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Every Step You Take

Every Step You Take

by Nutty

 

Rating: R

Warnings: Swearing, mentions made of abortion, domestic violence, drugs, attempted overdose, lots of angst, mentions of F/M sex but not in detail.

Acknowledgments: Big thanks to Shark who helped me through this one at the tricky bits. Massive thanks and many hugs to Flight for letting me just ramble on constantly about this and for wanting to read more. Special thanks to Susie for all her support and for helping me get character perspective and most of all just for wanting to read it in the first place.

Summary: Sequel to Forgotten (http://ateamfanfic.org/read.php?&sku=655)

Murdock has to help Katie when she gets herself into trouble but he soon finds his feelings for her are very different from what he thought.

Disclaimer: Katie, Karen, Jerome, Tony, Megan, Beth, Linda and Clarice belong to me, all other characters are owned by Stephen J Cannell, not by me. No profits are gained from this work, it's just for fun and because the plot bunnies got me...again. Lyrics for Every Breath You Take belong to Sting and the Police.

 

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Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I'll be watching you

Taken from the song Every Breath You Take by Sting and The Police


EVERY STEP YOU TAKE

PROLOGUE

Jerome Martinez stood standing in front of the window of his office. Outside the landscape was mountainous and further off to the left he could see the distant line of the sea. Behind him the door opened.

'Sir?'

Turning Jerome fixed his gaze on the man. He did not have to say anything, the man before him knew what it was Jerome wanted to know.

'They have left with her sir. They should be reaching the airfield in fifteen minutes.'

'Good.' Jerome turned back to the window. 'The pilot has been informed?'

'Yes sir, the plan is all arranged. They'll ensure that the body is dropped in the sea; it should be week's maybe months before it's found. If it's found at all.'

'Thank you, that will be all.'

With a nod the man exited. Jerome allowed himself a smile. All was going well, within the hour Katherine Anderson would no longer be a problem to him. It had been easy to keep her here until he was sure that he had the information he needed. There had been no way of escape from this island for her. It had proved even easier to persuade her to leave, telling her it was for her own safety and he would join her as soon as he could. The bitch didn't even have a clue what his real business was or what her part had played in it.

***
High above Pacific Ocean, HM Murdock piloted his plane with grace and ease. In the cabin behind him was the A-Team. Two of them awake, the third drugged.

Murdock let his thoughts drift to the mission. His best friend's daughter Katie was in trouble and her mother had hired them to find her and get her back. Murdock had listened to Karen's suspicions and had agreed. He had felt that something was wrong as soon as he'd read her last letter. It had conveyed nothing out of the ordinary but he knew Katie and something wasn't right.

Now they were going to find her and bring her home, whatever it took. He had not yet figured out how much this girl meant to him or realised just how the shape of his life would be changed by the coming days. But soon now his life was going to be changed forever. But he could not know any of this and to Murdock; it was just a mission. And she was just a girl.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

She was flanked on either side by Jerome's guards. They walked her from the car to the airstrip.

They were halfway between the car and the plane when the firefight started. Bullets zipped past her into the dirt and she was shoved face down by the bigger of the two men.

She saw them open fire on their seemingly invisible assailants. Katherine Anderson's eyes scanned the airfield trying to spot the people who were shooting at them.

There, she saw one standing on the roof of the low building at the end of the field. Suddenly, one of the guards let out a low grunt as he was sent flying.

Katie rolled out of the way and got to her feet in time to see a large black man in an abundance of jewelry pound the guard's face. The other guard was unconscious.

She found herself being grabbed round the waist and hauled towards the plane. Bullets pounded at their heels and Katie felt the guard being dragged off her. As he was sent flying the large black man turned to her.

'Hey little mama.' He said.

A grin spread across her face. 'Hey BA.' Then the grin abruptly vanished. 'What are you doing?'

BA just grabbed her arm and hauled her towards the building and safety.

'Wait!' Katie yelled but BA shook his head.

'No time mama.'

'No BA, you don't understand!' He was still pulling her towards the building, paying no attention to what she was saying. One quick glance upward and she realised who the man on the rooftop was. 'Face.' She murmured. Another glance and she'd located Hannibal hidden behind some packing boxes.

Her eyes scanned the airfield looking for the fourth man who she knew had to be here somewhere.

BA pulled her into the small shack that served as an office. He shut the door and Katie yanked her arm from his grip. Face landed on the floor before her, coming through the skylight in the roof. Hannibal walked in through the door.

'Hey kid, good to see you. BA, go put those guys somewhere where they can't get out for a while.'

'Hang on a minute.' Katie interrupted and all three turned to look at her. 'What the hell do you think you're doing?'

Hannibal looked at her an expression of something very close to annoyance on his face. 'Excuse me?'

'That's not a very nice thing to say to someone who's just rescued you.' Face told her.

'I don't need rescuing.' Katie said looking round. 'Ok, where is he? I know he's here.'

There was a crackle of static behind her. 'Colonel.' A voice said and Hannibal pulled his radio from his belt.

'Go ahead Murdock.'

'I've got these guys tied up here on the plane. How is she?'

Katie stalked from the office anger written across her features. 'She's on her way to you.' Hannibal told him. 'I thought you said she was in trouble.'

'What?' Murdock asked. 'She is.' Then there was a grunt and a sharp buzz of static, instantly the three men ran from the building.

As they headed to the plane, Katie came out of it, dropping from the doorway and cradling her hand.

'What happened?' BA asked worriedly.

'She hit me is what happened.' Murdock said, his tall frame filling the doorway to the aircraft. He stepped down onto the tarmac rubbing his jaw.

'What?' BA was confused, amazed and biting back a laugh all at once. 'This little mama hit you?' A grin spread across his face showing white teeth, stark against his dark skin.

'Yeah.' Murdock's eyes blazed. 'She did.'

'I did.' Katie confirmed, rubbing at her hand.

'Why?' Face asked intrigued, Hannibal also looked interested.

'Because he should just leave me alone instead of jumping in here, shooting up the place and hitting the wrong people.' Katie said before Murdock could get a word out. 'Those guys were protecting me not to trying to hurt me.'

Murdock laughed long and hard. He reached inside the plane and produced a backpack. Opening it he took out several bags of white powder. 'And this is sugar.' There was a sarcastic edge to his voice.

Katie reached out numbly and touched the packets. 'Well...maybe...'

Murdock gave a snort of disgust and opened a bag. He rubbed the powder between his fingers and dabbed the tip of his tongue with his fingertips. 'Sugar that tastes very much like cocaine sweetheart.'

'Give me that.' Katie demanded grabbing the bag and tasting some of it herself. Her eyes widened. 'No, no way.'

Face ran a hand through his hair and started to talk. 'Jerome Martinez, was formerly Jerome McDonald. Born 15 April 1951. Black hair, blue eyes. Born to a Mexican mother, Rosa and American father, Jerome Senior. When his father was imprisoned for drug smuggling Jerome changed his name to Martinez, his mother's maiden name. He served in Vietnam for 1 year at the age of 19, back in America he was put on trial for the possession of illegal substances but was never convicted. Currently engaged to one Katherine Anderson.' Face raised an eyebrow. 'Did I miss anything?'

'Looks like Jerome Junior decided to carry on Daddy's old job.' Hannibal remarked.

'No!' Katie exclaimed. 'You've got it wrong, Jerome is not a drug smuggler.'

Murdock gave a frustrated groan.

'Mama...' BA began hoping to get through to her but Murdock interrupted him.

'There was one thing you missed Face.'

'Oh?' Face asked surprised and not liking the look in his friend's eyes. 'I did?'

'Yeah. You forgot Wife Beater or should that be Fianc»e Beater?'

Katie slapped him across the cheek. Murdock raised his eyes calmly and looked at her. 'I'm sorry Muchacha.'

'You're wrong, you're all wrong.' She turned and walked away. Hannibal sighed and BA shook his head.

'How can we help her if she don't want to be helped?'

'Murdock you've got no proof that he hits her.' Hannibal said.

Murdock shook his head in reply. 'He beats her.' He answered adamantly. 'I've seen guys just like this creep at the VA and I'm telling you he hits her!'

'But you can't be sure Murdock.' Face said. 'We can't make her come home. We don't have proof for any of this.'

'Since when did that stop us Face?' Murdock asked looking thoughtful. 'You want proof? I'll get you proof.' He walked off after Katie.

'Fool's goin' about this the wrong way.' BA said, watching him walk away.

Murdock approached Katie, easily catching up with her. He grabbed her arm and started yanking her back towards the plane.

'Hey!' Katie cried, trying to get free of him. 'Let go of me!'

Murdock ignored her, pulled her over to the plane, turned her around and tugged her shirt up. Ugly purple bruises covered her lower back. All four men were stunned into silence even Murdock who hadn't been expecting anything as bad as this.

He swallowed hard and touched the bruises, Katie immediately flinched and he was instantly sorry. He let go of her shirt and turned her to face gently. One look at her face and he pulled her close.

'You're coming home.' He told her leaving no room for argument. 'No buts, no ifs, you're coming with us.'

She pulled away. 'I can't.'

BA turned away and punched a clenched fist into the palm of his hand. 'Gonna get that sucker!'

'BA.' Hannibal said in a low voice. BA carried on pacing and muttering revenge. 'Sergeant!' Hannibal said, this time with a clear note of authority in his tone. BA stopped pacing and relaxed a little.

Murdock took Katie by her upper arms. 'Yes, you can.'

She shook her head. ' He'll kill me.'

'He can't kill you if he can't find you.' Hannibal put in lighting a cigar. Katie turned wide eyes on him.

