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Saturday 0845
Los Angeles International Airport

A tall well-built man elegantly dress with piercing blue eyes scans the parking lot intensely. He had the feeling he was being watched, finding nothing he unlocks the trunk of the sleek blue jaguar. Two bags are carefully stored before he closes the lid. Opening the drivers' side door he slides gracefully behind the wheel and inserts the key into the ignition, turning the key he hears the high-powered engine roar to life settling into a soft purr as he shifts the car into reverse. Backing out he heads toward the exit, checking his rear view mirror once more before leaving the lot.

His mind is filled with the job just completed. His eyes grow hard as his mind travels back several hours. The bastard had been easy to find and even easier to destroy. That's one piece of scum that would never touch an innocent again - ever!

Into the quiet of the Jaguars interior his eyes glistening with unshed tears he whispers, "That's another one for you Sis."

Several hundred feet to his right, a dark brown mini van exits the parking lot, along with a black Chrysler sedan heading in the same direction as the Jaguar. The two vehicles swap places continuously, barely keeping the fast moving jaguar in site. After fifteen minutes of driving the Jaguar stops at a red light. As the light turns green, a huge dump truck runs the red light, slamming into the passenger side of the jaguar. The trucks momentum throws the jaguar across the road rolling it over several times, before it slowly comes to rest, now a tangled twisted lump of metal and broken glass.

Backing away, the driver his face hidden behind the darkened windows of the truck, guns the engine moving away from the scene. Several cars including the minivan and sedan hurriedly come to a halt as their occupants run toward the wreck. The driver of the brown mini van a tall, balding man turns as the truck drives by, but he can's see the license plate it has been splattered with mud and he is unable to read even one number or letter for further identification.

Swearing he rushes toward the jaguar, kneeling down all he can see is a trickle of blood coursing down the man neck, coming from his ear. Inside the wrecked jaguar the balding mans partner feels for a pulse, saying, "He's alive, but for how long I don't know."

Pulling his cell phone and wallet out he flashes his badge to the on looking crowd. "FBI he says, please clear the area!" Dialing 911 the agent calls for an ambulance.

Silver Star Hotel 1245
Hermosa Beach, Ca

In his office Matt Shepherd leans back in his chair running his hands through his hair in exasperation. Paperwork, god how he hated paperwork, his eyes light up as an idea pops into his head, maybe, just maybe he could talk Margo into helping.

Suddenly the door to his office flies opens, a tall distinguished man wearing an impeccably tailored black suit walks in, anger written clearly on his face.

"Trout" Matt sneers, don't you ever knock."

Ignoring him, Trout walks up to the desk, throwing a manila envelope on the desk and saying, "I think you have a problem Matt, your man has crossed the line this time."

Opening the envelope Matt looks up at Trout saying, "What the hell are you talking about."

"Your man Mr. Benny Ray Riddle has crossed over, gone Rogue."

"Explain," Matt says.

"Two days ago he was spotted in Lucerne, Switzerland and yesterday a man died. Looked like a contract hit. We also have evidence that he took out two others, one in London two weeks ago, and the other in New York City a month ago."

Pulling the pictures out of the envelope, Matt looks carefully, several pictures are slightly blurred but the man is definitely Benny Ray, as he thumbs through the rest of the pictures he sees the last one. Throwing it on the desk he turns it to Trout saying, "What's this?"

"That, Matt is a picture from this morning, Mr. Riddle was critically injured in a hit and run accident this morning leaving LAX, right now he is in intensive care at County General."

Laughing Matt stands up saying "Trout I think you have the wrong man."

"I don't think so Matt, it's all right there in front of you in black and white."

"Follow me!" Leaving his office Matt motions for Trout to follow. Outside the Silver Star they walk along for the beach several minutes. Pointing to a tall, athletic man playing volleyball. "What do you say now Trout."

Calling a halt to the game, the tall man jogs over to where Matt and Trout are standing. "Trouble Major, he asks."

"No, Benny Ray, just taking Trout for a short tour to show him the sites. When you finish the game get cleaned up and come to the ops room.

"Roger that, Sir." With a nod to Trout, Benny Ray heads back to the volleyball court.

Turning away the two men head back to Matt's office at the Silver Star. Back in the office, both men are silent for several minutes, clearly puzzled by the evidence in front of them.

Matt, thumbing through the pictures one more time says, "I think we need to find out who this guy is, don't you."

Opening his briefcase, Trout pulls out another file and a palm pilot computer, handing them to Matt, "this is all the information we have at this time. I'm sorry Matt, I jumped to conclusions here, and I hope you and your team will look into this matter."

"You can bet your life on it Trout," is Matt's answer.

Silver Star Hotel 1400
Hermosa Beach, Ca

In the operations room Margo, Nick, Rico and Benny Ray wait patiently. Several minutes' later footsteps can be heard descending the long flight of stairs.

