Cold Blast - 7
Sam could tell just by looking at her that Mara was exhausted however he knew she'd blame him if she missed having lunch with the First Family. He gently shook her until she opened her eyes.
"Go away Sam I want to sleep."
"Mara it's eleven mass is at noon."
"I'm sure God will forgive me for missing church once."
"God might but will Dr. Bartlet?"
"I forgot about lunch. You are coming with me."
"I wasn't invited. I also don't really feel like listening to the President when I'm not getting paid to."
"Too bad you are coming and that's final." Mara slid out of bed and wrapped her arms around Sam's neck. "Please Sam I'll make it worth your while." She purred sexily.
"You going to buy me dinner?"
"I was thinking of something else but if you want dinner first."
"What you thought you could have your way with me tonight without wining and dinning me first?" Sam teased.
"How does a beer and Burger King sound?" Mara laughed.
"Fine if you don't want to get passed first base with me."
"How about Thai?"
"Now you're getting somewhere. Go get dressed."
"I am dressed."
"Go put something on that doesn't say I'm a rock star. I'll pour you some juice."
Mara came out in to the kitchen ten minutes later with her hair pulled back in a ponytail wearing black jeans and a deep red chenille cable knit sweater. She pushed the sleeves of the sweater up and Sam noticed the gold bracelet on her wrist.
"That's pretty, I don't remember you wearing it last night."
"It was an early birthday gift from Jon, I love it."Mara brought her arm to eye level and Sam read the inscription.
"Now I see why you like it so much. So was Josh waiting for Donna when you dropped her off this morning?"
"I didn't drop Donna off I left her at the hotel. The restaurant was opening for breakfast at seven so Donna decided to treat Jon to Breakfast. I was too tired to wait around for an hour."
"So did you have fun?"
"I had an amazing time I spent most of the night on stage. Jon even got C.J up there, she was livid but she had fun. I think it will take Donna weeks to come down from cloud nine."
"So Donna was a hit."
"Oh yeah, I mean she's blonde, beautiful, intelligent and quirky what's not to love? Jon was a goner immediately. He forgot about C.J. and I for a good ten minutes."
"Which thrilled you I'm sure."
We recovered fast and flirted with Ritchie. He had a whole new set of Ava picture to show us."
"Well we better get going or we'll be late. Do I look presentable?"
Mara made Sam spin around for her to check out his ensemble. He looks like a Gap commercial she thought of his beige khakis white T shirt and black sweater. "Do you own Gap stock?" She asked on the way out the door.
"Very funny, this is Dockers and J. Crew."
"Same difference." Mara laughed.
"We'll take my car, it will save time getting in to the parking garage. Are you even Catholic?"
"Yes I wouldn't be going to mass if I wasn't. Are you?"
"No I'm Protestant."
"Did you like living in Southern California?"
"Yeah I liked the weather most of all, being able to sail whenever."
"It didn't agree with me. Jean Luc threatens to send me to consular services in LA when I really irritate him."
"LA is not my favourite place, have you ever been to Santa Barbara or San Diego?"
"Too many sailors in San Diego and I use to love the soap Santa Barbara does that count?"
"Umm NO!" Sam replied quickly. "If I ever get a weekend off I'll take you to Santa Barbara You'll see why I liked it so much."
"You've got a date then Mr. Seaborn. By the way, you just passed the church "
"You've worked in the White House for too long when a Presidential Motorcade doesn't stand out anymore." Sam quipped dryly.
"You know nothing fazes me anymore. I could run into Elvis and I'd say how's it going they think you are dead and keep walking."
"There is no one you'd still love to meet ?"
"No I always wanted to meet Mother Theresa because I admired her so much. I mean to start by taking a vow of obedience? I would not pass go or collect $200 right there let alone they way she dedicated her life to serve God and the Poor of Calcutta. One thing or another always foiled my attempts to meet her. The year before she died I was privileged enough to meet her three times. She was a remarkable woman Sam after I told her how much I admired her and why she smiled took my hand and told me that we are all called to serve God in our own way. She told me she wouldn't have the patience to deal with politicians on a daily basis but I obviously could. She told me I was one of the cooler heads that must prevail."
"Wow that beats serving at the pleasure of the President hands down."
"Tell me about it for some reason when I was thinking about the pro's and con's of accepting, her words popped in my head and I stopped with the cons. You have to be in a power position first to be able to prevail."
"That is certainly true. " Sam pulled the car in to a vacant spot in the church parking lot. "We're here we don't have to sit with him do we?"
"Abbey is expecting me to join them in the pew so yes."
Sam groaned and waved at the secret service agent standing in from of the Presidential Limousine. "Hey that's Pete I'll go talk to him while you are in there."
"Nice try Samuel Norman but you are coming with me." Mara grabbed the tip of his ear and pulled him towards her.
"Owwwwww I'm going to owww get C.J. for this."
Mara released Sam's ear. " What C.J. does this to you? I got the idea from Donna she does it to Josh."
"They are both evil, evil woman." Sam deadpanned.
"Is that any way to talk as we enter a church Samuel?" Mara teased.
Sam looked up once they entered the church and noticed the choir loft was empty except for two secret service agents. It wasn't hard to tell where the First Family was sitting. A five pew gap followed by a line of tall bulky agents who hid the view of the family. As they approached Sam was surprised to see Ron standing at the entrance to the pew.
"Don't ask Sam." Ron said rolling his eyes and shooting a look towards the President.
"Did you insult Notre Dame last night or this morning Ron?" Mara whispered with a smirk.
"Don't worry I plan on taking shots at them all afternoon long." Mara said with a conspiring grin.
"I knew there was a reason I liked you Miss Whitford."
"Thanks and call me Mara."
"Ah there you are Mara we thought you were standing us up"
"I'd never stand Abbey up Jed." Mara replied with a grin.
"Get in here you Brat and start praying you need it."
"Sam how nice of you to join us. She didn't give you a choice did she?" He said with a knowing grin.
"Join us Sam I'll say a prayer for you because you'll need it."
Sam watched Mara out of the corner of his eyes during the mass. It was the first time he'd seen her sit relatively still since they met. She played with her new bracelet a few times, shinned her ring against her jeans twice and twisted another ring around her finger several times. He had to stifle a laugh when he noticed Mara making finger puppets in the shadow of the bench in front of her during the consecration. During the closing hymn Sam heard Mara sing for the first time and was astounded by how good she was. He said wow a little too loudly and garnered the President's attention.
"She has a beautiful voice doesn't she."
"You are welcome to have lunch with us Sam."
"Thank you especially since Mara invited me along. She really doesn't seem to know who you are."
"Oh she knows Sam she just could care less. She actually reminds me so much of Abbey at that age."
C.J. I just figured it out Sam thought "I could say something Sir that would make you laugh but I'm afraid Mrs. Bartlet would hear me and slap us both." Sam replied with a big grin.
"Save it for later Sam." Jed chuckled.