The Client

Chapter 36

"Can Dr. Charlie stay?" Hannah requested.

"We're not going to talk about anything scary," Tara said, "I just want to see how you are doing."

"I'll come back later, ok?" Charlie kissed Hannah's cheek and sat her back on the bed.

"You can wait outside if you want- this shouldn't take long," Tara replied.

"See, I'll be just outside," Charlie assured her future daughter.

"Ok," Hannah agreed. Charlie got up from the bed. She looked back at Hannah as she walked through the door.

The social worker took note of the new toys around the little girl. "Those are some nice dolls," Tara remarked, "Did Dr. Charlie give them to you?"

"No, Miss Abby did," Hannah focused on her toy Daniel Tiger she held in her lap.

"Who is Miss Abby?" Tara inquired even though she knew who the child was talking about.

"She's Dr. Charlie's friend," Hannah answered.

"Dr. Charlie brought her to meet you?" Tara sat beside the little girl.

"Miss Abby is really nice. She gave all the kids at the party a present," Hannah rambled. Tara noticed the little girl was talking more. Hannah settled the plush toy against a pillow.

"You went to a party?" Tara asked.

"Yeah, downstairs with some other kids and Dr. Charlie," Hannah reached for O.

Tara picked up the toy owl and handed it to the little girl, "Oh, did you have fun?"

Hannah nodded, "They had Christmas cookies."

"Christmas cookies? Yummy. Any snowmen shaped ones?" Tara smiled.

"And Christmas tree shaped ones too," Hannah replied enthusiastically.

"Did they have frosting? Those are my favorites," Tara continued.

"I like the sprinkle ones," Hannah grinned.

"Dr. Charlie wants you to come live with her after you get out of the hospital," Tara broached, "Has she talked to you about that?" Hannah looked up at Tara and batted her eyelashes sheepishly.

The pair talked for a few more minutes before Tara got up, "I need to speak with Dr. Charlie and then she'll come in."

Tara exited Hannah's room. She found Charlie leaning against a wall talking to a man she didn't quite recognize. Charlie spotted Tara and went to her.

"I've heard about what happened at the Governor's estate this morning," Tara opened.

"There was a car bomb," Charlie admitted. It was already heavily covered in the news. "I was not involved in it," the doctor quickly added.

"I am rooting for you. I really am, Dr. Demarco- Hannah is making so much progress and has definitely grown attached to you," Tara began.

"I sense a but," Charlie put her hands in her pockets.

"I don't want to break Hannah's heart, but I can't in good conscious recommend a placement that could put her in danger," Tara added.

"They're not after me," Charlie insisted.

"But they attacked your friend," Tara countered.

"Yes," Charlie sighed.

"And people in her proximity have gotten hurt because of this," Tara pointed out.

"It's not Abby' fault," Charlie argued.

"But that doesn't change the facts," Tara maintained, "You have a lot of thinking to do if you are serious about adopting Hannah."

"I am," Charlie declared.

"Then you might have to choose between your friend and Hannah," Tara replied.

Mike slid a card key in the reader on the door. He opened the hotel room. Abby laughed as Mike led her inside. Immediately the view from the window caught her attention. Like a magnet she was drawn to the view. Mike smiled and came up behind his girl. He wrapped his arms around Abby. "We're really here," she breathed.

Mike picked her up and spun her around. He carried her over to the bed. Mike sat down on one side with Abby in his lap. He lifted his hands up and brushed her hair back from her face. They locked eyes. Mike captured her lips and kissed her hungrily. They continued to kiss as he lowered her into the bed…

Mike was pulled away from his dream by lips pressed to his skin. Abby trailed hot kisses up his neck and along his jaw line. She heard his breathing change. He stretched slightly. "There you are," Abby purred.

"You sure know how to get a heart pumping," Mike cooed.

She chuckled. "Well," Abby kissed the opposite way back along his jaw, "You are pretty irresistible yourself." She nibbled his earlobe.

"How long did I sleep?" Mike asked.

"A couple hours, someone will be in to check on you soon," Abby replied.

A nurse poked her head into the room, "Everything going all right?"

"He's awake," Abby lifted herself up on her elbows.

Mike waved in the direction the voice came to him from.

"How are you feeling, Mr. Warren?" the nurse came in and checked his monitors.

"A little stiff," Mike admitted.

"That's to be expected," the nurse replied, "No fever that's good." She checked Mike's bandages then left them in peace.

Mike thought about his dream as he and Abby settled back down.

"Penny for your thoughts," she fingered the collar of his hospital gown.

"After Bello is handled and I'm healed up… I'd like to take you away for a bit," he traced his fingertips up and down her upper arm. The action gave her goosebumps.

"A bit? How long exactly?" she replied.

"At least two weeks, maybe a month. Can you swing that?" he asked. Her work was very important to her.

"I'd have to field some calls, but it might be doable," Abby answered.

