Title: Just His Assistant

By: adoreleo and leosimpishgrin

Rating: PG13 - Contains some language and sexual situations.

Characters: Leo and Margaret

Spoilers: Anything up to and including Access.

Disclaimer: The characters are from the NBC, WB, TV show The West Wing; they do not belong to me.

Authors Notes: This is our first story that we have written together. We hope you enjoy it.

Beta By: Lynn, who always goes above and beyond the call. THANKS!!!!

Feedback: We would love to hear your opinion! Suggestions are welcome too! Send it to adoreleo rockfordfilesfan@aol.com or leosimpishgrin lhjessome@y...

Summary: It's Administrative Professional's Week and Margaret is feeling left out.

Monday:

Margaret wakes, as usual, ten minutes before her alarm clock goes off. She rolls over and stares at the clock, watching the minutes tick off. She frowns at the acknowledgement of what week this is; National Administrative Professional's Day is this week. Yes, it's just another Hallmark created holiday, but she still feels the pain of it. She's not looking forward to this week. On Wednesday, the office will be filled with excited junior and senior assistants who'll receive gifts and wonderful lunches from their bosses. But, there will be none of that for her. She used to get nice things during this week, when Leo was still married. She knew that Jenny was the one behind the gifts and the one who always remembered. But, it was still nice when Leo took her out for lunch. She hasn't gotten anything the past four years from Leo, since Jenny left him. He couldn't keep track of his own wedding anniversary, so why did she even think that he might remember what week this was. It's just like any other day to him. He's never remembered on his own in the past, and she'd be damned if she were going to remind him. She closes her eyes and wishes for something, anything to show that he remembers that she's even outside his door.

She tries to blame her foul mood on the coming week, but if she were being honest with herself, she knew that this wasn't the real problem. She's in love with the most unattainable man, one Leo McGarry. She has been for years, and it got even worse after Jenny left him. She was so sad for Leo when Jenny left him, but at the same time she was somewhat relieved, too. She no longer felt guilty about being in love with her boss. Leo's divorce had almost destroyed him. Everyone else thought he had taken it in stride, but she knew how close he had been to the edge over the whole thing. She's the one who worried about him and took care of him through that whole mess.

"If only he would notice her or even remember the significance of this week. God, just stop feeling sorry for yourself. You're just his assistant. He won't remember; he never does. Just get over it. It's not going to be fun, but you've done it before, and you can do it again." She says to herself, as she gets up and starts her day.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Leo gets up and starts his day by hopping into a hot shower. He needs to get to the office early to read a brief for a meeting he's having later today. In the shower he thinks that this is the week, the week that he's finally going to tell Margaret how he feels. He's had some feelings for her for some time now, but he doesn't know how she will react to his confession. He loves her, and he wants to spend some time with her out of the office. He's not sure what her feelings are toward him, but he's hoping she can return his feelings.

He knows that he has been bad about remembering to acknowledge her importance on National Administrative Professional's Day for the past few years, and he feels really bad about that. He has been making some plans for them for Wednesday. He has a lot to make up for, but she has always been a consummate professional about working for him, and she has hidden her disappointments well when he has forgotten her special day but not this year. This year will be a new beginning for both of them in more ways than one, he hopes.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Margaret finishes her lunch and quickly excuses herself from the table. She's had enough of the other assistants gushing about what their bosses are going to do for them on Wednesday and what gifts they have already received. She stops on her way out of the mess and picks up a sandwich and drink for Leo. Some habits are hard to break even when you're upset with someone. She heads back to Leo's office hoping that he's not there so that she can just drop off his lunch on his desk. But, this just isn't her lucky day. She walks in to find him sitting behind his desk.

"Leo, I brought you back something to eat," she impassively says, as she puts the sandwich and diet cola down on his desk.

"Thanks," he grunts without even looking up at her. His nose is stuck in some briefing book.

"Yeah, you're welcome," she mutters to herself, as she walks back to her desk and sits down. She logs onto her computer to finish some work and discovers she has an email from a friend that works over in the OEOB. She pulls up the message and discoveries its one of those read this and send it on to five of your friends to have good luck. "Yeah right," she smirks at the email, but decides to read it anyway. It's a list of sayings that are meant to provide you wisdom on relationships; number four on the list hits her hard as she reads it out loud,

"The worst way to miss someone is to be sitting right beside them knowing you can't have them."

She stares silently at the screen and reads that line over and over. After a few moments, she deletes the message, without forwarding it and pulls up the Word document that she was working on before lunch.

Soon, her mind begins to wander as she thinks about Leo and her feelings begin to run amuck, she makes a mistake and then another. "Damn it! Stop daydreaming! He only thinks of you like a sister or another daughter. He'll never have feelings for you," she mutters to herself, as she hits her keyboard in frustration.

Unbeknownst to Margaret, the First Lady is standing in the doorway listening to her grousing. She knocks on the door, startling Margaret, who's surprised that someone is there. She's been so caught up in her own little soap opera drama that she didn't even notice Mrs. Bartlet. She blushes as she realizes that the First Lady probably overheard what she just said. "Mrs. Bartlet," Margaret says as she jumps to her feet.

"Does he have a few minutes for me?" Abbey asks, gesturing towards Leo's door.

Margaret bobs her head. "He's free for the moment. He's eating some lunch and reading a briefing book."

"Thanks," she says as she heads for his door. "No reason to announce me. I'll just surprise him," Abbey informs her as she slips into Leo's office without his knowledge and waits for a moment for him to notice her. After a few seconds, her patience runs out, and she clears her throat.

Leo looks up from his book, expecting to see Margaret standing before him. "Abbey?" He says with a puzzled look as he starts to get up from his chair.

"You're fine," she says as she motions for him to remain seated and finish his lunch. "Do you mind if I borrow Margaret for a few minutes?" Abbey had really come to talk with Leo about something else, but she quickly changed her plans when she overheard Margaret.

Leo looks surprised because this is the first time Abbey has made this request of him. "Nah, I guess not," he agrees with a nod.

"I won't keep her long," Abbey says as she quickly turns to leave Leo's office and steps out into Margaret's area. "Margaret, could you come with me for a few minutes. I already cleared it with Leo," Abbey tells her.

"Okay," Margaret says with a baffled look. She gets up and follows the First Lady down the hall.

