Reborn Souls

Stephanie trudged upstairs to her apartment.

"The elevator had to be broken," she said out loud. She looked at the clothes she was wearing, and they were soaking wet. "Sometimes, I wonder if this job is worth it. I go through so many clothes thanks to this job."

She made it to her apartment and put the key in the lock, and that's when she heard it ticking.

"Oh boy here we go again!" She raced down the stairs she had just come up, and then she heard a huge bang. A few seconds later, her phone rang.

"Babe," Ranger said.

"I put the key in my lock, heard ticking and ran down the stairs. Ranger my apartment blew up again."

"Babe." She heard a click.

"I better get downstairs," she told herself as she went back down the same stairs she had just climbed. She opened the door that led outside and walked into the fresh air.

"Not one word." She pointed a finger at Ranger. He looked at her and only shook his head.

"Rex?" He asked her.

"At my parents' house. He is staying there while the landlord is redoing my apartment from the last bombing." Ranger opened his arms, and she walked into him and started to cry.

"Hey, Babe, any clue who wants you dead this time?" he asked her.

"Ranger, if I had a dime for every time you asked me that," Stephanie said as she looked at him.

He then leaned in and gave her a passionate kiss. "Oh, boy!" was all that she got out.

"Right, let's go, I will take you back to Rangeman and we can finish what we just started," Ranger told her. Just then Morelli drove up.

He got out of the car and looked at Stephanie's apartment.

"Again?!" He yelled and stomped over to Stephanie.

"Cupcake, you quit your job, or we are done! I can't handle these situations you get into." Morelli yelled.

Ranger walked up to Morelli and got in his face. "Not now Morelli."

"Yes, now is the perfect time!" Morelli yelled.

"Morelli, I choose my job. You are a dick; you were in high school and you still are. If you are going to give me the choice, then I choose my job!" Stephanie yelled at him.

Morelli just shook his head, then stomped off and left the scene.

It was then Ranger noticed that she was shivering. He went to his Rangeman SUV, got a Rangeman jacket, and put it around her shoulders. Ranger put his strong arms around her and held her.

"Come on, let's go back to Rangeman." He led her to his SUV and the two of them drove off.

While they were on the way back to Rangeman, Stephanie thought to herself. "Ranger does care for me. The way he stood up to Morelli back there. Maybe he does have a softer side to him."

"Babe, are you okay?" Ranger asked her.

"Yeah, I am fine Ranger," Stephanie said softly to him.

Chapter 2

When they got to Haywood, Ranger shut the SUV off and turned his head to Stephanie.

"Are you sure that you want to choose your job over Morelli?"

Stephanie looked him in the eyes and said, "Yes. Morelli just wants me to be a baby machine for him. My mother wants the same thing he does – for me to settle down and have the classic Burg life. Carlos, the classic Burg life is not for me. I realize that now," Stephanie told him.

Ranger looked at her. "All right let's get you inside and put some dry clothes on you." Ranger got out and opened the door for Stephanie. She jumped out of the SUV and the two of them walked into Rangeman. The two of them were five steps in Rangeman when Tank strolled up.

"Hey boss. Colonel Jackson is on the phone and needs to talk to you," Tank said to him.

"Right," Ranger said.

"Colonel Jackson?" Stephanie asked.

"His boss," Tank told her.

"Special Forces boss," Ranger amended. "Tank, make sure she gets up to my place while I talk to my boss." Ranger took a deep breath and went to his office.

"He does not seem happy," Stephanie told Tank.

"Yeah, Colonel Jackson does not call often, and usually when he does it is not good," Tank said as he was walking with Stephanie up to the elevator.

"Yay, a working elevator," she said.

Tank looked at her.

"Let me explain Tank. The elevator in my building is not working right now, I was climbing up the stairs went to my apartment and put my key in my door, and boom. I was running back down the stairs."

"Got it. Only you little one," Tank said.

Meanwhile in Ranger's office, Ranger picked the phone. "Colonel, what is going on?" Ranger asked.

"I have a problem on base. Any chance you can bring a female coworker and come in under cover as husband and wife?" The Colonial asked him.

"What is this about?" Ranger asked.

"Well, someone is breaking into base housing here, and they are only robbing married couples that live on base." he told Ranger.

"Okay," Ranger said out loud.

"That is all we got. Oh and the couples disappear; we can't find them. They vanish," Colonel added.

"Lovely," Ranger said over the phone.

"I can fax over your cover right away," the Colonel told him, hinting for an agreement.

"Yeah, I know someone who I think would be perfect to play my wife," Ranger told him. He hung up the phone.

He looked at the fax machine and saw his cover story come through. "Is she ready to see that side of me? Am I ready to let her into that side? I know that she will want to do it but, am I ready to let her completely in?" Ranger said to himself. He picked up the paper and took the elevator to seven and saw Tank waiting in the hallway.

"Hey boss what did Jackson want?" Tank asked.

"Come on in, and I will tell you and Stephanie at the same time," Ranger got inside and saw Stephanie having some fruit salad.

"Okay, I talked to Colonel Jackson. He said there is a problem on base and wants me and a female coworker to go in under cover. He told me that military couples' houses were robbed, and the couples vanished from the base."

"Wow, I bet that does not happen often," Stephanie said out loud.

"Exactly, and that is why he wants me on base with a female coworker. My cover is that I just transferred to the Trenton Base. My female coworker will be a wife."

"What the hell. I do not have a place to live, we have worked undercover before as a married couple, and it would be interesting to see you in the military life. I mean, I do not get to see that side of you often. It is really up to you though, if you want me to see that side," Stephanie said out loud. She put a hand to her mouth and asked, "Did I just say that out loud?"

"Yes," Tank and Ranger replied to her at the same time.

Ranger walked up to her and gave her another deep kiss. "I am ready to show you that part of my life if you are sure about this. Maybe one day we can stop playing a married couple and do it for real."

"What? I thought you did not want to get married again?" she asked him.

"Just a thought, and maybe it was because I have not found the right one until now," he told her and gave her a soft kiss on the lips. Ranger took out his phone and called Colonel Jackson, "Hey boss, I found someone, and we will be happy to help out," Ranger told him.

"You found someone already?!" Jackson blurted.

"Yup, I have worked under cover with her before, so we know each other's habits and so forth, so she will be perfect." Ranger smiled a big grin at Stephanie.

"This should be interesting," Stephanie said.

Tank walked out of Ranger's apartment. "Wow," was all he said as he went to the elevator and shook his head.

Chapter three

The next morning, Ranger woke Stephanie up. She opened her eyes and saw him in a military uniform.

"Okay." That was all she could get out.

"Hate to wake you, but you need to get ready, Babe. Remember you are my wife now," Ranger told her with a huge grin on his face.

"What is the grin for?" she asked him

"Just because, you are beautiful, and I love it when we are undercover like this," Ranger told her.

"About what you said yesterday, about us getting married for real. Did you mean it, Carlos?" she asked him.

Ranger sat down on his bed, took his army cap off, and looked his "wife" in her blue sparkling eyes and said "Yes, Babe, I did. I do think about settling down with you. I know in the past I have not wanted a real relationship. But when I am with you it just feels right. So, for now, let us consider this a test run," Ranger said. "Now get up because we have to be at the base in a couple of hours."

Stephanie crawled out of bed, and Ranger pulled her to him.

"You are my everything Babe." He kissed her again hard on the lips.

"Right, the uniform?" she asked him

"My base uniform, Babe. The one I wear whenever I am on base."

"That jewelry?" Stephanie clarified as she pointed to the right upper chest of his uniform.

"That is my ranking, which, by the way is a Sergeant First Class," Ranger told her as he helped her out of bed.

"I am going," Stephanie moaned. She walked into the bathroom so she could get dressed. As soon as Stephanie walked out of the bathroom her cellphone went off. "Mom, hi. I was going to call; I am fine. But I do not think I will be able to come to dinner on Friday. Ranger needs me to work with him."

"I see, well then that is fine, I guess. I heard that you chose your job over Morelli. I was going to yell at you, but I give up. You are too much like your Grandma Plum," Helen said and hung up.

"That was weird," Stephanie said as she looked at her phone.

"What Babe?" Ranger asked as he grabbed their bags.

"My mom called. I told her I had to work with you, and she told me okay and that she gave up on trying to marry me off, said I am too much like, Grandma Plum," Stephanie told him with an open mouth.

"That is weird," he agreed.

"Are you ready babe?" Ranger asked her.

"Yup, let's go," Stephanie told him and the two of them walked out of Rangeman to leave for the base.

While they were driving, Ranger asked, "You don't talk about your Grandma Plum?"

"Dad does not talk about her much. Far as I know she had a different type of job until she settled down with Grandpa Plum. After that, she was a housewife and raised my dad and my uncle together. My Uncle Bill is a detective in New York. He comes once in a blue moon to visit. He loves me a lot, but my mom loses patience with him. So, he does not come often anymore."

"So, law enforcement is in your blood," Ranger told her.

"I don't know if I would say that. Maybe I should give Uncle Bill a call and check in with him some time," Stephanie said as she looked outside the window.

"Call him right now. I would love to talk with him. Does he know what you do?" Ranger asked her.

"Yeah, he does, and he is my number one fan, too." Stephanie looked at the phone and hit speed dial number 4.

"Hey, there, Sunshine! Staying out of trouble?" Bill greeted her.

"No, my apartment got blown up again, and now I am working on a case with Ranger."

"That's my girl. Hey guess what? I am coming to Trenton. I am working on a case and it leads its way there. I will be at dinner on Friday and yes, your mom does know. She does not like it," Bill added.

"How come you and mom don't get along anyway?" Stephanie asked.

"She does not like what I do, that is one of the main issues. The other is that we don't see eye to eye on certain things," Bill told her.

"You mean my job?" Stephanie asked him.

"That is one of them. Okay Sunshine, I will see you Friday. Got to go."

"Okay Uncle Bill," Stephanie said.

"Ranger, take care of her," Bill said.

"Always," Ranger said, and then the line went dead.

Stephanie hung up and Ranger continued to drive his SUV toward the highway. "He sounds normal. Anyway, back to business now. Stephanie, we will be newlyweds, so with this cover, you will just have to follow my lead for the most part. When we get on base, my boss, Colonel Jackson, will be there waiting for us at the base house that we will be assigned to. I will ask the Colonel if I can show you around the base, so you will not be that lost. Once we get settled in, you should get the hang of it. You are quite good when it comes to getting used to new surroundings, Babe," Ranger told her.

"Thanks," Stephanie replied.

Ranger took his free hand and put it over hers. "Don't worry, we will make it through this and figure out where the couples are disappearing to," Ranger told her. He brought her hand to his lips and kissed it. Ranger drove up to the gate, pulled out his army badge, and showed it to the guard.

"Very good Sergeant, the Colonel is expecting you. Your housing is straight down this road, the last house on the left," the guard told him.

"Thanks," Ranger said to him and then he drove to their new house. Ranger was thinking to himself, "Here we go. I never thought that Stephanie of all people would be the one that I let in on this part of my life." Ranger let out a deep breath.

"Hey, are you, okay Batman?" she asked him.

"Yeah, I am good. Let's do this," Ranger told her.

Stephanie was looking out of the window and saw men and women in army uniforms, army cargo pants, and button-up shirts.

"Babe."

"Sorry but this looks like a busy base," she said to him.

"Yup, it is one of the busier ones, so that will make it harder for us, trying to figure out what is going on."

"Ranger, I guess I am going to learn how to cook the hard way, and you will have to suffer from my bad cooking for a while," Stephanie told him.

"That is all right, I think we can figure something out," Ranger told her.

Ranger pulled up to a cute, little brown brick house with a front porch. "All right Steph, let's go see our new house."

"Would love to, Carlos." She smiled at her husband.

Ranger parked the car in the driveway. Ranger got out of the SUV and walked up to the front door.

"Sergeant, good to see you," the Colonel told him.

"You too, Colonel," Ranger said as he saluted his boss.

Stephanie was just watching her husband. "This is weird. I have never seen Ranger like this, and I kind of like it," she said to herself.

"Babe, come here and meet my boss," Ranger told her. Stephanie walked up to Ranger's side.

"Boss, this is my wife Tammy. Tammy, my boss, Colonel Jackson," Ranger told her.

"Nice to meet you," Stephanie told him.

"Pleasure is mine," The Colonel told him and then added, "I am having a meeting for all senior staff at fourteen hundred hours." Colonel Jackson walked away. Ranger looked around, "Damn, where did she go now?" Ranger said to himself when he noticed that Stephanie was not by his side anymore. He then heard it and looked to the SUV.

"You won't be able to get that bag out ma'am."

