Chapter 1

I glanced out the window at the land passing by below us, dotted with buildings and houses and the odd field or too. I sighed quietly, glancing up at Edward Pleasure. My 'adopted' father. Never thought I'd say that. But it was the truth. I was officially adopted. By none other than the Pleasures. Edward, Liz, and, of course, Sabina. It'd be good to see her again. It'd be good to have a family again, even if it was... Kind of... dysfunctional... With me in it...

But San Francisco? Seriously? That was just slightly too much to handle. My whole life was back in England.

I had school

(((That you are VERY behind in)))

I had friends

((((... Actually no, you don't, do you?)))

I had Tom

(((Who are you kidding? He's better off without you)))

I had... I had... Memories. I had the memories

(((Father is dead. Mother is dead. Ian is dead. Ash is dead. Jack is dead. Who's next Rider?)))

...Oh, who was I kidding, I had nothing back there. Nothing but my bank account at Royal and General, aka, MI6. Bastards. I wouldn't miss them, that's for sure... At least, not THEM as in person.

Not Blunt,


Mrs. Jones,

(((New Head of Special Operations)))

or Crawley.

(((What was WITH that guy?)))

But I would miss the sense of security. If I got kidnapped two months ago, they'd have every resource they had out looking for me. Not because they cared, no, that was too... Normal... But because I was valuable. I'm simply too good at what I do. Did. Past tense now. Would take some time getting used to that too.

"What are you thinking of?" Edward asked suddenly and I turned to him, "... England".

He sighed, "I know you'll miss the place Alex, and you'll miss your mates and your old house and everything... But you got to understand that my family lives in San Francisco, and right now, that involves you too".

"I DO understand. That's the problem" I muttered, turning back to the window.

We were currently passing over Tennessee. Dark, blue, Tennessee. Almost there. Almost home. Home. Now that's a word I rarely used anymore. In fact, I can't ever remember using it. Not in the past few months anyway. It'd be nice to call some place home for a while again. It had simply been too long. But a home offered stability. A solid structure in which to live. No, that was a house. A home was something else. Something MORE. A home was where you were surrounded by loving family... Guess I never actually had a home then, huh? You could hardly call London my home. My uncle was not a family kind of guy. That was... Jack... And SHE was dead.

I gritted my teeth and forced my attention on the dark clouds passing overhead, almost jumping when the polite spoke over the intercom.

"This is your captain speaking. We appear to be running into a bit of turbulence, and the seat belt sign has been switched on for your safety. There is no reason to panic, this happens all the time, but just incase anything does go wrong, the oxygen masks are located above your seats and will drop down if cabin pressure should decrease. Thank you".

As if on cue, the plane suddenly jumped up and lurched to the side, making a few drinks turn over. But it was just turbulence. Nothing dangerous. Another jump. And another. By the fourth jump, I was slightly worried, getting the all too familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach.

My nervousness only increased when a man in the third row stood up, unclipping his seat belt and standing out into the aisle.

"Sir, I'm afraid you'll have to take your seat" a stewardess said, a kind yet firm tone to her voice.

He ignored her, and instead reached up to the over head carriers, pulling a small black device out of his bag.

"Sir, please. Whatever you want can wait" the woman said again, stricter this time.

He still blanked her out, instead slowly walking down the aisle and stopping next to Edward and I. "Can I help you?" Mr. Pleasure asked confused but the man only had eyes for me, pulling open the lid of the box and putting a finger on the trigger, "Scorpia never forgives, Scorpia never forgets".

And only one word came to mind, as he lowered his hand over the button on that small, black, box, "... Shit".