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Fanfiction: Torn in Two - Part I

Fandom: Airwolf
Series: Finding Family (Story 3)
Summary: Hawke faces a difficult choice between his family or stopping a bomb...
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Hawke/Caitlin.  Michael/Marella. 
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended.  Written for entertainment purposes only.

 

Torn in Two

Part 1


Caitlin Hawke watched her husband sleeping and smiled contentedly. She loved looking at him when he slept with his body sprawled across the bed next to hers, his face relaxed into the boyish features she had first fallen in love with. Her eyes caught on the faint scar still visible through his hairline where the doctors had performed brain surgery to save his life. She was truly blessed, she thought as her hand brushed lightly through his short brown strands. Stringfellow Hawke had survived the helicopter explosion that had taken Dominic Santini’s life and in the months since Hawke’s recovery, their marriage had grown stronger than ever. In a couple of weeks they would celebrate their one year anniversary and Caitlin knew he was planning something to surprise her.

A faint gurgle from the crib in the corner of the bedroom alerted her to the baby’s awakening and she reluctantly eased away from her husband to see to their son. Caitlin wrapped a light robe around her body on her way across the bedroom, carefully sidestepping around Tet, Hawke’s dog, who seemed to have decided that his new primary role in life was to guard the baby. For a moment, she simply looked down on her child with awe and let the wave of love roll over her as she smoothed a lock of reddish brown hair away from his face. Nicky’s blue eyes, so like his father’s, smiled up at her; his tiny hands and arms waving madly. She reached down and picked him up.

‘Hello, little man.’ Caitlin kept her voice low and breathed in the baby scent of him before she shifted position to cradle him in her arms. His mouth automatically started seeking her breast and she grinned. ‘Hungry, are we?’ She sat down in the rocking chair and rearranged her robe to allow him to feed. He was gaining weight at a good rate despite his premature birth. She rocked gently as Nicky suckled and wondered at the happiness stealing over her.

A slight movement in the double bed caught her attention and she looked up to find Hawke watching her.

‘Hey.’ Hawke murmured as his eyes travelled over her. The rocking chair was sat in a shaft of early morning sunlight that turned Caitlin’s long red hair to burnished copper and cast a golden glow over the tableau of mother and child.

‘Hey.’ She smiled at Hawke and lifted Nicky to burp him.

Hawke shoved the covers back and followed his impulse to walk over and kiss her good morning. He eased back to marvel anew at his son and his hand gently stroked over Nicky’s head. His eyes glanced off the clock on the mantel over the bedroom hearth. ‘He’s better than an alarm clock.’ He noted.

‘Hmmm.’ Caitlin nodded and settled Nicky back against her. After almost two months of motherhood there was a consistent routine that she was incredibly thankful for. She smiled up at her husband. ‘You should get ready for work.’

Hawke dipped his head and kissed her deeply before he headed for the bathroom.

Caitlin sighed as she watched him disappear. Nicky kept her occupied until Hawke came out and she slipped in to shower while he dressed and kept an eye on their son. He took Nicky downstairs to give Caitlin the space to finish getting ready. He started a pot of coffee and was in the middle of setting up for breakfast when Caitlin joined him. She shooed him out to spend the time with Nicky as she prepared eggs and toast. They ended up at the dining table, Hawke holding his son with one arm as he forked up eggs with his spare hand. Caitlin watched him jiggle his son who blew bubbles of drool at his delighted father. She made no move to take the baby. Since Hawke had begun working at Red Star as the lead test pilot for the world’s latest technologically advanced and mach capable helicopter, she knew he missed spending time with Nicky.

Hawke looked across the table at her and saw the indulgent adoration in his wife’s face. ‘He’s growing so fast.’ He commented.

‘I know.’ Caitlin said. ‘The doctor’s very pleased with his progress.’ She sighed heavily. ‘We should probably think about organising the christening soon.’

Hawke felt his lips twitch at her disgruntlement and guessed the reason for it. ‘Maggie nagging you again?’

‘She might have mentioned it.’ Caitlin admitted wrapping her hands around her mug. Her mother called regularly and after New Year she had gone from dropping subtle hints about the christening to outright questions. Her mother hadn’t been pleased that their choice of godparents had not included any of Caitlin’s siblings. Hawke’s elder brother, Saint John, was standing as godfather and their good friend, Marella would be confirmed as Nicky’s godmother. She bit her lip. Her actual siblings – both her brothers and her sisters – seemed to understand a lot better than her mother and even her father had been quietly supportive that they should choose who they wanted without interference. She sighed.