Leo sits behind his desk for a few seconds and wonders what in the world Abbey would need Margaret for. His curiosity gets the better of him, and he's quickly up out of his chair and following them from a distance. He watches them move out into the Rose Garden. They sit silently for a few moments, and he sees Abbey talking to her and then he notices Margaret's head drop and she wipes away some tears. Leo can't help but wonder what this is about. He can't remember the last time he saw her cry.

He's so caught up with what's going on outside that he doesn't hear Jed approach. Jed looks out the window to see what's going on and watches Leo's reaction to it. "Is everything okay Leo?"

"Umm... I'm not sure." He pauses but still watches her. His heart aches knowing that she's distraught about something. "Well, I'd better get back to work. Is there something you need, Sir?" Leo rambles on distractedly as he forces his eyes from the scene outside.

"No I was just wondering where you were, and I saw you standing here, so I thought I would check it out." Jed says as they walk back to the Oval Office. 'There's something going on here. Leo has such a pained looked on his face. I need to talk to Abbey tonight to see if she has any idea what it is,' Jed thinks to himself as he follows Leo back towards his office.

Leo is unusually quiet on the walk back to his office. He doesn't even say goodbye to the President as Jed heads to the Oval Office. He sits at his desk just thinking about what is going on with his Margaret. After a few minutes past, he notices that Margaret has returned to her desk and is typing. It takes every being of his fiber to sit at his desk and not go check on how she's doing. He pensively goes back to his lunch and reading.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Margaret continues to work away throughout the afternoon and the early evening without much contact with her boss. She just hopes that she can make it through the rest of this day without any more tears. This has been one of the longest workdays, ever. She can't wait to go home and pamper herself.

Leo's still wondering why Margaret hasn't been not her normal quirky self today. What he wouldn't give if she would just come into his office and offer to tell him a joke. He decides to send her home early tonight. He walks out into her office. "Margaret, lets call it a night," he informs her.

"Okay," she sadly bobs her head at him and starts to finish up as Leo walks back into his office. Margaret quickly gathers her coat, umbrella and purse and leaves the office. She wants to get out of there before Leo changes his mind and comes up with something else for her to do. She doesn't even go into his office and tell him good night or check to see if he's going home too. She needs to get out of there before the tears she has been holding back start to flow again. She heads off down the hall, tells the guard good night and swipes out. "Damnit," she says under her breath, as she discovers that it's raining outside. It had been so nice earlier when the First Lady and her where in the Rose Garden. She decides that the gloomily evening fits her mood just fine as she leaves the White House grounds and hurries off to McPherson station to catch the Orange Line home.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When Margaret gets home, she heads for her kitchen and throws a meal into her oven. She walks towards the bathroom, peeling off her clothes as she goes. She has been dreaming about a bubble bath for most of the day. She hopes that it will somehow magically take away all her stress and sadness from the day she's had at work. She's just starting to relax a little, when her phone rings. She picks up the portable phone, "Hello," she says in a not so happy sounding voice.

"Margaret, its me," Leo says into the phone, sitting behind his desk in his office.

"Do I need to come back to work?" She says in a less than enthusiastic voice, as she sits up in the tub. The sound of the water splashing makes its way over the phone line.

"Am I interrupting you?" Leo says in a puzzled voice, trying to figure out what she's doing.

"Well... I'm umm... taking a bubble bath," she finally gets out as she blushes. "What do you need Leo?"

"Oh sorry," Leo says as red creeps over his face. God he's glad she can't see how embarrassed he is at the thought of her naked in water. "Ah well I... it's just that ...well... you left before I had a chance to ah... and I needed to ask ya something."

"Okay," she says, wondering why Leo sounds so funny. A few moments of silent, follows Margaret's response.

"Um... did you get that report on Child Welfare bill done?" He finally blurts out.

"Yes, Leo," she says in disgust. "I put it in your in basket this afternoon."

"Oh, I must have missed it," he tells her. Leo is bothered by her grumpiness.

"Leo, it's right there on your desk," she says gruffly.

"Well, I'm sorry I bothered you at home," he tells her. "Um... what time are you coming into work tomorrow?" He asks, trying to prolong their conversation.

"The same time as always," she says as she rolls her eyes. "Unless you need me sooner for some reason."

"Your normal time is fine," Leo replies. He would like to tell her that he needs her now and could she meet him at his hotel, but he just can't make himself say the words.

"Okay, well if that's all you needed?" She asks, wishing that he would tell her that he needs and wants her to be more than just his assistant.

"Yeah, umm... see ya tomorrow," he softly tells her. "Bye," Leo hangs up the phone. He's even more upset now than he was before he called her.

"Bye," Margaret replies as she slams down the phone. She had almost gotten today's mess out of her head, now it was back in full force just from hearing the sound of his voice. She really needs to get a life and move on. He's never going to fall in love with her.

Margaret rinses off and gets out of the tub. She wraps her hair in a towel and heads for the kitchen to take her dinner out of the oven. It's a good thing she prepared and froze macaroni and cheese over the weekend to bake, because she needs some good old-fashioned comfort food after the day she's had. She gathers her food and sits down in front of the TV to eat. As soon as she's done, she cleans up her mess, washes the few dirty dishes she has from dinner and then goes to the bathroom to dry her hair. When her hair is completely dry she dips herself some ice cream, crawls into bed with a book and tries to forget about her day. She's unsuccessful at putting her day behind her, so she puts the book and bowl aside and lies down in her bed. After a few minutes of dwelling on what's missing in her pathetic life, she rolls over, reaches for her extra pillow and holds it tight in her arms, wishing that it were Leo. She finally drifts off to sleep, dreaming of Leo.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Leo stares at the phone on his desk. He feels worse after talking with Margaret on the phone. He can't stop thinking about her mood today. He decides to head home, since he's not getting any work done. It's around nine o'clock when he gets to his hotel room. He really doesn't feel like eating, even through he hasn't had anything to eat since lunchtime today. He slips off his jacket and tie, and heads for the bedroom. He curses the fact that he has a non smoking room, because he sure could use a cigarette right now. He's thought about changing rooms, but he's been in this one for over four years now. Plus, he doesn't need the freedom to be able to smoke any more than he has right now. He sneaks one or two a day on the portico, when he thinks Margaret is not around, because she gives him hell whenever she catches him smoking.

He hangs up his suit coat and tie and sits down on his bed. He can't shake the feeling that something's wrong with Margaret. He knows she's upset about something. Maybe he should talk to Abbey. Nah, she wouldn't tell him anything he thinks to himself. He knows that Margaret thinks he's forgotten what week it is, but this goes beyond that, because she's never been upset in the past when he's forgotten. He starts to doubt whether he should tell her how he feels about her. He lies down on the bed and thinks back to the moment he first realized that he felt more than friendship towards her.

