True to his word, Jed was in his office in fifteen minutes. Leo joined him there.

"What do we know," Jed asked curtly.

"Margaret checked with DC Police. They have no reports of accidents or arrests involving Charlie or anyone matching his description. Sam is checking with the hospitals in the area and Josh is on his way to the apartment. We should be hearing from him shortly.

"Good." Jed stared at the floor for a moment before he spoke. "If anythingís happened to him, I donít know how Iím going to tell Zoey." He looked up at his friend. "She really does care a lot about him."

"Yeah," Leo answered, "Iíd say she does." At that moment, Margaret and Sam entered the Oval Office from the side entrance through Leoís office. "Iíve got Josh on the phone," she said.

"Put him through," Leo replied. Margaret left and a moment later, Jedís phone rang. Leo punched the speakerphone and spoke. "Josh, Iím here with Sam and the President. What have you found out?"

"He never made it home. I checked his apartment. It doesnít look like anythingís been disturbedÖ"

They heard the hesitation in Joshís voice. "What else, Josh?" Jed asked.

"One of the security guys said that he saw Deena leave last night in a cab. He doesnít know which one."

"What time did she leave?" Leo asked.

"Around ten-thirty. And I checked with Deenaís school. She didnít show up this morning."

Jed wearily turned to his Deputy Communications Director. "Sam, anything?"

"No," Sam replied. "None of the hospitals have admitted or treated anyone matching Charlieís description in the last twenty-four hours."

Leo said, "Sam, get back on the phones. Contact the cab companies and find out who picked up Deena Young at her building last night." Sam nodded and left the room. "Josh, get back here now."

"Iím on my way," Josh answered and hung up.

Jed sat down. "This canít be happening, Leo."

"Sir, weíve got to let CJ and Toby know whatís going on. Sooner or later, someone is going to start asking questions."

"Yeah. Give me a few minutes, will you?"

"Of course." Leo left for his office.

Jed picked up the phone and called his wifeís office. Lilli Mays told him that Abby was en route to a breakfast meeting in Virginia. She quickly put him through to Abbyís cell phone.




"Abby." He sighed deeply.

"Jed, whatís wrong?" When he didnít answer immediately, she sat up, her voice more urgent. "Jed, whatís wrong? Are you sick?"

"No, I-"

"Jed, youíre scaring me."

"I need you, Abby."

"For Godís sake, Jed! Whatís wrong?!"

"Itís Charlie. Heís missing."

"Oh my God," she breathed. "Does Zoey know?"

"Not yet. I donít know how to tell her about this."

"Itíll be okay, Jed," she said with more confidence than she really felt. "Iíll be home as soon as I can."


If Anything Ever Happened To You - 5



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