As Donna crawled surreptitiously toward the door, dental mirror in hand, she was concentrating hard on not making a sound so that the agent outside would have no clue of what she was doing. Josh, on the other hand, could concentrate on nothing but the soft curve of Donna’s back and the swell of her perfect little behind and the way it fit into her jeans. When she had suggested a jailbreak, pointing out that the next two days were the only days they’d have off until at least the election, it had seemed like a good enough idea to get out for a few hours, maybe go on some semblance of a date. But sneaking past the secret service was proving to be a challenging feat.
After trying once to get the agent to go downstairs and fetch them a few things from the hotel gift shop (they had asked if they could go by themselves and been met with a look that said ‘absolutely not’) they discovered that what they thought was their one guarding agent had backup. Now Donna crawled toward the door, attempting to use her tiny dental mirror to slide underneath it and watch him, hopeful that for a moment he would take a break and leave the door unmanned so they could escape.
“Josh, I can’t see anything!” she half-whispered, half-mouthed after bending low and positioning and repositioning the mirror.
“Keep trying!” he mouthed back, motioning with his hands for her to continue.
When she turned back to the door, he returned to checking her out, his body reacting as it remembered the feeling of them in bed together that morning, of her body pressed up against his, of luscious lips he’d dreamt of tasting for years. The way they clung to each other after that first amazing kiss—the deep love and dark desire in her eyes and the way he needed every ounce of strength not to take it farther, not to bring his kiss to her neck and his hands to explore every inch of her body—was compelling him to abandon his initial plan. For one, his assumption that Donna would want to take things slowly was proving to be dead wrong. His other assumption, that things couldn’t change overnight, was also proving faulty. Bumming around in their jeans on a Saturday morning while baking up a scheme to fool a set of secret service agents seemed perfectly natural somehow. It all felt so expected, so right.
He reluctantly tore his eyes away from her ass and brought them up to meet accusing blue eyes. The way she was shaking her head in mock disapproval showed that he’d undeniably been caught. She got up off of her knees and walked softly back to him.
“You’re gorgeous,” he whispered smiling in a way she’d always found irresistible.
She crossed her arms in front of her and gave a halfhearted glare, but he could see the smile in her eyes.
“Don’t try and butter me up,” she warned.
As he gazed down at her, the same voice that had always nagged at him—one that had been echoing through his head for the past two days at a fever pitch—spoke with a clarity and urgency he had never heard. *Don’t let her get away*, the voice said.
His smile took on a different, more serious slant as he reached out to her, pulling her in gently and watching the warning melt out of her eyes. He kissed her tenderly, and he was intoxicated again by the softness of her lips, the rhythm of her breathing, and the magnetic pull her body had on his. Presently, she was running her tongue along his bottom lipwhile letting her hand stroke the back of his neck, the combined sensation of which was stirring the desire that was by then familiar, and dangerously close to the surface. Realizing that if he didn’t pull away soon, he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from deepening their kiss, from moving his lips to her collarbone and letting his hands rove her body, he did.
“Why don’t we just stay in?” he growled sexily into her ear, “…there’s stuff to do here…”
“I’ll bet I know what *you* want to do,” she replied into his, pressing her body a bit closer.
Her tone was playful, and sultry, and he was thrilled by her openness to whatever was in store for them. Still, he got the feeling she really did want them to go out. He placed a soft kiss on her jaw and cupped her face in his hands.
“You really want to go out, don’t you?” he asked.
“We can stay in all day tomorrow…” she reasoned, pouting.
He fought a powerful urge to start kissing her again.
“Then let’s think of plan C.”
Josh waited nervously in the alleyway behind the hotel, with scenarios of Donna being caught by the secret service, of being taken into custody and getting into some kind of trouble with the president, running through his head. His mind raced further, and he imagined an accomplice to their escape plan harassing or hitting on her—maybe even kidnapping her!—and he began to regret leaving her alone. He knew he was being irrational, but just a half a day of being coupled with her was sharpening his protective instinct. He looked at his watch and thought yet again that twenty minutes was too long—where was she?!? He was seconds away from blowing their cover and calling the secret service himself when the service doors opened and a waiter pushing an empty room service tray emerged. The waiter made eye contact with Josh and smiled before rapping lightly on the tabletop.
“You can come out now, miss.”
Josh was still a little edgy with worry, his face fraught with tension that had not yet passed. But when Donna pushed aside the tablecloth that concealed her and crawled out from the space beneath the room service cart, she was smiling brilliantly, her eyes wild with excitement. By the time she made it over to Josh and threw herself in his arms, she was laughing like a schoolgirl.
