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through the bullpen en route to his office when he heard Donna’s frustrated
sigh. He stopped at her office door and watched her as she spoke on the phone.
“Why? Jane better
not sell my stuff. How would she like it if I sold her stuff?” Donna spoke
bitterly into the receiver.
rounded her desk and stood with his knees gently bouncing off the front if it.
Donna looked up and frowned.
Mom……okay. I’ll call you back.” Josh smiled at her as she hung up the
phone hoping it would help her mood.
“Do you need
about it.” She sighed as she rested her head in her hands. Josh knew that
meant one thing. She was upset.
“I worry. It’s
what I do. Tell me? Jane’s trying to sell your stuff?” He rounded her desk
and leaned against it as he nudged her in the shoulder.
“If it were up to
her, she’d have all my childhood possessions in a garage sale by this
“Come on, tell me
what’s up.” Josh nodded toward his office before standing. She sighed again
and led the way. It was late so the bullpen was nearly empty. He pulled two
bottles of Yoo-hoo from the fridge and handed one to Donna as she sat in the
visitor’s chair. He sat in front of her on the edge of his desk and waited for
her to speak.
“My parents are
“No. Just moving
to an apartment. With all of us out of the house, they don’t want to have that
big condo to deal with. Mom says I have to come clean out my stuff.” Donna
scowled into her Yoo-hoo as she spoke.
“I know the
offered him a small smile in understanding.
“Mom wants me to
come up next week while we’re off.” Josh raised his eyebrow. “While the
rest of the world is off for Thanksgiving, that is. I told her I couldn’t
afford to rent a truck to pick some of it up. My Civic won’t hold that many
boxes. Plus there’s a chair I had as an art project, some of my books….”
Donna’s voice trailed off and her face darkened.
Mom into having a garage sale. She’ll probably try to sell all my stuff and
keep the money. I don’t want to sell my stuff Josh. It’s my stuff.” Donna
slumped in the chair and took a long drink from her Yoo-hoo. Josh frowned at the
dark expression on her face. He had to fix this. That’s what he did. He fixed
things. Donna needed this fixed.
Tahoe.” He blurted out.
“No, wait. I’m
not having you drive across the country by yourself.” Josh muttered as he
started to pace. Neither of them saw Leo standing in the doorway.
“Excuse me? Josh,
how do you think I got to Nashua?” Josh waved her off and continued to pace.
“That was then.
Too many horrible things can happen to a beautiful woman traveling alone. It’s
not going to happen.”
don’t look like my keeper.” Donna remarked as he rubbed his hand through his
“Why don’t you
drive her?” Donna and Josh looked up startled at the smug expression on
“Drive Donna. Get
out of here for a few days. You need it. Both of you. You’ve already told me
your Mother is visiting her cousin. Drive Donna. Have a good trip. Don’t get
into trouble.” Leo didn’t wait for protests. He allowed a smile to flicker
across his face as he turned and left them gaping at the door.
Josh blinked a few
times, trying to comprehend what he had just been ordered to do. He looked at
Donna, who in turned stared at him.
”What time do we have to leave?”
“I’ll call Mom
and tell her to set another place for Thanksgiving.” Donna handed Josh her
empty bottle and walked out to her desk. Both shared the same thought. * What
the hell just happened? *
Wednesday, 12:47 PM
“I’ve got to
“That was three
hours and two Tropicana Twister’s ago.”
“Can you wait
twenty more minutes?”
to happen in twenty minutes?”
“We’ll be in
Youngstown, Ohio. We’ll get some lunch and top off the tank.”
“Yeah. I can
wait.” Donna turned in the seat and pulled one leg to her chest.
Josh had picked her up at six that morning. They’d picked up breakfast
at Starbucks and had been driving ever since. Josh stopped a few times to let
Donna go to the bathroom. Each time took no less than an hour of begging to get
him to stop. They rode in
comfortable silence for a few minutes before Josh spoke.
“So who’s going
to be home for Thanksgiving?”
“The entire Moss
“All of them?”
“Every last one.
Mom and Dad, Jane and her husband Adam. Their boys, David and Kyle. My brother
Travis and his wife Mary and their daughter Ashley. Then that night we’ll go
over to my Aunt Helen’s and every aunt, uncle and cousin will be there.”
“Let me ask you
this? You’ve got Travis and Jane and then Donnatella? How’d that happen? No
offense, but your name…..well, one of these things is not like the other.”
He chuckled as he sang the last sentence.
“Jane was 14 when
I was born. Travis was 12. Mom wanted to include them as much as possible in the
‘surprise’ that was about to come along, so they got to name me.”
“So which one
came up with Donnatella Jean Moss?”
Donna smiled as
Josh smirked at her.
“Why should I
tell you? You’ll just snark me.”
“I didn’t think
we kept secrets. Spill it.” Donna giggled as Josh took one hand from the wheel
and poked her in the side.
promise me you won’t ever mention it again. You’ll be among my entire family
for the next five days. I can make your life hell. Trust me.”
“Okay, okay. Tell
me.” Donna sighed as she watched his face intently.
“My sister named
me from a perfume bottle, Donnatella. My brother named me Jeannie because he was
in love with Barbara Eden. Mom shortened it to Jean.”
“I Dream of
Jeannie’? She was hot.” Donna swatted his arm as he laughed at her.
“Hell, Joshua. I
can make your life hell.”
I’m sorry.” Donna shifted in the seat again.
“Are we almost
ready to stop?”
minutes. Do you want to go in some where or just get something at a drive
If we keep up like this, we can be at my parents by eight tonight.”
“Sounds good. So,
we’re eating Thanksgiving dinner at your parents and supper at Aunt Helen’s.
I like Aunt Helen.”
“You should. You,
Toby and Sam practically lived off her care package for three days. You
wouldn’t even share.”
“She made them
for us. You should have asked for your own.” Donna and Josh both smiled at the
memory of Aunt Helen. It was during the campaign. Donna had only been with
Bartlet for America for about five months when they rode into Madison. Deciding
it would be cheaper than staying in Chicago, Donna had called her parents to let
them know she would be stopping by with a campaign bus of tired people. Her
mother immediately swung into action and what started out as a quick food stop
turned into an overnight stay. Donna, CJ and Margaret slept at Donna’s
parents, while Toby, Sam and Josh were put up a mile down the road at Aunt
Helen’s. The Bartlets and Leo had opted for the Best Western. Aunt Helen
fawned over her ‘handsome men’ as she called them their entire stay. By the
time they were ready to leave, each man had a bag packed with freshly laundered
clothes and enough food for an army.
“You could have
at least given me a piece of cake.”
“I did give you a
piece of cake.”
“No, you gave me
a bite of cake. That was just enough to piss me off.”
“Well, if you
wanted cake, you should have stayed with Aunt Helen.” Josh teased as he pulled
off the interstate. He looked from
side to side. “Which way?”
a BP and a Burger King.”
Donna was still
waiting in line for the ladies room when Josh paid the cashier for the gas and
then went to the restroom. A busload of what appeared to be a girl’s track
team had commandeered the bathroom.
waiting?” Josh asked as Donna glared at the closed restroom door.
“How much longer
do you think it’ll be?”
“It sounds like
there’s fifteen girls in there Josh. Here, just watch the door.” He stood to
the side as Donna pushed past him and went into the men’s room. Josh stood in
front of the door and tried to blend in. The store was getting crowded and he
was ready to leave. A tall older man started walking toward him.
just be a minute.” Josh shoved his hands in his pockets and willed Donna to
hurry up. The door swung open and the old man gave Josh a knowing smile.
“My wife does
that to me all the time.”
Josh just nodded
and smiled as he followed Donna out the door.
“I hate it when
you do that.”
“Would you have
preferred I wait?”
“No. Come on,
let’s get something to eat.”
“My turn to drive
handed over the keys.
Wednesday 1:38 PM
handed Josh the bag of chicken sandwiches and fries before reaching for the
drinks. Josh took the bag and began to empty its contents when Donna pulled away
from the window and back into traffic. He waited until Donna was back on the
interstate before unwrapping her sandwich so half was exposed from its paper
wrapper. She kept her eyes focused on the road as she reached out her hand for
her sandwich. Josh placed it in her hands before taking a bite of his own
sandwich. It was a well-rehearsed dance. Donna took a few bites before handing
the sandwich back to Josh. As he held her sandwich in one hand, he took another
bite from his own. Donna reached between them for her drink that Josh had
already put her straw in. She took a sip and returned it to the cup holder.
While changing lanes, Josh handed her sandwich back. This process would repeat
itself until their sandwiches were gone. Josh then dumped both fries into the
bag and tore off the top half. He settled it on the console so both of them
could reach in and take a hand full of fries at a time. Josh always finished his
drink before Donna and she always shared what was left of hers with him.
“Did you buy
“In my purse.”
“Can I have a
piece?” Josh wasn’t stupid. He did have a mother, so he knew no matter what,
you never went into a woman’s purse without permission.
“Sure. It’s in
the side pocket.” Josh reached behind her into the back seat and pulled her
purse from the floorboard. He took out two sticks of gum and handed one to her
before sticking the remaining piece in his mouth.
They listened to the radio and watched the scenery go by for almost a
half hour before Josh decided to strike up a conversation again.
“How old are your
nephews and niece again?” Donna changed lanes while she spoke.
“Kyle is 16.
David is 14 and Ashley is eleven, almost twelve.”
“And how many
people will be at Aunt Helen’s?”
see. All of us, so that’s eleven. Aunt Helen and Uncle Frank. Their son and
his wife. They’ve got three kids, all married. Um, there are five kids between
them. My second cousin Angie is engaged, so we’ve got to count him. Then Aunt
Brenda and Uncle Floyd. My cousins, Sam and Jeff. Sam’s married to Lori. No
kids yet. Jeff’s bringing his girlfriend, I think.”
Charles. Aunt Betty died a long time ago. They had four kids. All married with
kids. Plus two have kids of their own. So all together that’s…..eighteen. I
don’t know if they’re bringing significant others so that number is an
“49 people. Damn
“Just stick close
and try not to get separated. You won’t stand a chance alone. My family will
eat you alive.”
meat. They’ll try to suck you in and make you one of us.” Donna laughed.
“Should we just
get a hotel and tell them the car broke down?”
work. They’d send someone to get us. It takes a national emergency to get out
of family holidays. I’m still reminded of……” Donna stopped abruptly and
looked out the driver’s side window. Josh saw the pain in her eyes and knew
she was remembering the two thanksgivings and Christmas’ she missed. Missed
because of him.
Don’t ever be, Joshua. I wouldn’t have been anywhere else.” She offered
him a smile and he felt something tighten in his chest. “Besides, Aunt Helen
took up for me. She threatened to hop on a plane and help me that summer.”
“That’s a scary
“Tell me about
it.” The mood had been lightened and the two of them continued down the
“Then I saw her
face! Now I’m a believer! Not a tra-a-ace….of doubt in my mind. I’m in
love! Oooooo!” Donna sang to the radio while Josh drummed along on the dash.
Smash Mouth’s cover of the old Monkees song blared through the speakers while
Donna fell in line with a line of cars.
Wednesday, 3:29 PM
never ends. It goes on forever I’m sure of it.”
whining. I’m just saying this is the longest damn road in the whole fucking
“I was not
“You were! I saw
“I got a free
drink didn’t I?”
“What would you
have done for free food?!”
“You shut up.”
“Flirting with me
“I see your wit
is as sharp as ever.”
“Where the hell
are we anyway?”
”Where in Indiana?”
“When? When I was
digging you another Sprite from the cooler or when I was feeding you cheeze-its?”
“Why don’t you
try to go to sleep?”
“It’s 3:30 in
the afternoon. Why would I want to go to sleep?”
“Did you know
South Bend is the home of the College Football Hall of Fame?”
“One can also
visit the Studebaker National Museum. Do you want to stop and see the
“I do not.”
Wednesday 4:30 PM
Illinois!” Donna raised her fists above her head and shimmied her behind in
“Not long now.
How much farther is it?”
“Less than three
“I’ve got to
ask. I cannot hold it for three hours. Half an hour, tops. So start looking for
She smiled at him and he returned with a small grin.
welcome. But, I’m going in with you this time. I didn’t like the way that
last guy was looking at you.”
was a little surprised she didn’t argue. Donna in fact didn’t like the way
that last clerk was looking at her either.
Wednesday 6:14 PM
Josh had leaned the passenger seat all the way back in an effort to get
“I’ve got some
Motrin in my purse.”
Donna looked down at his face and frowned. She returned her eyes to the road and
reached behind her for her purse. She nudged him in the leg with it before
placing it in his lap.
“Get two for you
and two for me. We’re in the twelfth hour of our thirteen-hour drive. I’m
feeling a little worse for wear too.” Josh
slowly righted the seat and dug through her purse. He pulled his bottle of water
from the cup holder and took two pills. He held his hand up to Donna’s mouth.
She opened her mouth and allowed Josh to place the two pills on her tongue. He
handed her his bottle of water and she swallowed with a groan.
