See warning and disclaimer in part 1; this part may disturb some readers.

Andi wasn't pleased about being pulled off Medicare, but she was relieved to be away from the constant pressure of working with Steve Fairbairn. Human rights was another of her issues, so Josh's recommendation to the Advisory was an acceptable alternative.

She had been enthusiastically welcomed on the Advisory; they had needed another woman and she was actually in the legislature. After the tension of the last few weeks, she finally felt able to relax.

She was in her office, reading the Amnesty International report on human rights abuses, making careful note of the criticisms of the United States. She was working on a recommendation for the Advisory to be proactive on some of these issues, rather than just reacting to complaints.

She was also waiting for one of the White House Counsel people to arrive to help with the recommendations. Lionel Tribbey had practically kissed her feet when she asked; Lionel made Nelson Mandela look like a fascist.

**

"Well, you're sitting pretty." Steve Fairbairn appeared at her door and smiled nastily. "I see you still have your ex wrapped around your finger."

"I don't see where my relationship with my ex-husband is any concern of yours." Andrea said frostily.

"Oh, but it is." Fairbairn corrected her. "You go to him with some sob story about your feelings being hurt and he goes to the President. You get on one of Bartlett's pet Advisory committees and nobody cares that all you had to do was spread your legs for that surly bastard."

"Surly?" Andrea raised her eyebrows, feigning amusement. "Toby was nicer to you than I expected if he was only surly."

"Wrong answer, bitch." Fairbairn marched to her desk and slammed his hand down on it. "That Jewish bastard made me look bad to the President and it's all your fault."

"Racist as well as sexist." Andrea remarked, her temper exploding. "If you hadn't harassed me, I would never have gone to Toby in the first place. You'd still be everybody's fair haired boy if you had taken no for an answer."

"But you didn't say no, did you, you little slut?" Fairbairn narrowed his eyes. "You said yes. And when you got what you wanted, you decided to play coy with me. Once you were on the committee, you went for higher stakes. Your loser of an ex- husband turns out to have the President's ear, so you latch on to him. There's a word for a woman like you. You didn't deliver nearly enough for what you got."

"Get out of my office." Andrea commanded.

"Oh, no, sweetheart. You never gave me anything like you gave that fat, balding Jew in the hallway."

Fairbairn came around the desk, reaching for her. Andrea backed away, trying to avoid his grasp. He was between her and the door and he managed to back her against the wall.

She struggled and screamed, but he pushed her back, holding her trapped with his body. She tried to avoid the greedy lips that caught hers, but he kissed her harshly, forcing his tongue into her mouth.

Andrea kicked and struggled, but she knew she was not going to win this battle. There wasn't anybody in any of the offices at this hour. She prayed fervently that Lionel would show up with his infamous cricket bat.

**

Ainsley wasn't happy about being sent on a meeting this late at night. Not happy at all.

"I get yelled at by an insane man with a cricket bat, who just happens to be my boss. My office is a steam bath with decor only Edward Gorey would love. Most of the staff hates me for being a Republican. The ones that don't patronize me because I'm young and blonde. I get sent dead flowers on my first day. And now I have to trudge all the way over here in the middle of the night to talk to a Congresswoman who wants to bitch about human rights." She said to herself as she walked through the silent corridors. "Someday, when I'm old and grey I'm going to tell my grandchildren how much I loved this job and I'll be so senile that I'll believe it myself."

She arrived at the office and knocked politely. She frowned as she did so; there were some awfully strange noises coming from the inner office. Grunts and groans and the like.

She froze and her cheeks coloured. It was disgusting. She knew that some elected officials were decadent enough to... She couldn't say it, even in her own thoughts. How dare Ms. High and Mighty Congresswoman Wyatt be doing *that* in her office when she had an appointment? Then again, she's believe anything of Andrea Wyatt. She had heard about the infamous kiss in the hallway.

Still, she was here to do a job and she would do it. It would serve Ms. Wyatt right for her to just barge right in and interrupt them. It was too much to hope that she or her lover would be embarrassed, but it would only be right to stop that sort of behaviour in the office.

With her head held high, Ainsley opened the door and walked in.

"And just what do you think you're doing?" She demanded. Then she stopped, shocked. Ms. Wyatt was being bent uncomfortably over her desk, her clothes torn and crying. The man holding her had his face contorted in fury and was in the process of trying to lift Ms. Wyatt's skirt.

Ainsley reacted without thinking. She swiftly picked up a book off the bookshelf and slammed it down on the guy's head.

"Get off her, you animal." She shrieked into his ear, slamming the book down again. "You disgusting pig." This time she used the corner of the book to clock him in the temple where she knew it would hurt.

The man let go of Ms. Wyatt and shook his head in pain. He looked at Ainsley, who brandished the book with a mean expression on her face, and pushed past her out of the office.

Ainsley put down the book and went to help Ms. Wyatt to her feet.

"Are you all right?" She asked, concerned.

"No." Andrea whispered, barely able to form that simple word. Ainsley hugged her gently, leading her to the armchair.

"It's okay. He's gone now. You're safe..." She crooned, noting with concern the blood and swelling on Andrea's face. That bastard must have hit her several times.

"No, I'm not." Andrea choked out, still crying. "Toby..."

"No, that wasn't him." Ainsley said soothingly. "I'll call the police."

"No. Want Toby..." Andrea said, more firmly, curling up into a ball and wrapping her arms around herself.

"Oh. I'll get him for you."

**

"Toby, it's Ainsley Hayes." She said falteringly as Toby picked up the phone.

"What do you want?" He asked, ungraciously.

"I'm at Andrea Wyatt's office. She's been hurt..."

"I'll be right there."

Ainsley blinked as she heard him hang up. Then she shrugged and went over to Andrea.

"Will you be okay for a minute if I go get a wet cloth?" She asked Andrea, who nodded. "I'll be right back."

**

Andrea barely moved as Ainsley gently washed the blood off her face. She seemed to be totally shut down and Ainsley thought seriously about calling the police. She had witnessed an attempted rape and she knew she should report it, but she wasn't sure that Andrea would be able to deal with it. She wasn't sure she could, either.

Andrea tensed as there were footsteps in the hallway and when Toby Ziegler appeared at the door, she flew out of the chair and into his arms.

"It's okay, Andi. I'm here." Toby held her tightly, rocking her. "I'm here, baby. I won't let anything happen to you..."

Ainsley watched with tears in her eyes. It must be nice to have someone you could trust like that. She started to turn away when she noticed that Toby was trying to catch her attention.

"Call the police." He mouthed to her. With a quick nod and shaking fingers, she obeyed.

**

The arrest of Steve Fairbairn for aggravated assault and attempted sexual assault sent shock waves through the Democratic Party and the nation. His supporters tried to believe in his innocence, but the evidence was clear. Ainsley was an impeccable witness for the legal side of things and Toby's finely crafted words to the public went a long way towards blackening his reputation forever.

Toby felt absolutely no remorse about utterly destroying Steve Fairbairn. He had hurt Andrea and that was all the reason he needed to annihilate the son of a bitch.

Although she had no sympathy for Fairbairn, even CJ thought he was a little excessive in his campaign of destruction. Until the letters came in from Fairbairn's former campaign workers vindicating Toby's opinion. Andrea wasn't his first victim. She was, however, his last.

END

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Adrienne                   ar895@freenet.carleton.ca

 

 

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