“This is so fun!” she gushed, “I feel like a spy!”
He hadn’t seen her smile or laugh like that in so long that soon he was grinning too. After Donna had suggested plan C (creating a diversion then making a run for it) and plan D (hiding in the laundry bin of a housekeeping cart), it became clear that she had seen many, many action movies. Plan E (to hide in the small space beneath room service carts) had also been her idea. After settling on this option, and ordering breakfast to get the ball rolling, they’d pooled their money and managed to convince Rhonda, a room service waitress with a romantic streak to help them. They gave her $100 to help get Josh, then Donna out of the building, then gave her another $75 to pay off whoever she needed to help them get back in later. So far, the plan seemed to be working. Donna was, quite literally delighted, and Josh adored seeing her so happy.
“If we’re spies, what are our codenames?” he asked, taking her hand and leading them toward the street.
She startled a little at the gesture, and looked at their joined hands for a second before smiling and leaning in to him.
“How about Boris and Natasha?”
He raised an eyebrow at her.
“’Rocky and Bullwinkle’ fans, are we?”
“Hansel and Gretel?”
“Weren’t they brother and sister?”
She rolled her eyes as they turned onto the crowded street.
“Pinky & the Brain”
They stopped when they reached the corner, and waited to cross. She turned to him and gave him a look.
“Josh, by the dawning of the sun, we’ll take over the world.”
He didn’t get it, and reached for something else.
“Aren’t they both…boy rats?” he asked finally.
She scowled. He chuckled, beginning to walk again when the light turned green.
“You know, you’re not that good at this…maybe we should just be code-nameless spies.”
She narrowed her eyes at him.
“Might I mention that while you shoot down all of my ideas, I have yet to hear a single better one from you?”
Both were quiet for a minute before Josh spoke, leading them inexplicably left when they reached the corner.
“How about Mama Bear and Papa Bear?” he said finally, his voice a little softer.
“Like, from Hogan’s Heroes?”
“You like it?”
She smiled widely at him.
“I do like it.”
They had been walking for a long time, just talking and holding hands and wandering around the city. It was early September and the late summer weather on the east coast was typically sunny and warm. The oppressive humidity of August had begun to dissipate in anticipation of fall, and a fragrant afternoon breeze blew the leaves on the trees lightly to and fro. Josh was in the lead but never once did she ask him where they were going—she didn’t care. He walked her through the city, over to the Potomac, and up the river toward Georgetown.
Every once in awhile they would stop walking, and take a rest on a park bench or lean on one of the stone walls to look out at the Potomac. Over the years she’d learned to listen to him with at least one ear, so she managed to keep her attention on what he was saying, but most of her enjoyment came from the sensuality of it all—the way it felt to hold his hand, to feel his arm around her waist, to savor the little kisses he placed on her hand, or her jaw, or her forehead. She loved the feeling that he needed contact with her, and the fact that he didn’t let go of her even once, even for a moment made her feel protected, and loved.
But it wasn’t just the way he touched her that blew her away—it was the way he looked at her, the tones of voice he used, and especially the way he kissed her that gave so much more away. For obvious reasons, she had never seen this side of him. But now that she did, she saw how many parts of him she’d never really known at all. Take kissing. For Josh, it wasn’t a mere matter of their lips touching—it was an affair that engaged their whole bodies. Even when they kissed standing up, there was something he did that made her feel like he wanted to pull her body inside of his, to make them one—it was indescribable. For a moment, she really *wasn’t* listening to him as she remembered their bodies pressed together in bed that morning, the feeling of his hard body against and around her, his tongue probing her thoroughly as desire stirred her from deep inside.
“Papa Bear calling Mama Bear…come in, Mama Bear…”
When she broke out of her reverie, she found him smiling down at her, dimples as adorable as ever. She smiled back, blushing in part due to her naughty thoughts and also at being caught.
“Where were you just now?” he asked, sensing that she was focused back on him.
She studied his face, noticing how clear and bright his eyes were. The sun was shining on both of them, and she noticed with appreciation how just a couple of hours outside had brought out the light sprinkling of freckles she loved to admire. Something she saw in his face now reminded her of how he looked more than eight years before, when she’d first met him. He now had fine lines on his face, and the circles under his eyes were deeper, but smiling down at her, he looked distinctly younger than he had even a day before. And in sequence, she put together that he looked younger because he was happy, and he was happy because of her. Her smile faded a bit, as the seriousness of it all hit her.
