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04 November 2007 @ 06:41 pm
on the seventh day......  
I am having some kind of problems with my DSL so I spent most of the day completely frustrated.  My sister was downstairs plugged into dialup because we have had some problems hooking up both computers to the DSL.  I didnt want to tell her that her being on affected me because she has a tendency to be spiteful and I know she would get on at all times because she is jealous of my having it.  She ended up being on for almost 8 hours, even when she was doing other things.  I was so angry.  I didnt say anything today but if it happens again I have to because I pay for the DSL, the AOL (which I am about to get rid of), and both computers.  No way in hell is she going to keep doing something like that when I pay for all of these things.  Thousands of dollars are going into these computers and all of this crap to hook them up......I am going to be on whenever I feel like it.  Dammit!  OK, RANT OVER.  SORRY ABOUT THAT.

Good news, done part two of This Woman series and I will post it here for anyone who cares to read it.  I dont have much else to say because it has just been an exhausting day.  Hope anyone who reads the story likes it....this coupling is becoming exciting for me.
 

Title: The Suites of Philadelphia
Author: Montiese
Category: Romance
Pairing: Leo/Devlin
Rating: MATURE
Summary: “You're adorable when you're begrudgingly agreeing with me.”
Author’s Note: This is #2 in the This Woman series.
 
 
He was not sure if reading the paper was appropriate but Devlin was taking a bit of a nap. Her head leaned on his shoulder; Leo had his arm around her. With his free hand, he leafed through the New York Times. His mood leaned toward the crossword puzzle but the news drew him in more today. This was supposed to be a work free weekend but international news, as always, was a page-turner. 
 
Leo consoled himself with the fact that he always read the paper…business and pleasure. Devlin cuddled closer, having already moved the armrest from between them. Her hand caressed his chest and Leo could not help but smile. Then she stirred, opening her eyes.
 
“Oh my God, did I fall asleep?”
 
The question made Leo laugh. “Mmm hmm.” He tilted to kiss her forehead. “Don’t worry about it.  Maybe the turkey is still affecting you from last night.”
 
They had a quiet dinner at Fin, the restaurant in Leo’s hotel. She chose not to join him in his suite afterward though it was quite difficult to walk away. She knew they would be together today and there was no need to rush anything.
 
“I didn’t mean…I just…”
 
“Stop.” He put his finger on her lips. “I forgot to tell you that this is a ‘whatever the hell Devlin wants’ weekend?”
 
“It is?” she sat up wearing a smile.
 
“Oh yeah. If you want to watch movies, you can do it. You want to gorge on junk food, sleep all day, or dance around in your underwear to Cat Stevens songs, it’s your decision.”
 
“Cat Stevens?” Devlin raised an eyebrow.
 
“I had you pegged as a Cat Stevens fan. You said you liked 70s singer-songwriters.”
 
“Leo McGarry, I simply cannot be pegged.”
 
“I'm starting to figure that out.”
 
“Tell me what you plan to do as I indulge in my every want.”
 
“I will be indulging in you.”
 
She grinned, turning away to look out of the window.
 
“We should be there soon.” she said. “What do you think?”
 
“Twenty minutes or so. That delay outside of Baltimore put us back about a half hour. Do you have any plans for our time in Philadelphia?”
 
Sex! Devlin’s mind screamed the word and she almost told it shut up aloud. I want sweaty, steamy, toe curling sex. Shouting, moaning, groaning, backbreaking sex. If I have my way, we will never leave the suite. God, I don’t even care if that makes me sound insatiable. That is how I feel right now. I'm tingling just sitting next to you.
 
“I just want to be with you.” She said. “What we do matters little.”
 
“You're sweet.” Leo kissed her hand.
 
She moved close to him again, feeling warm once Leo wrapped her in his embrace. He was nervous that he would not be able to show her a good time. Petrified that he could not hold conversations that went beyond Congress or Supreme Court nominees. There was also something heavy weighing on him that Leo did not intend to let ruin his weekend with Devlin. 
 
Dammit, he had not let Valium destroy him in the midst of his addiction; he would not let it do it now. The President believed in him and so did the people he worked with everyday and cared about. Devlin probably would if Leo let her in. A part of him wanted to tell her every story he had to tell. The other part thought some things, like this, were too personal early on. He did not want to scare her off. He also did not want her finding out on Fox News…Lillienfield could not hold on to this jewel for too long. People were fickle and they would stop listening.
 
“Crinkles.”
 
“I'm sorry?”
 
“Crinkles…in your forehead. Tell me what's on your mind.”
 
