Storm Surge

by KatLyn


Rating: NC-17

Status: WIP

Disclaimers: There mine. Do not use them, steal them, or abuse them.


Part 10

Chapter Twenty-Nine

"I'll only ask you one more time. Who are you?" Alex held the Sig level with the woman's head. Her voice dark and dangerous, leaving no room for Alicia to misunderstand her.

The woman slowly turned, meeting Alex's dark, menacing eyes with her own tear laden ones. "My name is Alicia Vergara, and I am the Hospitality Coordinator for the Hyatt, or after tonight I guess I can say former coordinator."

Alex motioned with her head for the woman to sit as she slowly backed towards the adjoining door. Flipping the lock, she pulled open the door to find Donald asleep. "What did you give him?"

Alicia spoke so quietly Alex was having a hard time understanding. "It was only a moderate strength sedative. It will wear off in a couple of hours."

Alex called out to Donald and saw him begin to stir, then turned back to Alicia and growled, "Why? Who are you working for?"

Letting herself fall back in the chair Alicia groaned, "Agent Montgomery, I'm not working for anyone. I was forced to do what I did tonight in order to keep my brother safe."

The confusion was evident on Alex's face as she watched the woman. After calling out to Donald once again, she walked to the closet and pulled a set of handcuffs out of her duffle bag. She tossed them to the woman and ordered her to cuff herself to the headboard.

Alicia stood from the chair and obediently slid onto the bed and cuffed herself. Turning back to Alex, she looked at her with sad eyes. "I'm sorry if I have caused you any trouble."

Alex relaxed her grip on the Sig as she walked back to the door separating her room from Donald's. She saw him sitting on the bed, obviously very groggy, rubbing his face. In a demanding voice, trying to break Donald from his drug induced stupor, Alex yelled into the room, "Donald, go to the bathroom and drink some water, wake yourself up, then get in here. We have a little unexpected company, and more on the way."

Donald shook his head trying to clear his thoughts as he stood and walked across the room on wobbly legs. "What's going on Alex?" Entering the room, he saw a woman cuffed to the headboard and looked back at Alex with questioning eyes.

"It seems Ms. Vergara here, spiked the wine she sent up earlier. Good thing I passed on it or we'd both be sitting ducks for whoever is on their way to see us."

Donald's eyes focused on the woman and his mind cleared as the adrenaline surged through his body. Stabbing the woman with a piercing look, he stalked closer. "Ms Vergara, do you mind telling me what the fuck is going on here, or do I call the police right now?"

The woman shook her head and glanced at Alex, "I'm afraid the police can't or won't help you with this Agent Fairfax. You're still here in Mexico because some important paperwork was misplaced, am I correct?"

Donald and Alex both felt a chill run up their spines as the woman spoke. Alex was the first to recover, and the anger in her voice mirrored the anger surging through her body. "Are you telling me the police helped set us up?"

Alicia shook her head. "No, no. Please sit and stop pointing that thing at me and I'll tell you everything I know."

Donald and Alex listened as the story unraveled, small pieces fitting into place bit by bit until the puzzle was complete. They heard a light tapping on the door as Alicia finished her story. Alex held her finger up in front of her mouth, and Donald slipped into his own room. She quietly un-cuffed Alicia and pushed her towards the door. Leaning in close to Alicia's ear, Alex whispered, "You open the door, get him inside, then get the hell out of my way. Do you understand?"

Nodding her head, Alicia walked to the door, opened it and peered out. Alex could hear voices but couldn't make out what they were saying. Praying that Alicia wasn't double crossing them, she waited in the darkened bathroom. Her muscles tensed as she saw the slash of light cutting the darkness of the room grow wider, and then disappear as the door closed.

Taking a deep breath, she readied herself, hoping Donald was holding up his end, and flipped on the light while at the same time leveling the gun at the man's head. "Aren't you a bit out of your neighborhood, Papa? The slums are further down the street."

His head whipped around to see Alex's gun leveled at his face. Smiling, he pierced her with a cold stare. "Agent Montgomery. Why don't you put your little toy away, my bodyguard is just outside the door and I don't thing he will appreciate your inhospitality."

Just as the words left his mouth, Donald pushed a beefy looking man through the door. "Is this the guy you're talking about? I'm afraid he's going to be a little tied up for a while. Looks like you're on your own, Mr. Sarantos." Donald ordered the man to the floor and cuffed his hands behind his back.

Alex waited for Donald to finish, then motioned for Sarantos to sit in the chair next to the window. Donald took the other set of cuffs from Alex and secured Sarantos' hand behind his back. After both men were safely situated, Donald sat on the bed and faced Papa Paul. "Your daughter has been filling us in on your plans, Sarantos. And I'm not really liking what I'm hearing."

Sarantos glared at his daughter, wishing he were not cuffed. I should have been harder on you Alicia. "My daughter is a weakling and can't be trusted by either of us, I'm afraid." Glaring at his daughter with disdain he continued: "Alicia has her mother's disposition. Much too tenderhearted."

"Donald, I'm going to call Robert, I'll be back if a few minutes." Alex walked to the bed and un-cuffed Alicia's hand. "Come with me."

Alicia stood and followed Alex into the other room, rubbing her wrists as she went. As they entered Donald's room, Alex motioned towards the chair. Alicia sat quietly and was surprised when she wasn't re-cuffed. Alex picked up the phone and asked the operator to connect her to the American Embassy in Mexico City.

Alex spoke to the operator at the Embassy and was quickly connected to the FBI liaison stationed there. After providing a brief summary of their situation, Alex was assured that someone would be at their location within the hour. She then placed the next call to AD Robert Albertson. After Alex repeated their predicament to him, Albertson stated that he would be on the next flight out. Replacing the receiver, Alex sat and watched Alicia for a few moments, organizing her thoughts.

The situation was complicated to begin with, but the fact that they were in another country, and possessed no jurisdiction, only made matters worse. AD Albertson and the FBI liaison could figure out all the details, what Alex wanted right now was to get some more answers.

Looking at the woman sitting across from her, Alex knew if she could only get Alicia to testify against her family, many of their problems would be solved. "You said earlier that you were forced to participate here tonight. Is that correct?"

Alicia smirked, "Yes, of course it is." Letting out a long breath she continued, "I know you don't believe me, but I never wanted to see you harmed. You have to understand once Papa sets his mind to something, nothing changes it. After you humiliated him last year, you're all he has talked about." Looking at Alex, she knew she was taking a chance by divulging information, information they could use against her as well. "Revenge for Papa is always sweet and more often than not, deadly."

Alex sat quietly and listened as the woman spoke, then decided to take the one chance she had. "I can't make you any promises. However, if you agree to work with us, give us information that we can use to put an end to your father's empire, I'll do everything I can to see that you're protected."

Alicia's eyes brightened and for the first time in years, she saw a way out of this horrific life. "I'll do anything I can to help." Her gaze fell to the floor as she felt tears well in her eyes. "I know I have no bargaining power here, but can you see what you can do to help my brother?"

Alex shrugged. "I can't promise you anything, Alicia. I don't know who your brother is or what role he has played in all of this. I'll do what I can for you, that's all I can promise right now."

Shaking her head, Alicia accepted Alex's terms. "I'll help you. All I ask is that you try. Hector is a good man, Agent Montgomery."

Alex ended their conversation, not wanting to make promises she couldn't keep nor wanting to threaten the investigation by talking to Alicia without her attorney present. A few minutes later, a knock on the door announced the arrival of the FBL Liaison from Mexico City. By the time AD Albertson arrived mid-morning, Donald and Alex had everything under control.


Alex, Donald, and Robert sat in the hotel restaurant discussing the case as they ate brunch. "Alex, you think this woman Alicia will really turn states evidence against her father?" Donald was still a little concerned by the quick change of teams and was still concerned over the woman's motives.

Alex remembered the quiet sobs she heard as Alicia stood at the window the night before. "I think she wants to be free from her father. How much she is ultimately willing to give us, I don't know, but she seems sincere."

They continued to eat and discuss the case. Robert and Phillip, the FBI Liaison, had contacted the authorities in Mexico City and suddenly the missing paperwork had mysteriously reappeared. They were officially taking Seth Thomas into custody later in the day and flying back to Jacksonville.