Stephanie looked up and saw a young man in an army uniform come up to her. "I am Sergeant Thompson. Let me help you with that."

"Tammy Johnson." Stephanie held out her hand and the Sergeant shook it. Just then Ranger walked up.

"Excuse me, Sergeant, I can get that," Ranger said as he walked up to Stephanie and the bag. "Here we go, Babe," Ranger tossed the keys to their house to her. She caught them and went to unlock the door. She opened the door and looked at the empty house.

"Darling, there is no furniture," Stephanie told her husband.

"Perfect." He called his boss.

"Hey boss, this place is empty except for the living room we need furniture, a TV for my wife, and get internet service going here too," Ranger told him.

"Sorry about that, most of the stuff was stolen so you are on your own. Sergeant, you know that if you want internet and tv it is on your tab." The boss hung up then.

"Great," Ranger said to himself.

Stephanie walked to the right and saw the small kitchen. "Well, we have a fridge, stove, and lots of storage space. Looks a lot like my old apartment," Stephanie moaned.

Ranger walked up to her and put his arms around her.

"This is basic housing for a couple on base, babe. We will make it work and make it our own." Ranger turned her around a gave her a deep kiss. "I wish there was a bed." Stephanie said as she tossed Ranger's cap on the floor "So do I, but even if there was a bed, I would not have time. I have a meeting in a half-hour," he told her.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door.

"Hold that thought," He said as he looked out of the peephole. "Well, if it isn't the good Sergeant." Ranger opened the door. "Sergeant, what can I do for you?" Ranger asked him.

"I thought you might want this; it is used but I think you and your wife would like a place to sleep tonight." The sergeant stepped aside, and Ranger saw a double bed.

"Thanks, we will take you up on that offer," Ranger said. He looked at the living room saw a couch with a coffee table. Stephanie could tell that Ranger was keeping a close eye on the good Sergeant.

The Sergeant brought in the double bed and took it into the bedroom. He put it against one wall, and it took almost the whole room.

"Who is this from?" Ranger asked the Sergeant.

"From the Colonel," Sergeant Thompson said as he finished putting together the bed. The Sergeant left after that. Ranger went outside to get his gearbox. He put it at the foot of his bed. "Here are some sheets and standard army blanket for the bed," Stephanie said as she saw the sheets in the closet.

Ranger looked at Stephanie as she was making the bed, he walked up to her and pushed her gently on the bed.

"Ranger, I thought you had a meeting," Stephanie said softly to him.

"Crap, I have to go," Ranger said as he stood up from the bed. Ranger was at the door when he saw her: a tall blond in a floral dress.

"Excuse me. Babe, someone wants to meet you." Stephanie walked up to Ranger's side.

"Hi, I am Donna Thompson Sergeant Thomson's wife, I thought I would come and introduce myself," the young woman said. Ranger kissed Stephanie a long hard kiss on the lips in front of Donna.

"I will see you later," Ranger told her, and he left. Stephanie looked the woman up and down. Long Blond hair hazel eyes about five feet and five inches tall. With three-inch heels.

"How long have you two been married?" Donna asked Stephanie.

"Two months, we just got back from our honeymoon, and Tim got the call to be transferred here. I am still getting used to being an Army wife. Lots of changes quickly," Stephanie told the other woman.

"Yeah, it was hard for me too, at first, the adjusting part that is, but it does get easier," Donna told her. "Would you like a tour of the base?" Donna asked Stephanie.

"No thanks, my husband will do that later tonight after his meeting," Stephanie told the young woman.

"Okay, I live in the house across from you. If you need anything let me know," Donna said and then left to go back home.

Stephanie watched as Donna went back into her house. Stephanie opened the screen door to the house and went in. She looked in the pantry and saw a Chocolate cake mix. "Hmm, he will kill me but what the heck." She looked in the fridge and found three eggs and the oil. About fifteen minutes later a chocolate cake was in the oven.

"Nice," she said and sat down in the empty place while she waited for the cake to cook.

Chapter four

Ranger walked into a tall brick building. "Hello, Sergeant the Colonel will be with you soon, have a seat," the secretary told him.

Ranger sat down in the outer office. The door opened and the Colonel peaked his head out.

"Sergeant, come on in." Once the two men were inside the office, Ranger sat down in a chair across the desk with the Colonel on the other side.

"Ranger, please tell me you are getting settled?" Jackson asked him.

"Yes, sir, sending the bed was a nice touch," Ranger told his boss.

"What bed?" the Colonel asked him.

"Sergeant Thompson knocked on our door and gave us a double bed. Said it was from you," Ranger told him.

"Was not me, and who is Sergeant Thompson? I know everyone on this base Ranger, and this is the first that I have heard of him," Jackson told him.

Ranger got on his cell. "Babe, get out of the house now, the Colonel and I are on our way." They got up from their chairs, ran out of the building, and jumped into a jeep.

"Okay," Stephanie ran outside, just in time to hear a boom.

"You have got to be kidding me," Stephanie said out loud.

Just then half the base was looking at the scene. Ranger jumped out of the jeep and ran up to Stephanie.

He wrapped his arms around her.

"Hey Babe, are you all right?" Ranger said as he turned her in his arms. He looked her up and down to make sure there were no injuries.

"This was not my fault!" Stephanie yelled to him.

"I know Babe," Ranger told her.

"Babe, can you describe to the MP over there about the wife of the Sergeant."

"You know I can," Stephanie told her husband.

Stephanie walked up to one of the MPs with Ranger by her side.

"Hello Sergeant, can I help you?" one of the MPs asked him.

"My wife can give you a brief description of Sergeant Thompson's wife."

Stephanie started to tell the MPs about Donna Thompson. "She was about five feet- five inches tall, blond hair, and Hazel eyes. The hair was long, and she was in a floral dress with three-inch heels on and she was Caucasian. I am sorry I can't give you any more than that." Stephanie said,

"No ma'am that was a great description, better than most of the descriptions we get here," One of the MP's told her.

"You did good, Babe," Ranger told her and then kissed her on the head.

"Captain, can you give the Sergeant a copy of that description?" the Colonel asked the Captain.

"Yes sir," the Captain told him

"Captain, can you fax that description to this number?" Ranger asked him.

"Yes, sir, you will have it by the end of the day." The Captain got in his jeep and left.

"Colonel, are there any more available houses on base?" Ranger asked his boss.

"No, so I will give you off base pay. Go back to your civilian home for now." The Colonel told him.

"Right," Ranger said. He walked over to his SUV checked it up and down for bombs, tracking devices, and so forth.

"Come on Babe, let's go," Ranger said. He opened the front passenger side door, and Stephanie got in. Ranger got in the driver's side and they drove back to Rangeman.

Ranger hit his hand on the steering wheel. "Damn, I thought that we would be on base longer than two hours."

"Hey Ranger, someone knew that we were coming, and that is why they did that," Stephanie told him.

"I think you are right, Babe, and we need to find out who that was," Ranger told her.

"What about Sergeant Thompson and his blond-headed wife. They were quite interested in us. Donna Thompson wanted me to go and walk around the base with her. She wanted to show me it. I told her that you were planning to do it this evening with me," Stephanie told him.

"Hum, that is quite common in a base situation Babe. We all help each other out. But we should have them checked out just to be safe. I will do that when we get back to Rangemen. That makes sense too because the Colonel told me that he has never heard of a Sergeant Thompson," Ranger told her.

"Well, it is a busy base," Stephanie told him.

"Yeah, but usually the top brass knows every single person working on the base, especially if they are working under him," Ranger told her.

"So maybe they are the thieves and kidnappers of the couples, and they were checking to try to find some information on us," Stephanie told him.

"We need to find this Donna Thompson," Ranger told her.

"Yeah," Stephanie agreed with him.

They got into the underground garage and saw Tank outside waiting for them.

"I am glad to see you both. Every news media is talking about the bombing at the base," Tank told them.

"Right, let's go Babe, and get inside Rangeman," Ranger told her.

Once they got into Rangeman, Stephanie's cell phone rang. "Mom, hi. Sorry but I am a little busy right now, what do you need?"

"Well, your uncle is coming, and he wants to talk to you," Helen told her.

"Uncle Bill, I know mom I called him earlier today. He told me, will you please behave yourself mom, for me, I like Uncle Bill," Stephanie begged with her mother.

"Yes, I will try to behave myself after all your uncle is your dad's older brother. Also, bring that husband of yours," Helen said and then hung up.

"Okay," then she heard a click.

"Ranger, my mom thinks I am married to you, any idea why?" Stephanie said with sparkles in her eyes.

"Well, my boss sort of put an announcement in the paper, to go with our cover, so I guess that your mom got a copy of the announcement," Ranger told her.

"When where you going to tell me?" Stephanie said, and then added, "Morelli is going to be pissed. Yeah, we can probably expect a visit from him when we are at my parent's house for dinner. Also, my uncle is not a big fan of his," Stephanie told him

"Yeah, he is not the only one," Ranger said out loud.

"Tank, see what you can find on a Sergeant Thompson and his wife Donna Thompson. They greeted us on base," Ranger told him.

Just then a fax came through on Ranger's fax line.

"Oh, is that what I think it is?" Stephanie came up to Ranger's fax machine. "Ranger, it is the description for Donna Thompson," Stephanie told him. She picked up the paper and handed it to Ranger.

Ranger gave it to Tank. "Find her."

"Right," Tank told her. "You two have fun at Stephanie's parents tonight." Tank said.

Ranger and Stephanie looked at each other and started laughing. "Okay let's go to your parent's house."

"You're going dressed like that?" Stephanie questioned him.

"Yup, it is time I show your mom my true colors." Ranger had a wide grin on his face.

"This is going to be fun," Stephanie said as they walked out of Rangeman holding hands.

Tank looked at his Boss leaving with Stephanie. "It has been a long-time since I have seen Ranger smile like that," Tank said out loud.

They got to the SUV and drove to the Burg. When they got to the house, Grandma was waiting for them.

"They are here. Wow, that is a different uniform Ranger," Mazur said as she opened the door.

"Thanks, Grandma," Ranger said, as they entered the house.

"Steph, if you and Ranger want to sit down to the right of your father, Bill you can sit to the left, and I will sit next to you. Mom, you sit in your usual place." Helen noticed Ranger's uniform but did not say anything. Just then the door opened, and the girls came running into the house followed by Valerie and Albert.

"Girls stop that running right now!" she yelled at her daughters.

"Okay mom."

"Hi, mom sorry we are late; the girls were not listening as usual," Valerie said. "Hey uncle Bill, how are you?" Valerie asked as she walked up and kissed her uncle on the cheek. Valerie came and sat by her mom, with Albert by Valerie's side.

"I am good Valerie," Bill told her.

"Come on, kids there is a table set up for you in the kitchen, so be good," Helen told them. The girls went to the kitchen and sat down.

"Ranger, what type of uniform is that?" Valerie asked in shock.

"Special Forces Valerie," Frank said to her.

Frank held out his hand. "Glad you are here Ranger."

"Thanks, Frank," Ranger said as he shook his father-in-law's hand. Ranger sat down next to his wife. "This is my older brother, Bill Plum. Bill, my son-in-law, Ranger Manoso."

"Nice to finally meet you, glad I can put a face to the name Sunshine keeps telling me about." Bill held out his hand, and Ranger shook it.

"Quick question, how come Stephanie has a nickname from you and Valerie does not?" Ranger asked

"That is easy every nickname I came up with when Valerie was little, she told me that it was stupid and to call her by her name," Bill said out loud.

"Yeah, and I meant it and still do," she said to everyone

"I know," Bill told her.

"Cupcake!" Morelli yelled as he came into the room. It was then Morelli saw Ranger in his Special Forces uniform.

"Perfect!" Morelli spat.

"This keeps getting better," Grandma Mazur said.

"Oh shit, what the hell are you doing here Bill?" Morelli spat.

Bill stood up from his chair and said, "Catching up with family now Morelli. Please leave before I run over your other leg."

Valerie looked at her uncle and Morelli. "Oh boy," Valerie said out loud.

"Can I run over his other leg? Please Frank? It would make me feel so much better," Bill said with a smile on his face.

Ranger noticed that Frank was trying to keep from laughing.

"No, Bill, you can't, because we live in the same neighborhood as his mother and grandmother," Helen told him.

"Joe, you are welcome to join us," Helen said sweetly to Joe.

"Thanks, Helen but I will pass tonight. I will talk to you later Cupcake," Joe said as he walked out of the house.

"I have a question, Bill. Why don't you like Morelli?" Ranger asked.

"He has a temper as his father did. I have also seen a couple of the yelling matches that Morelli had with Sunshine here, and I do not like what I see. I think he is a womanizer. He may not drink like his dad, but he kind of does have the same pain in the ass attitude that his father did," Bill told everyone.

