"Vanishing Act"


Logline: Steve's 10-year-old son's magic act goes awry when his father disappears for real. Or does he?

  Steve and his wife Jaime sat in the kitchen they were in the middle of discussing Steve’s latest mission he had just returned from.

“Well I have to be very honest Steve.” Jaime began. “I don’t like it, not one bit!”

“I’m not too worried about it Jaime.” Steve tried to sound reassuring

“He threatened you didn’t he?” Jaime glared at him.

Steve nodded. “Don’t worry. I told Oscar. He assured me that he’s on his way to prison, and that we have nothing to worry about.”

“Well I’m plenty worried!” Jaime shouted.

“Quiet.” Steve tried to calm her you’ll wake Zachary.” Steve referred to their youngest son who was supposed to be taking a nap.

“I’m sorry Steve. I just can’t help it. One of the people you went after said he would come after you.”

They were interrupted when their 10-year-old adopted son Aaron came running into the house “Mom! Dad! He called “Mom? Dad?”

“We’re in here Aaron.” Jaime called.

“Not one word to him.” Steve whispered.

Jaime nodded. “I agree. What is it sweetie?” She replied as the boy burst into the kitchen.

“We’re having a family night at school. Parents and we kids do acts together. Dad I thought we could do a magic act.” Aaron smiled.

“That would be great son, but I don’t know that much about magic.” Steve admitted.

“Neither do I.” Aaron laughed. “My teacher said to go to a store that sells magic stuff, they will tell us how to do the tricks.”

“Well that sounds good.” Steve glanced over at Jaime who was very pregnant with their third well actually second natural child.

They had rescued Aaron from an abusive home. He was just now starting to come out of his shell. Steve didn’t have the heart to turn the boy down.

“Did your teacher give you the name of the store?” Steve smiled at him. It might actually be rather fun to do a father son thing.

Aaron nodded. “She gave me a list of several.” He handed the paper to Steve.

Steve glanced at it before putting it in his pocket. “Tomorrow is Saturday. Let say you and I make a day of it that is if it’s ok with your mother.”

“Oh fine,” Jaime pretended to wipe tears from her eyes. “Just leave me out.”

“If you want to go mom…” Aaron started

“Oh no honey, mom is just teasing. You and your dad have a great time. Now you better go wash up for dinner. Do me a favor, check on Zachary, and see if he’s awake.”

“Sure mom.” Aaron ran upstairs to fulfill his mother’s request.

“Steve do you think you should go out tomorrow?” Jaime sounded concerned.

“Jaime I’m not going to let the ravings of one man keep me a prisoner in my own home and besides I told you he’s the one in prison.”

“Well all right. You be careful though.”

“Aren’t I always, especially where the kids are concerned?”

“I suppose you’re right.” She turned to see Aaron in the doorway.

“Is something wrong mom?” Aaron wondered.

“No nothing. Is Zachary awake?” She headed toward Aaron.

“Yea he’s awake.”

“Good I’ll go get him, and then we’ll have dinner.” She explained.

After she left Aaron turned to Steve. “Dad is she telling me the truth. Is everything ok?”

“Everything is just fine son.” Steve gave the boy hug. “Now are you all washed up for dinner?”

Aaron nodded. “I sure am, what did mom make.”

“Meatballs” Steve told him. “Besides being told about family night, what else happened in school?” Steve started to get the table ready for dinner, Aaron helped.

“Aw. Not much. Just the usual.” He looked across the table and smiled a rare occurrence only a month ago.


The next day Steve and Aaron were on their way out to go to the magic shop. “Oh no!” Aaron groaned when Oscar’s car pulled up to the curb.

“Take it easy son. It will only take a minute.” Steve walked over to Oscar who was just coming up the walk. “Can’t it wait Oscar? Aaron and I were just on our way out.”

“It will only take a minute Steve.” Oscar turned to Aaron and gave a slight scowl.

Steve saw the look. “Oscar!” He chided. “What is you’re problem?”

“This is serious Steve. Is there someplace we can talk?”

“Yea let’s go down to my work shop. I don’t let the kids down there. I don’t want them near the power tools.”

“Ok your shop. Come on.” Oscar raced ahead of Steve

“All right now! Do you want to tell me just what in the devil is wrong with you?” Steve sounded furious. “And why did you look at my son that way?” He demanded once they were in Steve’s work shop

“He’s not your son Steve.” Oscar reminded.

