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Margo awoke to the sound of the phone ringing. She glanced at the clock. 4:30 am. She groaned and reached for the phone.

"Hello?" She said, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.

"Margo?" A voice said.

Margo struggled to recognize the voice. "Who is this?" Margo questioned.

"It's me, Steve. How are you?"

"Steve?" Margo wondered why her ex-boyfriend was calling. She hadn't seen or heard from him in months.

"I know it's been a while, but uh...can you meet me this afternoon?"

Margo hesitated. Why was he calling?
"Uh..I guess. What time?"

"Around lunch? I'll meet you at your work." Steve hung up.

Margo knew Steve had thought something was going on and that she hadn't worked at the Silver Star but she knew she couldn't tell him. It was part of the job and they all knew that before they had started any relationships. She rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.

Silver Star

Margo walked up to the bar and got herself a drink. She had gotten there earlier after not being able to go back to sleep. She had laid in bed, wondering why he had called. Finally knowing that she was up for good, she got out of bed and dressed, going for her usual run. After she was done, she showered and went to work.

Sitting down at the bar, she waited for Steve.

A few minutes later, he walked into the bar. Seeing Margo, he walked over to her.
He grinned at her and said, "How about a table? For more privacy, ya know."

Margo shrugged and followed him to a table. Sitting down, she saw Matt and Debbie talking at the bar. Nick and Benny Ray had gone to do some target shooting, and Deke was off running errands. She turned her attention back to Steve.

"So, how ya been?" He asked, noticing her far-off look.

"Fine. And you?"

He nodded and told her what he had been doing the past few months. He could tell she was thinking about something else. He made small talk for a few more minutes and then got aggravated by her indifference.

"Margo, you even listening?"

"Yes. I'm sorry. I couldn't go back to sleep after you called. Why is it you wanted to meet?" She asked, finally getting to the point.

Steve sighed and looked at her. "I was thinking about you a lot lately. I was wondering if maybe you wanted to have dinner with me, I mean. I'm sorry. Are you seeing anyone?"

Margo looked at him, shocked.

"I know. It's been a while but I thought we had something special." Steve continued.

"Look, Steve. I really don't think it would work. You broke up with me because of my job and I still have it, so nothing has changed."

"So, you're seeing someone?" Steve pressed.

Margo sighed. She saw Matt look over in her direction. She glanced at him, giving him a signal. He came trotting over.

"Hey. I need you to take over for Debbie." Matt said, nodding at Steve.

Margo faked annoyance and stood up.

"Sorry, Steve. I gotta get to work."

Steve stood up and looked from Matt to her.

"Well okay. I'll call you." He called, kissing her on the cheek and walked out.

Matt looked at her as the door closed.
"What was all that about?"

"Thanks for coming over. He just didn't get it. He wants us back together again."

Matt shook his head, walking toward the office. Margo followed him and plopped down in the chair across from Matt's desk. Matt watched her, knowing that there was more to this.

"So, he just showed up?"

"No. Uh..he called this morning around 4 and wanted to meet. And then he shows up and wanted to just forget everything and get back together. I reminded him that he broke with me because of my job and told him I was still working here." Margo said, rubbing her eyes.

"Wait, let me get this straight. He called you at 4 a.m. and just wanted to talk?"

Margo nodded.

"You must have made quite an impression on him, huh?" Matt laughed.

They heard laughter from the bar and heard footsteps tramp up the short stairs to the office. There was a knock at the door and it flew open to reveal Nick and Benny Ray, smiling.

"So, how was practice?" Matt said, grinning at his two operators.

"Good, sir." Benny Ray responded, sitting down on the arm of the chair that Margo occupied. "Hey, sweet pea."

Margo smiled. She shot Matt a look that told him to keep this between them.

Benny Ray looked at Margo and then at Matt.

"You guys going to dinner?"

"Yeah, I just need to get some stuff and I'll be ready." Margo said, standing up. She walked out to door to the bathroom down the hall. Benny Ray gave Matt a questioning look and when he didn't return his gaze, he followed Margo down the hall. Finding Margo in the bathroom splashing water on her face, he walked up behind her.

"Hey, you okay?"

Margo jumped, not hearing him come in.

Benny Ray saw that he had scared her and stepped toward her.
"Sorry. Didn't mean to scare you. Thought you heard me come in."

"I'm fine. Just a little hot in here. What are you doing in here?"
"Just checking on you."

Benny Ray looked at her suspiciously. He nodded, knowing that she would talk to him when she felt she was ready. He watched as Margo straightened her sweater and ran her hands down her jean-clad hips. Taking one more look in the mirror, Margo fixed her hair and walked out, following Benny Ray. Nick and Matt were standing in the doorway, laughing as they walked toward them. Matt asked Nick how he had done in practice and laughed as Nick started telling him. Benny Ray rolled his eyes at him, pushing the door open for them and slapping Nick on the back as he walked by. They stepped into the night air.

