“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.
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
“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
John’s eyes closed slowly, his body relaxing into the
warmth and embrace of the woman he loved.
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
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
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
“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.
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
“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
“What?” Lindsey watched the confused expression on her
“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
‘What are you doing?’ a voice inside her head
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.
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
“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
“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
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
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