Hail to the Chief
The bitter January winds were howling, as the snow began to come down in earnest. Bella looked out the window from the hotel that she had stayed at last night and wondered who had thought it was a good idea to have such a grand affair in the middle of January in the northeast. As she stared out at the pristine white flakes, she was taken back to a time when she had given all of herself to the only man she ever loved, during a snowy winter night.
Damn, she hadn’t thought of him for a while, well, more than she liked to admit. Sometimes she’d glanced at a man in uniform and think for a second that it was him, but it never was. Bella often wondered what he was doing and if he thought of her from time to time. The box of mementos of their time together had been packed in her personal belongings that would be transported to her new residence for at least the next four years.
“Sweetheart, it is time to go,” Charlie announced as he walked into her room.
She turned to see her father dressed in a tailored black suit, crisp white shirt, a ruby red tie, and on his label was an American flag pin. Charlie Swan was the epitome of a proud American citizen, who served his country with dignity and righteousness. During his terms, the United States experienced one of the most tragic events in history, but with a level head and knowledge, he knew how to make those who attacked our country pay dearly. The years of being the strong shoulders of the nation had worn him down, his hair no longer the deep chestnut brown, now it was grayer. Around his eyes, he wore the worry lines for the endless days and nights, as he stood to watch over the country and their citizens. He had been and always will be her hero, wanting to be just like him.
“Thanks, Dad,” Bella answered. “Do you think I look okay?”
Charlie stepped closer to his daughter and smiled. She had always been his bright star and now she was filling his shoes. “You look lovely.”
Bella stepped closer and Charlie wrapped his arms around her and held her tight. “Daddy, I’m scared.”
“So was I,” Charlie divulged.
Bella pulled back and looked up into her father’s eyes. “Really? I don’t ever remember you being afraid.”
“What you are about to do is one of the most important jobs in the world. However, Bella, you are better prepared to sit in that office than I was when I took office. I know the country is hurting and divided, but you can be the uniting force to bring everyone back together. We are one nation and you are our best hope for a brighter future,” Charlie said, holding back his tears. He had always hoped that his little girl would change her mind about going into politics, but she was too much like him and serving the country was where their heart was.
“Thanks, daddy,” Bella said. “I hope I don’t let you down.”
“Just follow your heart and always think about what is best for the country as a whole. The United States was founded by immigrants who wanted to be free from tyranny. Somewhere along the way, many political candidates lost sight of this and instead of remembering that they work for those who elected them, they become like those tyrants that our founding fathers and mothers escaped from,” Charlie explained.
“I promise to right the wrongs that Aro did to our nation and to the world,” Bella promised.
“I know you will. Now, we need to get our heavy coats and gloves on, because it is freezing out there.”
“Yeah, I was hoping for the nice weather that you had, but I get a snowstorm,” Bella laughed.
“It hasn’t stopped the crowds from coming out,” Charlie said.
“Oh, ” Bella responded looking over her shoulder at the window where she noticed that the snow had not let up. “They should have stayed home, where it was warm.”
Charlie picked up the heavy navy blue wool coat and opened it up for Bella to slip her arms in. ‘With a comment like that, it just solidifies what I have been saying. You put the needs of the country before your own personal gratification.”
Bella placed her arms in the coat that would cover her winter white dress with a simple red belt, tights, and a pair of black pumps. Normally, she wore her long hair in a bun, but today it was curled and laying over her shoulders. The hope was that it would keep her ears and neck warmer. After buttoning up the coat, Bella turned to see that her father was putting on his heavy black coat, accompanied by a red scarf. “Let’s get this show on the road, ” Bella smirked as she tried to steady her nerves. She had been writing her address for weeks, not relying on a speechwriter, wanting the words to be all hers.
Charlie offered her his arm and as they approached the door, the Secret Service Agent talked in his wrist, which of course is where his comms were located. “Cygnet is on the move.”
Bella smiled at hearing her nickname with the service. When she had first heard it she didn’t understand why they called her that, but her mother explained to her that a baby swan was called a cygnet. When she had been the first daughter, her code name had been Bookworm, because she always had a book in her hand. Charlie had been called Swordsman, for being the man who willed the sword of righteousness and Renee was Twilight, for her love the early morning sunrise.
Bella followed her protective service down the hall and to the elevator which had been locked down whenever it was not used by the security detail. The agents had been with her after she had won the nomination of the Democratic Party. Once she won the election, the number of agents increased, however, this was the transition detail and once she was sworn in, she would receive her permanent Secret Service detail. The new team would be waiting for her at the White House after the parade, which would give both teams the time to get settled before beginning their duties.
When they arrived at the lobby, Renee was waiting for them along with her Vice President, Jacob Black and his husband, Nahuel. Nahuel held their little girl, Minnie, who had just turned two. They had adopted her, after her mother left her outside the hospital where Nahuel worked in Washington, State. Minnie had many health problems caused by the fact that she was born to a mother who had been using opioids. When she had been first found, she had a high fever, tremors, and breathing issues. Nahuel Black was a pediatric neurologist at Virginia Mason hospital. He had been the first physician who had treated Minnie, who was only a few days old when she had been abandoned. As the days turned into weeks, he fell in love with the little girl. Jacob came by one day to take Nahuel to lunch and found him in the nursery feeding one of the babies. Jacob stood at the window and watched as his love rocked, feed, and looked lovingly down at the baby wrapped in a pink blanket.
