DISCLAIMER: The pre-existing characters mentioned in this submission are from the brilliant mind of Aaron Sorkin, the creative genius behind the West Wing. The original characters are of my own creation.

(This and subsequent submissions are written in script format. When you read this, you will need to read it as though you are watching it on TV. Anything that is not in "quotation marks" is considered to be stage direction, or info to help out your creativity in visioning things. By all means, use your imagination to picture things, but above all, enjoy!)


"Hanging By A Thread, Part 1"

Synopsis: Zoey is coming home for vacation, Sam is presented with memories and people from his past – pre-White House years. C.J. and Josh think long and hard about their prospects in the romance department.


Rating: PG

Josh is talking to Sam in his office, when Cathy, Sam's assistant enters the office.

Cathy – "Sam, your 3:00 for tomorrow cancelled."

Josh – to Sam, with a slightly arrogant tone "Is there a meeting going on in here, or is it just me?"

Cathy – "I didn't think it was all that important seeing as the door is wide open, and that Sam is bouncing

his lacrosse ball against the wall in a truly hypnotic manner that is either an act of frustration or of

boredom. I don't think it was that important, Mr. Lyman. Sam, your 3:00 for tomorrow cancelled. Is there anything you need me to do?"

Sam – "Can you call the Senator back and re-schedule for next Thursday sometime?"

Cathy – "Sure."

Sam – "Thanks."

Cathy – as she is leaving the office she says to Josh, "I'll shut the door so as not to disturb your meeting.

And uh, FYI, go with pizza and beer." The door closes behind her.

Josh – "We pay her for that sarcasm?"

Sam – "Well my friend, she is a great assistant." a short pause "She steals donuts from me."

Josh – with a chuckle, "Where did that come from?"

Sam – "Guilt. Definitely guilt. I steal them back."

Josh – "You'd better watch how you treat her – she may get an idea from Donna and do something to

them one day."

Sam – sarcastically, "Great, now I feel better. So it's definitely pizza and beer tonight then?" Sam looks

at his pager that has beeped during the last line. Yelling to Cathy, "Cathy!"

Cathy – opening the door, sarcastically, "Yes Mr. Seaborn, how may I help you. Should I take dictation –

or do you need me to mediate the argument of which type of alcoholic beverage you and Mr.

Lyman are going to consume this evening."

Josh – under his breath "Smart ass."

Cathy – "I heard that."

Sam – "Did I call anyone from New York recently?"

Cathy – "How should I know?"

Sam – "You are my assistant aren't you?"

Cathy – "Yes, but I am not with the T.B.I."

Sam – "T.B.I?"

Cathy – "Telephone Bureau of Investigation."

Josh – "Cute."

Cathy – making a writing motion in the air "Mark this day in history. Joshua Lyman says something nice. I would write that down on paper, but it's not worth sacrificing a tree."

Josh – shakes his head with a smirk on his face. "Smart ass."

Cathy – "It makes me feel incredibly safe to know that our Deputy Chief of Staff knows at least one

comeback. (Towards Josh) You'll have to work with him Sam. I know Hussein has at least

three." She closes the door behind her.

Sam – Picks up the phone and dials the number on his pager, while smiling at Josh, "You know, I like her

better every day."

Asst. – only heard on the phone "Good Afternoon, Simpson/Burns/Clark. Rebecca speaking."

Sam - "Good Afternoon Rebecca, this is Sam Seaborn. I just got a page from someone in your office,

and was wondering if you know who may have paged me."

Asst. – only heard on the phone "Just one moment Mr. Seaborn. If I may put you on hold, I'll find out for


Sam - "Sure. Thanks." To Josh – "Wow. Mr. Seaborn! That doesn't happen often..."

Josh - "...must be important."

Sam – "The Mus-ac version of the theme from Titanic. Hmmm...." Sam gets awoken from his daze

when the music ends.

Asst. – only heard on the phone "I'm putting you through Mr. Seaborn. Go ahead."

Sam - "This is Sam Seaborn, may I ask who I'm speaking with?"

Melody – (Heard only on the phone) "Seaborn the Bullhorn."

Sam - "Oh my God! Melody is that you? How are you!"

Josh – making a teasing face at Sam, "Ooh – a girl!"

Melody – (Heard only on the phone) "I'm good Sam, how are you?"

Sam - "I'm great." Aside to Josh, with the implication of 'Get Out', "Do you mind?"

Josh – crossing his legs, leaning back into the couch and folding his arms behind his head, with a smart

alec tone in his voice "Nope, don't mind at all."

Sam – with a glare "Get out!"

Josh – getting up to leave, "Some people! Around 10?"

Sam - "I'll meet you there. (Into the phone) Sorry about that, how are you?"

Melody – (Heard only on the phone) "I'm still good Sam. What's new?"

Sam - "Nothing much, the usual propaganda. Not meaning to sound blunt or anything, but what made

you call?"