Leo opened his mouth as Devlin studied him.
 
“We are dealing with what could be major political fallout. Some people don’t mind fighting dirty and they do not give a damn that they hurt people with their behavior. Wow, I did not mean to say that. I do not want work invading our time together.” They did not have enough as it was. Leo needed to push this aside for the time being. It would be there when he went back.
 
“If something heavy is weighing on you Leo, I want to help.”
 
“We are supposed to have a worry free weekend.”
 
“And we will. Now that I know you are troubled I plan to make sure that you have a very good time. Lucky I brought my bag of tricks along.”
 
“Should I be frightened?” Leo asked, a smile slowly building around the sides of his mouth.
 
“You? Nah, you're a big boy, Mr. McGarry. I think you can handle it.”
 
She gave him a quick kiss on the lips, wiping away her lipstick.
 
“Dev?”
 
“Hmm?” she started to gather up her belongings. They would pull into 30th Street Station in a few minutes.
 
“I'm glad I told you about the thing.”
 
“Me too. You're adorable when you're begrudgingly sharing with me.”
 
***
 
A chauffeured Lincoln Towncar met the couple at the train station. While the driver took their bags, Devlin slipped her arm into Leo’s. She was not sure yet how he felt about public displays of affection but she liked that he caressed her hand. They did not talk much on the ride to the hotel. Traffic was heavy and she watched the city go by. They passed several beautiful churches that Devlin admired. People were all over the street...it was Black Friday. Leo seemed to be in another world so she turned and kissed his cheek.
 
“You OK Leo?”
 
“Yeah. Do you know this city well?”
 
“I probably did a decade ago, but I'm not sure today.”
 
The driver drove into the semi-circular entrance to the hotel, opening the back door for them. A concierge instantly met them as they walked into the hotel. The Westin’s lobby was lovely. Art deco photography lined the walls, plush leather furniture made for comfortable seating, and marble and glass tables were everywhere. It only took a few moments for Leo to check in. The staff assured him that they were there for his every whim, Leo thought about that as they went to the elevator and rode up to the 25th floor.
 
“Have you ever stayed on the 13th floor of a hotel?” Leo asked with a grin.
 
“I can be superstitious about silly things and that is definitely one of them.” She replied.
 
Two Presidential suites occupied the top floor. The concierge opened the door, put the suitcases by the couch, and immediately opened the curtains.
 
“The view is most magnificent at night.” He said.
 
“I'm sure.” Devlin went right to the large windows.
 
“There is a full bar…”
 
“We don’t need the key.” Leo said shaking his head. “Any alcohol we order will be from room service by the glass.”
 
“Yes sir.”
 
He told them that room service was 24 hours and so was housekeeping. They could order a variety of movies, check their email, or play video games on the television. There was a CD system above the television equipped with AM/FM radio. A standing shower with two revolving showerheads shared the bathroom with a large marble tub, a toilet and a bidet. There was plush furniture in the sitting area, a significant dining area, a desk and chair at which to work, and a large bedroom. Devlin liked the four-poster bed, down pillows and comforter.
 
“Is there anything else you need sir?”
 
“No. Thank you Leo.”
 
Leo took the keycard and slipped the young man a twenty-dollar bill. He closed the door, walked over to the window, and wrapped his arms around Devlin.
 
“This is lovely.” She said. “I am in heaven right now.”
 
“This weekend is yours. Tell me the first thing on your mind.”
 
Devlin said nothing, shaking her head a bit and caressing his hands. Leo nuzzled the nape of her neck, placing gentle kisses across the soft skin.
 
“This weekend should be ours.” She replied, turning in his arms.
 
“I can get behind that.”
 
“Can you get behind the conversation stopping for just a little while?”
 
She began to unbutton his shirt. Leo froze for a split second.
 
“Dev…?”
 
“Yes?”
 
“Would you like to have lunch or something?”
 
“Shut up Leo.” She kissed him.
 
He did as she told him. The kisses started soft. He opened his mouth, moaning when he felt her tongue slide against his. Then she was out of his arms. The grey turtleneck went over her head. Devlin put it on the back of a chair as she made her way toward the bedroom. Leo followed her with his eyes.
 
“I can certainly do it alone, but I would rather have help.” She said.
 
“I'm afraid my feet are stuck to the floor.”
 
She threw her head back and laughed before sliding out of her loafers.
 
“C’mon Leo.” She called him with her finger and he started to follow. In a matter of seconds he was chasing her.
 
