A/N: This takes place during The Beantown Bailout Job, and was very stubborn to write. It ended up taking two or three 90 degree turns before finally heading the direction it needed to go, but I'm happy. Need I mention this is NOT romance? That just wouldn't be right.
Rated T for some language, not excessive, and some unavoidable Nate-bashing, both literally and figuratively. I don't own Leverage and am not profiting from this.
Self-righteous bastard! was the thought that lit a sudden fire in Sophie and drove her to her feet, nearly knocking the barstool over in her haste to follow Nate. It hadn't been an immediate reaction, Sophie had been a little distracted by Parker when Nate left the bar, and it took a few moments for his dismissive words to sink in. I got my life back, and I intend to keep it that way. And I am not a thief. As Sophie hurridly took her leave of the others, Eliot glanced up at her in concern, but he must have seen something in her eyes that stopped him from asking or following her.
Good, because this was between her and Nate. Because Nate had showed up at her production last year, when she was trying to go straight, make an honest living for once. Nate, the "honest man" suddenly so vengeful and broken and...and handsome, with his ragtag band of thieves and dangling a job like that in front of her, and it had been like...well it was like placing a full glass of whisky in front of an alcoholic!
And they did so well pulling off that job that they decided to do another, and another, and they were really getting into the swing of things, they were getting good and suddenly, Nate wants to bow out. Just like that! Just leave them all...flapping in the wind!
With these turbulent thoughts in mind, Sophie swept (because she did not stomp and she certainly never stormed) through the barroom to the side lobby and up the rear building stairs to Nate's floor.
Sophie was so caught up in running through what she intended to say to Nate that she paid no immediate attention to Nate's open door, a lack of observation Eliot would have been sure to turn into a teaching moment. But he may have been impressed by her immediate reaction to what she found within the apartment. When Sophie had been creating Annie Croix, she had also been going through a method acting "phase" and figured the best way to lend credence to Annie's character would be to actually learn a few things about fighting. Nothing too distasteful, of course, just enough to back up the grift, if needed.
She was rusty, and the headbutt had been spur-of-the-moment, but it had been effective. She may have gotten a little carried away, however, with the baking sheet, didn't take notice of who she was swinging that sheet at, and Eliot would probably have commented on that. Maybe she should take him up on his offer of some self-defense instruction...but at the moment, she was tempted to just walk away after all, just leave Nate Ford to whatever the fates decided to do with him.
But even as her more reasonable side prevailed and asked who are you mad at, really? Sophie was pulling out her phone. Afraid the assailant might return, she dialed the only number she could think of, the number she had for Eliot's Hardison-issued cell phone. The phone she had convinced herself he must have left behind when they scattered, and the phone to which she had sent a text-message invitation for tonight's performance anyway. Eliot answered before the first ring even ended.
A hurried explanation, and a few very short moments later, Eliot appeared silently at the top of the stairwell. He projected confidence with his entire demeanor, movements as sure and deadly as a wolf on the prowl. Parker and Hardison peered carefully around the corner of the landing, apparently having followed him upstairs like loyal little pups, though he ordered them to remain in the stairwell until he cleared the upper hallway. As soon as he had, Eliot ushered them all across Nate's threshold, suddenly and incongrously every inch the sheepdog; wanting everyone together, safe in the fold, where he could watch over them. He locked the door and gave the apartment a cursory sweep before returning to examine Nate.
With the immediate danger gone and anger draining fast from her, Sophie realized she couldn't entirely blame Nate for wanting to get back to his life...but she had hoped, just a tiny flickering hope, that that life might include her. Might include the team...she missed her family. But no, she had lost the right to call these lovely, wonderful, honorable people her "family." You don't con your crew! Eliot had stated. You don't con your family was what Sophie had actually heard. And now Nate was out of the game, and she had a sinking feeling tonight was the last she was going to see of any of the others. And, Sophie had finally admitted if only to herself in the long lonely time since they had scattered, that the fault for that lay with her.
She had always worked alone, for as long as she could really remember. Even before she was Sophie Devereaux, she had to look out for herself. She had often longed for more, a "normal" life and family maybe, but it had never seemed to be in the cards for her. And yet, when the chance for family, for a place to call home had come, out of the blue, standing there in that dingy alley on that fateful night just over a year ago, she had completely missed it. It had snuck up on her, nestled into that heart that had always been her biggest weakness, but she hadn't recognized it, and when the first opportunity came, she had turned her back on these people and served her own interests first. Just as she had always done.