Leaning against the wall, Matt begins, "I think you all saw Trout earlier, and he has given us a very interesting case directly involving you Benny Ray.

"My family Sir!"

"No Benny Ray, your family is fine," holding up his hand, he stays any more questions"

Nodding to Margo, she dims the light and presses several keys on her computer. Seconds later, a picture of Benny Ray is visible on the wall screen.

"This, indicating the screen, is one Alexander Reyes."

"Yes Benny Ray your Double"

"Trout believes him to be a assassin for hire. Over the last several weeks three men, young wealthy business men have been killed, supposedly by this man - Alexander Reyes."

"Our mission is finding out why they were killed and who Mr. Reyes works for."

"This morning while returning from Switzerland, Mr. Reyes was critically injured in a hit and run accident."

"Your job Benny Ray is to impersonate this man and discover who he works for."

"Sir" Benny Ray begins.

"Not yet Benny Ray."

"Margo, tell us what you have found out."

"I've discovered that Mr. Reyes is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and his family currently lives in Barcelona, Spain, he comes from a wealthy family, he is highly intelligent with a bit of an attitude. - Sound familiar" - Margo smiles as she looks at Benny Ray.

Six months ago Mr. Reyes dropped out of site. He has been living here in LA in an upscale house in Beverly Hills. From the information I pulled off his palm pilot, he was definitely a busy man, Switzerland, London and New York City all in the last month, all coinciding with the dates the three men were killed."

The planner also includes an appointment for next Friday at 1330 at a small café in Hollywood.

Looking at Benny Ray, Matt says, "You Benny Ray will keep that appointment." "This might be our introduction to whoever wanted theses men killed. It gives us five days to find out as much as we can about this man and for you Benny Ray to become him."

"I want everyone to get your gear together we are moving to Beverly Hills."

Sitting silent Benny Ray waits until Rico, Nick and Margo leave before approaching Matt. "Sir, I'm not sure I can do this."

"Benny Ray if I didn't think you could pull it off, I wouldn't have suggested it. Shaking his head, Benny Ray says, "Give me a target sir, something I can place within my sights, but asking me to be someone else, to step into their shoes and pretend to be them Sir, I just don't know how."

"We need to find out who wanted these men dead, as far as we know they were innocent, young, intelligent, businessmen. Without you this mission will certainly fail, with you we have a very good chance of stopping him."

"We'll be there with you Benny Ray, you know that."

"Roger that Sir." Silently Benny Ray leaves, his mind whirling with doubts about his being able to play the part laid out for him. Knowing his team would be there as backup gave him the courage to attempt something this crazy. Hell if Nick could go undercover and pretend to be someone else why couldn't he.

Saturday 2230
Reyes Home
Beverly Hills, Ca

A black suburban pulls into the drive stopping at the entry gate, reaching out Matt punches in the code that will open the intricately designed wrought iron gates. The drive up to the house is dimly lit and lined with huge trees. A two-story Spanish style house greets them. A circular set of polished granite steps leads up to a large arched entryway. The house is huge with at least 10 bedrooms sitting on an acre of land surrounded by a six-foot stonewall. The lawn and gardens seem to be well maintained though it's hard to tell in the dark.

Looking out through the front window of the vehicle Benny Ray whispers "Damn."

"Now dis is what I call a house," Nick says, every word emphasized by his New York accent."

Turning to Benny Ray as he steps out of the suburban, Margo can see that he is hesitant to go into the house. Grabbing his arms she practically drags him up the stairs.

"Alex, she says, "I think I'm going to like it here."

Scowling down at her, Benny Ray reluctantly follows.

Around the corner, a small dark skinned man watches as the suburban pulls up to the gate. Opening the door to his little black SUV he steps out, moving stealthily to the wall, with a quick leap he settles himself on top. Pulling a small pair of binoculars from his pocket he watches as the suburban pulls up in front of the house. Swearing softly he is surprised to see Alex Reyes get out of the vehicle, the well-planned "accident" from that morning should have killed him. But here he was whole and to all intent unharmed. Silently he jumps down from the wall hurrying back to his vehicle. He knows his superior would not take the news well.

Inside the house, Nick lets out a low whistle of surprise. The foyer is simplistically elegant. Light green Marble tile covered the floor and the wide curving stairway leading up to the second floor. Large Vases with yellow and white gladiolas line the walls and tables. Beautiful watercolor pictures in gilt frames depicting Landscapes are hung in a neat row going up the stairway.

Large double doors open on each side of the foyer. To the left is a large sitting room, which opens into an even larger music room, complete with a shiny new Baby Grand Piano. On the right is the library, it's walls lined with rich dark mahogany shelves filled with leather bound volumes their titles etched in gold. Walking through the library to the study, the team sees a very masculine room filled with large overstuffed leather chairs in a rich nutty brown color. The desk centered on the wall to the right of the door is canted slightly to look out the large windows at the end of the room.

