Another Year Has Passed Me By
Still I Look At Myself And Cry
What Kind Of Man Have I Become?
-Man In The Wilderness-
Roughly about 5:15 PM
Out of all these letters, I think this one will be the hardest. You know things about me that no one else does, not even my sister. I've slowly trusted you with some things, but others are harder. For the purpose of this letter, your knowing what you already do about me makes this a little easier.
I once had a father that was the best any kid could have, but when we lost my mother in that car accident I lost him too. I know that you must think that time I wanted to help Randy that maybe I was also a victim of child abuse. I never let you know whether that was true or not, but now let me tell you the truth.
My father never physically abused me or my brother or my sisters. That being said, you also need to know that when my mother, brother and baby sister died, my father stopped living for me and Emma and himself. I know that is in a way a form of abuse in itself, but I know in my heart he never meant to hurt us in any way. He just didn't know how to go on without our mom.
I had grown to hate him during those years between losing them and leaving home. I know he had his own demons to struggle with, but he was so wrapped up in what he lost that he forgot what he still had. That's why I made a lot of decisions that I knew would disappoint him and for that, I will always be sorry. I wish I could go back and make things right, but I know that's most likely never gonna happen.
I'm not gonna go through all the crap about who I was in the past 'cause that's not gonna mean a damn thing. The only thing that matters is who I am now, and I feel that's because of you. And this team.
I know you didn't chose us for your team, but you are the one who chose to keep us as a team and for that I need you to know that I will always be grateful. I don't like to discuss feelings and crap, but I need you to know that being a part of this team gave me something I hadn't had in a really long time. A real family. And I respect you for that.
I'm not saying you would ever replace my father, because you couldn't. What I am saying is that there are only four men in this world that I would die for. One sits in my childhood home back in Oklahoma hating me; one I hope to be able to pull out of the prisons of San Lorenzo when we get there; one drives me crazy with his Dr. Who and Star Trek crap; and the other is hopefully not having to read this letter right now.
Nate, I need you to understand that when I didn't tell about Moreau, it wasn't because I wanted to protect him. I was protecting this team, but most of all I was trying to protect you. You are out of your league and you tend to push things. It's as simple as that. I know that going after him now is most likely a death sentence for me if he finds out, but I'm more worried about what he will do to this team…and you. I'm telling you this now in case I don't finish this. You need to know that if everything goes to hell you need to get the team out of there as fast as you can. Because believe me when I say this, if things go sideways, I know what the man can do and the last thing I want is to see any of you guys dead. I need to know you will be all right after...well, just after...
That's why I'm prepared to take the front line on this. I'm not playing the hero; it's just what needs to be done. If things go wrong, I need to take the hit because you and the team do not need to be on his radar. It's just what has to be.
I do not plan on letting you or the team go down because of something I should have never let happen in the first place. I know it's because of me that we even made it across the Italian's radar. She made me as a connection to him, so she's using us to get to him. It's something I would do. And because of my connection to him, it's only smart that I take the hits. I'm the hitter, that's what I do. Protect my team; and I need you to know if I go down it won't be for nothing. I need you to get back home safe.
But when you and the team get back, stay together because you all need each other. Especially Parker. Be sure and watch out for that girl. She may be twenty pounds of crazy, but she's our twenty pounds of crazy. And I wouldn't change her for the world.
And if there's any good that can come from my death, let it be one thing. Just one thing, Nate; for me, watch the drinking. I won't be there to push you away from that bottle, and you know only Soph and I can do it. She can't do it alone now, so help her out some. I'm not asking you to stop cold turkey, cause that ain't happenin'. All I'm asking is you push it away when it becomes the answer for everything your feeling. One is one, but two is too many and you have a family that depends on you. Don't let my death be just another reason to disappear inside a bottle; that's not fair to me or you.
To be honest with you, it hasn't been fair to your son for you to do that either. Do you really think Sam would want to know that a drink is how you handle his memories? I think your son deserves to remembered without being drunk when you do it. If you think I'm overstepping saying this, then feel free to kick my ass, but I'm not taking it back.
