TITLE: Dinner And Dancing
WRITERS: Lisa [firstname.lastname@example.org] and Pat [SSbpMN@aol.com]
SEE DISCLAIMER, SUMMARY AND AUTHOR'S NOTE IN PART 1
Remember if you don't want to read about our favorite people in romantic
situations, BAIL NOW!
FROM Part 1:
Josh's hands roamed more daringly as they continued the
kiss and he gestured toward the sofa, pulling her with him. The kissing
continued and his hands reached under her shirt, where they froze. "No" he
said suddenly, backing away. "Donna I don't want this."
"No way, besides I'm an adult now," Zoey laughed. "Jeez
Charlie what's gotten into you all of the sudden. You act like I'm asking
you to--oh nevermind. It's just a movie. Look here's a good part!" she
exclaimed and began devoting her attention to the movie and laughing so hard
she was crying.
Jed took his pills with a sigh and turned his attention to
his wife. CJ laid her head against Toby's shoulder and soon was sound asleep
and of course CJ didn't snore, she was quiet as a mouse as she slept there,
curled comfortably against the man she was quickly falling deeply in love
Hurt flooded Donna's face as she looked at him, "but a
minute ago you...I wasn't reading the signals wrong..." she stammered in a
soft hurt voice. "What did I do Josh?"
Toby turned sideways and put a protective arm across CJ
as she slept. "You two look real good like that" Abby smiled and poked Jed.
"What..OK yeah they do" Jed was brought back from his thoughts.
"Oh Donna that's just it, you didn't do anything" Josh
assured her quickly. "I'm falling in love with you and I don't want our
first time to be a quickie on a sofa. I want it to be with music and
champagne and candles and a big bed where I can hold you all night
afterwards. Yes I know--I'm pathetic, but it's only because I...." His
words failed and he kissed both cheeks. "Because I care that much" he
Donna smiled then her eyes sparkling and she leaned up
and kissed him softly before speaking. "I want that too...maybe we can get a
little room service tonight, after the ball..." she suggested as she caressed
his cheek. "I am in love with you Josh, and I'm thankful I can finally admit
it." She kissed him again.
"She's a very special woman," Toby commented and Abby
smiled. "You two deserve each other and I'm rooting for you." Toby smiled.
"Still memorizing your speech of fearless leader?" Abby teased her husband
"Toby and Sam outdid themselves" Jed smiled, looking down
at the printout, of course filling it with red marks of his own revisions.
"Sometimes I wonder why we bother. You are at least leaving in the off color
"Yes oh yes" Josh moaned, rubbing her back and kissing
her again. "After it's all over. We'll come back to the hotel and have our
time.'' He nuzzled her neck, making a mental note concerning champagne, whip
cream and strawberries.
Her words of earlier came back to him and Charlie
realized of late he had been looking on Zoey as the president's daughter
first and not his girlfriend. "You are an adult" he said suddenly, "as am I.
Now I may not be able to say free white and twenty one, but two out of three
maybe." He laughed and pulled her into his arms. "You and I can have all
the decorum required of us in public. When we're alone like this, then the
choice is ours alone." He brought her head up to his and caught her lips,
making gentle inroads with his tongue.
"And if I wanted you to make love to me?" Zoey asked,
"not now, but tonight, you know I get my own room in the suite. Gina can't
stop us from doing that." she suggested in between kisses.
"Yes I'm leaving in the off color joke," Jed replied
with a nod. It was about that time that he truly noticed Toby and CJ.
"Woah...when did this happen?" he asked to no one in particular but wanting
an answer all the same.
"That sounds great," Donna smiled and kissed him again.
"Oh Zoey you don't know how bad I want that" Charlie
sighed, "how much I just want us to be Charlie and Zoey, two ordinary people
who met and fell in love and he doesn't work for her dad who happens to the
leader of the free world and she a woman under armed guard." He held her to
him and kissed her longingly, and suddenly his mind was made up. "Name time
and place and I'm there" he told her.
"Nothing has happened, at least not yet" Toby smiled, "but
sir it's been a long time coming. Two lonely people who genuinely like and
respect each other, coming together to see what more there might be. Not
that strange. You can be sure of our discretion when there's other than
senior staff around."
