It's funny to think of what she holds in her hand. The keys to a world, she thinks, and if the notion is a little romantic then she deems it only fitting. The keys to a world, and she will place them into his hand and he will look down at her with those perfect honey-golden eyes and maybe, just maybe, he will smile.
The keys to the world, or the bullet that will hold the world hostage -- but of course she does not think of that.
She thinks instead of the long hours spent watching him, the midnight glow of her laptop screen illuminating the room like moonlight; she thinks of the first time she saw his face, the first time she saw him smile, the first time she saw him fire a gun. His face is public property now; he is the Enemy, that great implacable monster whose atrocities decorate the newspapers and whose every word, every thought is a weapon. His face is public property, but so is hers, and doesn't the monster always fall in love with the princess in the tower?
The President's daughter shifts in her seat as the Greyhound rounds a corner, clutching the flash drive in one gloved hand. The keys to the world. She feels too small for such enormity.
The difficulty, she thinks, is that she does not know what he will do with them. She's watched the old newsreels, of course, Kennedy's speeches and those absurd little health-and-safety announcements in anticipation of the worst -- concrete bunkers underground, mushroom clouds like ink to blot out the sun -- but it didn't come to that before, did it? These things never do. He'll negotiate. He wouldn't simply set the world on fire without negotiating; she knows that as she knows her own mind, her own heart. Whatever the television says, whatever her father says, he is not a bad man.
She presses her brow against a window almost opaque with condensation, and wonders how his stubble will feel against her skin. She imagines that she will like it. A smile plays at her lips at the thought.
The bus drives on through the night, ever closer to the edge of the war.