Paul (Papa) Sarantos would remain in the custody of the Mexican authorities until the extradition papers were complete, then he too would be transferred to FBI custody. Alicia Vergara would be accompanying them back to Florida. They had decided not to press any charges against her at the time, knowing that if they did she could not leave Mexico with them today. Although the Mexican authorities initially resisted their efforts to take Alicia with them, they finally realized that not doing so would only worsen the situation. It had taken many years of hard work and compromises from both sides to build a comfortable relationship, and no one wanted to jeopardize it now.

Alex smiled as she recalled their conversation with Captain Cortez and his inability to look them in the eye. She wondered what, if anything, would happen to the Captain now that the authorities knew he was connected to Sarantos and his organization. Bringing herself out of her thoughts, she realized Donald was speaking to her. "Sorry Donald, I was thinking about something. What did you say?"

"I asked if you two were ready to get this show on the road. Personally, I'm ready to get home and get Thomas securely tucked into a nice, warm cell." Donald's smile faded a clouded look cross Alex's face.

"Yes, I'm ready. Let's go." Alex's mind wandered back to Seth Thomas, realizing that for the next few hours she would have to spend time with her lover's murderer her lover. "Let's go home."


Alex, Donald, and Robert arrived at the police precinct a little after noon. To their pleasant surprise, Captain Cortez wasn't available. Instead they were met by another, more cooperative officer. "Hello, I'm Captain Rodriguez, I'm terribly sorry for the inconvenience you have experienced while in Acapulco. I assure you, the matter is being closely investigated." Looking at the Agents he smiled. "I won't delay you any longer. I'll go retrieve your prisoner now so you can be on your way."

Donald looked at Alex and noticed that the knuckles were white from gripping the arm of the chair. He was now wishing he hadn't asked Alex to come along, knowing that facing Conner's murderer would be hard on Alex. He reached over and placed his hand on hers. "You ready for this?"

Alex blinked trying to hold back the tears that were threatening to flow. "Yes. Just do me a favor, Donald, don't leave me alone with him." Turning her head, she looked into her friend's eyes. "As much as I want to kill him with my bare hands, I also want him to live a long, miserable life in prison."

Donald gently squeezed Alex's hand before releasing it and standing. The door to the makeshift interrogation room opened, and Captain Rodriguez roughly shoved Seth Thomas into the room. Donald stood behind Alex as the Captain pushed Seth down into a chair directly across from her. He knew if Alex could maintain her composure for these first few moments everything would be okay. Watching the two intently, he tensed as a smile crossed Seth Thomas' face.

"Good afternoon, Agent Montgomery." Seth smirked as he watched Alex's face turn crimson red.

Forcing herself to remain calm, she nodded and returned his stare. "Seth."

Captain Rodriguez stepped back from the chair. "Agents, your prisoner. I'll have some of my men accompany you to the airport. Have a safe trip." He turned and walked from the room.

Donald and Robert each took one of Seth's arms and lifted him from the chair. As they were turning to walk out the door, Seth looked at Alex once again, and laughing. "Alex, I was so hoping you would be here for this. Too bad Conner can't be here with us."

Alex's hands clenched into fists. Desperately fighting the urge to hit Seth, she attempted to steel herself for the confrontation and turned toward him. "Yes, it is, but I choose to believe that she knows I'm here, eager to take you to prison." Alex smirked as the smile faded from Seth's face. "I wouldn't have missed this for the world, seeing you thrown in prison for the rest of your life."

Seth laughed and leaned forward against Donald and Robert's firm hold. "Yes, but what makes it better for me, is knowing you'll be living in your own little hell right along with me."

Donald and Robert lost their grip on Seth's arm as Alex lunged at him, shoving him against the wall. With one hand around his neck, she pummeled his face with the other. "You son of a bitch, I'll kill youŠ"

Donald grabbed Alex, pulling her off Seth as Robert restrained Seth. Wiping his bloody nose, Seth grinned. "I think I've just become a victim of police brutality." He looked smugly at Donald. "I'm filing charges."

Donald looked at Robert, then back to Alex before facing Seth. "Damn, Seth, I don't know what you're talking about. I'm sorry the door hit you in the face. We'll try to be more careful from here on out, okay."

Taking the prisoner's other arm, Donald and Robert led Seth out of the room with Alex following along behind, struggling to regain her composure. Captain Rodriguez looked up when he heard them coming down the hallway and gave Donald a questioning look. "You really need to work on that door, Captain Rodriguez."

A knowing smile crossed the Captain's face. "Yes' Agent Fairfax, I'll see to it. It has been a problem in the past."

They said their good-byes and headed for the airport under the escort of Captain Rodriguez's officers. Donald finally relaxed as they settled in the plane and felt the wheels leave the ground. This trip had taken several unexpected twists and turns, but overall they had come away with more than they bargained for.

Alicia was contentedly sitting alone looking out the window, and Donald wondered to himself what she was feeling right now. This couldn't be easy for her, turning on her family. He made his way through the plane and took a seat beside her. "You doing okay?"

Alicia looked at Donald and gave him a sad smile. "Yes, I'm fine. All of this seems a little surreal to me. Yesterday, I was frightened for my life, today I'm on my way to finding a new one." She turned towards Donald. "I know you think my motives are skewed, but I do want to help. I've seen too many people hurt or killed by my father. It's time to put a stop to this evilness. I want to start my life anew and finally become the person I've only dreamed about."

Donald tilted his head and returned her smile. "Well, you have that chance now, Alicia. What you do from here on out is completely your decision. I have a feeling that you're going to make the right ones and have that life you've always wanted." Donald stood looking down at the young woman. "Get some rest. I'm afraid you have a long evening ahead of you."

Alex watched as Donald talked quietly to Alicia. They were sitting several rows ahead and she couldn't make out what was being said, but from the expression of each of their faces she knew is was a good conversation. A few minutes later Donald joined her. "How's she doing?"

Donald shrugged, "She's fine. I'm sure she's confused and frightened, but I think she'll do the right thing and give us the information we need to nail this bastard once and for all." Donald turned to Alex. "What about you? You doing okay?"

Looking away, Alex felt a slow heat rise in her face. "I'm sorry I lost it back there, DonaldŠI just wasn't expecting him to be so smug."

Placing his hand on Alex's arm he smiled. "No problem. You couldn't help it if the door got stuck so let's not worry about it any more, okay?"

Shaking her head, Alex gave Donald the first real smile he had seen all day. "You got it. Oh, did you call Catherine and let her know we'll be late?"

Nodding his head, Donald fought to contain the grin that was threatening to break across his face. "Yes, I called. I told her we'd be tied up at the office for most of the night, but I'd get home as soon as I could." Donald stood then turned back to Alex. "By the way, tomorrow we're having a barbecue, at your house to celebrate."

Alex looked up at Donald, surprised. "My house?"

"Yep, your house. You have a beach, and the better grill. Catherine's making all the plans so just be there, ready to celebrate." Donald turned and walked towards the back of the plane before Alex could question him further. Finding an empty row, he stretched out between the seats, deciding to get in a short nap before they reached Jacksonville.

Alex sat and watched Donald walk away. He and Catherine had been beside her almost the entire time since Conner's murder. Smiling sadly she decided that a barbecue was the least she could do for them. Laying her head back, she closed her eyes, hoping that she could rest a little before arriving home and spending the next several hours at the office.


The plane arrived in Jacksonville a little after 9:00. The tarmac was crowded with police cars when they arrived, with Jack Peterson in the lead. There had been a few tense moments as Jack and Seth faced one another on the tarmac, but Jack had kept his cool and backed away from the prisoner, not wanting to do anything to jeopardize the case.

Seth was placed in an unmarked FBI car, and the group swiftly headed towards the jail. As Seth sat watching the landscape alongside I-95 speed past, he realized this would be one of the last times he would have the opportunity to see the outside world from beyond the armed walls of a prison.

He laid his head back against the vinyl seat and contemplated his situation. He could possibly make a deal, that was one option, but he knew it wouldn't keep him out of prison. Thinking about what he knew happened to cops in jail, he felt a rivulet of sweat run down his face. He had to think of something fastŠbut what.

The car came to a halt just outside the jail. The officer waited for the overhead doors to rise so he could pull into the prisoner bay. After a few minutes, a voice came over the radio telling him that the mechanical doors were stuck and they would have to bring their prisoner in through the side door. The officer rolled his window down when he saw Captain Peterson walking towards him. "I don't like this, Captain."

Jack looked around and noticed the other officers had exited their respective cars waiting for his orders. "I don't either, but we'll have to make it work." Raising his hand and waving two of his best officers over, Jack turned back towards the officer in the car. "Okay, let's go."

