Prologue

Eamon Donovan's heart twisted as he realized that the unthinkable had to be done. He had to give up his pride and joy, his reason for life- his daughter.

He nodded to himself and started dialing the phone, even as tears threatened to spill down his face. Vivian Tyler answered the phone in a sleepy grumble. Eamon looked at the clock, and realized that it was nearing midnight in Nebraska.

"I'm sorry to bother you, Viv, but this can't wait," Eamon began stiffly.

"What's going on?" Vivian answered, alarmed by some small amount of stress and sadness that had leaked through the careful wall he was using to block out his emotions. If he let himself feel, his resolve would falter, and Riley couldn't afford to stay with him anymore. It just wasn't safe. "Eamon?!"

With a start, he realized that he hadn't said anything. Really, he didn't think to- his grief was echoing throughout his head, a chorus of 'you got into the FBI so you could support her better, and now because of your job you must give her up!'

"Viv, it's about Riley." Eamon paused. His voice had cracked as he said her name. Riley.

"Riley?" Vivian cried in alarm. "Eamon! She's okay, right? Please, God, let her be okay…"

"Riley's fine." For now, he added silently.

"Then what's going on?" Vivian was starting to sound more annoyed than concerned. That was something he'd been hoping to avoid.

"Look, Riley's fine now, but I can't guarantee she'll stay okay as long as she's living with me. I need you to take her," Eamon forced out. Then he fell silent, wishing there was some way he could take those words back. What would he do without Riley? How could he protect her? This was the only way.

"Eamon…I can't just have her move in with me. Not now. I just got married, we haven't settled in yet. She would hate Nebraska, and I haven't seen her in so long…what if she doesn't like me?" Vivian hated to sound so weak, but they were both showing their vulnerability tonight.

"None of that is as important as Riley, and you know it. Vivian, please. If not for me, then do it for her. Or even for yourself. You would be just as crushed as me if anything were to happen to her..." Eamon pleaded. He didn't really think Vivian would be as devastated about the loss of Riley, but saying that wouldn't do any good.

"Look, let me talk it over with Craig. I can't make any decisions without him," Vivian finally said after a long pause. Eamon rolled his eyes. She was putting her daughter's- no, his daughter's life in the hands of her brand-new husband. Good choice, Vivian. He would have laughed if he could find the heart.

"No, I need an answer now, Viv."

She sighed. "Fine. We'll take her. When is she coming?"

A strange expression crossed Eamon's face- a cross between a grin and a grimace. "Tomorrow."

Although it was sooner than she'd have hoped, Vivian was happy. She was going to see Riley, after being separated for five years. Sure, she'd spoken with her on the phone, but they both knew it wasn't the same. She just hoped that Craig and Riley both would take the change well.

Eamon, on the other hand, was miserable. He knew he was doing the right thing, but at what expense? He would give everything to keep Riley safe, and here he was proving it. He was keeping her safe at the expense of his heart and happiness. He hoped she would take the news well.

After hanging up with Vivian and taking a little bit of time to collect himself, he called his workplace. They were endangering his daughter, so they had to help him protect her.