The Client

Chapter 38

"Mom? We just got to the estate," Mike said as the car drove through the gate onto the driveway.

"Ok, well, I better let you get settled," Rachel replied.

"Go eat something," he directed.

"I'll try," she yawned, "It'll be easier now that I've talk with you. Thanks for calling."

"No problem, Mama," Mike said.

"Can I call you later?" Rachel requested.

"Sure thing," he agreed.

"Bye, Baby boy," she said.

"Bye," Mike smiled. They hung up. He gave the phone back to Abby, "Thanks."

She put it in her purse, "No problem."

The car came to a stop. He brought his head out of the vehicle before coming out and standing. Mike didn't see the other guys standing around watching to make sure he came out ok and was steady on his feet. Mike instinctively grabbed Abby's hand. The two walked in tandem into the mansion.

Once they were inside Paul took out his cell phone and called Abby's father, "They're back safe and sound."

"Thank you, Mr. Briggs," Brennan replied.

"Jakes and I are going to be doing some poking around here," Paul advised, "See if there are any gaps in security to slip though." That bomb had to come from somewhere. He looked over the new lower windows. They had gotten cleaned up and replaced quickly. The only signs the bomb had been detonated there were the char and the blood still on the pavement of the driveway. Paul shivered seeing the splotch of red.

"I'd appreciate that," Brennan rubbed the back of his neck, "As much as this security cos,t someone had better be able to tell me how that damn bomb got on my property."

"We'll figure out the breach," Paul assured him. He and Dale started towards the main security office at the gate.

"Lauren is doing a sweep of the system as well as reevaluating the entire security staff," Brennan said, "Speaking of Lauren, she's calling- must have found something. Let me patch her in with us."

"Go ahead," Paul nodded.

"Brennan?" Lauren queried.

"I'm here," Brennan replied, "Paul is on the line as well."

"What did you find?" Paul asked.

"The system was briefly hacked," Lauren said.

"What do you mean hacked?" Brennan frowned.

"They looped the perimeter censors so we couldn't detect them," she clarified.

"Is there any way to trace the source of the hack?" Brennan threw out.

"I'll call one of my guys if you'll give him access," Paul offered.

"Do it," Brennan instructed.

Lauren nodded, "It seems to have been on a timer of some sort."

"How long was it down?" Paul inquired.

"About a half hour window," she answered.

"Long enough to plant the bomb and get out," Paul noted.

"Someone could still be there," Brennan gnawed on his bottom lip, "I want the property searched again."

"Already started- I have teams on it," Lauren said.

"We'll join in," Paul offered.

"No, stay with Abby, Brennan directed, "The more people with her and Mike the better."

"Will do," Paul said. They ended the conversation and hung up.

"Change of plans, Dale," Paul called to the man who had gotten ahead of him.

"What?" Dale questioned.

"Back to the house," Paul motioned with a flick of his head.

Abby brought Mike toward the living room. Johnny followed closely. Johnny was quiet, but even temporarily blinded Mike knew his friend was there.

She took his hands to guide him through the furniture to the couch. "Ten steps forward then turn around," Abby directed. Mike followed her lead. He counted the steps in his head.

"I have a surprise for you," Abby announced once they were seated.

"Let me guess you rearranged the furniture?" Mike quipped.

"I'm having the pool house cleaned," she informed him.

"You are?" he questioned.

"I figured you could use a little peace and quiet while you heal," Abby explained.

"That would be nice," Mike replied. Not something he would get if they stayed in the main house with all the people now in and out of there because of Bello. "We can lock everyone out?" he smirked.

"Yep, you, me, and lots of cuddle time," she fingered his collar.

"Sounds just like what the doctor ordered," Mike said, "I am at your mercy." He kissed her forehead. Abby sighed contently and snuggled down.

They rested together a few minutes before Paul and Dale entered.

"What's up?" Johnny looked between the two men, "I thought you were heading to the gate."

"Brennan wants us back here for now," Paul explained.

"Why is that?" Mike asked.

"Who else is here?" Paul inquired.

"Georgia is around and Will's in the kitchen," Abby answered, "As far as I know- there are some people cleaning the pool house too."

"Would anyone else be?" Mike questioned.

"We think we've figured out how they got the bomb on the property," Paul replied.

"That's good right?" Abby queried.

"We think they hacked into the security system and got someone inside," Paul shared.

Mike shook his head. "Well, sh!t," he smiled angrily.

"They probably left before the police got here," Paul offered.

"They still got in," Mike replied.

"Dale and I are going to sweep the mansion and be back," Paul stated.

"It's just a precaution," Dale added. The two men left promising to return.

Mike leaned forward and began bouncing a leg. His girlfriend squeezed his knee. "Let them take care of it," Abby entreated. She leaned over to him. "Please, I need you to get better, Mike," Abby rested her forehead against his temple.

He allowed her presence to calm him. Mike relaxed back into the couch and Abby came with him.

"Can I get you anything, Baby?" Abby asked.

"Maybe some water?" Mike licked his dry lips, "I am a little thirsty."

"Of course," she replied, "Would you like ice?"

"Mike likes some water with his ice," Johnny quipped.