~~Flashback~~

It was the first Christmas after Jenny had left him. His mind was on so many other things than Christmas that year. He knew that he was about to be outed for his alcoholism and drug abuse. He was trying to figure out a way to resign without causing a huge scandal and without hindering the Mendoza confirmation. He needed to start getting Josh spun up to take his job, and then there was the hate crime issue that was brought to life with the senseless and cruel beating of a teenage gay.

He was in no mood to celebrate Christmas, but there he was sitting at his table and doing cards and gifts. Margaret had been on his case for over a week to get them finished. She had finally cornered him that morning and managed to get him to sit down. He had not been very pleasant during the process and had been making snide comments all morning.

Finally, Margaret had enough and told him 'Just sign the damn thing.'

Leo was taken a back by her comment. He wasn't shocked that she had cursed, he'd heard her do that before, over the years, but it had never been directed at him before. He would have commented, but Josh needed a moment alone. He shooed her from the room, she huffed and left, but not before she gave him a glare on her way out.

For some reason, when she told him off, he saw her in a different light. He also felt bad about being gruff with her all morning and the past few days, too.

When she came back into his office, the first thing out of her mouth was an apology and a sad smile. For a few short seconds, Leo forgot about all his troubles and smiled back at her. He too apologized for his poor mood, and they went onto the next card.

From that moment on, he had tried to ignore his growing feelings for her over the years, but it hadn't worked and he's tired of fighting them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Jed just got in from the office after a late meeting. He comes in and goes straight to the bathroom to get ready for bed.

Abbey has been sitting on the sofa trying to read a book, but she has been unable to concentrate on the book because she has been thinking about her conversation with Margaret in the Rose Garden this afternoon.

Jed reenters the bedroom buttoning up his pajama shirt and gives Abbey a kiss. "Hey there. You ready for bed, Sweet knees?" She nods, gets up and walks over and pulls the curtains shut. "Abbey, what was going on in the Rose Garden today with Margaret?"

"How do you know about that?" She asks in surprise.

"Well, I was looking for Leo and he wasn't in his office and neither was Margaret, so I started to look around a little and I found Leo standing and watching the two of you through the window." Jed says as he pulls down the comforter and gets into bed.

"What did he see?" She asks as she gets into bed.

"The same as me I guess. Why was Margaret crying? Leo was so caught up watching her cry, he didn't even hear me approach."

"This is a hard week for Margaret because the other assistants are excited to be recognized by their bosses for their hard work on Administrative Professional's Day, which is on Wednesday. But, Leo has forgotten her for the last four years and she's just upset that he doesn't recognize her or her work."

"Well she is 'his' Margaret and has been for years. I guess Jenny used to remind him when that time was near. Is there something more to this that I don't know about?"

"Yeah, maybe. What would you think about Leo and Margaret if they were together as a couple?"

"What are you saying?"

"Well, she didn't exactly say in as many words but I think she's in love with Leo. I overheard her talking to herself in her office, and I think she loves him. When we were outside, she as much as said so, but I think she's too afraid to tell him in case he doesn't feel the same way."

"We can't let her go on thinking she's unappreciated. She's not just his assistant. We need to come up with a plan to remind Leo about her special day? I never want her to think she's not appreciated. She's one of the best things to happen to me in my time in the White House." Jed leans over and whispers his idea for the plan into her ear.

"Oh Jed that is a great idea. I love it. I really like her, and I never want to see her cry like that again. What about Leo? Do you think he cares about her?"

"I don't know, but I will talk to him tomorrow and see what I can find out."

"Do you think it would be a problem for the administration if they got together?"

"I won't let it be. They both work so hard and I think they deserve some happiness. It could be fun to watch those two together."

"Jed, don't tease them. At least not yet. Just give them some time to find each other."

"Okay, I'll give her a break, but Leo is all mine." He teases.

"You ready for lights out, or do you want to play a little," he says as her moves a little closer and slides his fingers along her leg and moves to his and her favorite spot behind her right knee.

"Mmmmm, I think a little playtime is in order," she says as she pulls him into a romantic kiss. He reaches over and turns out the light.

Tuesday:

Leo arrived at work early in the morning. He had tossed and turned most of the night. He finally gave up, got up, showered, dressed, worked a crossword puzzle, ate breakfast and was still early for work. He was not in the best of moods. He was starting to doubt whether or not he should confess his feelings and the lack of sleep of late was really starting to wear him down. He had already been at his desk for over an hour, when Margaret showed up for work.

"Morning," she briskly told him as she moved into his office with his daily schedule in hand.

"Morning," he returned without even glancing up. "When's my first appointment?"

"You have Senior Staff at eight," she begins.

"I know that," he grumpily barks back at her before she can continue.

"Okay," she growls back at him. 'This is going to be a fun day;' she thinks to herself. She glances down at her watch to see how many more hours she has left today, and then continues on with his schedule. "Senator Wilson at eleven, you have a meeting on the Hill at one," she informs him.

"That's that thing with Senator Hunt?" Leo asks, still not even bothering to look at her.

"Yeah that thing," she mimics back to him. She looks at his schedule and then proceeds to give him the rest of it. She can't wait to get out of his office. He's being such a grouch today. He was acting funny yesterday, and now he's acting the same way today, she thinks to herself. She finishes, get up and leaves his office.

As Margaret leaves, Leo finally raise his eyes and watches her depart. He mentally curses himself for being such a pain, but he's got such a headache from the lack of sleep and the constant thoughts about what he's going to do tomorrow. He's starting to wonder if he has the nerve to go through with his plan. He quickly dismisses that thought and tries to get ready for Senior Staff.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Leo has just finished up his meeting with Senator Wilson, when the President steps into his office. "Hey Leo," the President says as he walks over one of the wing backed chairs and sits down.

"Mr. President," Leo says as he gets up from the couch. "Did you need something?"

"No," the President motions for Leo to sit back down. "My last meeting ended early and I thought I'd see how it went with Wilson."

"He's on board, Sir," Leo flatly states. He should be happier about this, but his heart is just not in his job today. He's still trying to figure out what's going on with Margaret.

"Great. He's a good man to have on our side," the President returns.

"Yeah," Leo distractedly agrees.