Hawke reached across the table and snagged her hand. He tangled their fingers. ‘It’ll be OK.’

‘I know.’ Caitlin murmured. Her mother would get over it eventually.

Hawke’s eyes narrowed on her blue-green eyes. He had overheard the phone call and knew the christening was only part of the reason why his mother-in-law was upset. Caitlin had let it slip that she was going back to work on the last call and from what he had heard Caitlin’s mother disagreed with the decision. He was honest enough to acknowledge that he liked the routine they had settled into in the previous few weeks; there was a certain amount of male satisfaction in returning home after a day’s work to his wife and child. But he also knew his wife and that staying at home wasn’t in her nature. They had agreed as a couple that Caitlin would officially return to work soon after their wedding anniversary.

He rubbed Caitlin’s fingers comfortingly. ‘I’d better go to work.’

‘Yeah.’ Caitlin agreed. ‘Are you doing more low altitude speed tests today?’

‘So Michael tells me.’ Hawke said dryly.

Caitlin smiled. Hawke’s relationship with Michael Coldsmith-Briggs III had come along way since they had worked together on the first incarnation of Airwolf. The two were close friends and Hawke’s recent rescue of the former spy in Washington had only cemented their relationship further. ‘Can you check whether they’re all coming over to celebrate Marella’s birthday tomorrow night?’

‘Why are we doing it tomorrow night?’ Hawke asked puzzled. ‘Isn’t Marella’s birthday on Saturday?’

‘It is.’ She agreed and shrugged. ‘Michael said he has something special planned for Saturday that doesn’t involve us.’ She smiled wickedly. ‘I think he’s going to propose.’

Hawke shook his head at her. ‘I don’t know. He and Marella seem pretty happy as they are.’

‘I bet you ten dollars he proposes.’ Caitlin said her eyes glittering with the challenge.

‘Deal.’ Hawke said easily. He sighed and got to his feet. ‘I’d really better go.’ He waited until she had put her coffee mug down before he handed Nicky to her. He grabbed his jacket and they walked out of the cabin together. He dropped a kiss on her lips, another on Nicky’s head. His blue eyes met hers and saw the longing there she couldn’t quite hide. ‘You want to come with me?’

Caitlin focused on him in surprise. ‘I thought we said we’d wait another few weeks before I went back to work.’

Hawke shrugged and patted Tet goodbye absently. ‘Everyone would love to see you and Nicky, and what’s another few weeks anyway?’

‘To my mother probably everything.’ Caitlin retorted.

Hawke repressed the urge to sigh. He was fond of Maggie but there were times he could quite happily tell her to butt out. ‘Your mother has nothing to do with this.’ He said firmly. ‘You know I support you wanting to go back to work right?’

‘You’re only saying that because you want me where you can keep an eye on me.’ Caitlin joked inwardly pleased with his support.

‘Well, yeah…’ Hawke admitted.

Caitlin laughed. She reached over and kissed him. ‘I love you.’

Hawke captured her lips again. ‘I love you too.’ He said smiling. His thumb brushed over her lips. ‘See you later.’

She smiled. ‘Later.’

He reached into his jacket pocket and took out his sunglasses. He slipped them on as he swung his leg over the bike. A moment later the engine roared to life and she watched him disappear down the mountain trail. She sighed and shifted Nicky in her arms, her eyes gazing at the silvery waters of the lake and tranquil scene. She headed back indoors and put Nicky down before clearing up.

The morning passed quickly; she had established a routine since Hawke had gone back to work and she sat down with a mid-morning mug of coffee with Nicky happily asleep in his crib having completed a list of chores. She tried to lose herself in the book she had picked up but eventually gave up and wandered over to the crib.

Caitlin leaned against the wall and watched Nicky sleep. It hadn’t been an easy pregnancy; she had suffered with bad morning sickness, been kidnapped for her child and had spent two months watching her husband fight his way back to her after falling into a coma. But the moment she had held Nicky, it had all been worth it. She loved her son and she loved being a mother. So why wasn’t it enough, she wondered. Her sister Erin was a full time mother and loved it.

