AN: I had one review that requested that I needed to work on the spelling and keying errors more in my story. I have no way to contact this individual as they were a guest, so I'd like to let them know if they are still reading my story that I have tried to go back and correct as many mistakes as I could from the first chapter on. I do not use a beta for certain reasons, so it is just me. I take all the blame and would like to request if anyone sees anything they do not understand, please let me know whether in a review or by PM. I will work hard to correct all errors. I have a defective keyboard where the buttons on the left side don't always connect so I know there are always mistakes. Thank you for reading this and now carry on to see what happens next.
I Wanna Hide The Truth
I Wanna Shelter You
But With The Beast Inside
There's Nowhere To Hide
Roughly about 12:00 AM on September 8, 2011 Thursday morning
"Kath - it's Benji at the hospital." Aaron said as he handed the cell back through the open space between the cab of the ambulance and the interior space where Katharine was sitting with Eliot and the now dead good Dr. Mark Richards. "We're almost at the hospital too."
She'd asked him to call Benji, a fellow nurse and colleague of hers that she knew would be on duty at Massachusetts General on his personal cell. In case her cell was being monitored she didn't want anyone to connect either Aaron or Benji with her or what she was doing.
She smiled in thanks to Aaron as she took the phone from his extended hand. "Hey Benji, I need a favor." She spoke into the cell as she reached into her smock pocket to check her own cell for the text from Bella saying everything was ready and waiting for her. This was good, she had a place and she'd soon have medical supplies at her disposal to help her take care of Eliot.
"It's about time. I was beginning to think you were invincable and didn't need to call in those favors I know you get offered being our savior and all." The man on the other end of the cell said to her. "Whatever you need, it's yours; you know I'd give you anything."
Again Katharine smiled as she heard the enthusiasm in the man's voice. "You don't even know what I need. You may regret knowing me once you do know." She replied evenly.
The other man chuckled lightly. "That's not going to happen. Ever. You saved my sister, I owe you her life. No favor is too big or too hard; trust me."
"Okay. Well, here's the thing...there's an ambulance waiting outside the morgue entrance that I need you to commandeer. Once you do that, check what equipment is in it. I need anything and everything you can tink of to care for a patient with two penetrating chest wounds with lung damage. He has two GSWs to the chest along with a breathing tube and a drainage tube. He was on a pluerovac, but was disconnected due to cardiac arrest and for emergency transport to the hospital. We are heading to you now via Aaron and his bus, but I'll need everything for possible long term care. Can you get a machine into that ambulance in case it doesn't already have what I need?" She knew she was asking a lot here, these machines didn't grow on trees and all of them would need to be accounted for, but she just hoped the good dead doctor had already located all of the equipment that she'd need.
"You're right, you don't ask for much." The man responded. "But Im on it. Just so happens I need to send some equipment to the 'closet' for maintenance," he added referring to the small closet they used to store equipment that needed repairs so it wouldn't be used in a crisis. "I'll just add a pluerovac to the list. I'm on again tomorow, so no one will know it's even missing for a few days. So since when do you help hes? Usually it's shes you help out."
"This is a special circumstance. He's not the bad guy. The bad guys are behind us in an SUV and in that bus down by the morgue." She said as she turned back to check on Eliot's breathing. He was going on twenty minutes on the portable pleurovac and she needed to monitor it's output numbers constantly.
"Okay gotcha. So am I going to have to commandeer this bus from anyone in particular or just bad guys in general? " He asked with a smile in his voice. He'd been looking for a reason to release a bit of stress from working a double shift with everything known to man being thrown at him. People still oved to poke fun at men being nurses.
"Be careful, Benji. These are real bad guys, not wife beaters. Take Joy with you, she'll be a good distraction and she'll do anything for you. She loves you." She said as she thought about Joy Tucker, the newest nurse to their hospital. She didn't realize she already had quite the reputation as being called something that rhymned with Tucker about just how easy she was to get into bed. "If there's more than one, don't do anything. Leave them to me. Just tell them Dr. Richards sent you to check the supplies and that he'll be arriving in about twenty minutes. That should give me time to bypass the ER and get to you. And thanks Benji." She added to the young man that she knew was putting a lot on the line for her here.
"No thank you Kath. See you soon."
Katharine ended the call and handed the cell back to Aaron. "Okay Aaron, now all I need from you is to find a nice semi-final resting place for Dr. Richards. Are you okay with that?" She asked the older man. No one would guess by looking at the man that he was a firefighter/EMT Paramedic. The man looked more comfortable in a biker bar.
She'd met Aaron Adams through the ER when he'd asked her out. She had to admit that at seeing him for the first time, taking in his shaved head and numerous tattoos had been a bit intimiating, but she'd said yes and gone out with the man and she was so glad she had.
