Working Relationships

Sam/Donna, Romance, Drama, Angst

Friendship turns into something more after a horrible experience

Heidi
bugrad2023@aol.com

Working Relationships

By Heidi H.
March 2001


Disclaimers-These are not my characters and I am making no money off of them. I
do not own The Breakfast Club or St. Elmos Fire.

Ratings Info-Donna gets arrested, friendship, Sam/Donna in the end

Spoilers Info- small ones Somebodys Going To Emergency, Somebodys Going
To Jail, AND.......
The Leadership Breakfast AND.........
17 People AND..................
Noel

Special Thanks-Norma, Sheila, Lisa, and Clare for being great beta readers and
helping me find the bugs and work them out. You guys are wonderful and deserve
tons of praise and thanks.

Feedback-Greatly appreciated and loved.

Archiving-Need my direct approval and that can be done through
emailing me at bugrad2023@aol.com

Note-There will be a sequel to this story that deals with Josh and his reaction
to the couple, Donna having to talk about her experience in prison with Sam, and
everyone else finding out. So keep that it mind when you are reading because
there are several unresolved issues.

Donna knew that this was going to be a great day. The sun was shining by the
time that she got to work at 8 a.m. Josh had told her that she could come in
later, even though there was a 7 a.m. senior staff meeting. This was the bonus
Josh had promised her for giving up the previous weekend to do research for the
education bill. The White House senior staffers were all walking through the
bullpen discussing daily business when the DC Police entered, escorted by the
secret service. The senior staffers, assistants, and other employees
immediately silenced themselves and watched the scene before them play out. You
could hear a pin drop, it was so quiet.

"We're looking for Donnatella Moss" Officer Campbell simply stated.

Everyone immediately turned to look at Donna, who was sitting at her desk. She
slowly stood and stepped forward.

"I'm Donna Moss" she said quietly.

"Miss Moss, you are under arrest" Officer Jackson responded.

"What is Miss Moss under arrest for?" Josh and Sam said at the same time,
coming to stand next to Donna.

"That is between Miss Moss and her attorney" Officer Campbell said, grabbing
Donna's arm roughly.

"Hey!! Watch how you handle her" Josh said, stepping up, after Donna's face
fell.

"What's your relationship to Miss Moss?" Officer Jackson snidely asked Josh.

"First of all, I'm her boss and secondly, I am her friend." Josh replied,
getting the eye from Leo to be quiet.

Donna kept quiet throughout the whole exchange in the bullpen. She studied the
floor and walls intently. She couldn't look at any of her friends or the people
she worked with in the eye.

"Why don't we move this into an office, so other people can get back to work?"
Leo said, finding that the rest of the bullpen was more interested in the
police, Donna, and members of the senior staff, than doing actual work.


Leo opened the door to Josh's office and the cops, Donna, Sam, and Josh all
walked into the office.

Sam and Josh took positions behind the desk and Leo stood behind Donna, who had
sat down in one of the office chairs. They were already into their fighting
modes.

The DC Police stood near the door.

"What is Miss Moss being arrested for?" Sam asked the officers.

"Again sir, are you her attorney?" Officer Jackson asked.

"We don't know what she is under arrest for or even if she needs an attorney"
Sam said, snapping into lawyer mode.

"Why don't you tell us what she is under arrest for, so we can move on" Leo
said.

"Fine, just tell them what this is all about" Officer Campbell said to Officer
Jackson.

"Okay. Miss Moss is under arrest for theft and fraud. We have orders to
arrest her and take her into custody." Officer Jackson explained.

"What are you talking about? I haven't done anything like that." Donna said,
speaking for the first time and having her voice rise to a slightly hysterical
tone.

Donna sat in the chair and tried very hard not to cry in front of her boss, her
friends, and the police.

"We can't discuss this here. We need to take her into custody." Officer
Campbell said.

"I think that Miss Moss had better get an attorney to handle her case."
Officer Jackson said.

"I think that Miss Moss already has an attorney." Leo said, looking at Sam and
then back to Donna.

"Then let's get this over with." Donna said, resigning herself to what was
happening.

"Fine then. Miss Moss, please stand up and put your hands on your head."
Officer Campbell said.

"Do we have to do this? She works in the White House. I don't think she is
dangerous or carrying any weapons on her." Josh chimed in.

"Well, that's our procedure. She is a criminal with a felony warrant out on
her. I don't care if she works in the White House and 50 yards from the leader
of the free world. We have to follow our procedure and that demands a regular
arrest and these." Officer Jackson stated, pulling out a pair of handcuffs.


The cop roughly grabbed Donna's arm and pulled her out of the chair that she was
sitting in. Donna yelped as her arm was pulled on.

"You'd be wise not to try that move again, officer. There are three very
influential people in this room who would love to go into the pressroom and tell
them about the DC Police and their procedures and one of those people is her
attorney." Sam said with a warning tone in his voice.

"Of course. We will treat Miss Moss as any other wanted felon." Officer
Campbell explained with a sarcastic tone lacing his voice.

"Does she have to walk out of here in handcuffs?" Josh asked, hoping to spare
Donna the humiliation and angst.

"Yes, no exceptions." Officer Jackson said, with a gleam in his eye that was
supposed to frighten Donna into confessing all of her sins right then and there.
It didn't work and Donna wasn't intimidated yet because her friends were there
with her, supporting her.

