Deliveries, Arrivals and the State of the Union
Disclaimers: See part 1.
Author's Note: Thanks for all the great feedback!!!!!!
The next afternoon Leo gathered the senior staff in his office. "Ok, CJ handled the press, we're going to give the State of the Union another try in a week. Same speech, no big deal."
"Well he'll go down in history as the first president to run out of the room during the State of the Union." Josh said jokingly.
"There is that." Leo replied with a smile. "Another point of business, I need a couple people from communications to go to California with the Vice President in about two weeks." He eyed Sam and Toby. "Sam, you go, and take someone else with you."
"I think we can all guess who that someone is going to be." Toby gave Sam a sly grin.
"Shut up. We work well together." Sam smacked Toby's arm.
Josh and CJ exchanged wary glances before they dissolved into simultaneous fits of giggles.
"What did I say?" Sam looked around, confused. This only made them laugh harder.
"They seem to be thinking of a different connotation of the word 'work'." Toby told him.
Sam looked annoyed. "Get your minds out of the gutter."
"Grow up, all of you. Meeting's over, now get out." Leo announced as he surveyed his desk. "Where is my schedule?" He started to yell. "Marg...." He stopped as soon as he remembered that she wasn't there. "Does anyone know the name of today's temp? I sick of trying to keep all these people straight."
"Her name is Amy. And remind me again why Margaret isn't here." CJ said, stifling a laugh.
"She's on maternity leave." Leo looked at CJ strangely.
"And I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume you had something to do with that. So you have no one to bitch at but yourself."
"All of you, get the hell out of my office." He pointed to the door.
"I'm just saying...."
"Now!" He yelled in CJ's direction.
"Hey mom, how are you feeling?" Cassie appeared in the doorway of Abbey's hospital room, a stuffed blue elephant under each arm.
"I feel fine, Zoey stopped by earlier. So of course there were the obligatory jokes from Lisa about the fact that my daughter is about to have a baby." She eyed the animals. "Where did you get those?"
"Some place in Virginia, I thought they were cute." She sat the elephants in a chair next to the bed. "So did you finally persuade dad to go back to the White House?"
"Yeah, about an hour ago. Although I'm sure he'll be back before too long."
"I managed to sneak out between meetings, so I should be able to get back without anyone noticing I'm gone." As soon as she finished the sentence her cell phone began to ring. "I knew I shouldn't have tempted fate." She picked up the phone.
Abbey listened to Cassie's end of the conversation. "Hello... visiting my mom... it's on your desk... did you find it... yes, I'll be back in time.... love you too... bye." She slammed the phone closed. "I swear to God, I don't know how that man functions on his own."
"He needs you... God, did I do that to your arm?" Abbey eyed the purple marks on Cassie's forearm.
"Yes. Don't worry, it'll heal."
"Sorry.... So what's going on in the White House?"
"They're redoing the State of the Union in a week, Sam and I are going to California with Hoynes in two weeks." She said, with a worried look.
"Why do you look so worried about that?"
"He wants me to meet his parents while we're there."
"So? He's met your parents, what's the big deal?"
"That's different, he met you guys before we were together. Meeting his parents, this is like big time, serious commitment stuff." She began to drum her nails nervously on her knee.
Abbey stopped her hand. "Calm down. I thought you two were serious."
"We are, it's just... Richard's mother really didn't like me. I'm not sure I have the energy to go through that again. I'm not sure I'm ready to take this step."
"When Sam took me out to dinner for Valentine's Day, he told me he had a special night planned, so I spent the whole dinner on the verge of a nervous breakdown because I thought he was going to propose. Thank God I was wrong."
"You don't want to get married again?" Abbey looked at her, worriedly.
"I'm afraid to try again." She confessed. "I have a lot more baggage this time. I don't want him to end up resenting me for what I can't give him." Suddenly Cassie thought of her new brothers and the fact that her mother didn't need to hear this now. "This really isn't the time or place to be having this conversation. I have to go, I'll see you later." She gave Abbey a quick hug and left the hospital, feeling anything but certain about the future.