Disclaimer: I do not own these character (I wish I did!) I just wanted to
play with them for a while. I will return them to NBC and the show's
producers when I'm done. And I promise to return them in the same condition
I borrowed them in. Well, hopefully they'll be a little happier. And more
Category: Sam & Ainsley
Summary: Sam escorts Ainsley to a family reunion in North Carolina.
This is my first fan fic. I would welcome suggestions and comments. Please
be kind. Sam and Ainsley both talk to themselves indicated like *this* I
am Canadian so please forgive me if the "politics" aren't quite on the mark.
Sam Seaborn bolted upright in his bed. "Not again," he muttered reaching
for his glasses beside the clock. It was four a.m. and he had just awoken
from an incredibly vivid dream of her. Damn! Ainsley Hayes was haunting
him. AGAIN. Oh sure, he knew he liked her. In spite of himself, in spite
of the fact he usually hated blondes and Republicans, he liked her. But
dreams featuring the woman had deprived him of a decent night's sleep for
Sam's libido had a voice of its own. *Maybe if I slept with her, it would
help.* His rational mind took over. Hello? Where did that come from? His
mind was racing as he flashed back to that moment in the hallway when he
heard her voice warble the one and only time it had, "If I have to face
another disappointment today," she was close to tears.
Sam's libido kicked in again. His gut instinct had been to gather her into
his arms and kiss her. *He'd never disappoint her. He'd never disappointed
a woman.* Sam couldn't believe he'd fired two intensely loyal, life long
Democrats to just defend a short blond rigid Republican JUNIOR staffer. He
hated Republicans. Well, maybe not all of them. He couldn't shake the
image of her from his mind. He enjoyed their banter. She never let up on
him. She challenged him. Every day, every step of the way, she challenged
him. Ugh. "Harvard Law School" she'd said without rising to the bait
today. She had done so just to one up him. He'd gone to Yale. He knew
damn right well where she'd gone to school and that she hadn't studied baton
twirling. He wanted the upper hand. He had wanted to get a rise out of her
and it hadn't worked. Sam relived the rest of the conversation in his mind.
"I won't get Republican juice on you." *No Ainsley, I'll get it on
us. I'll get your juices so... *"
"Shit!!" Sam said, punching his pillow and then rolled out of bed. Sam
headed for a cold shower. He'd stop at the gym to work out. He had to get
this woman out of his mind. There were laws against the types of things he
was thinking about doing with someone he worked with, weren't there?
On the other side of town, Ainsley stirred yet another teaspoon of honey
into her herbal tea. She had long since given up the pretext of trying to
sleep. All she wanted was a sugar fix. No, it wasn't. She craved sugar
whenever she was around Sam. SAM! The most irritating, self righteous,
liberal lunatic she'd ever encountered. Oh, he wasn't all that bad. His
motives were good. He wanted to make the world a better place. She knew
that. It was how he went about things that was all screwy. He was one of
the few people who held their own with her intellectually. She respected
the man's ability to debate. Sam's commitment, his dedication, his passion.
That still small voice in her gut that had been keeping her up for weeks
whispered, "*How dedicated do you think Sam could be to your passion
Ainsley? Would he really be the master?*" The spoon clanged on the side of
the cup. She dropped it onto the saucer. Their battle over employee fraud
had been one of their best. "You reversed my position." He'd said it over
and over. *Oh, she'd love to reverse the position. She'd love to allow
herself to be under him for a change. Or on top.* She couldn't do this any
more! Her mind wandered back to the look on his face when she'd finally
gotten through to him. He'd listened to her. He'd backed down and realized
she was right and he was wrong. He hadn't said it that simply. But the
look on his face said it. That day she had influenced the national policy
on small business. She, Ainsley Hayes had done that. She should be
satisfied. *"Sam could satisfy you like you've never been satisfied
before!!*" Ainsley set her tea cup down and decided to take a shower and
go to the office. Anything to get Sam out of her mind.
A few weeks later, Ainsley sat at her desk in the broom closet of an office
she occupied in the White House basement. She would kill for a window. She
really did have the ugliest office in the whole building. Her office was
dark, stuffy and ugly. But it was in the White House. Serving her country
mattered to her. She put up with it. She didn't think her day could get
much worse till her cell phone rang. "Hi, Peter. Are we still on for the
weekend? NO, it's all right...... I understand and I hope you're
feeling better." She thought to herself "Peter, you really are a schmuck,
aren't you?" Aloud she muttered, "now what am I going to do?" as she
up the phone.
"Problem?" Sam said at her doorway. She always left it open - she needed
the air circulation. Sam looked around.
"Nothing important." She flipped back.
"Okay, so what is it?" He didn't like the way she responded. She was
"Nothing important!" She raised her voice slightly.
"So, if it's not important, you'll tell me, right."
"Sam, it's none of your business."
"I'm deputy communications director, everything that happens in this
building is my business."
"It's not that important!"
"So, you're saying it's mildly important?"
"UGH!! Fine Sam! There's a family party this weekend, for my parents 40th
Wedding Anniversary and Peter Morris... "
"The schmuck from the hill that day?"
"Yeah, the schmuck from the hill." She looked down at her desk hoping the
conversation would end now. He wouldn't let her off the hook so easily.
"What about the schmuck?"
"He promised to take me. It's one of those things you need a date for or
your grandmother gets worried and starts trying to marry you off to every
Dweeb whose grandmother she went to Grammar School with."
"He promised to take you and he's backing out? At six p.m. on Friday
night." Sam couldn't see why anyone with a date with her would break it.