Donna looked up at Sam and Josh as she put her hands on her head. They both
caught the deer in the headlights look that crossed her face. Both of the guys
would trade places with her in a heartbeat. It was so hard for them to control
their emotions, but they had to because it was what Donna needed to see at that
minute. She needed to see that someone was in control and there were people
that she could trust to do the right thing. She felt the handcuffs bite into
her wrists and lock into place. Donna couldn't meet anyone's eyes when the cop
patted her down. She was so humiliated and embarrassed beyond any words that
someone could utter.

"Donna, we will be right behind you." Sam and Josh both said, trying to
reassure the now frightened and scared woman.

Donna was led out of the office, through the bullpen, and out of the White House
and into a waiting cop car. As soon as she was in the car, Sam and Josh were
getting into another car. This was one of those times where they closed ranks
and defended their own. True, Donna wasn't a senior staffer, but she was one of
the few assistants who was with the senior staff virtually everywhere that they
went. She was one of the best assistants in the west wing and she was very
valuable to the people who mattered.

Donna was just beginning to fill out papers and answer general questions when
Sam and Josh walked into the station. Sam stopped her from answering any more
questions, by announcing he was her lawyer.

"We need to book Miss Moss and get things going." Officer Beth Lee said,
coming up to the small group.

"What does that mean?" Sam and Josh both asked, knowing full well what it
meant. They were doing it for Donna's benefit, so she would know what to
expect.

"She will have her fingerprints taken, mugshots, strip search, and processed
into the prison system." Officer Lee explained.

Donna looked up at the mention of a strip search. Sam and Josh both caught the
startled look on Donna's face.

"Donna, go ahead and get processed. Don't answer any questions about the
charges, just give them name, address, and info like that. I will answer the
legal questions that pertain to the charges, I'm your attorney, let me handle
that stuff. We will talk with the detectives and get things straightened out.
I promise that things are going to be a whole lot better when we figure out what
is really going on." Sam said, giving Donna a squeeze on her arm and praying
that he could back up his words.

Donna was lead through a door and gave the guys a last look. She was booked
into the system and was taken to an interrogation room, where Sam was waiting
for her.

"Where's Josh?" Donna asked.

"He is cooling his heels... Actually he went to call everyone and let them
know what was happening. He couldn't be in this room anyway because of attorney
client privilege." Sam said.

"Sam?" Donna said quietly.

"Yeah?" Sam asked her back.

"How much did you charge a client before you came to work for the president?"
Donna asked him.

"I billed out at $500.00 an hour." Sam said without missing a beat, but he
knew what Donna meant.

"I can't afford you. I will have to settle for a public defender." Donna said
sadly.

"You aren't getting a public defender. You have me and the cost isn't
important, besides the White House is technically supplying you with a lawyer.
It's part of your benefits package." Sam said.

"What is going on with the charges?" Donna asked.

"Do you remember a man by Steven Gabriel?" Sam asked.

"I dated him for a few weeks and then we broke up when I was at the University
of Wisconsin. What does he have to do with this?" Donna asked, confused about
the whole thing.

"After he dumped you, he used your personal information to get credit cards
and the like. He most likely went through your mail and stole the pre-approved,
pre-filled out applications and simply changed Donna Moss to D. Moss and went
shopping on your credit. He never paid the bills and since everything was
technically in your name and with your information, the companies are coming
after you and holding you responsible." Sam explained.

"So how do we take care of this?" Donna asked.

"The detectives are talking to people and trying to get you off of the hook."
Sam said.

"I won't have to stay here then?" Donna asked, suddenly sounding very worried
about her situation.

"We don't know that yet. It depends on whether or not they can get to Steven
Gabriel and get a confession out of him. If he confesses, you could go home
tonight. If he doesn't, we will probably have to go in front of a judge for a
bail hearing and a trial date." Sam said, trying to comfort and reassure Donna
at the same time.

The door to the room opened and in stepped Detectives Amy Kennel and Mary Parks.

"Mr. Seaborn and Miss Moss. We have been in contact with the credit
companies, FBI, and Secret Service. At this time, Mr. Gabriel has been arrested
and he is being extradited to DC because Miss Moss is here and one of the crimes
was actually committed within the city limits." Detective Kennel stated.

Donna and Sam both couldn't believe that this guy had the nerve to commit credit
card fraud where she lived and worked. She was amazed that he had this kind of
nerve.

"Why would you need to speak with the Secret Service?" Sam asked in lawyer
mode.

"Miss Moss is a government employee that works in the White House. It stands
to reason that we would be interested in their file on her." one of the
detectives responded.

"What did you find in those files?" Sam asked, in a superior knowing tone.

"Nothing, because as you already know, the Secret Service would not release
that information to us." Detective Parks said.

"Where do things stand for Miss Moss?" Sam asked, getting back on track.

"Miss Moss is staying in DC police custody until there is a bail hearing and
that is going to be scheduled for next week sometime. She will be transferred
to the federal maximum security prison in Virginia tonight with everyone else."
Detective Parks stated.

"Why maximum security?" Sam asked, wondering what in the world was going on.

"Several reasons, Mr. Seaborn. First, she is a government employee that most
likely has high level contacts and I'm sure that any one of those contacts can
provide her with money, passports, and a way out of the country. We aren't
taking any chances with Miss Moss not having to deal with the repercussions of
her crime. Secondly, a Virginia prison is much nicer than a DC one, even if it
is still maximum security." Detective Campbell didn't come right out and
mention the dealings in a federal maximum security prison, but Sam and Donna
both got the point clearly.

