Off the Recordby Trish
Stripping his glasses off and tossing them onto the battle scarred conference table littered with papers Sam momentarily closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose hoping to dissipate the tension headache that had been building behind his baby blues. "I'm exhausted. How much longer?" he whined.
"Sam. We're not even through the campaign yet and we have to review every speech, every remark, everything you've ever in your lifetime written for him."
Sam simply gazed at the blonde lawyer because the gargantuan size of the task ahead of him was daunting.
"We've got to get you prepared for the deposition. Don't look at me like that," Ainsley scolded. "You know it's coming, because it's exactly what, under the circumstances, you'd do." Sam's face softened because she was right; the subpoenas would start to fly as son as Congress returned from their Memorial Day recess.
Rising from the chair, Sam began to pace around the dank room. "You know, it's after 11?"
Looking at her watch to confirm his statement, Ainsley sighed audibly. "Sam . . ." She began as if the mere sound of her saying his name would compel him back into the chair so they could at least get through the first year.
"We've been at this for 14 hours. Give it a rest, already."
"We can't. They won't. So we can't. Please do both yourself and myself a favor and sit back down so we can get on with it."
Wearily Sam ignored her plea. "It's after 11pm on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Soon to be the Saturday of a three-day weekend. Do you know where normal people are? "
"No. I'm a Republican, remember? By your definition I don't know any normal people."
"I thought we were past that. . . " As he spoke, Sam realized that Ainsley was kidding. Returning her half smile, he continued his rant, "I do know where they're not. They're not here, in this dungeon going over speeches from three years ago . . . "
"Yeah, well they, whoever these normal so-called people they are, don't work in the West Wing and they aren't part of an Administration, a Democratic administration, such as it is, that is going to be accused of masterminding the biggest coverup since, if you will permit me, Watergate, Iran-Contra and the Clintons combined."
"You don't really believe that, do you?!"
"That they - - that we - - are going to be accused of it? Damn straight I do and so do you!" Sam was a bit taken aback by her forceful declaration but didn't say anything and her tone softened. "That the President did anything wrong? Well morally, and I don't know that it's really my place to say anything, as such, but well, I do believe and I think most people would agree that everyone, including the President of the United States, has a right to privacy." She actually paused to breathe. "Legally, I think, well, let's just say that it probably would have been better if he - - if we - - disclosed everything before the election, but well, if you want a formal legal opinion, as such, I don't think that he violated his Article II, Section 1, Clause 7 oath to 'preserve, protect and defend the Constitution' nor do I think his behavior constitutes a 'High Crime or Misdemeanor' under Section 4."
"What that I didn't sell you out. I'm you're . . ."
"You're my lawyer," Sam finished for her. "No, that you can quote the exact section of the Constitution."
Lowering her eyes, Ainsley blushed faintly then glanced up. "Mizz. Bruce. Seventh grade Civics. We got extra credit if we memorized it." Shrugging she added sadly, "I re-read Article II the night I took this job, then again the other day after Oliver told me"
"You call him Oliver?"
"Yeess, what do you call him?"
"Nothing if I can get away with it. Mr. Babish when I can't," Sam admitted.
Chuckling at his discomfort, Ainsley offered, "He's really a pussy-cat - - way better than Lionel."
Sam walked back over to the table. Resting his hands flat he leaned on it. "Now you're showing off. Remember, I *heard* you and you never called him anything except MISTER Tribbey. "
"The Fifth Amendment says . . . "
Leaning farther forward, peering down into Ainsley's face, Sam contended, "I know what the Fifth Amendment says, but this isn't a court of law and that proves you were intimidated."
From this close he could really smell her perfume - - not that he hadn't been enjoying the wonderful floral flagrance all day. One of the reasons he had chosen to sit opposite her was that the scent was too intoxicating. Sam was finding it more and more difficult to concentrate with her around. It amazed him that she still looked fresh even at this ungodly hour, after working for more then half the day. He'd been here since about 7 am and he was sure she arrived around the same time.
Somewhat flustered by Sam's proximity and the flare in his eyes, debating him always turned her on, Ainsley began shuffling papers, trying desperately to forget how close he was. Trying to forget that she could feel his breath and smell his aftershave, which although it had a musky note, still smelled crisp and clean. Finding her voice she managed to proclaim, "Let's just get through this. I don't want to spend the night with you."