'He'll find me; I know he will. He's got contacts everywhere, LA is the first place he'll look!'

'Face?' Murdock asked pleadingly, hoping his friend would come up with something.

'We can find somewhere where you'll be safe.' Face told her reassuringly.

BA's head came up, an idea occurring to him. 'He wouldn't look for her in Chicago.' He said. 'She could stay with my momma.'

Hannibal nodded appreciatively, the idea sounded workable.

'Yeah!' Murdock enthused. 'Mrs. B'd love to have you.'

'But my mom? What about her?'

'You leave that to us.' Hannibal said. 'Jerome won't be getting anywhere near her. We're going to nail this slimeball.'

'Yeah!' BA nodded and smacked his palm with his fist again. 'Gonna make him pay.'

Murdock took Katie's left hand and removed her engagement ring. 'You won't be needing this anymore.'

Face's eyes eagerly followed the large diamond. Murdock saw the look and smiled a little. 'Sorry Facey; not this one. We're gonna leave this right here.' He placed the ring on the floor where Jerome would be sure to see it. 'It's a little message for Jerome.'

***
Murdock brought their plane round onto the runway and hopped out. 'All ready to go.' He said.

Hannibal nodded and turned back to BA who glowered. 'I ain't flyin'!'

'Well I hope you're a good swimmer then big guy. Better give Faceman your gold, can't swim with all that on.' Murdock said keeping BA's attention diverted towards him.

BA's lip curled in anger and before he could say another word Face had injected him with Sodium Pentothal. BA pitched forwards into Murdock's arms. The pilot grunted as BA's weight landed on him.

'You get heavier everytime dontcha big guy.' He handed him over to Hannibal who took BA's top half while Face grabbed his legs and together they managed to get him on the plane

***
Murdock walked over to the car where Kate was pulling out her bags. 'Here let me get those.' He took the bags from her and as he did so he noticed that she was still cradling her right hand.

Frowning he put down the bags and took her hand, she gasped from the pain even though he'd been gentle.

'Aw jeez Katie I think you might have broken it.'

She managed a smile. 'Never knew your jaw was so tough.'

Murdock sighed. 'Not much I can do for ya kid, not till we get you to Chicago. I'll take a look in the First Aid box on-board, see if I can't strap it up.'

Katie nodded. 'Sure thing. How's your jaw?'

He grinned and then winced from the effort. 'Sore, you hit too good.' He picked the bags up before she could reply to that. 'Billy'll be glad to see you, he's been pining for you, hasn't been happy since the day you left. He keeps whining and he's off his food too.'

Katie glanced at him. 'For a whole year?'

Murdock nodded. 'Yep, cries at night, keeps on sniffing at that chewy dog toy you gave him. He won't play with anything else not even his ball.'

Katie couldn't help herself she laughed. Murdock, although pleased by the sound, kept his face straight. 'It's not funny, he really did miss you.' As he loaded the bags into the hold he whispered, 'He wasn't the only one.'

Shutting the hold he turned back to her with something akin to a grin. 'Let's fly.'

***
Face watched them carefully. 'You sure this is a good idea?' He asked Hannibal.

'Of course.' Hannibal said. 'She'll be safe and we can get Karen to a safe house. Then we can go after Jerome ourselves without worrying about her. Murdock will be much happier too.'

'Ok.' Face said strapping BA in. 'But I've got a bad feeling about this.'

Murdock got in then with Katie following close behind. 'Sit there.' He told her before then he turned to the guys. 'We'll take off in a minute guys but Little Miss Martial Arts here has hurt her hand. I have to strap it up before we go.'

'I can do that.' Face said with a touch too much eagerness in his voice.

Murdock chuckled wisely, he'd been around Face long enough to know that look and that glint in his eye. 'Nice try Faceman.'

Katie smiled at Face. 'I don't mind, Face can take a look at me if he wants.'

Face beamed and started to get up. 'See she wants me to do it.' Hannibal pulled him back into his seat.

'Sit Lieutenant.' There was a trace of wryness in his voice. Face reluctantly sat. Murdock came back with some bandages.

'Hurry up Murdock, I don't want BA waking up mid-flight.' Hannibal looked over at the sleeping sergeant wondering how much longer they were going to enjoy the quiet.

Murdock nodded and got to work. 'This is probably gonna hurt a bit Muchacha but there nothing I can do about that.' Carefully he bandaged her hand trying not to move it as much as possible. He admired his handiwork and nodded happily. 'All done.'

'Can we go now?' Face asked impatiently, his voice held the threat of a whine it.

Murdock raised an eyebrow. 'Well if you think you can get us there any faster be my guest.'

Face sat back. 'You got a point there.'

'That's right.' Murdock said. 'Because you don't know how to fly this plane do you Face? No Murdock. But I do don't I Face? Yes Murdock.' Still talking and answering himself Murdock went into the cockpit.

Katie blinked. 'Nice to see that some things just don't change.'

Face smiled. 'Oh yeah, he's still crazy as ever.'

The door to the cockpit opened. 'You gonna sit there all day?' Murdock demanded. 'Get yourself up here and help me fly.'

Katie stood up and followed him. 'You don't need any help and besides even if you did I have an injured hand, what use am I gonna be?' She sat down in the co-pilot's chair and felt a rush of memories. She hadn't been in a plane in a long time.

Murdock seated himself. 'Then watch me and learn something for a change.'

Katie glanced at him. 'You know, people have the wrong idea about you. They think that you're so nice and laidback, crazy but nice. They should have you for a teacher.'

Murdock smiled his crazy smile and started to taxi the plane down the runway. He leaned over and helped her strap herself in. 'Just because I want you to do well.'

'You were practically mean.' She pouted.

'I was not!' He protested. 'You just needed firm instruction.'

'So what's with the 'watch me and learn something for a change' attitude all about then?'

The plane started to pick up speed.

'I thought I could start teaching you again.'

'I'm not so sure that I want to fly anymore.'

Murdock raised one eyebrow. 'That so?' The plane moved faster and as they took off Murdock howled, after a moment's hesitation, Katie joined in.

***
Face groaned. 'Oh no, he's got her howling now too.'

Hannibal chuckled. 'Wouldn't you be worried if he didn't howl on take off?'

Face sighed. 'I guess I would but that's because I'm used to it.'

'Face be honest, flying just isn't the same if Murdock doesn't howl on take off.'

The conman nodded. 'But does Katie really have to do it too? It only encourages him further.'

A smirk touched the colonel's lips. 'Thinking of taking her flying sometime were you?'

Face smiled his widest grin. 'Possibly.'

***
Murdock took a deep, contented breath and looked over at Katie. 'Don't tell me that you don't feel a rush every time that happens.'

'You need to get out more.' She replied and then gave a non-committal shrug. 'Maybe.'

'I knew it!' Murdock was triumphant. 'You still want to learn to fly.'

'I didn't say that.'

'You didn't have to, I can recognise the flying jazz when I see it. You want to fly it's in your eyes.'

Katie's cheeks coloured. 'Ok so I do.'

'Excellent, when this mess is done with I'll start teaching you again and then I'll teach your kids and they can teach their kids and the legend of HM Murdock, Captain will be kept alive forever!'

Katie couldn't help but laugh at his enthusiasm. 'Oh you won't be forgotten in a hurry, don't you worry. But...uh...my kids? Jumping the gun a bit aren't you? I might not have any.'

'Oh you will.' Murdock said quietly. Then he smiled again. 'And I can tell them how their mother was my best student.'

Katie's eyes went wide. 'I'm your best student? Me?' Then reality hit her. 'Murdock! I'm your only student!'

'And you're still the best.'

'Well what about your kids? They'll be better than I could ever be.'

Murdock suddenly went very quiet...he kept his eyes fixed on the blue sky outside. 'Katie...it's...it's not likely that I'm going to have kids, not now.'

'Oh.' She said softly and looked out the window. Somehow it had never occurred to her that he wouldn't be a father but thinking it over he was right, how could he hope to have a family locked up in the VA. He could barely have a steady relationship let alone kids.

Murdock pressed a button and then unbuckled his belt before standing up. 'Take over would you Chica.'

'What?'

'I gotta use the bathroom.'

'But Murdock...I don't remember what to do!'

'Sure ya do. I really gotta go.'

'I've got an injured hand...it could be broken!'

Murdock only patted her shoulder reassuringly, seemingly deaf to her protests. 'You'll be fine.' He left the cockpit and Katie sat at the controls in a terrified panic.

'Oh god, what the hell do I do?' She took a deep breath and grabbed the controls with her good hand. 'No way can I do this one-handed.' Her attention was drawn to a flashing green light, she leaned in closer and then she growled. 'Son of a...he put the autopilot on! I'll kill him!'

***
Face looked up as Murdock exited the cockpit. 'Uhhh Murdock...who's flying?'

'Katie.'

'She has an injured hand.' Hannibal said wondering what his captain was up to now.

'Yeah I know.' Murdock told him. 'S'why I put the autopilot on.'

'Ahhh.' Face said and then something occurred to him. 'Does Katie know that?'

'Nope.' Murdock said and went into the bathroom.

No sooner had he closed the door then Katie stormed into the cabin in a whirlwind of fury. She strode to the bathroom and hammered on the door. 'HM!' She yelled.

'She's really angry.' Face remarked nonchalantly. He knew that Katie only ever called Murdock HM when she was furious with him.

Hannibal nodded and then caught sight of the lieutenant's face. 'Face!' He exclaimed in exasperated amusement.

'What? So I find anger somewhat...attractive in a woman.' Hannibal shook his head in mock disgust; fortunately, Katie had not heard that remark. The colonel hoped that Katie would keep the noise down...the last thing he wanted was for BA to wake up.

