“Thanks, man. Keep me posted.”

John finally finished his phone call and put the phone back on the receiver. He had been talking to Antonio on and off for the last hour trying to piece together the puzzle of Evangeline’s disappearance. Antonio had taken the liberty of interviewing the man who had discovered Evangeline in John’s place. He wanted so badly to break open this whole thing and figure out what exactly had taken place. Evangeline couldn’t remember and that scared him.

All in all he seemed more concerned than she was, but John couldn’t shake the bad feeling that whatever had happened, wherever she had been, it couldn’t be anything good. The postcards he now had in his possession seemed to taunt him. They were clues staring him right in the face, something about them, the way they were written screamed something sinister from his past. It was a warning sign. They filled him with an explosive foreboding that something terrible was about to happen to him…No! To Evangeline. Evangeline.

At that instant, his eyes turned towards the closed bedroom door. Evangeline had fallen asleep right after her check-up with the nurse. She seemed ok, even fussed that he was to fixated on her incident. People had accidents all the time and hers was no different. Her logical explanation was that she had probably been thrown from the vehicle at some point and in her confusion had wandered out into the middle of nowhere. But the nowhere she had been rescued from was several miles outside of town, miles from the accident sight. He knew the idea had shaken her but she had also assured him that she was more excited about coming home, back to him.

He had watched her sleep for a while, afraid to leave her side. John knew he should be grateful that she was back. Grateful that somehow he was being given a second chance, something he had had been denied before and he couldn’t waste it.

John brushed the thoughts from his head just this once, proceeding to check the locks on all the doors. He secured all the rooms, locking and relocking every door, window or possible entry way into her apartment. After fidgeting with every lock at least twice, he finally killed the lights before entering Evangeline’s bedroom. In the dark, his eyes adjusted quickly to her sleeping form where she lay curled into his side of the bed. He treaded across the soft carpet, securing her room as best he could before returning to the bed. John was pulling his shirt over his head when he heard the soft rustle of the sheets and she stirred beneath hem.

“John…” Evangeline spoke in barely a whisper.

“I’m right here,” he answered back softly, before quickly crawling into bed next to her. Her body was warm as he slid into the space next to her. He took her tiny hands in his, kissing them before resting them with his across his bare chest. Evangeline molded herself to him, her head softly resting in the crook in his neck. He turned towards her, noting that in all this her eyes hadn’t opened even once. John kissed the top of her head, breathing in the raspberry scent of her freshly shampooed hair. She always smelled like heaven to him and he nested closer to her in an effort to lose himself in her essence.

“I love you,” he heard her whisper sleepily once more. John let the words sink into him as he listened to her breathe. Moments later, her breath took on a steady pace as she once again settled completely into the realm of sleep.

“I love you, too.” He kissed her again. “More than you know.”

John’s eyes closed slowly, his body relaxing into the warmth and embrace of the woman he loved.


“What now?”

Lindsey grunted as the Llanview Hospital doors slid open. Beside her RJ Gannon sulked as they made their way from the ER to RJ’s parked car.

They had spent a good part of the night trying to get to Evangeline Williamson. Lindsey was usually bothered by RJ’s concern over the lawyer, but she also knew that the two of them had history. He had explained to her what had taken place before Evangeline’s accident and knew that RJ carried his fair share of guilt after going ballistic on her. He had hurt her and he was sorry, for a man like RJ that was no easy admission.

She had reluctantly agreed to help him get in to see her, all he wanted to do was apologize and make sure she was alright. Lindsey knew all too well what it was like to still care about someone who had moved on.

But alas, all their efforts had been in vain. Evangeline was with McBain, and upon hearing of their efforts had expressed to his officers and what seemed like a good number of the Hospital personnel to, under no circumstances, release any information on Evangeline or her condition to RJ Gannon.

Of course RJ had flipped out, once he discovered what the Detective had done. But Lindsey had quickly reminded him that like him, John cared about Evangeline and wanted only the best for her. Besides, they were together now, and she knew McBain well enough to know that if he didn’t want RJ to come anywhere near her than that is exactly what would happen.

But RJ wasn’t going to give up that easily, and now as they settled into RJ’s car a new plan hatched in his head and he stared towards the hospital.

“What are you doing?” Lindsey Rappaport watched RJ Gannon as he jumped out of the car.

That’s the nurse that checked on Evangeline.”

His only accomplishment of the night had been to been to bribe a nurse into informing him that Evangeline was recovering from home, under the care of Doctor Michael McBain and one other new nurse that had been described to him. Now he was suddenly excited with the prospect of extracting from this woman, the information McBain thought he could keep away from him.


Lindsay hurried after RJ as they trailed a pretty blonde who had just exited the ER, into the hospital parking lot. “Since no one will tell me what’s going on, I’m going to have to find out for myself.”

“RJ, this is ridiculous. Why don’t you just go and see her?” She pleaded.

“McBain won’t let me anywhere near her.”

“With good reason,” she added, forcing a scowl to RJ’s face.