From the back of the vehicle, Seth looked around. There were too may men around to try making an escape. He twisted his legs and rose from the car as one of the officers grasped his arm. Walking towards the side door, Seth felt his gut knot at the thought of what a future inside prison held for him. He knew it would take little time before he found himself beaten, raped and more than likely killed within the walls of this building.

Not allowing himself time to think, he jerked away from the officer. The only mistake they had made was allowing him the one courtesy of cuffing his hands in front. In the second it took for the officer to react, Seth had his gun and was now pointing it at the officer's head. "You tell everyone to back off or I'll blow your brains out right here."

Alex stood motionless as Seth's eyes locked on hers. "Montgomery, in the car."

Donald raised his hands to stop Alex, but Seth quickly turned the gun on him. "I wouldn't do that if I were you, Fairfax. I'm outta here, and if I have to kill you or anyone else to accomplish that then so be it. It's you choice."

Alex glanced at Donald. "It's okay. Take it easy. I'm going." Alex made her way to the car and sat in the drivers seat, looking at Seth Thomas for further instructions.

"Move the car over here," Seth ordered.

Alex started the engine and backed up to get as close as she could to the men. Seth had ordered the officer he was holding hostage to unlock his cuffs and leg shackles. For a split second, Seth's attention was focused on his hands and not Alex. Using this to her advantage, Alex prayed the officer could react quickly enough. She jammed her hand on the horn at the same time she floored the gas petal. The officer jumped to the side just as the car descended upon them.

Seth's eyes widened in horror as he realized too late what Alex was doing. Before he could roll away, the car made contact, crushing his legs between the car and the wall. He looked up to see Alex sitting dazed behind the wheel. He had kept his grip on the gun and smiled as he raised the barrel towards the windshield. A grin crossed his face the instant he pulled the trigger.


Chapter Thirty

Alex could feel a hand lightly slapping her face and struggled to comprehend what was happening. The last thing she remembered was Seth Thomas's face as he stared at her, lifting the gun towards the windshield. Opening her eyes, she tried to focus on Donald's face.

"It's over Alex." Donald smiled when he saw Alex's eyes open. Although she was still dazed, he knew she would be okay. "Sit still, the paramedics are on their way."

Alex blinked several times before she realized Donald was talking to her. She reached up to rub her head. "What happened?"

"Don't worry about that now. I think you have a minor concussion." Donald winced as Alex frowned when he placed his handkerchief against her forehead. "I'm sorry, kid. Just try to relax, you have a laceration on your head."

Alex closed her eyes, feeling tired. Donald, Donald will take care of everything.


Catherine was making dinner. She knew Donald would be late but wanted to have something to eat when he got home just in case. She was quietly thinking about the barbecue planned for the next night when she heard her name frantically called from the other room. Dropping the spoon, she hurried into the den just in time to see a stretcher being pushed into a waiting ambulance and Donald crawling in behind it.

"Oh my God, what happened?" Catherine reached for the remote, turning the volume up.

"It's Alex. Catherine, we have to go, she's hurt."

Trying to think, Catherine held up her hand. "Hold on. I'm sure Donald has his cell phone with him. Let me try to reach him first." Catherine rushed to the kitchen, pulled the phone off the base, and dialed the number as she returned to the den. "Donald? What is going on? We just saw the scene on television." Catherine could hear the siren as the ambulance sped to the hospital. Trying to stay calm, Catherine sat down on the sofa.

Donald looked at Alex's still form beside him. "I think everything is okay. Seth Thomas tried to escape and Alex stopped. I don't think it's anything serious, just a mild concussion."

"We'll meet you at the hospital." Catherine was already searching for her keys, when Donald's voice stopped her.

"NO! You two stay there. Everything is under control. Alex is going to be fine." We still have some loose ends to tie upŠyou stay there for now, you hear me."

Catherine sighed, "Okay, we'll stay, but you call us the minute you know anythingŠ.alright? I love youŠbye."

Their eyes met, and Catherine could see the terror. "She's going to be alright. They think it's just a mild concussion." Catherine filled her in on what Donald had relayed to her. Catherine walked to the kitchen giving herself a little time to recover and started a pot of fresh coffee. It was going to be a long night ahead, she was sure of that.


Donald sat in the ER waiting room for word on Alex's condition. He made several calls as he sat. Robert had taken Alicia to a safe house, and she was now secure. Seth Thomas had been officially pronounced dead. Donald smirked as the thought crossed his mind. There had been ten officers at the scene, and each one had gotten at least one round off before Seth had a chance to take a second shot. Donald had known instantly that Seth Thomas was dead, but legal technicalities and medical science required a licensed physician to make the official pronouncement.

Thinking back over the last few hours, Donald was sure Seth had planned never being incarcerated. To die at the hands of his former comrades was better than living a life of fear and degradation behind bars. The only thing Donald regretted about the outcome was that they would never really know just how deeply Seth was entrenched in the Hernandez Organization, or how much he knew about Sarantos.

He looked up as the doctor approached him. "Agent Fairfax, I'm Dr. McLeod. Agent Montgomery is going to be fine. She is one lucky woman. The bullet only grazed her head, and she has a concussion from hitting the steering wheel. She'll have a headache for a while, but other than that, she'll be fine."

Donald released a relieved sigh. "Great. Can I see her?"

Smiling, the doctor turned and began walking towards the doors leading to the treatment rooms. "Sure, come on, I'll take you. I want to watch her for another hour, then if everything is okay, you can take her home."


Donald stopped as he entered the room, taking a minute to look at Alex. She was lying on the stretcher, her eyes closed, and Donald could see the fatigue clearly etched across her face. Walking to her side, he gently took Alex's hand in his. "Hey there."

Alex cracked one eye and squinted up at Donald. "Hey."

With a teasing smile, he leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. "I can't seem to keep you out of hospitals. How're you feeling."?

Reaching up, Alex touched the bandage on her head. " I have a horrendous headache. When can I get out of here?"

"Soon. The doctor wants to watch you for a while, then I'll take you home." Squeezing Alex's hand he stood up. "Get some rest. I'm going to make a few phone calls, then I'll be back to break you out of here, alright?"

"K." Closing her eyes against the glaring lights, Alex drifted back to sleep before Donald released her hand.

Standing there, he watched as Alex's breathing took on the cadence of sleep. Leaning and kissing her cheek, he whispered in her ear, "This will all be over soon, I promise."

Heading to the cafeteria, Donald pulled the phone from his pocket as he walked the long deserted hallway, punching in the numbers for home. "Hey sweetie just wanted to give you an update. Alex is fine. She has a mild concussion and a laceration on her forehead, nothing serious. The doctor said I could take her home in an hour or so"

Catherine winked at the frantically impatient eyes staring back at her from the sofa. "That's great Donald."

"I'm going to take her home and stay the rest of the night. She's still a bit confused, and I don't think she needs to be alone."

Catherine smiled into the phone, "You stay with her. She needs you right now." Walking into the kitchen for a refill on her coffee and to gain a little privacy, Catherine dropped her voice, "I miss you."

Donald smiled as he heard the deep growl in his wife's voice. "I miss you too Šand, I intend to show you how much, tomorrow night, when I finally get you alone again."

Catherine couldn't contain the grin that spread across her face and it flowed over into her voice. "Umm, yeah, me too. So I guess the barbecue is still on for tomorrow?"

Donald watched as the vending machine filled a paper cup with hot coffee. "Absolutely. I'll call you in the morning, but plan on being there around noon." He lifted the plastic door and retrieved the small cup. "Bring me some fresh clothes, too. I desperately need a shower and a change."

They said their goodbyes and Catherine walked back into the den. "You ready for tomorrow?"

"Yes. More than ready."

Smiling, Catherine took the soft hand between her own as she spoke, "Then I suggest you go get some sleep. Looks like your going to have a long day tomorrow."

"Thank you Catherine. I couldn't have made it through this without you and Donald. IŠI Š"

"You're welcome. Now hit the sack."

Catherine sat in the darkened den and replayed the last few weeks over in her mind. Alex had been devastated when she had been told of Conner's death. The recently returned light in her eyes had faded into darkness, empty chasms of grief. She didn't know what the next few days or weeks would bring, but she knew without Conner, a little part of Alex would forever be lost.

Catherine rinsed out her cup and headed to the bedroom. Slipping between the cool sheets alone made her miss Donald even more. Reaching out for his pillow, she held it close to her body. As the faint scent of his cologne permeated her senses, her eyes closed and drifted to sleep.