Murdock opened the door and stepped into the cabin. 'Yes? I'm done now. Be more patient. You're doing a great job of flying by the way, told you you'd remember it all.'

'You scared me half to death! I'm gonna kill you!'

'I don't think you'll have to.' Hannibal remarked as BA gave a groan.

'Uh oh.' Katie said stepping closer to Murdock.

'Katie protect me!' Murdock grabbed her.

'What?'

'I'm the pilot he'll kill me first!'

'Murdock you're nearly 6 inches taller than me and you have full use of both hands!'

BA stirred and groaned again.

'Face!' Hannibal said his tone laced with urgency. 'Time for a nighty night.'

'Yeah...just one problem. That was the last of the Sodium Pentothal.'

'What?'

'Well I'm sorry Hannibal but I had to use some on those bodyguards and twice on BA, I thought we'd be ok until Chicago. That stuff is hard to get on such short notice...I couldn't get so much this time.'

'Then come up with something quickly Lieutenant!'

'Murdock...land the plane!' Katie said desperately. The last thing she wanted was an angry BA on the warpath.

'Oh I would darlin', I really would but we're right over water and this thing ain't exactly built for water skiing!'

'Then what are we going to do?'

'Well...' Murdock paused thinking. 'You and I will go back in here.' He edged towards the cockpit. 'And leave these two to deal with him.'

Katie nodded. 'Sounds fair.' They both dived for the cockpit and slammed the door shut. From the other side there was a shout.

'I'M ON A PLANE!'

'BA's awake.' Katie stated for want of something to say even though it was blatantly obvious.

Murdock took the plane off autopilot and started flying again. 'Land! I need land!'

Katie's eyes suddenly lit up and she reached for the small bag she'd brought on board with her.

'What you got there?' Murdock asked as she pulled a bottle from it.

'Medicine for insomnia. He'll be out like a light.'

'Quick!' Murdock ordered. 'Go! Go!'

Katie went, BA was yelling and struggling. Hannibal and Face were trying to hold him down but without much success.

'Hannibal!'

Hannibal turned and Katie handed him the bottle, one look at the label and he was unscrewing the cap.

She retreated as quickly as she could. Quiet soon reigned once more throughout the plane.

'Guess it worked.' She said to Murdock. ' It is ok to give him that right, I mean he's had two shots of Sodium Pentothal as well...'

'Sure.' Murdock said waving a hand. 'I have that and Sodium Pentothal all the time at the VA.'

Katie glanced at him. 'Right, now I'm reassured.' She said dryly.

Murdock pretended to ignore this. 'Still having the dreams then.'

Katie was quiet for a moment wondering how to respond to that. 'Sometimes.'

'Me too.' He said surprising her. He saw her reaction and smiled. 'What you think I don't get them?' He gave a low laugh. 'I've seen worse things than hopefully you ever will.'

'How did you find me?' She asked finally. She'd wanted to ask that for a while but hadn't been able to find the courage to bring up the subject.

'I'll always find you.' Then as if it were an afterthought, he added. 'You're not that good at hiding.'

She sighed. 'Let's hope that Jerome doesn't agree with you.'

Murdock nodded grimly. 'Oh he won't. He's not going to find you, no way no how. But we will find him and when we do he's gonna be very, very, very sorry he ever laid a hand on you Muchacha.'

Katie looked at him. 'Why do you call me Muchacha now? You used to call me Muchacho.'

Murdock laughed. 'Guess you don't remember that, no I don't suppose you would, you were only a tiny Katie back then.' He grinned. 'It was in the early days when I came back with your dad. You must have been about 3 or 4. You heard me call your dad Muchacho and you were fascinated by the word. You went around calling everyone and everything that. So, I decided to call you that, kind of a nickname. Muchacho's the male form and Muchacha's the female form. It was just my way of teasing you at first and then it ended up as a pet name. '

'So why don't you call me that now?'

He shrugged. 'You've grown up a hell of a lot since then. No-one could mistake you for anything but a woman now.' He looked out at the window fixedly. 'Just doesn't seem right to be calling you Muchacho these days.'

'Oh.' She was subdued, remembering. 'Tell me more...about me when I was little.'

Murdock grinned. 'You were adamant you were going to marry Face.'

'What!'

His grin widened. 'It's true...you had the biggest crush on him.'

'No way.' Her lips twisted into a grimace.

'Yes way.' He sniffed and wiped away an imaginary tear. 'I got shoved down to second place after you met him.'

'Aww...Murdock, you'll always be my number one.'

'You know what, if I wasn't flying, I'd hug you.'

She smiled and then looked at him seriously. 'Thank you...for everything.'

'It's ok.' He whispered. 'Katie...if, if you want to talk, I'm here ok. Whatever it is, I'll listen.'

She nodded. 'I know.'

 

CHAPTER TWO

Murdock landed the plane and helped carry BA out.

'Sleeping like a baby.' Face said helping Katie step down from the plane. 'He's almost peaceful.'

'Yeah.' Murdock grunted. 'The Big Guy looks almost cute when he's sleeping.'

Katie smiled wanly. Her hand was really starting to hurt now and she was still worried. 'Look you guys should just give me the address and take off.'

'Sorry kid.' Hannibal said laying his end of BA down on the tarmac. He looked over at Face. 'You've got ten minutes to find us some transport Face.'

Face sighed. ' I hate working to time limits.'

'Your best work comes when you're under pressure Lieutenant. Now hurry.'

Face still hesitated. Murdock grinned and took the bait that had been dangled in front of his nose. 'I think he's losing his touch Hannibal, better let me do it. Poor Faceman, he's not as young as he used to be.'

Face glared darkly. 'I'll be back in 5 minutes Hannibal with transport. I'll show you who's losing his touch.' He hurried off and Hannibal grinned.

'Nice Murdock'

'Thank you, he just needed a little push in the right direction.' He demonstrated the movement with his hand.

Hannibal turned back to Katie. 'We're taking you to the hospital and we're staying with you. You said yourself that Jerome has contacts everywhere.'

'Yes but the cops will be all over you.'

'I love a challenge.' Hannibal told her pulling out a cigar and biting the end off.

'We've been in situations like this before Katie, we'll be fine.' Murdock added putting an arm around her shoulders. 'Jerome and his goons aren't getting anywhere near you. Right Colonel?'

'Right.' But Hannibal privately thought that Jerome wouldn't be so much of a problem; Katie, however, was a different matter.


***
Murdock paced the waiting room in pent-up agitation. His hands were stuffed in his pockets and his baseball cap was on backwards.

'Sit down fool.' BA, now awake, growled. 'You're making me dizzy!' He was still angry about being drugged and put on a plane, twice. He should have known better than to let Hannibal talk him into thinking an ambush at an airfield was a good idea. Murdock finally sat down and exhaled deeply.

'Relax Murdock, she's fine. At the worst she has a broken hand, hardly life threatening.' Face tried to reassure him, though he himself was as impatient to be out of here as his friend.

'Then why's it taking so long?'

Hannibal was about to answer when his attention was drawn to the main door. A police officer had just entered. 'Easy guys.' He said in a low voice. 'Could be nothing.'

The police officer went over to the desk and spoke to the receptionist. The receptionist nodded and pointed in the direction of the team. Clearly, it was something after all.

'Be ready.' Hannibal told them, he was already tensed and prepared for a fight.

The man approached them with what seemed like unbearable slowness. 'One of you guy's called Murdock?' He asked in harsh, nasal tones.

Murdock swallowed and looked at Hannibal, when Hannibal nodded Murdock spoke up. 'That's me.'

The man, Murdock saw that his last name was Wilkes, surveyed him casually. 'Could you step this way please? I have some questions.'

'Anything you want to say to me you can say in front of these guys.' Behind him, BA tensed and stared at Wilkes with narrowed eyes.

One look at BA and Wilkes, who really wanted to be back at his nice desk, drinking his nice hot coffee, decided not to pursue the matter further. 'Uh...sure.' He opened his notepad and studied it for a moment. 'You're the guy that brought in Katie Anderson?'

Murdock licked his lips trying to remain calm and appear as if nothing in the slightest was the matter. 'That's right.'

'You're what? A friend? A relative?'

'A friend...just a friend.'

'She was admitted with an injured hand? That right?'

'Yeah.' A slow knot of tension was tightening in Murdock's lower back. He didn't like where this was going one bit. 'What's this all about?'

'That's a nasty bruise on your jaw there Mr. Murdock.' Wilkes raised his eyes from his notepad now and looked fully at Murdock. His grey eyes held no respite; it was clear what he was implying and where his line of questioning was leading.

'Now Officer...' Face began but Murdock shook his head. He wanted to handle this himself.

'What're you trying to say?'

Wilkes cleared his throat, still very aware of the menacing presence of BA out of the corner of his eye. He really wanted to be back at the office shuffling paperwork and drinking coffee now. This had the potential to get nasty. 'The X-Ray shows that Miss Anderson's hand is not broken, merely sprained but it's likely that it happened by her hitting something or...' Here Wilkes hesitated... it wasn't too late to back out but he pressed on, he had a job to do no matter how much he wanted coffee and a sit down. 'Someone. Now the nurse noticed some contusions on her lower back. Mind explaining what happened?'

Murdock leapt up from his seat now, infuriated. 'You think I put those there!' He yelled.

BA and Hannibal grabbed hold of him. 'Calm down Murdock.' Hannibal's tone was frustratingly unruffled; his expression remained perfectly pleasant. Only the colonel's eyes showed what he was really feeling. He hoped that the officer didn't figure out why three of these guys looked so familiar. 'I'm sure the officer didn't mean it like that.'