“According to the courts he’s my son! Why don’t you accept that?” Steve practically screamed.

“You know I was against this adoption in the first place. With you and Jaime in the well in the situation you’re in. I just don’t feel it’s wise to bring a stranger into your home. I mean what if you or Jaime slip and use the word bionic’ Oscar mouthed.

“What does that have to do with anything?” Steve shouted.

“I’m afraid everything. First of all I came to tell you that Ryan Jesup escaped from the NSB jail this morning. Second we did a background check on him. His name isn’t Jesup. It’s Dimetree Ivan Dimetree. He’s also Aaron’s natural father.”

“What? No way Oscar Aaron’s mother, when she was arrested for beating the h-l- out of the kid told the courts that his father was dead.”

“She lied. Not only is Ivan Dimetree Aaron’s natural father, he is also one of the KGB’s best agents.”

“Does he know about Aaron?” Steve was shaking.

Upstairs Jaime was listening to the conversation she too was shaking.

“Yes he does. Of course I don’t know if he knows that you’re now Aaron’s adoptive father.”

“Well we just won’t let him find out, will we?” Steve whispered

“What if he already knows? Steve, you could be putting your whole family at risk.” Oscar tried to reason.

“Look Oscar if this Ivan wants to dispute the adoption he has every right, but just let him try and take Aaron away from us…”

Maybe that would be for the best…”

“GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!” Steve screamed so loud he almost sent Jaime through the ceiling as she was still listening.

“Ok pal. I’m going. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Oscar turned and stomped up the steps. “You heard that I’m sure.” He looked at Jaime.

“Yes I did. Oscar, Steve didn’t mean it. Give him a couple of days to cool off.” Jaime suggested.

“Yea maybe I will. Listen you be careful. Don’t take your eyes off Zachary. I don’t’ trust any of this Jaime.”

“I think Steve and I can handle the situation.” Jaime too was getting upset.


Aaron was sitting on the porch step when Steve came back outside. “So are you ready?”

“You mean we’re going?” Aaron’s face brightened.

“Of course we are. I told you last night, this is your day why don’t we grab a hamburger and some sodas then we’ll head for one of those magic shops your teacher put on that list you have.”

“That sounds great dad.” Aaron threw his arms around Steve’s neck.

Oscar stood in the doorway and watched. ‘I don’t like it ‘He thought As Steve and Aaron headed fort he car Oscar headed back toward the kitchen. “Well.” He told Jaime “they are off.”

“Well that’s good, now maybe I can get something done. That is, and I don’t mean to be rude Oscar, but I work much better when I’m here alone without anyone underfoot.”

“I’d sure hate to be under that foot.” Oscar laughed.

“Ha ha,” Jaime picked up a broom and chased Oscar out of the kitchen.

Everyone was so occupied in what they were doing that they hadn’t noticed the car that followed Steve and Aaron as it left the drive.

Steve and Aaron had a ball they hit three different magic shops in their quest for acts for the magic show. At the last one they found an inexpensive disappearing cabinet.

Steve and Aaron worked hard getting their show together.

“Usually” Aaron mused. “I should have a pretty assistant, but I guess dad will do.”

Jaime couldn’t help but laugh. The day of the show Oscar and Rudy both showed up on Steve and Jaime’s porch.

“We were wondering what time the show is tonight.” Rudy asked.

“You have to buy tickets. The money goes toward the school.” Steve explained.

“How much?” Oscar asked.

Steve collected their monies and gave them their tickets. “I’ll see you after the show. Aaron and I have to be there early to set up.”

“See you then.” Oscar called after him hoping Steve was going to let bygones be bygones.


At the school the show got underway. Steve and Aaron’s magic act was the last on the bill.

They did a great job. Then came the final act.

“Ladies’ and gentlemen” Aaron smiled. “For my final act of the evening I shall make a person actually disappear.

He turned to Steve. “Just step into the magic box.” He continued to smile. Then he turned to the audience. “And now prepare yourselves to be amazed. I wave my magic wand and say the magic word. Abracadabra disappear and presto…” He opened the cabinet and Steve was gone.

The audience erupted in cheers and claps.

“And now since my mother will get mad if I don’t bring him back….”

Jaime sat smiling in the audience

“I once again wave my magic wand and say the magic words Abracadabra, return from beyond.” Aaron waved the wand Jaime had made for him he tapped the cabinet and opened the curtain. The audience sat dumbfounded, as Steve was nowhere to be seen…

Aaron started crying. He closed the curtain again and screamed “abracadabra return from beyond!!!” He opened the curtain and still Steve was not there.

