Adrenaline coursed through his body. His hands tapped against his leg excitedly as he crossed the street. Toby was sure he could hear his heart beating in his ears. If he were Josh or Sam, he would be announcing, 'I'm the man!' to everyone he encountered. It was only the fact that his maturity level was above one of a teenage boy that stopped him. Well, that and it was two in the morning and as he didn't see anyone around.
The day was ending considerably better than it began, he thought as he unlocked the door to his apartment. The first thing he saw as the door swung open was her.
Moonlight poured through the large picture window, illuminating her sleeping form and casting a soft ring of light on the crown of her strawberry hair. She had fallen asleep on the couch, her glasses still on and an open briefing book lying on her chest. Quietly, he sat next to her in the small space created where her long legs bent and rested against the back of the couch.
A small smile touched his lips as he gazed lovingly at her. Even asleep, she had such a vitality about her; an alluring energy. She had changed into her favorite pair of flannel boxer shorts and one of his CCNY sweatshirts. With her hair loosely pulled back in a clip, she looked more like a college student instead of the Press Secretary for the President of the United States. One would think she had fallen asleep while cramming for an Anatomy final, and not while reading a briefing book on 'The potential economic and political impact of the new EPA proposal on air emissions standards.'
Carefully, he lifted the book from her hands and set it on the floor, then removed the glasses perched on her slender nose and placed them on the coffee table. Turning back to her, he lightly brushed a strand of hair from her face. Toby knew he should let her be, but once he touched her, he always found it near impossible to stop. Of their own volition, his hands began to softly caress her skin. They ran over her delicate features, the feel of her burnt into his memory, yet always feeling like the first time.
In the corner of his awareness, he could sense her drift into consciousness. His focus, however, was centered on the finding the smooth skin behind her ear with his lips, then traveling down the line of her jaw. Meanwhile, his right hand played with her hair, as his left moved down the side of her body to gently stroke her bare leg, paying special attention to the small area behind her knee.
Her soft sigh resonated to the center of his soul. Toby felt her hot breath on neck the moment before she began to plant kisses there. Her hands went to his back, then journeyed slowly downward, as the kisses and touches grew more intimate. As their mouths moved closer, he watched her golden eyes peek open from beneath her long lashes, darkened with desire. Toby took a moment to look into her passionate gaze, before finally capturing her lips. Wordlessly, he picked her up in his arms and carried her to the bedroom.
He held her close, her bare back pressed firmly against his chest. Toby could hear her breathing slow as she began to fall asleep. Placing his lips next to her ear, he whispered, his voice deep with emotion, "I love making love to you."
"I love you," she sighed drowsily.
It was nine in the morning, when C.J. woke up alone. Rolling her eyes in amusement, she rolled out of bed, slipped on Toby's robe, and went into the living room where she found him watching Sportscenter and reading the morning papers. Sneaking up behind him, she wrapped her arms around his neck. "You're not human," she murmured, kissing his temple. "I'm beginning to think you never sleep."
Leading her around the couch, and guiding her onto his lap, Toby smiled, "Good morning."
"Morning," she replied. "Where did you go last night? You didn't tell anyone."
"Toby shrugged. "I just had something to take care of."
Her eyes narrowed, remembering the excitement in his voice and the way he rushed out of the office. "What did you do and who did you piss off?"
Toby raised his eyebrow. "You have such little faith in me?"
"On the contrary," laughed C.J. "I have tremendous faith in your ability to piss people off."
"Well, thank you for that," he said with a straight face. "I can tell you that you will not have to do any damage control with the press on Monday."
"You're really not going to tell me?"
"Nope," he smiled. "I'd rather do this," said Toby as he leaned forward to place a gentle kiss on her lips. "I'm sorry I woke you up last-"
"No," she stopped him, covering his mouth with her palm. "Never, ever apologize for that." Removing her hand, she whispered, her mouth practically touching his, "I love making love to you." His arms tightened around her body as they kissed passionately.
"I can't believe you didn't trust me."
"I mean it, Mallory. When you said you would go sailing with me, I had hoped that meant you trusted me. But, you didn't. You thought I would capsize the boat."
"Sam, you did capsize the boat."
"That's not the point," he replied as they entered the executive entrance to the West Wing and started through the labyrinth of corridors. "The point is, you brought an extra set of clothes because you thought I would capsize the boat."
"You also brought an extra set of clothes," she pointed out.
"Because I've been sailing with me before," exclaimed Sam. "Previous experience tells me I'll need them. But, you just assumed it. Without prior knowledge, you assumed that with me at the helm, you would end up in the water."
"My father told me about your previous experiences sailing, Sam" she explained. "I would never have thought of bringing clothes otherwise."
Mallory rolled her eyes. "Really, Sam. Does that make you feel better?"
"A little," he admitted. They walked through the communications bullpen towards his office.
"Why did we come here again," she asked.
Sam began scanning the multitude of legal books on his shelf. "I'm writing a speech on air emission standards and I need one-" he paused as he looked closer at one of the books, then pulled it from the others, "-of these," he finished.
Josh walked out of his office to refill his coffee mug (Donna had gone back to her no-coffee policy), when he saw his assistant answer her phone. He walked up behind to hear who it was. Although it looked like despite Caddell's attempts to derail it, they hadn't lost anyone on the campaign finance reform bill. But they certainly have any breathing room and Josh was on duty that day to look out for potential problems.
"Okay," Donna said into the phone and pulled up his schedule on her computer screen. She shot Josh an admonishing look as he started to pump his fist in the air as he watched her erase his appointment with Rep. Christy for the next day.
His celebration quickly came to a halt when Donna replied to the person, presumably Christy's assistant, on the phone. "The only time he has this week is lunch on Thursday." She ignored him as an expression of terror crossed his face, and Josh quickly began to shake his head and mouth, 'NO,' while frantically waving his hands in the air to get her attention. "Okay, 12:30 on Thursday," continued Donna.