They arrived at the restaurant a few minutes later. The hostess ushered them to a table in the corner and Nick slipped into the booth followed by Matt. Benny Ray and Margo took the other side. The waitress took their orders and returned with their drinks. Benny Ray sat drinking his beer, tapping his fingers on the table to the music. He looked around the room. A man walked through the crowded restaurant toward them. Benny Ray thought he recognized the man and as he got closer he knew who it was.

Steve walked up to the table, stopping to let the waitress pass.
"Margo, hey."

Margo looked up at whoever was calling her name.
"Steve, uh..hi."

Matt had looked up when Steve had walked up to the table.
Benny Ray had noticed Matt tense up and wondered what was going on.

"Hey. I was sitting over there and thought it was you, so I thought I'd come say hello."

Margo smiled, politely.

"I'm sorry. I don't believe we've been introduced yet. I'm Steve." He said, holding his hand out to Nick and Benny Ray. He smiled at Matt. "Nice to see you again."

Matt just nodded at him.

"Let me buy you guys a drink."

"No. That's okay, Steve. That's not necessary." Margo assured him, clearly uncomfortable. She squirmed in her seat.

"No, I insist. Just tell the waitress what you want and tell her to add it to my bill. Well you guys take care and I'll talk to you later, Margo."

The four watched him leave.

Nick turned to Margo, who was pale.
"I thought you two broke it off."

"We did. I haven't seen him in forever." Margo said, twisting her napkin in her hands.

"Hey. Benny Ray, why don't you and Nick go call the bar and see how Debbie's holding up."

Benny Ray and Nick looked at Matt suspiciously, but then nodded. Benny Ray stood and waited for Matt to let Nick out of the booth. Matt watched the two walk toward the pay phone and waited until he saw them out of earshot and he turned to Margo.

"Okay." Matt sat, crossing his arms.

Margo avoided his eyes and sighed.

"What? I didn't know he was going to be here." Margo sighed.

Matt shrugged, knowing she had told him all she was going to tell him tonight.

Margo's apartment

A few hours later, the foursome said good night and went their separate ways. Benny Ray pulled his truck up to Margo's apartment building. He climbed out of the truck and walked around to the passenger side, opening the door for Margo. She walked up the steps to her front door and noticed that Benny Ray was behind her.

"You know, you don't have to walk me up." Margo said, smiling.

"I know. But I was raised that way." He said, winking at her.

She grinned and turned, hand on the knob of the door.

"That's okay. It's late. Go home."

Benny Ray shrugged and said good night, walking to his truck. She watched him as he started the truck, turned the overhead light and waved. She laughed and waved back. Watching as he turned the corner, she opened the door to her apartment building and started the climb the steps to her door. On the landing outside her door, she saw Steve.

"What are you doing here?" She asked, getting mad that he seemed to be following her.

"I just thought we should talk."

"There's nothing to talk about. I think you should leave."

"Why? All I want to do is talk to you." Steve said, taking a step toward her.

"Steve, there's nothing to say. I don't appreciate the fact that you showed up here."

"Look, you don't want to sit down and talk this out, fine! But I love you, Margo. And we will eventually talk this out." Steve said, getting angry.

Margo looked at him, shocked that he was getting angry and louder by the minute. She pushed by him and unlocked her door. He grabbed her wrist and Margo looked at him, her eyes defining her anger.

"Let go of me!" She told him, sternly. She twisted her wrist out of his grip and walked into her apartment.

"Margo! I won't let you go! You hear me!" Steve yelled at the closed door.

Margo sighed and heard him stalk down the stairs and watched as his car pulled away from the curb. Shaking her head, she got undressed and crawled into bed.

The phone rang and Margo looked at her clock. 4:00 am! Sighing, she picked up the phone.


"Margo, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get mad. I should've called you before I just showed up. I'm sorry. It won't happen again." Steve said.

Margo was silent. What was his problem? She was getting irritated.

"Margo? You there?"

Margo hung up, turning the ringer off.

The next morning

Margo was pouring herself a cup of coffee when Benny Ray came into the basement of the Silver Star. He noticed that she was pale and looked exhausted. Walking over to her, he grabbed a cup from the cabinet and held it out. Margo poured him a cup and sat the pot down. He had noticed that her hands were shaking.

"Hey. You okay?" He asked with concern in his eyes.

Margo smiled. "Yeah sure."

"Well you look tired." Benny Ray observed.

Nick came bounding down the stairs.

"Hey Margo. Steve's upstairs looking for you."

Benny Ray noticed she almost dropped her coffee cup.

"Did you tell him I'm here?" She asked, shakily.

"Nope, but Debbie said you were."

Benny Ray saw Margo's eyes cloud over and she shook her head.
He and Nick watched as she walked slowly up the stairs.

Margo hit the top step and saw Steve at the bar.

He turned to see her, smiling.

