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 8--
"Thank goodness you didn't let me go. I didn't want to leave but I wasn't going to outstay my welcome." Donna replied yawning again.
"I couldn't have stood it for you to leave" Josh shook his head and pulled the cover over her against the chill of the air conditioner. "Sleep now, knowing how much you are loved.
"Fajitas and Margaritas" Part 9--
"Do you care for a quick swim before we go back up?" Tucker asked Chloe. "Since we've slept, and especially since that coffee, I'm pretty awake. We could also take another walk or play Nintendo or gin."
"How about a good game of Nintendo and some gin and a swim!" Chloe enthused excitedly racing down to the Nintendo and turning on Mario so they could laugh when the other died again.
Tucker dropped behind Chloe, curling his long legs over hers so they were embraced but hands were free while they worked the controls. "Loser spots the winner fifty points for gin" he hissed.
"Oh great...that means I can lose and still thoroughly kill you at gin!" Chloe teased and laughed happily. "Argh!" she grunted suddenly as Mario slid right off a treetop into the abyss below. "sorry Mario." she apologized to the screen.
"Your Mario committed suicide" Tucker chortled, squeezing his legs around her middle and then flopping backwards, his legs pulling her down with him.
"I said I was sorry," Chloe pretended to pout. She leaned down and kissed him and adjusted so she was laying on his chest. She smiled softly as she laid there quietly.
Tucker held her tightly, remembering that they were not reaching for anything higher and he kissed her forehead. "Love you sweetness" he whispered.
"Love you Tucker. Don't ever doubt that," Chloe answered and she kissed him softly again as she laid with him. "See this is nice. I was so worried you were going to hate me earlier. That I was going to mess up the best thing I had ever had."
"No of course not" Tucker scoffed. "I think making love adds to love but it doesn't take away from it. We have plenty of time. Listen you have a birthday coming up and I know your family is going to do something great for it but I want you and I to do something special too. Dinner and dancing? Or something at the other end of the spectrum, like a day white water rafting?"
"Dinner and dancing somewhere really fancy," Chloe answered with a smile, "I'll wear a gorgeous dress...it'll be like a dream."
"You got it" Tucker nodded. "Our own special night in addition to what your family does." His mind was already planning the evening and he smiled to himself.
Chloe and Tucker were the last to find bed and they fell asleep curled lovingly in one another's arms.
The house fell quiet and the night passed on and then gave way to morning. Still everyone slept. Caroline was the first up, slipping quietly from the bed she shared with Leo and meandering downstairs. She called and ordered a huge amount of donuts and pastries to be delivered for breakfast and then she got the twins up and they sat quietly looking out the windows in the living room while Caroline caught some more rest on the couch.
CJ was next up and she padded down the steps, holding carefully to the rail. "Toby would kill me if I fell. He doesn't like me moving unless his arm is around me" she laughed when Caroline looked up at the noise. CJ took the closest chair and watched as the twins played quietly and observed the secret service outside. "Caroline you have beautiful children" she smiled. "Leo is so proud of them it's pathetic."
"Well they are his children after all," Caroline smiled proudly, "yes I'm so thankful he loves them so much. He's taking such good care of us." Caroline was quiet a moment, "so how does pregnancy suit you so far?" "I find myself liking it," CJ replied, "Toby's turned out to be a very loving husband and excited father-to-be. He likes to read the books I have on pregnancy and tries to keep up with all the changes I'm going through. It's going to be really magical now that I'm soon to start showing."
"Toby seems like a wonderful man and I think it would be great if you two along with Donna and Josh, took the house that you're going to look at later. Showing? Yes you are" Caroline smiled, taking note of CJ's stomach. "Veteran of two pregnancies here. You already are a bit depending on what you have on. I could tell it in the pool last night. It definitely becomes you."
CJ smiled her endearing smile, the one that lit up a room, "Thanks. I really like it too and I'm starting to think it won't be so bad when the whole world can see how much Toby loves me. When I first met him I never thought 'oh there's the guy for me' but somehow it just happened and it's so right. I'm very thankful that it has. What about you and Donna? You two are going to catch up with me before long and Zoey too."
"Zoey is so tiny it won't be long for her" Caroline smiled. "I'm about there, but then I've had three....uh I mean two....pregnancies and..." She stopped and a sob caught her in her throat. "I'm sorry." She looked quickly to see if the twins were taking note of her and they were not to her relief. She sniffled again and then quietly sobbed, burying her face into a throw pillow.
CJ frowned realizing what had just slipped out and she looked to the other woman she already considered a friend, "I'm here if you want to talk about it and just because my job is speaking doesn't mean I'm not a good listener."
