Brothers in Arms
A Haven fanfic
By Jeannine Trevizo
“So, do we need to do this… now?” questioned Nathan, the slight nervousness in his voice audible to both Vince and Audrey and while Audrey reacted with a matching anxious expression Vince laughed aloud.
“No, just before the troubles are over,” Vince said, and he watched as Nathan and Audrey visibly relaxed ever so slightly. “The rings and the ceremony would be the binding ritual to cement your status together… ensuring your place here once the troubles are gone. It was very fortuitous that you both fell in love this cycle, or there’s no telling how long it would continue…”
“I guess for once the Chief was wrong,” Nathan remarked quietly, the memory of the Chief standing there in the cemetery telling him he couldn’t be in love with Audrey invading his thoughts.
“How’s that?” asked Audrey, suddenly remembering that she had never gotten a straight answer out of him about what he and the Chief had discussed when Kyle had inadvertently brought the dead back nearly a week earlier.
Nathan glanced to her, recalling her assurance that she’d get the truth out of him later, and if things had gone as planned when he’d arrived for their dinner… date, he suspected he might have let her quiz him on what had happened. But as it was, the Chief had publicly told him to take care of her, which for all intents and purposes in his mind had deliberately put his emotions for Audrey on display in that moment. But he’d yet to share with her exactly what the Chief had told him.
“You remember I told you that he said that you were important to the town?” he asked and Audrey nodded, recalling the conversation, “What I didn’t tell you was that he’d actually told me that I couldn’t be in love with you; that you were too important for us to be in love because you’d take risks for me…”
Audrey’s mouth dropped open briefly before snapping shut. Considering how the Chief had all but partnered them up, essentially creating the circumstances that had led to their current… emotional involvement the idea that he’d been against them together was a surprise.
“Are you sure he really wanted what he was telling you? I seem to recall Garland had a habit of trying reverse psychology on you more than once…” added Vince, reminding them both that he was still in the room with them.
“That does sound like him,” added Audrey, now having learned more about herself and how Garland had used Baker to get her here and more than likely keep her here when she would have left…
“Garland was nothing if not calculating when it came to protecting this town and you Nathan. Suggesting that you couldn’t be with Audrey would just…”
“Push me towards her more,” Nathan acknowledged with a slight sigh as he ran a hand up and back against his neck, rubbing there even though he couldn’t feel it. “I did tell him that he was wasting his time…”
At Nathan’s admission Audrey moved slightly to lay a hand on his, the ends of his hair brushing along her fingertips. Glancing over he gave her a half grin and she smiled back at him. It seemed that not only was fate conspiring to throw them together, with her the only one he could feel but the Chief had been in on it as well…
“I guess you showed him.”
“But I didn’t do what he told me I did need to do… protect you. If I had Baker would never have…” he stated sorrowfully, his hand coming away from his neck and dislodging her fingers from his own.
“You found me though,” she reminded him, her fingers curling over his, trying to ease that obvious pain she could see in his eyes and hear in his voice. “But why was the Chief so adamant you protect me? I usually am quire capable of taking care of myself.”
“Right now there are many people besides my brother that have… ‘opinions’ on the troubles. Reverend Driscoll left many who will follow in his footsteps,” interjected Vince, wanting to let Audrey know the depths of Garland’s fears and desire to keep her alive. “Over the years your arrival has not always been seen as a positive one, so there have been those who wish to kill you and those that are destined to protect you.”
“Destined to protect me?”
“That makes sense… Simon suggested that Audrey wouldn’t necessarily have to be the person who killed Duke… that she could have others do it for her. Duke’s been hunting for the person with the tattoo would he’d been told would kill him; was Simon somehow referring to that?”
“The tattoo belongs to old families in Haven. Over the centuries members of those old families have aided each incarnation of Audrey in helping the troubled.”
“Were the Hansen family one of them? I remember seeing Max with that tattoo,” Audrey recalled, the memory of running into Max Hansen hours before his death coming back to her.
“That’s why Duke saw it on me… if it was passed down through family lines…” Nathan stated, making Vince’s eyebrow raise. He hadn’t known that Nathan had displayed the tattoo, but knowing the triggers he wasn’t surprised it had appeared.
“What about the Chief? He didn’t have one?” asked Audrey curiously.
“Not that I was aware of, but it doesn’t always appear in every generation, although I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d shown it at one point in trying to defend Lucy.”
“But Nathan doesn’t have it now,” Audrey noted, reaching over and touching Nathan’s lower left arm reverently, the light touch of her fingers on his arm causing him to suck in a breath before he gathered his control once more.
“It has been known to be… invisible or even dormant all a person’s life. I do know that intense feelings, especially anger and fear can raise it to the surface.”
“So, my protective feelings for Audrey…” Nathan began before trailing off, realizing the circumstances that had made the tattoo visible to Duke.
“Duke most likely saw it because you were afraid for her life.”
“So you get a nifty tattoo when I’m in trouble now?” she remarked with a slight smirk and he glared at her half-heartedly.
“Not really what I want Parker,” Nathan replied, the fondness in the way he said her last name making her heart flutter in her chest briefly.
“So now what…”
Before she could say anything further Nathan’s cell rang and he gave Audrey a small smirk when he saw Duke’s name and number appear. He had gotten used to Duke being at his elbow for the last few days. Now they were back to their normal habits; Duke calling to complain and Nathan being equal parts annoyed and amused. He pressed the answer button and broght the phone to his ear.