"Hey." He said walking over to her, leaning in to kiss her.

Margo took a step back.
"What do you want, Steve?"

Steve frowned and then grinned at her.
"Thought I'd take you to breakfast and we can talk about last night."

"Look, it's over. Stop coming up here, stop calling me. Just leave me alone." Margo said, crossing her arms.

Benny Ray and Nick climbed the stairs and walked over to the bar. Nick sat down and ordered two beers and the two operators sat there talking to Debbie, drinking their beers. Benny Ray kept an eye on Margo, who was standing with her back towards them. Although he couldn't hear what was being said, Benny Ray knew by Margo's body language that she was getting irritated.

"Why is it you can't admit that we were good together?"

"We were. But it's over. Now, please leave." Margo said, turning to walk off.

Steve reached out, grabbing Margo's arm.

Benny Ray had seen this and had stood up. He walked over to them, standing behind Margo, a threatening look in his eyes.

Steve released her arm, looking at Benny Ray. He opened his mouth to say something but thought better of it and turned to walk out. "Later." He called over his shoulder. Steve pushed the door open and left.

Benny Ray looked at Margo, who was staring after Steve.
"Now do you want to tell me what is going on?" He asked, arms crossed across his chest. He looked down at her, his eyes questioning her.

"Nothing I can't handle." She stated, walking off.

Benny Ray shrugged and joined Nick back at the bar.

"What was all that about?" Nick asked.

Benny Ray ignored him, pulling the label off of the beer in his hand. He made a silent note to have a talk with the Major later.

A few days later, Margo sat at the bar with Benny Ray and Nick. Matt was in his office, finishing up paperwork he had been putting off. He heard laughter and stood up, going down the short flight of steps that led to the bar. He joined the conversation with Nick who was telling another story. Margo rolled her eyes and relaxed, thinking to herself that it had been a week since she had heard or seen Steve. Maybe he got the picture. She laughed at Nick's punch line as he finished and saw Matt and Benny Ray roll their eyes and groan.

The door opened and Margo stiffened and then relaxed as she saw Debbie came in.

"Hey guys." Debbie called.

Nick followed her into the back room telling her the joke that he had just finished telling the others. Matt chuckled as he saw Debbie roll her eyes and walk away from Nick. Margo smiled at the exchange.

"So, we still haven't heard from Trout?" Benny Ray asked, sipping his beer.

Matt shook his head. "He still doesn't have anything for us."

Benny Ray nodded.

"Wanna go get some lunch?" Nick asked, coming in from the back room.
The three nodded and walked toward the door. Stepping outside, they walked toward the parking lot.

The team stopped, seeing Margo's car.

Margo gasped as she saw that her maroon Jag had been vandalized. The windshield was broken and across the hood the word 'bitch' was scratched into the paint. The remaining windows were smeared in shoe polish.

Benny Ray cursed softly.

"Who would have done this?" Nick asked, glancing at Margo.

She had gone pale and she fought the urge to get sick.

Matt fished his cell phone out of his pocket and called the police.

Benny Ray walked over to the car, opening the door and looked inside. Seeing nothing amiss or missing, he closed the door and walked back over to Margo. He saw that tears filled her eyes and threw his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close to him.
"It's okay, sweet pea. We'll find whoever did this."

Margo swallowed hard and let Benny Ray hold her for a few minutes. She brushed away her angry tears. Although she didn't say anything to her friends, she knew who was responsible for this.

Matt and Nick returned to them and the four walked inside and waited for the police.

Matt dropped her off at her apartment a few hours later. The cops had impounded the car, looking for evidence but Margo knew that they would come up with nothing. She knew that she would handle this on her own. Margo wandered around her apartment, occasionally stopping by the windows to see if there was any sign of Steve. Seeing nothing, she pulled on her sweats and tennis shoes. She ran down the steps and out to the park that was a few blocks from her apartment. The sunlight felt good on her skin and Margo realized that she had had goose bumps all day. She rounded the corner to the entrance of the park and glanced around, seeing people with their dogs or rollerblading. She ran to the jogging trail that led into the woods. As she started out, she turned her Walkman on, listening to the tunes and relaxing into the pace she was accustomed to. Halfway through the jog she suddenly stopped, the hairs on her neck standing up. She whirled around, searching for the cause of it and finding no one there. Relax Margo, she scolded herself trying to shake off the eerie feeling. No one is there. Stop being a chicken. She decided to cut her run short and started back into the park.

As he watched her run, Steve hid behind the tree as she suddenly stopped and started searching around for the cause of her discomfort. He knew that she knew he was there. All he wanted was for her to talk to him and they would eventually realize that they were right for each other again. He knew that something was going on with her friends at work but he was willing to overlook all her secrets just to be with her. He watched as she turned around and ran back the way she had come. Later Margo. We will be together later and then forever, he thought as he followed her back into the park.