"Uncle Bill swore," Mary Alice yelled from the kitchen.

"So, Uncle Bill what are you doing here?" Stephanie asked with a smile on her face.

"I am working a case, and it led me here to Trenton. So, I thought I would pop in and say hi to everyone," Bill told her.

"Does Morelli give you a hard time Sunshine?" Bill asked his youngest niece.

"He gives me a hard time about my job, and about the fact that I work and am married to Ranger," Steph told her uncle.

"Yeah, that type of attitude comes with the job. As to why he gives you a hard time about Ranger, I think it is because you are married to Ranger and not him. He knows that the shot he had with you is over. Sunshine, you are a lot like your grandmother; she was a bounty hunter, too. You also have the same passion and drive she did," Bill said.

"What, Grandma Plum, a bounty agent! I thought she was a housewife?" Stephanie said in shock.

Valerie's mouth dropped open and then noticed that her mom was giving her uncle a look that could kill.

"She was once she married our dad, but before that, she was a bounty hunter and a good one. When the laws in New York changed, only the police were able to track down FTAs. Once that happened, she married your grandfather and raised me and Frank," Bill told her. "You were never told that part, I can tell by the look on your face," Bill added.

"Really?" Ranger said in shock.

"Yeah, you did not know did you, Stephanie?" Bill asked her.

"No, why did you not tell me?" Stephanie asked her parents.

"I wanted to tell you," Frank told his youngest daughter, but your mother swore me to secrecy because she thought that you were going through a phase and that you would settle down with Morelli and be his baby machine like your mother wants. But you have too much Plum in you," Frank said with a smile on his face.

"Frank don't be so smart," Helen snapped.

"Just saying," Frank said out loud.

"How about we all eat," Grandma Mazur said, and then suddenly Grandma's gun went off.

"Mom you know not to have your gun at the table now give it to me," Helen told her mother.

"Fine," Grandma Mazur handed her gun to Helen. They started to eat then, and that is when Helen started to ask questions about Steph and Ranger's marriage.

"Stephanie and Ranger, it said in the paper, that you two got married two months ago?" Her mother questioned.

"Yes, we did not tell anybody right away, because right now, I am on active duty so I wanted to keep it quiet so she could adjust to being a Sergeant's wife. It is not an easy life and not everyone can handle it," Ranger told everyone.

"Before you say any more mom, I did not want another fancy wedding. I had one before and you guys paid for it, and well everyone here knows how that ended," Stephanie told them.

"Yeah, with the groom whacking one of your bridesmaids during your wedding reception," Valerie reminded everyone.

"Thanks for reminding everyone about that Valerie," Stephanie said to her.

"No problem," her older sister replied.

"All right you, two can we keep it civil please?" Frank told the girls.

"Of course, dad," Valerie told him.

"Man, am I glad I had two boys," Bill said out loud. He saw Frank's face. "Sorry, did not mean it as that," Bill added

"Hey, just to let you know your oldest Nephew got a promotion, he just started as a detective. And John just graduated the police academy and is now a rookie beat cop," Bill said with pride. "They both send their love and wish they could have come, but they are just too busy."

"Give them hugs from all of us," Stephanie told him.

"I will," Bill said.

After dinner, Stephanie and Ranger left to go back to Rangeman.

"Bill, why did you tell Stephanie that?" Helen asked her brother-in-law.

"Because it is the truth, Helen and she deserves to know her full family history. Also, this is not a phase your daughter is going through you know that deep down. I love you Helen, but you must accept that there is law enforcement blood in our family and that Stephanie is following in her grandmother's footsteps. You must accept Stephanie for who she is and that is because she is your daughter. She is both a Plum and Mazur, but she is like her grandmother and you know that. She has too much spirit in her to follow in your shoes and deep down you know that too." Bill got in his car and went to his hotel.

"Helen my brother is right, and you know it," Frank said as he went into the house.

Helen watched her brother-in-law drive away. "I know that, but it is just scary to accept it. If something were to happen to her," Helen said to herself

When Ranger and Stephanie pulled into Haywood, Stephanie just started to laugh.

"What?" Ranger looked at her.

"I can picture it now, Uncle Bill telling my mom that I have too much spirit to be a housewife." She looked at Ranger.

"You do, Babe," Ranger told her and then gave her a deep kiss. "Come up let's go upstairs," Ranger said. They walked into Rangeman with smiles on their faces.

"How did it go?" Tank asked as Ranger watched his wife go up to the suite.

"Not bad. Steph just found out that her Grandmother on dad's side was a bounty hunter and a good one," Ranger told Tank with a smile on his face.

"You are kidding," Tank said in shock.

"Nope. Night Tank," Ranger said as he walked up to the suite and started to laugh about tonight.

When he got into the suite, he saw Stephanie pacing the floor. "What is it, Babe?" He asked her as he put his arms around her.

"I want to be a stronger bounty hunter Ranger, to honor my Gram. Can you help me with training?" Stephanie asked him.

"Oh yeah, I will be happy to," Ranger said as he kissed her. "You know mom believed that we are married." Ranger started to laugh "So why don't we make it official?" Ranger walked to the wall safe and took out a three-carat diamond ring.

He showed Stephanie the ring, "Carlos it is gorgeous. Yes, of course, I will marry you." Stephanie said. He put the ring on her, and they went into the bedroom.

"I can't wait to make it official," he said.

He noticed Stephanie laying down on the bed. He was on top of her in an instant. He unzipped her dress. His tongue went down her neck. She worked his uniform shirt and got it off. He got her bra off and started to suck on her breasts. He found his way to her thong and got that off. She got his cargo pants off, and she saw how hard he was.

"Ranger," was all she said, and then he was in her instantly.

"I love you so much, Babe."

They fell asleep in each other's arms. He woke up a few hours later to his cellphone.

"Yeah?"

"Ranger, Captain Cooper here from Vice. You are aware of the break-ins that are happening around Trenton?"

"Yes, Captain."

"Well, I think they are connected to what is going on at your base, and I would like a couple of my detectives to come and look at the evidence you have."

"Okay tomorrow morning, I will see Morelli and Detective Plum," Ranger told him and then hung up.

Ranger woke up a few hours later with Stephanie by his side again. He saw the diamond on her hand. "Babe," He said softly.

"Yeah," she replied to him sleepily. "Let us go to city hall right now and get married for real," Ranger told her.

"What, you want to do it today?" Stephanie said in shock.

"Yeah, why not you have your pink cotton dress that I like on you so much, and I can get into my army uniform, and we can get married now," Ranger told her.

Stephanie shook her head to wake up. "Why not? Lets do it," Stephanie agreed. "I mean we are already wearing the rings, so let us finish this." The two of them got up and dressed and were downstairs in twenty minutes. Ranger saw Tank and grabbed his arm and pulled him out of the command room.

"You are coming with us," Ranger told him.

"Right, and where are we going?" Tank asked.

"To city hall so Stephanie and myself can get married for real. Now let's go," Ranger told him.

"What the hell!" was all Tank could say. The next thing he knew he was being pulled by his shirt, that Ranger had a hold of. "Boss you need to let me go, so I can drive," Tank told him.

"Right, sorry about that," Ranger said and let go of Tank. The next thing Tank knew he was driving Stephanie and Ranger to City Hall.

"What the hell did she do to my boss?" Tank questioned himself.

"Tank, I don't know what is happening, but I do know that this feels right," Stephanie told Tank quietly.

"Right," Tank said as he followed them into city hall.

Once they got there, they filled out the paperwork and waited. About twenty minutes later, Ranger and Stephanie heard a clerk call, "Manoso and Plum, you are next."

Ranger and Stephanie walked into the office. "

Do you have a witness?" the Judge asked.

"Yes, sir," Tank stepped forward.

"All right let's do this," the judge said.

"Do you Carlos Manoso take Stephanie Plum to be your wife?" the judge asked.

"I do," Ranger said. He looked at Stephanie and saw that pink cotton low-cut dress she was in. "This is happening she will be with me for the rest of my life," Ranger said so softly that only Tank heard him.

"Do you Stephanie Plum take Carlo Manoso to be your wedded husband?" The Judge asked.

"I do." "I am marrying him, for real. I Don't know if I am ready to be his wife, but I do love him so here I go," she said to herself.

"If anybody has the reason why these two should not be married please speak now or forever hold your peace. I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss your bride," the judge said.

Ranger took Stephanie in his strong arms and kissed her. After they were legally married, they went back to Rangeman.

"Okay, Stephanie you need to change. I worked out a training program for you so you can get stronger. This is Maria, she will be your coach. Maria, take good care of my wife," Ranger told her.

"Yes, sir. Let's go Steph," Maria told her.

"Right," Ranger watched Maria and Steph walk away.

"Boss the search that we did came up with nothing on Sergeant Thompson and his wife. There is nothing no record of them at all," Lester told them.

"What how is that possible? Both I and Stephanie saw them when we were on base," Ranger said in shock.

"Don't know but there is no record of them at all," Lester told them.

"Right, all right. Morelli and Detective Plum will be here soon, so when they get here let me know," Ranger told them.

Ranger went up to his suite to change into his Rangeman uniform.

"This is getting interesting," Ranger said out loud. Ranger heard a knock at his door. "It is open."

"Hey, Boss," Ranger turned to see Tank.

"You followed me up?" Ranger said as he looked his right-hand man in his eyes.

"Yeah, I want to know what in the hell is going on?" Tank told him.

"I don't know. But for the first time in a long time. I feel whole again. I do not know what is different this time. But I just knew that it was Stephanie, and that I wanted to be with and only her," Ranger stated to him.

"I have not seen you laugh and smile like this in a long time, Carlos. I think that you and Stephanie just got close to each other, and just knew that it was different this time around. You two, just clicked this time around and it showed," Tank told him.

"I think you are right," Ranger told him.

"We have some work to do now let's go do it." Ranger and Tank walked out of the suite and went to work.

Morelli walked into the station and saw Stephanie's uncle talking to his Captain.

"Morelli get in here now," his Captain yelled.

"Great just what I need," Morelli said. Morelli's captain shut the door and it was just the three of them.

"I know that you two don't like each other, and I know why. But the string of house robberies that have been happening in Trenton well they originally started in New York and made their way here. So, you two will work together on this. I also think that the robberies that are happening here are also happing at Army Base stations, so that means you are to work with Ranger from Rangeman. I talked to him late last night. Let us work together with everyone nicely and finish this. That is all get to work."

"Got it, Cap," Morelli told him.

The two of them walked out of the captain's office.

Once they were out of the station, Bill spoke "Hey Joe, I don't like you, but you are a decent cop, and Stephanie's Grandmother my mother was a damn good bounty hunter in New York. This was before she became a mother to me and Frank. Helen did not want Stephanie to know, because she thought she could train her youngest daughter to be a housewife like Valerie. But Steph has too much spirit, passion, and drive. I like the fact that she is married to Ranger, because he helps her fly. So please give Stephanie and Ranger space to get to know each other better. Now you know how to get us to Rangeman so let us go and solve this case," Bill told him.

Morelli's mouth dropped open. "Why didn't Helen or Stephanie tell me about this?" he asked in shock.

"Helen did not like my mother and the fact that she was in law enforcement. She thought my mom should have been home with me and Frank. She was until we were grown, and then she went back to being a bounty hunter, and an FTA killed her. So, when Steph took Vinnie's job offer Helen freaked and kept trying to set you and Stephanie up and forcing you two together. She is scared that Stephanie will end up like my mom. Also, Stephanie just found out last night about her Grandmother, my mom. She did not know the truth about her Helen kept it from her," Bill told him

"Okay, right. To Rangeman," Morelli said as he tried to process everything he had learned about Stephanie's family history. He said to himself, "That is why she is so stubborn, it is not because she is Hungarian/Italian, but because it is in her blood, her job."

"Exactly, Joe," Bill said with a smile on his face.

Morelli rang the buzzer to get into the underground parking garage.

"What do you want Morelli?" Lester asked him.

"It is all right Lester, let them in," They heard Ranger say.

Lester raised the gate for them to enter.

"Does anybody like you?" Bill asked.

"Good question," Morelli said out loud.

"I do know why Rangeman does not like you," Bill said out loud.

"Yeah, so do I." They parked the car and saw Ranger waiting for them.

"Stephanie," the two of them said at the same time.

"Where is my niece?" Bill asked as they approached Ranger.

"Training," Ranger told them, but she will be joining us.

"Come on in boys," Ranger told them. He used a swipe card and the three of them entered the building and went to a big command room with all sorts of pictures of base housing units that had been robbed.

"It is the same thing as to what I have been working on," Bill said out loud.

"Yeah, the same thing that is happening here in Trenton too," Morelli said out loud.