“This feels right, Josh.”
He squeezed her hand and nodded, his eyes taking on a different color.
At that moment, her stomach growled and “protective Josh” emerged, forgetting all about the way she’d zoned out in order to concentrate on getting her something to eat. Since they had neglected to actually eat breakfast (back at the hotel, they’d merely ordered it), Josh led them to a cute breakfast nook near his house where he insisted with 100% certainty that she would love the food. When they walked in, they were greeted with quite the welcome.
“Joshua! Where you been?!?”
“Mo!” Josh smiled warmly, taking his hand from Donna’s for the first time that day, and only long enough to embrace this man like an old friend—an old friend Donna had never met, much less heard of. She was surprised, intrigued.
He was an older man with salt and pepper hair, a thick Israeli accent, and some sort of mutual admiration for Josh. He nodded politely at her and she nodded back with a smile.
“I told you how campaigning is—I haven’t been home in weeks,” Josh explained, still smiling.
“Come! Sit! Let me order your usual breakfast! While your lady friend is reading the menu you can tell me how you’ve been…”
“Actually…” he said shyly, looking briefly back at Donna, then cryptically to Mo, “I think she probably wants the usual, too.”
When Mo began looking back and forth between she and Josh with a question in his eyes, one that a nod of Josh’s head confirmed, Donna shot a questioning look at Josh. What was going on?
“This is her? This is your Donnatella?” Mo asked.
Josh nodded again, and moved his hand to hold hers. Now Mo turned to her, a different kind of smile coming to his face—one that contained relief, and hope.
“Welcome, my dear!” he exclaimed, clapping his hands together joyfully before disappearing to order their breakfast.
Donna managed to wait until after they chose the only free sidewalk table that remained, after they’d been delivered two steaming cups of coffee, and after Josh stared down at his cup for a moment, taking a long sip before sheepishly meeting her eyes, to give him a look that told him to start talking.
“Do you remember…when you were recovering…those first few weeks when you were so happy to be back and so hungry for real American comfort food? And I would bring you that French toast made out of raisin bread and cheddar eggs and chicken and apple sausage?”
“They were from here?” she asked incredulously, “Josh, I live, like, twenty minutes away! I always thought you ordered from some place in my neighborhood!”
Donna was dumbfounded. He just shrugged.
“But you like the way they make them here.”
Neither said anything for a minute.
“’What else does he know about me, Josh?”
She had a hunch, but she still had to ask.
“I’ve been coming to this place for years…Mo likes politics, so we’ve always made conversation, but he’s always been smart…and kind to me. He doesn’t deliver, but after I got shot would bring me food. He always knew about you—he knew you were the one who took care of me then, and he knew it was you I was bringing raisin French toast to after the explosion…but I didn’t really tell him the rest until after you left the White House. One night I came in late. I guess I didn’t look too good because he asked if I was alright and the whole story came out…how amazing you are…how complicated things were between us…how in love with you I am…”
The words still sounded foreign to her, but that he was looking back up at her with an expression that said ‘See? I really do love you’ underscored that all of this was real. She nodded.
“But how did you know I liked raisin French toast?”
He shrugged again and looked back into his coffee, and she thought he might be blushing.
“You told me once—a long time ago—and I just…remembered.”
She was more than a little awed by his admissions.
“I didn’t think you noticed stuff like that.”
He played at the handle on his coffee mug before bringing his eyes back up to meet hers.
“I always pretended not to,” He admitted, “…I didn’t want you to know how bad I had it.”
She smiled a little, and he tried to return it, but she could see the memories in his eyes, knew he couldn’t let go of how hard it had been.
“What else do you know about me?” she asked gently.
He shrugged again.
“Lots of stuff…like, all those times you made me go shopping with you and carry your bags as penance for whatever stupid thing I did…you would pick up five different outfits or pairs of earrings or anything, really, and I would know before you did which one you would decide to buy.”
She gave him a disbelieving look. He laughed.
“Seriously, Donna…I know you,” he insisted confidently.
“Josh, no offense, but you’re great at big picture and horrible at detail.”
“When it comes to you, Donnatella, I remember all the details.”
He quieted his voice when he said it, a hint of challenge in his smile.
