When Jed left his wife, he continued on to his office for his first staff meeting since he left work early just two days ago. He entered the room and everyone was waiting, and rose at his entrance. The President immediately waved them down, and slowly but surely they all sat back down. Then an apprehension fell over the room.

"Someone speak!" Commanded the Commander in Chief. "And not all at once." He continued. Then he looked over at his best friend, his chief of staff. Leo was just sitting there, giving Jed one of those empathy looks. "Okay, since no one has made an attempt at words, I'm gonna speak."

Jed walked over to his desk, where he took his jacket off and placed it over his chair. "I know you all know what is going on with the First Lady. And where as I am glad you are all very worried about her, she has elected that today just be another normal day. I'm wanting that same thing for me, so no more of these looks." Jed waved his hand around resting it for a few seconds on each person present in the room. "The First Lady and I would like you to know that your concerns are very much appreciated, but we would prefer them to stay silent. Now, if we can get on with the work day..."

After Jed's little sermon, the senior staff meeting went so much smoother. It was coming to a close, and as people began to leave, Jed called out, "CJ, can you hold up a minute? I'd like to talk to you."

"Sure, Mr. President." CJ said as Jed led the way outside of the Oval Office and ushered the guard away.

"I was wondering if you could do me a favor."

"Anything, sir." CJ said as she shot the President a questioning look.

"When I left my wife, I got the feeling that...I don't know, I just didn't like the feeling I was having. And I don't think she is going to tell me whatever it is. Do you think you could...possibly sit down with her, and maybe, I don't know, pry it from her."

"Well, I can try, sir. But I make no promises."

"That's okay, CJ. I just need to know that she is fine."

At that, CJ left, and the President returned to his office to find Leo still sitting down on the couch. "Leo...?"

"Jed, we need to talk." Leo said making sure he placed a strong emphasis on the President's first name.

"I imagine we do, it's not very often that you call me by my first name." Jed entered the room a little more as Leo stood up.

"I can see the pain in your eyes, Jed. You can't lie to me. How are you really doing?" Leo said as he was now walking along side his best friend.

"I'm scared. That's how I'm doing. How am I supposed to deal with this? I'm no good without her. You know, I told her that, the day I proposed to her, I told her that I'd be no good without her. What am I supposed to do if it is malignant cancer?" Jed and Leo reached the couches and sat down.

"You are supposed to be there for her. Nothing else, just there. And you are supposed to love her."

"I do, there is nothing that will change that. I love her more than the air that I breathe. But...I can tell she's in so much pain, agonizing over this, Leo. And I can't do a damn thing to help her."

"Abbey is a strong person, Jed. With you by her side, there is nothing she can't overcome. You just have to be there for her." Leo said as he patted Jed on the back.



Under The Weather - 8


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