NOTES: See part 1
SUMMARY: KD and Toby deal with possibilities, Leo finds that he has to start
taking steps to stay happy and keep the women he loves happy at the same time.

Jeri opened the door and looked upon the dejected face of her boyfriend.
She pulled him in and closed the door before hugging him tightly. He hugged
her back, trying to gather his thoughts.
"She wants to leave." He whispered. "She wouldn't listen to me."
"Oh, Leo. She's just confused." Jeri said softly as she held him close.
"She loves you, but she's confused. She needs help and she knows it, but she
doesn't know how to accept it."
"She's usually the one giving it." Leo admitted. "But why can't she see
it? I mean, we're trying to be there for her. I told her all the things that
she needed to hear and she agreed. There's growing up and then there's what
she's doing." He said softly.
"Leo, I know you care about her, and you love her. She knows this too,
but she is an adult. She knows that too. Maybe what she needs is the space to
make her own mistakes. Sometimes you have to let your kids trip, Leo, so that
you can be there to catch them. Give her a little more time, time to realize
just how much she's throwing away."
"I don't know if I can do that. I work in one of the most powerful
offices in the country and I don't know if I can handle watching my daughter
throw her life away. It makes me feel powerless."
"I think in this case, you can't control the situation. She controls it,
and she will let you in eventually, but she needs this time, this space,
now." Jeri said softly, hoping she wouldn't anger him with her version of the
truth. Leo sighed and sat down on her couch. Jeri sat down next to him and
watched him carefully. He looked at her and saw the apprehension in her eyes.
"What's wrong?" He asked softly.
"This is all my fault." Jeri whispered. Leo shook his head and pulled her
into his arms, grateful that she at least didn't pull away. She buried her
face in his chest and listened to his heartbeat.
"This isn't your fault. I don't know that it's anybody's. We've been
going out for two weeks, Jeri. I don't know that Mallory is used to the idea
yet, but she will be." He whispered. "In the meantime, I'm happy with you.
You're happy with me. Everyone I know is happy for us. I want it to keep
going that way, because I enjoy being with you."
"And I you, Leo." She whispered.
"I do have one question though." He said softly.
"What's that?"
"When were you going to tell me that Joey Lucas is your little sister?"
He asked with a grin. She laughed and shrugged.
"See, I had this big party planned for it. You were going to walk in the
door and switch on the lights, and I'd yell 'Surprise! I'm Joey Lucas's big
sister!' but now you've spoiled all that." She replied playfully.
"Aw, damn. What would the party have been like?" Leo asked as he laughed,
grateful to forget the day's stress.
"It would have been very fun." She replied with a twinkle in her eye. He
grinned and kissed her softly.
"Like what fun?" He whispered. She smiled and took a gentle hold of his
collar, pulling him into a gentle yet more passionate kiss.
"Like very fun." She replied mysteriously before he kissed her again.

"Hey, how'd it go?" Toby asked as he saw the door open. His smile
disappeared when he saw the dejected look on his wife's face. He moved over
to her and looked into her eyes. He frowned when he saw the pain in them.
"What happened?" He whispered.
"She was arrested for a DUI. She was drunk, Toby. She threatened the cop
who arrested her. They're taking her to court and..." KD just trailed off
and buried her face into his shoulder. "She yelled at me for calling Leo
'dad' and she starting crying, talking about she had to get out of here. I
felt so bad, so lost. She's like a little sister to me. I just don't
understand." Toby closed his eyes and held her close against his body.
"Sounds like she's going through a lot." He whispered.
"I know. I wish I had known before." KD replied softly as she hugged his
neck. "Mal doesn't drink, Toby, or at least, she didn't. She was still
reeling a bit when I picked her up. It worries me." Toby looked her in the
eye and stroked her cheek with his thumb.
"Listen to me. Mallory is a grown woman. The only thing you can do right
now, at this moment, is let her be and let her make her own decisions.
Tomorrow, you can talk to Leo and maybe together, maybe Sam and the President
or all of us, we can get her to listen to reason. Right now, you need to
relax and feel free. You can't do anything at this second." He said softly as
he held her face in his hands. "So why don't we get some orange juice or milk
or something and sit on the couch and argue about baby names, okay?" He said
playfully. She smiled and kissed him gently.
"Where would I be without you, Toby?" She whispered.
"My guess would be Toronto. You seem to like it there." He replied softly
as he held her close.
"My father used to take me there." KD whispered. "There was a special
park there that he used to take me too, and he told me that whenever I needed
to think or I needed him, he would be there, waiting on the bench to listen
to him. I might not be able to see him, but I'd feel him." She explained,
still clutching Toby close. Toby listened silently. KD was still never that
forthcoming about her past. He knew that there were still plenty of things
that she had yet to tell him, but he was always there for her when she needed
to confess.
"I never knew that." He said softly. "It makes a lot more sense now why
you loved it there so much." He whispered as he looked into her eyes. She
smiled at him and kissed him lovingly. He kissed her back and slowly pulled
her closer as the kiss deepened and they found their way back to the place
where they had left off.

Sam lingered in front of the window of his apartment, many different
thoughts running through his head. He'd been trying for so long to get
through to Mallory and just when he was finally starting to feel the
relationship was stable, she had to go and do this. Why? He moved to his
computer and sat down. The cursor blinked at him, taunting him to just try
and finish a sentence. It wouldn't let him and he knew it.
With a sigh he got to his feet again and started to pace. He stopped and
looked at the small box that sat on his bookshelf. He moved over and opened
it, gazing at how the light flashed off of the diamond. Why had he waited so
long? Because she'd asked him to, that's why. Sam felt like such an idiot as
he collapsed into the couch, still staring at the ring.
Was it all his fault? She was practically screaming about how stressed
she was, but he'd never seen anything like this from her. She'd never been
one to give up and certainly not one to run away. He knew that much from all
the arguments they'd had together. Perhaps he should have always known that
she'd break his heart. This was his own stupid mistake.
He got up again and walked to the kitchen. He opened the fridge and
looked around, the ring still in its box in his hand as he stared into the
fridge. He saw the bottles of beer that he'd gotten at the store, purely out
of habit. He put the ring down on the counter and then pulled the beers out
of the fridge. He put them on the counter and opened one. He took a sip and
looked at the bottle. Then he turned around and poured the liquid out into
the sink. He repeated the process with every last beer, sending every last
drop down the drain.
After he was done, he moved to the bedroom and went to bed, leaving the
ring on the counter, glistening in the dim kitchen light.



Blessed - 12



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