Saturday, May 7, 2011


"Oh god, oh yesssss." She sunk her toes into the hot sand, slid on her shades and arched back in the deckchair. "God."

Jon dumped the over-sized beach bag beside them and shaded his view as he looked out to the deserted beach. "Told you it was good."

"Good is not the word for this, orgasmic might do it justice. Is that your phone in your pocket?" She lifted her glasses and raised her brow, biting back the grin. They had a deal.

He patted his board shorts. "No it's my iPod thank you. Phone is in the box."

She smirked, slid her shades back on and flipped her book open. "Good." One of the presents she had bought them for their wedding was a time-lock portable safe. They both were addicted to their phones like crack so she made sure every once and awhile they went in the box on a timed release. She hated it as much as he did but it proved to be a handy tool and made sure within their busy schedules they had time for each other.

To be honest since they'd put the gang incident behind them, this was the first time that they'd had to stop. That was Jon, and she knew him well enough to know that a busy Jon was better than a bored Jon.

Her skin soaked up the sunshine and she wasn't about to move anytime soon. They were finally alone on a private beach in St Bart’s on yes, their honeymoon. Months had gone by since Wes joined the team and had proved to be every bit the star player that his brother had attested to. The Soul had gone on to win their first championship which had made Jon a very happy man. Between the games, the election of President Obama, and Jon's musical commitments life had been busy but it had been the best. They were married in a small ceremony in New Jersey before escaping to the secluded island of St Bart’s for their honeymoon.

Jon groaned as dropped into his chair. "This is perfect." He reached for the well-stocked chiller between them, dragged out a couple of beers and handed her one.

"You right there old man?" He popped the cap for her and leaned back. She took a pull of ice-cold beer and sighed.

"Who are you calling old? I can nearly beat you on the eight-mile."

She tipped her beer at him. "Nearly." They worked out well together, the trash talk between them always pushed them to beat each other so it had become a lot of fun. They'd slotted into married life with ease and it wasn't surprising given the fact that their lives had been so chaotic in the beginning of their relationship.

MacKenzie was happy, she was truly happy and old wounds from the loss of Brian had finally healed. She'd never been to as many ball games in her entire life in the last few months and didn't realize how much she'd missed the game. Jon had given her that back and she'd slotted back well into being chief advisor to the co-owner of the team. Of course her opinions weren't always welcome but that's what made them fun, they both weren't afraid to give their own opinions and challenge each other in any aspect of their lives. Their augments often got heated, but their make-up sex was worth every punch.

"You up for a swim? The water looks great?"

She smiled, her husband had been in his deck chair all of five minutes and was restless, so typical. "It looks fantastic but I'm not moving." She closed her eyes and melted into a cocktail of sunshine and ocean spray.

"Aw, c'mon. Race you in."

The competitive MacKenzie was on lock-down. "You go in, my beer will get warm." She licked her lips and settled back but a shadow lingered over her. "I'd move if I were you." She bit back her grin, she knew damn well Jon was trying to get a rise out of her.

"Or what?" He stood with his arms folded in his faded orange board-shorts.

"World of pain, that's all I'm sayin. This girl needs her Vitamin D." Sand flicked up her calves as she frowned again. "You did not just do that."

"Do what?" He swayed innocently in front of her.

"I'm gonna count to three and if you're not out of my sunlight, you're in trouble mister." She was going in the ocean, she already knew her husband wouldn't move anytime soon.

"Try me baby."

She rolled her lip under her teeth. "One..." He didn't budge and her fingers curled around her beer bottle. "Two..." She lurched forward without counting in three but he'd read her and was already tearing up sand into the ocean ahead. Her beer went flying and her feet pounded the sand every bit as fast as his. He slowed as he plunged into the water and her fast on his tail. He was laughing as he desperately trudged deeper into the sea for a getaway but it was too late. She flung herself on his back, wrapped her legs around his waist and tipped them both under.

They spluttered as they came up for air, salt stung her eyes but she buoyed herself around to face him straight on. She cupped the back of his head and dragged him in for a kiss. Salt and Jon sizzled on her tongue as she tasted each corner of his mouth. His hands cupped her ass and kept her steady as their teeth clicked as the kiss spun out of control. "You're a pain in the ass."

The shit eating grin spread wide across his face. "And you're bikini top has come undone."

Her head tipped back as his mouth drew down the long line of her neck as he peeled the cotton down. His teeth scraped across her collar bone and his mouth found her breast. Water lapped around their waists as he walked slowly into the surf. She gasped as his tongue curled around her nipple and her nails dug into his shoulders. She couldn't protest. Forget weapons, forget fancy moves, her husband’s mouth was her kryptonite.

"Shit," she muttered. She arched back and his clever mouth moved to the other breast. Senses overloaded as his hand slid between her thighs and his fingers into her bikini bottom. Her legs clamped around him as he teased her sweet spot, his mouth sliding back up her neck. She threaded her fingers through his hair and held him, nose to nose as he pushed her further. God she was going to come.

Breathing had become optional as she fought for control against the pleasure assault on her body.

"Do it," he whispered against her lips. "I know you're close. I can feel it."

The growl bubbled from her belly and ripped through her throat. "Oh god!" He held her as she shuddered through the orgasm. "Yes, god oh yes."

His hand drifted through her water-logged ropes of hair and he kissed her gently. "Told you."

"I hate you," she panted.

He grinned and kissed her again. "And I hate you too." They may have been in the middle of the ocean but this was a rare intimate moment, well overdue from weeks of the outside world taking over.

She reached for his shorts but the squeal on the beach stopped them. Mackenzie squinted. "Paps?" There seemed to be an awful lot of them if they were.

Jon groaned. "Nope, fans. Shit. C'mon let's get you decent." He tied her bikini top back up and dropped her down onto the sand. He grabbed her hand and they made their way inland back to their stuff. "Grab what you need only, the rest can wait."

She scooped up the beach bag over her shoulder with her glasses and book as they took off down the beach. She glanced over her shoulder. "Hell, how many are there?"

"I'm not looking long enough to find out. I haven't had them here for a long time."

"Why don't we just stop and do the picture thing with them? They'll probably leave us alone after that?" She was trying not to laugh at how serious Jon was it wasn't like this had never happened to them before. Ok, not on vacation but they always bumped into fans out and about.

His hand gripped hers as they curved around the rocks on the edge of the beach. "Because, this is my honeymoon and I was about to get laid."

She snickered as they carefully climbed up some rocks. "Jesus Jon, where are we going, isn't that a path up out of the beach?"

"Yes but that's not the plan but we have to hurry." He weaved them through razor rocks, scattered driftwood and around the back of the small rock-face. "Quick-down here!" He jumped down a hole, no bigger than the two of them and she followed, surprised it turned out to be a pocket under the rocks with a bed of sand and shells. "Shhh."

They huddled down as the excited chatter of the girls came around the corner.

"Where do you think they've gone?"

"Up here! Look. Oh my god--did you see his body in those shorts? Fuck me!"

MacKenzie rolled her eyes and Jon shrugged innocently. Sure enough, the footsteps and chatter petered out as the girls must have climbed up the path. She cocked a brow. "I'm impressed."

"Well you know we've been working out a lot, my abs are pretty good."

She elbowed him and hissed. "Not that, that you knew this was here and you were so quick. Have you been learning a few moves on me?" It was no secret MacKenzie's stealth abilities had been very useful for them to avoid media and fans over the last few months when they needed to so she was impressed he'd thought this quick.

"Well, what can I say...I am smart, creative, sexy... and have a good body."

She pushed him down into the sand and crawled up on him, her breasts pressed against his chest. "Shut up if you want this to go any further." She didn't disagree, he had a rocking body but the less she agreed with him on that, the more entertaining it became.

His eyes softened and he smiled. "This is a place Romeo and Jakey found one day exploring when I bought the band and their kids out here--when the tide is in, it fills with water so no one knows it exists." His fingertips traced down her spine. "So by my calculations that gives us roughly...two hours."

She kissed down his jaw and met his mouth. "Gee, whatever will we do for two hours?"

He smiled against skin. "I'm sure we will think of something."

They made love, where no one would ever find them. That's what MacKenzie loved the most about being with Jon, their days and their relationship was always full of surprises and unexpected turns but they dealt with them together, each step of the way. Through sickness and in health, for the rest of their lives.

The End.

Author's note: Thank you again for taking the time to read and enjoying being part of MacKenzie and Jon's story! It means a great deal to me :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chapter Sixty-Three

"You heard me Jerry, get hold of the kid and get him in for a tryout."

"You sure? The team is doing pretty well if that's what you're worried about."

"It's been bugging me since we talked about it, turning Wes down." So it was more something had been bugging him but the less anyone knew about this the better. He glanced over at MacKenzie who was tapping away on her Blackberry. They were headed back to the Soho apartment in a cab and the building super had left a message that the window would be repaired today. It felt weird going back but since they knew no one would be waiting pointing a sniper at them, they were safe.

"Ok, you're the boss. I'll get it done."

"Tonight--can you make sure it happens tonight, the call and arrange the try-out for tomorrow?"

"Sure Jon. I don't understand what the rush is but I'll get it done."

"Thanks Jerry. I just want to make sure he's not snapped up by someone else." Some quick thinking bought the conversation back to logic rather than the ravings of a lunatic. "Call me when it's done or if you have any problems getting hold of him or something."

"Ok Jon will do."

