Don't own the Hardy Boys

The Hardy Boys

Heartless Pt. III

Mind Games

It was a sleepless night at the Hardy home. Fenton was in his office, as though he'd tried to sleep too, all he could think about was Frank, Joe, and Tony in the hands of Heartless. The words "The Prito boy is ours... Joe Hardy is next!" along with "You wanna play games Detective?" and followed by the sound of Tony's terrified screaming for help kept playing over and over again in his head.

"God... what did Heartless do to that boy? What if the same thing is happening to my boys?"

As he rubbed his tired eyes, his body begging for sleep, Fenton refused to give in. He had to focus completely on finding the boys. After a few moments of silence, he added, "I'm coming boys... Just hold on. I will find you."

Suddenly, the sound of the telephone on his desk brought itself to Fenton's attention. Grateful for the literal wake-up call, he immediately answered it.


Chief Collig came on the line. "Fenton, I have some news. We found a GMC S-15 black cargo van, abandoned about two miles out-of-town along the ocean front, on Shore Road."

"Did you get the licenses plate number?" Fenton asked hopefully.

"Yes we did," Chief Collig replied. "We traced the number to a U-Haul pack and ship company in New York. Apparently, someone had stolen one of their cargo vans a few nights ago."

"Do they know who?"

"The owner of the company, Jim Kruger, suspected one of his employees. He hired him just a few days ago, and the van and the employee have been missing ever since."

"Really? Did he give you the employee's name?"

"John Snyder," answered Chief Collig, and he then went on to provide some physical descriptions. "A tall, skinny man in his late twenties. He had a short, black haircut and was wearing jeans with a white tank top the last time he was seen."

"John Snyder?" Fenton gripped the phone tigher in his hand. "That description matches the same description of John Cypher. I know from a contact that it is suspected that Cypher might still be alive... that means it's possible that he was driving the dark van that drove off with Tony."

"I agree with you, Fenton."

"Chief, where did you say you found the van?"

"Two miles out of Bayport along the ocean front, on Shore Road. Why?"

"Well, there is a private airport out there. The owner is a friend of mine, Jack Wayne. He's a veteran pilot who often flies assignments for me and my boys. There is a 2,300 foot grass runway on 34.6 acres with three hangers. It's convenient way to all the highways of New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut."

"Fenton, are you saying what I think you're saying? Do you think Heartless took off with the boys by plane?"

"Yes, yes I do," Fenton simply stated, feeling sick to his stomach. "God only knows where they are now." Then he went silent.

"Fenton, are you still there?"

"Sorry... I'm still here. I will try and get a hold of Jack, but I think he may be out of town."

"Okay Fenton. I better let you go... keep me posted if you find out anything."

"I will, and... you do the same," Fenton replied, voice filled with heavy emotion as he said this.

"I will... and Fenton, we'll find them."

"Thank you Chief. I know we will." Fenton then hung up the phone, slumping forward in his chair as his heart ached with both hope and worry. Suddenly, he heard a sound behind him, turning to get a better look at it.

Laura stood in the doorway. Her eyes were blood-shot, red and puffy from crying and worrying herself sick over the boys. "Fenton, come downstairs to breakfast."

Fenton stood up and walked over to his wife, immediately wrapping his arms around her. He released her, wiping her tears off her cheeks, and gently kissed her forehead. "I'll find them, Laura," he assured her, pushing back the emotions that threatened to come spilling out. He had to stay in control for his family's sake. He needed to be their strength. "I promise you."

"I know you will..." Laura said, her voice trailing off. Fenton squeezed her shoulder to encourage her to continue. "Why don't you come down to breakfast. You need to keep up your strength. And besides..."

"Besides what?"

"Besides, Aldo is downstairs waiting for you."

"Good morning," Laura greeted, trying to sound cheerful as she and Fenton made their way into the kitchen. She went over to the stove to start breakfast as Aldo and Angela sat around the kitchen table. "How about breakfast?"

"No thanks, Laura. I'm not hungry. I'll just have coffee." Aldo let out a heavy sigh. Fenton could see dark circles around the man's eyes. It was clear he was under a lot of stress worrying about Tony. Can't say that he blamed him. Fenton felt the same way.

Little Antonio was currently talking gibberish, sitting in his mother's lap.

Since Aldo's home was now a crime-scene, Fenton and Laura had invited him and his grandson to stay in their guestroom. They didn't want them being alone and knew that Aldo desperately needed the support.

At first, Angela had protested the idea. "You can't keep me from my baby!" she'd said, suddenly getting all defensive. Aldo didn't fully trust Angela and had refused to let the baby out of his site. So, Fenton agreed to let Angela stay with them as well, but he had a different reason. This reason was the fact that she was his only link to Santos, and he secretly hoped that she would lead him to finding Frank, Joe, and Tony.

"Angela, how about you? Would you like some breakfast?" Laura asked, breaking into Fenton's thoughts.