"He backed out."
"He backed out because of that scene on the hill?! The schmuck!"
"Sam, I know he's a schmuck. I called him a schmuck myself at the time."
"I'll take you." He said simply.
"It's my fault. The schmuck dropped out because you got the best of him in
front of me. I owe you."
"How is this your fault again?" She had to cover up her pleasure at his
"I was with you when you called him a schmuck, I'll take you."
"Because he's a schmuck." She tried to make it sound logical.
"*Because I WANT TO*" Sam had hoped he'd left that little voice in the
shower this morning. But that was asking too much. "Because me taking you
has to be better than some jerk grandson." He leaned onto her desk. "Tell
me where and when."
"Pick me up at 2:30 Saturday afternoon. We have a four p.m. flight to
North Carolina. Pack a tux for Saturday night. Casual for Sunday afternoon.
We'll be staying with my sister." She looked relieved.
"I have to wear a penguin suit for this thing?" Sam smiled at her.
She raised her eyebrows. "And a bathing suit for Sunday afternoon. There'
s a pool party at my Aunt Grace's - also a command performance."
"Okay." He said simply. "I need you to do a summary of this for me."
dropped it on her desk and turned to go, " Ainsley, this time, don't reverse
"Okay, but just this time." She called after him.
Sam couldn't believe what he'd just done. He didn't want to go to North
Carolina for the weekend. *Yes you do.*" The damn voice said. *Yes you
Ainsley sat down in shock. Sam Seaborn was coming with her to her parents
anniversary party. She'd be spending a weekend with him. She would have
him all to herself. He was her date? She was bringing a liberal democrat
into a room full of ultra conservative republican insiders? She must be
nuts. What had she done? *But you want him with you don't you Ainsley?
You've seen Sam in a tuxedo lots of times, yeah, but never in a bathing
suit. Now that could be interesting.*
The flight was routine. The usual up in Washington and down in Charlotte
type of thing. They were about to hail a cab at Douglas airport when Sam
heard a voice calling, " Ainsley, hey sis!" as a cute short blonde woman
approached them. She had to be Ainsley's sister. There was no doubt. She
got closer. She was a dead ringer for Ainsley. Except for the perky short
haircut - he'd swear they were the same woman.
"Paisley, you didn't have to meet us?" Ainsley smiled hugging the woman.
"I had to escape - let the caterers do their thing back at the house.
Where's useless? This is not useless. This is... " Paisley turned her
back to Sam and spun her sister around pointed her thumb at Sam and mouthed
Ainsley got flustered. "Paisley, I want you to meet . . a colleague of
mine. Sam Seaborn. Sam, this is my sister Paisley Marshall. My twin
"I figured that out. Even the twin part. Nice to meet you, Paisley. And
what's this about useless?" Sam was confused.
"Useless? Oh him, That's my name for Peter What's his Face who usually
gets taped to my sisters arm when she needs an acceptable escort. " She
replied. Sam decided was going to like this woman. She would be fun. He
smiled at Ainsley, "and here I thought we'd decided his name was Schmuck."
Ainsley rolled her eyes. This had the makings of a very long weekend.
The Ford Explorer pulled into the driveway of an elegant old home in one
Charlotte's most exclusive neighbourhoods. Paisley opened the front door
and a maid met them in the foyer. "Carol, this is Mr. Seaborn. Would you
please show him to the Guest Suite. I'll help my sister get settled in
upstairs in her old room. Is my husband home yet?"
"Yes, Mrs. Marshall, he's in the library. He wanted to know if you were
planning to have a light meal before the party this evening?" The maid
"Yes, please, sandwiches by the pool will be fine. And something sweet
for Ainsley. She's always hungry. Aren't you Ainsley? We probably have
time for a dip before the party." Paisley was an experienced hostess.
"Sounds good." Ainsley laughed with her sister. Ainsley looked to Sam.
"Once you get settled, I'll meet you by the pool and introduce you to my
Sam nodded. He'd never seen Ainsley quite so relaxed. He was in for
another surprises. A three year old ran through the house dripping wet,
followed by a golden retriever barking with delight. Heedless of her linen
travelling suit, Ainsley reached down and scooped the child into her arms.
"Hey sweet heart, how's my girl?"
A nanny followed. "I'm sorry Mrs. Marshall, Miss Hayes. She heard the car
and bolted in to see you. I'll take her and get her tidied up a bit."
"Not on your life! I'm going to do it." Ainsley replied. Sam stood
stunned. Ainsley Hayes, a woman who ate senior White House Staffers for
breakfast, was a sucker for kids. She tickled the little one and then set
her on her feet.
"MAN?" the bundle of blonde curls said looking curiously at Sam. She was
adorable. Sam liked kids - he even wanted a few. Someday.
Paisley laughed aloud. "I know Megan honey, you're not used to seeing
Ainsley with a man." She muttered something to Ainsley that sounded
suspiciously like, "not a real one anyway. Till now." She said clearly
"This is SAM."
"Sam, I am." He said awkwardly as he held out his hand for her to shake.
"Sam I am?" Megan said. Then, as if she'd known him forever, she added
"From Green Eggs and Ham?"
A grin started on Sam's face. It started out slow. Then it started to
grown. "Sam I am." He said simply. He knelt so that he could look her in
the eye. "And Megan, if you bring me that book, I'll read it to you before
your grandparents party tonight." The child squealed in delight. He looked
at Ainsley, "even Democrats read their kids Dr. Sues." Sam climbed the
stairs, following the maid. This was going to be an interesting weekend.