Jon disconnected the call and blew out his breath. "It's done, I didn't sound like a desperate idiot did I?" He wiped his palms on his jeans, they were out of danger but MacKenzie's partner still wasn't home and wouldn't be until this deal was set in motion. He covered his face with his hands, god he hoped David would return in once piece and ironically it was now all up to him. The roles were reversed and it was him that was putting this whole thing right when he always had expected she would. That was OK since it was his fault they were in this mess in the first place.

Her gaze met his and she smiled. "No, not too bad."

He managed a half-laugh. "Gee that's reassuring." He took her hand and linked his fingers through hers. "Are you ok?" It was the lamest thing he probably could have asked. Good one Jon, of course she's not.

"I'll be better when I see David." She snuggled in and rested her chin on his shoulder. "What about you? You did pretty well out there you know."

He lifted his brow. "You think so? I don't think I've ever felt more unprepared for something in my life."

"You did fine. We got what we needed to out of it."

"Yup, just a brother protecting his brother." He rubbed the back of his neck. "I still feel responsible, he was right you know."
Her chin lifted and she let her hand slide out of his and frowned. "Come on Jon. That guy is a thug and you can't blame yourself for this."

"Even if it's not this, you know he's right. I walk around throwing my cash at these charities promising better lives for all but how can I expect others to do that and follow by example when I can't even get my own principles to match what I preach." He was responsible for this and he'd take it as a learning curve, there wasn't much he could do about what had happened but he'd make sure it never happened again.

Her hand cupped his knee. "Jon, you're a wonderful wonderful man. Don't make me get all mushy and girly about this but you know how I feel about you and there's a reason I love you."

He rested his hand on top of hers. "Not just for my good looks and amazing talent in the bedroom?"

She snorted, "so sure of yourself huh?" She leaned over and kissed him on the lips. "No all of those things are just a big bonus to who you are. You're caring, you're headstrong and passionate about what you love. Including me. And you have a big heart to make a difference in this world. Many people in your position don't do half of what you do, so stop beating yourself up. I mean it or I'll have to kick your ass, and you know I can."

He winced. "Don't remind me. It still busts my balls that I'm with a woman that could kick my own ass if she chose to." Truth was, it turned him on. The strength this woman possessed was a huge turn-on to him, physically and mentally. He rolled his head back against the seat and closed his eyes. Was this really over? It didn't feel like it was, he felt flat but at the same time stunned. Could he really move on with this woman and have his old life back? It seemed too good to be true. True or not he opened his eyes and cupped the back of her neck and dragged her in, pressing his forehead against hers.

"MacKenzie. I've never met a woman like you. You're amazing and you've put up with my shit for the last few months and believe me, I know I'm not an easy guy to live with but I can't imagine living without you and I don't want to have to." His thumb swiped her strong jawline as she smiled.

"Jon, you know I love-"

"Shh--let me finish. Call it having a second chance, I feel like that's what I've been given here and I'm not going to blow it. MacKenzie, I've already been there and done that enough to write the book on it. So, marry me." He searched her eyes and his heart pounded in his chest. It was the right thing to do and he knew it.

Her eyes widened and then the lines around her face softened as she grinned. "Yes."

He sealed it with a kiss, his hands shot up into her hair as he dragged her in. His tongue swiped across her bottom lip and into her mouth where he tasted her and let the kiss simmer between them. Her hands slid up his chest and around his neck. When he went into this he had never expected that they would come out of it like this, destined to be together. But what more could he possibly as for in a woman, she was the perfect training partner, she didn't take any of his shit and she loved him unconditionally. She was beautiful, graceful and had more strength than he ever could imagine.


By the time they had arrived back at Mercer Street MacKenzie was happy. She had no hesitation when Jon asked her to marry him, she never could explain it to anyone better than they just fit together perfectly. They understood each other and they knew how to live together with it. Jerry had text Jon back to confirm Wes had been successfully contacted for a try-out tomorrow. They'd fulfilled their part of the deal, now they had to wait for David to be released.

The whole thing was crazy looking back, never in a million years would she have picked this as the motivation of launching an attack on Jon, in her findings in the case it was never listed anywhere that Wes was related to Blackwatch. She had to guess that Wes had a fake identity courtesy of his brother, to be protected from the life his brother led as often with gang’s revenge killings easily targeted family members. It was a smart move from the kid, she'd give him that but the whole way this went about was just fucked up. She was sick of blaming herself, sick of Jon blaming himself. They needed to move on and providing she watched David walk through the door completely unscathed that's precisely what she intended to do. God, she missed her office, her people and just doing mindless investigation such as cheating marriages. Bring on the affairs! She'd never complain again about that as long as she lived.

The glass fitter had put in temporary Perspex to keep the apartment weather-safe. Everything else was just as they had left it-in a hurried mess. They both cleaned up the apartment and all the time she kept her Blackberry on her but still no messages had come through from David to indicate his release. She was restless so she snuck out to the balcony that overlooked downtown Manhattan and paced. She looked at her cracked screen for the billionth time that hour but still nothing. She just wanted to even out for good after this but she couldn't without knowing the fate of her partner.

"Kenz, you OK?" Jon walked out onto the balcony with a bottle of wine and two glasses but rested them on the table when he saw her.

She nodded but who was she kidding. It was Jon. "I just want him home."

He took her hands. "Still nothing yet?"

She shook her head. It was a deal and it was done so why the hell hadn't she heard from him.

"I'm going to get you a whiskey." He squeezed her hands and left her.

"Dammit just ring!" She screamed when it vibrated in her palm back.

"Hello?" She gripped the railing of the balcony, it was his number but she held her breath.


She closed her eyes and blew out her breath. "David. Thank god where are you?"

"I'm home. I would have come to you but I just had to see my fiancée', you understand right?"

Her hand landed on her heart. "Yes, god yes-of course I do. Are you OK? How is your gunshot?"

"It's fine, clean through the shoulder. Hurt like hell but turns out gangs are readily equipped with medical supplies, it's sore but it's fine. What happened? What the hell did they want?"

"But you're OK David, just tell me you're OK and they didn't hurt you any more than that?"

"I'm fine Mac, honestly, I won't be playing tennis this season but they didn't hurt me anymore than the shot. Are you guys all OK?"

"We're fine--all fine. I think it's over." She explained the meeting with Blackwatch and the connection with Wes.

"Wow--the things we do for family huh? Jesus Christ. Are you sure Jon's doing the right thing letting the kid into the team?"

She nodded. "Yeah I do. This kid's amazing. We're going to watch him tomorrow try-out."

"You're going to watch football?"

She paused and laughed. "Why yes, yes I am. And then we're going to see Jon's kids, he's only mildly excited. It's time to move on, all of us. So much so that Jon's asked me to marry him and I accepted."

"Way to go Jon! That's great Mac congratulations, I mean it. You deserve it. I better have an invite to the wedding."

"Invite? You'll be my best man thank you very much."

"Glad to be of service." As per usual, she didn't know what she would have done without David throughout the years. She really didn't, she was blessed with such a good confidant.

"Are you sure you're OK? I went out of my mind David."

"I'm fine, seriously Mac. I have some explaining to do to my wife and she's probably not going to be happy with me."

"It's my fault, I dragged you into this, tell her that. She can yell at me if she wants to."

"Will do. I better go and do that, but I just wanted to let you know I'm OK."

"God, thank you David. I'll pop around tomorrow after the try-out and make sure with my own eyes you're OK."

"I wouldn't expect anything less from you Mac."

"Take care and thank you again for everything you did for us." She sighed as she disconnected the call and her shoulders eased. She smiled as Jon's arms snaked around her from behind and he pressed his body into her. He may have complimented her for having all the strength in the world but she loved the weight of him, behind her, it gave her strength.

"He's home then?"

She rested her hands on his at her belly. "He's home, he's safe. It's over." She moaned as his lips brushed the side of her neck.

"I beg to differ MacKenzie Cooper. It's not over, it's just begun."

The End.

There will be an epilogue to follow :) But thank you so much for following the story of MacKenzie and Jon, I've appreciated all the support throughout the story more than you'll ever know :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chapter Sixty-Two

Never in all his years of being on this earth had he expected to be walking into a situation like the one that they were about to. They parked in Camden and headed down to the Riverside that was lined with stripped trees and a chilly breeze, signalling winter was well on its way. Talking with MacKenzie on the plane about being prepared and her run down in the basics of self defence was much like the briefing he'd had going into the Young Guns project, never in a million years did he expect to be reliving this for real.

He checked his watch, the big hand a minute away from ten am - Showtime. His heart beat drummed in his ears and he wished he'd snagged a hip-flask of Jack before they'd left. He swallowed, a loan figure sat at one of the coffee tables close to the waters edge. He had wrap around shades on with a low slung ball-cap, denim jacket and jeans and his hand was curled around a cup of coffee. Hell it could be just a kid but he was guessing by the recognition in Mackenzie’s eyes that was not the case.

"That's our guy. Are you ready for this?"

"No, but I don't think I ever will be." He looked around and noted it was still a very public place so nothing sinister surely could happen. He couldn't see anyone else that could be with the guy, but then again he wasn't a stealth agent to know where they might be hiding watching.

The kid stretched out his legs as they approached and nodded to the chairs opposite him. Jon rested his hand on his hip where the gun he'd accepted in the end sat under his woollen coat. He took a deep breath and remembered his last-minute demonstration; flip the safety off, point, and fire. Simple? Yeah really simple, lets not forget the ten thousand tonnes of pressure that went with that to get it right in a spilt second.

