The Client

Chapter 7

Johnny took up guard position on the door of the dressing room while Mike went inside with Abby. He leaned against a counter and watched a makeup artist brush something on all over Abby's face while she held her eyes closed. "Why do pretty women like you subject themselves to getting that goop put all over their faces?" Mike questioned.

"It's not goop- it's powder and very light," Abby laughed. The makeup artist paused to get out some simmer for her eyes.

"Same difference," he crossed his arms over his chest.

"Call it temporary enhancement," she answered. Mike scrunched up his nose. Abby certainly didn't need any of that. She was a natural beauty. His face made her laugh harder. "It washes off," Abby closed her eyes. The makeup artist applied a small amount of the simmer to each of her eyelids. Next up was mascara. The makeup artist retrieved some blush. Abby angled to give better access as he brushed across the apple of one cheek then the next. The makeup artist brushed on lipstick with a smaller brush. He gave Abby a tissue to blot on. She did. He did a second layer. After pronouncing her done the makeup artist gathered his things. Abby thanked him before he left. She took a few minutes to do a once over.

Mike had to take some of his objection to the makeup back. He liked the lipstick. The saturated red was eye catching on Abby's full lips. "Oops, I almost forgot," Mike said. He pulled his tie out of his pocket. Mike tugged up his collar and draped the tie in place over the back of his neck. The tie was solid purple and almost matched Abby's outfit.

"Very nice choice," Abby chuckled. It was only then Mike made the connection.

"Funny, huh?" he brought his collar back down.

"I think it's kind of cute," she replied.

Mike made the knot and pulled it up. "Cute, huh?" he laughed at himself. His eyes were on Abby so the tie ended up a little crooked. "Are we ready?" Mike asked.

"Hold up just a second," Abby directed.

"What is it?" he inquired.

"Your tie is off," she answered.


"Here, let me help you," Abby stepped forward into his personal space. Her hand drifted up to his tie. She straightened it. His eyes focused on her newly red lips. Those lips needed to be kissed. It took all he had inside not to dip in and make that move. 'She has a boyfriend,' Mike kept telling himself. Abby gazed into his eyes before her eyes set on his mouth. It was only a breath or two between their lips. She could easily push up on her toes and close the gap. After what seemed an agonizing eternity Abby patted the tie down and turned away. She would have kissed him if she had stayed there much longer. That would have been bad. Now just wasn't the right time. Neither spoke for a long minute.

"Thanks, I'm a little out of practice," he broke the awkward silence.

"No problem," Abby made her way to the door. Mike followed her.

"Looking gorgeous," Johnny winked at her as they came out.

"Thank you, Johnny," she replied.

Abby saw her father and Lauren down the hall. They huddled together in what appeared to be a pretty intimate conversation. Abby couldn't hear what they were saying, but liked what she was seeing between the two. Brennan's hands were in his pockets as if to stop himself from touching the woman in front of him. Lauren for her part had her head dipped to the side looking up at Brennan with big doe eyes. He had a smile that would melt any woman- which was a great asset in his election campaigns. Brennan always did well with his female constituents. Lauren smiled back at him. Abby hated to walk over and bust up the moment. She paused and just watched. So did Mike and Johnny.

Brennan spotted his daughter out of the corner of his eye, "Hey, Princess."

"You look lovely, Abby," Lauren greeted.

"Thanks, so do you," Abby reached them. She looked from Brennan to Lauren and back again. Mike and Johnny hung back against the other side of the hallway.

"Sorry to pull you away from work," Brennan apologized.

"It's fine- Violeta has the place running like a clock," Abby replied, "I'm just glad I could be here for you."

"You lobbied hard enough to get the bill passed," Lauren said.

"It was a fight," Brennan nodded.

"Hopefully I'll be just as successful getting funding for the new Peds wing as you were with the bill," Abby said.

Brennan turned to Lauren. "Abby got her ambition from me," he beamed, "Sadly, I don't know where her interest in politics went." Brennan deflated at that thought.

"I'm still a lawyer, Daddy," Abby reminded him.

"Yes, my little Georgetown Girl, I guess we did something right," Brennan included Chloe. Both women understood what he meant.

"Enjoy today," Lauren rested her hand on Brennan's bicep. After a moment she realized she was touching him. Lauren pulled away abruptly, "I should be going." She had a briefing to get to anyway.

Abby smiled at the sudden nervousness, "See you at the after luncheon."