Devlin took off running and they fell on the bed, kissing and laughing. Leo stroked her shoulders. She hummed when he brushed her bra strap aside and kissed her skin. She finished unbuttoning his shirt, taking it off and the Hanes tee shirt underneath it.
 
“God I want you.” She murmured between kisses.
 
“You do?”
 
“Tell me you doubt that.”
 
“A little bit.”
 
“That does not fit with the self-assured guy that I know.”
 
“I may not be that guy every minute of everyday.”
 
She took his face in her hands, kissing his nose.
 
“Well, I want to get to know all of you; every side. You think you're gonna allow that to happen?”
 
“I really do.” Leo nodded, kissing her again.
 
He undressed her completely, marveling at each piece of her skin as he exposed it for the very first time. Her blue jeans, black bra, black panties, and argyle socks. Devlin was not ashamed of her naked body though she had some first time jitters. She felt more comfortable when Leo too unclothed.
 
“I'm not what I once was.” He said with a little self-deprecating laugh in his voice.
 
Devlin ran her hands over his body, turned on by the way he shuddered.
 
“You are perfect…this is perfect. I promise you that.”
 
Their first time making love did not quite feel like their first time. Leo seemed to know her wants; he took Devlin on the ride of her life. As if he had all day, Leo took his time. He paid special attention to places on her skin that she forgot mattered. The 200 nerve receptors in her fingertips never felt better than they did with him that afternoon. He seduced the base of her spine, the crooks of her elbows, her eyelashes and earlobes like no one before.
 
There was no need to rush, hurry, or ignore anything. Leo liked the way she whispered his name. He loved the way she gripped the sheets underneath of her. Devlin would often giggle before she moaned and Leo found that endearing. He touched her everywhere and only when he was sure of her satisfaction did he seek his own.
 
After his second orgasm, there was no energy left in his body. Leo collapsed on top of her and Devlin clung to him for a few moments. They were both breathing hard; she was sure her heart would leap right out of her chest.
 
“Tell me something.” She finally said.
 
“Anything.”
 
Leo lay on his back staring at the ceiling. She was in his arms, stroking his chest and stomach. The room held the heat between them and the smell of their combined desires left them drunker than wine. Leo quickly contemplated his chances for a third round and liked them. The excitement of the moment just might make it possible.

“When is the last time you made love to a woman?”
 
“Um, five years ago. I was still with my wife.”
 
“Really? Oh God,” she laughed. “I thought it was just me. I've never…”
 
“What? You’ve never what?”
 
“I never had that kind of pleasure with Jack. Not even when I loved him; he was never the attentive type.”
 
“I'm not Jack.” Leo replied.
 
“I know that. Leo, that was wonderful.”
 
He kissed her forehead, holding her closer. Devlin ran her leg over his and the chances for round three went up significantly. Who was the patron saint of erections? Was that a sacrilegious thing to pray for?
 
“I could really go for a slice of cake right now Leo.” She said. “Call it the trifecta; a slice of warm chocolate cake would make my day.”
 
“That sounds really good. Lets do that in just a little while.”
 
She laughed as he rolled them over on the mattress and took her for a third time.
 
***
 
“What was Mallory like as a teenager?”
 
“Seriously?”
 
“Yeah.”
 
“Pretty damn close to unbearable. She had these moments of sweetness but they were rare. She excelled at rebelling just as she did at everything else.”
 
Devlin ate her chocolate cake, relaxing on the couch in blissful afterglow. Dressed only in fluffy Terry cloth robes, she ate and Leo massaged her lower leg and foot. He was not sure he was going to be able to stop touching her skin. This would pose a problem since he had to return to his White House duties as of Monday morning.
 
“Are you having problems with the girls?” Leo asked.
 
“My daughters are amazing creatures; seeing the world through their eyes is a lesson worth learning. I worry though. I worry about Britney Spears, pot, alcohol, Dawson’s Creek, hip hop, metal, hair colors, and sex…my hair is going to fall out.”
 
“I sincerely hope not.” Leo leaned forward, wrapping a thick red lock around his finger. She had the most beautiful hair of auburn hair he had ever seen. How was it that so many redheads made their way into his life?
 
“I cannot watch over them all the time, you know. Their father indulges them and I try to teach self-control. They teeter on a line everyday. They are good girls; I just don’t want them to become trust fund babies with no ambitions. So much out there could change them in an instant.”
 