Two hours later, Donna and Josh walked down a busy shopping street laden with small handful of bags. Josh had taken his charge to prove how well he knew Donna seriously, and what began as window shopping turned into Josh telling Donna which of the clothes the mannequins wore were ones he knew she would buy. She was more awed than anything else that he was right—that so sharp was his eye for what she liked, that his observations even yielded a few purchases. And it wasn’t just clothes! He had spotted a favorite snack of hers (gourmet cheddar and jalapeno crackers) at Dean & DeLuca and bought her a couple boxes for the campaign trail. In Bath & Body Works, he even accurately guessed what scent of candle she needed to buy (terry robe) to restock her supply at home.
“Go ahead—say it. You’ve earned it.”
He smiled, and moved his hand from where it was holding hers to circle it around her waist. He was acting uncharacteristically gracious about his victory, but she suspected that an ‘I told you so’ wasn’t far beneath the surface.
“I don’t need to say it.”
She leaned into him, responding to his gesture, and didn’t speak for a minute. She liked this new quiet—this comfortable calm that had descended on them. He kissed the side of her forehead as they walked on, and she actually closed her eyes, feeling so firmly protected and trusting within his arms that, even with her eyes closed, she knew she was okay.
“Let’s go in here.”
“Hmmm?” she asked, opening her eyes.
The next thing she knew, she was being ushered through large revolving doors and, once inside, realized from the robin’s egg blue shopping bags and endless rows of cases filled with shining jewels that Josh had led her into Tiffany’s. She couldn’t stop a smile from coming to her face, partly because she loved admiring their wares, but also because she was remembering the time Josh had enlisted her help in picking out a gift for his mother, and they’d ended up there.
“You’re practically drooling,” Josh remarked, his own dimples emerging as he saw the look on her face.
“Women like bright, shiny objects, too, Josh—they’re called diamonds. I’ve told you this before.”
He gave her a look.
“Hey, you were the one who wanted to come in here!” she pointed out.
“I saw something I want to buy!”
“It’s a surprise…” he said mysteriously, “Now if I go off for a few minutes to find it and buy it, can I leave you alone in here and trust that you won’t buy the whole store?”
She rolled her eyes.
“Who am I, Rockefeller?”
He gave her a final, skeptical look before planting a quick kiss on her lips and heading off in one direction. She wandered off in the other, wondering with a smile what kind of surprise he could be buying her, and remembering the day he’d asked her to come pick out a sapphire necklace for his mother.
It had been some six years before that he’d called her on a Saturday morning he’d told her she’d have off , saying that he was ten minutes away from her house and to meet him outside so they could go Tiffany’s. She’d had other plans for the day, but heard something serious, and pleading in his voice. So without knowing who they were buying for and why he wanted hers and not an experienced salesperson’s advice, she went, pouting all the way there, even after he agreed to buy her lunch. Back then, before she knew him so well, some of her impressions of him were less than favorable. She struggled inwardly between how much she liked the smart, idealistic Josh, who had taken a chance on her and given her a job despite her lack of pedigree, and how much she resented the Connecticut-raised, Ivy League educated Josh, who had more money in his trust fund than she would ever make in her life and could afford to buy sapphire necklaces on a whim.
It wasn’t until she found out that the necklace was for his mother (which, she had hated to admit, relieved her), and that Josh was buying it for what would have been his parents’ forty-fifth anniversary, that her opinion of him changed. After she helped him choose the gorgeous platinum, sapphire, and white diamond piece, he made good on his promise to take her to lunch. He took her to an upscale brasserie and told her over a shared salade nicoise and steak frites about how, when his father had been sick, Josh had promised him to follow through on all the little things he would have done for his mother if he were still alive. Josh had confessed that, at the time, he thought his father was just being dramatic, and overreacting to what he thought at the time was a small chance that the cancer would beat him. Donna remembered the look in Josh’s eyes when he told her all of this, as back then he almost never spoke of his father.
Walking around the display cases, letting her eyes feast on gold and platinum, emeralds and rubies, bracelets and necklaces, she was so lost in reminiscing, that when the saleslady spoke to her, she was surprised to find herself in front of a long case of diamond rings.
“Can I show you any of these?”
She looked up in surprise, and met the eyes of an impeccably dressed older woman with a ring of keys in her hands. Suddenly self-conscious about her jeans and golf shirt, she shook her head, her lips forming into a ‘no thanks’. Josh’s voice surprised her, and when she looked up and saw him approaching, she saw that a small blue bag now joined the other shopping bags they carried.
“She doesn’t like yellow gold, but she does like platinum—why don’t you show her those?”