The audience didn’t know what to think. They weren’t sure if it was part of the act…no the boy seemed to upset for that.

Oscar and Jaime ran up on the stage. Jaime put her arms around her son. “It will be ok Aaron.” She soothed.

Oscar stepped into the disappearing cabinet. He felt all around till he found the trap door Steve had gone out of the trick the audience

He went through the trap door himself and looked around back stage. No one was there. Oscar frantically looked around for any sign of his friend. “Steve? Steve!” He called. “Ok pal the gag is over, come on out.”

Jaime stayed next to her son. She figured she would leave the detective work to the experts even though she was one of the experts herself; she thought he place was with her son.

Oscar stepped back out onto the stage. By now the audience was breaking up. The auditorium was pretty well empty save to the janitor who stated putting the folding chairs away.

“He’s not there.” Oscar reported.

“Is there any sign?” Jaime asked still holding tightly to Aaron.

“Not that I can see. I used the phone back stage to call Russ. He’s on his way.” Oscar glared at Aaron.

Jaime who was worried about Steve didn’t catch it. “Well I’m sure if the two of you search, you’ll find something.

“I hope so, otherwise…” He continued to glare at Aaron.


Russ arrived “Any thing yet Oscar?” Russ asked as he joined the search.

“No Russ. Not a sign.” Oscar was almost frantic. We have to find him Russ.”

“We will” Together they stepped back into the disappearing cabinet.

“Oscar did you see this?” Russ held up a rag he had picked up from the floor of the disappearing cabinet.

“No I didn’t let me see that Russ.” Oscar took it from him “Chloroform!” Oscar shouted so that’s how they did it. Again he glared at Aaron, who was now sitting with Jaime on one of the folding chairs. Then his mind took him back to that time nearly two years ago now…

Steve and Oscar sat outside Rudy’s lab. “I just don’t know what could be wrong with her.” Steve said to Oscar as the two of them waited for Rudy to come out

“I’m sure she’ll fine.” Oscar tried to assure.

“I just don’t get it she…”

His words were interrupted when Rudy stepped through the door to his office.

“Rudy!” Steve jumped to his feet. "How is she?” He shouted.

“She’s fine, nothing that nine months won’t cure.” Rudy smiled.

“Nine months?” Steve questioned.

Rudy continued to smile. “You’re going to have a baby Steve.” Rudy started laughing.

“A baby you mean I’m going to be a father?” Steve had to grab on the wall to keep from falling down.

“That’s right. You can go on in. By the way, you didn’t hear it from me. Jaime wanted to tell you.”

“Ok Rudy.” Steve opened the door to Rudy’s office. “Thanks.”

“Congratulations pal.” Oscar slapped him on the back. “I’ll be down in my office.”

“I’ll be down in a minute Oscar.” Steve stepped into Rudy’s office. Oscar heard Jaime “Rudy told you huh?”

“He couldn’t help it.”


“Hello Callahan.” Oscar said as he stepped into his office “any messages?”

“Yes sir the director of the FBI is in your office. He’s waiting to speak to you.”

“Thanks. Callahan” Oscar stepped into his inner office.

“Oscar we need your help.” Rick Davis stated.

“What kind of help?” Oscar wondered as he sat behind his desk.

“We are getting ready to close in on group of international Drug dealers…”

”I can’t do it Rick.” Oscar looked at the director of the FBI standing in front of his desk. “I don’t have any agents to spare.”

“Come on Oscar we have gone to bat for you and your agents on more than one occasion.”

“I realize that Rick, but drug enforcement is your department.” Oscar reminded.

“Oscar if it weren’t vital I wouldn’t ask. But the security of the country is at stake.” Rick added.

They both looked up when the door opened. “Steve, come on in.” Oscar indicated. “You know Rick Davis?”

“Sure do. How’s everything at the FBI?” Steve shook his hand.”

“Not so good right now Steve. I was just asking your boss if he could spare a couple of his agents.”

“Why, what’s going on?” Steve sat next to him.

“We’re involved in a drug case. We’re sure it’s international. We feel it could be a threat to our national security.”

“I’m intrigued.” Steve turned to him. “I for one would love to work with FBI on a case.”

“Mind if we borrow him Oscar?” Rick pleaded

“I suppose if Steve wants to help, but I want in on it too then.” Oscar bargained.