They had filled out all the forms to adopt, but they knew they might be waiting for a long time to have the privilege. Times had changed and the fact that two men wanted to adopt was not frowned upon as much as it once had been. Both of them had good jobs, Nahuel was a doctor, while Jacob was a State Senator.
Nahuel looked up to see Jacob standing at the window and motioned for him to come in. Jacob put on a gown and walked over to him. “Who do you have here?” Jacob asked.
“This is a miracle. She was abandoned, and she is going through withdrawals,” Nahuel murmured.
“Abandoned?” Jacob gasped, looking down at the adorable baby in Nahuel’s arms. She was like a little angel who had flown down from heaven, with light brown hair, a cute button nose, and a set of chubby cheeks. “How could anyone not want this angel?”
“I know. She is going to have a lot of medical problems and it will be difficult for social services to find a family who will be willing to take on the responsibility of a sick child or the expense,” Nahuel explained.
Jacob rubbed his finger across her delicate face and she smiled. He knew that it had to be gas, but his heart wanted it to be a true smile. “Darling, why don’t we try to adopt her?”
“Really? Oh, Jacob, my love, I want so badly to try,” Nahuel cried.
They began the process and several months later, they had custody of the little girl, even though she was still in the hospital. They spent every minute they could at the hospital when they weren’t working. When she was released from the hospital, they had already arranged for a nanny/nurse and Nahuel would take his family medical leave for the next six months. They named her Minuet Daisy Black, but her nickname was Minnie because she loved Minnie Mouse. Jacob had hired a designer to come in and decorate her room in all things Minnie from the bedding to the hand-painted wall design, Minnie rug, and lamp. A custom white glider and an elegant white round crib finished off the nursery set for a little princess.
“Hi, Jacob, Nahuel, and of course, Minnie,” Bella cooed at the sweet girl who she had fallen in love with, while on the campaign trail.
“Madam President,” Jacob smirked knowing that she hated being called that by her friends and family.
“Grrr, Mr. Vice President,” Bella quipped.
“Ma’am, the cars are ready to take us to the capitol,” the Special Agent announced.
“Thank you,” Bella said. “Mom, Dad, are you riding with me?”
“Yes,” Renee said, wrapping her arms around her daughter and giving her a hug. “You are going to do great.”
Bella straightened her coat, smoothed her hair, and took a deep cleansing breath. “I am ready to go.”
Jacob, Nahuel, and Minnie were surrounded by their Secret Service detail and ushered to their car. Once it started to move away, Bella, Charlie, and Renee were ushered out the door and as soon as Bella emerged from the door, the crowd that had formed outside the hotel began to cheer.
“President Swan, we love you!!” They yelled over and over again.
Bella stopped, smiled, and waved to the crowd, while her agents scanned the area for any possible threats. She had wanted to stop and shake some hands, but she knew that she needed to get to the Capitol, she couldn’t be late for this event. An umbrella was placed over her head as she stepped from the overhang of the hotel. A few steps later to an open door and she got inside, followed by her mother and father. The motorcade began its slow and steady route to the Capitol, being extra cautious due to the amount of snow that continued to fall. The DPW and the DDOT had been working non-stop to try to keep the snow from piling up, but unless something changes in the next few hours the parade was going to be a nightmare.
They finally arrived at the Capitol and took their assigned seats on the western front that overlooked the National Mall. Bella glanced out and gasped at the number of people who were crowded in front of the steps and on both sides of the mall to the Lincoln Memorial. Wow!! Taking her seat next to her parents, the ceremony began with “The President’s Own” Marine band playing, followed by the Virginia State Girls and Boys Choir. Bella had wanted to bring as much of her home state to the ceremony as possible. The Mister of Ceremony or in this case Mistress was Senator Cora Greene of Virginia, stood and began her address to the crowd, then introduced the Reverend Phillip Dwyer who gave the invocation to the inaugural attendees. Instead of having famous artists perform at the ceremonies, Bella and Jacob had invited students from their states to perform instead. Bella enjoyed every moment of the performance and made a mental note to help promote music education in schools.
Next was time for Jacob to take his oath. He wanted his good friend and tribal leader from Washington State to give him his oath of office. Ephraim Uley stood up carrying Jacob Black’s mother’s family bible and walked to the microphone. Jacob came over and stood in front of Ephraim, while Nahuel, holding Minnie stood proudly beside him.
“Place your left hand on the bible and raise your right hand and repeat after me,” Ephraim instructed. “I, Jacob Samuel Black, do solemnly swear.”
“I, Jacob Samuel Black, do solemnly swear,” Jacob repeated.
“That I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Ephraim continued.
“That I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Jacob said.
“That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God,” Ephraim said with a smile.
“That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God,” Jacob proclaimed with all his heart and soul.