Melody – (Heard only on the phone) "Well, I have been asked to advise on a case that will have me

working with Dewey/Ballantine, and you popped into my mind that's all. Also, I'm going to be in

town for a few days to do some research at the State Department and wondered if you wanted to

have lunch."

Sam - "This will sound very cliché, but I'll honestly have to check my book. Why don't you pop by

when you get into town, and we'll go from there? It's really hard to say with my schedule, (pause)

you know, (pause) working for POTUS."

Melody – (Heard only on the phone, and trying to interrupt in the last sentence of the lines) "Sam, you

don't have to explain. I understand. I have a crazy schedule too you know. However, I will see

you when I get in town. Do I need to arrange for security clearance?"

Sam - "Absolutely not! My assistant Cathy will arrange that for you. I'll have her leave your info at the

North gate, and they will have a security badge ready for you. Cathy will call you with the

information once it's finalized. If there are any problems, just tell Mike, he's the North Lobby

Secret Service agent, that you're coming to see Princeton. That's my code name."

Melody – (Heard only on the phone, and said with a laugh) "Cute. If I do that, I really won't get in. I'll see

you soon, Sam."

Sam - "It was good to hear from you." Sam hangs up the phone.

From the hallway we see Josh walking past Sam's door. He is yelling to Donna. Josh has obviously

been listening in on the conversation from outside Sam's office door.

Josh – "Hey Donna! Guess what? Sam's got a girlfriend!"

Sam – from his office "I do not."

Josh – with a smile on his face and in a teasing grade school voice..."Sam's got a girlfriend! Sam's got a

girlfriend! Etc."

Sam - Running out to the hallway, with an annoyed look on his face, "I DO NOT!"

Black and the opening credits roll.

Inside the Oval Office, Monday morning. The Senior Staff have gathered for the morning meeting and

are awaiting the arrival of Leo and President Bartlett. The door, which leads to Leo's office opens,

and the President walks in, followed by Leo.

All – "Good Morning (Mr. President), (Sir)." Leo closes the door.

POTUS – "Good morning, good morning. I trust that everyone had an excellent weekend. It's not very

often that nothing major goes on in this country for two consecutive days."

Josh – "Very good, Sir."

C.J. – "Excellent Mr. President."

Sam, Toby – "Yes Sir."

POTUS – "Where's Charlie?"

Charlie – coming in from the direction of Mrs. Landingham's desk "I'm right here Sir. (He closes the door

behind him) I was just collecting your notes from Mrs. Landingham." Charlie has now reached

the others, and stands waiting for further instruction from POTUS.

POTUS – "Excellent. I'll get those from you in a minute. Please, have a seat everyone."

All – "Thank you, (Sir) (Mr. President)."

POTUS – "Now, as you all know there is a special event for the First Family coming up on Friday." The

senior staff looks at the President with curious faces. He can see that they are politely, quietly

asking him for an explanation. "Zoey is coming home from school, and it is a very special

occasion for myself and the First Lady."

All – "Absolutely."

POTUS – "I would like to do something for her, it is after all, her special day on Saturday."

Charlie – "Excuse me Sir, but are you thinking of something like a Welcome Home/Happy Birthday


POTUS - "Exactly Charlie. Now, I have a few ideas, and I would like your honest opinions. At this

moment, even though I am the President, I am asking for your ideas as a father. OK?"

C.J. – "Sure, anything we can do to help, Sir."

POTUS – "I would like to have some sort of event in the Residence, but to make it formal. Zoey likes to

dress up."

Leo – "Would you like for it to be a surprise Sir?"

POTUS – "I hadn't thought that, but it's a good idea."

Josh – "Mr. President, this may work. Charlie, can you come up with a premise for having Zoey get

dressed up that day? If you can, I'm sure we can take care of the rest."

Charlie – "I'm sure I can come up with something in five days."

POTUS – to himself, "I'll have to make my chili on Friday – she loves that."

Toby – "We all do Sir."

POTUS – towards Toby, but in general "My rear end is for sitting, not kissing. Now, how are we coming

on the amendments to Bill 497?"

Toby – "Yes Sir. Sam and I have almost completed the updated wordings Mr. President. We should have

them for you within the hour."

POTUS – "Good. I'd like to read those today so I can get up to speed with what's going on. Is there any

resistance still on Wick's part Josh?"

Josh – "Well Sir, I think there will always be resistance from him on anything. But, I have a lunch

meeting with him today, and I think I will be able to talk him into it. I did with bill 804, and we

know he was strongly opposed to that one. This is basically wordings – I'll need to see the changes before I go though."

Sam – "We'll get you a copy."

POTUS – "Good. Let me know what happens when you get back."
Josh – "Absolutely Sir."
POTUS – "Thanks everyone. Have a good day."

All – "Thank you, (Mr. President) (Sir)."

