Disclaimers: See part 1

Down at the jail Josh's heart leapt as he saw the slim tailored figure of J.B. Felton walking in. "J.B., thank God you're here."

"I got here as soon as I could." J.B. shot a dirty look to one of the leering guards. "This asshole insisted on feeling me up – I mean, searching me – as I came in."

"Procedure," the guard complained loudly.

"Yeah, yeah. Let me talk to my client alone." J.B. turned away to face Josh. "Honey," she began, to try to calm him down, "what do they have on you?"

Josh's face turned even paler. "Mandy Hampton."

"Well, no shit." J.B. remembered what he'd told her about the letter. "Is there a way I can see a copy of that right now?"


"I'll work on it. But what did it say?"

"It was a faked confession."

"What!" J.B.'s mouth dropped open. Incredulously she said, "It was your faked confession to the Hampton murder?"

"Yeah." Josh hung his head.

Mandy Hampton had been the President's media consultant. Around the time of the assassination attempt she had disappeared, eventually to be found, stabbed several times, in Baltimore's Leakin Park. Police had found no clues whatsoever, and the case was, in police parlance, as open as the day was long.

J.B. shook her head. "So whoever it was that tried to frame you for this also is trying to frame you for Mandy Hampton's murder."

"I guess so."

J.B. had to be delicate with her next question; this wouldn't be easy for Josh. "Honey, I have to ask. Do you think Sam could have been Mandy's killer?"

"What!" Josh almost jumped out of his seat, which made the guards stand to attention. Some of them moved closer him, including J.B.'s antagonist. Desperately he said, "J.B., you knew Sam. Did you ever think that he'd kill someone, anyone? And," he added, seizing on another tack, "from a purely practical standpoint, what motive would he have?"

"That's true." J.B. gave Josh an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry. Really." These questions had to be asked, but Josh wasn't quite up to taking it yet.

Josh shook his head. "How in hell am I going to get out of this one?"

"You will, Josh." J.B. was firm. "Raymond and I will handle this."

"You mean you'll take it?"

J.B. smiled disarmingly. "How could I not?"

Impulsively Josh hugged her. "You're the best, Janie Babs."

She looked at him warningly. "It didn't work in law school, it sure as hell doesn't work now."


^ ^ ^

Meanwhile Raymond was telling the news to the President, the First Lady, Leo, a subdued C.J. and a restless Donna. "Right now he's at the County Jail," Raymond said, shifting in his standing position, "but he might be moved to the Federal facility."

"Not if I have anything to say about it," the President said grimly.

"With all due respect, sir." Raymond spoke right up. "I would advise against that."

"Why the hell can't I intercede for Josh?" The President asked.

C.J.'s tone was bitter. "Because it might make the government look bad."

"Oh, like this won't already?" Bartlet shot back.

"Please, Mr. President," Raymond pleaded. "Just let my boss do her job."

"Who is your boss, Mr. Houseman?" Leo asked.

"My boss is Mr. Lyman's lawyer, J.B. Felton."

"Janie Felton?" A fond smile appeared on Leo's face. "I knew her father."

"J.B.'s just as good." Raymond answered firmly. "And Mr. President ... on second thought, maybe you could do something, but please, *please* don't make it public."

"What am I, stupid?" Bartlet threw his hands up. "Of course. Leo knows how to handle it."

"Right." Leo strode from the room, a man on a mission.

C.J. spoke up. "Raymond, we need to see Josh."

"I don't know if that's possible."

"The hell it isn't." Donna spoke for the first time, from her perch near the First Lady. Abbey stroked her hair absently. Since Raymond had broken the news, only the presence of Abbey had prevented Donna's shrieks and hysteria and soothed her broken sobs. Something in the competent older woman made Donna hold her grief and fear. "Your boss is his lawyer. And my boss is the President. I am going to see my friend."

Leo and Raymond shared a look. The way she had referred to Josh made them both pause. "Ms. Moss," the latter began, "even if you could see Mr. Lyman I'm not sure you'd want to."

Donna faced Raymond. "I'm not a child," she said harshly. "I want to make sure he's all right."

"Ms. Moss, I just don't think they'll let you." Raymond was polite but firm. "You can do better for Mr. Lyman by just being here. And he'll get out on bail. You know he will." <<If,>> he added to himself, <<there's even a bail hearing.>>

The room lapsed into a long silence. Bartlet was about to open his mouth again, but he was precluded by an explosive sound from C.J. "God damnit!" she yelled, vaulting to her feet. "You ought to be ashamed of yourselves!" Though she had told herself she wouldn't cry, sworn she wouldn't cry, she did. "You're talking about Josh, who's at least alive and well, if scared. What about Sam?" Her lip trembled. "What about Sam, who'll never see us again? Who's going to be *buried* Thursday?" She couldn't say the sickening word. C.J. sank to the couch again and began to bawl.

Abbey had to keep an iron grip on herself to not follow suit. "Jed, Donna, Mr. Houseman – let's worry about Sam before we worry about Josh."

"I agree." Raymond felt uncomfortable sticking his neck out, but it was called for.

"At least there's something I can do there," the President mumbled. "That boy deserves the National Cathedral."

"That would be a good idea," Abbey said softly.

"Back to the National Cathedral..." Donna's eyes were wide but she wasn't seeing anything.

"I'll make the arrangements," the President said. "Mr. Houseman, please keep us informed of anything you might hear."

"Of course, sir." Raymond made to leave. "Thank you, Mr. President."


Part 4



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