Part 1

Evangeline was sitting in her office thinking back about the past few days. She wanted proof if it was RJ behind the attack on John, so they could see where they were headed. John had convinced her that they needed to cool it until he knew how to handle this situation with RJ. She didn't believe RJ would hurt her, but she'd been wrong about him before. She wasn't worried about herself though, she was worried that RJ would try something else on John and she needed to stop it.

She sat thinking and realized something had completely slipped her mind. Rex had been at the hotel the other night when she and John were talking and having a drink. He'd been there the whole time they were talking. He had left before her. He was still in the hotel. Earlier that day, while she was having lunch with John, she'd seen him talking to RJ. Could he be the link she needed to get to RJ? She called Ultraviolet to see if Rex was in. The bartender confirmed that Rex was at the club. Evangeline picked up her purse and was at the club 15 minutes later.

She walked in and saw Rex talking to one of the waiters on the other side of the room. She approached him from behind.

"Good evening, Rex."

Rex spun around at the sound of her voice.

"Good evening, Evangeline. How are you?"

"I'm fine, how are you?"

"I'm good. What's up? I'm not usually one of the people that you stand around to talk to."

"Actually, I thought I could talk to you about the other night at the hotel that your mom helps to run."

"Oh, yeah? I did see you there, but you looked like you were tied up with John McBain. I didn't want to interrupt."

"Well, thank you. But it appeared to me that you were there for a long time by yourself. Were you meeting someone?"

"No, I was just hanging out. I read a couple of magazines while I was there."

"Really? That's interesting. How are you doing with RJ? I heard that you were trying to get the club back."

"Well, actually, we made an agreement that will allow me to buy my way back into it. We signed the contract this morning," Rex said with a smile.

"That's wonderful, Rex. How on earth did you ever talk him into doing that? You must really be a good negotiator."

"We just settled on a good deal for both of us and I'm just doing some other work for him."

"Oh, that's good. I wondered about how friendly you two were at Rodi's the other day. You two looked like you were in the middle of something."

"Just talking business."

"Rex, I just have one other question for you."

"Okay?" he responded tentatively.

"As a part of your business deal, did RJ have you spy on me and John?"

Rex's eyes widened before he could control the reaction. Evangeline's eyes narrowed as she put two and two together.

"Why do you ask that?"

"Because John was attacked the other night and I need to know if RJ had anything to do with it."

"McBain was attacked," Rex said uncomfortably, "That's too bad. How is he?"

"He's fine. It was only a few bruises."

"Why would RJ attack John?"

"I don't know, but I plan to find out."

"I thought you and RJ were a couple."

"We're not and haven't been for awhile."

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"Don't be. It's for the best and you never did answer my question. Were you following me and John for RJ?"

"Evangeline I wish I could help you, but I can't. I was in the hotel just hanging out."

"Rex, if I'm wrong then I'm sorry for bringing it up to you, I've just never thought of you as one of those guys that spends a lot of time in a hotel lobby by yourself. Thanks for talking to me," she said as she realized that he’d evaded her question.

Evangeline grabbed her purse and walked out the door.


Rex took a deep breath and pulled out his cell phone.

"RJ, we may have trouble."

"What are you talking about?"

"Evangeline just came to see me. Apparently Lt. McBain was attacked the other night. Evangeline saw me at the hotel and came to ask me some questions about our relationship. If I was following her for you?"

"What did you tell her?"

"Nothing, but I don't think she bought it."

"Great. Just don't say anything to anybody and I'll take care of Evangeline."

"You're not going to hurt her are you?" Rex asked with concern in his voice.

"No, I'm not." But someone else might, RJ thought. The Santis had left Van alone because of the relationship she had with him. Since that was no longer the case, he couldn’t say that they wouldn’t come after her now. She had represented the bookkeeper and his girlfriend. Because she was so good, she could detrimental to the organization. She had no desire to work for the mob and she had been instrumental in helping bring down Manuel. She thought she was so in control, but she had no idea who she was dealing with. At this point he didn’t care if she got hurt. He just hated that she thought she was so right. She had helped Antonio take his granddaughter from him, now she was sleeping with a cop. A cop he could not stand. He owed her and she was going to pay.