"Tonight, my room, thirty minutes after we get excused
from the ball," Zoey said. "Gina can't say a word either. I can't wait, for
at least tonight we'll be free to just be...us." She smiled happily and
kissed him again. She loved Charlie and sometimes she wished she could
change circumstances but tonight at least she was going to push positions
aside and do what her heart wanted
Jed smiled and nodded, "I know I've nothing to worry about
with you two. I wish you lots of luck. I hope it works out. I wouldn't
mind a White House wedding you know," he prodded with a smile of playful
"I'll get out the old film of Trisha Nixon being married in the
Rose Garden" Toby smiled and at that moment CJ stirred. "We're being married
in the Rose Garden" he told her teasingly.
"I'll be there" Charlie said fiercely when they broke
their kiss, "and we'll have it to look forward to all evening. I can't wait
to see you in your dress...er gown."
"MM...sounds nice," CJ smiled, "when should I make the
press release on this? and uh...coincidentally, where's my ring Ziegler?" She
smiled up at him and without thinking she kissed him soundly. "A wedding in
the rose garden would be beautiful..."
"I'd hold off the press release for the ring" Jed teased.
"But of course the wedding would be in the rose garden. Wouldn't have it
any other way."
Toby picked up her left hand and stared at it for a minute,
toying with the finger, then brought it to his mouth to kiss. "I like the
idea of you wearing my ring" he said softly as if they were the only ones in
the room. "These feelings we've finally acknowledged aren't going away,
they're only going to get stronger. Would you?"
CJ smiled and then stood up, "We're only doing this once
Toby." she said and looked to the floor before her. She watched as Toby got
down on his knee. Donna and Josh emerged at just that time and unbeknownst
to them a small group gathered. Toby took her hand and looked up to her. "CJ
Gregg will you marry me?" CJ smiled at him. "Yes Toby Ziegler, I'll gladly
marry you." Suddenly everyone was clapping but thankfully none of the press
was present. "We're keeping this amongst the senior staff here," CJ quickly
advised those present, "just for a little while."
The press was confined to its own section
of the aircraft unless invited for interviews so they were totally oblivious
to anything going on. Toby rose slowly, making sure he had heard CJ
correctly. "CJ I love you" he said softly, drawing her into his arms.
Donna and Josh hung at the back of the
group, their arms around each other as they watched. "I think I may need to
make a note of how that's properly done" he said softly into her ear. "Might
come in handy some day."
"Mmmhmm," Donna smiled and kissed him
"Oh Toby," CJ breathed before kissing him
lovingly, "I love you." She was actually crying. Even Abby was crying
everyone was so happy.
"Congratulations" Jed finally said, wiping
his own eyes slightly. "I wish you two were ready to go public with this,
because it would be great in my speech." "To a Cattlemen's Convention, oh
come now" Abby scoffed. "Those men don't know about romance--they don't even
breed with nature for crying out loud."
Jed gestured behind the group to Josh and
Donna, "are we making this a double wedding?" "Not in the plans right now"
Josh smiled and hugged Donna to him. "But certainly not out of the question.
Maybe we'll simply fly to Vegas one weekend and come home married." "Oh
ick" Abby scoffed. "That's no fun. Now if you go to the Poconos to one of
those wedding resorts and get married on one of those floating barges--now
that's romantic." "Mr. President what did you and Abby do?" Sam asked.
"They got married because I was on the way" Zoey announced with her usual
directness as she and Charlie joined the party. The silence was deafening.
"Oh come on we're all friends here and the press is safely locked away" Zoey
smiled and helped herself from the food table. "It's true" Abby smiled
finally. "I'm not ashamed that I loved this man before we stood before God."
She reached over and squeezed his hand.
Everyone smiled and Donna looked to Josh
lovingly. "Congratulations, Toby, CJ we're so happy for you," Donna said and
the group nodded their consensus. The rest of the way to Dallas was very
jovial and then everyone rushed to their rooms. CJ and Toby had connecting
suites as did Josh and Donna across the hall. The men were ready and hour
before the women so they went to wait in the floor's private lounge. Donna
was the first to appear. Her gown had a low v neckline and was sleeveless it
hugged her to just past her hips before giving her room via knee high slits
on each side to walk. The back had a small elegant train to it that could be
pinned up and no back down to the waist. Jed was the first to see her and he
swallowed hard making everyone else look up.