But she hoped for a second chance, had invited everyone here tonight just to see, to test the waters...and she had not even had to bring the subject up herself; Parker had done it for her. Parker who, with her trust issues, should have been the last one willing to forgive Sophie. But she had, she and Hardison, who never seemed to hold a grudge anyway. But though they had made the choice on their own, they had still waited to take their cue from Eliot. Just as they had waited moments ago in the stairwell, for Eliot to signal the all clear.
Sophie knew she owed Eliot a real apology, not a grifter's pitiful facsimile of one. She had chickened out, back in Hardison's mansion. And in these months since the team scattered, that old niggling feeling she had buried long long ago, that unfamiliar guilt had been eating at her. Because Eliot had been right, she should have apologized to him first. He had been hurt the worst because of that travesty of a job she had led them blindly into.
She had chickened out because she hadn't known how to be sorry, hadn't remembered what it was like to take responsibility for her actions, or think of others first. And why should she have? She didn't hurt people. None of her prior crimes had come close to actually killing someone. Even that time she had shot Nate (and he had returned the favor, that wanker!) it had only been a flesh wound delivered by a little pea-shooter that would be hard-pressed to kill anything bigger than a gnat. And that only if it was swatted with the gun.
But the greed that had kept her from being entirely truthful about those bloody statues from the start had been what left them all unprepared for Sterling and his little lackeys. It had been what nearly got them captured, what nearly got Eliot killed. Because Eliot never just dropped off coms like that when on a job. Because, when they heard Sterling on Parker's com, and learned Hardison had also been taken, and Eliot was silentmissingdead?...her heart had seemed to stop. And it hadn't started again until that gruff, low, and thoroughly pissed-off voice came back over the coms. And she had felt sickened when she realized just what it meant that Sterling had sent a man of Quinn's calibur after Eliot. Quinn was not a mere bounty hunter. Quinn was out to build a reputation nearly as fearsome as Eliot's own.
"Well, he's out for the count. What'd you hit him with, Soph?" Eliot was still crouched next to Nate, carefully checking for any bleeding wounds on the back of his head.
Sophie, having been jolted from her thoughts, scrambled to cover her inattention. "Baking sheet...There weren't any appetizer trays lying around."
Eliot had an amused smirk on his face when he glanced up again, addressing Hardison. "Grab his feet, help me put him on the couch."
The two of them managed to sling Nate gently onto his couch, despite Hardison's complaints that he wasn't a furniture mover, and Eliot tugged his jacket off before laying him out flat across the seats. A folded piece of paper slipped from the jacket pocket, and Hardison snatched it up, unfolding it as he turned to get a proper look at Nate's spacious apartment. Parker had already disappeared somewhere into the shadows. Sophie figured she was looking for someplace in Nate's impossibly high ceiling from which to hang her rigging.
"Da-amn this is a nice place...too much room for a bachelor, though." Hardison muttered to himself as he glanced down again at the paper. "Alright, whatcha been up to, m'man?"
Sophie found herself uncomfortably hovering over Eliot as he checked Nate's vitals one more time, while simultaneously growling a warning at Hardison about snooping. If she was going to try this "real apology" thing, now might be her only chance. She was petty sure the acoustics in this huge room would give them some privacy from the other two. But before she could even open her mouth, Eliot turned toward her, concern in his eyes. "You okay?"
"Hm?" She asked, thrown off track. "Oh, no I wasn't hurt."
"Soph, you said you head butted the guy." He reached forward and started gently probing at her head until Sophie swatted his hands away.
"Stop, Eliot! I'm fine." She was, after all, still upright.
"Alright." But he was still eyeing her in concern. "So what happened?"
"I just came up here to yell at Nate, but he was being robbed," she stated with a shrug.
Eliot couldn't hide the briefest upturn of his libs, another glimpse of amusement, but otherwise didn't comment on Sophie's reason for being here. The smile was quickly squashed as his face turned thoughtful. "Hm...This isn't the kinda place a random burgler would usually target. There aren't all that many apartments here, and you have to go through the downstairs lobby to reach the stairwell. Strangers are gonna to be noticed in a place like this. No, this reads more like a targeted attack...but why?...Hardison! What was on that paper?"
