The Empty glass of truth

Chapter 8

Callen looked up as his door knocked.

Opening it, he smiled at the small red head standing the other side. "Why'd you knock, you have a key."

Nell looked behind him shyly, "I, er…I didn't think your mother would appreciate me walking in and I didn't want you to have to explain why I have a key." She said, "Hetty said you have a problem with your mother's laptop?" she said putting her bag on the kitchen table.

Clara was in her room, getting changed and Callen seized his chance wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing her neck, "G! Your mother is in the next room, we can't." she hissed with a small smile.

"Yes we can," he smiled inhaling her scent, he hadn't see her alone since this whole thing had started and he missed her, "I could sneak over to your place later." He offered.

"Yeah and then explain to your mother and brother where you were…and then have Deeks tell Kensi, who tells Sam…." Nell waited as he caught up.

"I hate this!" he hissed not wanting to disturb his mother, "We aren't breaking any rules."

"No, but it would make Hetty worry about us working together, I mean if you were hurt and I had to watch it…I mean I don't want to be reassigned to the tech pool or something." She sighed and wrapped her arms around his waist. "Maybe some day we can tell the others, but right now I have a job to do." She pulled his head down, kissed him briefly, and turned to her small toolbox.

Keeping his hand in the small of her back he watched as she got the things out she needed.

He passed her the laptop just as Clara walked back into the kitchen.

"Mama, this is Nell Jones, our technical analyst, she's come to help with the computer." He told her.

"Thank you." Clara said as she made herself, a coffee. "Would you like a drink I notice my son forgot to ask you?" she asked.

Nell nodded, "Coffee please, Mrs. Deeks."

"Clara please." She smiled watching her son hover on the edge of Nell's personal space, as if he wanted to be closer but was deliberately keeping himself further from her than he felt comfortable.

Nell nodded and started working on her computer, "You are right, someone has placed a keystroke logger onto your computer."

Clara's face darkened and she turned the laptop over, "I will take out the hard drive, Grisha you must dispose of the laptop." She said.

"No, Clara wait!" Nell said, "We can use it to find out who is tracking you then remove the software and you can keep your laptop." She told her.

Clara smiled; Nell was as smart as she had thought she was, "I know dear." She said making both Nell and Callen do a double take. "I just wanted to see if you did, I am not too sure on how you track it back, but I do think I know who is tracking me." She walked into the living room and sat on the sofa. Reaching into a hidden pocket in the lining, she took out a small thumb drive.

"This has files of each time I've been hacked and what they were looking at, I think…I have thought for years that there is a Comescu working with the CIA; or someone working for them is I would think by now in quite a high level job."

Callen looked at his mother, "Really? I mean I know the Comescu's were looking for me, but they thought you were dead didn't they?"

Clara looked at her son sadly, "Moy syn, I thought they thought the same thing about you."

Callen looked worriedly at Nell, "I thought I had killed one of the last of the Comescu's, maybe I was wrong."

"Grisha, not all of the Comescu's are Comescu's, they will never be all gone. Some have married and left the family business, others may have changed their names," She handed him the hard drive. "This has on it all the Comescu's in America, as many as I have been able to track down so far, not all of them are in illegal employment, there is a judge, a few politicians," she gulped, "Even social workers and foster carers."

Callen grabbed the hard drive from Clara's hands, "Nell, I need to see the list now!" he snapped.

She nodded and took her own laptop out of her bag and a docking port and opened the files on Clara's hard drive.

A list scrolled along her screen as Callen started to count.

"1, 2, 3, 4…." He stood up abruptly and walked outside.

"Grisha?" Clara said walking behind him.

Callen turned away desperately trying to keep his emotions in check, Nell walked up past Clara and stood near him. "I saw it G." she said quietly.

"Saw what?" Clara asked.

Callen shook his head and walked to the back end of the garden his hand holding onto the rope of the swing that had hung from the tree since he was a child.

"Four of his case workers in child services were on your list as were, 24…" Nell stopped as Callen interrupted.

"26." He said.

