Sorry that this is a day late! It appears that I've caught the first round flu bug :(
Callen and Deeks walked in side by side. Callen was still in the jeans he'd worn the day before, but the detective had loaned him a new black t-shirt that was a little too long. Deeks looked a little better off in a fresh pair of jeans, white t-shirt and a grey zip up hoodie covering his arms from the early morning cold, the bruise on his face had darkened over time and was a deep shade of purple.
"Hetty?" Callen called out. The office only had a skeleton crew, cases that were being worked through the night, maintenance workers, filing technicians. "Hetty?" He called out again as they moved toward her office.
"We might have beaten her here," Deeks suggested dropping onto the bench in Hetty's office, his head was aching slightly and there was a sluggishness that came from lack of sleep.
The sound of footsteps on the stairs had both men turning to see Hetty. In her hand, a single plain manilla folder.
Hetty came to stand before Callen, her eyes hardened around the edges but there was lingering sadness and he couldn't figure out what it all meant. "What's the emergency?" he asked lightly.
"Take a seat Mr Callen, I've called in Sam and Kensi... they should be here momentarily."
Callen slowly sunk into the nearest chair, he turned to look over his shoulder to catch the curious gaze Deeks was too tired to hide.
Hunter stared back at Robert, contacts out for the night so he got the full use of her icy blue glare. Her lips pressed into a thin, angry line she did her best to see her way out of this mess, a mess of her own creation. She knew that making a deal with Robert Williams was like making a deal with the devil.
"Is that a threat?" She stalled for time, her eyes casually gazing around the room, taking stock. The weight of her gun still in her shoulder holster gave her some measure of security. The two bedside lamps looked weighty, ceramic- if she had to guess. The chairs looked to weighty, to slow to be a viable weapon. She slowly returned her gaze back to Williams.
"I suspect that you use the name Lauren Hunter for a reason..." he stepped closer and she could smell alcohol on his person. "Lets face it... if the Comescu family find out that you- Amy Callen is still alive," Robert smiled and Hunter fought the urge to shudder. "Well... we both know what happened to the woman, foolish enough, to take your name."
Hunter stiffened. Hannah Lawson had been a childhood friend, her loss would be mourned. "What do you want?" She was afraid to hear the answer.
"You've already said you don't have any money to give..." Robert looked around the sparse hotel room. "And my son double checked that, you owe more to credit cards than what you have in the bank."
"Did you come here at two in the morning to discuss my financial situation?" Hunter snapped moodily, though after she figured it probably would have been best to just keep her mouth shut.
"No," he replied sitting down on the bed and patting the spot beside it. "I came for you to pay up," he lewdly raked his eyes over her, head to toe.
"Not happening!" Hunter crossed her arms over her chest and her fingers skimmed along the cool metal of her gun under her blazer. "I owe your son."
"When you owe my son, you owe me... Amy."
"Like I said," she replied. "Not happening." She started to walk to the door, in mind to tell him to get the hell out, it took about three seconds for the hairs on the back of her neck to stand up. Never leave your back open!
But it was too late.
Kensi had her hair pulled up in a pony tail but it wasn't smooth or chic, it was a mess, no make-up, not that the natural beauty needed it, she had some dark circles under her eyes from the lack of sleep. She'd apparently pulled on whatever she had saw first, considering the shirt she was wearing was actually part of a sleep-set, she wore it with the jeans from the previous day. "What is going on?" she asked looking to Hetty, then to Callen and finally her eyes landed on her partner. "What happened to your face?"
Deeks just nodded in Callen's direction, too tired to bother telling the story or adding his usual embellishments.
Kensi seemed to understand, she placed a hand on Callen's shoulder. "You okay?"
"Is he okay?" Deeks asked shaking his head just slightly. "I'm the one who got punched in the face."
Callen just patted Kensi's hand and she knew that was the best answer she was going to get. She turned to Hetty. "What is going on?"
Hetty just turned in time to see Sam come from the hallway, Nell and Eric not far behind. Sam seemed to be doing a tally, everyone was there, in one piece. "What's going on?"
"Everyone take a seat." Hetty sounded, and even looked weary. Nell sat down beside Deeks, crammed in the middle when Eric sat next to her, Sam took the other chair and Kensi sat on the arm of Callen's.