Benny Ray took the steps up to Margo's apartment two at a time. He stopped at her door, knocking twice. When no one answered, he pulled out his key to her apartment and knocked once more before opening it.

"Margo? You home?" He called, searching the living room and then glancing into the kitchen.

He saw her tennis shoes lying under the coffee table and a cup of coffee was sitting next to the newspaper. He reached down to the cup and felt that it was still warm and began to worry.

"Margo?" He called again, pulling out his Glock.

A noise came from the bedroom and he heard a muffled yell. He moved slowly toward her bedroom, raising the gun. He slowly opened the door.
Margo let out a scream as she saw the bedroom door swing open to reveal Benny Ray standing there, gun pointed at her.

"Benny Ray! You trying to give me a heart attack!"

Benny Ray grinned at her, his eyes still darting around the bedroom searching for something amiss.
"Sorry. I knocked three times. When you didn't answer, I let myself in. I heard a noise in here. You okay?"

Margo sat down on the edge of her bed, trying to recover from the scare.

Benny Ray noticed that she was shaken more than she should have been. He raised his eyebrows at her, putting his Glock away.
"You sure?"

Margo nodded and stood up, walking by him into the living room. She had forgotten about their dinner plans. He had told her that he was coming by around seven to pick her up for dinner. She silently scolded herself for forgetting.
"So, where are you taking me?" Margo joked with him.

Benny Ray let out a huff, looking at her like she had lost her mind.
"Me take you? It's your treat." He told her, winking at her.

Margo smiled. She had lost their contest on who was the fastest to assemble their weapons, so it was her turn to pay. She grabbed her purse and walked out the door, locking it behind her. Benny Ray ran down the stairs and opened the door for her and let her into the truck. As he walked around to the driver's side, he heard someone call his name. He turned to see Steve jogging up to the truck. He glanced at Margo.

"Get in and let's go." Margo said, her eyes betraying her emotions.

Benny Ray narrowed his eyes at her and started to ask.

"Get in!" Margo snapped.

Benny Ray got in and closed the door, starting the engine and speeding away from the curb right as Steve got to the sidewalk and started to pound on Margo's window. Benny Ray watched in the rearview mirror as Steve threw up his hands and shook his head angrily.

They drove for a while before Benny Ray pulled off onto a side road. He turned the engine off and turned in his seat to face her. He waited for a few minutes, waiting for Margo to speak. When she still sat there, he decided that she was not going to be the first one to talk.
"Okay. What's going on?"

Margo stared out the window, her sunglasses hiding her eyes.

"Margo. Tell me." Benny Ray pressed.

"Are we going to dinner or what?" She finally spoke, her voice angry.

Benny Ray looked at her.

Margo glanced at him, and sighed angrily. She reached for the handle and got out of the truck. She stormed off down the road.

Benny Ray watched her for a few seconds and got out of the truck, running after her. He caught up with her, grabbing her arm to stop her. He whirled her around to face him and saw that tears were cascading down her face. Benny Ray instantly reached up and brushed them away. He pulled her to him, his chin resting on the top of her head. His hands smoothed her hair and he held her as she cried. A few minutes later, he felt her relax and she pulled away from him. He stood there, his eyes questioning her but not wanting to push her.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to fall apart like that." She wiped away the remaining tears.

He smiled at her and she turned to walk back toward the truck. He fell in step with her and they walked silently.

At the truck, Margo climbed in and closed the door behind her. She looked down at her hands in her lap. She knew she couldn't keep this a secret much longer.
"I don't know where to start. It's stupid really."

"Not if it has you this upset, it's not." Benny Ray said, concern in his eyes.

Margo sighed and began.
"Steve called last week. It was in the middle of the night and I asked him what was going on but he said he wanted to meet me at the bar so he showed up and told me he wanted to get back together. I told him that I had moved on and it wouldn't work. Then that night he showed up at the restaurant and later at my apartment. I told him then that I wanted him to stop and he got mad. He called later on that night. And you remember the day he was at the bar. Well I thought that he got it and now the car and now this."

Benny Ray sat listening to her tell him what was going on. He gritted his teeth and anger seethed.
"You should have told us, sweet pea."

"Matt knew about the first time but I thought I could handle it." Margo told him.

Benny Ray shook his head.
"No wonder you aren't sleeping and all jumpy. He's stalking you."

"No he's not. He just wants to talk to me and I don't have anything to say to him. It'll be okay. Let's just go to dinner." Margo assured him.

He glanced at her, not sure of the fact that Steve just wanted to talk. He sighed and started the truck, pulling away from the curb and they headed for the restaurant.

Benny Ray pulled up to Margo's apartment and ran around to open the door.

"So, when do you think the cops are giving the car back?" Margo asked.

Benny Ray shrugged, as he glanced around the street to make sure there was no sign of Steve. During dinner, they had avoided the subject of Steve but he could tell Margo was searching the restaurant for him. Benny Ray was too, though he made it less obvious than she had. He had tried to get her mind off of it with conversation on missions and his kids but she had been too preoccupied.