POTUS – "C.J., I need to see you for just a minute. Charlie, may I have those notes please?"

C.J. – "Certainly, Sir."

Charlie – "Here you are. Will there be anything else sir?"

POTUS – "Not at the moment, thanks."

Charlie – "Thank you, sir."

POTUS – The others leave, and he and C.J. are talking in the background "C.J., as you can imagine, I

would like this thing for Zoey to have her friends there, and such. What do you think we should


C.J. – "Well, Sir, I do have a few suggestions. Now these are just off the top of my head and only based

purely on my knowledge of Zoey's likes and dislikes, so forgive their non-completeness. But

what do you think about this? We could arrange for..." Charlie shuts the door to the Oval Office.

Sam and Josh have walked past the Roosevelt Room, through the communications bullpen, and are

now walking through the lobby to Josh's office while this dialogue takes place.

Sam – "So what's the deal with Wick?"

Josh – "I think he's a closet Republican. He opposes everything the President does. It gets on my nerves

really, but hell – it's a free lunch."

Sam – sarcastically "That's a commendable attitude."

Josh – "Don't tell me you weren't thinking the same thing, because I know you too well."

Sam – "Alright, I won't. We should get a coffee."

Josh – to Donna as they pass her desk "Donna, do you want a coffee?"

Donna – looking up at Josh "Really?"

Josh – "Ya. It's not a big deal Donna. Do you want a coffee?"

Donna – "It is. That's so sweet, thanks."

Josh – "While you're there bring one for Sam and I too, ok?"

Donna – annoyed that she actually fell for that "Josh, I'm 99% positive, but I don't think that the word

waitress is mentioned anywhere in my job description. Why don't you grab a coffee for me while

you're down there, and I'll check that one out? Just so there's no doubt in the future." She rolls

her eyes at Josh and goes back to her work on her desk.

Sam – "I'll bring you one Donna. Let's go Josh."

Josh – "Thanks Sam. He could use the exercise."

Josh – "NICE!"

Donna – as they walk down the hall "A MUFFIN WOULD BE NICE TOO!"

Josh – sarcastically "Any type?"

Donna – yelling, but almost inaudible "Lemon/Cranberry."

Sam and Josh head down the stairs towards the "Mess".

C.J. – The door of the Oval Office opens, C.J. is standing in front of the President "I'll get right on that

for you Sir, as soon as the 10 am briefing is done. In the meantime I'll ask Carol to do some

checking for me."

POTUS – "Thanks C.J."

C.J. – "Thank you, Mr. President."

POTUS – "Mrs. Landingham, I'll need you to contact the Residence kitchen and give them the ingredients

for my chili. I'll need them for Thursday at about noon."

Mrs. Landingham – "Consider it done, Sir."

POTUS – "You will be coming to Zoey's party, won't you?"

Mrs. Landingham – "I wouldn't miss it for the world, Sir. She sure has grown up."

POTUS – as he enters his office "And much to quickly at that."

C.J. has reached Donna's desk and at this point she is obviously stressed.

C.J. – "Donna, do you know anyone who knows Gilbert and Sullivan?"

Donna – with a smile "I didn't know that we had Senators named Gilbert and Sullivan, C.J."

C.J. – with a smile and a roll of the eyes "I need to find someone that knows something about Gilbert

and Sullivan. Carol!"

Carol – "Yes, C.J."

C.J. – "I need you to find something for me. I need you to find someone, anyone who knows anything

about Gilbert and Sullivan."

Carol – "We have Senators named Gilbert and Sullivan?"

C.J. – looking desperate "Funny. Can you please find someone for me?"

Carol – "Is the staff putting on a show?"

C.J. – "Bite your tongue. It's something the President wants to know, and he has asked me to do it, but I

have to prepare this briefing. Can you get a start on it for me?"

Carol – "Sure. Any script in particular that you need info on?" Sam and Josh are walking by the desk as

this conversation occurs.

C.J. – as she enters her office and sits at her chair "The Pirates of Penzance if you can find it!"

Carol – "You got it."

Sam – "Pontiac."

Carol – "Huh?"

Sam – "You got it, Pontiac. It's a slogan." Carol looks at him with a confused stare. "Oh never mind."

Josh – leaning in to C.J.'s office "You all set to go? 20 minutes."

C.J. – "Ya – I'm there. I just have to type this one thing up and get it ready for distribution."

Josh – bangs on the doorframe "Cool."

C.J. – "Hey Josh, come here for a sec."

Josh – "What's up?" He enters her office.

C.J. – "Let's say that hypothetically, one was in need of some musical information, and one needed to

find this information for one's boss. Where would one go for that?"

Josh – "So what you're saying is, that the President wants you to investigate a composer or something,


C.J. – "Hypothetically, yes."

Josh – to Sam, "Hey Sam – come here." (To C.J.) "Sam knows more about this stuff than I do."