Realizing what she'd just said and it's other connotations, Ainsley jerked her head up slightly. She swore she saw disappointment flash across Sam's face. "I . . . " she couldn't exactly come right out and tell him that she didn't mean it like that - - that she would love to spend the night with him like *THAT*.
"Really?" he challenged, moving almost imperceptibly closer.
"Um," Ainsley bit her lip.
Retreating back into his chair on the other side of the table, Sam understood, "It's OK. But at midnight or when we get through the Convention, which ever comes first, we are packing it in for the night and going to get a drink. It's Memorial Day weekend. It's our patriotic duty, as Americans, to celebrate."
"Patriotic duty. As Americans." He grinned at her.
"Well, it is almost midnight. Maybe we should," she drew the word out, "pack it up for the night. I mean we have been at this non-stop for days now and there's not really an end in sight. But I am kind of tired. I really want to go to bed," with you, she didn't add.
When she agreed, Ainsley was rewarded with a genuine smile from her client.
After stopping by her office, so Ainsley could grab her umbrella because another overcast weekend had been predicted in our nation's capitol, the pair headed upstairs. Ainsley started for the door to the OEOB but Sam stopped. "Where are you going?"
"To my car?"
"Don't need it."
"Why? Where are we going?"
"Off the Record."
"No, I'm serious, Sam. Tell me where we're going." She mistakenly thought he was still making fun of her deposition preparation technique when she constantly had to remind him that as the deponent, rather than the lawyer, he wasn't allowed to go 'off the record' during the proceeding.
Chuckling Sam allayed her concerns, "Off the Record is the name of the bar in the Hay Adams, across the street. I'm sure it'll be pretty empty this time of night."
"Oh," said Ainsley in a small voice. Little details like these constantly served to remind her that while she may have a job as Associate White House Counsel, in many ways she was still a Washington outsider.
Sam gallantly took Ainsley's arm as they crossed the six lanes of H Street toward Lafayette Park. At this time of night on a holiday weekend, traffic was almost non- existent in this part of town, but they were still taking a risk crossing in the middle of the block. Sam also wanted an excuse to touch the goddess next to him, even if it was only her elbow.
Knowing she had never been there, Sam escorted Ainsley through the front doors of the elegant hotel lobby. Inside, Ainsley inhaled audibly, obviously in awe of the grandeur. Walnut walls blossomed into vaulted, molded ceilings. There were elaborate archways. The reddish Persian rugs were offset by plush furnishings in muted tones of brown, beige and gold. A majestic chandelier and matching wall sconces bathed the room in a warm, inviting light. Embarrassed at her visible reaction because she felt like such a tourist, Ainsley simply whispered, "It's beautiful." Realizing Sam wasn't going to make fun of her reverence, Ainsley spun slowly around, drinking in all the luxurious details.
When she returned to her original position Sam agreed, "It's one of my favorite hotels in the world."
"Really. Originally it was two private homes. One was owned by John Hay, president Lincoln's personal secretary, and the other by Henry Adams, John Adam's grandson. The original houses were built in 1884, I think, and later torn down in 1927 when this Grand Dame was constructed."
"I can't believe this was built almost 80 years ago. It can't be; there's a computer port over there at the concierge's desk."
"It was fully renovated in 1983."
Ainsley nodded thoughtfully.
Sam was also caught up in the spell the grand hotel was weaving. "I fell in love the first time I came here."
"So did I," Ainsley murmured quietly, but Sam still heard her although neither was sure her statement didn't have a double meaning.
"C'mon, the bar's this way."
The bar itself was darker and more stately. It was one of those rooms that exuded power. Twenty-five years ago, one would have expected it to be filled with smoke. On this night there were a few tourists and other guests dotted around the room, but it was otherwise empty. With many rooms priced at over $300 per night with suites as high as $1,400, this wasn't where the average family of four stayed on their summer vacation.
Ainsley and Sam settled into a quiet corner table, shielded from any possible prying eyes. After the fiasco with Laurie, Sam was more circumspect about his public appearances.
When the waitress approached their table, Sam ordered for both, without asking. "She'll have a pink squirrel and I'll take a Sam Adams."
