***New Chapter! Thanks for the Reviews on the last chapter, it motivated me to get this one done and get it uploaded!
After hours of going over the journals and files, Nick still wasn't sure exactly what he was supposed to be finding. Ryan's journal was interesting, but nothing gave him an indication as to what was currently going on. Nick looked at the clock, it was almost 3 am and his supply of caffeine was no longer existent. He tried to put off sleep for a while longer to finish at least a few more pages, but the next thing he knew it was nearly 10 am and he was waking up with a file scattered across the bed and floor.
"Man, I haven't slept this late in . . ." He stretched and went to the bathroom to freshen up. Stay strong Nick the words echoed in his head, like he was remembering a dream. Then, he remembered the scrap of paper in his journal. Those were the words written on it, but that's also what that caller said last night. It was too much at this point to be a coincidence. He heard his phone ringing in the next room and expected to see that it was the unknown caller again, but it was Rachel.
"Ryan's leaving the Legacy." Rachel said shortly.
"What? I figured with my disappearance, he'd be putting in a bid to be precept again." Despite feeling bad for the whole newspaper article incident, Nick was still obviously spiteful toward Ryan.
"Whatever happened yesterday, maybe the article . . . I 'm not sure, but it hit him really hard. He's on the phone with Mr. Endres right now," she explained.
Nick couldn't find any words to respond, he just rubbed his eyes and sat down on the bed.
"Yeah?" he said, exhaustion evident in his voice.
"What'd you find?"
"I don't know. I feel like I'm on a wild goose chase. I mean I'm here going through a bunch of files and journals, that don't really seem connected while the rest of you are back at the house, dealing with who knows what. . ."
"What about Ryan's journal?"
"I don't know, seemed pretty run-of-the-mill as Legacy journals go. Seems like he was really always searching for what happened to his father."
"Do you still think he could be a suspect?"
"I don't know . . . I mean, we all know how the quest for answers can take you to some pretty dark places. How far is someone really willing to go to find out what they need to know?"
"Are you talking about Ryan or yourself?"
"Maybe all of us? What if this caller just wants me out of the house?"
"I thought you were sure he's one of the good guys?"
"Hell, Rach, right now I'm not sure I'm one of the good guys. . . He's definitely been in the house." Rachel started to say something, but then wasn't sure exactly which question to ask. "He left a note in my journal, I didn't even know what to think of it at the time, but it seemed menial, so I didn't really think about it much. . . with everything else going on. And something he said yesterday, reminded me of the note."
"Maybe. . ."
Nick cut her off, expecting what she'd say. "Don't say coincidence. Right now . . . none of this can come down to coincidence anymore."
"So if we assume that we're being deliberately set up. We still don't know their motivation, their end goal, or even have the remotest idea who they are."
"Someone is trying to take down the Legacy, just like the Boston house, and nearly the San Francisco house. We're lucky to have gotten out of there. Has anyone come up with anything on your end?"
"So we've spent how long now just chasing our tails." Nick froze when he heard a knock on the motel door. "Call me back later," he said immediately hanging up the phone.
Rachel hat sensed the tension in the young man's voice just before he hung up, and she wasn't sure but she thought she heard someone knocking on his door. "Nick? . . . Nick?" She tried dialing his number again, but he didn't answer. "Come on Nick, I don't have a good feeling about this."
"I thought you didn't know where he was?" She heard another familiar male voice behind her. Her head dropped.
"That's why I was trying to get ahold of him again."
Ryan nodded but kept locked eyes with her. "And who were you talking to before?" Rachel couldn't even think of a reasonable explanation, and she had no idea how long he was standing there listening. She knew she'd kept an eye on her surroundings for most of the conversation but . . .
"Yeah, I heard enough to know you were talking to Nick. What the hell is going on here? If you're trying to take down this whole organization . . . well, I havent' figured out if you just suck at your job or you're really good at it. I mean within days the house is already 2 members, or should I say 3 members down." He tilted his head. Rachel blinked a few times, still unable to find words, so Ryan turned to leave.
"Wait. You think we're trying to take down this organization? And you're just going to turn your back and let it happen, just like that?"
Ryan shrugged, "Normally no, but . . . I wonder at this point . . ."
"What do you mean?" Rachel's body language relaxed, as she tried to learn more.
"Why should I explain? And why do you care? Aren't I giving you what you want? Although I must know, because I haven't figured this part out . . . Is Nick in on it too, or are you just trying to drive him mad?"
Rachel continued to stare at him with a confused expression, but Ryan laughed. "Right. Guess I'll see you around then."
"Ryan, wait! Are you really seriously convinced that I've joined with the dark side? You think I would put my daughter and the people I love through that?"
"No, isn't that the reason people normally do it? To 'save' the ones they love?"
"Would you have done it to save your father?"
Ryan exploded, "That has nothing to do with this situation. If you're bringing it up to try to win me over to your side, you had better think again. My father battled evil. Yes I once took up this job just to find out who or what killed my father, but hell if I'll join the side of those who did!"
"We're not the enemy. I wish I knew of a good way to convince you of that, but"
Ryan scoffed. "There is no way."
"Did you know Nick's father was attacked and killed in the same manner as you own?"
"What's that got to do with anything?" Ryan wearily turned back to face Rachel.
"It almost got Nick too."
"And that's supposed to convince me of what? Maybe your house turned to save him." He huffed, "honorable enough I guess . . . if that's how you'd like to think of it."
"We haven't turned. Derek gave his life to protect the world from the darkside, and any of us would do the same. That's why we're here."
"Yes, one can imagine why Derek was the only one who died."
The venemous words hit Rachel like a brick, but she tried to stay focused. "Okay, so you can spin anything I say any way you want to, but it doesn't change the facts."
"And what are the facts?"
"That we want to get Philip back and figure out what's really going on here. . . Look Ryan, you can believe me or not, that's your decision. But, despite all of our disagreements, if you're interested in doing what's right and saving a man's life . . . and possibly his soul. We could really use your help. What've you really got to lose now?
"My own life, my soul?" Ryan yelled.
"Isn't that what we put on the line every day at the Legacy? I'm not asking for anything more than your help, and if you change your mind you can leave at any time."
Ryan scoffed, "Since when do any of you want me on the team?"
Rachel backed down, looking defeated at her own memory of recent events with Ryan. "Since I'm sure you're really on our side. It seemed more like you came here with the intent to break us up. Don't you understand we were both doing the same thing? Someone is trying to turn us against each other and we were both willing to do whatever possible to keep that from happening and to keep the Legacy intact."
"Fine. What do you want me to do." Ryan also relaxed slightly. "Keep in mind I'm only considering it."
"Good enough. First keep this a secret. As long as whoever's trying to break up this house thinks the plan is successful, maybe we'll be better off."
"But won't whoever know that Nick's disappearance wasn't part of the plan?"
"Maybe, or maybe they'll assume he couldn't take it anymore. Either way, to them, he's out of the picture."
"And, there's got to be a better way of figuring out what's going on, who's misleading us." Rachel suggested.
Ryan shook his head, "Are you kidding, everything in our network is a dead end!"
"So you've noticed."
"I'm not an idiot. I've noticed since we showed up that something seems to be wrong with the network, but I was hoping to get to the bottom of it. I thought I had gotten to the bottom of it."
***That's it for now. If I know people are interested and reading I'll write more (so the more reviews, the more motivated I'll be to get it done sooner).