Rummaging through Alex's purse, Donald found the key, unlocked the back door, and led Alex into the house. Still unsteady on her feet, she held onto his arm as he led her to the bedroom. He hesitated as she sat on the bed, not knowing how much help she needed or wanted. His concerns were quickly dissipated as she lay back on the pillows and instantly closed her eyes.

Donald lifted Alex's legs onto the bed and slipped off her shoes before pulling the cover across her body. He looked around the bedroom, for the first time noticing the absence of any pictures or personal reminders of Conner. Looking at the sleeping woman, he remembered how Alex had responded to Feryle's death a little over a year ago.

Alex had survived that collapse of her world by burying all of her emotions and any reminders of the pain. Sighing heavily, Donald walked over to the window seat and sat. As he glanced about the empty room, then back to Alex he spoke softly to himself, "Seems like you're using the same defense this time around, Kiddo." After easing the shoes and socks off his aching feet and removing his tie, he piled several pillows on one end and lay down, looking out towards the ocean waves. He knew how much he missed Catherine if they were apart for only a few days and couldn't imagine the pain Alex had endured the last few weeks. As Donald lay in the darkness, he felt an overpowering need to hold Catherine. As he closed his eyes, a single tear slipped down his cheek. Tomorrow, Alex, I promise tomorrow will be a better day.


Alex woke as the sun broke through the morning clouds. Turning over towards the window, she saw Donald asleep in the window seat. She slowly sat up in the bed and threw back the covers, realizing she was still in the clothes she had worn the day before. Standing slowly, she brought her hand up to feel the bandage across her forehead and winced at the pain. Although it had lessened, she still had a dull aching headache. Padding to the bathroom, she found Donald had placed her prescription on the sink. Uncapping the top, she shook one of the pain pills into her hand and popped it in her mouth before walking to the kitchen to start the coffee.

Donald opened his eyes as his senses took in the scent of freshly brewed coffee. Groaning, he sat up and stretched his aching muscles before trudging into the bathroom. He smiled when he returned to the bedroom a few minutes later and saw Alex. "Good morning."

"Good morning, sunshine. You look like hell." Alex chuckled but quickly brought her hand up as a sharp pain coursed through her forehead.

Growling, Donald took the cup of coffee Alex had placed on the dresser. "Serves you right for making fun of an old man." He took a satisfying swallow of the hot coffee before looking back at Alex, "But I'll forgive you this time since you brought me coffee."

Crossing the room to the window seat, she tossed the cushions off and lifted the top. Digging through the storage area, she came up with a bundle of clothes. "I love you, Donald, but you're in bad need of a shower. Here, take these. They may be a little snug, but they'll sure smell better than what you have on." Smiling, Alex flipped her hand scooting him out of the bedroom. "I put clean towels out in the guest bath. If you need anything else, just help yourself."

Donald took the offered clothing and headed across the hall. Walking into the bathroom, he noticed Alex had thought of everything. Of course that really didn't surprise him, knowing her penchant for getting all the details right. He turned on the shower and looked in the mirror while waiting for the water to heat. Dragging his hand across the stubble on his face, he noticed the long creases that had somehow managed to creep into his face over the last year. He brushed his teeth and then stepped into the shower. Leaning against the cool tile wall, he let the warm water soothe his aching muscles. I hope after today, Alex, things will be right with us once again.


Donald's cell phone rang as he was walking into the kitchen. "Fairfax."

"Good morning."

A grin crossed Donald's face when he heard Catherine's voice on the other end of the line. "Good morning to you. Is everything set for the barbecue?"

"God yes. We've been up for hours. Please don't tell me there's another delay. I don't know if either of us will survive it."

Chuckling, Donald looked out onto the deck making sure Alex wasn't within hearing range. "No. No more delays. I'm going to get her down to the beach so you can get in the house. Make an appearance on the deck when the coast is clear and we can come back, okay?"

"You got it. I'll see you soon." Catherine's voice again took on a low tone. "Donald? Just so you know, I love you."

"I love you too. Now hurry up, I'm starving."

Dropping the phone onto the counter, Donald slid open the glass door and walked out onto the deck to join Alex. "You feeling better?"

"Much better, thank you." Turning to Donald, Alex lifted a brow and grinned, "Damn, I never realized what a nice butt you have."

Donald could feel his face turning scarlet as the heat flushed his face. "Stop it. I can't help it if these clothes are too tight."

"I kinda like'm Donald. Gives you that dark, sexy, FBI agent look."

"You're a pervert, Montgomery." Kicking off his shoes and looking out at the beach, Donald grabbed Alex's hand. "Come on, take a walk with me. I need to feel sand between my toes."

Alex stood and followed Donald down the steps. "What about Catherine, don't you want to get home to her."

He shook his head. "No, don't you remember? We're having a barbecue here today. She'll be here after she goes by the market."

Alex stopped and turned towards her friend. Giving him a warm hug, she looked back into his eyes. "Well, it seems like you have my day all planned out."

Grinning back at Alex, he wiggled his eyebrows. "I definitely have you day planned, my friend."

Alex punched Donald in the arm and gave him a suspicious glare. "You're up to something, Fairfax. Spill it."

Grabbing Alex's hand once again he headed off towards the beach. "Me? Up to something, Alex, you know me better that that."

Alex glared back at Donald but couldn't hide the smile that crossed her face. "Well, just remember what happens when I'm surprised. I don't like'm and I can't be held accountable for my actions."

They walked a long while, lost in their own thoughts. They passed several couples, holding hands and quietly chatting, along the way and Alex wondered if she and Donald looked like one of them. The air was cool, and Alex snuggled closer when Donald wrapped his arm around her.

Curling her arm around his back, she allowed herself to enjoy the re-budding friendship they had come so close to losing. Donald had always been a close and dear friend, and she felt fortunate to have Catherine and him in her life. She didn't want to think of how life would be if she didn't have their friendship, especially now that Conner was gone.

Donald broke the silence as they neared the house, "There she is now." Raising his hand in the air, waving as Catherine walked onto the sand.

Catherine opened her arms and pulled Alex into a warm hug, "Damn, you scared us last night. How are you feeling?"

"I'm fine, just a slight headache. " Alex returned the hug, and laughed as she looked at Donald. He was standing beside the two women, looking dejected.

"Hello! What about me."

Both women laughed as the pout spread across Donald's face. Wrapping her arms around Donald's neck, Catherine whispered, "You'll get your welcome home later, big guy." After planting a small kiss on his lips, Catherine squeezed between Donald and Alex. Taking their hands in hers, she led them back towards the deck. "I've got all the makings for a mega barbecue. You two sit and enjoy yourselves. I'm going to start lunch."

Alex and Donald sat on the deck talking about the case and the upcoming extradition of Sarantos back to the States. After a while, Donald excused himself and walked into the kitchen. "Is she ready?"

Catherine turned and looked at her husband. "As ready as she'll ever be. Go get her."

Walking down the hall, Donald lightly tapped, and then opened the guest room door. "Come on, I think It's time we get this over with."

Sitting on the deck, Alex couldn't help but wonder what Donald and Catherine were up to. She was standing to go into the house to confront Catherine about the mystery, when she stopped suddenly. Her heart raced as she looked into the face she never thought she would see again.

"Hello Alex."


Chapter 31

Alicia Vergara sat on the sofa in the safe house drinking a cup of coffee, thinking about the previous night and the unending barrage of questions she had endured. Laying her head back on the soft pillows, she wondered what would happen to her father now that she had supplied the authorities with the missing pieces to the puzzle.

She knew Agents Fairfax and Montgomery couldn't make her any promises, but she knew that almost anything would be better than returning to her previous life. Maybe this will allow me to finally break free.

She stood and walked down the hallway to the bathroom. After turning on the water in the shower, she stripped off her clothes and stood under the warm spray.


The man moved warily through the trees until he was within range of the guard sitting outside the front door. He stood crouched for a moment to be sure his approach had not been detected. Methodically, he lifted the gun in his hands and smiled as the silencer eliminated almost all of the sound of the gun. He waited until the form slumped over before making his way slowly to the house.

He could hear noises coming from the back deck and stood at the front door listening for any other sounds from within the house. Easing the door open, he crept inside and looked around. He moved silently and quickly on hearing a noise at the other end of the hall. Stopping at the door he eased it door open, crept in, and quietly closed the door behind him.

Alicia quickly turned, trying to cover herself as the shower door flew open. "Hector! What areŠ" Her words were silenced as the bullet entered her head.

