The Client

Chapter 32

Abby leaned into Silver as they readied themselves for a hurdle. Mike whistled from his place sitting on top of the corral railing. He clapped as they made another circuit. Abby brought Silver up along the corral to Mike. She dipped down as he craned forward to receive the offered kiss.

"What do you say we take Aslan and Silver out? We could grab some food and have a picnic," Mike suggested.

"Sounds like a plan," she dismounted, "I'll call the kitchen- what would you like?"

"Normal picnic stuff: sandwiches, finger foods- is that alright with you?" he got down from the railing.

"Yeah, a sub sounds really good actually," Abby pushed the end of her braid back over her shoulder.

"All right," Mike took her hand that wasn't holding Silver's reins.

"I'll start getting Aslan ready while you call and they make it," she nodded.

Once Aslan was ready the couple went in to get the food. Mike headed to see Johnny. He popped his head into the security room where his friend was.

"Abby and I are taking the horses out on a trail," Mike advised.

"Cool," Johnny nodded, "Any idea how it long you'll be out?"

"Don't expect us back until late afternoon," Mike answered.

"You got it, Mikey, keep your phone on," Johnny said.

Mike saw a table of radios next to the door, "Are these charged?" Johnny nodded.

"I'm taking one too just in case," Mike grabbed a radio and clipped it onto his belt.

"Have fun," Johnny encouraged.

"Will do," Mike spun back into the hallway. He and Abby didn't want to keep the horses waiting too long.

Who turned the corner as he came back in to the hall, but Piper? Seeing him put a pep in her step. No Abby in sight. Even better. The brunette hadn't left his side since Piper's arrival. Now was Piper's chance to get Mike alone. Maybe now they could actually talk. Mike saw his ex coming down the hall. He just kept going. There weren't many places to hide.

"Morning, Mike," Piper smiled.

"Can't talk now," Mike frowned. He tried to keep walking. She stepped in front of him.

"You certainly know how to make a girl feel welcome," Piper quipped.

"I didn't ask you to come here," Mike snipped, "You invited yourself!"

"Excuse me for caring about you, you jerk," she countered.

"You picked a hell of a time to show up," he asserted.

"This is the first time I even knew where you were," Piper rejoined.

Mike crossed his arms over his chest, "There's a reason for that."

Her head dipped slightly, "I needed to make sure you were ok."

"Really? Is that all? Because as you can see I am better than ok," he threw back.

"That's not all I came for," Piper admitted.

Mike shook his head, "Not now, Piper."

"You can't spare me five minutes? You're the one that left!" she charged.

"And you know why," he replied.

"You left so fast you didn't even say goodbye," Piper lamented.

"Goodbye, Piper," Mike replied. He stepped around her.

Piper caught him by the arm, "Wait."

Mike tugged free, "I've really have to go."

"And find your new little girlfriend," she muttered. He glared at her. It cut her to the quick.

"You need to change your tone," Mike leveled.

"I'm sorry," Piper stammered.

"You should be- you do not get to judge who I am with," he declared, "This is not some sort of rebound thing. She and I have a real connection no matter what you might think." Neither of the two saw or heard Abby turn the corner and come down the hall. "I am in a happy relationship with Abby," Mike insisted, "Please, respect that and her." His words read more as a demand than a request.

"Are you happy?" Piper asked.

Mike nodded genuinely, "Yes, for the first time in years I am happy- Abby makes me happy." He wanted that point perfectly clear. Out of the corner of his eye Mike caught Abby's movement. Piper watched his gaze shoot up over her shoulder. She turned around to see Abby carrying a small cooler and blanket.

"Hey," he greeted.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to intrude," Abby apologized.

"It's fine," her boyfriend replied. Abby went to Mike. He took the cooler of food and the blanket with one hand. Abby slipped an arm around him. Mike lifted his arm to allow her better access to his side.

"We were just finishing up," Piper agreed. She had interrupted the two of them last night turnabout was fair play.

"Ready, Babe?" he inquired.

Abby nodded, "Silver and Aslan must be getting pretty anxious."

"Guess we should be heading out then," Mike replied. They left together.

Piper sighed then started back on route to her destination. Walking down the hall Piper felt a strange heat building up in her head. She rubbed her temples as her thoughts clouded. The hallway spun around her. Piper lost her balance. She reached out her hand to keep from falling over. Piper narrowly missed catching the wall. She would have fallen to the floor if Grant hadn't rushed in. He caught her in his arms and kept her upright. Piper closed her eyes and allowed his strength to settle her. When she was ready she angled up to look him in the eye. He swallowed once they were face to face. Piper was so beautiful. "Are you all right?" Grant asked. All he could really think about was how close their lips were. One breath and they could be kissing.