A disgruntled grumble issued from behind Hardison's laptop, where he seemed to have made himself at home at Nate's kitchen table, feet up on one of the chairs. "Hold yer horses, cowboy...first ya don't want me to snoop, now ya do want me to snoop...we ain't even on a job..."
Before Eliot's growl could escalate into something more dangerous, Sophie decided to intervene. "We pissed off enough people back in LA, maybe someone searched Nate out here...he wasn't too worried about throwing his real name around."
"Yeah..." Eliot still seemed thoughtful. "I'll check with a few of my contacts, see if someone's gunnin' for Nate...I'll wait around til he wakes up, but then I gotta leave."
"You mean you're not staying?" Sophie's last hope to rebuild this team seemed to be running out of her hands like water through a sieve.
His shrug was almost apologetic. "Got a job offer lined up. But we'll figure this out before I go."
Sophie felt her heart sinking to somewhere around her knees. "Then...why did you come here tonight, if you weren't going to stay? Why agree with Parker, down in the bar?"
He seemed confused. "You invited me."
"Well, yes, but I mean...we were all scattered, we never had to see each other again. What would it matter if you had answered my invitation?"
"It mattered to you. Or why would you have invited us at all, darlin'?"
Why indeed? Maybe because she thought that by bringing them all together again, the others might remember just how good they were together and would want to make this work, too. Parker and Hardison had seemed on board but without Nate and Eliot...her hope was dwindling to nothing. Sophie found herself at a rare loss for words, and she scrambled to fill the silence.
"Because...I wanted us to be us again. Us, Leverage, the team." And before she could stop herself, before she could try to couch what she wanted to say in grifter language, she blurted out, "Because...because I really am sorry I screwed everything up. Because...I truly wanted to apologize for getting you hurt, and I just didn't know how to do it before."
No one else would have noticed, but Sophie saw the minuscule shift toward guardedness in Eliot's features. And his next words were surprisingly short and curt. "That's not necessary..."
Desperate to salvage something from tonight, and because he still hadn't answered the other part of her question, Sophie pressed on. "But it is! You were right, back in Hardison's mansion. I should have apologized to you first. You were hurt the worst and I..."
"Sophie, really, it's fine. I ain't angry about that." And he turned to walk away, obviously intending to end the conversation.
But Sophie was in a rare desperate mood tonight, and it seemed to affect her judgement. She reached out and took hold of his arm. He stopped abruptly, but didn't make any move to extricate himself. "Stop...stop being so bloody nice about it, Eliot! I got you hurt, and..."
"You just don't get it, do you?" He turned back toward her, and he suddenly seemed to loom over her, despite their similarity in height. "It was never about me bein' hurt." And the sudden coldness in Eliot's words was such a shock that Sophie let go of his arm, and simply stood stunned, utterly confused.
Then as suddenly as it had come, the coldness left Eliot, but his posture remained guarded, and he was watching her closely. He must have read her confusion, because he took a deep breath and chose to elaborate.
"When Nate brought you in, that job was pure revenge, for Dubenich lyin' to us and tryin' to kill us. But when we all took that next job, for the soldier, the danger was different. We were choosing to put ourselves on the line for someone else, and not just for the money. God knows we all have enough of it by now."
Sophie wasn't really following, but she remained silent and let Eliot explain in his own way.
"But we all signed on anyway. We all agreed, regardless of the danger. My part was to take care of that danger. But I had to know everything I could about it, goin' in. Sometimes we got surprised, but...I trusted the rest of you wouldn't hold back information..."
"Nate, I expected it from. I anticipated he'd change the game or the target halfway through, but he didn't deliberately hold back information that coulda got us killed. And Nate understood my role, and figured it into his plans."
Sophie still wasn't entirely sure where this was going, but at least Eliot seemed to have warmed to her again. His voice had taken on that teaching tone that he used with Parker especially.
"Do you think, if Nate had known your real motive for going after both those Davids, that he would have refused the job? It was still the best way to get revenge on Blackpool, but he coulda figured Sterling's appearance into his plans. And the rest of the team wouldn't have been scattered where I couldn't cover them!"
Sophie recoiled at the sudden fierceness in his voice, just like it had sounded back in the mansion. It was not mere anger, not a threat toward her, but a tone meant to command attention and, coupled with that intent stare of his, to drive the point home.
