Title: Broken Dreams
Author: Cindy Brewer
email: cindyryan7@y...
Disclaimer: I don't own them and am making no profit
Notes: Many thanks to Vicki for betaing.:)

Clayton Webb rubbed the back of his neck wearily as he
got out of his car at Arlington National Cemetery. 
It was nearly eight thirty in the morning and he felt
like he hadn't slept in a month. If Bennett wasn't
here this time he'd personally put out a contract on
the weasel. 

"You're late," Bennett snapped as he approached Webb's
car from the rear.

Webb turned to face the informant slowly. "You picked
the details of this meeting so you should know what
traffic is like this time of morning."

Bennett grinned as he leaned against the car. "A
little grumpy this morning are we, Mr. Webb?"

Clayton glared at the red haired man. "You're on very
thin ice, Bennett. No credible information, no money."

Bennett held up his hands in a defensive position but
the smile never left his face. "Alright, agent man,
alright. "He glanced around the cemetery before
pulling a yellow piece of paper out of the inside
pocket of his leather jacket. "This map will lead you
right to the lady."

Webb snatched the paper from the informant examining
it closely. "How do I know this is real?"

Bennett grinned as he gestured toward the brown
leather briefcase at Webb's feet. "The same way I know
that money is real." 

Clayton looked at the younger man with disgust before
picking up the briefcase and throwing it. "I'm sure
you'll count it."

Bennett caught the briefcase before it hit him in the
chest. "You're getting touchy in your old age,
Webb."He replied gleefully as he opened the briefcase.
"Hey, there's only half here."

"Very good, you can count, I wasn't sure." Webb
sneered as he opened his car door. "You forgot who you
were dealing with, Bennett. You'll get half the money
now and the other half when Zoey Bartlet is safely
back in the White House."

Bennett took a swing at Webb but the older man blocked
the blow sending the informant sprawling.

Webb stood over him struggling to control his anger.
He'd dealt with low life creeps before, part of the
job, so why was this case so different? "Bennett, if I
find out that this is all an elaborate hoax to get
money I will hunt you down myself."

Bennett scrambled to his feet and started to reply but
he had barely enough time to get out of the way of the
car as Webb drove away.

*********

Unlike most people Charlie Young didn't mind paper
work. It kept his mind occupied and away from painful
memories.
But as he sat at his desk just outside the Oval Office
the painful memories weren't going away. In fact they
intensified with every person who came into the room.
Each person was a painful reminder to Charlie that
Zoey would never again step through that door.

It was his fault that she was gone.

Though the President and First Lady had gone out of
their way to assure him that they didn't hold him
responsible he still blamed himself. Gina had told him
about the threats Zoey and the White House in general
had gotten since he had started dating Zoey and it had
angered him that there were people in this country
that still thought that way.

Charlie sighed and picked up the framed photo of Zoey
from the left corner of his desk. God, he missed her.
He hoped that the last thing he had told her was that
he loved her but he couldn't remember.

Sam approached Charlie's desk and placed a medium
sized paper cup on the corner. "I thought you could
use some caffeine."

Young jumped slightly not having heard Seaborn's
approach. Charlie placed the photo carefully back in
its place before turning to face the deputy
communications director.

"Thanks," Charlie replied softly.

Sam nodded as he sat down on the corner of the desk.
"I didn't think the First Lady would let you out so
soon."

Despite everything Charlie smiled as he took a sip of
the cappuccino. "I didn't give her much choice. I was
going stir crazy......everytime I closed my eyes all I
saw was the limo...."

Seaborn placed a supportive hand on his friend's
shoulder. "I know," he replied softly.

"I don't know how to deal with this again,
Sam."Charlie stated softly.
"I got through my mother's death because I had
to.....because Deena needed me. This is different,
Sam.....One second she was there the next...."

Sam knelt next to his friend so that they were eye
level with each other. "You're not alone this
time, Charlie. You have all of us. Remember that no
matter what time of day it is, we're here."

Charlie swallowed the lump of tears and nodded
tightly. "Thanks, Sam."

end of part 10 TBC

 

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