A huge thank you to all who stuck with this long story and especially for the feedback provided. The next in the series "Fajitas and Margaritas" will start next week.
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/
DISCLAIMER: The West Wing belongs to NBC et al. No copyright infringement is intended. The following is for entertainment only.
NOTE: 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 8--
"I want that too, very much" Leo smiled, hugging the slight girl to him. "I love your mom a whole lot you know. I have for a long time, back before your brother and sister were born but she wasn't sure about leaving your dad and well....like with most adult things it's complicated. I often wish we could see things simple--like you and Tucker do maybe huh?"
"Well...things aren't so simple between Tucker and I," Chloe said hesitantly, "but I kind of understand things between you and my mom and I'm glad that she has you. It's the way I wanted it." Chloe suddenly blurted out, "I slept with him Leo."
"Would You Hold Me" Pt 9-concl--
Leo swallowed hard and his hands froze in place on her arms. "Is this some kind of test to see how I'm going to react as your new father----I hope" he stammered.
"It's between you and me," Chloe said, "I knew mom would go through the roof. I hoped you would understand. You can't tell her...just...advise me."
"I was hoping you were kidding" Leo sighed, "but you wouldn't kid about something this important. No I won't tell her, but I hope you will at some point. Advice--OK here's my best advice, don't. But I can see that would be like stopping a runaway freight train so my next advice--protection. If you're old enough to make love, you're old enough to take responsibility that goes with it, either by preventing a pregnancy, or accepting the consequences of one. Am I making sense to you here?"
"Yes sir but..." Chloe sighed, "well Leo you know that my being Catholic we believe that God is in charge of babies. But if I wanted to...if I wanted to be smart and use protection. Would you help me get some? Mother would have a fit... I don't know what to do but Leo I love him. I can't not be with him."
"And if we forbade you two to see each other you would anyway and maybe end up doing something unsafe like meeting in a park or something" Leo sighed. "When Tucker picks you up tomorrow--uh tonight--I'll talk to him and make sure he has something and then you two can decide for yourselves about responsibility. I'm glad you came to me Chloe, and I hope you'll talk to your mom too. You can come to me with anything, that I promise you."
Chloe smiled and hugged him, "I know I can. Mother just wouldn't understand right now though. I love you Dad. I really do." she leaned in and hugged him and held tightly to him. She fell asleep like that in his arms.
"Fathering is a young man's game" he groaned, lifting her up just to move her to the sofa, covering her securely with the afghan draped over the arm. He paused and stroked her hair back from her face. "I hope you and Tucker know what you're doing" he whispered "you're playing a dangerous game." With that he left her and hurried up to Caroline, finding her keeping his side of the bed warm. "Chloe's asleep on the sofa downstairs" he murmured as he crawled in behind her, fitting himself to her.
The next day passed in a blur of nerves and anticipation for Chloe. Finally the time came for her to get dressed and she picked out a stunning emerald green sleeveless dress with a set of slingback heels. Her hair was curled beautifully at the ends and she rolled one side back from her face and fastened it with a silver butterfly clip. Now all she had to do was wait for Tucker and hope everything went right. Leo had not behaved any different today and her mother was obviously clueless so things were going right so far.
"Daughter you look beautiful" Leo smiled. "I hope Seaborn is taking you to a place befitting your appearance." He looked around and noticed with satisfaction that Caroline was out back, letting the twins splash happily in the shallow end of the pool. "Hopefully that will last a few minutes longer so that when Tucker arrives we can talk" he said slowly. "I'm not real thrilled at keeping this from your mom like this but at the same time I don't want to betray your confidence, and I don't see any point in her knowing right yet anyway.
"I'll tell her later when she's really gotten used to him. I just don't want her to freak out like you said and forbid us from seeing each other. I'm glad you seem to understand." Just then the doorbell rang and Chloe ran to get it. She smiled and kissed Tucker before leading him into the front living room where Leo was.
"Tucker" Leo greeted him with a smile and handshake, and all three sat down, Tucker's arm going immediately around Chloe. "Tucker, I'm a straight out person, always have been--unusual in my line of work but get used to it. Chloe told me what happened between you two yesterday." Tucker turned pale and tightened his arm on Chloe. "Are we dead?" he whispered.
Chloe shook her head and smiled softly before whispering back, "no... Leo's cool. He was very understanding. We're not dead but you'll probably want to take the advice he gives."
"I think we need to have you two think about protection" Leo said slowly, "I'm not condoning what you're doing. I think you're both too young, but I can see that your feelings are running deep for each other right now; and you're probably going to anyway. I don't want you having to go off someplace unsafe, so Tucker, what about it? Chloe is too young and her body doesn't need to be on the pill, so it's probably going to be up to you."