Donna looked at Josh in alarm. He flashed a quick smile before taking the final step toward her and turning her back toward the display case—he pored over three champagne-colored velvet trays she pulled out and placed on the glass. She just looked at him studying the rings, willing him to look back up at her and tell her what the hell he was doing, but he didn’t. The saleswoman pulled a ring off of its mount—a simple solitaire, and held it up for them to look at.
“Most women don’t have slender enough fingers to really pull off a solitaire, but I think this one would look gorgeous on you—would you like to try it on?”
“Thank you—I don’t think we’re in the market—”
“Donna, didn’t you tell me once that you don’t like round cut?”
He looked at her innocently, his voice completely calm and casual, as if he’d just asked whether she’d once told him that she didn’t like asparagus. The thing was, it was all true—about the platinum, and the round cut diamonds. Josh really did know her. She nodded dumbly.
“She doesn’t like marquise or pear-shaped either…can we look at those?”
When Josh motioned to a tray that contained only emerald and princess cut rings, her jaw actually dropped. She looked down as the saleswoman placed the tray directly in front of them. Immediately, her eyes caught on a three-stone ring—a breathtaking princess cut diamond in the middle with two short emerald cut stones on either side. The stones were set deeply into a thick band, an atypical design she much preferred to the typical high wiry bezel placed around the stones. She quickly scanned the other rings, but none compared.
“How about that one?”
Josh motioned to what she had quickly come to think of as ‘her ring’, and she looked up at him with a start. She tried to ignore the tug in her heart as he met her eyes and realized that they were ring-shopping together. She nodded.
“It’s perfect,” she breathed.
The playfulness had left his eyes.
“Why don’t you try it on?”
Her heartbeat had become increasingly insistent in the past few minutes, but upon hearing his words, it was practically pounding out of her chest.
“Donna, one day I’m going to ask you to marry me…don’t you think I should have the right ring?”
They shared a long, intense gaze before, finally, Donna nodded her okay to the saleswoman. The saleswoman nodded her okay to Josh. And when Josh picked up the ring and placed it on Donna’s finger, the wave of déjà vu she felt was so powerful, it actually took her breath away.
An hour or so later, a very tired Josh and Donna sat on a park bench in front of the reflecting pool, enjoying the golden light of a late afternoon and munching on ice cream sandwiches they’d just bought from a passing vendor. It was after Labor Day, so the number of tourists to be found early on a Saturday evening had dwindled significantly. Donna kicked off her shoes.
“Feet hurt?” he asked.
“Want a massage?”
She laughed—he loved the sound, loved that she was having so much fun with him. He popped the last of his ice cream sandwich in his mouth and swiveled her around so that her feet were in his lap. He carefully rolled up the cuffs on her long, slender jeans, and began kneading her feet.
“Can you imagine how many ways the press would spin a story involving Santos-McGarry campaign manager Josh Lyman and campaign spokesperson Donna Moss playing hooky from the campaign trail and engaging in a foot massage at the reflecting pool?”
She giggled. He bent to kiss the top of her foot, which caused her to giggle more.
“It would be scandalous…” he agreed, lowering his voice.
She sighed, and he studied her face, wondering whether it was a sigh of general contentment or one that remarked on the effects of his foot massage.
“That feels good…” she said, drawing out the last word and letting her eyes fall shut.
He just watched her relax, and thought about how perfect their day had been, and felt that his heart had swelled to three times its size. Every once in awhile, she let out a contented little sigh, which made him think of other situations in which him touching her would make him sigh. He let his hands travel farther up, and he massaged her ankles, and even her calves, tirelessly, lost in the feeling of her smooth skin under his, and the vision of her soft curves under her clothes. At some point, he thought she’d fallen asleep, she was being so quiet. So it was quite a surprise when she spoke.
“This has been the best date of my life.”
Her voice was serious, and so were her eyes, as he discovered when he looked up at her.
He could tell from the look on her face that she had something to say and that she was trying to figure out how to say it.
“…but I don’t need to date you, either. It’s like you said yesterday—dating is for people who aren’t sure...and that doesn’t describe me, because I’m sure I want to be with you. In fact, I’m sure that I don’t want to wait, or slow it down at all...”
His hands slowed and he stopped massaging her feet. She swiveled them down and moved a bit closer to him.
“…because we’ve already wasted a lot of time, and we’re not getting any younger…and even though it’s only been a day, I really don’t want to stop this…and I hope you don’t want to either.”
“—of course I don’t! Donna, I told you this morning what I wanted.”
She still looked a little worried. He pulled her into his lap and looked up at shining blue eyes.
“Josh, is this too good to be true? I don’t have luck like this—please tell me again that you’re sure.”