I know Sam deserves better from you than that and frankly, I do too. Just remember Nate, Sam is watching and so will I. And the next time I think you're going too far, I'll be there. And don't be surprised if I can still kick your ass from the beyond.
Nate Ford slowly let the letter fall from his fingers to rest on the dining room table where he sat with a bottle and an empty glass in front of him. He looked at the bottle and then back down to the last page of the letter he'd just read.
Damn it Eliot! He thought, as he couldn't help the small smile the words brought forth. He never thought the man would be so good at reaching people without being there in person to growl at them. And that's exactly what his letter had done; he'd reached Nate, deeper than anyone had before. Even more than Sophie, to be honest. And the things he'd brought up about Sam, just damn it all.
Sure he was mad at the mention of Sam, but he knew it was because Eliot was right. Sam did deserve better. But he didn't know how he could do better when all of this was happening right now. He sighed thinking maybe it had been a bad idea to read this letter right now, but he knew if he hadn't done it now he wouldn't have the courage to do it later.
Right now he really thought he needed that drink, but something was nagging at him and he knew it was Sam and Eliot. Eliot didn't realize it, but he was now working with his son's memory to get to him. He stared at that letter for what felt like an eternity before a well manicured hand reached for the letter and gently pulled it away, folding it and putting back in the enevelope.
Sophie put the envelope inside the jacket pocket of his suit coat that hung on the back of his chair and quietly sat down in the empty seat next to him. She reached for the bottle and the glass and poured a single finger of the Irish whiskey and handed him the glass.
"That is a gift from Eliot. Just one, then we go find him and bring him home."
Nate smiled a thank you as he took the glass and looked at her. "Yes." He turned to take in Hardison sitting at his computer typing furiously and at Parker hanging upside down from the upstairs banister staring at all of them, yet not really seeeing them. "One; then we go steal our Eliot back." He reached for her hand and downed the drink.
Somewhere in Eliot's past (again)
"Emma?" Eliot's voice was just a whisper, as he silently walked into the kitchen where his sister was still doing the dishes.
Emma Spencer turned to see her brother standing in the doorway with the darkness outside framing him. He looked troubled. She wrinkled her forehead at him. She should be mad at him for making her do every dish in the house, yet there was something in the way he was looking at her. She pulled her hands from the dishwater and grabbed a dishtowel drying her hands as she turned to face her brother.
"What's wrong El?"
Eliot didn't know how he should say this. Maybe he'd heard wrong. Maybe he hadn't just heard his mother say what she'd just said as he silently listened outside the dining room window. Maybe…
"Eliot? What it is?" Emma's voice took on a worried note. "Is it Jasper? Did he get out of his stall again?" She walked over to him reaching out to touch his arm.
Eliot realized that whatever he'd just heard, he didn't need to say anything to Emma right now. He needed to talk to his parents first. His first thought had been to run to her 'cause he always shared things with his sister; his twin. But this time things were different. Whatever he'd heard… well it didn't really affect Emma anyway, at least not as much as it would affect him. He drew himself up and tried to wipe the worried look from his features.
"No. Just wanted to see if you'd come running… and you did!" He joked. He'd pulled the emotional card on Emma before when she'd been mad at him, and it always worked. She wouldn't think anything of it. At least not right away.
"Oh you! You are just so mean!" She threw the dish towel at him as she laughed and went back to the sink. "Just for that, I'm tellin' dad that you actually tried drivin' his truck the other day when he was at the doctor's with mamma!" She threw back over her shoulder. But she was smiling.
"Yeah sure you will! How are you gonna explain you know about it without telling him you were with me?" He laughed back at her as he threw the dishtowel back and watched it land directly on her head. He quickly used the time it took her to dry her hands again and turn around to get the heck out of the kitchen and run for the safety of his room.
Once there he slowly pulled off his sneakers as he sat at on his bed. He was thinking. Maybe he hadn't heard his mom and dad discussing Evan and Eaton as if they were their own children with his aunt and uncle. Maybe he'd heard wrong. But as he heaved a deep sigh, Eliot Spencer knew he hadn't.
