Discoveries: Part Two
Josh is in Leo's office finishing up a meeting, when Josh decides to ask Leo if Margaret is okay. "Leo, is everything okay with Margaret today?"
"Yeah, as far as I know. Why do you ask?"
"Well, Donna is concerned because Margaret doesn't seem to be herself today. Donna says she's too happy, and that's not at all like Margaret at this time of the year. She's usually more short-tempered at this time of the year, I guess because she can't get home for Christmas and she's usually here and well…I don't know. It sorta sounded better when Donna was telling me. She's just worried, and wondering what's going on with her."
Leo plays dumb and doesn't let on that he knows anything, "Well, I don't know what's going on but I don't have time to try to figure out Margaret mood changes. I would think that Donna would be happy that Margaret is not short-tempered with her and that she 'is' in a good mood. Maybe Donna needs something more to do to keep her busy. I will keep an eye on Margaret though."
"Okay, thanks Leo I'll let Donna know," says Josh on his way out of Leo's office, thinking that Leo looks awfully happy himself today, but he is not one to question Leo and his moods.
"Margaret!" Leo bellows for her after Josh is out the door.
"Leo, you needed something?" She asks with a smirk, he can tell she overheard that entire conversation with Josh.
"Yeah, can you get me some coffee and then come on in and close the door."
She returns with his coffee and closes the door. He approaches her and moves to give her a kiss, but she stops him, "Uh, Uh, Uh, not in the office. You know that."
He smiles and leans over and whispers in her ear, "Go back to be your being your grumpy ole self, it's scaring the others." They both know why they're so happy and not their regular grumpy selves this holiday season. Neither of them is ready to let anyone know about their relationship yet. It's just too new.
She smiles and whispers back to him, "Well that is going to be hard to do, because I just feel so good." She places a small kiss against his neck and is close enough that he can smell the lightly scented perfume she put on this morning at his hotel.
He knows what she means, and he feels good in more ways than one. He moves away from her and makes his way over to sit behind his desk, attempting to hide the effect that she is having on him. He sees her smile and look down at him, and she knows. She comes over to lean against his desk, giving him a knowing look. She laughs and asks him, "So, are you glad to see me, Leo?"
"Margaret," he groans at her teasing. His hormones are getting a little out of control, and he gets harder still. "Please," he begs her to stop.
She giggles and tells him that she she'll give him a few minutes to compose himself.
He asks her, "Can you bring me some ice, it might quickly relieve my… you know… problem because Senior Staff will be here in a few minutes with the President and I don't need this…" pointing to his current condition knowing he won't be able to stand without revealing his condition to the others in the room.
She looks at him and giggles as she leaves his office to get the ice, closing the door as she goes.
He tries to think of something unpleasant, but all he can think of, is the woman who just left the room and that is not helping his situation. Her laugh is not helping that is for sure. She isn't back yet when the Senior Staff starts to wander into his office. His face is flushed, and he is not concentrating on the meeting. CJ is concerned that he is ill and moves toward him to see if he has a fever.
He hasn't been this responsive in years but the idea of CJ finding out his problem, makes him squirm in his chair. "I'm all right!" He protests, "I'm fine, I'm fine!" Holding up his hand to keep her away. "Margaret!! Can you get me something for a headache?" He calls out to her through the cracked door.
Leo's luck is not holding, because just then the President enters Leo's office, forcing Leo to his feet. The President is wondering where everyone is. At least it distracts CJ from discovering anything. Leo buttons his coat quickly covering the evidence. Margaret enters the room with a cup of ice water and a bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol.
He looks up as he sees her walk toward him and then she trips and falls as the ice water falls into his lap, her arms and legs flying out to stop her from falling but she lands in a heap on the floor. The others are shocked at the sight before them, they laugh at the ice water landing in his lap but they are not moving yet to help Margaret up from the floor.
Abbey hears laughter coming from Leo's office. Laughter has been missing from the White House for a while now. She walks toward his office and when she walks in she finds Margaret sprawled on the floor. She is embarrassed, but she appears to be okay, and Leo is trying to help her up while the others continue to laugh at the situation before them.
The front of his pants are soaked from something. She sees the empty glass on the floor and then knows what happened. She thinks she can also see that he is a little excited. She makes a mental note to discuss this with Leo later.
"What's going on in here? Margaret, are you okay? Are you hurt? Here let me help you up." Abbey rushes over to help him get Margaret to her feet and she quickly checks her out, to make sure that she is okay and that she didn't hurt herself when she fell.
