Disclaimer: I do not own One Tree Hill. It belongs to lucky ass Mark Schwahn and The CW. But I really wouldn't mind owning James, Robert, or Austin! Now that would be awesome! But really, I don't own anything.
Summary: They came from two different worlds. Everything she was, he wasn't. They were complete opposites in every single way. For the past three years they've been partners and the FBI's best in their department. They never agreed on anything but their mutual hatred for one another. Nathan's got a past that no one knows about so when their new undercover case hits too close to home for him, he'll have to fight like hell to keep his past a secret, and more importantly fight to keep his life. With Haley on the verge of uncovering everything, he'll have to decide which side he's on.
Author's Note: Hey, guys, this is my new story. I've been writing it for a while now. I had a lot of inspiration for it by a lot of movies and TV shows I watch from Bones, Alias, Bad Boys, and all kinds of other stuff. I just want to say that I really have no idea how things work in the FBI or anything about the FBI. All the things that happen in the story are from my crazy imagination.
Big, big thanks to Brittany for all her help with this story and inspiring me to continue writing it. Thanks, Playa! Please read and review. I'd really like to know what you guys think.
April 12, 2009
Nathan sat at the edge of the king sized bed, his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands. He could hear everything around him. It was like the world was moving, everything was moving, but him. He was stuck right in this spot unable to move, unable to even look up. The voices wouldn't stop and he couldn't make them. They were all muffled and he tried to hear what each of them was saying but it was too many people talking at once. It's like he wanted to know but then he didn't. He was so exhausted both mentally and physically after the week he just had and everything that led up to this moment. Honestly he didn't know how he was still going at the moment. His body was definitely working on autopilot.
His whole body was aching. It felt like he hadn't slept in weeks and he knew that had actually been the case. He hadn't been sleeping well lately. In fact, sleep had never really come easy to him. He would always toss and turn all night long. Recently he had been having these really bad nightmares that had him waking in the middle of the night out of breath and sweating from head to toe. It had been that way for the last two years now. It wasn't every night and it didn't even happen often but when it did, it terrified him. He felt silly. Here he was at 28 having nightmares? It was like some kind of joke the universe was playing on him. Still, the nightmares felt so vivid and real.
These last few months it had been getting worse. He hadn't been getting any sleep. He was too on edge. Ever since she got her hands on that stupid file it's like his whole world had been turned upside down. It wasn't her fault. She didn't know what it would do to him. She didn't know that it would be the end of his life as he knew it. He had tried to get her to let it go. He did everything that he could think of and still she wouldn't and he knew in the back of his mind that she wouldn't. This was her. She wanted justice and wouldn't stop at nothing until she got it, even if it meant uncovering things that she didn't want to know –things that he didn't want her to know.
She just had to keep digging and digging. Now look where he was. Tree Hill, North Carolina, the last place on earth he wanted to be at the moment. He closed his eyes and prayed that he was somewhere else. He wanted to be home. He wanted for all of this to be over. Anywhere was better than here –better than this moment.
It wasn't supposed to be like this. It was all wrong.
He had been dreading this moment since he arrived in this God forsaken town. He knew that it would come down to this. He had hoped it wouldn't but it had. Even as he let the darkness take over he knew that nothing would make this go away. Nothing would stop it.
He had finally reached a crossroads in his life and there was no turning back. He only had two choices and he didn't know which one to pick. He didn't want to be the one to have to make this decision but at the same time, he knew that he was the only one that could. It was his fault they were all here in the first place. It felt like the weight world was resting on his shoulders.
He heard a phone ringing in the distance and still he couldn't find the strength to lift his head.
"Hargrove, its forensics."
Of course, he thought. The phone call that they'd been waiting on all fucking morning long. Lifting his head tiredly, he glanced around the hotel room. Everyone was trying to move around the room as productively as they could. They were still looking for evidence. This was the first crime scene that he didn't want to see in his whole career. He didn't want to be here. He didn't want to be anywhere near here.
The hotel room had been a mess from the second that he had run up here when he gotten the phone call. There had definitely been a struggle. That was very clear. The lamp was lying on the floor, the dresser was turned over, the sofa flipped, shattered glass, the TV was on the floor, and clothes were everywhere. It was clear that they were looking for something. He took his time glancing around the hotel room again. His eyes landed on the huge pile of blood on the far side of the room. He felt his stomach twist in pain before quickly glancing away from it.