Alicia and Colleen, who jokingly called themselves Lee and Lee, were Devlin’s twelve-year-old fraternal twins. Leo met them a few times and they seemed like normal eighth graders. They both had hazel eyes, a combination of their mother’s green and their father’s brown. Both were also brunettes, though Alicia was currently sporting shocking red hair that washed out in 24 shampoos. Leo found he wanted to see more of Devlin as a mother but did not want to impose. She had been divorced for five years and though Jack immediately remarried, she did not date much in that time. Raising her children and running the Kincaid Foundation had been her focus for a half decade.
 
“The girls think you're cute, by the way.”
 
“What?” Leo laughed. “No they don’t.”
 
“They do Leo.” She put her empty plate on the glass-topped table. Leo replaced it as the center of her attention. “They ask me all kinds of questions about you.”
 
“How do you answer?”
 
“Truthfully. They are not used to my dating but they are satisfied with my choice. Don’t be surprised if they use you for free White House tours. Prepare to be bombarded with questions about Josh Lyman.”
 
“I'm happy that they're happy.” Leo replied laughing.
 
He moved into her open arms, tasting sweet chocolate on her lips as they kissed. Devlin sighed.
 
“If I wake up right now.” She said. “This would be a dream worth remembering.”
 
“Its not a dream.” Leo kissed her again. “Its all real.”
 
“Really real?”
 
“Mmm hmm. As real as your heartbeat in the palm of my hand.”
 
Leo’s hand moved over her heart. It was a solid, strong heartbeat and his hand moved down gently to cup her breast. Devlin was not a busty woman but what she had was perfect. She was 44 years old and her breasts were perfect. Her head moved back onto the pillow as Leo’s hand went from cupping to caressing. He moved the robe aside, taking the nipple into his mouth.
 
“Oh God Leo.”
 
His tongue played with the hardened nub of flesh as Devlin’s breathing changed. Leo was captivated with her skin; the way it smelled and felt on his fingers. The goose bumps told him how turned on he could make her. He could leave little love marks behind because it was so fair. She shifted her weight on the couch though it did nothing to stop his seduction of her breasts. Her arms went around his neck, pulling him closer. He untied her robe and completely exposed her body to him.
 
“You're so beautiful.” He whispered. “My God, they way you make me feel…”
 
Devlin shook her arms out of the robe and they went back around Leo. He still wore his robe; the Terry cloth tickled her tingling skin. He began to grind against her and made Devlin cry out.
 
“More Leo, harder, oh God!”
 
 She held him tighter as the feelings overwhelmed her.
 
“Did you just…?”
 
“Yes.”
 
“Wow.”
 
They kissed and just lay in each other’s arms.
 
“What shall we do tonight?” Leo asked. “We can go out, or stay in and order room service.”
 
“I am tempted to keep you to myself as long as I can.”
 
“I would not be opposed.”
 
She smiled, stroking his hair. It would be nice to go out tonight. Devlin packed certain clothes because she hoped they would hit the town at least one night.
 
“Let’s go out on the town. A little dinner, maybe a little dancing…how does that sound?”
 
“Terrific.” Leo replied. “As long as it does not require getting up right now. I am very comfortable.”
 
“We have some time.”
 
***
 
“Are you sure you want me to do this?” she asked, looking over the menu once more.
 
“Why not? I sometimes enjoy new experiences. This would definitely be new for me. Go ahead; I think I'm ready.”
 
She laughed as the server returned to the table. He placed a glass of Sault St. Michelle in front of her and iced tea for Leo. He asked if they were ready to order.
 
“I am going to have the Chicken Oscar.” Devlin said. “Instead of broccoli, I would like the asparagus please. My companion will have the porterhouse steak, medium well, with the baked potato, no butter, and the sweet corn.”
 
“Will that be all ma'am?”
 
“Yes, thank you.” She handed him the two menus.
 
“No butter?”
 
“I think you will survive.”
 
“Are you going to make me start counting calories and possibly doing yoga?”
 
“Yoga is relaxing and has many more benefits than just exercise. What do you do for exercise and stimulation anyway?”
 
Leo just grinned. Devlin slapped his hand, knowing exactly what he was thinking.
 
“Other than that mister. Be serious.”
 
“I used to bicycle…there are great trails out in Chevy Chase. On my bicycle I could forget about everything.”
 
“How do you do that now?”
 
Leo didn’t know how to answer that. Mallory was right about burying himself in his work. He loved what he did. Politics were like an adventure…Leo liked the roller coaster. It made him forget that he went home to an empty hotel suite every night. If Peter Lillienfield and his cronies had their way, they would take away every drop of Leo’s remaining joy.
 