'I didn't hit her!' Murdock exclaimed angrily not caring that he was making a scene, not caring that at any moment the officer could realise who they were. BA's grip tightened on his shoulder almost painfully.

'Officer what evidence do you have apart from the X-Ray that suggests that this gentleman hit Miss Anderson?' Face was there in an instant at his most charming.

'Well...' The man began hesitantly.

'I thought so.' Face put in before the man could think up a reason or suggest taking Murdock in for further questioning. 'When you have evidence you can make any allegations you like. In the meantime you will be hearing from Mr. Murdock's lawyers. I suggest you leave now Officer.'

BA growled in such a way that implied Wilkes' earlier suspicion that if he didn't leave now he was very shortly going to regret it. Wilkes all but backed away, tipping his hat to the receptionist as he left.

Murdock shrugged out of BA and Hannibal's grip. 'I can't believe they think I hit her.' He said mournfully sitting down.

'Well...we know that you didn't Murdock.' Hannibal told him sitting next to him. 'But they don't...see it from their point of view.'

***
'Murdock!' Katie was standing behind him. Murdock turned and she wrapped her arms around his waist in a tight hug burying her head into his chest. His hand automatically went to her hair. 'You have to get out of here.'

Unthinkingly he put a hand on her back and felt her wince. 'Sorry.' He moved his hand. 'Already had a visit from the local cops.'

The doctor approached them. 'Miss Anderson?'

Katie pulled back and looked at Murdock. 'I told them what really happened.'

'Good then maybe someone around here will believe me.'

The doctor eyed him unblinkingly. 'Mr. Murdock, could you tell me exactly what happened. I just want to make sure that Katherine isn't getting confused.'

Murdock was very well aware that the doctor wanted to make sure that his story matched Katie's. They'd already covered this before they'd admitted her. 'Of course.'

Murdock still had an arm around Katie. 'I went round to her house and found her boyfriend attacking her. He was beating on her. ' His hand clenched on Katie's shoulder as he saw in his head what had probably happened. 'I pulled him off her and he hit me. Then he ran off. Katie hurt her hand when she tried to fend him off. Leastways, that's what she told me. That right Katie?'

'That's right.' She smiled at the doctor and wondered just how much of this he was buying.

Murdock held the doctor's gaze keeping himself calm. The doctor nodded apparently satisfied. 'Ok well she can go home now. I've given her some pills to take if the pain gets too bad. There...uh, there is one other thing.' Here he looked directly at Katie. 'Miss, are you sure you don't want to press charges?'

'I'm sure.'

Murdock pretended to look surprised. 'Katie...I thought we discussed this.'

Katie nodded. 'We did and I've decided not to.' The doctor looked at Katie again. 'Well if you're sure, then I have other patients to see to. Good day Miss Anderson, Mr. Murdock, Gentlemen.' With a nod he walked away.

The team and Katie walked out the door as quickly as they could.

***
Katie fidgeted in the back of the van. 'You guys can drop me off. I'll find my own way home.'

'Sorry kid.' Hannibal told her.

'But...'

'No buts.' Murdock put in. 'Whilst you're living under my roof, you'll do as you're told.'

'Ok I'm 22 years old and this is not your roof. Besides, I can handle Jerome.'

'You haven't done such a wonderful job of handling him so far Katie.' Hannibal added.

'And it's my roof.' BA said. 'You're staying with my Momma, got a problem with that?'

Katie made a face. 'No, no! Now you come to mention it...I think that keeping out of the way would be a great idea. And I'd love to meet your mom.'

Murdock sat back in quiet satisfaction.

'Good, when we get there you can tell us everything you know about Jerome.' Hannibal lit a cigar; Katie got the distinct feeling that he was forming a plan.

'Well...there's really not that much to tell.' Katie said hurriedly, earning her a close look from Murdock.

'Interesting.' Face raised a curious eyebrow. 'Considering you were going to marry the guy.'

Katie flushed but didn't say anything. Hannibal was sure that they were going to have to watch her carefully.


***
Katie liked Mrs. Baracus immediately. She was warm, friendly and took Katie under her wing, fussing over her and exclaiming how nice it was to have a girl to look after for a change instead of all these boys. No one bothered to say that they were hardly ever here, in fact they barely even eluded to the fact that BA and the others were on the run. It was if this were a place where for a little while they could forget about that and just concentrate on being a family.

Katie had been forewarned that Mrs. B thought that BA was the leader of the A-Team and not Hannibal. But seeing the lady's face Katie got the feeling that she already knew but went along with it for BA's sake.

Murdock too seemed happier here, clearly he thought of Mrs. B as a surrogate mother, his own mother having died when he was only a child. BA's mom seemed to have no objection to treating Murdock as if he were her second son. She would tell 'Scooter' as she called BA not to pick on him and affectionately she would tell Murdock to stop jibing at BA.

All in all Katie felt more relaxed around Mrs. B than she could remember feeling in a long time. No one had mentioned Jerome or why they were there since they'd arrived and for this she was grateful. She couldn't take endless questions at this moment in time; she wanted to just forget about everything.

Murdock finally gave BA a break. 'Can I use the phone Mrs. B?'

Mrs. Baracus smiled fondly. 'Of course you can Murdock.'

With a smile of thanks he got to his feet and headed for the kitchen to make his call. Katie felt somehow nervous now that he was not there. She didn't know what it was but she'd felt almost safe when he was sitting next to her...the silence that followed now that he was no longer in the room with them made her fear that they would start asking questions. In fact, she could see a look coming into Hannibal's eye.

'I...I'm tired.' She said before he could open his mouth to ask her whatever question was on the tip of his tongue. She looked over at BA's mother who had a look of sympathy in her eyes. 'I don't suppose I could lie down could I?'

'Let's get you to bed honey. Scooter get Katie's things into the spare bedroom.'

Katie smiled wearily, she really was feeling tired now but for some reason she didn't want to go to sleep, she had too much to worry about. Jerome, the police, the drugs in Jerome's suitcase and her engagement ring lying on the floor of the plane where Murdock had oh-so-carefully placed it.

BA picked up Katie's suitcase and rucksack and made for the spare room. Katie wondered where the rest of them were going to sleep tonight; she had a sneaking suspicion that Murdock would be camped out on the floor of her bedroom. No doubt someone would be on guard outside the apartments; that just left the sofa and the floor.

She had a feeling that Face would opt for the sofa rather than a cold, hard floor. Getting to her feet she made to follow BA. As she went past Murdock he put a hand on her arm stopping her.

'Yeah...one minute.' He handed the receiver to Katie. 'Your mom wants a word.' Before she could say anything he'd followed BA into the spare bedroom leaving her standing there holding the phone.

Katie didn't know what to do, the last thing she wanted right now was to explain things to her mother but then Murdock had probably done plenty of explaining already.

'H...hello?'

'Oh Katie.' Her mother sounded very much like she was going to cry. Katie bit her lip and stared hard at the faded wallpaper willing herself not to lose control. 'Sweetie...I am so...'

'Don't say it Mom, please don't say it.' She didn't want her mother's pity; she didn't want her to say sorry; she just wanted her to accept everything that had happened without question. 'I'm fine, hand hurts a bit but other than that, I'm doing good.'

'Murdock said...he said Jerome was...' Karen couldn't even finish her sentence; she couldn't bring herself to say those words, to admit to herself that her daughter had been beaten by her fianc»e. 'I knew something was wrong but I didn't realise just how wrong. It's going to be ok honey...they'll look after you, he won't come near you now.'

'I know that Mom.' She didn't get much further, Karen was continuing, talking to her. Asking her almost pleadingly why she hadn't called her, written, anything to let her know that she needed help. Didn't she know that her mother would do anything for her whatever it was? Katie took it as well as she could...the long flight, the pains in her hand and in her back, not to mention a few other places as well were all starting to wear her down.

Katie felt ridiculously as if she was the parent comforting the child rather than the other way around. 'Katie...I know how hard it hit you when you thought Murdock was...dead and I know things have been difficult for you since then...the dreams and everything...'

Katie finally snapped, she was tired and she'd had enough. 'Mother...I am fine. And for your information, no I haven't gone crazy like last time.' She slammed the phone down feeling a headache growing behind her temples. She instantly regretted how harsh she had been but she had too much to deal with and her mother giving one of her lectures had not helped.

She was dimly aware that BA and his mom were getting up, leaving the apartment and Face and Hannibal with them. She headed for the bedroom feeling wrung out and needing desperately to find a way of getting rid of her anger.

Murdock was unpacking some of her things for her when she went in; razor-sharp anger swallowed her and her eyes flashed. 'What in the hell did you do that for?' She was shaking with a rage she didn't know she had. She wasn't even sure why she was so angry with him.

'What?' He looked genuinely confused as if he had no idea what she was talking about, this only served to infuriate her further.

'You had no right to tell my mother what was going on...you had no right to ring her without...'

Now Murdock was angry too...her anger caught like fire and immediately his eyes were ablaze with it too. 'Your permission? Come on Katie, we both know that you were never going to tell her, not unless you had to. And besides, you're her daughter, she wanted to know how you were, I said I'd tell her as soon as I could.'

'Yes but you didn't have to tell her everything. That was for me to do, in my own time and in my own way.'

'And we both know what way that is!' He hated himself for biting back at her but he couldn't seem to help it. 'You'd have just hidden your head in the sand and hoped it would all go away...just like always. You're not stupid Katie, you must have known what Jerome was into and yet you still stuck around. Why was that exactly? Because he was good in bed, because he wouldn't let you leave or because you just chose to ignore it and take the beatings.'

