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Chapter 1

AN this fic starts at the end of Charlie's kidnapping

and does a lot of jumping around

AN2 this deals with rape but not in detail


Don Eppes walked down to the basement of the house where his baby brother had been kept for the last fortnight. His heart ached with dread at what he would find. Next to him were his team members: Megan Reeves, Colby Granger, and David Sinclair and the

Newest member of the team Terry Drew. The whole FBI had been pushing themselves to the breaking point. Charlie was one of them and when they had heard that he had been kidnapped, they went into shock. Charlie was so young. The thought of him being at the mercy of some madman had sent chills to their hearts. The FBI had found nothing but dead end after dead end. They had almost given up hope of ever finding their beloved genius alive. That was until a tip came in. They didn't know what to pray for. So here they were, standing at the door to the basement.

Don pushed the door open with some force and what they saw would haunt them until the day they died. Charlie was lying on a bed naked, and the numbers 20 5 18 18 25 4 18 5 24 were burned into his back. Don couldn't help but cry when he saw his brother lying there so unprotected. There was no doubt in his mind as to what happened to his baby brother. Don ran to Charlie's side and tried to undo the chains around his wrists. He noticed the track marks on Charlie arms. Don made a vow to make sure who ever did

this would pay for their crime with their life. As Don tried to comfort Charlie, Megan went to call 9-1-1, and Terry went to cover up his mate. The whole room seemed to freeze as Charlie spoke one word - "sorry" - as Terry put a blanket over him.

Half an hour later, Don found himself sitting in the hospital waiting beside his father. Both men sat not talking, hoping that not too much damage had been done to Charlie. As a doctor walked towards them, they stood up.

"Hi, I'm Doctor Rosie Burke. I will be Charlie's doctor," she said while shaking their hands.

"How is my son?" Alan asked, his voice full of worry for his youngest son.

"It's not good. He has two cracked ribs, but other than that it's mostly bruising," she told them.

"Did you, um, do a rape kit?" Don hated asking that question, just the thought of his baby brother being hurt like that made his blood boil.

"I'm sorry, but we found semen which confirms that he was raped." Don fell back into his seat. He couldn't believe that Charlie had been hurt and he had been powerless to

protect him. Beside him Alan stood speechless, tears running down his face. This was his son, his baby boy.

"Can we see him please?" Rosie just nodded and led the way to his room. Charlie was sitting on the hospital bed with his knees drawn up to his chest, scared witless. As he

heard the door open, he looked and saw his father and brother. Charlie quickly looked away. He didn't want to see pity in their eyes. Don and Alan took a seat by his bed. No-one knew what to say or how to say it. So Don just asked what the doctor had said. He knew it was dumb, but he just wanted Charlie to feel like he had some control.

"She said that I had a couple of broken ribs and I could go home as soon as I have a C.T. scan to make sure there's no head trauma," Charlie answered with no emotion in his voice. He had felt numb since the first time the kidnapper had touched him. They sat there until a nurse came to get Charlie, then Don went to update his team. Don walked into the FBI office. It was deadly quiet. You could even hear a pin drop. Don went to Megan's desk to get an update.

"Hey. What have you got?" asked Don.

"Not much. There were no prints and no DNA... How is he?" she asked with tears in her eyes. She had just read the doctor's report and couldn't believe some of the evil in the world.

"He just sits there without saying a word. I don't know what I can say to him to make the pain go away," confessed Don. He felt useless. Megan pulled him into a hug. She knew how he felt. He walked away. Unknown to him, the madman who hurt Charlie was close by.

(End of Prologue)

Charlie's POV

It's been five hours since Don found me and I can still feel him on me. It's like I will never be clean. Dad has been keeping a close eye on me. I don't know how to tell him to stop. He used to watch me all the time and now all I want is not to be watched again.

"Charlie what do you want for dinner?" Dad asks me. I don't care. I'm just happy to be home.

"What about chicken Kiev?" I feel like sitting down and watching the game. He

didn't like watching sports. He was more of a crime fan. I am so scared. He knows where I live. He said I will always be his and that he will be close. I know I should tell Don, but he just wouldn't be able to understand. I mean, it was my fault. If I wasn't so weak, then none of this would have happened. I look up and see Dad is still standing there, watching. Can't Dad stop looking at me already? I know he's my dad and he would never hurt me, but I feel so naked and ashamed because I wasn't strong enough to protect myself. God, I wasn't even strong enough to say no to the drugs. I get up and go to take a shower. A while later, I get out and get dressed and I feel a bit better. I head down to dinner and I hope Don's here. I need to talk to him. As I enter the living room, I see Dad and

Don are sitting waiting for me, so I take a seat and look down at my plate. I hear Dad and Don making small talk. I'm glad because at least then I won't have to think of something to talk about. Ever since I came home all I can think about is what Don must think of me for taking drugs. He must hate me because he can't even look at me.