"Not quite. The couples that live in the units are military couples, and they are vanishing off the base," Ranger told them. "Stephanie and I are undercover as a married couple we were on base for less than a day, and our housing unit got blown up. Someone knew why we were there, and they let us know that," Ranger added.

"So, you two are not legally married?" Morelli yelled.

"Wrong, Joe. We made it official this morning," Stephanie said as she came in. Morelli looked at her and saw that she was hot and sweaty in workout gear.

"Ranger, you could not make it just a little bit easier on me?" Stephanie asked him.

"Your words, Babe. 'I want to be a stronger bounty hunter to honor my Grandmother,'" Ranger told her.

"I hate it when you shove my own words down my throat." Stephanie came in as she hugged her uncle. Stephanie then sat at the table in the conference room then looked at Ranger who handed her a water bottle.

"We have some names that might be suspects, but we are not sure because we can't seem to find them anywhere," Ranger said. "The Sergeant that greeted both Stephanie and me on base, Lester did a search for them in the Rangeman computers, and the stupid things came up with nothing," Ranger added.

"How is that possible Rangeman has the best databases in the world?" Morelli asked.

"Don't know Morelli, but we do not have all the databases. We don't have the same ones the police do. So, I am hoping that you will have better luck," Ranger said to him and handed him the Sergeant's last name along with his wife's name with the description that Stephanie made to one of the MP's on base.

"This is the good Sergeant's wife. It is a description that Stephanie gave to one of the MP's on base. Maybe you two can have better luck." Ranger handed them each a copy of the description.

"All right I am going to call my forensics lab in New York and have that evidence transferred to Rangeman labs so your techs can look at it," Bill said as he got on the phone.

"What the hell, it could not hurt." Morelli made a phone call and did the same.

"Steph, I would love to get in the ring with you some time again," her uncle told her.

"It has been a while; I am a little rusty on what you taught me Uncle Bill," Stephanie told him. But I still know how to throw a good right cross."

"You're the one that taught her that right cross," Morelli said as he turned to Bill.

"I taught her that right cross so she could keep you at bay Joe," Bill told him.

"Well she has used that right cross on me a couple of times and it is a mean right hook," Joe yelled at him.

Joe looked at Stephanie and said, "I bet your mom does not know that he taught you that," Morelli said looking into Steph's eyes.

"You're right she does not know because if she did, I would not be living here. She would have locked me away in my room for the rest of my life," Stephanie said. Everyone in the room broke out laughing because they all knew it was true.

"In all honesty though, Sunshine, she does love you and you know that right. She just does not realize how much spirit you have, and how much you can give to this city," Bill told his niece.

"I know Uncle Bill; she just gets on my nerves sometimes. I feel like she does not understand me," Stephanie told him.

"I know, but dad does, he will stick up for you no matter what. Come on, Morelli, let us get out of here. Keep in touch especially about this mess," Bill said as he and Morelli left Rangeman.

Ranger looked at Stephanie, "All right, how about we get you cleaned up." She saw him walking up to her. She felt his forehead on hers.

"I love you, Babe."

"I love you too, Carlos." He helped her off the table and walked out of the command room and the two of them went upstairs.

"Do you see Morelli? The difference in how Ranger can relate to Stephanie? That is why I like Ranger better than you. He can relate to Stephanie, and he can help her grow as a woman and as a law enforcement professional. You have helped her at times, and I thank you for that. But you have not encouraged her to better herself at what she does. He does that. Now let us get down to the station and run down this Sergeant Thompson and his wife Donna Thompson down," Bill told him.

"You would think that there would be something in the army database about them. I find it odd that Ranger and his crew could not come up with anything," Morelli spoke out loud.

"Yeah, so do I," Bill said to him.

They drove in silence; Morelli was thinking about everything he has learned about Steph's family and what her uncle just said to him. "He is right, I have not been incredibly supportive of Stephanie with her job. Ranger has done a better job at that than I have. Maybe that is one of the reasons, she spends so much time with him and maybe that is the reason she chose him instead of me," he thought.

Chapter Five

A few hours later, Bill Plum was leaving the station when Joe stopped him. "You going to visit Frank," Morelli told him.

"Yeah, then I am going to the airport. I heard back from my Captain I must head back to New York, there is more trouble there. See you later, Morelli." Bill left the station.

Morelli was looking at his screen when suddenly, Donna Thompson, pulled up with more than one aliases.

"Shit!" he yelled.

He got on the phone. "Cupcake I found your Donna Thompson. I will be at my house. Stop by so we can talk." Morelli hung up.

Stephanie woke up in Ranger's arms. She reached over and checked her phone. "A message from Morelli." She listened to the message.

"Hey Carlos," Stephanie said as she punched his arm.

"Babe," he said sleepily.

"Morelli wants to talk to me. He also says that he has something on Donna Thompson Sergeant Thompson's wife," Stephanie said.

"Okay, let us get dressed," Ranger said. They both got out of bed and got dressed and went to Morelli's house.

"Hey Ranger, please stay in the car. I think Morelli has more to talk about than just Donna Thompson. I promise, I am always yours," Stephanie said, and she got out of the car and went inside Morelli's house.

"Hey Joe," Stephanie said to him.

"Hey Steph, come in and sit down please," Morelli asked.

"You said please. Not often you say that," Stephanie said as she sat down at the kitchen table.

Joe sat down across from her. "Cupcake, I am sorry. I did not know about your grandmother that she was also a bounty hunter. If I had known I would have let you fall a couple of times instead of trying to shelter you. I realize that you do belong with Ranger. I see the way he treats you. He encourages you to get stronger and better at your job. I always saw you as someone who needed to be protected. I realize now that you can take care of yourself sometimes. I am sorry that I was being such a dick, and I can tell you are happy with Ranger."

"Wow, where did this come from?" Stephanie said open-mouthed.

"I was doing some thinking, and your uncle yelled at me about a few things. I thought about all those stupid things you did, and after I talked with your uncle a lot of the pieces came together. About you and me, and I realized that you have grown in a lot of ways since high school. Well, let me say to you that you are too excitable for me. You will always be my friend and when you need something give me a call. Now down to business here I found this on Donna Thompson, except her name as you can see is just one of her many names," Joe told her. "These are all aliases. She is a con artist, and I bet you a hundred dollars that her husband the good Sergeant is also an alias."

"Thank you, Joe," Stephanie said as she stood up from the kitchen chair and left his house. But before she could leave Bob tackled her.

"Hi, Bob," she said. Joe came up to Bob and got him off her.

"Bye Joe and thanks," Stephanie said as she walked out of his house and into the car.

"Well, I got some information on our Donna Thompson. Ranger, we need to get those databases updated at Rangeman."

"Yeah, tell me about it. Where to now babe?" Ranger asked her. "Can we go pick up Rex?" She asked him.

"Yeah, let's go pick up that rat," Ranger said to her.

"Hey!" Stephanie punched him in the arm.

"Ouch! That is a good right cross." Ranger smiled and looked at her.

They parked outside her parents' house. "Looks like your uncle is here," Ranger said.

"Yeah, let's go in," Stephanie said.

"Mama!" Stephanie yelled as she and Ranger entered the house.

"Hey, sweetie," Frank yelled. "There is a beer in the fridge," he yelled at his youngest daughter.

"No thanks." Stephanie walked into the living room gave her father and uncle a hug.

"Hate to tell you Sunshine, but I have to leave. Something is going on in New York."

"Aww. I will miss you" Stephanie told him.

"Sunshine talk to your mother," Bill whispered to her. Frank looked at Stephanie and his older brother.

"Frank next time you and the family come and visit us," Bill told him.

"Yeah, we just might do that," Frank told him.

"And you, Edna, register that gun," Bill told her.

"Yeah, right that is not going to happen, Bill," Helen told her. She gave her brother-in-law a quick hug. "Fix things with Sunshine." He whispered in her ear. "Come here, girls." Mary Alice, Lisa, and Angie came running up to him. "Don't go jumping out of windows, you can't fly unless you are on an airplane or in a jet. One more thing, do not drive your mom nuts. Valerie, take care of those girls," Bill told her. "Tell Albert I said to lose some weight or he will have a heart attack."

"I definitely will, and I am not your favorite niece am I?" she asked him.

"No, but you are a second," Bill kissed her softly on the cheek.

"Let's go outside Ranger," Bill walked out of the house, followed by Ranger.

"Hey, thank you, for looking after her, training her, and loving her. I can tell how much she has grown while she is with you. You two stay safe out there." Bill told him.

"We will, and Bill she has helped me in so many ways," Ranger told him.

"I know and you will be able to help her fly," Bill said as he got in his car and left for the airport.

"Is he gone?" Ranger turned to look at his wife.

"Yeah, Babe, he is," Ranger said. Ranger saw Helen at the screen door. "I will go get Rex," Ranger told her. He kissed her softly on the lips and went inside the house.

"Helen, talk to her," Ranger told his mother-in-law.

Helen walked out the screen door to talk to Stephanie.

"Hey sweetie, can we talk?" she asked her daughter.

"Sure, Mom, let's go sit," Stephanie said.

"I am sorry that I did not tell you about your grandmother. I should have told you the truth. But I was scared that the same thing that happened to her will happen to you. She was after a bond in New York, and the FTA pulled a gun, your grandmother was not wearing a vest. She forgot it at the house and the dumb jerk shot her. She died at the hospital. After that, your father moved to New Jersey and met me. When you got the job at Vinnie's I was furious with him. Before you ask: no, he does not know about any of this. Maybe it is time to tell him. I do realize that you are not your grandmother, and that makes me nervous especially every time a bomb goes off in your apartment or your car goes poof. Which may I remind you happens a lot to you. I am sorry for pushing Joseph on you especially now that I see you and Ranger together. You truly belong with him, and I know now that he will truly help you fly."

"Thanks, Mom, and yes I am married to Ranger," she told her.

"Hey Ranger, are you ready to go?" Stephanie shouted into the house.

"Yup, here Babe, take your rat," Ranger told her.

"He is not a rat he is a hamster. There is a difference."

"Yeah, I know, come on I have to bust some heads at Rangeman," Ranger said. He opened the door and Helen watched her get into the SUV and leave the house.

"Please God watch over her," Helen prayed and then did the sign of the cross. She got up from the swing and went back into her house.

"Helen, thank you for talking to her," Frank told her, and he kissed his wife softly on the lips. "I should do that more often," She thought to herself as she looked at her husband sitting in the recliner.

Chapter six

The two of them with Rex walked back into Rangeman.

"Tank and Lester my office now," Ranger ordered them.

Tank and Lester looked at each other and said, together, "The databases."

"Ranger, play nice," Stephanie told him.

"I am always nice," he said to her.

"Right," Tank and Lester said together.

"The both of you have been working together too long," Ranger told the two of them.

"I can agree with that," Lester replied to him.

"Hey Rex, how are you doing?" Lester said, and then Rex bit his finger.

"Ouch, that hurt! Stephanie, he just bit me," Lester told her.

"Hamsters bite Lester. That is why whenever I open his cage I have food for him," Steph told the three of them. She gave Ranger a quick kiss and went upstairs.

"Shut the door," Ranger said as the three of them went into his office.

"Ranger I know what you are going to say, and we are already working on updating our databases with the State and Local Police department. Along with the Feds too," Lester told them.

"Good, that is what I like to hear," Ranger said, sitting down in his chair behind the desk.

"See if you can find anything on her." Ranger passed the file to Tank.

"This is the woman who was posing as the good Sergeant's wife who wanted to show Stephanie around the base," Tank replied as he took the folder.

"Yes, that is her, and I want to know who exactly she is," he told them both.

"Right," they said in unison.

Ranger looked right at them.

"I am working with Hector for a while," Tank said out loud.

"Lester, a new guy is starting, break him in for me," Ranger told him.

"Yes sir," Lester said.

"Do me another favor, find out if Stephanie's apartment explosion was and is related to the explosion at the base. I am starting to get a feeling that the two explosions were connected somehow," Ranger added.

"Got it, and what are you going to do?" Tank asked.

"I am going to make one phone call, and then go home," Ranger said. "Tank, tell Stephanie to pack a bag," Ranger told him.

"Sure," he said.

"Home as in your house, boss?" Lester said in shock.

"Yes, Lester my house. I am going to take my wife to her new home."

"Okay, night boss," Lester said, and he left the office.

"What Tank?"

"Do you even remember the security code to get into your house?" Tank asked him.

"Yeah, I do, remember it," Ranger said. They both started to laugh.

"Besides, Louis is there, while I am not home, so when I get home, I will tell him to take the next couple of days off," Ranger told him.

"Louis, the groundskeeper. I remember it was a pain in the ass to get him hired," Tank said.