"Leo, is there something bothering you?" Jed is concerned about his friend. He has been different lately. Abbey and he had a long talk in the Residence last night about him and Margaret. They came up with a plan to help Leo remember that it was Administrative Professional's Day tomorrow.

"No, Sir," Leo fabricates.

"Okay," the President says. "Well, I should get back, before Debbie comes looking for me."

"Yeah," Leo nods his head in agreement.

"Well, I'm not too worried about her today, since I'm on her good side right now." The President informs his friend.

"How did you manage that," Leo smirks, as he unknowingly takes the bait.

"I'm a lovable guy, for one thing." Jed smirks back.

"Yeah," Leo deadpans.

"And another thing I sent her flowers yesterday and sent her candy today and she's coming to the Residence for lunch tomorrow." The President proudly announces.

"Does Abbey know you're dating your assistant," Leo smirks, having finally caught on to what his friend is trying to do.

"I'm not trying to date my assistant," Jed announces as he jumps to his feet.

"Okay," Leo grins back at him.

"I'm just letting her know that I appreciate what she does for me," the President informs Leo. "She's had a busy year," he continues.

"Yeah and you're not the easiest man to work for I hear," Leo mutters.

"What was that?" The President growls.

"I said you're a busy man, Sir" Leo smirks, as he laughs inside. Jed has always been easily sidetracked. "Speaking of busy. You'll have to excuse me, Sir. I have a meeting on the Hill that I need to get to," Leo say as he walks over, grabs his coat and leaves his best friend standing alone in the middle of his office.

"Well *that* didn't go as planned," Jed mutters to himself as he makes his way back into his office, picks up his phone and calls his wife. "Abbey, it didn't go as planned." He breathed into the phone.

"Why am I not surprised, Jethro?" Abbey smirks on the other end of the phone. "I knew I should have handled it myself."

"Abbey, stop calling me that," he whines to his wife. "It's not my fault. Leo got me... um he ...ah... he's just too *dense* to catch on," Jed tries to explain what just happened in Leo's office.

"Yeah, I'm sure it's all his fault. Did that mean old Leo get you sidetracked?" Abbey teases.

"Ya know, he's very tricky," Jed informs his wife.

"Okay, well don't worry about it dear. I'll take over now. Leo should take the hint this time and if I'm right about how I suspect he feels about Margaret, he'll probably get jealous, too." Abbey says with a wicked smile.

"Oh, you're so evil. I love it." Jed says as he thinks about a jealous Leo. "I'll be sure to let you know what happens. Bye."

"Bye," Abbey replies as she hangs up the phone and then quickly picks it back up and asks the White House operator to connect her to her favorite florist.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Leo returns to the White House around four o'clock in the afternoon. His meeting on the Hill ran over by two hours, so he's still not in the best of moods. He hopes that when he gets back to his office Margaret will be sitting there at her desk and will offer to go get him something to eat. She wasn't around when he had left for his meeting and she had neglected to get him some lunch today. It's almost like she has been avoiding him today.

He walks through her area and stops abruptly. There is a huge arrangement of flowers on her desk. A pang of jealously goes through him. He tries to shake it by thinking that maybe the florist made a mistake, and these are the flowers that were supposed to arrive from him tomorrow. He walks over to her desk and looks for the card that came with the flowers. He quickly scans the area for any indication that Margaret might be returning. Then he quickly opens the card and reads it.

Margaret,

Thanks for all you've done for me!

From the bottom of my heart,

Your Secret Admirer

Leo's mouth gapes open. "Secret Admirer," he huffs out. He quickly puts the note back into its little envelope and places it back into its holder. He doesn't notice that Margaret is standing in the doorway watching him.

"Leo," Margaret says, in a louder than normal voice.

Leo noticeably jumps. "Why are you so intent on scaring me all the time," Leo growls as he whips around and stares at her.

"Why are you so jumpy?" She questions as she gives him a smirk of a smile. She loves the fact that she scared him. 'Serves him right for nosing around my flowers,' she thinks to herself.

"I'm not jumpy. You shouldn't be sneaking around here trying to give me a heart attack, all the time," Leo informs her as he turns and heads for his office.

"All I did was say your name," she imparts.

Leo stops in his doorway, turns and faces her. "You practically screamed it," he growls.

"Yeah, right." She smirks back.

"She needs a bell or something," he mutters to himself as he continues on into his office.

"Did you say something?" She scoffs to his back.

"No, you must be hearing things," he replies over his shoulder as he marches away from his assistant.

"Whatever, you old..." she murmurs, but stops herself from finishing the sentence. She has plenty to things here at work to finish and needs stop this sparring match with her boss.

Wednesday:

Leo arrives at work a little later than normally, due to the very exceptional event of him oversleeping and a heavier than normal traffic day. He's surprised to find Margaret's desk empty and her light off. He goes into his office and starts going through the files waiting for him on his desk. He quickly gets lost in his work and time passes by quickly. He private line rings and interrupts his work. "McGarry," he answers after picking up the phone.

"Hey Daddy," Mallory returns.

"Hey Baby," Leo says as a smile crosses his face. It's been a couple of weeks since he's talked with his daughter, and he's glad to hear her voice.

"What's going on over there today with the phones?" She asks in an exasperated voice.

"What do ya mean?" He responds.

"I'll been calling the office for a couple of hours now, and I keep getting that automated message that your office is closed and to please stay on the line for the White House operator," his daughter informs him.

"What?" Leo says as he checks his watch and sees that it's nine-thirty.

"Where's Margaret? Did you finally give her a day off?" Mallory questions her father, hoping that he finally remembered that was Administrative Professional's Day.

"Uh... Baby, I need to put ya on hold for a second," Leo says in a hurried voice, pushing the button without even waiting for his daughter's response. He quickly goes out to Margaret's area and finds it still empty and dark. Leo turns the lights on. The only thing changed is that the flower arrangement that Leo ordered for her has been delivered and is now sitting on her desk. He stands there for a second and wonders why she's not here yet. He slowly walks back to his desk and picks up the phone again. "Mal, I need to ah... get back to umm... work," he tells her in an uneasy voice.

"But Dad, what about Margaret?" She asks. "I needed to speak with her." Mallory informs him. She usually calls her on this day to tell her how much her father appreciates and needs her, even if he doesn't ever remember to tell her. She thinks about saying something to her father about what day it is, but Margaret has threatened her many times not to ever remind him about this day, so she decides not to say anything.