Titling her head and cocking an eyebrow at him, Ainsley waited until the waitress left before speaking. "Don't you think, well, I don't know how to say this without sounding . . . well rude is too strong . . . ungrateful, without sounding ungrateful, but don't you think, wasn't that - - you were a little presumptuous, Sam."
Crestfallen, Sam defended his actions, "I thought you liked pink squirrels."
Smiling briefly because not only did he pay attention, he remembered, Ainsley conceded, "I do, but maybe I wanted something else."
"Oh, I'm sorry," rising from his chair Sam started after the waitress, "I'll go get her. What do you want?"
*You* she thought, but said, "A pink squirrel."
"What? But . . "
"I just didn't want you to be presumptuous."
"I thought women liked it when men ordered for them. I was trying to be polite - - chivalrous even. My father always did it for my mother. OK, given his other issues, maybe that wasn't such a great example."
Touched by his tenderness Ainsley admitted, "My father orders for my mother all the time."
"So why am I in trouble?"
"You're not in trouble, as such. But, well they've all been married for years and we're just . . . " She didn't quite know how to finish that sentence.
What where they doing? Why was she sitting in a hotel bar after midnight with Sam? Why was she wishing they were in one of the guest rooms and not in this public bar?
"We're just what?"
"I don't know, but we're not," she paused to think, then said more resolutely, "We are not married."
"We could be." Sam blurted, shocking even himself when that voice in his head actually spoke aloud.
His embarrassment at that slip was diffused momentarily by the arrival of the waitress with their drinks.
Ainsley remained wide-eyed, gaping at Sam. She willed herself to breath. Down girl! That wasn't a real marriage proposal. What was she thinking? Married to Sam? Sex with Sam, she reminded herself. But he was a Democrat. Well who knows? Politics does make strange bedfellows and she would love to see what kind of a bedfellow Sam Seaborn would make.
Life does take some strange twists. This time last year she was working at a DC firm and selling op-ed pieces to conservative publications. But here she was working for one of the most liberal Democratic Administrations in a decade - - and liking it! When she first saw Sam on tv, and even when she went up against him on Capitol Beat, all Ainsley wanted to do was wipe that smug smile off his face. Now, she wanted to put one there - - for vastly different reasons.
Willing his hand not to tremble, Sam poured his beer into the glass and tried to change the subject. Holding up the full glass he gestured to Ainsley, "Happy Memorial Day."
Toasting with him, Ainsley echoed. "Here's to our patriotic duty."
Sipping their drinks the beautiful couple never broke eye contact.
"So, where you last Memorial Day weekend?" Sam asked.
"At my parents house in North Carolina. My Granddaddy throws a big barbeque every year. Practically the whole town comes. There's hot dogs and hamburgers, chicken, ribs - - my mamma makes the best ribs - - salads and watermelon and cake, lots of cake. Oh and my Aunt Mavis, on my mamma's side, she makes this chocolate cake with real butter cream icing, - - it's so light and so sweet. I sure am gonna miss that this year."
"You and food."
"Hey, a girl's gotta eat!" Ainsley justified her famous appetite. "Where were you last year?"
"Josh's hospital room," Sam grumbled somberly.
Ainsley cringed. "I am sooo sorry. I wasn't thinking. That must have been so awful."
"Yeah, it was. But it's over."
Reaching across the table, she took his hand in hers. "I do know how much it hurts and that it doesn't really ever go totally away."
Brushing his thumb over the back of her hand, Sam squeezed, "That's right. Your father."
Nodding, Ainsley and Sam sat quietly, holding hands and simply being. Occasionally sipping their respective drinks with their free hands, both reflected on their own losses and their own grief which was now shared to some extent by the other.
"You mind if we change the subject?" Sam broke the silence. "It's Memorial Day. We came her to celebrate."
"This is a day to honor those who have fallen to keep the rest of us free."
"Maybe in some way, . . . you know, I always hoped that Josh would take a more active role in gun control."
"He didn't want to become a symbol. He didn't want to be reduced to just a gun shot wound. He is so much more than that."
"And he thinks he's even more than *that*," Sam's voice was rising, "but we really need more control over the sale and distribution of firearms." His timber still hadn't reached even a conversational tone, but Ainsley could see him winding up.