"Yeah, that was a pain in the ass, now get out of my office," Ranger told him.

"Right, night Carlos" Tank walked out of his boss's office and closed the door behind him. "She is so good for him, and he knows it," Tank said to himself.

Tank took the elevator to seven, when he got there, he knocked on the door.

"Yes," Stephanie said.

"Hey, Little One, Ranger wants you to pack a bag, and don't worry I will look after Rex," he told her.

"Why?" she asked him.

"I am not spoiling this surprise," Tank said as he shut the door and left.

"Okay what now?" she said to herself out loud.

Meanwhile, Ranger picked up his cell number and dial 2 on his auto-dial.

"Hey Mom."

"Carlos this is a wonderful surprise! When were you going to tell me that you got married again?"

"Yeah, sorry I have been a little too busy lately to talk to you or to introduce you to her. If you and Shawn have the time, I would like you to come to the house. Steph and I will be there and you both can meet her. Does around 2:00 pm sound good? I will have Ella cook up something good and we can celebrate Shawn's sixteenth birthday, and I was also wondering… wait, Mom, get me off loudspeaker for this part," Carlos told her

She picked up the phone and hit the loudspeaker button. "OK, I was wondering if I could give Shawn a tour of Rangeman and take him to the range. You know that I do not like the school that he is attending. Sooner or later, someone will bring in a gun to that school. I want Shawn to know how to handle the situation when it happens. You know that the situation is highly likely. I will also pay for his Driver's Ed classes and take him driving a couple of times a week. A lot has changed, Mom, and I want to make it up to him. For all the time I missed. I know that this is not going to happen overnight. Also, Tank runs a Peer group, that deals with different situations, and one of Shawn's friends is in the group. I think it would be good for him to be a part of the group."

"All right, we can do all of that," Anna told her son.

"Thanks, Mama, so I will see you Saturday afternoon around 2 pm. We will go to my office and you can sign the release papers needed for Rangeman. I love you, Mama."

Anna put her son back on the speaker, "We will see you Saturday afternoon Carlos," Anna said

"Great, see you then and I love the both of you." Ranger noticed his wife at the door. "Gotta go Mama; we will see you soon." Ranger hung up his cell phone.

"Wow, that must be some girl," Carlos's mom said as she hung up the phone.

"Was that Carlos, mom?" Shawn asked.

"I think so, and we are going to his house Saturday afternoon for your birthday." She told her younger son.

"As in the house that he owns that he is never in?" Shawn asked her with an open mouth.

"Yes, that house."

"Wow that must be some girl," Shawn said.

"Yeah."

"Hey Babe, you look ready to go," Ranger said coolly.

"Where are we going, Carlos?" Stephanie asked her husband.

"You will find out soon enough." He shut and locked his office door and took his wife's hand and they walked out of Rangeman together.

Chapter Seven

Ranger opened the passenger side door, for Stephanie. She got in the SUV he shut the door.

Stephanie fastened her seat belt. Ranger buckled up too. He looked at her, and then said, "Here we go"

"Carlos where are we going?" She asked in a nervous tone.

"We are going home," Carlos said with a smile.

"I thought this was our home?" she asked.

"This is work, where I crashed for many years, but we are going home," Ranger told her.

"Where is home?" was the second question out of her mouth.

"E. Bolter Avenue, Vinland Cumberland County in New Jersey." Carlos told her as he took her hand and held it, to calm her nerves.

Stephanie was looking out the window again, wondering if this was the bat cave.

"Yes, Stephanie, this is the bat cave," Ranger answered her thought.

"Wow, really we are going to the bat cave?" Stephanie said. Carlos could see that she was starting to get excited.

About ten minutes later, they pulled up a long dirt road. Stephanie looked out of the windshield and saw it behind a gate. Ranger hit a button, and the gate opened.

"Wow, Ranger this place is huge! How am I going to take care of this place?" She wondered aloud.

"I have help Babe, and they take care of it when I am not home. So they will help you too because you are my beloved wife," Ranger told her. He hit another button and the garage door opened.

Ranger helped her out of the SUV by taking her hand.

"Let's go." He led her out of the garage, and down to the main door. Ranger opened the front door to the house.

"Carlos, welcome home!" Louis said in shock.

"Thanks, Louis, and this is my wife, Stephanie Manoso," Carlos told him. "Steph, this is Louis the groundskeeper," he told her.

"I have heard the rumors that he had finally gotten married. But now I have the proof. Welcome home!" Louis said.

"Hey Louis, you can take the next couple of days off. I will handle the chores," Carlos told him.

"Thank you, Carlos," Louis said and then walked out of the house.

"Welcome home, you two," Ella said as she walked in from what looked like the kitchen.

"Ella, who told you that we would be coming here?" Carlos asked her as he gave her a quick hug.

"Tank," she said, and then she hugged Stephanie too.

"Remind me to give him a raise," Carlos told them both.

"I think that would be a good idea, Carlos," Ella said.

Stephanie walked into the living room. "You have a tv?" she said in shock.

"Yes, Babe, I watch tv when I have some spare time," he answered her.

"Which is not often," Ella said out loud

"Wow, this place has a ton of furniture," Stephanie added.

"Let me guess. You went to an army base house with him, and it had no furniture," Ella told her.

"Yeah."

"That is standard for a base." Ella said and then added, "Dinner will be ready soon."

"Thank you, Ella," Ranger said and then took Stephanie's hand. "Let me show you the rest of our house."

Ranger walked with her into the kitchen "Wow, I will burn this place down Ranger."

"That is why Ella is here. She will help you get used to everything and even help with some cooking lessons if you want," Carlos softly told her in her ear.

"Oh, yeah. Are all the appliances stainless steel?"

"Yes, Babe they are."

She walked and sat on a stool in the middle of the room, that was next to the island.

"She fits perfectly in here," he thought to himself as he was leaning against the wall looking at her.

"Hey, do you want to see the rest of the house?" he asked her in a soft tone.

"Sure," was all she could get out. She walked to him, "Wow, this is amazing," she said out loud.

"Let us continue the tour. Right, this way Babe." He took her hand and led her to a large dining room.

"I use this room when I have a dinner meeting here," Carlos told her. Stephanie looked at the long dining table, with about eight chairs. Three on each side, and one at both ends. She looked up at the ceiling and saw the chandelier and double doors that led to the yard. "Wow, look at that sunset! This is unbelievable."

"You make it, even more beautiful." He came up behind her and put his strong arms around her.

"Come on, we are not done." He took her to a door and opened it.

"You even have an office here," she told him.

"Yeah, sometimes, I just come here, to work in the quiet," he told her.

"I can understand that." She looked at her husband, thinking he looked so relaxed. She couldn't think of a time she'd ever seen him so relaxed.

"Hey, wake up," he told her.

"Sorry, I was dazing off."

"I can tell, come down this hallway." He opened another door and saw a small bathroom. It was cream-colored walls, with a stainless-steel sink, a toilet, and a shower.

"Now that you have seen the downstairs, let me take you upstairs." Stephanie took a deep breath.

"Hey, are you okay?" he asked her.

"I am great," she told him with a smile on her face that proved she was.

He took her hands and led her upstairs. "Here is an empty room, and we also have two guest rooms. One for my brother Shawn, and the other for my mom when they come to visit.

"You have a brother?" Stephanie asked, with a raised eyebrow.

"Yeah, he is my younger half-brother. My mom got remarried after my dad died. A couple of years after that they had Shawn. Then when he was ten, my stepfather got into a bad car accident and passed away. So, I am trying to be there for him, but with my schedule, it is tough as hell. We are close though."

"How old is he?" She asked him.

"He turns sixteen on Saturday, and we will have a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles. For some damn reason, he still likes that stuff."

"You mean junk food like I usually eat, but I have not touched it in a while? I blame you for that," Stephanie said.

Ranger looked at her. "Oh, that's what they call it."

"Carlos, you do realize that he will get his learner's permit, probably by Saturday?" Stephanie told him softly.

"I do, and it scares the hell out of me."

"If it scares you this much, what will you be like when Julie gets her permit? She is just a couple of years younger than her uncle." She walked up to him and put her arms around his waist.

"I have no idea. Granted, she has Ron and Rachel, but I will probably be pacing this hallway," he told her

He lifted her head slightly gave her a light kiss on the lips and continued the tour. He opened the door to the second bathroom. "Same thing as the one downstairs," she spoke.

"Yeah, and here is a small workout room where I can do my workouts when I am home. If I skip them, I get stressed." She saw a beat-up punching bag, with a few free weights. "Now for the best room of all." His eyes were sparkling.

"The master bedroom," she took the words right out of his mouth.

"Yup, our room." He opened the door and she walked in. Carlos saw her jaw drop. She looked around there was a king-size bed, with a bureau against the far wall. In front of the bed was a fireplace. She saw doors that opened outside. She opened the doors and walked onto a small deck. She put her hands on the railings. Carlos walked up to her and put his strong arms around her. "Well, what do you think?" he whispered in her ear.

"This is unbelievable." That was all she could get out. He walked around some chairs that he had so he could sit on the deck. He faced her and gently lifted her head with his fingers he gave her a long passionate kiss.

"How about we try out the bed?"

"Yes, Carlos, let's do that," she answered softly to him.

He picked her up and carried her to the bed where they made love and stayed in each other's arms until Ella knocked on the door to say dinner would be ready soon.

"I think we should get cleaned up." He helped her up from the bed and opened yet another door. She walked in and saw a huge bathroom. This bathroom had double sinks, some closets, a toilet, and a walk-in shower. He turned on the shower, and they both got in.

"I am so glad we did this, got married, and are together now. I have been feeling alive again, for the first time in a long time. And you helped me do that, Stephanie, my beloved wife." He was washing her with his Bulgari shower gel that she died for every time she smelled him. She looked at her husband while the shower was running.

"Here, let me wash your back, Carlos," she told him. He turned around and she washed most of his back.

"Babe." He turned around and he started to kiss her breasts under the warm flowing water. Her hands went up to his wet back while his hands ran down her wet thighs to her sweet spot that he knew so well. Her fingernails digging into him. He knew she was ready, and he entered her gently. After they were done, they dried each other off. They were getting dressed when there was another knock at their door.

"Dinner is ready! Better eat it before it gets cold," Ella yelled through the door.

"I think we better eat," Stephanie told him.

"Yeah, I am kind of hungry," Carlos said. They walked back into the bedroom and got dressed. They both walked downstairs holding hands. The two of them entered the kitchen. Ranger pulled out a stool for Stephanie. He sat on the opposite side of the island so he could look at her while the two of them ate.

"My wife. Finally this place feels like home," he said to himself.

Chapter Eight

The next day Carlos was working out in the small gym. Stephanie woke up a couple of hours later. After she was dressed in a pink short-sleeved shirt and blue pants, with black short, heeled boots. She was coming down to sit in the living room when she heard knocking at the door. She looked out the window and saw a sixteen-year-old male and a forty-five-year-old woman with him.

"Carlos, I think your mom and brother are here," Stephanie yelled.

Carlos walked down the stairs with some workout shorts on. She also noticed that he was all hot and sweaty and not wearing a shirt. "Yeah, now they come," she said to herself.

"Hey mom," he said as he kissed her on the cheek and let them into the house. He looked his baby brother up and down and noticed the black eye.

"Happy birthday," Carlos said to him.

"Thanks, and guess what! I got my learner's permit," Shawn shouted and shoved it in his brother's face.

"Excuse me," Carlos turned around and went out the back doors.

"Ahhhhhhhhhh!" was all they heard.

"You could not have shown him that more delicately?" Anna scolded her younger son.

"Excuse me, I am going to check on my husband," Stephanie said as she turned around.

Stephanie walked out to the back where Carlos had his hands on the railing and his head down taking deep breaths.

"Hi, how are you holding up?" She walked up to him and put her arms around his waist.

He turned to face her, "Babe, I don't know if I can do this."

"Carlos, other than your mom who else does he have but me and you? Besides, you still have Julie who is a couple of years younger than him. You know that phone call you will be getting in a couple of years? Either from Rachel and Ron or from Julie herself telling you that she got her permit to drive. What happens when we have kids? You will have to go through the same thing with them. So, the question is how do you want him to learn? Do you want him to learn by watching the Fast and Furious movies or from a Driver's Education Class with you helping him practice? This will also help you to build a bond with him because you will be the one taking him out on the road. What about when we have kids?" She smiled at him.

"You are right. He told her and he spaced out for a minute and said, "did she say we have kids of our own?" He thought to himself. "Can you repeat the last question?" he asked her

"What one?" she asked him.

"The one about us having kids of our own," he said to her.

"Okay, I will admit, I have been thinking about it lately, but now is not time to discuss this question," she told him, and then added, "but we could consider this another test run."