She fought whoever took her. He was certain of that. He knew her better than anyone and there was no way that she was going down without a fight. She was the strongest person he knew –the best person he knew. And because of him she was gone. This was all his fault. He knew it. Everyone was working so hard to find out who did this but they didn't need to look far. He was sitting right in front of them. He might not have been the one that had come in and taken her but he could have stopped it.
"It's hers," Lucas Roe spoke up so that everyone in the room could hear.
His stomach twisted in pain again. He watched everyone's solemn faces in the room. This was hard for everyone. It was always hard on crime scenes but this one was different. It was one of them –it was her. Everyone loved her. They all adored her. He knew all he had to do was speak up, just open his mouth and say it. There was no doubt in his mind that every last one of the guys in the room would kill him in a second if he did. They wouldn't even think twice about it either. They would all kill for her.
He sighed in frustration as he ran his fingers through his hair. He was sure that he looked like crap. Last night had already been one of the worst nights of his life but to get a phone call telling him this. This was just about all he could take. He felt like he could explode any minute. He felt so helpless, like there was nothing that he could do. But there is, he thought miserably.
He stood up and for the hundredth time he glanced around the hotel room. He didn't understand it. He had seen her last night. He had been in this room last night. He let the scene play over in his head. That's when it hit him.
They had been in here when he had come over. He knew she seemed different. And she had made him leave. She had told him that she didn't want him there and she'd pushed him out of her hotel room with tears in her eyes. They had been here with her then. It's why she was acting so strange. She had looked so hurt and he thought that she was just angry at the way things had been between them lately. But that wasn't it.
He felt his blood start to boil.
How had he been in the same place as them and not even know it? Why didn't he know about it? How had he just given in and left so easily? If this was just weeks ago he would've fought with her and wouldn't have given up so easily. How hadn't he known that something was wrong? He felt sick. He had wanted to stay and talk with her but she was adamant about him leaving. He was just so tired of fighting with her. They had literally been at each others throats lately. They had fought a lot over the years but it was never this bad. He had just been so angry with her for pushing things. She couldn't just let it go.
"Hargrove, come take at look at this."
He glanced over his shoulder and he noticed Agent Thomas waving him over. He walked slowly across the room until he reached Thomas. He noticed the small bloodstain on the wall in the bathroom behind the door. Something they missed in their first sweep of the place.
"Swipe some of it and send it to the lab. It might not be hers," Nathan muttered.
"Sure thing, Nate," Thomas nodded.
His face was in a hard line, his jaw set, as he made it over to Julian and Lucas. He glanced at both of their faces and noticed the same thing on each of them. They didn't understand why this happened. They didn't know why it had to be her. They didn't know who would want to take her. They didn't know anything. Like everyone else in the room they were clueless. They had no idea what was going on at the moment. This was just something bigger than them.
Lifting his hand up, he ran it over the top of his head.
"Who could've done this?" Lucas wondered angrily.
Julian scowled. "I'm going to kill whoever did."
"It has to be them," Lucas gritted out.
Julian's jaw clenched. "It has to be."
"How did they know?"
"We were so careful."
"Not careful enough."
Nathan stood there listening as they went back and forth.
They didn't know exactly who took her but they had their suspicions. They had come here for a reason. This town was all on the same payroll. He knew that better than anyone. No one was even notified that they were coming. If they had told the local authorities then their cover would've been blown. They didn't know who was good and who was bad. He did. They couldn't trust anyone. It was always this way.
The threatening tone of Julian's voice didn't scare him. He glanced down at him. Julian had short brown hair, light stubble covering his face, and big brown eyes. It hurt to even look at him and Nathan focused all of his attention on Lucas. Lucas's head was covered in blonde hair, the top pointing up and it was short all around, his eyes were light blue, and his face was also covered in light stubble. Like professionals they were both dressed in their black suits. He was usually making fun of them for it. Today just wasn't the day for it.
"We shouldn't have come here. We weren't supposed to come out here." They should have followed the right orders. They were told not to come here. He had made sure of it. She just had to talk them into coming here and of course he had followed. He had told them that it wasn't a good idea and he knew that better than anyone.
"You were right," Julian muttered. "We should've listened to you."
"Nate, you ok? You don't look so good. Maybe you should sit this one out. We can handle it," Lucas offered.
If only it were that easy, he thought.