"For the past year Leo and I have been seeing each other" Caroline sniffled without looking up from the pillow. "We had been for five years--except for the year I was pregnant with the twins and their infancy--but this was much more frequent. I was flying to meet him if he traveled with the president, or I was spending weekends in DC with him in an apartment I rented here. Well we were using birth control but it failed and I got pregnant eight months ago. The doctor's office called the house and when I wasn't there, they told Stephan thinking of course he was the father. When I came home that night he confronted me. He grabbed my arms and spun me around, then shoved me toward the bed. My stomach hit the footboard and I collapsed in pain. When I woke up I was in a pool of blood and I knew Leo's baby was gone." She began to sob again, trying to muffle the sound with the pillow.
"Oh goodness Caroline," CJ gasped out, "Oh Caroline I'm so sorry. I had no idea and Leo doesn't know either does he? Is that what made you finally leave Stephen or him finally leave you?" CJ quietly drew the other woman into an embrace in an attempt to offer comfort. CJ had tears running down her cheeks as well.
"No I couldn't tell Leo. In fact for two months I wouldn't see him. I wouldn't see anyone. I hardly left my room. Then Leo forced me to see him again and just being around that wonderful man helped me to pull out of the depression. I passed off my moodiness as change of life, delayed post partum, BS like that. Men don't know from that. Then I finally started gathering my courage to leave him. Putting aside money, gathering papers and all; then as it turned out he was all this time plotting to leave me. Well it's all past now." She gave a mighty sniffle then and lifted her head. "Thank you CJ. Telling someone is like lifting a huge weight. Now I've got this new life inside me and I'm trying so hard to be careful of it."
"I'm sure you'll be just fine," CJ offered, "You've got Leo to love and take care of you. You're eating well and life here is pretty relaxed. After all you didn't lose your last baby because of your body's doing, Stephen beat it out of you." CJ looked like she could tear him apart a moment. "But you're right, new pregnancy, new life. It's all going to be okay." Just then the doorbell rang and Caroline brought in the large boxes of breakfast pastries. "Oh heaven," CJ exclaimed picking up a Bavarian creme donut and sinking her teeth into it.
"Belle, Brighton go tell Daddy breakfast is ready" Caroline urged and the twins pounded up the stairs, crashing into Jed who was coming down. Jed grabbed tightly to the railing and slid a few steps before Josh caught him from behind with a fistful of his pajama top. "Children of Chief of Staff assassinate president" Caroline sighed. "Sir I'm so sorry."
Two members of the secret service appeared and then retreated seeing the situation was under control. Jed merely smiled, "I remember having them that small. I feel worse for Leo." The two children were now full speed ahead for Leo. Josh smiled, "I saved the president's life. Isn't that good for some commendation?" "Against two year olds?" Jed looked to Josh teasing back.
With the commotion the rest of the guests began pouring out of their rooms. Donna was the first to reach Josh, and heard what he said about saving his life, the words sending chills through her having not heard Jed's reply. "Oh god did something happen here?" she yelped. "Josh are you OK?" "We're all fine" Jed smiled and patted her hand. She looked back to Josh, needing his confirmation before her panic could subside.
Josh swept Donna up into his arms and carried her the remaining four steps down the stairs and then into the kitchen. "I'm fine love," he replied, kissing her, "now what can I get my pregnant wife...er fiancée for breakfast?" He returned her to a large chair in the living room that he intended on sharing with her.
"A couple of those donuts with some of that great smelling coffee would be good, but that kiss was even better" she smiled. "And your promise that we're going to go check on that house would be good too. The more I think about it the better I like the idea."
Leo finally joined them, having missed the stair excitement, now with the twins in his arms. "Donuts" they squealed and ran. "Come on guys, I'll get you some juice" Mallory offered. Leo sat down with Caroline, looking at her closely. "You've been crying" he accused. "Something I should know about or a hormone thing?" He gently reached up with his knuckle and brushed at her damp cheek.
"We will go check on that house," Josh replied with a smile. "I like the idea too." he leaned down and rewarded her with another good kiss and then left her side briefly to return with their plates full of pastries and nuzzle in with her, curling her up on his lap.
Caroline looked in his eyes a long moment and then briefly at CJ who urged her ahead. "There is something we need to talk about..." she answered hesitantly.
"Have I done something?" Leo immediately jumped to the typical conclusion. "Did I hurt you somehow?"
"No, no...you didn't do anything," Caroline was quick to contradict. She was silent for a minute and then very softly said, "Leo, there was a pregnancy before this...eight months ago."