And Sophie realized that Eliot didn't want any sort of apology from her, had accepted her non-apology, I just wanted to see if...w-we were all okay with each other? as a sign that she understood the team's dynamics. And all Eliot wanted now was an acknowledgement that she understood his role as protector, and what it meant.
Sophie knew Eliot wouldn't accept any platitudes from her right now, empty or otherwise. So she swallowed back her pride and gave a simple nod, which after a moment he returned. But there was one question left Sophie just had to know the answer to.
"Eliot, down in the bar, you were talking about getting back up on the bike. Do you even want to try this again, or were you just testing the waters?"
Eliot sighed, the tension dissipated, and his voice was more tired than anything else when he replied, "I honestly don't know, Soph. There's somethin' badly broken here and it isn't just what happened in LA. Somethin's been broken I think, from the start." And though he didn't name him, Eliot's eyes flicked toward Nate, still draped out on the couch.
And Sophie wondered if Eliot was regretting the entire last year. He was a natural leader, and he obviously knew how to work with a team, much better than the rest of them did. She didn't think he had always worked alone, I was just getting used to it...bein' part of a team. Eliot had stopped there, but Sophie had clearly heard the again that was meant to end the sentence. Why would a man like that be alone now? And why would he then willingly bind himself to Nathan Ford and the rest of them? And how, after all they had been through together, could he then simply walk away again?
More than her own pain at possibly losing these people, the thought of Eliot returning to his old life, to the "work" they all knew he had done but no one ever spoke of, brought a sharp pang to her gut. The Eliot the team knew should have been a teacher, or a small-town doctor. A short-order cook or the owner of a mom n pop grocery store. Organic, of course. Whatever had driven him away from that, whatever set him adrift, Sophie could see the darkness Eliot struggled with every day.
Since she had such a deep grasp of human emotion and motivation, Sophie intuitively understood Eliot felt he needed to atone for something. What, she didn't know and was sure she never wanted to know. But she did see he felt something like peace when he was with the team, and she didn't want him to lose that. The man whose name alone could send warlords scurrying for cover had found something to cling to, and it might be the only good thing left in Eliot Spencer's world.
All this Sophie could read without even trying because it was what she did and what she was. And maybe, that could help her understand why Eliot did what he did for them. Because every time Sophie thought she was beginning to understand Eliot, he would reveal some other facet, light or dark. He would joke with Hardison, then reveal some distinctive trait of something-or-other that would make the man's skin crawl. He'd spar with Parker, building her confidence, then easily step between her and some goon with a Glock. He'd call out Nate's recklessness, then take his frustrations out on the vegetables going into Sophie's favorite dinner. And with everything, Sophie realized she was only seeing another minuscule layer of a very tenacious onion.
One thing she knew: the team brought out more of the light in Eliot, and now he thought they were broken beyond repair.
Sophie cursed the waver in her voice. "Then...help me fix it."
Eliot was silent for a while longer still just regarding Nate, then he sighed. "Nate doesn't want to get involved again, and as supremely arrogant an asshole as he is, he was the mastermind. I'm not sure we..." and he gestured to the room at large, including a very bat-like Parker, hanging upside down from the spiral staircase and seemingly asleep, "can do what we've been doing without him. We all agreed at the hangar, Sophie. Leverage is finished. We just need to accept it, get on with our lives."
Was that a note of regret she heard in his voice, or had she imagined it? Maybe, if there was anything left in him that wanted this...
"What if we could convince Nate? Like the first time, in the park. Would you consider staying then?"
"You mean 'con him'?" And he gave her a tired half-smile. "Well sure. I'd have to stay then...to make sure he doesn't get y'all killed." There was no humor at all in his voice.
Taken aback, she asked. "Is that the only reason?"
"Isn't it reason enough, to not want to see you all hurt? There aren't many people in this world I'd call 'friends,' Soph."
And though it was from so very long ago, from before Sophie became Sophie, she remembered quite clearly: Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
And she was certain he would do that, if he thought it necessary, and it wouldn't matter to him at all. Because Eliot already gave everything he had to the team, and all he asked in return was trust. And that realization broke her heart.
"But that's the problem, Eliot!" She threw up her hands, frustrated and angry at herself for the tears she could feel wanting to fall. He actually recoiled a little in confusion. "Sophie?"