She shoved a hand through her red hair. She did consider herself blessed. Marella had been injured saving Michael’s life and had lost the ability to have children so Caitlin knew how lucky she was that she had Nicky and it wasn’t just Nicky; she had a gorgeous husband who adored her and a home she truly felt was a sanctuary. She had what most women only dreamed about.

Only it wasn’t enough.

Caitlin sighed. She had never considered not going back to work and looking back through all her conversations with her husband, she realised Hawke had never indicated that he wanted her to do anything but what she wanted to do. She smiled a little. Hawke was fairly traditional deep down and she was sure a part of Hawke would prefer she stay at home; that he had never mentioned it to her showed how well he knew her, she mused. But then she and Hawke were very similar in many respects; neither of them was very good at staying on the sidelines. She knew she would go stir crazy staying at the cabin every day and there was already a large part of her that was looking forward to returning to work, getting involved with the new Airwolf helicopter, having conversations with adults, flying again…

She pushed away from the wall and went back to the sofa. She curled up and resolutely picked up her book. In another few weeks she would be juggling a job along with her marriage and her child, she should make the most of her time off and stop letting her mother’s disapproval get to her. She had lived with it most of her life for one reason or another; this was no different, she told herself firmly. She took a sip of her coffee and reread the page she had abandoned. She was three more pages along when the radio crackled.

‘Caitlin. Are you there?’

Caitlin smiled at the sound of Jo Santini’s voice. She got to her feet and wandered over to pick up the mike. ‘Hi, Jo. I’m here. What’s up?’

‘We seem to have a problem with the engines on the Lady. You think you could come out to the Lair and take a look?’

Caitlin bit her lip. Dom’s niece was part of the team that had taken over custody of the original Airwolf helicopter along with Hawke’s brother, an air force major and an agent for the Company, the intelligence agency who theoretically owned her. The new team and the old one were fairly uneasy around each other despite efforts on both sides to build bridges. Still, looking over Airwolf would get her out of the cabin for a while…

‘Sure.’ Caitlin radioed back. She glanced at her watch. ‘I’ll be there in about an hour.’ She signed off and headed to the nursery area on the top landing; going anywhere with Nicky required planning and packing a substantial bag. It didn’t take her long to gather what she needed and she packed everything into the helicopter. She dialled the satellite phone and waited.

‘Hi, Caitlin.’ Marella’s warm voice travelled down the line to her. ‘How are you and my favourite godson?’

‘We’re fine.’ Caitlin said. ‘How are you? You guys are still coming over tomorrow right?’

‘We are. I wouldn’t miss it.’ Marella said.

‘It’s just a quick call,’ Caitlin said hurriedly, ‘can you give Hawke a message for me when he’s done flying?’

‘Sure.’

‘Can you let him know I’m heading over to the Lair? The Airwolf team are having problems with the engines. I don’t want Hawke worrying if I’m not back when he gets home.’

‘I hope you’re charging them for your services.’ Marella teased.

‘I might mention that to them.’ Caitlin said laughing. ‘I’ll see you tomorrow.’

Marella said goodbye and Caitlin put the phone down. She left the cabin and secured Nicky in his baby carrier into the passenger seat of the helicopter. Her pre-flight checks were done in with a practised efficiency before she took to the skies. There was just nothing like flying to make her problems disappear, she thought happily as she turned in the direction of the Lair.

Part 2

‘So you have to test this electronics panel to rule it out before you start on the starter engine switch itself.’ Caitlin tapped the panel in question with a screwdriver. She felt comfortable even wedged under the console; Airwolf always felt like home to her and the lilac flight suit added to the sense of familiarity. ‘You can see the wires are loose?’

Jo nodded and brushed her blonde fringe back to get a better look as Caitlin tightened the tiny screws that held the wires in place. ‘Why would they loosen like that?’

‘High speed manoeuvres.’ Caitlin murmured. ‘You should be checking these three panels,’ she gestured at them, ‘during your regular maintenance checks.’

‘Right,’ said Jo wondering whether she should mention they didn’t really do regular maintenance checks. She sighed. She guessed they were going to be doing them from this point forward.

‘So you can see I’ve just tightened the loose wires.’ Caitlin replaced the panel. ‘That should do it.’ She wiggled backwards out from under the engineer’s console.

