Chase Ward glanced around before entering the house. It looked as if he had lost his stalker. He slipped quickly inside the house and closed the door quietly. With a sigh he kicked off his shoes and pulled his black hoodie over his head, leaving it in a heap on the bottom step of the stairs. Running a hand through his hair he trudged tiredly down the hall and into the kitchen at the back of the house. There he slumped into a chair at the kitchen table and stared blankly at the heap of papers strewn across it. He had been trying to find answers for weeks now. So far he had got nothing. He let out a growl of frustration and began reading the pieces of paper that told him what he already knew. His father was missing. James Ward was a high-ranking lawyer and as far as Chase knew had been working on a top-secret case against someone in the government. The person, Chase knew was in the upper ranks of MI5 but he did not know who. However, he did know that the man must have influence and money, as they had been able to silence his father. He did not yet know whether or not his father was still alive but no matter what he would find out who was behind this and have them brought to justice.

He took a piece of paper out of his pocket and began to read it. It was a document he had just retrieved from his father's safe before his house had been burnt to the ground. It was a financial document that had first brought about his father's suspicion that there was a corrupt official in MI5. The document gave evidence of a large sum of money going into an account belonging to a 'Fredric Heisenberg' who, after some investigation, his father found didn't exist. Chase let his eyes wander over the paper, taking in the various pieces of information just like James had always taught him. Suddenly his eyes were drawn to something. A large sum of money had been taken out of this account in a small town in the hills of Wales, Gwynmorgan in the very north. Something in his memory sparked and he began hunting through papers until he came upon the one he was looking for. It was a file containing all the personal details of the most high-ranking officials in MI5. His eyes skimmed over the first few quickly as he searched for what he sought. Eventually his eyes came to rest on the piece of paper he was looking for. It was the personal file of Peter Hunter, the Director of MI5. It contained the usual information; date of birth, place of birth, family (married with 2 children) and other general information. At the very end of the document was a short paragraph on interests and hobbies. Chase scanned it quickly, sure now that he was on to something. Half way down the paragraph he came to the part he was looking for. It stated briefly that Peter Hunter owned a family holiday home in Wales; to be exact, in the small town of Gwynmorgan in the very north.

Growing excited Chase began throwing paper onto the floor in search of another document. He found it after a short while and began to search for Hunter's name on the paper. It was covered in his fathers neat scrawl and contained the dates and reasons for MI5 personnel absence. He searched for Hunter's name and a date corresponding to that of the date money had been drawn out of 'Heisenberg's' account. He found it at last and realised how he hadn't noticed it before. He had been looking for an absence of a few days thinking that it would take that long for someone to travel to somewhere in Europe. Now he knew where the money had been taken out he realised that the person need only be gone for a few hours, especially if they had access to a private plane. He had to get hold of Hunter's personal pilot.

A sudden noise outside made Chase stiffen and his head snapped towards the front door. Moving swiftly he leapt into the living room at the front of the house and retrieved the gun that was hidden in the desk draw. He crept up to the window and, standing behind the half closed curtain so he couldn't be seen, he peered out into the street. The letter box rattled making him draw his head back sharply. The sound of paper being posted through the letter box caught his ears and he knew it was only a leaflet or paper drop. Lowering his gun he glanced out of the window, only to stand still in shock as a familiar face walked swiftly passed. In that split second however, Chase took in the frightened features of Martha and the nervous way in which she hitched the bag higher on her shoulder. Moving closer to the window to look out he saw her throw a wild glance over her shoulder. Following the direction of her look his own eyes fell upon the figure in the street lamp, his hat pulled low and, what Martha hadn't seen, the long coat that hid the bulk of a gun.


Martha began to grow frightened as she half ran down the alleyway. She reached the end unharmed and began to deliver to the next street. She did not relax, however, despite the streetlamps and many houses all around her. As she reached halfway up the street she threw a scared look over her shoulder to see the same stranger standing once again in the light of a street lamp. Her breath caught in her throat and she quickened her pace. She dug in her pocket for her mobile only to find air – she must have left it at home. Frightened tears now filling her eyes she ignored the last few houses and concentrated on getting to the end of the street and the main road.

Suddenly she heard the sound of a deep male voice talking quietly, the words unintelligible but the tone sent a chill down her spine. She threw another glance over her shoulder to see the stranger beginning to walk quickly towards her and talking into what looked like a walkie-talkie. Panic was welling up inside her and she forced herself to focus on the end of the street again. It reached its height and overflowed, however, as she saw another figure appear ahead of her. She stopped, stock still, panic overtaking every nerve in her body and annulling her common sense. She could not move and she just stood, waiting for the figure as he grew closer and closer.


Chase heard the door slam loudly against the wall as he slung it open and tore across the yard. He crashed through the back gate and into the alley behind the house. Turning left he ran towards the end of the alley where it met in a T-shape with another alley. Here he turned left again and continued to run. Just at the entrance of the alley stood the terrified figure of Martha, unable to move with fright. Reaching her he didn't pause but grabbing her sleeve pulled her into the alley. She seemed suddenly to become aware of her surroundings again because she didn't argue with him but quickly followed his lead, flinging her bag aside so she could move easier. They could hear the shouts of the two men now and Chase ran faster, reaching the right turn and pulling her swiftly down it before the men had even reached the entrance of the alley. They were safely inside the back gate with it securely locked before the men were barely yards into the alley. They stood, ears alert, listening to the sound of footsteps on the other side of the wood.