Sam – arriving at the door – to Josh "What's up?"

C.J. – looking at Sam "Do you know anything about Gilbert and Sullivan?"

Sam – looking straight at Josh "Who leaked it?"

C.J. – "Leaked what?"

Sam – "About the Gilbert and Sullivan Society – who leaked it?"

Josh – after C.J. looks at him with a confused look, Josh gives him a pat on the back and whispers "I

think you just did buddy. I'll see ya later. Donna!" He exits towards his office.

C.J. – "Do you know anything about the Pirates of Penzance?"

Sam – with reservation "Yes. Why?"

C.J. – "The President asked me to find out about this musical, that's all. Do you know where I could get

a copy of it? It is on a video, right?"

Sam – with a look of relief on his face "Sure. There are lots of different versions. I'll bring one in,"

hesitating " I mean, I'll get one for you tonight and bring it in, for you."

C.J. – "Thanks. Could you tell Carol on the way out not to worry about it then?"

Sam – "Sure. Anything else?"

C.J. – "I think that's it. Thanks Spanky."

Sam – "No problem (as he leaves the doorway) Flamingo."

C.J. – "I heard that."

Sam – "10 minutes."

As Sam returns to his office, Cathy is not at her desk. He checks his schedule on her desk, sees donuts

and decides to grab one. He enters his office with a donut half in his face and white powder all around

his mouth. He is oblivious to any noise around him.

Melody – from the couch, only the voice is heard "You have some white stuff around your mouth Sam."

Sam – after recovering from the shock of having someone in his office and hap-hazardly wiping his face

clean with his sleeve "Melody! How are you!" He goes to the couch to greet her, she meets him

halfway. They lean in for a hug. Melody is dressed in a nice business suit – appropriate for

visiting the White House.

Melody – "I'm good. I just got in a little while ago, got my things settled at the hotel and I thought I would

take a chance that you were in the office. Mike's a nice guy, by the way."

Sam – "He is that. You look great! I always loved your hair long like that."

Melody – "Aww, thanks Sam. You're looking pretty good yourself. The only exception being that big

clump of powdered sugar still on your face. Hold still." She licks her finger and wipes it off for


Sam – "Thanks. You always did take care of me."

Melody – "Some things never change Sam. I can dress you up but I can't take you anywhere!"

Sam – "Do you remember that time when we were up for 4 days straight studying for exams, and by the

end of it we were so far gone that I didn't remember who I was?"

Melody – "I do. That was so brutal. Those were the days. I remember staying up late into the night –

going way too far into debt on take-out food, having dishes piled up to the ceiling. And all for


Sam – "Making less than a kid with a decent paper route, that's for sure."

Melody – with a laugh "Your sense of humor hasn't changed one bit in 13 years Sam. How is that


Sam – "Don't ask me. I think it's all the sea water I've swallowed to be truthful."

Melody – "Well, I won't keep you, I know you're busy. I just wanted to pop by and let you know that I

was finally..."

Josh – cutting Melody off and bursting into Sam's office "Hey Sam! Guess Wha...sorry!"

Sam – to Josh "Is there a meeting going on in here, or is it just me?"

Josh – "Way to hold a grudge – I said I was sorry."

Melody – "It's ok Sam." Extending her hand to Josh "Hi, I'm Melody Burns."

Josh – receiving her hand "Hi there. Josh Lyman. Nice to meet you."

Melody – "Likewise. Well Sam, I'll be off. You have my hotel number, right?"

Sam – "I think so. Give it to me again just to make sure."

Melody – leaning over Sam's desk, writing on a piece of paper while Josh looks at Sam and gives him the

'Thumbs Up' of approval "There you go. I'll be doing my research at the State Department this

afternoon, but I should be back at the hotel at about 7-ish. Ok?" She is walking towards the door.

Sam – "Sure. I'll give you a call. Here, I'll walk you out."

Melody – "It's ok, I found my way in, I'll find my way out." To Josh "It was lovely to meet you Mr.


Josh – "Same here Ms. Burns. And it's Josh. Mr. Lyman makes me feel old."

Melody – "Sure thing. Then please call me Melody." With a sly look towards Sam "Although calling me

Ms. Burns doesn't make me feel old – I'm comfortable with my age." She has turned and is

walking backwards out of Sam's office, still with that sarcastic look on her face. "I guess once

you reach that certain age level, it's hard to bear. I'd say I understood but quite frankly, I'm

just not as old as you." She turns around and starts to walk out.

Josh – under his breath "Smart ass."

Melody – she sharply turns around and addresses Josh. "I heard that! See ya Sam!" She waves and both of


Sam – "I'll call you later."

Melody – with a big smile "Bye Mr. um... Josh!"

Josh – "See ya Ms. um... Melody." She turns, and we get the sense that Josh knows she was teasing him.

She walks into background while the dialogue continues.