"Yes sir" Tucker swallowed and nodded. "Actually sir it's taken care of. I uh....I realized this morning what we had done--in the clear light of day--and I took care of it while I was at work today. Though I have to admit..." he smiled and turned to Chloe "having this beautiful creature carry my child wouldn't be the end of the world."
"Well it might if my mother found out, besides I'm only 15, almost 16, and that would be hard on me," Chloe answered diplomatically. "Thank-you for being so thoughtful to take care of me." she looked to Leo for anything further.
"Tucker I'm putting her in your hands" Leo said solemnly, "and holding you personally responsible. Are we clear?" "Very sir. I know it seems like we can't possibly be, since we've just met and all. But I love her and I'd die myself before I'd let her be hurt." "Good" Leo nodded. "And that you took the responsibility for what we talked about on your own just raised your stock in my estimation, not that it wasn't already up there. Have a good time tonight. Chloe, don't forget to say good night to your mother. Oh Tucker, bring her home at a reasonable hour and don't wake the dead when you two come in." "Yes sir" Tucker grinned and Leo moved away to join Caroline.
"I'm weak all over" Tucker sighed, holding his hand out so she could see it shaking.
Chloe smiled and laughed lightly. "It's okay...we're alright." She stepped through the large den and out onto the patio. "Mom, Tucker and I are headed out," Chloe called lightly with a smile. "Okay sweetie, be very careful you hear and don't do anything dangerous. Have a good time tonight you two." "We will!" Chloe called in parting as grabbing Tucker's hand they raced from the house. "Alright I'm yours for the night."
"And you look stunning" Tucker grinned, taking her to his car. "We'll go eat and drive out to the big multi-plex theater out past Bethesda and see what movie we want when we get there." He drove her out Wisconsin Ave. to O'Donnells seafood. "Sam brought me here last week and the food is great" he explained, "and they have plenty of non seafood items if you've a mind." He pulled up in front and let the valet take the car. "First date, trying to impress her" he told the man.
Leo was about to lower himself into the pool with Caroline when the doorbell rang. It was a delivery service and he was handed a large white envelope. When he returned to Caroline he sat down on one of the deck chairs and she looked at him quizzically. "DNA test results" he said softly, "Mike said he'd rush." He handed her the envelope. "You look and tell me" he urged.
Caroline toweled off her hands and then opened the envelope and looked at the papers. She began to tremble and tears came to her eyes. She looked up to an anxious Leo. "They're yours. 99.9% certain." She looked at the twins and smiled. "Our babies."
Chloe walked gracefully on Tucker's arm and everyone in the restaurant looked. The waiters even smiled at her and paid special attention to them. Chloe finally decided to order a steak plate.
"And I'll have the Captain's Platter" Tucker decided to the waiter and then they were left alone. "I have missed you so much today" he sighed and then given the relative privacy of their booth, took her face between gentle palms and kissed her. "I was crazy without you all day at work."
Leo nearly forgot to breathe for a minute, so much in shock and gladness he was. "These beautiful children were made by you and me" he gasped finally when he was nearly blue. "My son and daughter, born of my genes." He pulled Caroline down onto his lap. "Thank you" he whispered, tears on his cheeks."
"I want to have their birth certificates changed," Caroline smiled. "Our children, two of probably three precious children you've made with me." she smiled at him, eyes sparkling, "I'm another day late."
"You are going to have to find a way to concentrate when I'm not around," Chloe smiled. "I missed you too though, very much so."
"I called my boss Chloe three times today" Tucker sighed. "That her name is Claire doesn't help but still, how pathetic is that?"
Leo's breathing turned irregular again. "Last night I had the thought that fathering was for younger men" he sighed, "and I think I was right." He pulled her into his arms. "Caroline I love you so much. We'll see to their birth certificates asap, and to another certificate as well also asap--the one that makes you my wife."
Chloe laughed melodically, "did she catch on? I can't believe you did that! You're so adorable."
Caroline smiled and then she looked seriously at him, "Leo...have you changed your mind? You don't want another baby?" she asked softly.
Leo gasped in horror at her words. "Oh sweetheart not at all--I want one more than anything. To see you grow large with my child, to be with you through all of the pregnancy and delivery. No, I'm just overwhelmed right now--overwhelmed with gladness and happiness and love." He put the side of his head to her flat stomach and then turned so his lips could kiss there. "I'm praying there is our child in here, praying very hard. In fact would it be OK if I ran to the corner so we can find out for sure?"
Tucker blushed at her words. "She thought it was funny and after the third time she says 'well if Chloe is so important to you I guess I can forget you asking me out.'" "Not that I would anyway" he added hastily. "I've found what I want right here in you Chloe Murphy."
