Pulling her close, he whispered, “I’ve waited a long time for this.” Despite the closeness of their hips, she could not yet feel his manhood. They were going to have to wait a while longer. That pill he took earlier was not yet working. A man of 70 sometimes requires a little help, Mogul told her shortly before tossing back a mixture of Viagra and bourbon.
“No worries,” she replied. If Evergreen was anything, she was a patient woman.
Sliding his hand up underneath her silk blouse, Mogul snapped loose her DKNY full-figure bra. She responded by pulling his head into her breasts. He moaned with delight. For the past 30 years, the only breasts he’d felt had all been fake. They were nice to look at, but they felt like play-dough hardened.
“Oh, Evergreen,” he said. He leaned her back across the wide mahogany desk, knocking off pens and papers and the ever present iPhone, which he had already shut-off.
It was her phone, not his. The bulky fellow with the too tight suit coat had stopped him outside her office door and checked all of Mogul’s pockets, taken his phone, his billfold, his keys. Even made him remove his shoes. The only thing he had returned to Mogul was his bottle of Viagra. The Secret Service guard had winked when he handed the pills back. When Mogul was out of sight, the fellow had laughed aloud. Skip remembered the campaign, how everyone had made fun of Mogul’s small hands. Apparently, the innuendo held some truth to it. Skip had no idea what his boss lady saw in the Mogul but her love life was her business, not his. Skip didn’t even know Evergreen and Mogul were a thing until Carlos, the head server in the dining room confided it to him one day.
Carlos, a Puerto Rican, had been at the White House 27 years, longer than anybody. He had been there during the first President Clinton. Very little surprised him when it came to the day-to-day affairs of the presidency. Most presidents and their wives made Frank and Claire Underwood look as benign and ridiculous as Jim and Tammy Faye Baker. The only couple he really thought worthy of the office was George and Barbara Bush. But one mention of their son’s presidency sent Carlos into a fit of Spanish-laden obscenities, with the occasional English “dumb-ass” thrown in for good measure. Carlos had a nephew killed in 2004 in Iraq. He took his sister’s loss as his own. One day while serving coffee, he purposely spilled it into George W.’s lap. It was the least he could do, he told his sister later. It made her smile, the thought of that hot coffee shriveling up the president’s privates.
Mogul’s tongue was probing Evergreen’s ear. Her clip-on pearl earring fell to the desk, bounced on the tan carpet. Evergreen had not yet gotten around to changing the carpet from her predecessor. She was thinking perhaps of just leaving it. When the grandbabies came to visit and ate cookies or spit up milk, the tan was fairly easy to clean.
Neither Mogul nor Evergreen were too concerned with being caught. Evergreen’s husband had kept the house in New York and he stayed there most of the time. The White House held a lot of bad memories for him. Evergreen could hardly blame him for not wanting to return. He would come to DC on the weekends, but never during the week.
Mogul’s wife had left him after he lost the election. She took their only child, Mogul Jr. and bought a home in Cabos San Lucas. “It’s a beautiful home with a very tall and thick wall all around it,” she said in her broken English when an investigative reporter at the Washington Post finally tracked her down. “I made Mogul pay for it.”
Indeed Mogul was paying for a lot of things he never counted on after funding his own race for the White House. Evergreen had told him not to use his own funds. She knew that she was going to win this election. Mogul couldn’t say that she hadn’t warned him, but Mogul was not an easy man to control. Just ask Paul Ryan.
The problem was that Mogul prided himself on controlling every situation. He would not abide anyone telling him what to do, not even if it meant losing everything he had amassed, which is exactly what happened. Evergreen couldn’t help but feel sorry for the man. They had, after all, been friends prior to the race.
There had been a chemistry between them even back then when they were living in New York and rarely saw each other. Mogul had always asserted himself as a lady’s man. He truly believed that every woman in the world wanted him, lusted after him. His arrogance had annoyed her at first, but Evergreen had a weakness for showboats, for men who exuded power and position, and Mogul certainly did that.
Now he was having to come to her for money and she was shelling it out without reservation.
Evergreen yanked on Mogul’s belt, unzipped his pants. She felt something sharp in her back. “Ouch!” she cried.
“Am I hurting you?” Mogul asked.
Evergreen reached behind her, felt the cold metal tip. She threw the letter opener across the room, it struck Mogul’s bourbon glass and shattered it. Skip heard the noise and immediately stepped into the Oval Office. Seeing Evergreen and Mogul entangled atop the desk, Skip averted his eyes, “Everything okay, Madam President?”
“Yes,” she replied as calmly as she could under the circumstances. “Everything is just fine. Thank you.”
Skip stepped back outside the office and shut the door. He groaned. It was like that moment in Bridges of Madison County where Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep are getting it on and all Skip could think about during that love scene was how repulsed he was by old people fondling each other. It just felt so wrong. On the other hand, he was amused at the thought of his boss lady sticking it to men, so to speak, given all the ways she’d been wronged over the years. She certainly had the Mogul in a compromising position. That made Skip laugh.
Evergreen shoved Mogul off her just as the pill was beginning to take effect.
“What?” he cried, pointing to his little soldier standing at attention.
“No means no,” she said, smiling. Evergreen picked up her bra, fastened it underneath her ample breasts, then turned it around and slid her arms into the straps. She slipped her silk blouse back on, taking time to tuck it back into the skirt she had never gotten around to removing. “I’m done here,” she said.
“DONE?” Mogul cried. “How can you be done? We were just getting started!”
“You. You were just getting started,” Evergreen corrected him. “Listen, I don’t think this is ever going to work. I mean you’re a great guy and all. Terrific really. Great. Terrific. I have a lot of respect for you. You are great. You are terrific. The ladies love you. China loves you. Even Bill loves you.”
“He does?” Mogul was actually very surprised by that. He thought that Evergreen’s husband probably had it in for him the way the lousy media did. Mogul still blamed the press for his losing to Evergreen. They were biased against him because he was a terrific guy.
“Yeah, of course, he does,” Evergreen lied. She was always having to tell lies to Mogul. His ego, though sizable, was incredibly fragile. She didn’t want him going off on one of his rants in her office. The last thing she wanted was Skip walking back in on them again.
“I had no idea,” Mogul said. “Maybe I should call him up, invite him for a game of golf.” Mogul’s solider was standing down now. His attention span short like everything else. Mogul sat on the couch while he slipped his feet into his pants.
“You should. He’d love that.” Evergreen picked up her pearl earring, fastened it back into place.
“Yeah, okay. I will,” Mogul said. “But what if he finds out about us?”
‘So what?” Evergreen said. “What’s he going to do? Challenge you to arm-wrestle? I’ll tell you what he’s not going to do. He’s not going to say a word to me about it.”
“He won’t? Won’t he be jealous?”
Evergreen laughed. She didn’t dare say what she was thinking: “Jealous of YOU?”
What she said instead was, “Bill’s not the jealous type. Never has been.”
Dressed now, Mogul picked up his pill bottle, slipped it into his jacket pocket. He leaned in to kiss Evergreen. She turned her head, offered him her cheek instead. “So this is really it? he asked.
“Yes,” Evergreen said. She could be a decisive woman when she needed to be.
“Is it okay if I send you an email sometime?”
“Sure,” she replied. “Just remember to use my private email address. It’s more secure than my work one.”
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Burdy (Mercer University Press).