"Hetty," Callen prompted.
"I received a call this morning..."
She saw stars.
She blinked a few times, tried to clear her vision of the spots, tried to get her mind to catch up.
Her gun. Her gun was gone... how had she been disarmed?
She was cold... arms bare... she couldn't remember taking her blazer off.
Her neck ached, stung. Taser.
Her mind started to process again. Hot breath on her neck, hands on her hips, the weight of a body. Her eyes focussed and she put her own self-loathing on the back burner, she could get angry at herself for leaving herself open later. Now it was about survival. She wanted to throw a punch, which was when she realized her own service handcuffs were tightly around her own wrists a heavy hand holding the chain pinning her to the ground.
You loose control of your emotions, and the enemy has the upper hand. The words floated in the back of her mind and she took a second, tried to ignore the feel of Robert's lips on her neck that were the direct cause of the nausea she was experiencing.
Her eye cast around the room. Her phone was on the bed. Her gun across the room on the table by the window.
A rough, calloused hand ran up her thighs and it was only then that she realized it wasn't only her blazer that was gone. The rational side left her. She screamed.
"It was from an old friend," Hetty explained. "Boian." She let out a shaky breath and looked at Callen. "I am sorry, Mr Callen."
Callen eyebrows drew down in confusion. "Hetty?"
"Boian... he worked... for your family..." Hetty took a deep breath, so many secrets, so many lies. It was time he knew the truth, or a least all of it that she knew... the war had come to America. The lies she'd told, the secrets she'd kept was to keep him from going out in search of the war. It no longer seemed to matter, at this point, his ignorance would no longer keep him safe. "The Piascovschi family has worked with the Callen's since your grandfather was hunting war criminals."
Kensi could feel how tense Callen had gotten, her hand went to his shoulder, reminding him that his team was all there for him.
"In a place like this, no one is going to call the cops, no one is going to care if you scream," Robert taunted.
Hunter knew fear. She'd lived with it as her constant companion for most of her life. She learned how to use it, push it down, instil it in others, ignore it completely. Her skin felt clammy with it, her heart raced with it, it chorused through her entire body and she felt like a scared little girl again with no control over her life.
She kicked uselessly, her legs on either side of his form and could do no decent damage. Keep your head together, remember your training! She paused momentarily as the thought repeated on a calming loop.
Breathe, she reminded herself, breathe.
His hands ran over her sides, under her t-shirt.
Get to the phone! Call... who could she call? He moved off of her slightly, on his knees, his hand leaving the chain between her cuffed hands as he went to undo his belt. She swiftly rocked back pulling up her legs and pressing them together, her feet both slamming back down on his chest knocking him back. She rolled to the side and got to her knees and grabbed the phone.
She called the first number in the list. Cole.
"Logan!" she cried out when he answered.
"Lauren? Lauren? Are you okay?"
She was jerked back by her hair and knocked back to the floor with a punch to the face.
Hunter quickly rattled off the address of the hotel and room number all while she was kicking wildly and throwing elbows at Robert trying to keep from once again being pinned.
"I'm on my way, Lauren. Stay on the li-"
Robert had thrown her phone across the room and it cracked, made a peculiar sound and the glow of the screen went dark. She didn't know where Logan Cole was, how long it would take him to get there. For now, she knew, she was on her own.
She kicked her heel into Robert's shin and shot and elbow up knocking him into the dresser. She made a break for her gun but was tackled down face first onto the bed.
"Worked for?" Callen asked confused.
Hetty nodded. "Abel Piascovschi worked along side George Callen. Your grandfather saved Abel's life and that instilled an incredible amount of loyalty between the two families." Hetty folded her hands before her.
Callen could feel rage and betrayal brewing inside. Hetty had been keeping things from him. Again. "Why didn't you tell me all of this before?"
"I was trying to keep you safe, Mr Callen," Hetty sighed. "I thought the less you knew, the less likely you'd be to go looking for trouble."
Callen shook his head. "I think I'm old enough to decide for myself."
