The Client

Chapter 29

"Hello, Ms Kincaid," the guard on the gate greeted.

"Morning, Ronnie," Lauren reached out through her car window and handed out two badges to the guard. She moved back to so her dark haired companion could be seen by the guard. The guard nodded and handed back the badges. Lauren handed the FBI agent back his badge as the gate was opened, "Here you are." She drove down the drive away.

The message that Lauren and the FBI agent were passed the gate when out and people began to head toward Brennan's office for the briefing. The governor was the first to arrive. He sat behind his desk trying to get comfortable. Soon Lauren opened the door. She was followed into the office by a tall man with black hair. Brennan stood. He sized up the new comer to his office. "Governor this is Agent Grant Frisco," Lauren introduced the two. The younger man had a surfer's tan and wore a suit- he made an impressive representative of the FBI at first glance.

"Welcome, Agent Frisco," Brennan shook his hand.

"Thank you, Sir," the agent nodded, "I am sorry about the circumstances."

Abby arrived with Johnny behind her. He went to an unobtrusive corner of the room.

"Good morning, Princess," Brennan greeted.

"Morning, Daddy," Abby smiled. She went to the side of his desk and gave Brennan a kiss on his cheek.

"Miss Sinclair," Grant tipped his head. He knew Abby from her picture. He had done his research before flying in.

"I'm Abby. You're the agent the FBI sent?" the brunette inquired.

"Agent Frisco at your service," the dark hair man flashed her a charming smile, "You can call me Grant." His auburn eyes sparkled. Abby refrained from rolling her own eyes. Grant was one of those guys that knew he was handsome.

Mike stood in the open office door stopped dead in his tracks. He would have recognized Grant from behind. If not by sight hearing Grant took Mike right back. He heard the same man's accusatory voice in his head, "Does Mike know you are giving him my kid?"

"Shoot me now," Mike muttered under his breath.

"Did you and Mike have a good run this morning?" Brennan inquired.

"We did," she nodded.

Grant noticed the blue topaz jewelry Abby was sporting on her finger. That was a she's taken ring if he had ever seen one. The reports in the news seemed to be accurate. Good for Mike making his move on the beauty. He had always been a smart kid.

"How is Mike?" Grant asked.

"Do you know Mike?" Abby asked.

"I was his CO out in California," Grant answered. He felt her immediately cool towards him. Brennan picked up on it as well.

"Mike will be around- he can speak for himself," she said.

Abby looked through the door and saw Mike standing there. He braced himself then went to her, "Hey."

"Hey, Honey," Abby cupped Mike's cheek and drew his face to hers, kissing him a little longer than necessary to make a point.

"Nice ring," Grant used the opportunity of seeing it closer to compliment.

"Thanks, it was a gift," Abby replied. She smiled at Mike.

"How are you, Rookie?" Grant asked, "You look good."

"I am good," Mike brought Abby up under his arm. She wrapped her arms around his waist.

"Good," Grant bobbed his head. An awkward silence ensued. Abby tried to pick up on the looks between the guys. All she got was the same tense vibe she felt in the air. The unspoken exchange between the men ended with the silent understanding that they would try to remain civil.

Mike and Abby choose chairs next to each other as Dale and Paul filed in.

"Is everyone here?" Grant asked.

"Yeah," Lauren answered. Brennan sat.

"I don't know how much new information I have for you. Mike knows Bello the best out of anyone here- he got closer than anyone else did," Grant said.

"They know all I do about him," Mike shook his head. Abby squeezed his knee.

"What we need is a way to track him, to draw him out," Paul said.

"I have been putting out feelers and it seems one of his associates in California has ties out here, specifically a friend," Grant offered.

"Do you think he's helping Bello?" Brennan asked.

"I am in the process of finding out," Grant said, "We are looking into the associate's local contacts."

"What else do you have?" Paul asked.

"All of his account were frozen," Grant began.

"All of his legal accounts were frozen," Mike corrected, "Bello's not going to leave all his assets where they can be seized."

"Anything traceable?" Paul asked.

"Bello had a large stash of Diamonds we couldn't find during his trial," Grant said, "Some of them have been showing up in this area."