He knew he'd heard correctly when he'd heard his mother say they'd given the twins to them to raise because she'd been too young to raise them. And he knew he couldn't change the fact that Evan and Eaton were not his step cousins. It made sense really. The pictures his mom had of the two when they were Eliot's age looked enough like Eliot to prove they were indeed his brothers.
He didn't know how, but he knew he needed to know for sure. He'd have to talk to him mom sometime soon. He needed to know what secrets she was keeping from all of them, but most of all he needed to know if Evan and Eaton were really his brothers, would he be like them. One good, one bad. Which one would Eliot Spencer end up being like?
Roughly about 5:30 PM
Liam Chapman watched as the two men in dark clothes came into the office he was using in the warehouse. They were the best money could buy and they'd do their jobs without asking questions. That's what he liked about both men. He could trust them to do whatever was needed as long as they got paid.
"Listen Evan, things aren't going as quickly as we'd like right now. Seems Ford as called in a former friend of yours to help him find Eliot. I told you Ford wouldn't believe the faked scene at Eliot's house. He may have at first, but once things started falling into place he'd question things. And it seems I was right." The man listened to Evan Chapman's response though his cell phone.
"I didn't expect him to believe it. I just needed to buy some time. And trust me when they start looking they'll be looking for Evan Spencer, AKA Evan Chapman, but they won't know where to look. That's why you were staking out the bar this morning. To see just how long it was before the whole team knew Eliot was gone. I know my job Liam, and you know I want payback for what happened to me just like you want for your brother Sean." Evan Chapman paced the office he was in at his home. He had to make sure Liam kept everyone on schedule here. Time was important.
As he talked with the other man, Sean's brother Liam, he continued to monitor the screen of his computer on his desk that showed everything that was going on inside Eliot's room right now. He didn't think anything of the nurse packing up the supplies until he saw her put the bag in the closet. That wouldn't have bothered him either if she'd just set the bag on the floor, but she took the time to hide the bag behind some medical equipment kept there. There was only one reason to hide a bag full of medical supplies.
This nurse, Katharine Wakefield was going to be a problem he'd have to handle and soon. He couldn't let her ruin what had been five years in the making. He wasn't going to let anyone interfere with his plans.
"Yes, exactly. Payback. I want Eliot Spencer to pay for killing my brother in that warehouse along with all the others, but I'm not sure you planned for who Ford has brought in to help him." Liam smiled as he thought about how this would really piss Evan off. The two men in front of him had done their job well in bringing him this news. "Seems he's found Whitmore. You remember him, don't you? Turns out Matthew Whitmore married Spencer's sister. He's family. You never knew that, did you, Evan?"
Evan stopped pacing as he took that it. No he hadn't known that, but then again he'd been thrown away like garbage when the government had gotten what they'd wanted from him. And he hadn't been on their contact list for the newsletter. If it hadn't been for the man he was talking too right now… well he would have been dead right now. For real. He'd used Sean's family to help him hide, and now he needed their help again to get justice for himself and is friend Sean.
"No, I didn't Liam. Look it doesn't matter, that just means I won't have to search out everyone I want to kill. If Whitmore is here, then I can take him down along with Spencer. Just make sure everything's ready for the day after tomorrow and I'll have Eliot there. Then we can both have a shot at him." Evan sighed as he watched the nurse move through the rest of the room doing what he was sure was probably normal as far as caring for Eliot. Nothing else seemed to be out of place. "I've got to handle something that has come up here. But don't worry I'll have Eliot at the warehouse on time and I won't be leaving any witnesses here when I'm done with this place."
As he hung up with Liam, he sat down at his desk and continued to watch the nurse. She was very pretty. It was a shame he'd never get to know her. There just wasn't enough time for him to enjoy himself right now. He smiled somewhat sadly at that thought. A pity really, she was quit nice to look at.
No, right now he needed to find the doctor and make sure everything was going according to plan as far as keeping Eliot alive; for now. This nurse was just a little glitch and he'd take care of her soon enough. She wasn't going anywhere and for now he needed her to help keep Eliot alive. He'd let her continue thinking she was going to be the hero and save Eliot Spencer and then when the time was right, he'd take care of her.