Cold Blast - 4
"You know the food is great here but a conversation is impossible." Mara yelled across the table.
"Tell me about it, are you going to finish that crab cake?" C.J. yelled back.
Mara shoved her plate across the table and whipped out a small notepad from her purse. She scribbled a few words and handed it to C.J.
what do u thnk of me wrking here ?
Mara raised her hand to show C.J she was going to slap her upside the head. " Oh in DC"
Mara nodded. "Doing?"
Mara returned to her notebook and scribbling..
"Ah working for the ambassador"
Mara shook her head and underlined what she wrote.
"A department head in the embassy?"
Mara glared at C.J. and wrote once more.
C.J.'s jaw dropped and the only way she could react was to mouth you with an incredulous look on her face.
"By jove I think she's got it." Mara yelled across the table just as the restaurant became quite.
"Check please." C.J said quickly to their waiter who along with the rest of the room was staring at them.
"Hey I wanted dessert."
"Too bad you can't drop a bombshell like that on me and expect me to stay in a place we can't talk."
"But I want dessert."
C.J dug in to her purse and tossed a stick of gum at Mara. "There's dessert, deal with it."
"Sam would have bought me dessert."
"Over my dead body."
"Then shut up. You know it still boggles my mind how you stay so skinny with all the crap you eat."
"Wicked metabolism is my doctor's decree I say fat knows better than to mess with me."
"Whitford's words of wisdom." C.J. said sarcastically.
"That would make a great book title mind if I steal it?"
"Be my guest." C.J laughed as she took the check off the waiter and set money on the table. As soon as they were out of the restaurant C.J pulled Mara over to a bench "So they want you to be the new Ambassador?'
"Yes insane isn't it."
"So that's why you are here, checking it out."
"No I was apparently brought down here for Jed to ambush me with the offer."
"He wants you to take it."
"Then do it."
"C.J does the word diplomatic mean anything to you?"
"Ah you'll make my life easier, they'll be so busy asking you questions about what you said, muttered too loudly or who exactly you meant to slap that they won't care about what we are doing." C. J said with a big grin.
"Oh so you think I should take this just so you'll have less work to do?"
"No I think you should take this because you will whoop some butt and set DC on it's ear and frankly we need it. The upside will be that I get a front row seat for the Mara Whitford hour. That and Josh will look like a teddy bear in comparison to you."
"I don't know C.J. I love my job, I love the power and influence I have. I love Ottawa and my house. I make policy, here I'd be following procedures."
"Why does Jean Luc want you here other than the fact that he's finally come to his senses and wants to get you off his back?"
"Cute, he wants to set me up for my own run to the Prime Minister's Office."
"Then make it clear that you'll only accept if you are still part of the loop."
"Mara I'd love to have you in the city but I'd honestly tell you not to do it if I didn't think you'd be great. I know good isn't enough for you. I've seen that brilliant political mind of yours in action often enough to know not only could you do this but you'll excel at it. Seize the day mon ami."
Mara leaned over and hugged C.J. "Thanks, it would be great to talk to you in person instead of on the phone or IM."
"Hey you get a Georgetown mansion right? Need a roomie?"
"If I accept you'll be the first to know if I'm accepting applications."
"You'd make me fill out an application?"
"I might let you do it orally."
"Thanks for the favour." C.J said sarcastically.
"Anytime. So the concert starts at seven tomorrow Jon will be there around 6 what's the plan?"
"Donna and I can meet you at the hotel."
"No I'm staying with Sam, I don't need a card key there."
"Mara are you falling for Sam?"
"I don't know but he was the first pro in taking the ambassadorship."
"Well Sam is a sweetheart and it's been quite a long time since you dated anyone."
"When did you become my mother? Oh another pro of taking the job: she wouldn't call me daily to remind me my biological clock is ticking down."
"She doesn't ?"
"Oh yes she does, I was in a bad mood Wednesday night so I told her I was coming
to DC to continue my affair with a very married rock and roll star."
"She said I spent too much time in LA and it jaded me. She said I was a bad girl. I laughed and told her rock and roll types love a bad girl and said night."
"You are so bad."
"Yeah but bad is good sometimes. Why don't I pick Donna up, we'll go get you and be at the concert for 6."
"Works for me. We better get back I have work to do."