Jo followed her and took position on the jump seat as Caitlin tested her work by punching the start button. The engines fired and they heard the thud of the rotors in the bubble of the cockpit.

Caitlin smiled in satisfaction as she watched the system information flicker across the monitor. Her smile fell away and she frowned.

‘Didn’t it work?’ Jo asked.

‘It worked but your rotor power systems are out of alignment. In fact, half of the systems are out of synch.’ Caitlin muttered. She adjusted the balance and inputted in the commands to readjust the power ratio. ‘You guys do perform regular maintenance checks, don’t you?’

‘Well…’ Jo sighed as Caitlin’s eyes shot to hers. ‘Not exactly.’

‘Jo!’ Caitlin motioned at the monitor. ‘These systems are temperamental and sensitive. They need constant maintenance. Just looking at this, half of what I corrected before the mission to Russia is back out of whack.’ She shook her head. Dom was probably rolling over in his grave at the state of the helicopter, she thought sadly; the older pilot had been a top engineer and he had taken great pride in maintaining Airwolf.

‘We just don’t know half this stuff.’ Jo said defensively. ‘I mean you never taught me and the guys don’t even have what you did teach me.’

Caitlin pressed her lips together. Jo was right. There had barely been time to teach Jo the basics before they’d had to hand Airwolf over. She sighed. ‘Well, listen up because I’m about to give you a master class.’

For the next hour, Caitlin took Jo through the Airwolf systems showing her how to maintain them. They were in the middle of going through the turbo power ratios when Mike Rivers stuck his curly, blond head into the cockpit.

‘Ladies.’ His boyish face lit up with a cheeky smile that made it all the way to his green eyes.

Caitlin felt a smile tug on her lips. Rivers was an irrepressible flirt. ‘Mike.’

‘Lunch is served.’ Mike said with a grin.

Jo rolled her blue eyes and made her way out of the cockpit. Caitlin followed her out. Her eyes immediately picked out her brother-in-law on the other side of the Lair. Saint John was sat cross-legged on the floor of the steel platform which housed a number of computer, security and communication systems. He was waving a soft toy at his nephew who was lying on a blanket. Nicky’s tiny arms were reaching up for the stuffed animal. Caitlin wandered over and leaned on the yellow railing to look fondly at them both.

‘Having fun?’ Her Texan accent rolled through the words.

Saint John’s hazel eyes glanced up at his sister-in-law and he smiled ruefully. ‘He woke up.’

‘Yeah, your brother uses the same excuse with me.’ Caitlin said smiling. ‘I don’t believe him either.’

Saint John looked properly abashed and Jo hid a smile as she took a drink of water. There weren’t that many people who could chastise Saint John and get away with it.

Mike hurried over with a plate of sandwiches to rescue his team-mate. ‘For your pleasure today, madam, we have cheese sandwiches or,’ he smiled, ‘cheese sandwiches.’

Caitlin laughed. ‘I guess it’s a cheese sandwich then.’ She picked up her share, accepted the bottle of water Jo offered her and wandered up the ramp to perch on one of the consoles with her lunch. She took a hungry bite.

‘So how are the systems looking?’ Saint John asked pushing a hand through his short light brown hair as he picked up his own lunch.

‘We’ll finish resetting the turbos systems after lunch and she should be all fixed up for the time being.’ Caitlin said. ‘I’ll come back next week and take Jo through the rest of the systems. And I’ll put together a maintenance checklist for you that should help.’

‘How did you learn all this stuff?’ Mike asked curiously.

‘Dominic.’ Caitlin said softly. ‘He knew her inside out.’

‘Uncle Dom always made sure his aircraft were in top condition.’ Saint John remembered fondly.

‘He’d be horrified at the way we’ve been treating her, huh?’ Jo said guiltily.

‘Well, you weren’t to know.’ Caitlin said diplomatically.

‘How did you get involved with Airwolf?’ Mike asked as he climbed up onto the yellow railing with his lunch.

Caitlin swallowed her mouthful of sandwich and waved the rest at the air force major. ‘Do you mean how did I meet Hawke or how did I get involved with Airwolf?’

‘It’s not the same story?’ Mike asked.

‘Oh no.’ Jo grinned. ‘You should tell him how you got involved with Airwolf. I like that story.’

‘I don’t think I’ve heard that story either at least not fully,’ Saint John mused, ‘I think you’ve only ever told me how you met my brother.’

