Part 15.

Disclaimer: They are not mine. Wish they were.

Toby shot out of his chair. "Thatís enough!"

"No Toby." CJ said, holding the Communications Director at bay. CJ turned to look at Danny. "Why would you say such a thing?"

Danny sighed. "CJ, Iím not blind and neither is the rest of the press corps. One - Josh is nowhere to be found. Two - the White House is keeping the passenger list under wraps. Three - the staff looks like hell. Four - I heard you say Joshís life is in you hands. How do you expect to keep this from getting out?"

CJ brushed a stray hair out of her eyes. "It has to stay under wraps Danny because Joshís life is at stake. Is a story worth that?" Danny shook his head. "You know it isnít, but this is too big. The White House Deputy Chief of Staff is on a hijacked airplane. Thatís news."

"Bullshit." Toby yelled.

"Look Ziegler," Danny began, growing impatient with the manís presence.

"Toby." CJ interrupted. "Will you please wait outside? I want to talk to Danny alone."

Reluctantly, Toby moved to the door. Glancing back, he caught CJís eye. She motioned with her head and smiled. Against his better judgment, Toby left.

Once they were alone, CJ looked hard at Danny. "You canít print this."

"CJ Ö."

Danny, if you print this Joshís life will be in even greater danger. They may kill him because of your story. Can you live with that?" Danny stared at her. "I canít Danny. You over heard me. That makes me part of this. If you print this and Josh dies, I will have killed my best friend. Please Danny, Iíve never begged you for anything but I am begging you now."

Unable to speak, Danny moved to take CJ in his arms. She side stepped him. "Please, Danny donít make this any harder. Let me retain some dignity."

"CJ," Danny sighed. "You are the most dignified person I know."

CJ shook her head. "No. Not now. I donít care about dignity. I canít protect Josh from bullets. All I can do is this. Iíve never felt so powerless."

"I know, CJ. I know." Danny. "You win. Iíll hold the story. But someone else will find out. We both know that. What then?"

CJ looked away. ĎI just donít know."


Friends and Lovers- Grace Under Pressure - 16



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