Briggs ended the cell phone call with his boss and forced himself to get out of bed and get dressed. Graceland was getting a new roommate. He stood in the middle of the loft space and yelled out to the closed doors in front of him.
"Everybody up! Family meeting. Downstairs. 5 minutes!"
Mike sat up and groggily looked at the clock on the nightstand. 6:10 am. He put his hands to his temples and fell back onto his pillow.
A small body was stirring next to him. "What's going on?" she asked. He turned to look at Paige, who was lying on her side, curled up and hugging the duvet close to her face.
"No idea," Mike said with an annoyed tone. He could hear Jakes and Johnny in the loft whining at Briggs.
"Living room. Couch. Now," Briggs said from out in the hall. Mike stood up and slid on some basketball shorts over his briefs.
He turned to Paige. "I'll go downstairs with everyone and then you can sneak back over and get dressed."
She nodded, but Mike wasn't convinced that she would stay awake. He threw on a t-shirt and leaned in to kiss her. A smile creeped across her face. "I'm up; I'm up! Geez... I'll wait two minutes and then meet you downstairs. Just go see what's the matter."
Mike saw Charlie leaving her room as he turned to go down the stairs, and she followed behind him. The two of them sat on the couch next to Johnny and Jakes, who was holding a tall glass of orange juice in his hand.
Briggs was pacing in front of them, clutching his cell. He looked up at his housemates. "Where's Paige?"
Mike shrugged his shoulders and pretended to be disinterested. Briggs took a few steps over to the stairs, "P-Funk! Let's go!"
"I'm coming..." echoed from the loft, quickly followed by hurried footsteps.
Mike immediately noticed that she had just thrown on one of his hoodies, but he didn't think that now was the best time to call her out on it. She planted herself in-between Johnny and Mike, a smile somewhat-forcefully plastered on her face as she gave her attention to Briggs.
Charlie spoke first. "Paul, what on Earth..." but she was cut off by the doorbell.
Briggs looked at the door and then back at his roommates. "Just wait here a second." He walked over to the door, but it opened on its own. Clarke, their assistant director, walked in and spoke quietly to Briggs.
Upon seeing Clarke, Jakes got up from the couch. "Why am I up this early for some FBI emergency?"
"It's a house matter, babe," Charlie said to him, "not just FBI." Chuck reached out to Jakes and gently coerced him to sit back down with the group.
Briggs peered out to look behind Clarke into the entranceway, but quickly averted his eyes back to his boss. The others could see Briggs nodding and they watched as Clarke turned around and left the house.
Briggs sighed and made his way back over to his housemates.
"Briggs, man, what is going on?" Johnny asked with a more serious tone than usual.
"We," Briggs started, looking at each of them as he spoke, "are getting a new roommate for at least three-five weeks".
Mike looked puzzled. "That's it?" he asked. "We needed to have an emergency meeting over a new roommate?" The others were nodding in agreement.
"Wait, wait, wait, there's more to it than that," Briggs said as he sat down facing them. "Graceland will be acting as a safe house. You remember Lil' Top? The guy who treated our Paige with so much care? Well, his buddies had a house where they kept stock. Weapons, coke, cash, identity cards, everything."
He paused for a second to make sure everyone was still paying attention and then glanced over at the front door again before continuing. "Well, the FBI raided the house two nights ago and took all the guys into custody. Only a few were there during the take-down... but last night, our guys go back to gather more evidence, and they found a -" but Briggs couldn't finish his story because the door opened again. Briggs, along with his five housemates, turned to see who it was.
Standing in the doorway was their FBI assistant director. In one hand he held a small duffel bag, and the members of Graceland could see a little girl standing behind him with her two hands wrapped tightly around his leg.