"I Feel Lucky" 

Tara Patterson

Disclaimers: See Part 1

 

Chapter 9

They entered the Oval Office and were surprised to find the entire Senior Staff already there along with the First Lady. C.J. handed Toby and Kelsey each a glass of champagne.

"What's going on?" Toby inquired as he accepted the glass from C.J.

"A celebration!" the President declared.

"What are we celebrating?" asked Kelsey.

"For one thing, it looks as if 8625 is going to pass the Senate by a hefty margin."

"That's wonderful!" Sam remarked.

"Isn't it?! Also, our daughter, Elizabeth, informed us this morning that we're going to be a grandparents again," Bartlett announced.

"Congratulations, sir!" exclaimed Josh.

"Thank you. So, I ask you to raise your glasses and join me in toasting our triumph and in celebration of new life!"

Everyone joined in the toast and as they drank his or her champagne, C.J. glanced over at Toby and raised an eyebrow. He shook his head. She pulled him off to the side as Kelsey joined into the conversation the others were having about the bill.

"What happened this time?"

"Sam and the President," he explained.

"Well, everyone's here now. Why not ask her?"

"Here? In front of everyone?"

"Do you see any other options?"

"No."

"All right then," she said and then went off to join the conversation.

Toby drank the last of his champagne in one swallow and then joined his colleagues.

"Mr. President, would you mind if I made an announcement of my own?"

"Well since this a night for declarations, by all means."

"I have been trying since earlier this evening to ask Kelsey a very important question, but I always seem to be interrupted. So, now that I have everyone's undivided attention," he paused as he turned to face Kelsey. Taking her hands in his, he continued.

"Kelsey, I know what my life was like before you walked into it. I was just going along, not really noticing everything around me. Then you came along and showed me what I was missing. You encouraged me to open my heart up again and to explore parts of myself I thought were long dead. You are the only woman I have ever climbed rocks with…"

"Toby climbed rocks, when was this?" Bartlet whispered to Abbey.

"Shh!" she warned. They turned their attention back to the scene unfolding before them.

"I find myself wanting to be with you all the time. And when we’re not together, I count the minutes until I see you again. You’re the first thing I think of in the morning and the last before I go to sleep. I don’t know how or when it happened, but you became a fixture in my life. And I want you in my life permanently."

"What are you saying, Toby?"

"My heart hasn't been the same since that first time I kissed you. We were meant to be together…" he paused and then knelt down on one knee. Toby reached into his tuxedo jacket pocket and pulled out a velvet box, opening it, he said, "Kelsey Saufl, will you marry me?"

Kelsey felt the tears welling up in her eyes as she listened to Toby’s speech. A smile danced across her face as she stared lovingly into his soft, brown eyes.

"Yes," she whispered so softly, he had to strain to hear the response.

"Yes!" she declared boldly.

Toby allowed a cry of relief to escape from his lips. He stood up and placed the emerald cut diamond engagement ring onto her shaking finger.

"It’s beautiful!" she sighed happily.

"Almost as beautiful as you," he remarked.

"I love you, Toby!"

"I love you," he answered and then kissed her.

Cheers went up in the Oval Office as the staff watched their two friends seal their engagement. The President opened up another bottle of champagne and had Josh fill the glasses.

"Well, it appears we have one more reason to celebrate this evening," Bartlet began. "Congratulations, Toby and Kelsey! May your marriage be as long and as happy as mine!"

Everyone toasted the happy couple as they kissed once again.

 

 

TBC

 

 

 

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