“I’m not unsympathetic to your cause,” he folded his hands, and looked down his nose at the young suffragette.
It took all of her self-control to refrain from biting back. She remained tight-lipped, knowing she was lucky to have this meeting.
“I just don’t think it’s prudent yet to call for women’s suffrage,” he continued. “Not when we’re about to go to war.”
He chuckled, “Well, I expect nothing less. I’m hoping we can reach some sort of compromise; seeing you girls force fed in jail is hardly good press for me.”
“Women. Not girls. We’re not your daughters.”
He hesitated, forming his answer. Despite their differences, he was anxious to work with her, and avoid the reputation he was anti-women. It was a delicate line, and he walked it beautifully.
“Let us try and keep calm,” he answered, finally. “I’m sure we can be rational.”
She snapped. “Don’t patronize me. I don’t need a 14-point treatise on how sympathetic you are. Suffrage is right — you know it’s right — and while I respect you need it to be politically convenient, I respectfully add: fuck you.”
He was stunned. No one talked to him this way, and certainly not a woman. She seemed to regret the outburst, and tried to soften. Still, it amused him to see such vitriol and fearlessness. It did more than amuse him, he realized, and he felt something he hadn’t felt since the passing of his wife. He shifted in his seat, holding her gaze.
“Do you want to apologize for that?”
She considered it. “Perhaps for the language, but not for the sentiment. Mr. President,” she was pleading now, “We need to you to be on our side. Not sympathetic. Supportive. Publicly.”
“You want me to speak out for suffrage?”
“Yes. You know as well as I do that your speeches are lauded, and if I have to get into bed with you on this, I will.”
He raised an eyebrow, the stirring in his trousers growing. “Oh?”
“Of course not,” he smirked, and stood up, offering his hand. “I’ll do what I can for you. I mean that.”
She didn’t trust him. His public and private views were often in conflict, but she knew her best chance at the vote was letting this play out. It was icky, and it didn’t feel right, but at the moment it was all she had. Plus, he was a good public speaker, and his habit of delivering the state of the union in person was titillating.
He escorted her to the door, his hand around her waist.
“My daughter Jessie pushes me on suffrage, though I’d add with much less venom,” he told her, conversationally. “She’s about your age.”
“Is that weird for you, then?” She asked, detecting an opportunity to make sure she left the meeting with the upper hand.
“What do you mean?”
“I could be your daughter.”
“But you’ve been thinking about fucking me since I walked in.”
Caught off guard, he tried to respond. “I… I.. no, I certainly have not.”
She laughed, and stroked his face. “It’s quite all right. I’d let you.”
“I assure you, miss, I have not been considering anything improper,” he began. “And, frankly the—”
“Oh come off it,” she interrupted. “You’re a single man until you make an honest woman of Ms. Galt, and I don’t believe for a moment you are nearly as scandalized as you’re pretending.”
“Don’t you want to be inside me?”
He nodded, almost against his will. “I really do.”
“Then do it.”
Once he had her permission, his entire approach changed. He guided her to the couch, kissing her, and she pulled off his top hat with abandon (had he been wearing that the whole time? Was he always wearing a top hat? Why was he so fancy?). He set his glasses carefully on the table, his ministrations distinguished and professorial, even as his desires were not. She pulled him back toward her, forcefully. His lips moved over her neck, and his tongue darted into her ear, sending chills through her body. She felt a warm gush in her knickers, and moaned. Then suddenly, she stopped, and pushed him away.
“Darling?” He asked, hoping she wasn’t going to leave him in this state.
“I should… I need to tell you..” she trailed off, nervously.
“Well, it’s my… red scare.”
It took him a moment to understand her meaning, but once he did, it didn’t matter. Perhaps lesser men would be scared off by this, but he was a worldly man and his intellectual sensibilities were not to be trifled with. Besides, he’d lived in New Jersey.
“I want to spoil you,” he replied. “That’s not going to stop me.”
He vetoed her dress like it was the Volstead Act, but with more success. The way he laid his blanket on the couch made it clear to her that while he’d passed the sedition act, he was not always afraid of reds. She exposed her glistening mound to him, and he released his League of Nations. She gasped, nodded, and arched her hips to meet him. He pushed her legs back, over her head, folding her in half as he easily slid inside her. Her body welcomed him, and she grasped his shoulders harder. He slammed his $100,000 bill into her federal reserve.
“Oh my god this is better than Birth of a Nation,” he exclaimed.
“Stop saying that, it’s why people think you’re racist.”
“I’m not racist I was just born in the Confederate South and miss it and also I hate everyone except white people. Well that’s not true, Germans are white and I hate them too.” He said all this while continuing to pound her, not missing a beat.
“Oh good god you are just,” (he thrust deeper) “just fuck you, why is this so good.”
They were making a mess of his office, but it didn’t matter to him. He was embattled in her trench, which was wonderfully wet and inviting. There was no better argument for invasion than his continued assault; if only Creel could film this for the public.
He tried to be a man of faith, but he’d long been familiar with the joys of period sex. Plus, he had a strict policy against yankee children and here was a good way to safeguard against that. It was good for her too; her body was extra responsive and her senses heightened. Despite his politics, he made her feel attractive and wanted, and seemed to delight in her monthly visitor rather than ignore it. He continued to invade her like she was a Latin American country, his excitement threatening to burst each time she called out his name.
“Right there,” she encouraged.
Finally, his body convulsed and his silent sentinel emptied. He took a breath, and another, and for a terrible moment she wondered what if he just stroked out in this moment, his blanket covered in blood, and then she’d have no choice but to run a shadow government. She shrugged. There were worse things.