A big big thank you for all the positive feedback. You guys are the best
[and you know who you are!]. And thanks also to all those who have expressed
understanding that sometimes women get caught up in these relationships and
are not sure how to extracate themselves; and who agreed with me that there
are a lot of lunatics out there masquerading as perfectly normal people!!

TITLE: "Where Pride Goeth"
AUTHOR: Pat Steiner [ssbpmn@aol.com]
SUMMARY: A relationship for Donna brings her and Josh closer together as
tragedy strikes. Rated PG for mild violence and language.
DISCLAIMER: The West Wing belongs to NBC et al. No copyright infringement
is intended and the following is for entertainment purposes only.

From Part 3--
"I want you to go get cleaned up now" he said firmly. "Then we're going
back to D.C. After that we'll see what we can do. One step at a time though.
You get dressed and we'll get out of here." He helped her from the bed and
she began to walk toward the bathroom. It was then he noticed she was in
obvious pain as she limped and held her stomach.
"Donna what's that about?" he asked, knowing she would know to what he
was referring.
"Brian likes to...it's real important to him to be in charge" she
answered, her voice barely audible, "even in bed." She stood still for a
moment, her back to him, and let the implications of what she said sink in
before continuing to the bathroom.
Josh shook from anger but refrained from comment until he heard the water
run. "I'm going to kill that sonafabitch" he swore out loud.

"Where Pride Goeth" Part 4--
While he waited for her to come out he busied himself gathering her
things and had the suitcase mostly packed.
She was moving a little better when she did emerge, courtesy of the warm
water and aspirin and she quickly finished the packing job Josh had begun.
Nodding that she was ready, she let him take the suitcase with one hand
and slip his other arm around her waist, taking her to the car. He carefully
fastened the belt over her and before he backed out of the car, kissed her
cheek lightly. "It's going to be OK. Somehow it's going to be OK."
The ride back to D.C. was two hours of silence until Josh pulled up in
front of her apartment.
"You're staying aren't you?" she asked, her voice tiny.
"Oh yeah" Josh assured her vehemently. "I'm going to see that you eat
and get some rest; and we have to see what we're going to do about this jerk.
I'm thinking electric chair myself."
That brought a small smile to her face. "There isn't anything I can do.
I can't press charges. He didn't hold a gun to my head and force me."
"No but he did beat you" he protested.
"Josh he hit me once and shoved me. Sure I could. The man is a lawyer
for godsake. How far do you think I'd get. He'd get probation if he was
even found guilty." She sniffled loudly and wiped her face. "I'm more
worried about how I'm going to convince him I'm finished with him."
"Maybe I'll get lucky and get to do that myself" he muttered, helping her
from the car and smiling slightly at the mental image of his hands around
Berger's throat.
"You get into bed and I'm going to bring you some tea and toast" Josh
directed once they were inside the door. "And then I'm going to look into
what it takes to get a restraining order."
"Oh Josh I don't think that's..." she began and a finger to her lips
stopped her.
"We'll talk about it later. Right now you're so tired you can barely
walk and that means you're in no shape to make any kind of reasonable
decision. I also need to call the office."
"Oh Josh they don't know do they?" She looked horrified at the thought.
"Sam knows a little. I had to tell him where I was going so he could
tell Leo."
"Because of the Myer meeting this afternoon" she moaned. "Oh Josh Leo is
going to kill you" she moaned, forgetting her own embarrassment for the
moment.
"Wouldn't be the first--or last--time" Josh gave her a small push toward
the bedroom. "Now go lay down. You're stalling."
She gave a long sigh and he patted her shoulder. "Go."
With only a little fumbling Josh prepared the snack for her. She in the
meantime slipped gratefully into her soft robe and collapsed face down onto
the bed, wondering how her life seemed to be spiraling out of control. Her
feelings for Josh and her shame at letting Berger control her all played over
and over in her head as she listened to his movements. She had just closed
her eyes, allowing a few tears to escape, when a soft gentle voice called her
name.
"I'm OK" she said quickly, sitting up and wiping her eyes.
"Of course you are" he grinned, sitting next to her and holding the cup
of hot liquid to her lips.
She took a few sips and he handed her a piece of toast.
"I'm not sure I can" she sighed, staring at the solid food.
"Try please" he begged.
She took a few tentative bites and suddenly clapped her hand over her
mouth, leaping from the bed and splattering them both with tea in her haste
to reach the bathroom.
The sounds of her being sick mingled with her sobbing and he waited at
the door, uncertain whether to enter. His uncertainty vanished a moment
later as he heard her fall heavily. With an alarmed cry of her name, he
pushed through the door and gasped when he saw her laying weakly against the
tub, barely able to hold herself upright.
"Josh I'm so sorry" she whispered miserably.
"If you apologize one more time I'm putting insubordination into your
personnel file" he chided her. "none of this is your fault, now let's get
you up. I'm thinking you need a doctor--that head injury could be serious."
"No..oh Josh no please" she begged, her voice becoming more high pitched
and upset with each word. "Please let me see if I can get myself under
control. I don't want anyone seeing me like this. I hate that you are in
fact."
"Now why is that?" he demanded as he helped her up.
"Because it's not the way I want the man I care about to see me" she
murmured softly, realizing she had admitted a piece of her heart.
"I care about you too" he responded at once. "Very much."
Before either could speak further, he had lifted her into his arms.
Their eyes met and held, the import of what each had just said passing
between them as he carried her back to her bed.
"This is not your fault" he repeated, cupping her cheek.
"Yes it is" she maintained. "It's my fault for not telling him to leave
me alone the first time he pulled this crap on me."
"Can you tell me why you didn't?" he asked gently.
"Because if I didn't have him I might never have......" she began and
teared up again, shaking her head to indicate she could not continue.
"OK never mind" he soothed. "But this is a discussion we're going to
come back to. Right now I just want you to rest and if you're not able to
keep something on your stomach when you wake I'm taking you to over to GW.
Maybe that hot intern you saw the other day will be on duty."
That got the laugh he expected and he pulled the cover over her, dropping
a light kiss on her forehead.
"Sit with me until I sleep" she begged, flushing at his kiss.
"Of course" he smiled and leaned down again, this time kissing her cheek
as he held onto her hand, stroking the back with his thumb.
With the aid of his comforting touch she fell into a restless sleep. An
hour later Josh had not moved, still sitting with her and contemplating
various methods of murdering Brian Berger when his cell phone rang.
Carefully he disengaged his hand and walked into the front to talk without
disturbing her.
"Hi Sam.....No I'm still with Donna....No no way. I'm not leaving
her......I know but Sam that bastard hurt her.........Yeah she's going to be
OK, but I can't leave her just now. She's too fragile.....Yeah I'm sure he
is. Please tell him it can't be helped, not until she's coping better......I
know Sam.......I know Sam.....Ask him if....." His words were cut off by a
noise at the front door and he spun around to see the lock turn. A second
later he was confronted by the image of Brian Berger.
"Berger what are you doing here?" Josh spoke slowly and deliberately so
Sam would be sure to hear him.
"I've come for Donna" Berger answered, "and I might have known you'd bet
here Lyman. Not that I'm sorry you are." With those words he reached under
his shirt and pulled a pistol from his waistband.
"God Sam he's got a gun. Call 911" Josh screamed into the phone.

TO BE CONTINUED

 

Where Pride Goeth - 5

 

 

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