‘I don’t tell it as good as Dom did.’ Caitlin warned.

‘Well, Uncle Dom did have a talent for telling stories.’ Jo said leaning back in her chair. ‘But I’m sure you’ll do fine.’

Caitlin chewed another mouthful of sandwich and washed it down with some water before she started. ‘I guess it began when Dom and Hawke got injured doing a stunt for a movie.’

‘I heard they did a lot of movie stunts.’ Mike commented. ‘They were considered best in the business, weren’t they?’

‘I’d love to get that side of Santini Air up and running again.’ Jo said wishfully.

Caitlin gestured at her. ‘I’m sure Hawke and I could give you some contacts.’

‘So my brother and Dom were injured doing a stunt.’ Saint John prompted.

‘Yeah. They were both laid up in hospital, Dom with a sprained back and Hawke with a broken arm. They were pretty banged up.’ Caitlin’s sight turned inwards as she remembered the hospital room. She smiled. ‘They still managed to laugh about the accident though. Anyway, I was visiting when Marella turned up. I thought she was a doctor.’

‘You didn’t know her?’ Saint John asked surprised.

‘No.’ Caitlin shook her head. ‘I’d only been working with the guys at the air service for about a month.’

‘But you knew about Airwolf?’ Mike checked licking his fingers.

Caitlin nodded. ‘Sure. Hawke rescued me in Airwolf when we met.’

‘The way my brother tells the story, you rescued him.’ Saint John said picking Nicky up and cradling him as he started to fuss.

‘We kinda rescued each other.’ Caitlin waved her hand. ‘Anyway, I knew about Airwolf but Hawke and Dom kept telling me that she was a figment of my imagination.’ She took a sip of water. ‘They wanted to keep me out of it, keep me safe.’

‘Which is why you didn’t know Marella when she turned up at the hospital.’ Mike gently drew her back to the story.

‘Exactly.’ She pointed the water bottle at him. ‘Well, Marella showed up to tell the guys Michael had gone missing in East Germany.’

‘He goes missing a lot.’ Saint John commented wryly.

‘He was a spy for a long time,’ Caitlin said in Michael’s defence, ‘and his experience in East Germany…it was particularly nasty.’ She crossed her arms. ‘He got played by someone he thought he could trust. They arranged for him to be kidnapped and brainwashed with a new serum.’

‘Brainwashed?’ Saint John repeated patting Nicky’s back softly. ‘To do what?’

‘To kill the Committee that ran the FIRM.’ Caitlin said. ‘The team that took him counted on Hawke going after Michael and rescuing him.’

‘Which Hawke did.’ Mike surmised.

‘But he and Dom were injured.’ Saint John said puzzled.

‘Which is where I came in.’ Caitlin said. ‘Marella was under surveillance so she couldn’t help. There was no way that Dom could manage the engineering console in Airwolf although Hawke could just about fly her.’

‘But they needed someone on the engineer’s console going into enemy territory.’ Jo chipped in.

‘They knew I knew about Airwolf despite all the teasing and Hawke trusted me.’ The pride she had felt back when Hawke had asked her to help was still evident in her voice. ‘So I got recruited but it was only supposed to be a one-off. Dom came with us because he had to train me on the job.’ She shook her head. ‘I was so naïve. Absolutely clueless about what I was getting into.’

‘But the mission was successful.’ Mike said.

‘Of course but then the bad guys wanted us to be successful.’ Caitlin smiled. ‘Even so, that first mission. It was incredible and when I managed to pull it together for the rescue, I was so proud of myself.’ She sighed. ‘By the time we got back, Hawke had worked out that the rescue was too easy. He managed to load Michael’s gun with blanks so when Michael attempted to kill the Committee, he wasn’t successful.’

‘The brainwashing serum worked?’ Mike whistled. ‘Wow. That must have been some dangerous stuff.’

‘Yeah, that was the general opinion.’ Caitlin gestured. ‘The FIRM sent us back to retrieve the serum and the formula. They wanted to ensure the East Germans and the KGB wouldn’t have access to it.’

‘Understandable.’ Saint John said. He’d worked with the Company long enough to appreciate how the spy business worked.

Caitlin nodded. ‘So we went back and I got to be part of the mission again as Dom wasn’t recovered, and both Hawke and Michael were needed to go in and get the serum.’ She sighed. ‘It was rough for Michael going back but we got everything and got out.’

