Chapter 4
Millie, Ellie, Zoey and Leo told turns sitting with Abbey throughout the
night. She remained unresponsive. At around six thirty the next morning the
phone rang. Leo answered yawning. He had a feeling he knew who was calling.
Jed (angrily): Leo, what the hell is going on? Why are you in the residence
at 6:30 in the morning? Why is there a picture of my wife kissing Ron Erlich
on the Internet? I want to talk to Abbey now.
Leo: I can't let you do that Mr. President.
Jed: Why not? Tell me what's going on Leo.
Leo: Sir, you'll be in Washington in three hours. I'll explain everything
then.
Jed: I just want to talk to Abbey.
Leo: She's not available right now.
Jed: Where is she?
Leo: She's here. She's not feeling very well right now Sir. It would be
best if you waited until you're here to talk to her.
Jed: There's something you're not telling me Leo.
Leo: It's for your own good Sir.
Jed: Leo, what happened? How did the picture get on the Internet?
Leo: We're looking into it Sir.
Jed: When was it taken?
Leo: At the party. Jed, please be patient. You don't need to get all worked
up over this on the plane.
Jed: Leo, this story says my wife is having an affair with the Chairman of
the Federal Reserve.
Leo: Sir, do you think any part of that is true?
Jed: No of course not. Why was she kissing him last night?
Leo: I'll see you soon Mr. President.
(Leo hung up as Millie walked in)
Millie: I finally persuaded the girls to lay down for a little while.
Leo: Good.
Millie: That was Jed on the phone, wasn't it?
Leo: How did you guess? He saw the story and the picture. He wanted to talk
to Abbey. I just told him she wasn't feeling well.
Millie: That's true. She isn't.
Leo: " She's not feeling well" makes it sound like she's just got a headache.
That's a little different than being catatonic after nearly being sexually
assaulted.
Millie: It's better this way. You know that as well as I do.
Leo: I'll be back in a little while. I need to go check in with the staff
(Leo went to the office. CJ, Josh, Toby, and Sam were in Toby's office.)
Leo: Morning everyone.
Josh: Good morning Leo.
Leo: I didn't say it was a good morning Josh. A good morning is when I get
to wake up after the sun, put on fresh clothes, drink a cup of coffee and do
the New York Times crossword puzzle.
CJ: How's the First Lady?
Leo: The same. Unresponsive.
CJ: I don't know how much longer I'll be able to hold off the press. Some of
them actually believe the Internet story and they're going to print it.
Sam: Have you spoken to the President?
Leo: He called at six thirty this morning. He read the story on the Internet.
Josh: Did you tell him?
Leo: (upset, sarcastic) Sure Josh, Mr. President, you have to come home.
Your wife is catatonic after nearly being raped by the Chairman of the
Federal Reserve.
Sam: Where's Erlich?
Leo: He's under house arrest. The Secret Service is guarding him.
Toby: Is that legal?
Leo: He hasn't been arrested yet so we're not violating his civil rights by
detaining him. And even if we are I don't really give a damn at this moment.
Josh: So what do we tell people when they ask what's going on?
Leo: The people around here should know the President and First Lady well
enough to figure out that a story like that has no merit. Now if you will
excuse me, I need to go home and change before I meet Air Force One. CJ you
can brief the press after the President sees the First Lady.
(Two hours later Leo watched Air Force One touch down at a private airstrip.
They had landed there to keep the press away. The President was the first
one off the plane.)
Jed: All right. I'm here now. What the hell is going on?
Leo: Ellie and Abbey attended a reception last night at Johns Hopkins.
Millie was being honored. I was there with CJ, Josh, Sam & Toby. We wanted
to support Millie.
(They got in the car and Leo put the privacy window up in the limousine)
Jed: Go on.
Leo: From what her Secret Service told me Abbey was on her way to the ladies
room when suddenly she just disappeared. They searched all over for her.
They found her outside about ten minutes later.
(Leo took a deep breath)
Jed: Was she all right?
Leo (slowly): Ellie and Millie were with her. Her dress was ripped and her
face was bruised. She was catatonic.
Jed: (stunned) How could this happen? Who did this?
Leo: Ron Erlich. He also planted that story on the Internet.
Jed: That lousy cold hearted bastard. Where is he?
Leo: He's being guarded by the Secret Service.
Jed: Why isn't he in jail?
Leo: I wanted to wait until I could tell you what happened in person.
Jed: And what about Abbey?
Leo: She's still catatonic. Millie and the girls and I took turns sitting
with her throughout the night.
Jed: Leo, tell me the truth. Did he‚€¶..Was she‚€¶..
Leo: No. Millie thinks that Erlich intended to rape her but was interrupted.
Jed: Oh my God
(They arrived at the White House. Jed walked quickly to the residence.
Ellie and Zoey were in the sitting room. Zoey was crying. She hugged her
father.)
Jed: Everything will be okay.
(Jed hugged Ellie)
Jed: Thank you for being here Ellie.
Ellie: Liz is on her way.
Jed: That's good. Mom needs all of us right now.
(Jed walked in the bedroom. Millie was examining Abbey. Millie looked up.
The Secret Service silently left the room)
Millie (trying to stay professional): Good morning Mr. President.
Jed: How is she?
Millie: She has some bruises. No broken bones. She's totally unresponsive.
Jed: How do we bring her back?
Millie: Her mind has shut down due to the trauma she experienced. We just
have to show her that we can help her handle the pain she's feeling. I'll
leave you two alone. Just talk to her like normal. If anyone can bring her
out of this, it's you.
Jed: Thanks Doc.
(Millie left)

