Chapter 1

They were all there to support Sophie with her first play at her new theatre. It had been two years since Sophie and Nate had retired from Leverage Inc. They had married a few months after that and had gone on a European honeymoon, revisiting all the places Nate had chased Sophie all those years ago along with a few new places too. They had decided to stay in Portland to be close to the three younger members of their family and because Sophie wanted to keep her theatre going, she loved directing and Nate, well Nate did whatever he did with his days, none of them really knew but he kept himself busy. He had helped them out on a few jobs, and they knew he had helped Sterling out with a few jobs as well.

"Oh Nate I am so nervous." Sophie said looking at her husband as they made their way into the theatre.

"Don't be darling, it is going to be great." He said kissing her on the forehead and smiling down at her. "Now madam director go and make us proud and remember." He said pulling her in for a passionate kiss. "I believe in you Sophie, I love you."

"You go Sophie, you got this." Eliot smiled at her.

Eliot watched the two of them and smiled, they looked happy. Nate looked happier than he had ever seen him. It was good to see him this way he was relaxed and enjoying himself. He thought back to that first time they had come together and all the years after that. They had been together now for seven years and were closer than any family. Parker, himself and Hardison had carried on with his legacy. They were bringing down the people on that black box that Nate had got during that last job of theirs. Parker was doing the planning and he and Hardison supported her. When they needed a grifter they brought in Tara who was happy to help them. All in all Eliot thought, he too had not been this content with his life for a long time and he knew the other two felt the same way. Eliot watched as Nate mingled with the guests of honour playing the part that Sophie had asked him to play, the gracious host to prospective producers for Sophie's next plays while she went and got her cast ready to take the stage. He, Parker and Hardison stood watching the proceedings and after wishing Sophie good luck they and Nate took their seats.

The play went off without a hitch and Sophie received her accolades as the director. Once the general guest had left, Sophie had organised a party in the lobby for the special guests the cast and of course her Nate and the rest of her family.

"Well done Mrs Ford." Nate said turning to his wife and kissing her on her forehead. "Great success I think."

"Yes darling." Sophie smiled back. The play had been well received and she was high on adrenaline.

"Ah here they come are wanting to say goodnight, I don't think they are going to hang out here all night." Nate said watching as Eliot, Parker and Hardison walking towards him.

Nate smiled at them and then felt a slight twinge of pain in his chest. Then suddenly he felt hot pain shoot through him, and he felt as if a tourniquet had been tightened around his chest and he doubled over trying to keep his footing.

"Nate…Nate…" Eliot called out rushing towards the older man. "Nate are you ok?" He asked but Nate did not answer.

"Nate…" Sophie cried out as she watched Eliot lower the man to the ground.

"Hardison 911 now." Eliot shouted at the Hacker as they gathered around Nate who was now lying on the floor.


"I don't know Sophie I think he is having a heart attack." Eliot said watching as Nate closed his eyes against the pain and then became still.

Eliot immediately leaned in and put his head on Nate's chest and checked for breathing. Then he started CPR as a frantic Sophie stood and watched. The ambulance arrived ten minutes later. They took over the CPR from Eliot, but after only a few minutes they stopped. Nate was gone.

"I am sorry." The EMT said softly. "He is gone."

"No…no Nate…no please." Sophie said dropping to her knees beside her husband. "Don't leave me Nate, please don't leave me." Sophie sobbed pulling his innate body to her and kissing him gently.

Eliot looked down at Nate, his eyes were open but unseeing. He looked at Sophie and then stepped forward and knelt beside the woman.

"Sophie…" He said softly. "He's gone Sophie." He said reaching out and closing Nate's eyes for the last time. Then he looked to the EMT's who nodded. "Sophie, you have to let them take care of him." Eliot said as he pulled the woman towards him and the EMT gently took Nate and laid him on the floor again.

Sophie turned to the Hitter and buried her head in his chest sobbing uncontrollably. The EMT's brought out their gurney and placed Nate's body on it draping a sheet over him and then took him away to the waiting ambulance. Parker and Hardison stood watching as they took Nate away and then looked to Sophie and Eliot who sat on the floor, Sophie still sobbing uncontrollably. Eliot looked up at them and motioned that they should take care of the rest of the guests. Parker nodded and moved pulling Hardison with her. The two of them ushered the rest of the guests out and then returned to Eliot. Both were numb, unable to believe what had just happened. Hardison had tears in his eyes and Parker had shut down.

Eliot just sat holding Sophie letting her cry. He too was numb; he could not believe it. Nate was gone, just when he was happy, just when life had finally started being kind to him. It was not fair he thought as he pulled Nate's grieving widow to him. It was not fair to him or her, it was just not fair.

Finally after what seemed like forever Sophie stopped sobbing and looked up at Eliot. He looked down at her and then stood pulling her up with him. Then he looked at the other two telling them with his eyes that they should lock up and then follow them to Nate and Sophie's place. He would take her home.

Thirty minutes later they were at the house and Eliot had given Sophie some sedatives that they had in the back of the van to help her. He had laid her down on the bed and then quietly left the room.

"She's sleeping." Eliot said as he stepped out of the room and saw Parker and Hardison standing there. "She should be out for a couple hours."

"What just happened?" Parker said. She knew what had happened but could not process it properly.

"He had a heart attack." Eliot said sadly.

"Buy why. I mean there was no stress, we weren't on a job." Hardison said. "He was happy Eliot. He was happy. He wasn't drinking, or at least he wasn't drinking like he used to, he was happy, they were happy, he and Sophie, they were happy." Hardison said. How could somebody have a heart attack for no reason.

"I know Hardison but…" Eliot sighed. "Sometimes there is just no reason." He said softly.

"It's not fair." Parker said tears now escaping her eyes. "It's not fair." She repeated as Hardison wrapped her in his arms.