"Spill it." Paisley said when she and Ainsley dropped the overnight bags
on the floor of Ainsley's childhood room. "Maybe I spoke too soon, maybe I
should have offered you two the guest house?"
"PAZE!!" Ainsley said. "He's a colleague. He's a nice guy who
accompany me to this party tonight so I wouldn't end up with a Mortimer
Dweeb nephew of Grandma Ellen's Friend Irma."
"No way. He's not your usual window dressing type of date. That guy is
hot. Even if he is the White House Deputy Communications Director." At her
sisters dumbfounded look she continued. "Yes, I know who he is. I'm not
that clued out of national politics. Close your mouth sis, the flies will
get in. And, I'm also not clued out about the important stuff either. He
likes you. And what's more - you like him. I hope it works out. See ya
downstairs." Paisley left Ainsley alone with her thoughts.
Sam stuck his head out the door and headed back downstairs the way he came.
He wasn't worried. He always impressed fathers and charmed mothers. It was
part of being Sam Seaborn. So why was he nervous? He was... nervous.
He was nervous dammit for the first time in years. He felt like a teenager
on his first date. He asked one of the caterers (he hoped that's who it
was) for directions to the library. Ainsley was waiting there for him
nibbling on a chocolate chip cookie. *Kiss the crumbs away.* Oh shit where
had that come from? He knew he hadn't packed that voice. This was supposed
to be a friendly weekend. Yeah right. Sam was a goner.
Ainsley led him to the deck surrounding a picture perfect pool. "Greg, I'
d like you to meet Sam Seaborn."
Greg Marshall held out his hand, "Nice to meet you, Sam. I hope you found
everything you need? How about a beer."
"I'd love one, thanks." Sam replied taking a seat under the umbrella.
"Thank you. It was Ainsley and Paisley's growing up. Once the girls were
grown, the Judge and Mom Hayes wanted a place in town. So, we bought it
The men exchanged small talk for a while before taking a swim. When Megan
arrived at the water's edge carrying a book, Sam excused himself, dried
himself off, pulled the munchkin onto his knee and read her story.
"Ainsley," Greg said quietly, "keep this one." A member of the staff
reminded everyone of the time and they all went inside to get ready for the
formal cocktail party. As he walked into the house, Sam felt his arm wrap
around her waist. He didn't remember putting it there. It just happened by
reflex, it was a completely natural thing to do, it was as if he'd escorted
her all his life. *Oh, oh, you've got it bad Sammy Boy.* Ainsley felt a
tingle where Sam touched her. It was a very pleasant sensation. It had
been a pleasant afternoon. Very pleasant. *A casual touch makes you
tingle, Ainsley, how do you think it would it feel if Sam intended to make
you tingle. UGH! You're hopeless Ainsley. Hopeless.*
That evening Ainsley took a deep breath and headed to the library where Sam
was waiting. They'd go into the party together. Her father and mother were
greeting guests as they arrived in the ballroom. "Hi Mom," she smiled
giving her a kiss on the cheek.
"Ainsley dear, you made it. Your father and I are so happy you could come
tonight. We know how hard it is to get away from Washington. Aren't you
going to introduce us to your friend?"
"Mom, Dad, I want you to meet my... Sam Seaborn." Ainsley stumbled
slightly. Her father raised a brow and then he smiled at her.
"Seaborn? From the White House staff?" He looked at Sam extending his hand
"Yes sir, Assistant Communications Director. It's a pleasure to meet you,
Your Honor. Your daughter talks about you regularly. And congratulations
"Thank you, Sam. And please, I'm Deborah and my husband is Jonathon.
Ainsley dear, you look wonderful."
"I hope we get a chance to talk later, Sam," Jonathon said quietly.
like to hear how you and Leo McGary managed to convince a life long
Republican to abandon her party, put aside her convictions and work for the
enemy. It must be quite a story."
"I wouldn't mind hearing that story myself, sir. IF I knew who you were
talking about. It can't be Ainsley because I've never met a more contrary
woman in my life. Because she made an ass out of me on National Television
one Sunday morning, the White House Chief of Staff hired her. Ainsley also
routinely bludgeons me over the head about White House policy." Sam didn't
like the looks of this. He had expected to take some heat but not yet. They
had just shaken hands for crying out loud.
"I do not." Ainsley started to defend herself then realized Sam had been
defending her. And quite well. "I do, don't I?"
"Regularly. And I don't think it's just for the entertainment value."
"No, that's the only fringe benefit that comes with the job."
"I figured as much. But that's why you're an important part of this
administration. President Bartlett like people to debate the issues with
him. Make him think about all sides. You were hired to make us think,
Ainsley. God knows I can't stop thinking about you. Excuse us," He smiled
at her mother and they moved through the crowd. Ainsley accepted a glass of
champagne from a waiter. So did Sam. She really was stunning tonight.
*So tell her you bone head.* Her deep blue gown was a perfect fit and
highlighted her figure. The strapless bodice revealed the cleavage that Sam
had always wondered about. Her business suits were so prim and proper. But
tonight, with her hair swept up in a casual bun, her shoulders and neck were
bare. *Kissable.* "You look wonderful," he said taking a sip of his
"Thank you," she said looking over the rim of hers.
"Your father is very proud. I can tell." Sam tried to reassure her a bit.
"That's why he declared war on my date?" She was still embarrassed.
"Your family calls that a war?" Sam made light of it. "In my family, that
kind of exchange doesn't even qualify as a UN Police Action. I do have one
question for you."
