They followed at a distance as Callen, driving a circular route to make sure he wasn’t being followed, headed towards a rundown motel near the airport.
Sam had pulled the challenger up behind a dumpster out of sight and they walked to the corner of the parking lot and watched as Nell and Callen, neither one looking as if they were under duress, entered the room.
“So what now?” Sam asked Granger as Callen shut the blinds in the room.
“Callen doesn’t look like he’s being held by Nell, but something is off. I mean, if they weren’t worried about the Comescu’s attacking, or he wasn’t worried about her hurting his family or anyone else, surely they would have gone back and at the very least argued Nell’s case with Hetty?” Granger looked grimly up at the room, “We need to find out what’s going on.”
“We could just go up and knock.” Sam offered with more than a hint of sarcasm.
Granger was about to reply when his phone rang. He held up a hand to silence Sam as he took the call.
“Granger…” He waited as the person on the other end talked to him.
“You’re sure about that?” He replied, his face going dark and he shot an anxious glance up to the room. “Very well. Keep an eye on the place let us know if anything changes we will head back to the mission.”
He looked up at Sam. “We are to stay back for now. We know Callen’s safe and he’s old enough to take care of himself. We have another problem. Petre Comescu has landed at LAX, he’s been seen near Hetty’s home in Encino. We need to move her, Arkady Kolcheck and Anna to a safe house.”
For a moment Sam allowed himself a worried look, noting the room his partner was staying in, then with a grim nod turned and followed the assistant director back to his car.
Callen sighed as he dropped the bags onto the bed.
“So what now?” He asked.
Nell lay back and closed her eyes for a moment not replying immediately.
Callen smiled slightly, looking at her face, knowing that although all looked peaceful on the surface her brain was probably running about a mile a minute.
“Nell?” He prompted as he pulled out a slightly wobbly chair and sat down.
“Sorry?” Nell opened her eyes and again Callen found his breath catching at the sight of her hazel colored orbs. He grinned in spite of himself.
“What?” Nell levered herself up onto her elbows and looked at him.
Callen shook his head, now was not the time for this. “You sure he’s staying nearby?”
Nell nodded, “I have him registered under the alias Jo told me about. At the Crowne Plaza on West Century Boulevard. He’s registered under, Peter Cole. He’s already booked a hire car.”
Callen couldn’t help but let out a small laugh, “Do you know where he’s going next?”
She looked up confused, but then her face softened to match his, “No, even I’m not that good, but maybe I could call him?”
Shaking his head Callen’s face clouded over, “No… I’m not putting you in danger.”
Nell turned and sat cross legged on the bed. “Callen, I wouldn’t be in danger, he doesn’t know that… that, I love you…” She looked down suddenly unable to meet his eyes. “I can call him, set up a meet, there’s a sushi bar nearby and I know he likes sushi.”
“I don’t like it Nell, we should just follow him and find out what he’s up to.” For a moment Callen gave a short, barked laugh, “We could always just go visit him in his hotel room.”
“And have him shoot you?” Nell looked angry for a moment, then ashamed.
Callen walked over to the bed and closed the laptop. Nell looked up, a moment of anger crossed her face at his crashing her laptop, then he wrapped his arms around her, “It’s not your fault. You are not to blame for any of this.” He reminded her as he kissed her gently on the top of her head.
“What if he’s heard about Jo being arrested?” Nell asked, “He’ll try to contact her or at least….” She stopped as a cell phone rang in the bottom of her bag.
“You have a phone?” Callen asked worried.
“This was the bag I was supposed to run with after Jo… after she… and I…” Nell pulled away from Callen and walked over to the bag, “I forgot about it.” Reaching into the bag she pulled out a burn phone. ”It’s him.” She breathed the fear in her voice evident.
“Answer it.” Callen prompted.
Nell nodded and with a shaking hand pressed the button. “Buna Ziua.”
She put it on speakerphone and held her finger to her lips in warning.
“Sabine,” Petre’s gruff voice snapped over the phone, “Unde Esti?” He asked.