“I hate my
“If it wasn’t
for her wanting to sell my stuff, Mom would have just packed it up and moved it
“Don’t be so
sure. You remember what we had to do to get all my stuff from home.”
“I know. But all
you had to do was pack. Hell, you had the movers do most of that. I need a
raise.” Josh groaned and lowered his seat back down.
“Little less than
“Will you call
“Why do we need
to call the house?”
“To let them know
we’re about an hour away.”
“Oh, okay. You
don’t want to call them? They’re your family.”
Just call them.” Josh pulled her cell phone from the side of her purse and
scrolled through the programmed numbers. He hit send and waited for someone to
hey Jane. This is Josh. Donna and I are about an hour out…..Yeah, okay.”
Josh turned to Donna and groaned. “She’s putting your mom on. Here, you
talk…..Hello, Mrs. Mo….Margie…..Yes ma’am, we’re about an hour
out…….we can stop and get something to eat……..ham and cheese is
fine…..” Josh looked at Donna again. “What kind of sandwich do you want?
Ham or roast beef?”
Ham……yes ma’am. We’re a little tired……My back’s fine…..yes
ma’am. I’ll tell her…..Yes ma’am……She’s grumpy.” Donna swatted
him on the arm.
“I am not!”
“Donna hit me.”
Josh smirked at her as he talked into the cell phone.
calling me names. Yes ma’am. I’ll tell her. We’ll see you in a little
while. Bye.” Josh pressed end on the phone and allowed his face to part in a
trouble.” He sang. Donna laughed as Josh put her phone back in her purse.
“Ah, ah, ah.
Margie told me to tell you to stop calling me names.”
you’re funny don’t you? You just wait. You may have Margaret Moss fooled for
the moment. But she’ll see through that load of shit in a heartbeat.”
squawked as Josh laughed.
Wednesday 7:23 PM
through the entrance of Meadowlakes. It was a middle to upper class neighborhood
on the outskirts of Madison. Donna drove through the darkened streets past the
closely built houses until she turned onto small tree-lined street that lead to
her parents condominium complex. She pulled into a space across from her parents
unit and sighed.
“Here we are, the
humble home of Margaret and Robert Moss. Otherwise known as Margie and Bob.” Josh smiled as he opened his door and stretched his road
weary muscles. He opened the back door and pulled Donna’s tote bag and purse
from his side as she gathered his backpack and coat from her side in her arms.
Both of them smiled when they heard a teenage male voice bellow from inside the
Donna and her boyfriend are here!”
The front door
opened and Margie Moss rushed down the steps to engulf her daughter in a hug.
“Mmm, mmm, mmm
I’ve missed my baby girl.” Even though Donna had her hands full, she soaked
up her mother’s love. Margie pulled back and cradled her daughter’s face in
skinny.” Donna rolled her eyes and then giggled when her mother turned her
head toward the opened door and screamed. “David! Kyle! Come help your Aunt
Donna with her luggage!” Josh rounded the front of his SUV and offered Margie
Josh! Come here and let me squeeze those dimples.”
“It’s Margie. I
thought we covered that.”
Josh slung Donna’s purse over his shoulder and used the free arm to hug
skinny too. Come on in the house and I’ll feed you children something to
eat.” Josh allowed Donna to lead the way up the stairs. They barely made it
through the front door when two tall, lanky teenage boys bounced down the stairs
and into the foyer.
“Hey Donna!” The boys yelled as they ran past them and out to Josh’s
“The taller blond
was Kyle. The sandy brown headed one with the braces was David.” Donna
supplied as she dropped his coat on the chair by the door.
couldn’t help but smile as the gray haired man enveloped his youngest daughter
in a hug. Bob was tall and slender with an athletic build, even for his age. He
always wore starched white button down shirts and khaki pants. After selling
insurance for forty years it was what he felt comfortable in.
“Look at you.
You’re more beautiful than ever. How was the drive?”
“We could have
made better time.” Josh complained.
“Let me guess.
Donna had to go. A lot.”
The two men laughed as Josh offered his hand. Bob shook his hand and patted him
on the shoulder.
“Well let’s get
that car unpacked and you two settled. Margie’ll have to feed you or she
won’t be able to sleep tonight.”
“I heard that!”
Margie called from the kitchen from where she had slipped off to start making
Josh had only been
here one other time. He was surprised at the amount of space the Moss’ had in
their condo. It was three stories with four bedrooms and a game room. Donna
traded Josh his backpack for her purse and looked around the livingroom.
“They went to the
“Of course. They
had to do something to occupy her until you got here. She’s been driving us
crazy for four hours. ‘When’s Aunt Donna gonna get here?’ “Aunt Donna
loves me best.’ ‘Aunt Donna works for the President.’ Like we didn’t
know that. She’s so cute.”
“I can’t wait
to see her. Where’s everybody sleeping?”
“Travis and Mary
are in his old room. Jane and Adam are in her old room next to your Dad and me.
The boys are in gameroom on the air mattresses. Ashley’s on the couch in the
livingroom and you and Josh are in your room.”
“Why is Josh in
my room?!” Donna screeched.
he be in your room?”
“Why would he
“Are you okay?”
“I don’t think
“My God Donna.
We’re all adults. I mean you lived with Paul. God knows why.
We just thought that since you and Josh are together now you’d want to
stay with him.”
bringing him home for Thanksgiving.” Margie stated it as if it explained
everything. Donna could only stare at her mother.
bringing him home for Thanksgiving we’re together?!”
brought one other person home and that was Paul, so I assumed…..”
“You mean you’re not…..I thought surely you two would have realized…..” Margie’s voice trailed off as Josh walked into the kitchen.
“We got all the
stuff out of the car. Can I put these drinks from the cooler in the fridge?”
“Sure Josh. Let
me take those.” Margie tried to ignore Donna as she leaned against the counter
and stared at her in disbelief.
started again, ignoring Josh’s question.
saying Aunt Helen is going to be crushed.”
Margie shook her head while she returned to making Josh a sandwich.
Helen going to be crushed?” Josh asked as he looked back and forth at the two
“How could you do
that Mom?! For some strange reason Aunt Helen adores Josh. When she finds out
that we’re not….that we aren’t….Mo-o-om, she’ll never let me hear the
end of it. I can’t believe you even jumped to that conclusion!”
“It’s not all
my fault. Your Daddy got her all excited.”
that we…..that we’re…..” Donna stuttered as she motioned with her hands.
Josh looked at her with a confused look on his face. Donna wouldn’t look at
him. She either glared at her mother or studied the floor.
happened?” Josh asked as Margie offered him his plate.
“There’s been a
little miscommunication.” Margie replied.
“There was no
miscommunication! Oh no! There was jumping to conclusions and assumptions run
calm down before you break out in hives.”
“You break out in
hives?” Josh asked around a mouth full of potato chips, still trying to figure
out what the hell was going on.
“It was just that
one time! I was a little nervous.” Donna sighed when she realized Josh had
gotten her off the subject. She rested her head in her hands as she shook her
“Donna was voted
Outstanding Senior in the Band during high school and had to give a speech
during Awards night. She was so nervous she broke out in hives the night before.
We’ve got pictures.”
shrieked in horror. “Don’t you dare!”
“Oh, Donna, calm
down. Eat something and we’ll figure something out.”
figuring out?” Josh asked again trying to make sense of the conversation he
was in. Donna walked over to where he sat at the bar and slid the stool out
beside him. She sank down in the seat and mumbled into her plate.
everyone we’re dating.” Margie rushed around the counter as Josh started
choking. She patted his back as he coughed.
“Here, take a
drink.” Josh gulped his drink as Margie lifted his arm in the air and
continued to pat his back. “Are you okay?” Josh nodded his head and pulled
his arm from her grasp. He looked incredulously at Donna who still refused to
look at him.
“Your voice got
really high, I hope you know that.” Donna said as she half-heartedly took a
bite of her sandwich.
“Aunt Helen was
thrilled.” Margie offered with a smile.
“Aunt Helen? Aunt
Helen thinks we’re….But you’re my assistant.” Margie took note of his
“What did Daddy
“What did I tell
who?” Bob asked as he entered the kitchen.
“What did you
tell Aunt Helen about me and Josh?”
“Oh, she was
tickled to death. She thinks Josh hung the moon. She was on the phone before I
could get out the door good.”
Before Josh could think of a response the boys trailed into the kitchen.
“We put all your
stuff in Aunt Donna’s room.” Kyle stated as he opened the refrigerator door.
David took the bag of potato chips from the counter and began eating as
if he were starving.
class looked you up on the internet, Josh. Hey, can I get your autograph for my
teacher? Maybe she’ll give me extra credit.” Kyle spoke to the shelves of
“Uh, sure. No
problem.” Josh said, still a little dazed.
“I think she
thinks you’re hot or something. I told her you were my Aunt Donna’s
boyfriend and she looked all disappointed and stuff.”
“Oh God.” Donna
groaned and buried her head in her hands again.
“Okay, boys, take
it upstairs to the game room. Let’s go.” Margie ushered the boys out of the
kitchen and waited until she heard the television before turning to Donna and
“It’s not that
big of a deal.”
“Not that big a
deal?! Mom, I’m his assistant!” Margie tried not to smile at Donna’s
“So? I worked for
your father for forty years.”
“But you were
“Oh, Donna. Just
tell them the truth then.”
great.” Donna sighed as the trip caught up with her.
“So, uh, what are
we going to do?” Josh grinned. He knew he should be just as upset as Donna but
the thought of sharing a bed with her made him extremely happy.
“Maybe Ashley can
sleep with me and Josh can…..”
need to be sleeping on that couch. Besides, Ashley always sleeps on the couch
when she comes, no matter what. We’ll work something out.” Margie smiled as
she started cleaning up the kitchen. She winked at Bob as she passed by him on
her way to the dishwasher.
“You children go
and get cleaned up and we’ll figure something out. Josh the towels are in the
hall closet. Donna can show you where everything is.”
Donna took Josh by the arm and dragged him down the hall and downstairs. The stairs opened to reveal a small room with an old television and two beanbag chairs. Donna released his arm and crossed the room. She pushed open her bedroom door and switched on the lights.
sleep on the couch.”
“No. It’s older
than I am and your back will kill you.”
sleep on the floor.” Josh stepped inside her room and smiled at the posters
still on the wall.
flopped down on her old bed and sighed. “Mom would kill me. For some strange
reason they like you.”
“Of course they
like me.” He walked over to her bookshelf and started looking at all the
“What are you
“Looking at what
appears to be you in a tutu.”
“This is going to
be an unbearable weekend.”
The one thing Donna
could take comfort in was that her room was separated from the rest of the house
and she had her own bathroom. By the time she was in high school her brother and
sister were married so she had the run of the house. Josh had decided to shower
first, so Donna started unpacking their things. She had finished her suitcase
and was starting on Josh’s when a small body tackled her to the bed.
Donna giggled and hugged the girl tightly to her chest.
“Hey! Did you
“What took you so
long?! I’ve been waiting for hours!” Donna pushed the young girl to arms
length and took in her innocent face.
so tall. You’re so grown up.”
“I know. I’ve
even got a boyfriend.” Ashley beamed.
have to tell me all about it. But, first, I’ve got to take a shower. Where are
your mom and dad?”
want me to tell them that you and Uncle Josh will be up in a minute?”
told us you were bringing him. Mom said it’s about damn time.”
stood in the doorway in jeans and a t-shirt. His hair was still damp and he was
He smiled as he tossed his dirty clothes on the chair by the dresser.
Josh was surprised when the young girl hurled herself at him and wrapped her
arms tightly around his waist.
You must be Uncle Josh.”
squeaked as he looked at Donna.
to marry Aunt Donna, right? Mom says that you and she love each other but were
just stupid for a while.” Donna eyes widened at Ashley admission.
“Ashley! Um, Josh
and I are just friends.” Ashley stood back from Josh and frowned at him.
“You don’t love
Aunt Donna? Why? She’s beautiful.” Josh’s heart hurt at the crushed
expression on the young girls face. Her hair was blond like Donna’s and they
had the same smile.
“She smart and
funny.” Ashley added while her hands settled defiantly on her hips.
“I know. She’s
all those things.”
“Then how come
you don’t love her?” Donna could only watch the scene in front of her. She
couldn’t quite wrap her mind around her eleven-year-old niece giving her boss
the third degree. What was more disturbing was that Donna realized the set of
Josh’s jaw. He would never back down from a fight. Not even a debate with an
“What makes you
think I don’t love her?” Donna’s head jerked so fast she actually felt it
pop. Josh now had his hands on his hips and was looking down at the little girl.
“Well Aunt Donna
said you were just friends and not her boyfriend. Mom said you were her
boyfriend and now Aunt Donna says you’re not. Did you break up with her?”
“No, of course
aren’t you her boyfriend?”
that’s just an excuse.”
shrieked. She realized she had been shrieking a lot since she got home. Josh and
Ashley ignored her as Ashley continued her debate.
“So do you love
Aunt Donna or not?”