Sam – "She likes you. Don't worry."

Josh – "I'd say she's pretty feisty my friend. Watch out for that one. Don't let her meet Donna though –

they'll compare notes."

Sam – "She's not vindictive Josh – relax. She teases people she likes. She gave me 'the look' – it's all in


Josh – "I know. So, uh, what's the deal with her anyway?"

Sam – "If you're asking if she is in the same profession as was Laurie, you can rest assured she is not."

Josh – "I wasn't thinking anything like that. I just wondered what she did. She was looking good. Man -

she's nice."

Sam – "Give it up Josh. Besides – what about Donna?"

Josh – "What about Donna? She works for me." Sam gives Josh the 'Don't give me any crap' look.

"What? There is nothing between Donna and me. We're friends – that's all." Again, the same

look. "You know what I think of office romances Sam."

Sam – "You and your anti-office romance campaign. You should run for office with that one. That will

show you how full of crap that idea is. You and Donna are perfect together. You should go for


Josh – "Sam – I have more important things on my plate right now than Miss Perfection and her (Donna

walks by Sam's office and Josh turns to watch her) perfectly (pause) groomed (pause) appearance."

Sam – "You're so full of it."

Josh – regaining his composure, and turning around to face Sam, "Anyway – what's with Melody?"

Sam – "She's a lawyer. We met at Princeton we were in a lot of the same classes."

Josh – prodding for information "So – anything else to the story?"

Sam – wistfully "Not really. During our Senior Year, we kind of grew apart and we lost touch with each

other until about a year ago. She tracked me down, and we correspond through emails and such.

Not a regular thing, though I don't know why." Snapping out of his daze, "She is great isn't she?"

Josh – "That's an understatement. You should bring her to the party on Saturday."

Sam – "The President didn't tell us if we were to bring a guest or not, and I would not want to ask him


Toby – who has just walked into the office "Ask what of whom?"

Josh – "Sam has a girlfriend and I think he should bring him to Zoey's party on Saturday."

Sam – "She is not my girlfriend."

Toby – "This person is a girl?"

Sam – "Yes."

Toby – "And she's your friend?"

Sam – "Yes."

Toby – "Then she's your girl-friend."

Josh – "If the party comes up, I'm gonna ask the President if we can bring a guest."

Toby – "That's a little presumptuous don't you think?"

Sam – "You know that he'll ask you who you want to bring, and if you say anyone other than Donna –

well, it won't be pretty."

Josh – "I think not."

Toby – "I wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall during that one if you paid me $1,000,000.00."

Sam – "I will ask him, with one condition."

Josh – "And what exactly is that?"

Sam – "The condition being that if the President says that we are allowed to bring a guest, that I invite

Mel and you invite Donna. You know you want to ask her on a date, and this is the perfect


Josh – "I don't know Sam."

Toby – "As mature as I know we all are, this conversation is taking on a lot of pre-pubescent overtones

that I think are inappropriate for Senior Staff of the White House. May we get back to work


Josh – to Toby "Thanks for the save." Hesitantly, looking for a way out of the conversation, he continues

"I uh, have to see Leo, about something. Later!"

Toby – "Josh..."

Josh – "Ya."

Toby – "Invite Donna." Josh rolls his eyes and heads towards Leo's office. "Josh, come back." He hands

a file to Sam. "Here's the wordings. They seem fine to me."

Sam – "Cool." He starts to read the file.

Josh – "Yes Toby?"

Toby – handing Josh a file "This is a copy of the updated wordings. You asked for a copy before you go t

to lunch with Senator Wick."

Josh – "Cool. Thanks Toby."

Toby – "The President is counting on you for this one Josh. He needs full support for this amendment."

Josh – "Toby, have I ever let you down?" Toby furrows his brow as if to say 'you're kidding right?'

"I'll just leave quietly then and read this. See ya."

Sam – "I really like this part here where it says that the administration will take 12% of the total..."

Margaret is typing at her desk; Leo's office door is open.

Leo – "Margaret!"

Margaret – "Yes?"

Leo – "Well come here so I don't have to yell!" She rolls her eyes "I saw that." She gets up from her

desk and enters Leo's office with file folders, pages and a book. "I need the..."

Margaret – cutting him off, handing him a file folder, "results on the last vote cast in Congress." Handing

him the sheets of paper, "the amendment wordings to Bill 497 that Toby delivered a minute ago."

Handing him the book "and the book that you borrowed from the President, left on my desk and

forgot to return. Will there be anything else?"

Leo – sheepishly "No. Thank you."

Margaret – "Do you want some coffee? I'm going to head down to the Mess to get some."

Leo – "I'm ok, but thanks. A piece of fruit would be nice though!" Margaret turns to go out of Leo's

office, and meets Josh in the doorway.

Margaret – "Hey Josh."

Josh – "What's up Margaret. Leo – You got a minute."