"No rest for the wicked."
"Nope. So tell me why Sam?" C.J asked as they started walking back towards the White House.
"His eyes did me in. I'd just finished giving him the heights of hell and I looked in to those baby blues and my anger disappeared. He is very sweet, charming, intelligent, funny and his smile is so amazing that his eyes light up too. He's a great kisser, a very comfy pillow and he teased me back."
"Mara Whitford you are positively glowing face it kiddo you're in love."
"I must admit I feel sort of giddy. You should try it C.J. go out with Danny."
"Why is it that you turn every conversation about your love life in to one about mine?"
"Face it kiddo you need a love life too."
"Two words conflict of interest."
"That's three and I'm not buying it."
"I don't care if you buy it or not."
"C.J you are a professional and no one who covers the White House would cry favoritism. In fact you are probably already harder on Danny than any one else."
"So what are you wearing tomorrow?"
"C.J don't change the subject."
"That conversation is finished end of discussion. So what are you wearing?"
"Any one ever mention how utterly infuriating you can be?"
"I don't know what ever I throw on my bod at five."
"Ah, can I ask you a question?'
"Did you and Jon ever..."
"No C.J. he's a married man and I don't mess with married men."
"K I was just wondering because of the way he sang Bed of Roses to you last time."
"He knows it's my all time favourite Bon Jovi song that's all."
"That's all? Hello a stadium full of women wanted to murder you last time."
"Yeah but that was LA five years ago I won't have to worry about it this time."
"How long have you known Jon? I always forget your answer "
"Umm nine or ten years I can never remember if it was my first or second year in Ottawa."
"You know I've never asked you this but how exactly do you know the Bartlet's."
"I was in New Hampshire and Zoey tripped crossing the street and landed in front of my car. She scrapped the hell out of her knee so I stopped the bleeding and drove her home. I didn't know home was the Governor's mansion and Abbey happened to be in the driveway when I pulled up. She thanked me, asked me in for lunch and the rest is history. Jed came in and when he found out I was taking an economics course we sat there arguing policies for three hours. I guess he was impressed with my intelligence and wit. I was invited to spend two weeks with them that summer and I did. That's when I met Leo for the first time."
"That's boring I always imagined you had some really juicy blackmail info."
"C.J. you've been dealing with the press too long." Mara laughed.
"You get away with murder girl I mean you stand there and tell him Notre Dame couldn't' play their way out of a wet paper bag; while sitting in his chair no less and he just shakes his head and says you aren't funny. I make one little joke and he forces me to lead the press in singing the Notre Dame fight song."
"Obviously he likes me a lot more than he likes you."
"You are such a brat Mara."
"Apparently since that's what everyone is calling me today and I wish they'd cut it out."
Mara and C.J flashed their ID's as the entered the West Wing and Carol handed Mara an envelope that held the backstage passes and tickets. C.J was called in to the Oval Office and Mara headed to the First Lady's office to talk to Abbey about the Ambassadorship. Abbey moved the conversation in to the living room of the residence. Three hours later Mara left Abbey so she could get some actual work done and went for a walk. Mara found herself at 501 Pennsylvania Avenue, the prestigious home to the Canadian Embassy. Mara didn't care for the modern six story building but she decided her tastes in architecture were not going to determine her future. She wandered the halls and took the elevator up to the sixth floor. A receptionist with a bad attitude greeted her and seemed to care less who Mara was.
"Look just pick up the phone tell the ambassador I'm here, show me in and get an attitude adjustment fast or I'll have your job faster than you can call me a bitch."
She glared at Mara but picked up the phone and sighed loudly when the Ambassador told her to show Mara in.
"Miss Whitford I didn't think I'd see you this soon. My understanding was that you hadn't accepted the position yet."
"I haven't yet but I can tell you if I accept she's out of here. Does she treat all guests that poorly?"
"No thankfully she's just the temp from hell but now I can get rid of her. I needed a good reason and insubordination to you is it."
"You haven't been here before have you?"
"No I always seem to get sick when I'm scheduled to attend something here."
"Well walk around take a look at the floor that could be yours. It's a bit chilly but the view from the patio is one of the most envied views in the city. I have to make a call."