“What do you mean
Grandma says that’s just an excuse?” Josh demanded.
the subject. Yes or no?”
Josh took a step forward and stood toe to toe with the youngster.
“Yes or no? Aunt
Donna always said you were smart, but you can’t answer a simple question.”
“How old are you
“Are you sure
“Never mind. Uh,
Donna, shower’s free. I’m gonna go see if I can catch CJ’s 9 o’clock.”
Josh hoped to distract Ashley long enough to flee the room.
Donna nodded and stood to grab some clothes from her dresser.
called from the top of the steps. “Tell Josh and Donna to come up stairs!”
“Mom says come up
stairs.” She said dryly.
“Tell her I’ll
be up after I take a quick shower. Josh you go ahead.”
“I’m afraid to
be alone with them.” Ashley smirked at him. A smirk he recognized all too well
from Donna. Obviously it ran deep in the Moss genetic code.
Ashley mumbled as she left the room.
“What the hell
just happened?” Josh swiped his hand across his forehead before leveling his
gaze on Donna. She stood with a pair of panties in her hand, eyes wide and
“I’m gonna take
“I’ll wait on
Mary smiled at her
“You were a
little rough on him, don’t you think?”
“I was trying to
“Maybe he got the
“I thought he was
supposed to be really smart.”
clueless to me.”
“He’s a man
honey. They can’t help it.”
“I’m glad Tommy
“Tommy’s in the
“But he knows
that he loves me.”
got to love a man that knows what he wants.” Mary giggled with her daughter as
they returned to the living room.
Donna and Josh?” Travis asked as he pulled Ashley onto his lap.
recover probably.” Mary answered with a laugh.
“What did you
say?” Margie leaned across the couch and poked Ashley in the sides causing her
“Don’t you lie
to me. I know that look. You said something.”
“I asked Uncle
Josh why he didn’t love Aunt Donna.”
“You called him
Uncle Josh?” Jane asked from the doorway of the kitchen.
“Yeah, you should
have seen his face. His eyes got all buggy like this.” Ashley held her eyelids
open with her fingers and laughed.
“What did he
say?” Bob asked from his recliner.
“He said, ‘what
makes you think I don’t love her!’” Ashley did a surprisingly accurate
impression of Josh.
“What did Donna
do?” Mary took a seat next to her husband before answering his question.
“From what I saw
she stood there gaping like a fish. I had to get out of there before I busted
something I was laughing so hard.”
“Well two things
are going to happen. They’ll realize what the world already knows or they’ll
slip back into the whole denial routine.”
Josh’s mother say?” Jane asked her mother.
“She gave me
permission to hit him over the head with a frying pan if I had to. Speaking of
Amelia, Josh better call her tomorrow.”
“I’m sure he
will. Hey, here they come.”
“I’m sure CJ
can handle it. The country isn’t going to fall apart because you’re not
“Come on, Donna.
I’ll just call Sam and see what’s going on. It’ll take ten minutes.”
“No. Ten minutes
is all it’ll take to get you into a tizzy and I just don’t have the strength
to talk you out of it.”
“I don’t get
into tizzies. Old women and little girls get into tizzies. Josh Lyman does not
You’re still not calling Sam.”
gathering in the living room stood and watched the two of them as they entered
the room. Josh and Donna were dressed in jeans and t-shirts. Both were barefoot
and Josh had his hand comfortably on the small of Donna’s back as they walked.
“There you are!
Feel better?” Margie asked as she stood to put on a pot of coffee.
Before either could
answer, everyone with the exception of Bob and the boys stood to give Donna a
hug. Travis was the first to grab his baby sister.
Josh cocked his head at the term.
“Don’t call me
that!” Donna punched him on the shoulder while he laughed.
“Why? It’s your
name. Isn’t it Janie?” Jane pushed Travis out of the way so she could hug
“Shut up, Travis.
I’m sure Josh doesn’t want to have his girlfriend called toad.” Donna
sighed and looked at Josh.
“I’m not his
Jane asked grabbing her left hand in search of a ring.
“Oh, you don’t
like the term girlfriend. What is it these days? Significant other? Life
Partner? Domestic Companion? Whatever you like.” Jane didn’t wait for Donna
to protest before moving on to Josh. She gave him a warm hug that he couldn’t
help but return. Jane was a couple of years older than he was. She was a little
shorter than Donna but still had the thin frame of their father. Her hair was
short and sandy blonde and her eyes were the same blue as Donna’s.
“You look good.
Donna must be taking good care of you.”
“Good, good. Tell
us all about the White House.” Jane pulled Josh by the hand until he was
sitting on the couch. He squirmed a little in his seat when Ashley sat down and
leveled her gaze pointedly at him. Mary and Adam had joined in on the hugs for
Donna while Bob, Kyle and David obliviously watched television.
Margie stood in the
kitchen door and watched while all her family sat around the living room and
talked. It was good to have everyone home.
“Coffee’s on if
anyone wants some. You know where the cups are, so help yourself.”
“I guess your mom
doesn’t bring anyone coffee either.”
Donna smiled as she and Josh stood to go to the kitchen for a cup of coffee.
Jane and Adam followed and they all stood in comfortable silence. Josh finally
got the nerve to reach for the kitchen phone.
think about it.” Donna warned.
“Leo, not Sam.”
Donna watched as he dialed the number. Josh
leaned against the kitchen counter and sipped his coffee while Donna poured
herself a cup.
“Did you have a
good trip Josh?”
“Yeah, we got in
about an hour ago.”
“Well, the White
House is still standing if that’s what you’re calling about.”
checking in.” Ashley strolled into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator.
She pulled out an apple pie and searched through the drawer for a knife.
“Mom! Can I have
“Sure! Bring me
and your father a piece.”
“Donna, do you
and your boyfriend want a piece?”
“Did she just say
boyfriend?” Leo asked.
“Uh, she um…”
“I didn’t know
Donna had a boyfriend. I didn’t think that was possible with you submarining
all her dates.”
“So who’s the
lucky guy?” Ashley looked at Josh and waited on an answer about the pie.
“Hold on a sec.
No thanks Ashley. But thanks for asking.”
cut three pieces of pie and looked at Donna.
“You sure you
don’t want any?”
“Okay. Tell your
boyfriend that Tommy is going to call in a little while so if the phone beeps to
answer it.” Ashley grinned to herself while she balanced three pieces of pie
in her arms and walked out of the kitchen.
something you need to tell me Josh?”
“Are you asking
“Are you the
boyfriend Josh?” Leo was grateful that Josh couldn’t see his smiling face
through the phone.
“It seems that
way. It’s all a misunderstanding Leo. Really, it’s not what you think.”
Donna looked at Josh in horror when she figured out what he was talking about.
on Josh?” Leo growled. Josh looked at Donna’s pale face and sighed.
a beep Leo. That must be Tommy. I’ll call you tomorrow.” Josh pressed the
button to disconnect the phone. He took a deep breath before answering the other
call. He walked past Donna’s horrified expression and handed the cordless
phone to Ashley.
Tommy. Oh that was just Aunt Donna’s boyfriend.” Josh rolled his eyes and
walked back to the kitchen. Donna met him at the door and blocked his path.
“Am I going to
lose my job?”
“I’m going to
get fired, aren’t I?”
“No. No, don’t
“What did Leo
say? I love my job Josh!”
going to lose your job. I won’t let that happen.” Jane and Adam watched the
exchange with interest.
“You can’t know
that. I’m not senior staff. I’m just your assistant.”
been just my assistant. Everybody knows that.”
Donna. We’ll explain everything.”
“Well, you know
what? I’m more concerned with explaining this to Aunt Helen than I am to
“Oh, shit, I
forgot about Aunt Helen.” Jane nudged her husband in the ribs.
Adam asked with his best straight face. Donna sighed and turned to her sister
and brother-in-law. She started to speak but she was suddenly very tired.
I…..never mind. I’m going to bed.”
“It’s only a
little after nine. Even Ashley’s still up.”
“Yeah well, the
drive was a long one. I’m going to bed.” Josh sighed while he scrubbed his
hand through his hair. The long drive was catching up with him as well. His back
had started to hurt and he was getting a headache from all the ‘boyfriend’
“Sounds like a
good idea.” Donna said her goodnights and hugged and kissed her parents.
Margie kissed Josh on the cheek and grinned at him as the two disappeared
downstairs. Both of them stopped dead in their tracks when they realized they
still hadn’t figured out where Josh would sleep.
sleep on the floor.”
tired, I have a headache and I really don’t want to deal with you tomorrow if
you haven’t gotten any sleep and your back is in knots. I can already tell
it’s been bothering you for the last couple hours. So, just change your
clothes and get in the damn bed. We’ve shared hotel rooms, bus seats, couches
and airplane seats for the last six years. I even lived with you during your
recovery, Josh. I think we can be mature enough to survive four nights at my
parents.” Josh watched as she ranted. She was exhausted. He knew she had
reached her limit and he also knew not to argue.
“Okay. What side
pulled a pair of pajamas from her top drawer and went into the bathroom. When
she came out Josh was already in the big blue pajama’s CJ had given him during
his recovery. He slid under the blankets and sighed as the pain in his back made
itself known again. Donna pulled back her side of the blankets and sat on the
edge of the bed while she set her alarm clock. Josh tried not to notice how
beautiful she looked in her pale green flannel pajamas and no make up. She
curled up under the covers and faced Josh.
“Did you take
sighed in frustration and got out of the bed.
returned with a glass of water and two pills. Josh winced as he sat up in the
bed and took the pills. Before Donna could return the glass to the bathroom,
there was a knock on the door.
Margie poked her head through the door and smiled.
back? Amelia told me about the trouble you’ve been having lately. I brought
you something for you back.”
“You talked to my
mother?” Josh asked.
“Oh yes. We talk
every couple weeks.”
“You talk to my
mother?” Margie smiled at the expression on his face.
friends after…..well, it was the only way I could check on you…..and Donna
for that matter.” Donna looked at the floor as Josh stared at her mother.
didn’t….she never mentioned…..”
right dear. We’re just two old women gossiping about our beautiful children.
Here, let Donna rub this on your back. Bob swears by it. Mrs. Arnett told him
about it. It’s all natural. I think it has peppermint in it too.”
better dear. Good night, children.”
They both stared at
her retreating form and neither spoke until they were sure she was out of
“We’re in the
twilight zone.” Donna stated.
“I mean, did you
see that woman who looks and talks like my mother? She had no problem with you
in my bed. This is not the woman I grew up with.”
“She talks to my
mom, Donna. They talk about us.”
“That can’t be
good. Nothing good could ever come of that.”
conspiracy. It has to be.” Donna laughed at Josh’s paranoia.
“Yeah, sure Josh.
There’s an elaborate network of our relatives that have conspired to get us
“Yeah right. Well
I guess we made them happy. Their little plan succeeded.” Josh smirked at
Donna as she sat on his side of the bed.
“I guess it
I’ll rub this stuff on you.”
that’s a good idea?”
“It could be all
part of the plan. I take my shirt off and you can’t control yourself.” Donna
snorted with laughter.
“I’ll try to
reign in my urges.”
Josh pulled his shirt over his head and rolled on his stomach. Donna sat on his
legs and rubbed the lotion on his back. Josh jumped slightly at her touch but
then relaxed into the feel of her hands on his skin.
feel?” She asked and he could only moan. Donna was trying to concentrate on
rubbing the soreness out rather than the feel of Josh’s strong muscles under
“Oh God Donna.”
Josh moaned and Donna felt her face grow hot. She wondered if she could make him
moan her name in other ways.
“Is this stuff
“Is that good?”
“I’ll give you
about an hour to stop.” He joked as she kneaded the flesh of his shoulders.
“Well, you get
about five more minutes and this girl’s going to sleep.”
“Oh come on,
Donna-aahh. God, right there. Mmmm.”
“I love it when
you talk dirty to me.” She laughed. Josh knew she was just teasing but the
tightness in his groin made him nervous. He had to sleep next to this woman.
This beautiful, smart, funny woman that everyone thought was his girlfriend.
Strangely enough, he didn’t mind. But he couldn’t sleep beside Donna with a
raging hard on. She would probably notice sooner or later. He closed his eyes
and tried to think very depressing and non-Donna thoughts.
Donna wiggled the soreness out of her fingers and crawled off his legs.
Josh groaned involuntarily at her absence. She walked to the bathroom to wash
her hands. She splashed some cold water on her face and took a deep breath as
she looked at her reflection in the mirror. She had to calm down. This day had
been entirely too bizarre. She just needed sleep. Sleep. She was going to sleep
in the same bed with Josh. Donna groaned as she slashed more water on her face.
She turned off the light and made her way back to bed. Josh had already turned
off the lap on his side of the bed, so when she did the same the room was
plunged into darkness. She crawled under the covers and sighed gratefully as she
sank into the comfortable bed.
“What time do we
have to get up in the morning?” Josh whispered.
“Not too early. I
set the alarm for eight.” She whispered as she rolled over to face him.
Joshua.” They both took a deep breath and tried to go to sleep.