Leo – "I have about 45 seconds. What do you need?"

Josh – not realizing that the President has walked in to Leo's office through the Oval Office Door. "What

do you think the President would say about us bringing a guest on Saturday night?"

POTUS – as soon as POTUS speaks, Leo stands up. "He would say that if you are asking if you should

invite Donna, then the answer is yes."

Leo – "Good Morning Sir."

Josh – "Good Morning Mr. President."

POTUS – "Sit Leo."

Leo – "Thank you Sir."

POTUS – putting his arm around Josh in a friendly manner, "Now Josh, what's this all about? Are you

finally gonna cowboy up and ask Donna out?"

Josh – "Well Sir, Sam is daring me to. He thinks that I'm chicken."

POTUS – "I wouldn't disagree with that Josh. The more the merrier that's what I always say. Spread the

word for me that you are all welcome to invite a guest, ok?"

Josh – "Certainly Sir. Mr. President, if I may, I need to get up to speed on these wording changes before

my lunch with Senator Wick."

POTUS – "Sure, I'm counting on you for this one Josh."

Josh – "I won't let you down Mr. President. Thank you sir. See ya Leo."

Leo – waves to Josh. He and POTUS are walking back into the Oval Office. "Mr. President, here are the

results of the last vote that took place in Congress, now I think what is the most important thing

here is that we don't read too much into these. They are after all not complete – it wasn't a full sitting."

POTUS – "K. What else have you got there?"

Leo – "The final amendments to 497. Oh, and this is the book that I borrowed from you last month.

I'm sorry that I hadn't returned it sooner sir."

POTUS – "Leo, the fate of the country does not rest on whether or not my Chief of Staff returns a book of

Latin prose – although it is an excellent collection."

Leo – with a smile "True enough sir. Anything else?"

POTUS – "That's about it. You're coming to the residence on Friday night for chili, right?"

Leo – "After my meeting downstairs, sir. I'll be there."

POTUS – "Good – it's not a family event without you."

Leo – "Thank you Mr. President." Leo leaves to his office, and closes the door behind him. Mrs.

Landingham enters the Oval Office.

POTUS – "What's next Mrs. Landingham?"

Mrs. Landingham – "You have a conference call with the Prime Ministers of Canada and Great Britain

coming up in 12 minutes. I'll connect you when they are ready, a meeting with the joint chiefs..."

In Melody's hotel room. There is music playing from a CD player, and she is relaxing to the music.

She is in sweats, with her hair in a ponytail, and is obviously really comfortable. She sways to the

music while she is walking around her hotel room. She stops, is thinking something, and then shimmies

over to the phone where she picks up the receiver. She goes to press '0' for the concierge, when she

hears a voice on the other end of the phone.

Melody – "Hello?"

Sam – "Hey, it's me."

Melody – "That is so freaky. I was just picking up the phone to order some room service. The phone

didn't even ring."

Sam – "Weird, I was just thinking of picking up the phone and ordering Chinese. Want some?"

Melody – "That's nice, but I'm in sweats and stressed out from today. Dumb Bureaucrats at the State

Department don't know what they're doing. ARGH! Anyway, I'd love to, but I think I just need

to stay in and drink myself into oblivion."

Sam – "Well, I never let you drink alone in college, and I'm not about to start now." There is a knock at

her hotel room door.

Melody – "Hang on a sec Sam. There's a knock at the door." She goes to the door. "Who is it?" There is

no answer. She looks through the peephole. No one there. "Sam, I think someone is playing

jokes on me – I'm gonna open the door, and if you hear a scream or a shot or something, hang up

and dial 9-1-1, ok?"

Sam – with a laugh "Geez – it's not hard to tell you live in New York. Ok."

Melody – opens the door and gives the person now standing there a swat on the arm. "YOU BRAT!"

Sam – "Hey. I think you can hang up your phone now."

Melody – "I can't believe you. You nearly gave me an embolism!"

Sam – with a evil grin, "Sorry. Do you need CPR?"

Melody – "Hardly." After regaining her composure, she continues. "What are you doing here?"

Sam – "I called and told the concierge I'd give him 20 bucks if he would call me and let me know when

you got in. Surprise!"

Melody – "Brat! I look hideous Sam! You should have warned me!"

Sam – "You worry too much. You look fine. I take it you were dancing around the room before I


Melody – in defense "No. Well, maybe just a little. Now that you're here, what do you want to do


Sam – "First thing, you need to get changed. You can't go out for dinner in sweats."

Melody – "You are taking me out for dinner? To what do I owe this honor?"

Sam – "Just for being here – that's all. We'll figure out something to do after that."

Melody – "Give me a few minutes. I'll need to find something to wear." She walks into the bedroom of her

suite. "A little help? Where are we going?"

Sam – sitting on the couch and turning on the TV "Just something other than sweats will be fine."

Melody's cell phone rings and Sam reaches for it.