“You got it. By the way Steve it would be a good idea if you were married.” Rick suggested. “Husband and wife teams…”

“I am married, but I just found out my wife is going to have a baby.” Steve explained

“Oh I see…”

“And she wants to help too.” Jaime said from the doorway.” Rudy said it would be fine.”

“Jaime I don’t think…” Steve tried to object.

“Steve I want to help.” Jaime stopped him

“As long as Rudy says it’s ok. Then I guess I can’t stop you.” Steve sighed.

“He says it will be just fine” Jaime told him.

“Well I suppose we better get started then.” Steve turned to Oscar. “You sure you want to come?”

Oscar nodded. “Yea I want to help out too. Let’s go!”


They stormed the front door of a house the FBI had had under surveillance.

The men and woman fled out the back and into the hands of waiting agents. The raid actually went quite well. Not a shot had been fired, unusual for the FBI.

“Looks like everything went pretty well.” Rick noted. "WE better have a look around, make sure there are no loose ends so to speak.”

Steve, Oscar, Jaime and Rick Davis began to search the house. “Well I don’t see anyone around.” Rick said as he came down the stairs. “I really appreciate your help on this one Oscar.”

“Anytime. Actually I rather enjoyed it.” Oscar admitted with a grin.

They were just getting ready to leave when Jaime stopped. “Wait a minute.” She whispered pointing to a closet door under the stairs. “Someone is in there.”

Steve walked over to the door and grasped the doorknob. Oscar and Rick stood in front of the door, guns drawn.

Steve slowly turned the knob then in a flash threw the door open.

They all stood in shock a half naked boy cowered in the corner. They could tell by looking at him he hadn’t had a decent meal in weeks.

Steve reached for him but the boy retreated farther into the closet.

“Here Steve let me.” Jaime stepped up to the door. “Come on honey, no one is going to hurt you.” She whispered.

Slowly the boy worked his way toward Jaime. She picked him up and carried him out of the closet. “I think we better get him to a doctor.”


Oscar called and ambulance and the boy was rushed to Children’s Hospital.

Although Oscar was ready to leave as soon as he saw the boy was in good hands Jaime and Steve chose to stay and see how it turned out.

They jumped to there feet when the doctor approached the waiting room.

“I can’t believe how abused the boy is.” The Doctor stated.

“How bad is he?” Jaime asked.

“He has cigarette burns over most of his body. He has welts all over his back, he is very dehydrated we’re giving him fluids now.”

“What will happen to him?” Steve wondered.

“After what you told me, he’ll more than likely become a ward of the state in a foster home.”


I won’t hear of it Steve!” Oscar shouted for the fifth time in as many minutes. “You can’t take this kid in!”

“That is what we intend to do. Oscar the chances of him getting adopted are zero. He’ll be kicked around from one foster home to the next.” Steve reasoned.

“Steve you know nothing about him…” Oscar tried to change his friend’s mind.

“Oscar, Jaime and I have discussed this with each other and the social worker handling Aaron’s case. That’s his name, Aaron. Jaime and I want to adopt him. We know we have a challenging road ahead of us, but I think we can be a nice family.”

“At least let me do a back ground check on him.” Oscar pleaded.

“I’m not going to let you investigate my son.” Steve shouted.

“A week later everyone was in court including the boy’s mother who was to appear a short time later in criminal court. She signed the papers terminating her prenatal rights and informed the court the boy’s father was dead.


Now Oscar stood in the deserted auditorium desperately looking for Steve. Again he glared at Aaron. “This is your fault!” He screamed.

Jaime shielded Aaron. “Oscar you don’t know what you’re saying.” She chided. “Think about what you are saying!”

“I have thought about it!” He pushed Jaime aside and grabbed Aaron. “Where is he? What have you and your father done with him?"

“Oscar!” Jaime cried. “Just what do you think you are doing?” She continued to shout. “You let go of him right now!”

“Jaime I’ll take Aaron home.” Russ offered. “I’ll tell the sitter you’ll be longer than you thought. Then I’ll come to Oscar’s office. I’m sure that’s where you’ll be.”

“Thanks Russ.” Jaime gave a slight smile. “I don’t know I’m afraid she’ll have to spend the night.”

“I never thought of that. Before I get to your house I’ll swing by mine and get my wife. She’ll stay the night.”

“That would be great Russ. I appreciate it.” Jaime looked over at Oscar. Rudy was trying to reason with him.”

