Disclaimer in Part 1
Author's Note: I could really use some feedback please! And thanks to
the people who have written. J
I was aiming for a slightly poetic slant by the end and overall. I
hope I came somewhere close.(Or even shooting distance). Please let me
know if this is good or something for the shredder.
Apology: It's kinda (very) rambly because I had a horrific experience
at school and I need to write something. It's my therapy.
Note: I kind of went parallel thought happy. They're thinking so much
of the same stuff this part that it's not even funny.

In Love With the Other Party Part 4/?


      I drop my keys on the kitchen table, shrug out of my jacket
and lay back on the living room couch with a glass of wine to watch
CJ's press briefing. I've got a few minutes to relax before it starts.
I think I can honestly say that Sam could be my soulmate. It may sound
corny because it's only been one date. But I can see the beginning of
it in his eyes and I can feel it in myself. That stretching, that
yearning for someone to hold onto in this world and never let go. I
may be new to politics but I know that it is easy to lose yourself in.
Lose what makes you innocent or joyous or even pleasant to be around.
I have clerked under far to many people who have become jaded with
this business. I've even seen Leo and Josh come close to the edge a
couple of times. But they have someone or something to keep laughter
in their lives.
        I've been holding a piece of myself back because I had not
found that someone or something that would keep me safe from the
jading I see so many go through. I can make a pretty good guess that
Sam has too. The slight lack of confidence we both share was like a
warning signal in my head. But I can say with utter surety that he
will keep me as safe as I will keep him because I am ready to play
with the big boys. And you can see it in his eyes that he wants to
play too. If only there were no obstacles. If only I could be with him
without everyone trying to keep us apart. I guess that will be the
final test to see if the love's true enough, to see if we'll crack.
        We have two advocates, I'm sure. I haven't actually talked to
Donna or Mac yet but they each have their rock in the storm. Donna's
got Josh who she won't admit she loves. He was the one who truly
picked her off the floor after that bastard left her. She's his rock
too and he knows it. You can just see it. Mac's got her husband and
children. Who would need anything else? They will be firmly on the
side of love even if the rest of the White House isn't. And they won't
be.
        It's going to be hard but I think I can deal with anything
that comes. You know, after we can firm the bond that's forming. We
will probably crack before under the slightest pressure if it is
applied to us before that happens. Fighting for us will include hard
politics. I can do that but not without Sam. With his support I can't
become jaded and hard. But he's in for a hard ride. He's got more
pressure than me. He has people of importance to contend with. Not
that I don't but all they can do is fire me. One lawyer is the same as
another in any firm in the country. But Sam is already at home here in
the White House. We both thrive on politics and we know it. We both
just want to live, love and play with the big boys. Make a difference.
Why can't we have it both ways? Love and politics. Doesn't sound so
hard. All we have to do is fight. I'm willing and I hope he is too.
        That's something to ponder for another day when we are
together completely. For now I can just sit back and enjoy both the
love and the politics without any resistance from anyone. For now. But
it's going to change and I know it. I just hope I'm ready to fight
when that happens. We both have to be.
        On with  the lighter side of politics. The press briefing.
      "Today I've got several things for you. One, the President is
very happy with…" Blah, blah, blah. And the press just eat it up. They
could make a big deal out of the President's choice of boxers or
briefs. Geez, couldn't they find something else to report about, like
world hunger or AIDS or something?
        Ah, the good part. "Any question on this or anything else?"
      Cries of 'CJ' could be heard throughout the press room, and
then CJ's strong voice overriding them all.
      "Danny, go."
      "There have been reports of Deputy Communications Director Sam
Seaborn was on a date this evening. Are these rumors true?"
      My wine glass slips through my fingers to stain the beige
carpet an angry red. Oh, God. Do they know it was me? Oh this is bad.
For me, for Sam, for the White House. Wait, I don't have to jump to
conclusions just yet. They might not, probably don't, know that it was
me. Didn't Danny say rumors? I don't think I can take pressure right
now. And this will either solidify Sam or make him break it off with
me. Permanently. I can't lose him!
      CJ looks as taken aback as I feel. "Well, Sam Seaborn's
personal life is his own, is it not? If there was a date, he seems to
have not felt the need to tell it to the world. So I don't feel the
need to voice his life to the whole country either. Good day."
      Good save CJ. Neither confirm nor deny. But I can tell from
the look on you face that Sam's gonna get it from every one of the
Senior Staff.
Oh, no.
      I wonder if Sam saw that. I hope he doesn't crack. It's my
only hope for my, our, future.