Anna and Shawn heard Carlos start to laugh.

"Mom, Carlos has lost it. He is laughing," Shawn said.

"I have not heard that sound from him in a long time. It is good to hear again," Anna said.

"He has been doing that a lot more. Everyone at Rangeman has noticed that he is a lot more open and relaxed," Ella said coming out of the kitchen.

"Ella, how are you doing?" Anna asked her.

"I am good Mrs. Anna, and how are you, Shawn?" she asked him.

"Good, thanks," he said to her.

"Your choice darling," Stephanie told Carlos.

"I love you so much, Babe." Carlos walked back in and went directly to his office. Stephanie took a deep breath in and looked at all the land that the two of them owned together.

"Great we won't see him; he is in his office and we all know what that means," Shawn said, and then walked into the living room and turned on the TV.

Anna walked out to join Stephanie on the deck. "It is very pretty here, as well as calming," she told Stephanie. She turned to her and added, "Hi, my name is Anna, and I am Carlos' and Shawn's mom."

"Hi, I am Stephanie your daughter-in-law."

"Just to let you know, Carlos is in his office for a different reason today," Stephanie told her, "I know, and I am going to join him," Anna said and then walked into the office.

Stephanie walked into the living room. "What do you want to watch?" she asked as she sat down next to Shawn.

"I don't know; he does not have much," he told her.

"Then it is a good thing I brought these." Stephanie held out two Fast and Furious movies.

"Wow Fast and Furious one and two. Cool," He said as he looked at her. She popped one into the DVD Player, and they started to watch the movie together.

Meanwhile, in Carlos's office: "Hey Jake, do you have a space free in the next driver's ed class? My brother just got his learner's permit and needs to go into a class."

"Yup I have one space left," Jake told him over the phone.

"My brother's name is Shawn Andersson."

"Okay, Ranger, make sure he has a check for the course. 450 dollars. It starts next Saturday Morning." Jake hung up.

Carlos got back on the phone. "Tank, I am coming in for a couple of hours today, to introduce everyone to my brother Shawn, and show him the ropes."

"Right, Boss, see you soon," Tank said and heard a click.

Carlos turned his head and saw the check printing out. After he printed it, he put it in an envelope. He took the release papers and the parental consent form for his mother to sign.

"Mom where did Shawn get that black eye?" Carlos questioned him

"He told me he tripped and hit a locker at school," she told him.

"Figures, he could not come up with a stronger excuse," Carlos said and started to laugh again.

"Carlos this is not funny, you know what kind of time I had with you in high school and now I have to worry about him going through the same thing," she told him.

"Yeah, and that is why he needs the peer group. Here are the forms, Mom." Carlos handed her the two forms and she signed them. "You know, we have to know if he knows how to use a gun. Most Teens nowadays know how to use them. You also know what happens if a gang member shows him a gun and he takes it," Carlos told her.

"Yeah, I know, and I know you are right," she told him. "And that is why I want it to be from you first Carlos. Because I know that you will help him understand the dangers of one." Carlos gave her the release form so Carlos could take his brother to the range at Rangeman. After she signed them, she looked at her oldest son after that and added, "Stephanie is very nice, and it looks like Shawn and she gets along. I saw her talking to you."

"Yeah, she was helping me get a level head, about him getting his learner's permit."

"I also saw you laughing. She is good for you. I can tell," Anna told her oldest son and then she left his office.

"Yeah, she is good for me." He peeked into the living room and saw his wife with his kid brother. "Okay, here we go." He shut the lights off and closed his office. Carlos went into the living room and shut the TV off.

"Hey," they both said at the same time then Shawn realized that Carlos was the one to shut off the tv.

"Kitchen now," Carlos told them both.

The two of them looked at each other, and Stephanie just shrugged her shoulders at Shawn. Carlos took Stephanie's hand as the three of them walked into the kitchen. He noticed that his mom was sitting on one side. Shawn sat down by his mom. Stephanie pulled up a chair on the other side, and Carlos took a seat next to Stephanie.

Carlos put the envelope in front of Shawn, "Happy birthday!"

Carlos put out a stool and sat next to Stephanie. He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. He then kissed his mom on the cheek.

"I am going to get cleaned up, and then Shawn and I are going for a ride," Carlos said as he left for the master bathroom. When Carlos was gone Shawn opened the envelope and saw a check.

"Jake Barns Driving School?" He opened the next paper. "A peer group at Rangeman, signed by Mom."

"Open the final sheet," Anna said slowly.

"This is a parental release for Rangeman Gun Range"

"You are going shooting with your brother at Rangeman right now," she told her youngest son. "It is all right, Shawn, you will be with Carlos, and there is nobody else I would want you to do this with. You go with him and you shoot. But you only shoot with him. Do you understand me?" she said sternly.

"Yes, Mom," Shawn told her.

Carlos came back in wearing his black cargo pants and Rangeman blacktop with his utility belt, and Shawn saw he had his gun too. "Does he know already that I turned down a gun at school from a gang?" Shawn thought to himself.

Carlos, walked up to him and put a hand on Shawn's shoulder, "Hey you good?" he asked his baby brother.

"Yeah, I am good," Shawn told him.

"Just to let you know, Jake Barns has driving classes for new drivers which includes teens. He also gives refresher courses to the men and women that work at Rangemen. I trust him so you will be in good hands. I will also take you out driving when I can. Starting right now. Get moving, Shawn, your day is not done yet," Carlos said.

Carlos took a deep breath and tossed the keys to the Lincoln SUV to his brother.

"Do you to ladies want to come?" Carlos asked everyone.

"No thanks, I want to get to know my daughter," Anna told him. Then she asked with a dropped mouth, "You are letting Shawn drive?"

"Yup, so I will buckle up," Carlos told them.

"Seriously?" Shawn asked his brother with his mouth hanging open.

"Yes, now let's go before I change my mind," Carlos told him and then gave his wife a deep kiss. "Just in case," he whispered in her ear.

The two of them went into the garage. The women looked out the window, holding their breath as they saw Shawn slowly back the SUV from the garage. Carlos and Shawn drove away from the house.

"Okay, now we worry," Stephanie said out loud.

"Yeah." Anna saw the chocolate cake.

"I will get plates," Stephanie told her. She got the plates and the two women dug into Shawn's birthday cake.

"We are going to Rangeman?" Shawn asked Carlos.

"Yes," Carlos told him. They continued to drive for about fifteen minutes.

"Wow this is Haywood. Are you letting me see the inside of Rangeman?" Shawn questioned.

"Yup, I am giving you a tour of Rangeman," Carlos told him with a wide smile on his face.

Carlos saw a space, with no cars on either side of it. "Park it right there." Carlos pointed to an empty parking space. Shawn pulled into the parking space with no problem.

"Keys, Shawn." Carlos held out his hand. Shawn handed over the keys.

"I will be driving home," Carlos told him. "But you did good," Carlos whispered in Shawn's ear.

"Hey Boss," Tank said as he was waiting for them.

"Tank, meet my kid brother, Shawn Andersson," Carlos told him.

"Hi, nice to meet you," Tank said.

"Thank you, nice to meet you, too. I got my learner's permit this morning," Shawn told him." And he let me drive here," Shawn added.

Tank looked at his boss and saw that his boss looked sick.

"Go on in, Shawn, but don't go too far," Carlos told him.

After Shawn walked inside Rangeman Tank spoke. "Are you okay?"

"I don't know," Carlos answered him. "I still have Julie, so I will have to go through this all over again," Ranger said as he looked at Tank.

Tank put a hand on his boss's back, "Breathe."

"I'm good, thanks," Ranger told him and then added, "let us get this tour started."

"Good idea, Boss" Tank said as the two of them walked in Rangeman. Carlos took out his phone, and Shawn saw it and sighed.

"Relax I am calling your sister-in-law to let her know we made it in one piece." Carlos dialed Steph's number.

"Carlos."

"We made it we are at Rangeman, and he did not do that bad driving for the first time," Carlos told his wife.

"Thank god," Stephanie said and then added, "have fun." She hung up.

Stephanie and Anna let out a deep breath and started to laugh.

Chapter Nine

"Hey Boss, good to see you," Lester told him.

"Hey Lester, this is my kid brother Shawn. Shawn this is Lester," Carlos told him.

"Hi," Shawn said, and then he started to run ahead.

"Gotta go," Carlos said as he was running to catch up with Shawn.

Carlos and Shawn got into the elevator, and Carlos hit five. The elevator opened and they saw a whole bunch of offices, and then the huge command room.

"Wow, what is this?" Shawn said as he peeked his head into the command room.

"This is the command room. We monitor all the houses and businesses that we protect. We also have databases that are hooked up to the local, State, and Federal level so we can get background on any of the FTA or bad guys that we go after," Carlos told Shawn.

"So, you guys, are cops," he said.

"No, we do protection, FTAs, and if there is a break-in at any of our client's homes or businesses, we find out who did it and bring them in," Carlos told him.

"We also work for the Army, Navy, and any of our military that needs us to go in and handle problems. A lot of the men and women that work here have had a military background. We also work with some parolees; we help them find work and get them back on their feet," Tank stated to him as he came into the command room.

"Where did you run off to?" Carlos asked him.

"Don't ask," Tank told him.

"All right, the next place," Carlos told him and led him to another room down the hall.

Shawn investigated the room and looked through a window and saw his best friend Tim. "What is Tim doing with the other kids from school, and why are they sitting on the floor in a circle? Oh, the Peer group," Shawn said, and he slapped his forehead. "That is here and not in a community center?" Shawn said confused.

"This one is for teens that are related to Rangeman employees," Ranger told him. "Because of the type of work we do, we want to make sure these kids are protected and sometimes their peers find out who they are related to and where their relatives work. They get into trouble with their classmates because of that fact. So, they come here and find out how to deal with different types of situations. We also have some other teens that are referred to by their teachers or school principal," Ranger told him.

Shawn investigated the window. Tim looked up and saw Shawn through the window. "Hey, it's Shawn."

"Uncle Hal, can we let Shawn in and tell him what this place is about?" Tim asked his uncle.

"Sure, why not," Hal said and then opened the door.

"You guys want to come in for a few minutes?" Hal asked them.

"Your choice, Shawn," Carlos told him.

"Will you come with me?" Shawn asked him.

"Yeah," Ranger told him.

Shawn and Ranger stepped into the room. Ranger leaned against a wall. He watched Shawn. Shawn saw Tim, Julie, Tina, Alex, and Paul, the guy that slugged him at school.

"Paul," Shawn said.

"Hey Shawn, the principal ordered me to come here after I slugged you. I have been coming here for about two days now. I have learned that slugging you because you were talking to Tina here, was a bad move, and I am sorry," Paul told him.

Hal started to laugh, "Sorry, but you slugged Shawn because he was talking to your girl at school?" Hal said shaking his head.

"Yeah, and I learned in the two days here that was a bad move, and I am sorry," Paul told everyone and held out a hand to Shawn.

"Thanks," Shawn took Paul's hand. After they shook, they turned to see Ranger.

Ranger turned walked out of the room and started to gently bang his head against the wall while laughing.

"I think your brother is going to die laughing," Tank told him.

"Yeah, so do I," Shawn said. The teens in the room stared at Shawn.

"Wait a minute, Ranger is your brother!" Tim said with his mouth hanging open.

"Yeah," Shawn told everyone.

"If I knew that I would not have slugged you at all; I am sorry man," Paul told him. Hal looked at Tim and nodded yes. Tim walked up to Shawn.

"Hey Shawn, this is my Uncle Hal," Tim said.

"Nice to meet you. I have heard a lot about you from Tim," Hal told him.

"Nice to meet you too," Shawn told him.

"I think you need to talk to your brother," Hal told him. Everybody looked and saw Ranger still banging his head against the wall and laughing.

"No problem, I will see you all tomorrow for the group," Shawn said as he walked out and closed the door behind them.

"Are you done, Carlos?" Shawn asked as he saw tears coming from his brother's eyes from laughing so hard.

"Yes, and I know why you did not tell mom the truth, buts she needs to know, and you know that. Trust me, Shawn, she will be relieved that you got slugged because it was about a girl," Carlos told him.

"You think?" Shawn asked him.

"I know," Carlos told him. "Come on I will show you the basement."

"Carlos, can I join the peer group," Shawn asked.

"In the envelope, there is a consent form that mom signed for you to join give it to Tank," Carlos replied.

"Really?"

Shawn investigated the envelope and handed the consent form to Tank so he could join the peer group. The elevator opened and the three of them walked out into the range. Shawn was looking around and saw all the different types of guns.

"You won't be using any of those," Carlos told him. "You will be using mine. You need to give Tank the other consent form that mom signed. Now I am only going to show you once."