"He's having them fenced," Mike replied.

"Yeah, we're pretty sure he's using that as his funds," Grant nodded, "We're hoping he'll run out and need to come out to sell them."

"He'll have his crew to do it," Mike said, "And we don't know who they are."

"We'll pick them up one, by one as it goes," Grant said.

"That's too slow," Lauren said.

"Two months is enough of this bull," Brennan concurred.

"We already got APBs out on the guys that have sold the stones," Grant said.

"Per Mike I've had people checking into drug activity in case Bello fell back into old patterns and is selling again," Lauren said.

Mike's phone beeped. He lifted himself to get at it from his back pocket. "Is that from him again?" Brennan asked.

Mike opened the message and stared at it for a good minute. "We need to run a trace on it," Mike said. It was a photo of Abby & Mike kissing after Mike had given her the ring: Kiss her goodbye.

"If it's from Bello I bet it's a burn phone," Lauren said.

"If it was Bello," Mike said.

"You don't think it was?" Paul questioned.

"From the angle this was take it had to come from the doorway at the Christmas in July thing," Mike said. He showed Abby. Johnny looked over her shoulder.

"That's where Vance was," Abby replied.

"He's the only person I saw," Mike said.

"Me too," Johnny replied, "And I took him out into the hallway."

"Who is Vance?" Grant inquired.

"Vance Lars, Abby's ex-boyfriend," Brennan said.

"You don't think he'd copy Bello do you?" Abby turned to Mike.

"He was pretty pissed," Mike replied. He wouldn't put it passed the doctor.

"Was anyone else was in the hallway?" Paul asked.

Johnny shook his head, "Not that I could see."

"Whoever it was could have ducked into a room," Grant offered.

"I didn't hear any commotion that would indicate that," Johnny said, "Everything was pretty quiet."

"The room could have been empty," Grant suggested.

"I guess," Johnny shrugged.

Brennan looked to Lauren, "See if the hospital will let us access the surveillance footage." Lauren nodded.

"Should I go talk to this Vance?" Grant inquired.

"It should be someone who can see though his bull," Mike said.

"I'll talk to him," Lauren offered. Vance didn't have any beef with her, but she had enough interactions with him to handle his attitude.

The briefing began to wrap up. Brennan said his goodbyes and headed off to work. They rest of the people gather began to disburse. Grant went over to Abby. "I am really sorry for what you've been going through," he apologized.

Abby nodded her acceptance. She caught the look on Mike's face and knew he wanted to speak with Grant alone. "I guess I better finishing getting ready for work," Abby excused herself.

"Ok," Mike replied. She kissed his cheek and left. Mike and Grant were the only people left in the room.

"Who authorized Bello's deal?" Mike asked.

"It wasn't just one person," Grant covered.

"No one alerts the man he threatened in open court that he was released?" Mike inquired.

"You changed cell phones and didn't give anyone in the house the new number," Grant countered.

Mike glared at his former mentor. That was on purpose- his ex would have gotten it out of any one of the housemates eventually. It was best to cut all ties. "It's not like I went underground- I am still using my social security number for work and taxes it wouldn't have taken the FBI long to find me or Bello to either for that matter," Mike rejoined.

"It must have been an oversight," Grant said.

"He blew up my motorcycle," Mike reminded him. It went up in flames in front of the courthouse.

"We could never prove that," Grant replied.

"Bello may not have planted the bomb, but it was sure as hell on his orders," Mike insisted.

"There was no evidence to charge him," Grant stated.

"Because it all went sky high," Mike frowned. It even took out the surrounding security cameras. Mike put his hands on his hips. He looked Grant in the eye, "Who or what did he give you?"

"You know I can't discus ongoing investigations, Mike," Grant said.

"Translation he gave you nothing," Mike snorted. Unbelievable. He set his jaw, "Bello left you high and dry." Grant's continues silence cemented it for him.

Mike shook his head and stomped off. Grant watched Mike stalk away, raking his fingers through his black hair. That went better than expected. Grant half expected Mike to deck him. He knew the deal with Bello was going to come back and bite them in the butt. Now somehow Grant had to find a way to clean up this mess.

