Brothers in Arms
A Haven fanfic
By Jeannine Trevizo
Duke turned and looked past his shoulder and saw the bullet hole in the cushions not more than two feet from his head.
To be honest, he’d really thought he was dead. The way Nathan had charged in, demanding to know what he’d done with Audrey…
And then there was the tattoo… which now as he looked back up at Nathan’s arm was… gone…
What the hell?
“Nathan…” he started, hoping once again to get through to the man before him, the one with the gun in his hands, fire in his eyes and his heart on his sleeve.
Because no mere partner would behave like this… he loved Audrey… it was obvious to anyone looking.
“Where is she?” Nathan gritted out again, his gun coming closer to where Duke lay sprawled on the floor of the cabin.
“I would tell you if I knew!”
Nathan didn’t buy it. He’d watched Duke being manipulated by Simon Crocker and the Rev. He knew that fear for his own life might override any feelings of friendship he might claim to have for Audrey. But having seen the obvious sings of a struggle in Audrey’s apartment and all the signs had led him here, to Duke…
Think, Nathan berated himself mentally… where would Duke take her…
“I have been here all this time. Do you really think I’m stupid enough to leave you a frickin’ clue at her place leading you straight to me?” Duke raged, taking the opportunity to try and get through to Nathan. “I’m on your side! I am not killing Audrey or anyone else! I didn’t take her!”
At Duke’s words Nathan’s mind cleared ever so slightly of the blinding fear and red haze of anger that was encompassing him. Duke had been surprised when he’d walked in looking for Audrey. The look on his face had been one of shock and horror… He was a good con man, excellent in fact. But there hadn’t been anything in his tone or in his expression that read lie…
When confronted with the Rev’s followers wanting him to kill Kyle, he’d balked. How many times had Duke dropped that knife? How many times had he denied his father, the Rev? He’d looked straight at Audrey and called her his friend…
“But I saw…” Nathan said lowly his eyes still on Duke even as they went slightly out of focus as he thought back…
“What did you see?” questioned Duke, realizing that maybe, just maybe he was finally getting through to Nathan and he wasn’t going to end up with a bullet in his brain.
Nathan tried to recall the scene… open door, overturned chair, smashed plant… open cabinets…
Wait, why were the cabinets opened under the sink and in the cupboards? Audrey didn’t keep her gun there. There wasn’t anything in them to be looking for… if Duke… or someone had come in to take her, why were those opened and yet the rest of the place looked fine?
It was as if someone didn’t know how to properly stage…
Someone had Audrey, but it wasn’t Duke. They’d set him up, expecting what…? That one of them would end up dead, hell, maybe both of them. And Audrey…
“Duke, you… I mean…” Nathan began, realizing how easily now he’d been played.
Backing up, he raised his gun slightly. Duke shifted slightly so his back pressed against the bench behind him. He watched as Nathan tried to pull back from whatever edge he had been on, the one that had him shooting his gun at him, ready to kill for his partner.
“I got to Audrey’s and the door was open and she wasn’t there. There were signs of a struggle and then I found your whistle…” Nathan explained and then trailed off before focusing again on what had finally tipped him off when he’d recreated the scene in his head that it had been a set up, “but there were things that didn’t add up. There were cabinets opened as if they’d been searched. But the rest of the place was untouched.”
“So someone set me up? Staged the place to send you after me…” Duke began and then trailed off before he took a deep breath as he started to piece it together as well. “The wanted me dead… or you…”
At her name Nathan closed his eyes and fought down the fear and pain that simple thought brought him. The Chief had said that he needed to protect Audrey, and now, less than a day later he’d let someone take her.
“Shit,” he swore… and his eyes opened and swung to Duke.
Right now he needed someone to trust in. Someone who would help him, wanted to find Audrey as much as he did. And right now, of everyone in Haven, Duke was the one person who he believed actually gave a damn about Audrey… not as much as he did, but enough that he was willing to trust that he would help find her…
“Nathan?” Duke asked, watching the conflict in Nathan’s face as he stared down at him.
“Someone took Audrey,” he said finally, holstering his weapon and then reaching a hand out to Duke, “if you meant what you said… that she was your friend, then I need your help to find her.”
Duke took only a moment before he reached up and took Nathan’s hand in his, letting the other man pull him up. Standing face to face, he read the fear and shame on Nathan’s face and rather than call him on it, he squared his shoulders and for once in his life ignored his base instincts.
“You have it. Let’s go find her.”
- End Chapter 1 -