"Miz Cooper and Mr Bon Jovi, you came alone it seems as I requested. I'm impressed."

Jon slid gingerly into the chair after MacKenzie nodded and did the same. He rubbed his palms on his jeans and doubted if he really did need to use the gun it would probably slide out of his hands like butter. "Hi." Hell, what else could possibly he say? Hey fucker thanks for ruining my life? Thankfully MacKenzie took the lead as they had discussed.

"Black watch, I presume?"

He pulled put a packet of cigarettes and lit one. "You would be correct Miz Cooper."

"Where's my partner?" She had eyes of steel and held her posture strong and dominant in her chair.

"Patience. He's my insurance if you two try any funny business."

MacKenzie placed her hands flat on the table. "What do you want from us? We're here now."

He flicked his ash and leaned forward. "Tell me Mr Bongiovi, how is your football team doing? Practice all going well?"
What in the world? "Uh yes, yes its fine. Admittedly I haven't been involved as much lately." Due to you making my life a living hell. "But I'm confident that I have a strong team, yes." The kid remained shaded by his glasses and cap and he suspected he'd stay that way the whole meeting. They were like sitting ducks but they had little choice at this point.

"Blackwatch, what do you want from us? I'm sure it's not a merry chit-chat in the least."

He chuckled and took a drag of his cigarette. "She always so feisty? Guess that's why you hired her as your bodyguard huh?"

Jon didn't answer, let alone tell him it was MacKenzie declared herself his bodyguard without giving him that much choice at the start. Looking back it seemed absurd, just like the whole damn thing had been.

He continued. "Not much use now as I could snap of my fingers and your heads would be blown off. It's really that simple. You're a brave man coming here Mr Bon Jovi. I gotta give you props for that in the very least of your semi-charmed life."

Is that what this was? He was being targeted because he was rich and he had pretty much everything he wanted in life? Seemed a bit lame. MacKenzie was doing a good job at keeping it straight, keeping it not personal. That was her job, but each time she did he'd close off and they were going around in circles. He knew what he had to do.

"Look Blackwatch, with all due respect I'm completely confused what you wanted to get out of this terrorizing. Was it just to get your kicks?"

He laughed and stabbed his smoke out. "Don't give yourself too much credit there rock-star. I thought you were smarter than that. It was fun at first, but now its becoming a drag and thanks to the little airport scene, the police are all up in our business again. I don't need that shit so I want it to stop."

MacKenzie smiled sarcastically. "Well that’s what happens when you shoot at people in a public place, FYI."

"I'm aware. Bon Jovi, do you remember a kid called Wes?"
Jon frowned and then lifted his brow. Oh shit. "Yeah he had a helluva throw on him, I didn't commit him to the team. I don't sign gang affiliates, it’s a general rule." He rubbed his neck and let out a deep breath, this is what this was about. He met Kenz's gaze and nodded as she pieced the same puzzle together. They were pissed because he didn't allow one of their guys to play in the team? Seriously?

"He's my little brother. You crushed his dreams Mr Bon Jovi. That kid deserves to be out on the field and all it took was you and your high class personal investigator here to draw one fucking conclusion that he was in a gang and you chopped his head off." His hand curled into a fist. "You are what is wrong with this country, you go around with your many charities shitting money all over the place preaching about a better life for all but the reality is you have no fucking idea what the hell it's like out there. You hear the word gang and run a fucking mile. Let me tell you something about Wes, he's got nothing to do with what I do. He's a good kid, stayed in school, studied hard and trained hard. I wanted nothing but to give him a normal life away from this shit and this was his chance. And you fucked that up for all the wrong reasons, so I fucked up your life." He slammed his hands on the table.

MacKenzie shifted as the kid's anger boiled over and Jon's heart lodged in his throat. Wes had talent, there was no denying that and Jon remember how disappointed that he'd been he couldn't sign Wes, he had a boatload of potential but rules were rules. He'd kept the Philly team so clean from conception and thought he was doing the right thing.

He hated to admit that the kid did have a point about the judgment factor in all of this. He should have talked to Wes about it, found out what was going on and then make a decision. At the time the risk of having any gang around games and putting the other players at risk, it just wasn't an option but damn. Damn if the inconsistency of his message to his charitable work was staring him in the face. "You're right. I didn't realize that at all." Christ, he hated to admit he was wrong, he was never wrong but hell in this case...he just might be.

All those nights worrying about his family, worrying about MacKenzie - it was his entire damn fault from the start. You couldn't blame him for being pissed off.

"You couldn't think of emailing him or settling this in a less violent way?" MacKenzie kept her hand on her hip under the table.

"You're partner being shot was a mistake. A bullet was meant to go through the stairwell--not the living room window, and you were not meant to be chased to the fucking airport."

Jon didn't have time to blink as MacKenzie whipped out her gun and stuck it in the side of Blackwatch's leg under the table. She leaned in, calm and poised. "A pretty fucking sloppy mistake don't you think? You could have killed him!"

His heart hammered in his chest, if people really were watching them it would just take Blackwatch's signal and they'd be dead.

"Miz Cooper." He growled but didn't move as he leaned in towards her. "I told you that it was a mistake. I didn't want your partner as my baggage but I had no choice. I took care of the problem. It just turned out I could use him to get you here so we could sort this clusterfuck."

Jon assumed "took care of it" didn't mean the rogue got a stern talking to and sent to his room without any dessert.

"He could have been killed. Now tell me why I shouldn't shoot you in the god damn balls for it."

"Because you're smarter than that Miz Cooper, you know I'd blow your head off before you got past the second trigger."

She snarled but held her ground. He couldn't believe this, talk about surreal. He rubbed the back of his neck, "so where does this leave us?"

Blackwatch leaned back and tugged his cap down hard. "It leaves us in a predicament. I want Wes to have a shot in the team but you have this "rule"."

"I can let him try out again. I have to at least make him try out to make sure he's worth the cut."

Blackwatch's long fingers drew circles on his chin. "I wouldn't expect anything else. He'll be there because he's good. You can't tell him I have anything to do with this."

"What? Doesn’t he know his brother’s a thug?"

"Not this. He stays clean of the gang. I told you that. He has no idea we're involved in this."

Well shit. In a funny and fucked up way they were just like him and Richie. Looking out for each other without the other knowing. He'd many a time made sure Richie's mom turned up at shows when he knew Richie needed some family, or stopped the bar tab when Richie was rollicking drunk. He knew also Richie had told people to leave him the fuck alone when he just couldn't deal with people, they looked out for one another so in a weird way this was the same thing. "I understand."

"When does my partner go free?"

"I'll make sure he returns home after Wes gets the call from the coach. Do we have a deal?"

Jon met Kenzie's gaze and nodded, it was easy for him. He had the easy part of the deal. She had to walk away without what they ultimately came for. "We have a deal."

"Any funny business and he's dead. I mean it. He tries out and we walk away from each other and Miz Cooper you drop all police involvement from this case and delete anything relating to it."

She nodded but Jon held out his hand. "I have a couple of conditions of my own."

"Mr Bon Jovi I don't think you're really-"

He didn't let him continue. "If he does make the team, your gang is not to come to the games or any practices. I don't want any gang colours to be at my Soul games. And that's not negotiable."

Blackwatch nodded. "Fine. You have until eight-pm." He slid out his chair and walked away.

Jon blew out his breath and his shoulders relaxed. "That's it? That's all he wanted?"

MacKenzie put her hand on his. "Mis-understood kids. Christ what a mess. If I'd put this connection at the very--"

He took her other hand and shushed her. "Kenz. It's not your fault. None of this is. He's right you know, for all I do I'm a hypocrite."

"Jon, he's thug. Don't listen to him."

He half-laughed. "No he's right. I preach about new starts and building new futures for these kids and families we build homes for but I never bothered to look at the bigger picture. Where these kids have come from and the challenges that they face getting there. The judgement from people like me who doesn't even know what it's like coming from that sort of life. Wes was outstanding when we trialled him. None of this ever should have mattered. I failed Kenzie, I failed and its something I will have to look at inside myself and turn it around."

Her eyes warmed and she smiled as she leaned in and kissed him. "I know you think you've failed Jon but hell, you've done more than a lot of people in your position would even care to."

"It's ok. I'm fine with it." He tugged her up out of her seat as they stood. He drew her in, that elusive scent of ginger teasing him. He dropped a light kiss on her lips. "Now I need to put it right."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chapter Sixty-One

MacKenzie had showered before Jon had even stirred. It had been a wonderful night in the face of their greatest challenge yet. Not only were they putting themselves in danger today but also her partners Davids. While the water beads drizzled down her she couldn't help but feel guilty for the mess that the two closest people in her life were now tangled up in. Jon had kids, David had a pregnant fiancée who MacKenzie had been informed that thought David was away on work. She figured it was the best thing to keep it that way until she had an outcome as it wasn't unusual for David to go on assignment for days in their household.

Their flight back to Jersey left within the hour and they'd have just under an hour to make the ten am appointment to meet Blackwatch in Camden. She dressed, tied her hair up and walked back into the bedroom where Jon lay face down asleep into a pillow. She perched herself on the edge of the bed and lazily stroked his hair. It was game-day, no matter how you looked at it, Brian would have looked at it this way and Jon almost certainly did. She'd avoided the football field for so long but now she drew on the philosophy of it, you trained hard to win and at the end of the day there could only be one winner and this time it was going to be her. She'd win it all for them, the rights for Jon to see his children again, the rights for David to walk free and the rights to their freedom to live a long and happy life together. There was no other choice.

