Mike & Abby were now in the pool house on the second level. In the bedroom they both lay on their sides on the mattress facing each other. She watched the sun dancing on him and wondered if he had fallen asleep yet. There were smaller bandages over his eyes now, but they still were there and covered his eyes. Mike reached up and laid his hand on her elbow.
"What time is it?" he asked.
She looked over at the clock, "It's just after one."
Mike stretched with a yawn. "I'm sleeping away the day," he murmured.
"Your body needs the rest," Abby replied, "Are you hungry? I was thinking of burritos for lunch." One should be fairly easy for Mike to eat.
"Now that you mention it a black bean burrito would hit the spot," he inched towards her.
"All right then- I'll call it in, should be about a half hour," she said.
"Ok," he nodded.
"Maybe after that I should get a shower while we wait," Abby thought out loud.
"Yeah, you deserve a break," Mike encouraged.
"I'd run a bath and ask you to join me, but there's no tub," she explained.
"Go ahead, I'm a big boy- I can take care of myself for fifteen minutes," he urged.
"Ok, I won't take long," Abby kissed his forehead. She pushed herself up off of the bed.
"Enjoy your shower," Mike said.
After the call to the kitchen, Abby headed to the adjoining bathroom. She left the main door open so she could see him in the bed. The three quarters glass shower door on the shower would allow an unobstructed sight line to Mike. Abby got the water going and undressed. Once the water was a suitable temperature she got in and began to wash.
Mike's mind got racing after Abby began her shower. After one… This meant his mother should be home from work soon. His hand patted along the nightstand until it found his phone. He unplugged it and sat up. Using the railing he made his way down the stairs and outside.
Piper ha been in the courtyard when he came out. She didn't make a sound and just watched him from a distance as he made his call. Mike hit a button that brought the phone to voice commands. "Call Mom's House," he instructed. Mike waited as the phone began to ring.
"Hello?" Mike's mother's new husband answered. Technically the man could be called his stepfather, but by the time Rachel remarried Mike was already off at college.
"Hi, Emmet," Mike replied.
"Hello, Mike, How are you doing?" Emmet asked.
"Better," the younger man answered.
"Rachel is in the garden she should be in at any moment," Emmet explained, "Do you want to wait for her or…"
"I called to talk to her, but actually I wanted to ask you something too," Mike admitted.
"Go ahead," Emmet said.
Mike asked, "Do you have any plans for Mom's birthday?"
"Just reservations at her favorite restaurant," Emmet replied.
"Would you mind if I surprised Mom with a visit for her birthday?" Mike queried.
"Rachel would love that," Emmet smiled, "I can always call and add one more."
"It would have to be two more- I'd be bringing someone with me," Mike said.
"Really?" Emmet's smile turned into a wide grin. This would make Rachel very happy indeed. "Would that be the young lady with you in the picture your mother showed me- the one you just send her?" he inquired.
"Yes," Mike replied.
"Good for you," Emmet nodded, "I'm glad. Rachel has been very worried about you in that regard."
"Is that Mike?" he heard his mother's voice in the background.
"Yes, Darling," Emmet called to his wife.
"I'll be there in a minute."
"You can't tell mom," Mike reminded Emmet.
"Our secret," Emmet promised, "Ah, here she is." He handed the phone over to his wife who was now just coming into the room.
"Mike," Rachel grabbed the phone from Emmet, "Are you ok? You haven't gone back to the hospital have you?"
"No, I'm fine," Mike replied.
"I was going to call you at bedtime," she replied.
"I guess I'm just a little jumpy," he scrunched up his nose.
The mother and son talked for a few more minutes with Piper listening in. The conversation turned to his grandparents.
"You don't happen to still have Grandma's engagement ring around somewhere?" Mike inquired.
"Maybe, but you know the rules- I have to meet the girl first," Rachel answered. That ring was a family heirloom and would not go to just any girl.
"Abby, her name is Abby," Mike chuckled.
Piper silently seethed. Mike couldn't already be thinking of marrying the little twat. She just bet the daddy's girl would get Mike's mother's approval and the ring. Rachel had flat out refused to let Mike give Piper the ring even when they thought that she was having his baby.
"It's a little soon to be thinking of such things isn't it?" Rachel asked.
