Jedís next call was to Leo. "Leo, Charlie didnít show up for work this morning."
"You checked with Zoey." It was a statement, not a question.
"Gina says he left Zoey around ten. No one has seen or heard from him since."
"I know what youíre thinking, sir," Leo said reluctantly.
"Get on this, Leo. I want answers in fifteen minutes."
"Yes sir." Leo barely got the words out before the line was broken. He sighed; he hadnít even had his coffee yet. "Margaret!"
His red-haired assistant was there instantly. "You bellowed?"
"Iím not in the mood today, Margaret. Call Charlie Youngís apartment. And get Josh and Sam in here now."
"Okay." She turned to leave when Leo stopped her.
"Margaret. Get me the number to those FBI agents. You know the ones."
"Sure Leo." Margaretís stomach flipped. If Leo wanted those agentsÖthis was bad.
Five minutes later, Sam and Josh entered Leoís office followed by an anxious Margaret. Leo didnít even acknowledge the younger menís presence. "Anything, Margaret?"
"No answer. I also checked with his buildingís security office. He never made it home last night."
"Who?" Sam asked.
"Leo," Josh asked, "whatís going on?"
"What Iím about to tell you stays here." He paused and looked at them directly. "Charlie didnít show up for work today." He didnít give anyone a chance to react. "He left Zoey around ten last night and no one has seen him since then. Have either of you heard from him?" Sam and Josh shook their heads in stunned silence. "All right. Josh, get over to his apartment. Find out if heís there, if heís sick, hurt, whatever. And check on Deena, make sure sheís okay. Sam, contact the hospitals in the area. See if he was admitted anywhere. Give them a description; he could have been admitted as a John Doe. Have Kathy and Bonnie help you on this. Margaret, check with DC Police; see if they have any reports of accidents or crimes involving anyone matching Charlieís description. The President expects an update in ten minutes."
"What about CJ and Toby," Sam asked.
"No one who is directly involved is to be told about this, is that clear?" Leo responded. "Time is of the essence here. Go."
Sam and Josh went scurrying out of his office. Margaret remained, trying not to give way to the panic that was rising inside her, but she needed to voice her concerns. "Do you think-"
Leo cut her off. "Margaret, right now I donít know what to think. I need some answers. Beyond that, I donít even want to go there."
"Has anyone told Zoey?"
"No. Not until we know something definite." He flopped down in his seat for the first time since he entered his office. "Do you have those numbers for me?"
"Right here." She handed him a slip of paper.
"Thanks." He nodded to her and she excused herself. Leo dialed the number on the paper. After two rings, the line was picked up.
"Federal Bureau of Investigations. Agent Forbes speaking."
"Lauren? Itís Leo McGarry."
"Leo? Howíve you been?"
"Iíve been better." He spoke quickly, bringing the agent up to date. He finished by saying, "This is unofficial right now, but I wanted you to be aware of whatís going on, just in case."
Lauren was writing as Leo spoke. When he finished, she said, "Iíll do some checking. Let me know if you hear anything."