Author's Note: Hey guys, sorry I haven't updated in a while. College has been one hell of a ride. The last time I wrote, I knew exactly where this story was going and now, I'm not so sure. I do not plan to stop writing on this, not until I think it has reached a close, and there is nothing else for me to write. These long absences are only that, just an absence. I thank all of you that have kept up with this story, it means so much. Now, I suppose, you would like to read on. I can make no promises about this chapter…but I hope you enjoy it.


FLASHBACK: My words were cut off as a sob seemed to rip itself from Lyssa's throat, just as Beth wrapped her arms around her and said, "oh god, I'm so sorry Lyssa. I'm so sorry.." Beth went on to apologize, as everyone seemed to gravitate to her. Through this entire thing, I was sitting rooted to the spot, there was only one explanation for Lyssa's reaction…..


Story Start

With a somber face I turned to her, "how'd you know him, Lyssa?" She seemed to not have heard me, the obvious grief written on her face by the tears streaming from her eyes. I walked into the small kitchenette to make a pot of coffee, "No tea for a Chapman," I thought to myself. I sighed and leaned against the counter and waited for the coffee to brew. As the small red light at the base of the coffeepot flickered on, signaling the completion, I realized Lyssa's sobs had quieted and it seemed she was apologizing for her reaction. Quickly, I grabbed enough mugs for all of us, the sugar and dry creamer, and the coffee, now placed in a thermos, and placed them on the top of a SWAT team shield that leaned against the wall and walked into the other room.

Lyssa looked up, the torrent of tears had streaked her makeup and her eyes were swollen and blood-shot but she smiled weakly as she caught my eye. "I'm alright now Elyon," she said, answering the unspoken question that floated through the eyes of all of those in the room. "It was just a shock, to hear what happened to Leo," her voice quavered, but she did not burst into tears as before. Beth laid a motherly hand on her shoulder and squeezed.

"Are you sure you're okay," I asked. She only nodded. "I seem to be the only one," I was interrupted by a grunt of disapproval from Owen, "sorry. We," I gestured to Owen and myself, "seem to the only ones who don't know how you know this Leon Xeon. Care to tell us your story?"

Lyssa sighed and, just as I thought she would say no, she began, "I knew him back in high school. We were really good friends at one point, but then, after graduation, he started to change. He became withdrawn, but only when he was around me. I caught him once, laughing and joking with some of his friends. His friends, not mine. I asked him what was wrong and he only said that he'd outgrown me. I truly cared for him, trusted him with my secrets and fears, what he said crushed me. He was like a brother to me, not that I don't already have enough," she smiled slightly, waving her arm to encompass all the Chapman brothers. Then, a few years later I happened by him in the store. He looked just the same as before graduation; even hugged me when he realized who I was. Then, out of the blue, he apologized, said he had been going through a lot at the time and didn't want to drag me into it." At this point she paused, taking a sip of the coffee, added more creamer and then sipped again. When she seemed happy with the taste, she gulped it down and continued as Duane Lee refilled her mug, "After that, we were inseparable once more. Leo helped us on a few bonds once, getting us some information we might not have gotten otherwise. Then, over the course of a week, I noticed he'd started looking more and more haggard. Like he was staying out late and something appeared to be stressing him. I tried to confront him about it, but he just brushed it off.

Flashback: Lyssa's POV

"Leo what's wrong," I asked insistently.

"Nothing darlin'. Just tired," he replied, waving his hand about dismissively and returning to the paperwork on the desk in front of him.

I growled, "don't lie to me Leon DeaVonie Xeon!" My voice was low, and demanding. I knew something was wrong, but he wouldn't tell me. Just like last time. "Don't tell me 'nothing'. You come into work, looking as though you haven't slept in days…WEEKS, even. I've seen you stumble about when you think no one's looking. So, DON'T. TELL. ME. 'NOTHING'." My voice had rose in both pitch and volume and I was thankful Dad, Beth and my brothers were all out on a hunt, for once, leaving me to the office.

"Fine. I won't tell you 'nothing'. I'm. Fine." He seemed to stress each syllable, stretching out each word to make his point. "Can't you just leave it alone sweet pea?"

Though the question was rhetorical, I answered anyways, "NO, no I can't!" I sighed, pinching the bridge of my nose and counting backwards from ten before I continuing. "I can't leave it alone. I care for you Leo. As I always have. You're my brother and I'm worried about you. I don't want whatever happened last time to happen again. You mean too much to me," I paused, "to all of us here."

He appeared shocked at the news and open and closed his mouth several times before continuing, "look darlin', I'd tell ya if something was wrong. Alright?"

I looked at him warily but let it go. I knew in my heart that something was wrong, something bad. It felt like something was going to happen and it wasn't going to be good.

End flashback: Elyon's POV

"A month later, he was dead and I was going to his funeral," Lyssa finished. She sunk down into a recliner, exhausted both emotionally and mentally.

I, on the other hand, had a mind whirling with thoughts and questions. Most of which, I knew were trivial and need not be asked. The others I was not so sure but I held off, knowing Lyssa would likely break down if I pried. So instead, I walked over to her and squeezed her shoulder, "I'm sorry Lyssa, for your loss of Leon. Thank you for filling us in." With that, I walked back over to my previous spot and began to think. I felt like I needed to do something, anything, to help Lyssa's, and Owen's, grief. I looked back at Lyssa and Owen, "did they find out what killed him?"

They both looked at me. I could tell by the looks on their faces that something was up.


Author's Note: Yes I know, another one. But I really want to know what you guys think about this chapter. I'm kind of grasping at straws…trying to remember where I was going with the story.

*to self* I guess I should really start making outlines.

*other, slightly whinier, self* But it's no fun that way…I want to 'wing it'.

*Gibbs-slaps whiney side* Shut up…it's for the readers

*whiney self mutters incoherently*