“Oscar be reasonable.” Rudy was saying. “Aaron doesn’t even know his natural father is around.”

“How do you know that? This whole thing could have been a set up from the word go.” Oscar sneered.

“Oscar! That doesn’t even make any sense.” Rudy stated. “Now let’s concentrate on finding Steve.” Rudy suggested.


In a back room in the Soviet Embassy a very sleepy Steve started to come around. “Where am I?” He asked the men standing around him.

“You are safe Col. Austin.” The man standing over him snarled.

“Well by your accent I would say I’m either in Moscow or the Russian Embassy.” Steve’s head still felt light. “What do you want?”

“We’ll let you know when the time is right. By the way there are several armed men surrounding you in this room…”

Steve looked around. The man was right. There was a man in each corner and one either side of the door.

“We also have several men outside the room. So I suggest you just relax.”

“Sure.” Steve knew it was pointless to try and get away. He was going to have to leave this one to Oscar. But did Oscar know where he was?”


Oscar, Jaime and Rudy left the now fully deserted auditorium. (The janitor had long been gone) They headed for the OSI. It was getting pretty late the night guard had to open Oscar’s office.

Oscar took a seat behind his desk. “Well people, where do we begin?” Oscar asked.

“Well not with our son.” Jaime was still angry at the man’s treatment of the boy.

“I’m sorry Jaime.” Oscar apologized. “I’ll apologize to Aaron in the morning.”

“I don’t know if that will be possible Oscar you know how sensitive he is. I just hope he won’t retreat back into his shell.”

“I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am. I’ll make it up to him I promise. Now what are we going to do to get Steve back?”

“We don’t even know who has him.” Rudy sighed.

“I am assuming it’s the Russians mainly Aaron’s father.” Oscar reminded. “So I am assuming they are holding him at the Russian Embassy I'm sure they are after ERW.”

“Yea I suppose you're right. Well then I suppose that’s as good a place as any to start.” Jaime agreed.


Steve was growing tired of the game but he felt he still had to play. Several men surrounded him and they all had AK 40s Once again the door was thrust open. “Come on Austin.” The man pointed his rifle at Steve. “Ivan wishes to speak with you.”

Steve followed the man down the hall and into a room that was also flanked by armed guards.

“You must think I’m the most dangerous man in the world.” Steve replied.

“We know of your bionics, we aren’t taking any chances, now just step inside please.”

“Well as long as you’re polite about it.” Steve couldn’t help but let his sarcasm show.

“So Col. Austin we meet again.” Dimetree rose to greet him. “To bad it has to be under such bad circumstances.”

“Charmed I’m sure.” Steve still allowed his sarcasm to spill out.

“Now, now, no need to be hostile “Dimetree warned.” I’m sure my people already told you we know of your bionics. We aren't interested in that. We want what I came after to begin with before you caught me.

“Bionic? I don’t know the word.” Steve tried to play dumb.

“I’m afraid that won’t work. We know you're bionic, but I don't care about that. We just need to take extra precautions so you don't get away from us."

“I see. I still say I’m not familiar with the word, but if that’s what you want to think… as for the project. I know nothing about it.”

"I don't believe you. We intend to hold you here till Goldman gives us Project ERW I believe you developed it. It is better known as an Energy Ray weapon?"

"I'm not familiar with it." Steve wondered just how they had found out about a project he and Rudy had developed and then abandoned because they thought it was too dangerous. Steve was about to say more when the door opened.

"This just came for you." The man handed Dimetree file.

Dimetree read the file then looked at Steve. “Do you know what this file says?” Dimetree asked.

Steve shook his head. “I have no idea.”

“I don’t know if you are aware of this fact or not. Your adopted son Aaron is my natural son.” Dimetree was silent for a moment then he spoke more to himself. “His mother never told me I had a son. I only found out myself last week. I’ve been searching for his adoptive parents” He looked at Steve. “And now I’ve found them.”

“How did you get mixed up with her anyway?” Steve wondered.

“She was an easy mark. We needed someone to work our international drug business in this area. I guess I got a little close to my work. That of course is before I began working for the KGB.”

“So what do you plan to do about it?” Steve wondered.

“I must say I don’t know. I would love to see my son. Maybe I should have him brought here.”

Jaime stood to leave.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Oscar asked.

“To the Russian Embassy to find my husband.” Jaime told him.

