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"So?" Drew asked again.  "I assume it's something rather important for you to scare my husband half-to-death.  Did my dear brother get himself killed and leave posthumous instructions with you?  Figures he'd leave them with the great Roman Brady."

"Shane's not dead," John said.  "And for your information, pal, I haven't been Roman Brady for nearly 20 years.  My name's John Black."

Drew slapped a hand to his forehead.  "Oh, that's right.  Shane mentioned something about that.  Two Roman Bradys.  I must say that probably did cause a tad bit of confusion."  He chuckled.  "So I guess you got the short-end of the DNA stick."

"I guess you would know something about that."  John found himself responding to Drew's jibe before he could even think.  He had forgotten how irreverent Drew could be and how he tried to get under people's skin. 

"Oh, very good one there . . . John.  Of course, seeing that my DNA is identical to 'Mr. Perfect ISA super-spy,' what does that say about my dear brother?"  Drew shook his head and walked back around the sofa.  "Oh don't bother answering that.  Why don't you instead tell me who this lovely young lady is?"

Hope answered before John could.  "I'm Hope Brady."

"Ahh, another Brady."  Drew shook his head.  "So we lose one Brady over here. . . ."  He pointed to John as he said that, then pointed at Hope.  "But gain another over there.  There must be a scientific term for that." 

Drew removed his coat and tossed it on a chair sitting in the corner.  "Well . . . John . . . I must say that you don't look like you've aged a bit."  He paused as if waiting for a response, but none was coming.  "You're supposed to say the same about me.  But then again, I've packed on a few pounds, haven't I?"

John had no clue what Drew wanted or what to say.

"Or have I?"  He grinned as he pulled off a sweater to reveal that he was wearing a vest with a padded stomach.  Drew pulled that off and let it fall to the floor.  Then he grabbed his right cheek and began peeling away what looked like latex.  The piece came away, removing his entire beard and most of the 'fat' on his face. 

John heard Hope gasp slightly, and realized that this was the first time she was seeing how identical Drew and Shane actually were.  So Andrew had been wrong about that.  If someone wanted Drew to imitate Shane, he could definitely pass an appearance test.

Drew took Hope's reaction as a compliment.  "See, Geoffrey, old boy, I haven't lost my touch at all.  Still the best in the business.  So now that the introductions are out of the way and we've stripped away any illusion, please have a seat and pray tell why you've decided to intrude on my idyllic existence."  The last part was said with heaping sarcasm. 

John motioned for Hope to sit and took another chair for himself.  Meanwhile, Drew sat down on the sofa next to Geoffrey and took the man's hand.  That told John that Drew was rattled.  No matter how many jokes he made, he was still scared by someone other than Shane showing up on his doorstep.  John decided to get right to the point.

"Your brother's disappeared and I was told it was on a mission involving you?"

Drew raised an eyebrow.  "A mission involving me?  Are you serious?"  He laughed like it was one of the funniest things he had ever heard.  "Sorry, old chap, but there hasn't been one of those since the eighties -- but then you know all about that one."

"No involvement with Middle East terrorists?" John asked.

Drew stood up and began looking around the room.  "Okay, now where's the camera?"  He turned back to John.  "You're taking the piss out of me.  Is this some joke that my brother dreamed up?"

"That's beyond ridiculous," Geoffrey added.

John looked at Hope, who shrugged her shoulders, before looking back at Drew.  "I'm only asking because that's what some political hack at Homeland Security told me.  Andy told me it was ridiculous, but I had to ask."

"Ah, how is my nephew and namesake?  Probably busy following in his illustrious father's footsteps, I suppose."   Drew did not wait for an answer, but then grew pensive as if he had just heard the rest of what John had said.  "Homeland Security, you say?"  When John nodded, Drew pursed his lips.  He sat down and again took Geoffrey's hand.  "Why . . . Why would they say anything about me?"

"We thought you might have some idea."  John tried to think.  "Maybe you know something about what Shane was up to?"