"More regulation isn't the answer," Ainsley sighed wearily. It was late and her drink was having more of an effect then she anticipated. "Sam, I don't really want to debate the Second Amendment with you right now."
Calming down, Sam began rubbing this thumb over the back of her hand again. "What do you want to do?"
"I'm sorry." She stifled a yawn. "I want to go to bed."
"What do you want to do?"
"Go with you." That little voice still had a mind of its own and Sam desperately wished he could stuff those words back in his mouth. When Ainsley pulled her hand out of his grasp, he thought for sure she was winding up to slap him.
Instead she simply said, "OK."
"OK? Ah, Ainsley, I . . ." he eyed her cautiously and decided to go for broke, "I didn't exactly . . when I said that . . . I mean. . . I wasn't. . ."
"If you don't want to . . . " It was her turn to look disappointed.
"Ah, no, of course not. I mean of course I do. . . " He stammered to her amusement. "I didn't mean to sleep."
"Neither did I." She smiled at him and actually fluttered her eyelashes momentarily. It was both shy and seductive simultaneously and even more charming because she was seemingly unaware of just how adorable she looked.
Sam blinked repeatedly because he didn't think he heard her correctly.
"Sam? Are you OK?" she asked, concerned by his odd reaction.
Nodding he croaked, "I'm. . . great."
"I hope so," she allowed the double entendre to roll off her tongue. Grabbing her purse from the floor, Ainsley instructed, "I'll take care of this," she gestured to the bar tab, "You go get us a room." She stood intending to walk toward the bar
"Here? Now? In this hotel?" Sam practically leaped from his chair.
"You have a better idea?"
Shaking his head, dumfounded, Sam replied, "No." Reaching out, Sam grabbed her by the arm, as she turned toward the bar. "Wait. Uh, well, . . . this is so sudden," he blurted and smiled at his own cliche.
Spinning around to face him fully, Ainsley regarded him curiously. Stepping into his personal space she declared, "Not really."
When Sam swallowed visibly but didn't say anything, Ainsley's resolved faltered, "I mean, in chronological time and perhaps as far as convention goes, as such, but I, well . . ." Exasperated by his lack of response, she gave up, "Maybe I just shouldn't drink pink squirrels around you." She resigned herself to his rejection and started to move away.
"What?" Now Sam was really confused, but he had managed to place his hands on her hips to prevent her disappearance. He noticed vaguely that she was playing with the lapels of his suit jacket. His heart rate had also increased tenfold and Ainsley's breathing seemed almost as ragged as his own.
She wasn't looking him in the eye as she spoke, but concentrating on the pattern of his tie. "The single most humiliating night of my entire life - - orchestrated and witnessed by you - -" Glancing up, she continued, "and you stand there and tell me that - - you have the unmitigated nerve to tell me - - you forgot what happened the last time I drank a pink squirrel around you?"
"Ah, the State of the Union," Sam recalled that night fondly. "When my blonde Republican sex kitten was dancing around the White House in a bathrobe." His hands began to stroke her back. Making eye contact, they both had soft smiles on their faces. Neither seemed to care that they were still standing in the bar.
"My office. Let's not make it worse than it was, because believe me, it was bad enough. I was in my office not running around the entire White House and you, my friend, were just starting to dance with me." Sliding her hands around his neck, Ainsley began to sway to the soft music being pumped into the bar.
Still grinning, Sam assured her, "Trust me. I thought . . . my memories of that night have nothing to do with dancing or the President."
"That's good to know. What do they have to do with?"
"You. Me. Losing that damn bathrobe . . . " he whispered.
"Sounds good." She leaned up and brushed her lips across his before dislodging herself from his loose grasp. "Now go," waving him away, Ainsley promised, "I'll meet you in the lobby."
Sam walked out of the bar, into the lobby and over to the front desk. "I'd like a room for the night please. " He was still have trouble processing the fact that he was booking a hotel room for the night - - at one of the most prestigious hotels in D.C. no less, a place where they undoubtedly recognized him - - for the sole purpose of having sex. Not just having sex, but having sex with Ainsley.
If the clerk registered the fact that the White House Deputy Communications Director was checking into a hotel at 1 o'clock in the morning without any luggage, it wasn't apparent. "Interior courtyard view or outside view?" the bored clerk asked without looking up from the computer.