“Not in that condition.” Oscar scolded. “Rudy tell her.”

“I agree with Oscar. Jaime you can’t go in there. We’ll find someone else.”

“Who would that be?” Jaime asked. “Who else can handle this?

“I could send Russ in.” Oscar muttered. “He’d be the best outside of you or Steve.”

“Russ doesn’t have the capabilities we have Oscar, and you know it.” Jaime reminded.

“I know that. But I have to send someone.” They all turned as the door opened hoping against hopes it might be Steve.

“Russ glad you’re here. “ Oscar stated.

“How are the kids?” Jaime asked

“The last I saw Zachary was sleeping in his crib and Aaron was drifting to sleep on the couch.”

“How Did Aaron seem?” Jaime needed to know. She was very concerned for her eldest son.

“He seemed fine.” Russ assured.


“You leave my son alone!” Steve shouted.

“We’ll see about that.” Ivan sneered. Then he turned to the guards. “Get him out of here.”

Steve was thrust back into the room he had just been taken from. ‘If there weren’t so many and they didn’t have guns’ Steve thought.

Before the guard closed and locked the door he thumped Steve on the back of the head.


“Well that’s good.” Jaime articulated.

Before anyone could say anymore Oscar’s private line rang. Oscar grabbed for it. “Steve!” He shouted. “Oh yes Mrs. Russell he’s right here.” He handed the phone to Russ.

“Yes. I see. No that’s ok I’ll tell them.” Russ handed the phone back to Oscar.

“What is it Russ? Why so serous?” Oscar inquired.

“It’s Aaron, he’s missing…”

”What?” Jaime shrieked. “What do you mean Aaron is missing?”

“Karen went to check on Zachary and Aaron. Zachary is fine she has him with her, but when she went to check on Aaron he was gone.”

Jaime turned to Oscar. “You better hope he didn’t run away!”

“I doubt that, I’m more inclined to believe…you heard my conversation with Steve I’m sure.”

Jaime nodded.

“Then I’m more inclined to believe that Dimetree found out Aaron is his son.”

“He’s not his son. He’s my son!” Jaime shouted.

“In court documents only” Oscar stood and walked around the front of the desk.

“You really have a problem where Aaron is concerned.” Jaime pointed out. “I mean in spite of what you said earlier. You still don’t trust him.”

“I’m sorry Jaime. Am I that obvious? It’s just that I have a hard time trusting…”

“Oscar, Aaron has no idea who his father is. Until you told Steve, we were under the impression that his natural father was dead…”

How do you know that? There could have been contact over the years. Maybe his mother arranged…”

“Balderdash!!” Jaime screamed. “Instead of accusing a ten year old boy, why don’t you start looking for the real culprit? The Soviets!! Maybe then we’ll find my husband!!”


Steve slowly woke up from his ‘nap’ “Well, well Col. Glad to see you’re with us once again.” Dimetree’s demeanor was sarcastic.

“Why did you hit me?” Steve asked.

“We just don’t want you to get away from us, that’s all. We enjoy your company.” Ivan smirked.

“Ha,ha.” Steve muttered back.

“Now you need to come with me. We have someone we want you to see.” Ivan stated

Steve followed him down the hall. They passed the room they had originally taken Steve to the first time Ivan wanted to talk to him. It gave Steve a very uneasy feeling.

“Right in here Col.” Ivan opened the door.

“Daddy!!” Aaron cried as he ran into Steve’s arms. “Can we go home now?”

“Sure son, in just a bit ok. You just stay here and above all do as they say.”

“I will daddy.” Aaron promised.

“How touching.” Ivan snickered. “Now Col if you will please come with me.”

“No!” Aaron cried. “Dad stay I’m scared.”

“It’s ok son. It will be ok.” Steve’s heart ached as the two guards held Aaron back and Ivan slammed the door. He could hear the boy screaming behind the thick door.

Once again Ivan led Steve to his office in the Russian Embassy. “Now I’m willing to make a deal. I saw how much the boy loves you. And I feel that your feelings are the same for him.”

Steve gave a slight nod.

“Well then maybe we can deal after all. “

“What sort of deal” Steve’s suspensions were growing.

“I’ll not tell the boy I’m his father, and I won’t take you to court on the matter…”

“If?” Steve interrupted. He knew there was a big IF coming up.

“If you hand over the all of your files on project ERW

“That project is too dangerous for anyone to mess with.” Steve informed him.”

“Ah so you admit that such a project exists?”

