Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Leverage: A Family Affair

Nathan Ford sat at the bar in his usual spot on the last stool on the right. Lying in front of him was an open manila folder filled with police papers and photo's of a young girl he knew very well and had just seen a few days before she went missing. A young girl who was taken from her very own bedroom as her two doting parent's slept a few rooms away. The police were unsure as to how the man got into the home. The windows were locked as well as the doors, the only obstacle that was in the intruders way was laying in the animal hospital as a result from a stab wound to the side and a kick to the head.
"Hey Nate, what's up?" inquired a trio of voices from behind him. Alec and Parker sat at the bar on either side of him while Eliot moved behind the bar and grabbed himself a beer and drinks for the others. Sophie was off visiting a few of her friends in Paris and shopping for Christmas gifts at the same time.
"We have a case, so to speak.. this one is more of a personal matter for me." Nathan looked up at the members of his team and gave a weak smile, "this is my goddaughter, Amanda Lane.. her birthday was 3 days ago she had just turned 8 years old.. she was taken out of her bedroom two nights ago."
"I heard about this," mumbled Parker as she looked through the photos at the smiling girl. They eerily reminded her of herself when she was a child. Those were memories she had no desire to think back on so she concentrated on what Nathan was saying.
"Her father is a very good friend of mine. He has helped us numerous times with funding issues.. and has asked me if our team could use our special skills, so to speak to help get her back for them. The police are running on empty and at the moment, they have one lead which is a slightly blurry photo, otherwise they're stumped because this bastard isn't in the computer anywhere. It's like he's a damn ghost.. the police are close to setting it aside until some kind of lead comes which could be months or years. I won't let her become a cold case."
"I don't blame you, boss.. but what can we do? We have no clue where to start." said Alec Hardison as he looked at a few of the pictures. Eliot Spencer let his eyes graze over them and winced. This young girl was so innocent and here she was in the hands of a monster.
"Matthew told me that he and his wife had seen a man watching the house.. watching Amanda. They notified the police, but the man was never seen again. Both Matt and his wife gave accurate descriptions of the man... he seemed to have vanished into thin air." Nate pulled out a photo from the bottom of the folder and slapped it onto the bar top in front of him, his three coworkers stared at the photo.
Parker looked at it and gasped.. she knew who he was. "I um.. need to go make a phone call. I'll be back in a second," Parker ran outside and stood in from of the pub, her cellphone in her trembling hands. "Lea if you get this message, please call me right away.. I'm at the pub. There's a really big family problem that needs to be dealt with. One word Lea.. Hermes."
Leandra Blackthorne glanced up from her novel when her phone went off. She knew immediately who it was. Parker had her own ringtone on her phone. She listened to the message and sighed. Her first thought was to call her father, but shook the thought off. She sent Parker a quick text, grabbed her bag and went out the door.
Parker went back inside and sat down. Her hands were shaking when she put her cell phone down. "I put a call in to someone who can help.. I called my sister, father's nickname for her is "The Enforcer", she can get anything out of anyone.. She has alot of pull inside the family.. alot are just a little scared of her."
Nate raised an eyebrow "Parker what's going on.. you know who this man is? Who is he, where's Amanda?"
"It's hard to explain.. the best way to say it is.. he's a part of the "Family" and the family take care of their own problems.." Parker shook her head and frowned, she was grasping at straws here trying to figure out what to say. Lea would know how to explain it.
"Family.. what are you talking about?" demanded Nate.
Parker's cellphone went off and she sighed. "We need to go. Lea wants me to bring you all to the Manor.. if you want to know what's going on then let's go.. Remember all those time's you guys asked me about my adopted family? Well your about to get a look into the madness I call family.. Lea, my sister, can explain things better than I possibly can.."
Outside the Manor Nathan, Eliot and Alec looked on in awe. The building was surrounded by a large wrought iron fence. Standing in front of the gate were two men dressed in black leather. The building itself looked like something out of a movie. Windows scattered across the front were randomly lit. Parker was in the drivers seat. She mentioned Lea's name so the group was permitted inside without any issues.
"Lea has some pull here.. like I told you before, almost everyone is scared of her, only father and I aren't." smirked Parker, "she has a little gift that she uses.. clairvoyance.. it comes in handy a lot. She has a way of knowing when someone is lying.. used to drive me nuts when we were little. I could never hide anything from her."
Inside the building, Parker stood close to Eliot who said, "Now what Parker, where do we go.. what do we do?"
"Like I said.. it's a family affair.. I.."
"As she said Mr. Ford.. It's a Family Affair. Outsiders needn't worry about dealing with it because those within the family will take care of the problem.. but considering this girl is part of your family I think you have a right to be involved.. Besides father wanted to meet Parker's extended family. What did Hermes do now?" Lea stood in the doorway with her hands on her hips.
Parker ran to Lea and hugged her a huge smile on her face. "I knew you'd come, Lea.. why does he want to meet my friends?"
Lea smiled and hugged her back. "I'm never too far away from you Parker, all you have to do is look around and look for me. Father wants to meet the ones who care for you as much as we do."