“I work too much.” He replied honestly.
 
“Ditto. My girls tell me to get a life. My friends tell me to stop and smell the roses. For me, work is fun. What I do makes a difference in people’s lives. Though I can admit that I need to get out a bit more.”
 
“This is out.” Leo’s hand moved around the restaurant.
 
“Yeah.” She nodded, laughing. “So, was politics a family business? I don’t know enough about you. Tell me something completely boring. I don’t care; just talk.”
 
They talked about their pasts over a wonderful dinner. Leo could not believe how comfortable he felt telling her about himself. He told her about growing up in Boston, his father’s death (though he left out exactly how the senior McGarry met his end), his mother’s remarriage a year later, and the family move to Chicago. His family was not close, though he loved his mother deeply. Leo did his best to care for his sisters growing up but Josie was defiant and Elizabeth quickly adapted to being their stepfather’s daughter.
 
Leo felt alone and isolated in a new town, a feeling he covered with alcohol and a public persona. Everyone loved him; it was easier than he thought to fit in with the wealthy denizens he nearly despised. College was his escape; Leo left for Ann Arbor with more excitement then he thought possible to muster. He never stopped drinking but he found a niche with the Socialist community on campus. He met Jed Bartlet the summer before his junior year and they formed a bond like Leo never had in his life.
 
His draft number came up after college, so law school had to wait until he served two tours in Vietnam as an Air Force pilot. He was shot down over Hanoi in 1971, leaving military service as a colonel. If he were honest, much of the 70s and 80s were a blur. He was married in 1968 before leaving for the war. He and his wife were practically strangers when he returned but Jenny stuck by him through law school and his entry into Chicago political machine. It didn’t take long for him to work his way up to the big time. Leo was born for politics. In the midst of all of that, he became a full-blown alcoholic.
 
“Welcome to my nightmare.” He said quietly over his porterhouse.
 
“My father is an alcoholic.” Devlin replied. “A beautiful, brilliant man with a disease.”
 
“Did it kill him?” Leo’s mind flashed to the face of his own father.
 
“He was finally able to beat it. I ask him sometimes how and he is not entirely sure. One day he just got tired of being a drunk. He missed so much when we were growing up and he wanted to make amends with his grandchildren.”
 
Devlin grew up in an upper class New York Irish family. She was one of four children born to Michael and Colleen Kincaid. They lived a plush life of private schools and hired help. As the only daughter, Devlin felt alone most of the time. Her mother was lovely and loving but her brothers received most of the attention. She found solace in the arms of her paternal grandmother Grace, who started the Kincaid Foundation from her kitchen.
 
She wanted to raise money to keep city kids involved in the arts and off the streets. Her project, which did not have an official name for the first decade of its existence, provided Catholic schools and community centers in the parishes with money for art supplies, music classes and dance. Soon it started to grow and Grace called it the Kincaid Foundation because she could think of nothing else. Devlin was involved from the time she was young, helping with charity events and fundraisers. Many people noted her keen business sense at an early age.
 
Her father and Aunt took over the foundation when her beloved grandmother passed away. Devlin went to Smith College, where she studied history and literature. Though she loved the foundation she did not intend to study business. After graduation she returned there and her father made her start small. It did not take long for her to prove herself a born leader. Today she ran the foundation and gave tens of millions a year for city arts programs, endowments, college scholarships, murals, music classes, and dance studios. It had moved from a small kitchen enterprise to an international force for the arts.
 
“I guess I don’t have to ask you if you love your job.”
 
“More than anything. I look at it as a legacy to leave for my daughters. It’s the future of our world…what is the world without art?”
 
Leo decided they would go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art tomorrow. If Devlin loved art he would take her to see some of the best in the world.
 
“So art is your only passion?” Leo asked.
 
“I never said that. I love many things and over time, as you get to know me better, you'll know that. Sometimes showing is more fun than telling.”
 
“A good show can move mountains.” He said.
 
“Mmm hmm. What are you going to show me in Philadelphia tomorrow?”
 
“Did you bring your walking shoes?”
 
“I did.” Devlin smiled. “You can never bring too many pairs of shoes.”
 
“Then you are in for a treat.”
 
***
 
“Are you asleep?”
 
“What?”
 
Devlin stirred, moving away from Leo so she could look at him. The room was dark; they had been in bed about an hour. After dinner at Smith and Wollensky, they headed over to Zanzibar Blue for coffee, dessert and dancing to smooth jazz. Back at the hotel, Leo found The Apartment on television and she cuddled close to him on the couch for a movie. Leo dozed and Devlin told him to go to bed while she showered. It looked as if he was sound asleep when she emerged so she quietly slipped under the blankets and into his arms.
 