"View?" Sam wasn't thinking about the view. He was certain that he wasn't going to care about anything going on outside the room in a matter of minutes. "How about the Washington Monument?"
"Very good sir, we have a junior suite and a duplex available."
"How much is the duplex?"
"Yes, Sir. That's our standard rate because it's a partially obstructed view. You're lucky it's even available. It is a holiday weekend." The clerk snapped in a condescending tone.
"Fine, I'll take the junior suite."
"That'll be $560. Will that be cash, charge or travelers check?"
True to her word, Ainsley met Sam by the elevators a few minutes later.
"You're not sorry? If you don't want to . . . "
"Sam, I propositioned you, remember?"
"Actually I seem to recall saying that I wanted to go to bed with you first." Flashing her a smile, Sam stepped closer to Ainsley.
Just then the elevator dinged to signal its arrival.
"Mi'lady," Sam made a sweeping gesture allowing Ainsley to walk into the golden conveyance first. As she passed, he placed his hand at the small of her back; she leaned into the touch, grateful for the contact.
"Where are we?" she asked, finger poised at the panel.
Looking down at he key card in his hand, Sam informed her, "Four. We're . . . ah . . . in room 426. It has a view of the Washington Monument."
Brushing her thigh against his crotch, Ainsley observed, "How very phallic."
"I wasn't . . . "
Chuckling, Ainsley leaned up to kiss a bewildered Sam. Recovering quickly, he wrapped his arms around her and deepened the kiss, gently allowing their tongues to meet briefly.
When the elevator stopped, Ainsley grabbed the key card out of his hands and walked out. Stopping briefly to read the directional signs she started toward their room. Sam still hadn't gotten off the elevator. "Coming?' she called over her shoulder.
"Oh yeah!" Sam finally followed her with a dopey grin on his face.
Ainsley fumbled momentarily as she inserted the key card into the door. Truth be told she was more nervous then she appeared. Glancing through the sitting room area, she headed into the bedroom. Inside was a large king- size bed dominating the otherwise small space. Two side tables, a single upholstered arm chair and an armoire, which she assumed housed the tv, were the only other furnishings.
Walking over to the picture window she looked out the window to survey the twinkling lights of Washington. The Monument at the far end of the reflecting pool, bathed in white light, was the most prominent memorial. "It's beautiful."
"Very," agreed Sam, who wasn't looking out the window, but standing in the door way staring hungrily at Ainsley.
At the sound of his voice, she turned around and met his fervent gaze. They stared at each other for a few seconds, both yearning to get closer, but slightly afraid to move for fear of breaking the spell.
Finally, Ainsley managed a small "Hi," which Sam returned in an equally quiet voice. They each took a few tentative steps toward each other.
Sam spoke first, "This is silly. I feel like an inexperienced teenager."
Stepping into his arms, Ainsley teased, "What makes you think I'm not?"
Immediately letting go of her, Sam begged, "Please tell me you're not . . ."
"And if I said I was?" Ainsley continued to bait him, surprised at herself.
Moving away from her, Sam massaged his hands over his face, "This isn't happening."
Although she wasn't totally sure if it was a wish or a statement on his part, Ainsley continued to push him, just to see where this would go. "You wouldn't want to be my first?"
Wheeling around Sam retorted defensively, "No I didn't say that. I'd be delighted - - " His voice took on a more serious tone as he walked back toward her, "I'd be honored, but not like this, not some hurried frenzied, . . . in a hotel room . . .I'd take you out to dinner first. . ."
Allowing her hands to roam over his chest through his jacket, Ainsley reminded him, "You did get me a tuna fish sandwich from the Mess."
Grabbing both of her hands to still them, Sam clarified solemnly, "That's not what I meant about dinner."
Ainsley leaned forward and began planting kisses on Sam's face and neck. "You're so sweet." When her lips found his, their mouths joined as if there were magnets embedded under the skin.
Giving himself over to the luscious woman grinding herself against him and igniting every passion he had, Sam's hands began exploring Ainsley's back. When he grabbed her bottom through her skirt, she reciprocated by fondling his checks and increasing the pressure of her body against his.