She boots the others out of the office and with Margaret seated on the sofa, she gives her a quick once over and sees that she is fine. Margaret is just upset that she made a fool of herself in front of the others. Leo is hovering in the background. Obviously worried about her but, his problem seems to be gone now.
Abbey has wanted to talk to Leo for a while now about what has been going on between them. Yesterday was a hectic day; there was so much going on with the girls visiting and their family dinner. She wasn't exactly happy with Leo for pulling Jed out of the dinner before they even started eating, but she knows it wasn't Leo's fault, she truly knows that, but she needed to be pissed at someone and he was convenient.
Once she is sure that Margaret is okay, she gives Leo a moment to assure her that everything is fine. Margaret gets to her feet, looks into Leo's eyes, and moves quickly to her office closing the door behind her.
Abbey noticed the look and wonders what is going on with them as she moves to sit in front of Leo's desk. He moves to sit down; his pants are still cold and wet but he says nothing about it.
"Leo, I've been meaning to talk to you for a while now about what happened last summer. I was wrong to blame you for everything that went on with Zoey's kidnapping. I know I hurt you. I'm sorry. I really had no right to do that. I don't know what you went through with President Walken, but I'm sure that it had to be difficult. I know that for you, Jed is your President."
"No Abbey, you were right to shut me out. I pressured the President into killing Sheriff and if we hadn't done that maybe Zoey would have been safe. I don't blame you at all. It just hurts. We've been friends, almost family, for years, and I miss what we used to have."
"I do too. This has gone on too long. Zoey never blamed you. Not ever. After everything she went through if she can see that then who am I to continue this grudge."
Abbey looks at Leo. He looks more rested today than he did yesterday. He is acting funny too. What was going on with him? What was going on earlier? Was he really excited and 'who' was the reason for it? CJ or Margaret?
"Is everything ok with you? You've looked so tired lately, and you've lost weight."
"I'm fine Abbey. Really. I'm glad we've cleared the air here today. Now if you will excuse me, I think I need to change into my spare suit; it's a little cool in here." He adds with a smile as he looks down to his soaked groin.
She nods, and stands, smiles at him, and winks, "Just in the nick of time too, huh."
He is stunned at her response and that she knows something was going on. Does she is suspect something? He immediately flushes.
She leans in and kisses his warm cheek and whispers, "If I am going to hazard a guess between CJ and Margaret, I am going to have to say Margaret, and I couldn't be happier for the both of you. You deserve some happiness in your life; both of you do. Take care of each other, will you? Bring her to dinner some time soon."
With that Abbey sweeps out of his office through the Oval Office door.
Leo walks over and closes and locks the door to hallway and the Oval Office. He looks out to Margaret's area and calls her in.
"Are you really okay?" He asks with concern as she sits at her desk.
"Yeah… my pride is hurt more than anything else, I'm just embarrassed that I made a fool of myself in front of the President," she says sadly.
He grabs her hand and looks around before he pulls her through the door and locks it behind her. He pulls her into his arms and turns and presses her into the door and kisses her warmly.
"I think Abbey has figured out that there is something going on between us. Do you think she saw my condition after you dumped the water in my lap?" He grins at her, "Thanks by the way, it did the trick." He kisses her again, "Speaking of which, I need to change my clothes, I'm still a little cold and damp," he adds with a smirk.
He moves over to the closet and pulls out a clean suit and a change of underwear. Margaret turns to leave him to change when he asks her to, "Stay. All the doors are locked. No one can barge in on us."
"Leo, I don't know. I mean… we haven't seen… you know… um…" Margaret is blushing fiercely.
"Margaret, it's okay. I'm over here behind the chair. You can't see anything. And you can keep your back turned if you want. Are you still okay with coming over tonight? Abbey and I had a nice talk. Maybe we can talk about it over dinner," Leo says as he is changing his clothes.
She doesn't turn her back to him she just averts her eyes, and she sneaks a peak from time to time as he talks to her, "Yeah, I would like that. I need to stop at home and get some clothes and stuff, so I can meet you at your hotel after that."
"No, I am going to go with you tonight."
"Leo it's really not necessary; I'll just meet you there."
"Margaret, what's wrong? What don't you want me to know?"
"Nothing, it's just that I don't live in the greatest neighborhood and I don't want to put you in an uncomfortable situation."
"Well that settles it, I am coming with you. My service car can wait out front while you get your things."
"I'm not going to change your mind about this am I?"
"Nope, not a chance in hell."
"Well I guess…"
"Margaret, don't worry about it. It'll be fine."
Leo has finished changing and puts everything back in the closet. He will have to remember to bring the suit home tonight and bring another spare one in tomorrow.
