Part 6

A portion of his brain attempted to state its case for the necessity of breathing, claiming the biological process was vital for his body to continue to function. This small delegation of brain cells was quickly censored by the rest of his passion addled mind maintaining that his body seemed to be doing just fine at the moment.

She was all he needed. The feel of her slender body pressed tightly against his. The way she splayed her long fingers through his black hair. The way her mouth moved with his. Her soft sighs of desire that sent every nerve in his body racing. This was the moment he had dreamt about, longed for, yet never truly believed would ever happen. She was finally in his arms.

The moment couldnít last forever, despite Tobyís willingness to try. Slowly, he felt the pressure of her kiss diminish until their lips were no longer touching, but a few inches apart. They rested their foreheads against each other for several seconds, when suddenly C.J. pulled away as if she had received a shock.

The white of her eyes glistened as the moonlight steamed in from the windows. She searched his face, looking for some kind of explanation for what had just sent her world twirling off itís axis. His eyes, however, were glued to her red, kiss swollen lips as she tried to catch her breath. His mind was still operating on auto-pilot; his only thoughts of how he much he wanted to kiss her again and again and never stop.

When she saw him rock towards her again, C.J. quickly moved away. She fingered a few of the papers on his desk nervously, unable to meet his questioning gaze. "I should go and, uh, make those calls," she said quietly and turned to make her escape. She was almost to the door, when she felt his hand grip her arm. Squeezing her eyes shut, C.J. tried to ignore the electricity that his touch always seemed to bring.

"C.J., I-"

"Toby," she interrupted, her voice trembling.

As she twisted around to face him, Toby saw the desperation in her slate colored eyes.

"Please," she pleaded softly. "I need to go."

Silence filled the room as they stared into each otherís eyes. Slowly, Toby released her arm and watched as she raced out the door.


Mrs. Landingham looked up to see the White House Communications Director enter the room, looking more rumpled than usual. "Good morning, Toby. The president is waiting for you." She frowned slightly as he walked past her without a word; his actions only confirming what she already suspected.

Toby opened the door to the Oval Office and the first thing he saw was her. She was thumbing through a file, quickly absorbing the information it offered. Her glasses had slipped and now rested on the perch of her nose. Toby couldnít help but notice the way her shirt inched up as she crossed her long legs and leaned against the back of the couch.


Both Toby and C.J. looked up in surprise when they heard the Presidentís voice. It was only then that Toby saw Leo and the President sitting on the couch opposite C.J. They were now both looking at Toby with slightly suspicious expressions on their faces.

"Sir," he responded impassively.

The President studied Tobyís face for a second, then apparently giving up, he said. "C.J. was just telling us your meeting with the MPAA lobbyists was successful."

"Yes, sir," he answered. "They have agreed to a 12 point plan that includes important measures such as prohibiting movie theatres from showing R-rated trailers at G-rated movies and providing more in-depth information as to why a particular movie received a certain rating. Also theatres that are found not following the rating system will be penalized by the studios."

"Sir," C.J. cut in. "David Reitz, the chief author of the FTCís report has agreed to issue a statement through the White House, stating that he fully supports the studiosí plan and applauds them for their fast response and cooperation to finding a solution."

"How did you manage that," Leo asked.

A sly smile crept across C.J.ís lips. "Mr. Reitz is from California. Last night, he received a couple phone calls from Alan Hoskins and Ted Marcus thanking him for his all of his hard work. They also suggested that when his term on the FTC ends a little more than a year from now, he consider running for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 33rd district."

"No doubt they offered assistance of a monetary kind if he does decide to run for office," President Bartlet said wryly.

"Yes, sir."

"What about Russell," questioned Leo.

Toby cleared his throat. "I spoke to Senator Russell and he has agreed that it is not in his best interest to fight this issue at the time."

The President clapped his hands. "Good-"

"There will come a time when he does fight it, though," Toby said. "And he would be right to do so," he added softly, shocking every one in the room. He could feel C.J.ís questioning gaze burn into him. "The thing is, Mr. President," he said avoiding looking in her direction. "Hollywood is actively marketing their films toward younger children. They include people under 17 years of age in research focus groups for movies that are eventually rated R. They buy advertising spots during television programs whose major demographics are children ages 12 - 17."

"Mr. President," C.J. cut in, hiding her surprise at Tobyís position, "filmmakers should not look to young children to decide what to make films about. However, it is important that they are not dictated to by the government about what they should make films about." She looked up at Toby. "Men must be allowed to express their passions. They should not be afraid to express what is in their heart for fear of what others think."

President Bartlet nodded his head and spoke after a few seconds. "Well, this sounds like something that needs to be addressed. Later. For now, we need to focus on the Education Bill."

"Mr. President." Mrs. Landingham appeared in the doorway. "The intelligence briefing team is here."

"Okay," he said and turned to Toby and C.J. "Thank you both for your good work in taking care of this."

"Thank you, sir," they replied.

"C.J., can I see you in my office," Leo asked as they began to gather their files.


"Toby," Mrs. Landingham said as he emerged from the Oval Office alone.

"Yes," he sighed, clearly expecting a lecture of some kind.

"Would you like a cookie?"

He looked at her in surprise, then answered quietly, "Yeah." The corners of his mouth curled up in a small smile as he accepted the cookie. "Thank you."


The day flew by quickly for C.J. The fast pace of the White House and itís press corps didnít stop her, however, from noticing that she hadnít seen Toby since their meeting with the President and Leo that morning. Nor did it stop her from thinking about what had happened between them the night before.

She made a mistake last night. She knew it the moment she closed the door behind her. It had taken her until that morning, however, to recognize it as a mistake. And even now, she wasnít exactly sure what she wanted to do about it; what she could do about it. She looked at the computer screen and realized that she was on the same line she had started writing ten minutes ago. Trying to clear her mind of thoughts of him, she started to write the sentence again.

"Come in," she called as she heard a knock on the door. Carol had left earlier for a doctorís appointment. "One moment," C.J. said as she finished the paragraph, then looked up to see her visitor. Her breath caught in her throat as she saw Toby standing in front of her desk. Unlike that morning, he was looking at her intently. "Hi," she said softly.

"I need to say something to you."


Battlegound - 7



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