"OK" Leo nodded, his voice suddenly shaky. "Mine? And more importantly, what happened?" He sat down with her, taking both her hands to encourage her to tell what was on her mind.
"Yours," Caroline answered just as shyly. "The doctor's office called to tell me. They got Stephen instead and assumed it was his. When I came home he confronted me about it. Things got nasty and he grabbed my arms and thrust me about. My stomach hit the footboard of the bed and I fell to the floor. When I came to I was lying in a puddle of blood," she sniffled painfully then, "I knew our baby was gone."
"Oh my god" Leo gasped in horror, grabbing her immediately into a firm hug. "If I had that SOB in front of me right now he'd be a dead man. Oh Caroline and you couldn't tell me? I'm so sorry."
"And break your heart? I'd already kept the twins from you. I'm so sorry Leo. I failed us both," Caroline sighed.
"What?" Leo scoffed. "My love you didn't do a thing. That was in no way your fault. And that worthless SOB had better never come near me. I love you and thank you for telling me. The important thing now is for us to do right by these three and to have a healthy baby now." His hand fell to her belly and he rubbed tenderly. "Are you carrying my son?" he whispered.
"I hope so," Caroline whispered back with a smile. She kissed him lovingly then, "I hope your son is healthy and happy in here."
"So do I" Leo sighed, "so do I. I just hope he's slightly less active than my already here son and his equally hyper sister." He gestured to where they were flying off the back of the sofa onto the soft rug below and then wrestling delightedly with Sam and Mallory.
Toby, noticing CJ seemed to be involved with Caroline and Leo, sat down on the floor next to Josh and Donna, a plain donut and black coffee before him. "We're going to look at that house right?" he questioned. "You sound like Donna" Josh teased. "Just like the idea is all" Toby answered.
"Yes we're going at eleven," Donna replied with a giddy smile. "I wonder what CJ and Caroline are up to?"
Toby looked with concern at his wife. "Looks pretty deep, and private. I'm not getting 'come join me' vibes from CJ."
"No it doesn't look like it," Josh agreed. "I hope everything's okay. Leo doesn't need any upset in his life, losing these children after he just got them..." Josh shook his head, unwilling to even finish thinking the thought.
Toby and Donna both nodded. "Leo is so proud and happy with his new family and the baby on the way. The thought of anything happening to them is too horrible to contemplate." Toby said thoughtfully. "And on a more cheerful note, you think you and I can share a yard without killing each other?"
"You're not going to put up pink flamingoes are you?" Josh asked with a tease. Then seriously he added, "Sure. I see lots of joint barbecues and card games, movie nights and swimming ventures. I think it's going to be great. Is CJ as sold on the idea as you are?"
"CJ is ecstatic" Toby nodded. "And I'm liking it for the companionship, with privacy when desired, plus there's a good chance someone will always be around during non work hours. We'll be near Leo and Caroline. I just don't see a downside." "Unless the place is a dump" Josh smiled.
"Well that's what we're going to look at it for," Donna smiled, "but in this ritzy neighborhood I sincerely doubt it!"
"I would guess any work it needs will be more on the inside" Toby agreed. "But then you women would want to decorate, and especially fix up a nursery anyway so I don't see it as a big deal. Paint and paper we can handle, maybe some new appliances."
"Good morning" Lucas yawned and stretched and then smiled, feeling Gina curled up with him. "Did you sleep well?" he asked softly.
"Does this mean I have to move and get up now?" Gina returned, attempting to snuggle closer to him.
"I wouldn't let you if you wanted to" Lucas teased, holding her to him. "No noise from Charlie and Zoey yet...uh let me re-phrase that. There was some noise earlier but nothing that required secret service presence.
"It better not have been anymore than snuggling. They'll lose that baby if they're not careful. The doctor meant business," Gina fretted but then pushed it aside and with a smile snuggled against Lucas. "This is very nice. I hope they sleep in for a while."
"All morning at least" Lucas smiled. "I'm totally content lying right here with the woman I love."
"Sweetness I think the rest of the house is up" Tucker whispered. "Just because we stayed up half the night watching movies and cuddling. I never thought just concentrating on kissing could be so great."
"Mmm...I'm not ready for it to end," Chloe moaned good naturedly, "I don't know when we're going to get another opportunity like this and I don't think I'll ever sleep as good again without you."
"But soon I'm going to be living next door" Tucker pointed out. "At least if Sam gets off his butt and checks out that guest house. In fact you'll be sick of seeing me I'll be around so often."
