Burn for You
Disclaimers: See part 1.
On Monday afternoon Sam sat in his office reading through a stack of memos when Josh popped his head in the door.
"Hey Sam, can I talk to you for a minute?"
"Sure. Come on in." Josh entered the room and closed the door behind him.
"Are you sleeping with Cassie again?" He asked bluntly.
For a brief instant Sam thought of lying, of saying no, but he realized that Josh would see right through him if he did. "Yes." He answered hesitantly. "How did you know about that?"
"I came by your office during Mrs. Bartlett's birthday party. You guys should really close the blinds if you're going to do that in here." Josh said with a smirk.
"Oh God." Sam said as he buried his head in his hands. "How much did you see?"
"More than I wanted to. You should be thankful that is was me, and not Leo or the President."
"I am, you're not going to say anything about this are you?"
"No, I didn't before and I won't now."
"Sure." Josh got up to leave.
"Josh, wait. If you already knew why did you ask me?"
"It's fun to make you uncomfortable." Josh said, laughing slightly and then walking out of the room.
"Jerk." Sam muttered, without meaning it.
That night Jed returned to the Residence later than usual and when he arrived he noticed that the door to the balcony was open. Jed wandered out onto the balcony and found his daughter staring off into the night sky, the distraught look on her tired face made his heart ache. "Cassie." He softly called out her name.
She turned and looked at him, but didn't respond. So Jed approached her and stood next to her. Finally, after a long while she spoke, without looking at her father, "Do you think I would have been a good mother?" She asked, her voice filled with doubt.
Jed wanted to cry when he heard her question. It was then he realized that it was Matthew's fourth birthday today. He pulled Cassie into his arms and held her. "You would have been a fantastic mom, don't ever doubt that." His words seemed to have little effect on her and she pulled away.
"I would have loved those kids so much...Sometimes I think that if I'd been able to give him children Rich wouldn't have ended up like he did. It's funny; I can remember times when I was incredibly happy with Richard, and times when I was absolutely miserable with him. In the end the misery was all that mattered. I could get angry and curse God for the rest of my life, but what good would that do me?" She took a deep breath and brushed her long hair away from her tear stained face. "I'm sorry that I let you down."
With her last few words he did begin to cry. "You never let me down. Your mother was right and I was wrong. I should never have acted the way I did. I've always been proud of you; you were always the strongest one of us. Nothing that happed with Richard was your fault; he is responsible for his own life. I love you, I never want you to doubt that, and I'm sorry if you ever did."
She slowly nodded her head and then wrapped her arms around her father. Part of her wanted to tell him about Sam, she desperately wanted to be honest, but she couldn't help fearing his reaction. So she remained silent and just let her father hold her for a long while.
Abbey was lured outside by the sounds of voices. When she stepped onto the balcony, pulling her bathrobe on around her, she saw Jed and Cassie wrapped in each other's arms and smiled softly to herself.
The next few months passed uneventfully, Sam and Cassie continued to sneak around, as did Leo and Margaret. And so far no one suspected a thing.
One morning the senior staff filled the Oval Office for what was supposed to be a routine meeting. "Good morning all." The President said upon entering. "Before we get started today I have an announcement to make. I need two volunteers from this group to go to a meeting in London."
"What kind of a meeting, sir?" Toby asked.
"Something about nuclear disarmament, it's only a minor meeting, but I think there should be some White House representation there. Now who wants to go?" Nobody raised their hand. "Okay, Toby and Leo it is. You leave first thing tomorrow morning. So pack your bags and clear your schedules."
"Why us?" Leo asked.
"Because I said so, and you two are the most level headed people in this room."
The next morning Leo was in his office preparing to leave when Margaret came in. He noticed that she looked extremely pale. "Are you alright?"
"I don't feel too great, but I'll be fine, don't worry about me."
Worriedly he walked over to her. "You look pale, maybe you should see a doctor."
"I'm sure it'll pass."
"Promise me that if you don't feel better by tomorrow, you'll see a doctor."
"I promise. Now don't I get a kiss goodbye?" She asked taking a seat next to him on the sofa.
"I love you, you know that right." He said touching the side of her face softly.
Wordlessly, she pulled him to her and they kissed. They clung to each other for a long while until, suddenly, the door to Leo's office swung open and the President entered the room. "Leo, where the hell are you? You need to leave..." He stopped mid sentence when he saw them. Leo and Margaret sprung to their feet and adjusted their clothing.
"Sir, there is a reasonable explanation, I can assure you..." The president held up his hand and cut Leo off.
"Why don't you just get going and I'll forget I even saw this...for now."
"Yes sir." Leo and Margaret replied in unison.
"Bye Margaret, goodbye sir." Leo said, hurrying out of his office. On his way out the door he turned around and looked at Margaret in time to see her mouth "I love you" to him. He gave her a quick smile and left.
End part 2
To be continued...