Chapter 1

"John, Iíve got what we think is a shooting just in from Buchanan plaza. CSU is on the scene to get any forensic evidence. The victim is at the hospital. Can you send somebody down there to check it out?" Bo said walking into Johnís office without knocking.

"Is the vic okay?" The file John was reading obviously had his attention since he never looked up at Bo.

"Yeah, being treated as we speak."

"Iíll send Vince down to do some initial questioning and then follow up with him."

"Sounds good to me." Bo walked out of the office into the bullpen, thankful that John hadnít been asked any other questions. He wanted to stay on Evangelineís good side at the moment.

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"Hi, Vince." Evangeline sat on the utilitarian hospital bed getting stitches in her arm looking like a little girl in the school nurseís office.

"Miss Williamson, what are you doing here? Iím supposed to be meeting the victim of a shooting."

"That would be me, Vince."

"Are you okay? What happened?" The look of concern on Vinceís face warmed Evangelineís heart.

"Iím okay. I was going to my car after work and got grazed by a stray bullet or something. It was the only shot fired, as far as I know."

"Did you see anybody or anything suspicious?"

"No, thatís part of my problem. I was walking toward the car and the bullet or whatever got me from behind. I spun around, but it was dark in the parking garage and I didnít see or hear anyone."

"CSU is on the scene as we speak. If thereís anything there, theyíll find it."

"Iím sure they will. What they wonít find is a bullet."

"What do you mean? If they know what direction you were walking in and how the bullet hit you, they ought to be able to do a trajectory to find out where it landed. Theyíll find it."

"No, Vince, they wonít. The bullet or whatever wasnít a normal casing. It looked like some sort of plastic, maybe composite or something. When it hit the metal of my car, it shattered. They will find the pieces of the bullet and may be able to find out what it was made of, but they wonít be able to match it to a particular gun. I mean I donít know a lot, but Iíve examined a lot of guns in my time as a defense attorney. I doubt they will be able to find out who fired on me, by whatís left of that bullet."

"How do you know thatís what hit you?"

"I saw the pieces on the ground at my feet covered in my blood."

Evangeline flinched as the doctor that was stitching her up hit a sore spot. Isnít it supposed to be deadened? Sheíd already gotten a tetanus shot and some antibiotics, but as pain shoot through her she prayed for drugs.

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"McBain," John said, answering his ringing cell phone.

"John, itís me."

"Hey Mikey. Whatís up?" John continued reading the information on a robbery from the week before. Knowing Michael, the call was probably about going to a Phillies game or something.

"Do you know that Evangeline was at the hospital earlier?"

All activity in Johnís office ceased. John snapped to attention like a private in the presence of a 4-star General. "What? Is she okay? What happened to her?"

John took a deep breath and looked at the picture of him and Evangeline sitting on his desk.

"They think she got shot." Flashes of Caitlyn and his father ran through Johnís mind. Not again. Never again.

"Is she okay?" John groaned, repeating his question. Apparently, his brother didnít hear him the first time. She has to be okay. She has to.

"Oh, sorry. Yeah, sheís okay, but they think somebody took a shot at her when she was leaving work tonight."

"Did you see her?"

"Just for a few minutes, before she was released from the hospital. She said her arm hurt, but she was going home to bed." She was on her way home; John was relieved, but if someone took a shot at her was she still in danger?

"Thanks for calling me Michael. You said this happened near her office?"

"Thatís what she said."

"Thanks." John could practically feel the steam coming from his ears. The shooting earlier had to be Evangeline; Bo hadnít told him. He grabbed his jacket heading for Boís office before leaving the station.

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"Come in," Bo said to the loud knock at his door.

"Why didnít you tell me it was Evangeline?" John asked without warning. He watched Bo flinch and in that moment he didnít care. How could Bo not tell him that Evangeline had been hurt?

"She asked me not to."

"I needed to know."

"Why? You two arenít together anymore. Sheís just another victim." John eyes narrowed at the sarcasm. Bo knew how John felt about Evangeline.

"Bo, if something happens to her. . ."

"Yeah, I know. You need to fix whatever this is, because you have been hell to live with since the breakup. The yelling at the guys and being short with everyone else is getting old. You need to get some rest. I know youíve spent more nights here than at home."

"If I canít sleep, thereís no reason to be there." The shame of his actions caught him off guard. John hadnít realized how the pain he felt was affecting everything and everyone around him.

"Fix it with Evangeline. Everyone will be better off."

"Bo, I donít know if I can."

"You sure as hell need to try."

John was afraid heíd lost the chance to make it work with Evangeline. She was the woman he wanted. No, needed, but he wasnít sure he could give her what she needed. Evangeline had told him once that all she needed was to be loved in return, but obviously she needed more than that, because he did love her. Heíd shown her in every way he knew how.

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In the car on his way to Evangelineís apartment, John called for an update on the shooting.

"Vince, this is John McBain. What do we have?"

"Not much, Lieutenant. We donít have a bullet so we donít know what kind of gun was used. "

"What do you mean, we donít have a bullet? Didnít CSU find out where it was imbedded?"

"It wasnít imbedded, sir. The shooter didnít use regular bullets. It was some kind of composite plastic. It sliced through Miss Williamsonís arm and shattered when it struck her car. If it had hit the bone or something, it probably would have shattered in her arm."

"How soon before we know what itís made of?"

"CSU has a sample and they said theyíll run it right away."

"Put a rush on it, Vince. I need to know as much about this as possible, as soon as possible."

"Lieutenant?"

"Yeah, Vince."

"Tell Miss Williamson again how glad I am sheís okay."

"Howíd you know I was going to see her?"

"Where else would you be?" John chuckled. The guys on his staff hadnít mentioned Evangeline at all to him since the break-up. News had gone through the police station lightening fast. Everyone had given him space since Evangeline walked out of his office. The fact that Vince knew he was headed to Evangelineís told him, he was pretty transparent. He missed her and he was taking it out on everyone around him.

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Standing outside Apartment 35H, John thought of what he would say. The doorman, Felix, whoíd become a pretty good friend of Johnís allowed him upstairs with the stipulation that John never reveal it was voluntary. The story theyíd concocted was that John flashed his badge, because this was police business.

"When Miss Williamson got here, she really looked wiped out. She needs to get some rest," Felix said.

"Iíll make sure that she does." John knew his appearance in her apartment would lead to anything but calm.

According to Felix, Evangeline had been home for over an hour. Felix gave John the key to let himself in. Hopefully, sheíd been asleep for a while. John quietly let himself into her apartment and entered the familiar living room. Iíve missed being here. I just miss her.

"Evangeline," John whispered.

When he got no answer, he continued into the bedroom where he found her sprawled across the bed in a peach teddy. Her hair was spread out on what he still considered his pillow. The large bandage on her arm did nothing to take away from her beauty. Her caramel skin looked as smooth and soft as silk, just as he remembered it. The long lashes rested against her cheeks hiding those big brown eyes that he loved so much.

The urge to touch Evangeline was strong, but he resisted. What would happen when she woke up he didnít know; but he would definitely find out, he wasnít leaving.