Overwhelmed Benny Ray just plops himself down in one of the overstuffed chairs, the others quickly follow suit. Turning to Matt he whispers 'Sir, this is my worst nightmare"

Grinning Nick says, "Nightmare Benny Ray, dis is a dream come true."

Wanting to throw something at the little man, Benny Ray contents himself with an angry glare.

Getting everyone attention Matt says, "I think we need to start using his new name so from here on out it's Alex. I want everyone to familiarize themselves with the house and the grounds, make sure you know where all the exits are. According to his records, Mr. Reyes has daily maid service and a housekeeper sans cook. So we will have to be careful tomorrow." "Right now I think we all need to find our beds." "The master is at the top of the stairs to the left, the rest of you just find something that suits you, there are certainly enough rooms in this place to go around."

Watching as Nick, Rico and Margo leave the room Matt looks over at Benny Ray knowing enough to wait and he will eventually hear what's on the snipers mind.

Standing up Benny Ray begins to pace across the thick carpet. "I don't know about this Sir, it just doesn't feel right. I'm a country boy, this place..." stopping Benny Ray shrugs his shoulders and throws his hands up.

Crossing the room Matt places his arm around Benny Rays shoulder leading him out and up the stairs, stopping only when the double doors to the master suite are reached.

"You'll handle it Benny Ray, like you always do and we're here to help any time you need it, you know that."

"Good Night," he says, "don't worry about it, it all works out in the end."

Grumbling to himself Benny Ray opens the doors to the master suite turning on the light. Again the room is huge, with a four-poster bed in a dark cherry wood centered on the wall at the far end of the room. The room is decorated in emerald green and maroon. Walking around the room Benny Ray can see that no expense was spared in furnishing the room, but it was too cold, too austere, it was as if no one really lived there. Opening the doors to the closet Benny Ray is surprised to see only a few articles of clothing hanging within, three suits all in dark shades of blue, black and gray are nestled in one corner, several pairs of pants and shirts line the opposite wall. Shoes and boot were sitting neatly in a row on a shelf at the bottom of the closet. Closing the closet door he takes off his jacket throwing it over the little chair next to the closet. Sitting on the side of the bed he opens the top draw of the nightstand, inside he sees a watch, a cigarette lighter and several small scraps of paper. One of the scraps of paper has the date, time and address of Alex's meeting for this Friday. The others are receipts but give no clue as to what was bought. In the second draw, he is surprised to see several small books, opening the cover of the first book, he quickly snatches a picture out of the air before it falls to the floor. Looking at the picture he sees himself - or Alex with an older gray haired man and two young girls. Turning the picture over he reads the inscription.

"Your always there for me Alex, Love Larissa."

Studying the picture he can see the likeness. Though older the man in the picture is easily identified as Alex's father. Placing the picture back in the book, Benny Ray slowly thumbs through the pages. Making himself comfortable Benny Ray leans back against the plush pillows, as he begins to read the diary.

August 3rd
"Father was very angry with me again today, it seems I forgot to attend one of his blasted meeting to meet the new clients." "No matter what I do or say I'm always wrong." "He said he told me about the meeting, if he did, then I truly forgot."

Reading through the pages Benny Ray can see that Alex seems to love his father, but doesn't know how to please him. Learning the business had been hard for him, his father drove him relentlessly."

Continuing to read Benny Ray begins to understand about Alex's family and the deep love and affection he holds for his younger sisters. Larissa especially, though Carolin is mentioned in the diary but not as often.

Several hours later Benny Ray finishes the first book. Knowing he should get some sleep but too involved with Alex and his family Benny Ray takes the second book and wanders down to the kitchen. Making a sandwich and grabbing a glass of juice he heads for the study.

Looking at his watch he's surprised to see that it's nearly 3am. Settling into the chair behind the desk he flips on the small desk lamp, which throws out just enough light to read by. Turning his chair to the side propping his feet up on the desk, he opens the second book. Several more hours pass and Benny Ray has now immersed himself into Alex's character, his thoughts and feelings have become a part of him.

Several passages in the book have begun to disturb him. His father and Larissa are always fighting, with Larissa storming up to her room to cry.

March 4th
"Larissa and father fought again today, I know Father is reluctant to let her grow up but she is nineteen now and has found someone that she likes very much, but Father is adamant about her going out with him. Says he's a fortune hunter and will eventually hurt her." "Larissa is old enough to know her own mind. He will have to let go of her sooner or later."

March 7th
Larissa didn't come home tonight. When I called the school, they couldn't tell me anything. I tried calling several of her friends but they don't seem to know anything either. I finally got Maria to talk to me, she said Larissa met a man after school and they were going out for something to eat."

March 8th
"Larissa came home very late last night - it was almost midnight. Father was furious. I actually thought he was going to hit her. Larissa stood straight and tall - defying him to the end. We talked late into the night, she told me she had fallen in love with Stephen and was prepared to run away with him. I tried to talk her into taking more time but love has a way of blinding people.