Ranger pulled out his gun from his back holster. "Put the clip in like this." Ranger pulled out the clip and put it in with the bullets going into the gun.

"Make sure the safety is on until you are in the cubby. Take the safety off when you are in the cubby and then aim at this." Carlo showed him a paper target. He put the target on a clip and hit a button. Shawn saw it go back a few dozen feet.

"Keep your eyes open when you pull the trigger It will give a slight pull that is normal, you might lose your balance the first time you fire, so brace yourself. Here you will need these." Carlos handed him some big thick headphones and put his own headphones on.

"Here we go, time to get to the truth," Carlos was saying to himself. "I hope he comes back out here. When I hand him this?" Carlos, he used to finger pointed to his eyes and then him. He walked into a booth, took out his gun from his back, and started to fire on a target.

"Clear," Tank said into a mike. Ranger came back out and put the safety on first.

"Your turn." He handed his gun to Shawn.

After Shawn entered the booth, he switched the safety off and started to fire.

"How the hell did he know that the safety was on?" Carlos said to Tank. "I did not tell him I put the safety back on when I was done."

Shawn fired one shot and then went flying into one of the boards of the cubby.

"Ouch, that is going to leave a mark," Tank said.

"Yeah, but we know that he has never fired a gun until now," Ranger replied as he looked at Tank.

"Yeah, but he did look like he has handled your gun before," Tank told him.

"Yeah," Carlos said as he was shaking his head.

"You know we have to ask him," Tank said to his boss. Ranger noticed that Shawn did not fire a second shot.

"Clear," Tank said, and then Shawn walked out.

"Do you have something to tell me?" Carlos asked him as Shawn was giving his brother's gun back to him.

"Too many violent movies," Shawn told his big brother. "You are not buying it?" Shawn asked.

"You are right, I am not buying it," Carlos told him.

"One of the teens at school is in a gang and was showing off a gun just like yours and he showed it to me and showed me how it worked," Shawn told him in a rush of air. "He wanted me to hold it ,and I said no and walked away. I know what that means, and I know what it stands for," Shawn said.

"Yeah, we know too. I am proud of you for turning down that gun Shawn. Come on time to go," Carlos told him.

"You going to tell Mom? She already worries about me in school enough Carlos," Shawn said.

"I won't, but I think you know what you have to do," Carlos told his baby brother.

"Hey Ranger, look at your brother's target grouping," Tank said. He handed the paper perp to Ranger.

"If this were a real perp, he would not be able to have any kids. You shot him in the groin." Carlos was shaking his head. "Here keep this," Carlos said and then handed the target perp to Shawn.

"If you show this to my wife, she will laugh her ass off," Carlos said.

"Tank, thank you," Shawn told him and held out his hand.

"Any time," Tank said.

"Thanks, Tank," Carlos told him.

"Any time boss," Tank said and then he watched Ranger and Shawn walk and get into the elevator.

The two of them walked out of Rangeman. Carlos got in the driver's seat and they drove back to the house. About fifteen minutes later they parked in the garage.

The two of them walked into the house. "We are back," Carlos yelled.

"Hey, how did it go?" Anna asked.

"Mom, I need to talk to you," Shawn told her.

"Babe," Ranger nodded his head to his office.

"We will let you two talk," Stephanie told her. She followed her husband into his office and shut the door.

"He knew how to use my gun babe. He admitted to me that there are gang members at his school and they showed him how to use this gun." Carlos pointed to his gun that he put on his desk. "Shawn turned it down and walked away not knowing if he was going to be shot."

"Carlos, come here." Carlos walked into Stephanie's arms and just held him. She could hear him softly crying.

"It will be okay," Stephanie told him while she was holding him.

"Hey Mom, I need to talk to you," Shawn said.

"First off, I know why you let Carlos take me to the range. There is this gang at school, and they tried to hand me the exact model of the gun that Carlos has. I turned them down and walked away," Shawn told her. Anna took a deep breath.

"The black eye?" she asked him.

"Believe it or not, I tried to talk to a girl at school and her boyfriend hit me in the eye for talking to her," Shawn said as he was rubbing the back of his neck.

"That's all?" Anna said in shock.

"Yeah," he told her.

"I am immensely proud of you for turning down the gun and for being honest with me, finally. You know, you can always count on me," Anna told her youngest son.

In Carlos' office, Stephanie finally spoke to her husband. "Come, Carlos, let's go, we have cake."

He looked at her. "Thank you, Babe." He kissed her softly on the lips. Ranger put his gun in the safe and they walked out of the office.

Anna turned her head; Shawn saw his mother looking in another direction and he turned his head to see Carlos and Stephanie walking into the living room holding hands again.

"You can also count on us too, Shawn," Carlos said from behind him.

"I know I am sorry," Shawn told them.

"Let's have some cake," Stephanie told everyone. She went to the counter and Shawn saw the cake was missing a couple of slices.

"We were worried, so Stephanie and I had a couple of slices," Anna told them.

"Okay, that just means there is a little less," Shawn said to everyone Carlos walked to the pantry and took out a couple of plates. He took a knife from a draw and sliced a couple of pieces of cake. He put a slice on the plate for Shawn and gave it to him. He took the other slice for himself. Stephanie, his mom, and Shawn all looked in shock as they saw Carlos AKA "Ranger" Manoso having a piece of cake.

"What?" Carlos said out loud.

"Nothing" Anna said and then there was a flash. Stephanie took a picture of Carlos eating a slice of cake.

"For evidence," Stephanie told him.

He put the plate down, "Give me."

"No, I am keeping this picture." She then hit a couple of screens and the shot was gone.

"You did not," Carlos told her.

"Did what?" she asked innocently. Then she started to run into the living room.

"Unbelievable." Carlos started to run to catch her. When he caught her, he gave her a passionate kiss. "I love you," he told her.

"I love you too," she said.

"Now give me your phone," he told her.

"Nope." She shoved it down her shirt.

"You do know I can't go in there right now," Carlos said as he pointed to her shirt.

"Yep, that is why I did it," she told him.

"She is good for him," Shawn told his mom.

"Yeah, she is very good for him," Anna agreed as she looked at her oldest son and his wife coming into the kitchen.

"You shoved your phone down your shirt didn't you?" Shawn asked her.

"Yup and it is driving him nuts," she told everybody.

"Shawn we have to go you have homework to get to," Anna said.

"Can I take the cake?" Shawn asked.

"Some of it," Carlos told him.

"For her," Carlos said as he hitched a finger at his wife.

"Sure," Shawn told him.

"Thanks, Carlos," Shawn said and then he hugged his big brother.

"You have my number you need me, call me. I expect to see you at the Peer group too." Carlos told him.

"I promise I will be there. You will take me out driving again?" he asked Carlos.

"Yes, I will," Carlos told him.

Anna and Shawn put on their jackets. Anna hugged Carlos, and whispered into his ear, "Thank You."

"Any time." He gave his mom a soft kiss on the cheek.

She walked up to Stephanie and hugged her. "Thank you so much, for everything you have done."

"I love you both," Carlos told them as he watched them leave.

"You did good, Carlos," Stephanie said softly to him in his ear.

"Give me that phone," Carlos told her, and then Stephanie ran up the stairs to the bedroom. "The chase is on," he told himself, then he raced up the stairs as well.

Suddenly, Tank's phone beeped. He checked and saw it was a message from the Little One. He clicked on it and saw a picture of Carlos have a piece of birthday cake. Tank started to Laugh.

Chapter Ten
The next morning, Ranger woke up and saw Stephanie's side of the bed empty. He looked sleepily around the room and saw her on the small deck outside watching the sunrise. He got up and put his arms around her.

"Hey, let's talk," he told her softly.

He led her to the bed and sat her down on the edge. He knelt in front of her naked.

"Babe, when you asked me, what will happen when we have kids? I need to ask you again, did you mean it?" Carlos asked her gently.

"Yes, I did. If you want to?" She responded equally gently. He let out a few deep breaths. Just then Ranger's cell phone rang.

"Damn, talk about bad timing." he said. He stood up and looked at the ID and saw it was his boss.

"Yeah, really bad timing," she said softly as she saw her naked husband looking at his phone.

"Colonel, what is going on?" Ranger asked him over the phone.

"One of the missing wives made it back to base. I need you on base now. With your wife," The Colonel told him.

"Right, I will let Tank know, and then will be over," Ranger told him.

Ranger pressed 1 and Tank answered with a succinct "Boss?"

"The Colonel just called me. One of the missing wives just found her way to the base, and Babe and I are on our way there now. We will keep you updated. Make sure there is furniture in a base house just in case we need to stay there, along with tv and internet." Ranger was gone.

"Hal, and Lester, let's go we got work to do." Tank told them.

"Time to work?" Stephanie asked.

"Yeah, Babe, time to work." Ranger looked at her. He walked up to the safe and took out a necklace box. He turned to her and gave her the box

"Here, for you. Happy four month anniversary."

"Carlos!" She opened the necklace box. "It is beautiful. Can you put it on me?" she asked him. She turned around and he put the necklace on his wife.

"It fits you perfectly," he told her and gave her a deep kiss.

"Carlos, we don't have time right now," she told him.

"Yeah, let's get to work." He went into his dresser draw and took out his Special Forces uniform and went to get dressed. While he was dressing Stephanie found the pink cotton low cut dress that Carlos loved on her.

"Better than nothing," she told herself. Carlos came out of the bathroom and saw her in the dress that drove him wild.

"You sure you want to wear that one?" he asked her.

"Yeah, it is the only dress I have here," she told him.

"All right, let's go." He took their bags they walked out of their bedroom and down the stairs. Ranger locked up the house. He got on the phone and hit number five. "Louis sorry to break up your weekend, but I got an urgent call, and I need you at the house."

"Yes, sir I am on my way," Louis told him.

About forty minutes later, Ranger and Stephanie were back on base. The Colonel was waiting for them at a stone brick house.

Ranger noticed that there was a truck in front of it, and saw that a disguised Rangeman crew was moving furniture into the house.

"Glad to see you, Sergeant," the Colonial told him.

"No problem sir. Where is she?" Ranger asked his boss.

"Infirmary she tells me that she does not remember much," Jackson told Ranger.

"Right, Babe, let's go. You are going to see the Infirmary," Ranger yelled to her. All three of them got into a jeep.

"Babe, back seat" Ranger told her.

"Seriously?" she said in shock.

"Yup," he said. Stephanie opened the back door and got in the back of the jeep. About three minutes later they were outside a brick building.

"Let's do this."

The nurse looked up and saw the three of them enter. "Wow, you are Ranger Manoso it is an honor sir."

"Thanks, this is my wife, Tammy," he introduced her.

"That her?" Ranger asked the nurse.

"Yes, sir, but she says she does not remember much," the nurse said. "I also found some chloroform in her system."

"That is interesting" Ranger said. "Babe, talk to her."

"Me?" Stephanie said opened mouth.

"Yeah, I have a feeling that you will bring us some luck and she will be more open to you," Ranger told her.

"Okay," she told him. Ranger went to a draw and pulled out a pad with a pencil. She looked at him and took the pad and pencil. She walked to the other end of the room., saw a chair next to the bed and sat down.

"Hi there, I am Tammy. How are you feeling?" she asked her the woman in the bed.

"All right I guess," she told Stephanie.

"Please try to relax, you are not in trouble. We just want to find the others, including your husband," Stephanie said.

"We were going out to dinner at the mess hall, and we ate there. The two of us were walking back to our house after dinner. When suddenly, white cloths were on our faces, and we blacked out. I woke up to see four other women, they were each lying on a separate cot with chains around their waists."

"How did you get out?" Stephanie asked her.

"One of the guards there forgot to lock my chains, so I got out of them. Then the dummy forgot to lock the door. Unfortunately, he did not leave his keys so I could not get the rest of the girls out," she told Stephanie.

"Can you tell me anything about the building?" Stephanie asked her.

"I think it was underground, but there was a door, it looked like an old factory, but the design makes no sense to me," she told Stephanie.

"Please find my husband," she asked, and then she drifted off to sleep again.

Stephanie turned and walked to Ranger and the Colonel. "Please tell me you two heard that?" she asked them.

"We heard it, Babe," Ranger told her. All three walked out of the infirmary to the street. It hit Stephanie like a ton of bricks.

"Ranger, do you remember when we worked a case, and we were lost and found an underground gun factory?" she asked him.

"That's got to be it," Ranger agreed. Ranger turned to the Colonel. "We need maps of this base now"

"On it." He got on the phone.

"Jane, pull all the maps you have of this base now," the Colonel.

"Yes sir," she said the Colonel closed his phone.

Suddenly Stephanie's stomach growled. "We never had breakfast."