"That woman belongs to a sorry SOB like you?"
Jed teased Josh. "Yes sir" Josh gasped loudly. "I don't believe it myself.
I keep thinking she's going to kick my butt back to DC." Josh rose and
started for her, only to have Jed motion him back down and he rose to reach
for her hand. "Donna you look lovely tonight" the president told her
sincerely. "In fact you're glowing. Might you be in love?"
"Yes sir," Donna answered with a smile, her
hair was up in a beautiful French twist with a beautiful little tiara in the
front. She smiled brightly at Josh as Jed brought her to him. "You look like
a million dollars," Jed smiled at Donna.
Zoey was the next big entrance. She appeared in
a black satin gown with spaghetti straps and a sweetheart neckline. At the
empire waist, her natural waist, and halfway in between she had tiny white
ribbons running around her and little white bows of the same fabric and size
off center on the left. The skirt was a full ballgown skirt with an opening
in the back which had strands of pearls draped a small strand at the top and
growing larger until the natural drape of the last one misses the floor by
only four inches. Zoey's hair was in a cascade of curls down the back of her
Donna melded into Josh's arms and he held her
close as they awaited the arrivals. "Charlie that belongs to you" Josh said
softly, nudging the younger man. "Yes it does" Charlie gasped, barely
audible. He rose slowly and Josh gave him a push in her direction. In the
meantime Jed again stood and took his daughter's hands. "My baby is grown
up" he smiled and kissed her cheek. "Charlie get over here and take my
daughter away from me." "Yes sir" Charlie responded at once, hurrying to
them. "Zoey" he smiled softly and the President put her hands in his.
"She's all yours Charlie, for the night, and I know you'll take good care of
her." "Yes sir, count on it" Charlie nodded, lightly touching his lips to
Zoey smiled brightly and stepped aside with
Charlie. Just then the door opened and Abby entered in a white beaded halter
gown that looked absolutely sensational on her.
Finally CJ stepped in just after Abby. Her gown
was a strapless black beaded number that hugged to her hips and then flowed
gracefully to the floor. It trained slightly in the back with a clip that
allowed her to pin it up and when she pinned the train up it had black satin
ruffles underneath. Her hair was beautifully curled and styled and she had on
a double strand of pearls.
"Toby I think right now you and I are the luckiest
men on the face of the planet" Jed sighed, holding onto his wife as CJ
slipped past and into Toby's arms. "Leo looks like we're stuck with each
other" Sam observed. "Oh wow CJ" Toby whispered. "I love you, you know
"And a bunch of cattlemen," Leo observed with a
light laugh. "I know Toby, I really know," CJ answered before kissing him.
"Is that all of us?
"No I think not," Abby said as a graceful woman
entered the room. Her dark brown hair was arranged in a beautiful French
twist. Her gown was white as well, beaded to the empire waist and layer upon
layer of fluffy white chiffon in a full skirt that barely missed the floor.
"Caroline," Leo gasped as she walked to him. "I promised you I'd be here,"
Caroline answered kissing him passionately on the lips and Leo didn't seem to
mind at all. "They're good friends," CJ joked to Toby.
"I expect to be pouting here any second" Sam warned,
"I did not intend to be the only staff member going alone. "Mallory may make
the late flight" Leo said, over his shoulder, not taking his eyes from
Caroline. "Caroline Catherine Murphy you know everyone here don't you?" "Of
course" She smiled, "the fund raiser in Green Bay." "Right" Jed nodded and
held out his hand to her. "Leo you've been holding out on us--keeping this
beautiful woman hidden." "She travels a lot" Leo explained with a sheepish
"You should let her travel less," Sam advised only
half teasingly. They were lined up and about to leave the room when Mallory
appeared, panting and still trying to put on a heel. "I ran to catch the
flight I've been running ever since," Mallory panted. She had on a solid
black dress with a three inch white off the shoulders collar on it and a
black choker that made her look absolutely sensational. Her hair was up in a
definite Audrey Hepburn-type updo. "Wow Mallory," Donna voiced approvingly as
Mallory skirt quickly over to Sam.