***************

      Oh God. CJ's gonna kill me. Ainsley's gonna kill me. And Josh
and Leo will kick what's left of me around a room. Many rooms. With
Toby smirking at me. I'm just waiting for the call. Or calls. I'm
making a private bet with myself on who's call will came first. No
contest. It will be CJ. In three, two, one. Yep, there goes the phone.
Ok, Sam, prepare yourself. Deep breath. "Hello?"
      "Sam! Where the hell are you! Get your ass back here! How
could you? Who was it this time, huh? You've already gone through the
Chief of Staff's daughter and a call girl! It can only go downhill
from here! Sam, are you still there? Answer me, God dammit!"
      "Uh, CJ?" Yeah, that's good. Timid and meek is good. I think.
She hasn't been this angry in a while. Not since the picture. Oh, bad
thoughts. Need to think happy thoughts in the final hour of my life.
      "What?"
      "If you'd let me say something before condemning me to death?"
      "Make it quick. Leo called a meeting."
      "Oh, shit." Meeting? Leo called a meeting. I'm in the deep
shit that I had tried to avoid. No wait, I think it just got deeper.
      "Yeah," Came CJ's wry voice, "that pretty much sums it up."
      "Was that my one something?"
      "I'll give you another shot. But only because I have to tell
Leo something--What was that Josh? Oh, okay. Leo wants you back here.
Now. And he's pissed. You better talk fast. Go."
      What am I supposed to say? Do I tell all? Do I break it off
and say it was a one time thing? Do I never see her outside of work
again? Am I going to crack?
Wait, what am I thinking? I'm not letting her go. I'm actually on the
brink of something great and there's no chance in hell I'm letting her
go. Okay, I'm ready.
      "I went out on a date, I really like her, it's very likely
that I'm on the brink of falling in love, and no she's not a call girl
or a prostitute. She happens to be an intelligent, beautiful lawyer.
And I'm not letting her go." So there. That was childish, but true.
I'm sick of being the pushover. I'm tired of being everyone's punching
bag.
      "Thank you for that enlightening explanation Sam." Leo? The
shit is now bottomless.
      "What is this CJ?"
      "The meeting." She's smug. She probably has a right to be
seeing as how well she can act. But, she's the Press Secretary, I
should have known better. Than a horrifying thought struck me.
      "Is this on speaker phone?" Please no, please no.
      "Of course it is. Isn't it always?" Damn, I'm gonna crack.
      "Who's all there CJ?" I sound defeated. So much for not being
a pushover.
      "Me, Toby, Josh, and Leo."
      "Okay. Do I still need to be there or can I get some sleep?" I
need to call Ainsley.
      "Just one more thing Sam." Oh great, Leo's going to give me a
question that will make me blush until next week, or something as
equally embarrassing.
      "Shoot."
      "Did you sleep with her? If so, did you use protection and who
is she? Is she likely to go to the press or keep quiet?"
      I am slightly appalled. I was expecting something like 'are
you absolutely sure she's not a call girl?' in the teasing voice we've
all come to see as a tension breaker, but certainly not this. Does he
think that I'm some ignorant high-schooler? As I keep telling
everyone, chivalry is not dead. To me at least. The word 'gentleman'
still exists in my vocabulary. When I speak I can hear disgust and
anger adding a sharp edge my voice.
      "No, I didn't sleep with her, therefore the protection
question is irrelevant, she won't go to the press for reasons of her
own and there's no chance in hell I'm telling you who she is."
      "Sam…" Leo says warningly. This time the anger explodes.
      "No, you listen to me Leo! I'm not going to let what job I
have ruin the chance of any relationship I might have with this woman!
It's bad enough the whole country deems it necessary to talk about my
sex life I don't need you--my friends-- to start discussing it like
it's a matter of national security! Plus, I thought you'd be happy
that I'm no longer seeing you daughter. And finally, who I date is