"It's fast and I would wait a little to ask, but she is definitely wife material," Mike smiled.
"Thank you for seeing me, Judge Jackson," Brennan approached and stretched out his hand.
"Governor Sinclair, to what do I owe this pleasure?" a judge just younger than him reached over her desk and shook his hand. She motioned for him to sit and when he had she did likewise.
"I won't take too much of your time, this is about Horatio Felix," he straightened his suit jacket. Might as well get straight to the point.
"Oh, him- I have been recused from his case," she replied.
"I know," Brennan nodded, "I heard about the incident."
"He's blow hard," Judge Jackson waved off Horatio and one of his goons threatening her with a gun. She didn't scare easily.
"Would it upset you if Horatio got out on bond?" he inquired.
"Why do you ask?" Judge Jackson tilted her head.
"I need him to get us to the man that is trying to kill my daughter," Brennan explained.
"I'm not sure I follow," she frowned.
"He's been sheltering an associate, and that man has been harassing my daughter- tried to have her shot, kidnapped," he clarified.
Her eyes lit as she connected the dots, "Is this the person that is responsible for the car bomb on your propriety."
"We believe so," Brennan nodded, "My daughter's boyfriend was injured in the blast."
"I'm sorry, I hope he is recovering," Judge Jackson said.
"They took him back to the estate to recuperate," he offered, "Mike's a good kid."
"You think Horatio will lead you to this person?" the judge inquired.
"We have heard him on a contraband cell phone," Brennan answered, "It sounded like he was speaking to the man we are looking for."
"But you're not completely sure," she deduced.
"There were no names exchanged, but it's a strong possibility it's him," he shrugged.
"When is he getting released?" Judge Jackson settled back into her seat.
"If we can work it out sometime tomorrow," Brennan looked her in the eyes.
The judge nodded, "Ok."
"I just wanted to talk to you personally so you weren't blindsided," he said.
"I appreciate that," she said.
"Do you have somewhere to go where you'll be safe?" Brennan inquired.
"Do what you need to do," Judge Jackson replied, "I'll be fine."
"Best case scenario he gets caught with his associate, then he can be charged with harboring a fugitive and conspiracy- it'll get him off the streets longer," he offered.
"Look, there's the kitty," Charlie pointed out the animal to the little girl in her lap.
Hannah laughed, "She's fluffy."
"What does a kitty say?" Charlie asked.
"Meow," Hannah did her best to emulate a cat.
"Right," Charlie chuckled. She meowed back to Hannah. The surgeon continued to read. "And the kitten climbed higher and higher," Charlie turned the page of the children's book Hannah had picked, "Until she got onto the highest spot and couldn't go any higher."
"Oh no, Kitty sad," Hannah pouted.
"She does look sad doesn't she?" Charlie replied.
"She's stuck," Hannah pronounced.
"She got herself in quite a pickle didn't she?" Charlie raised a playful eyebrow.
"Pickle!" Hannah laughed again, "You're funny, Dr. Charlie."
"Let's see what happens now," Charlie motion for Hannah to turn the page. Hannah reached for the page corner with her good hand. She fumbled a bit with the paper before being able to get a hold of it. Hannah looked to Charlie who nodded in encouragement. Hannah turned the page. "The kitten meowed and meowed. Emma heard her from the other room and came in..."
After they finished the book, the two ate lunch together before Charlie headed back to work. As she was walking down the hallway, her cell phone began to ring.
"Hey, Bro," Charlie answered.
"Hey, Sis," Johnny replied. Having a sibling was strangely comforting. "How's Sam working out?" he inquired.
"He's not very talkative," Charlie frowned. The burly man following her around had barely spoken a word to her.
"Sam's just focused on his job," her brother replied.
"I guess that's a good thing," Charlie shrugged.
"So you are in the middle of what, a triple shift? When are you getting off?" Johnny asked.
"Soon," she sighed.
"You're not avoiding coming back to the estate are you?" he quipped.
"Have you heard from Lucia yet?" Charlie changed the subject.
"She'll be coming over tomorrow to visit," Johnny said, "She said she wanted to give Mike and Abby a bit of time to recharge."
"Sounds like a good plan," Charlie nodded. Mike & Abby didn't need to be bombarded with visitors at the moment.
"Are you ok, Charlie?" he asked. Johnny could feel something was off.