"I'll... umm.... have her call ya when she gets in," Leo tells his daughter in a distracted voice.

"Okay, Daddy. Bye. Love you," she says, wondering what's going on with her father today.

"Yeah, love ya too, Baby," Leo tells her. He slowly hangs up the phone, and then quickly checks his in basket for a memo or leave slip from Margaret. He breathes a heavy sigh having found nothing to explain her absence. He picks up his phone and calls her apartment. After four rings the machine picks up, and Leo hangs up the phone. He plops down in his chair and swivels it to stare out the window.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Jed leaves the boring meeting in the Roosevelt Room and cuts through Margaret's area on his way to find his Chief of Staff. He wants to check up on his and Abbey's plan. He grins when he notices another set of flowers on Margaret's desk. His smile grows larger after he quickly glances at the card and sees that they are from Leo. "Well, I see someone finally remembered what today was," he announces, as he enters Leo's office. He finds a solemn Leo sitting in his chair behind his desk and staring out the window. Leo doesn't seem to notice his Commander in Chief's presence. "Leo?" The President says.

"Huh," Leo says.

"Leo, are you okay?" Jed asks his friend with a voice full of concern.

"Mr. President," Leo says, as he jumps up having finally noticed that the President is in his office. "Did ya need something, Sir?"

"Leo, sit down," Jed tells him, as he takes a seat in front of Leo's desk. "I just came in to see you, and I noticed that you finally remembered what day it was," he smirks.

"Yeah, for all the good it did," Leo, sighs. "Margaret hasn't shown up for work today." He clarifies.

"Did she have a vacation day planned?" Jed asks, noticing that Leo seems very worried about his absent assistant.

"Not that I'm aware of. I checked for a message or leave slip and came up empty," he explains.

"Maybe, the Metro is running late today," Jed offers.

"Two and a half hours late," Leo blurts out, throwing a hand in the air. "Besides, she would have called," he informs him with an apprehensive look. "She has in the past when she's been delayed because of the Metro."

"Did you try calling her?" Jed asks.

"Yes, I've called a couple of times." Leo says, giving his friend the 'duh' stare. He's not about to tell Jed that he's actually called her apartment closer to ten times this past half hour.

"I'm sure she's fine, Leo," Jed says, not sure if he's trying to convince Leo or himself.

"Yeah, fine," Leo mutters, lowering his eyes and wondering where she could be.

"Leo," Jed cautiously says, leaning forward in his chair. "Do you have something you want to talk about with me?"

"Nah. I'm fine, Sir," Leo lies, raising his eyes.

"Leo," Jed pries. "Come on, something's bothering you."

"It's..." Leo hesitates. He's not sure if he wants to talk about it.

"Is this about what was going on Monday in the Rose Garden?" Jed offers, trying to break down Leo's defenses. He worries that Leo suffers way too much on his own.

Leo flinches and sits up higher in his chair. "What do you know about what happened in the Rose Garden?" Leo demands from his nosey Commander in Chief.

"Leo, I think you need to talk to Margaret about that," Jed suggests.

"I would, if she ever shows up to work!" Leo bellows, as he stands and starts to pace.

"Leo, calm down. I'm sure she'll be here any minute with a perfectly good reason for her lateness." Jed tries to assure him.

"I'm calm. It's just... this is so unlike her," Leo says, as he sits back down in his chair. "She's quirky, not irresponsible." She's also beautiful, loving and caring, he adds in his head. A meaningful smile spreads across his face at this thought.

Jed notices the change in Leo's demeanor. He guesses that Leo's thinking about how he really feels about his assistant. She's definitely more than just his assistant. "Maybe, she had a late date and overslept," Jed suggests trying to prod Leo into finally admitting his true feelings about Margaret.

"A date?" Leo frowns.

"Yeah Leo, a date. I realize it's been a long time for you. But it's where two people who care about one another go out and have a good time." Jed teases.

"I know what a date is, Sir." Leo says in disgust.

"Well, Charlie told me yesterday that she got some beautiful flowers from a secret admirer." Jed says, trying to keep a straight face.

"Yeah, I noticed," Leo, sneers.

"Leo, I think you're jealous," Jed smirks.

"Jealous," Leo shouts as he jumps to his feet again. "I'm not jealous. Why would I? ...Where did ya ever get a stupid idea like that?" Leo strongly denies.

"Right," Jed grins back to his friend, and then he turns serious. "Leo, those other flowers were from Abbey and me," Jed tells him.

"You and Abbey?" Leo says in a shocked voice.

"Yeah. We couldn't take a chance that you would forget that wonderful woman again this year," Jed confesses. "She's far too good for you."

"Yeah, I know. She's deserves better." Leo agrees as he lowers his eyes and slowly sits back down in his chair.

"I should have taken her for my assistant, when I had the chance," Jed teases his friend. Trying to lighten the moment.

"Yeah, right," Leo smirks as he looks up. "I doubt that she would have left. She enjoys running my life too much."

"Well, you're probably right. She's always been 'your' Margaret," Jed smiles.

"Yeah, mine." Leo softly returns, wishing that it were true in every sense of the word.

Jed gets up and heads for his office, he stops at the connecting door and looks back at his friend of over forty years. "I think somebody here has some pretty strong feelings for his assistant," Jed informs him as he thinks that something's about to happen between Leo and Margaret and he couldn't be happier for them.

"Probably," Leo sighs. 'You have no idea,' he adds under his breath. Leo turns his chair to stare out the window again, as he waits for his Margaret to show up. "Margaret, where the *hell* are you?" He says to no one in particular, raising his eyes towards the ceiling.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

About a half an hour later, Leo hears Margaret's return, jumps up and heads for her area. "Where the hell have you been?" He demands in a gruff voice, masking his concern for her welfare with anger.

"What do you mean?" Margaret says, taking the defensive.

"Your normal start time is not eleven o'clock in the morning," Leo growls.

"Really," Margaret snorts, glaring at him.

"Whatever," Leo says, realizing he's not going to get anywhere with her when she's in this type of mood. He starts to head back into his office. He's just relieved that she's here and safe.

"Did you need something?" She huffs to her boss. "Or did you just come out here to yell at me."

Leo stops, turns around. "Umm... I was trying to find the umm... the file on the Child Welfare Bill," he offers, trying to come up with a good excuse.

