Captain Dan Bonivia pulled Paul Hansen aside as he was headed down
to the jail.
"Paul, we know this is an open and shut case. Why don't you just
file the report and let the court deal with it?"
Paul stared at the older Italian man.
"Captain, something just doesn't sit right with this one. It just
seems to convenient."
"Let it go, Hansen. It's your typical crime of passion. Krieg
found out his ex was engaged and drove to her apartment. Things got out of hand, they struggled. He shot her." Bonivia clasped him on the shoulder. "Open and shut."
"Yeah"' Paul said softly as he looked out the window wishing he
was as convinced as his commanding officer.
Jonathan Ford softly stepped into Katie Hitchcock's hospital room.
He winced slightly seeing all the electrodes and tubes taped to her
body. Attached to the machines that were keeping her alive. Jonathan
spied a small metal chair in the corner and placed it next to the bed.
He gently picked up her right hand and squeezed it to let her know he
was there. Jonathan sighed as he stared at her pale face. Wondering why nothing was ever easy for them. It had taken them so long to realize they loved each other. It had taken him even longer to realize he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Jonathan cleared his throat.
"Some protector I am, huh?" Ford smiled. "I know you think you
don't need anyone to protect you. But the day I got you back from Zellar I promised myself I wouldn't let anyone hurt you ever again." Jonathan laughed bitterly. "And here you are six months later lying in a hospital from a gunshot wound." Ford sighed as he gently feathered her cheek.
"I know Krieg didn't do this. I promise you Katie, I will find out who did bring them to justice so we can end this nightmare." A brown haired nurse poked her head into the ICU unit.
"I'm sorry Commander, but your time's up."
Jonathan nodded he kissed Katie lightly on the forehead and
quietly followed the nurse out of the room.
Ben Krieg glanced up from his position on the small cot as a
uniformed guard paused in front of his cell.
"Krieg, your lawyers here."
Ben blinked. "I didn't call a lawyer."
The guard opened the door.
"Well you have a very rich friend then."
Ben didn't move as he studied the woman. She was too high profile
to be from the public defenders office. Ben guessed she was in her early thirties. Blonde hair pulled away from her face in a pony tail. Her green eyes studied him over a pair of gold wire rim glasses.
"Mr. Krieg, I'm Alice Cory. What do you say we get started?"
Ben stood walking over to the small table.
"Did Ford send you?"
Alice Cory shook her head.
"No, I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Commander Ford. I was
retained by someone who wishes to remain anonymous."
Jonathan Ford opened his door on the first knock. Somehow he
wasn't surprised to see Detective Paul Hansen.
"You have good timing. "Jonathan said with a smile. "I was just
about to call you."
Hansen tilted his head, but didn't say anything as he walked past
Ford into the room.
"I don't think Krieg shot your fiancée. "Paul Hansen said softly
as he sat down in a leather chair. Jonathan glanced at him in surprise.
Hansen shook his head.
"No, but unfortunately everyone else at the station thinks its an
open and shut case. The DA has already closed the investigation." Ford blinked. "Already? Aren't the prints circumstantial?" Jonathan studied the Detective. "Or have you found the gun?" Hansen shook his head, turning to face Ford.
"No, we searched every square inch of that apartment building."
"So, if Krieg doesn't have the gun..."
Paul interrupted him.
"No, they'll just say he dumped it somewhere." He cleared his
throat. "Do you have any idea who might want to hurt your Fiancee'?"
Jonathan nodded as two names immediately came to mind.
"There's one person I haven't had a chance to check out yet."
"Frank Cobb." Ford replied, his hands unconsciously gripping the
edge of the table. Hansen nodded his thanks and stood to leave.
"I'll have an officer posted on her room. Just in case."
Ben Krieg never considered himself to be claustrophobic. After
serving two years on a submarine, he thought he could take any small
space. But this jail cell was starting to get to him. Ben sighed as he slumped down onto the cot. He knew it wasn't the cell. It was the not knowing. Not knowing...if Katie was going to be alright. Not
knowing...if he was going to spend the rest of his life in prison for a crime he didn't commit. He had seen the look on Ford's face when he accused him of trying to kill Katie.
After all the three of them had been through he thought he had at least earned Ford's respect. Another disturbing question crossed his mind. Who was paying for his lawyer?
He didn't like the feeling that someone was pulling the strings, jerking him around.
North Cape Mining Complex
Off the coast of New Zealand
It took a minute for Frank Cobb's mind to recognize the image that
flashed on his vid-phone screen. With a smile he leaned back in his
chair and folded his hands behind his head.
"Well...well..." Frank began. "What does the great Rubin Zellar
want with little ol' me?
Rubin Zellar tried to hide his disgust for the man. "I need you to
do a favor for me." Cobb's eyes narrowed.
"I don't do favors for nobody."
Zellar folded his arms across his chest.