"How could I get sick of seeing you?" Chloe asked. "It would be a delight to get to see you every day, almost like we were living together." She kissed him lovingly and then slipped out of bed. She returned in a pair of blue plaid shorts and a navy square-necked shirt. She picked up the brush and began to work at her hair wincing with all of the knots.
Tucker watched her for a moment and then took the brush from her. "I used to groom a neighbor's horse in exchange for rides and I was the only one she'd let brush out her tail." He picked up a small section of hair and brushed tenderly, almost sensuously before moving to the next."
"Mmm...you want to come over every morning and do that? You have magic hands, but then I already knew that," Chloe smiled, "oh please don't stop. This is so sweet."
"That sounds like an invitation to me" Tucker grinned. "We'll have to keep a hairbrush at both places for you because this is fun. I feel especially close to you right now."
"Oh I agree. This is great," Chloe practically purred, "We'll have to do this often. It feels so wonderful and you're right it's very sensual."
"This is great" Tucker sighed, her hair now tangle free he continued to brush, letting the bristles massage her scalp and he ran his hands through at the same time feeling the static electricity tingle against him.
"Oh here," Chloe moved to the bathroom and returned with a spray bottle. "Leave in conditioner," she explained and once he had sprayed that in her hair was like playing with silk or satin.
Mallory smiled, thoroughly enjoying the time with her younger half-brother and sister. "Oh Sam here comes Belle!" Mallory barely warned before Belle came flying towards him.
Meanwhile said Sam was being hit head on by a flying two year old. She landed square on his chest, all twenty five pounds of her and he fell backwards, feeling the air swoosh out of his lungs as his back hit the floor.
Mallory smiled and laughed delightedly, loving the sight of Sam with small children. He would make good father material she caught herself thinking off-handedly.
"Your fiancé has been killed down here and you're laughing" Sam declared, getting his breath back slowly and painfully.
"Yeah but you're so good with children," Mallory contradicted, "you'd make a great father."
"I'm ready for that eventuality any time now" Sam smiled and then caught her hand. "Hey I don't mean to pressure you about that--you know I promised I wouldn't."
Mallory smiled, "I know and you're doing fine. I was the one that brought it up this time, maybe now that I have my masters. Give me a month or so and maybe a baby might be in the forecast."
"I'd like that" Sam said quietly, pulling her onto the floor with him and the twins.
Meanwhile Caroline got another plate of pastries to share with Leo. Abby was the next to appear and she smiled gratefully to Jed when he presented her with a plate of pastries and a cup of coffee, just the way she liked it. She kissed him lovingly, "morning, love you."
"Good morning. Love you" he responded. "Do you realize this is the first night since the inauguration we've spent in a regular house with regular people. I'd say normal but not this group. Anyway, with regular people in a regular house. Not the president's suite at the residence, the best room in some hotel, or the guest quarters of some foreign head of state. I like it. And I slept very well. And the country didn't collapse around our ears just because I didn't have instant access to a multi million dollar communication system."
"Camp David" Leo spoke up. "When we're ready to do this again, we should make it a weekend at Camp David. Roast a pig in that big barbecue pit."
"I'm going to be ill" Donna announced at that vision.
"Woah don't make Donna ill," Josh and CJ both cautioned at once. "I think that would be a great idea," Toby agreed. Leo nodded again.
"Leo check the schedule and make room for this" Jed ordered, "preferably two weeks from this weekend. Friday noon to Monday noon. That way we can all sober up and be back at work Tuesday morning."
"Sir that Friday night is Josh and Donna's wedding," CJ was the first to speak up and Donna nodded. "Of course they could always honeymoon at Camp David and we could take Tuesday off instead of Friday," CJ suggested.
"This is why I pay you people" Jed smiled and looked to Josh and Donna, at that moment too lost in each other to have heard the proposal. "Josh, Donna, if you don't have specific honeymoon plans, how does the private cottage at Camp David sound?"
"I certainly couldn't complain. I mean we could be alone when we felt like being alone and with the group if we felt like it too," Donna pointed out, "Josh?"
"I just want to go somewhere that we can make love since I never get any at......" A second later he was on the floor as Donna dumped him from the chair. "Kidding" he yelped, "kidding--it's all we do....I mean...."
"Quit while you're ahead Lyman" Toby advised.
"Lucas, Gina we're up. I'm supposed to tell you" Charlie knocked at their door and then without thinking pushed it open. His mouth fell open and he froze in embarrassment. "I am so sorry" he got out. "I just didn't....I didn't know you were....I thought you two didn't......Please god let the ground open up and swallow me."
TO BE CONTINUED