"Oh ok.. well he took a young girl, Nate's goddaughter Amanda, out of her bedroom while her parents slept a few doors away, stabbed the dog and ran off with her. She must be here.. the Manor is huge Lea, how will we find her?"
"We'll find her no problem," Lea tapped her forehead and smiled, "Well he is an expert lock pick.. he picked the locks, grabbed her and ran.. he hurt the dog.. I'll have to punish him for that. Now then off to the main room of course." Lea smiled and linked her arm into Parker's, "So little sister, how long has it been since you've been here?"
"Well last time we were here together.. a year or two. I talked to Father a few days ago when I called for the weekly check in in him. What about you?"
"Heh I was here last month dealing with another Herme's issue.. it appears he didn't learn his lesson then. This time he won't forget it.. I can promise you that."
As they walked down the long hall, Parker updated her sister on what she had been doing since they last met. Lea merely nodded and smiled, as if she had already known what she was going to hear. "Why do I have a feeling you already know what I've been up to.. you always know what I'm doing.. how?"
Lea smiled and released her sisters arms. "Looks like we're here, let's go talk to the Elders. I asked them to meet me here. Ok so I may have demanded that they meet me here.. they'd better be here that's all I'll say..." When she pushed the door open she found the room empty. The long oval table was empty. Lea growled "They want to play games.. we'll play games."
They moved further on down the hall to a door that was guarded by two men, both held their arms crossed across their chests. Lea waved her hand and the men moved. The door was locked. Lea raised an eyebrow and looked sideways out the corner of her eye at one of the guards. "Private party.. what's the celebration?"
"There's a rumor that there is a plot out against your father.. the Elders are in there with your father discussing it.. no one is to be allowed in.. your father's orders.. sorry Lea."
"Whatever, where's Hermes.. he and I have business to discuss.." The guard merely shrugged to her question.
Lea smiled and jabbed a finger on his radio.. "Find out.. he is not to know that I'm here.. now I need to speak to the Elders and father.. considering they won't open the door on their own.. I'll open it for them." She moved back a few steps and kicked the door down with one swift kick of her booted foot.
Eliot stood in awe, Alec and Nate were both shocked and Parker grinned a huge smile. Lea sighed contently and pushed the broken door out of her way. Eliot pulled Parker aside and whispered "She's your sister.. is she single?"
Parker smiled and shrugged. "You two are alike in so many ways.. you have no idea. You both are agressive and well you both like beating the shit out of people. I think she is single actually."
Lea walked to the round table where the Elders were sitting. At the head of the table sat her father. Viktor Blackthorne the head of the clan. She walked to him and placed a kiss on his forehead. "Father how are you doing this fine night?"
"Lea dear.. I just replaced that door last month when you kicked it down to get to Hermes.. if a door is locked can you not take it as a sign that you are not to be at the meeting?" Viktor smiled, stood and hugged her, a smile on his face.
When he saw Parker his arm opened and she walked into them. "My dear Parker, how wonderful to see you again. You have been gone for far too long!"
The Elders stood to leave. Lea smiled and moved to block the door. "Have a seat please we have business to discuss.. first off we need Hermes in here right now.."
Viktor sighed "What has he done now?"
Nate gathered up his courage and handed the folder to Viktor. "He took my goddaughter right out of her bedroom. We know it was him, he has been seen watching her. He tried to speak with her a few times as well. He was blocked by her parents and sitter."
Lea eyed her father "You should have let me deal with him last month then this would never have happened.. he needs to be dealt with a firm hand, not coddled with second and third chances. Father, I like to see the good in everyone myself, but there is nothing good about him.. there is no good in him at all. He is a danger to children.. how many children have we taken away from him that he's kidnapped? It's time to put an end to it for good.. kidnapping children and meddling with drugs.."
"I know my dear, I know.. " Viktor looked at the door and said "I want Hermes and his harem in here now.. all of his women.."
"Harem..WTF.." Alec eyed Parker curiously, who merely shrugged.
"I thought you got rid of the harem's father," said Parker as she watched the door.
"Hermes enjoys his harem, and they enjoy being in his harem so he still has his.. I have noticed that it has gotten bigger than it originally was.."
"He drugs them, Father, once their addicted they stay because he supplies them with their fix on a daily basis." demanded Lea. She stood with her arms crossed in front of her. She leaned against the wall waiting patiently for Hermes to walk through the door. She could hear her father mumbling from across the room. Parker walked over and stood next to her. "Are you ok Park?"
"Fine, just feels weird being here, you know? I'm sure the guys are going to have a ton of questions for me when we get out of here," Parker eyed her friends and sighed, "I already have one trying to find out if your single.. go figure."
Lea chuckled and elbowed her gently,"I am single actually.. who is it.. the cute long haired one?"
"Uh huhh that's Eliot Spencer," Parker grinned, "he likes beating people up just as much as you do."
"Aww a man after my own heart.." grinned Lea as she eyed him. He looked positively yummy in her opinion.
Hermes growled as he recieved his summons from Viktor Blackthorne. From under the bed he heard the crying of his newest harem member, who was locked in a wooden box. "Shut up, when I come back, you better be more accepting of your situation.. you will not be going home.. you are home now. Deal with it!"