"Not a clue," Drew said.  "You think 'Mr. ISA' tells me what he's doing?"  He turned to Geoffrey.  "When did we last see him?  Almost two years ago?"

Geoffrey shook his head.  "No.  He came some time early last year.  You were doing Richard III, and he came by the pub after."

"Spot on."  Drew nodded in agreement.  "That was the winter season, so it was probably January.  You should have seen that production.  Marvelous, if I say so myself.  And the makeup--"

Hope cut him off.  "When you saw Shane, did he let anything slip about his plans?"  Hope leaned forward as she spoke.  John could tell she was just as frustrated as he was. 

Drew grinned.  "For you, gorgeous, I'll rack my brain."  He bobbed his head from side to side, then shook it.  "Sorry, I--"  Then he stopped and held his index finger to his mouth for a moment.  "You know . . . I do remember one thing.  I always asked him all sorts of questions to try to get him to break that super code of silence.  Mostly, he said nothing.  You know."  Drew switched to a German accent.  "'I know nuttin', Fraulein Brady!'" He switched back to his regular voice.  "But he did make a funny comment about 'brushing up on his Spanish.'  Maybe that's something."

John could feel Hope looking at him intently.  She was assuming that this clue bolstered her Costa Blanca theory.  "Maybe it is," John said.

"Okay."  Drew suddenly sounded very serious.  "So now it's my turn for a question.  If Andy told you this terrorist story was ridiculous, what the devil possessed you to come here?  My spy skills may have atrophied over the years, but even I can smell a set-up."

Hope slapped a hand over her mouth in surprise, but John remained impassive.  "We weren't followed.  No one but a few family members even knows we're in England."

"Well I guess I'm going to have to take you at your word.  Too late now."  Drew turned to Geoffrey.  "Perhaps we may want to reconsider those retirement plans, say, start them tomorrow?"  At Geoffrey's perplexed look, Drew turned back to John and Hope.  "I think this discussion is over.  As you can see, we have a few things we need to discuss, so I believe we'll say our farewells and you can be on your way." 

Drew stood up and made his way to the door.  He pulled it open and waited for John and Hope to get up and leave.  John decided not to push it, so he nodded at Hope.  They both stood up and headed for the door. 

"Cheerio, my friends.  Ciao.  Adios," Drew said as they walked past him, back into the cold rain.  "Oh, and if you find my brother, drop a hint that he should brush up on his Croatian."  With that, he slammed the door shut.

John glanced at Hope who rolled her eyes.  "That was . . . interesting."

He nodded as he pulled up the collar on his jacket to ward off the rain and then shoved his hands deep into his pockets.  Tracking Drew had been pretty much a dead end as far as finding Shane was concerned, but at least Drew now knew he was in danger. 

"So what did you think about the Spanish thing?" Hope asked, as they began walking back to the foot bridge.  "Sounds like something Shane might do before going to Costa Blanca."

John nodded.  "Let's not discuss anything here."

"Why?"  Hope nervously looked around.  "I thought you said we weren't followed."

"Yeah, well, I can't be sure of that, can I?"  John had not seen anything out of the ordinary at Donovan Manor or during their drive to Stratford.  Nor did he have any intention of reporting Drew's whereabouts to anyone in the ISA or DHS.  But he still felt uneasy.  The now-confirmed false lead seemed designed to get John to find Drew's location.  Why?  John looked around the dark streets of Stratford, but he and Hope seemed to be the only ones here. 

He tried to calm his sense of unease.  There were no signs that they had been followed and if Drew and Geoffrey left England right away, they would be safe.

They crossed the foot bridge and headed for the car park.  As they walked, they did not notice a small boat on the river.  Even if they had, they would not have seen the extensive listening devices on board.  Inside, Marcus James removed his headphones and studied the house that John Black and Hope Brady had just left.  He smiled at the two other men on the boat with him.

"Let's go.  Time to give Mr. Kiriakis some good news."