They walked up the stairs to Margo's apartment and she opened the door. Benny Ray glanced inside, making sure that everything was okay. Margo grinned at him, and stepped back, inviting him in. He stepped inside and stood there watching her walk to the couch and drop her purse and take her shoes off.

"Want something to drink?"

Benny Ray asked for a beer and she walked into her kitchen, telling him to make himself comfortable. Benny Ray glanced around the spacious living room and he walked over to the window. Pulling back the curtains, he saw a car parked by his truck. His jaw clenched as he realized that it was Steve. He walked toward the door, seeing Margo coming out of the kitchen.
"I forgot something in the truck. Be right back." He lied.

He stormed down the stairs and pushed open the door. Steve was standing on the bottom step staring at Benny Ray's truck.
"What the hell is your problem, man?" Benny Ray shouted at Steve.

Steve glared at him, ignoring him as he tried to push his way past Benny Ray to get inside.

Benny Ray grabbed him by the arm, spinning him around.
"I asked you a question. What the hell is wrong with you?"

Steve yanked his arm away and pushed Benny Ray.

Benny Ray stumbled a few steps and then stopped, walking toward Steve and standing in front of him. He was close enough to smell the alcohol on Steve's breath.

Steve glared indignantly at him. He took a step toward Benny Ray and saw the man crouch, getting ready to fight him if necessary.
"Back off. She's mine." Steve warned him, his voice low and dangerous.

Benny Ray looked at him, shocked at what he was hearing.
"Look, amigo. She told you she wasn't interested and that it was over. Leave her alone." Benny Ray told him as calm as he could.

Steve pushed Benny Ray back again, trying to get him back far enough so he could make a run for the door to the apartment building.

Benny Ray grabbed him by the collar and glared at him.
"I said, leave her alone! Don't make me angry!" He warned the man.

Steve sneered at the sniper and after a few seconds, he backed away.
"She won't always have you around to keep her from me, ya know. We will be together and I will make her see that." Steve said, walking down the sidewalk.

Benny Ray started after him and caught up with him, slamming him onto the hood of Steve's car.
"Stay away from her! If I hear that you come anywhere near her again, I swear…." Benny Ray warned.

Steve managed to get out of Benny Ray's grip and swung at him, hitting Benny Ray in the nose. Steve panicked and ran, jumping into his car and sped off.

Benny Ray shook his head, wiping his now bloody nose on his sleeve. He walked up the stairs to Margo's apartment and opened the door.

Margo gasped as she saw his nose.
"Oh my God! What happened?" She asked, running to get a towel and ice from the kitchen.
She held the towel to his nose gently and he took it from her.
"What happened?" She asked again.

Benny Ray shook his head, trying to ignore her questions and keep her calm.

"It was Steve, wasn't it? Did he do this?" Margo said, tears stinging her eyes.

"Calm down. I'm fine." Benny Ray assured her, looking at her from behind the ice pack.

Margo stood up, walking to the window and looking down at the street below.

Benny Ray stood up and crossed to the window, standing behind her. He put his hand on her shoulder, and she leaned back against his chest.

"I'm sorry. All this is my fault. I should just talk to him and make him understand." Margo told him.

"Hey. You tried, but he won't listen. You should go to the cops. They have your car and you know who did it." Benny Ray said, his voice low.

"No. He's the assistant district attorney. They won't do anything."

"Then we will." Benny Ray said, his anger evident in his voice.

Margo spun around and looked at him.

He crossed the room and pulled out his cell phone from his jacket.
"Hey. It's me. We need to talk. There's a situation." Benny Ray told whoever was on the other end.
He listened and then hung up the phone. He turned to Margo who was back by the window.
"The Major is calling Delvecchio in. Let's go." He grabbed her purse and held it out for her.

She turned to look at him and then walked over and grabbed it from him. He held open the door for her and they walked out into the night.

"Why didn't you come to us with this?" Matt said, looking at Margo.

The team had listened to the events that had developed in the past few days. Nick sat on the couch, listening to every word and shaking his head. Benny Ray sat on the arm of the other end of the couch, watching Margo.
She paced back and forth as she told them what had happened. Matt was sitting in the leather chair at the foot of the couch.

"I thought I could handle it. I told him that it was over, so I thought he got it." Margo said, her arms crossed across her chest tightly.

"Well he obviously didn't get it." Nick said, his accent strong with his anger.

Matt watched as Margo continued pacing, her eyes clouded with emotions he couldn't decipher.

"He was drunk tonight. He seems to think that she will understand that he wants to be with her." Benny Ray recalled the conversation he had had with Steve.

"Well why'd he hit you?" Nick asked, turning his attention to the man.

Benny Ray shrugged and said innocently, "I guess I made him mad."

