rated PG


“This is Donna Moss, please leave a name and number and I’ll return your call as soon as possible.”


“You left. You really left. What the hell, Donna? Call me. I know you’re there.  I’ve talked to Margaret.  She tried to lie about talking to you, but I know it was you on the phone when I walked into the office. My flight leaves in an hour so stop getting drunk and call me.”


Donna stared at the machine for a few seconds more before lowering her wine glass to the coffee table.

“Damn him.” She mumbled before lifting her glass to her lips again. She’d be damned if she’d call him right away.  She didn’t work for him anymore. He could wait.  She grabbed the remote and turned the CD player up a few more notches.  Then it hit her.

“His flight? Where the hell is he going? No, I don’t care.  That’s his business.  He avoided me all week, screw him.” She leaned her head back against the cushions of the couch.  She stared at the ceiling and sighed.  How did it happen like this?  She quit. She really did it. She left. 



“You’ve reached Josh Lyman, leave a message.”


“I tried to talk to you.  For weeks, I tried to talk. You blew me off. You avoided me.  I tried to tell you, but you just wouldn’t listen so don’t get pissy with me. I knew you’d never let me leave gracefully. It had to be quick, like a Band-aid. I start my new job on Monday.  Maybe I’ll see you around.  I’ll be at the OEOB working with Will and the Vice President. And what flight?! Where the hell are you?” Josh hit send on his cell phone after giving the taxi driver the address to Congressman Santo’s house. She’s the only one he can talk to about all this.



“This is Donna Moss, please leave a name and number and I’ll return your call as soon as possible.”


“I just got your message. Answer the phone. Donna, pick up. I…I knew what you wanted to talk about and I just couldn’t have that conversation with you. You know that.  But Russell?! Bingo Bob Russell?! Why?!”  Donna could here him swipe his hand through his hair. “I know why….and…and….I understand.”  Donna blamed the tears in her eyes on too much wine. “I’m in Houston.  Call me as soon as you get this. God, you better not be drunk and listening to that country crap.”  Donna grinned as she took the pause off the CD player.  Rascal Flatts blared through the speakers once again as she picked up the phone and hit the first button on her speed dial.



Josh trotted up the front walk and took a deep breath before ringing the doorbell.  He could feel his phone vibrate against his hip.  He knew it was her.  He also knew she would understand why he couldn’t answer it, but he also felt comforted by the thought of her being on the other end of the line.

“You’ve reached Josh Lyman, leave a message.”


“Houston? What the hell are you……Josh? You’re not doing what I think….? Oh my God, you are! Do you think he’ll run?  Call me.”



“Thanks, Matt.  I could have just gotten a hotel room.”

“Nonsense. We’ve got plenty of room.  Besides, if my wife decides to kill you, she won’t have to go very far. Knowing her, she’ll make it look like an accident.”

“That’s not a very comforting thought.”

 “The towels are under the sink.  Sleep well.”  Josh laughed a little to himself as Matt closed the door to the guestroom as he left.  Josh released a tired sigh as he sat on the end of the bed.  He fished his cell phone from his coat pocket and pressed send.
“This is Donna Moss, please leave a name and number and I’ll return your call as soon as possible.”


“It’s me. Where are you? I’m spending the night in Houston and flying back first thing in the morning.  I’m not……” Donna finally managed to shake the alcohol induced sleep from her brain and grabbed the phone.

“Josh? I’m here.”


“Hey.” Donna could hear the rustling of the phone against his ear as he removed his suit coat.  She grinned at the thought of knowing him so well.

“I’m staying in Houston tonight. Matt’s….he’s going to run, Donna.  He’s going to do it.” Donna smiled at the excitement in Josh’s voice.  Until that moment she hadn’t realized how long it had been since she heard him like that.

“You’re leaving.” Donna stated.  Josh sighed and nodded his head before answering.

“I’ll tell CJ in the morning.”

“Does Leo know?”

“I’m sure he’s got a pretty good idea. We had a conversation.”

“Oh, sure. You’ll talk to him.”  Josh smiled at the sleepy humor in her voice.

“You act as if you’re shocked.”

“I should have known you’d never be adult about this.”

“Yes, you should have.”

“So you’re going to do it, aren’t you?”

“Do you think it’s possible for us to find the real thing twice?”

“Not us, you. I work for Bingo Bob, remember?”

“Yeah, about that….”

“But, why?”

“You know why, Josh.  I have to find out if I can do this on my own.  I can’t work for you forever.”

“I know.  But it’s no fun without you.”
”I’m sure you’ll manage.”
”I doubt it.”

“Come over when you land?”

“Pick me up?”

“Not a chance.” Josh laughed comfortably.  He knew Donna hated picking people up at the airport.

“I’ll see you about 11.  We’ll finally have that lunch.”

“You’re buying.”

“I know. Goodnight, Donnatella.”

“Good night, Joshua.”

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