Chapter 5

Jed took off his jacket and his tie & shoes and sat down on the bed. He sat
facing Abbey. She looked right through him. Jed took her hand)
Jed: I love you Abigail. I know I forget to tell you sometimes. I need you.
I can't do this without you. I knew something bad must have happened. I
felt all numb inside when I woke up this morning. You are a part of who I am.
You have been since the day we met. That was one of the best days of my
life.
FLASHBACK
Notre Dame 1966
Leo and Jed are walking across campus late Friday afternoon. Jed is reading
a book as they walk.
Jed: Do you know what the life span of a man in Ancient Rome was?
Leo: Like I care. Come on. Let's go find a party. You invite me up here
for the weekend and you have to be in the dorm by 9.
Jed: I'm in training for the seminary.
Leo: Which means you can't have a life?
(Leo walks ahead of Jed, who continues reading. He isn't watching where he
is going and he trips over someone sitting on the quad studying. He looks up
into a pair of beautiful hazel eyes)
Abbey: Are you all right?
Jed: I'm fine. Just a little clumsy.
Abbey: I can see that. What's so interesting in that book?
Jed: It's a book on miscellaneous facts.
Abbey: Are you a history major?
Jed: No. Philosophy. I'm going to join the seminary. I'm Jed Bartlet.
Abbey: I'm Abbey Fowler.
Jed: It's nice to meet you Abbey.
(Jed sat down next to her)
Jed: What are you studying?
Abbey: Biology. I'm premed.
Jed: I prefer chemistry.
(Impulsively he kisses her. For a moment neither one of them say anything.)
Abbey: I'm sorry I can't do this. I have a boyfriend and you're joining the
seminary.
(Abbey got up and walked away.)
An hour later Jed found Leo again.
Leo: Where have you been?
Jed: I went to talk to Father O'Malley. I dropped out of the seminary.
Leo: Why?
Jed: I just met the girl I'm going to marry. She's beautiful and smart and
wonderful. Her name is Abbey. She's pre med.
Leo: Where is she?
Jed: Probably out with her boyfriend.
Leo: Wait a minute. You changed your whole life because of a girl who is in
love with someone else?
Jed: Wait and see Leo. I'm going to marry Abbey.
END OF FLASHBACK
Jed: I knew from that first moment I couldn't live without you.
(Jed moved next to her and pulled her into his arms. He kissed the top of
her head.)
Jed: It's okay Abbey. I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to stay right here
with you.
(Millie came back in)
Millie: I just wanted to let you know. Liz's plane arrived a little while
ago. Zoey and Ellie went with the agents to get her.
Jed: Thanks Doc.
Millie: Is there anything I can get you Sir?
Jed: (only half - joking) Someone else to be the President?
Some days I really hate this job.
(Jed looked at Abbey)
Jed: This is my fault.
Millie: (confused) Sir? How can you say that?
Jed: If I weren't President, Ron Erlich would not have come back into our
lives.
Millie: Jed that's not true and you know it. Ron Erlich is a sick man. He's
jealous of what you and Abbey have. Who wouldn't be? You have managed to
survive on the world stage, in the public eye and your love has remained
strong. Not too many couples who have been in your shoes can say that.
Jed: I made a promise to the country for four years, eight at the most. The
promises Abbey and I made to each other are forever.
Millie: It's that love that's going to bring her back.
(The Bartlet girls walked in)
Liz: Dad!
Jed: Liz, I'm glad you're here.
(They hugged)
Liz: When Ellie called I got here as soon as I could.
Jed: How are Michael & Annie?
Liz: They're fine. How's Mom?
Jed: (sighing heavily) I wish to God I knew. Why don't you girls go sit
with her? I'll be back in a little while.
(The girls went to see Abbey and Jed walked out to the sitting room and lit a
cigarette. Leo was there)
Leo: I thought you weren't allowed to smoke inside anymore.
Jed: You gonna tell me to go outside?
Leo: No Sir. Mr. President I hate to bring this up but we need to make some
sort of statement to the press. CJ's been holding them off but some of them
are starting to believe the story on the Internet.
(Jed paced the room as he smoked the cigarette)
Jed: Tell them the truth. not the whole truth though. Tell them that Ron
Erlich attacked the First Lady at a party last night and she is being treated
by doctors here at the White House.
Leo: What if they ask about her injuries?
Jed: She suffered cuts and bruises and is resting.
Leo: And what about Erlich?
Jed: Where is he?
Leo (warily): Why?
Jed: I want to see him. I want to make him pay for what he did to Abbey.
Leo: Let the authorities handle that.
Jed: I can't do that Leo. I was holding her and she didn't even react. He
hurt her so badly that she's trapped in her own mind. Here I am the most
powerful man in the world and I can't even help my own wife.
(Ron Butterfield came in)
Ron: Sir, Lilly Mays is here to see you.
Jed: Send her in.
(Lilly walked in)
Lilly: CJ told me what happened to Mrs. Bartlet. I'm so sorry.
Jed: Thank you Lilly.
Lilly: I was going through some papers on her desk and I found this.
(Lilly handed him the note. Jed read it and got even more upset)
Lilly: I think she found it the day before yesterday. I came into her office
and she was reading something. She looked upset. I asked her if she was
okay and she said she was fine
Jed: Thank you Lilly. You've been very helpful.
Lilly: You're welcome Mr. President.
(Lilly left)
Leo: What does the note say?
Jed: I'm watching you. He was stalking her! I'm sure he sent other notes.
Leo: Why didn't she tell anyone?
Jed: Knowing Abbey, she wanted to keep me from worrying. If she told the
Secret Service she knew I'd find out.
Leo: Let me handle Erlich and the press. You stay here with Abbey.
Jed: Thanks Leo.

Bonds of the Heart - 3

 

 

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