"I do like a lot of ice," Mike admitted it.

"Ok, then," Abby kissed his cheek. She locked eyes with Johnny and motioned to Mike with her head. Johnny got her meaning and nodded. Abby pulled herself up off the couch and away from Mike. Abby backed all the way to the kitchen. She didn't want him out of her sight for a moment longer than necessary.

After Abby vanished behind the kitchen door Johnny's phone beeped. He tugged it out of his pocket and checked the message.

"What is it?" Mike questioned.

"Heads up- your ex just passed the gate," Johnny warned.

Mike threw his head back exasperatedly. "Really?" he muttered. Piper was bound to show up eventually. Mike just wished he had at least an hour to relax first. "Don't suppose I can talk you into hiding me?" he asked.

"We can sneak you into the kitchen with Abby," Johnny offered. She'd freak out if Mike disappeared right now.

"I'm in," Mike agreed. Johnny crossed over to his friend and offered him an arm. Mike grasped him by his wrist, Mike used his free hand to push on the arm of the couch.

"Nice and easy," Johnny said.

He got Mike onto his feet as Piper came down the hall. She carried the same box of Mike's things. Maybe this was a waste of time and Piper should have waited a few more days to insure Mike was out of the hospital, but she couldn't stand to be in same room with Grant at the moment. His pleading eyes were driving her crazy. Then Piper saw Mike. Piper gasped at his bandages, "Mike?" She ran to Mike and threw her arms around him. Johnny got pushed to the side. Abby returned just in time to see Mike jump back from the hug and hiss in pain.

"Are you ok?" Abby ran to him not minding the glass of water she held. Piper said the exact same thing at the exact same moment. Johnny stepped aside and let Abby get to Mike.

The two directions of noise made it hard for him to know where Abby was. "I'm fine," he blew out a breath. Without seeing his eyes Abby couldn't tell if that was the truth or he was covering. She sat the glass down on the coffee table.

"You shouldn't be moving so fast," Abby lovingly admonished.

Mike leaned towards her and whispered in her ear, "If I could have moved faster I would have avoided the whole thing." Abby cupped his cheek.

"No one told me you were being discharged today," Piper said.

"That was need to know," Mike replied. Piper tried not to feel the string of the words.

"If someone had let me know I would have been here," Piper whined.

Mike enveloped his girlfriend in an embrace. Abby gently slipped her arms around his waist in return. "I am not and won't be alone, Piper," Mike insisted.

"I'm taking some time off to take care of my boyfriend," Abby added.

"Must be nice," Piper muttered under her breath. She owned the foundation for lack of a better term. Abby couldn't be fired.

"Why did you come here?" Mike asked.

"I brought some of your things from the blast that they already processed," Piper answered.

"Couldn't that have waited?" Mike replied, "I mean, what am I going to do with shattered pieces of stuff and ripped clothes?"

"Actually your phone came out pretty much intact, just some minor cracks," Piper crossed her arms.

"My phone works?" Mike questioned.

"It does, a small miracle, right?" Piper smiled, "Your watch is smashed though."

"Where's the stuff?" Johnny asked.

"Over there," Piper pointed out the box. Johnny went to pick it up. "What happened to your eyes?" Piper questioned.

"It's flash burn, apparently I got a pretty up close view of the blast," Mike snipped.

"I was just asking, no one told me anything," Piper replied. She sighed. "You'll be happy to know that Horatio contacted Bello," Piper said, "They are working on getting him released so he'll lead us to Bello."

Mike grabbed his forehead. "Does your head hurt?" Abby asked.

"Starting to," he grimaced.

"We should get you lying down," Abby insisted.

"I just need to sit I think," Mike replied.

"Are you dizzy? Maybe I should call Dr. Webber," Abby said.

"I'll be fine- the meds must be wearing off," he replied.

"Johnny, did Mike's prescriptions get filled?" Abby asked.

"Yeah, they should have been delivered already," Johnny answered.

"Georgia, are you down here?" Abby called.

"I'll be there in a moment, Miss Abby," the housekeeper called back. Georgia appeared a few minutes later holding a paper bag from a pharmacy, "Looking for these?"

"Georgia, you rock," Abby thanked her and took the bag. Georgia was gone before Abby ripped opened the stapled closed bag. There were two bottles of pills as well as a jar of ointment for Mike's cuts.

Abby set the jar aside and read the label instructions for both bottles. One of the pill bottles joined the jar. With some effort she got the other bottle open. Abby poured the correct number of pills out into her palm. "Here," Abby put two pills in his hand. He popped them into his mouth. Abby gave him his water. Under her concerned gaze, Mike took a sip and swallowed. He drank a little more. After the glass was about halfway empty he set it on an end table.

Abby took a throw blanket and settled it over Mike's lap and legs. Piper looked on more than a little jealous Mike was letting Abby fuss over him. She had never gotten that opportunity. After he had been shot he wanted nothing to do with her.

Abby sat a short distance away from him. She gently laid her hands on his shoulders, "Come on, lay down." Abby tugged Mike toward her. He complied easing down towards her. She urged his head into her lap, "Just rest now."

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