"Damn it," they heard one of the men say. "It could be any one of these houses, or the ones in the next street."

They could hear the men moving about for a while, half-heatedly trying the gates of each house. They reached their gate but, finding it locked, moved swiftly on. Eventually they heard a growl of frustration and the footsteps began to recede.

"Who was that lad, anyway?" they heard the first man ask. The second man's reply was indiscernible and soon they were out of ear shot. Chase turned to Martha and found her staring at him, her mouth open.

"It's you?"

They stood for a moment, perfectly still, each studying the other. Chase could feel his heart beating faster and knew it wasn't from the sudden bout of exercise. Her eyes pierced into him and he couldn't read the expression in them. It was a mixture of surprise, pleasure and anger like a pallet of paint after a child has had hold of it. As he looked at them the emotions became even more mixed up until he couldn't discern one from the other and it was like looking into a dark, brown whirlpool.

Suddenly he was snapped out of his reverie as a pain shot across his cheek. It didn't take him half a second to realise she had hit him. He paused a moment before turning and walking back into the house.

Martha stood in shock. Partly because she had slapped him but also because he hadn't even flinched or reacted. She followed him slowly into the house. They were in the kitchen, which was small and old fashioned and reminded her of their old terraced home. Paper covered the table and a few unwashed dishes sat in the sink.

"Sorry," she muttered as Chase sat down. "I didn't mean to do that." She watched him as he began to shuffle papers into a pile. When he didn't answer she said, a little irritated, "but you didn't call."

Chase stood up and walked to a cupboard. "Would you like a cup of tea?" he asked without looking at her and taking out two mugs and some tea bags.

"Yes," she muttered and sat at the table. All the papers were now gathered into a pile at the far end and she couldn't see what they were.

The room was silent except for the occasional clatter as Chase made tea. When the kettle was eventually on the boil Chase sat down at the table and said, "My father is missing. The man who was chasing me six months ago and the ones following you and me tonight are working for someone who knows where he is. That's all I can tell you. It's not safe for you to know any more."

Martha would have laughed at this statement, sounding as if it was from a bad gangster movie, but for the look on the young man's face. "Why?" she asked. "Why do they have your father?"

"I told you, it's not safe for you to know. I'm sorry I got you involved in this but if you stay low you'll be alright."

Silence descended on the pair again. The sudden whistle of the kettle made them both jump and Chase rose quickly to take it off the hob.

"That's why you didn't call," she half whispered as she watched Chase pour boiling water into the two mugs. "You didn't want them to see any connection with me."

He glanced at her and gave a small nod before turning back to the tea. "But they knew," she said after a pause. "They must have known something because they were following me tonight."

"I'm sorry," Chase replied, setting a steaming mug of tea in front of her. "But if you stay low, keep mostly to the house for a few weeks until I've left town, then you'll be safe."

"They know you're here?" she asked. "But…"

"They know I'm in town," Chase interrupted. "That's why; when they saw you they thought you could lead them to me. They didn't realise it was just a coincidence."

Martha let out a sigh of relief. She had had enough of running from strangers for one evening and was glad to hear they wouldn't come storming in at any moment.

"They mustn't have recognised you," she said after a moments thought. "The guy didn't know who you were."

"Yeah," Chase half smiled. "I'm thankful for the dark. If they had recognised me they would have searched every house in this street and the next one."

"They want you that bad?" Martha asked, feeling a little scared.

Chase glanced at her, then stood up. "I'll walk you home in half an hour," he said, tipping his unfinished cup of tea down the sink. "We want to make sure they are far away from here before we go out."

She nodded. "Do you have a phone?"

Chase nodded his head towards the corner and Martha's eyes fell on a rather old-fashioned phone that reminded her again of her old house. She walked forwards and picked it up, quickly dialling her home number. The phone rang a few times before she heard her father's voice.

"Hello?" A wave of relief and sudden feeling of security washed over her as she answered him.

"Hi, Dad."

"Hello, dear. Are you alright?" His tone didn't suggest real concern as he wasn't expecting her to be home just yet.

"Fine, I just bumped into a friend so won't be home for a bit."

"OK, I noticed you' left your phone here." Martha's mind flittered back to the moment she had plunged a shaking hand into her pocket to discover nothingness and felt a shiver of fear run down her spine.

"Yeah, but I shouldn't be too late," she replied, ignoring the uncomfortable feeling.

"Alright, honey. I'll see you later then."

"Yeah, bye Dad…I love you."

"I love you, too," he chuckled; unaware of how much she meant it right at that moment. The click of the phone left a deafening silence and Martha feeling incredibly scared for a split second.

"You Ok?" Chase asked, making her jump. She had forgotten he was in the room.

"Yeah," she whispered, a weak smile playing on her lips. With a jerk of his head he indicated the doorway leading into the hall. She picked up her tea and followed the boy into the living room. She watched as he flopped down into the nearest seat and leant his head back, a look of complete exhaustion on his face, yet it did nothing to soften the look of complete awareness in his features. She knew that despite the position he was now in he was complete conscious of every sound and movement both inside and out.

She also sensed that he did not want to talk any more and, crossing the room to the only remaining seat, she sat with her tea, staring out of the window and counting the seconds until they could leave.