called job security, have you told Kirkman that I was arrested yet?"
Emily's fake smile got even faker, just like her reply, "It's in process."
Seth faltered, his anxiety only growing, "Process. Right."
"Got to run." Emily muttered, getting out of the break room as quickly as her legs could carry her.
"Emily, thank you for your non-biased judgment. I take all of your advisement under consideration, but I'm not firing Seth. Thankfully there were no charges pressed. His job is safe." President Kirkman said, placing his glasses on his desk and folding his hands.
"Of course, Sir." Emily's grip on her folder lightened, thankful that she didn't have to fire her friend today. Despite all they went through together at the end of the day Seth was family, and the last thing she wanted to do today was fire her family.
Thinking she was being dismissed, Emily began to walk towards the door only to hear Kirkman behind her.
"I know you're in a hard spot, especially with the weight you now carry as my Chief of Staff. Would you mind sitting for a quick minute?"
Emily sat down, crossing her ankles, "Well, I'm not going to lie to you Sir, it definitely has its challenges, but a job worth doing doesn't come easy."
The President smiled, "No, it doesn't. I know you're strong Emily, I've known that since the moment I first hired you. But, strength has its limitations. I just want to make sure you're bearing this weight okay? Is there anything I can do?"
If there was always a silver lining it was her boss. He was the greatest boss in the world. Literally. Even when they were in HUD he was the same, always making sure his staff was at their best.
Emily smiled, standing up again, "No, thank you though, Mr. President. Don't worry about me, you're not the only one looking out for me."
Emily had a personal bodyguard, security blanket, and lover all in one. Aaron Shore made sure that she was happy on a daily basis, but she was still touched by Kirkman's concern.
Giving her one more smile, and hiding his secret suspicion about her Aaron the President dismissed her and got back to his paperwork.
Emily glanced at her watch, wishing more than anything that it was time to head home. All she wanted was to eat crappy Chinese food and fall asleep next to Aaron. After the mess that this day had become she just wanted to be wrapped in his arms.
A soft knock interrupted the wishful thoughts. In walked Seth with a letter in his hands and a solemn look on his face.
"Look, I know what I did was wrong, whether the charges were dropped or not. But still, I've decided to give the president my resignation letter."
With her surprise showing on her face Emily's thoughts escaped her before she had time to think them through, "There's no need. I already told him to fire you."
With that statement Emily wasn't the only one wearing a look of surprise anymore. Seth struggled for a minute before he responded, "Well, good. Then he won't be caught off guard."
Emily swallowed, folding her hands in her lap, "Yes. He will. He told me no."
Seth was surprised, he thought for sure giving the president his resignation was the right move.
"What you did was wrong Seth. You get only one get out of jail free card and you just used it."
"Emily, I was protecting my family." How could she not see that? If it came between his job and his brother he would always choose his brother."
Emily sighed while standing up to face him, "Yes. You were. What you so easily forgot is that we're your family too."
That took him aback, he didn't realize. Seth was so caught up in making sure his brother's future was secure that he didn't realize the position he not only put Emily in but the President and the entire White House in. He didn't realize that while trying to protect one member of his family he was hurting the rest of them.
"Well, my job is still my job. So where do we go from here?" If he had to walk around on eggshells he wasn't sure he could do it. He had been doing it for about a week now and he didn't think his nerves could physically take another second of it.
"Come here." Emily sighed, opening her arms. Times were hard and situations were challenging, but at the end of the day family was still family. Through the good or the bad.
Seth leaned in and wrapped his arms around her.
Giving him a pat on the back Emily pulled away, "Now go and sin no more."
Seth gave her a quick salute before heading out. Their consciences were clear and smiles were held on both ends.
'Finally,' Emily thought. Finishing the buttons on her coat she met Aaron in the hallway.
"Ready to go?" He asked, balancing his briefcase in one hand and attempting to zip his coat with the other.
Emily gave him a soft smile, her eyes twinkling. With his failed attempt at his zipper and his natural curls still peeking through she couldn't help but love him.
"Come here," She smiled, reaching out to zip him.
Just as she finished with his coat he loosely grabbed her chin. His soft lips pressed a gentle kiss against her own. He had been dying to do that all day.
He gave her a quick glance, noticing her empty hands, "No work?"
Emily let out a laugh, "Not tonight. I just want to spend a night together without the thought of work."
Aaron gave her a soft smile and grabbed her hand, his thumbing tracing the back of hers. Looks like she wasn't the only one who had fallen desperately. A day was only hard until they were together.
Placing her chopsticks in their container Emily leaned her head against Aaron's shoulder.
"I am so full I don't think I can move," She said as her hands went to stomach.
Aaron smirked, angling his body so they were facing each other.
"Hm. Then I've got you right where I want you."
She smiled up at him. Even though she was at a fair height, being 5'5, Aaron still towered over her at 6'2. She looked up at him and felt her love for him fill her heart.
As he looked her over, a habit of his, his eyes reflected the same look in her own. Aaron couldn't fight the pull between them any longer as he molded his lips to hers.
Emily pulled away just enough to thank him.
"For what?" He asked, his thumb tracing her cheek.
"Today was hard. Not only did we have to investigate the letter but on top of everything else I had to recommend Kirkman to fire Seth. It was awful. I could barely hold a straight face."
As her eyes started to water he dragged Emily into his lap, her head pressing into the crook of his neck and shoulder.
"Hey… you did the right thing. Em, you are so good at your job and you care so deeply. You did the right thing, I'm sure Seth understood that. What did Kirkman end up doing?"
Emily relaxed and she explained to Aaron what happened, between her and Kirkman and then her and Seth.
"See," Aaron dragged his hand up and down her back, "Everything worked out."
"I know, but what got me through it all was knowing that I would be here. That my day didn't just begin with you but it was going to end with you. Thank you."
Aaron pressed a kiss to her head, breathing in the soft scent of her shampoo, "I love you."
Emily tightened her grip around him and nuzzled a bit closer, "I love you."