Callen's bigger problem

Chapter 19

As Nate walked towards Hetty's office he felt something was off but couldn't quite place it.

Knocking on the door to her study she looked up in surprise as Nate walked in. "Mr. Getz, I thought you were taking Callen to his physical therapy session today?" she said.

"You did?" Nate sank into a chair, "But the therapist said you had arranged her to come here."

Hetty shrugged, "Myra probably just knew, Callen likes her though, he has a thing for redheads I think he picked it up from Jethro when they stayed together." She said absently.

Nate nodded he looked down at the picture and stopped. "Redheads?"

Hetty looked up, "Yes I was talking to Myra earlier, and she is a red head why?"

Nate stood up, "The woman at the door had dark hair…and an accent…"

Hetty reached into her drawer for her gun.

Callen was resting but he heard the lock quietly click into place and a feeling of danger swept over him. Instantly he knew it wasn't Myra who had entered the room. Not changing his breathing pattern he stayed where he was waiting to see what the woman's next move was.

He heard the bag open and the sound of what he assumed was a weapon being taken out, he knew whoever it was wouldn't risk using a gun and he hoped it was a knife.

His mind instantly ran over all the solutions to his problem, he couldn't run because of his ankle, he was in the wrong place to out maneuver her so he waited for her to come to him, shifting slightly as if he was still asleep he moved his hand to the small knife concealed in his belt. He heard her stop as he moved.

"Shit!" he thought as he realized she was moving behind him, instinctively he raised his arm as Mina looped the garrotte wire over his head.

"Vei muri pentru uciderea fratelui meu, Eu vă voi vedea în Iad!" she spat.

Callen's eyes shot open wide, she had to be Yoska's sister. His arm that was stopping the garrotte from killing him was starting to bleed profusely he lifted his other arm up and grabbed Mina by the hair and flipped her over his shoulder so she landed precariously in his lap.

Losing perspective for a moment and just seeing red he grabbed the small knife that was by his waist and slit her throat.

As she gurgled her last breath he looked her right in her eyes as the light left it, "A meritat cu de a muri și fel și tu Comescu," He spat with more venom in his voice than anyone had ever heard.

He stared at the woman as she died in his arms as he vaguely heard the door banging.

Nate kicked the door in as Hetty stood back fearing what they would find as they entered the room.

As the door swung open both stood there in shock as they saw Callen with the woman in his arms her arm hanging lifelessly and Callen staring into her eyes.

"Callen?" Nate said softly

Callen looked up and looked at Hetty as he shoved the woman's body onto the floor; He levered himself up on his crutches and moved away from her body.

Hetty walked over to Callen looking at the blood from the woman and the blood on her foster son, "Are you hurt?" She asked worried.

"I'm fine." He snapped. He hadn't meant to but he didn't want her to touch him while he was covered in her blood.

He hobbled out of the room leaving Hetty to call a clean-up team.

Nate turned to the smaller woman, "Something's not right; I mean I know someone just tried to kill him, but something in his….." Nate shrugged unable to put into words what was bugging him.

Hetty looked at the body of the woman on the floor and motioned to Nate to follow her to the desk in the corner; she opened up the laptop and typed in a password.

A file opened and Nate saw the room in real time, he looked around for the cameras as the 'Nate' on the screen did the same. Puzzled he turned back to Hetty, "Except for a few rooms the whole house is wired for surveillance, I have learnt over the years that it is a good thing, especially when bringing up a teenage boy," She smiled weakly.

She rewound the tape and they watched the altercation between Mina and Callen.

Listening to what Mina said Hetty shuddered, "She is Yoska's sister," she said as she realized who she was. She gasped as she realized that Callen was indeed injured, she was just about to tell Nate to make sure that the paramedics were called when they both heard Callen speak on the tape.

They stared stunned, Hetty by what he had said, Nate by Callen's tone of voice. He had never heard the team leader sound so cold.

"What did he say?" Nate asked.