"What if I gave you a way to finally get your revenge on Katie
Hitchcock?" Cobb's smile widened, but his eyes turned cold.
"I'm listening, Doctor."
Off the coast of New Guinea
Lieutenant Tim O'Neill did a double take at the readings that popped up on his screen.
"Captain." Tim called spinning his chair around. "Zellar just made
an interesting phone call."
Bridger arched an eyebrow as he turned to face the young man.
O'Neill's smile was grim. "He just placed a person to person call
to the North Cape Mining Complex. Its owned by none other than Frank
"Cobb?" Bridger repeated in surprise. "Now there's only one reason someone like Zellar would stoop to Cobb's level. Get ahold of Ford.He's not going to like this."
New CapeQuest, Florida
Jonathan and Kristin were just about to leave for a near by
restaurant when Ford's phone rang.
"Jonathan, I have some news on Zellar and I don't think you're
going to like it." Nathan Bridger said. Jonathan motioned Kristin
"He just made a call to the North Cape Mining Complex."
Jonathan sank slowly down onto the bed.
"He's hired Cobb to do his dirty work."
"Jonathan, watch your back. Zellar alone is dangerous but if he's
hooked up with Cobb..." Jonathan sighed.
"I know. I'll keep you posted."
Kristin Westphalen's brown eyes were filled with fear as she sat
down next to him. "I knew Cobb had never gotten over Katie hitting him
with that shovel, but to hook up with someone like Zellar..." She
trailed off as she saw Jonathan place the phone on his lap. "Who are you calling?"
"The hospital." Ford said tersely as he waited for the call to go
"Mercy General?" A female voice asked. "How may I direct your
"Seventh floor. ICU."
"One moment please."
"ICU?" A new voice asked.
"Yes, this is Commander Ford. I'm just calling to check on my
fiancée', Katie Hitchcock?"
The nurse paused.
"She's still comatose, Commander Ford."
Ford nodded. "And no one has been to visit her?"
"There was only one person...her father, I believe. Very nice
Ford jumped up off the bed.
"Have the police put a guard on her room, yet?"
"I don't believe so." The nurse paused. "Is something wrong?"
Ford struggled to keep his voice calm.
"Her father is dead. If that man comes back call security."
Before the nurse could reply, Ford slammed the receiver down.
"What's happened?" Kristin asked.
Ford grabbed his coat. "I'll explain on the way."
"Were you here a few minutes ago?" Ford asked the uniformed
officer, now leaning against the doorway. The guard looked bored, and he shrugged at Ford's question. "Maybe, I might have gone to get a refill on coffee."
Jonathan slammed the younger man up against the wall, causing hot coffee to spill all over. "Someone could've walked in there and killed her while you were on your coffee break! From now on there's only two people who can get in there to see her. Myself and Doctor Westphalen. Is that clear?!" The young man glared at Jonathan.
Jonathan pulled Kristin aside. "I'm going to go check on Katie,
can you call Detective Hansen?" Kristin nodded, taking the number from him.
Jonathan slid into the chair next to Katie's bedside. As he took
her hand he began to talk, he wasn't sure if it was to help her or himself.
"Katie, your mother called. She sends her love and is going to
be on the next available flight. She was trying to talk to me about
wedding plans when I had to tell her..." He cleared his throat, when he felt his voice start to break. "After all we've been through I refuse to believe that I'm not going to see you walk down the aisle."
Jonathan gently brushed away a few brown bangs that had fallen forward. "Katie, I love you more than I ever thought possible. It was the happiest day of my life when you agreed to marry me." He paused. "I know its not going
to be easy, dual career marriages seldom are." He gently feathered her cheek. "But I would never ask you to give up your career. Its what makes you who you are." He broke off seeing Kristin softly enter the room.
"Jonathan, Detective Hansen is outside. He wants to talk to you
for a few minutes." Jonathan nodded as he kissed Katie lightly and
followed Kristin out of the room.
Detective Paul Hansen pulled Ford out of the way of a Med team
rushing a patient to surgery, after they passed his voice dropped to a
"I have reason to believe this guy Cobb is in town."
Jonathan forced himself not to roll his eyes.
"I know. He was already here. Posing as her father."
Jonathan's eyes narrowed.
"What took so long on getting a guard posted?"
"Budget cuts. The Powers that be...figured why does she need a
guard when the guy who tried to kill her is in jail."
Ford shook his head in amazement, Krieg was once again causing
problems and he wasn't even trying.
"Alright. Can't do anything about that tonight. I'll try to get
the UEO to post some guards tomorrow."
Hansen nodded and started to walk away.
"I should warn you this case is turning into a media circus.
They're hounding everyone from the Mayor to the janitor at her apartment complex."
Jonathan sighed, glancing through the open doorway at Katie's still
Hansen nodded good-bye to Kristin Westphalen before heading down