"The problem is you'd get yourself killed for us, and you wouldn't care, and you don't even see how that's a problem!" She stopped abruptly when she saw Parker was now wide awake, still hanging like a bat and unabashedly staring at them, while Hardison peeked with huge eyes over the top of his computer. A glare from Eliot got him to return to his own business, but had no effect at all on Parker. Then Eliot turned that glare on Sophie, and her bravado suddenly withered.
Eliot lowered his voice, not the fierce growl from before, but an attempt to keep the others from hearing. "No, I don't see how it's a problem. If you wanna get this team back together then you need a hitter, and I just told you that's my job. You think I don't understand the risks? I know 'em a hell of a lot better than you ever could. Than you ever should."
"But...your job shouldn't be to die for us! You...you're our friend, too." It felt like a lame way to say what she wanted to, but there was no clearer way to do it. All of Sophie's skills were just not enough for this conversation. She didn't want to grift Eliot tonight, he would see through her as easily as Nate. Maybe moreso.
"Don't cheapen what I do for this team." His eyes hardened, and Sophie was again at a loss. Grift or no, this just wasn't going the way she wanted. Eliot's next words sounded reluctant, as if it pained him to speak from the heart, but they rang with truth. "This job, this team, is the best thing that's happened to me in a very long time. I don't deserve it, but it's worth everything to me. I know you understand my role Sophie. Now, you gotta accept it."
I don't deserve it. Had he meant that to slip out? And how could he expect anyone to just accept what he did every day? But even as her tears threatened to fall again, her heart lifted light as a cloud as she realized what Eliot had said. Or rather, how he had said it. Somewhere in that rebuke, Eliot had switched tenses. The team was not just the past to him now, it was the present and, perhaps, the future as well. It was a slip of the tongue that perhaps only Sophie would ever have caught the significance of. But she did catch it, she clung to it, and she resolved to make it reality.
But why are you punishing yourself Eliot? What she said out loud was, "It wasn't my intention to 'cheapen' anything. I just...I want you to be here because you want to be here...oh bloody hell, this isn't going the way I hoped." Sophie paused a moment to gather her thoughts. She couldn't remember a time when she had been this flustered for this long. But Eliot waited patiently, even if Sophie could see his desire to walk away flashing like a neon sign.
"Eliot...you are so, so much more than just a hitter to us. You're our brother, our healer, our cook, our confidant. I'm pretty sure those traits weren't on the job application. You said being the good guy gets under your skin...but you are the good guy, Eliot."
Eliot glanced away for a moment, jaw clenched. His voice was husky with emotion when he finally managed to croak out, "Sophie, I haven't been a good guy in a very long time..."
He paused, and seemed unable or unwilling to continue so, since she had been doing it all night anyway, Sophie once again threw caution to the wind, and just let her heart say what needed to be said. "Did you know, Eliot, that for the briefest moment when we first met in that alleyway in Chicago, I was terrified of you?"
Now something in Eliot's eyes darkened, and he glanced away again, his voice gone flat. "Well, ya hid it well." He turned to walk away, but Sophie reached out and touched his arm to stop him. No grifting tonight, just honesty. And strangely, she felt in control of herself again.
"I didn't mean for you to take that like a barb, and I'm not finished." He turned back toward her, obviously trying to appear relaxed, but there was a new tension in him, stronger than before. She could practically feel it vibrating off him, and he didn't quite meet her eyes.
"When Nate introduced us all, out in that alleyway...when I heard your name...well, I had heard of your reputation. We all had, I'm sure. And all I could think in that moment was, what was Nate involved in? What was he trying to involve me in, why would he willingly work with a known killer?"
She saw Eliot's jaw clench tighter, saw him swallow, saw every minuscule twitch of muscle that telegraphed his deep desire to end this conversation.
"Yes, I hid my fear. It's part of what I do. But Eliot, it was very difficult to reconcile what I knew of your reputation with the man I saw standing there. There was nothing about you that telegraphed violence, only protector. Believe me, Eliot. I have seen the worst of the worst in my life. I have grifted the lowest of the low, and I know this: bad guys, remorseless killers, have an air about them. They may think they hide it well, and with most people they do. I'm not most people."
"Where ya goin' with this, Sophie?" Eliot's strained voice was barey a whisper, and she could tell he wanted more than anything to be anywhere else right now. Her heart ached for him again, but he needed to hear this.