"I need some time with my client alone." Sam said.

"We understand." both detectives left the room.

"Sam, explain this to me. I don't understand what is going on here. I know
that I should know this stuff because I work around lawyers all day, but I don't
and I don't want to be ignorant when it comes to something this serious." Donna
said, already panicking.

"Yeah, you work around licensed lawyers, but that doesn't mean you would
understand the legal process. It is very complicated and confusing, even for
those of us who have studied the law. Donna, don't beat yourself up because you
don't understand what's going on. They are saying that Steven Gabriel is on his
way here to Washington and the trial will be here, if there is an actual trial.
They are keeping you in custody until a bail hearing. You are going to be in a
federal maximum security prison, unless we can get things fixed today and we
will be trying. At the bail hearing, we will ask for you to be released from
custody." Sam explained things to an upset Donna.

"Does that mean I have to stay here?" Donna asked, sounding very concerned.

"For right now. We will be calling a few people and seeing if we can move
things up. You aren't going to have to stay here that long and there is no way
in hell that I'm letting you go to a federal maximum security prison, no matter
what I have to do." Sam said and let Donna digest what he said and what he
didn't come right out and say.

Donna knew that the last part of Sam's sentence could mean any number of things,
but she didn't want to know what he meant until and if things got that bad and
that serious.

"Ok, but what is going to happen when those detectives come back in the room?"
Donna asked.

"They are going to take you to a cell." Sam said, without pausing.

Donna got very quiet as she pondered the possibilities of having to stay in
jail. She was pretty, thin, blond, and a White House employee that had a high
security clearance and knew things that the average American, let alone prisoner
didn't have a clue about. She let her mind wander into areas that she didn't
want it to go.

"Donna, we have already gotten you an isolation cell here and don't worry
about the other. You would be a target in the general population because of
your looks and who you work for and what you know. We aren't going to put you
in jeopardy for anything." Sam said, reading what was going on in her mind.

She was very grateful to Sam for arranging things. He always seemed to know
what she needed at the right times. It was a comfort to be with a friend at
this time and she needed all of the support that she could garner now.

The detectives re-entered the room and informed them that Donna had to go to her
isolated cell for the first time.

Sam gave her a hug and reassured her that things would get cleared up very soon.

Sam watched as they escorted Donna out of the room. He was going to do his
damnedest to help her out. Donna was a friend, actually more than just a
friend. The hug she gave him after dealing with Stephanie Gault had said a lot
more to him than she would ever know. He had had feelings for her from the
first day that he met her in Josh's office. Sam had waited for Josh to make a
move, but that hadn't happened. He wanted Donna to be with him in every sense
of the word. He was going to fight for her, no matter what and this was a
battle that he wasn't going to lose.

Donna was taken to her cell. She couldn't believe that this was happening to
her. She was a nice mid-western girl whose only trouble was with guys. Josh
had always said that she had horrible taste in men and it turned out that he had
been very right.

What she didn't know, was that Sam had already contacted the senior staff and
recruited them to help out. No one had complained especially when he mentioned
that they were planning on transferring her to a federal maximum security
prison. Leo was phoning a judge he knew, CJ was dealing with the press, and
Josh was gathering info on Steven Gabriel. They were going to bring this guy
down for messing with one of their own.


About six to seven hours later..............3 p.m.

Donna was told that her attorney was there to talk to her. She walked into the
room and saw a happy Sam sitting at the table.

"Sam, what's going on?" Donna asked because she hadn't expected to see him for
quite awhile.

"Good news. Steven Gabriel confessed to the crimes and said that you had no
part in or no knowledge of the crimes he committed in your name. Your record is
going to be wiped clean. You are in the clear." Sam told her with a smile on
his face.

"How did this happen?" Donna asked, confused by what had happened.

"Well, Leo and the rest of the staff talked to some people and you pretty much
can figure out the rest." Sam said.

"Oh my gosh. Leo and the rest of the White House senior staff had to bail out
and rescue the deputy chief of staff's assistant because she has terrible taste
in men." Donna said, clearly upset by the events of the day.

"It's ok. The president understood that you didn't do anything wrong. He
couldn't help out, but he was very concerned and told us to take care of this
matter. The staff knows that you didn't do anything wrong. This certainly
wasn't your fault and no one thinks that. You are still employed by the white
house. You don't have anything to worry about." Sam said.

Detective Parks walked into the room to escort Donna downstairs, so she could
get changed and released from jail.

Donna was surprised to see Josh and Sam both waiting for her. She didn't even
know that Josh was there.

"Our first stop is going to be taking you home because you need to take the
day after what has happened." Josh said.

"No, I need to get back to the office. You have meetings this week that I
need to get you prepped on." Donna said, without hesitation.

"Donnatella......" Josh started in, but was stopped before he said anything.

"It's the middle of the day and we can still get a lot done during this
afternoon. I'm ok. I'm going to be fine." Donna said with a certainty and
finality in her voice that warned the guys to leave her alone and let her deal
with the thing in her own way and time.


Donna and the guys went back to work. Carol, Ginger, Bonnie, Cathy, and
Margaret all stopped by Donna's desk to give her their support for what had
happened that morning. They were all so sweet.