"Good. I think my girl deserves a vacation," Mike pronounced. He kissed her temple.

"Where would you take me?" she asked innocently.

"Anywhere you're willing," Mike smirked.

Abby blushed slightly, but couldn't help grinning, "Someone is feeling better."

"You kind of walked into that," he licked his lips.

"Yeah, I did," she agreed, "Any ideas as to where we'd go?"

"I have few places in mind- I haven't decided which yet," Mike answered. Maybe springing a surprise trip to meet his mom might not be the best idea. Better to tell Abby and let her prepare if they could go that route. "Have you ever been to London?" he asked.

Abby had to catch her breath. Was he asking her what she thought he was asking her? "No, I haven't," Abby answered.

"My Mom's birthday is towards the end of August, might be nice to surprise her," Mike said, "We don't have to spend the whole time there either." At the thought about visiting his mother another idea dawned on him.

"Johnny?" Mike called.

"Yeah, Man?" Johnny poked his head in.

"Can you have Briggs call my Mom?" Mike requested, "The bombing has probably hit international news by now and I don't want her scared."

"Sure thing," Johnny replied.

"Thanks," Mike said.

"I'll help you give her a call when you get discharged," Abby offered.

"I'd like that," Mike said.

Horatio didn't look so tough Piper thought, watching him through the interrogation room mirror. She almost had to laugh at his slicked back black hair and power suit. The Cuban sat poised next to his attorney.

Looks can be deceiving. Bello was pretty clean cut himself. Grant pressed his lips together mentally going over their file on the mafia guy. His eyes went to Piper. She nodded to him. They knew their roles in this.

The police officers were dismissed and Grant & Piper entered. "Who are you?" Horatio's attorney asked.

"FBI agents Frisco and Harris," Grant identified himself and Piper. Their badges hung from chains around their necks.

"Why do the Feds want to speak with my client?" the lawyer asked.

"Your client's friend, Jeremiah Bello," Grant answered.

"Isn't he supposed to be in federal custody?" Horatio quipped back.

"He skipped on his deal and made his way over to the east coast, but you know that already," Grant took the chair opposite the lawyer. Piper took the remaining seat across from Horatio.

"Do you have any evidence to back up your accusations?" the attorney queried.

Horatio raised his hand to stop his lawyer from speaking, "I wouldn't exactly call Bello a friend of mine."

"Funny, I think he's calling in a favor," Piper chimed in.

"What favor?" Horatio scoffed.

"This is your territory- he'd at least need your permission to enter it," Grant replied, "Has he told you why he wanted in?"

"I haven't spoken to Bello in some time," Horatio crossed his arms over his chest.

"Do you really want to go down that route?" Grant glared.

"My client has nothing more to say to you about this Jeremiah Bello," the attorney was about to call the interview off.

"That's too bad I'd like to hear his side of it," Piper looked up at Horatio. She had to bend a bit forward, but Piper knew the importance of receptive body language.

"There is nothing to tell," Horatio asserted.

"The FBI and Governor are not in forgiving moods," Grant said. Horatio leaned back in his chair and just stared at Grant. "At worst you're a co-conspirator in this mess and the best case you're an accomplice after the fact," the male FBI agent leaned over the table, "Which is it Mr. Delgado?"

"What crimes are you alleging?" the lawyer asked.

"Harassment, several assaults, attempted kidnapping, attemped murders and that is just for starters," Grant raise his brow with an aggressive smile, "Bello has been going after Governor Sinclair's daughter." He dropped a picture of Abby down on the table so Horatio could see it.

"Quite a pretty girl," Horatio replied. Young too he thought.

"Abigail Sinclair runs a nonprofit foundation for low income families and does charity work," Grant added.

Horatio mulled the information over, "And how do you know that it is Bello that is behind the attacks?"

"We have him recorded admitting to it," Piper answered.

"There is also the matter of murder," Grant added.

"Who's murder?" Horatio tilted his head.

"A driver has been killed in the attempts on Miss Sinclair," Grant said.

"A driver?" the other man scrunched up his face. The FBI agent opened a file and slid it in front of Horatio. Horatio looked down at the picture that topped the file.

"He was driving Miss Sinclair back home from work when they were run off the road and shot at by multiple shooters," Grant explained.

"And this man…" Horatio began.

"Bates," Piper helped him out with the name.

"Bates was killed in the attack," Horatio finished. Piper nodded.

"There has been no buildup of a new gang here so you either are allowing him to bring in his own men or you are loaning him your guys to do this," Grant accused.

"That's not all. Besides the car bomb Bello sent has left one of her bodyguards in the hospital," Piper added.

"What car bomb? I know nothing about a car bomb," Horatio insisted. She read his body language. Everything indicated disgust not deceit.

"I don't think Bello's being very truthful with you," Piper offered. Horatio locked eyes with her. "Are you going to let him get away with lying to you?" she asked.

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