March 11th
"Their argument this morning was the worst I have ever seen. She stormed out slamming the door behind her. I tried to talk with her, but she was too angry, all she said was "I'm leaving Alex" I could only watch as she saddled her mare and galloped off across the field.

"Her horse came back this afternoon, limping and bloody. We searched for hours but couldn't find her. Father finally called the police. The detectives are here now, planning a search.

March 13th
"The men have been searching for two days, but haven't found anything. Where could she be? Father sits at his desk, he won't say anything, and he won't eat. Caro is frightened and so am I."

March 14th
They called off the search this morning, said she probably ran away, when she was ready she would come home. I didn't think so. She would never leave without saying goodbye to Caro and I. Something has happened to her, I know it. Please God let her be safe!"

March 16th
"I found her yesterday."

March 18th
"God how could this have happened, when I rode out that morning I didn't know what I would find. I just knew I had to go to the old mine, to try and think. Why didn't I think of the cave before? I found blood on the rocks. It scared me, but I knew I couldn't leave. I found her bruised and broken body inside the small cave. She was still alive even if only for a few moments. Pulling her into my arms I looked down into her face smoothing the soft skin of her cheek with my hand, brushing the hair out of her eyes. She looked at me then, finally seeing who I was. I could see the joy light her eyes as she spoke to me for the last time. Taking off my coat I wrapped her body in its warmth and held her close to me. "I Love you Alex she whispered through dry cracked lips. I've been waiting for you. I knew you would find me. Take me home Alex, please." She closed her eyes then, I held her in my arms and cried for her, for the sweet innocence and light that had been extinguished from this world. I don't know how long I sat there. I was numb at first but that numbness soon changed to white-hot rage. There was a storm welling up inside of me that I couldn't control. I kicked, I screamed, I broke anything that I could find. Exhausted I lay down beside her and wept again. I dreamed of catching the men that did this to her and I began to realize that maybe they had left something in the cave that would help me find them. I searched the cave floor and surrounding area. I found little things like cigarette butts. Several different brands and matchbook covers, picking them up I dropped them into my pocket. I discovered her clothes, balled up and stuffed in a corner. I vowed then that I would kill them, I'd find them and kill them, all of them. Who ever had done this would pay with their lives.

Benny Ray read several more entries that told of how Alex had broken with his father over the death of Larissa. His father had become a shattered man, and wouldn't lift a finger to find out who had killed her.

It had taken months but Alex had finally found his targets. The matchbook covers were from a hotel in Barcelona where all the men had been staying. By talking to the waiters, waitresses, maids and bartenders he found out the names of the four men, Casey Finch - London, Daniel Clairmont - New York, Mitchell Caine - Lucerne and Stephen Hart - Larissa's Stephen? Entries in the diary told of how he had confronted Finch and Clairmont and convinced them to confess. He had put the gun to their head, but he had made them pull the trigger.

But try as he might he could not discover the whereabouts of Stephen Hart. If it took his last breath he would find him and make him pay.

Benny Ray hearing several voices coming from the foyer looks down at his watch, surprised to see that it's almost 7am. Seconds later, Matt, Margo and Nick come walking through the study door, Margo flicking on the light as she walks by.

Surprised Margo turns to see Benny Ray already in the room asking, "How long have you been here?"

Turning his chair toward the door he replies, "Most of the night I found… But his words are cut off as the tinkling of breaking glass can be heard from across the room. All Benny Ray can feel is blazing fire in his head as he is thrown backwards out of the chair. Blackness descends and his fingers go numb, the precious diary skidding across the floor to lie unseen beneath a small table.

Sinking to the floor Matt, Margo and Nick pull their weapons. Reaching up Nick turns out the light. Crossing the room, Matt pulls the curtain aside to see a shadowy figure leap from the wall. Firing Matt is unable to tell if he hit the target. Closing the curtains he says, "Nick you take the back of the house, Benny Ray, south wall now"

"Margo you take the front."

"Running from the room Matt heads for the wall, but all he can hear is the squealing of tires as a vehicle pulls away.

Margo the last one to leave the room turns toward the desk, she can see Benny Ray sprawled on the floor.

Pulling the desk lamp closer she can see a small dark patch beginning to form on the beige carpet near his head. Placing two fingers on his neck she feels for his pulse, weak, but there.

"Oh God she whispers, Benny Ray, Benny Ray can you hear me."

Running out of the room Margo looks up to sees Rico descending the stair, weapon in hand. "What's going on Margo?"

"Benny Ray's down Rico, hurry!"

Turning back Margo runs back into the study, Rico close behind, tucking his weapon into the back belt of his jeans.

Pushing the chair out of his way Rico kneels beside the still unconscious Benny Ray. Preliminary check shows his breathing is shallow, his pulse is weak and thready. Carefully Rico moves Benny Rays head to survey the damage. A deep gash just above the right brow and temple is bleeding freely. Checking his pupils, Rico sees that they are fixed and dilated, a concussion and a serious one.