As she began to maneuver their bodies closer to the bed, the soft moan that escaped her lips reached his ears and kicked his brain into gear. Reluctantly, he tried to break their kiss. "Ainsley. . ." he pleaded between little nibbles. She wasn't listening, but trying to remove his suit jacket and resume their game of tonsil hockey.
"Ainsley. . . " he said more forcefully pulling completely away from her. "We have to talk about this. I can't . . . "
He looked so earnest, despite the swollen lips smeared with a hint of her lipstick and flushed face. It was all she could do from cracking up. "Sam, it's OK. Really," she promised, stepping toward him.
"No, it's not. A girl shouldn't give her virginity away lightly! It's a precious gift."
Ainsley regarded him as she sat down on the edge of the bed a few feet away from Sam. "You are going to make someone a wonderful mother some day."
Kneeling before her, Sam took one of her hands in his, "I'm serious. I mean . . . I'm flattered. . .I'm overwhelmed. . . honored that you would want to . . . with me. . . but it's not right . . . it should be with some one you love." She watched the proverbial light go on in his head, "Oh my God. You . . . me . . . ah you, ah. . . . lo. . . "
Ainsley couldn't let him finish. "I'm not a virgin, Sam."
His mouth fell open, but he made no move to get up.
Cupping his cheek with her free hand, Ainsley reassured him. "You are so adorable." She punctuated her statement with a brief kiss to his forehead. "I was teasing you. It just came out and you got so upset. I'm sorry."
"So you don't love me?" he whispered somewhat forlornly.
Smiling, Ainsley replied softly, "I didn't say that. Actually I didn't say anything. I do care about you or, trust me, we wouldn't be here. I am attracted to you - - incredibly attracted to you, actually."
"OK," Sam rose from his crouched position to sit next to her on the bed. "I'm incredibly attracted to you too."
"See that wasn't so hard. We finally found something we can both wholeheartedly agree on."
"Definitely," Sam concurred capturing her mouth with his. Gently, he eased them back onto the bed without breaking the intensifying kiss. Mouths still melded, togther they managed to kick off their own shoes and slide farther up the bed. Hands and mouths roamed freely and explored the other's reactions. Although it was a struggle, clothing was hurriedly discarded.
Ainsley was lightly running her fingers through his chest hair and murmuring appreciative noises. "That's awfully sexy underwear for a Republican. Not that I'm complaining."
Arching an eyebrow, she inquired, "And how much personal knowledge do you have about the lingerie favored by Republican woman?"
Sheepishly, Sam admitted, "None actually. I mean there was this one girl at Princeton, but well, I didn't exactly have occasion to comment. . . "
"Does it bother you?"
"No, I actually like it."
Giggling Ainsley clarified, "Not my underwear, although I'm glad you like it. My politics."
"I'm not going to bed with the Republican pundit who thinks she kicked my ass on national tv,"
"But what a cute ass," Ainsley observed squeezing the aforementioned tush for emphasis.
"Stop. I'm going to bed with my beautiful . . . " he paused, caressing her and kissing her neck lightly as he thought of the best way to label this, "my beautiful sex kitten," which earned him a smile, "who turned out to be my friend," which earned him a bigger smile.
"Darn," Ainsley pretended to pout. "Do you have any idea how turned on I get when we. . . go at it?"
Smoothing his hand over her flat stomach, Sam teased, "We haven't actually ah . . . 'gone at' anything - - yet." His blue eyes sparkled with mischief and delightful anticipation.
Grinning, Ainsley continued, "You challenge me. You stimulate me."
Sam decided to take her literally.
"God, do you . . . ahhh. . . stim*u*late me." Reaching up, she gently grabbed his earlobe with her teeth, running her tongue along the outer rim as his hand rubbed her more intimately.
Shifting slightly, Sam began blazing a trail of kisses down Ainsley's lithe body. "So beautiful." he kept murmuring. Sam took the time to admire her. "You are incredible."
Her whole body took on a delicate pink hue as she blushed from head to toe.
As the spasms and aftershocks subsided, Sam crawled and kissed his way up her perfect body.
"Wow. That was incredible. When you touched me. . . when you were . . . wow. " Ainsley gushed. "I never. . ."
"I guess you were a virgin, of sorts, after all," Sam smirked.
"I always know you had good oral skills but . . . wow. Wow."
