The Client

Chapter 3

Mike stretched himself awake. He sat up and threw his legs over the side of the bed. Mike rubbed his face the last image from his final dream replayed in his mind. A certain beautiful brunette was smiling at him. He groaned, remembering Abby was sleeping just down the hall. He shook off the thought and stood. He needed to get ready for their run. Johnny had checked out the route last night and everything was clear and green lighted to go. Mike grabbed his clothes and toiletry bag then headed out to the hall bathroom. He brushed his teeth. Not wanting to scare Abby with his whiskers Mike shaved before changing. He cleared out his things back to his room.

Mike was standing out in the hall waiting for Abby a full ten minutes early- just like he promised. Five minutes before the set time Abby's door opened. Abby stepped out in full running gear. Complete with black running pants, powder blue running shirt, and a powder blue and black running jacket. Her brunette hair pulled back. Suddenly Mike felt a tad under dressed in his t-shirt and exercise shorts. At least he wore the right shoes.

"Good Morning," Mike greeted.

"It is," Abby looked him over, "Good morning." He was still as attractive as he was last night. Sleep hadn't changed her view. She bit her bottom lip. "I hope you slept well," she smiled.

"I did," Mike gave her a crooked grin, "It's a comfortable room."

"It was my brother's," Abby replied.

Mike nodded not sure how to respond to that comment. He didn't want to push her into talking about a subject as painful as he imagined Daniel would be. The room had been chosen for strategic purposes. Both Mike and Johnny had rooms between Abby's and the stairs. Mike cleared his throat. "You take your running pretty serious, huh?" he indicated her outfit.

"Go big or go home," she chuckled, "Ready?"

Abby spotted the top of a gun and in waist band holster at Mike's hip. It tucked in part of the hem his shirt. She froze. Mike picked up on her uneasiness. He had been warned neither of the Sinclairs cared for guns. "I have to take it if we're going off the grounds," Mike said. He pulled the hem of his brown t-shirt and covered the gun in its holster.

"Of course," Abby pulled herself together. They started for the stairs.

Johnny was in the entry room drinking his coffee. "Morning," he greeted.

"All clear?" Mike asked.

Johnny nodded. He had checked out the route last night. It was pretty low traffic. "You've still got the green light," Johnny replied.

"Thanks," Abby said.

"See you in an hour and a half," Mike opened the door.

"Five minutes after that I'll go searching," Johnny replied.

Abby waved and the two were out the front door. Mike & Abby walked down the drive way. They stretched at the gate before taking off. They started out at a nice steady pace. Abby was ready to push the speed. "Come and get me!" she darted in front. Mike laughed and picked up speed.

They got to their turn around point and stopped to catch their breath. "You're faster than I thought you were," Mike bent down supporting himself with his hands on his upper leg, "You're kind of like, legit fast. Did you run track?"

"Cross Country," Abby replied.

Mike squinted playfully, "Cross Country, right. Is that the one where you run around in the mud in the middle of nowhere?"

"Anywhere a road takes you is probably not a place worth going," Abby deadpanned.

They both stared at each other for a moment. Abby tugged a stubborn strand that refused to be restrained into her ponytail, as a strand always does. She tucked it behind her ear. Mike shifted on the balls of his feet. He straightened his shoulders.

They got going down the road. Mike's ears picked up the rumble of a car. As fast as they were running it kept getting closer. They steered closer to the shoulder of the road. He sensed something off. "I've seen you go faster," Mike quipped.

"Careful what you wish for," Abby picked up speed. Mike matched hers urging her faster. Soon an SUV came up behind them. They were single file so the vehicle could pass easily still it slowed down and followed them. Mike casted a suspicions glance back over his shoulder. This car was fishy.

It began to push them. Abby stumbled over a rock. Mike pulled Abby into his chest. She didn't even try to resist as they fell. He shielded his charge as best as he could. His arm was under her as they hit the gravel hard rolling just out of the SUV's path. Mike retrieved the gun from his holster and aimed it in the direction of the SUV. The driver of the SUV put it into reverse to come at them with more momentum. It would catch them if they tried to stand. Mike rolled off the side of the road with Abby. The pair ended up under some brush. He was on his elbows to brace his weight and not crush her underneath. They heard the SUV drive off. "Are you ok?" Mike looked down into her face.

"Yeah," she gasped for air. Her heart was about to beat out of her chest. Mike helped her get to her stomach. "Do you think they're coming back?" Abby asked.

"Whatever happens get to the gate," Mike instructed. They had backup there. Abby nodded. They crawled under the plants until coming to their end. Mike poked out with his gun. Finding everything clear he got out. Mike swept the area before reaching his hand back into the bushes and helping Abby out. He helped her to her feet. "To the gate," Mike reiterated. They both took off. Mike keeping himself angled to protect her. It wasn't long until they reached the safety. Abby punched in her number and the gate opened. The two hurried inside. She breathed a sigh of relief when the gate closed.

Mike got out his cell and called in the incident. When he hung up he locked gazes with Abby's chocolate eyes. The poor dear was trembling. Mike couldn't explain why, but the sweet girl tugged at his heartstrings. He tentative reached out. Abby walked into his arms. She rested against his chest and allowed his perceive calm to overshadow her nerves. With Abby calming in his embrace Mike renewed a vow that he wouldn't let anyone harm a hair on her head.