The odds were stacked against them but the payoff was worth the risk.

"What's the time?" The voice from the pillow mumbled.

"A little after five, we've got to get going." They'd barely been asleep all that long but MacKenzie felt more relaxed and more rested than she had in the past few weeks. She picked out a pair of jeans and long-sleeved top for Jon from her bag."

He rolled over onto his back and draped his arm across his eyes. "I still can't get over that you had a go-bag packed for us."

She chuckled as she unearthed two guns from the extra clothes in the bag. "I'm always prepared, weren't you ever a boy-scout?"

He groaned as he stretched and rubbed his face. "Yes but I didn't think I'd ever have to make a quick get away from bad-guys, I'm Jon Bongiovi not John Wayne."

"Well there's enough swagger in your voice for a start." She paused. "Would you object to carrying a gun today?"

Jon sat up immediately in the bed and stared at her, a lock of his hair sticking up on end. "Do you think that's even a good idea?"

She bit her lip and nodded. "They'll be expecting me to carry one and I'm going to as he never said I couldn't but I'd like to know I have back up if they take it off me."

"Gee Kenz. I don't know, won't they just check me for one as well? And the last time I even operated one of those things was in a movie decades ago if you don't count the toy ones Jakey and Romeo have."

The scenarios blasted through her head, one after the other. They'd grab her, thinking he'd be helpless...or they'd grab him and make her decide who she'd take over Jon or David. "OK, if it's uncomfortable I don't want to put you in that position and you're right it will be too dangerous if you had to actually use it." Damn it, she needed back up.

The lines of his face deepened with worry. "Do you think we'll have to use one?"

"I honestly don't know. I don't understand what he's meeting us for, he hasn't asked for money and he hasn't alluded to a swap of any sort. He's been very unpredictable. I just want to be prepared for any scenario which we'll discuss on the plane." She patted his thigh and took a deep breath. "Sorry, I'm thinking out-loud. You need to get ready babe."

The reassurance wasn't great on her end but Jon took it as a cue to get moving and it gave her a little more time to think things through. The ironically stupid thing was she usually had David to talk this out with or he'd offer her a back-up solution but because this was so not by the book no one else in her firm knew what they were doing. So it's just you kiddo.

They arrived at the airport without a fuss and boarded the jet. She slouched into the plush over-sized airplane chair next to him and slid on her shades as the rising winter sun was like a beacon through the windows. Blackwatch may have been prepared to come un-armed but she had to be wary about the possibility of a sniper crew watching over them so if any attempt was made on his life, they'd be dead in seconds. She knew how to move fast in those situations but the problem was Jon didn't.

"You're freaking me out."

"Huh?" She turned to Jon as he buckled his belt.

"You've been lost in MacKenzie-land all morning. I thought I was the only one that did that."

She blew out her breath and reached for the coffee they'd picked up on-route to the airport. "I know, I'm sorry. I'm just trying to come up with ways in my head how this is going to work and if anything goes wrong." The kick of hazelnut in the creamer was a good as a hard shot of whiskey.

"Are you regretting not telling the police?"

She flipped the lid off, licked it and nudged her sunglasses up her nose. "God no, we can't. That would be the worse thing we could do. Sorry babes, this is probably very un-nerving for you when I'm not saying much but I'm about to so settle in."

"Good. I trust you Kenz. I feel like I'm about to throw up but I do trust you so know that."

His confidence in her was complimenting, if not strengthening. It's what she needed and if this was even remotely going to have a chance of success, they had to be in this together. Boots and all. She reached for the complementary notepad and pen and slid out the tray table. "I know, and that's why it's time for your training." She wiggled her eyebrows and began drawing diagrams. It wasn't the silliest idea she'd had in the world, definitely not as silly as meeting the leader of a gang unprepared.

He leaned forward and bit his thumb nail. "Do I need to sign some release saying I won't expose these secrets?"

She nudged her elbow into his side. "Careful mister." He was trying to keep it light but the nervousness in his laugh wasn't convincing though.

"Listen up...hey!" She dropped the pen as his fingers cupped her chin and he dragged her in for a kiss. It was slow and sweet, a little like their ascent into the day waiting outside.

"Last one, I promise. I'm just nervous, I'll stop being an idiot now."

She sighed and palmed his cheek, took a moment and swiped her tongue along his bottom lip. "I know, just relax but that is the last one. I've got to go back to being kick-ass Kenz now."

They snuck in one more kiss before she started her basic training, if only they could see her now trying to give Jon a lesson in self defense, gun-play and negotiation in less than two hours. She'd never be able to live with herself if he got into a situation she could have easily given him a better chance of getting out of with a little knowledge. Granted he had to remember this and with anything packed into two hours she doubt he'd retain most of it, but it was still more than worth the shot.

As they landed into Jersey, she covered his hand with hers and linked her fingers through his.


He nodded, "you know if this works out we could go into business. Jon and MacKenzie's ass-kicking service." It was one last joke but she needed the smile to dissolve her nerves. He was being amazing so it was all the more reason to slap her game-face on and go and save his family, her family.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chapter Sixty

The moonlight dripped through the window and up along the bed. He'd been awake for a couple of hours now, he was sure of it. He'd been listening to the sound of her steady breathing, the gentle rise and fall against his body. It comforted him as well as scared the crap out of him. He'd grown used to having her around and although they'd cemented that they meant so much to each now there was still a strong possibility that he could lose her if tomorrow didn't go quite as planned. His belly churned as that reality rolled through him and he knew he wouldn't be prepared for that kind of loss.

On the other had Freedom could be just hours away for him and MacKenzie but unlike other situations in his life, he didn't have the certainty that he almost always did. The certainty that this would be the best show he could make it, or the best day with the kids he could provide, none of this was any kind of certain at all. He wiggled restlessly and she stirred under him, the warmth of her cheek pressed against his back. She was wrapped around him from behind and her hands were clasped low at his belly. There was something to be said about having a strong woman behind you, figuratively and physically.

"Can't sleep huh?" His brow winged as the voice vibrated gently against his back.

"Nope." He chuckled and patted her hands. "Sorry, did my restlessness wake you?"

MacKenzie yawned and settled in closer to his back. "No, I've been drifting in and out but have noticed each time I've come to, you've been awake."

"I'm fine, just can't shut off my brain. It's an old habit from years back with the band."

"It's pk Jon. I'm just as tightly wound up like you are."

"Yeah? You feel relaxed."

He felt her smile against his skin. "It's an old habit I learned from way back."

Looks like they weren't going back to sleep anytime soon so he rolled her slowly in her grasp until she faced him. Through the moonlight her eyes glittered and her grin was sleepy and sexy. She lifted her hands to his face and leaned in, letting the heat between them simmer with a slow kiss. "You trying to seduce me?" He brushed back her hair and stroked it softly as it fanned out onto the pillows.

She ran the pad of her finger over his lips and flicked her gaze to his. "I'm kinda hungry actually."

"Now why doesn't that surprise me? I don't know where you put it all." He teased and then regretted it as she shifted her leg between his. "Hey! I'm just sayin. Nothing wrong with a healthy appetite."

"I used to eat more than Brian as a matter of fact and he played football."

Jon paused and ran his hand down her arm. "You've really missed him haven't you?" She hid it well, but now that he knew her every-time she mentioned his name he could see the emptiness in her eyes she tried to hide.

She nodded and her gaze fell way from his. "Yeah I do. More than I thought after I found you." She shrugged. "Maybe I really just miss that someone that understands me so well, and I can just be myself around." Her fingers curled around his arms. "I haven't really given relationships since then an honest go. I've always been busy, there have been men but they've come and go none have really stuck but again if I'm honest maybe I didn't try hard enough."

Jon sighed, "I know all about that Kenz. I had a very wonderful wife, just took me a long time to see it and when I did it was too late. We'd grown apart." And that was the truth, he was to blame for a lot of it but both Dot and him had fallen into the routine of being apart easily over the years.

"Well the upside of that though is you have four very wonderful children."

The bands around his chest tightened as he realized just how much he missed them. "That I do, I don't regret any of that at all. Are you seriously ok with all of that? I mean after this is all over, I'm gonna be all over those kids. You OK with that? I want them staying over, hell I want to take them everything and anywhere."

MacKenzie smiled. "Of course dummy. I wouldn't expect anything less, as long as you can handle your ass getting kicked in football by us again, I'm good with that."

He raised his brow. "You're a little sure of yourself there babes. I wouldn't be so sure on that one." He wondered what MacKenzie's thoughts on having her own children were. Nowadays it wasn't so uncommon for woman in their early forties to have babies and it wasn't as if she wasn't fit and healthy. "Did you ever want your own children? I mean I only ask because you seem to fit in with them so well."

She chuckled and rolled back a little. "Wow, we're pulling out the big questions tonight aren't we?"

"I didn't mean--"

"Relax, I'm just teasing and it's a valid question if we're going to do this whole being together thing." She tucked her hair behind her ear. "I've never had a desire to be a mom, if it had happened sure, I'd deal with it and I'd probably have ended up loving it but it didn't happen." She shrugged. "It just wasn't meant to be. Would you even want to go through all that baby stuff again? Sleepless nights, dirty nappies...come on I know that had to be balls of fun four times over."

He sat up and scratched his head, "It wasn't fun but it's something I'd go through again for us if I had to."

"Well you won't, I don't want children now I just want to enjoy my life preferably with you." Her hair fanned out on the pillow and her brown gaze fell soft.

He flopped back down against the pillows. "Thank god!"