Before he unlocks the doors, he wants another moment alone with her. He moves over and pulls her in his arms and hugs her tightly before he pulls back and smiles. He slides his hands up her arms and takes her face in his hands and places a soft and gentle kiss on her forehead, her cheek and then her lips. She smiles back to him and leans in to place a kiss on his lips before turning and opening the door to get back to work.
Margaret spends the afternoon fretting about Leo seeing where she lives. She just hopes most of her unsavory neighbors are not hanging around on the front steps when they get there.
The day goes quickly as meeting after meeting go without incident and before she knows it Leo is calling it a day.
It is after 7 p.m. as she packs up her things. She goes into Leo's office to remind him to grab his suit to take to the cleaners as she is putting on her coat.
He has already taken it from the closet and is moving toward her with his briefcase in hand and coat already on. He is almost excited to get out of here tonight. He can't wait to be alone with her at home. He hasn't felt like this in a long time.
They walk out, and Leo's driver is holding the door open for them as they get in the back of the car. She gives the driver her home address. He gives her a surprised look that Leo sees. She shyly looks down and is even more uncomfortable for Leo to see where she lives. It could be worse, but she has gotten used to the neighborhood over the years.
They pull up to the front of a building and Margaret stops Leo as he moves to get out, "Leo why don't you wait here? I'll just be a couple of minutes, and maybe it would be best for you to wait in the car."
Reluctantly he agrees when he sees the sadness on her face and finally realizes that she is embarrassed for him to see where she lives.
She gives him a quick kiss, opens the door and pops out quickly. Leo and his driver watch her closely as she walks up the stairs when some of her punkish neighbors start to give her hard time. They want some money thinking that she has a new 'Sugar Daddy' that has given her some extra money. One of them gives her a little push, and she shrugs away from him as she says something to them.
Leo and the driver are out of the car and by her side in a flash to escort her into the building. Her apartment is on the second floor and after walking up the stairs and into the apartment. The driver then returns to the street to await a call when they are ready to leave.
Once in the apartment Leo puts his arms around her, but she is fine because this isn't the first time the punks have harassed her, but she wants Leo to know she is okay. "Leo I'm fine. Really. I have lived here for a long time, and I know how to handle them."
He pulls away from her, "Is it like this all the time? Those punks, do they bother you like that? Oh, Margaret I had no idea you lived in a place like this," he sadly says, knowing that he never took the time or trouble to find out anything about her before. "It must be dangerous for you going home when we work late into the night."
"It's fine, Leo. They mostly leave me alone. Tonight, it was probably just the expensive car that got them going. They maybe thought I had more money on me tonight. They don't know where I work. They probably just thought my trick had dropped me off."
"THEY THINK YOU ARE A PROSTATUTE????" Leo is beside himself now.
"Okay, lets get your things together. I want you to stay with me. When do you think you can move? How much stuff do you have?" His mind is just racing.
"Leo you're overreacting. It's not a big deal. I'm probably safer that way, if they think there is a big mean pimp hanging around they'll be afraid to hurt me." Margaret tries to placate him.
"It is a big deal. How much stuff do you have? You are coming with me tonight. Does this place come furnished? You can give your notice tomorrow. Okay?"
"Yeah, it comes furnished," she sighs. "I didn't have a lot of time to find a place when we came to the White House, much less the money to buy furniture. This was the easiest way," she sighs again even more embarrassed that she is talking about her lack of money with him.
"Okay, well lets grab as much as we can tonight and we can come back on Sunday morning for the rest."
"Leo I just can't move out of here. I have nowhere to go."
"Sure you do. You can move in with me. Or if you aren't ready for that I can find you a better apartment or, a hotel room or I can get a bigger suite with two bedrooms for us. I'll even pay for it. Please I wouldn't ever be able to sleep if I knew you are staying here in this place."
"Leo I won't let you pay for a place for me. What will people say if they find out? Like the press or everyone at work," Margaret worries.
"I don't care what people think. I want you to be safe. Period. Margaret, you know I care for you—that we care for each other. We have come so far since we discovered that just last night. I think there is more there. Well, I hope there is… bottom line… do you feel the same way… I mean do you still want to be with me?" He shyly looks down at their joined hands.
"Oh Leo, You know I care for you. I do want to be there with you, and I am comfortable with you especially in your arms. But are we ready for living together? We talked last night about me not being ready for the next step in our physical relationship yet. Are you still okay with that?"
