The next day, Abbey wanted so much to keep that feeling that everything was normal. She did not want to face the possibility that she does indeed have cancer. Against Jed's strong persistent advice to the contrary, Abbey went into work that day.

Everyone knew what was going on with the First Lady, so as Jed walked his wife to her office, they got many empathetic stares, and an occasional sympathetic one. Jed wanted so much to protect his wife from those very stares. If they weren't going to make her realize this nightmare is real, not much would.

The comments began as they got closer to Abbey's office. The list of people giving their condolences ranged from secretaries, to her personal aide, to her chief of staff. The general consensus was that they were all feeling sorry that she had to endure such a tragedy. They all offered her their support, saying they would be there for her if need be. Then they all disappeared as quickly as they appeared.

"Are you sure you are going to be okay, here at work?" Jed asked Abbey as he sat on top of her desk.

"Yeah, I'll be fine. I just want to pretend that everything is normal. I may only have the rest of today to do that."

"You're sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure. Now go to work, before you are late."

"They can wait. You take precedence over them. You know that, right? You know I love you."

"Yeah, I know. And I love you too. Now get out of here." Abbey said as she got up and shooed him out of her office.

Standing at the door, he leaned in and gave her a kiss on the cheek, "Fine, I'm going. But I'm only a phone call away. You got that?"

"Yes, now go. I have work to do."

Jed left Abbey's office, as he pretty much had no choice in the matter. He turned around to begin his walk through the hallways, but as he did so, he saw someone. Lilli Mays, Abbey's chief of staff.

"Lilli, I'm glad I ran into you." The President stopped in his tracks.

"What can I do for you, sir?"

"Will you call me, if anything happens to her?"

"Like what, sir?"

"Well, like if she decides to go back to the residence early, or if she gets another upset stomach. Anything health related, both physically and emotionally."

Jed and Lilli having been standing right outside Abbey's door the entire time, Abbey was able to hear their entire conversation, and so she decided to come out of her office. "Jed, you're not bugging my staff, and getting them to turn on me, are you?"

Putting his hand up on his chest, he said "I would never..."

"Yeah, sure you wouldn't." Abbey smiled at him.

"Lilli?" Jed asked, knowing Lilli knew what it was he was asking, as did Abbey.

"Sure thing, Mr. President."

"Thank you so much. Now, I'm gonna be late, so I gotta go." The President began walking away.

"Now...Lilli, I think we need to have a little chat about loyalty." Abbey threw an arm over her chief of staff as Jed looked back and winked at his wife. Abbey nodded her head as he lip-synched the words I love you to his wife and then continued on his way.



Under The Weather - 7


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