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My pleasure. If only she knew just how much of a pleasure being around her really was for me. Well, pleasure and the most exquisite torture to be exact. I was adjusting my navy tie and preparing to venture outside and pick up the paper when I swore I heard the front door click closed. My blood ran cold and then immediately, I went into security mode. Without a second thought, I raced down the stairs and out the front door to catch Abby up in my arms and haul her back in the house. She was pissed at me, and rightfully so, I suppose. I didn't even think about decorum with madame president hanging off my shoulder in her bath robe, but I couldn't say I despised the situation. She was allowed to have a moment to herself, of course, but she needed to realize what her new title brought into play. I had an obligation as her security and her friend to not only remind her of her significance, but to keep a weather eye at all times. The sun may not have made an appearance yet, but that was no excuse. My eyes were open, so I was on duty, and she was my responsibility. Period.

Once back inside the safety of the house, I followed Abby into the open kitchen, watching the sway of her hips the whole way, and came up behind her just as she was reaching for a mug in the cabinet above her head. On instinct, I extended my arm and placed my hand protectively on her hip, giving it a slight squeeze. It took every ounce of control I had not to let out a low moan of satisfaction at the contact with her warm, smooth skin. I could see the goosebumps rise on her flesh and smirked as she froze where she stood in front of me.

"Please, let me. Go relax." I whispered as I directed her back towards her mountain of work at the table. She acquiesced and sat down on wobbly legs to begin sorting through the large pile of work in front of her. I knew how she liked her coffee, and even though it wasn't part of the job description, I felt a small thrill at taking care of the simple task for her. While I poured a helping for each of us and got her favorite creamer out of the fridge, I stole glances her way and admired this stunning and powerful creature I had the honor of serving. When our drinks were ready, I made my way to the spot beside her at the head of the table and opened my laptop to get my own day rolling.

I pulled up Abby's daily schedule as I checked through my emails and corresponded with my team for the morning. While she, Tessa, Simon, and I lived under the same roof, the rest of security took up surrounding properties so that we were protected at all times. With her parents and brother, plus my own family in town and staying on our street for election night celebrations, we had even more bodies under our care and even more eyes on watch. I had to go through my routine and keep things running smoothly. I couldn't afford to have a single detail overlooked. Even more so now that I had the incumbent on my hands.

I glanced up from my screen after a few moments when Abby let out a small sigh. I paused in my typing and nudged her foot under the table with my own. She came to attention, seemingly surprised that she'd been caught off guard, and her cheeks flushed when her eyes met mine and she knew I'd taken notice of her mood.

"Everything okay over there, Miss?"

"Roman, don't make me tell you again" she warned as she swallowed hard and glanced back down at her work.

"What's on your mind, Abs?" I shut my laptop and gave her my full attention.

"What if I'm not any good at this" she whispered almost too low for me to hear.

"Well that's very unlike you" I stated matter-of-factly as I took a sip from my mug. "Want to talk about it?" She twirled the pen in her nimble fingers for a minute before setting it next to a stack of papers and looking directly at me. For the first time, I noticed a lack of fire in her eyes, and it unnerved me. Abby was always sure and rarely second-guessed anything. She had all the markings of a good president, because even if she was less than confident in a decision, she still surged forward with her head held high and worked her ass off to get all the pieces of the puzzle to come together where she needed them so that her plan didn't result in failure. Right now, I think the realization of everything she had succeeded in doing was beginning to hit her and she was feeling overwhelmed. I had to do what I could to put her mind at ease, because the truth of the matter was, I couldn't think of anyone better qualified for the job.

"No, I mean, of course I can do this. I know I can. I wouldn't have worked and campaigned so hard if I didn't think so. It's just... it's all beginning to hit me the magnitude of who I am now, and I.. I just want to do right by the people. I don't want to let them down. Nevermind, it's silly." she shrugged almost helplessly and looked down at the table. I couldn't help but chuckle a bit as her confession began to marinate in my brain. I was sitting at the breakfast table in a rented townhouse with the future president of The United States. She was the most powerful woman on earth, yet here she was, in her robe with messy hair and oversized sweatpants, drinking coffee, having a moment of uncertainty. She was just a girl, barely into her mid-thirties, and she voluntarily just took it upon herself to have the weight of the world on her shoulders because she cared that much about others.

Compassion kicked in and I slid out of my chair and to the floor to kneel at her feet. It was certainly out of character for me to be such a way with her, but as our days wore on together and the way she was looking at me last night, I couldn't seem to help my actions. Right now, she needed a confidant. I could do that if it meant seeing her smile.

"You can't blame yourself for having emotions and concerns. You're human. Hell, isn't that why you felt the need to run in the first place? The desperation of the country spoke to you and you couldn't help but want to serve every single person in need of help. You are a remarkable woman, Miss James. You've overcome all the odds and won the hearts of America. They support you, your family supports you, and, for what it's worth, I support you too. Believe in yourself because the rest of us do. You know that. If ever you need to talk, or you're just in need of a friend to hang out with and relax, I'll gladly be there for you" I felt my face heat up slightly at my admission, but I meant every word and I know she needed to hear encouragement and reassurance right now. I smiled when I realized how her neutral expression shifted into one of glowing euphoria. She seemed to uncurl from herself as she reached out a hand to touch my cheek. Her small palm was warm and the gesture sent a shiver up my spine. I felt myself sag under her touch.

"I think that's the most you've said to me in one shot in all the long months we've been friends and colleagues, Roman, but, thank you. Your words mean more to me than you can comprehend" she positively radiated bliss as she leaned down to place a soft kiss on the opposite cheek from which her hand rested. Her lips were like silk on my skin and I knew in that moment, I'd remember that simple kiss for the rest of my life.

Our smiles matched as our bond grew deeper during that quiet morning in the kitchen. I knew we were both mulling over unspoken emotions, but those conversations could wait for another time. A few more seconds, and I stood to slide back into my chair and returned my attention to my coffee.

"So, tell me what we're up to today." 

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