"Yeah, I am. I don't want you staying here. I think I want you with me as much as you want to be with me. If it doesn't work out or it's too soon, we'll find you a place for you to live. Okay?" Leo pulls her back into his arms and holds her close.
She folds herself into his arms, closes her eyes and relishes the feeling of safety just being in his arms, It feels nice to have someone want to look after her, "Okay. I'll move in with you but can we still take the physical side of our relationship slowly?" She asks nervously.
"We'll go any speed you want. You call the shots about how fast we go. Okay? I may just need the occasional cold shower." He smiles and places a gentle kiss on her forehead and rubs her arms lightly. "Let's get your things packed and get out of here." Leo releases her with another quick kiss.
"Okay," Margaret moves toward the bedroom with Leo following her closely behind her as she pulls out two suitcases. She puts them on the bed and opens them and points Leo to her dresser. "Just take whatever you find in the dresser and put it in this smaller bag, don't worry about folding or neatness."
She moves to her closet and begins to fold her work suits and dresses into the bigger bag. She sends Leo into the bathroom to begin to put whatever he can find into a plastic bag and into his bag. They each grab some sweaters and coats as they head out of the apartment. She locks the door, and they go back down to the car rushing past the punks there, to where the driver is waiting for them.
Margaret is quiet on the drive to the hotel. When they pull into the underground parking and up to the elevators she quietly gathers her stuff, and waits for Leo to get his briefcase from the trunk of the car. They will have to make a second trip to get the rest of her stuff.
Leo can see that she is a little nervous about the turn of events of the last 24 hours. He will call the hotel desk and arrange for another key for her. He really wants her to feel at home here.
He brings her in and sets her down on the sofa and pulls her into his arms. "How are you doing? Are you hungry? We can order room service and unpack your stuff while we wait for it. What do you feel like?"
"I'm Okay, and yeah, I am getting hungry," she looks at her watch and realizes that it is after 9 p.m. No wonder she's hungry.
"It shouldn't take us long to unpack everything. Do you have room in your dresser and the closet for my things?"
"Yeah I sure do. Let's shift some things around and get you settled in."
Leo quickly orders some food, a light meal and some ice cream for desert, and then carries her bags into the bedroom. He moves some of his clothing to the bottom drawer of the dresser, freeing up some space near the top for her clothes. There is lots of room in the closet for her work clothes and shoes. The hall closet takes care of her sweaters and coats and boots.
They are done unpacking by the time the food arrives. Both are tired but enjoy their meals and deserts. They sit drinking their decaf on the sofa, listening to some classical music with the lights turned down low—just unwinding from their busy day and unexpectedly hectic evening, and thinking about how happy he is that she is here with him. Leo's arm is around her shoulder, and she has relaxed into his chest.
Before too long they are both starting to get tired and they decide to start to get ready for bed. With a kiss to her head Leo rises from the sofa and offers a hand to pull her up to her feet. With a quick thank you kiss Margaret takes his hand and they move into the bedroom.
She knows exactly what he wants her to wear tonight. It will take some time for them to get into a routine of who goes first to the bathroom but she scoots in first to get changed.
They both want to dress in what is comfortable for them to sleep in and what they know the other person will like.
Margaret arrives in his boxers and a shirt, which she knows he appreciates. He slips into the bathroom and when he walks out a few minutes later, he is in his boxers and a t-shirt. Her eyes open in surprise as he moves toward the bed, "Is it okay if I wear what I usually do to bed? It's just that now that you're staying here… and I know that we care for each other… I wonder if we can just be ourselves and get to know each other better," he nervously asks.
"Leo, it's fine with me. You just look so cute in your boxers," she smiles at his skinny white legs.
"So do you," he adds with a wink and a smile.
Margaret quickly makes sure the alarm clock is set and moves over to her side of the bed. "Leo, I never asked you if you are all right with that side of the bed? It doesn't really matter to me but do you have a preference?" She asks as she climbs under the blankets. "We know that these are some of the things that we are going to have to find out about one another. We are living together before we have even had a physical relationship or even had a date. There is no rush, but we do need to take some time to get to know each other in this part of our lives."
"Yeah, you're right, we do have a lot to learn about one another in our private lives. This is the side of the bed I usually prefer, but we can change if you want to," as Leo pulls back the blanket on his side of the bed.
"No this is fine with me. You ready for lights out?" At his consent, she kneels on the bed and reaches across him to turn out the bedside lamp, giving him a slight whiff of the perfume she put on in the morning.
They slide into bed, and move right to the center of the bed to hold each other. It's funny how quickly this closeness became comfortable she thinks to herself.
"Leo, how are things with the First Lady? Did the two of you clear the air?"