A commotion in the hallway signals the return of Matt and Nick.

"Matt, Margo calls out, we're in the study."

Coming into the room all Matt can see in the shadows in the prone body of Benny Ray. "Damn, he growls, Rico how bad is it.

"Looks bad Matt, I think we need to get him to a hospital and I mean now!"

"Yeah, but if we take him to a hospital, the cops will be all over this."

"What about Diana, Margo asks, she has that clinic about 20 minuets from here."

"Call her Margo, find out if the clinic can handle this. If not we'll take him to the hospital and let Trout worry about the cops."

Dialing her cell, Margo talks quietly for several second and hangs up. "She'll be waiting Matt."

"Don't move him, Rico states, I'll be right back, several minutes later Rico returns putting a rigid neck brace on Benny Ray. Easy now, we need to move him to the suburban as smoothly as possible.

In a little over 20 minutes the harried group reach the clinic. Diana is watching through the door as they pull up. Wheeling him into the clinic, Diana motions Matt and his team toward the waiting room. Unwilling to sit and wait Matt tries to follow, putting her hand on his chest Diana says, "Matt, Rico and I will do our best, I promise."

Nearly an hour later with Matt up and pacing the small waiting room, Diana standing silhouetted in the doorway a grim expression on her face, motions for all of them to follow her. Her office wall is lined with several lit X-Ray viewers the film still wet, stands out in stark contrast to the bright light.

All business, Diana explains what's on the x-rays. "There is a lot of swelling, here and here, she says, indicating the areas with her finger. If we can't relieve or lessen the swelling, I don't think he's going to make it. Right now I've given him massive doses of anti-inflammatories. He's still unconscious, but his pulse and respiration are stronger, all we can do at this point is wait and hope.

"Brain damage, Matt asks?"

"Don't know Matt, he got hit pretty hard if the swelling continues - here Diana pauses, taking a deep breath and continues, it's possible."

"Damn" Matt says as he turns away, I should have known this would happen. I should have known!"

"Matt, take it easy, how could you possibly know this would happen, Diana asks?"

"Can we see him Diana," Margo asks?

"Yes, but please don't stay too long. Rico is with him now and I'll be here until he wakes up, I promise."

Leading them down a short corridor Diana opens the door to a dimly lit room. Benny Ray lay unmoving a slender white bandage on his forehead. His face pale and drawn, the tubes and wires running from his arms to the machines placed around the bed quietly tell their story.

Staring at the bed and the machines for several minutes Matt silently raises his hands to rub then across his face, shaking his head in denial, he walks out of the room.

With his back to the wall Matt waits as Nick and Margo come toward him. "Nick, Margo I need you to go back to the house. I saw someone in the trees outside the study. Find something, anything that might give us a clue as to who did this." "I'm staying here."

"Matt," Margo begins.

"No Margo, I'm staying here, this is my fault, he didn't want to do it, but I talked him into it and now… Now he's lying in there…"

Knowing there wasn't much she could say to change his mind or help the way he felt, Margo leans into him placing her arms around his neck and hugging him. Relenting Matt hugs her back desperately needing someone to tell him it's ok. Whispering into her ear he says, "What if he doesn't come out of it Margo."

"He will Matt, Benny Ray is strong, he'll pull through!"

Monday 0300 hrs
Vale Emergency Clinic

Benny Ray had been unconscious for nearly 18 hours. Silently he lay there, with only the quiet bleeping of the machines to break the deathly stillness of the room. Beside him half asleep, sat Diana waiting and hoping that he would soon wake.

Attuned to the sounds of his rhythmic breathing, she unexpectedly hears a difference. Standing up Diana can see his fingers begin to clench and unclench. Soon his whole body begins to thrash about his head swinging from side to side. Leaning over Diana places her body on top of his, trying to keep him still. "Matt," she yells.

Pushing the door open, Matt rushes in, moving to the bed and grabbing hold of Benny Rays arms. Diana reaches up catching his head between her hands, listening.

"I'll find him, I'll find him," over and over again he repeats the words I'll find him.

Speaking softly Diana tries to quiet him, knowing his movements will only aggravate his concussion.

As quickly as it began the thrashing stops, his eyes flying open staring intently into Diana's.

"Benny Ray, do you know who I am," she asks. No reply.

"Do you know where you are," again no reply.

"Can you tell me your name?"

Faintly she can hear his answer "Alex" as he closes his eyes, returning back to unconsciousness.

Surprised by his answer Diana looks across at Matt.

Releasing him, she checks all the tubes and wires making sure none have come loose during his struggle.

Motioning for Matt to leave the room she follows asking, "Who the hell is Alex." "That is Benny Ray in there isn't it?"

"Yes, that's Benny Ray he says, and begins to tell her about the mission.

"How much does he know about this man Alex?"

"Not much, only what was in Trout's dossier." "Name, age, just the basics, we didn't have much to go by."