"I didn't think you'd make it" Sam said softly into
her ear. "I'm glad." He kissed her lightly and took her arms to stand back
and look at her. "You are gorgeous, and to think I was considering settling
for some Cattleman's lonely wife." He gave her his arm and tucked his hand
over hers when she took it. "I'm glad you're here" he repeated. Mallory
smiled and gestured to where Leo and Caroline where whispering. "Yep, looks
like your dad and I both got our wishes for tonight" he smiled.
Ruffles and Flourishes began and the party moved out
in good order. The crowd stood, flashbulbs popped and the Secret Service
detail hovered nervously. "I'm starved" Charlie whispered, "and this is a
Cattlemen's convention so we should be having steak right?"
The White House group were all set at one large table
and then presented with steak and lobster tail as well as baked potato and
asparagus. "This looks wonderful," CJ commented. "Wow," Zoey agreed, "I think
you got your steak." "I wish they'd turn off the strobe lighting," Donna
teased of all the incessant flashbulb.
"I should put my arms around you and kiss you and give
them something to really take pictures of" Josh whispered and then in a
daring move wrapped his finger in his napkin and brushed some melted butter
from the corner of her mouth. "I would have preferred to kiss it off" he
"Caroline have I told you...." Leo began and she rested
a hand on his arm. "OK yeah I have" he grinned. "Tell me you're coming back
to DC for awhile after this--that we're not just having this evening and then
nothing for two weeks. Since the finalizing of the divorce, you've been on
my mind a lot. No more need to avoid impropriety and all that."
Caroline smiled, "I'm...coming back to DC for a while Leo
and I'm all yours. In fact I still have the key..." She smiled and kissed
him as the camera bulbs went off. "Well we're not being improprietous." she
"Well it looks like Leo and Caroline beat us to it,"
Donna laughed lightly. "President's speech in five minutes. Then we get to
dance the night away, with a lot fewer of these people."
"And then we have after" Josh whispered, his nose almost
into her ear as he spoke. "A long night of me showing you how I feel about
you." He laughed as he looked to Leo and Caroline, totally oblivious to
anyone else at that moment. "I hope this is a chance for happiness for him"
Josh murmured and then gave her ear a quick kiss before backing off. At the
distance their table was from the other guests he did not believe a little
motion like that would be noticed but for her sake was being careful. By the
time the fresh strawberry tart was passed and the coffee cups filled, Jed
was looking at his notes.
"Mallory promise you'll keep me awake" Sam begged.
"Cleveland still looms large in his memory." "Not only did you snore, you
fell off the chair" Toby reminded him. "It was a little more than resting
your eyes Mr. Seaborn."
CJ shook her head and laughed lightly realizing what they
were talking about. "Sam are we going to have to kick you under the table to
keep you awake?" CJ asked teasingly.
"Where were you in Cleveland with that idea" Sam demanded.
"Maybe I could reach under the table and do something else" Mallory laughed
suddenly and then her hand began to demonstrate what she had in mind under
the safety of the floor length white table cloth. "He looks awake now" Toby
observed. "OK behave all of you" Leo scolded, "first speech is starting."
They sat through the speeches clapping and laughing when
everyone else did. They did a great job of half paying attention but
appearing to be devoted and then finally the speeches were over and the rest
of the tables were cleared some people leaving the building, some not. Once
the building was supposedly secure again the West Wing couples made their way
into the ballroom. Zoey helped pin up CJ and Donna's trains and everyone had
a glass of Champagne, even Zoey.
Jed and Abby were the last to appear, and with a long sigh Jed
reached for the glass of champagne Leo offered him. "It went great Mr.
President" Leo assured him. "It was my joke" Toby pointed out, "my joke that
got everybody to sit up and pay attention." "And I thought it was going to
be the statistics on cattle exports" Sam pretended to pout. "I just want ten
minutes to sit here before the dancing begins" Jed shook his head. "If I
take my shoes off will you give me a foot massage?" he asked Abby. "Not
without rubber gloves and room deodorizer" she retorted, rubbing his
shoulder. Charlie took his glass of champagne and led Zoey aside, resting
his long arms across her shoulders as he pressed his forehead to hers.