"Fire away." Ainsley replied.
"Am I the only Democrat in this room? I mean, the big "D" engraved on my
forehead is showing right?" he tried to tease her to lighten the mood.
"Well, I guess it's better than an "L" for loser," she replied
"Peter Schmuck has one of those, and you were planning to bring him instead
of me. What does that say about you?"
"Don't push your luck Sam, or I will feed you to the Republican Sharks here
tonight." She took another sip of her champagne. "Sam, do you dance?"
"Dance? As in right here and right now?" He was surprised. *Do it,
Stupid. You've wanted to feel her in your arms all day. Do it!!* "Sure,"
he said putting the champagne on an empty tray and leading her to the floor.
By the time the third song had finished, Ainsley had completely relaxed in
Sam's arms and they moved together as if they were one. She rested her head
on Sam's shoulder and enjoyed the feeling of his arms around her. She had
felt herself tingle when his hand casually touched her back earlier, but
now, she wasn't just tingling. She was warm all over. He absently caressed
the bare skin on her back as they moved together. She could dance with Sam
"My turn, " a voice said tapping Sam on the shoulder. "May I?"
Sam took a step back. "It's up to the lady." He looked at a man he'd
never seen before. "Ainsley?"
She looked pale. "Sam, this is Craig Williams. He clerks for my father.
Actually, Craig, Sam and I were just about to step outside for a breath of
air. Maybe later?"
Sam kept his arm around her waist and led her through the French doors onto
a terrace. "Are you okay?"
He asked turning her to face him and keeping both hands on her waist. "Who
is that guy?"
"Craig Williams, he clerks for my father." She still looked pale. She
started to tremble. Her feeble attempt at their usual banter failed.
"Okay. Now, who is he? Really?" Sam was getting upset. He'd only seen
Ainsley flipped out once before, and that was over the dead flowers the
junior staff clowns had sent her. He'd fired them. It was either fire them
or beat them up. Firing them was the professional thing to do. Only
tonight her wasn't here professionally. So he should beat the guy up right?
He drew her closer to him. Holding her gently, caressing her hair tenderly,
comforting her. *This isn't just hormones, Sam. Your feelings are involved
Ainsley took a deep breath and pulled back to face him. "A year ago,
before I moved to DC, I was getting calls at odd hours, gifts from an
anonymous person, I had a feeling I was being followed. One night, I got
home to my apartment, I wasn't alone there. I tried to fight him off, I
managed to call for help but... He wore a mask. I never saw the face."
"This guy stalked YOU?! Did he hurt you?" Sam didn't expect this. *He
hurt you. If he tries it again, he'll have to get through me first!*
"We never had any proof it was him. It was part of the reason I went to
Washington in the first place. I just always wondered if it was him...
I thought so for a while at first... Then I wasn't sure. I turned down
a dinner invitation, but he just shrugged it off. Like it was no big deal.
But, it's just seeing him again, hearing the voice. I was, I'm sorry, we
should go back in." She took another deep breath then looked up into his
Sam stared intently at the woman in his arms. It felt so right to hold her
like this. Before either Sam or Ainsley knew exactly what was happening
they both closed their eyes and their lips met in a tender first kiss. He
brushed his lips against hers so sensuously they were both shocked by the
depth of their reaction to one another. As his lips moved over hers again,
Ainsley felt her knees weaken slightly and she leaned more on his strong
arms. Sam felt her lips part to allow him deeper access. His tongue met
hers and as this time it wasn't a battle of words they fought but a
questioning caress they shared. Reluctantly they broke the kiss and
rejoined the party hand in hand.
*Whoa Sammy. What a kiss! You felt it didn't you. You could have kissed
her all night. And all day tomorrow couldn't you? Her lips were
incredible, weren't they? She fit perfectly in the circle of your arms.
She's just the right size - made just for you. You want to kiss her again.
You can't wait to kiss her again.*
Sam kept this Craig guy at a distance all night. He had worked enough
political fund raisers to know how to keep circulating in a room speaking to
everyone except the one person with their own agenda. He made sure that as
soon as Ainsley's dance with her father or with her brother-in-law ended
that he was there with a glass of champagne. He steered her to the hors d'
oeuvre table before Craig could get within six feet of her. They
entertained her father and his friend's with tales of their legendary
conflicts and banter. She had won out on the small business fraud thing.
He made sure her dad knew she mattered in the White House. Even if her
office was an old broom closet. As the evening went on, it became apparent
to her father that it wasn't just the White House that Ainsley mattered to.
She mattered to this young man. Jonathon watched them together closely and
concluded he mattered to her too. As the party drew to a close Sam realized
he would have enjoyed the evening thoroughly if he hadn't felt like one of
the president's Secret Service Agents on a special assignment. Shielding her
had been exhausting. *NO, it doesn't matter. You enjoyed just being with
her. And that kiss was worth working the room. *
Ainsley always knew Sam was the protective type. He couldn't help
himself - he had a knight in shining armour thing going. Rumour had it he
had saved CJ's life the night of the assassination attempt. It was kind of
cute in a Neanderthal way but it embarrassed him too. *Oh, Ainsley he can
kiss though! You've got to find out if that was a fluke or if he can kiss
you till your toes curl. * She couldn't hold the protective thing against
him. And he'd been so good about making her feel like she was contributing
at the White House. He only told stories that made her look good. He didn'
t say anything about meeting the president in a bathrobe or asking for the
last muffin. He was sweet. He was... Sam.
