Off to Camp
Note: This is the eighth 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, Would you hold me?, and Fajitas and Margaritas (All of these can be found on our web page Http://www.phantomroses.com/SarahRabb)
DISCLAIMER: The wonderful West Wing series belongs to NBC et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
And the usual warning applies--our stories are about the lives of these great characters, not about passing bills and making deals. That's their professional life, and we write about the other half!
From Part 4--
He nodded solemnly and urged the Palomino around the course. He took the same one as she had easily, with no touches and sailed over the five footer with plenty to spare. Coming back around the water jump that was more width than height he felt the big horse begin to take off and then again as before stop short. He was prepared for that this time and dropped back into the saddle, not before the horse brought his head and neck up sharply, impacting his nose, and then skittering sideways. "Whoa hold up boy" he ordered, finally being able to slow him enough to dismount, feeling blood dripping from his nose.
"Off to Camp" 5/10--
"Oh Tucker!" Chloe once again cried out. She was to his side at once and led him over to the stables as she brought the horses back. The stable hand quickly got some tissue to try and help Tucker. "Do you think it's broken?" Chloe asked anxiously, concerned and upset.
"Let me take a look young man" the stable attendant smiled and touched it carefully. "Nope, just a good old fashioned nose bleed. You set yourself down here and pinch it closed and it should stop pretty quick. Maybe this pretty lady will kiss and make it better." "For one of her kisses I'd break anything" Tucker grinned, "Thanks."
Chloe sat with Tucker while he kept his head down letting the nose bleed stop and then she kissed him on his nose and on his mouth before walking him slowly to the breakfast house. "Tucker got thrown once and then the horse hit him in the nose another time," Chloe announced as they entered. "I think he's a little worse for wear so be nice and I'm really sorry Sam."
Sam took one look at his brother with the grass stains on the back of his shirt and the blood drips on the front and laughed good naturedly. "Sorry for what? Not your fault unless you were pounding on him. Of course he'd probably let you." He gave Tucker's hair an affectionate ruffle. "Hit the shower boy and then come back and eat. We'll take good care of Chloe while you're gone." "I think I will" Tucker decided, kissing Chloe. "You won't fall in love with anyone else while I'm gone will you?"
Chloe looked around the room, "Not a chance, besides it could be forfeit on my life. I think these women are bigger than me." Everyone laughed and she kissed Tucker and sent him off to the showers and then sighed as she sat down dreamily.
"She's got it bad," CJ commented to Donna with a soft smile.
"They're so young that it's so sweet and adorable" Donna sighed. "I'm afraid I don't believe that people that age are not able to know what love is. Those two do. We'll probably be attending their wedding in two years when she's eighteen, which will be the summer of the campaign. I think I'll be pregnant again so I can just watch from the porch."
Tucker returned shortly and made a beeline for Chloe first thing, looking much better sans blood. "Shall we see if we can get them to cook us an omelet?" he asked as he leaned down for her kiss.
"See cute" Donna whispered again. "And speaking of cute, have you seen Mallory this morning? I get the impression she got good news last night."
"No thank-you, I want eggs Benedict," Chloe replied, "two of them, and some grapes."
"Mmm..." CJ heard Donna and looked around the room finding Mallory's glowing face. "So 'fess up Mallory," CJ spoke up with a playful smile, "are you going to share with us what's got you grinning from ear to ear or is your fiancée who is likewise in disposition going to do it for you?"
"Can't a man just be happy with his fiancée and friends" Sam demanded playfully. "We're not in the White House now. Secrets are allowed. Besides a room full of friends, I work with the best president this country has known. What more could I want?" "Hmmm...a baby?" Toby offered and everyone laughed.
A long hour of conversation and Jed stood up. "Now who's ready for fishing?" he demanded.
There was a chorus of agreement and once they were ready they all headed out to the lake and found a good spot for fishing. CJ, Donna, Mallory and Chloe helped spread out a bunch of blankets for them and the men worked on baiting the hooks. They all managed to cast in. CJ, twenty minutes later, was the first one to get a bite. She began to reel it in. Finally, she pulled out a struggling two and a half pound bass.
"Whoa that's a keeper" Toby laughed, grabbing a net with one hand and her with the other to steady her as she landed the fish. "You did that great" he applauded. "And I can taste sautéed bass in butter already." "Oh I've got one" Leo yelped suddenly. "It's huge." "Let's see" Abbey urged as she stood near him. "And a fighter" Leo laughed as his rod bent. A minute later the fish broke the surface of the water, a six inch crappie. "Look Leo caught bait" Jed pointed, laughing loudly. "Pretty good for your first one" Sam assured him.
