Chapter 18

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Chapter 18

Garret pulled up to the wrought iron gate surrounding the White House. The Secret Service agent standing by the buzzer to let us in walked over, peering into the car. I gave him a small wave. He smiled.

"Evening, Ember. I thought you were at university?"

Don't remind me. I had actually managed to get into somewhat of a good mood with the not so short drive here. I shrugged.

"I am but, CIA business, you know."

He nodded, stepping away from Garret's car and letting us through the gate. Garret thanked him and started slowly driving in. Despite it being the early hours of the morning, the White House uplighting was in full blast. It was so quiet it was almost eerie. Garret pulled up around the front loop and cut the engine. I climbed out first, sighing. I haven't been gone for long, but I did miss DC. DC and...

"Joshua!" I exclaimed automatically, scaling the front steps and bursting through the front doors.

Standing in the main foyer, President McGallen by his side, was my boyfriend. Excitement floods through me as I squealed like Ariana, running towards Joshua. He turned around, but a millisecond later I collided with him. For some reason I can't explain, I started laughing. Joshua wrapped his arms around me, clearly surprised.

"Joshua! Oh My God, I missed you so much!"

Joshua chuckled, pulling away slightly to give me the most welcome kiss of all welcoming kisses. Beside us, President McGallen cleared his throat and looked down at his feet awkwardly. I blushed furiously, stepping out of Joshua's arms and holding my hand out to President McGallen. He smiled warmly and shook it firmly.

"Hello, sir. I'm sorry, I was just so happy to see-"

"Oh, Ember, it's fine. No need to apologize."

I smiled back at him, relieved. Over his shoulder, I saw Margaret walking down the main staircase in a white fleece robe. She smiled at me, hugging me tightly. I hugged her back.

"It's so good to see you again, Ember. I was starting to worry about you. How's college?"

I shrugged. Honestly, it's been great. I love it...so far. Wait until the classes start. That'll be a hell of a time. My majors are homeland security and government (yes, I'm double majoring.) Naturally, it was preset by the CIA to fit my job requirements. I don't mind as long as I still have my job with the CIA and I get to go through four years of college, possibly more.

"Good. Busy. I haven't started any classes yet but I'm enjoying it."

Margaret nodded. She turned to face Joshua, who stood next to me the same way President McGallen stood next to his wife. I felt his hand on my waist. 

"And, Joshua, how has college been for you?"

He shrugged.

"It's okay. I would much prefer sharing a class with my girlfriend but-"

I pinched his arm, hard. He jerked back, rubbing the red mark I left there. Oops. I couldn't help it when I started laughing.

"Oh, I'm so sorry, babe." I said between fits of laughter.

Joshua shook his head, chuckling. His gray eyes sparkled with amusement.

"No, you're not."

President McGallen and Margaret exchanged a glance, chuckling. Margaret stepped towards the stairs, motioning for Joshua and I to follow.

"Well, now that we have these two back, how about we get some sleep? You two must be exhausted."

I nodded, yawning. I was exhausted, but I had so much to tell Joshua. I glanced at him out of my peripheral. He didn't look tired at all. He looked alert and awake. Taking my hand, Joshua and I followed President McGallen and Margaret upstairs. My phone started vibrating in my back pocket. Reading the Caller ID, I gasped. I had forgotten all about Garret! I stopped mid-step. Joshua stopped as well. I opened the message.

I'm sorry, Ember. I couldn't stay. Welcome home, sweetheart. Talk to you as soon as I can. XOXO 

-Dad 

"Who's that from?" Joshua asked.

I smiled, closing the message and shoving my phone into the back-pocket of my jeans again. 

"Garret. He dropped me off here, but apparently had to leave in a rush. I'll call him tomorrow."

Joshua smiled, draping his arm around my shoulders as we walked to the familiar room that was his (and, recently, mine.) He pushed open the door and I was hit by the familiar aroma of his cologne, my perfume, and something completely him. Like always. Home. I smiled and shut the door behind me. Welcome home, Ember. 

(Hey guys! So, my parents and I are staring to look at literary agencies to send my book to. I can't wait! It's title is a secret for now-sorry!-but I promise I'll keep you guys updated on it! In the meantime, vote and comment! This was a chapter I started writing yesterday after I took my Algebra test and my teacher stood practically behind me, suspicious about seeing my Kindle out and me typing frantically. I'm not sure, but I think he was reading over my shoulder. Sorry Mr. Martin! Bye-bye!) 

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