Melody – calls out to Sam "Can you get it for me?"

Sam - "Hello."

Man – with an air of panic in his voice "Where is she?"

Sam – "Who is this?"

Man – "Where is she!"

Sam – "I'm afraid I don't know who you're talking about."

Man – "Melody Burns. Where is she?"

Sam – "She isn't here."

Man – "Where is she?"

Sam – "Listen, I don't think that I can give out that information. I said she's not here. That's all. I can

take a message and give it to her."

Man – "Ok. Tell her Justin's out. This is Mark. Apparently he called the office, and someone told him

that she was in DC this week."

Sam – getting concerned "Is she in danger?"

Man – "I don't think so, but just let her know that he is out. She should keep and eye out for him."

Sam – "No worries – she's in good hands."

Man – "Thanks. What's your name?"

Sam – "Sam Seaborn. And you are?"

Man – "Mark Simpson. I work with Melody. Don't worry – we're just friends. However, I just wanted

to give her a heads up."

Sam – "Hey, I appreciate the call, and I know she does too. Thanks for calling."

Man – "No problem. Take care."

Sam – "You too." Sam presses the button on the cell phone to end the call as Melody appears from the

bedroom. She is dressed in black pants, a white camisole and a black blazer. She has put her hair

up in the front, and left it down in the back so her curls hang loosely. He stands up as she

enters the room. "You look great!"

Melody – "Aww thanks. Who was that?" she says, as she is putting on an earring.

Sam – "Mark Simpson. He said to tell you that Justin is out, and he just wanted to give you a heads up."

Melody looks a little startled, but she seems ok. "Are you ok?"

Melody – shrugging off the insecurity "I'm fine. Let's go." Sam helps her with her coat and heads to the

door. He opens the door for her as she speaks this line. "You know, I'm really glad you're here."

Sam – "Ditto." They walk through the door, shutting it behind them.

Outside, in a cab. Sam and Melody are coming back from the restaurant.
Sam – to the driver "Right here is fine." The cab pulls over. Melody hands the driver the fare. "I don't

think so my dear." Sam takes her hand out of the way and hands him the cab fare with a healthy

tip. "Here you go. Thanks."

Cabbie – "Thank you."

Sam – exits the cab and holds the door for Melody. He takes her arm to support her as she gets out of the

cab. "It seemed like such a beautiful night, I thought we should walk the rest of the way."

Melody – "That's a good idea." They start walking down the street. Sam takes his left arm and holds it out

so Melody can put her arm through his – for support. "I remember the times we used to spend

together like this Sam. We would walk home, arm in arm just like this after Society meetings. You remember?"

Sam – with an evil tone in his voice. "Sure I do. Say, when is your flight back?"

Melody – "On Monday night, why?"

Sam – "Just wondering." There is a tension filled pause before Sam speaks. "Hypothetically speaking of

course, suppose there was an imaginary event happening at a large place that doesn't exist on

Saturday night. And, hypothetically, say I was asked to attend this fictional event and was

allowed to bring a non-existent guest, would you, maybe, um, like to go?"

Melody – "Sam, am I to believe that you are asking me to go on a date?"

Sam – "Hypothetically speaking, yes."

Melody – "Well, hypothetically speaking, I would love to. When is this fictional event going to happen?"

Sam – "Saturday night. It's Zoey's Birthday party, being held in the Residence. Everyone's going, and

the President said we could invite a guest. It's a formal."

Melody – said in a sarcastic tone "Really? In the Residence? It's not such a big thing – I'm there


Sam – They have reached the hotel and are walking up the steps. "It is supposed to start at about 8, but

the President would like us all there about 6 or so. I could pick you up at about 5 if you like."

Melody – at the elevator – pushing the button "I would love to. I have the perfect dress."

Sam – "Would you like me to see you to your room?"

Melody – a little apprehensive, but trying not to let him see it "I'm ok. But thanks. I'll see you soon." She

leans in and gives Sam a kiss on the cheek. "I had a really nice time tonight." The elevator door

opens, and she steps inside.

Sam – "Me too. I'll call you later. Good night."

Melody – "Good night Sam." The elevator door closes. Sam stands at the door for a moment, then turns to

walk away.

Melody steps off the elevator onto the 17th floor. She walks down the hallway, towards her room.

She inserts her key into the door, turns it, and realizes that the key was not needed. The door was

not locked. She carefully, cautiously turns the handle and pushed the door open. She opens the

door and stands in the doorway of her suite. Without thinking, she takes out her phone from her

purse, and dials Sam's cell number. When she dials, she hears the elevator door of her floor

opening, then a phone ringing. The ring sound is only heard once, then Sam's voice is heard.

Sam – "Hello."

Melody – "Sam – can you come back?"

Sam – "I'll be there in less than a minute."

Melody – starting to cry "Ok." She sees Sam coming down the hall. She leans against the wall and slides

down so she is sitting on the floor, looking up at him. "Sam."