Nell switched to English, “I am hiding, they know who I am; Jo was arrested.”
“Can you safely leave; I can take you back to your family. I have a ticket for you.”
“I can try; will you meet me?” she asked.
“You left some loose ends, I intend to clear up.”
“I’m sorry?” Nell asked, trying to sound contrite.
“The father and the child. We know about them. You are the youngest Sabine; I will not punish you for your mistake. I am staying at the Crowne Plaza room 1215, I am going to take care of the loose ends, be there by 6am and we will leave to reunite you with our family. It is time you came home child.”
Nell looked at the phone as Petre hung up, with a shaking hand, “Callen….” She breathed her eyes wide with fear as she looked up at him. “He’s going after your father and Anna.”
Callen felt himself go pale and reached for his bag, “Did he say that he knew where they were? Or when he was going?”
Nell shook her head, “No, but I think he knows and I know it will be soon as he plans to leave by six am tomorrow morning.”
Callen took his gun out of his bag, “I’ll need more ammo, and more guns. Stay here, I’ll be back as soon as I can.” He kissed her on the forehead as she grasped his arm.
“I can shoot, I need to make amends, let me come with you.” She pleaded with him.
Callen nodded grimly as Nell grabbed her shoes and jacket.
They walked into a graveyard, it was still early and no one seemed to be about. For a second Callen stood watching the cab that had dropped them off recede into the distance.
“Come on.” He said and gently took her hand.
“Why are we here Callen, we need to get weapons.” Nell asked worriedly.
Callen grinned at her, “We are, also some more cash and ammo.” He stopped outside a vault and took a key from his pocket to unlock the padlock.
Nell watched as he walked to a stone and removed it to reveal a cache of weapons and a safe, he pressed the buttons on the combination lock and took out some more money. Handing her a gun and a box of ammo she swiftly put the ammo in her backpack and tucked the gun in the waistband of her jeans.
Callen closed everything up and turned to her, “Are you sure you want to be a part of this?” He asked.
Nell nodded, “This needs to end.”
Grimly Callen took her hand and checking that they were not being watched, she followed him back out to the street and hailed another cab.
Sam watched the cab drive off as Granger pulled out about four cars behind them. Granger was confident that they hadn’t been spotted, but Sam wasn’t so sure. He had noticed Callen checking out the cars as he waited for the cab to pick them up, checking again just before Nell had climbed into the back seat and moved for him to join her.
“Why do you think they were in the cemetery?” Granger asked as he let another car overtake them hiding his view from the cab for a second.
“Callen has a stash of weapons and cash all over the city, maybe he has one there.” Sam told him.
“Really, I didn’t take him for paranoid.”
Sam chuckled, “We all have to have some degree of paranoia, or we’d be dead.” He pointed out.
Granger nodded, “But why would he and Jones be getting weapons and cash?”
Thinking for a moment Sam turned away, watching the scenery as it flashed past them, envying the people going about their everyday lives where the most complicated things they had to worry about was earning enough to pay the bills.
“Sam.” Granger prompted.
Sam shook his head as if to clear it. “I don’t know, but to be honest, I don’t think I like any of the ideas I’m coming up with either.”
He wondered if Callen was planning on leaving with Nell, or had she turned him somehow. After all, he’d been pretty drugged and out of it at the hospital, what if she had convinced him that he was on her side, putting Hetty and the others in danger. If she was the Nell he knew then maybe she wouldn’t, but now he knew that she wasn’t, she was a Comescu, so maybe she’d warped his sense of values and they were all in danger. Suddenly a thought occurred to him as he started to recognize the neighborhood they were in.
“Hetty lives near here.” He told Granger, “G and I were here once. If Nell’s turned him she could be in danger, after all she knows Nell is a Comescu.”
Grangers face hardened and his foot pressed just a little bit harder on the gas pedal as they moved to catch up.
“Call Hetty,” Granger ordered, “Then call Kensi and Deeks, we’ll need back up, let them know that Callen and Jones need to be considered an enemy before we know if they are a friend.”
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