He straightened up and glared at him, his face in a hard line. "I'm fine."
"You don't look it, Hargrove," Julian muttered after a few seconds. His cell phone started ringing and Julian instantly took a deep breath before looking at Lucas. "It's my Dad."
Nathan walked away after that. He didn't need to hear anything more. He stood at the far end of the room thinking. How had things gotten to this point? How had he let them? He felt like he could throw up any second now. He felt his phone vibrating in his pocket but he couldn't bring himself to answer it. He already knew who it was and he couldn't talk to her just yet. He didn't have it in him. She'd know that something was wrong and he couldn't tell her. She would just make him feel worse about the whole situation and not to mention the fact that she would be upset. He didn't want to upset her.
He felt a hand on his shoulder a second later. "We're going to find her. You believe that."
He didn't say anything as Lucas just stood there. Lucas, after all, was as clueless as the rest of them. He didn't understand a thing that was going on. He wouldn't even be able to comprehend what was happening. He felt bad for him. Lucas and Julian still had hope. He saw it on both their faces. They were both so different from him. They grew up with perfect little families that did everything together. To them the world was still good. They didn't see the world like he did. They didn't know how cruel and tragic everything in life really was.
He knew coming here was a bad idea. In fact, he had tried telling her that. But she just had to keep on digging and digging. She just wouldn't let it go and now look where she was. Missing! This was all such a fucking bad idea but she just had to have her way. Like always. She always got everything she wanted.
It didn't surprise him how angry he was with her. This was nothing new. It was always this way. A day hadn't gone by in all the years that he'd known her when she hadn't pissed him off. She had a knack for it. She really did. Nobody pushed his buttons like she did. It drove him absolutely mad. She wasn't even here and she was pissing him off. Only she could manage that!
He couldn't take this anymore. This was useless. He took off walking towards the door.
"Where are you going, Hargrove?" Julian asked pulling the cell phone away from his ear.
He glared at him. "For a walk."
"You'll get lost," Lucas pointed out. "I think we should all stay together until Captain gets here. He's sending some more guys down from D.C. even though he's pissed that we didn't follow orders. We're in big trouble, man."
"I'm sure I'll be fine," Nathan muttered as he continued walking. "I need some fresh air."
Get lost, he wanted to laugh. How could he get lost here of all places? He wasted enough time in that stupid hotel room. He made it out of the hotel minutes later. The parking lot was covered with a few SUV's that belonged to the FBI. He walked towards his and opened the front door. Reaching in his pockets he pulled out his wallet and his badge. He flipped it open and smiled softly.
Special Agent Nate Hargrove.
He closed it and tossed it on the seat before reaching for his gun. He tossed that under his seat and removed the one around his ankle and did the same. He searched the pockets of his leather jacket and made sure that they were empty as well. He took off his leather jacket and then took of his shoulder holster. Once he had nothing left on him, he reached around his neck and pulled his chain off. He glanced at the silver cross in his hands for a few seconds before bringing it to his mouth and kissing it. Then he tossed it with the rest of his things. His cell phone was next.
He stood there in nothing but a black leather jacket, a white t-shirt, and dark faded jeans. His black boots were all scuffed up and he was sure that his hair was a mess. He knew from this morning that he had dark circles under his eyes. He didn't look good. He could picture her so clearly in his mind. He could hear her voice. One look at him and she would have some witty remark about the way he was dressed. She always did.
"Get that look out of one of your Bad Boy magazines," or, "What are you one of the Outsiders?" He loved that one. He shook his head trying to get the smile off of his face as he started walking. This was no time to be smiling. There was nothing fun and happy about this day at all.
He wished to God that he didn't know where he was walking but he did. In fact, he had known all along. Even all morning as they paced that stupid hotel room franticly looking for clues he knew that he didn't need any. He knew where she was. He knew exactly where she was and he knew who had her.
He tried his best to get himself together as he made his way there. It wouldn't be long now that Julian and Lucas would notice him missing. He didn't have a lot of time. They were going over the security tapes at the hotel now but that wouldn't last long. Once they realized who took her, this town would be swarming with cops and FBI Agents to find her. They wouldn't stop until they found her.
As he made it closer his heart sank in his chest. It felt like someone literally punched him in the stomach and knocked all the wind out of him. He'd never felt this way before in his life. In the distance he noticed the huge white stonewall covering miles and miles down the road. Before he knew it the huge mansion was coming into view and his hands began to shake.