"Hey, Don can I talk to you about something?" I ask him. I don't feel comfortable for some reason.

"Sure, Buddy, what's up?" he says and it sounds like the same Don. But nothing is the same. I'm not the same person anymore. I'm dirty and unclean and ugly.

"I, um, I don't want to press charges." Both Don and Dad stop eating and look at me like I've gone mad.

"Why?" Dad asks me.

"Because it wasn't his fault. It was mine," I admit.

"So you wanted to be kidnapped, you wanted him to beat you and you wanted to be tied up while he-" Don cuts him off and I run from the house crying. I can hear Dad and Don yelling, but I don't stop. They just don't understand.

Don's POV

I'm sitting at my desk, looking over the case file and hoping I have overlooked something. But I know I haven't. Last night was a bad night for Charlie. He couldn't sleep for more than three hours at a time. He kept waking up screaming and begging to be left alone.

"Hey, what are you doing here?" I turn around and see Megan standing there looking like she has had no sleep at all.

"I'm just trying to see if we missed anything," I tell her.

"Yeah, how is he?" she asks me. I can see it's taken a toll on her, too.

"Not well. He is scared and blames himself. Last night he woke up and begged me not to beat him. Can you believe that?" I will never be able to forget the look of fear in his eyes. I once was able to take the look away, but last night I caused it. I never want that to happen again.

"Just give him time. That's all we can do," she said, patting my arm. Then I see David, Terry and Colby coming towards us.

"Anything?" I ask, hoping and praying that this will end soon.

"The home is owned by a John Wilson," Colby tells me.

"Well, bring him in," I say.

"Well, he's dead," David tells me.

"WHAT?! AFTER WHAT HE DID, HE DIES WITHOUT PAYING?" I yell. I can't believe this guy has gotten away with it.

"No, he died a year ago, but I was thinking if we get a copy of his will then maybe..." Terry says, and it's a good idea.

"Okay, you do that. Megan, work on decoding the numbers on Charlie's back. Colby, you do a family tree and David, you try to find out where the tip came from," I say. I feel defeated. It seems like no-one knows who this guy is.

A ten year-old Don Eppes sat in the sand box playing with his brother.

"Hey, Donnie, I just worked out that you're 1350 days older then me and Dad is-" Charlie loved to tell his brother about his math problems.

"Can't you ever shut up for once?!" yelled his brother. Then Charlie began to sob and Don just got madder and started to beat his brother to death.

I wake up and I can't breathe. It had been so real. I can't get the image of Charlie's dead body lying there out of my head. I look up and everyone is looking at

me. I guess I yelled when I woke up. I can feel myself shaking, I-I-I need to get a cup of coffee, I need to calm down. It's not real, I tell myself, but it is. Everything that has happened is because I wasn't there. Charlie could have been killed in that basement.


I walk downstairs into the living room and see Dad working on today's crossword puzzle. We haven't spoken since dinner last night. I just don't know how to make him understand. He looks up at me and gives the clue for 7 down. I tell him the answer is "respect" while sitting down next to him.

"Dad, I'm sorry about last night," I say, trying to break the ice. He puts the paper down, and looks at me.

"No, I shouldn't have gone off like that. It's just, don't you understand, don't you hate the asshole that hurt you?" he asks me and I can see the worry in his eyes.

"You don't get it. I asked for everything that happened to me." I hate that I'm so weak.

"Charlie, no one ever asks to be hurt like that. This is not your fault; it's his." I should have known this was a mistake. He will never understand. I walk out of the room. What would he know? He wasn't there. He doesn't know what happened.

I wake up on a bed. I try to look around at where I am but I look down and see that I'm handcuffed to the bedpost. I feel a panic rise within me as I hear footsteps. Then I see him, and a wave of revile washes over me.

"Untie me," I tell him.

"I'm sorry but I can't until I know you won't run away." I look up at him. I can't believe what I'm hearing. I trusted him, he was my friend. How could he do this to me?

"Why?" I ask him. Why is he doing this to me, why am I here?

"Because you belong to me, my love," he tells me as he strokes my hair. I feel sick. I try to turn my head away but he grabs my jaw and makes me face him.

"Now, don't be like that, my love. You don't want to make me upset, do you?" he asks me in a loving voice. Then he slaps me across the face, hard. I can't help but cry out in pain.

"Look, I have something to make you feel good," he tells me as he shows me a needle full of something.

"Please, don't do this," I beg him. I can't believe this.

"Sh, sh. I won't give it to you if you don't want it. I can give it to Donnie instead." I look up at him in fear. I can't let him hurt Don!

"No, please... give it to me," I beg him and then I feel the needle in my arm. He rubs my hair as he leaves and I just lay there crying.