“Look, I just want to make sure she’s ok.”

They finally caught up with the nurse as she was crossing the lot.

“Excuse me.” RJ came to stand in front of her. “Celia…right?”

The woman looked more suspicious than confused as she stared back at them.

“Look, I’m a friend of Miss Williamson’s and I believe that you were her attending nurse?” Immediately the woman started to walk away.

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” she answered curtly, before walking even faster.

“I was told...,” he said, stepping in front of her again, “that you took care of Miss Williamson. She’s a friend and I want to make sure she’s ok.”

The woman stopped suddenly staring back at both of them.

“We’ll make it worth your while,” Lindsey added suddenly. For a moment, the woman stared.

“Approach me again and I’ll have you reported for harassment.” With that she continued across the lot.

“Great!” Lindsey sighed, “Now will you give this up?”

RJ wasn’t listening at that moment; he saw the nurse walk to a dark car parked in a corner of the lot. He watched as she opened the door quickly climbing in. For a moment, his eyes locked on the driver – a tall man, dark brown hair, late thirties.

“I know that guy,” he said as they drove off with some haste.

“What?” Lindsey watched the confused expression on her friend’s face.

“In the car, I know that guy.”


Evangeline’s legs were heavy as she ran down the hallway. Behind her she could hear the Doctor, Steven. He was running behind her, his long legs seemed to move at the speed of light. She tried to run faster, her legs hurt. But he gained on her more and more, till his large hands grabbed her from behind. Then she was beneath him, fighting him as he dragged her back to that room…that God awful room. There the nurse…Celia, she was waiting for them. She stood smiling sweetly, the familiar tall syringe in her arm. She screamed, screamed louder than she had ever screamed in her life.

‘John help me!’ She cried silently. ‘John don’t let them hurt me.’

No words escaped her mouth as her body was slammed effortlessly onto the hard bed. Steven Haver was on top of her, his arm pinned her to the bed. Her legs flayed about, trying to kick him where he knelt between them. His face was expressionless as he watched her struggle. She was screaming as her hair fell widely about her face; beads of sweat drenched the front of her dress. Her arms hurt…the pain was excruciating, explosive. Something was very wrong; her body hurt all over, unearthly, mind numbing pain. It made her scream and cry at the same time; scream and cry till she was forced to beg, beg for her sanity as the pain ripped through the inside of her brain.

‘It will be over soon.’

Celia was beside her then, kneeling as the syringe was carefully emptied into her upper arm. In her fit of agony, the prick of the needle didn’t register, but its effects were powerful. Almost immediately Evangeline’s body seemed subdued, the pain subsided as her body was transformed from a vessel of pain to that of a deep black hole. She was an empty vacuum, seemingly wiped clean. Her mind became an empty slate, mirroring that of an impressionable young child.

‘Now you’re ready.’

Steven Haver moved before her eyes focused on his. He moved, letting her sit up as she stared back at him, like a child eager to learn. Haver moved one hand to caress the side of her face, his hand lingered as he wiped the tears of agony from her large brown eyes.

‘You know what you have to do.’

Evangeline’s eyes flashed open as the dream ended. Her eyes maintained crystal clarity as she stared up at John’s face. He was asleep, she could feel him breath where her head lay on his chest. With unmatched grace, Evangeline slid carefully from his embrace, pausing to make sure he was still very much asleep. John didn’t sleep often, especially when there was so much on his mind. As a result, she exercised great caution as she moved from the bed. The carpet was soft under her bare feet as she walked to the dresser. Evangeline stood in front of the mirror for what seemed like an eternity, staring back at her image in the mirror. The person that stared back was a stranger; her eyes dead, her heart empty. The stranger filled Evangeline with inexplicable fear.

‘What are you doing?’ a voice inside her head questioned.

Evangeline ignored the voice as her eyes moved from the dresser to a table beside the bed. Then she saw it, exactly where she had expected it to be. John always put his gun in the same place. He knew she hated guns but he always removed it from the holster and kept it close…just in case. Now Evangeline stared at it, deathly afraid to touch it, but knowing she had to. Tears welled in her eyes and her hand shook as she reached for it. Her mind was disconnected from her body; she was fighting to stop herself from doing what she knew she would.

‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!’ the voice in her head screamed

‘I don’t know,’ she answered back just as her hand closed over the cold hard steel of his handgun.

Tears were streaming down her face now as she used both hands to steady her hold on the gun. Her arms moved slowly as the gun was raised in mid-air, pointed directly at the sleeping figure.

Oh God, please help me. She painfully blinked back the tears as they flowed uncontrollably.

“John…” His name was drowned in a sob, just as her thumb moved to disarm the safety on John’s gun.

“Evangeline?” The tears had momentarily blinded her, and she hadn’t seen John sit up slowly in bed. “Evangeline…”

When he said her name it was with a mixture of undeniable fear and seething anger. His voice bit into her consciousness, but the gun didn’t move. It stayed in position, squarely pointed at John’s heart.