"Un, no thank you, Mrs. Hardy. I'm not hungery either."

Aldo turned to Fenton, asking, "Have you heard anything yet?"

Fenton poured himself a cup of coffee, then gave Aldo his full attention. "Yes, I just got off the phone with Chief Collig." He quickly filled them in on his conversation with Chief Collig. "The police found a black cargo van abandoned about two miles out-of-town along the ocean front, on Shore Road. The number was traced to a U-Haul pack and ship company in New York, where a former employee had stolen one of their cargo vans a few nights ago. We think that Heartless took off with the boys by plane."

"What?! No!" Laura and Aldo said together, gasping at the thought.

Before Fenton could respond, the sound of the doorbell ringing got everyone's attention.

Laura went to answer it, and when she came back Sam Radley was with her. "Fenton, Sam is here."

Just then, Sam came into the room. "I'm sorry to intrude, Fenton, but I have some news about Santos. You need to hear it."

"Go ahead, Sam."

Sam sat down next to Fenton and began to explain, still rubbing his tired eyes. "My contact in Italy has confirmed that Robert Santos, or better known as Sei Duro, is very much alive."

Sam paused for a moment as he heard the gasps from around the table. He knew what they were feeling. He had been shocked, too.

"Does your contact know where he is?" Fenton asked hurriedly.

A smile spread across Sam's face as he replied. "There has been heavy Heartless activity in Siena Tuscany, Italy.

"That's where my father is from!" Angela spoke up.

Laura's eyes widened, getting all excited. "Do you think that is where Frank, Joe, and Tony are?"

"There is only way to find out," Fenton firmly stated.

"I figured you would say that, Fenton," Sam said, "Because I already called Jack. He is waiting at the airport. Just say the word and we are off to Siena Tuscany, Italy."

"I'm coming boys... just hold on," Fenton replied, no longer talking to Sam. "I'm coming."

Siena Tuscany, Italy:

"NOOOO! Let me go!"

"Scream all you want; no one can hear you," said the cold, icy voice of a tall, good-looking, athletic man in his late fifties. He had his dark-hair slicked back, wearing an Armani tailored black suit and looking strong and fierce. The expression on his face was stone cold, almost like it hurt him to smile.

Sheer terror ran through the eighteen-year-old Tony Prito's body. He suddenly began breathing heavily, gasping for air. "No... it's not possible... you're dead! I know you're dead!"

The man walked up and grabbed Tony by the chin, giving him an icy stare that nearly stopped his heart. "Santos is dead! You will refer to me as Sei Duro!"

Tony gulped nervously. "Are you… going to kill me?

An evil grin spread across Sei Duro's face, and he nearly chuckled. "Of course I'm not going to kill you, Tony… after all, we're family."

At these words, fear and hatred strange up in Tony's chest.

"Besides that, Prito," he went on, "You signed a contract to join Heartless, sealing it with your own blood. Once you have become a part of Heartless, you're in it for life. Which means you belong to me. I can do whatever I want with you."

"No!" Tony exclaimed, pulling Sei Duro's hand away from his face. "That's not true! I won't kill Joe Hardy!"

"I figured you'd say that," Sei Duro replied coolly. "That's why I have to take matters into my own hands."

"W-What do you mean?"

There was a heavy silence in the air.

"We're going to play a little game with your Hardy friends," Sei Duro stated, breaking the silence. "And... you're about to play a very big part." Grabbing his chin again, he met Tony at eye level, now smiling obscenely. Sei Duro started talking to him like they were old friends.

"Prito, you're about to take part in a scientific experiment. You will be making history."

"Nooo!... let me go!" Tony screamed hysterically, pulling against the restrains on his feet and wrists on an operating table that he was strapped to and trying desperately to break free. He suddenly found himself surrounded by people in surgical masks and gowns. He saw machines, monitors, and a tray of medical surgical instruments. It all made his stomach drop.

"What are you going to do to me? Oh God, help me!"

Ignoring Tony's cries, Sei Duro patted his face, whispering, "Don't worry, you won't feel a thing. As a matter of fact, Prito, when you wake up, you'll feel like a whole new man."

Sei Duro laughed sardonically before ordering, "Dr. Marsalis, let's get on with it!"

"Nooo!" Tony's eyes widened, and again he pulled against the restraints as a male doctor in his late sixties walked up to him. He was of average height with short gray hair, and wearing a surgical mask and gown, he loomed over Tony with a syringe and stuck it in his arm.

"No! Please! Frank! Joe! God! Somebody help me, please!" Tears streamed down Tony's face, and suddenly, everything went black.

the next chapter I will have Frank and Joe in it. I promise Please review and tell me what you think?

Also the rest of the story is going to take place in Siena Tuscany, Italy. I don't know anything about Italy. I've been reading up on it. If anyone has any helpful information or things I should know please fill free to share.