She slapped him lightly. "I knew it."

He hauled her in and dragged her up on top of him. Her breasts pressed into his chest and she wound her legs through his. "I would have for you, that's what I'm saying."

The corners of her mouth curled into a smile. "Thank you, but you're safe and I've already got an instant family in yours of they allow me to be a part of it." She sifted her fingers through his chest hair. "I'd really like that."

He squeezed her ass and grinned. "They'd like that too, I know that they would." His lips met hers, rubbing them in a soft rhythm. He kept it gentle and sucked her lower lip into his mouth, his tongue gliding in and tasting each corner of her mouth. He pulled her closer, twisted his tongue around hers letting the kiss flow from innocent to lethal. The need for possession took over as he warred with the fact he couldn't lose her tomorrow, not now. Not when he had a woman that completely understood and fit him the way she did. His fingers traced a line down her spine as she shifted on top of him, her soft moans breaking the stillness of the night.

Her fingers threaded through his hair and he growled as her lips left his mouth and slid down his throat. The tips of her nipples brushed against his, the friction causing his cock to flex. She was hot against his skin, like fire as she inched slower down his chest. Kicking down the blanket he tucked his hands behind his head and arched as her destructive mouth slid down and over his belly. Her tongue swirled around his navel and then her fingers outlined the v down his hips as she went lower.

"Kenzie." His head tipped back and the raw sensation of pleasure washed over him as her delicious mouth found the top of his shaft. She licked the crown and his fingers dug into the feather pillows. His eyes clamped closed as she wrapped her lips around him and began taking him slowly but tightly. Dear god, he knew her strength and knew damn well she could practically pin him and do what the hell she wanted with him so the force of her mouth didn't surprise him at all.

The under vein throbbed as her tongue glided across it. He twisted his toes, stretched as she sucked, licked him to breaking point. He felt her lick from top to bottom while the other hand sought to tease his balls. She tickled them lightly; the tips of her fingers pulling the fine hair that covered them.

"You're evil." But it was so fucking good. He moaned as she slid his cock all the way into his mouth and out again. His head rolled back into the pillow and his throat vibrated with guttural groans as he his body arched. His balls were tight and his cock throbbed as let himself go, spilling deep into her mouth. His eyes focused, his brain was foggy and his breathing was shallow. "Shit."

The sheets shuffled and she shifted. He sat up and scooped her onto his lap, straddling her across him so his cock bumped against her heat. The blankets all slipped away they sat tangled around one another in the dim light of the moon. His hand splayed on her lower back keeping her close, their bodies pressed together. He sipped down the lovely column of her neck, across her shoulder and over the water soft curve of her breast. She sighed as his tongue flicked over nipple and arched back in his arms as he laid slow deliberate kisses back up the centre of her.

Her arms coiled around his neck as she kissed him ever so gently. "Now who's evil?"

He slid easily into her cuppingthe back of her head holding as he pressed his forehead against hers as he moved inside her. "No matter what happens tomorrow...." His breathing fell short. "I love you Kenzie Cooper."

Her eyes glassed over and she smiled, her lips parted as she moaned. "No fair with the sweet talk while you've got your cock inside me." She dragged him down, leaving him on top and wrapped her legs tight around his hips. "I love you Jon. Always. So you better get used to it, because none of us are going anywhere. You hear me?"

He swallowed, the lump dissolving in his throat. "You got it." He let himself go, in the last moments that they could. They made love until the sun started to rise, knowing that the fate of everything just lay hours away.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chapter Fifty-Nine

It was endless. The cop's barrage of questions from the minute they stepped off the plane. He let her do all the talking; she had it down straight what she needed to say. He popped his knuckles as he sat with her in the backseat of the cop car. MacKenzie wasn't flat out lying to the cops as she retold the story, she just didn't mention the fact that the gang leader had called her and that he had convinced her it was a good idea to meet him. Idiot.

He had to be fucking crazy. Jon didn't operate on gut feels all that much - but this one was overwhelming and was probably out of desperation the more he tried to make sense of it. He needed his life back and whatever the gang guy wanted, maybe it was money now. Maybe he'd changed his mind but Jon was certain that he would pretty much give him anything to get his life back and he'd made this decision to do it, so he'd be held responsible for the consequences.

They checked into the Four Seasons in Miami and he flipped open his wallet as the receptionist typed in his name, the fake one he often used while travelling. It used to be Frank Sinatra but it became more apparent to fans to ask for the musical influences he so often talked about in interviews so it had led him to be more creative.

"So is that one night Mr McLane?"

MacKenzie raised her eyebrow. "John McLane?"

Jon nodded as the corner of his mouth twitched. "That's right. Just the one night."

She smiled sweetly and tapped on her keyboard and handed the card over. "Is there anything else I can do for you and Mrs McLane?"

He laughed as MacKenzie snorted. "No, thank you. This is all."

"You know if anyone was John McLane it would be me." She whispered in his ear as they reached the elevators.

He pressed the button as she hooked his arm through his. "And what the hell does that make me?"

"My trusty side kick of course."

"Pfffffff. A little full of yourself there aren't you Mr McLane?"

Down to years of swivelling his hips on stage he avoided her elbow jab as they entered the elevator. Thankfully the police escort left them at their floor once they were satisfied that they were safe. He swiped his key card and had never been more relieved to see the little green light flash as he turned the handle to safety. MacKenzie dumped the go-bag on the bed and he walked to the window. He was used to different hotel rooms but still felt the push-pull to wanting to be in here versus feeling like he was trapped.

He jammed his hands in his pocket and took a deep breath. “Do you think the kids will be ok?”

Mackenzie stood behind him as her arms slid around his waist and under his sweater against his skin. Her chin rested on his shoulder. “Yes, I do. I think they will be silent now until we meet them.”

He closed his eyes as her fingers brushed through his belly hair. He cupped his hand over hers and squeezed it. “Good.”

Her lips ran across the side of his neck. “We’ll talk about how that’s going to go down. We need to have a very solid plan and understanding between each other for this meeting ok?”

He nodded. “I’m completely at your mercy.” He twisted in her grip and relaxed his arms around her waist and leaned forward. “Maybe in more ways than one.” Their lips met and the heat flooded his mouth. He closed his eyes as he took the kiss deeper, the fear of losing everything that he’d found in her came pouring out of him and into her.

If anything happened to her, well it was unimaginable to even think about that. He lifted her chin, his tongue slid into her mouth and tasted her. He tasted the heart of her, and the heart of him and everything that they stood for.

His hand slid down to the small of her back and he drew her in, her belly pressed against his stirring groin. He broke the kiss but let his lips slide up her cheek. “I love you.” He hadn’t said that nearly enough to Dot when he was in love with her and hell, he wrote the songs that dictated love and freedom but didn’t even live it in his heart of hearts.

She curled her arm up around his neck and buried her face into the side of his neck. “I love you.” His fingers dipped down under the waistband of her jeans and down over the perfect curve of her ass. She moaned and her breath tickled his ear. “Make me feel safe Jon.”

He took the moment and he wanted to make her feel safe. It was all part of being a man, no matter how strong and capable she was. She tilted her head back as took his time kissing down the lovely line of her neck. His hand cupped her breast and his thumb drew out her nipple through her sweater eliciting a groan from her.

He walked them towards the bed, his heart threatened to bust through his chest. A storm of adrenaline and longing was swirling inside his gut. He peeled her sweater up and over her head, his hands cupped her cheeks and he kissed her as they fell back onto the bed. His nose ran along the scalloped satin of her bra as she arched under him.

She tugged his sweater and he lifted his arms as she pulled it off him. He hovered over her and gently kissed her on the lips. His hissed as her fingers raked through his chest hair and groaned as her thumbs circled his nipples. She could drive him insane point blank and he just hoped he would get more of a chance to explore this once this thing was over.

He unhooked the clasp and dragged down the lace to free her breast straight into his mouth. His tongue swirled around the tip and she moaned under him. Her fingers sifted through his hair as he tasted her. His gut unclenched that had been full of worry and the bands in his chest eased as he lost himself in her.

There was a world out there just in reach that was full of love and full of hope and he wanted that back. He wanted that back more than he wanted to breathe right now.

His mouth moved down her centre over her flat belly and over the curves of her hips. Her skin was still scented with that spicy ginger that he’d been tormented by when he'd fought so hard to ignore her. For how long he didn't know but one thing was clear, he was going to make the most of it and make sure she knew just how much she'd come to mean to him over the weeks.

She arched under him as he dragged down her pants over her legs and off. His mouth followed devouring any skin it could reach. He parted her legs and took the heart of her with a slow strong lick. She quivered and lifted her leg up over his shoulder. She was wet, she was his and he was taking her. His tongue swirled around inside of her thighs became slick as he parted her folds to rub her clit.

She groaned throwing her head back into the pillows. His cock was rock hard and he let the arousal wash over him like a summer rainstorm. His hands slid under her, lifting her as he cupped her ass and released more pressure against her pussy.


MacKenzie's fingers curled up around the top of the bed-head as she let Jon ravage her. Her nipples puckered and she was so tense that every flick of his tongue threatened to shatter her in half as she neared release. Her nails ate into wood above her as she rode the wave of pleasure. She wanted more than anything to let go and let her body scream with him. Her protector, her need to always have one eye on the ball was holding her back. They were safe for now, she could do this, she could just let go. God she wanted to let go, his tongue after-all was incredible.