"Thank you Sir." Well that went better than I expected Mara thought as she knew the current ambassador did not care for her. Mara simply picked up the phone in Ottawa and spoke to Jed instead of going through diplomatic red tape. Mara stepped out on to the patio and looked over to the Capitol building and smiled. When she came back in the receptionist was gone and she left a brief thank you note for the ambassador. Mara returned to the West Wing, gave Donna her ticket, backstage pass and stood back to watch.
"Donna where is the Appropriations Committee file?"
"Where ever you left it on that trash heap you refer to as your desk." Donna mumbled as she stared at the pass.
"Donna are you OK?"
"I'm perfect Josh. Look what I have." Donna flashed her pass in front of Josh's eyes and grinned mischievously. "Mara said Jon will simply adore me and he'll probably serenade me. Can I leave early tonight I need something really sexy to wear to the concert."
"You do not!" Josh said without thinking.
"Excuse me?" Donna replied indignantly
Mara tried to contain her laughter as Josh was rapidly turning an ugly shade of green. She could almost see the steam coming out of his head and grinned at C.J who had come up from behind to watch the side show.
"No you may not leave early and you should just wear what you have on now."
"Josh you are so mean and I am not wearing this it's boring."
"It's not boring Donna."
"Josh this is conservative and boring. I'm finally meeting Jon Bon Jovi whom I've lusted after since I was a teen I'm not looking to create the impression of a prim and proper teacher. Did you know his real name is Jon Bongiovi?"
"Ask me if I care Donna? I'm just saying that your represent the White House and you shouldn't go out looking like a groupie." Josh said quickly.
"Josh no one knows I even work here and if you want to get in to a discussion of clothes and representation what do you think your rumpled suits say? Hmm we are a bunch of lazy slobs perhaps?" Donna snapped.
"Josh I'm leaving at five on the dot, I don't care if hell freezes over I'm not coming in tomorrow and I swear Joshua if you call me once to get you something that is in your office because you are too lazy to find it...."
"Donna go home."
"Go home Donna, go shopping, go to the beauty palour, hell sleep with Jon for all I care."
"I'll see you on Monday." Josh sighed and went back in to his office slamming his door.
"That wasn't good." C.J. whispered to Mara.
"No and Donna looks like she's about to cry. I'll call you later."
"Got time for a coffee?"
"I've got a lot of time Josh just told me to leave."
"Oh well you deserve it. Come shopping with me."
"I'm broke Mara thanks anyway."
"I meant grocery shopping. I want to make Sam dinner and I don't know where there is a grocery store."
"Oh sure. Just let me finish this I'll be about ten minutes."
"I'll meet you back here I have to go see Sam."
Mara intercepted Sam before he walked in to Toby's office. "Hey."
"Hey yourself I can't talk now."
"Fine, just give me your house keys and don't be late."
"Mara I only have one set of house keys I don't know about this."
"Sam I only lose card keys I swear, now hand them over."
Sam looked at Mara warily and handed over his keys. "Don't lose them."
"I won't . Oh by the way I'm staying with you for the rest of the weekend." Mara smiled at Toby who had just opened his door.
"Who me?" He asked.
"No silly Sam. See ya later Toby. Don't be late Sam." Mara grinned at them and left.
"Mara's staying with you?" Toby asked once Sam sat down in his office.
"Apparently. Does the woman ever take no for an answer? Not that I'm complaining but I swear if she's redecorated my apartment when I get back."
Toby started laughing knowing with Mara it wasn't out of the realm of possibility. "So you two are umm dating?"
"I don't know is spending the night with someone she just met a date for Mara?"
"You took her to bed last night?"
"Well we walked around the monuments and talked for hours then went back to my place since she didn't want to face the hotel desk clerk without her card key. We went to sleep. I woke up this morning; she didn't want me to leave bed, I did, that's it."
"I'd say you were on about the fourth date. She kiss you yet?"
"Fifth date then. Now about this problem with the Senator........"
Donna and Mara were splitting a pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream while Mara was sautéing vegetables for dinner. They had stopped off at Mara's hotel to pick up her bags and Mara proudly told the desk clerk she knew exactly where her key was she just didn't have it. They were trying to figure out what Donna should wear to the concert.
"So no leather in your wardrobe. We really have to do something about that Donna."
"Yeah if Josh paid me more than pin money I could be as fashionable as you."