It was about 4:40
in the morning when Josh’s eyes fluttered open. It took him a few seconds to
remember where he was. It took another minute to realize he had his arms wrapped
tightly around Donna’s waist. He held his breath for a second while he let his
mind adjust to where he was. He looked down at Donna’s face as she slept. Her
arms were tangled in his and her leg was underneath his knee. She was beautiful.
He snuggled into her hair and took a deep breath. At his slight movement Donna
stirred. She rolled toward him and without waking nuzzled her body into his.
Josh sighed at how good it felt to hold her. Yesterday had been so strange for
both of them but it made him think. Leo didn’t sound that upset on the phone
and he really was starting to like the idea of being Donna’s ‘boyfriend’.
As he listened to the soft steady breathing that filled the room, he
thought about what it would be like to wake up with Donna every morning. He
brushed his lips lightly across her forehead indulging in the softness of her
skin. She stirred once again and tilted her head toward his. He wanted so much
to kiss her. But surely she didn’t feel the same way about him as he felt
about her. How ‘did’ he feel about her? He knew how he felt about her. He
just couldn’t let those feelings surface. She was his assistant. Josh held her
awhile longer just enjoying the feel of her body next to his.
Josh decided that
the call of nature was taking precedent over holding Donna in his arms. He
slowly removed himself from her grasp and padded into the bathroom. He took care
of business and decided to brush his teeth while he was up. It was a rarity to
get eight consecutive hours sleep, so his body wasn’t quite sure what to do.
He switched off the light and shuffled back across the room to his side of the
bed. He slowly eased under the blankets trying not to wake Donna. Once he
settled back under the warm comforter, he missed having her in his arms. He
rolled onto his side and lightly brushed his fingertips down her bare arm that
was resting on top of the blanket. She
stirred slightly and reached out for him in her sleep. Josh rolled on his back
as Donna rolled toward him. He held his breath as she draped her arm across his
chest and threw her leg over his thigh. He sighed in relief as her breathing
evened out and she molded to his side. A smile flickered across his face as he
kissed the top of her head as it rested on his shoulder. He closed his eyes and
listened to her breathe. Soon he fell back to sleep.
Donna stretched her
leg out and tried to blink the sleep from her eyes. She tensed when she noticed
her current position. She was draped across Josh in the bed. His arm was around
her shoulder and his fingers were laced with hers. She smiled as she looked at
his sleeping face. He seemed so relaxed. It was uncommon to see him so still.
She rubbed her thumb over his knuckle and squeezed a little closer to him. He
stirred a little and rolled to his side. She held her breath as he wrapped his
arm around her waist and pulled her to him. She was now about a half inch from
his face. She could feel his breath on her cheek. She slid her hand to his chest
and allowed her fingers to trace small circles over his bare chest. She smiled
when he offered her a small moan. She knew she shouldn’t allow herself to
indulge in the pleasure of his body pressed to hers but she couldn’t help
herself. She knew by his breathing he was still asleep, so she leaned
the fraction of an inch forward and placed a light kiss on his cheek. It
startled her at first to feel his hand slide up her back. Her heart nearly
stopped when she heard him whisper her name and felt the soft feel of his lips
on her head. She turned her head slightly and from what she could tell he was
still asleep. She couldn’t resist him any longer. Besides, she rationalized
that he was asleep, he’d never know. She leaned forward and pressed her lips
lightly to his. She started to pull away when she felt Josh tighten his hold and
lean his head forward. She couldn’t help the sigh that escaped her throat as
Josh deepened the kiss. This wasn’t happening. Josh was supposed to be asleep.
She was taking advantage of a sleeping man. She pulled away and was shocked to
see him smiling at her with his eyes fixed on hers.
“But we aren’t
Before she could sputter anymore Josh captured her mouth again. He kept his
kisses light and tentative. The last thing he wanted to do was push. His heart
skipped when Donna threaded her fingers in his hair and rewarded him with a
small moan. Donna heard the moan escape her throat and quickly pulled away.
“I think we
already had this conversation.”
“Yeah, okay. Uh,
I should get up.”
felt his heart beat faster at the look of panic on her face. Maybe he had
overstepped. Maybe he was right and she really didn’t feel the same way. Maybe
she just got caught up in the moment. Josh watched as Donna threw the blankets
off and stood beside the bed. She turned a quick circle and then looked back
down at him and smiled brightly at him. His
anxiety forgotten, he stared at her beautiful face.
“I’m just gonna…..uh…..I…..um….shower.
Yeah, shower.” Josh saw the blush rise in her cheeks and couldn’t help but
“What time is
it?” Donna looked at her clock and shook her head.
“Six. We can’t
even sleep late on vacation.”
“You could always
come back to bed.” Josh smirked at her and he immediately saw the color darken
in her cheeks. She lowered her head and smiled shyly. Josh Lyman was hitting on
her. Hitting on her in the real sort of way. Not the playful flirting they did
in the office. This was different. There was kissing involved. Donna grabbed a
handful of clothes and retreated to the bathroom.
Josh had taken up
residence in a beanbag chair in the small room outside of Donna’s bedroom and
was flipping between MSNBC and CNN. Donna stood in her doorway dressed in jeans
and a red sweater.
it’s a slow news day.”
“You’re not in
town to cause trouble.”
“Me? Trouble? How
could you think such a thing?”
“Gee, I don’t
know. Shower’s free.”
we’re on our own. Lunch is here…..”
“Casual. I packed
your brown sweater.”
“Then dinner will
be at Aunt Helen’s around seven. That’s when the real fun begins.”
“Sure, you say
that now. But wait ‘til you’re lookin’ for the nearest window to jump out
of.” Josh chuckled at her as he stood from his beanbag chair. He groaned
slightly at the movement.
“Nah, I just
haven’t actually sat in one of those since college.”
“Well the brown
furry one is mine so it goes home with me.”
“I’m sure it
will make quite the statement in your apartment.” Josh walked toward her and
slid his hand down her arm as he passed. Donna felt the electricity travel to
her toes and back up to the hair on the back of her neck. What was going on?
Were they really making ‘the’ move?
“Do you want me
to wait on you to get ready?”
“Nah, I’ll be
up in a minute.”
make too much noise. The rest of the world doesn’t normally get up this early
on a holiday.”
“Yeah. The rest
of the world’s weird, Josh.” Donna laughed as she walked up the stairs and
left him to take a shower.
“Mom, what are
you doing up this early?”
“You think a
twenty-five pound Turkey cooks itself? This baby’s been on since three this
“You’ve been up
“No, Dad and I
bought a new oven. See? It has a timer and everything. I love it. So did you
sleep well?” The mischievous gleam in her mother’s eye did not go unnoticed.
“Why are you
pushing Josh and I?”
not pushing anything. I told you it was just a misunderstanding. We’ll get it
all worked out. We’ll just tell everyone over dinner that you and Josh don’t
have any feelings for one another and that will be the end of it.” Margie
puttered around the kitchen as she talked. She kept glancing at Donna while she
sliced some apples for a pie. She noticed the look on her daughter’s face when
she mentioned Josh.
“You don’t have
feelings for him. Do you?”
Before she could answer she heard Josh coming up the stairs. He smiled at her
and placed his hand on her arm as he passed by her.
Best nights sleep I’ve had since….since sometime before college, I would
in the pot. Help yourself dear?”
pulled two mugs from the cabinet and poured two cups of coffee. He poured a
little sugar in one before going to the fridge for some milk. After taking a sip
of the mug of black coffee he handed the other to Donna. To her mother this
seemed like a casual gesture. To Donna, it meant much more. She beamed at Josh
as she took the cup from his hand. He winked at her before taking a seat beside
her. Margie wiped her hands on a dishtowel before opening the refrigerator.
“Lunch is going
to heavy enough so I suggest a light breakfast. I’ve got oatmeal…” Josh
and Donna both made a face. “….lemon-poppyseed muffins and cereal. Take your
pick.” Margie laughed as they both said cereal at the same time.
“I’ll get the
bowls, you get the milk.” Donna pointed to the fridge as she stood. Josh
nodded and retrieved the gallon of milk and placed it on the counter. Donna
placed the bowls beside the milk while Margie lined up three boxes of cereal.
Raisin Bran or Fruit Loops?” Donna grabbed the box of Raisin Bran while Josh
happily chose the Fruit Loops.
spooned a large helping of the colored rings in his mouth and smiled at
Donna’s withering look.
mumbled as he chewed.
“You’re such a
“It’s part of
“Right. I forgot
about the famous Lyman Charm. How many women have succumbed to the Lyman Charm?
Oh, yeah, none. Unless of course you would like to count the fan club. But,
let’s not get into the ‘Great Jail Bait Debate of 2000’, okay?”
“Maybe I just
haven’t tried to charm the right woman.” Josh said without an inkling of
sarcasm. Donna stopped mid bite and looked at him. He turned and smiled shyly
into his bowl. This was going to be a strange day.
Margie looked up
from the sink and smiled. From where she stood preparing lunch for her family,
she could see them sitting in the living room. Donna was huddled on the floor
with Ashley listening to her gush about her sixth grade boyfriend. Mary and Jane
were setting the table and assembling a rather elaborate centerpiece from leaves
and pine cones. The men were
reclined on various pieces of furniture dividing their time between the
television and the newspaper. The boys had long since excused themselves to go
to the gameroom to play Playstation2.
refused help when it came to Thanksgiving dinner. But this only applied to
preparation. Clean up would always be delegated. She couldn’t help but smile
as Donna settled against the couch between Josh’s feet as she and Ashley
giggled and gossiped. She looked up startled when Josh called Donna’s name.
“Oh, did you see
this?” Josh leaned forward and put the paper in front of her face. He rested
his arms across her shoulders and read to her. Donna rolled her eyes and pulled
the paper from his grasp.
“But did you read
it?! We’ve got to form a response!”
“CJ can handle
it. We’re off for the holidays.”
Margie saw Bob grin over at Josh as he playfully slipped his hands around her
neck and pretended to strangle her. Ashley giggled as Donna stuck out her tongue
and crossed her eyes.
called from the kitchen.
“ Yes ma’am?”
“Have you called
“You heard me.”
Josh grinned at the realization that Donna was very much like her mother. Josh
gently squeezed Donna’s shoulders before standing to go into the kitchen. He
leaned against the counter and smiled at her.
“Yes dear, the
woman that carried you for nine months and delivered you into this world. The
woman that raised you into the brilliant man you are today. The woman that
worries about you in every breath she takes. The woman….”
“May I use your
sweetheart. Please tell her I said ‘hi’.”
Josh laughed as he walked the length of the kitchen and took the cordless
from the wall. He stared down at the phone for a moment.
cousin Maureen?” Donna asked now standing in the kitchen.
“Hang on, it’s
in my planner.” Donna skipped downstairs and pulled her planner from Josh’s
backpack. She memorized the number and returned to the kitchen. Josh handed her
the phone. Margie was amazed at how they worked together. Donna dialed the
number and handed the phone back to Josh.
“Thanks, you too.
Is my mother around?”
“Sure, dear. Hold
on.” Josh paced the area in front of the stove while Margie drained rice over
“Hi Mom. Happy
“Are you at
Margie and Bob’s?”
“She’s fine. We
got in around eight last night.”
back hold up?”
some stuff on it and it made it feel better.”
“She’s such a
dear. You’re lucky to have someone like her, Joshua.”
“I know.” And
he did. He was beginning to realize it more and more. He continued to pace while
he talked, a by-product of years in constant motion. Ashley pulled a glass from
the cabinet and walked around Josh to the refrigerator.
Margie grinned as Ashley gave him her best smile.
“Joshua, is there
anything you’d like to tell me?” Amelia asked.
anything you would like to tell me?”
“I love you?”
“Thank you dear.
I love you too. That’s not what I meant.”
could hear the amusement in his mother’s voice. It was no secret how his
mother felt about Donna. She was not shy with her advice or her need for
“So, I think
I’ll ask again. How’s Donna?” Josh scrubbed his hand over his head and
paced a little faster.
“Don’t be a
“Try to sell that
somewhere else, Joshua. I’m not buying.”
“Let me just say
this. Can you picture your life without her?”
“When are you
“You already know
“I think I do.
Don’t be a Shmegegi. You’re supposed to be brilliant, remember?”
Margie noticed the smirk settle across Josh’s face.
“This is a
conspiracy, isn’t it?”
“Joshua! I have
no idea what you’re talking about.” Josh stopped pacing and faced Margie.
She looked up from her cooking and saw Josh grinning suspiciously at her.
“I think it is. I
think that Donna and I have been set up from day one. I just want to know one
“Who got to Leo?
You or Margie?”
“What makes you
think that Leo didn’t get to us?” Margie saw Josh’s face pale and then
turn a slight shade of pink. He cleared his throat and tried not to stutter.
“M-mom, what are
you telling me?”
“Let’s just say
that Amy was never a good choice for you and left to your own devices you
can’t really see what’s in front of your face.”
these things. Have a good Thanksgiving, sweetheart. Give Donna a kiss for me.