They bantered meaninglessly up the stairs as Sam walked Ainsley to her
room. "I can't believe you ate the last shrimp," he laughed at her.
you knew, I wanted it. Well, at least you asked if you could."
"I always ask before I take the last one, it's good manners."
"Ainsley, you've got great southern belle manners with everyone else. How
come you never use them on me?"
"All right Sam," she said quietly when they reached her bedroom door.
ll use them on you." She wrapped her arms around his neck. "Those lips,
can I have those please."
"I thought you'd never ask." He pulled her back into his arms. This kiss
was different from the last. Their first kiss had asked a question. This
one conveyed raw need. A desire rooted deep in his heart. He felt her
running her fingers through his hair. He pulled her closer to him. She
felt his hand on her bare back running up her spine. The tingle turned to a
wave of pleasure as he caressed the back of her shoulders. He traced kisses
along her jaw and along her neck. He returned to her lips once again.
"Sam," she whispered as she felt her toes begin to curl and a desire to
press even closer to him. She wanted more than this kiss. She wanted to .
He leaned his forehead against hers. "Good night, Ainsley." He whispered
thickly. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"Sam?" she looked up inclining her head slightly. He couldn't help
himself. He had to kiss her again. This time when he broke it he took a
step back. He had to put some space between them. "Good night."
Ainsley leaned against her bedroom door. And let out a sigh. *Yes,
Ainsley, Sam can kiss you till your toes curl. Now what?*
Sam hurried down the hall to his room. He stripped off his tux and jumped
in an ice cold shower. One thing was for sure. He wasn't going to get any
sleep tonight. He wrapped a towel around his waist and grabbed his cell
"Yeah, it's Josh here." Josh answered on the first ring.
"Sam, what are you dong calling at this hour?"
"I just kissed Ainsley."
"Beg pardon? Sam, we must have a bad connection here, it sounded like you
"I did. I kissed Ainsley tonight. Twice. No three times. It was great
Josh, no it was better than great. I want to kiss her again. Josh, are you
"Don't blow this one, buddy. It could be the real thing. You did good
"You did. Good night, pal." Josh hung up.
Paisley tapped on Ainsley's door. "You still up?" she asked carrying two
mugs of hot chocolate and some oreo cookies. "Ainsley? Planet earth to
Ainsley, come in please?" She giggled at her sister stretched out on her
bed wearing Baby Doll pajamas.
"PAZE, oh, Paisley, I never would have believed it. My toes curled." She
was so cute and giggled like a school girl.
"Ainsley, you had toe curling sex in my house and I didn't even hear you
scream?" Paisley feigned shock.
"Of course not." She replied prissily. "I meant when Sam kissed me
"Oh, he kissed you." Paisley said almost tonelessly.
"Yes, twice. No three times. Just kissed me. PAZE, Sam and I are
colleagues." She sounded a little confused.
"He just kissed you. Ainsley, honey, are you sure he's not gay?" Paisley
was almost afraid to ask.
"Come on, good looking, liberal Democrat, in his early thirties, single but
he likes kids. Does he have an ex wife or steady girlfriend hiding
somewhere?" Paisley was serious.
"No ex anything as far as I know. He's been too focussed on his career.
Wall street lawyer, then President Bartlett's campaign. He's always at the
White House till after 10, and on weekends. I doubt there's a girlfriend
"Till now. Maybe. Sis, I just don't want to see you get hurt." Paisley
"PAZE!! I'm a big girl."
"Have you told him?" Paisley asked simply.
"Told him what?" she replied with feigned innocense.
"You know, that you're um" Paisley searched for the word.
"A virgin. No, I haven't and it's not a dirty word."
"If you say so." Paisley responded gently.
"Just because none of the guys I've known have been able to understand that
I wanted to wait for marriage doesn't mean Sam won't.".
"I'm your sister I've heard the speech. Has Sam?" Paisley smiled
at her sister.
"It could make a difference - where the attraction goes." Paisley wanted to
"Look at him Ainsley. I'm sure it's not something he'd have to pay to
Women have probably been lined up around the block for years. Come on he's
teeny bopper heart throb gorgeous for crying out loud."
"Paisley, you're jumping the gun here. Tonight was our first date for
crying out loud."
The two women drank their hot chocolate in silence until Ainsley's cell
phone rang. "Hello?" she said puzzled that someone would call her so late.
"I just wanted to say good night again." Sam's voice was soft on the other
end of the line.
"Sam, you're down the hall for crying out loud! You could come say good
night in person." She laughed at him.
"No, I can't" his tone was serious.
"Why not?" She was whispering too.
"Because then - I'd have to kiss you again. God, Ainsley, I have never
enjoyed kissing anyone the way I love kissing you." He continued to
"You love kissing me?" she asked not quite believing what she heard.
"I do." He said simply.
"I love kissing you, too."
" Ainsley - I'm afraid it wouldn't stop there. This is your sister's
house. If I walk down that hall, I'm not leaving your room till morning."
"Till afternoon, Sam."
"Good night Sam." She whispered.
"Good night, Ainsley."
Ainsley hung up the phone and turned to her sister. " Goodnight, Paisley."
"Goodnight, Ainsley." Paisley left the room.
The following morning Sam found his way to the kitchen where the Marshall
family was eating breakfast. "Sam, how's it going?" Greg said motioning for
him to take a seat.
Paisley passed him a basket of muffins and the coffee thermos. "Sleep
well?" She asked with a gentle smile.
"Yeah," he replied. He'd thought of Ainsley until he dozed off, then he
dreamed of her. All in all, it hadn't been a bad night.