He lied. He never had Don, but it doesn't change the act that I let him do whatever he wanted to me. It doesn't matter anymore. He owns me now, and I have to learn to live with that.


I am rereading Mr. Wilson's will. It states that he left the house to his daughter but when Terry and Megan went to pick her up, it turned out that she has been overseas for three weeks. I just hate it. Every lead we get is a dead end. I mean, how am I able to put an end to this? I just want my baby brother back, but it will never happen. When I look into his eyes, they look dead, like a reflection of what he feels inside. I see Merrick calling me into his office and I walk over to him.

"I think it would be a good thing if you removed yourself from the case." I can't believe this. He has no right to pull me off the hunt for the asshole who hurt Charlie!

"With all due respect, I would like to find whoever did this," I tell him, trying to keep my emotions under control.

"I'm not giving you an option. You're too close to the case. Take some time." Then he walks away from me. I feel rage rise up inside of me. This SOB is going to get away with this, I just know it. I walk over to my desk and start to pack my things up into my backpack. I stop when I pick up the photo of my mother. I can remember my last words to her. Don't worry I will look after Dad and Charlie."Sorry, Mum," I say as I put the photo away. I pick up the backpack and walk out. When I get to the safety of my SUV, I let the tears fall. Tears over the fact that Charlie was attacked, over the fact that I can't do anything to help him. On my way home, I pick up some takeout to have as lunch. When I enter the living room, I see Dad watching the


"Hey, where's Charlie?" I ask him, putting the pizzas onto the table.

"In his room," I hear him say. In this light, he looks like he has aged 10 years over the last two weeks. I tell him that I'm going up to see

Charlie. When I enter, he is sitting at his desk reading a book.

"Hey, what are you reading?" I ask him.

"Harry Potter," he tells me in the same lifeless tone he spoke in at the hospital.

"Hey, we got pizza downstairs if you want some." I have no idea what to say or do for him.

"Don, um... do you hate me?" I barely heard the question; it was a whisper. I quickly crossed the room and made him look at me before I tell him that I loved him and no matter what that would never change.

"Then why can't you look at me anymore?" I hate what has been done to him, but most of all, I hate that he feels like I hate him.

"I just hate to see you in so much pain. But I love you, understand?" I tell him, hoping that he will believe me. He just grabs his book and leaves the room.


I have been sitting here for hours, trying to come up with something, anything to help catch the guy who hurt Charlie. Charlie is like a little

pain-in-the-butt brother to us. I hated it when he came up with some new math problem to solve a case and had to dumb it down for me. It made me feel like a high school drop out, but now I would give anything to feel that way again. I keep seeing him in the basement, saying sorry to us over and over again, like he had something to feel bad about. I felt like crying. Charlie was a gentle and caring man, but in the basement he looked like a scared man who had something to feel ashamed of. I will have that image in my head until I die. I am looking though Mr. Wilson's family history, hoping that something will jump out at me. I scroll down the page a bit and I don't believe it. I feel rage rise within me. How could this be? A tear rolls down my face. Charlie knows this guy. Hell, we all do. I grab my keys and head for my car. If I am right, I need to speak with Charlie before I arrest that

asshole. I pull up beside Charlie's house and get out. I hate what I am thinking. I hope I'm wrong. Please let me be wrong. I knock on the door and Don answers it.

"Hi, Colby. What are you doing here?" he asked. I tell him that I just want to see how Charlie is doing. He says that Charlie is in his room and that I can go up. I walk to his room and stop at the door. Am I

doing the right thing? Maybe I should give him more time before I try to talk to him, but I just can't sit back and do nothing. I enter and see him sitting on his bed reading a book.

"I know who kidnapped you," I tell him and he looks up at me.

"Look, I don't want to talk about it," he says as he gets off the bed to put the book away.

"Charlie, we can protect you and make him pay for this," I say, trying to get him to open up to me.

"You just don't understand. No one will listen when I try to explain it!" he screams at me. I can tell how much he is hurting right now.

"Then tell me, make me understand. I will listen." I sit down at the desk in his room.

"Why? So you can tell everyone how weak I am?" he yells at me. I pull out my ID and gun and put them on the desk as a gesture that I am here as a friend and not as an agent.

"It's just you and me, nothing you say will leave this room without your say so, okay?" He sits down on the bed and let's the tears fall down.

"He said he had Don. If I didn't do as I was told then he would hurt Don, but it was a lie. I should have said no. I should have done something to stop him." He breaks down completely. I feel a hatred like none I have felt before. How dare he! How dare he use Charlie's love for his brother against him!

"Look, we can put him away for a very long time, if you give me a statement," I tell him but he just cries harder.

"No, please, I don't want Don to know how weak I am," he begs.

"You're not weak. You put yourself in danger to protect your brother. You're a strong man." I just sit there and let him cry. He is a dead man when I get my hands on him.