Title: Abbey's Cards
By: Lisa [LAB7417@aol.com] and Pat [SSbpMN@aol.com]

Note: This is not connected to the bagel series and is a short all it's own.

"Wear your black and white gown and meet at the fountain in the Rose Garden
at nine PM." CJ read the little white card with the silver writing again. She
looked around at the beauty of the Rose Garden and stood there waiting.
Suddenly emerging from the shadows was Toby Zeigler holding a red rose and
looking diligently at a similar card.
"CJ, I guess I must be in the right place then," Toby smiled, "What event
is going on that I forgot to remember?"
"Nothing as far as I know," CJ replied puzzled.
Just then soft music began to play. They looked around for anyone else
but they seemed to be the only ones there.
"I think we've been set up," CJ finally realized. Toby looked at her a
moment before what she was saying truly dawned on him.
"I've always liked that dress," he spoke up, "you look beautiful in it."
CJ flushed softly and the next thing she knew they were dancing.
"You don't look so bad yourself" CJ returned, feeling herself relax in
his arms. They had danced together before at functions, but strictly as
friends and colleagues. Now tonight it felt different somehow. The music,
the soft scent of the rose bushes and the muted sounds of the traffic beyond
the White House fence combined to make the atmosphere especially romantic.
The music slowed down and violin strains were heard.
He took the hand he was holding in standard ballroom dance mode and
placed it around his neck then held her waist as each body molded to the
"Toby I..." she began.
"No sshh" he cautioned. "You'll break the spell."
On the sidewalk that wended through a rose garden, a man and woman swayed
to music coming from a source they could not identify. Their arms tightened
around each other and in the moonlight their eyes met.
"I won't break the spell" she smiled. "Not ever, not as long as you
don't let me go."
"Not ever" he echoed and the man and woman danced in each other's arms in
the moonlight, knowing they were looking into the face of the future.

Meanwhile at the same time Josh was going to his office following the
directions on a white embossed card. When he rounded the corner he found
Donna waiting there, standing in a black and silver beaded gown. She looked
incredible with her hair up. "Whew, I thought I had missed everyone," Donna
sighed with relief, "where are we going that we're all dressed up? Where's
everyone else?"
"I have no idea" Josh gasped, taking in the beauty that was Donnatella
Moss. "I'm just doing what I was told here. Went home, changed into the tux
here, blessing the cleaners for having it ready, and now I'm here. And you
are beautiful."
She blushed mightily. "You're pretty easy to look at yourself Mr. Lyman.
But I don't understand what we're supposed...."
The intercom on Donna's phone sounded and she punched the button,
activating the speaker at the same time. "Mr. Lyman, Ms. Moss come to the
President's private dining room please."
They exchanged perplexed glances and Josh took her arm. "I think we'd
better do what we're told." He guided her through the deserted corridor and
pushed open the slightly ajar door.
"I don't believe it" he breathed, for the room was aglow with candlelight
and an elegant dinner spread on the white linen covered table. "We must be
dreaming, or delusional."
"I'm just going to go with it" she smiled, tugging him to the table and
waiting for him to pull out her chair.
Soft music played in the background as they were seated, and a bottle of
wine chilled in the bucket at table side. Josh poured a glass for each of
them and took a deep breath to calm himself. "Someone has gone to a lot of
trouble to set this up for us."
"Then maybe we shouldn't disappoint them" she smiled and lifted her
glass. "What should we drink to?"
"To a man and woman who have known each other two years, and who have
tried to pretend that they were friends only" he said slowly, touching his
glass to hers.
"My turn" she whispered when they had taken a sip, her eyes locked now to
his. "To the end of pretending."
Their glasses met again and another sip of wine sealed their fate. A
journey that had begun in the snowy hills of New Hampshire ended in a
candlelit dining room in the White House. From this night on, they would
walk together.

Abbey smiled as the good reports came back to her and she looked at the
ivory cards and the embossing powder on her desk. "More fun that the Ouija
board," she said softly to herself, "and more helpful too."




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