Nick grinned at the sniper. Matt shook his head, laughing at the comment.

Margo stopped pacing and turned to stare at her teammates.
"What's so funny?" She snapped at them.

The three looked at her, stopping their laughter.

"Calm down, Margo." Nick said, leaning forward in his seat; his arms resting on his knees.

"Don't you dare tell me to calm down! You don't have the right to tell me to calm down!" She yelled at him, walking up the stairs to the bar.

A few seconds later, they heard the door slam and Benny Ray stood, walking to the foot of the stairs.

"Let her cool off." Nick said, standing up.

"What about Steve? What are we going to do about him?" Benny Ray said, staring up the stairs.

"The cops won't do anything. Technically he hasn't done anything wrong other than hit you. There isn't any proof that he did her car. Her word against his, you know that. We have to wait to go to the police."

Benny Ray turned and glared at the Major.
"You're saying we have to wait for him to come after her?"

Matt nodded, not liking the idea anymore than the sniper.

"That's bullshit, sir, and you know it! You weren't there tonight, Major. She's about to lose it. He's gone off the deep end." Benny Ray said, his hand slamming down on the table.

"Stand down, Benny Ray." Matt warned.

Benny Ray looked from him to Nick and threw his hands up and stormed up the stairs. He glanced around the bar and saw it was empty. He opened the door and walked out into the parking lot. Seeing no sign of Margo, he jogged up the sidewalk to the beach and searched for her.

Nick had followed him outside and joined in on the search. A few minutes later, he ran up to Benny Ray.
"Where'd she go?" Nick asked.

Benny Ray frantically scanned the parking lot and saw Matt come out of the bar. Matt joined them.

"We lost her. She couldn't have disappeared." Nick said, concern in his eyes.

Matt walked out onto the beach and saw a figure standing close to the water. As he got closer, he saw it was Margo.

"Hey. What are you doing out here? We were all looking for you."

Margo turned to face him, seeing him standing here concerned.
"I just needed some fresh air. Sorry I snapped at you guys."

Matt threw his arm around her shoulder and they walked back to the parking lot where Benny Ray and Nick stood by the truck.

"Hey. You okay?" Nick asked, giving her a hug.

"Yeah. Sorry I snapped, guys."

They nodded and went back inside the bar, ordering drinks from Debbie. They sat in a corner table in the back, drinking their beers and laughing. Margo started to relax and let the night's events leave her mind for the time being. Nick sat on the end of the table, perched on a barstool he had drug over and Matt straddled the chair on the other side. Margo was in the back, stuck in the corner with Benny Ray flanking her other side. They listened as Nick started another one of his stories. Benny Ray rolled his eyes, and Nick acted like he was offended. They group laughed and finished their beers.

"You guys want another?" Debbie showed up at their table, her tray in her hands.

Nick ordered another and Matt asked for a glass of water. She left, getting their drinks.

The bar was full with the midnight crowd of a Friday night. The music was loud and four had to shout to hear each other. Nick got up, seeing some girl he wanted to ask to dance and Benny Ray pushed his chair back, asking Margo to dance. She grabbed his hand and let him lead her out to the crowd that was dancing in the middle of the floor. Matt watched them from the bar. He noticed that someone was in the doorway, searching the crowd. Matt focused in on the person's face and realized it was Steve.

"Damn!" He cursed, as he walked into the crowd toward his team.

Steve had spotted him also and was weaving his way toward Margo also.
Matt reached Nick and had filled him in. Nick nodded and headed toward Steve. Matt managed to reach Benny Ray and Margo, grabbing her by the arm and telling her to go into the office. She looked at him confused at first until he motioned toward Nick, who was talking to Steve. Her face went ashen and she nodded and took off toward the steps. Benny Ray narrowed his eyes and stalked toward Steve. Nick had escorted Steve outside and Matt and Benny Ray stepped outside also.

"What the hell do you think you are doing here? You aren't welcome here." Matt said, crossing his arms across his chest.

Nick stood shaking his head while Benny Ray stood close to Steve, ready to jump the man if necessary.

"You can't tell me where to be. I can go where I want." Steve sneered at the men.

"This is my bar and I can tell you to stay out of it. You're harassing one of my friends, and she is my business too." Matt said, narrowing his eyes at the drunken man.

"She's my girlfriend and I have to right to talk to her."

"No, I believe that she told you to leave her alone. And this gentleman here told you that too and you assaulted him. Now, I'm going to tell you right now, I want you off my property or I will call the cops." Matt warned him.

Steve stood there, seeming to weigh the odds of a fight between the men. He put his hands up in an offer of surrender and backed away into the parking lot.

The three men watched until they saw his Mercedes squeal out into the street and then walked back inside. They headed toward the office, where they found Margo sitting in the chair in front of the desk. She was still pale and visibly shaken. Matt instantly crossed the room to her and knelt down in front of the chair.