They'd gone out a couple of times after that first date, but decided they made better friends than lovers so they'd hung onto that friendship. He was one of the few persons who knew almost all of her backstory and he'd been more than happy to help her whenever she needed it. He didn't have an attachment to an abused relative like most of Katharine's contacts did; he was just a really good friend.
"Not gonna be a problem, Katharine." He turned the wheel to head towards the hospital's ER entrance as he spoke to his partner on his radio who was following them with Evan Chapman in another vehicle. "Tracy will follow you into the ER and help you get downstairs to the morgue. She will also be sure Mr. Chapman's goons get lost along the way. She'll help don't worry, you can trust her. I'll head around to the morgue entrance to help Benji and drop off your supplies you already have with you. I'll also drop Dr. Richards off with the John Does piled up in storage after you leave. By the time they figure out who he is, it won't be connected to you." He smiled at her.
Katharine returned the man's smile as he sat behind the wheel of the ambulance. Their bus didn't have room in back for his partner since she and Dr. Richards were there and there was no way they were going to let Evan in the ambulance with them, so the partner was in Evan's SUV along with three of Evan's best bodyguards.
"Great. Thanks, and I hope to see you in a few weeks, but if not...well, I'll be in touch one way or another." She said to him.
He slowed as he reached the ER bay entrance. "I'm gonna hold you to that. You need me, no matter what, you call." He turned to reach out and pat her arm. "Take care Katharine, and please don't let this guy back there keep you from coming back. You hear me?"
She grinned as she thought of Eliot laying behind her. "I won't. I have a feeling that Boston is definitely gonna become home for me."
Roughly 12:30 AM Boston time
Roughly 10:30 PM Oklahoma time
Jack Spencer sat down in his favorite comfortable chair after getting his grandson Spencer to bed in Eliot's old room. He'd always kept Emma and Eliot's rooms ready for their visits, although he knew Eliot would never use his. He hadn't been in that room in a very long time. Jack had lost Eliot that warm May night over twenty years ago.
He still remembered the day, it had been a Thursday in late May just before the Memorial weekend. Emma and Eliot had just graduated from High School that evening and by all rights Ellie should have been out celebrating with his friends, but instead he'd been packing to leave home. Jack hadn't gone to the ceremony, he hadn't even been sober enough to see straight let alone go to see his two children on one of the most important days of their lives.
Jack remembered how Eliot had dropped the bomb on him that he'd gone and enlisted in the Army and he was leaving. He was leaving Emma and leaving his girl Aimee. But mostly he was leaving him.
Eliot had said he couldn't take it anymore, sitting around wondering where his father was and if he was drunk or dead somewhere in an alley. He couldn't sit back and watch what was happening to his family, so he was leaving. Leaving everything behind him.
Jack sighed as he reached for the beer he'd picked up from the fridge on his way to the living room. His doctor said no alcohol with his medication, and he knew Emma would shit a brick if she knew he was drinking, but hell he needed it. And besides, what did it matter anyway? He was dying. No one could give him a guarantee of when he'd die, but it didn't really matter anymore. He was already dead in his son's eyes, so what was one more day?
He took a deep swallow of the cold beverage and sighed in appreciation as the wet cold liquid traveled down his parched throat to settle in his limbs and give him a feeling of lazy comfort. He knew alcohol was just a crutch, but he needed to have just this one.
He had tried hard not to think about Eliot in the years since he'd left, but tonight had brought back more than enough memories to cause him to feel the need for some liquid comfort. He knew he'd been wrong to let Eliot walk out that door, but he was just so damned mad at the boy at the time. How dare him call Jack Spencer out on his behavior? He hadn't lost his wife, his best friend, his whole life.
Jack sighed deeply as he felt the first prickle of tears when he realized at that moment, that no, Eloit hadn't lost a wife; he'd lost his mother, his brother, and his sister. He'd lost half of his family in one night and then he'd lost his father every day after that. He knew he'd been a bad father, but he'd just been so deep in the hurt of losing his Mary that he hadn't realized that his son and daughter were also experiencing the same hurt.
He should have known better, but he hadn't. He'd left Eliot at the young age of thirteen to run his hardware store and the ranch while he headed out to the local bars and it was Eliot who learned to drive their beat up truck at the same age to come get Jack's worthless ass from whatever dive he was passed out behind. It was always Eliot who took care of paying the bills and who made sure that both he and Emma had enough for school and he made sure there was money for Emma to go to college.
