Title: Would you Hold me?
This is the sixth in the series: A Bagel and a Beginning, Chili with a side of 'The Jackal', Dinner and Dancing, Darts and Dresses, and Josh and Donna's Getaway Weekend. All of these stories can be found on our webpage: Http://www.phantomroses.com/SarahRabb/
These stories are mostly about the personal lives of the characters. If this doesn't interest you I suggest chunking this one now.
From Part 2:
"I have appointments I can't shake this afternoon" Leo smiled, "but I'm going to free up some time tomorrow so I can show all of you around the White House. "I think the president would love to meet Chloe and the twins." He put his arm across her shoulder and led her into the living room. "What's going to happen with you?" he asked gently. "Are you going to work out of the house here are you thinking? If you would want to bring the twins to daycare you could even work at the White House. I have a researcher's vacancy, part time, on the staff I can't fill. It's one of those jobs where you do forty hours work in twenty and they wonder why no one wants it."
Caroline cringed, "I think I'll pass. I'll probably do work from home here so that I can continue to care for the twins. Unless of course you really need me, but the nice thing about working at home is that I can set my own hours." "Hey is there a gym around here? I'm going to miss my morning work out..." "That's my Chloe the beauty," Caroline smiled.
Donna and CJ popped back into Toby's office, "We're back safe and sound, the only thing harmed was Josh's VISA." CJ laughed.
"Would You Hold Me" Part 3:
Toby looked up, unreasonably relieved even though they were simply out in broad day light. At the same time Josh was barreling down the aisle, having seen them pass by. "Good you're back" he said, trying to be casual and then gave in to the urge to sweep Donna into his arms. "CJ, Leo reminds you about the press briefing" he said as he hugged Donna. "The president doesn't want it to go past today now that Zoey is home and well. Charlie's outburst in church kind of sealed it, but there's been no comment since."
CJ nodded with a sigh, "Okay yes I know, I'll announce it." "Got the shopping done," Donna told Josh with a smile. "CJ's going to call her caterer and we'll be ready to have the wedding in three weeks." "Speaking of Zoey I think we should all go up and see her this evening. I was thinking maybe a group thing...maybe someone should run this past the president?" CJ suggested.
"Wow really? That would be great! I promise I wouldn't be any trouble," Chloe offered with a smile, "I mean I really wouldn't want to get you in trouble and I can't believe I'd be in the White House!"
"Hey that's a good idea" Josh approved. "Mrs. Barlet has a speaking engagement and he's planning on staying here since it's Zoey's first night at home. We could order pizza or subs or something. Let me see what Leo thinks."
"White House facilities are open to family members" Leo assured her. "You're not an armed terrorist are you? And as of this morning, you're living in my house. I'm in love with your mother. That makes you a family member. Get your stuff."
Chloe ran to her bags and after a short rummaging had her gym stuff together with another suit inside. She smiled at Leo and looked every bit as poised as her mother as she stood on her heeled sandals in her sundress. "Ready Dad." Chloe smiled at the door. Caroline smiled brightly from where she stood still.
"Dad huh" Leo smiled. "I like the sound of that from the daughter of the woman I love. I should tell Mallory she has two little sisters and a baby brother." He turned to Caroline. "Are you going to be OK here then? I should be home by six and we'll all get some dinner some place."
Caroline smiled and nodded, "I suppose, especially with you having meetings. The President will meet all your new roommates tomorrow. Chloe you keep out of trouble and where your Dad tells you to stay." Chloe nodded. "Love you both," Caroline smiled and watched them go.
Leo made sure Chloe was well strapped in and took her back to the White House. "Leo you finally got an assistant" Sam greeted him first thing, "but you know about child labor laws don't you."
Chloe smiled and then replied in a voice that sounded quite a bit like a miniature version of her mother. "Yes but I enjoy helping and if I'm not getting paid then it's not labor. Hello sir."
"Sam this is....OK CJ, Josh, Donna come here" he called "Oh Toby good--now maybe I only have to make it once. This is Chloe Murphy. She's Caroline's daughter and she's going to be staying with me, along with her mom and her brother and sister. Chloe this is..." and he proceeded to go around the room. "Leo a word with you" Jed Bartlet's voice echoed suddenly and he was striding toward them. "What happened with Senator....whoa who would this beautiful young woman be?" "Mr. President, this is Chloe Murphy" Leo smiled, "and she's going to be living with me...uh I mean her mother...she's Caroline's daughter sir and they're staying with me now." "Pleased to meet you Chloe" Jed held out his hand to the teenager.
