"I Feel Lucky"
Disclaimers: See Part 1
"Kelsey, I didn't know what else to do. You had shut me out of your life and were only talking to me when you had to. I was afraid that if I pushed too hard that you'd do something drastic."
"I didn't know. You'd just been through so much that I thought maybe you needed a break from the White House and everything. I should have talked to you first, I realize that now."
Kelsey looked down at the man holding her hand. She knew exactly how much courage it had taken for him to admit what he just had.
"You were right, Toby. I was shutting you and everyone else out. I didn't want any of you to see the pain I was going through. I thought if I buried myself in my work everything would be fine. It wasn't and I realize that now. Mom's death was devastating. Sure I expected it, but you're never truly prepared for it. Do you remember what I said to you on the trip back from Chicago after we kissed?"
Toby nodded his head.
"I was afraid to let you into my life because I knew that heartbreak and grief were on the way. I didn't want you to have to deal with it. But there you were and you made me realize that I couldn't close my life to everyone just because my mother was dying. So when you told me that I wasn't dealing with Mom's death, I didn't want to admit that you were right. But you did, you helped me admit my true feelings. In fact, I was on my way back to White House when I got in the accident."
She nodded her head. "I wanted to apologize to you and tell you that you were right."
"Well that would have made my day," he teased.
"Don't I know it. I just wish it hadn't taken an accident for me to realize that I needed help."
"You're seeing someone?"
"I'm going to start in the next couple of days. Mrs. Bartlet recommended someone to me."
"Well, I suppose your news supercedes mine."
A small smile spread across his lips as Toby shook his head.
"No, you have to guess."
"Give me a hint."
He thought for a moment and then spoke.
"That's it? I've been in a car accident, had major surgery and the only hint I get is 'something's missing'?! That's not fair!"
"It's more of a hint than I wanted to give you," he remarked.
Toby watched with delight as the wheels in Kelsey's brain started turning.
She looked around the room, but didn't notice anything missing. Searching his face, the only response she received was a raised eyebrow. It took several minutes before she finally noticed.
"When did you take it off?"
"The night of the accident. I was sitting in the waiting room while the surgery was going on and I was playing with it. It's a nervous habit I got into when I was married to Andy. I suddenly remembered what you said in my office and I realized that it wasn't fair to ask you to share me with the ghost of my ex-wife. So, I made a promise that if you came out of the surgery alive and well, I'd take off the ring and not think twice about it," explained Toby.
Kelsey didn't even bother to wipe away the tears that were beginning to fall down her cheeks. Toby sat down on the bed next to her, taking her in his arms.
"I love you, Kelsey."
"Oh, Toby…I love you too."
He leaned over and kissed her passionately.
Your feedback is always welcome! Tara