Caught in the trap Steve nodded. “Yes we did prefect it, but the project is way too dangerous…”

“We shall see about that.” Ivan reached for his phone. “This is Dimetree.” He spoke. “Bring me my son.”


“I’m ready to go in Oscar.” Russ said.

“Ok Russ. We believe they are more than likely holding Steve at the Russian Embassy. I doubt they would have time to get him out of the country.” Oscar inferred0 “especially since they took Aaron only a few moments ago.

“Let’s hope not.” Jaime came back.

Oscar turned back to Russ. “Take as many agents as you need.”

“I will.” Then Russ turned to Jaime. “Don’t worry we’ll get both of them back.”

“Thanks Russ.” Jaime gave him a light smile. After Russ left Jaime turned to Oscar. “Now I want to know why you think my son is involved in this.”


Steve watched as Aaron was brought before Ivan Dimetree.

“Hello there Aaron my name is Ivan. I would like to get to know you a little better.”

Aaron skirted behind Steve.

“Now, now son” Ivan spoke softly to him. “I want to be your friend.”

Aaron remained behind Steve “I don’t want to be your friend.” Aaron cried. “Come on dad, let’s go home.”

“Aaron.” Ivan tried to coax. “I just want to talk to you. That’s all.”

Steve could tell Aaron was getting very restless. What if Ivan wasn’t bluffing? How much more could Aaron take. He had been through so much.

“Come here Aaron. I have something I need to tell you.” Ivan moved toward the boy.

“All right” Steve shouted. “You win!”


Russ gathered up several agents. And they headed for the Russian Embassy. “All right!” He barked out the orders Oscar had given him. “I want you to surround the place!!”

“What is going on?” The guard at the front gate asked. “I’m going to have to ask you to move on down the road.”

“I’m Mark Russell I’m with the OSI. We have a warrant.” Russ handed up the warrant from the Federal Court Judge that would gain him access to the Embassy.

“This is no good here.” The guard sneered

“The h-e-l it isn’t!” Russ argued.

He and his men stormed the building. As they entered several guards tried to stop them. Russ shoved them out of his way. “I demand to see the Ambassador “

Russ was led to the Ambassador’s office. “We believe one of our people is being held prisoner.” Russ showed him the warrant. “Tell your watch dogs to back off.”

The Ambassador agreed to allow Russ and his men to search the building. One stayed with the ambassador to assure he wouldn’t phone Steve’s captors and alert them.


“Wise choice Col. Austin we will leave for Moscow first thing in the morning.” Dimetree smiled.

“On one condition” Steve interrupted. “You let my son go home to his mother.”

“I believe a boy should be with his father.” Ivan scoffed.

“At least let me call my wife and tell her what’s…”

The door bust open and Russ and his men surrounded Ivan.

“You ok Steve?” Russ asked.

“I am now.” Steve looked around. “Where’s Jaime?”

“Rudy and Oscar wouldn’t let her come. She’s waiting for you at the OSI. There isn’t much we can do to them. We just came to get you.”

Steve bypassed his captors and bent down to Aaron “ready to go home?”

“What’s going on dad?” Aaron asked.

“Nothing son it’s over now.” Steve assured. He pointed to Ivan. “This man just wanted to ask me some questions about work. He thought if he threatened to hurt you, I would be more willing to answer.”

“I’m ready to go home.” Aaron threw his arms around Steve’s neck.

Steve carried Aaron out to Russ’ car and they drove to the OSI.

Jaime was happy to see both of them safe. “Steve. Are you alright?”

“Yea I’m fine. Let’s and go home.”

“I’m all for that.” Jaime smiled. They each to one of Aaron’s hand and headed for the door.

Before they left Jaime turned to Oscar “Oscar I expect you at the house tomorrow to apologize to Aaron.”

“No need.” Oscar stepped over to the boy. “Look Aaron. I’m sorry for the way I reacted. You see in my line of work you become very mistrusting. I’m sorry that that spilled over onto you.”

“That’s ok Mr. Goldman.” Aaron smiled. “I think I understand.”

After bidding Karen and Russ good night Steve and his family headed for bed. They hadn’t been in bed too long when they had to rush back to Rudy’s office.

Steve and Oscar paced the floor while Zachary and Aaron dozed on the couch in Rudy’s office.

They had just sat down when Rudy stepped in. “Steve. Why don’t you come with me and I’ll introduce you to your daughter.”


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