‘And from that moment on you were part of the crew.’ Mike concluded.

Caitlin laughed. ‘Hardly.’ She pointed her water bottle at Airwolf. ‘I was sat at the engineer’s console on the way back and happened to mention that we should talk about the next mission. Michael asks me ‘what mission?’, so I say, ‘oh you know; the next mission you assign them to do in this helicopter.’’ She shook her head smiling. ‘All three of them in unison went ‘what helicopter?’’

Mike started chuckling as Jo giggled and Saint John broke into a smile. Caitlin smiled ruefully. ‘Hawke and Dom made it clear when we got home that my involvement was a one-off, never to be repeated experience.’

‘So how…’ began Mike perplexed.

‘I’m not sure.’ Caitlin admitted. ‘They seemed to be determined to stick to it and then…’ her eyes flickered to Saint John, ‘Hawke received some information that you might be in a prison camp in Laos.’ She bit her lip at the sight of the pain that flitted across her brother-in-law’s face; Saint John was slowly coming to terms with the fact that his lack of contact with his brother had condemned Hawke to sixteen years of searching for him. ‘He and Dom went to find you which obviously they didn’t.’ She continued. ‘When they got back, Hawke told me he was taking me for a drive. He brought me out here.’ She gestured at the cave. ‘It was the first time he’d allowed me to see where Airwolf was kept. He took me up and started to teach me how to fly her. The next day, Dom brought me out for my next lesson.’

‘Why?’ Mike asked frowning. ‘Why did they suddenly decide to include you?’

‘Hawke’s never really explained why he had the change of heart and I’ve never asked.’ Caitlin admitted with a shrug. ‘If I had to guess I think Laos convinced them that it might have been useful to have a third pilot especially when one of the team was on the ground.’

‘You’ve never asked?’ Jo was astounded. ‘Really?’

‘Really.’ Caitlin confirmed. She shifted her weight and looked over at the other woman, tried not to think about how her words were going to affect Saint John. ‘Whatever happened in Laos was rough on Hawke. I didn’t want to make it worse for him by raking through the ashes of it.’

Mike noticed Saint John’s bowed head and the way his friend’s hand tightened on the baby’s toy he held. He cleared his throat. ‘So you started to get trained and became the third crewmember.’

‘Over time.’ Caitlin said her eyes switching to the young pilot. ‘At first, I would help out if Dom was unavailable or if they thought it was good practice for me. They didn’t tell Michael so mostly they invited me along if it wasn’t an official mission.’

‘But Michael obviously knew you knew about Airwolf.’ Mike said confused. ‘Why keep you a secret?’

‘Michael knew I knew about Airwolf and knew I could operate the engineer’s console if Dom wasn’t around, but he didn’t know they’d taught me to fly Airwolf.’

‘Why not?’ Mike asked.

Caitlin took a drink of water before replying. ‘The relationship we have with Michael took a long time to build.’ She explained. ‘At the time, we still had some trust issues and the guys knew the longer they kept the fact that I could fly Airwolf a secret, the longer they had an advantage they could use.’

‘So you guys didn’t trust Michael back then?’ Saint John placed the sleeping baby back into his carrier.

‘Back then.’ Caitlin stressed. She knew Saint John wasn’t overly fond of the spy.

‘What changed?’ Mike asked curious. His own team had endured its own share of trust issues and he was interested to understand how the old Airwolf team had gotten past theirs.

‘Michael.’ Caitlin said with a smile. ‘And us.’ She gestured. ‘Time.’

‘What do you mean Michael changed?’ Saint John queried rising to his feet and stretching before leaning back on the railing next to Mike.

His sister-in-law sighed at Saint John’s tone. ‘When I first met Michael he had a very clearly defined loyalty hierarchy; America, the FIRM and then his personal relationships.’ She gestured. ‘Michael always acted honourably,’ she stressed, ‘but within those boundaries.’

‘And now?’ Saint John prompted.

‘The FIRM no longer exists.’ She shifted a little uncomfortable with the discussion. ‘I don’t think Michael feels the same way about the Company. I think he feels more able to put some personal relationships ahead of his loyalty to the Company and his relationship with Hawke is one of those.’