The fishing continued and Sam tossed one back and then caught a good sized perch. Donna brought in two large bass. Jed caught four bass and though he was just wonderful. "Woah! hey! Woah!" Chloe called out as her line was really being pulled and a large fish surfaced, unfortunately it was having more luck pulling Chloe towards the lake than she was having success reeling it in.
Chloe and Tucker had wandered downstream several yards from the others and Tucker had excused himself for a comfort visit to the woods when he heard her yelling. "Chloe what's wrong?" he helped, sprinting back to her from the trees. He saw at once that she was being pulled down the slippery bank toward the water, her tennis shoes sliding in the mud. For a moment he stopped, content to watch in amusement, and then saw how the bank dropped off sharply below her, knowing the water would go from one foot to many feet in depth with no warning. "Chloe drop the pole" he yelled, "you'll be pulled in and that water is deep."
"No...I'm not letting this fish get away..." she grunted and she kept pulling. She locked her knees and dug her feet in and through some miraculous occurrence began to reel the fish in. The fish, which neither could identify, weighed in at seven pounds. "See I told you I'd win!" Chloe replied with a laugh. Then she backed against a small rock, lost her balance and footing and fell over onto her behind with an 'oomph'.
Tucker reached her just in time to miss catching her by about a second as her rear hit the mud. "Hey you're not hurt are you?" he yelped, dropping beside her. Seeing that she was in one piece he laughed lightly and took hold of her arms. "You scared me here missy. That water runs deep and cold. You might have ended up in the lake before I could have caught you." He hugged her close and then as they pulled away he put dots of the soft mud on her nose and chin. "Now your front matches your back" he teased.
"Eww..." Chloe moaned, "please....help me get back to our room and cleaned up. She dropped her voice then, "I'll let you wash me...if you want."
"We haven't left yet?" Tucker whispered, his eyes shining. He lifted her carefully to her feet and walked her back toward the others. "Mr. McGarry I'm taking Chloe back to the house. She uh...she needs a change" he laughed, turning her so that her brown backside could be seen. That earned him a punch in the arm and he laughed again and hooked his arm across her neck. "Oh by the way, Chloe caught this." He held up the enormous fish. "We don't even know what it is."
"Wow," Jed exclaimed, "that has to be at least a seven pound bass. What a beauty!" They took the fish and Tucker and Chloe hurried back to the house.
Chloe put her things out for the staff to laundry and then she stepped into the bathroom and undressed stepping into the shower.
Tucker hung back outside the door in hesitation and then figured he had been invited, and the worst she could do was change her mind, so he dropped his clothes in a pile and followed her in. With his hand on the curtain he called softly, "you're sure there's room for me?"
Chloe jumped slightly in startlement and laughed lightly, "you spooked me...I was wondering when you'd get here. It's a party shower, there's plenty of room and showerheads all around." She reached her hand out to bring him in with her.
With her assurance that he was welcome he eagerly joined her, taking an appreciative look at her body as she stood under the water, her hair streaming down with the mud now washing from it. He filled his hand with apricot scented liquid soap and came up behind her. "Do I have touching privileges" he whispered, "if so, I have the soap."
"Yes you have touching privileges," Chloe answered and she shivered slightly as she first felt his hands on her. "Your touch makes my body feel so alive...I love it," she gasped softly.
Once they were rinsed she handed him the shampoo for her hair. "Careful, girl's hair washes different from a guy's hair. You can't pile it all on top of my head. You have to run your hands down the length and try not to tangle it too much," she cautioned before handing the shampoo to him.
"I can handle that. Horses manes and tails remember" he smiled, pouring the sweet scented liquid into his hands and beginning slow gentle sweeps from her scalp to the ends, coating each strand with the shampoo. Once finished he parted the hair slightly from the back and placed a kiss at the top of her spinal cord, feeling her shiver in response to the tickle. "So how long have you been growing this beautiful stuff" he whispered when his hands returned to the job.
"It's been this way since I was ten so six years I guess," Chloe answered. "I love it long and since it's very thick and healthy long then I like to leave it this way. I can't imagine having it short." She was obviously enjoying his touch. "You're so very good with your hands dear."
"It's because I love what I'm touching" Tucker answered. "I love who I'm touching in fact." He tilted her head back to him and kissed her, careful to keep it gentle and light this time. "This is great, and next weekend is your birthday dinner don't forget--like either of us could. Turning sixteen is pretty special. Mine was in County. I got a card from mom and dad, just their signatures. Sam sent me a big box full of stuff. Cake and cookies and Kool-Aid mix and..well just stuff they didn't much have there."
"Oh Tucker that's awful," Chloe moaned, "no one should have to do that...I promise I'll try to make your seventeenth birthday very special. As for dinner, I have a dress that is going to blow your mind away I think and I'm going to have my hair done...it's going to be a dream come true."
