Shades of Grey
Part 12

It was even colder now. He could hear the wind whipping through the alley outside the window. Just the sound alone was enough to make his teeth chatter.

Guess Josh wasn't able to get the coffee.

Huddled in the corner, Sam rubbed his arms with his hands, in an attempt to create warmth with the friction. It didn't help. With a shiver, he leaned his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. It was a tease. He didn't know what time it was, but he was sure at this point that he'd been up for nearly thirty-six hours. He'd spent last night in his office working on the President's next speech. Now, he just wanted to sleep. Strange though, it felt as if his legs wanted to run a marathon; he couldn't keep them still. Damn it. Stop.

He wanted to sleep, but he was afraid to—


Sam lifted his head and watched the door. He waited, holding his breath. He could hear them in the hall. Only this time it was different. It sounded

'There is one fruit whose seeds are on the outside. Name it, please.'

Late night poker games at the White House...

'There are fourteen punctuation marks in Standard English grammar. Can anyone name them, please?'

...punctuated by inane trivia from the President.

'There are three words in the English language, and three words only,

that begin with the letters DW. Can anyone name them, please?'

It was a distraction, really. Although why, with his ability to count cards, the President thought he needed to use distraction to win was anyone's guess. Oh, he'd let one of them win now and again, but he always seemed to take home the biggest pot.

Sam smiled at the memory. Things had been so hectic through the holidays that they hadn't played for a while.


He missed those games, the laughter, the banter, even the inane trivia. He could almost smell the sweet-pungent aroma of his Monte Cristo cigar. He could hear CJ's snide remarks about what they were doing to his health. It was the only time he smoked, for Pete's sake. But it was nice to know she cared.

His eyelids were so heavy. Sleep...

So cold.

Guess Josh couldn't get my coat either.

Josh. He was so sure he could talk Ahmad out of this.

So sure.



Shades of Grey - 13




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