The crowd erupted in cheers and applause. Jacob hugged Nahuel and gave Minnie a kiss who was clapping along. Vice-President Black was given the privilege of hearing the playing of the first four ruffles and flourishes, and then the march Hail, Columbia.
“Thank you, Mr. Clearwater. It gives me great pleasure to introduce your President-elect, Isabella Marie Swan to the podium,” Jacob announced.
Charlie gave Bella’s hand a squeeze as she stood and walked over to where Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was standing. There had been a lengthy discussion on whether Bella should stand alone, or if Charlie and Renee should stand beside her. They had gone back and forward, but they finally determined that Bella had run as a single woman and she should stand alone as she took the oath.
“Repeat after me,” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg instructed. “I, Isabella Marie Swan, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Bella laid her hand on the bible that her father had used when he took his oath, both times. Holding her head high, swallowing the excessive saliva in her mouth, and prayed that no one would see her shaking. “I, Isabella Marie Swan, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
After giving her oath, she was given a twenty-one gun salute, then the first playing of the four ruffles and flourishes, and finally Hail to the Chief by the members of the Armed Forces.
Bella was so overcome by hearing the music, only played for the President being played for her. After the last note trailed off, the crowd cheered loudly as Bella faced them.
“Vice-President Black, Mrs. Speaker, Mrs. Supreme Court Justice, President Swan, fellow citizens. I am here today not only as the first female President but also as the only one who is single.” Bella began. Over the next twenty minutes, her speech was one of unity and embracing our heritage as immigrants to this land. She also called all elected officials to remember that we work for those who voted for us and must be held accountable for any misdeeds.
After the inauguration, there was a luncheon that was held in the National Statuary Hall in the Capitol. Bella pushed around her food on the plate, not having an appetite.
“You need to eat something,” Renee urged.
“I can’t Mom. I am afraid it will come back up.”
“Well, let at least stay hydrated,” Renee said as she patted Bella’s hand.
“Alright, Mom,” Bella drew out.
Renee couldn’t help but chuckle. It was then she saw old friends coming towards the table. Standing up and walking to meet them and pulling one then the other into tight hugs. “Carlisle, Esme, I am so glad you were able to make it.”
“We wouldn’t miss this for the world,” Esme gushed.
“Come, I am sure Bella will be excited to see you,” Renee requested.
They walked to the table, with the Secret Service Agent eyeing the couple as a potential threat. After conversing with a fellow agent who informed them that they were cleared.
Bella had been playing peek-a-boo with Minnie and didn’t see Carlisle and Esme walk up. Renee placed her hand on Bella’s shoulder which caused her to turn and as soon as she did, she saw the parents of her long lost love.
“Madam President,” Carlisle congratulated.
“Doctor Cullen, no Cullens,” Bella laughed.
“Bella dear, your speech was so inspiring,” Dr. Esme Cullen gushed.
“Thank you, I hoped I was able to convey that feeling,” Bella divulged. “Where are you working now?”
“We are at the CDC. Carlisle is the director of CDC, while I continue my research against the Ebola virus,” Esme informed.
“Wow. When I get settled in the office, I would love to have a report on how it is going,” Bella requested.
“I would be honored,” Esme said. “We still have our home in Alexandria and visit often.”
Bella wanted to ask about Edward, but she didn’t know if her heart could take it if he had gotten married. However, she was saved by a Secret Service Agent who informed her it was time to leave for the parade.
Bella, her parents were in one bulletproof limousine, while Jacob and his family followed in theirs. The parade consisted of marching bands and groups throughout the United States. The snow had slowed and the street crews were able to clear the parade route along Pennsylvania Avenue NW from the Capitol to the White House. Bella got out several times and walked the route, along with Jacob, Nahuel, and Minnie. Each time they did the crowds cheered loudly. They finally made it to the White House and Bella got out of the car and walked up to the door where two uniformed Marines stood. As soon as she neared, they saluted her and she saluted back. Once inside, her coat, gloves, and scarf were taken by the White House staff.
“Madam President, if you would please go to the Oval Office where your SAIC is waiting,” the agent urged.
“Thank you and thank everyone on the team for your exemplary job,” Bella acknowledged.
Unlike most Presidents who had just taken office, Bella knew her way around the White House like the back of her hand. Eight years as the first daughter prepared her for at least this. Walking down the corridor in the West Wing past the cabinet room and the receptionist, where they stood and all said. “Madam President.” She had been busy after the election to make sure that every position in the White House staff had been filled.
Bella smiled and nodded to them, placing her hand on the doorknob of the Oval Office and walked in. It had not changed much since her father’s time. She, of course, would make a few changes, but she had several crises that needed to be taken care of first. She walked over to the desk, turned, and when she did her heart stopped. Standing in the middle of the Oval Office was Edward Cullen, dressed in a dark suit, white shirt, dark tie, and most notably a gun. It took her a moment before it hit her, he was her SAIC. Holy Hell!!!
AN: There is the first chapter of Madam President. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I had writing it. Please leave your thoughts in the form of an review and come over to my facebook group and enjoy the fun. https://www.facebook.com/groups/heartfortwilight/