"Where I'm taking you suits that" Tucker sighed. "Bless Sam's gold American Express and Sam for letting me say he was him when I made the arrangements. I'll owe him big time but it's going to be worth it. And my birthday is not for four months so don't concern yourself." He steadied her under the water and rinsed away the last traces of the shampoo, picking up the conditioner without being prompted and the wide toothed comb she had brought. Carefully he combed the thick liquid through her hair, letting the residue wash over him as well. "We're going to smell alike" he smiled.
"Won't that be nice," Chloe returned with a smile. She moaned softly with the careful attention he was paying her. They rinsed off and then dried one another before Chloe laid out on the bed, on her stomach, letting her hair hang over the side. "Blowdryer's on the counter," she said softly.
Tucker retrieved the dryer and sat Indian style next to her on the bed, drawing the comb through her hair and following it with the dryer, smoothing out as he went. "I swear if the guys at County were to see this" he laughed softly. "I'd end up as Benny's girlfriend for sure."
Chloe laughed at that. "You don't mind do you?" she asked after a minute. "I just think it's so loving and so sensual for you to do my hair."
"I would do anything in the world for you" Tucker sighed, "and this happens to be something I'm loving every second of." With his long sweeping strokes her hair became like piles of spun gold about her shoulders and finally when it was dry he gathered it loosely in his hands, and stretching out next to her, let it fall over both of them, their skin still slightly damp as he pulled her onto his chest, making slow circles on her back. "I love you Chloe angel" he sighed, "and on your birthday I'm going to show you how much."
"You show me all the time how much you love me," Chloe yawned out softly, before she fell asleep on Tucker's chest.
"I want to" Tucker sighed, and his own eyes closed as the two slept skin to skin, deeply in love.
"Josh I need to take a break here" Donna said quietly. "Too much standing I think. Will you come sit with me on the rocks for a while and we can just watch." She put her hand to her head, feeling both a headache and dizziness at that moment.
"Coming," Josh said at once moving to her side. He wrapped an arm protectively about her waist and gathered her to him as they walked before he helped her down on some rocks in the shade. "Better now?" he asked softly, always concerned about her.
'I'll be fine" Donna promised, touching his cheek and then drawing his face to hers for a long kiss. "Hey you two are not at the drive-in" Jed teased.
"They're newlyweds," Abby contradicted, "they can behave like that all they want."
"Thank you ma'am" Josh grinned and repeated her kiss, urging her upper body onto his lap and began to massage her temples. "Close your eyes and remember how much I love you" he whispered.
Donna closed her eyes and smiled softly, soon soft moans of enjoyment were escaping her with his attentions. They slipped away from the others then and went to spend their afternoon making love and enjoying their honeymoon.
"Charlie I've got one. Oh wow" Zoey yelled suddenly from where she had been lounging comfortably on the bank. Slowly on shaky legs she pulled herself to her feet, watching the rod bend double. "This is going to beat Chloe's you watch."
"Zoey you be careful!" Charlie exclaimed, rushing to her side at once to help her.
"Help me" Zoey screeched, her weakened legs not holding her up as well in the mud. The fish broke the surface, a big trout, and tried to shake off the bait. Charlie wrapped his arms around her middle, holding her firmly. "I've got you. Let's see if you can bring him in." "There's the trophy fish for the day" Jed declared from his spot. "That has to be a nine pounder."
It was definitely a nine pounder, no less when Charlie, holding up Zoey, finally brought the fish in. "Please be careful," he pleaded with her again, "precious cargo remember," he whispered then as he rubbed the spot under which their baby lie.
"At least" Zoey gasped feeling the weight of the fish in her arms. "Let me give you a hand there" Toby grinned, quickly netting it, "that's going to look great in your suite in the residence." "Now she needs a deer head to go with it" Abbey offered and Jed frowned. "Fishing is one thing, but hunting I can't......" "I know" Abbey nodded, "that's a discussion we've had numerous times." "Stephen hunted" Caroline mused thoughtfully, "always taking clients out west for elk or quail or something." Charlie gratefully sank down with the panting Zoey in his arms and kissed her. "You're amazing Mrs. Young."
"Why thank-you Mr. Young, I'm glad you of all people think so," she replied and everyone burst into laughter. Meanwhile CJ had spotted a wonderful hammock tucked away on the cove and it swung out over the lake gently as she lay idly in it. "Toby..." she called gently, "could I have your opinion on this?"
Leo wrapped his arms around Caroline, trying to protect her from the thoughts. "Are you hungry yet? need something to drink? It's my job to make sure you're taking care." He leaned down and kissed her, "and I love it."