Donna finished getting the used files back to the right spots and getting out
files for the next day. Even though Josh had told her to go home hours ago, she
felt that she had to stay and make up for the time that she was gone. Needing a
break, she walked into Josh's office and sat down in his chair. Her taste in
men was always coming back to haunt her. Steven Gabriel had dumped her after
she wouldn't sleep with him and he had literally made her life a living hell.
Dr. Freeride had taken her for a ride during the time of her life where she was
supposed to be having fun. The tears started falling and Donna didn't stop them.

As Donna went into Josh's office, Sam was headed for the operations bullpen
looking for her. He was in a great mood because his meeting with Senator
Williams regarding the education bill went well and wanted to share his victory
with her-she had given up her free weekend to help him and Josh gather research
for it.

Sam heard sniffling sounds coming from Josh's office and quietly opened the
door. He saw Donna sitting in a chair crying her eyes out. He felt so bad for
her. Donna had been humiliated beyond words in the workplace. It would take
more than having the charges dropped to make her feel better.

Donna heard the door open and looked up to see Sam. She knew that she was a
mess, but he didn't say anything. He walked over to her, pulled her out of the
chair, and gave her a big hug.

Donna let herself melt into the hug. He was a friend who understood her. Donna
was so thankful for Josh and Sam today. They hadn't let her fall and these were
the kind of people who would never let that happen.

Sam had done much more than be a friend to her today. She definitely had to
show him some gratitude and thanks for what he had done for her. He believed in
her without even knowing the truth, he had never asked her or even doubted her
for a minute because Sam knew her so well. That was a real measure of the
friendship that they had. Maybe she would invite him over to the apartment for
a home cooked meal and talking.

"Hey, do you want to have dinner with me tonight?" Donna asked through the
tears streaming down her face.

Sam had to pause for a moment. Was Donna really asking him to dinner? The
woman that he had been interested in for a very long time. Sam knew that Josh
and Donna had some serious subtext going on in that relationship and didn't want
to intrude, but Donna had asked him and not Josh over for dinner. He already
knew what the answer was. He wasn't going to miss his chance with Donna.


"Sure, I'd love to have dinner with you." Sam said and gave her a smile.

"Then let's get out of here. We will need to stop at the store and get
supplies. My working weekend didn't leave time to get to the grocery store."
Donna said as she grabbed her bag and wiped away the last of her tears.

"That's fine." Sam said and escorted her out to the parking lot.

"Which car should we take?" Donna asked.

"How about mine? I can swing by in the morning and give you a lift to work."
Sam said.

"That's fine." Donna said as Sam guided her to his suburban tank.

Donna's ringing cell phone brought the conversation to a halt on the way to the
grocery store.

"That was my roommate. She wanted to remind me that I was supposed to pick up
cat food at the store." Donna said.

"Uh, Donna?" Sam asked.

"Yeah, what?" Donna asked him back.

"You do know that I am allergic to cat hair, right?" Sam asked her.

"No, I didn't." Donna said with a feeling of dread coming over her.

"Yeah, I puff up really bad and have a hard time breathing." Sam said, almost
apologetically.

"Well, I still want to make you dinner because you have been a really
supportive friend to me through everything that has happened." Donna said, the
tears threatening to fall again at this disappointment.

"We can always go back to my place. It is clean, I think and there are no
cats around." Sam said, trying to lighten the darkening mood in the car.

"That would be great. Hey, there's the grocery store." Donna said, happier
than she'd been all day.

Sam whipped the car into a parking space and followed Donna inside. Sam was
amazed at the woman before him. She knew what she wanted and had the cart
filled up with goodies before he knew it.

"Twinkies?" Sam asked with a smile as Donna began unloading the cart at the
register.

"It's dessert." Donna said.

"So this is what I get for dessert tonight, huh." Sam said with a smile.

"You might just get a little more than Twinkies." Donna said, in a joking
tone.

"I can pay for the groceries tonight." Sam said.

"No way. This was supposed to be my treat." Donna said in a firm, don't
argue with me tone of voice. Sam ignored the tone and continued.

"I'm the guy. I'm supposed to treat the girl." Sam said.

"Well, some of this stuff isn't for you and that's why I am not letting you
pay tonight, but next time is a different story." Donna said with a smile and
turned to talk to the cashier.

He couldn't believe that Donna said that there would be a next time. He would
definitely be looking forward to that. Sam watched the woman in front of him.
Yeah, he hoped that he would get more than just Twinkies for dessert. He was
hoping for at least a full bodied kiss and then some, but he wasn't going to
force her into doing anything that she wasn't comfortable with. She had just
gotten out of jail and was angry and upset, but trying to hide it. Sam knew
that she hadn't talked to anyone about the experience and he also knew that
Donna would explode if she didn't talk about it. Sam didn't want to have to
deal with another Josh-like episode coming from Donna. He didn't think that
anyone would be able to handle the experience again. Sam was hoping that he
could get her to open up and face the demons inside or at least suggest that she
talk to someone who could help her deal with the day's events.

Donna was finished paying for the groceries and looked at Sam who was lost in
thoughts of his own. He was a great guy who deserved more than just a thank you
dinner for what he had done. He had never let her lose hope and was type of
friend that would try to help her out in any way that he could.

Sam loaded the groceries in the back and began the drive home. He had noticed
that Donna had been quiet on the way over. Sam decided that he would keep an
eye on her and make her laugh that night.

"Where's the stuff? I'm ready to make you a dinner that you will never
forget." Donna said.

"I doubt that it will be something I could forget." Sam said. laughing.

"Just what's that supposed to mean?" Donna asked, waving a wooden spoon at
him.