He kissed her chin once and gazed at her for a moment before reaching for the small Tiffany’s bag beside him. He pulled out a box that was about four inches cubed and placed it in her hands.
She pulled at the white bow, untangling it slowly before placing it back in the bag. She looked up at him before lifting the lid, then down into the box as she tried to figure out what she was looking at. She looked back up at him before taking it out. He studied her face for a reaction as she laid eyes on the sterling silver round-barrel box with a sleeping bear on top. He allowed himself a small smile as he saw her lips curl upwards.
“I saw the bear and I wanted to get it for you…you know, since you’re my momma bear.”
“I love it,” she beamed, “…but what is it?”
She opened the lid, peeking curiously inside.
“When I saw it in the window, I thought it was a little box to hold earrings or rings or something…but when I found it in the store, it turns out it’s a tooth fairy box, like, for little kids to put their tooth in when they want the tooth fairy to come.”
He took a deep breath, his heartbeat quickening as he realized what he was about to tell her.
“…so then I thought, well, maybe Donna can use it for her earrings now, and maybe, in a few years, there might be some baby bears—“
His voice choked on his last words, but it didn’t matter because her arms were already around him, and her lips were kissing the tears off of his face. He pulled her toward him and they sat like that, locked in one another’s embrace for a long time.
Back within the walls of their room, it seemed their plan had gone off without a hitch, and they thought they were home free. Rhonda had done as she’d promised, and made sure the receiving clerk would find them a way back in. So, just around dinnertime, they and their shopping bags rode one behind the other as two room service waiters who were in on the plan wheeled them back toward their room in the exact same fashion in which they’d escaped.
The first indication of a problem came when the secret service agent did not allow the waiters to deliver the food into the room. In the absence of anybody there to answer the door, they’d had to come up with an excuse for the waiters to enter on their own.
“Good evening, sir. Mr. Lyman said he would be in the shower, and instructed us to leave the food in the salon.”
“Thank you, sir. We can take it from here.”
We? There was only supposed to be one agent at a time guarding them. The waiters did not argue, and Josh made a mental note to order something else later so he could see that each was tipped well for helping smuggle them. After the carts were wheeled into the room, and it seemed from the door opening and shutting a second time that the agents had gone, he waited a beat and, hearing nothing, pushed the tablecloth aside and crawled out of the cart. Donna’s cart was right behind his, and when he looked towards it, he saw that she was doing the same. Smiling triumphantly at each other as they tumbled onto the floor, Josh pulled Donna into his arms and kissed her softly, his eyes twinkling.
“We did it.” He whispered.
She giggled and he pulled her halfway on top of him kissing her again. Soon she was all the way on top of him, and their kisses became more heated.
“Should we leave the two of you alone?”
The boom of the unmistakable, authoritative, voice caused both of them to freeze, then exchange panicked looks, then jump out of one another’s arms and straighten their clothing in order to face their commander in chief.
“No, sir,” Josh managed, “I apologize. We didn’t see you there.”
“And how could you, given how busy you were defying presidential orders?”
He shifted his gaze quickly to Donna, his expression stern, yet not altogether disapproving.
“Sneaking in and out of the building on room service carts? Whose idea was this?”
“It was my idea, sir.” They said in unison.
Jed looked back and forth between them.
“What Donna means, sir, is that while she may have been party to the later stages of planning, the original concept was mine, and I am prepared to face the full consequences for our actions.”
The president rolled his eyes and rose from the same sofa he’d been sitting on just one day before, walking toward the window, looking out on the city as he leaned on his cane. It was the first time both Josh and Donna noticed that the room had a view of the White House in the near distance, a fact accentuated by the way it was lit up at night. When the president didn’t speak for a long moment, Josh broke the silence.
“We had the conversation, sir.”
The president looked back over at them. Josh reached out to take Donna’s hand.
“Took you long enough.”
As he said that part, he shot an accusing look at Josh.
“I don’t know how we’ll ever be able to thank you, sir.” Donna chimed in softly
The president nodded, his face still serious.
“Joshua, when are you going to make an honest woman out of her?”
As the president’s eyes bore into Josh, Josh turned his gaze Donna.
“As soon as she’ll let me, sir”
His voice was soft, but strong with certainty. He searched her eyes for a reaction. When she squeezed his hand, she smiled a little, and so did she. A glance back at the president revealed that even he showed a hint of a smile.
“Carry on, then.”
And with that, Jed and his secret service entourage breezed out of the suite, leaving them blissfully alone.