Fajitas and Margaritas
Note: This is the seventh in the series including A Bagel and a Beginning, Chili with a side of 'The Jackal', Dinner and Dancing, Darts and Dresses, Josh and Donna's Weekend Getaway, and Would you hold me? (All of these can be found on our web page Http://www.phantomroses.com/SarahRabb)
Remember our stories are about the personal lives of these people. So if you're looking for political intrigue, or don't want to know what they're doing when they're NOT in the big white building, bail now!!
From Part 2-- "Thank you" Toby sighed, handing her a glass of juice and taking her to a sofa, "and it smells wonderful and you're not....." He stopped short at Donna's announcement. "Oh Donna that's fantastic" Mallory spoke up and led a round of applause. "Not to steal Donna's thunder but just to share it, Caroline and I are also expecting" Leo announced when the pandemonium had died down. This time Jed stood up, "a round of margaritas and a toast to the expectant mothers" he pronounced. Glasses were filled except for the pregnant women and all hands raised. "To life" Jed said simply.
"Fajitas and Margaritas Part 3--
"To life," everyone echoed happily and clicked glasses before Donna and Josh joined Toby and CJ on one couch while Sam and Mallory and Abby were on the other. Finally, Zoey was carefully wheeled in by Charlie and followed by Gina and Lucas. "This is going to be a great party," Donna enthused to Josh.
"And we're celebrating, that makes it even better" Josh replied, kissing her cheek. "I love you."
Tucker finally arrived at the front door and was admitted by the security force. "I was getting concerned" Sam greeted him. "Yeah I couldn't get away" he growled, already looking around for Chloe.
Chloe appeared on the stairs, that opened onto the den where they all were, in a strapless red tube dress with an empire waist length jacket made entirely of pearls. Her hair was still in a cascade of curls down her back. She had on beautiful white sandal style heels that matched the color of the jacket. She smiled at Tucker and everyone else watched in awe. "I want one of those jackets," CJ whispered to Toby.
"Do they come in maternity?" Toby whispered back. "That girl does not look fifteen. At least not like any of the fifteen year olds I recall when I was Tucker's age."
Tucker stood at the bottom of the stairs and held his hand to her. "You look fantastic" he breathed, "I've never seen anything more beautiful." She took his hand and came the rest of the way into his arms. "I love you" he said into his ear for only her to hear.
"I wouldn't want one in maternity anyhow," CJ returned. "I can wait and wear it later. I'm sure I'll be unpregnant more than I'll be pregnant in the long run." CJ looked Chloe over, "no she's not your average fiftteen going on sixteen year old but then neither are most of the models you see in magazines."
"I love you," Chloe replied back with a smile and then she kissed him softly on the cheek. "I'm glad you made it," she said now speaking in a normal voice, "was the traffic bad? Doesn't it smell great in here?"
"Better than Don Pablo's Taco Emporium" Tucker declared, slipping his arm around her waist to lead her to the kitchen. "Mr. Seaborn--Tucker that is" Jed called. "I don't believe my wife has met you or your lovely date." "Oh right we haven't met Mrs. Bartlet" Tucker whispered, walking her now toward the president and Abbey.
"Charlie quit fussing over her" Gina finally scolded after he attempted to tuck the light blanket over her legs for the fourth time. "She's fine, but you're not going to be if she hits you upside the head because you're driving her nuts. Go get us all something to drink will you."
Chloe smiled softly, "Good evening Mrs. Bartlet. It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Chloe, Leo's daughter."
Zoey laughed as they watched Charlie retreat into the kitchen where Mallory was pouring drinks. "Thanks Gina." Zoey smiled where Gina was sitting next to Lucas. "It sure is nice to be out tonight."
"I'm pleased to meet you" Abbey smiled and looked to Tucker. "Tucker Seaborn ma'am, an honor and a pleasure." "Chloe you look wonderful. Leo must be very proud of you. It doesn't seem that long ago since our Zoey was your age and now she's married and soon to make us grandparents."
"We're glad to have you out" Gina smiled, leaning slightly into Lucas, letting their shoulders touch. "I've missed doing just normal things with you. But you feel like you're getting your strength back?"