"Fashion doesn't have to cost a lot. I have closets full of clothes I'm tired of wearing. Next time I'm down I'll pack you a suitcase full."
"That would be cool now about the concert."
"Wear your favourite pair of jeans with my periwinkle sweater." Mara got up and came back with a deep periwinkle short sleeve sweater with a deep V neckline.
"I like it."
"It will really bring out your eyes." Mara left Donna sitting in the living room to check on her vegetables and start her pasta. Two minutes later Donna wandered in to the kitchen and hoisted herself up on the kitchen counter.
"So tell me Mara how do you know Jon?" Donna asked as she snatched a carrot.
"I meet the entire band in the Toronto Airport. I had just arrived from Paris and the guys were in from Jersey. Customs was giving them a hard time and I had tickets for the concert that night so I went right up to Customs flashed my Parliament ID told the agent that the Prime Minister was attending the concert that night and he wouldn't be very happy to find out they were denied entry for needing a hair cut. It worked and we were out of there in a minute which was great cause I'd spent a fortune in Paris."
"They said thank you. Richie asked me if I was an important government figure and I said yes. Jon asked if I thought he really needed a hair cut. I told him he'd be even sexier with hair that was in the region of his shirt collar. I made some smart comment about the fact that at least it wasn't longer than my hair anymore. He laughed before asking me if I wanted tickets and I informed him that I already had great tickets. I showed him my ticket and he said the fifteenth row was too far back he wouldn't be able to see me from the stage and he was moving me to the third row center."
"You accepted right."
"Of course, we chatted until the baggage area and my carrousel was in sight of theirs. My second huge suitcase had just started coming down and I yanked it off the carrousel. I was just thinking I should have got a cart when a hand reached down and I heard a now familiar voice say I'll carry that for you. Jon asked if I had bricks in there and I answered no just Paris originals. He made some crack about getting along with his wife. They had a limo waiting and offered me a ride. We were staying in the same hotel so it worked out perfectly. An hour later there's a knock on my door and Jon is standing there with this adorable grin."
"Too bad he was married." Donna lamented.
"My thoughts exactly, he leaned against the door jam and handed me a backstage pass. This jolt of electricity ran up my arm and I had to keep saying he's married over and over in my head. He said he was going down to eat and wanted me to join him. I remember thinking yeah public places are a good thing and I accepted. I had fun at dinner and the concert was great. He'd asked me what my favourite song was and I told him Bed Of Roses so after singing half of the concert to me he brought me on stage, sang it to me then told the audience to thank me for getting them to the stage on time. It was fun and a friendship was born."
"Cool, very cool. So how did you meet C.J?"
"I was at a Hollywood party with my then boyfriend who disappeared the moment we got there. Let's just say I have issues with being in confined overly crowded mingling spaces so I was as far away from everyone as I could be. I munch on Goldfish crackers to keep panic attacks at bay and a starving C.J noticed the crackers at fifty feet and came over. She introduced herself and said since we knew each other now I should share my Goldfish. She made me laugh and we started talking. I ended up sitting at her table and we've been friends ever since."
"What happened to the boyfriend?"
"Oh I broke up with him at the party, I pushed him in to the water fountain."
"Was he famous?"
"Unfortunately yes, why I don't know he isn't a very good actor but he's pleasing eye candy."
"Ah I'd settle for eye candy right about now."
"Sorry Sam's mine." Mara quipped
The words were no sooner out of her mouth when they heard a knock at the door. Donna opened the door for Sam.. The girls looked at each other and started laughing. Sam hung his coat up and joined them in the kitchen.
"Hi Donna. I don't know what you said but Josh is in the foulest mood."
"Hey Sam, well I'm glad Deputy Downer deserves it. Have a great dinner. Thanks for the sweater Mara. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Why don't you stay Donna, I never get to dine with two beautiful blondes."
"Thanks Sam but I'm not hungry. Have fun." Donna left a quick kiss on Sam's cheek, picked up her coat and left.
"Is she OK?" Sam asked.
"Yeah she's fine." Mara undid Sam's tie and unbuttoned the top buttons on his shirt. "That's better." She left her arms dangling over his shoulder.
"This is much better." Sam muttered and kissed her. "Give me five minutes to change."
Mara set the table, poured them each a glass of wine and lit the candles. All she needed now was Sam.