Hetty shook her head. "I…." she stammered and walked out Nate, hot on her heels.

They walked up to Callen's room finding him on the floor his bag out and packing quietly, apart from telling Hetty he was fine he hadn't spoken a word.

"Mr. Callen, are you going somewhere?" Hetty asked carefully.


"We will sort this out you don't have to leave."

"If I don't it will never end, you tried and it didn't work."

"You are safe here son." Hetty implored him.

"HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT?" Callen yelled making both Nate and Hetty step back, "They are all going to come after me, I have to take them out first or it will never end."

Nate crouched down near Callen, "You can't do that Callen, wipe a whole family out… it's crazy…it's like….it's like…"

Callen looked up and with a voice as emotionless as Nate had ever heard her said "What it's like a Romani gypsy blood feud thing….that's exactly what it is…and exactly who I am."

"No, you're more than that; you're a federal agent, you protect people."

"I can't protect anyone." Callen snapped. "I'm a cripple, I'm useless and I'm a target and no one near me is safe!"

"So you're going to leave me?" Hetty said looking Callen in the eye.

"To protect you…Yes!" he said resolutely.

"Mr. Callen, a great many people over the years have tried to kill me, so far they have all failed. I protected myself a great many years before you came into my life and I can protect myself now." She admonished him.

"But you wouldn't have to protect yourself from the Comescu's if it were not for me?" Callen argued.

Hetty sat on Callen's bed and patted the seat beside her "Sit." She said and waited as he sat down. "Your grandfather was the only person guilty of starting this, when he shot Alexa Comescu's father she was the one who ordered the blood feud, none of this was your fault. I know that the feud is a gypsy thing and try as you might you can't stop that part of you that wants them all dead, but never, ever think this was your fault. You, your sister and your mother are all innocent parties in this." She told him.

"And my father?" he pushed

Hetty smiled enigmatically. "I think I hear the paramedics." She said and headed towards the door, "And Mr. Callen, you will let them fix your arm and then you can meet me in my study."

Callen sighed, "Yes mom." He looked at Nate and sent him a scowl as he saw Nate grin.

Nate helped Callen up and together they went down to a side room and Nate watched as Callen allowed the paramedic to patch him up.

"Why did you try to run?" Nate asked as the paramedic stitched up his arm.

"Wasn't running away Nate." Callen replied. "I just wanted to keep Hetty safe."

"She is right you know, she has kept herself safe for all these years and she's looked after you, why do you feel the need to leave and go after the Comescu's."

"Because she's my mother, and I love her." Callen said surprising Nate with the simplicity of it all, "And I will do anything it takes to protect her." He finished.

Nate nodded leaving Callen with the paramedic and went to see Hetty.

He smiled weakly at her as he entered.

"How is he?" She asked.

"He's getting a few stitches, but he'll be fine." Nate told her

"I don't think he'll go after them now." She said, remembering when she had done the same thing for him. Nate thinking about the same time looked at her.

"What he said earlier, about him being a target and no one near him being safe, is it true, is that why you went to Romania?" he asked his curiosity peaked.

"I protect my team," she said noncommittally.

"Just your team?" he pushed.

"I treat all of them the same,"

"But you were willing to kill Alexa Comescu for Callen."

Hetty turned and walked to the window. "yes." She said, so quietly that Nate thought he had imagined it.

The she turned and looked him in the eye, "I am your operations manager and I will if necessary put him in harm's way to get the job done. But first and foremost I am his mother. I have been his mother since he was 15 and no matter what it is you two were trying to keep from me, you must make sure he knows that I don't blame him for anything that happened to him as a child and it won't make me love him less."

"I know that Ma." Callen said standing at the door.

Nate smiled as Hetty walked over and hugged her son.

Nate was pleased that this family was healing and that Callen finally knew where he belonged now all he had to do was convince Vance and Granger that having Hetty and Callen on the same team would not compromise team performance.

This was a meeting he was not looking forward too.

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