Author: Bj Jones
Note: As in typical Sylum – we take the storyline, characters and change things around. The POI storyline is building as we speak, but I will tell you now. There will be no Samaritan, no Shaw, and Root will not be ‘communing’ with The Machine and working with Harold. And as we’ve established how protective Reese is of his Mate … well Root is a threat to Admin.
ADMIN NOTE: This teaser will not show up in storyline now due to the fact Harold and Reese totally changed their canon. So Enjoy the snippet but understand this is Non-Canon now.
He’d had enough.
He would not sit back and let her touch his Mate for a third time.
The first time Root had taken Harold, he hadn’t understood the deeply seated need to find him, destroy her, and take out anyone who got in his way.
The fact that The Machine had decided to give him numbers while he Hunted…? Well, they had a talk and came to an understanding.
Harold was priority.
The second time she took him, they’d only been Mated half a year, still settling into their new lives. He hadn’t yet met Nico, to fully understand the drive to burn cities down for his Mate.
His instincts screamed at him to put a bullet in her head, but Harold’s soft voice and the pain he felt across the Bond had him focused entirely on his Mate instead.
Root had gone catatonic over the fact that her ‘God’ wasn’t in the room. Part of Reese wanted to point out that to believe in a higher power you had to have faith in it, not hard evidence of its existence, but he hadn’t been much of a religious man since his recruitment into the CIA.
The other part of him had rolled his eyes at the crazy bitch’s drama.
The Machine flowed through all other machines, on the verge of being an AI according to Harold. Some of the original ‘DNA Coding’ was Jarvis, the snooty English AI that talked to them for The Machine on occasion. So it was effectively far beyond the servers on which the government might have first stashed it.
He knew computers, but wasn’t nearly as sophisticated with them as his Mate. Hell, compared to Harold, his own computer skills were the equivalent of turning it on, opening a browser window, and searching Google.
Besides, he’d worked for the Government, so he knew how they thought. Even if the servers were located at that ridiculous location at one time, they were certainly moved a long time ago, and likely been moved a few dozen times since.
But then again, Root was a few megabytes short of a hard drive.
So they locked her in an asylum, and went home.
Afterwards John couldn’t sleep. He would roam the library at night – had a route and everything – but he always brought ended up back in their room, checking on Harold. When he noticed Harold wasn’t sleeping well, he made sure to climb back into their bed, pull his Mate close, and let his weakened hip rest against his own stronger ones.
He was on Richard Castle’s Derrick Storm book series, and had gotten to the fourth installment as he lay there, unmoving, the perfect body pillow for Harold. He figured that since he had helped save the writer – well, Clan Leader – back when he was Turned by Michael, it was only fitting he should read the books themselves.
He was on his way home from depositing their latest number onto a bus, with enough cash to start a new life on the West Coast, when his phone rang.
He glanced down surprised to see the smiling face of Michael Westen.
“Should I be worried you’re calling me?” Reese answered easily.
“Is your Mate listening in?”
John paused for a moment, a signal on the screen indicating the Bluejack was closed. “He’s not now.”
“What the hell is going on with you?”
“We need to talk about Sam’s influence on your language.” John sidestepped the question as he settled onto a park bench.
“I trained you. I know my own tactics when I hear them.” Michael sighed on the other side of the phone. “I admit I had no idea how close a Sire and Childe Bond could be, as I refuse to acknowledge Don Jon as a Sire in the first place. But I can feel your anger all the way out here in Miami.”
“What?” Reese sat up in his seat.
“I’m sure you can feel Harold.”
“Yes.” It was how he kept track of his Mate. He’d learned to calm his own emotions down enough so Harold didn’t feel the backlash from his dealing with criminal elements. “I mute my anger so he won’t sense it.”
“That could explain why I am. Mr. Reese, would you care to explain the killing rage?’
Before John even knew it he was telling him all about Root, and his fears for her coming back to hurt Harold.
“It’s not that simple.”
“I have destroyed gangs to get to Sam.”
Reese could almost see Westen leaning on the bar in Burn Notice, watching Sam closely as they talked.
“Sam is Royal Navy turned Navy SEAL, ex-Pirate, Master at Arms, I know he can take care of himself and I still destroyed a gang in retribution. I can’t imagine how it must be for you, and the protective streak you already had for those you cared about. Add in Harold’s limitations…”
From anyone else John would’ve snarled at the thought of somebody saying his Mate was handicapped, but Michael, like him, always dealt in absolutes. And he was right. Harold had limitations. His instincts from the beginning had been to protect him, and those only intensified as they became friends. And as Fusco had put it so succinctly, those same instincts became purely vicious intent once they were Mated.
“Find her and remove the threat,” Michael stated simply. “If you can’t, I’ll do it for you.”
Reese closed his eyes for a moment, a warm feeling washing over him. He wondered at times how different his CIA career might have been if Michael hadn’t been Burned. But then, they’d both ended up on paths that lead them to better lives.
“You’re right.” He stood up and began making his way back to the library. “I’ll end it.”
“And John? If you need time away, there’s a place for the two of you in Miami.” With that Michael hung up.
Reese slid his phone into his pocket and slipped through the shrouded scaffolding, back into the domain he shared with his Mate, calming his emotions enough to ensure Harold didn’t figure out what was going on.
By the time he arrive though, there was a new number and his conversation with Michael was forgotten.
Until Root kidnapped him for a third time.
The old Subway platform was dead.
That particular abandoned station had been closed years before due to citywide budget cuts.
Root stood on the edge of the platform, a gun to Harold’s head, ranting about a secret tunnel under the city where The Machine lived! She knew it was close, and had to prove it.
Harold looked at his Mate in relief, closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, they held calm understanding.
He knew how this would end.
With a sad smile, he twisted around, brought the heavy end of his cane up and hit Root in the kneecap, knowing it would do enough damage for him to get away from her.
He dived to the left as shots rang out.
Root staggered backward teetering on the edge of the damp concrete, staring in shock at Reese, who calmly pulled the trigger a second, and a third time.
As she began to fall, a loud whistling rush of air hammered through the station as a train sped past, violently sucking her with it, dragging her away from the platform.
Harold stared in open-mouthed shock at the squishing noise her body made.
John looked up at the security camera, bowed his head respectfully, and mouthed the words ‘thank you’.
Within seconds he had Harold in his arms, holding him close. “I promised you Harold, she wouldn’t hurt you again.” He grimaced when he realized his Mate had been shot, not having felt the impact through their Bond. He’d been too focused on getting Root the hell out of their lives. “Let me take care of this for you. First time is always the worst.”
“Ow! That hurts!” Harold glared at his Mate, who was busy poking the bloody wound to his right shoulder. “Why would you ever choose a career where this is an occupational hazard?”
“I don’t know Harold, I tried to quit, but some jackass told me I needed a purpose.” Reese smirked at his Mate, as he pulled out the bullet. “Souvenir?”
Harold looked up at John, a soft smile on his face, knowing just how much this man would do for him, to protect him.
And with that, he promptly fainted.
“I’ll keep it then.” John pocketed the bullet, and scooped up the smaller man in his arms.
Maybe this time he would dress him in the burgundy pajamas when he got him home. They always looked good on him.