"About later" he whispered, making sure no one over heard. "I want to...but
if you've thought better of it since then...I mean if you've changed your
mind" he stammered.
"No way," Zoey answered, "I want to. I want to very much." She
raised up and kissed him lovingly. "Now let's dance until we can get around
to that." she finished whispering with a smile.
Toby offered his hand and CJ smiled and accepted as he twirled
her onto the floor. They were dancing so well together. "They're very much
in love," Abby commented softly to her husband from where they watched them.
Charlie smiled happily and led her onto the dance floor.
"I'd have to agree Ms. First Daughter" he smiled, "about dancing that is.
The other--just making sure you didn't feel pressured or obligated."
"Oh yeah" Jed nodded easily, ''but then they haven't been
married almost twenty two years." She gave him a raised eyebrow. "Of course
for you and I we're more in love than ever" he added quickly and kissed her,
"and you my first lady are more beautiful every day."
Toby's arms wrapped around CJ and they swayed to the music as
if they had been dance partners for years. "We are really engaged" he
marveled, "I mean we did it in front of the president for crying out loud,
you can't take back your yes now right?"
"I wouldn't want to anyhow," CJ eased his mind with a smile. "I
believe I'm old enough to make decisions like that. I'm thirty-two after
all." she smiled and then she leaned up and kissed him quickly.
Abby flushed and patted Jed's shoulder, "sometimes you say the
sweetest things, especially when you're trying to save face." she laughed
"No I don't feel obligated," Zoey answered in a whisper and then
even softer she added, "a little turned on maybe but not obligated."
"And I am very turned on" Charlie assured her, "sometimes
anticipating something is almost as good as the real thing."
"Mr. President if you're not going to ask your lovely wife to
dance then I shall" Josh smiled, at the same time playfully offering Jed
Donna's hand. "And in return you can keep care of the woman I love, to be
sure I return yours in good shape."
Abby was happy to dance with Josh and they soon were talking and
laughing on the floor. Jed finally recovered and led Donna out to the floor
as well. The evening was passed with everyone dancing merrily. "Isn't it
getting about time to cut out?" Jed asked Leo at ten til midnight.
"It is that" Leo nodded. "The plan was to end at midnight on the
dot with the band playing "Good Night Ladies." It's something they did when
our parents went to dances Jed." "I know what it is" Jed glared. "Tell them
to play something soft and romantic until it's time for that." Leo
conferred with the director and a moment later the softest selection of the
evening sounded through the ballroom. "Now, everyone, I want to see you with
the person you most want to spend the rest of your life with" Jed teased,
taking Abigail's hand. "May I?" Josh said to Donna. Sam and Mallory
wordlessly slid together onto the floor. Leo and Caroline smiled at the idea
of a lifetime commitment and began their dance. Charlie hung back hesitantly
and looked to Zoey questioningly. Toby and CJ had been the first out, and
were lost in each other's arms by the time the others began to join them.
Josh and Donna stepped out and Donna laid her head on his shoulder.
Zoey smiled at Charlie, "come on it's just a dance. Besides, I can take it
if you can." She pulled him onto the dance floor looking every bit as much of
a woman as the others present there that evening. Everyone seemed to be
glancing at Toby and CJ the most often as it was impossible to miss how in
love with one another they were. They knew there was a tough road ahead but
they also had enough in common and the bond of love, to go it together.
Finally the music ended and goodnight ladies began as the West Wing party was
rounded up and taken back up to their secured floor.
"I love these things but they're exhausting" Jed declared. "And no,
no one is invited in for a nightcap. The POTUS is going to bed, and enjoying
the fact that he and his wife are sleeping in the same bed. Good night all."
It took only a few moments after that for the rest of the company to split
up. Donna and Josh split up and went into their respective rooms, each
hearing the other lock the hallway door, and then they met at the connecting
door. "How are you?" he whispered.
Charlie recalled Zoey's instructions and changed into casual clothes,
then nervously paced the floor.