She gasped for breath and met his intense stare, the stare that said he was taking and he wasn't going to ask first. His eyes focused on hers, his fingers now curled around her thigh as he stroked her. "God Jon." She breathed it like a benediction as she twisted underneath him. It was a delicious sensation, she was warm all over and the need to be broken boiled inside her.

She closed her eyes as he tipped her over the edge and nothing but pleasure rolled through her. Good god. Her heart raced madly as she slumped back down into the bed. Jon crawled back up her body kissing her as he went. His lips slid up her neck and his body pressed against his he lay flat on top of her. His hand cupped her breast as his mouth fused to hers in a long hot kiss. Her hands shot up into his hair as his thumb rolled across her nipple. She locked her legs around his waist as she deepened the kiss, her tongue found his and slowly she tasted his dark flavour.

He groaned as she let her hands glide over his shoulders and down his pecks, brushing over his nipples as she went. She always had an appreciation for a tight body and Jon's was ridiculous for a guy his age. Her nails raked through his belly fur as the kiss grew stronger and he ground his cock against her already sensitive skin.

He smirked into the kiss as the weight of him became stronger. "Think I can make you cum this way?" The length of his cock slid down her centre teasing the holy hell out of her sending goosebumps over her skin.

Their teeth clicked. "You were always a smartass."

He kissed her and ground against her until she moaned. "Takes one to know one."

Her fingers dug into his shoulders. "I don't think you can." She laughed as his eyes popped open and then narrowed.

"Oh really? That sounds like a challenge."

"Possibly one you'll lose." It was her turn to smirk, his forehead pressed against hers and his lips hovered over hers.

"Oh I know your game Ms Cooper. You think you know me so well don't you? That I have to be the best--and I am." The glint in his eyes darkened.

His knee shifted between her thighs and she gasped as the pressure against her already sensitive skin zinged. "That's cheating."

His palms covered hers and he linked his fingers through hers pinning her hands at each side of her shoulder on the bed. His lips curved into a smile. "I always win." His eyes locked with hers and she swallowed the lump in her throat as how true those words applied to everything right now, not just sex.

She nipped his chin as he teased her more by lifting his head, staying out of reach from her the full impact of the kiss she was fighting for. Only he had this impact on her, only he could make her want to lose control at his mercy and feel safe. Only Jon.

She made the move while his victorious smirk beamed down at her. She lifted her knee between his legs and shifted her weight pinning him on his back. It was self-defence 101. She held his hands down just like he had hers and grinned. "You forget who you're dealing with here buddy." She shifted her body weight so she had him pinned and slid herself onto his cock. She groaned and watched his lips part as she moved enough to ignite a small amount of friction.

He watched her through hooded eyes as she slowly moved above him, stretching as she accommodated him. She tipped her head back and released her hands, smoothing them down his chest sifting through his downy fur. Jon's hands drifted down her body and toyed with her breasts. She hissed as his touch was light and teasing on her sensitive tips but it heightened the friction more. "More, harder...please...” Her hair tumbled around her shoulders, the ends brushing against his hands. His thumbs rolled over her nipples and his thumb found her clit rubbing it from side to side as she rode him.

She jolted back and came hard around his cock, gasping for breath as it punched through her. He rolled her quickly and reversed the move, as her head hit the pillows. He lifted her leg up over his shoulder and grunted as he drove in deep. Skin slapped against skin as she felt herself breaking. "Oh god."

"Kenz..." He gasped and he released exploding inside of her. His head drew back, eyes closed in a state of ecstasy which was enough to send her right over the edge again.

She gripped his arms as she curled her toes and the orgasm ripped through her. He slumped down beside her curling her into him. Her hand slide up over his chest and rested on his shoulder as she laid her cheek against his chest. His heartbeat raced under her as their breathing steadied. She hooked her leg through his and closed her eyes, relishing the moment, relishing the calm before the possible storm.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Update---Where I'm at.

Hi all.

Well I never thought I'd be here again but I am. If you hadn't heard my city was hit with a 6.3 magnitude earthquake on the 22nd Feb---this time it was just 10km from the city center and where I live and only 5km deep which meant destruction and loss of life was inevitable.

I was at home that day but I work right where the CBD crumbled to the ground---and possibly over 200 people lost their lives. The CBD is completely "munted" as we say here in New Zealand and they think at least a third of it will be demolished and have to be rebuilt.

It was a very very day for our city, and our country.

It's been with no doubt, the worst week of my life that I remember. I am grateful to be alive and still a little stunned as to what happened and it's only just sinking in. Many people in Christchurch, their homes were destroyed. Mine is still standing but I have some significant damage in the infrastructure around it---particularly water systems and right now I am without power so it's frustrating.

I have been working on the next chapter of DT though, so there is some good news. I find it helps take my mind off things around here when I do have a moment to relax :)

Anyway I am safe, all my friends and family are as well and that is the best news of all. Things are going to take months to get back to normal here.

Here is an idea of the devastation that's occured, it's just heart-breaking. The city I knew has definitely gone. But we'll move on, rebuild etc---it'll just take time.

Before and After Shots

So I'll be in touch--promise. This story is definitely still in me :)


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chapter Fifty-Eight

MacKenzie had never been so relieved to feel the tires bump against the runway below her. She yawned and stretched when she realized she was still curled into Jon. She briefly smiled as she looked up. His arms were wound tight around her and his eyes were closed. All the worry lines on his face that had been looking back at her for the last few weeks were gone. She ran her finger gently around under his eyes and he stirred.

"We're here?" He asked shifting beneath her.

"Yup we are." Her stomach flip flopped as the plane pulled into the terminal. There was a police car waiting for them which David must have arranged. David! She plucked her Blackberry from her pocket and frowned. "Shit, I cracked the screen."

Jon dug for his phone and handed it to her. "Are you going to slam mine against the armrest as well?"

She snatched it and dialed her office. "Claire! Have you heard from David?" She hounded her receptionist the second she answered.

"MacKenzie! Where are you? The place has been going crazy. The police called. David's gone from the scene."

She stood up even as the plane was still making its way up the runway. "What? Christ you mean gone - gone?" She swallowed, the panic rising in her throat.

"Gone as in missing, they grabbed him."

Her eyes went wide. "Shit. Seriously? Fuck." She rubbed her forehead. Calm down they would have only taken him if he was alive. Least that was something.

"Police are very keen to understand the situation. They're trying to track them. They got a positive ID on one of the guys and he was definitely from the Bloods."

She curled her fingers around the headrest of one of the chair she was leaning against. HIs wife would kill her if anything happened to him especially now, with a baby on the way. "God, can you call downtown and see if they have any leads at all? The police are waiting for us here so we'll talk to them as well. Ring me if you hear anything, ok?"

"Ok Mac. And stay safe would you?"

She smiled. "Will do." She disconnected the call and the phone vibrated immediately in her hands. "It's Stephanie." She held the phone out to Jon.

"Damn, she would have heard it on the news I'm betting. Shit." He took it and answered it walking away from her. The plane rolled to a stop and her hip vibrated. "What the hell?" She reached for her broken Blackberry but couldn't read the screen. "MacKenzie Cooper."

There was a pause. "Miz Cooper."

She froze and her head rushed. "Yes this is she. Who is this?"

He chuckled. "I believe I have something belonging to you."

She closed her eyes. "Is he alive?"


She clutched her chest. Thank you jesus.

"Is he hurt?"

"He's ok, for now. I also believe you have something I want."

She glanced over her shoulder at Jon who was busy in conversation assuring Stephanie he was ok. "I'm not swapping them."

"I don't want to keep him. I want you and Mr Bon Jovi to meet me."

She turned away. "To meet? You have to be crazy, after what your croonies just did?" She would have to have a suicide wish for both of them to even consider it.

"That was a mistake. I want to talk."

"What in the hell could you possibly want to talk about?" She restrained herself from the more colourful words of the English language. Did he think she was stupid?

"This. I want this over just as much as you do Miz Cooper."

She scoffed. "You say that now, after you've crossed the line and I've got people looking for you and your cronies. The police have been looking for a reason to arrest your boys for a long time and you just gave them one."

"That may be so. But I'm gonna tell you right now Miz Cooper. If any coppers knock on my door I'll put a bullet through your partner's head."

She felt sick as she clutched her stomach. This nightmare just kept rolling and now David was caught in the middle of it. "I'll meet you but not Jon."

"No deal. It's him I want to talk to."

She raked her hand through her hair and blew out her breath. They'd popped the door open to the runaway and the police were waiting down on tha tarmac. "Talk to him on the phone."

"No deal. In person alone, no cops. I won't even be armed if that's what it will take for you to do it."

What in the hell did he want with Jon? She didn't get it. "Sounds lovely Blackwatch but I can't trust you after everything." She assumed that's who it was and he didn't deny it. She knew in her experience that a gang leader never did the calling so this was out of character. She couldn't take the risk and put Jon in danger again, she'd already done once that and she'd swore she'd never do it again.

"Miz Cooper. I'm aware that it must be hard for you. But make no mistake this is a one-time chance to end this once and for all and you and your boyfriend can walk away and have the freedom I've taken away from you. Otherwise I can make life very difficult for you."

Freedom. What the hell was that anymore?

"I can't. Tell me what you want now, over the phone. I've got police waiting outside this plane and it will be my word to influence what they do next."

"You know the deal. I know you're not stupid Miz Cooper. You, me and Bongiovi. Tommorrow morning eleven am, there is a cafe down in Camden called Riverside Blue on the river . I'll be there at 10am. It's public and I'll come alone."