“Help me…” The words escaped her mouth with some difficulty, as she bit back tears, trying to hold the gun steady. “I don’t want to do this, help me…”

The gun followed his movements as John climbed out of bed; all the time keeping his eyes fixed on her. She couldn’t see the emotions that played on his face as shock turned to fear and finally to a needed calm.

“Van, just gimme the gun.” He was moving towards her, his hands outreached.

“I don’t…I don’t know what to do, John.” She closed her eyes again.

“Evangeline! Evangeline!” He yelled to get her attention. Her eyes immediately snapped open, moving back to his face.

“It’s ok.” He was moving closer. “Just give me the gun.”

“I don’t think I can.” She sobbed. “I know what I’m supposed to do. I’m supposed to shoot you…they’re waiting…waiting outside to make sure I do it,” she confessed. John seemed unfazed by her admission, as he focused on moving closer, maintaining eye contact.

“It’s gonna be alright.” There was a new urgency in his voice

“I love you,” she voiced suddenly.

“I love you, too,” he said, finally, and meant it. Evangeline’s heart seemed to explode with the words and it hurt. It hurt to be doing this, standing here like this with him.

Without warning, she bolted from the bedroom. She heard John call after her as she ran in the dark through her home and outside; out in the dark night, running as far away as she could from her own evil thoughts.


John ran to the beat of his pounding heart. In the darkness, he was running blind, following the sound of her footsteps as Evangeline ran from him. The gun was in his hands now, from where she had dropped it in the bedroom. His head was swimming with the events of the last few minutes. She was so scared, so confused. He had never seen her like that before. All he could think was the way she had looked, what she had said. They’re waiting outside.

It was like a bad dream. He had closed his eyes for just a second, only to wake up to a nightmare. Even on his worst days, he could have never imagines what had just taken place. He should have listened when his instincts told him something was terribly wrong with Evangeline. He had no logic to explain what had happened. The way she sounded, how she looked, the fear in her eyes. She could never hurt him; he knew that much and he could never ever be afraid of her. But the woman he had seen tonight seemed to be busting at the seems. Distant, dangerous and almost destroyed by whomever and whatever had taken place these last few days.

John ran faster, toward an open doorway, just in time to see her run outside. John didn’t have time to react as a hand came up just beyond the doorway, making contact with the side of his face. He was blindsided as he fell to the ground, instantly losing his gun. Before he could react, John felt the blow of a hard metal object as it cracked across his back, knocking the wind out of him. He fell to his knees, as blinding pain ripped through his upper body.

“I should have known she couldn’t do it.” John’s eyes followed the voice that spoke, moving to a man’s face. John felt the color drain from his face as he stared into the eyes of a ghost.


Steven Haver laughed with genuine delight. The look on John McBain’s face was priceless. After waiting so long, here he was, the great detective, on his knees. It would have been icing on the cake to have him done in by his beloved.

“What a waste,” he sighed before kicking John forcefully in the stomach. “I go through all that trouble of tailing Miss Williamson, drugging her, very cleverly I might add, into killing the love of her life. It was brilliant I tell you. You, the impenetrable John McBain find love, only to be done in by it. The ultimate betrayal.”

“You son of a….”

Steven watched him attempt to get up and decided just then to administer a second kick to John’s torso.

“But of course, like most things, this little experiment of mine was not an exact science. To tell you the truth, I think Ms. Williamson lost a few of her marbles along the way. Seems this little drug has some rather adverse psychological side effects.”

Steven reached back to pull out the gun he had been carrying. With fascination, he watched John’s reaction as he did so.

“I’ve been waiting for this a long time.” Haver pointed the gun as John finally struggled to his feet. “I have to say this is rather disappointing John. I would have much rather enjoyed watching you suffer, but you took the fun out of that years ago.”

Steven’s finger tightened on the trigger as John asked, “Where is she?”

“Don’t worry.” Haver smiled, knowing who John referred to. “I’ll make sure she’s well taken care of.”


In a split second, John saw Haver squeeze the trigger and knew for sure it was over. The sound of gunfire crackled through the air, deafening him as he waited for the pain of his bullet wound to hit him. The feeling never came. He watched as Haver buckled, the gun slipping from his limp fingers as he dramatically collapsed to the ground. Rich, dark blood flowed from the side of his mouth as he tried to speak. The bullet had penetrated his heart perfectly. John watched in disbelief as he gasped for air; as the life seeped slowly out of him.

John turned around to see where the gunshot had come from. A few feet behind him, Evangeline stood rooted to the spot, as his gun dangled from one hand. He was instantly in front of her, taking the gun from her hand. The tears still lingered in her eyes as they held his. He embraced her in silence crushing her to him. He could feel her heart beat as he held her in the cold air of the night.

“I couldn’t do it,” she whispered, finally.

“I know,” he answered, as tears filled his eyes. As his arms tightened around her, both were oblivious to the flashing lights and sirens that quickly surrounded them.