"Josh told me about your brownie making trials." Sam said as he lightly
bumped into Donna while he was reaching into a cabinet above her head for a
bowl.

Donna was quite tempted to bump him back and watch him lose his balance and
probably fall, but she didn't.

"It wasn't my fault that my roommate switched the sugar and the flour
canisters." Donna cringed at the memory of the brownies she had made for Josh.

"Of course it wasn't your fault." Sam said with a smile as he reached in
front of Donna for a knife.

Donna decided to get a little even and batted his hand with the wooden spoon.
He pulled his hand away and looked at her. She gave him her best innocent look
and batted her eyes.

Sam knew that he was going to start something with this girl, right here and
right now. He grabbed some flour and threw it at her. Most of the flour landed
in her hair, turning the blond strands into a coated white mess. Donna got her
revenge by throwing lettuce leaves that hit Sam in the face. Sam grabbed for
the nearest thing, which was a tomato. He looked at Donna, she looked at him,
and then he made his move. He grabbed her around the waist and started rubbing
the tomato in her face. Donna was giggling and laughing so hard that Sam
tightened his grip on her waist to keep her standing up. Donna stopped laughing
when she got the clue that they weren't just having fun anymore and that the
feeling in the room had changed dramatically. She was the one who called for a
truce and they both cleaned themselves and the kitchen as best they could and
went back to fixing dinner.

They both worked on preparing this meal having fun and joking around. Once it
was finished, Sam helped Donna set the table and put the food on the little card
table that Sam used for a dinner table.

"Here's to good food and good friends to share it with." Sam said as he
raised his glass of root beer.

"Here's to friends that are there for you no matter what happens." Donna said
raising her own glass of root beer and clinking it with Sam's.

"Let's eat." Sam said.

Donna ate, but most of her energy was on watching Sam. She had never paid
attention to how handsome he was because she had only thought of him as a friend
before. Donna had also never seen him this relaxed. Most of the smiles and
spark in his eye was from getting Senator Williams to support the education
bill. Donna had never told anyone that she loved to work with the guys. They
always considered her "one of the guys" and never turned the tables on her
because she was a girl. That was one of the things she loved about her job and
the guys.

Sam looked at Donna and wondered where she had been all of his life. He was
having more fun with her than anyone he had dated in the past. Donna was simple
and fun, she didn't expect fancy dinners out or tickets to the best shows.
Donna would rather spend time making him dinner than sitting in a five star
restaurant. That was one of the things that he loved about her. There were no
overblown expectations.


"So should we move onto the entertainment portion of the evening?" Donna
asked with a smile.

"We have entertainment?" Sam asked her back with a smile on his face.

"We got movies from the store." Donna said.

"Okay, cause I thought you were going to change into a Catholic school girl
uniform." Sam said.

"You and Josh can not spend anymore time together." Donna said laughing too.

"What are the movies?" Sam asked.

"We got the quintessential 80's flicks." Donna said.

"How old were you in the 80's?" Sam asked.

"Only a few years younger than you. I got 'The Breakfast Club' and 'St.
Elmo's Fire'. Which one?" Donna asked.

"The Breakfast Club." Sam said as he took the video from her and popped it
into the vcr.

Sam left Donna watching the previews as he shut off the kitchen lights. He sat
down on the couch next to her, leaving space between them.

Donna noticed that he didn't sit directly next to her and left some room between
them. He could be so sweet and considerate.

They both watched the movie, shouting out things about bad hair and unbelievable
situations that the characters found themselves in. Donna couldn't remember
when she'd had such fun time watching a movie from the 80's. Sam couldn't stop
laughing and even got Donna to join him. She needed something to make her laugh
and forget the hellacious day she'd had. Somewhere during the movie, Donna had
scooted closer to Sam and he had positioned them so that he was able to wrap his
arms around her.

Donna felt so safe and happy and comfortable in his arms. She wondered what he
would do if she turned and kissed him. Donna didn't kiss him because she wanted
him to make the first move and didn't want to screw up what needed time to build
up.

Sam sat there in his own little world thinking about things. Holding Donna in
his arms seemed like the natural thing to do. He wanted so badly to kiss her,
but he didn't because it had been a bad day and this wasn't just going to be
about comfort.

"Hey, it's time to get you home." Sam said as the movie ended.

"Yeah. It's going to be a long day keeping Josh from killing Republicans over
the education bill." Donna said as Sam unlocked the car doors.

"What time do I need be to be at your apartment in the morning?" Sam asked as
he pulled up in front of her building.

"You don't have to do that. I can walk to work." Donna said.

"What time do you have to be there?" Sam asked her again.

"At 6:30." Donna said.

"I will be here at 6:15 to pick you up. There is no reason that you should
have to walk to work that early in the morning." Sam said stopping by the door
of her apartment.

"Thanks for having dinner with me, even though it took a detour and thank you
for helping me out and supporting me today." Donna said.

"Dinner was fabulous and you don't have to thank me for being your friend and
believing in you." Sam said.

Sam reached over and pulled her into a hug and gave her a kiss on the forehead.

"See you in the morning." Donna said as she let herself into the apartment.

Sam waited for her to go into the apartment before he left. The dinner and the
movie had been a great way to end a day that could have ended in so many other
ways.


One week later.................................................

Sam approached Donna's desk and put on his biggest smile.

"Hey, Donna." Sam said.

"Hi. What's up?" Donna asked.

"I need a favor." Sam said.