She raised her brow. "It's not going to be possible." Let alone logistical.

"I know where you are Miz Cooper. He's Jon Bon Jovi. You'll be able to get back to New Jersey before then without a problem."

She shook her head. "No. Whatever you have to say - it can be over the phone." She couldn't risk this after everything. She just couldn't. Maybe the police could find them before anything happened. You didn't trade one life for another, no matter who they were.

"Miz Cooper. I'm giving you an hour to decide. I'm going to call back, just know I'm not usually this generous. Think carefully as we wont' stop at David if you make the wrong move." The line clicked and then it was dead. Holy shit. She felt like she was trying to swim but fighting just to tread water.

She stared blankly at her berry.

"Are you going to tell me what that was about?"

She closed her eyes and turned around. Jon was standing with his arms folded and he didn't look impressed.

"It was Blackwatch. The gang leader. He's got David and he wants to meet us to talk."

Jon cocked his brow. "You said no?"

"Of course I said no. We'd be crazy to even consider it after what just happened."

"Why don't you look convinced Kenz?"

Her hands were shaking and so she clasped them together. "He offered us our freedom if we met him and he'd be unarmed. It's just unusual he'd suggest that--of course he's probably lying as well." She had an excellent radar on her and the kid didn't sound like he was lying. She wanted to believe he was, it would be easier that way to justify not going to meet him but something niggled inside her. It was like the biggest blackjack hand of her life, one move and they could win it all-one mistake and they could all wind up dead.

"And if we didn't go?"

She had to be honest. She made that mistake too many times before with him. "He'd shoot David but warned it wouldn't stop there. Fill in the blanks."

He choked on his words. "My kids?"

"He didn't say it but he implied it. If we send the police David's dead but they'd more than likely kill him along with him. They've been after this guy for a long time."

"So a life for a life, or a life and more?"

"The police might be able to save David. C'mon we'll go and talk to them." She went for the door and he grabbed her arm.

"I want to meet him."

She stood dumbfounded and shook her head. "Did you not hear what I just said?"

"The police will only complicate things. Why lose David when we don't have to?" The fear was in his eyes but he was trying to be brave. God love him.

"Jon. I know you're just saying it because it's my guy. It would be too dangerous. He might be unarmed but he might have snipers on us." She went to go again but his grip tightened.

"You were thinking about it. I know you were and that tells me you think it's legit. Please Kenzie. What if we can have our lives back? And Davids? Please."

Tears pricked her eyes. "Jon, we can't. I know how much you want it-"

"Don't you want it too? Don't you want to be able to leave the house and not have to worry if one of us is going to get killed by one of these guys?"

She put her face in her hands. "I don't know Jon. God, it's so risky and I can't do that to you again. I just can't." She'd never forgive herself if something happened to them, hell she'd never forgive herself if something happened to David.

He pulled her hands down into his and met her gaze. "This is our decision not just yours. I'm giving you the out you want to take. So do it. I trust you." He squeezed her hands. "I trust you completely Kenzie Cooper."

"Oh god. Jon don't do this to me. I could never forgive myself..."

"You don't have to. I'm asking you to do it. I want my life back, with my children. Christ I want our life to start and it's never going to as long as we do this. They may kill Blackwatch but you know he'll have his cronies ready to kill us. Eye for an eye."

When did he ever get this? Mackenzie realized that when she was so busy trying to protect him from the truth that when she wasn't looking -- he'd already got his head around this and how they worked. It had gone beyond a client and a bodyguard. She wasn't making the decision for him now, they were making the decision for them. She jumped, he jumped. And Mackenzie realized that was exactly why she loved him. Her heart swelled and so did her tears. He was being so brave for them when it should have been her but that was ok too.

"MacKenzie. I want this. I want my freedom. Our freedom. I want it so bad and I'm to the point that I'll risk everything for it. If I can't have control of my own life..." He took a step back and shook his head, his eyes misting. "I don't want it at all."

"Ok." She shook his hands. "Ok."

He dragged her in and wrapped his arms around her tight, his nose brushed against her neck. "Thank you." His grip tightened and it lifted her off her feet. She tried desperately to shut off all that was racing through her mind, she was crazy to consider this but Jon was right. myabe it was time to put it all on the line.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chapter Fifty-Seven

There was a knock at the door. He reached for the remote and flicked the TV off. "Come in." He stood and folded his arms as the three of them came in.

"Boss." Jerome looked as smug as the cat that got the cream and Brett nodded. The guy was blindfolded and gagged and hung between them like Jesus being dragged to the cross, blood dripping and all.

He scratched his chin and looked at both of them. "Can someone care to explain why we now have baggage?" Jerome grinned and before he could open his mouth he slammed his hand down on the table. "What the fuck Jerome? What the fuck!"

"Boss I thought-"

He looked up and pointed at him. "You thought wrong. I gave you two simple instructions. TWO!" Go to the apartment, put a shot through the window of the STAIRWELL and leave. But no, you put a bullet through his living room and then chased them to the fucking airport and now you have a hostage and the whole state is looking for us."

Jerome shrugged. "Let them come. I aint got nothing to lose."

He yanked his gun out of his waistband and pointed it to him. "You may not but I fucking do. Do you realize what you've ever done Jerome? You've completely fucked any chance of Wes making that team."

"Oh please, he was never going to accept one of us on his team, even Wes. He's a hypocrite and a fuckhead. It was time to let him know that."

He clicked the gun into place. "Did we forget the pecking order around here?"

Jerome shifted his feet. "A few of us thought you were being too soft. I was gonna get Bongiovi but his hottie bodyguard shoved him into the damn plane too quickly. So he is the consolation prize."

He closed his eyes and counted to five. "Where is he shot?" He walked forward and yanked open David's shirt. The shot was clean on the edge of his shoulder next to his bullet proof vest. "For fuck's sake." He tilted his chin with the stub of the gun and pulled down the gag.. "David isn't it? How much do the police know about all of this?"

David winced. "Some of it. We got them involved once the shot came through."

"Fuck!" He paced up the room and stood by the window watching the Philadelphia night sky bleed into black.

"Where are they on a plane to David?"

"I don't know."

He chuckled and shook his head. "Right and I'm the queen of fucking England. Where are they going?"

"I told you I don't know."

He clicked his fingers. "Brett."

A gun clicked and he smirked. "Care to answer it again?"

"Kill me, I don't care." He sighed. Fucking cop-types and their camaraderie. Fine, he'd try a different approach but first he needed to deal with the matter at hand.

"Brett. Go and get the truck ready. We're dumping a body tonight."

Jerome grinned and clapped his hands together. "Now that's what I'm talking about. Send them a message."

"You're going to kill him?" Brett asked.

Blackwatch smirked. "Yup time to lighten the load." He turned pointed the gun at Jerome and fired it twice at his chest and he hit the ground with a thud.

"Fuck!" Brett yelled.

"Now Brett and get David cleaned up I don't want him bleeding to death on while I sort out your and Jerome's incompetent fucking mess." He reached and dug into David's pocket for his cellphone. "Perfect. Time to give Miz Cooper a call I'm thinking. And Brett. Pass on the message. I won't tolerate crap like this again."

"Yes Boss."

He waited till he dragged David out of the room and flipped open his phone. Time to sort this shit, once and for all.

Chapter Fifty-Six

This like a bad nightmare dipped in a side of unbelievable. He didn't know what to do next except hold her as they powered down the runway and nosed into the air. A quick breath of relief escaped but this was far from over, they were far from being safe. He couldn't stay in an airplane all his life, he could try but he was pretty sure he'd end up hauling himself out of it from insanity in the end. Mackenzie had gone quiet and he didn’t like it.

It should have been a bad dream or a bad take in a blockbuster movie. This stuff didn’t happen in real life, so he used to think. Now wasn’t the time to be hosting his pity party. As completely terrifying as what they just went through MacKenzie had not only put her life on the line but her co-worker, her Richie. That’s what David was to her and he was in this situation because of him.

She wriggled under him, dug into her pocket and pulled out her blackberry. “Dammit.”

“No signal? I don’t think you’re meant to use them on here anyway Kenz.”

“I have to find out if he’s ok.” She tugged away and stood up as the plane levelled out and paced up the small cabin holding her phone up.

Jon slid out of his chair and ducked his head into the cockpit. “Will we get a cell signal up here?”

The captain nodded. “Possibly but it could be skectchy.”

“Ok thanks and sorry about the drama.” He'd be lucky not to get away without being sued for personal trauma, but he figured since David arranged the plane they knew the risks taking on the job.

He didn’t look at Jon just straight ahead into blue and white skies. “No problem. Can’t say I want that to happen ever again but least they didn’t hit the plane. Is your lady friend ok?”

“She will be. Her partner was shot. That’s why we need the phone - we don’t know if he made it.” He didn't want to even think of that possibility he felt guilty enough when Mackenzie got hurt because of all this bullshit but someone she was close to get killed because of it? Unthinkable. He rubbed his chest.

“Good luck. We should be there earlier than expected. A nice tail wind coming through.”

He thanked the pilot and returned to the cabin where Mackenzie was crouched into a chair tapping furiously into her Blackberry.

“I’ve got a data connection. I can email one of the guys down at central they should be able to find out something…Nope now it’s gone.” She tucked her hair behind her ears and slammed the blackberry against the arm rest. “Piece of crap!”

“Hey hey.” He knelt in front of her and took her hands. "We'll be there soon. Captain says that we'll be there earlier than expected."