"We got through it" Toby sighed, leaning back against the door he had
just locked. "CJ it went very well. You have only good stuff for the press
in the morning. But for tonight--well do you have any good stuff for me?"
CJ appeared in a sheer black nightgown with decorative beading and a
little lacing just at the breast and nothing else holding it together. "Yes
I believe I do," she replied from the doorway.
Finally Zoey snuck Charlie into her room. "Hey we did it," she smiled
and then wrapping her arms around his neck she kissed him. "love you."
Donna leaned in and licked Josh's face. "Does that answer your
question?" she whispered huskily.
"I think I'm getting the idea" Josh smiled and gave her a longingly
loving kiss. "Uh why don't we lose these formal clothes. I know you brought
something in our bag that you'd enjoy sharing as much as I'd enjoy seeing you
Charlie looked around suspiciously. "I guess we did" he gasped. "Zoey
Bartlett I love you." Their kiss was long and sweet and left them both
"You are beautiful" Toby gasped, his arms around her under the gown,
rubbing her bare back. His lips sought hers and their kiss was sweet and
long. "I love you" he sighed. "I have loved you forever and I'm only just
now admitting it to myself."
CJ smiled and then returned the kiss lovingly. "I know Toby, I know. I
have found myself wanting to cross the bridge with you so often but I didn't
dare and then suddenly everything just came together. I love you." She kissed
him again as she was undoing his bowtie and then the buttons of his shirt as
he removed his jacket.
Meanwhile Zoey and Charlie had turned out their light and were following
their own destiny.
Donna appeared before Josh in a pristine white teddy with her hair down
once again. "Do you like what you bought me?" she asked with a smile.
"I have excellent taste" Josh gasped. He had turned the lighting down to
barely on, and soft music was playing at low volume in the background.
Strawberries, whip cream and a bottle of champagne would be left in the outer
room in an hour. He had changed into black silk lounging pajamas, a stark
contrast to her white, and now as he crossed to her the silk rustled. "You
are beautiful" he sighed, ''so beautiful, and so mine tonight." They
exchanged a long kiss and he lifted up her shimmering hair to place another
on the soft skin of her neck.
Toby's hands fumbled with the ties on the front of her gown as she was
helping him off with his things. "This is the night that's been in my
dreams" he sighed before covering her lips with his.
Soon all of the White House staff was quiet and the halls silent save
the secret service still on guard. The next morning everyone gathered again
in the lounge to make sure they were present and accounted for to leave out.
"Leo?" Mrs. Landingham called noticing that even the Potus and Flotus
were leaned against each other asleep sitting up.
''Present, with a guest" Leo called, lifting Caroline's hand with his.
"Of course right here" Toby smiled, looking as sharp as ever. "OK no
fair" Josh spoke up at once. "How can you be so wide awake on so little
sleep?" "Old college secret" Toby grinned, "a couple hours is worse than
none at all." With that CJ began to cough and he pounded her back. "Donna?"
All they got was a loud snoring noise and they noticed had fallen back
asleep draped over a chair. "She almost looks kind of picturesque like
that," Sam commented. "Picturesque? Okay we can tell you didn't sleep," Toby
commented, "you should do it more often." "Hey," Sam grumbled his protest,
Mallory half asleep in his arms. Zoey and Charlie were crashed on the couch
as well. "What did they do, stay up all night watching movies?" CJ inquired
having recovered from Toby's information.
Gina looked up startled. "They amused themselves pretty quietly" she
smiled. "My relief said he didn't hear anything from either room all night."
"I think we're ready" the head of the Secret Service detail announced.
"Straight out to the limo please Mr. President." Josh picked Donna up and
pointed her in the right direction and Gina went back for Zoey and Charlie.
She deliberately let the rest of the group get a little ahead and then turned
to Zoey and Charlie. "I know about you two last night" she said quietly.
Zoey turned deathly white, "You wouldn't...wouldn't say anything
would you?" "Now you know and I know that's not my job," Gina answered. Zoey
breathed a sigh of relief and both smiled.
They quickly boarded the plane and headed for DC but no one would
ever forget Dallas.
The aftermath of the trip to to sequeled. NOTE: To read a more 'adult'
version of this story, visit Lisa's website at:www.phantomroses.com/SarahRabb