Chapter 7

“I don’t know what to think,”

John rubbed his temple, more than a little agitated at this point. He was still in his dress clothes from the gala, but in his frustration the dark tie had been roughly loosened and now hung limply from his hunched frame. He had just conducted an update meeting with Bo and Antonio; it was about the Santi mess, mostly about Tico.

New surveillance had surfaced and the officers on his tail had reported numerous meeting with members of Kevin Buchanan’s campaign as well as some of the gangsters in training that presided over Llanview’s underground scene.

“What’s he bothering with all these small time guys for?” Antonio stared at the reports, clearly frustrated.

“I mean Tico is big money, what he needs these guys for?” he picked a file for a local drug dealer before tossing it back onto John’s desk.

“He’s covering his ground, “John said without looking up,

“If your hunch is right, your brother wants to assume his position as fast as he can. The new boss always wants to make his presence known. He wants to let those other lowlife’s know he’s moving into their territory.”

John’s words sunk in as Antonio paced up and down the office, but there was a feeling he just couldn’t shake. Since he had rejoined the force, Antonio had pledged to take his brother down no matter the cost. Now that everything was out in the open, the two brothers knew what the other was; there were no more masks to hide behind. Tico would always be his father’s son, a power-hungry, cold-hearted mega mogul who would never be satisfied till he had erased all competition in the form of his enemies, with his brother Antonio being first on the list. Antonio on the other would always be Manuel Santi Jr. But that was it, just a name, he was not and would never be the man his father was, he was a cop, it was all he knew, and family or not Tico had to stopped.

Antonio had been going on about how the whole operation seemed to be going way to smoothly. From tailing Tico to finding information on his various operations, it was all too easy, it just wasn’t right.

He didn’t realize till he looked up that his friend was preoccupied elsewhere, he watched as John McBain stared aimlessly out the window.

“She’ll be fine,” he said suddenly

John looked up a little surprised, was it that obvious.

“I’m not so sure anymore”, he stood up, hands on hips.

“Why did something happen with RJ?”

John shook his head, unsure.

“I don’t know, I-I saw her tonight-Evangeline, after the party. She just seemed… different, she didn’t say very much, but something in her body language. Something happened tonight.”

“C’mon John,” Antonio tried to play if off to ease the tension.

“You know she would tell you if something was wrong.”

When John turned around it was evident just how concerned he really was. John was scared, and McBain didn’t scare easily. He tried to think of something encouraging to say, but they both knew, with the current state of affairs, it was a dangerous place to be. He had enough run-ins to know that whichever way you looked at it, RJ Gannon was bad news. But they also knew Evangeline was stubborn and that she would have done this no matter what.

“Hey, look, we’ve done all we can tonight, maybe we should call it a night. Go see Evangeline, find out what ‘s up?”

John merely nodded; he had been thinking that all night. But the way she had looked when he had left, she had never looked at him like that before…

He moved to get his jacket and was about to say something in reply when there was suddenly a loud rapping at his office door. But before he could answer, a tall officer filled the doorway, his eyes moving from John to Antonio, and back to John.

“Lieutenant…” he was out of breath.

“What happened!” he yelled before officer Johnson could get out another word.

John was staring over his shoulder; panic struck him as he realized the officer was alone.

“She-she tried to call you, sir,” Antonio had joined them now,

“Where the hell is Evangeline!” his voice roared as the officer tried to explain.

“At Capricorn, sir.” John started to walk past him.

“I told you to stick with her and to not leave the apartment!! What the hell were you thinking?”

“She-she was worried sir; she thought something might be up at the club.”

But John wasn’t listening as he stormed through the station with Antonio and Officer Johnson hot on his heels.

“What do you mean, up?” Antonio stared strangely at the officer.

“I dunno,” he shrugged seemingly scared, “something about RJ Gannon and you brother.”

“My what?” Antonio spat, John had stopped in his tracks, before turning round to stare Johnson squarely in the eye.

Johnson stared from one man to another as he involuntarily backed away into the corner.

“What brother…” John’s eyed darkened as he braced for the answer, knowing fully well, it could only be one person.

Your bother,” he said finally “Augustico Santi.

“Get rid of them, whoever they are.” Tico had hissed the words before he had retreated to the back office, taking his goons with him.

