As the staffers filed out, Leo called out "Sam?"

"Sir?" the young man replied.

"Iím going to call Donna, Margaret and Mrs. Landingham in. Will you stay? I am worried about Donna."

"Of course, " Sam agreed. He too was worried about Joshís devoted assistant, for more reasons than Leo could begin to guess.

Leo buzzed Margaret and asked her to bring the two other women into the room with her. Leo and Sam waited neither spoke. Both were lost in thought. The door opened and Margaret, Leoís assistant, entered followed by Mrs. Landingham, the Presidentís secretary, and Donatella Moss, Joshís assistant. Leo motioned all three to have a seat. Margaret and Mrs. Landingham perched on the sofa, but Donna remained standing near Sam.

"Ladies, what I am going to tell you I have already told the senior staff. Before I begin I need to emphasize that no one else can know this and I mean no one. Lives are at stake." All three women indicated their understanding so Leo continued. "As you know a Delta flight with over 200 people on board, mostly American has been hijacked at Heathrow by nine terrorists claiming to be with the IRA. What you do not know - what you cannot repeat- what Delta just confirmed in this fax- is that Josh Lyman is aboard this flight."

All three women gasped. Donna stared at Leo. "Josh? " She asked, her voice soft and barely audible. Leo nodded.

"Iím sorry Donna." Leo took a deep breath. "There is more. Shots were exchanged when the terrorists boarded the flight. At least three passengers are dead. Their bodies are on the tarmac but no one can get close enough to claim them or make an identification. At this point we just do not know any more."

Donna stared at him for a long moment then her eyes closed and she slid to the floor.


Friends and Lovers- Grace Under Pressure - 4



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