"Then why is he identifying himself as this man Alex."

"I don't know, I was as surprised by it as you were."

"Lets hope the next time he wakes up, he knows he's Benny Ray!"

"You think there will be a next time, Diana."

"I do now!"

Monday 1830
Vale Emergency Clinic

Curled up in the cushioned chair beside the bed, Margo sits reading. A low groan issuing from the bed shakes her back to reality. She is elated to see Benny Ray is finally awake.

"Hey, she say, how are you feeling"

Looking up, he says, "hey Sweet Pea, kinda like someone's tap dancing in my head."

"How long, he asks?

"Hmm, about 36 hours."

"36 Hours, is everyone else ok"

"Everyone else is fine, it seems you or your alter ego Alex was the target."

Turning his head to the side he whispers to himself, "Alex."

"Do we know who took the shot," Benny Ray asks?

"No but Nick uncovered a shell casing by the wall outside the study. Found one decent fingerprint on it. Nick is running it through FBI, Interpol and a couple other databases. Hopefully something will turn up."

"Good," he whispers

Over the next several days Benny Ray improves drastically. But his team has notices that though he has always been quiet, suddenly Benny Ray has gone silent, speaking only when spoken to and staring out the window for hours. His demeanor has gone sullen and morose, almost angry, the look in his eyes turned to flint. Yet when questioned about it, he never has anything to say.

After five days of lying quietly in bed, Benny Ray was like a caged tiger. He was ready to go home and finish the mission.

Thursday, 0900
Vale Emergency Clinic

Restless, but not really knowing why Benny Ray was dressed and waiting as Matt and Diana entered the room. Before they can utter a word, Benny Ray says, "I think it's time I went home, and we finished this mission."

"No," they chime in unison.

"Look," he says turning back to face the both of them, I started this mission and I'm no quitter. Beside, now I have a damn good reason to want to see this thing thru. I want this guy, and I'll find him.

Grabbing his bag as he leaves the room, head pounding Benny Ray marches to the Suburban parked just outside the front doors climbing into the passenger side.

Coming up beside him, Diana laying her hand on his arm says "Benny Ray"

Snapping his head around to look at her, Diana takes a step back, shocked by the look of naked hatred in his eyes. Recalling himself, he says, "Look Doc, I've heard it all before, I'll take it easy, and take my meds, Ok."

Surprised and hurt, Diana turns away without saying a word.

Matt, knowing anything he said would only make matters worse, starts the suburban. When they reach the house, Benny Ray steps out, slamming the door behind him. Before he reaches the front door Matt calls to him "Benny Ray, I think we need to talk."

"Not now sir."

"Yes, Now!!"

Several minutes later in the library, arms crossed over his chest Matt says, "I want to know what the hell is going on here! It's time you get it off your chest what ever it is, and quit acting like a spoiled child." "This mission is at an end as of now!"

"I don't think so Sir! Standing up Benny Ray gets to within inches of Matt's face his voice low and deadly he says, "I want this guy Major, I'll do it with you or without you, makes no never mind to me."

"In your state of mind, this is foolhardy!"

"Foolhardy Sir, this guy shot me and took several day out of my life, I'm going to make dam sure he never hurts an innocent again."

Looking at him Matt could see that the sniper had a mission and he would be relentless in his pursuit of the target wondering what exactly he meant by hurting an innocent - again. "We do this my way Benny Ray, do you hear me. My way, the first time you get outta line… leaving the rest of the sentence unfinished.

Stepping back, Benny Ray giving him a mock salute, "I hear you sir," he drawls before walking out of the room.

"Damn," Matt says!

Stepping into the library from the study Margo smiles gently at Matt. "Well you told him."

With a snort of disbelief, "I don't think he heard I word I said."

"Oh, he heard you Matt, he heard every word, but whether he'll comply is another story."

"That's the part that worries me Margo."

"Did Nick uncover anything on that shell," Matt asks?

"As a matter of fact," Margo says, "The name Tomas Cortina came up, and it seems our Mr. Cortina used to work for Alejandro Reyes, Alex's father. A little over two years ago, he was fired, for negligence. It doesn't go into much detail but he was very irate and threatened reprisals against Mr. Reyes and his family. He currently lives in Llobregat, Spain, about 10 miles from the Reyes ranch.

"The question now Margo, is Mr. Cortina working on his own or for someone else."

Friday 0900
Reyes Home
Beverley Hills, Ca

In the library, Matt's team sits listening to how the afternoon meeting is planned out.

Rico, I want you outside the front entrance. Nick you're in back, contact us immediately if anything looks suspicious. Margo and I will be inside. The café is fairly small with several windows lining the front dining room. It's too open, I don't like it, but we don't have much choice. One of the notes in Alex's palm pilot says to wear a white rose. I assume this is how you will be recognized. I want everyone in place 15 minutes early. We're not taking any chances this time, so be prepared people. We'll take three vehicles, two suburbans Nick and Rico in one, Margo and I in the other, Benny Ray you will take Alex's Mercedes it's parked in the garage. During the whole trip I want you to stay between the suburbans, I'm not taking any more chances on another accident. Everyone is to meet back here at 1230.