Chloe stood stock still and wide-eyed staring at him. "Wow, I'm standing in the same room with the President of the US." Chloe finally commented and then she smiled remembering her manners and extended her hand. "Hello Mr. President. It is an honor and a privilege to meet you. We're Leo's new family and I'm sorry if I'm bothering things."
"It's my pleasure, and you are no bother" Jed smiled. "So Leo has a new family huh. This is a story I have to hear, along with some government business." "Yes sir, be right there." Leo assured him. "I'll show her down to the health club and be right back." "Sam is down there with his brother" Josh spoke up. "I didn't even know there was another Seaborn, let alone one only sixteen."
"Hey remember Sam's record with women," CJ called after Leo and Chloe. "Wow," CJ commented to the others where they still stood gathered, "Leo with children..."
Leo returned later and the others caught him before he could enter the oval office. "Leo we were thinking about all visiting Zoey tonight and we thought we'd run it past you." Donna nodded.
"Leo looks good with children" Josh smiled.
"Are you taking her and Charlie food?" Leo asked. "I'm sure if you showed up with an armful of non-institutional food you'd be welcomed with open arms. I'll check with the President in case he's planning one of those family only evenings."
"Well hello" the tall young man greeted Chloe as she emerged from the changing room, taking in her lithe figure. He levered himself from the pool, water glistening from his smooth skin and his red speedo clinging to him. "I was hoping for some company down here, but I didn't know it was going to be this good looking. Tucker Seaborn." He held out his hand to her, shaking water from it.
"Chloe," she replied with a smile shaking his hand. "Do you swim here often? This is my first visit to the White House. I kind of belong to Leo." She dove effortlessly into the water.
"Would you please check with him," CJ requested as Leo and Josh were disappearing for the oval office.
"Okay it's sudden death time," CJ sighed again realizing it was time for her to give the big announcement. She smiled and then spoke to Toby, "I'll be in your office shortly." She then walked to the announcement room. Standing before the press she gave them the announcement of the PBS progress and a couple of other minor announcements. "And finally I would like to make the formal announcement that the President's daughter Zoey is expecting a child as am I. These babies are due November 12th. That's all I have we'll open the floor for questions."
The press room fell silent and it was Danny Concannon who finally stood and said, "I'd like to express congratulations to both of you." For a second his eyes locked with hers and he hoped he had sounded sincere for he did mean what he was saying, "could you tell us how the President and first Lady, and Charlie reacted please."
Tucker watched her for a minute as she cut cleanly through the water and then followed her in, doing a jackknife from the board, and coming up next to her. "I sort of belong to Sam" he grinned. "Our folks took off on a two month cruise for the summer and gave me to big brother. He's supposed to be straightening me out I guess."
"Although the President likes to keep his family life private and separate from his office I will tell you that he and the First Lady were very pleased with the prospect of being grandparents and of course Charlie is thrilled with the thought of being a father. On behalf of both of us I thank-you for your congratulations." CJ said catching his eyes briefly and knowing she hadn't heard the end of this from him. "Any further questions?" she asked the press.
Chloe laughed, "And what did you do to need to get straightened out? You don't look like a bum to me. Oh excuse me!" She gasped with a laugh.
"Thanks," he gave her a quick grin. "No I uh...kind of got in with a bunch of kids who didn't much care about rules and such. One night they thought it would be fun to rob a convenience store. I didn't even know they were going to and I was in the car; but I still did six months on the County. I got out and my folks sent me here to Big Brother. Now I'm working part time and hanging out with him. He said he hadn't told anybody about me yet."
The press wisely directed the questioning away from the baby issue and the conference concluded. Toby was waiting at the door when she walked off and he caught her as she came to him. "You did great" he assured her, handing her a tall glass of orange juice.
"Oh wow," Chloe looked horrified momentarily. "Well maybe we should you, get involved in Habitat for Humanity or some clean up DC project or something this summer. It might be even more fun if we did it together. Or maybe we could just hang out at Leo's and your brothers."
"Thank-you," CJ sighed absently laying a hand against her flat stomach as she had recently taken up doing. "Well now everyone knows our little secret." "Wow you're pregnant CJ," Mandy gasped having just heard the press conference, "Congratulations. Oh wow!" She said moving off.
