When the Bough Breaks

Chapter 2

A few hours later, Kensi and Deeks were sitting down on a couch across from the loved ones of their last victim, Danielle Paige, who had been a lieutenant in the Navy until three years ago when she retired and became one of the security officers hired by a company that stores data for multiple companies throughout all of Los Angeles.

After offering their condolences for the loss of the family's daughter, Kensi spoke up again saying, "Did your daughter ever do anything else for them while being employed there? Is there anything she may have done there that would have possibly made her a specific target?"

The victim's mother spoke up as she asked, "What exactly are you saying? Are you telling us that our daughter was killed because the monsters that did this wanted her dead for a reason?"

"Or or you insinuating that our daughter may have been in on whatever her killers wanted at that company?" Danielle's father asked.

"I promise you, Mr. and Mrs. Paige, we are not trying to insinuate anything," Deeks replied sincerely. "We are just trying to come up with a plausible reason as to why your daughter is now dead, along with one of her coworkers and another woman that worked at the office. We don't have any reason to believe that Danielle or either of the others was at all responsible for their deaths or the stolen information our killers managed to get away with."

Danielle's father shook his head in anger as he responded, "That's what you say, but I have a feeling that you believe otherwise. All you agents always think that whatever has happened, has happened with the help from someone on the inside. You may be right, but I am telling you right now, it is not because of Danielle. She died only because she was in the wrong place, at the wrong time."

Kensi nodded, then stated, "I'm sure you're right. Did your daughter happen to tell you recently that there may be a potential threat to the company she worked for? Was she recently worried, about anything?"

"She was worried about her ex boyfriend," her mother answered.

"Why is that?" Deeks asked quickly.

The woman sadly replied, "Because, her ex is also her boss. Danielle was worried that now that they have broken up, that he was going to fire her. I warned her that it wasn't a good idea to get involved with him, especially since he was a married man, but she claimed that she loved him."

Deeks looked over at his partner, as did Kensi looked at him, then she turned back to their victim's parents and responded, "We'll look into him. Thank you very much for your time, Mr. and Mrs. Paige. We promise that we'll be in touch when we figure out why your daughter was killed. And once again, we are so sorry for your loss."

"It looks like we've got ourselves a new suspect to check out," Deeks said as he and Kensi both got into their car and began to head back to their headquarters. "I'd be great if all this was is because of one scumbag only wanting to keep his affair a secret."

"What do you mean this would be great?" Kensi asked.

Deeks quickly answered, "I don't mean it would be great, because this is definitely not great, but I mean, it would be good if the information they stole doesn't have anything to do with their deaths is all."

Kensi looked over at him sternly as she asked, "Do you really believe that if that were true, then our suspect would have needed to hire a group of mercenaries to dress up as our ex presidents to kill his girlfriend?"

"It's possible; that is if he wanted to make his hit look like it was about something else in order to divert all attention away from him," Deeks replied in speculation.

"That's a ridiculous theory, Deeks, even for you," his partner responded. "But it certainly won't hurt if we check it out."

Meanwhile…

Callen and Sam arrived at the company building that had been attacked and asked to speak with whoever was in charge. A man walked out to greet the two agents, then ordered his coworkers and receptionist to walk away. Only his right hand man stood by him, as he offered Sam and Callen a seat at the table in front of them.

Sam spoke up first as he stated, "You must be Hans Mikkelsen. I'm Agent Hanna and this is my partner, Agent Callen."

The man shook their hands and then answered, "Yes, and to my left here, is my partner and longtime friend, Craig Cosgrove. We understand you're here to speak to us about the tragedy that occurred here last night. Believe me when I say, we are extremely saddened by their deaths and wish to do whatever we can to help you in solving your case."

"That's good," Callen replied as he looked over at his partner and rolled his eyes, as he didn't believe the man before them in the slightest. "If that's true, then you can tell us about the information that was stolen from here."

"That information is of nothing that is of any concern to you and your agency," Cosgrove responded curtly. "I mean, it has nothing to do with why our three employees are dead."

Callen glared at the two men as he spoke again saying, "Maybe not, but we're here to investigate everything involved in this case. Those men that broke in here last night, did so in order to get their hands on that information, not to murder two security guards and a random employee, who stayed here late to finish up on some work. So don't try to bullshit us by saying that what was stolen is not important."

Sam quickly asked, "What is it that you're trying to hide?"

"All that was stolen was a few employee files, including Miss. Jenkins', who was the woman, who was here late last night," Mikkelsen finally answered. "We don't yet know why the thieves wanted that information."

"If that's really all that was downloaded and stolen, then why did you feel the need to keep that information from us?" Sam asked.

Mikkelsen looked over at Cosgrove, then back at the agents and replied, "I suppose because we were ashamed that our security was poor enough that a few thieves could break through our encryptions we have in place. We figured it would be best if we handled this situation ourselves. We don't need a couple of agents coming in and disrupting everything we've worked hard to build."

Callen shook his head, then responded, "It looks like the disruption has already happened. We can't stop you from doing an investigation yourselves, but we can sure as hell continue to induct one of our own and if we need to talk with you again, we will."

"Actually, how about you tell us about your relationship with Danielle Paige, Mr. Cosgrove," Sam stated after reading a text message from Deeks just then. "Did you want to make sure she couldn't tell anyone about your little affair?"

"My personal life is of no concern to either of you or your agency, Agent Callen," the man answered angrily. "I did not want Danielle dead and even if I did, I certainly wouldn't have hired a group of thugs wearing masks to do it, especially when there were other people around to get hurt. I'm not a monster."

Sam spoke again saying, "You better hope we find out that you're telling us the truth. Because believe me, if you're not, then you will not like the consequences."

Callen and Sam finally left the office building and then began to drive back toward their headquarters, while they thought over everything that their suspects had told them. They were only a mile away when they suddenly stopped their car upon seeing dark, thick smoke rising into the sky from an unknown location, somewhere very close to where they were heading, but it wasn't until both of their phones began to go off simultaneously that the two knew that what they felt in the pits of their stomach was because their NCIS headquarters had become targeted, as they all always feared might happen one day.

Callen quickly turned to look at his friend as he said fearfully, "Drive faster, Sam."

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