The Client

Chapter 10

"BEEP! BEEP!" rang the clock. Mike watched Abby frown at the prospect of having to wake up. Her brow furrowed causing two wrinkles at the very top of her nose. He thought her resistance to waking was the most adorable thing he had ever seen. The night before Mike had found Abby's reading chair and slept there instead of leaving the room. She groaned while reaching out from under the blankets to the clock. Abby slammed her hand down on the button that turned the noise off. He quickly rested back into the chair with playful intentions. Mike closed his eyes. Abby yawned and opened her eyes. Her gaze landed straight on Mike. He was right where he had been when she fell asleep. Mike looked like he was asleep. She allowed herself a small smile. Abby pushed herself into a seated position. She saw him smile as he heard sit up. "Good morning," Mike stretched.

"Good morning," Abby licked her dry lips, "Did you sleep at all?"

"I slept fine," he answered.

"In between my nightmares," she sighed.

"They'll fade," Mike promised. He had made a good decision to stay. Mike was right with Abby each time she woke up.

"Why don't you get ready for a run, while I get dressed and talk with your dad?" Mike suggested, "We'll run one of the horse trails this time."

"Sounds like a plan," Abby agreed.

"I'll be back," he headed towards the door.

"Thanks for staying with me," she replied.

"My pleasure. What are friends for?" Mike replied. He slipped out and closed the door.

Yesterday he was her bodyguard now they were friends. That was a step in the right direction. Abby threw off her blankets and got up. Time to start the day.

Paul was already talking with Brennan when Mike reached them in Brennan's office. "What have I missed?" Mike asked.

"The guys lawyered up," Paul replied.

"Which means getting any information is going to take twice as long," Mike put his hands on hips.

"We don't have that kind of time," Brennan rubbed his eyes.

Mike was willing to bet Abby's father hadn't slept last night. "What else happened?" Mike queried.

"I got another call at 2 am," Brennan slumped back in the chair.

"Some specific threat I should be on the lookout for?" Mike inquired.

"Just that our luck can't hold out forever and they could be patient," Brennan shook his head, "They're right. We have to be lucky all the time- they just have to be lucky once and my daughter is gone."

"I won't let that happen," Mike promised.

"The traces have gone nowhere," Paul informed him.

"The TAU is still running down leads from my emails and hate mail, but it just seems like they are chasing their tails," Brennan frowned.

"Political, just doesn't read right," Paul replied.

"My opponents sling enough mud at me during campaigns- that's par for the course," Brennan shrugged it off.

"It's business," Mike agreed, "This just seems strangely personal."

"None of this is making any sense," Brennan raked a hand through his dark brown hair.

"With Dr. Demarco needing a guard to go work as well we might need to rotate a third person in," Paul advised. Brennan nodded. It made sense.

"Is Jakes available?" Mike inquired.

Paul thought for a moment, "He just got off a case- I don't know if he'll be willing to jump on to a new one just yet."

"See who you can come up with," Brennan requested.

"I'll go make some calls," Paul excused himself.

"Have you seen Abby this morning?" Brennan asked.

"Yeah," Mike nodded.

"How did she seem to you?" Brennan inquired.

"She's hanging in there- Abby is a strong person," Mike reported.

Brennan blew out a breath, "She doesn't deserve this."

"It isn't your fault," Mike assured him, "We'll figure this out." Brennan nodded. "Abby and I are going for a run," Mike changed the subject.

"That's good," Brennan perked up a little.

Mike went for the door, "We'll be back for breakfast."

"See you then," the older man replied.

Mike made his way back up to get Abby for their run. He could hear music as he approached Abby's room. Taylor Swift if he wasn't mistaken.

'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play.

Abby danced around the room. She paused to pick up her hair brush off the vanity. Abby bopped along as she brushed her hair.

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.

Abby shook her shoulders and sang along. Mike leaned in the door way listening and watching in amusement.

Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.

I shake it off, I shake it off.

"Nice moves," Mike smirked.

Abby just about jumped out of her skin. She grabbed her chest. "How long have you been there?" she gasped.

"Not long," Mike smiled. Abby took up her phone and stopped the song. "Don't stop on my account," he said.

"We need to get running so I can get ready for work," Abby gathered her chocolate hair back into a ponytail. She brought up the brush to smooth the top. "Besides," Abby continued, "I have to pick an outfit for the party tonight."

"Are you sure it's a good idea to go?" Mike offered.

"The Trumans are big supporters of the foundation so I need to make an obligatory appearance to most of their events- I am always on the list," Abby set the brush aside.

"Are you expected to be there?" he frowned.

"No, I'm on a lot of invite lists to parties I don't go to," she pulled a hair tie up off of her wrist and secured her hair in place, "Ready when you are."

"Come on," Mike motioned his head toward the stairs.

Later that night after work they drove off to the party. Abby smoothed down her dress as they approached the head of the line to the door of the club where the party was being held. Mike and Johnny stood behind her as a wall to the reporters how had followed them there and were taking pictures. Mike did appreciate they had security on the door. A man stopped them before they could go in. "Name?" he asked.

"Abby Sinclair."

"Very good," he reached for the doorknob, "And you two?"

"They're with me," Abby vouched for Mike and Johnny. The man opened the door and they walked in.