Chloe smiled politely, "We grow up quickly. I'm happy I'll get to meet your daughter tonight. Was she in a car accident or something?" Chloe asked concerned.
"Oh yes," Zoey replied, "I'm feeling much better and the doctor said he may knock a week off my bedrest sentence if I keep doing so well!"
"See this stuff is only news in DC" Abbey smiled, "outside people live normal lives and aren't that concerned about the first family's private life. She had an acute appendicitis attack during her wedding and collapsed. We might have lost her from blood loss or infection; but she's fine now and happily pregnant."
"I'm glad" Gina smiled, "because I'm ready to start getting out again with you. Keeping you cooped up in there isn't healthy for either of us; and now we have Lucas joining us when Charlie is along." Lucas's arm went around her waist almost imperceptibly and then he excused himself to see to his charge. "You may have noticed I like him a lot" Gina flushed.
Chloe's eyes widened and then she glanced to Zoey to see if she could see anything. "Wow well congratulations and I'm very glad that nothing too bad happened to such nice people."
"Yeah," Zoey replied, "I think you two are cute together. I also remember that pregnant agent remark of yours. You can't leave me Gina. You're like my best friend."
"You are mine" Gina told her sincerely. "If I were to get pregnant I wouldn't tell anyone for a long time, not until I had to at least. A lot of agents are mothers, with their children in day care or with grandmothers. My mom would take care of mine if I had to go out of town--she's already told me. No I'm not in any immediate rush, but a baby is in my plans. Trouble is that man I work with is the only man I'd consider having it with, and I don't know how interested he is."
"Thank-you dear" Abbey patted her arm, "how do you like DC?" She looked at Tucker and smiled, "or maybe you have a very good reason for liking it here?"
"He looks pretty darn interested to me? I mean he works your shift and his shift just so he can talk to you. You've been several places. Besides he looks at you like he adores you. I wonder if he and Charlie talk like you and I do...nah, I doubt it." Zoey laughed, "I do want you to have a baby Gina, if that's what you want. I'll certainly be rooting for you."
"I have lots of reasons for liking it here and I do," Chloe answered, "DC is fascinating. I love the shopping centers and I love getting to go out and do all sorts of things but the greatest thing is getting to go to the White House. Government fascinates me. It's my favorite class and to see the inside of the West Wing and to have met the President well I have all I could ask for in the world. I envy Dad for getting to work there, getting to make a difference like that."
Tucker tightened his arm across her shoulders and laughed, "all good reasons Mrs. Bartlet but the main reason she wants to stay is me--at least I hope it is."
"Thanks" Gina blushed. "Something to think about I guess. Lucas would make a great dad. He loves kids. At the worst I'd have to take an inside the white house job for the six months or so of my late pregnancy and recovery. I could mind you inside, just not go into the field where there's more danger of encountering a problem."
Charlie stood by the back door with his drink, sensing Gina and Zoey were talking. "My man" Lucas called to him in the easy rapport they had developed. "Giving the ladies some privacy I see." Lucas picked up a drink and walked over with him. "You think those ladies are talking about us?"
"You know they're talking about us," Charlie replied easily, "this is Zoey we're talking about and have you seen the way they keep looking for us. I think Zoey's trying to hook you two up. She wants everyone to be happy and in love recently. I think it's a pregnancy thing."
"Of course I like being here because of you," Chloe smiled and laughed lightly at Tucker. "You wouldn't be jealous would you?" she kissed him on the cheek.
"Okay everyone, fajitas, steak soft tacos, beef and cheese enchiladas," CJ called out, "come in here and get served. We have all the toppings, even guacamole-" "Yes!" Donna spoke up eagerly. "and sour creme," CJ continued, "plus rice and beans but get in line and Caroline and I will get your main course served up. No one can touch that but me or it won't have CJ's seal of good cooking." Everyone laughed and got in line. "Steak soft tacos," Donna requested having made it first in line. She took three and then coated them with sour cream and guacamole adding beans and rice to the side before taking a seat at the informal tables that had been set up.