‘You’re that certain of him?’ Saint John questioned folding his arms across his chest. He had his doubts about the spy although helping Hawke rescue Michael in Washington and Michael’s attempt to help foster a better relationship between them had helped to change his initial negative impression a little.

‘It takes time to earn trust,’ Caitlin said, ‘and we spent the time together as a team. I can’t tell you the exact number of times Michael has come through for us or us for Michael; all I know is that I know if I had to count on Michael to come through for me right now, I know without question that he would do it.’

Saint John repressed a sigh at the certainty in her voice. ‘How’s he doing with his bit of the search for our folks? Is there any news?’

Caitlin took another gulp of water. Hawke and Saint John had come to the conclusion that their parents might be alive and in witness protection after an encounter with a veteran Japanese pilot intent on revenge. ‘He got slightly sidetracked in Washington with getting kidnapped by Terrence,’ she admitted, ‘but his contact is confident of getting the details of your parents’ file to him soon.’

‘What’s taking so long?’ Saint John asked impatiently.

Caitlin looked at him exasperated. ‘Saint John, Michael’s contact is stealing a federal document. If he gets caught it means prison and he’s doing this as a personal favour to Michael. Have some patience.’

Saint John had the grace to look a little ashamed. ‘Sorry. It’s just…it’s been a month since we realised our parents might be alive and it feels like we haven’t gotten anywhere.’

His sister-in-law looked across the platform at him sympathetically. ‘I know but we’ve gone over the coastguard reports, Dom’s old file; there’s just nothing there to provide a hint and the agent in charge of your grandfather’s case has disappeared without a trace.’

‘That seems suspicious to me.’ Mike commented.

‘Do you think it was the Cordelli’s?’ Jo mused. ‘Or the guy who grabbed Uncle Dom?’

‘Edward Sallis?’ Caitlin sighed. ‘As much as I hate to say it, maybe. Sallis didn’t get anything out of Dom so he might have thought Dawson would know something.’ She stooped to check on Nicky for a moment. ‘How are you guys coming with tracking down the information on Yahara?’

‘Not good.’ Jo answered. ‘We’ve got a lot of information on Yahara but little on how he got his information about Alan Hawke.’

‘What about Jason’s intelligence connections?’ Caitlin asked rising. ‘Haven’t they come up with anything?’

‘Nothing so far.’ Saint John admitted unhappily.

Caitlin frowned. ‘Where is Jason anyway?’

‘He’s on an assignment in France.’ Mike explained. ‘He left about a week ago.’

‘Airwolf is only part of what he does for the Company.’ Jo explained.

Caitlin raised her eyebrows but didn’t say anything. Michael had worked on more than Airwolf when he had been their contact but then he hadn’t exactly been a permanent member of the flight crew. It wasn’t any of her business, she told herself firmly. She gestured at Airwolf with her water bottle. ‘Shall we get back to it?’ She asked Jo.

Jo nodded and got up from her chair. ‘You go ahead. I just want to call the airfield and check in with Everett.’

‘Sure.’ Caitlin made her way back to the helicopter climbing into the familiar cockpit happily closing the door behind her. She glanced back at the platform where Saint John had returned to playing with Nicky and Mike was clearing up the remnants of their lunch. She smiled and slipped into the engineer’s chair. She was so focused on the monitor that it was only Mike’s startled yell that got her attention. She glanced up; a jeep came to a screeching halt in the Lair and men dressed in black were jumping out with guns to surround the Airwolf team on the platform before they could do anything. Her eyes widened momentarily before she ducked down behind the console.

Saint John picked up Nicky protectively and held his nephew closely as one of the men motioned with his gun for them to get off the platform.

‘Over there.’ The dark haired man directed. ‘Be sensible. Do exactly what we tell you and nobody will get hurt.’

‘Why don’t I believe you?’ Saint John bit out rubbing Nicky’s back.

The dark haired man who had spoken scowled at him. ‘You’d be wise to keep your mouth shut if you don’t want anything to happen to the kid.’ He turned to a blond haired guy. ‘Check the machine out.’

Saint John exchanged a resigned look with Jo. It looked like Caitlin would be discovered too. He sighed as the man opened up the cockpit and climbed inside. A moment later he reappeared. Alone.

‘No one there, boss.’

Saint John shot a questioning look at Mike and Jo who looked back at him just as perplexed. Where was Caitlin?

Continued in Part II.
 

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