"Yeah Sam's been trying to get me into something" Tucker sighed, "but mostly I've been sleeping and watching HBO when I'm not at work, and then coming here to work out. Habitat sounds great though. I've got my license and Sam got me an old car to bum around in." He gave her a quirky turn of his head. "Would you really be interested in hanging out? I haven't met anyone--no one at work for sure and I don't want to meet anyone like the kids I just came from. If I keep my nose clean in two years my record is sealed and I start fresh."
"Someone who didn't know" Toby grinned, "come bring your juice into my office and take a break. I need someone to bounce something I'm writing up off of anyway."
CJ smiled and followed along crashing on the couch and kicking her heels off to prop her feet up. "Wow...it feels a little more real now. You know half the time I don't believe it myself."
"Well you know I just moved here so I don't really know anyone myself," Chloe answered. "I think you're an okay guy if you can stay out of trouble and maybe I should make that my project, to keep you out of trouble while you're here."
Toby sat down next to her after closing the door, with a glare to the young woman at the outside desk, who simply smiled and nodded, reading him that he did not wish to be disturbed. He lifted her feet and put them into his lap, massaging the stockinged toes one by one and then working his way to the balls, his fingers kneading gently. "It's all going to be OK" he told her with an easy smile. "You did real good. Now you're simply a working expectant mother, doing a very important job. And who's very much loved by her husband."
Tucker smiled broadly. "Thanks. I'd like that. Since neither of us know anyone we can start off as a group of two. And thanks for saying I'm OK. You know the whole time I'm growing up it was Sam has done this, Sam has gotten this honor, Sam is working at the White House. I mean I love the guy OK, he's my brother, but he's not God. I know I was born fourteen years after him and my parents no more wanted me than they wanted a stray kitten but come on, I deserve my place too." He looked at her and swallowed hard. "Hey I'm sorry. I didn't mean to dump that on you. I'll bet your life hasn't been all that wonderful either. But you suddenly seemed like someone to talk to."
CJ smiled and leaned back relaxing, "Expectant mother...never thought I'd hear that referring to me. I'm actually pretty excited about it though. Almost three months. Don't forget we've a doctor's appointment Wednesday. Now what did you want to run by me or was that just an excuse to get me to do some more resting?"
"Hey I'm cool with that," Chloe answered, "I'd much rather you be the kind of guy that wants to talk to me than the kind that wants to hit on me because he thinks he has seen me in a magazine. Besides it's good to listen to other people's problems. It makes you feel better about yours and also maybe I really want to help you." Just then she splashed him playfully, laughed and swam off.
"A little of both. No actually Mrs. Bartlett wanted some input for her speech at the university tonight so I wrote this up and wanted you to see it. You know I value your opinion above all others." Toby replied.
Tucker laughed as well and dove after her, catching her foot easily as she fled and pulling her back to him, catching her in his arms and for a brief second their eyes held before he laughed again and pushed her, this time it was he who swam away. "Meet you in the weight room" he called back over his shoulder. "Let's see if you've got any muscle in that beautiful body of yours."
"Charlie and Chloe gratefully accept your offer of dinner" Jed told Leo, hanging up the phone. "Charlie's real excited about starting school too. My son in law could be president in thirty years. Of course by then you and I will be so old we won't care."
Leo laughed, "You old? I'll believe it when I see it. Good the staff was wanting to drop in and see them, wish Zoey well. I'll stop in for a little while but I've got things to do at home."
Chloe pulled herself gracefully from the pool and dried off before joining Tucker in the weight room. She started out with a successful bench pressing session before working her abs and then a brief stint with the treadmill before going into the bar room and doing some ballet stretches for cool down.
Tucker had major difficulty concentrating on his own routine as he watched her stretch and pull with her exercises. "Tuck it might be an OK summer after all" he sighed to himself and added another weight to either side of the bar. "Let me know when you're ready to cool off in the pool again" he called to her.
"I'll bet you do" Jed leered. "Look if your schedule is as clear as mine, take off and pick up this new family so we can all meet them at one time. Chloe seems great, and of course I've known Caroline as long as you have. If they're going to be your family then they're part of this one too. Besides the residence needs to get used to little ones again."
Chloe finished her ballet moves. "All done. You can come get me in the sauna when you're finished being macho." she said but with a smile in her face and eyes that disarmed any ill feelings that might have been construed from what she said. She was simply an all-around nice girl and a good judge of character. She turned around and waltzed back to the pool room to lie in the sauna in her suit.
Leo smiled, "Well thank-you Mr. President, with your permission I think I will. We shall return." Leo gave Jed a smile then to thank him as one friend to another and it was easy to tell how happy he was.
TO BE CONTINUED