Sam – "My god – what happened? Are you ok?" Melody motions to look inside her room. Sam walks

in and we see the disastrous state that her room is in. Everything has been taken out of her

drawers; her books and papers strewn all over the floor and the couch. Her clothes ripped and

spread everywhere. He walks back out to the hall. He crouches down beside her, hands her a

tissue, and wraps his arms around her and holds her tight. "Are you ok?" She nods yes. "What


Melody – still crying "I worked on a case a few years ago, and won. The case was pretty high profile, and

I think that the person that was convicted is following me. He got out on bail – although I don't

know how. His name was Justin."

Sam – "So the phone call that you got earlier today was to warn you. Well, that settles it. You're staying

with me. I won't have you be in danger as long as I can help it. Let's call the concierge and have

this investigated."

Melody – sniffing "Ok." The song 'Hangin' By A Thread' by Jann Arden begins to play in the

background. As they walk towards the elevator, Sam has his arm wrapped around her. They

reach the elevator and Sam presses the button. "Sam?"

Sam – "Ya." The elevator door opens, they enter, and Sam presses the button to go to the Lobby.

Melody – quietly "I don't work with anyone named Mark Simpson." The elevator door closes. The music


Outside Sam's place, looking in from the street. It is raining, and looks very cold. From outside the window,

we can see Melody, now changed into Sam's old Princeton sweats, standing in front of the window,

the occasional tear running down her cheek. He walks up to her, and although she can see his reflection

in the window, she continues to look out the window. The background music fades slightly, but is still

audible as the dialogue continues.

Sam – "I brought you some tea, I know how you like tea when you're stressed."

Melody – she turns to graciously accept the cup of tea from him "Thanks." She takes a sip and continues

looking out the window.

Sam – "My room is all made up for you, there's lots of spare blankets for you. You should try and get

some sleep."

Melody – "I just feel so violated Sam. It's not something I can fully explain."

Sam – standing behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist "I empathize Mel, I really do. You need

to get your sleep. The police have been notified, and the room has been sealed off. Nothing is

going to happen to you. Trust me."

Melody – "I do trust you Sam, but I'm just having a difficult time really believing that."

Sam – "That is perfectly understandable."

Melody – There is an awkward pause, then suddenly turning to Sam "I need to tell you something Sam, it's

bothered me for 13 years, but I just don't know how."

Sam – "Ok." With a look of concern on his face, he takes Melody by the hand, and leads her to the

couch. He sits, and motions for her to sit beside him. She follows suit, and he puts his arm around

her, pulling her close to him. "What could possibly be so bad that you don't know how to tell me?

You can tell me anything, you know that."

Melody – holding on to the box of tissues that were handed to her, her head resting on Sam's shoulder.

"Sam, there's a reason that I left things badly in school. I just couldn't bear to tell you. I didn't

want you to think any less of me."

Sam – "What is it?"

Melody – "In our final year, the night that we went to the Society party. That was the last time that we


really talked, wasn't it?"

Sam – "Yes, although I don't know why." He is running his hands over her hair as she talks.

Melody – "Well, there is a reason. And tonight brought everything back to me. I thought I had pushed this

down far enough that I wouldn't have to deal with it again, but I guess I didn't. I came home from

the party that night, and found my room in pretty much the state that my suite was in. I was in

shock, which was to be expected. I went through my room, but I didn't know what was there,

what was missing. I didn't know who was there. I heard the bathroom door close, and before I

could run to get out, he grabbed me, and forced me on to the bed." She is crying as she says these

lines. Sam is visibly affected by this revelation, as there is a tear or two coming down his cheek.

"The next thing I remember, I was laying on my bathroom floor, and there was blood on the floor.

I went in the shower, and stayed there for hours. I just couldn't get the feeling of being violated

off my skin. Nothing seemed to clean that away. A couple of months went by, and my sister told

me that she thought I was getting a little pudgy. I didn't think anything of it, until 6 months and 2

weeks later, when I was in the Hospital, having a baby. I gave her up Sam. I just couldn't bare

the thought of looking at her every day. I couldn't face the fact that I would hate looking at my

child." Melody is hysterical at this point. She works her way out of Sam's embrace, gets up and

walks to the window. She stands at the window, tears streaming down, "I hated her, and she had

nothing to do with it. I'm so awful – I hated my child."

Sam – walks up to Melody, takes her in his arms, and presses her head against his shoulder. He holds her

close, knowing he could be standing there with her for a long time. He doesn't mind at all. He

knows how difficult it was for her to tell him this. In a soothing voice he speaks. "Shhhh. You're

safe here. Shhhh. It's ok." The music comes up in volume, we hear a crack of thunder, and hear

the rainfall.

To Be Continued...

Comments, concerns, criticisms? Email me at jillianbarry@hotmail.com





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