"I Feel Lucky" 

Tara Patterson

Disclaimers: See Part 1

 

Chapter 7

Six weeks later, Kelsey entered the White House. This time, though, she wasn't an employee; she was guest at the State Dinner for the Prime Minister of Canada and his wife. Earlier that day, Kelsey had gone for a check-up and Abbey had suggested that she attend the dinner, if she felt up to it.

When she got home, Kelsey called C.J. and asked her friend to come over and help her get ready. She also swore both Abbey and C.J. to secrecy that she was attending the event. C.J. arrived and the two women gossiped as they got dressed in their formal attire.

"So everything is set for tonight?" Kelsey asked as she put on her make-up.

"Abbey has taken care of everything. I can't wait to see Toby's face when you walk through the doors of the East Room," commented C.J.

"I'm hoping to knock his socks off."

"Well if that dress you're wearing doesn't do it, then I'm afraid there's no hope for him."

"Thanks."

They finished getting dressed and C.J. left, promising to get a good spot to watch the evening unfold.

"So, are you ready for tonight?" Josh asked Toby as the two men walked towards the East Room for pre-dinner cocktails.

"Not really," Toby grumbled.

"Cheer up, Toby. In a couple of hours you'll be able to go home and sleep."

"I should be so lucky."

Toby paused by the bar and ordered a scotch as Josh walked off to speak with some members of Congress. Staring at his drink, Toby couldn't help but wonder why Abbey had been so insistent on his attending tonight's event. Sure, he was supposed to be here, but the First Lady had made a point of mentioning to Toby that she was especially looking forward to seeing him that night. He couldn't exactly tell her that he really wanted to be home, in Kelsey's arms. So here he stood, in the East Room; contemplating the many ways he could get out of the White House as quickly as possible.

"Kelsey, it's wonderful to see you up and about," Bartlet remarked as he kissed her hand.

"Thank you, Mr. President. It's wonderful to be back here."

"But only for a visit," added Abbey.

"Yes, Dr. Bartlet. Your wife informs me that I have another couple of weeks before I can return to work."

"You better listen to her or else I'll end up in the doghouse," teased Bartlet.

Kelsey laughed and then moved on through the receiving line. She caught a glimpse of Josh talking with Sam and Leo near the main doors to the East Room. Taking a deep breath, Kelsey walked towards her colleagues.

"This has to be the most boring conversation I have ever had the displeasure of being party to," Toby thought as he listened to one of the male guests drone on about dividends. He was about to make a comment about something this banker had said when he happened to glance up at the doors. He saw the last person he had expected to see walk into the room and felt a slight gasp escape his lips.

She looked incredible! The dark purple dress was one he had never seen before. It fell slightly off her shoulders and accentuated her slender waist before falling into a full billowing skirt. Around her shoulders, she wore a wrap that matched the dress. Her hair was pinned up, allowing soft curls to flow down to her shoulders.

He mumbled an excuse to the group and headed towards this incredibly, beautiful woman he loved so much. Pausing at the bar, he ordered a glass of sparkling cider and then continued his journey.

"How did you manage to sneak onto the guest list without me knowing?" inquired Leo.

"It helps to know who the true power behind the man is," Kelsey remarked as the rest of the group laughed.

"Well, it's great to see you," Sam said.

"Thank you. It's great to be seen."

"Excuse me, but did you know that you bear a striking resemblance to our Deputy Press Secretary? Except, you couldn't be her since she's supposed to be at home recuperating from a car accident," a male voice asked.

Kelsey turned around and smiled broadly as she met Toby's gaze.

"So I've been told. But I couldn't possibly be her."

"Would you excuse us?"

"Just remember if you're not at the table when dinner's served, I get your dessert," Josh commented.

Toby shot Josh a look and then placed a hand on the small of Kelsey's back as he guided her towards the doors leading outside. They stood on the terrace looking up at the stars.

"Here, I got you a glass of cider," Toby explained as he handed her the fluted glass.

"Thank you."

"Why didn't you tell me you were coming tonight?"

"Because I wanted to surprise you."

"That you did."

"Good. Abbey suggested that I come tonight during my appointment today," Kelsey replied.

"I'm glad you're here."

"Me too."

Toby put his arms around her and pulled her close to him.

"You know before you got here I was contemplating pulling a fire alarm or something just so I could come home to you."

"Committing a crime just to see me? I'm honored."

"Actually, I was hoping I could convince Josh or Sam to do it for me."

Kelsey laughed and then tilted her head towards Toby accepting a kiss from him.

"You know before we go back inside, there's something I wanted to talk to you about."

"And what might that be?" she inquired.

"Kelsey, you mean the world to me and you've made me realize that my life was missing something," he began.

"Toby, Leo needs to see you," Josh said as he walked outside.

"Can it wait?"

"Sorry, it can't."

"We'll talk later," Toby assured Kelsey as he kissed her cheek and followed Josh inside.

Kelsey sighed and then followed the two men back into the East Room where she was drawn into a conversation regarding funding for the NEA. In the back of her mind, though, she kept replaying what Toby had begun to say outside and hoped that he would get a chance to finish the conversation.

 

 

I Feel Lucky - 8

 

 

 

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