A/N: Why is it that the last chapter is probably the shortest one I've written? I don't know. This felt wrong, but it also felt right, so, please, tell me if you think it needed more... I didn't want to run anything into the ground.


Mike scanned the area. It was a beautiful day, the sun shone across the across the ocean and there was not a cloud in the sky. He looked around for the silver car that he had been instructed to wait for. His pulse raced, everything around him seemed to move fast. The queasiness from his last encounter with Spencer still plagued him. A silver sedan pulled up and he climbed in.

"Where is she?", Mike exclaimed as Spencer sped off.

"Somewhere else…." He took a sharp turn and doubled his speed, "You're not seeing her until I get my flash drive."

Mike held on tight to the door and said resolutely, "You're not getting it until I see her."

"You're in no position to negotiate."

"I don't even know if she's alive."

"Well, you're just going to have to trust me."

"That is something that is NOT going to happen."

Spencer smiled, "How do I know you didn't go to the police?"

"You're just going to have to trust me."

"That's not going to happen either."

He swung the car into an ally and abruptly stopped. Spence wordlessly jumped out of the car and Mike followed suit.

"Is Connie around here?", Mike demanded to know.

They stood a few paces from each other in front of the car.

Spencer held a gun on Mike, "Of course not, but I need to search you."

"I'm alone."

He searched him for any sort of surveillance equipment, not finding anything expect for an USB drive.

He held it up a bit surprised, "You're smarter than this, Mike."

"I encrypted it—I won't tell you how to open it unless you take me to Connie."

Spencer shoved the gun in Mike's face but he stood his ground.

"That wasn't smart. What if I just kill you, and find someone to decrypt it."

"That would take time that you do not have. You wouldn't have time to leave the city-the cops would find you. Take me to her."

"Come on", Spencer waved his gun. He led Mike to into one of the buildings. "So, Mike, how would you know how to encrypt this."

Mike had prepared an answer, "I've worked on enough cybercrime cases to understand how some of these things work." Maike just hoped that Spencer did not understand any of it because that was a lie and he could not hold up to questioning.

They wondered through the building until they reached a garage with an SUV.

"Get in!", Spencer demanded.


After an half an hour, with Spencer driving as though he was trying to evade the police, they drove into a warehouse at a shipping yard. Inside, the warehouse was empty save for a man, few tables, chairs, and miscellaneous items. Connie was unconscious in a chair. She had been gaged and her hands were bond to the chair. Mike ran over to her.

"Connie? Connie?"

He felt for her pulse—it was strong.

"Wilson, get this up on the computer.", Spencer ordered his henchman, while throwing the USB to him.

"Connie?" Mike shook her and she began to stir , "Hey, it's okay. I'm here." He removed her gag.

"Mike…."

He kissed her forehead, "We'll get out of here."

"It's unreadable, sir.", the shady guy declared from his computer.

Spencer placed the gun against Connie's head, "Give me whatever in the hell I need, Cutter!"

"Okay, okay, just point that at me—don't hurt her. Let her go and I will give it to you"

Spencer was agitated, "That's not how this is going to work."

"If I give it to you, you'll just kill both of us. Let her go and I'll give it to you—I don't care what you do to me after."

"Mike, no!", Connie exclaimed.

Spencer was resolute, "I'm not going to do that.

There was a knock on the door that made everyone jump.

"Hey, did anyone here order pizza?", a voice yelled from outside.

As soon as Connie recognized TJ's voice, Mike tackled her to the ground and a SWAT team charged the building.


Mike walked into her hospital room and stopped short in the doorway. Jose was sitting in the chair next to the bed and a woman, who Mike instinctively believed to be Connie's mother, sat at the foot of the bed. Connie immediately smiled upon seeing him.

"Michael!", Jose greeted as he stood. Mike was surprised when the doctor embraced him in a bear hug. "I'm glad you made it out of that in one piece."

"I am too.", Mike hugged him back.

He stepped aside, "Meet my wife, Rose. Rose, this is Michael."

"Mrs. Cruz, it's nice to meet you", he reached out to shake her hand.

She did not take his hand, "Michael, the Michael I've heard so much about the last week or two. Forgive me, Michael, but we hug in this family."

He was amused by her forwardness, "It's nice to meet you too."

She looked very well for someone who had been hospitalized just days earlier.

Mike bashfully complimented, "I see where Connie gets her beauty."

Her mother laughed, "Ah, you're a smooth talker."

Mike looked over at Connie. She looked pale and her head bandaged.

Sensing that they might want some time alone, Rose ushered her husband out the door, "Jose, I think we should go and try to find Connie some decent food."

"Uhhh... sure, we'll be back later."

Once they left, Connie could not help but laugh, "I can't believe you. They both like you and I've never seen anyone spend five minutes with you and still be smiling when they leave."

He laughed while taking off his jacket, "Well, that wasn't five minutes with your mother…but I can't explain your father."

"He wants more grandchildren just as much as my mother."

His eyes lit up, "We're not even married, yet."

"Nor engaged", Connie agreed.

"Or even been on a date for that matter."

"Yep. I personally was expecting one of them to mention the age difference… but you kind of went straight to automatic son-in-law material when you risked your life for me—twice."

Mike sat down next to her on the bed and kissed her. When they broke apart, they rested their foreheads against another.

"Don't think I didn't catch the 'yet'", she whispered.

He lightly kissed her again and smiled, "I regret nothing."

"Are you sure you want to move here?"

He did not even think about his response, "I love you and I'll move in a heartbeat."

"You make me a very happy woman, Michael Cutter," she said as she smiled and kissed him. Deepening the kiss, she pulled him fully onto the bed. "I love you more."


The end! I'm not sure whether to be happy or sad... It's been great. I really want to thank DaisyDay and kay .hayden for sticking with me. You two have been consistent readers, even after my hiatus, and I really appreciate it. I have not read your (fantastic) respective stories as I would like because of school, and now after finals, promise, I will marathon (if you will) all the stories I have watched get updated over the summer. It means a lot that the two of you are still supporting me.

And, of course, thanks to everyone who has read and/or reviewed. I means a lot.