“What now Duke?”
His eyes widened and he looked to Audrey quickly as Duke spoke.
“You’re sure? Okay… we’ll come to the boat and we can discuss this before you do anything stupid.”
“What’s going on?” Audrey asked quickly, concern lacing her voice.
“Duke’s brother is in town. Seems like Dave called him and told him he was needed in Haven.”
Vince paled visibly before them. He had known Dave was trying to stop Audrey and Nathan but the lengths he was willing to go to scared him. It was almost… vindictive. And considering how Dave had been when Sarah had been here… he wasn’t so sure that it wasn’t.
“That’s… not good,” Vince said slowly. “I didn’t want to mention it but… it seems that someone took the weapons box…”
“Dave,” stated Audrey and Nathan without even thinking twice about it and Vince nodded solemnly.
“I expect that he planned to have Lance return and attempt to convince Duke to join his cause or, failing that he would somehow convince Lance that he was doing his father’s sacred duty by hunting you down. The fact that Dave has the box and Lance has no idea of what his true legacy is makes me worried.”
“It would be too, if Duke hadn’t talked his brother into contacting Dave and luring him in so we can take him into custody.”
Audrey smiled and gave Nathan a look. She knew that they’d put aside their differences while she’d been kidnapped but the fact was that the two still weren’t quite on… friendly terms. But they had quite a while and lots of troubled people to help to let them fully repair that friendship once more.
“See, I always said the two of you could work together if you just put your minds to it.”
Nathan gave her a slight scowl, but no matter what he’d told her about never trusting Duke he grudgingly had to admit that the one-time con man had come through for him, for them, and they needed each other if they had any chance of ending the troubles once and for all.
“Don’t remind me. Let’s go.”
With that they turned and headed to the truck.
Nathan and Audrey had driven quickly to the Cape Rouge and once Nathan parked they got out of the Bronco, slamming the doors shut as they moved together towards the gang plank. There was no one on deck to greet them so Audrey moved towards Duke’s cabin below decks. As Nathan walked the path there memories of the last time he’d been there filled him and he reached out to catch Audrey’s hand in his briefly, causing her to pause and look back at him. The look on his face made her heart stutter and she moved to cup his jaw and cheek in her hand briefly, letting him know she understood and was there.
He nodded briefly before he eased away from her and then took the lead, directing them down and into Duke’s personal space. Within they found Duke sitting at a table with another man who had his back to them. At their arrival Duke lifted his empty glass in their direction.
“Officers,” Duke said with a cocky smile as Nathan and Audrey walked into the cabin.
At Duke’s words the man sitting with him turned and his features instantly reminded Audrey of Duke. Obviously this was the brother that Nathan had referred to.
“Duke, Lance,” Nathan said, acknowledging both men, having recognized Duke’s older brother by sight.
Standing Lance regarded the man and woman that had just walked onto his brother’s boat. The tall, dark haired man looked familiar and it took him a few minutes before he placed him.
“It’s been a while,” he replied moving to the older man and reaching out a hand, which Lance caught and quickly shook.
“So, you’re going to help?” Audrey asked, her question breaking into the testosterone filled reunion and causing a slight questioning look to appear on Lance’s face.
“Sorry… Lance, this is Officer Audrey Parker,” Duke stated, forgetting he’d neglected to introduce her and not sure if his brother realized who she was.
Lance stood and stared, gauging the bright blue eyes and honey blond hair of the slim woman before him. He’d seen the pictures that his father had left for Duke in his journal and recognized her as the woman within them; her features were the same if her hair was different.
“The woman dad and Dave wanted you or me to kill,” he breathed, his voice now filled a bit with awe.
Nathan shifted ever so slightly closer to Audrey and Duke registered the movement. He clasped a hand over Lance’s shoulder and eased him back a step. Nathan was still on edge with Audrey’s kidnapping and right now any perceived threat to her he expected Nathan to go full on guard dog. And he really had no desire to watch Nathan try to take his brother apart…
“She’s also the woman that is going to help fix the troubles and who we’re going to help stay alive so she can do that.”
“Which I thought was why you brought us here,” reminded Nathan. “You know Dave Teagues is bad news, and if you can help us locate him…”
“He was expecting me to call him when I get into town,” Lance explained and Nathan found himself smirking slightly, his eyes drifting from Lance to catch Duke, and then Audrey’s gaze. “But I thought I’d make a stop first…”
Nathan nodded, glad that the older Crocker was as calculating and suspicious as his younger brother; now they had a chance to catch Dave and maybe, just maybe safeguard Audrey’s life while they ended the troubles once and for all.
“Okay then. So, how about you give him a call?”
Dave heard his phone ring and snatched it up. He’d been hiding in the old ranger station cabin waiting for something to break his way. It was secluded enough that he’d figured Nathan and the rest of the police force wouldn’t find him there.
“Lance… good to hear from you,” he said into the receiver, the relief in his voice audible.
On the other end of the line Lance spoke and Dave struggled to understand what he was being asked.
“I can meet you… at the lighthouse? In two hours? It will be tight, but of course.”
Clicking his phone closed, he sighed. Once he and Lance met he was certain that he could convince him to help him…
Quickly he packed up his meager things and started back towards the edge of the forest to where he’d hidden his car, hoping that he’d be able to avoid the Haven PD until he could get to the light house, and then he could get Lance disappear with him until the time was right to take action…
- End Chapter 13 -