“I thought you were asleep.” She said.
 
“Almost.”
 
“Almost? That’s doesn’t sound too promising.”
 
“I don’t often sleep well at night.” Leo replied. Another burst of honesty. What was this woman doing to him? Well, what else was he going to say?
 
“Somehow I figured that out. Insomnia?”
 
“Yeah, and I have nightmares.”
 
Devlin reached over to turn on the lamp. Both she and Leo squinted against the light. She rested again on the pillows and he looked at her.
 
“What are your nightmares about?”
 
He took a deep breath. He was not sure how much he would tell her, if he would tell her anything at all. In his time Leo McGarry was known for spinning a good yarn. He was sure he could do it again.
 
“The war mostly. It was a nightmarish place. I just…sometimes I wake up in cold sweat. I've even woke up screaming in broken Vietnamese. I didn’t want to frighten you.”
 
“It might have, definitely. Nevertheless, if you were upset or scared I would have comforted you. I sense things in you Leo.”
 
“What do you mean?”
 
“Some say, and I do not necessarily agree, that I have a tendency to be fey. I don’t know if I believe in that power but I do feel things.”
 
Leo wanted to know what she felt.
 
“You have an abundance of secrets. That might sound silly because everyone does, but yours are directly under your skin. You try to bury them deep but…I don’t know. It doesn’t work anymore. I sense sadness, pain, anger, and profound loss. I also feel an aura of curiosity, joy, and fearlessness. There is so much going on inside of you at any given second.”
 
“Does that frighten you?” he asked.
 
“No. Why would it?” she moved closer to him on the bed. “I like you a lot Leo. I do not often like what I see in people but you are one of the good guys. There are angels all around you. Never fear that I can't handle the good and the bad. I'm a strong woman.”
 
“I know that.” he breathed the words out. “I want to tell you something. Devlin, this is very important.”
 
“Alright.”
 
He took her hand but looked away from her.
 
“Peter Lillienfield plans to tell the world that I'm a drug addict.”
 
Devlin was not sure what to say. She’d seen the press conferences and interviews; Lillienfield was on a witch hunt. One in three White House staffers on drugs…it was crazy. No one really knew what to make of it but with 24 hours of news on so many channels, it took up plenty of time. The man was a bit of a joke. There was nothing funny about destroying someone. What had Leo done to deserve that? He dedicated his life in service to his country.
 
“What do you plan to do about it?”
 
“I thought of resigning my position. The President has enough obstacles; he does not need my personal demons interrupting his work.”
 
“OK, now that you realize that’s crazy, what do you plan to do about it?”
 
Leo smiled a bit, finally looking at her. None of the sparkle left her green eyes. She leaned to kiss his hand.
 
“I'm exhausted.” He said.
 
Devlin nodded, turning out the light again. She pulled Leo close to her and enveloped him in the warmth of her spirit. He exhaled, felt some of the fear leaving his muscles and bones. She kissed the top his head while his cheek rested close to her breast.
 
“Dev?”
 
“Yeah?”
 
“I am going to fight him. I am going to fight until there is nothing left in me.”
 
She stroked his back until Leo fell into a deep sleep.
 
***
 
“I cannot believe I am doing this.” Leo said.
 
“What? The train is not going to gobble you whole.” She pinched his nose.
 
It was Saturday evening and the westbound Market-Frankford el train was crowded. Leo and Devlin leaned on the bar by the sliding doors. They were surrounded by people. He was not sure if something special was happening tonight or if this was normal. Public transportation had never been Leo’s thing. Well, it had been a long time ago…a very long time ago.
 
They slept in that morning, before waking up with very active lovemaking. Room service brought breakfast. Leo did the crossword puzzle afterward, while Devlin did some yoga stretches. He lost his focus in watching her for a few minutes. The crossword was followed by separate showers and a trip to the Art Museum.
 
He didn’t know how long they were there. Devlin floated slowly through as many rooms as she could. Leo just held her hand; let her energy rejuvenate his slightly aching knees. They discussed early American works, modern art that Leo scarcely understood, Asian sculptures, and early European architecture. They chatted with another couple as they studied medieval armor. When they finally left, Leo took her to lunch on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
 
“Amazing. It was all amazing.” Devlin said. “Thank you so much.”
 
“It was fun for me too. I am also enjoying this ridiculously large cheeseburger.”
 