The meeting dismissed Johnny retrieved a tablet and went down stairs. He found his sister in the living room. "You finished judging the listings?" Charlie asked. She sat across the dining room table from her brother. Johnny nodded. He took a sip of coffee from his mug and gave her back her the tablet. Charlie read down the list to see his changes. She frowned at Johnny, "Half the listings are gone."

"Yeah," Johnny stated, "They sucked."

"There was nothing wrong with those houses," Charlie asserted. She knew it was a bad idea to let him check them over.

"My sister and soon-to-be niece are not going to live in a dump," Johnny insisted.

Charlie sighed. She probably wasn't going to win this argument so she just dropped it. At least he left her top choices on the list. "I sent the revised list to your realtor," Johnny replied, "She'll be waiting for you and Dale."

"You sure you don't want to tag along?" Charlie teased.

"I think you and Dale have it covered," Johnny laughed. He had already explained to Dale that Charlie was not allowed to settle and needed to be in a safe area. "Happy hunting," Johnny tipped his head and headed to the kitchen.

"Where is, Mike?" Johnny asked.

"I think he needed a breather," Abby replied. She drank of sip of the juice and drummed her fingers on the glass. Abby had seen him duck into a powder room. He had been in there a while now.

"What was up with Mike and the FBI agent?" Johnny shook his head.

"It's not my place to say," she sighed.

"I probably should round him up so we can get going," Johnny said.

"Let me," Abby replied, "And give us a few minutes ok?"

"Sure," Johnny replied.

Abby made her way to the powder room. She heard movement inside.

Mike stared disgusted at his reflection in the mirror over the sink. He turned on the water and splashed some up on his face. The cold stung his skin.

"Mike?" Abby knocked on the door.

"Here," Mike wiped his face with the towel as Abby opened the unlocked door and came in. He couldn't even meet her reflection.

"That couldn't have been easy for you," she wrapped her arms around him from behind.

"Being assigned undercover was rough, but you take your licks, roll with the punches, be a good soldier," Mike sighed, "Everything was for nothing." Abby laid her cheek on his back. He closed his eyes, "I did some damn despicable things in the name of justice and it all meant nothing."

"No, no, no…" she replied.

"The one good thing I did in the FBI is gone," Mike hung his head, "My whole carrier wiped out just like that."

"You still got Bello convicted," Abby offered.

"But he's not serving that sentence, no- he's out tormenting you," he replied.

"It's not your fault, you didn't even know he made a deal," she insisted.

Mike turned within her embraced to face Abby. "I intimidated innocent people, trained his guys to shoot, carried drugs for him," he confessed.

She didn't let him go, "Is that supposed to scare me off?"

"You said you wanted to know all of me warts and all well here I am," Mike replied.

"Your undercover work does not define who you are," Abby locked eyes with him, "You have experienced dark stuff, but you're still a good person."

"What makes you say that?" he questioned.

"Because what you had to do obviously still bothers you- you have a conscience," Abby answered.

"That doesn't change anything," Mike frowned.

"Yeah? Well, I can see your halo, Mike Warren," she said.

Mike let her acceptance wash over him. He lifted his arms and wrapped them around her, returning her embrace. Abby snuggled closer to him. His head dipped down. He buried his nose in her hair and drank his angel in. With all that he had done he certainly didn't deserve her, but she wanted him anyway.

After a minute or two they pulled apart. "With Grant here my ex is probably not be that far off," Mike warned. He looked in her eyes and waited for her reaction.

"She's not some sort of psycho is she?" Abby raised an eyebrow playfully.

Mike chuckled, "Paranoid maybe." Abby patted his chest and smiled. He took a breath. The humor quickly faded from his face. "She's who she needs to be at the moment," his tone was serious, "She's good at undercover work."

Abby nodded knowing what he was trying to prepare her. "We'll cross that bridge if we come to it," she straightened his tie.

Mike brought her hand to his lips. He tenderly kissed the back of her knuckles. "Come on," Mike urged, "Can't let me make you late for work."

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