"Sam I'm staying at your house tonight" Josh teased, eyeing the beans on Donna's pile. "Or maybe not" he added, seeing what Mallory was doing with her beans and sour cream. "She still dips oreos in salsa" Sam sighed. Gina pushed Zoey into the line and Charlie hurried to her side. "Thanks Gina, Charlie will help." Zoey smiled. "You and Lucas fix plates and go find a quiet place to enjoy your dinner please. I'm fine and there's a dozen people to help me if I need something my husband can't handle." Lucas grinned and brushed a light hand across Gina's back. "We could take our plates to one of the tables in the garden and maybe walk a bit after--wouldn't be gone too long."
Gina smiled, "That sounds wonderful." They gathered their plates and made for the outdoors. "I thought everyone was staying tonight?" CJ questioned. "We packed our bags, Josh is just being funny," Donna replied. Leo looked amused by the oreos in salsa bit. His daughter had never done that before. In fact she had never liked salsa before. CJ was really packing away the food, even on top of the chips, dips, and olives she'd been eating all evening. "Oh CJ this is incredible Mexican!" Caroline commented happily. "Yeah this is terrific, where did you learn to cook like this?" Donna inquired. "I don't know. It just comes natural to me and I love to do it," CJ replied with a smile, "I'm glad everyone likes it." "Well breakfast is on me," Caroline smiled.
Leo glared at her but remained silent, instead simply vowing to get up and help.
"Of course I'm jealous" Tucker grinned, walking Chloe to a table on the deck. "What you said before" he went on in response to her look. "I want me to the be the main reason you're glad we're here." He lowered his voice even though there was no one around. "So what's the plan for tonight? Can we conveniently fall asleep in front of the TV or what? I just want a night with you sleeping in my arms."
"We're going to conveniently fall asleep watching movies in my room, after all, who really cares? My Dad knows and I don't think Sam's all that worried..." Chloe answered, "as for what else you said, of course you're my favorite reason for being glad to be here. You just can't be the focus of my every waking moment Tucker. We'll fall apart if we do that and we'll ruin a really good thing. I would hate for that to happen." She leaned in and kissed him passionately.
"I understand" Tucker assured her with a smile. "Just so I'm the focus of it when we're together. I think the movie thing works well anyway. Besides once they all have a few of those margaritas and settle down they won't be too concerned what we're doing."
With the house still in sight but secluded from prying eyes, Lucas sat down with Gina, their plates loaded with Mexican food. "You know if we're attacked tonight I'm going to be too lethargic to locate my weapon" he sighed. "Actually that isn't real funny. I hope never to have to fire, and certainly never when you're around. And don't give me that 'I can take care of myself' look. I imagine you can outshoot me--it's just the thought of you being in danger that's upsetting."
Gina smiled, "I know Lucas, I know." she said softly as she laid her hand on his and left it there. They ate in companionable silence for a long while afterwards, just reveling in being able to be together.
"Aren't we due to have a couple days in a row off soon" Lucas spoke up, taking a deep breath for courage. "If so, I was thinking something like Ocean City for a couple days, you and me, eat some seafood, ride some rides, play stupid boardwalk games, walk on the beach at night--stop me as soon as I get too lame here please."
"Hey that sounds really great," Gina suddenly smiled, "I never would have thought of something like that in a million years but I've never been to Atlantic city. I'd love to go!"
"A gambler?" Lucas was astonished. "You want to go drown some nickels in the slots and see some shows? I love the idea. What appeals to you for accommodations? Cottage, motel, or something high rise?"
"I'd really like to stay in something fancy. My favorite part of getting away is the hotel. I don't gamble that much but the sight-seeing and game playing sounded great. I'll try my luck at things." Gina replied.
"I'll make some reservations" Lucas smiled, "check what days we're off and let you know." He took her hand and kissed the back. "We're really going to do this thing now aren't we? It's not just talk?"
"Of course I'll go," Gina replied with a light laugh, "I said I would. I want to." She was silent for a minute. "Lucas...are we going to share a room?"
TO BE CONTINUED