Burn for You

Part 4

Disclaimers: See part 1.

When Margaret arrived at the White House the President immediately called her into the Oval Office where Abbey, Cassie, and the entire remaining senior staff were already gathered.

The President, visibly shaken, stepped to the front of the room and addressed the group. "As most of you already know, Leo and Toby went to a conference in London yesterday." He paused and took a deep breath. "At approximately seven am this morning, London time, they entered an English government building. At seven thirty-five a bomb was detonated inside that building." Jed paused to give everyone time to absorb the information.

"Are they alive?" Josh asked weakly.

"We don't know anything yet. Rescue efforts are under way, but the building sustained significant structural damage and the rescue crews haven't yet been able to get inside."

"Oh God." Abbey softly remarked.

"I'm afraid that's all I can tell you for now. As soon as I know anything else, so will all of you. Go back to work." Jed said, knowing it was futile.

Slowly they drifted out of the room. CJ, Sam, and Josh walked out together as Cassie gently led Margaret through the door into Leo's office. Abbey softly approached Jed and wrapped her arms around him.

**************************************

In Leo's office Cassie sat Margaret down on the sofa and gave her a glass of water. "Margaret, talk to me, say anything you want, just talk to me." Cassie said, worriedly.

Margaret looked up at her, the shock beginning to wear off. "Um...I'm pregnant...how's that for saying something?" She asked, attempting to smile.

"Oh. I'm stuck between congratulations and I'm sorry." Cassie sat down next to Margaret and put her arm around her.

"I actually was kind of happy about it, until now, that is."

"Hey, don't get like that. They'll be fine, you'll see."

"But what if they're not? I can't do this without him. What if he doesn't come back?" Margaret asked, fighting back tears.

"They'll be back, safe and sound." Cassie said, encouragingly. "I have a meeting to go to now. I want you to promise me that you'll take it easy. I'll be back in an hour and we'll have lunch, okay?"

"Okay, thanks for being here for me."

"No problem." Cassie said, embracing her softly.

***********************

"This is my fault, I'm the one who sent them on this damned trip." Jed said angrily, moving away from his wife.

"No it isn't. You couldn't have known this was going to happen."

"They didn't want to go, I insisted."

"They're going to be fine, they're tough."

"I hope you're right." He said, pulling her closer.

*************************

An hour later the President sat alone in the Oval Office. He'd been on the phone since Abbey had left him alone, but had gotten nowhere. Outside the window he saw Margaret staring off into the morning sky, he was concerned about her so silently he walked outside and placed his hand on her shoulder. "They'll be home before you know it."

She jumped and turned to face him. "How do you know that, sir?"

"I know Leo and I know Toby, they'll be fine. How are you holding up?"

"I've been better." She replied honestly.

"You look pale, are you sick?" There were a million questions about her and Leo that he wanted to ask, all of which were none of his business, so Jed chose to let her go.

"No." She silently willed him to drop his current line of questioning.

"Okay. I have to go make another phone call, take it easy today."

"Yes sir." Jed went back inside and Margaret headed to Josh's office to see if he needed anything.

************************

The day dragged on eternally, with no further word on Leo and Toby, despite the President's constant phone calls. Cassie spent most of the day trying to keep Margaret calm. As night approached Cassie attempted to persuade her to go home and get some rest, but she soon realized that her efforts were futile. She eventually got her to lay down in one of the spare bedrooms in the White House.

After Margaret was asleep Cassie left the room and started to head back to her own bedroom, when her mother stopped her in the hallway.

"Where's your father?"

"He's still in the Oval Office with those guys from the State Department."

"Can I talk to you alone for a minute." Abbey asked, worriedly.

"Sure, what's up?" Cassie asked, opening the door to her bedroom.

Abbey followed her daughter into the room and closed the door behind her. "I need to sit down." She said, taking a seat on the bed.

"Mom, what's wrong?"

"Nothing. It's just that...I'm going to have a baby." Abbey said as she let her exhausted body fall to the bed.

"Really? Does daddy know?"

"Yes really and no he doesn't. I don't think now is the best time to hit him with this news."

Cassie took a seat on the bed next to her mother. "There must be something going around in this building. How far along are you?"

"Eight weeks." Abbey took a second to think over Cassie's comment about something going around. "What happened with Margaret the other day?"

"She's pregnant too, but don't tell her I told you."

"I won't. Um, there's no good way to ask this, but I'm going to anyway. Who's the father?"

"I really don't want to get into specifics..."

"It's Leo isn't it?" Abbey interrupted.

"Yes. You can't tell anyone about this conversation, got it. Margaret will kill me."

"Got it. And you can't tell anyone about this." Abbey said, placing her hand on her stomach.

"My lips are sealed." She then paused. "How did you know it was Leo?"

"Jed told me that he walked in on them kissing right before Leo left. How is she holding up?"

"Not great, she's asleep down the hall, she was afraid that if she left something would happen with Leo."

"That sounds reasonable."

"Congratulations." Cassie said, hugging her mother. "Isn't this risky for you?"

"Thank you. Yes, there are definite risks associated with having a baby at my age, but I'm sure that you're father will be hovering over me, and I'm going to take good care of myself."

Just then there was a knock on the door and Jed's voice sounded from the other side, "Abbey, you in there?"

"Yes, come on in. " Jed opened the door and entered the room.

"Any news?" Cassie asked hopefully.

"The rescue crews have entered the building, we should know something soon." Jed said worriedly.

Abbey got up and wrapped her arms around him. "Everything's going to be fine, just wait and see."

"I hope you're right." He leaned down to kiss her.

"I really don't need to see this." Cassie said.

"Then go back to your room." Jed said.

"This is my room."

"Oh, right, sorry."

Suddenly there was a knock on the door and Charlie entered the room. "Mr. President, you need to come back to the office."

"Stay here." Jed told Abbey and Cassie as he hurried out of the room.

 

 

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