Title: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Author: Cindy Brewer
email: cindyryan7@yahoo.com
Notes: This is a sequel to Pandora's Box

Danny retook his seat. "Donna, why did you quit over this? It's going to be forgotten by the weekend."

"It made things too awkward," Donna replied quietly as she stood and returned the handkerchief."Thanks for the handkerchief and for letting me bend your ear."

"Anytime," Danny replied as he followed her to the end of the row. "Do you want me to talk to Josh? See if this can be straightened out?"

Donna turned to face him smiling sadly. "Nothing to fix."

Danny watched her disappear into the sea of reporters that filed in for CJ's afternoon briefing. There was a story here he could smell it. But Danny had worked in the political arena long enough to know he'd never know the whole truth. He just hoped that Donna wouldn't be too hurt by this mess.

*********

Nick Halloway knocked on Lillienfield's closed office door around three and poked his head in. The gray haired man waved him forward. Nick nodded and crossed to stand in front of the desk waiting for the Congressman to finish his phone call.

Lillienfield briskly ended the phone conversation and turned his full attention to Halloway. "Well from the grin on your face I assume you have some good news to report?"

Nick nodded as he leaned against the corner of the desk. "Your plan against Lyman and McGarry is going just as you expected. Moss is a nervous wreck, Lyman's about to lose everything and he doesn't even realize it. McGarry's completely in the dark."

"Excellent."Lillienfield replied with a wide smile as he leaned back in his chair. "That tidbit of information you gave me about Moss is certainly paying off in spades. I think it's time for phase two."

***********

Donna stepped through the doorway of Josh's apartment and quickly shut the door. She collapsed back against it and closed her eyes the tears starting to flow again. Her conversation with Danny had helped some but she still didn't know what to do. But on the drive here one thing had become clear....she couldn't stay in his apartment any longer. Not after the mess she had made. She couldn't look at him every morning and wonder if his feelings were real or just obligation.

After a few moments Donna pulled herself together and walked through the living room to Josh's bedroom. Once there she picked up her small yellow overnight bag and began to pack. Halfway through the task Donna paused......she couldn't go back to her apartment the press were still camped out. She couldn't stay here and Donna didn't feel like explaining to any of her friends why she needed a place to stay. So where did that leave her?

Donna sighed and continued to pack. She'd have to stay at a hotel....but that could only be for so long. No job, no money to pay off the credit card bills.

One thing at a time, Donna chided herself as she zipped up the bag with a grim smile. First a place to live then a new job.

Donna slowly walked toward the door and paused near the dresser as she turned to look at the small bedroom. She tried to capture as many happy memories from the room before turning and leaving the apartment with a heavy heart.

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