"Greg, you promised Megan a swim before Gram and Gramps barbeque." Paisley
"I did?" Greg looked confused.
"You did." Paisley and Sam said in unison. They raised their eyebrows at
one another. Greg took a hint.
"Paisley, I have some questions for you, about Ainsley. But I don't want
her to overhear them." He wanted to know about Craig. He sensed the
sisters were close and maybe she could fill in the blanks.
"Jog much Sam?" She asked getting up from the table.
"Let's go." He said.
They were about a quarter mile out when she slowed to a quick walking pace.
He fell in beside her. "I know my sister may seem like some tight ass
Republican - but she does believe in what she's doing."
"I couldn't agree more. She's very committed. And she's not a tight
Not once you get to know her. And, I won't be taking advantage of her
either, if that's what you're worried about. I have feelings for her.
Stronger than I've had for any woman in a long time. This isn't casual for
me. I don't have time to waste on meaningless flings. I want more than
Paisley broke into a run. "Okay." She said simply.
"That's it?" Sam looked shocked. He'd taken worse last night. And that
"That's it." She replied simply.
"Now I have a question for you. Craig Williams. Did he rape her?
"No, not that I know of. She was worried he'd try though." Paisley
remembered the terror in Ainsley eyes back then.
"Why didn't she report it? Was she afraid of scandal - because the guy
clerks for your father?"
"She was afraid she was over reacting. Dad thought she was."
"Overreacting? God, what century does your family live in? If she was
being stalked by this guy it's hardly her fault."
"It may not have been him. She's not very experienced, Sam."
Sam didn't buy that. "She has lots of experience. She's served on
countless committees, lobby groups, fund raising." Then he caught on. "You
're talking relationships now?"
"Yeah, I am." Paisley replied. She didn't want to breach her sister's
confidence. But she sensed Sam needed to know.
"There must have been some men at some point. I mean she's a beautiful
woman." Sam sounded confused.
"She drove them all away. Saying her career was more important. She
couldn't compromise very well and demanded the best of everyone 100% of the
time. Nobody measured up."
"Sounds familiar." Sam muttered. He was guilty of the same thing.
"Somebody must have hurt her?"
"She won't let anyone get close enough to do that." Paisley paused.
re talking no experience here, Sam. NONE."
"None?" Sam caught on. Finally
"Nobody. Ever." Paisley looked him in the eye.
"She's twenty-six?" He couldn't quite believe what he was hearing.
"Twenty-seven, next week." She continued to hold his gaze.
"Nobody?" He was incredulous
"Nobody. It's important to her. So if you can't live with that, scram.
TODAY before she gets in too deep."
Sam broke into a sprint. Could he handle this? I mean, kissing her was .
. . He wanted to... God, he wanted her more with every breath. He kept
running. She wasn't frigid. He could tell. He could feel it. She wanted
him too. He knew when a woman wanted him. But she wanted commitment.
Upfront. *What's the matter Sam, are you afraid you're too much like your
old man? One woman won't be enough for you,is that what you're afraid of.
One woman would be enough it was Ainsley!* Sam reached the Marshall house a
full two minutes before Paisley. He waited for her. "Thank you. For
telling me. And I think you should know. I"m not going to try to change
her." He smiled ruefully, "I couldn't if I tried anyway. But, I respect her
They travelled to Aunt Grace's barbeque with Greg, Paisley and Megan.
Greg would drop them at Douglas in time for their 9 p.m. flight.
Sam reached for Ainsley's hand as they entered the back yard which had
stairs going down to the Atlantic Ocean. Ainsley absently caressed the top
of Sam's hand with her thumb. Ainsley had worn her bikini under her sun
dress and had packed what she'd need for the flight in her handbag. Aunt
Grace cheerfully directed the men to the pool house to change and sent the
ladies inside. "Briefing notes?" Sam asked Greg when they meandered out to
the pool deck."
"Yeah, Uncle Gordon's hands wander to any butt in range - even his nieces.
PAZE won't get within three feet of him."
"And Ainsley would like to knee him right?"
"She did once. It didn't help. Cousin Mark will try and sell you a mutual
fund, and under no circumstances let Aunt Gladys play the guitar."
"Got it. Thanks."
"If you really want to do Ainsley a favour today, don't get caught kissing
her till her toes curl," Greg smiled at him. "Get a look out first."
"Are you volunteering?"
"That's what friends are for." The two men shook hands and joined the
Sam's mouth went dry. The bikini she'd chosen wasn't the same as yesterday
's modest one piece. He could have handled that. Today, she wore a pale
beige bikini. *Don't turn around and show me a thong, please, oh God, it is
a thong.* She had the roundest, most perfectly tanned, cutest bottom he'd
seen in a long time. And Sam had seen his fair share of bottoms in his day.
He felt himself start to harden. *I hope that pool isn't heated. I better
not embarrass myself here.*
Ainsley smiled and waved at him. Suddenly he felt Greg and three other
guys grab him and push him into the deep end of the pool! The water was a
welcome balm to his libido. But she had looked hot. He came up sputtering
and Greg offered him a hand out of the water. Sam grabbed Greg's hand and
pulled it with all his might. The other man tumbled into the water too.
Greg laughed, "Sorry, family tradition, newest boyfriend gets pushed in
"No problem," Sam said hauling himself up out of the water and grabbing a
towel. He walked over to Ainsley. "You knew that was going to happen didn'
"I suspected as much, yes."
"Well, just so you don't think I'd let you get the upper hand.": He
around and lifted her into his arms, carrying her to the water's edge.