"I would love a cold soda" Caroline assured him, "and I'm fine, but it feels so good to have you taking care of me I don't want to tell you not to. Your child is treating me well. I had an easy pregnancy with the twins too. Stephen was gone a lot and he didn't want to touch me pregnant which suited me just fine."
"Do you not want to be touched while you're pregnant?" Leo asked considerately after he retrieved a soda for her from the ice chest that had been brought to them.
"I didn't want that man touching me any place any time" Caroline declared in her soft voice. "He just took what he wanted, when he wanted it and when he was done he got up and walked away like I was some whore." Her eyes filled with tears then. "And for a long time I thought I had to take it. Only with you have I ever known gentleness. Now if nothing else, I know I won't be raped ever again."
"Oh Caroline," Leo said in a gruff voice, pulling her to him and folding her in his protective embrace, "no angel you never have to go through anything like that ever again. I'm so sorry love." He stroked her beautiful brown locks softly.
"You don't be sorry" Caroline sighed. "You're my savior in all this. If I'd had any courage at all I would have left him a long time ago--when I first found out about the twins at least. You could have been there for their births. Lord knows Stephen wasn't. He didn't even bring me home from the hospital. I had to call for our car."
Leo sighed. "I'm here now though," he said resolutely still holding her lovingly.
"And I'm never moving from you" Caroline vowed. "I love you and I want to be your wife. This baby is a McGarry and that's how I want him born."
Leo smiled, "Well I think we should have the wedding on the bridge over the pond in the backyard, just our group of friends here nothing large and strenuous on you. Whenever you're ready..."
"How's Monday looking for you?" Caroline teased. "Actually seriously Leo. Next weekend is Chloe's birthday and I don't want to take that away from her; but maybe the weekend after? Saturday afternoon, with a catered pot dinner to follow outside--like get one of those big party tents maybe, and a portable dance floor for the deck and a small band for dance music. And then this group here. That's all I want. I'll wear something simple, and ask the women to do the same."
"You're asking me if I want to marry you in two weeks?" Leo grinned. "Sounds like a plan to me. And I'll carefully arrange the President's schedule so we can accomplish that."
Caroline laughed. "I'm sure I can be persuaded to attend," Jed spoke up. "I don't want to miss it," Abby added.
Toby hurried to her side, catching the side of the hammock and leaning down to kiss her. "You want to know if you look beautiful lying there, the answer is yes. You want to know if I love you, the answer is hell yes. Next question?"
"Next question, join me for a nap in here?" CJ asked, "You know I'm not often on the asking end of the deal." she laughed lightly.
"It is hard for you to ask sometimes--for anything" Toby acknowledged, dropping next to her and then lifting her so she was mostly laying on his chest. "I love you Mrs. Tobias Ziegler. Hey do you realize when they do alpha order in school our child is always going to be last. I still have a complex about that."
"I was always near the front of the line, but most of my teachers did a-z one time and z-a the next." CJ answered. She laughed lightly then, "we could form the all Z school and only children whose last names started with Z could attend, then they'd never be at the end of the line again."
"And there would be about four students" Toby laughed. "Even amongst my Harvard graduation class there were only four Z's--two Zimmermans, a Zercher, and me. And by the time they got to our diplomas, the crowd had long since dispersed. Besides doing it from the other end doesn't help the kids with M's." He laughed again and nuzzled her soft neck, letting his beard tickle her. "In this life, you are loved by me."
"I love you Toby," CJ answered with a smile. "I never thought you and I would wind up together, but I wouldn't want it any other way." She kissed him. "Love you." she added once more before she closed her eyes for sleep.
"OK guys, the cavalry is here" Henderson told Lucas and Gina as he dropped on to the bank near Charlie and Zoey. "Go ahead" Donovan added her voice. "We're on them for the next hour." "YES" Lucas declared, taking Gina's hand and pulling her up. "Walk in the woods?"
"Wonderful," Gina replied with a smile. They rose and once they had cleared the group she took Lucas' hand for their walk. "Love you," she whispered softly with a smile.
"Love you very much" Lucas replied, and led Gina deep into the woods to a crystal clear cove. "The water is about sixty five I'd guess" he grinned. "Here's the challenge. Skinny dip, one who wimps out first gives the other an hour long back rub tonight."
"You're on!" Gina laughed lightly and pulled her clothes off, folding them and placing them in a safe hiding spot before she ran into the water, squealing and jumping when she was up to her shoulders. "It's freezing in here Miller!" She crossed her hands over her breasts, her nipples taut little rocks from the temperature.
Gina was still bouncing around, "I can't believe I let you talk me into this! This is crazy!" His gaze on her made her flush though. "The water's not feeling quite so bad anymore..." she said watching him stare at her. Then she moved away to swim.
TO BE CONTINUED