"Whaddya know? I made a Republican speechless. And I think the phrase your looking for is 'cunning linguist.'"
Ainsley swatted him playfully and started to push him over on his back. "Now I get to return the favor."
Shifting his weight, Sam stopped her. "No."
With her eyes she silently questioned his refusal.
"I . . .I want . . . I don't want to wait . . ." He rolled them back over so he was once again on top of her.
Smiling, Ainsley impliedly agreed. "Give me my purse."
Confused Sam slid his torso off her to reach the bag where it landed near the bed. Rummaging around, she managed to extricate a small foil packet after a few moments.
Sam's eyes grew wide in surprise. "A condom? My Republican sex kitten carries condoms around in her conservative handbag?"
"It's the new millennium."
"So how long have you been carrying condoms in your purse?"
Unable to meet his eyes, Ainsley looked away before confessing, "Since October 25, 2000." [AN: the original air date of In this White House -- Ainsley's debut episode]
At first Sam was puzzled until he remembered that was the date of their debate on Capitol Beat. Then he blushed with pride, "Really?"
Ainsley simply nodded.
"Wow." Sam kissed her, then lightened the mood. "Can't they throw you out of the GOP for this? Rip up your membership card?"
"Safe sex is important."
"That's true. But I thought you didn't believe in condoms." Sam pressed urgently against her.
"I don't believe in condoms for school children. Abstinence is better. "
"Oh, so it's a do as I say, not as I do thing."
"Do you want to do this at all Sam, or would you rather debate sex education?"
Wrinkling his brow in mock seriousness, Sam seemed to consider his options. "Well you did say our debates turn you on."
"Not have as much as having you on top of me does."
Bending his head, Sam rewarded her with a hungry kiss for the compliment.
Handing him the condom, "Not until you are properly dressed."
Ainsley saw the little flicker of disappointment flash momentarily across his face, to be replaced by an irrepressible grin.
"Maybe, someday, if you want to, I mean , if we ever ah . . . do this . . . ah again . . . we could . . . uh . . . work out some other method of protection."
She was babbling and Sam was moved. He brushed her lips with his and gazed deeply into her eyes. "You know, I'm really touched that you are already anticipating our second time, but right now, if you don't mind Ms. Hayes, I would like to focus on the first time we make love."
Almost on the verge of happy tears, she breathed "Oh Sam," followed by "OH! Sam!" in a higher more excited voice.
Sam looked down and saw pure joy in her angelic face. "I think I might love you."
"Good, 'cause I think I might love you too."
"How about that? In the course of a single night, we found two things about which we agree."
Afterwards, when he settled on top of her, even though the bulk of his weight was on his arms, she could still feel his heart pumping against her chest. They were both covered in a fine sheen of sweat.
Climbing off the bed, Sam deposited the used condom in the trash can by the door.
Stopping to look at Ainsley, stretched out on the bed her hair fanned out around her with a few damp strands clinging to her face, he observed, "You are incredible."
Reaching out at hand to invite him back to bed, Ainsley countered, "We are incredible."
At the edge of the bed, Sam tugged down the covers. Ainsley scooted over to help him and slid underneath the cool white sheets, before lifting up the blanket for him.
Settling next to her, Sam positioned Ainsley in the crook of his arm. "I can't believe we did this."
Propping her head up to look at him, Ainsley asked, "Made love?"
"No," he kissed her gently. "Paid almost $600 to do it in a very expensive hotel."
"Was it worth it?"
"It was worth so much more. But how are we going to get out of here in the morning?"
Giggling, Ainsley contemplated their dilemma. "Well, we probably shouldn't leave together. But both of our cars are still in the OEOB lot." She settled herself back onto Sam's chest to listen to the beating of his heart and curling on her side draped one of her legs over his.
"Actually I took the metro."
Stifling a yawn, Ainsley asked. "Can we think about it in the morning? I actually did mean I wanted to sleep when I originally said I wanted to go to bed."
"No you didn't."
"OK, maybe it wasn't all I meant. This was actually much better." She rubbed her hand in soothing circles across his chest and stomach.
Hugging her to him, he echoed, "Infinitely better." He kissed the top of her head.
"But right now I really do want to go to sleep and wake up in your arms. . . "
"And do it all over again?"
"And do it all over again."