by MelWil

Rating: PG
Archive: Sure. Just let me know where.
Disclaimer: They are not mine. I merely choreograph their steps for my own private dance.
Authors note: Ainsley's POV. A sequel to Thoughts of Confusion and Denial. Thanks to Beth for beta-age.

What on earth happened today? Have I totally lost my senses? Just when all thoughts of romance with Sam had vanished, a day like today happens. A stray thought crosses my mind and I spend way too much time on it. Time when I just can't manage to get him out of my mind again.

Today began unusually. The President called a greater staff meeting this morning, including the counsel staff. So along with everyone else I turned up at the Oval Office at 10 am. Sam caught my eye when I walked in and smiled at me but he was busy with Josh and Toby, so there was no chance for him to talk to me. Anyhow, CJ caught up with me soon after I'd entered the Oval Office. She says she prefers to come to me now with legal problems if Sam is too busy. She says she feel safer with me that with the lead counsel. I have to say that I agree, Babish is truly terrifying.

Pretty soon the President came in with Leo. The President wants to write out some directions and plans on a whole range of issue and was requiring political and legal advice from all corners. This meant that I was pretty involved in the meeting, often getting bogged down in intricate arguments with the other staff, and in particular, Sam. Sometimes I caught Josh and CJ exchanging amused looks over the sight of Sam and myself battling out yet another point. I know that there's been a lot of talk since the reception, but honestly, Sam and I are only friends and nothing more.

We manage to wrap it all up in a couple of hours before the President needed to leave. Then Sam invites me to join him, CJ, Josh and Toby for a quick lunch. I was starving, so I tagged along, besides, I thought it would give me more opportunity to continue some of the discussions we'd been having earlier. We headed for the diner a couple of blocks away. Sam and CJ, who have been pampered by spending too much of their lives in Californian sunshine, spent the entire walk complaining about the cold. I noticed Toby and Josh's disgusted expressions at all this carry on and I had to laugh. Personally I like the cold. It keeps me alert and fresh and it's a welcome change from the tropical climate in my office.

The conversation the five of us share in that diner is intense and it continues, even after Toby and later, Josh and CJ have to head back to work. Sam doesn't like to back down when he believes that he is right and neither do I. And right in the middle of making a particularly vital point I was forced to wonder about something. Is Sam as passionate about other things in his life as he is about politics? Does he follow a sports team or does he collect things or conduct his relationships with the same force, the same energy? Or is he only passionate about particular things?

Suddenly I was aware that I had ceased talking while I had been thinking about Sam. And now he was regarding me from across the table, a bemused smile playing around his lips.

"Are you conceding defeat over there?" He asked, as his smile grew larger.

"What? No!" I exclaimed, my face reddening slightly. "I was just thinking about things."

"What things?" He asked giving me his absolute attention. It made me squirm just a little. Having Sam's attention like that was a tad unnerving, but unexpectedly pleasant. I could grow used to it, one traitor part of my mind squealed.

"Oh, just things." I replied, before launching into another attack on some issue or another. But he wasn't really concentrating on my words; rather he was too busy examining my face, while his serious eyes were asking questions which I couldn't possibly answer. More than anything right now, I just wished I could know what he was thinking.

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