Author: Toni Harrison
Rating: General mainly with a tiny bit of PG and the
odd very mild profanity!
Spoilers:ITWH through to TWAH
Summary: A letter to a friend
Archive: Yep definitely...just let me know and I'd
be really happy! :)
Feedback: Devoured and much it
positive or not so positive...I'd be really grateful
to I'm in the UK so doing fic is
fast becoming my way of coping til whenever we get
Season 3! :) Thanks for reading!

Finally a huge thankyou to the wonderful Charlotte
who's a brilliant writer and betaed for me....Thanks
for being so honest and polishing the very rough
edges..I so appreciate it. You're very cool! :)


Dear Tess


Dear Tess,

Please forgive me for neglecting you so much
recently....I think you may when you hear what I
have to say....what do you mean you don't wanna hear

So it's like this: just a few weeks ago, I was a
perfectly happy single woman and now I'm 6lbs
lighter despite eating out for what seems like every
night in those 73 days. For goodness sake, I'm
better than this, Tess my dear friend!

Ah, so much has happened since D'Oyley
Carte..Admittedly it wasn't the best start....well,
it wasn't my fault the tickets I got had the only
obstructed view in the whole auditorium. And
although the chivalry displayed by Sam...see, I told
you, Tess, I can now say his name.....SAM SAM SAM
SAM SAM! No, I'm not losing my mind. This is the true
result of drinking four creme de cacaos, my friend! Oh
goddamit, get back to the story, Ainsley....As I was
saying, his display of chivalry went down well. It
was the standing next to him while he asked
vociferously (albeit in a very Sam-like way) if they
knew who he was and if they could see how short I
was, thus making an enemy of everyone in the last
fifteen rows of the auditorium and therefore doing a
better job than any Republican of turning even the
firmest Democrat against their party that didn't
make the best of starts to any budding

Our friendship could only get better after the start
it had had. We decided after much bobbing of our
heads and at least one painful coming together (of
our heads, that is) it would be better to call it
quits and go for something to eat. Well, actually, I
decided it, despite Sam's protestations that he
could see perfectly and liked the idea of a
completely innapropriate David Letterman lookalike
playing the Pirate King. I was starving, dear Tess
and the fact that we had so far spent nearly 90
minutes of our first date (did I say date? I
meant...evening out as friends) having Sam lose his
temper, bang our heads together and listening to my
stomach making up its own musical accompaniment in a
way Gilbert and Sullivan could never have imagined,
decided it for me. So we went to a great little
Italian restaurant, Ventimiglia's, where we talked
and talked, and laughed and sang til the early hours
of the morning. I don't know if we actually knew
anything more about each other by the end of the
night but the natural and easy way we talked
together despite my occasional going off a tangent
(who, me?) promised a friendship I could rely on. No
more, no less.

Sam's great, sweet, funny - and not at all the easy
to figure out guy I thought he was. As I've said
before in our many conversations, I'd heard all the
sniping that he was just a pretty guy chosen for his
looks and and the way he can soften any conversation
with those eyes.Believe me, I've changed this
opinion recently. He's changed even in the short
time I've known him. What happened to Josh has
affected Sam more than I think even he realises. His
confidence in human nature has been dented, not
permanently I think, (I hope) but he's not so self
assured or trusting in the world. He seems so
introspective at times and I can't seem to shake him
out of the lulls in his mood.

He has such complex relationships with everyone
around him. There's Toby, a funny sort of guy. I
can't make out his feelings towards Sam, he seems
protective and yet dismissive, maybe there's
insecurity there, maybe it's just that he wants to
toughen Sam up for the battles he already knows lie
ahead. CJ, he adores CJ, hell everyone does; she's
smart, beautiful and works the press room like a
charm, I know I'd be lost in that room. There seems
to be a bond between them - not that I can work out
what that bond is but it's there and, yup,
occasionally I feel a stir of envy. Josh, his
closest friend and ally, but oh boy, how that's been
put to the test recently. Josh has PTSD following
Rosslyn. Thing is, everyone was too wrapped up in
the issues at this place they didn't notice til it
was nearly too late and, yes, you guessed it, Sam
feels that he's let Josh down. I have tried to get
to Sam to open up but as he blocks me out, I can see
him getting more tired and the smallest things are
beginning to chip away at him and his beliefs. He
thought he was Josh's best friend, but he couldn't
save Josh from the PTSD.