"Yeah, we talked and things are better, still not the same as it used to be but definitely better. I don't feel as if our relationship is lost, like I've felt for the last few months."
"I'm so happy for you Leo," she says as she kisses his neck.
"Yeah, me too. Thank you for being here for me. I never realized how much I missed having someone in my life until you stayed here with me a few months ago. You have always been there for me, taking care of me, when I would let you, both inside and outside of the office. I really do appreciate everything you've done for me, over the years even though I've never said, 'Thank You,'" as they snuggle closer in the dark, getting to know each other.
"I'm really glad you're here. I was so scared when I saw where you lived tonight. I feel so bad that I never knew where and how you lived. I'm just glad that you were never hurt by any of the guys in the time you lived there. I want to take care of you, if you'll let me," he whispers as his hands slide along caressing her arms, and dropping small kisses along her neck.
Their eyes have adjusted to the darkness in the room. The moonlight and city lights allow him to get a better look at her, "God you take my breath away. You are so beautiful, especially in the moonlight," he says as his fingers slide up to lift her chin.
Her eyes twinkle in the moonlight as she stares into his eyes. He moves closer to kiss her lips, reverently, almost caressing her lips with his. Her eyes close as she pulls him closer to her, curling her arms around his neck and deepening his kiss. He can't help himself as he melts into her arms, the escalating kisses have them both breathless in moments.
As she pulls back to catch her breath she moans, "Mmmm Leo, thank you for wanting to take care of me, and making me feel welcome in your life. What I'm feeling with you is quite unexpected but very welcome."
She continues to touch him and nuzzle into his neck with feathery kisses, "I promise you, I won't make you wait forever but I just want to get to know 'you' a little more… as a person… as my friend… not just as my boss, before we become… umm… more intimate."
"I know, that's fine and definitely okay with me, we aren't in any rush to move to the next level of our relationship. Lets spend time together, and maybe go on a few dates, or maybe a movie or dinner out? But, do you mind if we try to keep things quiet between us? I do want to let CJ know about us in case the press gets wind of our new living situation, but I don't want to lie about us. I want to be with you, but I don't want you to feel less than you are. You are one of the most important people in my life, and you have been for a long time now," he gives her face a caress with a small kiss to her soft lips.
They break apart and rest on their sides facing each other allowing them to hold hands or just touch each other as they look at each other in the moonlight.
"No that's fine Leo, I don't want to cause any problems for you or the President or the Administration. We can don't have to go out to fancy places, out into the limelight. We can spend our time here reading or listening to music or watching movies or just TV. Is it okay if we get some groceries to keep here in the kitchen, you know some drinks and snacks? We can bring some things from my apartment when we finish clearing it out on Sunday and maybe stop at the store on the way back here."
"Sure, anything you want to do. We can get a cleaning service in to finish with the apartment. Is there anything that you need to put into storage? I have a storage unit with some of my things in it from after the divorce. We can put anything you have in there too," he inquires.
"Yeah I don't think everything I have will fit in here, so I will have a few things to go into storage. We don't have a lot of storage here at the hotel so that may be the best thing for us to do."
"Okay we'll make arrangements for some movers to pack up and take things to storage to finish at the apartment on Sunday morning, then you will be all settled in here. I want this to feel like your home now too, I know a hotel may not seem like a home but we can make it one for the time we have left in the White House. We don't have to worry about cleaning and we can order room service. That will save us some time and allow us to spend more time together when we aren't working."
"Anywhere we are together is home to me. I have no problem with us living here. It will take some adjusting for me, but I think we are worth the effort. We can work out the logistics as we go along," she assures him.
They are both starting to relax into slumber now. The caresses are slowing, and the talk is slowing but Leo wants to say good night to her one more time. So he pulls her close to him again as he kisses her forehead and lifts her chin to allow him access to her mouth, he brushes his lips across hers and then his tongue brushes against her lips wanting access to her mouth, so he can deepen the kiss. She happily complies, and her tongue playfully moves with his as he explores her mouth fully.
Their eyes are gleaming in the dark as they pull apart, "I just wanted to say good night and thank you. I feel like Christmas has come a couple of weeks early this year. I have everything I need and want now."
"Mmmm, Me too. Well, you certainly say good night with style. Good night Leo. Sleep well," she says as she yawns and curls into his arms again.
"Oh, I will now," he adds with a smirk, pulling her close, "Sweet dreams."
It doesn't take long for them to slide further into a contented and happy slumber, forgetting about the troubles that have been dealing with for the past few months and years, because they have each other now.