(Do not own Hardy Boys) It might help to read A Friend in Need first to get a better understanding. It's optional

The Hardy Boys

(Heartless)

Sequel: A Friend in Need

Chapter 1


Frank Hardy woke up Monday morning to the sunlight peaking through his bedroom window. The clock on his nightstand read six-thirty. He got out of bed and made his way to the bathroom. Summer vacation had just ended. To say it was an eventful vacation was an understatement. Now it was time to get ready for his Senior year of high school. That got Frank thinking of his friend, Tony Prito.

Tony and his father Aldo, along with Tony's son Little Antonio, had to leave Bayport soon after his mother Simone Prito's funeral. Frank couldn't believe it had only been a week since the nightmare with Heartless began. Tony would be taking classes online.

"It doesn't seem right. Tony should be graduating high school with his friends."

Tony was a witness to a murder in Italy. The murdered victim was an Network agent Carmine Devereux. The suspect, Robert Santos, was the owner of an Italian eatery in Italy. Also known as Sei Duro, he was the ring leader of Heartless, a new terrorist organization.

It all started when Tony and his parents went to Italy over spring break. It was his mother's dying wish to see where she grew up one last time. Tony had trouble coping with his mother's illness. He meets Angela Santos the daughter of Robert Santos in Italy. They get too involved with each other. As the Hardy brothers found out later on, Angela was using Tony to recruit him into Heartless. Angela knew Tony was in a vulnerable state dealing with his mother's illness, and she used that to her advantage.

The Gray Man a top Network agent, informed the Hardy brothers and their famous detective father, Fenton Hardy, about Heartless. They sent out their "recruiters" to search for new recruits. Heartless preyed on the weak and the most vulnerable, like runaway teens, or teens with broken homes falling into the wrong crowd. Girls as wells as boys were welcome. However, teenage boys were their main target.

Then Angela came to Bayport and walked into Prito's restaurant six months later. She surprised Tony with the news he had a six month old baby boy named Antonio. That was when Santos showed up and threatened Tony because of his involvement with Angela and his witness of the murder. In order for Tony to see his son he had to do three things.

One was to keep his mouth shut about the murder in Italy. The second one Frank still couldn't believe: Angela had given Tony the murder weapon to kill Joe. Santos had ties with the Assassins. Devereux found out the Assassins have a hit list for a million dollars for each Hardy dead or alive. Joe was on top of that hit list. The Assassins wanted Joe because in their eyes he killed Al-Rousasa. Santos had attempted to sell Joe as well as Frank to the terrorist organization. Thanks to the Gray Man, Joe was saved in time.

Frank could still hear the words of The Gray Man playing over and over in his head:

"The Assassins are no longer active. Heartless has taken over their organization. Most of the Assassin's members are now part of Heartless. They killed those that refuse to join. These people are more aggressive. They don't care about anyone or anything, except money, power and revenge. The second in command has taken his place as the ring leader."

The third thing: Tony had to sign a contract and seal it with his blood to join Heartless. The only way out was by death. Frank shuddered at the thought of how many times Tony had tried to kill himself. It was either kill Joe or himself.

Thankfully, Tony was having therapy sessions with Dr. Stevens to help him cope with his ordeal. Fenton and Sam made preparations for Tony, Aldo and Little Antonio to go into a safe house. Fenton even made arrangements for Dr. Stevens to keep his therapy sessions with Tony. Dr. Stevens had given the okay to release Tony for his mom's funeral. He thought it would be good for Tony to have closure with his mom. Someone had to stay with him at all times given his suicidal tendencies. Frank and Joe have vowed to find away to get Tony out of Heartless and put them out of business for good.

Suddenly, Frank was hit with a flashback of the night he found Joe in the bathroom about to take a handful of sleeping pills. He literally had to fight Joe to keep him alive. Just like the night Iola died. Joe blames himself for her death. Frank knew his little brother was taking this ordeal with Tony pretty hard. "Joe." He could not explain it, an uneasy feeling came over him.

"I'm sure he's fine. I probably better go check on him anyway."

After, Frank quickly got out of the shower and got dressed. He walked through the bathroom that connected to his brother's room. He opened the door to an empty bedroom. Joe's bed looked like it hadn't been slept in.

Frank started to panic. Usually, Joe was found buried under his covers sleeping away. Frank always had to pry his little brother out of bed, which made them ten minutes late for school every time.

"Joe?" Frank quickly went down the back stairs leading to the kitchen. His heart dropped when he found Joe lay slumped over the kitchen table.

Frank shook his brother's shoulder "Joe!"

To his of relief, Frank saw movement coming from his little brother. Then he heard,"Frank?"

Joe's eyes fluttered open. He slowly sat up, rubbing them tiredly. "What time is it?"

"It's six thirty in the morning." Frank answered, taking a seat across from Joe. He could see dark circles around Joe's eyes. "Are you alright?'

"I was having trouble sleeping."

"Tony?"

"Yeah."

"Why didn't you wake me up?" Frank asked with concern for his little brother.

"No reason for both of us to lose sleep, " Joe said yawning, then shrugged his shoulders. "I'm so angry and frustrated. Tony is in the middle of this fighting for his life. Why don't they just come after us? Instead of going after people that are close to us, I mean. It's like the perfect revenge."

"Joe, I'm as angry and frustrated as you are." Frank let out a deep sigh, as he ran a hand through his brown hair. "I hate it when our friends get hurt. All because someone wants revenge on us."

"How are we going to get Tony out of Heartless?" Joe asked worriedly.

"Well I do have an idea," Frank replied, "However, Dad won't like it."

Joe raised an eyebrow, but before he could respond, Fenton walked into the kitchen.

"Dad, won't like what?" Fenton asked cautiously, " I'm sorry to intrude. I couldn't help overhearing your conversation."

"Now, what won't I like?"

"I'll tell you later." Frank said, as his mother walked into the kitchen.

"Joe, are you okay?" Laura's eyes widened, when she saw his pale face.

"I'm okay, mom. Just having trouble sleeping."

"I'll fix us some breakfast. " Laura said, as she went over to the stove to make breakfast."Maybe, you will feel better."

"No, thank you mom. I'm not hungry. Guess I'll get ready for school." Joe stood up then went upstairs.

"I'm worried about him." Laura said softly.

"Me too."Fenton looked at Frank, "Is Joe having trouble sleeping?"

'Yeah" Frank replied," I'm afraid if we don't figure out how to get Tony out of Heartless..."

"We're going to lose Joe."


To be continue...Please review. I'll try to up date soon