"It's okay. He's gone." Matt told her, giving her arm a squeeze.

"I want to go home." She said, standing up and smoothing her dress.

"Okay. I'll take you." Benny Ray said from the doorway. He was seething now, wanting to kill Steve now.

Matt nodded and watched as Benny Ray led her out the door and down the stairs. He turned to Nick and shook his head.

"What are we gonna do about this jerk?" Nick asked, his hands on his hips.

"We're going to make sure he doesn't bother Margo again." Matt told him.

"How we gonna do that?"

Nick listened as Matt explained what was going to take place.

Benny Ray pulled up to Margo's apartment for the third time that night.
"Okay. I want you to pack a bag and you are staying with me until we handle Steve."

"No, Benny Ray. I can't leave my house because of him."

Benny Ray turned to face her in the truck. He could see the fear in her eyes, illuminated by the streetlight.
"Yes, you can. Listen to me, Margo. You can't stay here. You can stay at my place and get some sleep. I'm not arguing with you. If I have to, I will go up there and pack you myself."

Margo opened the door and jumped out of the truck, followed by Benny Ray. They walked up to the front door and opened it. The last thing either of them heard was the door slamming behind them and then blackness enveloped them both

Margo awoke a short time later, not knowing how long she had been out and what had happened. She looked around, seeing her apartment in shambles. As she turned her head, she caught sight of Benny Ray tied to a kitchen chair. His head was hung and there was a small cut on his forehead.

"Benny Ray?" She called out, hoping to get him to wake up.

When he made no attempt to stir, she called out louder. He managed to shake his head and slowly his eyes fluttered open. He peeked out from under his lashes and saw her.
"What the hell happened?"

Margo shrugged. She struggled against the bonds that tied her to the other kitchen chair. They both looked up as they heard footsteps coming in from the bedroom.

Steve came in and stood there, watching them.
"Well well well. I see you two are finally awake. Good."
Benny Ray snarled at him.

"Let us go, Steve." Margo said, trying to stay calm.

"No…no, I don't think I can. I want to but I can't." Steve said, walking over to Margo and glancing down at her.

Margo looked up at him, seeing the bloodshot eyes and smelling the alcohol on his breath.

"Come on. You can let us go and we can forget about this." Margo lied.

Steve sneered down at her and reached down and ran his hand down her cheek.
"Well, I will get rid of him first and then we can work on being together." Steve said, turning to walk over to Benny Ray. He got a few steps toward him and stopped, turning to stare at Margo.

"What do you think I should do to him? You tell me what you want me to do, and I will do it. Make me prove my love to you." Steve said.

Margo couldn't believe what she was hearing. Was he really that sick?
"You still love me? Then let him go."

Benny Ray sat listening to what was going on. Margo was putting herself on the line and there was nothing he could do as long as he was tied to the chair. He struggled with the ropes and kept his eyes on Steve.

"Come on Steve." Margo pressed.

Steve stood there, and took a few steps back toward Margo.
"Really? We can be together if I let him go?"

Margo nodded. She was working on the ropes as she sat there. She caught Benny Ray's eyes and he shook his head, vehemently. She ignored him and turned her attention back to Steve. She smiled at him and he returned the smile as he walked over to her and knelt next to her.

"I knew you would see it my way. We're meant to be together." Steve said, bending over to kiss her.

Margo shuddered as he came toward her, his eyes were closed and his lips met hers. She pushed the thought out of her head and returned the kiss passionately. She fought the urge to bite him. He pulled back and reached out, brushing his fingers over her cheek. She smiled at him and he cupped her cheek.

"Steve, please untie me." Margo smiled again at him, her eyes staring into his intently.

Benny Ray watched as Margo kissed him. He fought against the ropes and kept his eyes on the pair. Margo again caught his eyes and he again shook his head, trying to tell her not to go through with this scheme.

Steve thought about this for a few brief seconds and then reached behind her and untied Margo's ropes. She stood up and rubbed her wrists.

"Thank you. I'm sorry I didn't realize how much you loved me. I'm so sorry."

Steve looked at her, and pulled her closer. He kissed her again and then kissed her neck. Margo caught Benny Ray's eyes and knew that it was now or never. She brought her hands up to Steve's neck and gently rubbed her hands through his hair. Steve caught her hands and held them to her side. He kissed her harder and she felt him holding her hands harder, the pressure of his grip making her fingers turn white.

"Steve. You're hurting me." Margo said, her jaw clenching.

Steve pulled back and stared into her eyes. He stood there, regarding her for a moment and let one of her hands go. He reached around his back.

"Margo, GUN!" Benny Ray yelled.

Steve produced a small handgun.
"You are nothing but a liar! You don't love me!" Steve shouted.
He pointed the gun at her, and Margo held her hands up as if defending herself.

"No, Steve. I'm not lying. Put the gun down."

"You are nothing but a lying bitch. You love him!" Steve yelled at Margo and pointed to Benny Ray.