He knew he wasn't as angry with her as he seemed. He was mostly angry with Jerome but the fact that she hadn't been able to trust even him with how bad things had been hurt him deeply. Their relationship had deepened since he'd come back a year ago.

'How dare you!' She was more than furious now; she was enraged beyond the point of reason.

'No don't give me that. Don't get mad at me for getting involved; don't get mad at me for caring. Just remember Katie; I won't always be here to get you out of the bad things. I'm not always going to be here to rescue you.'

'I do not need rescuing...I don't need you bursting in on me and dragging me away as if I am a child. It's time you realised that I'm an adult now and I make my own decisions.' She had stepped closer to him, shaking violently.

'Well if you didn't act like child then I wouldn't. When are you going to grow up? You're playing in a big world here little girl, bigger than you know and I am not going to be there all the time...I can't be cleaning up your mess anymore.'

They were so close now that he could feel the heat coming off of her in waves. She was angry and she was hurt. He'd gone too far...said too much but that was always the way it was with her.

'I don't need someone from a mental institution to be my knight in shining armour! If I want help I'll go to someone who is mentally capable of dealing with the real world!'

He grabbed her by her upper arms and stared hard into her eyes. 'Now you wait a minute.'

'No you wait a minute...I didn't ask you to come charging in and drag me all the way here. I didn't want your help, I didn't want you to know that he beat me and hurt me. I didn't want you to know that my fianc»e was a drug-dealer...that was why I didn't call on you for help. I didn't want you hanging over my shoulder watching my every move and telling me how to run my life!'

He didn't know how it happened, afterwards he could never tell who made the first move all he knew was that he was angry with her. Far angrier than he had ever been in his life, it blinded him and he could hardly think straight.

One minute he was staring into her furious blue eyes and the next minute he was kissing her passionately. The thing that always surprised him afterwards was not the kiss itself but the fact that she responded with equal feeling.

His head finally caught up with the rest of him and he thrust her away from him. 'Jesus Christ!' Normally he didn't swear but he didn't know what else to say. Tony's daughter, Tony's daughter; that thought reverberated around his brain. She was 15 years younger than he was if not more and he had thought that he was a surrogate father to her; that he thought of her as his.

With a shock he realised that he hadn't felt that way towards her in a long time, somehow, somewhere along the line his feelings for her had changed beyond the point of return. As he looked at her, he saw that she was a woman now and that his feelings for her had long since changed. Every time he'd touched her, every word he'd spoken to her since that day nearly two years ago flashed through his mind. She'd sought the team out for help back then and even then he'd somehow known without knowing that he didn't really think of her as a daughter...a friend yes but daughter, no, not now. She was too different now and he was changed too.

She was breathing hard and looking like a deer caught in the headlights. 'Katie.' He made to reach out to her but his hand dropped back to his side uselessly. 'I'm so sorry...I should have had more control than that.'

Slowly she raised her hand to her lips...their fingertips touching them thoughtfully. She looked at him; all her anger was gone now, she looked confused but not disgusted. He saw something in her eyes and remembered the way she'd responded to him. He had to get away from her before he lost control completely. Things were too confused now...what he'd thought he felt was not what he was really feeling.

'I'm sorry.' He said again. This time she was the one that made the first move and even as he tried to pull away she was drawing him closer. Something that should feel so wrong was starting to feel so right.

Without even knowing it he'd pushed her back against the door still kissing her, holding her. He undid the buttons of her shirt without thinking and her legs were around his waist before he could even acknowledge what was happening.

He felt her hand fumbling for his khakis and he wanted to pull away, to ask her if this was what she wanted or if it was because of the way Jerome had treated her that she was doing this.

He did none of these things, instead he undid her jeans, pulling them down and blocking out every thought of what he was doing and whom he was doing it with.

He opened his eyes and looked at her...she was looking at him with something very close to shock in her eyes. They'd gone too far and now the realization was hitting them. 'Katie.' He spoke her name in a whisper and she came back down to earth.

'Yes.' It was an answer to his unspoken question, the question he had asked only with his eyes. 'It's ok.'

He removed her legs from around his waist and redid his khakis. 'No...no it's not. I won't do that...not with you, not now, not like this.'

He thought he saw tears in her eyes. 'Get some sleep.' He walked out of the room leaving Katie to stand there lost in a whirl of confused emotions.

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

Murdock sat on the sofa and buried his head in his hands trying to sort through the tangle of emotions. He'd been so close to losing control...too close for comfort. He'd wanted her, still did want her and that scared him and disgusted him all at once.

She was younger than him; her father had been his best friend. He'd known her since before she could walk, how could he even contemplate what had nearly happened?

Was it because he was crazy? Because she appeared to be feeling everything he was feeling or because he was genuinely attracted to her?

When he'd come back after pretending to be dead everything had changed then. The feelings he'd had before were not the same, he'd seen more and more how much she was growing up, and he'd buried his true feelings for her; tried to pretend they didn't exist.

Now though, now she appeared to feel the same for him as he did for her. But she'd just escaped an abusive boyfriend. It was natural that she wouldn't be thinking clearly, would try to find comfort whenever and wherever it came along. He'd just happened to be there.

The bedroom door opened and she stood there staring at him. He raised his head and looked back at her. In his mind's eye he saw again their fevered kiss. He got to his feet, walked towards her, shunning every sense that screamed that what he was doing was wrong. He no longer cared.

He grabbed her and kissed her harshly, he felt her press herself against him. She pulled off his cap running her fingers through his hair. His mind whirled; every sense was full of her. The way she felt, the smell and taste of her. His hands were in her hair, on her back and then he heard her gasp, not from pleasure this time but from pain. And he was dragged back to the present with a jolt, he remembered the bruises, remembered who she was.

Carefully, he removed her arms where they were laced around his neck; he looked at her for a long moment and then picked her up in his arms. He carried her into the bedroom and kicked the door shut in one fluid movement.

***
She was sleeping now, her face flushed, her hair plastered to her cheek. He knew he should wake her so that they could both get dressed; someone could come back at any time. Despite the fact that they could be caught he remained looking down at her for a while.

He'd been shocked by just how bad the bruises were, the ones that she'd kept carefully hidden. He didn't understand why she'd stayed with Jerome, how she could have ended up like this. She'd explained it to him carefully, how when she'd finally found out what he was like it had been too late. Terrified of what he might do she'd stayed feeling trapped, too afraid to ask for help. He knew it must have been bad for her to act like that; normally she could take pretty good care of herself. He'd always thought her strong enough to break out of something like this. But she'd told him that when you're fearing for your life that what you thought before no longer had meaning.

To get out of his clutches she would have needed a way off the island, she would have needed a plane or a boat. Neither was possible, Jerome owned all the planes and all the boats; his men were the pilots and the sailors. None of them would have helped her escape.

He propped himself up on one elbow and looked down at her. He was starting to think that he loved her, not the kind of love he'd had before but real love.

Finally he tore himself away and got dressed, gathering up Katie's clothes he shook her gently. 'Kate...Katie.'

With a groan she opened her eyes and seeing who it was she smiled up at him. 'Hey.' She stretched languidly in the bed reminding him of a contented cat. He reached out and brushed her hair out of her eyes for her.

'Time to get dressed, they could be back at any moment.'

With a nod she sat up and pulled the bedcovers to her. 'Murdock...'

'Yeah?' He wondered why she was suddenly so shy about him seeing her.

'Things are gonna be ok between us right? It's not going to be awkward now is it?'

'No I don't think so, unless you feel awkward. You don't feel awkward do you?'

'No...but I don't want anyone to know.'

'Yeah...good idea, let's just keep this between ourselves.' The idea of telling the guys what he'd been doing not 15 minutes earlier was not something he would welcome.

He opened one of her bags and pulled out a nightgown. 'Here you go, put that on and get to sleep. You must be exhausted.'

'Now I am.' She gave a sly smile and he couldn't help but grin back. He leaned over and kissed her.

'We'll talk later.' He walked into the living room leaving her to watch him go longingly with a wistful smile on her face.


***
It wasn't long afterwards that Hannibal and Face came back from scouring the area. They'd been checking everything over, going over all possible exits and entrances and trying to spot if Jerome had found out where they were yet.

'We need to find out where he is and to do that we need to know some of the people he associates with.'

'Yeah but I don't know if Katie will know. I don't think he ever included her in that kind of thing.' Murdock was sure that Hannibal or Face would take one look at him and know what had happened. If they were suspicious they were hiding it pretty well.

'Well as soon as she's awake we need to talk to her.'

'Sure.' Murdock said trying to act normal. He knew Hannibal was right but he didn't want to put Katie through that right now. 'I think I'm gonna get some sleep too.' He stood up and walked into the spare bedroom.

Face watched him go. 'You think they had a fight?'

'More than likely.' Hannibal answered. 'She didn't seem too pleased to see us. I only hope she'll cooperate.'

Face looked at his colonel. 'You think she'll go running back to Jerome? After we went to all the trouble of getting her out?'

'I don't know but she could do and she's been awful keen to get rid of us. I keep getting the feeling that there's more to this.'

The conman nodded. 'Right. Let's just hope that Murdock can talk to her and get her to cooperate.'

***
It was a long while later when Katie woke. She felt better than she had in a long while. For the first time she'd slept without having to be afraid of the presence in the bed next to her, whether Jerome would decide that she'd offended him in some way, however small. That Jerome would be rough with her maybe even beat her. She felt safe.