none of your concern, who I sleep with is none of your concern, and
for future reference, who I marry and have children with is none of
your concern unless I want it to be!"
Dead silence.
      "We'll talk tomorrow Sam. Goodnight." Click.
What have I done? I just blew up at the Senior Staff. I really am
falling for her if I'm rushing her defense when they don't even know
who 'her' is. I can take a little ribbing about my latest 'thing' but
I won't take insinuations--or blunt questions-- about my honor, and
more importantly, hers. Leo won't see it that way though. He'll see it
as a child telling a parent that it's not fair. He will say that I am
not in the world of fairness. I'm in the world of politics, where
everything means something.  And he'll say that I should have known
better by now. And I should have. But I refuse to give up the joys of
honesty and kindness. This is a cutthroat business, politics, but I
won't become a cutthroat myself, since sinking to that level makes me
less than a man. Everyone else has their own way of retaining some of
that humanity.            
        CJ has the knowledge that Danny loves her and would be with
her in a heartbeat to keep her human. Toby has his cynicism. It
protects him from the world in general and he can pick and choose who
he will let see beyond his barriers without letting most politics get
to him. The President has his wife and children as an unending source
of joy to help him. Who needs anything else? Leo has the sheer
determination that got him through the alcohol and the drugs to see
him through this world. Josh has Donna, who makes him laugh and keeps
him from losing too much of himself in this place. She's his light at
the end of the tunnel. The light that never wavers and will always be
there. A comfort, an innocence, his rock in the storm. I never used to
have anything. I kept a part of me detached, safe from this place. As
a consequence I lost a little confidence in myself because I was up
against those who had given it up freely and without any qualms. All
in the name of winning.
        But I think I've found my hope, my joy. Ainsley is that hope,
that joy. She's my comfort, my innocence, my rock in this unending
storm. I hope I can be hers. A mutual support of laughter and joy. I
won't give that up for anything. Not even this White House that I hold
dear.
      Love is funny that way. I know it's only been one night, one
date. It may sound impossible but I love her. A tentative love, one
not yet firmed or tested but I can see this as a beginning where I can
finally give myself whole-heartedly to the politics without worrying
about it changing me. Jading me. Because I have her. And she has me.
She wants to play hard ball politics. You can tell. And so do I. I
think the same thing that's been holding me back has been holding her.
Not anymore. I really need to call her.
      I look her up and dial.
      "Ainsley?"
      "Sam," she says anxiously. "How'd it go with the meeting?"
      "How did you know about the meeting?"
      "You could tell by the look on CJ's face at the end of the
briefing."
      "Oh. It went good, I guess."
      "What do you mean 'I guess'?"
      "I blew up at Leo and the rest of the Senior Staff when they
questioned me about my mystery date. They were treating us like we
were a political maneuver with no feelings or lives in general. Just
pawns in a game. I wasn't going to sit here and take it. The pressure,
I mean."
      "You didn't crack." She says with wonder.
      "What made you think I was going to crack about us?"
      She shyly told me everything that had been running through her
head. I'm astounded. How can two people be so in tune? Soulmates? How
corny. And how true. I told her everything that happened in the phone
meeting and what was running through my head during the call. I can
make a pretty safe guess that she's equally astounded. I can almost
tell that the same thought is running through our heads at the same
time:

      I'm ready to play.


TBC

 

 

 

 

 

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