"What is it with you and that damn file that you can never find it," she says as she blows by him in his doorway, marching straight to his desk and pulling it from his in basket. "Here," she huffs as she slams it down on his desk. "I can't be gone for more than two seconds around here, and you completely unravel." Margaret notices a slight smile wash across Leo's face at her last comment, as she heads back towards her desk. "And for your information, I had a doctor's appointment." She adds in a somewhat more controlled voice.

Leo reaches out and softly grabs her arm as she tries to get by him in the doorway. "Margaret, are you okay," Leo's voice is full of concern. He's been worried that something's been wrong with her, because she's been so grumpy and irritable with him lately, it's almost as though they've changed roles. He quickly lets go of her arm.

Margaret's shocked by Leo's tone and worried expression on his face. "I'm fine, it just took longer than I thought it would," she tells him.

"Really?" He softly replies.

"Yes, it was just some testing for my allergies," she tells him as she pulls up one of her sleeves and shows him the needle marks on the inside of her arm and the red splotches that are still visible. He reaches out and gently touches her arm. She blushes at the contact. She can't believe he just did that. They have an unwritten rule, no touching, at least she thought they did.

"Okay," he tells her, as he drops his arm to his side. He fights the urge to pull her into his arms and tell her how he feels about her. "Umm... sorry about the yelling thing," he whispers.

"That's okay, I'm sorry I forgot to mention it to you or fill out a leave slip. I'll go fill out one now for this morning," she says as she leaves the doorway. Her heart is beating fast from being so close to him and from him touching her.

"Margaret," he sighs. "There's no need for that. You put in far too many hours as it is. Let's not worry about the few hours this morning, besides you deserve so much more. Let's just get to work."

Margaret whips her head back around and stares at him. What's gotten into him today, she wonders? But, she's not about to look a gift horse in the mouth. "Thanks Leo. That's very sweet of you," she says with a smile. She turns and finally makes it to her desk. She immediately sees the additional flowers on her desk. She pulls the card off and reads it. A huge smile appears on her face as she brings the card to her chest and holds it tightly. He finally remembered. She turns to find him in the doorway, watching her. "Oh Leo, thank you." She beams as she goes to him and gives him a quick hug.

Leo returns her smile and hug. "No Margaret, thank you." He whispers, as she takes a step back from him.

Margaret and Leo are both blushing from the caring moment they have just shared. They quietly stand there staring at each other for a few seconds, before Leo finally breaks the silence. "Margaret, do you have any plans for lunch?" He asks.

"No," she informs him.

"Good, then you're free to join me for lunch," he says.

"Okay, what do you want from the mess," she asks.

"No, Margaret," Leo shakes his head at her. "I meant you and me... going out to lunch... at a real restaurant."

"Oh," Margaret says touching her lips with her fingertips. "That sounds nice."

"Great, lets go then. I already arranged for the car to pick us up for lunch, earlier today." He says placing a hand to the small of her back and guiding her out of the office.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Leo escorts Margaret into the restaurant. They are instantly greeted by the Maitre'd. "Table for McGarry," Leo says as he slips the man some money.

"Of course, Sir. Follow me, please," the Maitre'd requests.

Leo's been planning this lovely lunch for Margaret for a long time. He was afraid it wasn't going to happen when she didn't show up for work this morning. But now that they are finally here, he relaxes and smiles. He's enjoying watching Margaret take it all in as they walk through the restaurant on the way to their table. Leo holds the chair out for Margaret and scoots her up to the table. He walks over and sits down across from her.

Margaret's eyes are glancing all over, just trying to take it all in. She doesn't initially hear the waiter ask her what she would like to drink. The waiter repeats it again, only louder this time. Margaret jumps at the sound of his voice, and Leo places a calming hand on hers.

"Margaret, he just wants to know what you would like to drink," Leo tells her.

Margaret turns red at having jumped. "Iced tea, please," she requests, and then nervously laughs. Leo requests the same for him.

"I hope you don't mind, but I went ahead and ordered our meal. We shouldn't have to wait too long; I think you'll like it. Well... I hope you'll like it. It's something special. The chef is well known for it." Leo still has his hand on hers. He's enjoying the softness of her skin, and the way touching her makes him feel inside.

"Margaret, I know so little about your personal past and you know so much about mine. Why don't you tell me about your family?" Leo says as he gives her hand a slight squeeze.

"I don't really have any family left to speak of," she says softly. "I have no brothers, and sisters and my parents died years ago. My parents had me a little later in life, and my Mom died of breast cancer when I was twelve and my Dad from a heart attack when I was eighteen. He left me with enough money to get through college but not much more."

"Oh, Margaret, I'm so sorry," Leo says in a hushed voice. He never knew that Margaret had to withstand such hardships.

"Don't be. I'm luckier than some; I was able know and love them and I was able to get my degree without being deeply in debt. And now I have my work family. I have some distant family, but I have never been close to them. And, well college brought me to D.C. and ultimately to work for you."

Leo stares at her with sad eyes after her revelation. He's about to comment, when their meals arrive. Margaret regrettably slides her hand from Leo's. "Leo, please don't be sad. It was a long time ago. Lets talk about something else. Have you heard from Mallory lately?"

A smile crosses Leo's face at the mention of his daughter. "Oh, I forgot to tell you. She called this morning looking for ya. I told her you would call her back."

"Great, I'll call her after her school today. Did she want anything in particular?" Margaret wonders.

"Nah, I think she just wanted to tell you that I'm an old fool for having forgotten your special day again this year," Leo smirks.

"Leo," Margaret laughs. "We never refer to you as old. Mature maybe, but never old. Hey, Maybe she called to talk about a new boyfriend."

Leo shoots her a look. He still doesn't like to think about his baby girl dating. "Hey," Leo feigns anger.

"Leo, What's that face about? Don't you want her to be happy and settled with a special someone? Someone who can give you some grandchildren to sit on your knee." Margaret suggests.

"I'd rather she stay my little girl forever," Leo pouts. But, the mention of children on his knee sends his mind into overdrive. Yes, he'd love to have that happen, especially if they were their children. Margaret would make a wonderful mother. "Hey, we'd better eat before our food gets cold."

They spend the rest of lunch chatting about each other and about some things from work. Their food disappears quickly, and soon the check arrives. Leo gives the waiter his credit card and then turns his attention to Margaret. "Listen Margaret, I got ya a little something to celebrate your day. I hope you like it." He takes a small wrapped box out of his pocket and puts in on the table in front of her. He signs the credit card receipt and watches her looking at the box. "You can open it, you know," he adds with a smile.