The huge white gate came into view and he walked towards it as he made it onto the driveway. Glancing behind it he noticed the acres and acres of land that the mansion sat on. Of course, he didn't need to scope the place out. He already knew it better than anything else. Before he could get a step closer he felt a sharp blow to his back. His knees buckled and he fell to the ground, his hands holding him up. Then two hands were on him lifting him up as he gasped for air.
If this had been any other time, the person wouldn't have gotten away with that. But since he was unarmed and had come here for a purpose he didn't fight back. He just stood there as the huge guy frisked him. Once the guy realized that he didn't have anything on him, he huffed.
"Mind telling me why you were sneaking up like that?"
His face was in a hard line as he slowly turned to face the guy. He took his time looking up and when he did he noticed the guys face fall. They stood there for minutes as the beefy man he knew as Bear, looked at him in shock.
"Let me in," Nathan mumbled after a few more seconds.
"Oh, I…Sorry, I didn't recognize you."
"I said let me in," Nathan demanded in a hard voice. The guy nodded as he walked over to the keypad and hit in the code. The gate swung open and they both started walking up the long driveway. The guy didn't say anything and Nathan didn't say anything either. He liked the silence. It gave him time to think. His head was spinning by the time they started for the backyard towards the warehouses. He glanced at the idiot on the side of him.
"They're all back there, Sir," the guy pointed to the warehouse in the middle. There were at least ten of them. His stomach was twisting with anticipation again. He honestly had no idea what was about to happen. He really didn't. This wasn't supposed to be happening like this.
He spent his whole adult life avoiding this very moment right here. When he decided to join the FBI, and every moment after that, it had been to keep him away from this very moment. Everything had finally caught up with him, all the lies and deception. It was like he was on a head on collusion with his past and everything was about to blow up in his face. There was no going back from this. He knew in his heart that these last few months had been building up to this. Ever since she had gotten that stupid file and she couldn't put it down, he knew that she would come here and he knew what would happen.
Even last night he had gone over to talk to her calmly. He thought maybe if he talked and explain things to her then she would understand why he did what he did. He had gone over there to tell her the truth, the whole truth, everything. He had wanted her to know. He didn't want her finding out from someone else. She didn't want to hear it. She had been barely able to even look at him. She had been acting so strange lately and he knew it was only a matter of time before she found something out. He couldn't have that. He didn't want it to come to this. Somehow it had.
As they made it closer he could feel a sense of dread seeping in. It was so much that it filled his whole being and he knew in an instant that he was terrified. He was terrified to move any closer but his feet were still moving. She was here he could feel it. It felt like someone had punched him in the stomach again. He hated feeling this way, so weak, lost, and helpless.
In his mind he knew that she was already dead. Twelve hours. There was just no way that they kept her alive for that long. Not after the other day and what she did. They weren't going to let her live. She was as good as dead. It's why he had been so quiet all morning long.
Still a part of him prayed that maybe just maybe she was still alive. If he could just see her one more time, just look into her eyes, just to let her know….
He knew he wouldn't even have that chance. Coming here again, this was it. If she wasn't dead yet she would be soon. If he tried to help her then they'd both be dead. There was just no way that they were both making it out of here alive. It just wasn't going to happen.
How did it come down to him or her?
It was one or the other. Begging and pleading for her life would do nothing. In fact, if he gave any indication of knowing her then he'd decided it for them, they'd kill her right then and there. No, he couldn't let them know. She's dead anyway, he thought.
This is why he couldn't look at Julian earlier. They had the same eyes. He couldn't look at those eyes. Not now. Not when there wasn't anything he could do for her. Not when he was about to break his promise to the Captain. He had promised. He promised that he would protect her no matter what and now because of him she was dead.
He didn't know what would happen once he walked through those doors. His stomach turned once again as they walked into the warehouse. In an instant his face turned to stone. He relaxed his whole body and loosened himself up. He couldn't just be tense. They would know. No, he had to be cool and calm.
It's not like it was hard. He wore this façade daily. He had been so used to pretending that it was nothing to him. When you lived the life that he did, things like this were easy. Hell, they were necessary. No attachments, no feelings, no nothing, just yourself. You had to look out for number one. You couldn't afford to care about people. It would only cost you in the end.