"I am fine," she pulled away, "Thank you."

"Anytime," he tipped his head.

Piper could feel tears beginning to sting her eyes. She had to get out of there. Piper scurried off leaving her soon to be ex-husband staring after her longingly. Damn that man. Damn him to hell. Why did he have to swoop in like he did and use that voice? Grant could be sweet when he wanted to be. Piper wiped her eyes with the back of her hand once she was out of his sight. "Stupid hormones," she muttered to herself.


After they had ridden for a couple of hours down one of the trails. They found a clearing and spread out the blanket. Abby opened the cooler. She dished out the food. After they had eaten Mike laid down and stretched out. His head rested in her lap. Her face gleamed down at him. Abby brushed the bangs off of Mike's forehead.

"Been out here before?" Mike asked.

"Oh, yeah," Abby nodded, "Daniel and I were quite the explorers." She looked out into the distance. "I don't think it's there anymore, but when we were kids we built a tree house in that huge tree over there."

"That must have been fun," he smiled.

Abby turned her attention back to him. Her focus got intense.

"What are you looking at?" Mike asked.

"I'm trying to picture you as a kid," Abby replied.

He chuckled, "I don't think that's so difficult." There was this boyish charm about him.

"What were you like when you were growing up?" she asked.

"Scrappy," Mike replied, "Loved sports."

"Did you play any?" Abby asked.

"A little of everything," Mike relaxed even more, "Mostly baseball."

"Cute. Were you in a league?" she inquired.

"A small one, but we still had uniforms," Mike answered.

"I'd pay to see that," Abby smirked.

"Mom has a few pictures she'd love to share," he said.

"I have to ask her for them sometime," she nodded.

"So you can see what our kids might look like?" Mike teased.

"Maybe."

"We'll have six of them I think," he pronounced.

"Six?!" Abby laughed.

"Uh um," Mike pursed his lips, "And we'll name them all after me like: Michael Jr, Michelle, Mitch..."

"Crazy?" she slapped his chest playfully. Mike chuckled. He picked up her hand and after kissing it entwined their fingers. "Well, tell you what- I'll carry three if you'll carry the other three," Abby proposed.

Mike laughed, "You think I'm joking?"

"Weren't you?" Abby replied.

"About the names maybe- but I am dead serious about the kids," Mike cupped the back of her neck. He guided her face closer to his. Mike focused on Abby's lips, "Their just gonna happen."

"Just like that, huh?" Abby giggled.

"Yeah, just like that," his kissed her. Aslan began to tug on his reins. This was long enough in one spot. "Looks like the boys are getting bored," Mike got up.

"Looks like we should take the show on the road," she picked up their sub wrappers. He helped Abby collect the picnic things.

Back in the stable Mike & Abby were putting away the horses' things. Abby set Silver's saddle into its proper place. She saw Mike carrying over Aslan's saddle and just about had to fan herself. The way he was carrying the object showed off the muscles in his arms. His biceps were to die for. Abby remembered those arms wrapped around her. Those memories quickly gave way to more primal, naughtier thoughts as she stared off.

"Earth to, Abby," Mike placed Aslan's saddle down next to Silver's.

"Huh?"

"Where did you go?" he asked.

"I was just fantasying," she went for honesty.

Mike grinned, "Care to share?"

"It was about a certain sexy stable boy," Abby gave him a sultry look. There was no mistaking who she meant.

"Who is he?" he teased. Mike stepped into her personal space.

"It was just a daydream," Abby fingered the edge of the saddle.

He covered her small hand in his larger one. She looked back at him. "I can be your stable boy," Mike crooned. His voice just melted her. Abby smiled at him.

He took the tie out of the bottom of her braid. She shook her hair out. Mike fluffed it the rest of the way loose. "Wow," he breathed huskily. Abby licked her lips. Her hands went for the hem of Mike's shirt. She tucked it up. Mike lifted his arms and let her strip it off over his head. He unbuttoned her blouse leaving it and her riding jacket on to protect her from the wooden side of the barn. Abby kicked off her jeans and underwear. Mike grabbed her by her hips and tugged her close. They slammed into the back wall. Abby undid his pants and shoved them down. Mike helped her climb him. She hooked her legs around his waist. He nibbled her earlobe. Mike trailed kisses all along her jaw and neck down to her collarbone. He pulled down her bra and lavished attention on her chest while she held him close. The sounds she made were enough to drive him crazy. Mike pulled back for air. "This is going to be hard and fast," he warned.

"Bring it on," Abby panted. Mike joined their bodies in one smooth motion. They let out a loud mingled groan. From there they took off like a rocket moving as one. Hearts, pounding, chest heaving- they were going fast, but it felt so good. Abby threw her head back, closing her eyes with a moan.