Hey, I know you can't absorb this doom and gloom for
ever so I won't go on too long.....what else has
happened? Well, we have been on so many nights out
just the two of us, it's been great and just a
little weird. I've found myself just knowing what
he's gonna say next before he says it. He has a
fascination for the strangest things. I could give
him any starting point in the US and a finishing
point in the furthest state away, he would give me
four ways to travel there, People laugh at him or
Leo looks at him in the way that only Leo can. When
we've gone bowling, I now know that he likes to have
two ice cold beers before he starts so relaxes and
can do that little skippy run up that creases me up
every time. I know how he hates losing and loves to
listen to Don Henley on his stereo. Despite his
health kick reputation, if we go out on a Thursday
night, he always goes to Burger King for the largest
chocolate milkshake they have. I had to stop myself
from buying that dog eared but apparently hugely
valuable Great Expectations copy we saw in the
little second hand bookshop we visited. I see the
way he fondly talks about his ex girlfriends, not
that there have been many but the second I ask about
Lisa, the smile disappears and the light is gone
from his eyes. I really wish I knew what she did.

He tells me I make him laugh and that he likes me
'as a potential friend' Yes, as a friend, Tess!,
even despite the arguments we had. He likes that I
talk in the way I do and that I am utterly
delightful despite being a Blonde Republican that
no-one likes (his words!). He's just teasing
though. All men do, don't they? He keeps saying
it'll get harder and harder to keep it a secret,
What? I say....Us, he replies.....I really don't
know what he's talking about.

This evening, I feel good about life....The creme de
cacao may again be having a rather positive impact
on those feelings I admit and, oh boy, I would blame
it on the bossanova but I already did that tonight
and that was when the president comes in. Mark , the
cute guy from Capitol Beat, I was on there tonight
and he thinks I'm something else, well, he asked
what I thought the president's opinion was and me
being a honest straight talking girl said how the
heck should I know I've never met the guy and hey
presto next thing you know, Sam's saying I'll get
you to meet the president..He really didn't need to.
I sit in wet paint but in my defence so it would
appear did half of the West Wing female staff and
started dancing around in my room......You can guess
what happened next! Oh, the mortification, and now
Sam's saying he'll set it up all over again!......oops
there's the doorbell......I'll be right back.


Who was it that said a life can change so
quickly?....Oh, that was me wasn't it? Sam was at
the door and seemed restless, I being a complete
klutz at times left him standing awkwardly on the
doorstep while I smiled inanely and once again
talked of the mortification brought on my family not
to mention the $800 dollar suit I ruined on that
seat tonight....When Sam pointedly asked if the
speech was re-running again on C-Span I shamefacedly
and hurriedly invited him in and turned on the tv.
Sure enough, it was showing, As I went to make a
coffee for Sam and turned to shout out some
incredibly well thought out and observed comment on
the speech, Sam was behind me and reached a hand out
to my hair. I actually jumped back and did a crazy
little dance on the spot and spilt milk all over
myself. As I hastily excused myself to change, Sam
followed me to the door of the bedroom and called my
name. I still can't remember what happened next but
here I am two hours later and, my god, Tess, now I
know some other things about this man.

I know the touch of his hand on my face, the caress
of his lips against my neck, shoulders and mouth. I
know the feeling of his hands on my waist and the
way he actually picked me up and laid me on the bed
and the gentle but insistent and spine tinglingly
way he takes away all of your inhibitions and
exhausts, exhilarates and feeds every sense in my
body. The way his words aren't just incredible in
print. The way he looks now, when he's asleep, so at
peace, so handsome. The way he took every single
thought that this was wrong and leaves me knowing
that my life can never be the same again and that
I'm no longer just his friend, not someone just to
go bowling with, to laugh at my inability to talk in
simple sentences, but a person he can count on.
Someone he can tell all about Lisa and his
disappointments and worries, someone else entirely
in his life. This man who I like and makes me feel
good about myself, a man who touches me in a way no
other can....This man who I , oh Tess, I know I ask
so much of you and you're just a diary but... I just
can't bring myself to say it.........................

TO BE CONTINUED.................



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