"Thank you," she pulled away.

"Anytime," he let her go.

Brennan and his security head, Lauren Kincaid, met them in a room at the gate house. "Abby!" Brennan ran to his daughter. He looked her over. Abby's face and hands had a few minor scratches, but other than that nothing.

"I'm ok, thanks to Mike," Abby said. Brennan choked on blinked back tears. He hugged her tight. Rocking a slightly Brennan mouthed 'Thank you' to Mike. The younger man tipped his head.

"Tell me exactly what happened," Lauren directed.

"Mike and I were out for a morning run," Abby began, "We were just about to head back when this SUV came from out of nowhere."

"SUV?" Lauren asked.

"A blue Ford," Mike recalled, "An Edge most likely."

"It knocked us off the road," Abby concluded.

"Did either of you see the driver?" Lauren questioned.

"Baseball cap and sunglasses," Mike recalled his brief glance back.

"Man or woman?" Brennan wondered.

"Couldn't tell you," Mike put his hands on his hips.

Vance peeked his head in the door, "Abby?"

"Vance? How did you get here?" Abby questioned. She was still a bit in shock from getting run off the road.

"I left my badge at the house, coming in to get it I heard you and Brennan were out here- what happened?" Vance's brow furrowed.

"An SUV went after us on our run," Mike informed him. Vance's eyes widened. Mike had already had a chance to be a hero for Abby. Vance looked at the brunette. The next thought in his head was that he need to get his girlfriend away from Mike. "I'm gonna check her out," Vance said. Brennan nodded.

"What?" Abby asked.

"Come on, Babe," Vance began to tug her away. Abby's eyes were glued back on Mike. He watched her over Lauren's shoulder.

"What can you tell us about the car?" Lauren asked.

"It was a rental," Mike informed them.

"Makes sense," Brennan remarked.

"Got a plate number?" Lauren got out her phone.

Mike closed his eyes, "The front plate was AXZ-5551."

Lauren texted what he repeated down to someone to run it, "Excellent."

Vance made Abby sit down on a table on the side of the room. "Jacket off," he directed.

"I am fine- you should be checking out Mike he took the brunt of the fall," Abby insisted.

"He was doing his job," Vance said coolly, "You're the one I care about- not some bodyguard."

"Did you hear how that sounded?" she demanded.

"You know what I mean," he returned. She glared at him. "Come on, Babe, off with the jacket," Vance insisted. Abby huffed. He was trying to be a good boyfriend she supposed. Abby slipped off her running jacket, setting it beside her.

"See, I'm ok," she showed him her arms.

"How did you fall?" Vance asked.

"On our sides," Abby answered.

Our sides. He didn't like the sound of that. "Did you hit your head?" Vance inquired.

"No, Mike cushioned it with his shoulder," she replied. Vance bit the inside of his cheek. Things just keep getting worse. "He shielded me," Abby added, "He was doing his job."

"I'll have to thank him," he stared ahead blankly. His calculated expression had the intended effect.

Abby sighed, feeling a little guilty. She cupped his cheek in the palm of her hand. Vance turned his face to hers. She surveyed the summer blonde with ice blue eyes. He was a handsome man Abby knew. Still the connection was fizzling. "You're going to be late," she said.

"If I'm not need here I guess I'll go into work," Vance said, wanting her to ask him to stay.

"See you later," Abby said. Vance squeezed her hand and left.

"Everything all right?" Mike approached.

"Yes, don't worry about Vance," she said.

"I don't want to cause any problems between you and your boyfriend," Mike leaned against the table.

"There were problems before you showed up," Abby shrugged.

They were interrupted by Johnny's voice. "Someone call in the medics?" Johnny chirped. He came in carrying a first aid kit.

"Over here, Johnny," Abby called. Johnny came to the table, set the kit down and opened it.

Mike pulled up the sleeve and let Johnny get to work cleaning the arm up. Abby watched. She grimaced, "That has to hurt."

"It's ok- I've got a high pain tolerance," Mike replied.

Johnny smirked. "You're doing great, Mikey," Johnny patted Mike's upper arm where he knew a bruise was forming. Instead of yelping in pain Mike narrowed his eyes and glared at his friend. Johnny sorted. He finished up. "I know kissing the road sounds fun, but don't do it again," Johnny teased, "Doctor's orders." Mike wanted to frown, but he couldn't stay mad when Abby laughed at the joke. Johnny reminded her of a slightly younger, guy version of Charlie. Almost. Which was pretty cool actually.

Brennan finished talking with Lauren and came over to Abby. "You ok?" Brennan asked Mike.

"Yeah," Mike answered.

Brennan wrapped an arm around Abby. She leaned into him. "I've got meetings to get to. You'll be ok?" Brennan asked.

"I'm good- I need to head into the office," Abby replied.

"I'll see you for dinner," Brennan kissed the temple of Abby's head. He drew away from her. She patted his arm as he let go. Brennan caught Mike and Johnny's eyes, "Call me if anything happens."

"Will do," Mike promised.

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