Chapter 2

The next morning they were all up early and ready to leave for the airport. All that is except Nate who sat silently at the table watching them get ready to leave.

"Nate?" Sophie said looking at him expectantly.

"What, oh yes sorry." Nate said he had been in a world of his own watching them. "Travel safe and see you later." He said softly not even bothering to get up.

"Can I ask when 'later' is going to be?" Sophie said noting that the man was not even making eye contact with her or the other team members.

"Later means later." Nate said rising to walk to the kitchen turning his back on all of them.

"Fine." Sophie said turning and walking out of the house without another word.

"Bye Nate, see you later." Parker said as she followed the older woman out with Hardison hard on her heels throwing a curt goodbye to Nate as he too exited the door.

"Nate." Eliot said as he stood watching the man pour more than usual into his Irish from his favourite whiskey bottle.

"Go Eliot, you are going to miss your flight." Nate said not even bothering to look at the man.

Eliot paused for a minute and then turned and left. Dealing with Nate when he was in this mood was counterproductive.

"So what's up with Nate?" Hardison asked as soon as they pulled out of the drive.

"I don't know." Sophie said honestly. She had no idea what was going through the man's head. Why was he behaving this way? The job was done and they had all made it out alive. She knew it bothered him tremendously that she and the others had got hurt during this job. It was the first time that any of them, beside him of course, had come close to not making it out alive.

"Something is up though." Parker said quietly. She was just as aware of the change in Nate's behaviour and attitude towards the team. "Something not good."

"Sophie any idea where he is going?" Eliot asked the woman. If anybody had an inkling of the man's plans it would be her.

"No."

"Hardison, can we track him?"

"No. He long ago took all my tracking devices off, the watch, the wallet and everything else." Hardison said softly. "I thought the job was over and I didn't think we needed to."

"What about cameras?" Eliot asked the Hacker hearing the self-recrimination in his voice as he said the last words. There really should not be a reason that they track Nate. The con was over, they were safe and they should all be heading home.

"I will keep an eye on that." Hardison said immediately grabbing for his every ready computer.

"So do we go to the airport?" Parker asked. She for one did not want to go home without Nate, although up to now she had given no indication of her feelings in this regard.

"Yes we do." Hardison said.

"Hardison." Parker said throwing him a withering look.

"He is going to the airport. He has booked himself on a flight out to LA, leaves in about two hours." Hardison said explaining himself. "Did not even use an alias or anything."

"Ok to LA it is then." Sophie said with a sigh. Normally she would not do this. Nate was entitled to a private life. But his behaviour had been so odd. He had withdrawn from the team and was drinking more than usual. Something was going on and she did not want to leave him alone if there could potentially be danger lurking.

"I can get us on an earlier flight so we will be there before him." Hardison said making the arrangements as he spoke.

"Great." Eliot said sourly. He too did not like prying into other team members' life if it was not necessary. They all had their own private lives. But this was different. His gut told him that and he always trusted his gut.