The Double, Double Cross Job
As Eliot ran into the room where he knew Hardison and Dan were arguing, the first thing he saw was Dan as he ran out of the room through an exit in the opposite direction. He started after him until he found Hardison lying unconscious on the floor, bleeding out from a bullet wound in the upper right side of his chest.
Eliot ran over and knelt down beside his friend as he quickly placed his right hand over the wound and lifted his free hand to his neck to feel for a pulse. It was real weak. He placed his other hand on top of his other one in order to strengthen the pressure over the wound. It was then that Nate, Sophie, and Parker ran into the room.
Sophie and Nate stopped dead and stared, while Parker ran right over to Hardison with tears falling down her cheeks as she began to cry softly, not caring if the others saw her emotion that she rarely showed.
She cried out, "Hardison, no!"
Tears began to fall down Sophie's cheeks as well as she quietly replied, "Oh God!"
"We need to get him to the hospital right away," Nate said as he snapped out of his shock and walked over to help Eliot lift Hardison into his arms. "He'll be there faster if we take him, then if we wait for the paramedics to arrive. Let's move."
Once Eliot had his friend in a fireman's carry, each of them left as soon as possible and piled into the closest car to the building. Nate broke the driver's side window to let the others in and sped off to the hospital once they were in. Eliot laid Hardison across the back seat, while he and Parker climbed in afterward and knelt down over him to take care of him. Sophie sat in the passenger's side.
As they pulled up to the emergency room, Eliot once again pulled Hardison into a fireman's carry and brought him into the ER's entrance, where a doctor and at least three nurses rushed over and pulled Hardison from him to place him on a gurney. Then they rushed him through two doors, where his friends could not follow.
Eliot tried to go after them, but Nate and Sophie held him back. He stopped fighting them and suddenly punched a hole through the wall closest to him in anger. As he stroked his hand that was now throbbing, he looked down at his clothes to see that he was covered in blood; Hardison's blood. As he looked at his friends, he saw that they each had blood on their clothes as well.
Parker stood back against the wall as she continued to cry softly. Sophie walked over to her and pulled her into a hug. Parker was the last of the members of their team to allow anyone to give her a hug, unless of course it was a part of a con.
The team never saw her show any emotion, except for the time Sophie saw her show jealousy when she saw Hardison being friendly with one of their clients. Parker had broken the glass she was holding with her bare hand as she thought he liked the girl. Even though neither she nor Hardison would admit it, Sophie, Nate, and Eliot all knew that they both had a thing for each other.
As Sophie put a hand on her shoulder, Parker spoke up softly saying, "This job wasn't nearly as difficult as many of the other ones we've pulled off. None of us were ever supposed to get hurt. How did this happen and why did it have to be Alec?"
Sophie answered, "You're right. This never should have happened, but Alec is strong. He will pull through this."
"I'm going to tear Dan apart when we catch up to him," Eliot replied as he and Nate walked over to them. "Hardison trusted him because he saw him as a brother. Dan betrayed him and then shot him to save his skin. I should have been there."
"No one could have known this was going to happen," Sophie responded. "None of us expected Dan to go this far."
Nate finally spoke up saying, "As far as we know, Dan double crossed us in order to get a hold of that statue, for whatever reason. He robbed us of the money as well, most likely on impulse, and he shot Hardison in order to stop us from chasing after him. His greed overpowered his sense of loyalty and love for a brother. We're going to find him and make him pay. I promise each of you."
Two and a half weeks later inside a hotel room in Paris, France…
Dan stood behind three other men, one of whom was sitting at a computer, waiting for the results of their search. The two men standing along with Dan were body guards to the man at the computer. They were big guys and being in the same room with them was a little intimidating to Dan.
The man at the computer, James Stockwell, was the wealthy benefactor, who had hired Dan to find the statue with the computer chip inside. He was the founder of a large corporate. He had heard about the shady line of work Dan and his friends were in, thanks to several unlawful connections he had throughout the city of Chicago.
When he had brought the offer to Ray Lang and his friends, who at the time were just thugs on the street and known for several strings of theft, Ray had turned the man down. However, Dan had gone back to the man and took the job on his own because he wanted to get out from under Ray and the others.
The money they were making for a few years at that point was nothing compared to the money Stockwell had offered for one job and Dan was pretty smart when it came to coming up with a plan to get what he wanted. He was the one who had come up with the idea to rob the club owners in order to locate the statue after Stockwell had told him that he had learned it was sold to one of them. Lang came up with the protection scheme, which eventually developed into forcing the owners out of their businesses for good. It had taken a long time to track down the right club owner.
The computer finally beeped, knocking Dan from his thoughts, as it had finished the encryption that was placed over the data on the chip. Stockwell began to read the data, but after a few minutes, the man turned around and glared at Dan as he found that the information on the computer screen was not what he was expected to find.
"Do you think you can pull one over on me, Kid?" Stockwell asked angrily.
"No, of course not, Sir," Dan answered as he was surprised by the question. "I would never double cross you."
The man responded, "Do you mean like how you double crossed your friends and a man you considered to be your own brother?"
Dan replied, "I shot Alec because I believe in doing whatever it takes to get ahead. I wouldn't try to cheat you."
"Believe it or not, he's actually telling the truth, Mr. Stockwell," Nate said as he, Sophie, and Eliot suddenly walked into the room after Elliot had broken down the door. "It wasn't easy to track you down without our hacker, Dan, but we managed."