It was Eliot who had saved him so many times; saved his children and then saved other people's children. It was Eliot who even after finding out about his older brothers Eaton and Evan, had kept Jack and Mary's secret from the other children as well as the rest of the family. It was Eliot who had the most to lose at finding out he had older brothers then not being able to see them as brothers. He could have used those brothers after Mary died, but he hadn't told them anything. Eliot even kept the secret from them. It was always Eliot who took the hits and kept on fighting.
Jack felt the first tear drop from his eyes as he finally realized just how much he'd screwed up his life and his son's. He didn't cry. He hadn't cried at Mary's funeral or in the presence of Eliot or Emma. He just didn't cry. As he reached out to pick up his favorite framed photo of Mary and their four children taken just after she'd given birth to little Elizabeth, he felt his wife's presence like he hadn't in years.
"I'm at a loss here Mary, hon. How can I make things right with Ellie before I come to see you? How can I show Eliot that he's worth it when I gave him so many years of showing him he wasn't? How do I save Eliot after he's spent his whole life saving others? How?"
Roughly about 12:30 AM
Nate took in the chaos that was going on around him as it finally dawned on all of them what had been happening since this whole thing had started. Someone, most likely the someone who had taken Eliot had his earbud and they were listening in on what had been said between all of them.
If he had it figured out correctly, the first light on Eliot's monitor was to know if they were wearing their earbud. Green meant they were wearing it and it was activated for GPS as well as communicating; yellow meant they were wearing it but had turned it off for the communicating part and red meant they were not communicating but most likely still wearing it or carrying it on their person; if not on them at all there would be no light.
The second light meant if it was green they were all relatively healthy; the yellow light meant that something was wrong and Hardison was monitoring their health, and Nate could only assume that red meant they were dead.
The last light was the most important here. Nate learned Hardison only used red or green here no yellow at all. Red meant they were not communicating and green meant they were. Period. It didn't matter if they were wearing it or not, it was either red or green at all times. One or the other light was always on.
So this meant that they were all red and not communicating while Eliot's was green and communicating; and listening to all of them.
How could they have missed that? Nate understood whoever was wearing it was using it to keep track of Eliot's team and that meant they were one step ahead of them so how the hell did he recover from that? This person knew exactly what was going on and just how hard they were working to find Eliot. They also knew that they were making plans. They had been talking all day about every detail. They'd even heard when Detective Bonanno had visited them with his news.
He knew he needed to make some kind of plan right now before the person became suspicious of their communication ending, but he was at a loss as to how to work this out. Nate always prided himself on knowing exatly what to do, but he didn't know right now how to get past this.
As he listened to the Colonel and the Major arguing with Hardison and Parker on how best to proceed, he felt a comforting hand on his shoulder where he sat at the table watchng the monitor with Eliot's lights. The lights on Eliot's were all still green and they were just staring back at him as if they were taunting him. He'd felt off balance the minute realization had dawned on him about those lights and he felt like he was slipping off a roller coaster as it was hitting that big climb upwards just before it plummeted downward.
At Sophie's gentle touch he suddenly felt equlibrium stabilize for him. Her touch gave him some perspective. He was Nate Ford, the mastermind. It was his job to ultimately get them all out safely. Parker broke into things, Hardison cleared her way electronically, and Eliot cleared her way physically. Sophie grifted them into the place they were robbing to begin with, but it was Nate who got them all out of the place and back to safety in the end.
He turned and smiled up at the woman he was quickly beginning to realize he would have a very hard time living without.
"Got it figured out yet?" She asked softly.
He nodded at her as she sank down on the chair next to him and he felt her slip her hand in his on the table. She squeezed it and he returned it.
He turned back to the squabbling group. "Hey guys!" He raised his voice just enough to get their attention. When he had it, he continued on. "We can't worry about what this person has heard or hasn't heard. We just need to begin new."
"You got a plan Nate?" Hardison asked as he crossed his arms over his chest. "Cause I can't see how we can possibly get past this right now."
"Oh, Ive got a plan Hardison. We're going with plan M." He said with a slow smile to the group.
Haridson coughed loudly at that. "You know I don't like plan M, Nate. We need a different plan, man."
"What's plan M? Why doesn't Hardison like it?" Vance asked the group in general as he watched Nate slowly smiling at all of them.
Parker also was smiling at Nate's words. She turned that smile towards the Colonel. "Hardison dies in plan M."
The Colonel and the Major both looked at Hardison as they took in that information. "You don't like plan M. Gotcha." Whitmore said to the man. "Okay so how do we kill Hardison?" He returned his attention to Nate as he too began to smile.
"Hey you all don't have to be so eager to kill me, you know. Damnit Nate, I hate plan M!" Hardison said as he took in everyone's eagerness to hear what Nate had planned for him.