The soft sound of breathing reached her ears and leaned over the side of the bed. On the floor Murdock was sleeping. A smile touched her lips. He looked peaceful; she remembered how gentle he'd been earlier. She'd been surprised; the whole thing had been a surprise. From the way he'd been kissing her she hadn't expected him to be so tender, so caring. She'd never dreamed that he would feel this way about her or even that she would return his feelings. But she did and for the first time she knew that it had been love and not just the act itself that had made it good.

Her hand still ached a little but that too seemed to have faded away. For the first time in weeks she felt as if she could make it through the next minute, the next hour maybe even the next day.

She rolled over onto her back again and closed her eyes drifting back to sleep. She jerked awake suddenly and found his face staring into hers. He pulled her into his arms.

'The guys want me to talk to you. They want to know what you know about Jerome, the people he associates with, what he does. Whatever you know.'

She nestled into his chest feeling protected. 'I told you, I really don't know that much. He kept me out of most of it. There were a couple of guys that came around, I'll tell you what I know but it isn't a lot.'

'Anything would be good right now.' He stroked her hair gently. 'Then I can make sure he doesn't get anywhere near you.'

She frowned. 'What's that smell? Smell's like food.' Her stomach growled hungrily.

With a grin he sat up. 'Smells like Mrs. B's making dinner and sounds like you're hungry.'

'Starving.'

'Better get dressed then.' There was a teasing look in his eye and again she was surprised by just how comfortable she felt around him. She thought she'd feel awkward or embarrassed but it just felt normal, right.

'Too much hard work.'

He grinned wryly. 'I'm only good at the undressing bit, don't know about the rest of it.'

She hit his arm playfully glad for the teasing. 'Shut up.'

'How's your hand?'

'Sore still.'

He took it in his and examined it. 'Poor Katie, I'm sorry my jaw hurt your hand.'

'My hand says your jaw is forgiven.'

'Oh good.' He smiled as she reached up and stroked her fingers along the line of his jaw, caressing his cheek. He kissed the palm of her hand. 'Remind me never to make you mad again. Guess I should be thankful you didn't go for the same place as last time.' He remembered a rather painful injury she'd inflicted on his groin area but then she hadn't know it was him and he had dragged her into an alley. It was natural she'd try and fight back.

'If I had what happened a couple of hours ago wouldn't have done.'

'Yeah...well I did tell you to aim for a place that was less sensitive last time. At least I could still walk after this one.'

'You sound as if me beating you up is something that happens regularly.'

He chuckled and kissed the top of her head. 'Isn't it?'

'No thank you very much it is not. I was angry.'

'I rest my case.'

'Well if you weren't so stubborn...' She began but he cut her off with a kiss.

He pulled back. 'Sorry, you were saying?'

She still had her eyes closed. 'I can't remember.' Sitting up she looked around for her clothes.

'On the chair.' He said apparently reading her mind.

'How'd you know I wanted clothes?'

'Lucky guess.'

'Thanks for picking them all up anyway.'

'That's ok sweetheart.' He lay back lazily as she got up and started to get dressed. 'Need any help?'

She stopped struggling one-handed with her bra and turned to him blushing. 'Well...I...'

He sat up and did it for her. He kissed the back of her neck gently.

'Murdock...someone might come in.'

He pulled away. 'We should talk Katie.'

'I know, just not right now. It's all good right now, don't want anything to ruin it.'

'Ok...' He got up reluctantly. 'I'll go see what Mrs. B's cooking up. Give me a shout if you need anymore help.'

'I think I can manage thanks anyway.'

He smiled at her and walked out of the room.

***
Katie gave Hannibal everything she knew, she was right it wasn't a lot but it was enough for Face to get a head start. He would have to work with what he had and hope that something came up.

The next day Mrs. Baracus went to visit some relatives and BA went with her. Hannibal and Face went to find more on Jerome and get some weapons. That left Katie and Murdock alone in the apartment.

They stayed in separate rooms for all of ten minutes and then they were kissing again.

She pulled away gasping. 'Murdock...I've gotta get outta here!'

He kissed her neck. 'We have to stay here hon.'

'Please.'

'No, Jerome could be...'

'But...I want to...well you know.' Stupidly she was blushing.

He chuckled. 'I see, well everyone's gone but I suppose someone could come in. We're supposed to stay here.'

'Yeah...I know. Just starting to feel claustrophobic.'

'Ok, I know of a place.'

Katie nodded and nuzzled his neck. 'Good.'

'We need to talk anyway.'

She gave a groan. 'Do we have to?' She carried on kissing his neck, her fingers straying to the buttons on his shirt.

'Yes.' He kissed her briefly and then went to get his jacket.

Less than 15 minutes later he was checking them into a hotel and leading her to their room.

'I won't ask how you know this place but remind me to thank Face some day.' She said eying the elaborate wallpaper and the large bed in their room. She peeked into the bathroom and squealed. He came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist.

'What is it?'

'A Jacuzzi!' She beamed up at him and he laughed, kissing the top of her head lovingly.

'Want to try it out.'

She smiled. 'No not right now, maybe later.' She blushed feeling almost nervous now. Somehow this didn't seem as easy as it first had.

She lay down on the bed and he lay next to her. They both stared up at the ceiling; they were less driven now, the urgent need to make love had left them. Instead the first feeling of awkward shyness was taking over.

He reached over and took her hand. 'So...what now?' She asked softly.

'We don't have to Katie.' He was quiet, thoughtful, wondering if she was regretting it.

'No...no I want to...it just feels strange now. Now that I'm thinking about it.' She linked her fingers through his and remained staring up at the ceiling.

'You just want to talk for now?' He rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb absentmindedly.

'Sure, you said we should, I guess you're right.'

'Ok...well, how do you feel about this?' He didn't want to scare her off but he had to know. To know if she was sincere, if all this was just a roll in the hay for her or something more.

'What talking?'

'No, this in general, you and me...sleeping together.'

'Strange. I never thought it'd happen. Not really sure what to think to be honest. Except...it was never like that with anyone before.'

'No.' He squinted up at the ceiling trying to make shapes out of the patterns carved there. Sometimes he wondered how it was he could see shapes in the weirdest things but never in inkblots. It would make his life a lot easier if he didn't have to guess at the inkblot test. A smile crossed his face as he remembered yesterday afternoon. 'No, never like that before.' He looked over at her with a curious expression. 'Who was your first?'

The question surprised her and she wondered what he would think if he knew that she was wishing that it had been him. 'I was 16; he was 17. He was a good friend, his name was Maxwell.'

Murdock looked over at her. 'You slept with a guy called Maxwell? Maxwell?'

'Yes.' She pursed her lips. 'And we called him Max thanks very much.'

'Sounds like a spoilt rich kid.'

'He was not! He was very nice actually. Yes his family had money but he wasn't spoilt.'

'You loved him?'

She looked over at him starting to sense just a hint of jealously in his tone of voice. 'No, I didn't love him. It was just something that happened, we still had a good relationship afterwards but it was never about love.'

'And Jerome...that about love?' A hard note had come into Murdock's voice now as he said the name. The idea that someone could treat her so harshly actually caused him physical pain now. God he was starting to fall in love with this woman, Tony's daughter. But that thought no longer made him try to curb his desires. Again his thumb stroked the back of her hand, he wasn't even aware that he was doing it.

She was silent for a long time after he'd asked the question, wondering how to answer. 'No...I thought because it was good sexually that meant it was a good relationship and I convinced myself that I loved him. Obviously as soon he saw that and realised he had me where he wanted me he changed.'

'What did he want from you?' He was staring fixedly at the ceiling now. The patterns in the ceiling had vanished.

She laughed, a low husky laugh. 'What every man wants.'

He closed his eyes; she had no idea how much that answer had pained him. 'Not every man.' He whispered.

Now she looked over at him. 'Don't you? Isn't that what this is about?'

'Not for me, I don't know what you're thinking this is or even what you want it to be but for me it's more than just that.'

'Murdock.' Her voice was soft and gentle as she spoke his name. 'I love you.'

He felt as if he was being torn in two, he pulled her close to him now. 'Then why is this so damn hard?'

'I don't know.' She whispered. 'Because I'm so much younger, because my father was your best friend, because you've known me since I was a baby and maybe because you never knew that this is what you felt or would feel.'

His lips sought out hers hungrily...was this only passion, only his crazy vibes venting themselves? Was it just the fact that he couldn't remember the last time he'd had a relationship? Was it just because she was hurting? The questions were a whirlwind inside his brain. How could he love her like this? Why did it have to hurt so badly? He pushed the thoughts away and concentrated on her and only her. She was everything now; nothing else mattered.

***
Face entered the apartment and was struck by how quiet it was. There was no sound; all was peaceful and still. He could hear the rhythmic ticking of the clock, the buzz of cars in the street below, the steady hum of the refrigerator. He opened the bedroom door and peered in, the bed was empty no sign of Katie. He checked the master bedroom, no sign of Murdock. There was no indication of a struggle; indeed it seemed as if they had never been there at all but all Katie's bags said otherwise standing solitarily in the corner of the spare bedroom, that at least told him that she hadn't upped and left or if she had she'd gone without taking any of her things with her.

Maybe Katie had thought of something that might help and Murdock had gone with her, but surely he would have left a note. Face scoured the apartment; there was no note.

He tried to think of all the places his friend might go if he were in trouble or had to get away. But again he saw that nothing was out of place and there was no suggestion that anything bad had happened. Surely one of them would have put up a fight, there would be something to show that they were in trouble, Murdock would have made sure of that. But if he hadn't have had time...?

Face set off at a run out of the apartment to try and find his friend.

 

***
Katie buried her head in the pillow and gave a groan. 'Katie?' Murdock asked. 'You alright?'

She gave a mumbled groan again and then rolled over onto her back. 'Hon?' He was starting to get concerned. 'Did I do something wrong?'

