Gina was in the hallway talking to Mike, her partner. She briefed on the conversation that she had with the President and stressed that Zoey was not to be alerted until they were given orders by the President. They were both convinced that this was a mistake, but they also knew that their instructions had been made perfectly clear. Knowing of the threats that had been directed toward both Charlie and Zoey, Gina and Mike were strategizing how to increase their coverage of her without alarming her. If Charlie’s disappearance was a first strike by white supremacist groups, Zoey could easily be the next target.
Their conversation was shattered by Zoey’s cries from her room. "Oh God! Gina!"
Gina bolted to the girl’s room, gun drawn, every nerve in her body taut with anticipation. Mike stood at the other side of the door, gun also at the ready. Nodding, she quickly burst through the door, gun first, ready to fend off whatever enemy had gotten through their security perimeter.
At the sound of the door opening, Zoey jumped and stared wide-eyed at Gina and Mike. "What?" she said shakily.
Gina did a quick sweep of the room. Zoey appeared to be unhurt and alone. Her hair was dripping wet and she was in her bathrobe. Gina signaled for Mike to stand down and they both lowered their weapons but didn’t holster them. Gina asked, "What is it? Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I think so," Zoey said carefully. "It’s just…I- I heard…" She pointed to her answering machine.
Satisfied that Zoey was in no immediate danger, she holstered her weapon, as did Mike. Seeing the light on the machine, Gina pressed the play button and listened. As the message played, Gina looked at Mike. His grim expression matched her own. She signaled for him to leave the room. Mike nodded and closed the door.
Zoey witnessed the exchange between the two agents. "Gina, what’s happening? What’s going on?"
"Zoey, don’t panic."
"Gina!" Zoey cried, trying to blink back tears.
"Zoey, listen to me. This doesn’t mean anything. You shouldn’t assume that anything has happened to him."
"Anything? Like what? Gina, what aren’t you telling me?"
‘Oh damn,’ Gina thought. "Zoey. I need you to get dressed. We’re going to the White House."
"Why? Gina, I’m not moving until you tell me what’s going on."
Gina sighed. There was no way she was going to be able to bluff her way through this, President’s orders or not. Especially after hearing that message. "Your father called this morning. Charlie didn’t show up for work this morning and no one has seen him since he left here last night." At Zoey’s sharp intake of breath, Gina quickly added, "We don’t know anything has happened yet."
"But you heard the tape!"
"Yes, I know. But we can’t assume anything."
"But Gina- "
"Zoey!" she said sharply. "I need you to listen to me. You need to get dressed - right now. And we’re going to the White House. We’ll deal with this there."
Zoey nodded numbly. She ran to the bathroom and shut the door. Gina sat down at Zoey’s desk and picked up the phone.