"Donna," Leo cried as Sam sprang forward and caught the young woman before she hit the floor. Leo’s cry brought the secret service in from the hallway. "Get some water," the Chief of Staff yelled. The door between Leo’s office and that of his boss opened. President Jed Bartlett stepped through into Leo’s office.

"Leo, what the hell?" the president began, then noticed Donna unconscious in Sam’s arms. Margaret and Mrs. Landingham had scampered off the couch so Sam placed the young woman gently onto its soft surface.

"What happened?" Jed asked no one in particular. Leo looked up.

"Delta confirmed Josh is on the flight. I was going to brief you when you finished with the ambassador. I thought Donna should know. She did not take it well."

Jed eyed his chief of staff. "No kidding. Mrs. Landingham, get my wife please. She’s in the residence. Tell her we need her in the West Wing."

Relieved to have something to do, Mrs. Landingham trotted out the door with Margaret on her heels. A secret service agent entered with a pitcher of water, a cup and a washcloth. He handed the moist cloth to Sam who immediately began to sponge Donna’s head and wrists. The young woman was just beginning to stir when Abigail Bartlett bustled into the office.

"What happened? " she asked, kneeling beside Sam and nodding at his treatment.

Keenly aware of others in the room, Leo hedged. "She got some disturbing news and fainted."

"Disturbing news?" Abby asked without taking her eyes off her patient. Her husband was more aware of the overall situation.

"Everyone out," he said. "We only need Leo, Mrs. Bartlett, Sam and myself in here." The agents and staffers who had gathered left. Leo quickly shut both doors.

"What news?" Abby asked again, as she took Donna’s pulse. The younger woman’s eyes were now fluttering.

Jed answered his wife quietly. "Josh is on the Delta Flight. Passengers are dead - at least three. We just don’t know right now."

Abby spared her husband a glance and saw the worry in his eyes. He truly cared about Josh Lyman and so did she. "Dear God." she said.


Friends and Lovers- Grace Under Pressure - 5



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