John had been trying to get information out of Sherman, but he wasn’t talking. That frustrated him to no end. He missed Evangeline, but he wasn’t willing to risk her safety. He’d realized when RJ made his veiled threats just how much she already meant to him. He could not be the reason that she was hurt. He had to find out what RJ was up to so they could see where the thing between them went.

He smiled as he thought of her. He wanted to talk to her, but he wouldn’t. He’d made the suggestion and he needed to be strong enough to follow his own advice. It was just painful. He wanted to be with Evangeline more and more. She was so independent and so assured in who she was, but she was afraid of getting too close. They were so compatible both in and out of bed, but that wasn’t a reason for him to put her in jeopardy. He was falling and falling hard and he had to keep her safe. He knew she didn’t appreciate that as much as he would like her to. She didn’t expect him to keep her safe. She just expected him to be there.

His relationship with Natalie was completely different. Originally, he’d felt guilty about what happened to Christian and they had been drawn to each other. Now he knew that it had just been the need to connect with someone. He was sorry that he’d hurt Natalie, but if they’d gone any further, she would have been hurt worse. He couldn’t be what she needed. She was too clingy. He wanted her to be happy, because he did care about her, but he didn’t love her and didn’t think that he ever could.


Evangeline knew that John might be at the station so she called the main number and asked to be sent straight to his voice mail. She wasn’t in any mood to talk to him right now. They had decided to cool it and she took that to mean not seeing or talking to each other. She refused to be the one to not follow the rules. She told him about her suspicions and encouraged him to get Rex's cell phone records. She just had a hunch, but they were normally right. She hung up the phone and headed to her house. She didn't know what else to do about the situation with John. She'd done all she could right now. She really hated that because she had that odd feeling in the pit of her stomach that something was going to happen.


John got the message from Evangeline and cursed under his breath. Why didn’t I think of Balsom? He was there at the hotel practically the entire time we were in the lobby. He was with RJ at Rodi’s while Evangeline and I met to discuss Mary Barnes. Why had Evangeline talked to Balsom alone? She had to stop doing that. She might think she could take care of herself, but she was going to stop approaching people alone who could be after her.

John got the cell phone records and called Antonio into his office and told him the information that Evangeline had shared and asked him to check up on her the next few days.

"I thought you two were closer. Why do you want me to check up on her? Aren’t you seeing her often enough?" asked Antonio.

"I suggested that we cool it until I know how to handle RJ."

"She went for that."

"I didn’t give her much choice."

"Okay, so that’s why you’ve been acting different the past few days."

"What do you mean different?"

"Just quiet and not really approachable."

"I’m sorry if I’ve been difficult. I just can’t let anything happen to her because of me."

"You really care about her, don’t you?"

John shrugged and didn’t answer. Antonio just laughed and shook his head.

"You know you can admit it. If it there anyway, not admitting it isn’t going to make it go away," Antonio said.

"Yeah, I know," John said then looked seriously at Antonio, "Can you do me a favor?"

"What kind of favor?"

"I just want you to check on Evangeline and make sure that she’s okay. I have an officer patrolling her neighborhood and the area near her office, but you know her and I’d like to make sure everything is going as it should."

"Yeah, I’ll do it, but I think you’re making a mistake by not keeping her close to you right now."

"I just think us cooling it for a minute will allow Gannon to cool off and maybe let it go, let Evangeline go."

"I wouldn’t bet on it. He doesn’t let much go, and he tends to hold a grudge."


John talked to Rex about the phone records and still couldn't get any real evidence that Rex was spying for RJ or that RJ was behind his attack. He did, however, scare Rex. Hopefully that would be the last they heard from him.

He and Antonio had gotten more information on El Tiburon and were concerned about what the Santis might still be doing in Llanview. There had been word on the street about a hit being out on some lawyer but they couldn't find out who it was.