Tell Margie I’ll call her on Sunday. I love you.”
“Love you too
Josh pressed the disconnect button on the phone and looked at the smiling
face of Margie Moss.
“Yes dear, we
“So what do I do
I’m sure you can figure it out.”
how you do that.” Margie smiled and handed Josh a pie.
“Here, put this
in the oven. And don’t burn yourself.”
done that, get out of my kitchen. I’m sure my daughter can keep you
Josh tucked his head and walked back into the livingroom. He was suddenly a
little nervous. Donna looked up and him and smiled. He sat back down behind her
on the couch.
“Good. She told
me to give you this.” He leaned forward and had every intention of giving her
a peck on the cheek. Then his mother’s words echoed in his mind. Donna’s
head was tilted back and facing him. He softly touched his lips to hers. He
tried to be as casual as he could even though his heart was pounding in his
“Hey, you wanna
call Sam?” Hoping a change of subject would keep him from totally screwing
with Toby at his brother’s house.” Donna was grateful for the change of
subject. She felt her sister burning a hole in the back of her head. Travis was
grinning like an idiot and Ashley was making kissing noises.
with them too, right?”
“Yeah, I think
“Oh, that should
be fun. Let’s go.” Donna stood and held out her hand to lift Josh from the
couch. She felt her heart flutter when he didn’t release her hand.
Neither noticed as Bob gave Travis a ‘thumbs-up’ behind the newspaper
he was holding.
Kyle! David! Get in here! It’s almost time to eat!” Margie called from the
kitchen. Josh and Donna were still laughing from their phone conversation with
Sam and CJ. Toby’s nephews were sharing some wonderful stories about Uncle
Toby and the Halloween he took them trick or treating dressed as The
Superfriends. Toby was Batman, of course. Josh guided Donna back up the stairs
and allowed his hand to linger on her back as they stood in the living room
waiting for the rest of her family to assemble.
Margie stood at the entrance of the dining room with her apron in her
Donnatella. You’re on.” Donna grinned as she hurried into the kitchen. She
returned with a pad of purple Post-it Notes and a bowl.
“Okay, in case you’ve all forgotten. This is the portion of our day where we list what we’re thankful for. Josh, since you’re new, we’ll go over the rules. Write down what you’re most thankful for over this past year. Don’t put your name on it. Place it in the bowl and during lunch we will read them out and try to figure out whose is whose. It can be anything you want. It’s what you’re most thankful for.” Donna handed everyone a slip of paper as she spoke. Ashley pulled her backpack from behind the couch and offered everyone an assortment of brightly colored pencils. Once everyone had written their thanks, Donna passed the bowl to each person and collected the slips of paper. Josh watched as Donna’s face lit up. She placed the bowl on the counter and mixed up all the slips of paper. She folded them all without reading them and then stacked them together. Her mother waited until Donna had all the pencils returned and everything back in order before clearing her throat and announcing it was time to eat. Everyone filed into the dining room and Josh waited for Donna to show him where to sit. Donna had helped her mom put the two extra leaves in the table that morning so everyone could sit at the same table. Ashley had to squeeze in beside her cousins, but that was fine with her.
Josh settled into
his seat next to Donna and waited for the meal to begin. Bob lifted his hands to
the table and indicated for everyone to join hands. Josh took Donna’s hand in
his and bowed his head for the blessing. As they all said Amen together, Josh
rubbed his thumb lightly across her knuckles. Margie started passing bowls and
plates to any and all. Donna spooned some green peas onto her plate and then
onto Josh’s. He opened his mouth to protest but she silenced him with a look.
Bob shook his head and chuckled at the two of them. Ashley argued with Kyle over
who should get the drumstick until David called them stupid and pointed out that
there were two of them. The family ate and talked for nearly thirty minutes
before Donna tapped her knife on her glass.
She smiled as she pulled the purple slips of paper from her pocket. Ashley
clapped while David rolled his eyes.
“I saw that.”
Donna pointed at him.
didn’t do nothin’.”
first one. Let’s see if we can figure this out. ‘I’m thankful that Mrs.
Hart had her baby early and we got a hot looking student teacher.’ Kyle
you’re a pervert.”
Kyle laughed as his
mother swatted him in the arm.
“She is hot!”
David defended his brother. Josh laughed when Travis leaned across the table and
gave his nephew a high five.
on!” Donna announced. “This one says, ‘Having all my children together
again.’ Who wants to guess?” They all said ‘Mom’ in unison and laughed
as she raised her hand. Donna
unfolded another slip of paper and read several obvious guesses. Jane and Adam
were thankful for the new pool they put in. Travis was thankful for his
mother’s cooking. Mary was thankful she never had to cook. David was thankful
for Elizabeth Hurley and Ashley was thankful for the N’sync tickets her
parents bought her for her birthday. Donna unfolded the next to the last sheet
of paper and grinned at Josh’s handwriting.
“Gee I wonder who
this is. ‘I’m thankful for being found by the real thing.’ Ever faithful
to the President Josh.”
talking about the President.” Donna stared at his sincere brown eyes. Margie
saw the look pass between them and smiled across the table at Bob.
“Read the last
one.” Josh pointed to the last slip of paper that was obviously hers. She
opened the slip and swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat. She took a
deep breath and read her paper.
for getting my best friend back.” Josh stared at her as she looked down at her
plate. It had been over a year since the hearings and Josh’s fling with Amy
Gardner but the wounds were still remembered.
“It was my fault,
grabbed her hand under the table and squeezed it gently.
smiled at him while the rest of the family looked on in silence. Margie finally
cleared her throat and announced that dessert was in the kitchen and that
everyone should drop their dishes off at the sink on their way out.
Josh stayed in the
kitchen with Donna while the rest of the men loosened their belts and reclined
on any moderately flat surface. Margie sat at the kitchen counter and watched as
Donna, Jane and Josh put the leftovers in containers.
“How are we going
to possibly eat at Aunt Helen’s tonight?” Josh moaned as he rubbed his
We’re not having the same thing.” Jane replied as she covered the cranberry
sauce with plastic wrap.
“What are we
eating turkey in some form or another for the next three days so Aunt Helen
likes to have something completely different.”
“You’ve got a
strange family Donnatella.” Josh laughed.
“Don’t mock the
family Josh. Only a few people know you’re here. I’m sure they won’t
testify against us if you come up missing.”
“All part of my
“So what time are
we going to Aunt Helen’s?” Before Josh could answer Ashley called from the
He was starting to get use to being called that.
“Will you help
“Sure. I’ll be
right there.” Mary carried in a platter from the dining room and smiled
trouble with social studies. The teacher gave them a report to do over the
holidays. She has to talk about the three branches of government and she gets
“I think I can
you’re talking to a sixth grader, not the poly-sci class at Georgetown.”
Donna warned playfully. She knew Josh would relish the chance to teach Ashley
about government. He was always patient when she had questions.
“I know. I’ll
be gentle.” Josh smirked as he headed upstairs to the game room.
Ashley was on her
stomach on the floor with her textbook, two Encyclopedias’ and her notebook
spread out around her. She had the same frustrated look Donna sometimes got late
at night when she couldn’t find information he needed for a meeting.
understand it.” Ashley said as she lowered her head to her notebook. Josh sat
in the floor next to her and patted her back.
“Hey, it’ll be
fine. You’ve got a graduate from Harvard and Yale, not to mention the third
most powerful man in the free world to explain it to you.”
“Is that good?”
She looked up with a sarcastic grin.
“Uh, yeah. Wait
until your teacher sees your bibliography.”
“I hate Mr.
Campbell. I told him Aunt Donna works for President Bartlet and he acted like he
didn’t believe me.”
“Well we’ll fix
that.” Josh smirked as he settled on his stomach next to the young girl.
“Okay, let’s start from the top. There are three branches…..”
“Is Josh still
upstairs with Ashley?” Donna asked as she sat on the couch next to Mary.
“Yeah, he really
gets into things like that doesn’t he?”
“Josh never does
anything halfway. Especially something he believes in.”
“Last time I
checked on them, he had drawn her a graph of the branches with names of members
and everything. I think he called one guy a putz.”
“I hope she
doesn’t include that in her report.” Margie
looked up from the paper she finally had a chance to read now that Bob was sound
asleep in the recliner.
“Josh is so
sweet.” Donna rolled her eyes.
something you hear every day.”
don’t work with him. Do you know how many fruit baskets and apology letters I
send out every week? Bartlet’s Bulldog leaves a wide and destructive wake.”
“I heard that!”
Josh screamed from upstairs.
yelled in return. They all laughed when Bob and Travis didn’t even move. They
were in the traditional ‘turkey coma’. Adam had taken the boys down to the
basketball court to play a little before going to Aunt Helen’s.
“Can you help
“I’ll be right
there.” Donna climbed the steps to the gameroom and smiled at the sight before
her. Josh had his sleeves pushed up and was gesturing with his hands. Ashley was
writing frantically and looking up every so often with a look of sheer
“Why don’t you
like Mr. Campbell?” Josh asked Ashley as she packed up her books. She shrugged
her shoulders and looked down at her backpack.
“I don’t know.
I just don’t like stuff like this.”
“How can you not
like it? It’s government. It’s legislation. It’s the ideas that govern a
Josh’s face softened as he took in the saddened expression on Ashley’s face.
“Do you ask
“Does he explain
“Kinda. I don’t
know. Not like you. You make it sound easy.”
“It is easy.”
“So are you. You
just needed it explained the right way. I bet your teacher’s a republican and
if that’s the case, your parents should call the school board.”
do this. If you don’t understand something and Mr. Campbell doesn’t explain
it where you can understand, call me.” Josh fished his card from his wallet
and took Ashley’s pencil. He scrawled something quickly on the back and then
handed it to the girl. “That’s my email. Do you have email?”
Josh grinned at her ‘well duh’ look on her face.
“Good. I put my
cell phone on there too. If I don’t answer, Aunt Donna will. Between the two
of us, we can help you with any social studies.”
Josh. You’re the best.” Ashley sat up and wrapped her arms around Josh’s
neck. Donna smiled at the sweet expression on Josh’s face as he returned the
little girls’ hug. Donna cleared her throat to make her presence known.
Ashley looked up and beamed at her aunt.
“Uncle Josh made
me understand!” She ran to Donna and wrapped her arms around her waist.
“He’s good at
that.” Donna stated as she looked at Josh.
“But we still
need your help.”
“Uncle Josh said
you’re the goddess of index cards. I’ve got to do an oral report and Mr.
Campbell is going to grade my index cards as well as the written report. I’ve
got to have a bibliography too.”
“I’m in the
bibliography.” Josh smirked.
You’re going to call Sam, aren’t you?”
“Oh you betcha.”
Donna rolled her eyes as she sat next to Josh on the floor.
“Ashley, do you
have index cards?”
“Oh, that won’t
do. Josh, will you go get your backpack?”
“There’s a pack
of colored index cards in the front pocket.”
“Why are there
colored index cards in MY backpack?”
was the closet bag to me when I remembered I might need them. Can you please go
stood and hurried down the stairs.
“Do you two
always do that?” Ashley asked.
“That back and
forth arguing-but-not-really thing.”
Donna looked over the report she had written. She could tell that some of the
language was definitely inspired by Josh. She made a few grammar corrections and
by the time she was finished, Josh had returned with the index cards.
“Thank you. Now,
let’s do bullet points!” Donna exclaimed as Josh laughed.
Ashley ran down the
stairs and into the living room. Bob had woken up and was flipping through the
ball games. Ashley rounded the couch and pounced on top of her father.
“No, it’s just
me.” Ashley laughed.
What’s up?” Travis tickled her sides.
helped me with my report. Aunt Donna says I’m sure to get an ‘A’!”
“I should hope
so. Having the Deputy Chief of Staff of the United States as a source is pretty
impressive, even for Mr. Campbell.”
“Uncle Josh said
the reason he’s probably a bad teacher is because he’s a republican.”
repeat that if I were you.”
Aunt Donna said.”
“You ready to go
to Aunt Helen’s?”
“Go find your mom
and grandma.” Travis hoisted Ashley in the air and then flopped her on the
other end of the couch. Ashley
bounced up and down a few times before running into the kitchen.
someone is quite taken with Uncle Josh.” Bob commented as he stood.
Uncle Josh wants to keep the title.”
“I think he
might. Look.” Bob nodded his head slightly to the stairs. Donna led the way as
Josh followed with his hands on her shoulders. They were laughing about
something. One would have to be blind not to see the feelings that were just
under the surface for these two.
Margie and Jane
rounded up the Moss clan and soon they were all in a caravan en route to Aunt
Helen’s. Aunt Helen and Uncle Frank lived in a big white two-story
house surrounded by pasture and trees. The driveway was lined with cars as Josh
drove Donna, Travis, Mary, Ashley and Kyle to the warm and inviting house.
They waited on Donna’s parents, Jane, Adam and David to park the car
before ascending the steps to the large front porch. David led the way in to
Aunt Helen’s. Josh looked at Donna in surprise at the amount of people in the
“Told you so.