They all pipe up with a quick "No Sir."

Alex / Benny Ray dressed in the Steel Gray silk suit and a matching light gray high collared shirt, stands staring at his reflection in the mirror. Only the white bandage on his forehead mars the perfection of the image. But the thoughts running through his pounding head are not of impeccably tailored suits or little white bandages, instead his mind is filled with thoughts of possibly finding the man who killed Larissa. Regardless of who he meets this afternoon he would hunt Stephen Hart until he found him and exact revenge. He knew now there was no one else behind the killing of the three men except Alex.

Pulling the Glock 21 out of the top dresser draw, he checks to insure the clip is full before reinserting it back into the weapon, placing the weapon snugly in the shoulder holster under his suit jacket.

In the library the rest of the team waits, turning towards Benny Ray as he enters the room. With a low whistle from Nick saying, "Geez, I guess when you take on a role you play it to the hilt, dat is one hell of an outfit.

With a distaining glance at Nick, Benny Ray says "Are we ready to go."

"Not yet, Margo says moving forward, Benny Ray warily steps back as she moves toward him. "Are you ok Benny Ray, Margo says a questioning look in her eyes?

Looking down at her he sees the white rose in her hand and says, "I'm fine Margo can we get this over with."

Pinning the rose on his lapel, she hands him a small earpiece. Taking it he places it inside his left ear.

"I've placed the transmitter inside the rose," she says patting it one last time before stepping back. Without even a thank you Benny Ray turns and walks out of the room.

The rest of the team quickly follows as they head outside to the waiting vehicles.

The Café is a medium sized building with a parking lot along the front and south sides of the building. Upon reaching the Café, Nick drops Rico about a block away and drives to the rear of the building taking up a position with a good view to the back door and surrounding businesses.

Rico waits, taking up a seat in the small park across from the restaurant. Parking in front Matt gets as close to the entrance as possible initiating a communications checks before going into the cafe. Inside the little café it's fairly quiet, with most of the lunch rush having already left. Over the com link Matt describes the layout of the café. Benny Ray walking into the café several minutes later is greeted by the Maitre'de and is a little surprised to be referred to by name. "Mr. Reyes, your party is waiting," he says. Winding their way to the back of the restaurant, Benny Ray is taken to a small table by the north wall. A gray haired gentleman sitting with his back to the room stands up as Benny Ray is led to the table.

Taking a look at the gentleman Benny Ray utters one word. "Father," before turning and walking away. "Alex Wait," the older man pleads.

Alex / Benny Ray stops, turning back, anger and contempt written on his face he says, "Wait! Wait for what father, for you to crawl out of your hole and avenge your daughter's death. Laughing Alex / Benny Ray continues, "Well don't bother, I've taken care of it for you."

"What have you done Alex," the older man asks?

In his ear, Alex / Benny Ray hears Matt asking, "Benny Ray what the hell are you doing.

Ignoring Matt's voice, Alex / Benny Ray continues, "its taken me months Father, but I finally found them and they will never harm an innocent again. Ever!"

Shocked Matt and his team are enthralled by the drama being enacted in the small café. Listening intently as Benny Ray continues.

"Only Stephen eludes me now, and I won't rest until he's found and disposed of like the others.

"My God Alex, I didn't know!"

"Didn't care is more like it Father!" "Larissa was nothing but a toy for you to play with, a pretty doll that you could dress up parade in front of you friends. What was your plan father, to marry her off to one of you business associates?"

Sinking down into the chair the old man cradles his bead in his hands.

Moving back to the table, Alex / Benny Ray stands staring at the old man. He could see that the old man was in pain, but his heart could not forgive him for driving Larissa away.

Sinking into the chair opposite his father Alex / Benny Ray waits.

Looking up into his sons face the old man, tears in his eyes reaches across the table saying, "your hurt Alex."

Pulling back, Alex / Benny Ray raises his hand to ward off his fathers touch. Harsh laughter escapes Benny Ray's throat as he says, "Hurt Father, this is nothing compared to what Larissa endured. Do you remember father, when I brought her home, wrapped in my coat, the bruises on her arms and legs, burns on her body." "This," he says brushing the bandage on his forehead, "is just a reminder of what I must do."

Looking up, Alex / Benny Ray stares out across the room. "It was our fault Father, yours for driving her away, mine for not stopping her." "I could have stopped her that day, talked with her, been with her, maybe I could have prevented it if I had."

Silence reigns as both men examine themselves and the thoughts running through their heads.

Alex / Benny moves to stand up as the older man says, "Please stay Alex, I need to talk to you, I need your help!"

Laughter erupts from across the table, as Alex / Benny Ray says, "When have you ever needed my help Father"

Walking away from the table, the older man reaches out grasping Benny Rays wrist. Stopping Benny Ray yanks his hand away and continues to walk away.