She laughed, sharing her French fries. They took a cab to Olde City to visit historical sites. Devlin wanted to see Betsy Ross’s house and Christchurch, where she made sure to light a candle and say a prayer. Leo also took her to the Liberty Bell, packed with tourists at all times. At 5th and Market instead of getting into a cab, Devlin suggested the El. Leo was unsure of the idea and she teased him.
 
“Don’t be a stodgy old man.”
 
“You little minx.” He gasped. “I will show you a stodgy old man.”
 
“Do that then.” She laughed, kissing his lips and taking him down the steps.
 
15th Street was their stop. They, along with a large crowd, walked out of the 16th Street exit and into the Center City evening. The temperatures were in the low 50s for the weekend so they wore coats but there was really no need for a barrage of winter accessories. Shoppers were on every inch of the sidewalk. It was the largest shopping weekend of the upcoming holiday season. Lights and garland were already up on light poles. It was only a two block walk between City Hall and their hotel.
 
“Are you a big fan of Christmas?” Leo asked, taking hold of her hand.
 
“Very much so. Its not the gifts for me…actually this is the one time of year I hate to shop. I love the smells, the sounds, and the whole atmosphere. Choirs and carolers; trees and decorations. I love it all. It makes me feel warm on the inside. It’s a time for love and family.”
 
“Hmm.” He would not bother mentioning that homicides and domestic violence went up during the holiday season. That would make him a killjoy.
 
Leo and Devlin stopped in citygrange, the hotel lounge, for a drink. She had a light beer and he a strawberry lemonade. They made each other laugh by coming up with conversations that other people around them might be having. Leo was fixated on a couple close by, deciding that the woman was ending an extramarital affair with her male companion. He played the woman; Devlin the older man.
 
“I have fallen out of love with you.” Leo said.
 
“Don’t say that…my darling don’t say that.” she reached for his hand. “Its almost over. I am going to tell Rachel.”
 
“You are never going to tell her. How long do you expect me to wait?”
 
“It’s the holidays.” Devlin reasoned. “I have to be careful. For the sake of the children.”
 
“Who am I supposed to be with over the holidays Garrett?” Leo asked.
 
“I love you and you know that.”
 
“You just want to control everything. I'm finished; you're dead to me.”
 
Devlin broke into giggles, covering her mouth when a few people turned to look. Leo just smiled.
 
“You're dead to me.” she repeated when the giggle fit subsided. “That was a good one. I didn’t see it coming.”
 
“Just wanted to keep you on your toes.”
 
He paid for their drinks and they went up to their suite.
 
“Dance with me.”
 
Leo turned on the stereo. They swayed across the plush carpet in socked feet to Aaron Neville’s soulful crooning. Devlin held him close, didn’t mind letting him lead though he was three inches shorter than she was. He was the perfect height to sprinkle kisses all across her neck and collarbone. Leo’s lips then moved over hers; his passion made her yearn for more.
 
“We should have some dinner.” She pulled away a bit.
 
“Um, OK.”
 
“We’ll have dinner, then a warm bath, and then…”
 
“Yeah?”
 
“A very special night. Good things are in store, Mr. McGarry.”
 
She kissed him once more, asking him to order dinner while she changed clothes. Leo nodded as he watched her walk back into the bedroom. He was tempted to follow but held back. Devlin had a plan tonight and he would see it through to the end. It was sure to be something that mesmerized the White House Chief of Staff, just like the woman herself.
 
***
 
 
 
Tags:
 
 
I'm In....: the lair
I Feel....: aggravatedaggravated
I Hear....: watching special on the death penalty
 
 
 
ginnyginnylcsw on November 5th, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)
Just beautiful, I love it. Can't wait for more.

I really need to find the time to write more. Been working a little on my one and only original piece but it's coming along slowly. Fan fiction was so much easier, lol.
SSA McGeekmcgarrygirl78 on November 5th, 2007 12:33 am (UTC)
I have been meaning to ask you how you became a CJ/Leo shipper. There are not many of us and I always ask ones I run into how they got into it. For me, I started as a CJ/Toby but then I read Loz on national library and I thought I coud do that...it was a challenge. It was the best decision I ever made.