Here they come.” Josh turned to see several older women descending upon them.
Donna was quickly grabbed up in a hug, while Margie and Jane followed suit.
Soon everyone in the family but Josh was hugging someone else.
Josh heard a loud squeal and found himself in Aunt Helen’s sights.
“Look at that
handsome man! Oh my goodness, you’ve gotten better looking!”
Josh saw Donna cover her mouth with her hand as she laughed. Aunt Helen
parted the crowd and grabbed Josh in a hug. Margie laughed at the look on
Josh’s face when Aunt Helen gave him a big kiss on the cheek leaving a huge
red lipstick print.
“It’s good to
see you again.” Josh replied through the flurry of women descending on him.
is Donna’s boyfriend, Josh!” Donna gave him a pleading look. Josh just
smiled. He knew that he and Donna would have to talk about everything that had
gone on over the last two days, but he wasn’t ready to do that now. Besides,
he was pretty sure he didn’t want to correct them.
“Oh my, aren’t
you precious.” Donna snorted causing Josh to playfully glare at her. The rest
of the family had wandered into various rooms of the house while the woman
fawned over Josh. Aunt Helen took Donna by one hand and Josh by the other and
led them through the house. Donna waved at various cousins on her way through.
Aunt Helen stopped in front of the large kitchen counter and released their
“Sit. Tell me how
this love affair finally got started. Of course, we all knew you two were
perfect for each other from the get-go. Young people nowadays. Too busy to
realize what’s right in front of you. Anyway, let me hear the love story.”
Donna paled. Josh looked at the floor before turning his questioning face toward
Donna. Fortunately, a young boy ran into the kitchen at full speed asking for a
drink. Aunt Helen turned her attention to the young boy so Donna had time to
talk to Josh.
“What are we
going to do?” Her eyes were wide and Josh thought she was about to get
“I don’t know.
What should we do?” Josh leaned toward her and whispered.
“Josh, my entire
family thinks that you and I are a breath away from the altar. Granted, what
happened this morning was amazing, yet strange, but that doesn’t give us much
to tell as far as a love story.”
”Strange? What was strange about it?”
“No, let’s stay
on this subject for the moment. I kiss strange?”
“No. You kiss
fantastic. It was just a little unexpected.”
“We were set up,
“Set up. Played.
“Excuse me? Did
you just use the word hoodwinked?”
Donna. Leo, my mother, your whole family apparently and God knows who else set
us up. It’s a conspiracy.”
“You laughed at
me when I said it.”
“That was before
I talked to my mom.”
“What did your
“Not to fuck this
“I see. What
shouldn’t you fuck up?”
“Is there an
“Do you want
there to be an us?”
“I think there is
already an us. We just haven’t reached our full potential yet.”
“Are you saying
you’d like to explore our potential?”
things.” He smirked.
“What about Aunt
but she’s not you.”
“Even though you
are being totally asinine right now, that was kinda sweet.”
think we should? I mean he seems to be the mastermind of this whole thing.
Don’t you think we should find out what his intentions were before we launch
into some wild story that will no doubt be spread among the Moss Compound with a
matter of minutes?”
handed him her cell phone. Josh stood up and motioned for her to follow.
“We’ll be right
back. White House business. Sorry.” Josh pulled Donna by the hand through the
crowd of relatives. Soon they were
standing face to face on the large porch. Josh started to dial the phone and
then stopped. Donna looked at him in confusion.
just got to do this just so we’re sure.”
“Do what?” Josh
held her by her forearms and planted a firm and meaningful kiss on her lips. He
pulled back and looked at her face. She looked at him with an unreadable
expression. He smiled into her kiss as she reached forward and grabbed him by
the sweater. She swiped her tongue along his lower lip and he obliged her entry.
He swept his tongue across her teeth and threaded his fingers through her hair
as the kiss deepened. Gasping for
breath, they broke the kiss.
“Okay, just so
we’re on the same page. If anyone else introduces me as your boyfriend, you
better agree with them.”
call Leo.” Josh dialed the phone.
devious and manipulative man.”
Thanksgiving, Josh. Thank you for the warm regards.”
“I talked to my
“That’s a good
“You set us
“Set whom up?”
“Donna and I.
It’s a conspiracy and you’re the mastermind.”
allegations for someone who can’t even figure out what the rest of us have
known since the campaign. The first one, not this last one.” Leo added
clearing that up. So, uh, Donna and I…..uh, we…..I mean…….”
It’s about damn time.”
“What about a
re-election Josh. What the hell do we care?” Josh pulled Donna into a hug as
“So, we can
really do it?”
“If you have to
ask, then I’m not so sure.”
what I meant.”
“I know. Yes, be
happy, Josh. You and Donna deserve it.”
“Tell Margie and
Bob I said ‘hello’. Oh, and give Aunt Helen a hug for me, will you?”
“You are the
“Make her happy,
Josh. God knows she deserves it.”
“I will, I
promise.” Josh kissed Donna on the forehead before ending the call.
Neither realized they were standing in front of the large picture window of the
house. Travis gave Bob a high five before calling through the house for Mary and
Donna brushed her
hair and looked at her reflection in the mirror. It was late and she and Josh
had decided to go to bed when the rest of the family decided to turn in. Now
that she and Josh had decided to take ‘the’ step she was nervous about
sleeping with him. What would happen? Would tonight be the night? Would she
really be able to have sex in her old room with her entire family one floor up?
Was she really going to have sex with Josh? Donna took a deep breath and tried
to settle her nerves. She slowly opened the door and walked back out into her
room. She couldn’t help but smile. Josh
was in just his boxers and a t-shirt on the bed. The lamp on her side of the bed
had been turned on and Josh was sound asleep.
Donna walked over to his side and managed to pull the blanket from
underneath his legs. She covered him up and then slipped beneath the blankets.
She slid a little closer to him and rested her arm across his chest. She sighed
as she closed her eyes to sleep. This had been such a strange and wonderful day.
Josh woke up from a
wonderful dream. He dreamt that Donna was lying next to him in bed. She was
naked and he was rubbing his hands all over her body. Before anything happened,
he woke up. He rolled over and smiled at the warm body snuggled next to him. He
looked at the clock and noticed that it was little after midnight. He must have
fallen asleep while Donna was in the shower.
He reached out and brushed her hair away from her face. Her eyes
fluttered open and she smiled at him.
“I had a
dream.” He saw the panic flash across her face and realized she thought he had
a nightmare. “No, a good dream.”
tucked her head a little and smiled. Josh traced his finger along her jaw line
and slid closer to her. He pressed a soft kiss on her forehead and felt his
heart skip at the feel of her molding herself to his chest.
She took a deep
breath and allowed the smell of his aftershave to overtake her. Josh always
smelled so masculine. He hardly ever wore cologne but he always smelled so good.
closed her eyes as she rested her palm over his heart.
mean…..I feel……” Josh sighed in frustration before continuing. “I’m
not very good at relationships.”
“And you think I
probably better at it than I am. My point is, I’m afraid.”
Josh held her tighter and she curled her leg around his.
“Not going to
“But what if I
screw it up? What if I say something stupid and you leave me? I know I’m not
the most romantic man in the world Donna. I can be difficult.”
“You say this as
if it’s supposed to be some revelation on my part. Joshua, you have screwed it
up. You have said something stupid, you are totally romantically challenged and
you are beyond difficult. I figured that out shortly after I hung up your phone
sometimes, you know that?”
Donna leaned up on her elbow so she could see his face in the soft glow of the
clock radio. “I’m still here.”
“And not a day
goes by that I don’t ask myself why.”
“I know this has
been a strange weekend. I mean, we’ve discovered we’re mere pawns in an
elaborate conspiracy devised by the Chief of Staff of the United States with our
closest relatives as key players, but I’m just saying I don’t want you
to…..I wouldn’t want you to…..”
“Why is it so
hard for you to talk to me right now?”
“Because what I
want to say scares the hell out of me and if you have the reaction I think
you’ll have, I don’t think I could bear to live another day.”
“What do you want
”I think it’s too soon for me to say it.”
“Too soon on my
part or too soon on your part?”
“I think maybe
you’re right.” Josh nodded slowly in agreement. Donna noticed the insecurity
and sadness cloud his features. “But, Josh….”
“I think when we
are to the point of saying what you want to say, you’ll like my reaction.”
Donna grinned at him and his face brightened.
“I hope so.”
Josh pulled her to him and kissed her on the top of the head.
He placed a slow and lingering kiss on her lips. She shifted her position
to allow better access to his mouth. She deepened the kiss and felt her body
grow hot as he moaned against her lips. Josh’s hands slid down her back and
around her waist. He turned them over until Donna was lying on her back and he
was gently sucking on her collarbone. Donna raised her knee and turned toward
his touch as his thumb grazed the underside of her breast. Josh slid his hand
down to her stomach and pushed the hem of her t-shirt out of the way. The
sensation of his hands on her bare skin caused her to gasp. Josh shifted his
weight and Donna could tell he was getting turned on in a hurry. Reality hurled
itself at her mind and she coarsely whispered his name.
murmured as he kissed the base of her ear.
“Josh, we need
“Yeah, we really need to.”
agreed as he gently nipped the skin of her throat.
“No, we need to
“Stop?” Josh pulled away from her so he could see her face. “You want to stop?”
think it’s too soon? I mean, we just…..”
“Well, I think we
technically just started dating.”
sighed as he scrubbed his hand through his hair.
“I’m not easy, Josh.” That
statement would have derailed a lesser man, but after six years of Donnatella
Moss, Josh could roll with it.
“I know that.”
saying that I don’t want us to just fall into bed.”
“Uh Donna, look
“Oh yeah. Well,
there goes that.” The corners of her mouth turned up in a playful smile.
“If you’re not
ready, we’ll wait.”
Donna. As much as I want to make love to you right now, your ease and comfort
are more important.”
“Are you just not
hearing the words or are you having trouble understanding the language?” He
trying to figure out who the hell you are and what you’ve done with the real
”Come on, Donna.”
“No really. Who
are you? That was the most unselfish, romantic thing I’ve heard in my life. I
may just jump you right now.”
you’re feeling froggy?” Donna rolled her eyes as Josh smirked and then
kissed her cheek.
“So this won’t
will not be the word you will use to describe our mind blowing sex.”
“So the fact that
we are in my parents house with my entire family one floor above us doesn’t
freak you out?”
“The fact that
we’ve been in denial through a campaign, a term in office another campaign and
eleven months into our second term in office doesn’t make you wonder what the
ramifications may be if we just whirlwind through this?”
what I like to hear.” Josh laughed as Donna pushed him on his back and
straddled his legs. The look of sheer passion in her eyes fueled his own desire
as she splayed her fingers across his chest and lowered her face to his.
“We’re going to
do this aren’t we?” Josh smirked.
“Oh yes. Probably
more than once.”
“Do we need…..I
don’t have……I didn’t expect….I mean I hoped, but I never….”
I know. But I have to tell you there’s not a lot of blood flow to the brain at
“To answer your
question, no. We don’t need anything. I’m on the pill. But we do need to be
quiet. I don’t want my family hearing their plan ‘come’ together, so to
speak.” Josh could see the smug smirk on her face and laughed.
“I can be quiet.
Stealthy even.” Donna rolled her eyes and started to give him a witty comeback
but was completely distracted by his hands sliding up her thighs. She could feel
the goose bumps rise on her arms as he moved his hands to her waist and then
slid them under her t-shirt. She
arched her back as his hands settled on her breasts.
Donna reached for the hem of her shirt and pulled it over her head. With
a shy smile she tossed the garment over her shoulder. She leaned down to kiss
him again. Josh kept one had on her breast while he slipped the other hand
around her waist. Donna stretched out on top of him and felt his erection
pressing into her stomach. She shifted her weight and caused him to groan into
Donna.” He rolled her over and leaned over her. He smiled as he saw her
sparkling blue eyes looking intently at him.
beautiful.” He whispered as he lightly kissed her eyelids before moving to the
tip of her nose. “Beautiful.” He repeated as he brushed his lips across her
cheek and down to her chin. Donna
sighed as she felt his hands snake around her waist and slip beneath the boxers
she was wearing. He smiled against the warm flesh of her neck when he discovered
she wasn’t wearing panties under the boxers. He pushed down gently and Donna
lifted her hips to allow him to slide the fabric down her legs. As he slid the
material past her knees he dipped his head to suckle her breast. She moaned
loudly at the sensation.
chastised, blowing warm air across her erect nipple. She bit down slightly on
her lower lip as he circled her areola with his tongue.
He grazed his fingers over her stomach and traced a small circle below
her bellybutton and down to the soft blond curls of her sex. She lifted her knee
and parted her legs signaling him on. He parted her folds with his fingers and
gently stroked her core. His mind was racing at the sensations. This was Donna,
his Donna now and she was beautiful and naked beneath him. She tugged on his
shoulder until he was positioned above her.
“So soon?” He
questioned. “But I want to…….”