"If not for me Alex, stay for Carolin?"

Swearing Benny Ray turns back, his voice low and menacing as he says, "how dare you bring Carolin into this?"

"I dare because Carolin is in danger Alex, someone is trying to destroy me, my family and my company. They have already made one attempt on her life." "The police will not listen they believe it to be the foolish raving of a old man." "A fire broke out at the factory last week, I was with a client, but Carolin was in the office finishing some homework, if the shop foreman hadn't been there Alex she would have died. I would have lost her like I lost Larissa."

"Please Alex I can't loose her, not now, not after Larissa. There have been two other attempts since them, please help me Alex"

"Go home Father," Alex / Benny Ray says as he walks away.

"Alex," the older man whispers.

Outside, Benny Ray climbs into the Mercedes, pulling out of the parking lot he speeds away before the rest of the team can stop him. Climbing into the suburban, Matt sees the white rose and earpiece lying on the seat. Swearing Matt jumps in, saying, "hurry up people, maybe we can catch him."

Without any luck catching up with him and not knowing where he might be going the team heads back for the house. The Mercedes is sitting in front of the house as they pull up. Sitting in the car for a few seconds, Matt tries to calm himself down. To Margo sitting beside him he says, "what the hell is going on with him?

"I don't know Matt, but I think it's time we found out. At least we found out what's been on his mind for the last several days."

As Nick and Rico pull up, Matt says, "Check the grounds, lets make sure no one left us any surprises while we were gone."

Walking up the stairs, Matt stops just inside the door to see Benny Ray sitting on the stairs, a small book sitting beside him.

"Benny Ray?"

Slowly Benny Ray looks up, a glazed look in his eyes, his face flushed. "Major, I…"

Picking up the book, Matt sits down beside him, waiting.

"I can't seem to keep anything straight in my head anymore Sir."

"I can't even remember who I am." "This afternoon it was like I was in the middle of a fire fight, surrounded on all sides with no where to go."

"Benny Ray how did you know that was Alex's father, better yet, how did you know about Alex's family, Matt asks?"

Pointing to the book in Matt's hand, he says, "The diary, I was reading it the night we got here, the night I was shot." "One had a picture of his father and sisters in the front cover."

"When I woke up at Diana's clinic Alex was in my head, everything he had written had become a part of me, all I could think about was revenge, his revenge for the rape and murder of his sister."

"It was sickening what they did to her, Matt." "This Stephen Hart, finds young innocent women, then sells them, for one night of terror and pleasure." "He doesn't care what these men do to them, as long as he gets paid!"

"What are you going to do now Benny Ray?"

"Do Sir?"

"I'm going to help… Alex's father!" "I have a hunch that Stephen Hart might be behind the attacks, especially if he's after Carolin."

"Do you mind if I take this," Matt asks indicating the book in his hand.

"No Sir."

"Benny Ray I want you to get some rest, we'll talk more about this later."

"Yes Sir!"

Half an hour later, after Matt having asked Rico to check on Benny Ray, Rico enters the study, where the rest of the team is gathered discussing the diary and the situation.

"How's he doing Rico," Matt asks?

"He's running a fever, I gave him a sedative and something for the headache," Rico replies. "He's hurting pretty bad from what I can see."

"Will he be able to travel?"

"I don't think you could stop him Major, Rico answers"

"Thanks Rico!"

"Ok people, it looks like our original problem has been solved. No one except possible Alex Reyes was responsible for the deaths of those three men. Our decision now, is whether we are going to continue the mission and find Mr. Stephen Hart."


Across the room sitting behind the desk Margo punches a few buttons on her computer. "I did a little research on this guy and of course found absolutely nothing, whoever he is he doesn't exist at least under the name Stephen Hart. Digging a little deeper, I did find several news stories in Europe and the US about young women, found raped and murdered. They all had the same MO, secluded area. All of the women were young fifteen to twenty years old, they were raped, tortured, and left for dead - none of them survived the ordeal. During one of the cases, a man actually turned himself in, said he couldn't live with what he had done, but he was killed in an accident three weeks later while being transported to another prison. Hit and Run accident - sound familiar?"

"In his confession he described the man as early 20's, tall, Blonde, hair, pale blue eyes, athletic, muscular build. Said he met the guy one night in a bar. Paid him $1,000 for a night with an innocent young lady, unaware exactly what he was getting involved in." Turning Margo looks at Matt saying, "My vote is we take this guy down."

Nodding his head he turns to the other asking, Nick, Rico?"

From Rico, "I agree Major we need to get this piece of scum and put him away."

"You got my vote Matt," Nick says.

"Glad to hear that people, Margo please make the reservations, I have a call to make, Trout is going to be a very unhappy man."

"All I have to do now is get Benny Ray under control, he says mumbling to himself."


Double Take... Chapter Two: The Game... by LadyD

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