Hector Sarantos, watched as Alicia's head snapped back, a slow trickle of blood running down the front of her face as her naked body slid down the wall leaving the tile cracked and smeared with his family blood. Muttering darkly under his breath, Hector sadly watched the life drain from his sister, the only person who had truly loved him. "Sorry, Alicia, but you knew Papa would never stand for your betrayal."

A wrenching ache encompassed his heart as he looked down upon his dying sibling. She had managed to escape the greedy claws of their father, but he, the only son had never had that chance. His fate had been sealed, even before his birth. Death would be his only escape, a death he would welcome in time, but not before his own plans were complete. With one last look at Alicia, Hector turned and made his way back out of the house and into the thick cover of the trees.


Alex stood stunned as she looked into the woman's face. "Olivia. What are you doing here?" Alex turned her glare towards Donald as he walked onto the deck after Olivia. "Donald, what the hell is all this about. Do you think this is some kind of joke?"

Donald looked into Alex's eyes and could see the anger and pain buried within. "No, Alex, it's no joke. The two of you have a few issues to settle, and it's time you did it. Catherine and I will be inside if you need us."

Alex turned away from her ex-partner and friend. "What the hell do you want with me, Olivia?"

Stepping beside Alex, Olivia gripped the railing of the deck. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. Maybe I should have just let Donald handle this himself. "I want to explain a few things to you. I'm not asking for anything fro you, Alex, just a few minutes of your time, then I'll go."

Releasing an exasperated breath, Alex fell back into her chair. "Fine. Say what you have to say, then leave."

Sitting across from Alex, elbows on her knees and looking at the deck, Olivia took a deep breath and began telling the story that she hoped would somehow bring her a little peace. "After Jen was murdered, my life was in shambles. I still don't know how I got through that time, but one thing I do know is that you were a big part of my surviving. After the case was over and we became partners, I found myself falling in love with you." Running her hand through her hair, she glanced up at Alex. "Everything was coming back to center for me and I thought, maybeŠwell, I don't know what I thought. Anyway, when you transferred to Jacksonville, I found myself lost again."

Standing and walking to the railing, Olivia looked out over the water. "I allowed myself to turn into the type of person I've always hated. After a while, I knew I had to get out of Chicago. So I came here. I guess I was hoping to reconnect with you and well, maybe see if something would develop between us here. When I got here, I looked you up. That's when I found out you were with Feryle. I did a little checking and found out she was going to San Diego on business. I followed her there with intentions of seeing what I was up against."

Turning towards Alex, she saw the dark brooding eyes of 'The Shadow' cutting into her. "I swear, Alex, I never meant to hurt you. I was desperate. You were the only escape I had from the hell I was living in. I needed you and wasn't really concerned for anyone else's feelings. I had hoped that after it was all over, Feryle would confess to you. I knew how much weight you put in loyalty and knew you wouldn't stand for her betrayal."

Olivia moved back to the chair and sat down heavily. "When nothing happened, I realized that Feryle hadn't told you. A few months later when the two of you came into the office, I could see how afraid she was that I would say something. Once I saw the look on your face, I knew I could never let you know. I had never seen you look happier. I knew then that my chances of ever having you were killed then and there."

Alex watched as Olivia struggled with her words. A part of Alex wanted to comfort her old friend while another wanted to choke the life out of her. "Olivia why are youŠ"

"Please, Alex, let me finish. Anyway, after that day, I fell back into my own little world. I kept in touch with the Agency and did some small freelance work when they needed it. I found out you were working the Hernandez case and decided I wanted to get involvedŠhelp you. I infiltrated the organization after you were injured last year. I guess the agency saw me as the perfect plant. I had no family or friends, nothing that would threaten the case or my focus. I was already well involved by the time you and Conner came to the office. I guess you could say I went a little crazy again with the jealousy when I found out you and Conner were together, but you have to believe me, Alex. I wouldn't have done anything to hurt either of you."

Olivia stood and walked towards Alex. Looking down at her old friend she sighed. "I know you won't ever forgive me, Alex, I don't expect you to. I just wanted to explain it all. Olivia watched as a myriad of emotions flashed over Alex's face. Knowing there was nothing more she could do or say, she simply placed her hand on Alex's shoulder and gently squeezed. "I have something for you, I'll be right back."

Alex sat trying to assimilate all the information Olivia had just dropped on her. Her emotions were shattered, and all she wanted to do was be alone and try to work through her feelings. Wiping a tear from her face, Alex looked at Olivia as she knelt down beside her. Placing the small bundle in Alex's lap, Olivia smiled at Alex's surprised look, "Here, maybe this little guy will help bring back some of those wonderful memories you've shared with Conner. Alex looked up at Olivia not fully understanding. "Where did youŠ"

Olivia gave Alex a sad smile, "One of the investigators in the agency found him when they were going through Seth's house. Donald's allergic to cats so I told him I'd keep Magnum until you were back on you feet. I remember Conner talking about the little furball, and even though she didn't want anyone to know, we all knew she loved the little guy."

Alex picked Magnum up and cradled the cat in her arms. "Thank you, Olivia. IŠI don't know what to say."

Olivia nodded, stood and stepped back tp lean against the railing. "I know it's not the same, but I thought having him would make you feel closer to Conner."

Alex stared up at Olivia, not knowing what to say or how to respond. Before she found the words, Olivia continued. "I am sorry, AlexŠfor everything. Take care of yourself, Alex." Olivia quietly walked back into the house. She stopped beside Donald and Catherine. "Thanks Donald, for giving me this time. I really appreciate what you've done." Looking back through the glass door, Olivia watched as Alex gently stroked Magnum, tears streaming down her face. "Take care of her, okay." With one last look, she turned and made her way out the front door and down the steps.

Olivia slowly walked down the street to where she had parked the car, out of sight. Reaching into her pocket for the car keys, her fingers circled the tiny bugs she had removed from the bedroom while Catherine, Donald, and Alex had been on the beach. Looking at them with disdain, she lifted her hand and tossed them into the woods. Listening as they were scattered into the underbrush, she reflected on her similarly scattered life. She closed her eyes and sighed heavily, and then dropping down into the seat and starting the car, she pulled into the morning traffic. Heading nowhere in particular, she drove north on I-95. Now was the time for her to search, seek and heal. Time to start again.


Alex gently smoothed the fur on Magnum's back as she sat on the deck looking out over the water. Tears stung her eyes as memories of Conner flashed through her mind. She was grateful that Donald and Catherine were in the house; she didn't have the strength to talk at the moment.

She sat for a long while, lost in a thousand thoughts until she heard the sliding door ease open. Donald leaned down and scratched Magnum under the neck, before dropping down in the chair across from her.

Alex looked up at Donald and attempted an evil glare, "So this little guy was the surprise you had for me."

Sniffing, Donald looked down at the little cat. "Everyone thought you'd like to have him." Raising his eyes to look at Alex, he questioned his decision. He could see the tears forming in her eyes and wondered if this was too much too soon. Pulling a handkerchief from his pocket, he wiped his eyes. "Alex, if you would prefer not to keep him, I'm sure Greg would take him."

Alex pulled Magnum closer, "No. I do want him. I justŠwell, it's just difficult right now. She looked into the kitchen then back at Donald, "Where's Catherine?"

Donald's face contorted as her released a roaring sneeze, "Damn, cats." Wiping his eyes, he sniffed and looked back at Alex. "She had to go to the market. Umm, seems like we thought of everything, except food for this little guy and some allergy medication for me. She'll be right back."

Alex laughed as she watched Donald's suffering. "Umm, I'll go put him in the bedroom." Alex began to stand but was waved back down by Donald. "Hell no you won't. That's the first real smile I've seen on you face for a while. A little sneezing never hurt anyoneŠcleans out the sinuses." Alex shook her head, smiling at Donald's obvious need to ease her pain, and remained seated. They sat silently, lost in their own thoughts for a few moments until they heard Catherine call out from the kitchen. Donald stood and held out his hand for Alex, "Sounds like we're needed in the galley."

As they walked into the kitchen, Catherine turned and grinned as she spoke, "Well, what do you think of your surprise?"

Alex raised Magnum up kissing him on the nose. "I love him. He reminds me of Conner. Bullheaded and persistent." A sad look crossed her face as she looked down at Magnum, "I just wish Conner were here to help me take care of him."

"Well, I guess you have nothing to worry about, Agent Montgomery."

Looking up, Alex's world started spinning as she tried to comprehend what she was seeing. Leaning casually in the doorway stood Conner, flashing that crooked smile she knew Alex loved.

