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Bargaining Chips

By Mer

Part 15

Waiting Room-A few minutes later<br>

"I guess you all are wondering why you have been rounded up here." Jed began slowly.

"Josh is okay right?" Sam asked.

"Yeah, he's holding his own, I just saw him." Donna replied.

"We need to go to Egypt immediately." Leo stated.

"We need to do what?" C.J. shrieked.

"It isn't safe here. They have made more legitimate threats." Jed continued.

"And what them nearly succeeded in killing Josh was what, a non-legitimate threat?" Sam asked in a loud voice.

"That's not what I meant." Jed protested.

"What about Josh?" Toby asked.

"He's coming with us." Abbey stated, and most everyone's jaw dropped.

"But he needs to be in a hospital..." Sam protested.

"Is it safe to move him?" Donna asked quietly.

"It's not really recommended, especially since he's really not that stable." Jed replied.

"How can you even agree to this?" C.J. asked looking directly at Abbey.

"We have no other choice." Abbey replied.

"What do you mean we don't have any other choice? Is it in Josh's best interest to be moved?" Sam asked.

"It is a better hospital that he is being moved too..." Abbey hedged.

"What happened that has made this so urgent?" Toby asked, cutting her off.

"There was another attack." Leo began.

"What happened?" C.J. asked.

"One of the presidential limo's was blown up, and the hospital has been getting threats against it." Jed replied.

"Was anyone else hurt?" Zoey asked softly, causing everyone to become perfectly still.

They had kind of forgotten that she was standing there wrapped up in Charlie's reassuring arms. She had pulled away from Charlie and had looked her father directly in the eye. Her question was innocent enough, but he couldn't help but feel guilty. He wanted to spare her from the evils of the world, but he couldn't and everyone else knew it too.

"Thankfully no one was in the limo's when it blew up. It wasn't meant to hurt anyone it was done as a message, it was to show that they could get to us." Jed replied angrily, then he gave Zoey a quick hug.

"Wasn't kidnapping us a message? I mean didn't they kidnap Josh to tell you to stop the peace?" Donna asked in a quiet voice.

"Yes." Jed replied slowly.

"But even after we pulled out of the peace process it continued on in the name of Josh, and so now they are mad and they want you to stop that to. You wouldn't do it for Josh and you still aren't doing it now. Why?" Donna asked in a trembling voice.

Jed glanced over at Leo. Donna was making a very valid point. She came as close as anyone could get to yelling at the president, but she didn't even raise her voice. She used her words and not how they were said.

"Because this region needs peace." Jed replied lamely.

"I knew that you were going to say that, it was similar to what Josh had told me earlier. I'm just saying that we shouldn't runaway unless we have to." Donna replied.

"We have to guys, we have to get out, or we could all be killed." Jed replied his voice softening as he gazed into Donna's pain filled eyes. "We have to leave now."

Everyone was still skeptical but from the look on the President's face they knew that he wasn't messing around. So they wordlessly followed him out of the room, and up to the roof. Josh was being loaded on to one of the helicopters as they arrived. Abbey went to go with him and Jed nudged Donna to go along as well.

Somewhere in the city

"Ha, I wonder how they liked the car bomb? Too bad that the hospital is going to blow up any minute now." Abdul laughed.

"I thought we weren't going to blow up the hospital." Armand stated.

"Well, I changed my mind. The latest reports are that real progress are being made at the peace talks. Peace is bound to happen." Abdul yelled.

"Abdul..." Rashad began.

"Don't even say it or need I remind the two of you what happened with Amir?" Abdul warned.

"Abdul, we made our point but we lost." Armand stated.

 

"We haven't lost anything yet! We can still show the Americans who is boss!!" Abdul screamed.

"Abdul, we aren't mad at the Americans. I mean we are, but they aren't our real targets." Rashad protested.

"To hell we aren't! They started this peace process, they got the ball rolling and for that they must pay." Abdul screamed.

