The Client

Chapter 41

Johnny dropped his laptop on his borrowed bed as the alert rang out. He drew his gun from his shoulder holster and readied it. Johnny went over to his back window that over looked the courtyard. He pulled back one panel of the curtains. His stomach fell when he saw two white vans. The door to the pool house was open with two armed men standing guard. There were two drivers in the cars as well. Johnny frowned. The next thing he saw, a gunman came out carrying an unconscious Charlie. His eyes filled up with rage. Luckily his training took over.

Johnny led with the 9mm out of the bedroom and started down the stairs. Finding no activity in the mansion to impede him, Johnny headed for the courtyard to the pool house. A gunman spotted Johnny through the glass sliding doors. Johnny dove behind the couch as shards of glass shattered by the volley of bullets that sailed in. He thought about returning fire, but couldn't risk shooting and hitting one of his friends. He made a split second decision.

Johnny rushed out front to cut the vans off. One white van was already halfway up the drive way. Another was rounding the corner of the mansion. Johnny ran out in front of the oncoming van and aimed his gun. "Stop!" he ordered. Johnny stared the masked driver down. The driver continued to barrel towards him. Johnny fired off several rounds at the van. His 9mm wasn't powerful enough to do any damage to the vehicle. He aimed for the tires, but they had been reinforced.

At the last split-second he had to rollover to the side to avoid being smashed into and crushed by the large vehicle. He landed with a thud as the first van crashed through the gate. The second followed shortly. Johnny quickly got his barrings. As soon as he got his feet under him, he was off like a shot running to his car. There was no way he'd catch them on foot. He jumped into the driver's seat and started the engine. Johnny whipped the car around and flew down the driveway and out of the gate praying he could go fast enough.

Horatio sat in a lavish office waiting impatiently. Piper wore a head set at the command listening in on him. They hadn't gotten a warrant to bug the office, but luckily the listening device they placed in Horatio's cell phone worked to catch most of the sound around him as well. She listened to the silence on the other end. This was stupid. Piper knew she should be out in the field. Not in the same car with Grant of course. She'd kill the idiot. A door opened. Horatio turned and found only his body guard standing there. No one else was with him. "Where is Bello?" Horatio thundered. He had sent someone for the other man over an hour ago.

"You should come see this," the bodyguard replied.

"What is it, Max?" Horatio asked in annoyance.

"It's Tommy," Max answered.

"Did he bring Bello?" Horatio asked.

The bodyguard shook his head no. He didn't want to be the one to give his short tempered boss this news. Horatio groaned heavily as he pushed himself up out of his chair.

Piper heard the movement. "He's on the move," she alerted through her headset. The mobile surveillance units readied.

"Grant, do you have a visual on what's going on out front of the building?" she inquired. Lauren was listening in as well.

"A huge box just got dropped off," Grant radioed in.

"Can you see what's inside?" Piper queried.

Grant craned his neck, doing his best to be inconspicuous, "Not from this angle."

"How about you, Briggs? Can you or Jakes see anything?" Lauren inquired.

Paul pushed the button on the cord of his earpiece that allowed him to transmit, "They shut it pretty quickly- I'll have to wait until they open it again."

Lauren's phone went off. Her laptop screen immediately changed, directing her to the security breach at the estate. "Damnit," Lauren muttered, "Take over for me, Agent Harris. Briggs, are you getting this?"

"Yep," Paul replied, "I'm calling Johnny." He handed over the binoculars to Dale to keep up the surveillance. Paul grabbed out his phone. He was about to hit Johnny's contact button when his phone began to ring. Paul answered and put the phone to his ear. "Johnny, tell me what's happening," he directed.

"Briggs, damn am I happy to hear your voice," Johnny replied, "There was another breach. Two vans of guys got in."

"Do you have the plate numbers on these vans?" Paul asked.

"I'll do you one better," Johnny answered, "I've got them in my sights." He was being very careful they didn't spot him.

"You're following them?" Paul nodded, "Smart work, Johnny." He motioned for Dale to buckle his seat belt.

Meanwhile Lauren was working to get what information she could from the security system. She pulled up the cameras at the estate. She flipped though until she saw the footage from the courtyard cameras, footage showing the gunmen loading Abby then Mike into a white van. Lauren covered her mouth with her hand. She could've thrown up.

"Horatio's outside and checking the box," Grant relied.

"Forget Horatio- the locals will deal with him," Lauren said.

"What's going on?" Grant questioned.

"Bello is not going to meet Horatio- his men already took Abby, the girls and Mike," Lauren related.

Brennan burst into the room, "Lauren?!"

"What are you doing out of your office?" Lauren questioned.

"I got the security alert- what is going on?" he asked.

"You should stay where it is secure," she replied.

"I have been trying to call you," Brennan said.

"I know, I'm sorry," Lauren apologized.

"I've also called the mansion and then Abby's cell at least twenty times. Is she ok?" Brennan began to rush his speech, something he only did when he was scared.