A few days later, Evangeline was sitting in her home office. She’d pulled out her notes from her meeting with Kelly Buchanan. She was really concerned about what Kelly wasn't telling her and she knew there was something. Kelly had been evasive and nervous, more than just scared about losing her baby. She was keeping something and Evangeline needed to know what it was. She had talked to Kevin to try to get him to drop the custody case and it wasn’t happening. He was devastated and planned to make sure that Kelly was as well. It was a sad case, but it didn’t look like she wasn’t going to be able to get them to settle out of court. She hated that. Custody hearings were always painful for everyone involved.

As she was sitting in her office reading, the door bell rang.

"Who is it?" she asked while reading a page of notes.

"Delivery for Evangeline Williamson."

She opened the door and heard what sounded like a shot and in the next moment she felt fire spread through her chest. She heard what could have been a second shot, but she couldn’t catch her breath and she could feel herself hit the floor. She saw a man fall and then she saw Antonio. She couldn’t keep her eyes open. She knew he was trying to talk to her, but she couldn’t make out the words. She knew she was dying and there was nothing she could do about it.

She whispered as she was losing consciousness, "Tell John, I love him."


Antonio had been stopping by to check on Evangeline for the last few days. He'd had to explain why the first morning he'd shown up at her door. She hadn't been very appreciative of John's decision to have someone check up on her, but she'd agreed to do it, if it made John feel better.

Antonio saw a man with a gun pointed at Evangeline’s door as he rounded the corner to her apartment. He pulled his gun and just missed getting the guy before he fired. He heard her gasp and knew she’d been hit. He fired and hit the man in leg, so he couldn’t run. He then called for back up and an ambulance as he ran to Evangeline’s door. She was gasping for breath. He knew she was in shock and he tried to talk to her. Suddenly she whispered for him to tell John that she loved him, and then she’d passed out. He checked her pulse. It was there but it wasn’t very strong.

A couple of patrol cops were in the area and they quickly arrived at the scene. By the time the ambulance arrived, the hit man was in cuffs. Antonio had to tell John about this and he could just imagine how his friend would take it. He waited until the paramedics had Evangeline stabilized and were on the way to the Llanview Memorial before putting in the call to John.



"John, this is Antonio. I need to talk to you."

"What’s wrong?"

"It’s Evangeline."

"What about her?"

"She’s been shot."

For a moment, there was complete silence on the other end of the phone.

"Where is she?"

"She’s on the way to Llanview Memorial."

"How . . . is . . . she?"

"She’s stable. The bullet was clean and it doesn’t appear that is did a lot of damage other than loss of blood, but they will have to verify that at the hospital."

"What happened?"

"When I was on my way to check on her, I saw some guy outside her door with a gun. He fired on her before I could stop him."

"Did you get him?"

"Yeah, I got him. They picked him up right before the ambulance got there for Evangeline."

"Good, because if she doesn’t make it, I need to know where to find him."

"John, she's going to make it. Where are you?"

"On my way to the hospital. I’m almost there. Take care of processing him and don’t make any mistakes. I want him and find out if Gannon had anything to do with this. If he did, he’s mine."

"I’ll take care of it. Oh, by the way, she told me to tell you that she loves you."


She loves me!!!!

John was out of his mind with worry. I should have been there. If I had kept her with me, none of this would have happened. What if she doesn’t make it? What am I going to do? He couldn’t lose her, not like this.

He sped to the hospital with one thought on his mind. Getting to Evangeline.


When he arrived to the emergency room, he found that Evangeline was in surgery to remove the bullet.

He went looking for his brother while he waited. Maybe Michael could find out how Van was doing. He had Michael paged and met him at the Operating Room Waiting Area. Michael was surprised to find his brother so wound up. John was usually the calm one. He was the one to keep everyone else from freaking out. This was new.

"John, what's going on?"

"Nothing. I just need to know how Evangeline is?" he said as he paced.

"Why? Why is she so important to you? Is she a witness or something in a case?"

John sighed, "She's not a witness. We are kind of seeing each other."

"Really? When did this happen?"

"Just recently. We decided to cool it for a while because we were concerned about her ex-boyfriend."

"Did he have something to do with this?"