"26," she continued, "Of Callen's foster homes."

"They were the worst, they always said it was my fault that they…they always blamed me, I didn't know they were right." He sank down by the tree holding his knees and looked up at Nell. "Were they on there?" he asked hoping she did not say yes.

"No." Nell said with a small smile as Callen relaxed. "The Rostoffs weren't on the list."

Callen smiled as a traitorous tear slipped out.

Clara sat next to her son holding gently onto his hand. "How bad my son? Please I need to know?" she asked.

Callen looked at Nell who nodded and walked into the house knowing this conversation was not for her.

Callen took a deep breath and sighed, "It was bad momma, not always, but sometimes." he added quickly seeing the look of pain that crossed her face.

"I was alone, that was always drummed into me, at first I waited for someone to come and get me, I knew something bad had happened as I couldn't remember my name or you or papa. I remember sleeping in the bed in the dormitory. Everyone else was sleeping and I held on to my blanket as tight as I could; I was scared as it was dark and I wanted a teddy, but I was told I didn't have one…only kids who had teddies had mom's and dad's that…that cared and came to see them.

I was so scared I wanted you so bad, but I couldn't remember your face. I held on for hours trying not to sleep as it was so dark and the people spoke funny and kept pointing at me. In the end, this woman shook my shoulder and said something about Alexa and I thought that was your name. I called for you…and ….and they hit me and told me you were dead.

That was the first night I could remember, I wasn't left anywhere longer than 3 weeks, A few homes, the one where care workers, not on that list placed me, they were ok. But when my regular worker was back I would be pulled out and put in another home." Callen stopped as he saw Clara sitting next to him quietly crying at the pain her son had been put through.

"I don't blame you." He added hastily, "It's…it's just a bit of a shock to find out that the Comescu's have been following me my entire life, and if one of them knew you were in fact alive, then they kept us apart all those years…it's not fair mama." He allowed himself to be swallowed up by her arms and for the first time sobbed for the loss of his childhood, for the loss of what he could have had with her.

She held him and gently made shushing noises, stroking her hand up and down his back, as he calmed down she finally spoke. "No Grisha, it is not fair, it was not fair to either of us, however, I am glad in a way, had it not happened I would never have had your brother and sister. But, had I known for just one second that you were alive, I swear to you I would have knocked on every door in America until I found you."

Callen looked up and wiped his eyes. "You would?" he asked in disbelief.

"Of course you are my son."

"Got room for one more," Deeks grinned as he walked out into the garden to see his mother and brother in a hug.

Clara stood up and walked over to him, "Of course Martin." She hugged him too.

"Is everything ok?" Deeks asked, "Nell said you were upset over something that had been found on the laptop."

Callen knew he couldn't hide anything from Deeks their relationship as brothers was too new, "The Comescu's have been following me all my life, some of my foster parents were paid by them to…deal with me."

"God!" Deeks took a step back in horror, "And you never knew?"

Callen shook his head, "Nope."

"There was a judge on that list, and some politicians. I think we need to show the list to Hetty."

"No." Clara snapped.


"Mama?" Callen and Deeks said at the same time.

She smiled for a second at both her boys.

"Mama, I trust her, I know she's held so much back in the past, but she has been there for me for a long time, and," Callen stopped and faced her, "She nearly gave up her own life facing down the Comescu's to save me." He told her.

She looked stunned, "She went to Romania?"

"Right into Alexa's compound, and faced her down, trying to convince them I was dead, she was shot trying to protect me."

Clara sat on the small swing, "I didn't know…I owe her an apology." She said "I owe you one too Grisha, you have been through so much."

Callen nodded and held out his hand, "Yes mama, I have. Now how about the three of us show them what Callen blood is made of. We'll go and see Hetty and I think it's about time the CIA left us alone and that the Comescu's learn that they will NEVER finish off the Callen's." He said intently.

Deeks looked at him, "Me too?" he asked.

Callen linked arms with his mother and his little brother, "Yeah you too little brother." He said and they walked arm in arm toward the house.

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