I do original works too, though it was a two year drought that led me to fic in the first place. I'm working on something for my class now but I usually get my kicks these days with my fic.
ginnyginnylcsw on November 5th, 2007 01:26 am (UTC)
My friend Becky turned me onto Leo/CJ years ago. We co-wrote a few long fics about them, they're on my site. I always liked the idea of CJ/Toby but never wrote them because I found Toby to be too intimidating to write. I did eventually write a few short Toby pieces, but not too much. I wrote a lot (tons) of Josh and Donna over the years but nothing recently. I look back and reread some early stuff and I just cringe, it's so bad. But I can't bear to pull it from my site, let's me know how far I've come in the last 7 years.
SSA McGeekmcgarrygirl78 on November 5th, 2007 01:56 am (UTC)
I read some of your stuff on the national library and I liked most of it. Oh, I love writing Toby. He has 626 sides and I get a kick out of exploring everyone. Fics about him are some of my favorite to read by other authors. I am patently anti-Josh/Donna. I felt like a relationship between them was forced on us in the 7th season and it took away from the strength and beauty of their friendship. I honestly think she is too good for him, though nothing against Josh because I love him. I just dont love them.

I know what you mean about going back and reading earlier stuff just to see how far you've come. I'm not just a better writer but I can see more through the character's eyes than ever before just from getting to know other people, other writers, reading better books....its a journey and it has been a fun one.
SSA McGeek: smile for me sugarmcgarrygirl78 on November 5th, 2007 02:20 am (UTC)
I just read your fic, The Human Side of Batman and I thought it was terrific. That is the second fic I have read this week that didnt make me despise Andi....people have to stop it. I think you nailed Toby pretty well. You were able to dig under some of the layers. One of the things I dont like about some fic is people write about a character very superficially. I didnt feel that at all in that fic. I liked it a lot.
ginnyginnylcsw on November 5th, 2007 02:24 am (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback, that was my first Toby fic. The other one I am very proud of is a post ep called No Sword nor Grassy Knoll. You might be forced to like Andi in that one too.

Where can I find your WW stories?
SSA McGeek: smile for me sugarmcgarrygirl78 on November 5th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC)
I am going to read that one right now. All of my stories can be found at the national library @ www.westwingstories.com. You can search under the author name Montiese. I have got a billion of them, CJ/Leo, Bruno/Margaret, Donna/Cliff, and everything else under the sun. I am one story away from 500 (2 are still in queqe, which is a bit ridiculous but true. Writing is like breathing to me...I do it all the time.
vegawriters: lastunicornvegawriters on November 5th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)
don't hit me ...
... but I actually think I like this idea better than your leo/cj stuff. really. there's another depth to it that really works for me.

if you'll take a touch of editorial:

My book editor just gave me a comment about a couple of scenes in the book. Her words were "I want MORE about (x). Don't tell me. SHOW me. I love these moments, but it's not enough!" I feel that way about a couple of the scenes here. :-)

You get exposition happy sometimes and there are moments when I'd really rather see it than be told. Some of the moments where you give history could even just be put into the conversation rather than having the reader leap out of the story to get the history. Does that make sense?

SSA McGeekmcgarrygirl78 on November 5th, 2007 01:52 am (UTC)
Re: don't hit me ...
I'm not going to hit you, I love all compliments on stories. I totally get what youre saying and I felt it too as I was writing, this was like my 5th draft, but I couldnt find the space....if that makes any sense. I was trying to thread it correctly but the needle was not being my friend. It sucks but thats the way it is and I dont know if I can get any better than that with this particular story. I push as far as I can go and then I just stop....I can only do what I can do before I want to thrust it into the fire. All in all, I am satisfied with the work.

What do you mean, a different dynamic? I know they are nothing like CJ and Leo, who bring the drama and angst sometimes but what do you mean? I love Devlin, and I actually considered her for John Hoynes but decided on Leo instead. She has that strength to handle the blows he goes through and the passion and spirit to bring him back from the edge. Plus I like the fact that she doesnt work at the White House and isnt at all enmeshed in that aspect of his life.....she can take him to another place.
vegawriters: Matt_Tobyvegawriters on November 5th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
Re: don't hit me ...
I actually like Devlin better than CJ, honestly. She seems a little more grounded, a little more real. A lot of it may be the fact that she isn't at the White House but she still understands politics and Leo's life.

I am really interested to see where this goes.
SSA McGeek: Josh and Leomcgarrygirl78 on November 5th, 2007 02:53 am (UTC)
I'm interested to see where it goes too. I already have the proposal conversation in my head, a few post-Rosslyn thoughts, and her fears after Leo has his heart attack. Of course that all spans like seven seasons and I dont even know if I can go that far but I have ideas so that's something. Anyway, you know me....nothing has to be linear, I try but I dont make it a requirement. Next up though, Leo will have to spend some time with Lee and Lee.