Please, Joshua, I want to feel you inside me. We’ve waited so long.” He
smiled at her before kissing her with more passion. He wanted her to feel the
emotions in his heart as he pressed his hips to hers. She groaned at the
sensation and frantically tugged at his tshirt.
Now.” She whispered as she sucked on the tip of his ear.
Don’t do that. Please.” He felt his whole body tighten as she dipped her
tongue in her ear while pushing his boxers past his hips. He managed to push his
boxers from his ankles before settling between her legs again.
His eyes fluttered shut when his erection came in contact with her
warmth. Josh pushed slowly into her and they both moaned from the pleasure of
my God.” She sighed as Josh sank into her. Josh took a deep breath in an
effort to keep his body under control. As he started to move, Donna felt the
tears pool in the corner of her eyes. She had wanted this for so long. Josh
kissed her slowly as he moved in and out of her with long even strokes. Donna
thought she would lose her mind when he started to rotate his hips as he pushed
himself inside of her. Donna moaned as he lowered himself a little farther and
cradled her body in his arms. The change of angle was enough to quicken his
pace. He sucked in a quick breath as Donna scraped her nails across his ass
before nipping at his earlobe with her teeth.
“If you keep that
up, we won’t be doing this much longer.” He growled playfully.
“What if I do
this?” Donna kissed him again and caused him to groan louder as she sucked his
tongue into her mouth. She smiled against his lips as he rolled them over
positioning her on top. He palmed
her breast as she started to thrust against his hips. He felt himself slipping
over the edge and he wanted Donna to go with him. He slid his other hand up her
thigh and flicked his thumb across her clit causing her to hiss.
whispered. She wanted to scream his name at the top of her lungs but she knew
they had to be quiet. Josh continued his ministrations as her rhythm increased
and she arched her back. He stared at her face wanting to see her when she came.
“Open your eyes,
Donnatella.” He whispered softly to her as he increased the pressure of his
thumb on her sensitive bud. Donna opened her eyes and leaned forward supporting
her weight on her hands. Her hair fell around his face as she leaned forward to
kiss him. Josh felt her body start to shudder and absorbed her moans with his
mouth as he kissed her. Donna clenched her muscles around him and he knew he
wouldn’t last much longer. Donna broke the kiss and looked him the eyes. She
saw something in Josh’s eyes she had never really seen in any other man’s.
She took a breath to calm the tremors that were still traveling through her
body. She moved slowly over him again and leaned back until she was sitting up
again. She brought her hands to cup his face and she smiled at him.
“I love you,
Joshua.” She saw his features change. He brought his hand to her cheek and
wiped away a small tear with his thumb. It was then she noticed the wetness on
his cheeks. He trailed his thumb across her lips before he closed his eyes and
succumbed to the feeling of her. Donna leaned into his touch as she felt him
spill his seed into her. Josh’s breathing finally calmed and he pulled Donna
to his chest.
you’ll never leave me.”
loved anyone as much as I love you. I didn’t think I was ready to admit that,
“I know. I
know.” She purred as she slid her hands along his arms.
He pushed gently against her chest and smirked at her. The smoldering
look in her eyes made him smile wider.
God, Donna.” She dipped her head and sucked on his collarbone. Josh wasn’t a
young man anymore, but having Donna look at him like that and the feel of her
tongue on his skin had a strong effect on him. He started moving his hips a
little as she pressed her weight against him.
whispered as he gently pinched her nipple before capturing her mouth again. He
couldn’t help but smirk to himself as he felt his cock grow hard again inside
of Donna’s warmth.
amazing.” He murmured against her neck as he pushed her on her back again.
Donna sat up on her
elbows as she scooted closer to Josh who was lying on his back against the
pillows. Donna bounced her feet on the edge of the bed as she grinned at him.
asked as he twisted a few strands of her hair around his finger.
grinning at me. Why?”
“Maybe I just
feel like grinning.”
“Oh really? And
why would you just feel like grinning.” He asked as he scooted down the bed
until his was lying on his stomach beside her.
“Oh I don’t
know. I guess I just grin after the best sex I’ve ever had.”
rolled over on his back and placed his hands smugly behind his head.
“I aim to
“I thought I was
the amazing one. That’s what you kept saying, anyway.” Josh reached out to
run his hand down her bare back.
amazing.” He allowed his hand to trail down her back before gently patting her
“Imagine how much
fun we’re going to have when we don’t have my entire family upstairs.”
Donnatella Moss. I may not live through it.”
“I’ll do my
best.” He joked. Donna snuggled into his side as he pulled the blankets over
“We better get
“I know, we’ve
got to start going through your stuff tomorrow.”
“Why? What are we
“It’s the day
“When you use the
term ‘we’ do you mean me and you or do you mean you and the women folk?”
“Women folk? What
are we, on the frontier?”
“You know what I
“You don’t have
to go shopping. You can stay home with the men folk and plow the back forty or
Josh sighed as he tightened his arms around Donna.
“I better set the
alarm. We’ll want to get there early.”
“How early is
leave about five-thirty.”
“To get the best
I’ve got a big family and a not-so-big salary. Maybe you should come. You need
to shop for your mother.” Josh groaned as Donna giggled.
“I have no idea
what to get my mother for Hanukkah.” Josh whined.
I’ll help you.”
my credit card again, aren’t you?”
“Keep it under
the national debt, okay?”
for you.” She smiled as she playfully kissed his cheek.
“Are we ready?”
Donna asked the other occupants of Josh’s SUV. She had convinced him that they
might need the extra room for all the wonderful stuff they would buy. Josh
rolled his eyes and handed over his keys and his credit card.
Josh sat on the end of the couch and tried not to make too much noise
while he read the paper. Ashley was still sound asleep on the opposite end.
Donna kissed him on the cheek and followed the rest of the Moss women to the
parking lot in front of the condo.
sex!” Mary accused.
screeched as she turned in her seat and then glanced at her mother.
“You and Josh
finally did it! You did!” Mary clapped her hands while Jane laughed. Donna’s
eyes were wide and her mouth hung open as she looked at the two women in the
back seat before turning to her mother.
Donna was mortified. She knew her mother knew she was by no means a virgin, but
the thought of discussing her sex life in front of her mother was horrifying.
she had to admit her voice was freakishly high on that one.
practically glowing. Not to mention Josh was bouncing around like a pinball.”
Jane commented as Margie nodded in agreement. Donna turned in the seat and
banged her head against the steering wheel.
“This is not
“So was it
good?” Mary asked while leaning forward in her seat.
“By the smile on
your face this morning at breakfast I’d say it was good.”
“Oh, grow up.
We’re all adults. How do you think you got here?”
“Oh God.” Donna
groaned as she backed the car out of the parking space.
“You sure you
won’t be too tired to shop?” Jane asked with a grin.
“Did you get any
sleep at all? I mean all that pent up sexual energy had to have been released
some how.” Mary added.
“Well I didn’t
hear any moaning or screaming last night. Maybe it wasn’t that good.”
“We were being
quiet.” Donna defended herself and Josh. Mary caught her eye as she looked in
the rearview mirror.
“So it ‘was’
good.” Donna sighed realizing she wasn’t getting out of this conversation.
She glanced over at her mother’s amused expression and decided ‘what the
amazing.” The satisfied smile spread across her face as she added. “All
“Oh my God!”
Mary reached forward and patted Donna’s shoulder.
you can even walk much less shop.”
“I can always
“True. So let’s
get there!” The women all laughed as Donna pulled out of the complex, headed
toward the mall.
Josh sorted through
all the sections of the paper while he had the house relatively to himself.
Ashley slept soundly on the other end of the couch while the rest of the Moss
family men were still sleeping. Donna told him that only he was used to getting
up at four thirty in the morning and hitting the ground running.
As he found the national section of the paper he smiled at the memory of
when Donna told him that bit of information.
He was rinsing the shampoo from her hair as they showered together. That
was an activity he would never tire of he was sure. He glanced at the clock on
the cable box. It was 6:30 and he was about to bounce out of his skin.
He skimmed over an op-ed piece but his mind couldn’t really concentrate
on the words. Images of Donna kept surfacing in his mind.
Ashley asked in a rasping sleep laced voice.
are you doing up?”
“You make too
much noise.” She pushed her tangled hair away from her face as she sat up on
“Sorry. Can you
go back to sleep?” Ashley pulled her blankets with her as she slid down to
Josh’s end of the couch. She pushed his arm out of the way and made herself
comfortable against his side.
Grandma already gone?”
“They left about
an hour ago.” Josh rested his arm around her slender frame while he still held
the paper. She had bundle herself in her blanket and her hair was falling in her
President Bartlet.” Ashley smiled as she pointed out the picture in the paper.
“Yes it is.”
“Is he nice?”
“Aunt Donna says
he’s the real thing.”
“That he is. You
“Want to get some
Ashley stood and
with the blanket still around her led Josh into the kitchen. She pulled the milk
from the refrigerator while Josh took two bowls from the cabinet.
smiled at her still sleepy face.
He sat the box on
the bar in front of her and went to retrieve two spoons from the dishwasher.
“So what are your
plans for the day?” Josh asked as he poured cereal in both their bowls.
“We’re going to
Gettyland. Aren’t you coming?”
“It’s like an
arcade. They have pizza and a salad bar in front and then games and bumper cars
in the back.”
going with me.” Ashley smiled through a mouth full of Fruit Loops.
“My friend from
school. She lives a few units down.”
“Let me ask you
something. Why does your family sleep over here when you live in town?”
“Because I like
it. Most of the other kids get to spend the weekend with their grandparents. So
Mom and Dad just pack some clothes in a suitcase and we stay Wednesday night
through Saturday night. That way I get to see David and Kyle and Aunt Jane and
Uncle Adam before they go back to Chicago. Now that Aunt Donna came home, I get
to see her too.”
Well, that sounds
like a perfectly good explanation. Have you practiced your oral report?”
“I have to
“Sure. You want
to be able to dazzle them with your oratory don’t you?”
“You don’t want
to start stuttering or anything do you?”
When things settle down tonight, we can go over your report.”
and Ashley ate their cereal in silence until Travis stumbled into the kitchen.
sweetpea.” He leaned over and gave Ashley a kiss on the top of her head.
“The great Moss Shopping Brigade already gone?”
“They left about
two hours ago.”
wouldn’t get out in that mess for a million dollars.”
“Donna was rather
“I bet she was.
Toad can bargain shop better than any of them.”
“Why do you call
her toad?” Travis laughed as he pulled some frozen waffles from the freezer.
“Cause when she
was born she was all legs, lips and eyeballs.”
Donna’s beautiful!” Ashley pouted.
Travis poked her in the side causing her to giggle.
to be useful from now on.” Josh laughed.
“Yeah, just watch
“She talks to my
mother just about every week. I need all the ammunition I can get.”
“Oh, well then.
Let’s talk about Band Camp.”
The two men laughed
while Ashley promised to tell on them both as they swapped stories. Travis
finally had to promise Ashley that she and Courtney could have an extra five
dollars in tokens at Gettyland.
Bob heard the front
door open and went to help the women with their packages. He knew there would be
back!” He called through the condo. Josh and Adam came from the kitchen while
Travis and the boys hurried from the game room. Ashley was over at Courtney’s
watching her N’Sync Concert video.
Margie came through
the door first. Bob took her two big shopping bags from her and laughed.
“Do we have any
“Just enough to
put you in a home.” He shook his head and carried the bags to their bedroom.
“And stay out of those bags!” She warned. Donna and Mary were next. Josh
cringed at the amount of bags she had.
in the back Josh.”
“Donna! Is there
anything left in the stores?”
witty. Go get the bags. I’ll take these downstairs.”
“Yes dear.” He
smirked. Donna’s heart fluttered at his comment. She stopped him with her
elbow as he tried to pass by. She leaned in and kissed him on the lips. He
tucked his head and offered her a dimpled grin before bouncing down the steps of
the condo. It was starting to get dark so he knew Donna would be exhausted.
Everyone seemed to
split up and follow his wife or in Josh’s case girlfriend to his or her
“Whatcha buy? Did
you get me anything?” Josh asked as he reclined on the bed next to the
mountain of paper and plastic bags.
good?” She grinned at herself because she knew Josh wouldn’t be satisfied
until he had gone through every bag. That’s why she’d hidden one of his
Christmas gifts under the seat of the SUV.
“I bought you a
new tie and a sweater.”
“Lemme see.” He
grinned. Donna pulled the sweater from one of the bags and held it up for him to
“I like that.”
“You can wear it
on Sundays to work. I think the navy will look good on you.”
“Thank you.” He
said sincerely. She smiled at him before pulling her purchases from her bags.
“I got her the
coolest CD case. I’m going to wait until closer to Christmas to buy her some
CD’s to put in it.”
“Hey, I got you
something today, too.”
beamed. Josh rose from the bed and pulled a bright pink pen with feathers on the
top from his backpack.
“Ashley picked it
out. It only took 25 tickets.” He grinned.
“How much did
this cost you?”
“I’d rather not
“Did Ashley and
Courtney have fun?”