Hetty nodded sadly. "Yes. Perhaps you're right." For so long, so very long she had tried to keep him safe. "Blood was lost... on all sides. The Comescu's... the Fairchild family that worked with them on many occasions, the Piascovschi family lost many and was nearly completely decimated after a bomb was placed inside of a family compound during one Christmas morning. Men, women... children... infants."
"My God," Kensi whispered shaking her head.
"That's terrible," Nell added.
"There were a few that hadn't been in the compound. Boian and his family had been with his brother and his family in Ireland for the holidays." Hetty sighed. "Boian returned to Romania when he was contacted by Clara. They'd been childhood friends, thought the war that took place during their adolescence had torn them apart. Boian wanted his distance from the Callen family- a family Clara had married into. He had distanced himself from the Callen's when he married his Nicoleta... he wanted desperately to keep the war from harming her, or their children."
"What does this have to do with me?" Callen interrupted.
"The war has flared back up. Boian called me, wanted me to get you somewhere safe, he must believe that the war has found it's way here, to Los Angeles, and that you are the target." Hetty sighed, feeling every year of her age.
"He called you... because he knew that you knew me?"
Hetty sighed sadly. "Yes. I've been in contact with Nicoleta for years, she's... she's always kept eyes on you."
Callen was having a hard time dealing with the latest information. Hetty had been keeping so much from him, he wasn't sure how he was to trust her. "And you trust this man?"
"Yes. He is the one who brought you and Amy over from Romania."
Sam looked over at his partner, the shock written clearly on the typically closed off face.
Callen opened and shut his mouth a few times and then just stands and walked a few steps. He turned, looked back at Hetty. "What else have you kept from me? Lied to me about?"
There was anger in the man's voice, and Hetty understood it, it didn't stop it from hurting her as much as it hurt him to find out that he'd once again been lied to, had things kept from him. "I knew of Boian through Clara, he'd informed me of her... death." Hetty sighed. "He'd separated you two, put you into separate orphanages in order to lessen the chances of you two being found by any of the Comescu family."
"Separated me from the only family I had left."
"It kept you both alive!"
"For a while!" Callen shook his head. "Amy is dead. Hannah Lawson is dead because she took her name."
There was a tense silence that fell upon the group, after a moment it was broken by Hetty's cell phone ringing.
She recognized the prepaid number from before. "Boian?"
"Hetta. Is the boy secure?"
"Yes. He's with me."
Callen's eyes narrowed.
"Where can we meet?"
Hetty was silent for a moment before giving Boian the secure location of the boatshed.
"I can be there in thirty."
And then the line was dead.
"What else do you need to tell me before he gets here?" Callen's voice was tight with barely controlled anger.
She'd gotten her hands on the lamp and she wasn't even sure how, it wasn't finesse that was for sure, it wasn't training, it was sheer instinct and the will to survive that had, had her kicking, screaming, inching her way to the nearest weapon. She'd swung it with all her strength, the ceramic had shattered on Robert's skull and he'd toppled off the side of the bed, hitting the floor with a thud.
She rolled from the bed finally getting her legs back under herself. She stumbled and ran her hip into the table in an uncharacteristic show of gracelessness. Her fingers fumbled in the cuffs as they grabbed hold of the cool, familiar, comforting weight of her gun.
Whirling around her gun pointed at Robert who was slowly getting back to his feet. He looked at her, more specifically, his eyes went directly to her gun. "No," he whispered and then finally looked past the gun, looked into her eyes. "Please. No. Please, I'll leave, I'll leave."
In that moment, as she grabbed a pillow and the man's eyes widened in realization, she discovered she could shoot an unarmed man in cold blood.
The group had made their way to the boatshed to wait for Boian Piascovschi. It had been done in a contemplative silence. There was tension in the air. Anger that sizzled and crackled dangerously in warning.
Hetty sat first at the table and slowly everyone took a seat around it. She knew she had to purge what she knew, give him all the answers she had if she had any hopes in retaining the man's loyalty. "I'm afraid I know little after that," she admitted looking to Callen with the knowledge that he wouldn't believe her, not this time. "Boian relocated his family here, he and his wife kept eyes on both you and Amy for as long as they could. Perhaps Boian will be able to fill in more."
There were three booming knocks and everyone turned but it was Hetty who got to her feet, since she was the one who knew the man, and walked purposefully to the door.
Thanks for reading :)