"Donna," he began to whine as soon as she hung up the receiver. "Call him back and cancel."
"No." She went back to typing a memo.
"You have to," pleaded Josh. "He's going to insist on going to that damn place that only serves tofu and bamboo shoots. The only meat they have in the place is fish that they refuse to cook. I can't eat that."
"Take a sack lunch, Josh," Donna said without looking up. As he turned and went back to his office, his shoulders slumped; she jumped up to follow. "You know what I was thinking?"
"That you have way too much power in this relationship," he mumbled as he sat down.
Taking the seat across from him, she smiled sweetly. "No, I know I have exactly the right amount of power," she replied. "I was thinking about what you said about C.J. and her boyfriend."
"What about it?"
"Well," Donna started, then paused as if trying to figure out how to phrase her thoughts. "Do you think Toby knows?"
"Knows what," came another voice.
Josh looked up to see Sam standing in the doorway with Mallory next to him. "Hey, Mal. Sam, I didn't think you were coming in today"
"I had to get a book," he replied, then glanced at Donna. "Do you think Toby knows what?"
She looked at Josh, who had a goofy smile on his face. "I meant to tell you yesterday, but then things got, you know," he trailed off, waving his hands. "The other day, I found out that C.J. has been seeing someone for four months now."
Sam's eyes grew wide. "Really?"
Josh nodded his head enthusiastically. "She wouldn't tell me who he was, though."
Donna explained her thoughts. "And I was just wondering if Toby knew, because," she paused, "well, we always thought he kind of had a thing for C.J."
"You don't have to worry about Toby," Sam said. "At the fundraiser Leo forced us go to the other night, I heard a woman hit on him, and Toby told her that he was already involved with someone."
"Maybe, he-" Donna started, but Sam quickly cut in already knowing what she was thinking.
"And he's not wearing his wedding ring anymore."
Understanding smiles began to spread slowly across Donna and Mallory's face. Josh and Sam, however, continued to talk.
"Wow. I didn't see that one coming," Josh remarked.
Sam nodded. "Well, at least we don't have to worry if Toby will get jealous. "He's got his own girlfriend."
Mallory glanced to Donna. "They really don't get it, do they," she asked incredulously.
"And they help run the country?"
"Reassuring, isn't it," deadpanned Donna.
"Get what?" Sam threw up his hands in frustration. What was it with women talking about him in confusing and vague half sentences?
Mallory rolled her eyes. "Toby and C.J. seeing each other," she said, drawing out each word slowly as if talking her schoolchildren.
"How do you figure that," asked Josh, his brow furrowed in confusion.
"Yeah," Sam added, just as mystified.
"Let me," Donna told Mallory. "I've had more experience at this." She turned back to the boys. "Think about it. C.J. and Toby, neither who have had a real relationship since the President was elected, are both involved with someone at the same time?"
"That doesn't mean anything," Sam argued.
Donna continued as if she hadn't heard him. "C.J. wouldn't tell Josh the guy's name or even what he did, so that probably means Josh knows him. And we know it isn't Danny."
Sam and Josh reluctantly nodded their heads. It was well known through the west wing grapevine that that hadn't worked out. It was clear they weren't convinced it was Toby, though.
She sighed. What would it take? "Josh, C.J. told you that her boyfriend was out of town Friday night. Then, last night, when you asked her if she wanted to order Chinese with us, she told you she was going home because he was back." Donna could see the lights coming on. "Sam, you and Toby were out of town Friday night, and returned yesterday." It was time for the knock out punch. "Neither of them are here working."
Josh and Sam slowly turned to look at each other, identical gleams of mischief dancing in their eyes. "We've got some planning to do," Sam said with Josh nodding his agreement.
Now Mallory and Donna were the ones confused. "What do you mean," Mallory asked.
"We have to decide how to use this information to our advantage," explained Josh matter-of-factly.
"No," Donna immediately spoke up. She was about to say more when the phone rang. "Josh Lyman's office," she answered, then handed the phone to Josh. "It's Toby."
"Hey, Toby." Everyone was quiet as they listened to Josh, who was basically silent, occasionally uttering, 'yeah' and 'okay.' Finally, he looked up and said, "He's right here. Let me ask him." Josh put his hand over the phone, and looked at Sam. "Toby wants to know if you have the President's speech on air pollution done."
Sam tightened his grip on his bag, which held the book he retrieved for the speech and nodded his head.
"He says yeah." Josh listened for a moment, then glanced back to his best friend. "Toby said if it's not on his desk when he walks in the door tomorrow morning, he's going to tell the President you need a detailed history lesson on the EPA."
"Okay, Toby," replied Josh. He looked up to the others with a big grin. "Hey, Toby. I'm trying to get a hold of C.J. Do you know where she is?" A slight pause. "I don't know. I just thought you might have talked to her."
Toby hung up the phone and looked over to C.J. who was busy reading the Post and eating a bagel. "We've been spotted," he said.
"What do mean?"
"At the thing Friday night, a woman asked me to dinner and Sam overheard me tell her that I was already involved with someone."
"A woman hit on you," C.J. said, putting the papers down. "Who was she?"
Toby stifled a laugh. "Are you jealous?"
"No," she replied defensively. She sighed as he kept regarding her questioningly. "So Sam knows you seeing someone. He's talked to Josh?"
"And they think you and I are together?"
"Josh can't even hide his poker face over the phone."
C.J. laughed. "How long do you think it took them to figure it out?"
"How ever long it took Donna to explain it to them, I suppose."
"So what do you want to do about it?"
A dangerous glint sparkled in his black eyes. "I have an idea."
Covert Operations - 6