"Abby!" Lucia waved her friend over.

Abby hugged the baby faced yet tall Latina, "You look amazing."

"Thank you," Lucia curtsied in her pretty, pink halter neckline cocktail dress, "So do you."

"Abby's got hot friends," Johnny whispered to Mike. He and Mike kept a respectful distance back. They were close enough to get to her if needed.

"So these are your bodyguards," Lucia said softly as not to be overheard by the men she was speaking of. She gave the two men that came in with Abby a once over. Her eyes lingered on Johnny. He was even more handsome than how he appeared on the news.

"Yep," Abby replied.

"Your dad could have picked worse- at least they are easy on the eyes," Lucia nodded her approval.

"That they are," Abby concurred, "And they know what they're doing."

"How are you holding up?" Lucia asked.

"It helps that I have one less problem," Abby replied. A waiter came by with a tray of flute glasses filled with champagne. Each of the ladies took one.

"Want to tell me what happened with Vance?" Lucia asked. Abby had only given her the bare bones explanation over the phone.

"Apparently he likes blondes," Abby took a sip of her champagne.

Lucia immediately read between the lines. "Don't take this the wrong way, but he's an idiot," she replied.

"Wish I had realized that earlier," Abby flipped her hair.

Lucia sipped on her drink, "Better now than later."

"You're coming to the Independence Gala aren't you?" Abby changed the subject.

"I wouldn't miss it for the world," Lucia beamed. Most of the guests were politicians or celebrities – pretty powerful people. Now that Abby was organizing the gala she got to invite a few of her friends as well.

"I can't believe it's going to be July soon," Abby said.

"Speaking of which, how is the Christmas in July planning going?" Lucia inquired.

"Good- we're still working on the wish lists that the kids gave us, but we almost have everything," Abby answered.

"Let me know if there's anything I can do," Lucia offered.

"I will. Thanks," Abby nodded.

"I hope the press isn't causing you anymore trouble," Lucia said. She had put out a post after her phone call with Abby last night just as her friend requested. The shooting mainstream media had picked the story up and ran with it.

"Mike and Johnny are shielding me pretty well when they try to get pictures," Abby said.

"Which is the hot one's name?" Lucia asked in a hushed tone.

"Hot one?" Abby asked.

"The one that tackled the gunman," Lucia clarified.

"That would be Johnny," Abby answered a bit relieved Lucia meant him and not Mike.

"Johnny," Lucia repeated. She liked the sound of it. Abby stole a glance at Mike. He waited until she turned back to her friend before smiling. "Am I getting a vibe between you and the other one- Mike?" Lucia smirked.

"A girl can dream, right?" Abby chuckled. The girls clink glasses.

"Are you going to introduce me?" Lucia asked.

Abby pursed her lips. Johnny said he was single so what was the harm? Thinking about it their two personalities would really mesh well. "Of course," she waved the two men closer, "You're employees not servants- get over here."

"Is that an order?" Johnny quipped. Mike watched the people in the room. It wasn't crowded just yet, but Mike was on alert.

"Lucia Solano I'd like you to meet Mike Warren," Abby made the introductions. Mike tipped his head politely. "Johnny Tuturro this is Lucia," Abby finished.

"Pleasure to meet you," Lucia held out her hand to him.

Johnny shook it. He felt an undeniable spark the moment his fingers touched her skin. Johnny saw her eyes light in recognition. She obviously felt it too. "Charmed," he smiled. They held on for just a second too long before letting go. "Lucia is a pretty name- it suits you," he added.

Lucia tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear, "Thanks." "So, Johnny, what do you do for fun?"

"Play cards, practice karate," Johnny listed, "I like football too."

"To play or watch?" Lucia inquired.

"Definitely play," Johnny answered. Lucia licked her lips. Normally sports bored her to tears, but she'd watch Johnny play. Mike & Abby shared a chuckle. "How about you?" Johnny inquired.

"Cooking, writing, I love to dance," Lucia shared.

"Love to dance?" Abby chipped in, "That's an understatement. She's classically trained in ballroom dancing."

"Really?" Johnny raised one eyebrow.

"I tried to make it on the competition circuit for a while," Lucia admitted.

"That's cool," Johnny replied.

"Has Abby told you about her equestrian days?" Lucia turned her attention to Mike.

"No," Mike looked at Abby expectantly.

"You know that was a means to get into Georgetown," Abby replied.

"Like being a third generation legacy and a having 4.0 grade point average wasn't enough," Lucia sniffed. Two could play this game.

"You were really good- especially once you got Silver. You two could have really gone somewhere," Lucia lamented.

"Law school was more important," Abby replied.

Mike saw a few more people come in. He watched them wearily, but they didn't approach. Lucia recognized them. "I need to go mingle," Lucia rolled her eyes.

"See you later," Abby replied.

"It was great meeting you," Johnny said.

"Got your phone, Johnny? Lucia inquired.

"Yeah," Johnny retrieved it from his pocket. She took his phone and entered in her number to his contacts.

"Don't be a stranger," she waved walking off into the party. Johnny watched her retreating form.

"Stay on point, Johnny," Mike teased, "Don't get distracted getting a date."

"I'm not even trying," Johnny grinned, "It's just gonna happen."

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