Title: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Author: Cindy Brewer
Disclaimer: I don't own them
Series/Sequel: Sequel to Pandora's Box
Donna awoke at seven thirty the next morning to find Josh gone but there was a single red rose and a folded piece of paper on his pillow. Donna picked the rose up and smelled it before gently setting it back down and picking up the note.
Josh arrived at the West Wing at eight and the first stop he made was Leo's office. "Hey."
McGarry waved him in as he handed a few papers to Margaret who said hello to Josh before leaving. "I'm assuming Sam told you about the meeting today?"
Lyman nodded as he leaned against the wall. "Yeah, do we have a plan?"
"To keep it civilized," Leo replied as he stood and walked around the corner of his desk.
Josh pushed himself away from the wall. "That's it?"
"Josh, with things like this it's best to see how it goes and plan as it goes. Otherwise whatever plan we have will ultimately be shot to hell," Leo replied as he came to stand next to the younger man. "How's Donna?"
Josh smiled."She's okay....will be back at work tomorrow. I just didn't want her caught in the crossfire today."
Leo nodded as they stepped out into the hallway. "Good idea. Come on, the meeting's going to be in the Oval."
With a soft knock Mrs. Landingham poked her head into the Oval Office and met the President's gaze. "Congressman Lillienfield is here, Mr. President."
"Send him in," Bartlet replied as he stood and walked around the corner of his desk.
"Yes, Sir," Mrs. Landingham replied before closing the door behind her.
A moment later Peter Lillienfield entered the famed office and sat down in one of the chairs before being asked to.
"Mr. President." Peter greeted stiffly as he glanced at the trio.
Bartlet glanced at Leo before he sat down on the corner of his desk and met Lillienfield's gaze. "I would offer you something to drink but you won't be here that long."
Peter smiled as he leaned back in his chair and glanced over at Josh. "Oh I'll be a thorn in your side a lot longer than you think, Mr. President."
"We know about your blackmail attempts, Congressman."Leo stated icily as he leaned forward. "There's no chance you'll even have a career in politics after this let alone complete your term."
Lillienfield's smile widened. "I'm shaking in my boots, McGarry. Coming from you that's an empty threat."
Bartlet's eyes narrowed sharply. "Not when it has the power of the President of the United States behind it. You have threatened members of my staff for the last time, Peter."
Lillienfield sprang to his feet this was going the wrong way too fast. "You'll never be able to get me off the Hill without drawing attention to your precious administration."
"It's already over, Congressman."Josh stated in a carefully controlled voice. He'd been quiet up till then in an effort of sheer will power. He knew that if he didn't let Leo and the President handle it he'd deck Lillienfield so fast the jerk wouldn't know what hit him. "You'll clean out your office immediately and that includes all of your staff. If any of them even think of applying for political jobs anywhere they'll be serving hamburgers so fast they're heads will spin."
Lillienfield folded his arms across his chest. "There are certain things this administration would not like if the press were to get a hold of them."
Bartlet shook his head. "That threat won't work anymore, Peter. Everybody has mistakes in their past that they are not proud of. If the press gets wind of those mistakes we will deal with it when it happens. What Josh says stands..... you have less than an hour to get out of my office and clean out your desk. You will hold a press conference later this afternoon to inform the public of your resignation."
"And what per sa is my reason for resigning?"Lillienfield sneered so furious that he nearly had smoke coming out of his ears.
"You're a smart man, Congressman."Josh replied with a wide smile. "I'm sure you'll think of something believable. After all you're so good at coming up with fake stories for the press."
"This isn't over."Lillenfield fumed as he turned and stalked out of the office nearly toppling Mrs. Landingham in the process.
End of part 15 TBC