There was a look of horror on her face at the suggestion, she shook her head still trying to speak and still unable to form words. 'I think my brain is turning to mush.' She finally managed to say.

He frowned. 'Yeah? That a good or a bad thing?' He wasn't sure what to think of her reaction.

'Good...all good, all very, very good!'

This time he grinned and started to laugh. He put his arms around her and she traced meaningless circles on his chest with her fingertips. He stroked her hair and kissed the top of her head, letting his lips linger there so that he could smell the scent of her hair. 'How did this happen?'

'You started kissing me.'

'You know what I mean.' His hand stroked her back absentmindedly.

'Right now I don't care.'

'How do you feel about it?'

'You asked me that before Murdock. I said I didn't feel awkward and before you ask me, I still don't. I know it's strange, unexpected but it's right, I know it's right.'

'But...'

'No buts!' She wouldn't let him finish. 'Or I'm sending you back to Richter and telling him to reconsider your therapy!'

He grinned. 'Yeah, he'd have a field day with this. I might just tell him to curb his boredom.'

'I'd hate to think what Jamison would say. That this is all an allusion to me not being able to maintain a relationship because of bereavement at a young age.'

'Probably.' He said wryly. 'On the other hand he could just say you were crazy. Hey there's an idea! You need to get crazy and then you come live with me at the VA...my bed is big enough for two.'

She grinned. 'Now you're starting to get crude Captain. Besides, I'm already crazy and they haven't packed me off anywhere yet.'

'You need to get arrested...that should do it. And I'm nowhere near crude.'

'You're bordering on it. You want me to get arrested, for what?'

'I don't know, get framed for stealing money from a bank in Hanoi, worked for us.'

She laughed. 'You guys did that bank robbery Murdock.'

He shook his head. 'Uh uh, they did the bank robbery, I was just their pilot and 'sides we was all under orders.'

'And pigs might fly. You might have been under orders but you were far more than just their pilot, you've always been more than just a pilot.'

'Oh thank you. You know I really fancy a fly. It's weird I always fancy a fly after...' He stopped; he was very nearly blushing.

She grinned mischievously. 'Do you now...that'll be interesting to remember.'

'Forget I said that. Want to try out the Jacuzzi now?'

'Now you're avoiding the subject. Besides, you asked me about my first, what about your first? Who was she?'

'Why'd you want to know?'

She raised her head and looked at him, some of her blonde hair falling over her face. 'Why'd you want to know about mine?'

'Just wanted to know.'

'Well maybe I just want to know.' She was defiant now and he couldn't help a smirk.

'You're jealous.'

'So were you when I mentioned Max!'

'I love it when you get angry.'

'Hey, just remember I get physical when I get angry.'

He rolled her over onto her back and looked down at her. 'So I've noticed.' He kissed her.

'I didn't mean that.' He silenced her protests and then came the knock on the door. He froze midway through kissing her. Both their eyes turned towards the door. Instantly he was off the bed and fumbling for his clothes. He tossed Katie her clothes and pulled a small gun out of his jacket pocket.

'You carry a gun everywhere you go?' She asked in a low voice, Murdock responded by pushing her towards the bathroom.

'Stay in here, if you hear any trouble climb out the window and get away. Go back to the apartment, tell the guys what happened but whatever you do don't stay.'

She looked at him quizzically. 'Tell them everything that happened?'

He paused. 'Not unless you have to, make something up.' He gave her quick kiss and shut the door.

Running his fingers through his hair he called through the door. 'Who is it?'

'Room service.' Face's voice replied. Murdock's eyes nearly popped out of his skull. How had his friend found him here?

He opened the door a crack. 'What are you doing here?'

'What are you doing here?' Face retorted. 'You're supposed to be back at the apartment with Katie.

Murdock struggled for an answer that would sound at least halfway good. How could he tell his best friend what he'd spent the last hour doing. He didn't want to have to explain it, he didn't know if he even understood himself let alone trying to make someone else understand. But then, Face slept with all sorts of women; maybe this wouldn't seem so bad. No...he couldn't tell him, not now, not yet.

'How'd you find me?'

Face shrugged. 'Pure chance, I remembered that I took this gorgeous brunette here one day; remember? We met in the lobby by accident, you told Maria that she reminded you of your grandmother, insulted her and made her walk out? Well I just figured you could be here, sure enough your name was on the books.'

'I used a fake name!'

'Come on Murdock, I know all your fake names. I did notice you signed in with someone...who is she? Anyone I know? Does she have a sister by any chance?'

'Just get out of here Face.'

'Katie's gone missing...Hannibal is not going to be pleased.'

'She's what?' Murdock tried to sound surprised and worried. 'What happened? Was it Jerome or...what?' He hoped he sounded convincing.

'So she's not with you. I was hoping she was. No I don't think it was Jerome, there was no mess and no signs of a struggle. You know Katie, she wouldn't go without a fight...well not unless she wanted to go with him. So who is this mystery woman?'

Murdock licked his lips and thought quickly. 'Meet me downstairs in five minutes, I have an idea of a few places she could be.'

'I can't meet this woman?'

'No, I like her which means I might want to carry on dating her. I don't want you stealing her.'

'Murdock I'm hurt.'

'Face...just go will ya.' Face shrugged and turned away, Murdock shut the door and locked it. That had been close and it wasn't over yet, he'd still have a heck of a lot of explaining to do. What would be easier? Making up a lie or coming clean?

The bathroom door opened and Katie came out. 'Was that...?'

'Yes.' Murdock sat down on the bed and put his head in his hands. 'This was stupid...I should have known it was a bad idea.'

Her hand had been reaching out to his shoulder but now she stopped and took a step back. 'Oh.' Her voice was flat and lifeless; the remark had stung even though she was sure he hadn't meant it like it sounded. He realised his mistake and reached out a hand drawing her close. He pulled her down onto his lap and kissed her temple.

'Not that; never that. I just should have known that we'd be missed. I'll sort something out don't worry.'

She laid her head on his shoulder wondering if this was the end. They'd been nearly caught now...what if they were caught? Would that take the fire out of it all? Would the lack of excitement mean that he would no longer want her? There were so many questions and suddenly the whole thing was too confusing for her. 'You...you should get downstairs before Face starts to get worried.'

Murdock nodded. 'Ok, there's a fire escape down the hall. Jus' take her down to the ground and meet me back at the apartment, try not to be seen and stay safe.'

She nodded and made for the door. Halfway she turned. 'How'd you know about the fire escape? I didn't realise you were being that observant.'

He smiled and laughed. 'You think I'd bring you here and not know how to get you out if I had to?'

She didn't know how to answer that. 'Oh.' It was the only thing she could think of to say, she was touched but even that only confused her more. She would be glad to get out and be away from him so she could think. She opened the door and walked out into the hall heading for the fire escape.

In the room Murdock waited a moment wondering what on earth he was going to tell Face and Hannibal. He spared one last look towards the rumpled bed where he'd spent the last hour making love to Katie and allowed himself a smile. Whatever he told them, it wouldn't be that...not yet, not till he was sure, sure that she really did love him too.


CHAPTER FOUR

Katie walked out of the hotel and down the fire escape musing to herself. As she headed out into the warm sunshine a hand grabbed her and pulled her into the alley. She grinned, somehow Murdock must have been able to shake off Face and he'd lain in wait for her.

She turned with a smile on her face but the smile faded as she saw who stood there, she had just enough time to scream before everything went black.

***

'Look, I won't try and steal her from you. I'd like to meet her...you've kept her secret, she must be pretty special.'

'She is, Faceman.' Murdock shoved his hands in his pockets and walked out of the hotel. 'Let's just find Katie ok. Maybe she just went out for something.'

'Why did you leave her anyway? That's not like you Murdock, is everything ok? You were rather distant last night and this morning.'

'I'm fine...can we just leave it alone.' He turned down the street.

A cultured voice spoke from behind him. 'Mr. Murdock? Mr. Peck?'

Both men turned slowly and Murdock felt himself break out in gooseflesh. A man was standing behind him and when Murdock saw what he was holding he felt his heart constrict painfully. He had an arm around Katie's neck and she was unconscious. In his other hand he held a gun. Murdock swallowed. 'I'm guessing this is Jerome, Face.'

'You'd guess right Mr. Murdock.' Jerome smiled tightly. 'I've heard a lot about you.'

'Just let her go. Come on she's nothing to you, you were going to dump her in the ocean.' He felt panic grip him...if he'd wanted assurance of how he felt about her, now he knew. Oh he knew.

'I trust then that you were responsible for that little message for me. The ring in my airplane? Perhaps I should ask Katherine what it is that she wants. Perhaps the answer she gives me won't be the one you would expect.'

'Jerome...please...she's done nothing.'

Jerome laughed. 'She walked away from me...she would be the first to tell you that this is one of the worst things you can do to me. She was on my terms, she left when I told her to.'

'Dammit...you're making it sound as if she was some kind of animal or a toy.'

Face laid a hand on Murdock's shoulder. Jerome's vicious smile widened and Murdock felt a chill go through him. He knows, he thought, he knows about Katie and me and he's going to do his best to make sure that I know he knows.

'Mr. Murdock...that is precisely what she was. She belonged to me...give my regards to your colonel.' Then there was smoke and Jerome was gone as a grenade exploded before Face and Murdock sending them diving for cover.

As soon as he could Murdock scrambled to his feet and scanned the area for Katie. 'Murdock...he's gone, we have to get back to the apartment get Hannibal and BA.'