"Look at me, Abby," Mike demanded. Through the haze she heard his words. "Look at me," he needed her to know she was the one person he was thinking about. Abby lifted her head and locked eyes with him. The desire in those brown orbs drove Mike faster harder. He was making her loose her breath. "Mike," she began to chant in gasps. It was all too much for both of them and they broke in the most spectacular fashion. Abby went limp like a rag doll in his arms. Mike rested against the wall keeping them both upright.

Once he could think coherently he found the blanket they had brought with them. Mike carried Abby over to it and sat down with her in his lap. "Are you ok, Abs?" he asked.

She nodded her eyes wide with wonder, "I think I just kind of blacked out there for a second."

Mike smiled, "Was that the way you wanted it? Cause I'd be happy to do it again- you know, to get it right."

"Oh, it's going to be hard to top that," Abby said.

"There will be plenty of time to try," he kissed her temple.

"You are going to be the death of me," she deadpanned. Mike laughed. Abby laid her head on his shoulder. "We'll have to work on one of your fantasies next," her fingers traced lazy circles into his chest.

"Mine?" Mike asked.

"Yeah, it's only fair," Abby said, "You get to pick one since I got mine."

He thought about it for a minute. "Could you wear that blue dress from the Christmas in July party again sometime?" Mike wriggled his eye brow.

"Sure, but you've already seen me in it," she replied.

"But I didn't get to take it off of you- I sincerely regret that," he said.

Abby batted her eyelashes at him, "Should I wear the vest you got me too?"

"Yes, please," Mike nodded.


Johnny got the alert that Lucia had passed through the gate. He waited in the foyer and opened the door when he heard her car pull up. She was just stepping out of her car.

"Hey, Stranger," Lucia grinned.

"Hey, yourself," he came down off the porch into the walk way. She met him in a hug. "It's good to see you," Johnny said.

"Likewise," Lucia replied. He offered her his arm and they walked into the house together. "Where is Abby?" Lucia asked. Usually Abby would have been one of the first to meet her.

"Mike and she took the horses out," Johnny answered, "They should be back any time now."

The twosome joined Charlie in the living room. "Hey," the doctor greeted. Lucia flopped down on the couch next to her friend on the couch. Johnny stood behind it.

"What did I miss this week?" Lucia asked.

"I found a house- already went through the inspection- the closing is next week," Charlie said.

"Wow, so things with…" Lucia paused for a second to think of the name, "Hannah are on the right track?"

"Yeah, fingers crossed," Charlie nodded.

"Good," Lucia smiled. Charlie looked up at Johnny.

"Charlie and I found out we're related," Johnny said.

"Really?" Lucia eyes grew wide.

"He's my half-brother," Charlie added.

"Wow, what a small world," Lucia smiled, "Congratulations."

A few minutes later the glass French doors opened. Mike & Abby entered hand in hand. Abby left her hair loose. Piper took notice of the change.

"Charlie spilled. Show me the ring!" Lucia demanded.

"Hello to you too, Chica," Abby replied.

"Ring first, talk later," Lucia waved off the comments. Abby chuckled and lifted her hand to show off the ring. Lucia held it closer and examined the blue topaz stones. "Mike has great taste," Lucia nodded her approval, "Of course he's totally into you, so that goes without saying."

"Mike gave you a ring?" Piper asked.

"Yeah, he did," Abby nodded with a smile.

"May I?" Piper asked. Abby took a breath and held out her hand to Mike's ex. Maybe this would help Piper let go. It wasn't an engagement ring, Piper let out a breath of relief. Still it was an expensive ring.

"Bought it right under my nose, the little sneak," Abby smirked at her. Mike winked at her from across the room.

Grant joined Mike where he was standing. He watch Piper examine Abby's ring. Grant could read that woman better than anyone and this was breaking her heart.

"How did the brief with the guys on the ground go?" Mike asked him.

"Either no one has heard of Bello or no one is saying anything," Grant replied.

Callie called for her mother just as Piper was looking for an escape from the room. "Coming, Sweetie," Piper called before racing out of the room. Charlie and Lucia looked to Abby questioningly. Abby just shrugged.

"Piper still loves you," Grant said in a hushed tone so only Mike could hear him. He hung his head for a few minutes. "No response?" Grant asked.

Mike rubbed the back of his neck, "I don't have one." He kept his eyes on Abby. "Are you really jealous?" Mike asked.

"I want you to know that what happened back at the safe house… it wasn't for nothing– I do love her," Grant professed. Mike nodded in reply he really had nothing to say to that. It was none of his business anymore.


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