Margo looked stunned. Benny Ray finally managed to get the ropes off and slowly stood up and walked toward Steve. He approached Steve, who turned around.

"Get over there!" He yelled at Benny Ray.

Benny Ray nodded and walked over to Margo. He pulled her behind him and stood there, looking at Steve.

"That's right, Steve. We love each other. She isn't in love with you." Benny Ray said, meeting Steve's glare.

Margo glanced up at him, shocked at what Benny Ray was saying and hoping that Steve would believe him.

Steve watched the pair and stood thinking for a few minutes. Finally he raised the gun higher.
"Well if that's true, then you won't mind dying together!"

Benny Ray gritted his teeth, and stepped toward Steve. Margo saw this and grabbed his arm.

"No! Steve, don't do this. This isn't the way. Let him go and we can talk about this, okay."

"But he said…" Steve pointed the gun toward Benny Ray.

"Forget him. Let him go. We need to talk about this." Margo said, taking a step toward him.

Steve smiled at her and lowered the gun.


Matt and Nick stood ready in the hallway. They had heard Benny Ray's angry voice on their way up the stairs. Matt drew his gun and motioned toward Delvecchio. Nick nodded and stood on one side of the door. They heard Margo pleading Steve to put the gun down. Matt shook his head angrily and Nick's eyes narrowed in disgust as they heard Margo tell Steve to let Benny Ray go.

"Go!" Steve yelled at Benny Ray.

"No, I'm not leaving you." He turned toward Margo.

Her eyes caught his and she silently told him that she would be okay.

Benny Ray shook his head but Margo pushed him toward the door. He glared at Steve as he passed him.
"I'm gonna rip your head off." He warned.

Steve laughed at him and watched as Margo opened the door and pushed Benny Ray out the door.

"Sir? What are you doing here?" Benny Ray said, as he felt Matt grab him as soon as the door closed behind him.

"We came to check on Margo and heard what was going on." Matt told him.

"What's going on in there?" Nick asked.

"Steve's gone off the deep end. He's holding her hostage." Benny Ray said as Matt handed him his Glock.

"We're going in." Matt said.

Nick and Benny Ray stood back while Matt kicked in the door.

Steve whirled around with the gun in his hand. His look on his face was that of shock as he saw the others rush in. They hit the floor and fired as Steve raised the weapon, taking aim at Margo. Benny Ray's shot hit him once in the forehead and he fell to the floor, the gun dropping to the floor.

Margo stood up and looked down at Steve's lifeless body. Her hands were shaking and she saw the room spinning.

Benny Ray and Nick managed to grab her before she fell.
"Whoa. Take it easy, sweet pea." Benny Ray soothed.

Nick sat her down on the couch and made sure that she hadn't been hit

Matt walked over to Steve's body and picked up the gun and called Trout.
"Trout is sending some people over. They'll take care of this and the cops." He said as he hung up the cell phone.

Nick sat with Margo on the couch, brushing her hair out of her face. He held her close as she sat shaking.

"You okay?" Matt asked Benny Ray, who sat on the couch's arm looking at Margo.

Benny Ray nodded, not looking at him.

"What about her? How's she?" Matt motioned toward her.

Nick nodded.

Matt walked over to them and kneeled down beside Margo.
"Hey kiddo. You okay? He didn't hurt you?"

Margo looked at him, her eyes focusing on him.
"Yeah, I'm fine."

A knock on the door signaled that Trout's men had arrived. The team cleared out of Margo's apartment. She had managed to pack a small suitcase and Benny Ray helped her into the truck. They drove in silence, following Matt and Nick to the Silver Star.

"You sure you're okay." Benny Ray said, not looking at her.

Margo stared out the window and managed a small nod.

Benny Ray turned his head toward her. He saw the black SUV turn off into the parking lot of the Silver Star and he pulled in and stopped the truck.
He turned in his seat and looked at her.

Margo felt him staring at her and she swallowed the sob that was building in her throat. She reached up and brushed the tears that were falling from her eyes.

Benny Ray reached his arm and smoothed her hair. She glanced at him and suddenly she started sobbing.

"Hey, it's okay." He assured her. He slid over to her and wrapped his arms around her and let her cry. He felt the hot tears pierce his shirt and he held her tighter. She buried her face into his chest and she felt his arms hold her tighter. She felt safe in his arms. He rested his head on her head and felt her relax.

"You okay?" He whispered.

She nodded and he glanced down at her. He brushed away a few stray tears with his thumb and saw her smile weakly.


"For what?" Benny Ray looked at her.

"For being there, for saving my life, for holding me." Margo told him, searching his blue eyes.

"No prob, sweet pea."

He slid back over to the driver's side and crawled out. He walked over to the door and held out his hand for Margo. She grabbed it and hopped down. He held on to her hand and she snuggled up to him and they walked toward the bar together.

The End

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