'This is all my fault Face...it's all my fault.' Murdock couldn't breathe...she was gone. She was gone and because of him he might not ever get the chance to tell her how he really felt. He clenched his hands into fists. 'No...no, I won't let him do this.' I'll tell her, he thought. I will tell her how I feel and I will get her back.

Face saw the look in his eyes and remembered it from all those months before when Katie had been kidnapped as bait by Carl to draw Murdock out. There had been that same look in his eyes then but Face thought he saw something there now that hadn't been before.

***
When Katie opened her eyes she found that her arms and legs were bound. She was lying on an elaborate bed in an even more elaborate room. There was the strong smell of cigarette smoke in the air.

Jerome was seated in a chair at the end of the bed and he was smoking a cigarette thoughtfully. He regarded her with cold eyes. 'Well...Katherine it's nice to see you awake.' With deliberate care he extinguished the cigarette in the ashtray beside him.

'Untie me.' She said with as much dignity as she could muster. Her head still felt woozy from where he'd clubbed her with the gun.

'On the contrary you will remain secured until I can be certain that you will not try and escape again.'

Katie said nothing aware that it was useless to argue with him, he was a hell of a lot stronger than she was and she'd had experience with how he was when angered.

Jerome got to his feet and sat next to her on the bed. 'Oh darling...' He stroked her cheek with one finger. 'You should know better by now...you know that I don't just allow you to go running off whenever you please... especially with that group of pests that call themselves soldiers.' His hand cupped her cheek turning her face towards his. 'Why did you ever think you could run from me? Did you think they would keep you safe? A thief, a delusional old man, a thug and a crazy man? Oh darling no, you can't hide from me, I'll always find you in the end.'

Despite herself, Katie felt a tear slip down her cheek. His fingers tightened on her chin painfully. 'You know how I feel about being betrayed...you know what I have to do now.' He started to untie her. 'It pains me that I have to punish you this way but...I have no other choice. You have to be taught and you have to be shown that I will not tolerate disobedience. When you are my wife there will be no more of this nonsense.'

He let the ropes fall to the floor and turned her over on her front. She kept her silence through the beatings and the shame, not once did she scream and through her hot burning tears one thought remained. One thing kept her whole...Murdock's face in her mind and the memory of the look in his eyes. The knowledge that he loved her even if he had not told her.

***
Face was right, Hannibal was not pleased but he did not waste time reprimanding Murdock for not doing his job properly...he gave out his orders in a clipped tone that suggested he would not take any nonsense.

Murdock said nothing; he kept his head down and got on with the job. Face had a good idea of where Jerome might be it was just getting in there and finding him.

Mrs. Baracus handed Murdock a cup of tea and gave him a sympathetic smile. 'You'll find her honey, I know you will.' Murdock only nodded and turned back to the blueprints laid out on the table.

'This suite is the one Jerome is occupying if my sources are correct. Now...you need a pass to get in.' Face said.

'Can you get us one?' Hannibal asked studying the prints carefully.

'I've already tried and it's harder to get one of those things than it is an invitation to the Oscars and believe me I've tried to get one of those too.'

Murdock allowed himself a small grin, he could just imagine Face living it up with all the celebrities and probably claiming to be one himself all the while.

'This place is harder to break into than Fort Knox.' Face continued. 'I do have one or two people I was going to try to get me in but...we're running out of time.'

'Yeah...we are.' Murdock murmured. 'The quicker you can get us in the better Faceman.'

Face nodded. 'Yeah I thought you'd say that somehow.'

'Colonel I can fly in if Face can get me a chopper, there's a landing pad right here.' He tapped the blueprints.

'You need a pass to get access from the roof.' Face told him and BA growled slightly. 'Besides...with BA's special circumstances...'

Murdock chewed his cheek broodingly. 'Well if you can't get a pass how are supposed to get in?'

'Easy.' Face smiled widely and Murdock felt a burst of hope at his friend's confidence. Face had something up his sleeve. 'I can't get a pass but that doesn't stop me from uh...borrowing someone else's.'

Hannibal smiled; he liked that idea. 'And I'm sure with a little back-up I'll have no problem persuading them to let me in.' Here Face looked pointedly at BA who nodded his affirmative, he liked that plan a whole lot better than he did one that included flying. 'Getting into Jerome's suite is another matter...we have no idea where he's got Katie stashed away and he's not going to make it easy for us. Murdock you saw how prepared he was when we met him.'

Murdock nodded. 'Grenades and everything.' He reminded himself to have a talk with Katie when he got her back...tell her to be more careful in future. She was always getting kidnapped at gunpoint it seemed. The thought didn't cheer him up; first he had to get Katie back.

Suddenly Hannibal's eyes lit up. Murdock knew that look, Face knew that look and BA certainly knew that look. It meant one thing; Hannibal was on the Jazz and that meant that he had a plan.

***
Face and Murdock dragged the unconscious man into the bushes and tied him up. It would be a few minutes at least before he woke and even more before he was found or could get free.

Face pocketed the pass and smiled. 'I never thought he'd be so generous.'

Murdock smiled grimly, he was concentrating on the task at hand but he knew he should think up something crazy to say. Right now though he could only think of Katie. Murdock followed Face to where BA and Hannibal were waiting. They were posing as window cleaners...they'd break into the window in the corridor adjacent to Jerome's suite...Murdock had already wormed it out of the unconscious man where he was keeping Katie. The rest should be easy, should be.

BA placed the tiny glasscutter onto the window and cut a perfect circle. Then he removed the circle effortlessly leaving a round hole. He stepped aside and Face put his hand in and released the catch on the window. It swung open and the conman grinned. 'Piece of cake.'

Anyone in the street who happened to look up would have seen a strange sight. They would have seen four men who appeared to be window cleaners climb into a window nearly 6 storeys up.

***
Katie lay on her belly, face buried in the pillow. Jerome had long since left her and the tears on her cheeks had finally dried. She couldn't work up the energy to dress or even to move. Every part of her hurt, she was starting to give up on being rescued.

The door opened behind her but she didn't bother to look round. 'Haven't you had enough?' She asked trying to keep the shake out of her voice. 'Just leave me alone.'

'Sorry baby, I can't do that.' Murdock's voice was low and husky from unshed tears. Relief flooded her and she sat up suddenly conscious of how she must look to him. She pulled the sheets up to her chest. He was there in an instant pulling her to him and crushing her against his chest. 'I'm sorry, I should have thought, this is all my fault.'

He let her go long enough to take in her appearance, noticing the fresh bruising on her cheek; he'd already seen the red welts on her back and thighs. Anger coursed through him, who did Jerome think he was to do this to her? Fury nearly choked him but he checked it and looked around for her clothes. He badly wanted to ask her what Jerome had done to her, although he could guess, but for now he had to get her out of here and to safety.

She took hold of his wrist and looked up at him. 'Thank you.' She whispered and that nearly did it. He swallowed back the tears building behind his eyes; he'd come so close to losing her. If Jerome had decided to just take her out of the country then she would have been gone and he might never have found her again.

'Well it appears that the bird wants to flee the nest, I thought we talked about this Katherine.' Jerome was standing in the doorway and Katie paused mid-way through dressing.

Murdock needed only one look to see that this guy was doped up the eyeballs. The way he so carelessly called her Katherine made him feel irrationally angry. 'Why do I think you were the only doing the talking pal?' Murdock spat. 'And why do I think that your idea of talking is a hellava lot different to mine?'

Jerome took a step further into the room and Murdock put an arm around Katie's shoulders. She was fully dressed now and ready to do whatever it would take to get out.

'I suggest you remove your hand from my fianc»e.'

Murdock grinned and Katie felt afraid. She'd seen that look before right before he'd nearly died. 'No...I don't think so, she's not your fianc»e anymore and she's not doing anything you tell her to do.'

'I see.' Jerome's laugh was malicious. 'Perhaps it was just as well for her that I didn't realise earlier that she'd been in someone else's bed. It might have made things worse for her.'

Katie could feel how tense Murdock was, she looked from Jerome to the man she loved and wondered how they were going to get out of this without a fight.

'You're lucky that I have enough respect not to kill you in her presence or you'd be severely lacking a head right now...pal.' Again he all but spat the last word out.

'I don't think so Mr. Murdock, I really don't think I have to be afraid of someone who lives in a mental institution. Really, Katherine, I thought you'd have some taste, this man can't even eat on his own.'

This time it was Katie who tensed. 'Be careful what you say Jerome, I won't stop him if he loses his temper.'

Jerome laughed but the laugh was cut off as he was shoved into the room. BA walked into the room and pulled Jerome up by his hair. 'Hey little mama.' He said to Katie. 'Get her outta here fool.' He told Murdock, turning his eyes back to Jerome.

Murdock didn't hesitate; he grabbed Katie's hand and pulled her through the door.

***
Outside the sun was sinking behind Chicago's horizon and the stars were beginning to come out. In a hotel room Murdock lay staring down at the woman who was his lover. Her hair was spread across the pillow as she slept peacefully, her chest rising and falling steadily.

Their lovemaking had been slow and gentle this time, he'd held her as if he'd thought she would break. This time he'd told her loved her and she'd smiled and said she'd known that already anyway.

He kissed her forehead and wrapped his arms around her, preparing to go to sleep. Everything was right again, Jerome was behind bars where he belonged and he wouldn't be hurting her again. The guys had gone back to LA and he and Katie would be flying back tomorrow together.

As he drifted off to sleep he couldn't help but wonder what the future would hold for them.

 

 

TBC

 

 

 


Every Step You Take 1-4 by Nutty
Every Step You Take 5-8 by Nutty
Every Step You Take 9-12 by Nutty
Every Step You Take 13- Epilogue by Nutty

 

 


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