"No" Donna said.

"Please" Sam pleaded with her.

"The last favor I did for you ended up with my underwear being sent through
the mail." Donna said, still embarrassed over the whole Karen Cahill situation.

"I promise this isn't like that." Sam said.

"Tell me what the favor is first." Donna said, already knowing that she was
going to give into Sam, no matter what he said.

"I have to go party for the Georgetown Economic Council and I need you to go
as my date." Sam said.

"Can't get a real date, huh?" Donna said joking around.

"Come on, Donna. You will be great and I know how you love parties." Sam
said with a smile.

"Fine, I'll go with you." Donna replied with a smile.

"Thanks so much. I'll owe you bigtime." Sam said.

"You will definitely owe me big and I will collect." Donna said.

Donna watched Sam walk away. She liked the parties because of the interesting
men she got to meet. Donna wondered what going to a party with Sam as her date
would be like. She already started planning a lunch hour that would include
shopping for a new dress to impress Sam. She had begun to develop feelings for
Sam that were more than just platonic and the dinner at his apartment had pushed
those feelings up to the surface. After the situation with Stephanie, she had
come to see him in a new light-one that was honest and more respectful.

Sam was happy that Donna had said yes. He intended to make her a happy woman at
this party. Sam intended to show her off.

Day of the party.........................................

Donna walked into Josh's office with a stack of files for him. He wasn't going
to like that she had to leave early, but he would just have to deal with it.

"Here are the reports on the weapons bills and the accompanying files. I am
leaving now and will see you on Monday." Donna said and headed for the door.

"Stop. Halt. Don't move a muscle." Josh said.

"Excuse me?" Donna said and put on her fighting face.

"Why are you leaving early?" Josh asked.

"I am going to the Georgetown Economic Council Party Thing with Sam and I need
time to prepare myself for the evening." Donna said.

"You are going with Sam to a party?" Josh asked.

"Yes, I am. Can I go now?" Donna asked.

"Yes, but make sure you are here bright and early." Josh said and walked out
of the office behind her.

"Where are you going?" Donna asked.

"I'm going to go talk to Sam about a thing." Josh said.

"Okay. Bye." Donna said and they split up.

Josh was on his way to talk to his best friend about commandeering his assistant
for a party date. He found Sam in his office typing away.

"I heard that you are taking my assistant out on the town tonight." Josh
said, walking into Sam's office.

"Yes, I asked Donna to go with me tonight." Sam said, never looking away from
the computer.

"You know that she already headed out to get ready." Josh said watching Sam.

"So?" Sam asked.

"That means that I have to do all of my work on my own with no one to bother."
Josh said.

"Aren't you supposed to be doing that already?" Sam asked with a grin.

"Not funny." Josh said with a glare.

"Yes, it is. What did you want?" Sam asked.

"Exactly what are you planning with my assistant?" Josh asked.

"What are you talking about?" Sam asked, looking up from the computer.

"You forget that I know your history with women. Is that why you asked Donna
to go because you can't get a real date?" Josh said leaving it up in the air
and a smirk on his face.

"I can get a real date, thank you very much." Sam said.

"I'll believe it when you show up at a party without the hooker, the boss'
daughter, or a friend." Josh said with his trademark smirk.

"I'm taking Donna because I have to work the room. She knows what that is
like. She's done it enough times with you. Maybe we should talk about why you
take your assistant to parties." Sam said, hoping the misdirection worked.

"She is my assistant. I need her at those parties. How the hell did this
conversation get to be about me. We need to get back to why you are taking my
assistant to this party." Josh said, catching onto the misdirection.

"Donna and I are going as friends, nothing more." Sam said, wanting to drop
the particular track the conversation was on.

"I don't want her to get hurt." Josh said seriously.

"We are going as friends, honestly." Sam said and watched Josh walk out of
the office.

Sam thought that Josh would kill him, if he knew the truth. He had more than
platonic feelings for Donna and was going to act on them that night, if things
felt right.


When Donna was getting ready for her date with Sam, she took extra care with her
appearance because she wanted to impress him and the people at the party. The
new green dress fit great. It hugged all the right places and draped on all the
wrong places. The dress was on the summer clearance rack for less than 50
dollars, but she teamed it up with a fun green sweater and jewelry for an
amazing look under 75 dollars by the time she bought shoes.

Donna had just slipped her shoes on and looked at the clock.


On cue, her doorbell rang at exactly 7 p.m.

"Hi, Come in." Donna said.

"Thanks. Wow, you look amazing." Sam said.

"I'm glad that you like it. I hope that this will be a fun evening." Donna
said.

"I have no doubts that it will be a great evening, especially when I get to
spend it with you." Sam said.

Sam waited for Donna to get her purse and then they were off to the party.

Sam couldn't believe Donna. She was shining. He was glad that she was having a
good time. Josh certainly didn't value his beautiful assistant enough.

Donna was having a great time and Sam was never far away from her. He had kept
his arm looped around her waist all night long. Sam was truly a great guy.

Sam worked the room and found some allies that the administration didn't know
they had. He made a mental note to tell Josh and Leo in the morning. While he
was busy working the room, Donna was talking to people from the administrations
office and asking questions. She had a smile on her face and looked over to Sam
several times and her glances were met with smiles.

"It was a fun party even though the people were a bit stuffy." Donna said
unlocking her apartment door.

"I'm glad that you had a fun time and I thought that you would be used to
stuffy people, considering who you work around all day." Sam said as he
followed her into the apartment.