Her hands shake as she picks up the small box and unwraps the paper. It's a blue velvet box; she turns it over and opens it, and sees a beautiful simply designed yellow gold cross, "Oh Leo, this is so beautiful. I love it." She says, as her eyes well up with happy tears.

Leo takes the necklace from the box, stands up and moves around behind her. His fingers brush against the back of her neck. Her skin feels so soft as he closes the clasp on the gold chain. She can't believe he's doing this. When his warm fingers brush against her neck, she feels a shiver run down her spine. Her face flushes, and she smiles shyly up at him as he says, "Are you ready to go?" He helps her to her feet and escorts her out to the waiting car

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Margaret?"

Margaret looks up from her computer screen, turns and smiles at the First Lady who is standing at her doorway. She gets to her feet and says, "Hello Ma'am. Can I help you with something or do you need to see Leo?"

"No, I just came to see how you were doing today," Abbey says as she waves to Margaret to sit down as she leans against the edge of Margaret's desk.

"Oh I'm fine Ma'am. I'm sorry I took up so much of your time on Monday. I was just being silly or hormonal or something." Margaret says in a rush.

"Nonsense. I completely understood what you were going through. I'm just glad I could help. Now, what has put you in such a fine mood today?" Abbey asks with a smile as she sees Margaret blush.

"Nothing Ma'am. I'm just feeling better today," she says shyly.

"Well, you are an important part of this administration, and I feel terrible that you have been neglected these last few years. Leo McGarry is going to get a piece of my mind. This is just some small way that I can make it up to you."

"It's okay Ma'am. Leo has more than made up for his lapse in memory for the last few years. He brought me some flowers this morning and took me out for a wonderful lunch. I was late for work today because I had a doctor's appointment, and he was really worried."

"Are you okay?"

"Yes Ma'am, it's just allergy season and I just found out that I am allergic to the pollen from cherry blossoms."

"Oh Margaret, it's the most beautiful time of the year here in DC and you can't enjoy it." Abbey giggles at Margaret's problem.

"I know, but it only lasts for a few weeks." Margaret joins her giggles.

"So everything is okay with you and Leo?"

"Yes, I think so. Something is changing in our relationship. I'm not sure what it is, but it feels nice. I hope it continues." She smiles softly, touching the gold cross he slipped around her neck and remembering her lunch just a few hours ago.

"What is that? Is that new? Say... from a certain White House Chief of Staff?" Abbey asks as she watches Margaret blush beautifully to her questions.

"I'm so happy you are feeling better. Well I had better get back to work myself. I just wanted to see how things were going. Would you like to join me for lunch sometime soon? I've really enjoyed our talks and would just like to have some time to relax and talk over a nice meal."

"Oh Ma'am I would love to, if you are sure? Hopefully, we can coordinate our busy schedules."

"If you have any problems with Leo, let me know. I look forward to it. I will see you soon. By the way, when we are out of the office, you can call me Abbey. Okay?"

"Okay. Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate it. I will contact your office to coordinate the lunch. Oh, and thank you for the flowers. You and the President didn't have to do that," she says with a smile.

"Oh you're welcome. So someone told you who your secret admirer was."

"Yeah, Leo did at lunch, today."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Leo is sitting in his office thinking about how quickly things can change. He still hasn't confessed his feelings to Margaret, but after the nice time they had at lunch and how she's been this afternoon and early evening, he's pretty sure that she feels the same way he does. He can't believe its eight o'clock already. They worked right through dinner. He had originally planned on taking her somewhere special tonight, but as usual something came up, and he wasn't able to leave the White House. He gets up from his desk and goes out to Margaret's area. "Margaret, could you come in here please?" He motions towards his office.

"Sure," she bobs her head as she gets up and follows him into his office. She's surprised that he came out and got her instead of bellowing for her.

Leo motions for her to sit on the couch, and he sits down a respectable distance from her. "Margaret, I had a really good time at lunch today and I umm... well I was wondering... if you'd like to have... dinner with me tonight?"

"Yes," she replies with no hesitation. "I'd love to."

"Where would ya like to go?" He says as he moves a little closer to her.

"Somewhere quiet," she informs him as she moves closer to him, too.

"My hotel has some private dinning areas," he exhales, as he places a hand on her leg.

"Room service would be nice, too. That way we wouldn't be interrupted by other people." She rationalizes as she places her hand on top of his.

"That's true," Leo confirms. "Margaret," he shyly breathes out, while looking deep into her eyes. "I ah... need to... tell ya something."

"Leo, lets wait until we're alone at your hotel. I have something I need to tell you too, and I don't want to discuss it here at work." She says glancing at the connecting door to the Oval Office. "Are you ready to go?" She softly whispers.

"Yeah," he replies as he stands and extends his hand to her.

Margaret goes to her office and calls for his car. He heads for his coat tree, grabs his coat and picks up his briefcase. He heads for her doorway. He stops at the door and watches her grab her purse and coat. He looks down at his briefcase and places it back inside his office. There's no reason to take work home with him tonight.

He walks over to her. "Here, let me help ya," he whispers into her ear from behind.

"Thanks," she sighs as a chill runs down her spine. His voice has always driven her crazy, but to have him this close to her and him breathing on her neck has put her body into overdrive. She turns to face him and gives him a quick peck on the cheek. She blushes at her boldness and notices that Leo's ears have turned red, too.

"What was that for?" He shyly asks as he places a hand on her arm.

"For remembering Administrative Professional's Day and for being you." She sweetly tells him.

"Okay, I'll have to try to remember again next year if you're going to kiss me," he informs her.

"Lets hope you don't have to wait that long for the next kiss," she breathes out.

"Let's go," Leo says as he takes her arm.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Leo's car is waiting for them when they exit the West Wing. Leo opens the door for her, and she climbs in and scoots across the seat. Leo climbs in behind her and the driver closes the door. Margaret's skirt rides up a little as she scoots across the seat. Leo sees this and grins at the showing of her thigh. Margaret's eyes follow to where Leo is staring and sees that her skirt has traveled up on her when she got into the car. She slowly pulls it back into place as the car starts to move. "We can't be giving Eddie a peep show, now can we?" She smirks as she leans over and softly brushes her lips against Leo's.

