Chapter 1

"Hello" Parker said as she bounced in through the door without knocking.

"Hello Parker." Sophie greeted her warmly.

They had not seen any of the three for the last six months having been off on their honeymoon and they had only just arrived back a few days ago. Eliot was already there preparing the family dinner that they were all going to share and Hardison made his entrance directly behind the young blonde woman.

"Hi guys." Hardison said giving Sophie and hug and waving at Nate who sat on the sofa smiling and sipping his whiskey.

It had been a year since Nate had pulled him and Sophie out of Leverage and they had finally tied the knot six months ago. They had left on a world tour for their honeymoon. The three of them had missed the two and Hardison was incredibly happy to be having a family dinner for the first time in a long time.

Nate smiled as Parker threw her arms around him after greeting Sophie and smiled at Hardison as he waved a hello. He and Sophie had decided to stay in Portland after their exit from the game, not only because of the theatre that Sophie loved running but so that Nate could help out on odd jobs with the team if they needed it. Actually Nate was not sure what he was going to do now. He had pulled them out to ensure that Sophie was never placed in harm's way again. The job they did was dangerous and he was not prepared to let her be involved anymore. Besides that she was happy at the theatre, she had found what she really enjoyed doing and he was happy for her to be there.

In the last year Parker had been running the team and they had been doing well, Tara had come in on the occasions where they needed a Grifter and Quinn had also helped on a few jobs. He had been consulted a few times, just for inputs in the beginning with regards planning, but had not got involved directly with any jobs. He had full confidence in all of them, he had not walked into this blind he had prepared them for this and they were performing brilliantly.

"So how was the honeymoon?" Hardison asked as he took a seat with Parker on the sofa.

"Wonderful." Sophie beamed at him. She had really enjoyed the trip, revisiting all the places that held special memories for her and Nate before, when they had chased each other around Europe as well as all the new places and new memories.

"Nate…?" Hardison asked looking at the Mastermind.

"It was good." He smiled. "Lots of shops..." He added and grinned at the look that Sophie threw at him. "It is good to be home though."

"Yes it is we missed you all." Sophie said honestly. They had missed them and she was happy they had decided to make their home here in Portland where they could be close to them.

"Well dinners ready." Eliot told them all and they moved over to the dining area taking their seats. Eliot had prepared one of Nate's favourite dishes, prime rib with all the trimmings.

The dinner table was lively with Sophie recounting some of their adventures and Parker and Hardison expounding on a job they had done while the Fords were on honeymoon. It was jovial around the table just like old times. Once dinner was finished they retired to the living room for coffee and just to sit talking. At about ten thirty Nate's phone rang.

"Ford."

"Nate…thank God it's you Nate." The voice on the other side of the line said.

"David…"

"Yes it's me, I can't talk long. Can you meet me, alone?"

"Where and when?" Nate immediately answered. David was an old friend and he sounded like he was in trouble.

"Now, tonight…at Jimmy's?

"David what is going on?"

"Not over the phone Nate…please just meet me in an hour, please."

"I'll be there." Nate said softly and then the phone when dead.

"Nate?" Sophie asked raising her eyebrows at him, she had only heard his side of the conversation and she did not know who he was speaking to but it sounded like he was going to go and see somebody.

"An old friend. He wants to meet at Jimmy's in an hour." Nate said wondering what was going on.

David was a very good friend from school days. They had spent most of their time together both coming from crime families and both not wanting any involvement with them. David had gone into the military when he left school and Nate to seminary school. They had kept in touch through the years until Sam's death, then he had lost contact with him. They had bumped into each other again about two months ago while Nate and Sophie were touring Europe and they had spent some time catching up while Sophie was busy shopping.

"I'll go with you." Eliot said not liking the thought of Nate meeting with somebody they did not know and by the sounds of it was in trouble in the middle of the night.

"No…no Eliot he is an old school friend, I think it is best I go alone." Nate said, he did not think there would be any danger in meeting with David, in fact David would never put him in any danger of that he was reasonably sure.

"Nate I don't think that is a good idea." Eliot said softly, he did not know who this person was, and Nate was apt to get involved in dangerous things when he went off to meet people alone.

"No I am going to see him alone, anyway it's at Jimmy's it's public and there will be no danger guys." Nate said sitting back and taking a sip of his whiskey.

They all just looked at him with disdain and Sophie shook her head locking eyes with Eliot. They all trusted Nate but not when he was going off on his own to meet somebody they did not know and late at night without wanting them with, well that is when they lost their trust.

Nate watched them and smiled to himself, he was under no illusions as to how they felt about him going off and seeing somebody at this time of night, especially somebody they did not know. But David was an old friend and he had asked to meet Nate alone and that was what was going to happen. He rose and walked into the kitchen putting his glass in the sink and picking up his keys on the way back.

"Nate…"

"It's ok darling really, he is an old friend." Nate said giving her a quick kiss. "Guess I'll see you all later." He said turning to the other three knowing that they were not going to go anywhere until he returned safe and sound to his house.

Nate arrived at Jimmy's and the place was quite full, he looked around and saw David sitting at a booth at the back of the bar and moved to join him.

"David." He greeted as he slid in opposite the man noting that his whiskey was waiting for him.

"Nate thank you for coming." David said quietly. "I don't have much time my friend."

Nate nodded and then took a sip of his whiskey.

"I have a problem and I am sorry Nate, but he has my daughter.

"David what is going on." Nate said sitting up and now fully alert.

"My daughter. She…she has been taken. He is threatening to kill her if I don't get what they want."

"What do they want?"

"You."

"What…David?"

"I don't know who he is Nate, but after I met up with you in Denmark well I was approached by him. He said he wanted me to deliver you to him. His incentive was my daughter's life."

Nate said nothing he just watched his friends face and noted that fear and shame that registered in his eyes.

"He has her Nate. He took her out of school, and I have two days to deliver you to him or she dies. She is only ten Nate…I have to…I am sorry." David said showing Nate the gun he had brought with to ensure his compliance.

"So you deliver me to him." Nate said. The man's daughter's life was at stake and he was not going to be the one to be responsible for the death of a little girl. "But how do you know he will give her back to you and not just kill you and her when you deliver me."

"I don't." David said softly.

"Is he watching you?"

"I don't think so, but I can't be sure."

"I think you should come home with me David. We are going to need help on this one if we want you, me and your daughter to come out of it alive."

"I don't know Nate…I can't take a chance with Elysia's life…I just can't."

"I understand David I do, and I would go with you right now, but you have time, he said two days, let me help, let me get us all out of this ok?"

David stared at him not saying anything, he did not know what to do, his daughter's life was in danger but he trusted Nate, he felt he could trust him and he had no idea if this man would release her once he had Nate. In fact David had a feeling that he would not let them go but he had no other choices until now.

"Ok Nate, but if you can't…"

"Then I will hand myself over David. I will do nothing to endanger her life." Nate said and he meant every word.

"Ok well let's go then." David said downing the rest of his drink and standing up, Nate looked up and him and smiled downing his remaining whiskey and they both left the bar headed towards Nate's house.