RJ had breathed a sigh of relief grateful for whoever had put a stop to this uncomfortable situation. He said a silent prayer before he saw the two women walk in.

“What are you doing here, “he stared at Sonia before he eyes settled on Evangeline Williamson.

Evangeline looked away from his intent stare watching as Sonia looked at Capricorn for any sign of danger. Her eyes immediately shifted to the small handgun that Sonia sported before scanning the room.

“You’re here alone,” she said it with a sense of uneasiness; RJ just stared at her, still not believing she had really come, he seemed mesmerized by her presence.

“She was worried about you,” Sonia nodded her head in Evangeline’s direction, seemingly snapping RJ out of his trance.

“My brother isn’t…here, but any chance is he?” she watched his reaction closely, but he masked his surprise easily.

“Worried, your brother?” he laughed heartily. “Now what in the world would I be doing with your brother?”

“I don’t know,”

But even as she spoke Sonia had a hunch, suddenly she was making her way to the back office. RJ looked on as she swung the door open before stepping inside. RJ tensed as he waited for the imminent explosion to take place, but it never happened. He suddenly watched in disbelief as Sonia walked back onto into the club area, tucking her gun in the back of her slacks as she did so.

“Nothing there,”

“See,” he chimed suddenly, his eyes returning to Evangeline who seemed uncomfortable to say the least.

“I thought I heard-“she began. “I could have sworn…”

RJ took that cue to move towards her, maybe she didn’t’ hate him after all; she had cared enough to come all the way down here.

“Don’t come any closer, “she said suddenly, backing into the wall.

“I just came out of concern; I thought I heard…this doesn’t change anything RJ.”

He noticed how she looked so amazingly vulnerable, she was clutching her jacket at the collar, her eyes cold as she backed away. RJ knew he had messed up big time, but he couldn’t let things end like this. He needed her to believe in the RJ he had been when they were together, she had hurt him and he had wanted to hurt her. But not this much, and certainly not like this.

“C’mon Evangeline what say we-“he stepped in closer reaching out.

“Don’t touch me!” she yelled suddenly. Her eyes wide, and frightened, her voice angry and yes…frightened.

“Hey, man, maybe this isn’t such a good idea.”

Sonia’s words floated in one ear and out the other. RJ just stared at the woman in front of him. Something had changed in her, she seemed so cold.


“I said don’t TOUCH me,” she tried to shrink away but there was nowhere to go.

But RJ was determined as he moved towards her.

“Maybe you didn’t hear her,”

In an instant Evangeline was blocked from RJ’s view by the Chief of detectives.

“Oh, great,” Sonia watched as Antonio trailed in after John McBain. Antonio eyed her suspiciously before he settled on the two men going head to head.

Gannon looked genuinely surprised and McBain looked ready to kill.

“You touch her and I’ll kill you.” John said quietly just loud enough for RJ to hear. His voice betrayed his intentions and RJ could see McBain was out for blood.

“John…” from behind him Evangeline whispered into his back


He turned to look at her, she seemed so frightened, and Evangeline was the toughest woman he knew. Her eyes pleaded with him, and suddenly all he wanted to take her home and protect her from all…THIS.

“You’re trespassing,” RJ piped up suddenly. He hadn’t missed the exchange between the two lovers.

“Haven’t you ever heard of a lovers quarrel,” he said the words as he purposefully moved his eyes to Evangeline.

Evangeline wriggled in disgust as she watched his eyes undress her, the blood rising to her cheeks. John McBain didn’t miss a beat.

“John!” Evangeline and Antonio yelled in unison as in one move John pinned RJ Gannon against the wall.

Antonio struggled, with the help of Sonia, as they tried to tear the two men apart. Evangeline wanted to move but she couldn’t she felt rooted to the spot. John could tell RJ was enjoying this. I huge grin was plastered on his face as he met John’s stare head on.

“Go ahead…I dare you.”

“Shut up RJ!” Antonio felt John’s hands loosen.

John reluctantly began to pull away as RJ continued goading him.

“John,” Evangeline felt her legs go weak as her voice was drowned out by the sound of RJ, Antonio and Sonia.

“John,” she called his name again, he eyes closed as she felt her head swim.


All four of them looked up in time to watch as Evangeline fell, unconscious, to the hard wood floor.

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