“I think so. They
had a ball ramming me into the wall on the bumper cars.”
“I hate I missed
it.” Josh smirked at her as she shifted some of the bags across the bed to the
floor. His eye spotted a familiar pink and white striped bag.
“So, what else
did you buy?” Donna saw him grinning at the Victoria’s Secret bag.
“Oh, just some
perfume.” She couldn’t help but laugh at the small pout that formed on his
things.” He met her eyes and saw the mischievous sparkle looking back at him.
“Can I see?”
“When we get back
to DC. Maybe. If you’re good.”
“I thought I was
very good last night.”
“Oh, you were
“Yes I was.”
“I’m da man,
“What am I
getting myself into?” She sighed as she shook her head and looked at the
”You could get into whatever is in that bag.” He smirked.
“I thought we had
established that already.”
“I’m willing to
help you work up a healthy appetite.” He reached out for her hand and pulled
her onto the bed. He lightly grasped the back of her neck while kissing her.
“Mmmm, that was
“I’m as sweet
as pecan pie.”
“Oh Jesus.” She
groaned as she rolled off the bed to stand again. “Let’s go, my little pecan
pie. I want a turkey sandwich.”
candy and nachos at Gettyland?”
“That’s what I
thought. Come on.” Josh slipped his arm around her waist as they walked
upstairs to join the rest of the family.
collapsed in bed next to Josh.
”You look exhausted.”
Josh opened his arms for Donna to scoot closer. She rested her head on his chest
and he softly stroked her hair until she fell asleep. Josh soon drifted off and
they slept through the night tangled in each other’s arms.
was your author of choice, I see.” Josh grinned as he pulled another stack of
books from her shelf and placed them in the cardboard box. Margie appeared in
the doorway and smiled at the two of them cleaning out Donna’s room.
want to put in the garage sale just put in a pile out here in the tv room.”
“I hate this.”
“Now Donna. We
just don’t have room for half this stuff in our new apartment.”
Donna sat in the
middle of her bedroom with several boxes around her. She had pulled most of the
stuff from the top of her closet while Josh emptied the bookshelf.
going to have it next weekend. Mary’s going to bring some stuff and we’re
going to put an ad in the paper on Monday. Mrs. Arnett had one last week and
made three hundred dollars.”
“Wow. But my
little bit of stuff probably wouldn’t bring more than ten bucks. You and Daddy
can go out to McDonald’s on my share.” She smiled. Josh sat another stack of
books next to her on the floor.
“Sounds like a
plan. Let me know if you need any help carrying this stuff to the car.”
sighed as she picked up another stuffed animal and added it to the pile.
“I don’t want
to sell these. Let’s see if we can donate them to a children’s charity or
“That’s a good
idea. I’m sure there is a little girl who would love a stuffed turtle with a
rain bonnet on its head.”
“I’m sure she
would.” Donna stood and stretched her legs; she and Josh had been packing her
things all morning. She thought she
would be in a bitter mood at having to clean out all her belongings but when
Josh would lean over and kiss her neck or touch her shoulders every few minutes,
she couldn’t hide her smile.
‘Knight Rider’ poster go with you or in the sale?”
“With me, baby.
Maybe I’ll meet David Hasselhoff again and he can autograph it.”
“I thought the
restraining order was still in effect.”
“Any time, just
tell me when, where and how hard.”
turning me on. You need to stop.” Josh dropped another stack of books in a box
and walked over to where she was sitting in the floor.
“We can always
lock the door.”
bent down in front of her and nuzzled her neck.
Donna lost her train of thought when he sucked her earlobe.
paying any attention to us down here. They’ll never know.”
“Am I being
seduced? Because I’ve got to say, it’s working incredibly well.” Josh
captured her lips and deepened the kiss. He was sliding his arms up her shoulder
when he heard someone other than himself clear their throat. Josh froze in
place. Donna started giggling against his lips.
“Did Aunt Donna
lose something down her throat, Uncle Josh?” Ashley asked in the most serious
voice she could muster. Josh tucked his head while Donna still giggled. He
looked up at Donna and smirked. In a flash he turned around and scooped Ashley
up and deposited her on the bed. Tickling her ribs, he mocked her.
“Did Aunt Donna
lose something down her throat, Uncle Josh? You think you’re funny, huh?”
Ashley cackled with laughter as she flailed around on the bed trying to free
herself from Josh’s grasp.
wet my pants……I will!” Josh finally released the girl and took a seat next
to Donna on the floor. Ashley tried to catch her breath and wiped the tears of
laughter from her eyes.
Tommy.” She stated after she had got her breathing under control. Donna’s
head jerked up from her boxes.
Ashley nodded her head proudly. Josh scowled.
young to be kissing boys. Who is this gomer anyway?”
him.” Donna swatted Josh against his shoulder. “When did you kiss Tommy?”
Deal’s birthday party a few weeks ago. He kissed me in the hallway.”
“Does you dad
know this boy’s playing tonsil hockey with his little girl?” Josh asked.
know you’re playing tonsil hockey with his little girl?” Ashley countered.
Donna snorted with laughter while Josh stared at her in disbelief.
“Does smart ass
run in the family?”
“It’s more of a
gift, actually.” Donna deadpanned.
back home tomorrow.” Ashley pouted.
“Ashley, it’s a
twenty minute trip.”
“Yeah, but I like
being here with you.” Donna smiled at her niece while Josh cleared his throat.
“What about me?
Uncle Josh doesn’t rate?”
“You too, Uncle
Josh.” Ashley smiled sweetly before rolling her eyes and giggling.
“I saw that.”
Josh tossed a stuffed bear at her head. Ashley caught it in the air and hugged
it to her chest. She looked down at the bedspread and picked at a piece of lint.
Ash?” Donna asked.
“I don’t want
to do my oral report.”
“Why?” Josh was
“I can’t get up
in front of all those people.”
“Sure you can.
This is the best type of speech. You’ve got a captive audience. It’s when
they have the freedom to leave is when it’s hard. This is going to be easy.”
“What if I
suck.” He stated firmly.
“How do you
a Moss and Moss’ don’t suck!” Donna shouted with her fist raised in the
“That was really
dorky Aunt Donna.” Ashley smiled. Josh noticed the look in Donna’s eyes and
could tell that was the reaction she was hoping for.
“Practice on us
and we’ll let you know if you suck or not.”
girl.” Josh reached put and grabbed the girl’s foot and gave it a tug. Donna
felt something tug at her heart and she knew that this man was the one.
“If Leo finds out
about this, he’ll have your ass.” Donna warned as she pulled into the school
“I called him
while you were in the shower. He said it was fine. My niece isn’t going to be
corrupted in her own social studies class. Besides, I want to see her report.”
Donna couldn’t hide the broad smile that spread across her face. She cast a
sideways glance at Josh to see if he realized the implications behind his
statement. From the smug look he gave her in return, she realized he did.
think she’ll be nervous in front of ‘Uncle Josh’?”
“Nah, you heard
her last night. She was great.”
“But that was for
just us and the grandparents. It’s a little different in front of all your
“Okay, let’s do
“Lead the way,
It’s a sixth grade social studies class.”
you would think I would act otherwise.” Donna rolled her eyes as Josh held the
door for her. She led them down the familiar hallway to the front office. It was
almost ten and Ashley’s class would be underway.
may I help you?” Donna smiled as Mrs. Parker offered her help. She was still
the school secretary when Donna attended Wright Middle School.
Mrs. Parker. I’m….”
“Donna Moss! Well
my goodness. Look at you! What brings you back here?”
“We’d like to
visit Ashley Moss’ social studies class please. She’s giving a report today
and we’d like to observe.”
“Of course. Let
me have you sign in and I’ll get you a visitor’s pass.”
Josh rested his hand on the small of her back as she leaned against the counter
and signed them in. The principal strolled out of his office and stopped to sign
some papers at the counter.
He offered absently as he shuffled through his paperwork. Mrs. Parker returned
with the plastic visitor badges in hand.
have you met one of Wright Middle School’s more famous alumni?” Mrs. Parker
winked at Donna.
“I can’t say as
I have. Mr. Simpkins, nice to meet you.” He offered his hand to her, now
giving the visitors his full attention.
Donnatella Moss. She works in the White House. And this is….” Donna placed
her hand on Josh’s shoulder and continued the introductions.
“This is Joshua
Lyman, Deputy Chief of Staff.”
“It’s an honor
to have you on both on Campus. What class would you like to visit?”
social studies.” Josh smiled.
“Oh this should
be good.” Donna cocked her head at the principal’s remark. Mr. Simpkins
grinned to himself as he escorted his guests down the hallway. Mr. Campbell and
he had butted heads on several occasions regarding politics. Josh was right in
his assumption that Mr. Campbell was a republican.
Mr. Simpkins peered through the small vertical window of the classroom
“Wait here. I
want to see the look on his face when you walk in. Oh, this is going to be
good.” Josh smirked in return and nodded his head. Donna rolled her eyes at
the display. Mr. Simpkins used his key to open the door and enter the classroom.
Upon entering he tried to hide his growing amusement. Ashley Moss stood at the
front of the classroom with a look on her face that told him she was near tears.
“It says in your
bibliography that Joshua Lyman the Deputy Chief of Staff was your major source.
You do realize that fabricating your sources will result in failure of this
assignment.” Josh glared at Donna
when he heard the voices coming through the partially opened door. He took a step around Donna and looked through the doorway. A
small grin spread across his face. Ashley was standing toe-to-toe with her
teacher. Her hands defiantly on her hips with pure white rage written all over
“He was my main
source. He’s going to marry my Aunt Donna some day.”
“Joshua Lyman is
going to marry your aunt? The one that works directly with the president?”
Josh’s smile faded at the condescending attitude Mr. Campbell was giving
Ashley. Mr. Simpkins cleared his throat and approached the front of the room.
“Excuse me, Mr.
Campbell. I have some guests that would like to observe your class. It seems
their niece is giving her report and they would like to watch.”
have they come to watch?”
Ashley’s jaw slacked as she stared at her principal. Why would Uncle Adam and
Aunt Jane want to see her report? Her eyes immediately brightened when she saw
Donna enter the room. A smug satisfied smile settled on her face as Josh entered
the room and winked at her.
I’d like to introduce you to the Deputy Chief of Staff of the United States,
Joshua Lyman and his assistant, Donnatella Moss.” The look on Mr. Campell’s
face was worth the call and ass-chewing from Leo.
Donna grinned as Josh was in full political operative mode. The swagger
was in place; smug expression complete with smirk was in full effect. It was
going to be a hell of a morning.
After Mr. Campbell
regained his ability to speak he introduced and welcomed his guests to the
class. Ashley was delighted that Josh stood behind her and rested his hands on
her shoulder’s during the introductions. He and Donna found two seats in the
back of the room and waited on Ashley to give her report. Donna smiled at the
brightly colored index cards Ashley held tightly in her hands as she spoke.
Josh beamed with pride as Ashley made all her crucial points and fully
explained the three branches of government. He and Donna led the applause when
her report was finished. Mr. Campbell collected her paper and index cards.
cards shouldn’t be used for reports, Ashley. Next time use plain white.”
“But my Aunt
Donna says that the colors help keep your research organized and easily
accessible. These are from the White House. It’s what she uses when Uncle Josh
has to argue a point on the Hill.” Josh
could see Mr. Campbell’s blood pressure rising as she spoke. Mr. Simpkins was
actually turning red in his effort to stifle his amusement.
“Very well. Have
a seat.” Ashley ran to the back of the room into Donna’s arms.
great!” Donna whispered as Mr. Campbell prepared for the next speech.
“I’m so glad
you came. Now maybe he’ll believe me when I tell him my Aunt knows the
“I’m sure he
will.” Josh laughed. Mr. Simpkins escorted them all into the hall so class
“Would the two of
you like to stay for lunch? It’s pizza day.” Mr. Simpkins offered. Josh
grinned over at Donna.
“I’m sorry. But
we have to be in DC by tonight.” Donna declined politely. She hugged Ashley.
Send me an email soon.”
Ashley then hugged Josh around the neck and kissed him on the cheek. “Thanks
“See you soon.”
Before Josh could
release her from the hug his cell phone rang. He waved goodbye to Ashley as he
and Donna walked hand in hand down the hall. He opened his flip phone and
grinned at the number on the display.
“I’m not going
to read anything in the press am I?”
“No. Not unless
they decide to cover the most amazing oral report in the history of Wright
Middle School.” Leo smiled at how proud Josh sounded.
‘em dead huh?”
“She’s going to
be on the Hill someday. She’s a natural.”
give the kid time to graduate High School first. What time do you think you’ll
make it in?”
“Well, you and
Donna sleep in. It should be a light day tomorrow. See you when you get back.”
you’re easily manipulated by me.” Josh smiled as he looked over at Donna.
“I am too, Leo. I
“Have a safe
“We will. Bye.”
Josh threaded his
fingers with Donna’s again and led her to the car. He couldn’t wait to get
back to DC. He just hoped things would stay as good as they were right now.
feedback is appreciated. :)