Caroline shrugged, "Sounds like a plan to me but don't kill yourself getting to the corner. Remember I need you." She kissed him. "I love you Leo."
Chloe laughed excitedly, "That's so funny. I feel sorry for her...I imagine most girls would die to go out with you and here I am two nights in a row! Deliriously happy too."
"I love you and I need you too" Leo told her, rubbing her back quickly. "And I meant walk--I run enough every day through those blasted halls."
"I didn't have a lot of girls crowding me at school" Tucker admitted, "but then I wasn't much interested either. I mostly was just hanging out in a crowd--and not the kind of people I want to know now either." His face clouded. "One of the reasons I was wanting to get away was that the so called mastermind of the robbery. Well he got two years hard time because he was eighteen and he's got a long juvie record besides. Anyway, he swore he'd find me when he got out. And I know he won't do the full two, more likely he'll be out in a couple months with good behavior. Anyway I'd as soon not be around when he comes back for me."
Chloe sobered quickly, "Well you'll be safe here in DC with Sam and I. I'll help introduce you to the right people, well Sam, Leo and the group will really. Anyhow, you've got to shape up and not be a loser magnet or a sucker or you'll get mixed up with those kind of people here and I'll never get to see you again." she droped her head. "I don't want that."
Caroline fished the kids from the pool while he was gone and was in the process of giving them a bath when he got back. Belle was busy splashing and Brighton was busy squirting her with an elephant toy.
"Oh no way" Tucker declared forcefully. "I've had more of jail life just at the county home than I ever want to see again. You are my life now, and I'm going to school here, get my grades up and get into Georgetown U in two years. Then medical school and then I'm going to do trauma medicine right here in DC--and come home to you."
"Daddy takes over" Leo announced and Brighton turned the elephant toy on him, soaking his shirt. "Cute kid" he grinned, snatching up his son, who soaked him even further. "Go ahead angel" he urged Caroline. "We'll be right here." He hooked his arm around her neck and kissed her. "For luck added to my prayer" he whispered.
Caroline snuck off to the master bathroom to take the test while Leo bathed his twins. Belle was easy to handle but it was hard to get Brighton to stay still long enough to bathe him.
Chloe smiled, "That is a nice thought isn't it? If we could stay together that long and then to get married and have a home of our own. I'm going to Georgetown U in three years. I still don't know what I want to be yet though."
Caroline returned to help Leo put the children to bed. Once they had left the room she walked with him downstairs to enjoy the rest of their evening. She handed him the test. It was as positive as the one he had found in the folder from Toby that day.
"You can be anything you want as long as the words Mrs. Tucker Joseph Seaborn come before it" he grinned and squeezed her hand. "It's fun to dream about the future isn't it. A few days ago I didn't have much of one, at least not one that I was particularly looking forward to."
"Thank you" Leo sighed after a long stare at it. "Thank you so much." His eyes looked heavenward as he repeated the words, then he threw his arms around her. "We're going to have a baby--you're carrying my child, again. This is certainly going to be fun to announce at the fajita party---unless you want to keep it quiet for awhile. I love you Caroline."
"No you're more than welcome to share though do be careful of Donna. Another member of the group being pregnant is going to be hard on her. I want so much for her to have a baby." Caroline replied with a smile.
"Now everything's so wonderful. It's amazing what can happen in just a few days. Your whole life can change." Chloe replied. They finished dinner and then saw a reshowing of Philadelphia Story on the big screen. "The movie was wonderful!" Chloe exclaimed happily as they walked up the pathway to Leo's house.
"I hadn't thought about Donna" Leo admitted. "I know she's bad in baby want, like I saw on Oprah the other day--uh passing through the lounge that is. Maybe we should see how it goes. But at the same time she would be happy for you. She's that way, totally generous and giving."
The house was dark save the upstairs bedroom lamp when they let themselves in and immediately were greeted by a loud shrieking noise. "Security system" Tucker yelled and a moment later Leo appeared at the top of the steps, holding a handgun. "It's just us" Tucker screeched. "Doorpad behind you" Leo pointed wildly as the shrieking alarm woke both twins who were now wailing. "942, pause" he yelled again and the noise blissfully stopped. "My fault. I set it when I came up here and didn't remember my teenage daughter was out." "We'll probably have the police here" Tucker moaned. "Canceling them now" Leo assured him, ''everyone back to bed...uh as you were...uh never mind. Caroline I'm coming" he called. "So much for making a quiet entrance" Tucker smiled and kissed her.
"It's all right," Chloe sighed and then she kissed Tucker again. "Thanks for a wonderful evening." She kissed him once more and with a few more goodbyes and 'I love you's' she watched him jog down the walk back to his car and disappear. She locked the door and reset the alarm and then leaned against the wall with a contented sigh.