"Chill out there Abdul. We nearly killed an important member of their staff, I think they got that message loud and clear, and I think they got the car bombing message loud and clear. But if we blow up the hospital, we also blow up some of our people too. Do you really want when you go and face Allah?" Armand asked. <

"Yes." Abdul replied extremely angry.

Air force One-en-route to Egypt

"How's he holding up?" Zoey asked as she entered the conference room at had become Josh's makeshift hospital room.

"He's doing okay considering everything. His vitals aren't as strong as I would like, but he's hanging in there." Abbey replied as she motioned for Zoey to sit down next to her.

Once they had gotten Josh settled on the plane Abbey didn't really want to many people around him. They had all understood, even Donna. He was already unstable enough and he didn't really need anyone else's influence, but the look on Zoey's face told her that she needed to be here.

"Sweetheart, do you understand what's happened?" Abbey asked softly.

"Yeah, they tried to kill Josh to stop the peace talks and when that didn't work they tried to kill Daddy." Zoey replied slowly, picking up Josh's hand.

"Sweetie, I wish that I could find some way to reassure you that it won't ever happen again." Abbey said softly.

"I know Mom, I know." Zoey replied looking sadly at Josh.

"Zoey, he's still holding on." Abbey tried again.

"Mom, why did this have to happen to him again? He's like a brother to me. He even introduced me to the man that I love. Never once as he treated me like I was his boss's daughter." Zoey moaned.

"I know sweetie." Abbey said as her heart broke with every tear that Zoey had begun to shed.

"This shouldn't have happened to him. He just can't die." Zoey cried softly. Josh was awakened by Zoey's crying, and he tried in vain to open his eyes. He began to panic slightly, then he recalled he couldn't open them he gave her hand a squeeze. It was very weak but Zoey got the point. She squeezed his hand back.

"I didn't mean to wake you up." Zoey soothed, trying to keep him calm.

"Josh we are on the way to Egypt." Abbey said once she figured out that he was awake.

Josh squeezed Zoey's hand back to let them know that he had heard them. He had tried to open his mouth to speak but he remembered that he couldn't do that either. Josh felt so weak and tired. He still hurt all over even though he knew he was being pumped full of drugs. He wasn't sure he had it in him to keep fighting. <

Zoey's hand felt warm in his. Not that he minded her being there, but he wondered where Donna was. After he had been shot he practically had to kick her out of his hospital room and later his apartment. He hoped that she had come out of the situation okay.

"Mom didn't really want anyone to disturb you." Zoey whispered in a calming voice.

Josh relaxed a little, though he hadn't been aware that he had tensed up. His mind was a little fuzzy but he could've sworn that Abbey had said that they were on the way to Egypt. That seemed a little odd to him because he had remembered Donna saying something about being in a hospital and it sure felt like he was on an airplane.

"Josh, just rest now, we will explain more later." Abbey soothed.

Josh felt Zoey start to tenderly play with his hair. It sure seemed liked he was safe. He was a little worried about what this was doing to Zoey though. He recognized that twinge of pain he heard in her voice. She had been devastated after he had been shot because she thought that it was her fault. He decided that he'd tell her she had nothing to do with this once he was stronger. So for her sake and for Donna's sake he decided that it was worth trying to keep up the fight.

Elsewhere on the plane

"Are you sure? Damn. Thank you for telling me. Okay, tell me more as soon as you know." Jed said then he angrily slammed down the phone.

"What happened?" Leo asked.

"The hospital was bombed shortly after we left." Jed replied, his voice low and hollow.

"They blew up the hospital? Are they nuts?" C.J. exclaimed.

"They were trying to get to us." Toby explained.

"So how many more people died because we came to this peace summit?" Sam asked, his voice dangerously sounding like he was snapping at the president. "They were in the process of evacuating the hospital when it happened, so not as many people as there could have been." Jed replied not letting Sam's tone of voice bother him.

"Why are they doing this?" Donna asked quietly.

"I wish I knew, I wish I knew." Jed replied softly.

Bargaining Chips - 16

 

 

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