"I'm fine- they won't let me work past three," Charlie conceded.
"And then you'll come back here, right? I'd hate to have to track you down," he teased.
Abby finished rinsing the shampoo out of her hair. Raking her fingers through the wet tresses, she turned around and saw Mike was no longer in the bed. Her heart began to beat in her throat. Abby pulled down the shower knob, shutting the water off. "Mike?!" she called out. No answer. Abby grabbed a towel and hurriedly wiped off not bothering with her hair. She threw on a bathrobe over her still damp body. "Mike?!" Abby shouted. She searched the whole top level of the pool house with no luck. Not finding him downstairs Abby raced outside. She found Mike standing out in the yard with no shoes and his face up so he could feel the sun.
"Where the hell have you been?!" Abby charged.
"I just went for some air and called my mom," Mike explained. Her voice sounded angry. "What's wrong?" he inquired.
Piper heard Abby come out of the house and dove behind a corner. She had planned to stop eavesdropping and go inside, but couldn't help herself. Piper saw a fight brewing between the two love birds. She wouldn't have been human if it didn't make her feel at least a little giddy.
"You could have told me where you were going," Abby crossed her arms over her chest.
"I didn't want to disturb your shower- it's not that big of a deal," Mike replied.
"It is a big deal! You just got out of the hospital- you can't just go wandering around," Abby countered.
"I was going to come back," Mike asserted.
"You can't see right now- what if you had fallen into the pool?" she demanded.
"I know how to swim," he said.
"Water would have gotten in your eyes," Abby could feel a heat rising within her. She told herself to control her temper. Mike didn't need her snapping at her like this.
"I've been careful," he said attempting to sooth her. Not being able to look Abby in the eyes was so frustrating. Mike hadn't realized how much of their communication happened through eye contact until now.
"You bled in my hands on the driveway then had a seizure right in front of my eyes! I saw you flat line. I watched Vance struggle to revive you," Abby snapped, "That was me. I was there, and as obsessive as this sounds, I need to know that you are ok."
"Take me to a lounge chair," he requested.
"What?" Abby's brow furrowed.
"Let's go sit," he held out his hand. Abby took Mike's hand and took him over to one of the chairs. He sat in the middle with his legs off on one side. He patted the end of the chair to indicate for her to sit, which she did. "Talk to me- how can I fix this?" Mike said.
"Not running off again would be a good start," Abby sniffled.
"I understand you're angry-" Mike began.
"I'm not angry, I'm scared!" she cut him off.
"Ok, you're scared," Mike pursed his lips and nodded, "I'm scared too. It's not easy knowing Bello got that close to hurting you."
"But I'm not the one who was hurt, you were," Abby set her shoulders.
"Better me than you," he returned.
"Don't say that- don't you freaking dare say that!" she jumped to her feet.
"Abs," Mike latched onto her wrist.
"I almost lost you twice in one day," Abby contended.
"Sit back down, please," he pled.
She slowly complied. Abby took a deep breath, "I closed my eyes for one minute to wash my hair and you vanish into thin air."
Mike swallowed. "I'm not the only one that was hurt in the blast," he hung his head. She sobbed in response. "I already told you I am not going anywhere," Mike placed his hands on her knees.
"Don't make a promise you can't keep," Abby countered.
"You're right, I can't promise nothing bad will ever happen to me," he acknowledged, "But I don't want to leave you." By instinct he took her face in his hands as if to lock eyes with her. The action rang sincere to Abby. Mike could feel her cheeks were wet. Whether the moisture was due to her still dripping hair or her tears he didn't know. "I'm sorry I left you, Abby," Mike apologized. He drew their faces together. His lips searched for hers. She closed her eyes and met him in a tender kiss.
Mike hooked an arm around her back. His hand gently caressed her back and urged her closer. Abby broke off the kiss. "I don't want to hurt you," she protested.
"You won't," he promised, "C'mere." Mike guided her into his lap. "See, I'm just fine- I didn't disappear," he assured her. Abby threw her arms around Mike and kissed him. She buried her face in his neck. He rocked her soothingly.
Piper ran out front to her car. She had peeked around the corner of the mansion just in time to see them kiss. Mike sure knew how to end an argument when he wanted to. She slammed the driver's door shut. Piper let herself calm before taking off.