"I'll be watching on the security monitors," Lauren offered. Brennan and she exchanged a look. Lauren bowed out and went to her usual post. He sighed at her retreating form.

"She's nice," Abby encouraged.

"You think so, huh?" Brennan raised his brow playfully.

"Yeah," Abby hip bumped him making Brennan laughed. Mike had to smile. Those two seemed to have a great relationship.

Brennan's secretary approached them. "It's time," he said.

"Shall we?" Brennan said.

Abby turned back. "Come on," she motioned to Mike and Johnny.

They were ushered into the area where the signing was to take place. The camera's started to roll as soon as They walked in. Brennan sat behind a desk. Abby stood behind her father amidst all the camera's clicking. Security guards including Mike and Johnny stood around. Mike stuck as close as he could to Abby. He wanted her within reach. Brennan opened the official file with the bill and read the cover. He looked up at the people there to watch. "Two years of hard pressed work has come down to this," Brennan began his remarks. Mike stood perfectly straight and alert. He was vaguely aware of Brennan speaking, but Mike's attention was elsewhere. He kept his eyes surveying the crowd. "We can all rest easier knowing our families are safer," Brennan added. He signed the paper and applause filled the room.

It was then Mike saw a man draw something shiny and metal out of his jacket. It took a split second for his stomach to drop. He knew exactly what that was- a gun. "Get down!" Mike swiftly covered Abby. A shot rang out over the cheers. The bullet sailed over Mike & Abby's heads. Everyone in the audience cowered except for one lone man with a gun. Brennan was quickly surrounded by his security team. They led him out the back exit of the room. Mike picked Abby up. The man aimed and fired one more shot towards Abby, but Mike was too quick. He ran her out the same way Brennan had gone. The lone gunman tried to follow.

Johnny charged at the guy before anyone could reach him. He caught the goon around the chest and body slammed him, smashing the man down to the ground with a resounding thud. Staying on top, Johnny quickly gained control of the wrist of the hand that held the gun. He smashed it into the floor repeatedly until his opponent released it. They were now surrounded by security officers with guns trained down on them. Lauren led them. "Freeze!" she ordered. Johnny held his hands up. He got out of the way and let the security officers cuff the gun man. Johnny pushed himself up and stared while they took the assailant away.

Once he was out of sight Johnny went to find Mike & Abby. They had made their way with Brennan into a secured room on the bottom level of the building. Mike set Abby on her feet. She began to right herself.

"Are you ok?" Brennan broke free from his security team to check out his daughter.

"I'm fine," Abby hugged him, "What about you?" She pulled back to examine him.

"I'll live," Brennan answered.

Abby looked around, "Where's Johnny? We can't leave him out there." This had to be a nightmare.

"He knows what he's doing," Mike assured her, "Knowing him he tackled whoever it was like a linebacker."

"Do you think there was more than one person?" Brennan asked.

"I don't know- I only heard the two shots- they were from the same guy," Mike answered.

There was a tapping on the door, "Yo, Surfboard, open up."

Mike smirked at the code word and went for the door.

One of the guys outside on the door radioed in, "It's a friendly."

Mike opened the door, "Took you long enough."

Johnny entered, "At least I got him."

"Thank goodness you're all right," Abby placed her hand over her chest. Yes, he and Mike were hired to protect her, but she hated the thought of either of them getting hurt in the process.

"Thank you, Abby- It's nice to know someone cares," Johnny replied. Mike chortled.

Lauren soon joined them. She breezed through the door and stood in front of Brennan, "Is everyone all right?"

"What the hell happened?" Brennan demanded.

"We are still figuring everything out," Lauren answered.

"Who is this guy?" Brennan asked, "Are there others?"

"It was just the one shooter that got in," Lauren clarified, "We caught two before they could get inside- no one was hurt."

"How did the shooter get inside?" Brennan asked. It was not an accusation or said in anger.

"Stole a press pass," Lauren put her hands on her hips. The media were prescreened so he wasn't searched. "We are working on identifying them all and running more background as we speak," she quickly offered.

"Could it be connected to these attempts against Abby?" Mike asked.

"He seemed to be going after me," Abby said shakily. She hadn't seen the gun go off, but she felt the bullets pass. They hadn't missed her or Mike by much.

"I hate to agree," Johnny said.

"I think you're probably right," Lauren acknowledged. She replayed the footage she saw on the monitors in her head.

Mike watched Abby trying to process everything. As scary as the blatant attack was- they might have just caught their first break. This whackjob or one of his friends had to know something.

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