He pushed the side boards up in place and smiled. No one would ever know that she was under there. Not unless someone were to tell them, but no one in his harem would betray his trust. The only one who knew the girl was there was his wife, Crystal. He knew she wouldn't tell as long as he kept her supplied with the nose powder she so enjoyed.
He walked into the main room of his apartment and found all of his ladies gathered around adjusting their clothing. When they were in his quarters, clothing wasn't allowed. It was only when they went out the door that they were allowed to wear clothing. it was mandatory actually. "You are not to talk unless spoken to.. do you understand?"
The women nodded and off they walked. Little did they know one of them wasn't coming back.. alive.
Lea walked over to her father and hugged him. "I hear there's a plot against you.. any idea who it is?"
"I have my suspicions. Rumors have been heard through out the manors grapevine," Viktor returned his daughter's hug, "You have been busy I hear. How is Portland treating you.. are you returning to New Orleans any time soon?"
Parker stalked over to them and eyed her sister "You live here and you didn't tell me??"
"Calm down Parker, I just moved here a few weeks ago. I was going to tell you I was here.. when I was ready for you to the way look into Darius." smiled Lea.
Before Parker or Viktor could respond Hermes walked through the door, his harem trailing behind him. The harem women immediately walked into the corner and knelt on the floor listening silently. Beside him stood Crystal, who still had some white powder under her nose. "Is there a reason as to why we were summoned here, what have I supposedly done now?"
Lea smiled and took a picture from Nathan. "I want this child right now.. if you don't give her to me.. well let me just say this..  you all walked in here together, but one of you will be carried out dead.. your choice."
"Is that a threat, Lea," Hermes glared at the young woman,"I don't take threats very well.."
"No threat Herman, this is a warning. I don't make threats I don't intend to fulfill.. where is she?" She slammed her open hand against the man's chest. An image of a young girl appeared in her mind.
"I am not Herman.." Hermes was about to throw out a threat of his own when he felt her knee connect with his stomach he fell to the floor on is knees. "I don't have the girl or any girl.."
"Yes you..I just saw her.. I'll be back.. guards.. watch him if he moves.. kill him." Lea walked out of the door.
Parker grabbed Eliots arm and they chased after her. "Lea where are you going??"
They went up three flights of stairs and stopped at a large set of wooden doors. Lea growled and kicked the door open "Hermes apartment.. let's go in. If this girl is here, she's in this apartment somewhere. We need to find her.. now!"
The trio looked in every room. Parker walked into the harem room which was a medium sized room with a floor covered with mattresses and a layer of pillows. Black heavy curtains hung on the windows. The closet in the room was totally empty.
Lea and Eliot checked out Hermes bed chambers. A slight whimper was heard. "Listen.. "
Eliot pulled the mattress off the bed and found nothing. He looked under the bed and found the bottom blocked off by boards. "Part of the bed, ya think?"
"Well let's find out.." She began pulling the bed apart piece by piece. The headboard was tossed into the hall along with the footboard.
"Amanda are you here? This is Eliot I'm a friend of your uncle Nathan's.. talk to me, honey." He pulled the side of the bed away and found the box, grabbed the handle and pulled it out. The young girls face was visible from the wire window at the top.
Eliot yanked the top open and picked her up. "I've got you, honey. Let's go get Uncle Nathan."
Lea and Eliot looked at the young girls face, her eyes were glossy.. she had been drugged.
"Uncle Nathan!" Amanda burst into tears when she saw her uncle standing in the room. Eliot handed her to her godfather who cradled her in his arms. "I wanna go home, please.." Nathan picked her up and hugged her tight, whispering that she would be home with her family soon.
Lea walked into the room. There was a deathly silence as she stood staring at him. "You lied to me Herman.."
Hermes gulped and moved into the corner with his harem. "I couldn't help myself..I had to have her.."
"You bastard you drugged her.. she's 8 years old!" Lea grabbed Hermes and yanked him out of the corner and into the center of the room.
Viktor stepped up and pulled her away from him. "You are a danger Herman, to all of mankind and to the Clan as well.. Parker take your friends to the medical ward. The young girl needs to go home to her family, take her to the Family doctor to be cared for. Herman will be dealt with promptly."
A week later, Hermes body was found in a dumpster he was beaten and a bullet hole went through his temple, Crystal left the manor and died that same day of a drug overdose. The harem split up and went their seperate ways, quite a few as it turned out were taken from their homes as teenagers and were given drugs to keep them there. They all remained within the family simply because they were presumed to be dead by their families.
Nathan returned Amanda to her home after the Family doctor cared for her. The young girl fell asleep in the car on the way home. It was explained that she had gotten lost and a good samaritan had brought her home. That night she slept with her dog lying next to her.
Parker found out her sister lived in the apartment right above her. Lea helped her answer the question that were thrown out at them about the family.
Eliot finally got up the nerve to ask Lea out on a dinner date which went well. Many more were planned to take place in the future, which meant Lea would be staying in Portland... permanently.  

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