"My point, Eliot, is that if I had any reason to believe that a killer is all you were, I wouldn't have stuck around after Dubenich. Not even for Nate." Sophie deliberately leaned forward, ignoring the nearly imperceptible tensing of Eliot's body at the further intrusion into his personal space. She laid a hand on his chest, over his heart. Eliot was growing more and more uncomfortable, she could tell. Good. She was getting his full attention. "That's not who you are."
Eliot looked almost afraid now, so at odds with the fearless protector she knew. He opened his mouth as if to try a rebuttal, but he never got the chance.
"Uh, guys?" Hardison popped his head back up over his laptop as he called out to them. "I hate to interrupt but...uh..." he trailed off as he saw Sophie glare at him from over Eliot's shoulder. Sophie didn't miss the relief in Eliot's face at the interruption.
"Oh, spit it out already, Hardison!" Sophie was surprised by her own irritation at the interruption. The spell was broken, but she was pretty sure she had given Eliot something to think about.
"Um. Okay, okay. Dear old 'it's been fun but I'm not a thief' Nate over there has been holding out on us. Again." He gestured toward the couch with a bottle of orange soda, apparently produced by magic from his laptop bag.
With one last troubled but thoughtful glance at Sophie, Eliot walked over to look at Hardison's laptop. Sophie followed more slowly. Parker remained hanging from the staircase, but listened intently.
When Hardison finished showing them what he had dug up, Sophie turned toward Eliot. "Tell me there's no way we're going to let this one go."
Eliot looked cool and collected and slightly pissed off again. In other words, he had his game face on. "No, we ain't. With or without Nate, we're helpin' these people at least. That kid coulda been killed."
"What about your 'job offer'?" Sophie tentatively allowed a little teasing into her question. It was a start, one step at a time.
Eliot smiled, and it was genuine. "I'm already late. He can find someone else. Or maybe I'll recommend Quinn, throw him a bone." At that, three pairs of incredulous eyes turned toward him. "What? Guy fought well. Little arrogant, but he's good."
Sophie shook her head fondly, then yawned. "You're right. I don't understand your world at all."
"Better you don't, darlin'. Look, there's not much we can do before morning. Why don'tcha take Nate's bedroom upstairs...we'll leave him on the couch, and Hardison will probably be doing his hacking thing all night..."
"'Scuse you?" Hardison's head popped up over his laptop again. But he had already shifted into a more comfortable position at the table, bottle of orange soda and now a bag of gummy frogs arrayed beside him. He was in it for the long haul.
"And Parker..." Parker suddenly materialized at Eliot's elbow, and he didn't seem at all surprised though she hadn't made a sound Sophie could hear. "...I think Parker needs to work off some energy, so I'll take her with me to investigate the 'accident' scene. Maybe track down and try to get a look at what's left of that car."
"You're going to play CSI by yourselves? In the middle of the night?"
"Better that way, darlin'." Eliot winked at her and turned for the door, Parker his faithful shadow. "Keep the door locked. We'll let ourselves back in."
Hardison spoke up one last time, "Guys? Bring back groceries, all Nate's got is coffee!"
Parker's face lit up. "Ooh, we need cereal!"
Eliot glowered, spreading the look equally among the room's occupants. "When was the last time any of you had a decent meal?"
And with that, Eliot closed the door and Sophie was left alone with the soft sounds of Hardison's typing and Nate's snoring. And her own tired and battered emotions.
You bloody hipocrite, she couldn't help but think as she stared at the door like she could force it to reveal Eliot's secrets to her. Because it was blindingly obvious that he had secrets of his own that could very well be as dangerous to the team, likely much more so, than hers had been. And he very likely thought he could deal with them himself if they ever became a threat.
Eliot's demons were his own, Sophie understood that. But she hoped, maybe she was even still capable of praying, that when they caught up to him, Eliot wouldn't sacrifice everything that he was just to keep them safe.
Because the team seemed to be the only thing Eliot existed for, and she knew he would never allow them to protect him.
Sophie was too exhausted to muster any real anger. She felt as though, without saying anything, Eliot had granted her a second chance at his trust. But trust went both ways...they were going to have to trust him as well. They would have to trust that he wouldn't let his secrets catch up to them. Somewhere, and she wasn't sure if it was only her imagination, Sophie could hear a clock ticking.
A/N: Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. John 15:13 NKJV
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