"I hope not, but I wouldn't put it past him."

"Well, let me check and see if I can find out any information for you."

"Thanks," John said and moved to the window. As he looked out the window, all he could see was Evangeline's face the last time they had been together. She'd basically asked him if he was using Gannon as a reason to not get too close to her. He hadn't been able to convince her that this was all about her safety. And now she was in the hospital. Shot. Was it RJ? Could she be the lawyer on who the hit was placed? If so, how was he going to keep her safe?

Michael returned to the waiting room and watched his brother for a moment. John looked like a caged animal. Pacing back and forth in front of the window. He hoped his news would calm him down some.


"Yeah, how is she?" John asked as he made his way across the room to his brother.

"She's going to be fine. They are finishing up the surgery now. It was a clean shot. Didn't do a lot of damage, but she did lose quite a bit of blood. They'll probably keep her for few days and after a few weeks, she be practically good as new. When she comes out of recovery, she'll be moved to a room and you can sit with her."

John took a deep breath. He regained some of his calm as he exhaled.

"Thanks, Michael."

"You're welcome. Glad to see you're moving past Caitlin."

"What are you talking about?"

"Evangeline. You've fallen for her. I'm glad. I'm sorry it took something like this for me to see it."

"What are you talking about?"

"You haven't been this intense about anyone since Caitlin. I like Evangeline Williamson. I think she'll be good for you. You are too used to being right. She'll give you a run for your money."

John chuckled in spite of himself, "Thanks, Michael."

"Don't mention it. What are brothers for?"

John's cell phone rang as he was about to answer Michael.

"Excuse me, Michael," he said as he answered the phone, "McBain."

"John, this is Antonio. I just found out some information from the hit man, Blackship. He was hired by the Santis to take Evangeline out. They were trying to send a message to other attorneys about helping people that are working against the family."

"Did you find out who specifically put out the hit?"

"Not yet. I'm working on it. How is Evangeline?"

"Still in surgery, but hopefully I'll be able to see her soon."

"Give her my love, will you?

"Sure. Thanks for keeping me in the loop.

"No problem. Talk to you soon."

"Yeah," John said and hung up the phone. He turned to Michael, "Thanks for helping me stand the waiting."

"Anytime," Michael said as his beeper went off, "I've got to go. I'll talk to you later and I'll check on Evangeline."

"Thanks. I appreciate your help."


A few hours later, Evangeline was in a room and she was hooked up to multiple machines. All of them monitoring her vital signs. The doctor told him that she had come through surgery with flying colors. She was going to be fine. He sat watching her in the hospital bed. Antonio had called telling him that he had the name of the person who put the hit on Evangeline. The FBI was involved and they were in the process of picking him up. Evangeline should be safe.

Her arm was secured to her chest so she couldn’t pull out the stitches, but she hadn’t so much as moved since she’d been brought to the room. He needed to be able to tell her that he loved her, too. He’d fought that idea that he could feel this way after such a short time, but this had brought those feelings to the forefront. He wanted to go to bed with Van at night and wake up with her each morning. He wanted to be the man to make her smile and the one she came home to.

He saw her eyes twitching and he touched her hand.

"Evangeline? Come on and wake up. You can do it. Open you eyes."

She shifted her eyes behind the lids and then crinkled her forehead. Her eyes opened as John was rubbing his finger over her forehead to relax the frown.

"Hi," he said when he saw her eyes open.

"Hi," her voice came out very hoarse after having a tube down her throat, "can I have some water?"

"They told me that you could have some ice chips. How about that?"

"That’s fine," she said as he spooned ice chips into her mouth.

"What are you doing here?" she asked after her throat was wet.

"Making sure you are okay."

"I thought you wanted to cool it."

"I did. I was wrong. Antonio told me that you said you loved me. Did you mean it?"

"I thought I was dying."

"Did you mean it?" John repeated.

"Yes," Evangeline said with her eyes averted from John’s. John lifted her chin and kissed her gently.

"Evangeline? I love you too."

Her eyes flew to his and she knew that they were both ready to move forward.

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