THE SILVER STAR
HERMOSA BEACH, CALIFORNIA
"Why are you all looking at me like I'm Typhoid Mary?"
Xavier Trout groused.
"Because you're on the wrong side of the country one
week before the
holidays," Matt Shepherd replied evenly.
"I just came to offer an invitation.for New Year's
Eve," Trout explained
"Uh-huh. New Year's Eve where?" Benny Ray demanded
"The White House, for the Millenium Ball."
"I t'awt da millenium was last year?" Nick Delvecchio
"Only for people who can't count," Margo shot
"Yes, well that's exactly what the head of the President's
detail is concerned about. Any millenium wacko worth his salt
you start to count from one, not one hundred."
"How exactly do we fit into this picture?" Benny
Ray asked suspiciously.
"The fellow who's in charge of the President's personal
security is an old
friend of mine. He asked if I had any operatives that I could
loan him for
the party. I told him I'd see what I could come up with."
Four pairs of eyes stared accusingly back at him.
"Come on now, a free trip to DC for the New Year's
holiday weekend. You'll
get to see all the decorations and go to a party at the White
assignment is a gift. It'll be a -"
"Don't say it!" Matt and Margo warned in unison.
DECEMBER 31, 2000
THE WHITE HOUSE
"It's beautiful," Margo observed, admiring all
the holiday decorations that
adorned the state rooms of the mansion.
"Sure is," Matt agreed, although admittedly,
his attention was focussed more
on Margo than the décor.
"What? Is my hair funny?" Margo demanded. "You're
"You look incredible," Matt replied in frank
An expression that might best described as a self-satisfied
over Margo's features as she laid her white-gloved hand on Matt's
gown was burgundy satin, an off the shoulder style with a full
swept back into a slight train. Her hair was pulled back in a
showcasing a lovely pair of antique garnet earrings. The effect
Victorian, and like everything else Margo wore, it suited her
"Shall we?" she asked archly.
"Yes, ma'am!" Matt replied, leading the way in
to the ball.
"Whoa! This is like babe-o-rama!" Nick Delvecchio
exclaimed under his
Benny Ray elbowed him in the ribs. "Behave yourself!
We're at a grand ball
in the White House for cryin' out loud!"
"Benny Ray, will you just look at them? Tell me you
don't want to go over
there and ask one of them to dance or something," he added
with a sly grin.
Benny Ray had to admit the bevy of young women seated at
the corner table
were very entrancing, but... "Delvecchio, you don't talk
about ladies that
way," he warned, "and you sure as heck don't drool
all over 'em. Besides, I'm
sure they're way outta our league, anyway."
"Go on, then, Mister Ladies' Man," Nick challenged,
"go on an' ask one of
'em ta dance."
"All right, then, I will," Benny Ray said suddenly.
Nick's jaw dropped as he saw Benny Ray approach, not one
of the younger
women, but an older, matronly-looking lady who was also seated
at the table.
"Ma'am, I was wonderin' if I might have this dance,"
he asked politely,
trying to ignore the smiles the other women were directing his
The woman smiled warmly. "Young man, I'm old enough
to be your mother," she
"Yes'm, I reckon you are, but the thing is, if my
mama were here with me on
New Year's Eve, I'd surely want to have a dance with her. Would
you do me
Amidst encouragement from the other ladies, she finally
a very nice young man," she commented wistfully. "My
own boys would have
been about your age by now."
"Excuse me, ma'am, I didn't mean to bring up bad memories
for you," Benny
Ray apologized as he led her carefully around the dance floor.
"On the contrary," she replied with a sweet smile,
"you've recalled some
very wonderful memories for me. Thank you, and Happy New Year."
"Well, it's nearly midnight and Nick still hasn't
had a dance," Margo said,
trying to stifle a giggle.
"Well, he'll just have to find his own dance partner,
'cuz I'm not about to
share," Matt informed her smugly.
They joined in the polite applause as the music ended and
accompanied by the First Lady and their youngest daughter, stepped
up to the
mike to count down the last thirty seconds of the year.
"Care to make a wish for the New Year?" Matt
leaned down slightly to whisper
in Margo's ear.
"You mean besides wishing that Trout would get us
more assignments like this
"Yeah, besides that," Matt chuckled.
"-three, two one - Happy New Year!"
Caught up in the moment, Matt kissed Margo soundly on the
lips. He tried to
pull back after a few seconds to maintain some semblance of decorum,
had other ideas and wrapped both arms tightly around his neck.
"Let's just say...I just got my wish," Margo
informed a rather breathless
Matt as the band began to play Auld Lang Syne.
"Yeah.I think I did, too," he replied as they
spun gracefully across the
dance floor. "Happy New Year, Margo."
"Happy New Year, Matt," she replied
with shining eyes.
There were lots of interesting guests and goings-on at
the Millenium Ball -
check out the X-Files and West Wing versions of the story.
COPYRIGHT © 2001 KATHLEEN KLATTE
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Kathleen A. Klatte
Feedback and commentary are most welcome.
Disclaimer: SOF is the property of Rysher, et al; this
is a recreational
endeavor, no profit is being made and no copyright infringement
Thank you to: Grace (as always!)