In the hallway, CJ called ,"Sam? Sam? Where is Sam?"

Margaret stepped into the hallway. She hurried to the two senior staffers and whispered. "Sam is still in Leoís office. Donna fainted when she heard."

CJís mouth formed a small "O." Toby glanced with worry at the door. Margaret continued, "Samís in there with Leo, the President and the First Lady. The President threw the rest of us out."

"Okay," CJ said, her brain working frantically. "As soon as Sam gets out of there bring him to me. We have time but not much." Margaret nodded and scampered back to her post by Leoís door.

"What are you thinking, CJ?" Toby asked as they re-entered her office.

"Delta may be our last line of defense. When they release the list at nine, I am going to ask them to include a statement that asks the press to confirm any additional information about the passengers with Delta. Then I am going to ask Delta to funnel any and all inquiries about Josh to my office. Deltaís request is innocuous enough that the press may comply without being suspicious."

Toby nodded. "Good idea. At least we will know if itís coming out this way. Will everyone play?"

CJ shrugged. "Weíre dealing the press Toby. On the positive side only DC reporters, Washington bureaus and political reporters will recognize Joshís name. Even so, they will have to confirm itís our Josh Lyman. We have a real chance of catching everyone. I donít know if we can stop them though."

"Canít we refuse to confirm that itís Josh?" Toby asked without really sounding hopeful.

"We can, but Toby you know most outlets will run with it anyway - and call it unconfirmed." CJ sighed heavily, then looked at her friend with tears in her eyes. "God, Toby. If we Öif I Ö make a mistake here it could mean Joshís life."

Toby knelt beside her desk. "His life could not be in better hands, Claudia Jean."

CJ smiled. "Thanks Toby. Letís do this."

Together the two staffers stood and walked towards the briefing room. Both stopped dead in their tracks when they saw Danny Concannon at the door.


Friends and Lovers- Grace Under Pressure - 9



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