Donald held onto Alex's waist as she started to sway, and Catherine took Magnum from her arms. Walking to Alex, Conner gently cradled her face into her hands. "God, I've missed you so much." She then leaned in a placed a tender kiss on her lips.

Alex was speechless as Donald and Catherine stood by grinning. Donald kissed Alex on the cheek and hugged her tightly. "Now that was really the surprise."

Conner wrapped Alex in her arms, leading her over to a chair. Conner could see the shock in Alex's face and hoped this was not too much for her to handle this soon after her concussion. "Alex, baby, are you alright?"

Alex's eyes blinked and focused on Conner's face. "Oh my God. WhereŠwhenŠ" Her eyes met Donald's and she saw pure joy in his face. "You knew?"

Catherine pulled on Donald's arm, "Come on hero, you need to take you wife for a walk on the beach and give these two a few minutes to say hello."

Donald allowed Catherine to lead him from the house and down onto the beach. They were only a few feet off the deck when Catherine stopped and turned towards Donald. Drawing her husband close, she tilted her head back to give him a kiss. "I love you so much."

Returning Catherine's kiss, he held her tightly to his chest, savoring the taste and feel of the woman he loved. He lifted his head and looked back towards the house knowing that, at this moment, Alex was feeling the same.


Alex was still struggling with her thought processes even as Conner led her into the front room and pulled her down onto her lap. Alex's mind went into overload when she felt Conner's soft lips capture hers. Throwing her arms around Conner's neck she fell into the passionate kiss, her head spinning as a myriad of emotions passed through her.

Pulling back for air, Alex kept her tight hold around Conner's neck and looked into her eyes, "I saw the paramedicsŠheard them say you were dead."

Conner held Alex close as she took a deep breath. She knew all the information would be hard to absorb at once, even she had trouble believing it all. "We have Jack and his quick thinking to thank for that. The first group in was the Special Ops team. Once Jack realized Seth had escaped, he had them get me out and into protective custody. I was never deadŠwell close, but not quite." Conner leaned in for another kiss. "Anyway, Jack arranged for me to be taken to a hospital in Colorado as soon as I was stable. I was there for almost four weeks."

Alex couldn't believe she was sitting here in Conner's lap. Tears streamed down her eyes as she gently stroked her face. "I didn't want to live without youŠdidn't think I could." Alex kissed Conner again savoring the sweet taste she had yearned for so badly the last few weeks. "Where have you been since your release?"

Conner grinned and nipped Alex's nose, "I've been with Donald and Catherine. Jack wanted me to be close but somewhere Seth would never look for me in case he found out I was alive." Conner looked deeply into Alex's eyes, "Donald loves you. He feels terrible about everything that's happened between the two of you. Please give him the chance to make it up to you."

Alex bent and captured Conner's lips with her own. Before either realized it, the kiss had deepened and they both felt the familiar surge of heat as their passion rose. Tearing her lips from Alex's, Conner took a deep breath, "God, I want to touch you. I've needed you for so long."

A ragged breath escaped Alex's lips as her hands wandered down Conner's chest. She moaned when Conner grabbed her hands and lifted them to her lips, "Ummm, we have to remember we have guests, but believe me, later I won't be stopping you, Agent Montgomery."

"Oh God, I want you so much." Alex stole one last kiss before rising and taking Conner's hand. "Let's go find those two, before I change my mind."

Walking out onto the deck, Alex met Donald and Catherine's grinning faces. Pointing towards Donald she crooked her finger, "You. Come here."

Donald stood and walked towards Alex and was stunned when she grabbed his face and planted a kiss on his lips. "That's for bringing Conner back to me." Donald grinned proudly at Alex, just before he bent over in pain as she buried her fist into his stomach. As he struggled to breathe, she leaned down and growled into his ear, "And that's for keeping her hidden from me, you lug."

Catherine and Conner howled as Alex led Donald back towards the chair and dropped him unceremoniously down. He rubbed his stomach and looked up at the smiling woman, "Damn, Montgomery, remind me never to piss you off. That hurt."

Conner came up behind Alex, wrapped her arms around the tall woman, and peered over her shoulder, smiling at her new friend.

Catherine stood and walked over to her husband and smacked him on the back of the head, "Oh quit whining, Donald. You're such a baby. Leaning down, she kissed him on the top of the head. Now get up and light the grill, we're hungry."

Still rubbing his stomach, Donald stood and walked towards the kitchen, "Try to do something nice and where does it get meŠsucker punched and smacked in the head. Damn, you three are hard to please."

The three women laughed, and Conner yelled out just as he reached the door. "Hey Donald? Anyone ever tell you that you have a cute ass?"

Donald turned and glared at the three laughing women, before snarling and walking into the house to change his clothes.


Donald had the grill fired up and the four were sitting on the deck talking over the events of the last few weeks. Alex and Conner knew there were many questions yet to be answered and a lot of work to finish up, but they were content to enjoy their time together.

All throughout the afternoon, Alex couldn't keep her hands from touching Conner. She still didn't believe all that had happened today. First Olivia, then Magnum, now Conner. She shook her head as she thought about how quickly her life had changed in just a matter of seconds. Bringing Conner's hand to her lips, she placed a kiss on each knuckle. She looked at Donald with suspicious eyes when the doorbell rang. "God, Donald, I hope you don't have anymore surprises for me today. I'd hate to have to kill you."

Donald curled his lip at Alex as he made his way towards the glass door, chuckling as he spoke, "Just one more, Alex, then we're done for the day. I promise."

Alex turned towards Conner, and her questioning look was met with a shrug, "Don't look at me."

Alex sat pensively waiting until she heard the familiar voice echo through the house. Rising, she met Jack at the back door and immediately drew him into a hug. "How can I ever thank you for this?"

After returning Alex's hug, he leaned back and looked into her eyes. "Just promise me you two will take good care of each other. That's thanks enough for me."

Alex kissed Jack's cheek then stood aside as Conner hugged her friend and Captain. "I owe you big time, Cappy."

Rolling his eyes, Jack laughed. "You want to pay me back, then don't get shot again. Too much damn paperwork."

Conner knew this was the closest Jack would come to sentiment and lightly slugged him on the shoulder. "You're such a softy, you know that."

Looking over at the grill he turned back to Conner, "No I'm not a softy, just hungry. Where's the food."


It was after seven when the house emptied and Alex and Conner were finally alone. They lay on the sofa, holding each other contentedly as the room darkened with the setting sun. Turning, Conner slid on top of Alex and both felt the other tremble as their bodies reacted to new but very familiar sensations. Conner traced Alex's brows as she looked longingly into the dark eyes gazing back at her. "I missed you so much, baby."

Alex's lips found Conner's. Their tongues probed, searched and tasted the familiar sweetness as they slowly began to rediscover each other. Soon their breathing and heartbeats quickened to match the surging flow of blood coursing through their bodies. Alex gasped as Conner's hand slipped beneath her t-shirt, her nails sending rippling spasms throughout her body. A low growl escaped Alex's lips as Conner continued to caress her, slowly inching her way up Alex's firm stomach. "Oh, baby, I've missed you." Alex arched her back as Conner's hand found her breast, her thumb tracing the outlines of the sensitive nipple.

Conner smiled into the kiss, relishing her lover's response. So many nights during the last few weeks, she had imagined this moment. Now that it was here, she was determined to make it as slow and wonderful for Alex as she had imagined. "You feel so good. I've missed you." Tugging the shirt over Alex's head, she dropped it beside them on the floor, then dipped her head and took the hard nipple into her mouth, gently running her tongue over the hard peak. "I've missed thisŠI've missed you."

Conner could feel the muscles in Alex's stomach spasm as she gently made love to her. Kissing her way back to Alex's mouth, she was consumed by the warm fire surging through her body. Hands searched and tongues mingled as their passion continued to grow higher. Tearing her lips from Conner's, Alex smiled as she took in a rasping breath, "I want to make love to you in our bed."

Understanding the sentiment of the statement, Conner smiled down at her newly found lover, "Our bed?"

Alex traced the line of Conner's jaw and then lightly kissed her chin, "Yes, our bed. I want you with me every night Šfor forever."

Sitting up, Conner helped Alex stand, then encircled her within warm arms, "That's exactly where I intend to be." With gentle hands, Alex led Conner down the hall and into the bedroom that had for too long been empty and lonely.