"Sam, don't you dare? Sam so help me if you drop me so help me I'll. .
Sam did. In she went. She came up sputtering and laughing. Her nipples
had hardened against the beige fabric and he got a great view of her
breasts. Sam jumped into the water, splashing her, and playing together in
the water. They laughed as they supervised Megan in her water wings.
Feeling water logged Ainsley climbed up the ladder affording Sam yet another
great view of her derriere. *I want her. I have to have her. I'm gonna
die if I don't touch her soon.*
He walked over to Greg. "Remember earlier?"
Greg looked up at him with a quizzical look. "Earlier?"
"That thing friends do?"
"Now. Before I explode."
"Okay. You pull her from Mom and Aunt Grace and I'll lay down half an hour
's cover fire."
Ainsley smiled as Sam and her brother in law approached the table where she
was sitting with Aunt Grace and her Mom. "You promised me a walk on the
beach before we leave North Carolina. Remember, I'm a California guy, so I
know beaches. This beach had better be as impressive as you said."
"It is. And I can do that." Ainsley replied. "Just remember, the Atlantic
isn't for surfer dudes."
"No just beach bunnies."
"I'm nobody's bunny"
You've got the tail for it, babe. "I never said you were." Sam and
Ainsley walked down the stairs and along the beach. He felt her hand in
his, the surf pounding against his ankles, the ocean air in his lungs. He'd
never felt more alive. "Thank you. This has been a great weekend. I haven
't felt so relaxed in, well not in a long time. Thank you."
"You're welcome. I don't know what I did, but coming home has the same
effect on me too."
"You affect me. Even more." Sam drew her into his arms and bent in for a
deep tender kiss. He'd wanted to do this all day. And all night too.
Ainsley wrapped her arms around his neck and dove into the kiss. Being
pressed up against Sam made her nipples harden again through the thin
fabric. His hand wandered to cup her derriere, he caressed it gently,
pulling her even harder against him. He felt himself hardening as he kissed
her neck and shoulders. His hand sought her breast. She moaned as the
desire to feel him even closer consumed her. When Sam pulled back he
thought his heartbeat would drown out the sounds of the surf. "We'd better
get back." He whispered reluctantly.
"Sam, let's walk a little further." She wasn't ready to share him yet.
"No, Ainsley." He took her hand and headed back toward the stairs to the
"Sam, it's early."
"No, Ainsley. If we stay down her much longer, it will be too late.
Because I'm going to forget where we are and I'm going to throw you down on
that sand and make love to you right now." Sam wasn't kidding.
"What makes you think that's not what I want you to do?" She looked him
in the eye.
"Because, it's not enough."
"What's not enough?"
" Just because I have the means, the opportunity and the ability to
rationalize my behaviour doesn't make it the right thing to do."
"We're not talking employee fraud here, we're talking about making love.
And who says that it won't be enough?
"I say." He started to climb the stairs slowly.
"Who have you been talking to?"
Sam exploded. "Myself - ever since I met you. Non-stop. I have been
talking with myself!!! Arguing with myself, and you, at least five times a
day. At first I thought if I bedded you - it would get you out of my
system. Now, I'm afraid if I do bed you I'll never be able to get enough of
you! So, I'm not going to even try until I know I can spend the time it
would take to do it right. Candles, flowers, dancing, a romantic dinner or
concert, champagne, and time. Uninterrupted, undistracted and as much time
as I need to get you just as addicted to me as I intend to get to you! Now,
we have to get back to Washington."
"Sam, there's something you need to know."
"Ainsley, trust me, there's a lot about you I need to know. I need to know
everything. I need to know how your breasts feel in my hands, how you
taste, how you look when you're about to climax, how your voice sounds when
you scream my name in passion. Believe me, I Ainsley, I intend to find it
all out. Just not here in a rushed half hour."
"Sam, I'm, it's just, I've never..."
"How could you know?"
"There's a V tattooed on your forehead."
"It's better than an L"
"Or a D." She paused for an instant. "Paisley, it was Paisley! She told
you. I'm going to kill my sister."
"No you're not"
"Because she loves you"
"She breached my confidence to a man I introduced to her yesterday!"
"The man she spilled her guts to happens to be in love with you. That
makes it okay."
She stopped in her tracks. "You love me?"
"I love you." He kept climbing.
"And you're okay with that."
"I can't do anything to change it, so I guess that means I'm okay with
"You don't intend to debate me about this?" She stood one step above him,
so they were eye to eye.
"Republicans are full of preconceived notions in a family values debate. I
have no intention of getting started on one right now."
"This isn't a family values debate. And you can't be in love with me."
"Maybe it's not a debate. But I can be in love with you. I am in love
with you Ainsley."
"I'm not hearing this. I don't believe this."
"Believe it. The really nice thing is - you're in love with me, too."
"With you. That's funny."
"Hysterical, but it's true."
"Okay." She said simply.
"Good." He replied.
"We're done here?" She whispered.
"Not yet." He pulled her up to him and kissed her gently. "At least
done for now."
"What happens when we get back to Washington?" She asked breathlessly.
"We take it slow and easy. And I take a lot of cold showers."
"What if I don't want you to take cold showers."
"They're all I'll have time for until the next recess. Then, you and I are
going to California. I met your perfect family. You get to my highly
"Sounds fair. Then what?"
"Then you decide if you're willing to spend the rest of your life with a
"And you have to decide if you're willing to marry a conservative
"I've already decided to marry a certain conservative republican."
