Burn for You
As soon as they entered the room Cassie sat on the couch next to Zoey. Jed paced around the room trying in vain to speak. Cassie could feel Zoey's grip on her arm tightening as her fear of Jed grew with every passing second. Finally Abbey broke the silence, "Jed, for God's sake stop pacing!"
"Sorry." He said absentmindedly as he sat down.
Abbey turned her attention to Charlie and Zoey. "Have you two thought about what you're going to do?"
"Mrs. Bartlet, I know this probably sounds overly simple and not well thought out, but we want to get married and have this baby." Charlie said bravely as Zoey nodded her agreement.
"Dad, say something please." Zoey said hesitantly.
Jed took a deep breath. "I think I'm calm enough to talk now. I am in no way happy about this, but there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to change the situation. If you two are sure that getting married is what you want, then I suppose you have my blessing."
"Thank you daddy." Zoey said, hugging her father.
"Thank you sir." Charlie added.
"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go lay down. I was up all night." Jed announced.
"What about our news?" Abbey asked.
"Oh God, I almost forgot. Zoey, your mom and I also have some big news."
"What, are you pregnant too?" Zoey asked her mother jokingly.
"Actually, yes I am."
Zoey was about to laugh until she caught the look in Cassie's eyes warning her she shouldn't. "Really...wow."
"Congratulations." Charlie said.
"Isn't this dangerous for you?" Zoey asked, worriedly.
"She's right about that." Jed added, emphatically.
"Congratulations, mom." Zoey got up and hugged Abbey.
"Thank you." Abbey said, getting to her feet. "Ok Jed, now you can go lay down. And Cassie, come take a walk with me. Zoey, Charlie, I'll see you two here for dinner."
A few moments later Abbey and Cassie were walking through the Rose Garden.
An annoyed expression passed over Cassie's face. "It's nice to see that dad has learned a valuable lesson at my expense. He didn't pitch a fit, and he didn't forbid her to do anything."
"He likes Charlie, he always has. And he knew about their relationship, they weren't sneaking around." Abbey put her arm around Cassie's shoulders.
"He liked Richard, I never could understand how dad could turn on his friend like that."
"He was wrong, he knows that now. This isn't why I wanted to come out here."
"You know why I want to talk to you, right?" Abbey asked.
"Is this serious?"
"Are you happy?"
Cassie began smiling uncontrollable. "Yes, very happy."
"Who else knows about this?"
"Margaret and Josh, that's all as far as I know."
"You do realize that now that your father knows, everyone is going to know."
"I don't care, he was the only one we were worried about telling."
"It probably would have gone over better if you'd simply come out and told him."
Cassie took a seat on the grass. "I know.... How are you really feeling about this thing with Zoey?"
Abbey sat down next to her daughter. "Not thrilled, it would have been nice to see one woman in this family not getting married because they got pregnant."
"We really should get a better tradition."
Abbey laughed lightly. "I know that some parents want their children to follow in their footsteps, but I could have done without you and Zoey following in mine."
"Your life seems to have turned out pretty well."
"True.... I definitely lucked out. I can't imagine being happier than I am now."
"When are you and dad going to let the staff in on the baby news."?
"He wants to have everybody over tomorrow afternoon. But, I doubt he'll tell them about Zoey yet."
"Is he once again a hundred percent certain that this one's going to be a boy?"
"He hasn't said that yet, but he's only known for a few hours, I'm sure he'll say it eventually."
Cassie laughed softly. "I'm sure he will."
"So this makes three right, three pregnant women in the White House?"
"Like I said before, there's something in the water."
"When do you think Leo and Margaret are going to start letting people in on their secret?"
"Well, after that kiss this morning I'm sure that everyone in the building knows that they're together. But, I don't even know if she's told him about the baby yet. How do you think Leo will react?"
"I know he's always wished that he and Jenny had had more children. I'm sure he'll be thrilled once he gets used to the idea." Abbey slowly got to her feet. "I'm going to go lay down."
"Ok. I'll see you later."
Cassie sat in silence for a long while, until eventually she got up and ran her fingers through her hair. She stopped the motion of her hands when she felt something cold and metallic on her forehead. She looked down at her left hand and saw her wedding ring. She hadn't been able to bring herself to take it off, even after her divorce was final, even after Sam. Cassie couldn't help but wonder what this meant, why couldn't she let go of the past? She hurriedly shoved her hands into the pockets of her jeans as she headed back inside the White House, desperate to clear her head.
Abbey heard Jed softly call out her name as she crawled in bed beside him. "Yes dear."
"Did you talk to Cassie?"
All she wanted to do was sleep, but she could tell he wasn't going to let her go. "Yes."
"And she's happy, can you please not do anything to change that. Sam's a nice guy."
"Alright, alright, I won't kill Sam." He said, defeated.
"That's all I'm asking." Abbey told him, kissing him softly.
"How are you feeling?"
"I feel fine, you worry too much."
End part 7