Stopping beside the bed, Alex turned Conner towards her, reached for the buttons of her shirt, and began slowly unfastening each one. The room shadowed, but for the fading light coming through the windows facing the sea, she opened the last one and slowly slid the soft fabric from Conner's shoulders. Alex gazed longingly at the firm taut breasts, the nipples hard and erect, aching for her touch. Gliding her hands up Conner's arms, Alex cradled Conner's face within her hands. "You are so beautiful."

Tracing the taut muscles in Conner's neck with her fingers, Alex slowly lowered her hands to rest on the firm muscles of her chest before kissing the top of the scar that ran along the length of her torso. Cupping each breast in her hands, Alex growled as Conner's head dropped back, exposing the soft enticing skin of her neck. Leaning in, Alex gently began kissing the pulsing artery of her neck and felt the increasing heat between her own legs. Conner's breathing increased as each kiss brought Alex closer to her aching nipples and she released a deep growling moan when she felt Alex's lips close around the hardened peak.

"Ahhh, yes." Arching her back and pressing herself deeper into Alex's hands, Conner felt every nerve ending in her nipples respond to Alex's gentle sucking. Lowering her own hands, she unsnapped Alex's jeans and heard a low growl against her chest as she reached lower and began slowly releasing the zipper. With a single finger, Conner lifted Alex's face and bent into a gentle kiss. Conner could feel Alex tremble as she traced the fullness of Alex's lips with her tongue. She knelt and looping her thumbs into the waistband began sliding the jeans over Alex's hips, tracing the newly exposed skin with her tongue, "God, how I've missed you, Alex." Looking up she found Alex's eyes following her path.

With an impish smile, she reached up wrapping her arms around Alex's legs to cup the firm, muscular hips in the palms of her hands, as she began working her way back up Alex's body, stopping just below her navel to lightly nip her tender skin. Using her tongue, Conner traced a path to Alex's chest where she took the hard nipple in her mouth and felt Alex's legs tremble as a powerful wave surged through her body. Turning Alex around, Conner gently lowered her onto the bed and stood looking down at the undeniable beauty of her lover. Sliding between Alex's open legs, Conner leaned over and seized Alex's lips with her own, "I've missed kissing youŠtasting you."

Gasping, Alex tore her lips from Conner's and pressed against her shoulders until she stood before her. Reaching down, Alex tugged the drawstring on Conner sweat pants, and then pushed them over her small hips, moaning at the discovery of soft skin beneath her fingers, and the realization that Conner had nothing on beneath the sweats. She looked up, cocking her brow at Conner. "Trying to tease me, Harris, or do you just like going commando?" Alex leaned in and brushed her cheek over the smooth skin of Conner's stomach then ran her tongue around the edge of her navel. Conner's fingers feathered through Alex's hair as she pressed her lips harder against her skin. "You know I like to tease you and I know you like it."

Looking into Conner's eyes, she could see her passion mirrored, "Oh, I definitely like it." Lifting Conner legs, Alex placed first one and then the other on either side of her until Conner was sitting astride her lap, her slick wetness bathing her legs. Lying back, Alex pressed against Conner's hips, bring her closer. "Come here. I need to taste you."

Conner's breath quickened as she eased her way up Alex's body and cried out when she felt her tongue slide between her warm wet lips. "Yeeees, babyŠohhhh Alex."

Conner's hips and legs were trembling as Alex smoothed her tongue along the hard shaft. Looking down into Alex's eyes, she tangled her fingers in Alex's silky hair as her heart melted at the sensual sight. "I love you so much."

Alex's hands came up and firmly cupped Conner's hips, then began slowly gliding Conner's hard clitoris back and forth across her tongue. Feeling the surging wetness between her own legs, Alex dropped her hand and slid a finger between her own swollen folds, releasing a deep moan as her hard aching clitoris pulsed. She let her fingers dance across the hard shaft for a moment before pulling her hand away and bringing her fingers up to trace Conner's swollen lips.

Conner took first one finger then another and sucked Alex's juices deeply into her mouth. "Ohhh, baby, you taste so good." Conner's hips began moving faster as Alex's tongue pressed harder against her clitoris, making her body shake with the rising passion. "God yes, baby. Lick me."

Alex could feel Conner getting close, then she backed off just enough to slow the surging storm between her legs and heard her lover groan above her. "Please Alex, I need you nowŠI need you inside me." Alex's silent reply was to reach up and rake her nails gently down her lover's back. Conner's hips began bucking harder against Alex's tongue as she felt the beginning pulses of her orgasm. Alex released the hard clitoris, licked her lips, and then turned to gently bite Conner's thigh, "Behave. I've missed you and I intend to savor every drop of you."

Alex pushed two fingers deep onto Conner at the same moment she closed her lips around the hard pulsing shaft. Feeling her legs give away under Alex's sensual touch, Conner fell forward, catching herself with her arms; but she felt herself lose control as she watched Alex's fingers pumping in and out of her wetness. And when Alex looked into her eyes and slowly began to stroke her tongue along the length of the hard distended shaft, Conner felt the orgasm explode through her body.

Alex could feel the muscles tighten around her fingers and knew Conner was lost in the release of her orgasm. Looking up into Conner's eyes, she pumped her hand harder taking her lover over the edge.

Conner lost all sense of time and space as the spasms ripped through her body. Her hips bucked against Alex's warm, soft tongue as each spasm surged through her body. "IŠI Love you, AlexŠGod I love you."

Conner rode the consuming wave as Alex gently, tenderly sucked the pulsing clitoris until finally collapsing beside her, gasping for breath. Rolling over, Alex wrapped one arm around Conner's shoulders and leaned down to tease her lips in a slow lingering kiss. As their lips met, Alex could feel the muscles squeeze her fingers still pressed deeply within Conner. She held her lover closely as their tongues tasted the sweet juices of the other, until Conner was again lifting her hips, taking Alex into her deeper. Tearing her lips away from Alex's and gasping for air, Conner reached down and held Alex's hand firmly, "Damn, woman. Are you trying to kill me?"

Kissing her nose, Alex's eyes smiled into Conner's, "Not a chance, Harris. I'm keeping you around for at least the next fifty years." Sliding on top of her lover, Alex bent her head and placed gentle kisses along the scar that bisected Conner's chest. A tear fell from her face as she looked into Conner's eyes, "Please tell me this isn't a dream and I'm not going to wake up tomorrow and you'll be gone."

Alex felt her pulse racing as Conner's fingers played across her back. Bringing her hand around to gently lift Alex's chin, Conner tenderly kissed her lips. "I promise, baby, it's not a dream." Rotating her pelvis, she rolled over, taking Alex with her, and then slid her thigh between Alex's open legs. Feeling Alex's warm wetness caress her thigh, Conner began moving down Alex's body. "I'm going to show you this isn't a dream."

Sliding lower, she captured one hard nipple and sucked it between her lips, before releasing it and looking up into Alex's hooded eyes, "I'm real." She shifted, licking the valley between the her firm breasts, "I'm staying." Moving over, she captured the other hard nipple between her lips and sucked it deep into her mouth until she felt Alex's hips thrust against her stomach. Lifting her head, she smiled up into her lover's face and slid lower until reaching Alex's stomach. Stopping only for a moment to flick her tongue into her navel, she slid lower still until she was nestled between Alex's legs.

Conner could see Alex watching her every movement, "And I'm going to show you just how much I've missed you, Alex." Conner sat back on her knees, and let her eyes roam across the hard firm muscles of Alex's body. Her hands feathered down Alex's legs causing sensual waves along the defined muscles of legs. Her fingers traveled across the soft sensitive bottoms of Alex's feet before beginning their journey higher, closer to the warmth she knew was waiting, aching for her.

Conner stretched her lean body between Alex's legs and gently nipped the soft flesh of her thighs before running her cheek across the trimmed wet curls. Alex's eyes involuntarily closed as the warmth of Conner's love spread throughout her body, she moaned as Conner slowly separated the swollen lips and cried out as Conner's tongue, in one long, slow stroke, embraced the sensitive clitoris hiding below.

Alex felt the electrical shocks reverberate throughout her body. Reaching out, she pressed Conner closer, "Oh baby, yesŠGod I've missed you." Alex felt her body instantly respond to Conner's teasing touch and knew she wouldn't be able to hold back the thunderous orgasm for very long. She desperately needed to come, to feel the surging release that only Conner could make her feel, yet she didn't want the incredible feeling to end. Having Conner make slow passionate love to her was something she thought she would never feel again and she wanted to delight in the amazing beauty of it all.