Leo shakes his head as she continues to kiss him. He'll agree to anything she says right now as long as she keeps kissing him like that. He doesn't resist her lips and starts to smile as she increases pressure on his lips. Before long she's flicking her tongue against his lips and demanding entry. He willingly opens for her as they kiss with a hunger and desire that they have kept hidden for years. There is no need for words as the kiss increases in intensity. They both want this, now. They finally break for air and stare into each other's eyes. Leo lifts his hand to her face and traces her jaw line with his fingertips.

"Oh, Margaret that was... I mean I can't... I mean... I've wanted to do that for so long. Margaret, I love you," he tells her as he leans in and brushes a sweet kiss against her lips.

Margaret is about to respond, when the service car stops and Eddie gets out of the car. "We're here already?" She asks him in disbelief.

"Yeah, I guess the traffic was fairly light tonight; I really couldn't tell ya, because I was being distracted." Leo says, giving her his best impish grin.

"Sorry," she softly breathes out.

"I'm not," he tells her.

They get out of the car and head for the hotel door. Leo wishes he had his briefcase to hold in front of him as they enter the hotel. He quickly takes off his coat and carries it in front of him.

Margaret smiles at the realization of why he's now carrying his coat in front of himself. She leans over and whispers in his ear, "Sorry, about that, too."

"I'm not!" He says in a higher pitched voice than normal as he grabs her hand and pulls her through the revolving door with him.

They hurry toward the elevator. Once inside the elevator, they trade shy glances. Leo suddenly regrets living on the top floor, because it seems to be taking forever to get there. They finally reach his floor and Leo fumbles with the card key. Margaret grabs it from his hand and inserts it into the lock and then opens the door. They rush into his room.

Leo tosses his coat aside, and turns and presses her to the wall. The feel of his arousal pressing into her takes her breath away. She pushes her hips forward, letting him know how much she wants him too. He smiles and gently kisses her forehead, then her cheek, moving down to her neck just below her jaw under her ear. She moans in pleasure as his tongue flicks at her pulse point, and he can feel her pulse speed up as he gently sucks her neck to increase her arousal. He pulls back and looks into her dark glassy eyes. He moves in to kiss her lips, and she opens herself to him as they continue to peel off each other's clothes.

He pulls back again, short of breath, "Margaret? Are you sure? I mean...are you ...can we...Oh God... I want you so much... but only if you're ready...I know this is fast, but I have loved you and wanted you for so long...I just didn't think...that you would want...me?" He looks sadly down, as if he expects her to change her mind.

She takes a finger and lifts his chin up so she can look into his eyes and whispers softly to him, "Leo...I have loved you and wanted you too, for more time than I care to remember. But, I never thought that you would want...me ...a...silly...quirky...girl. I have thought about you for so long, but right now I am tired of waiting, I want you so much...here...or on the sofa...or the bed...or even the floor if we can't get to any of those." She adds with a nervous laugh.

He looks down at their remaining clothing that is in disarray and smiles at her. She looks at the clothes on the floor around her, and takes his hand and pulls him into the bedroom. She moves toward the bed and is suddenly a little nervous. It looks so big and what is going to happen between them is so big. She looks down at their hands and then up into his eyes. All she sees there is love, his love for her.

She reaches around him and pulls down the bedspread and blankets. He pulls her to him and kisses her again as his hands busily remove her blouse and skirt. Her hands remove his shirt and T-shirt, and then undo his belt and pants allowing them to drop to the floor. They kick off their shoes and move onto the bed.

His hands shakily move to undo the front clasp on her bra and free her breasts, he gasps as he sees her beautiful body. He leans forward, and kissing each one sending a wave of desire through her.

Margaret moans in delight as she runs her hands along his back and into the back of his hair. Her knee moves up to brush against him, and he moans in pleasure. Her hands run back down his back and her thumbs hook under the band of his silk boxers as she slips them down and off with a little help from him.

He lays her back on the pillow and looks for her permission for him to continue and remove her last piece clothing. She nods her permission, and he reaches up and slides her panties down her long legs and onto the floor with the rest of their clothing. He smiles as she pulls him down onto her and they begin the next phase of their life together.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The are lying in bed holding each other still recovering from their mutual pleasure. He pulls her closer, and slips a leg between hers; then tucks her head under his chin and kisses her hair inhaling the soft scent of her vanilla scented shampoo. She turns her head, and kisses his chest and snuggles in closer to him. She loves being held by him, the man she loves, and now her lover. This is the beginning of something very special; she can feel it in her soul.

"Margaret, what happened on Monday afternoon with Abbey? Why were you crying?" He pauses, "I'm sorry, but I was worried about you, and so I followed you when you went for your walk. I couldn't hear you, but my heart ached when I saw you crying. Something wasn't right with us all this week. I can't remember the last time I saw you cry. You are one of the strongest women I know. But, you have been unhappy with me all week. Is it because I've been such a brainless twit for the last few Administration Professional's Days?" He asks as he runs his hands softly over her back.

Margaret sighs, "This past Monday everything sort of came to a head, it's silly that I felt that I have been missing out on something because you have forgotten some stupid day once a year but it did hurt that you didn't remember. The First Lady walked in and overheard me talking to myself about...you and...me. So, we went outside and talked for a little while." She's stroking his chest, letting him know everything is all right now.

"Do you really like the necklace?" He asks as his fingers trace the cross as it lies against her neck. He loves that this is the only thing she's wearing.

She snuggles up against him and brings her hand up to cover his. "I love it. It's perfect. I lost my last one when we were on the campaign trail. But, you don't have to buy me expensive gifts. You are the best gift that I got today. I loved the flowers and the lunch and the necklace, but you are by far my favorite gift." She reaches her lips up to his for a quick kiss.

"You know I am really sorry about that ... right. I never wanted you to think you were less than you are. You've always been so much more than just my assistant. You know that, right? I will spend the rest of my life trying to make that up to you."

"You already have. Now that I know you love me as I love you, nothing more is to be said about it." She kisses his lips gently and smiles at him. "But... if you insist...I can think of something you can do for me..." She moves over him and kisses him again.

"Anything, anything at all. What do you have in mind?" He smiles at her, knowing exactly what she has in mind. He quickly rolls them over so he's on top of her, and he lowers his lips to hers and deepens the kiss. "Is this what you had in mind?"

"Oh yeah," she says between kisses, as her hands move up and around his neck to pull him closer to her body. They fit so perfectly together. More of this for the rest of their lives should make up for it, she thinks with a smile.

Leo sees that wonderful smile on her face and just knows this is the beginning of the rest of their lives.

The End.