"You've also decided, unilaterally, I might add, that conservative
republican needs more time to make up her mind about that liberal democrat.
That's awfully self righteous of you."
"Yes. She does need more time."
"What if she doesn't."
"Need more time."
"Then instead of going to Washington, I'll fly her to Atlantic City tonight
and marry her. On the spot.
"Okay." She kept climbing the stairs. He grabbed her arm.
"Ainsley, you'd marry me tonight?"
"Yes. If you asked me to. But I'd rather marry you with our friends and
family present than elope. But if you want to elope, we can elope today.
That's fine." She was smiling at him.
He broke into a full grin. "To be honest. I'd rather have a small formal
wedding in a few weeks.
"Okay." She kissed his cheek. "That sounds nice."
They reached the top of the stairs. He pulled her close to him and kissed
her on the forehead. "I better talk to your Dad."
"I'll come with you."
"Some things even liberal democrats do alone."
"Not for long though." She said sexily.
"I meant asking your dad for your hand. Not using mine."
"Don't tease me right now - I'll blow this."
"No you won't. You're the master Sam, you're the Master.."
Sam was surprised. The asking permission thing went much better than he
expected. He pulled her Dad aside and said, "I want to marry your daughter
Ainsley." He was blunt. Upfront about it. He hoped it would help. The
judge took a deep breath.
"Good thing. My daughter Paisley's already taken. Do it soon, son, long
engagements are a waste of time." He patted Sam on the shoulder.
"That's it?" Sam stood stunned.
"You love her. She loves you. Yes, I think it's probably a little sudden.
Then again, I asked for Deborah's hand two days after I met her. Her
father thought I was an idiot but he knew I loved his daughter. Based on
your politics, we've established you're an idiot but you do love my
daughter. That's enough for me. Shake my hand and we'll be done here."
Sam took the hand offered to him.
Monday morning Sam met with the whole senior staff in Leo's office as was
their custom. He lagged behind when everyone else left. "I need to see
the President." Sam said simply. "Just for a minute. Sometime today."
"May I ask why?"
"No, we just...
"Sam, who is we?"
"Me and someone else."
"You and who else."
"You and Ainsley want to see the President."
"Just for a minute."
"And you won't tell me what it's about."
"I cant. I mean if I do, it wouldn't be right. You see there must be some
protocol thing that says you tell the president news like this first."
"You two are getting married?"
"How'd you know?"
"You and Ainsley light one another up like Christmas trees. Josh gave me a
heads up on the weekend. A little sudden isn't it? What did her Republican
Federal Judge Father say about it.?"
" He was amazing. Supportive actually."
"Sam, I need to ask you one question. Man to man here." He paused. "Are
"About her? YES. To be getting married to her NO."
"Okay. I'll get back to you with a time."
Sam nodded and left the Chief of Staff's office.
Ainsley was waiting in his office. "Did you ask?"
"Leo said he'll call me. I'll call you. We'll see him together."
At about 10 p.m. Sam's phone rang. Leo spoke crisply. "The
President can see you now. In the residence living room. Bring Ainsley."
"Thank you." He put down the receiver and walked to her office. She took
a deep breath and straightened her dress. Sam grabbed her and kissed her
senseless. He pulled back before he took her on the desk of her broom
closet office. That was close. "Thanks Ainsley, I needed that. I've
wanted to do that all day."
She straightened her dress yet again. You look fine." He said.
"I'm going to see the President of the United States in the Oval office. I
want to look better than fine."
"No, you're not...going to the Oval Office. You're going to see him in
the Residence living room."
"Okay? Why the residence living room?"
"Because that's where he is and where he said he could see us."
The residence living room lights were out. Sam was confused. So was
Ainsley. "Mr. President?" he asked stepping into the room.
"Congratulations!!" The room was full of voices and the lights flew on.
The entire senior staff was gathered. "Sam, Ainsley, Leo said you had
something to tell me?" President Bartlett smiled.
"Why are we the only ones who were surprised by this news?" Sam asked.
"We've been betting on it for months, Sam. Ever since Ainsley whipped your
butt on TV," Abbey Bartlett smiled. "So, have you two set a date?"
Everyone stood when the President got out of his chair and kissed the bride
to be's cheek. He stunned her with his next sentence. "Would you like the
rose garden for the ceremony?"
"The rose garden?" Sam was stunned.
"Sure - I think a June wedding in the White House Rose Garden sounds... "
Ainsley dove in, "like a great honor. Thank you Mr President."
Sam smiled at her and passed her a glass of champagne. It amused him that
she was still really star struck about working in the White House. "Yes, a
great honor, thank you sir."
"Friends," the President said. "I ask we drink a toast to Sam and Ainsley.
Living proof that bipartisanship can work. In some things any way."
"Sam and Ainsley." Everyone replied taking a sip.
The next six weeks were torture but worth the wait. Their wedding night
arrived and finally they were alone. Sam arranged for the hotel room to be
filled with roses. Candles stood in groups of three. They cast a soft
light around the room. His bride was beautiful. She appeared in their room
wearing a beautiful black lace peignoir set. "Sam?" she whispered as he
looked up. He had taken off his shirt and had stretched out on the King
size bed in the center of the room. He felt a lump in his throat. Sam
stood and crossed the room gently taking her in his arms. "I love you
Ainsley," he said kissing her gently. He ran butterfly kisses along her
throat and behind her ear.
"Sam" she whispered as her fingers wound up through his hair, "don't
"No thinking tonight Ainsley. Tonight we just feel."
And they did. They did.