Her or me, he shouted in his head. He still had no idea what he was going to do. How do you make that decision? A few months ago he wouldn't have even cared. But now…he just didn't know what to do. In his mind they were both good as dead.
"Right in there, Sir."
Nathan nodded and followed Bear inside the door. The sound of voices and laughing filled his head and he kept a straight face. Then when they all came into view his heart sank in his chest but he kept his face stone hard. When he noticed her, tied up in a chair in the middle of the room, he wanted to sigh in relief but he didn't. He held it back and when he watched her get punched in the face, his insides cringed but he held himself back.
"How you like that you little bitch!"
"You kill one of us and think you can get away with it?" Someone else slapped her in the face.
Nine guys were surrounding her.
"We're just getting started, baby." One of their hands reached out and slide up her thigh. They were all laughing in enjoyment.
"Fucking little slut!"
She was covered in blood. It was all over her clothes, her arms, and her face. He could see that all the way across the room. Her head was hanging down weakly. It hurt to even look at her like this especially when it was his fault that she was here in the first place. But he could tell that she was still alive. At least, for the moment. He knew she needed a doctor. He could tell that much. She was still in the same clothes he had seen her in last night, jeans and that small white tank top. How was she still conscious after losing all that blood? They had probably been torturing her for hours.
"Bear, you better have a damn good reason for interrupting us!"
It was then that the guys noticed him walking in and they all turned to face him. It was so easy for him to recognize each of them. It was like they were all dark clouds and she was the only white one in the room. White and dark. Good and evil. Even he was a dark cloud along with the rest of them. She was the only good thing in the room. He could see it so clearly.
With all eyes on him, he found the pair he was looking for.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here? The prodigal son returns."
He ignored the voices. He watched as her face slowly glanced up at him. Her hands were bound to the chair, tape was covering her mouth to muffle her screams, and her feet were bound to the chair as well. Even then, even dying, her eyes still found his and he knew once their eyes locked that she had figured out who he was. He clenched his jaw and he wondered how long had she known. Why didn't she tell him? Why didn't she say something?
Why couldn't he save her? Why did she have to be caught in the middle of this? He never asked for this. He was supposed to protect her no matter what. He wasn't supposed to be the reason she was tied up helplessly in that chair about to die.
All nine faces smiled at him instantly. It was like a big welcome home.
He did the only thing he could think of in that moment. He smiled back and he quickly decided what he was going to do. It only took a second for the plan to play out in his head. He had it all figured out. He wasn't dying today. Nate Hargrove was gone and all that was left was Nathan Scott.
"Hello, Dad," Nathan grinned wickedly.
"Let's kill the bitch and go. This shit isn't fun anymore. She stopped fight back so…" he started laughing again as he pulled out his gun. Nathan's heart was pounding hard in his chest.
Nathan swallowed the lump in his throat. "Let me do it."
"You sure? You're not going to get sick like the last time are you?"
"It's been a long time. You don't know what I'm capable of," Nathan stated in a harsh tone. It only seemed to make him laugh louder. Nathan kneeled before her waiting for his answer.
"Prove it," the voice chuckled. "Kill this bitch so we can go."
Nathan smiled happily at his words. Finally her eyes opened and his smile quickly faded. With just one look from her she made him feel like he was nothing. Those big brown eyes of hers always seemed to do that to him. It only made his heart pound harder in his chest. He watched as a few more tears slid down her face.
"I'm sorry that it had to come down to this," Nathan whispered so that only she could hear. He waited for her to say something, anything. Nothing came. She just stayed looking right at him, her eyes boring into his. "Close your eyes."
When she didn't listen he stood up and walked slowly over to grab the gun. He held out his hand for it. Once he took it he turned to face her again. He held it tight in his hands as she continued to look at him. He could still hear laughing. He watched as someone stood right next to her, then he bent down and licked her face. Nathan held the gun directly at her as he watched.
"Get out of the way," Nathan muttered as his eyes locked with hers. The guy kissed her cheek before standing up laughing.
"Make it hurt, Nathan," he smirked. "For Ryan."
"I pan to," Nathan smiled back.
"Shoot her in the heart," he quickly added.
Nathan kept his eyes on her the whole time. He couldn't take his eyes off of her. He couldn't believe that it came down to this. In an instant his life flashed before his eyes.
"I love you," Nathan declared before he pulled the trigger twice hard, the loud shots ringing in his ears, his heart pounding rapidly in his chest.