See part 1 for disclaimers

CJ glanced at her watch when she got back from having lunch with Josh and Sam. Itís was two-thirty which meant Toby should be back in seven hours. That meant she had seven hours to figure out a way to tell him that she is pregnant again. She had spent every spare moment of the last three weeks trying to figure out a way to tell him.

"Yeah, Carol" CJ said when Carol opened the door to her office.

"Leo wants to see you in his office."

"Okay."

CJ ran into Josh as he came out of his office.

"Leo wants to see you also?" She asked.

"Yeah. Wonder whatís itís about?"

"I donít know."

When CJ and Josh got to Leoís office, Sam was already there.

"Do you have any idea whatís going on?" Sam asked them.

"None whatsoever." Josh replied.

"Not a clue." CJ said.

"Well, this is great." Sam said.

Just then Leo came through the door that connected his office to the Oval Office. "Guys, why donít we have this meeting in here." He said.

Once CJ, Josh, and Sam were seated in the Oval Office, Leo begun to speak. "We have a situation developing with an El-Al plane."

"Leo, isnít that the Israeli national airline?" Josh said.

"Yeah, it is."

"Then wouldnít the Israelis handle the situation." Josh said.

"Well, the planeís destination is Washington."

"Washington?" CJ said. "Leo whatís going on with the plane?"

"Itís been hijacked." Leo said.

"Whatís the flight number?" CJ asked.

"9454. We donít..." Leo said.

"Oh, God no." CJ said burying her face in her hands.

"CJ, what is it?" Jed asked.

"Leo, you were getting ready to say that you donít have a passenger list right?" CJ asked.

"Yeah." Leo said.

"I can tell you one person that is on that flight. Thatís the flight Tobyís on." CJ said softly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The entire office was silent for a few minutes after CJ spoke. Finally Josh broke the silence, "Claudia Jean are you certain of that?"

"Yeah, Iím certain."

"How do you know this?" Leo asked.

"What, do you think he wouldnít tell me the number of the flight heís coming home on? If you donít believe me, he left a message on the answering machine at home. I call home and let you hear it." CJ said.

"CJ, I believe you, itís just this is an unbelievable situation." Leo said.

"If you think itís unbelievable, Leo, you should try being me for about five minutes." CJ said.

"Okay, you're not going to brief the press on this. Iíll do it myself. If we know heís on the plane, the terrorists will find out soon."

"Hold on Leo what makes you think theyíll find out?" Sam asked.

"Once CNN gets a hold of the passenger list, they will broadcast it. And if the terrorists donít already know, theyíll know then." Josh said.

"Josh is right." CJ said quietly. "I wish he wasnít but he is. Thereís no way this can be kept secret."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The first order the terrorists gave was that the passengers of Israeli and American nationality were to go to the coach compartment. That order had been give half an hour earlier, and now the terrorists were taking the passports of those in coach. Toby silently handed his passport one of the terrorists.

"Since weíre going to be here awhile, I think I should introduce myself." The elderly lady next to Toby said. "I'm Hannah Rubenstein." She said.

"Toby Ziegler. If you don't mind me asking, where are you originally from? Your accent is almost like my motherís."

"Warsaw." She answered.

"Ah, my mother was from Lublin."

"Then that would explain the similarities in our accents."

"Yes, it would." Toby agreed.

"Was she around my age?"

"Yeah."

"I thought she probably was."

"She emigrated to Israel after the war. Actually she was one of the illegal immigrants. Then in the early fifties she met my father. He...was an American working on a kibbutz for a year. He wanted to go back to Brooklyn, so she went to New York. After my brother and I were grown they decided to return to Israel. Mom died seven years ago, and...we buried Dad yesterday. I donít know why Iím telling you this, I normally donít open up to people."

"It could be the situation, or that I remind you of your mother."

"Yeah."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CJ was sitting silently in her office watching Leo do the press briefing. Josh was sitting in her office with her because no one wanted her to be left alone right now. She looked up, a few minutes after the briefing was over, when Carol came in and whispered something to Josh.

"Iíll be back in a minute." Josh said as he left the office. Carol sat down on the couch as Josh left.

"Danny?" Josh said when he was out of the office.

"How is she?" Danny asked. He had learned of the situation during the briefing.

"I think sheís in shock. Sheís hasnít said two words since we left Leoís office. None of us want her left alone so Iím sitting with her."

"That was probably a good idea."

"Yeah." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Carol"

"Yeah, CJ."

"Do you mind leaving me alone for a few minutes."

"CJ.." Carol said.

"Carol, please."

"Okay." Carol said and left.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Carol?" Josh said when Carol came out of the office.

"She wanted to be alone for a few minutes." Carol explained.

"I donít know if thatís such a good idea." Josh said.

"Sheíll be fine. She deals with things better when sheís alone." Carol said.

"Okay, I guess. Iíll give her about twenty minutes, I guess." Josh said.

"Is she still the same?" Danny asked.

"Yeah." Carol said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After Carol left the office, CJ picked up the phone and dialed her home number. She then punched in the code to play the messages on the answering machine. More than anything, at that moment, she needed to hear Tobyís voice. When he said he loved her, she begun to cry silently. She hung the phone up and walked over to the other side of her office. There was a small CD player on the top of the cabinet. She kept the CDís in the bottom drawer. She looked and found the one she was looking for and put in the player and pressed play. She stood silently through the first part of the song, and then she heard the part that mirrored what she was feeling.

When I reach to hold you Iíll still be alone When I hear the ringing of the telephone Iíll think it is you It will not be true

I know why the river runs To a place somewhere far away I know why the sky is cryiní When there arenít any words to say

I could play the message that you left for me I could hear your voice and I could still believe That you will soon be home But you will never come

She played that part of the song over and over until Josh came back into the office. She then let the song finish playing.

I know why the river runs To a place somewhere far away I know why the sky is cryiní When there arenít any words to say

Thereís a silence that I donít want to hear Thereís a hole now where my heart used to be They say that healiní comes in time But I dontí know what that means

I lie here for so long But you will never come

I know why the river runs To a place somewhere far away I know why the sky is cryiní When there arenít any words to say

I know why the river runs To a place somewhere far away I know why the sky is cryiní When there arenít any words to say

I know why the river runs

"You okay?" Josh asked.

"Yeah, I guess so." CJ said.

"What are you doing?" Josh asked.

"Iím listening to part of a song over and over."

"Why?"

"Toby left a message on our answering machine at home. The flight was supposed to land at Dulles at nine-thirty. He told me to tell Meghan that he would be home soon and he ended the message by saying he loved me. What if those are the last words I hear him say?"

"CJ..."

"I know I should keep a positive attitude, Josh, but these are terrorists. They have a habit of killing Americans. And since this is and Israeli plane..."

"Theyíre likely Arab and donít like Jews or Americans very much."

"Toby is both."

"I know. Listen you have no way of knowing what will happen. You need to think positive. Think about Meghan."

"The only thing I can think of right now is I want her father to see her grow up and I want..." CJ said placing her hand on her stomach.

"What CJ?" Josh asked.

"Nothing, Josh, nothing."

Carol knocked softly on the door. "Leo wants to see both of you in his office."

"Okay." Josh said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"This is fortunate for us." Toby heard the person he assumed was the lead terrorist say. "We have someone on board who is a aide to the President of the United States. Which one of you is Toby Ziegler." The terrorist acknowledged Toby when he stood up. "You will transmit our demands to your President and the Prime Minister of Israel."

to be continued...

 

I Know Why The River Runs - 5

 

 

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