Alex's body, its need too great for release surged on as Alex felt the rising pressure build. "I want you inside me baby." Alex's hips thrust against Conner's tongue and all thought fled from her mind as she felt Conner's fingers glide slowly into her, reclaiming her body. "Yessss, that's it baby, deeper."

Alex felt the explosive wave as it centered around Conner's fingers and spread rapidly throughout her body. "I'm comingŠGod ConnerŠyessssssss." Alex's world exploded as Conner drove herself deeper and harder, while at the same time her tongue stroked lightly across her clitoris. She reached out, and pulling Conner up along her body, held on as the orgasm pulsed through her, sending unyielding ripples up her spine and through every nerve ending in her body.

Conner held onto Alex as the waves rushed through her body, "That's it baby, let it goŠI've got you." Kissing her lips, Conner continued to slowly slide in and out of Alex as she gently stroked the pulsating shaft with her thumb. After long delicious moments, Alex's spasms began to slow and Conner felt her collapse into the mattress. "God, Alex, you're so beautiful. I love to watch your face as you come for me."

Struggling to breath, chest heaving and lungs burning, Alex tenderly stroked Conner's face. As she felt the emotions she had buried deep inside escape from her soul, tears began to flow down her cheeks, " Please don't ever leave me." Pulling Conner closer, embracing her with weakened arms, Alex's words were choked and broken as tears of unparalleled joy cascaded down her cheeks. "I love you so much, Conner."

Conner held Alex as their tears blended and fell together onto the sheets, "I love you. It was so hard for me to stay away, IŠI can't even imagine what I would have felt like in your place." Conner gently captured Alex's lips and tasted the salty evidence of their shared release of well-dammed tears. "It's over, baby. Hernandez and Seth are both dead. Sarantos will spend the rest of his natural life behind bars. It's overŠnothingŠnothing can get to us now."

They lay together, arms and legs intertwined, soothing the pain of the last few weeks away, until at last their breathing became slow and rhythmic as they fell into a peaceful sleep.


Chapter 32

The sun peeked softly through the window as Alex slowly awoke. During the night, she and Conner had slept, legs and arms intertwined, each needing the reassurance that the last few hours were a reality.

Alex opened her eyes and watched as Conner lay in the crook of her arm, her breathing softly caressing Alex's breast. Turning onto her side, slowly, so as not to wake Conner, she kissed her sleeping lover's soft lips and heard the wonderfully familiar growl she had come to love. "Wake up, sleepyhead."

Conner burrowed deeper into Alex's arm, her muffled voice still hoarse with sleep. "NoooŠsleepŠ. more." She slid her leg over Alex's and turned, burying her face between Alex's warm, firm breasts.

Groaning as Conner's thigh brushed against her still aching clitoris, Alex closed her eyes and relived the wonderfully sensual reunion they had enjoyed just a few hours ago. Unable to control her growing hunger, she reached down and held Conner's leg, pressing it tighter against her quickly hardening clitoris and released a primal moan as she felt her own wetness swathe her lover's thigh.

Conner's eyes opened to the glimpse Alex's passion filled face, eyes closed, and hips slowly thrusting against her thigh. Feeling an intense heat rush through her body, Conner opened her mouth and sucked in the erect nipple that teasingly beckoned her attention, and released a deep pent up whimper when she heard Alex gasp as the unexpected sensation brought her orgasm closer.

"Oh God, Conner, IŠI need youŠnow." Reaching over, Alex drew Conner's hand down and slipped her fingers into the slick wetness. "Please, baby."

Pressing her hand against Alex's shoulder, Conner pushed Alex onto her back. Draping herself on top of Alex while sliding her leg between the open, inviting legs, she pressed her hips into the warm wet heat between Alex's legs. "Not so fast, lover." Conner kissed Alex deeply, her tongue gliding into the warmth as Alex's urged her on. Alex moved her hips, gliding her hard clitoris along Conner's thigh and smirked as Conner cried out, her hips thrusting. "You make me so wet, I can't get enough of you."

Alex grasped Conner's hips and pressed her closer, harder between her legs. "You still want me to slow down, lover?"

The muscles in Conner's arms rippled as she pushed herself up onto her arms. Their hips bucked against each other as they danced the sensual dance only lovers can share. "No, IŠwantŠyouŠnow."

Looking down into Alex's eyes, Conner was overwhelmed with love for this woman who only a short time ago sped into her life and stole her heart away. Bending her head down, she gently brushed Alex's lips and heard a rumble deep in Alex's throat, "I love you so much, Alex."

Alex's body was reeling with the electrifying charges Conner was sending through her. Knowing she couldn't hold back any longer, she drew Conner down to her, capturing her lips with her own. At the touch of Conner's tongue on hers, Alex's orgasm exploded and she felt Conner follow her over the edge, their cries muffled as their mouths hungrily devoured each other. In complete harmony with each other, they rode the wave as it brought them slowly back to reality.

Chest heaving and heart racing, Conner fell into Alex's arms, listening to the still racing heartbeat of her lover. Tracing the line of Alex's jaw, Conner looked deeply into Alex's dark eyes, "I love you so much to ever be away from you again."

Alex's hands glided over the firm muscles of Conner's hips before coming to rest solidly around her waist. Alex could still feel the trembling muscles, "I love you too and we'll never be apart again, I promise."

"Good, then you'll like my surprise."

Alex lifted a solitary brow at her grinning lover, Alex teased Conner's ribs, "Oh? And just what kind of surprise would that be, Officer Harris?"

Conner tossed back the covers and slid out of bed, making a long sensual show of her muscular body as she strolled across the floor to the bathroom. Never looking back, but knowing Alex was watching her every move, she chuckled over her shoulder, "I suggest you get your lazy butt up if you want to find out." Turing at the bathroom door, Conner crooked her finger, beckoning Alex to follow. "First we need a shower, then we need to pack. I'm taking you on a long cruise to Blackbeard Island."

Rising from the bed, Alex followed Conner into the bathroom. "Pack? A Cruise? What about Donald? The case? We can't just leave, can we?"

Conner stepped into the shower and pulling Alex in behind her, backed her lover against the cool tile wall. Cupping Alex's breasts in her hands, Conner tugged on the quickly hardening nipples. Dropping her head, she captured one of the taut peaks between her lips and sucked it deeply into her mouth. Hearing Alex's moans, she released the rigid nipple and moved towards the other, "Sometimes, Agent Montgomery, you talk too damn much."


By noon, Conner and Alex were packed and on their way to the island and the 'Shady Lady'. The last few weeks had been difficult for both of them and they were looking forward to two weeks alone, cruising the intercoastal waters along the coast of Florida and Georgia.

Donald and Jack had insisted that they both take some time to rediscover each other and absorb the events of the Hernandez case. Conner had made all the plans prior to seeing Alex again, and now the boat was stocked and ready to sail, thanks to Benny.

They spent the first hour on the boat, checking the lines and their provisions. Then as the sun shone brightly from the sky, they began their journey to rediscovery.


Donald slowly sat the phone down on the desk as a deep frown crossed his face. An unnerving sensation ran up his spine as he considered what Jack had just told him. His face fell into his hands as he realized the danger Alex and Conner were still facing. The case that he thought was now ending was, in truth, taking on a new dimension, the murder of Alicia Vergara had thrown a new twist into the case.

Reaching for the phone, Donald punched in Alex's number and waited only to hear the recorded voice of the answering machine. Slamming down the phone in frustration, he sat back and considered the options, knowing he should bring Alex and Conner into protective custody. Sighing heavily he paced his office, finally stopping at the window deep in thought, trying to consider for once how Alex would want him to handle the situation. After a long while he finally decided that the safest place for them would be right where they were.


As Conner maneuvered the 'Shady Lady' past the old city marina, Alex watched as the landscape on their left, the natural marshland that made up so much of the area faded into the distance. As the wind caressed her face she was once again reminded of how lucky she and Conner had been. Looking back, she watched Conner expertly maneuver the boat through the channel and was again filled with an excited anticipation of what the next few days would hold for them.

Conner watched as Alex made her way back towards the cockpit. She couldn't help but smile as Alex's arms slid around her waist. As they stood together, savoring the feel and warmth of each other, the wind rushing across their faces, neither woman saw the man watching from the pier.


He lowered the binoculars in his hands, as he watched the boat sail around the bend.

Slowly walking back to his car, he pulled the cell phone out of his pocket and punched in the familiar numbers. "Yes, it's me. They just departed on a little sailing trip."

The End

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