"Security was breached at the estate. We have footage of armed men carrying Abby and her friends into a van," Lauren answered honestly. Brennan's eyes widened at the news. He lost his balance and nearly fell over. One of his aides helped steady him. "As of right now I believe she is physically ok," Lauren offered.

"Lauren," Paul radioed in.

"I hear you, Briggs," she answered.

"Do you know about the vans?" he asked.


"They drove off, but Johnny's got eyes on them- they're heading west on Market," he said.

"Towards the warehouse district," Lauren remarked.

"If we hurry we can cut them off," Paul started the engine.

"Grant, take whoever you need and join Paul," she instructed.

"Already done," Grant put on his seat belt, "You heard her, let's go!"

Lauren directed one of their techs to pull up all the traffic cameras in the area. She stepped forward to Brennan. Lauren rubbed his shoulder comfortingly, "I promise we will get Abby back."

Abby frowned as she slowly stirred. She felt a hand on her shoulder and jumped.

"Abby, it's me," Charlie soothed. She kept her voice low.

Abby felt the movement of a vehicle. They were being driven some place. She opened her eyes, remembering what had happened before she passed out. Abby sat up. She matched Charlie's volume, "Charlie? Are you ok?" When Abby's eyes focused she saw both of her friends.

"We're fine," Charlie answered for Lucia too.

"Mike?" Abby looked around. She found Mike lying behind her. He was still unconscious. She turned over to him. Abby creased his cheek. She could tell he was breathing. "Hang in there, Mike," she pleaded.

"Where are they taking us?" Lucia wondered verbally.

"Nowhere good," Charlie muttered.

Paul switched Johnny's call over to Bluetooth so Grant could hear him through Dale's earpiece radio. "Where are you?" Johnny asked. They were getting close to the vans' destination.

"We're five out," Paul replied. He was using the GPS tracker on Johnny's car to hone in on the location.

"We might not have that long," Johnny replied.

"What do you mean?" Grant asked. He was in the car behind Paul and Jakes.

"They are getting ready to pull off," Johnny noted the turn signal. A gate was opening ahead for them. Johnny looked around trying to find a route for him to get to the gate first. With all the traffic and other obstacles there was no way for him to maneuver in to stop them. Even if he could, his car would not block that big of a gate.

Johnny could only watch as the van carrying the captives was driven inside a warehouse, "And they are gone." There was nothing he could do to stop it. Johnny pulled over into a nearby parking lot. He pounded his steering wheel. Minutes later Paul then Grant pulled in beside him.

"Which one?" Paul asked.

"Over there," Johnny pointed.

"It's gotten darker," Lucia noted

"We're stopping," Charlie whispered. The three girls looked at each other. They heard the unmistakable sound of a motorized door being lowered.

The back doors flew open. They were met by a line of gunmen. "Come out," the lead gunman ordered. Charlie and Lucia got to their feet and slowly made their way out of the van. Abby stayed behind with her boyfriend. "You too," the lead gunman motioned for her to exit the vehicle.

"Not without Mike," Abby protested.

"Get out of the van," he commanded again.

"I can't leave him," she insisted.

"Get them," the lead gunman sent in three men. The first one grabbed Abby roughly by her arm and yanked her to her feet. The other two men picked Mike up. The gunman that had Abby jerked her forward. She kept her eyes on Mike the entire way out of the van.

"Let's go." The girls looked at each other. Their captors led them through the large expanse of the warehouse to a smaller, windowless back room. The men carrying Mike dumped him unceremoniously on the concrete then took up their positions around the room. "Go tell the boss we brought his guests," the lead gunman told a guard that was on the door.

Abby was right on her knees beside Mike. "Mike, baby?" she whispered to him. He didn't even groan. Charlie saw Abby struggling to lift him. She went over and helped her get Mike up. Abby cradled Mike against her chest. She looked to Charlie. "Why isn't he waking up?" Abby questioned.

"He's injured, the gas probably hit his system harder than ours," the doctor speculated.

The door opened and the guard that had been sent for Bello was followed in by the king pin. The room went down ten degrees at his entrance. Bello didn't say a word, but acknowledged his men with his eyes. He had the air of a man in charge. Lucia charged up to him. "Where is Johnny?" she demanded.

"Johnny?" Bello questioned, "You mean Michael's little friend?"

"What did you do to him?" Lucia growled.

"Me? Nothing yet," Bello smirked.

Lucia scowled, "Where is he?"

"You should be more concerned about yourself," Bello suggested. He looked over at Abby. Bello watched the way she clutched Mike tightly as if her life depended on the former Fed.

"Miss Sinclair, we haven't been formerly introduced," Bello opened.

"I know who you are," Abby was trembling inwardly, but it wasn't showing up on the outside just yet. She wouldn't look at Bello. Instead Abby focused on Mike.

"I as do I you," he replied. Bello strode over to where she sat. "I've been watching for some time now," he added.

"Look, you have what you wanted. Please, let my friends go," Abby petitioned.

"That would be rude- after all everyone has just arrived," Bello reached out and stroked the hair on the crown of Abby's head. She recoiled from the touch. Abby closed her eyes. This was not happening.

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