"Josh isn't that bad." Donna said with a smile.

"I was actually referring to all of the politicians that you have to deal
with, but Josh will do." Sam said with a cheeky grin.

"Would you like a drink?" Donna asked.

"A glass of water would be great." Sam said.

Donna headed into the kitchen and got the water. She was surprised to see Sam
standing in the doorway watching her. She handed him the glass and walked back
into the living room.

"I had a wonderful time tonight." Donna said as she kicked off her shoes and
sat down on the couch.

"I'm happy that you had a great time tonight. You were so amazing with those
people. You are a real charmer." Sam said with a smile as he sat down on the
couch next to her.

Donna was surprised that Sam sat right next to her. When they had dinner, he
had given her space, but not tonight. She could feel his breath on her neck and
that's when she knew that she was ready to kick this up into high gear.

Sam was sitting so close to her that he could almost feel her. He was ready to
move the relationship from the good friends plateau to the "I kissed her and
want more" plateau.

Donna shifted so that she was looking into Sam's eyes and they both read the
unconditional okay to move forward.

Sam made the first move and gave her a gentle kiss on the lips that Donna
responded to. The kiss was nice and by mutual nonverbal agreement, they both
participated in deepening the kiss. It was a lazy, non demanding kiss.

The kiss seemed to last forever, until Donna pulled away.

"I hope I didn't overstep my boundaries." Sam said watching her.

"No you didn't overstep, but I don't want this to be a one night stand."
Donna said.

"I have no intention of doing that to you. I want to take this slow and let
things build up. I'm not going to pressure you into something that you aren't
ready for." Sam said.

"Thank you for not pushing me. I want to take this slow too." Donna said.

"It is getting late and I need to get home. It seems that you and Josh are
the only ones with Sunday off. The rest of us have to go to work." Sam said
with a smile.

"Then I will see you Monday." Donna said as she gave Sam another quick kiss
before she shut the door.


Monday Morning................................

Donna walked into the bullpen and looked at the people surrounding her desk.
She made her way through the crowd and saw her desk. Sitting on her desk was a
bouquet of pink roses which were her favorites. Donna shifted the flowers off
of her desk so she could work.

Josh and the rest of the senior staff were walking through the bullpen when they
noticed the flowers in Donna's cubicle. They also noticed Josh taking stock of
the situation and excused themselves back to their own offices.

"Are these flowers from your latest local gomer?" Josh asked Donna walking up
to her desk.

"No, they are not. They are from a friend who I did a favor for and this is
payback." Donna said.

"What's this guy's name. What does he do?" Josh asked.

"I am not going to tell you his name or what he does." Donna said firmly.

"You know that I will find out and call you on it, so just tell me now and
save me the time and work I will have to do." Josh said.

"No, I'm not going to tell you anything and I challenge you to find out
anything about this guy." Donna said with a smile, quite confident that Josh
would never find out anything about the guy in her life.

Josh walked into his office and sat down. Donna didn't know it, but this was a
challenge that he wasn't going to walk away from and one that he was sure to win
with his many resources.

Sam had heard the whole exchange and prayed for a miracle. When Josh got
something in his teeth, he didn't let go for anything. Josh was not going to be
happy when he found out that his best friend was his assistant's local Gomorra.

Josh and Sam met up for lunch at McClendons. After they ordered, Josh got down
to business.

"What do you know about Donna's latest local gomer?" Josh asked.

"I didn't know Donna was dating someone." Sam said.

"She is and she won't tell me who. There was this bouquet of pink roses on
her desk this morning." Josh complained.

"How do you know it is a guy? The flowers could be from a friend. She did
just go through that whole legal problem. Maybe someone sent her flowers to
cheer her up." Sam said wanting to shift the conversation somewhere else.

"I know it's a local gomer. Friends don't send friends flowers like that.
It's a guy and I won't rest until I find out who they are from." Josh said
determinedly.

"Is this why you wanted to have lunch out? To pump me for information about
Donna's so called boyfriend?" Sam asked angry.

"Not totally." Josh guiltily said.

"Why else did you ask me to lunch?" Sam asked.

"I wanted to talk to you about Mandy." Josh said.

"What about Mandy?" Sam asked, having a bad feeling about where this was
about to go.

"She called last night. It seems that Lennox Chase is opening a new office
here and she will be running it." Josh said.

"What did Mandy want?" Sam asked.

"She wants to get back together." Josh said.

"You can't seriously be thinking about it, are you." Sam asked.

"Well, we are going out tonight to see where things stand between us." Josh
said.

"You need to have your head examined." Sam said.

All through lunch, Josh and Sam discussed Mandy. Sam was happy that he was off
the hook about Donna, but the thought of Mandy coming back into their lives was
too much to deal with. Sam was going to make it a point to tell Donna about
this new development and see what she had to say about it. Donna and Mandy
never did get along because Mandy always made sure to put Donna in her place as
a lowly, college dropout secretary.

Josh got back to the office and closed his door. He was mad at Sam because Sam
wouldn't help him in the search for information about Donna's latest local
gomer. He had already started his search for information. The florist shops
hadn't been able to give him any information. The man had paid with cash and
there had been no card. Josh was feeling good. Sam had been wrong. There was
a man involved and now he had to go pump the gossip sources....CJ and Margaret
were the start. Before the week was over, he would know everything about the
guy Donna was dating. Knowing it was going to be a long day, he picked up the
first file and started reading.