"Let's go, the mess hall is this way," Ranger told her. Ranger and Stephanie had their hands locked. The two of them looked right at each other, they knew what they had to do. They had to be bait. Ranger stopped and gave her a soft kiss on her lips. He tapped her necklace.

"Let's do this," she whispered in his ear. They started to walk again. A few minutes later rags were shoved into Ranger and Stephanie's faces.

Ranger did not know how long he was out, but when he woke up, he saw all the missing men. He looked up and saw the chain cuffs on his wrists. His hands were above his head. All he could do now was wait for the right time.

Stephanie woke up in another room with a chain around her waist.

"Hi," one of the missing women said to her.

"Hi, are you okay?" Stephanie asked her.

"Yeah. They give us food and water. But they keep us separate from our husbands. I think they are going to sell us," the woman told Stephanie.

"Okay, this just got more interesting," she said to know one in particular.

Ranger did not know how long had passed, but the door opened, and a guard brought food down to him.

"Here. No tricks, because we have your wife. So I would suggest you eat it," the guard snarled. He undid one of Ranger's wrist changes so he could eat. Then the guard left. Ranger pulled up the plate, pulled it behind him, and dumped it.

"Sir, you need to eat, or they will do something to your wife," one of the men said.

"I think there are opiates in the food, that is why you can't think straight," Ranger told him. He put the dish out in front of him. He knew that Stephanie could take care of herself. After all, he did train his wife.

All of a sudden, the cell door to the women's cell open, and Donna Thompson strolled in.

"Very good. She will bring us a nice bit of money," Donna said.

Stephanie knew the time was now. She suddenly sat up in bed and gave her a mean right hook.

"That was a mistake, Tammy," Donna said. But Stephanie elbowed her right in the gut and then kicked Donna in the stomach. Stephanie blew a breath out and her bangs were flying. Stephanie grabbed the keys to the chains and freed herself and then the other women. She looked down at Donna.

"Don't mess with me," Stephanie whispered in her ear.

Stephanie and the other women were free from the room. "Now to find you, Ranger," She thought to herself. The women slowly followed Stephanie. Stephanie put a hand up and the women all stopped she looked again and saw another room straight down the hall and noticed the guards outside of the room. She saw one of the guards open the door. Ranger caught a glimpse of his wife as she was standing against a wall. She turned her head to the women and put a finger to her mouth. She moved out of sight and the women followed her. Stephanie then saw good Sergeant Thompson.

"There you are," she whispered. She saw him enter the room where Ranger was chained up.

"Good, he ate the food," he said to himself as he walked up to Ranger and put his hand under his chin.

"Wrong. Say 'good night.'" Ranger had a headlock around Thompson. Thompson was out cold in two seconds flat. Ranger grabbed the keys and freed himself and tossed the keys to the other men.

"We don't have a lot of time," Ranger told them.

"Sir, our wives?" one of the men asked Ranger. Ranger picked up the machine gun that Thompson was carrying. Suddenly the wail of a fire alarm rang out, stopping them all in their tracks.

"Sir we have a fire?" The men looked at Ranger.

"Nice work, Babe," Ranger said appreciatively.

"The fire alarm! We need to go!" one of the guards shouted. All the guards were running around like they were crazy in the confusion, so busy trying to figure out where the fire was, that they didn't notice the men walking right out of the room.

"Chocolate cake," Stephanie yelled.

"Vanilla frosting," Ranger yelled back.

Stephanie stepped into the center of the cave, and Ranger came out from the dark holding a machine gun. Stephanie walked up to him, and he took her in his arms and gave her a deep kiss.

"Oh boy, I love it when you kiss like that, but we need to get out of here," she told her husband.

"Right," Ranger looked and saw all the men reunited with their wives.

One of the men walked up to Ranger, and pointed to the ceiling, "What if we go up?" the soldier asked.

"We need to find a rope," Ranger told them. The men started to look for a rope to climb the ceiling.

"Men always have to do things the hard way," Stephanie said on a sigh.

"I suppose you have a better idea?" the same soldier who pointed to the ceiling asked her.

"I do actually," Stephanie said, and she pointed to the set of stairs. "They have got to go somewhere."

Ranger looked at his wife, and all the women said, "Stairs!"

"Stairs it is," Ranger said as he looked at his wife.

"Fine, let's take the stairs," the man said. He took a step forward.

"Wait!" Stephanie shouted. Just then the spikes came up from the ground, one popping right in front of the man's face. "This place is booby-trapped," Stephanie told him.

"Okay, that was close." the soldier said.

Ranger just shook his head. Stephanie saw a woman trying to light a cigarette with matches.

"I am borrowing these." Stephanie took the matches and dodged around the spikes that were out. Ranger followed. He knew what she was going to do. She lit a match and threw it on the floor. Ranger then took one shot. They both saw the switch through the fire. The two of them repeated the same steps until they finally made their way to the stairs. Ranger turned his head and saw all of them waiting for them to continue.

"Stay away from the fire," he told everyone.

"Great more stairs!" Ranger looked at his wife and chuckled.

He went upstairs first and saw a wood door with a lock on it. He double checked his gun and found he had one shot left.

"What?" Stephanie asked him.

"I got one shot left," Ranger told her. "Do you still have the keys?" he asked his wife.

"No, but I do have a bobby pin." Then she took her hair down and walked up to the lock.

"That will work. I will cover you. Pick that lock," Ranger told her.

"Yes, sir," she said. In less than a minute the lock was picked.

Ranger looked at his watch. "Less than a minute, not bad," he thought as he looked at his wife. He looked at her again. She had her hand on the handle and was trying to push so the door would budge.

"Too heavy," she said. Ranger walked up to her and put his hand on hers.

"Together." The two of them pushed and the door opened to the side. The two of them looked at each other and saw the daylight.

"Let's go, everybody out," Ranger yelled.

Ranger was out first and helped his wife out. The two of them helped everyone else out of the underground. Once everyone was outside, Stephanie put her head between her knees.

"I love you, Ranger, but sometimes working with you is very stressful, to say the least," she told him.

They looked at each other and started to laugh.

"Any clue where we are?" Stephanie said as she looked further ahead and only saw woods.

"Not a clue Babe," Ranger told her. He noticed that her dress was ripped. "Damn."

She followed his gaze and saw his favorite dress ripped on the side. "I can buy another one," she told him.

"I like that," He said to her. He brought her into his arms.

"All right, let's go." He shifted his head to the right. "Remember your training boys and stay with your wives. If we get separated, well, you know what to do. Now let's move." He took Stephanie's hand and they walked into the woods. Stephanie played with the necklace around her neck.

"Babe, you are going to break that necklace," Ranger told her softly. He walked up to her and took her hand from the necklace. He saw it then.

"The set of wings, and it was from you," she told him softly.

"You had that on the whole time?" he asked her.

"Yes, because it was from you," she told him. The two of them looked at each other. Ranger was thinking about the typical tracker that was in all of his Babe's jewelry that he gave her. Ranger walked up to her and kissed her hard on the lips.

While all this was going on Tank, Lester, and Hal were done moving the furniture into the house. The Colonel came up to them.

"Hey, have you boys seen Ranger?" the Colonel asked them. "They were walking to the mess hall, and when I got there to join them, they were not there."

"No," Tank said to the Colonel. He walked to the truck and took out a tablet. He typed something in and then a dot came up.

"There they are," Tank told them.

"How do you know that is them?" the Colonel asked.

"Ranger always gives his wife a piece of jewelry. It has a tracker in it," Tank told him.

"Does he always do that?" The Colonel asked him.

"On missions like this, yes," Tank said.

"Man, that must cost him a fortune," he told Tank.

"It's not cheap, but it keeps her safe, and that is all that matters," Tank replied.

"Question is what are they doing out there?" The Colonel went on to tell them there is nothing out there but woods.

Tank looked at Hal and Lester.

"Time to suit up, Tank?" Hal asked him.

"Yeah, let's do this. Colonel, get some men here now," Tank told him.

"On it." The Colonel got on his phone and in less than a minute a whole platoon came marching up.

"You boys and girls know what to do and who to listen to. Now go bring our men and women home."

"Let's move," Tank said. The whole group started to get to work.

After an hour of walking, Ranger called "break." Ranger came up to Stephanie and sat down next to her.

"I love you, Ranger, but of all the missions that we have worked together on, this one is the worst one of all," she said as she looked into his brown eyes.

"Yeah, I agree Babe." He kissed her lightly on the lips. The two of them all looked at the men and women that were with them. Just then they heard a rustle in the woods. Ranger got up and pointed the gun at the brush. Tank walked out of the woods.

"Hey, Boss," Tank said.

"I almost took my last shot on you," Ranger told Tank.

"Glad you didn't take it," Tank told him.

"Yeah, so am I," Ranger said.

"Hey folks, the Calvary is here," Ranger shouted. Then Tank held out a hand for his boss. Ranger took it and got up. Ranger then held out a hand for his wife.

"Babe." She took his hand and he helped her up. Everyone stood up around them.

"Worked like a dream," she told Tank as she was moving the little sliver set of wings on her necklace.

Then Tank noticed the necklace. He just shook his head. He handed Ranger a fresh clip for the gun. He put it in the gun and put the other one in his cargo pants pocket.

"Thanks," Ranger told him.

"Not a problem," Tank told his boss.

The crew was led out of the woods and into a clearing where a bunch of jeeps and SUVs were waiting. They climbed in and took off. They were driving, Ranger looked at his wife and knew what she was thinking.

"The good sergeant and his wife got away." He was sitting next to Stephanie and kissed her on the top of her head.

"I need a shower," she said.

"You are not the only one," he told her.

The SUVs and jeeps stopped outside the infirmary. Everyone got out and went in to be checked out.

"Carlos, thank you. It is because of you that these men and women were returned safely," the Colonel told him.

"It was not just me Colonel; it was us," Ranger told him. Carlos walked up to his wife and kissed her softly on the lips. Just then Stephanie threw up on his boots.

"Babe," Ranger said with a raised eyebrow.

"Stress," she told him as she looked him in the eye.

"Right," Ranger said. "Stress my ass," he said to himself. "Let's go back to the house."

They got to the house base and saw all of Ranger's furniture from the suite from Rangeman.

"What the hell?" Ranger said as he looked to Tank.

Tank pointed to Lester. "it was his idea."

"It was the only furniture we found on such short notice," Hal told Ranger.

"Wow, this looks a lot better." Stephanie came up to Ranger's side.

"Shit." He smiled.

"Well, let's go home," Ranger told her.

He tossed the keys to the Colonel.

"The next couple should enjoy this house, Boss," Ranger told him as he helped Stephanie into their SUV. The Rangeman gang drove the rented truck back to Rangeman.

"I don't get it," the Colonel said. He shook his head and looked inside the house. "Okay, now I get it." The Colonel shook his head again and locked the house.

Chapter Eleven

"Any movement on my stuff?" Ranger said two days later over the phone.

"Yeah, Boss, but your stuff is gone. The crooks found the trackers and took them off," Lester told him

"It is all gone?" he asked.

"Yeah." Lester was ready for the worst of it.

Tank looked at him. "How is he taking it?"

Ranger just started to laugh. Lester turned to face Tank, with his mouth open.

"He is laughing, listen," Lester said and then shared then pushed a button to put him on a loud speaker.

"Hey Carlos, how is Steph feeling?" Tank asked.

"A little better." Ranger hung up the phone and looked at his sleeping wife on their bed. Just then Shawn came running up to him.

"So, you going to group?" he asked his younger brother. Carlos and Shawn walked down the stairs one after the other.

"Yup right now, and no, I do not need you to bring me," Shawn said and then added. "Mom is letting me drive to Rangeman." Carlos closed his eyes.

"Be careful," Carlos told him.

"Always," Shawn said with a wide grin on his face. Shawn then got into the driver's side of the car and both his mother and him left Carlos's house. Carlos walked back into the house and saw Stephanie coming down the stairs.

"Hey, are you feeling any better?" Carlos asked her as he walked up to her and kissed her softly on her lips.

"A little. I just hope we get that damn blood work back soon," she told him. Carlos just shook his head and took Stephanie into the living room and turned on the TV.

Carlos looked at the screen. "the Fast and Furious?" he said as he looked at her.

"Oops, I guess I forgot to take it out of the DVD player," she told him. He pulled her close to him on the couch. He then kissed her and said, "I heard from the Colonel today. He wanted us to know a Seal team went into the compound and took out Thompson, his wife, and their whole team. None of the women were sold yet. The crew was still making deals for them."

"So, it is over?" she asked Carlos.

"Yeah, Babe, it is finished," he told her. He then turned on the Fast and Furious. They watched the movie in each other's arms.

The End