"Hey, CJ. Are you busy?" Josh asked.

"Not this particular second. What do you need?" CJ asked.

"I was wondering if you knew anything about the guy that Donna is seeing?"
Josh slipped in.

"No because I didn't know that Donna was dating and why are you asking me?"
CJ stated.

"I am asking you because you have the pulse on things in this building." Josh
complimented her.

"Thanks for the compliment, but if you really want to know, ask Margaret." CJ
walked out of her office.

"Thanks." Josh shouted back to her.

Friday night......................................................

He was a man on a mission to find Margaret and nothing was going to stop him
now. He had meant to chat with her earlier in the week, but actual work had
gotten in his way.

"Margaret." Josh addressed the woman.

"Hey Josh. Leo's not here. Is there something you needed that I can get for
you?" Margaret asked.

"I needed to talk to you about the guy that Donna's dating." Josh cut right
to the quick.

"I didn't know that she was dating anyone." Margaret said.

"Really? I guess I'll have to resort to other means then." Josh sailed out
of the office.


Sam's Apartment.............................

"Josh really has this in his teeth about finding out who my new man is."
Donna said as she sipped a glass of wine.

"He needs something to take his mind off of Mandy." Sam said and braced
himself for her reaction.

"What do you mean Mandy?" Donna shouted.

"She's back in town because Lennox Chase is opening up an office here." Sam
explained.

"But she's not coming back to work for us, right?" Donna asked quietly.

"I'm pretty sure that she won't be back in the White House to work for us, but
I don't know that for sure." Sam chose his words carefully, not wanting to tell
Donna that Josh was seriously thinking about seeing Mandy again.

"If she comes back, I can't work with her again." Donna stated flatly.

"What is the problem you and Mandy have?" Sam asked.

"She always treated me like dirt. I know that I don't have as many degrees or
am as smart as the rest of you, but that is no reason for her being so hateful
and mean to me." Donna said.

"You can always come be my assistant." Sam said with a smile.

"Oh yeah, that wouldn't go over real well with Josh." Donna said.

"But it would have its perks." Sam said with a smile before he leaned over
and gave her a kiss.

Monday morning............................

Josh couldn't believe that there were flowers on Donna's desk again. The roses
were very beautiful and fragrant, but he was upset that it had been a week and
he was nowhere close to finding out who the guy was.

"Donna, you got flowers again. This must be serious. What's his name?" Josh
badgered her as she arrived for work.

"Are we gonna go through this every time I get flowers?" Donna asked.

"Yes or until you tell me his name." Josh bantered back at her.

"Whatever." Donna said and followed Josh into his office.


Tuesday, lunch time...................................

"Donna, bring me those stats on the daycare bill." Josh yelled from his desk.

"Here are the files that you will need and I will be back in an hour." Donna
started to sail out of the office.

"Where are you going?" Josh asked.

"I'm going out to lunch with Sam." Donna said.

"Why are you going out to lunch with Sam?" Josh asked.

"He asked and I said yes. I haven't left this building in two weeks for
lunch. I need to get out." Donna explained to him.

"Fine, see you in an hour." Josh went back to flipping through files.

Josh just happened to glance up and see Sam and Donna. They were hugging and
then he helped her put on her jacket. He was very surprised to see those
gestures. Josh knew that they were good friends, but still. He glanced back at
the pile of files and went back to work.


Monday morning................................

Josh arrived early and saw the flowers gracing his assistant's desk. The
lavender lilacs added some color to the drab office space and bullpen that were
his.

"Good morning Josh." Donna smiled at him.

"Good morning to you too. Your boyfriend sent you some more flowers." Josh
gestured to the arrangement on her desk.

"I see that my friend sent me some flowers." Donna smiled.

"What is his name?" Josh asked.

"That's for me to know and you to never find out." Donna picked up the
schedule book and followed her boss.


Thursday, lunch time......................................

"Josh, I'm leaving now." Donna stuck her head into the office.

"Where are you going?" Josh asked.

"Out to lunch with Sam." Donna said.

"You can't. I need Sam to help me with the Student Loan Reform Act." Josh
said.

"He brought the notes by on a yellow pad that are now sitting on your desk.
We'll be back in a little while." Donna said.

"Why are you going to lunch with Sam again?" Josh asked.

"Because he asked and I want to eat a regular meal." Donna said.

"Fine, go." Josh slipped back into his office to look at the notes that Sam
dropped off.

The notes were clear and concise and now he was searching for the chocolate
stash that Donna kept in her desk. As Josh was rifling through the makeup, word
search books, and romance novel, he found a florist's card still in the
envelope. Against his better judgment, he opened the card. The romantic
message was sickening, but the handwriting looked very familiar, but he couldn't
place it right then. Josh slipped the card back into the envelope and put it
back where he found it.

Josh returned to the student loan thing and things started to click into place.
The handwriting on the pad and the card were the same. Donna's new man was his
best friend, Sam. It was unbelievable. This was his assistant and friend. Sam
couldn't have her, she was his. He remembered the lunches out with Sam. The
helpful gestures and quick smiles. The flowers and Sam's unwillingness to help
him on his quest to find Donna's new man. This wasn't supposed to happen. He
wondered why they felt the need to sneak around and how they had gotten by with
it for all this time. Josh didn't have any idea what to do with this
information. He didn't have the heart or the desire to confront them with what
he knew. Only time would tell what he would do.

 

 

 

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