She met his gaze and her eyes were filled with worry. "I can't lose him Jon. I just can't." Her eyes filled with tears. "It should have been me."

“Don’t be silly MacKenzie, this isn’t your fault.”

She shook her head. “It is, he would have never had to have stepped in if I hadn’t fucked this up by falling in love you with. Say what you want but that is the truth.” She turned her head and gazed out the window. “He was just the innocent party.”

He jerked her and her eyes went wide. "Stop saying that dammit. It shouldn't have been anyone and certainly not you." His thumbs brushed her wrists. "I did not come this far to lose you now."

She smiled. "We’re similar. I hate myself for losing so much control over this and you hate losing your control of your own life.”

He squeezed her hands. “That’s why understand each other. We demand the best and sometimes…” He took a deep breath. “Sometimes we have to accept that we can’t always have that.”

A lone tear slid down her cheek. “When the hell did you get so wise?”

He grinned. “I have my moments.” He rose to his feet and lifted her up out of the chair, sat down in it and pulled her onto his knee. She curled in and rested her head on his shoulder and he wrapped his arms around her and pressed his nose into her hair. "It’s not your fault Kenz, it’s just not." He paused and sighed. "Do you think they got them?"

She shook her head. "I don't know anymore." She whispered it like a confession. "I don't even know how they got onto the runway. That's not supposed to happen--I just don't get it." She blew out a breath as her fingers clawed at his chest bunching the cotton under her palms. "I feel like I failed in so many ways."

He felt for her. She hadn’t failed but she wouldn’t be MacKenzie if she didn’t think so. He didn't even know at this point how the hell anyone could be successful against these thugs unless they played dirty. MacKenzie didn't play dirty and neither did he. He squeezed his arms tighter. "No you didn't Kenzie. And hey, I'm here aren't I? I'm charge and I'm here in one piece?" He forced a small smile as she looked up at him.


He dropped a kiss onto her lips and slowly the frown melted from her forehead. "I'm OK, so I might need therapy for the rest of my life...I’ve got the money."

She laughed. "Stop it, god I can't laugh when I don't know if he's-" She paused and broke their gaze.

"Did I ever tell you about the time Richie and I were arrested in Japan?"

Her eyes narrowed. "You weren't arrested? That’s not on your record."

His eyebrows shot up. “You looked at my record?” He waved his finger at her. "Well, no it's not because we cut a deal."

She tucked her head just below his against his shoulder. "I'm listening."

He reclined the chair and held her tight. "It was in the Slippery tour, we were huge. Japan was not a promiscuous country and the band one night partied till all hours of the morning. I think we were in Osaka for three shows and we had a few nights to ourselves in-between."

"Were you just as crazy as you are now?"

He jabbed her lightly. “Hey. I am not that crazy. Sometimes but yes Richie was into coke so he was high as a kite generally half the time so yeah we were crazy. Indestructible."

"So what happened?"

Jon leaned back and closed his eyes, she went heavy against him. Good, she was settling. "Well we went to a karaoke bar and we were pissed. And I mean pissed, god we could barely walk. Anyways, there was two kids singin' Prayer and they were crap, god love them for murdering my song."

She snorted. "Jon! That's the point of karaoke, you murder people's songs."

"Anyways so as I was saying. I'm telling the story here, no butting in if you can handle it."

"I know what you're doing Jon..."

He smiled. Of course she did. "Let me finish then." She remained silent so he continued. "We took over the stage well tried to as people recognized us so a bit of a crowd gathered. I was wasted I can't even remember singing but it was so awful no one believed us and booed us off the freaking stage."

She chuckled. "Oh nooo."

He stroked the top of her head and kissed it. "So Richie who was completely off his face and I, started a brawl."

"Oh Jesus. I am sure that went down well."

"Nope we were chucked in a cell over-night pleading on who were but they didn't believe us. It wasn't till we'd slept it off I could prove it."

"So you both spend a night in a Japanese cell in the eighties? God! How did that not get out?"

"They were so embarrassed and begged us not to tell anyone so we didn't. We were gods in Japan back in those days.”

"So how did you prove it?"

He laughed. "Had to sing, and the next morning we actually could sooo they believed us and were pretty embarrassed about the situation and let us go."

She snorted. "You're a goof." She curled in closer and the elusive scent of ginger filled him. They were both lucky to be alive; he was desperately trying not to over-think what just happened as he rubbed his chest. Right now he needed to keep it together for her. No one he knew was lying on a runway bleeding to death for fucks sake.

He shrugged. "My kids tell me that all the time." He swallowed and shook his head as she looked up at him. "It's ok." He needed to be strong for her and while he was being torn inside out so was she.

"Does your iPhone have a signal?" Her voice was barely a whisper.

He dug into his back pocket and pulled it out, NO SERVICE flashed angrily at him. He shook his head. "Sorry babe." He kissed the top of her head laid his head on hers. "We'll be there in a little while. I promise." He closed his eyes as her breathing became heavy. They were safe--in this one moment they were safe and he was going to enjoy it while the world went to hell outside of the tiny plane sized windows. If it was all he could get was this moment, he'd take it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A wild thing

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

-Oscar Wilde

thanks for all the awesome comments, I'll be back very soon with the next chapter as we wind into the climax. Kiwi xx

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chapter Fifty-Five

She clipped her holster under her jacket and slid her baby Glock down into her ankle holster, she was taking no chances with this one. Her head buzzed as if she'd taken six shots of espresso but it wasn't caffeine responsible for her buzz. It was pure adrenaline. The gun shot into the living room has shattered the large window that overlooked the city's skyline and quite frankly her confidence that this was all under control. There was no time to dwell on that now, David was right they had to get the hell outta dodge and the safest option was to get Jon on a plane so they could at least breathe.

David paced into the room with a sports bag slung over his shoulder. "Is he ready to go?"

She nodded and zipped up her sweat jacket. "Yeah as far as ready is in this situation but he understands."

David grabbed his cell and keys. "It can't be easy."

She slid her aviators on and shook her head. "We should have handed this off to the police David. This is just ridiculously out of control and I don’t' have a good feeling about it." She kept her voice low in case Jon ventured out into the living room but she guessed that he'd have to be pretty much pried out of the bathroom at this point.

She closed her eyes as his heavy hand landed on her shoulder. "You did what was right. You even said they'd get more volatile if we involved the cops. You know how gangs work Mac."

She appreciated the sentiment but it was lost. "Yes but we're standing in a Soho apartment freaking floors up with the window blown out David!" She clutched her belly as nausea rolled through her. "What if he had been on the couch?"

"MacKenzie, He wasn't. Now pull yourself together! I know this is tough for you but you can do this."

She looked into eyes that she'd trusted for a long time and nodded. "I know. I can do this. Let's just get him to the airport. Is the car nearly here?"

David's phone shrilled and he nodded as he answered it. "This will be them. Go and get him."

She jogged up the stairs to the bedroom, took a deep breath and tapped lightly on the bathroom door. "Are you ready?" She did really have to pull her own emotions into check if this was how she was feeling Jon had to be a wreck. His whole world was been ripped away from under him and he was already so close to the edge of insanity with it. She slid open the wardrobe and snagged one of his baseball caps and a grabbed a pair of his sunglasses.

The door opened cautiously and her heart fell. He stood defeated in the hoodie and jeans she'd thrown him. She handed him the cap and glasses. "Here put these on and pull your hoodie up over the cap. David's doing the same so it will throw them off for a second.

He nodded. "David's taller than me."

She managed a small smile. "I know but we need to do anything to deter attention. Are you ok?"

"I could do with a cigarette."

"I've got some in the bag, you can have one in the car." She waited for him so he could walk out with her behind him shielding him from a shot in the bedroom window. It was unlikely they were still there as police started to swarm outside but she was taking nothing to chance.

He walked but stopped and grabbed her wrist. "I'm scared."

She nodded fighting the urge to break down. He didn't need to see that right at this moment. She was scared too, scared to go out into this, and scared he was going to get hurt. She swallowed and covered his hands with hers. "I know Jon. You've got to trust us. We know what we're doing."

His eyes were sad but he was nodded, trying to hold it together and it was breaking her from the inside out.

"MacKenzie...I..." He choked on the words so she shushed him and brought her finger to his lips.

"I know you do and I do too. Always." She leaned forward and they took a small moment in the shit storm that threatened to derail everything that they had. She closed her eyes and let the heat of his kiss be the only thing that centred her again. She soothed his arms, "let’s go babe."

She ushered him out to the foyer where David was waiting in the same colour hoodie with a cap and glasses. He picked up their bags. "Okay. The lobby is secure, the police aren't happy that we're bailing but they understand in the circumstances - I've given them a brief and they'll be escorting the car to the airport. The car is outside the building so as we walk outside the building Jon, I need to you duck down as we walk on each side of you and jump into the car.

He nodded. "No problem."

MacKenzie slid her hand in his inside the elevator, her other hand free to reach for her gun if required. She blew out her breath as the elevator pinged and the double doors opened. This was it, they just had to get to the car and they'd be safe. Jon was flanked by her and David as they walked through the lobby which was crawling with residents and police and as planned the low key dress didn't attract too much attention. The doorman held the door open for them and MacKenzie smiled at him before they torpedoed Jon into the back seat of the waiting car. David jumped in the passenger seat and MacKenzie slid in after Jon. She breathed a sigh of relief as the door closed swiftly behind her and the car pulled away from the building.

David turned over his shoulder from the passenger seat. "Car is bullet proof by the way."

Jon's hands dug into the leather seats. "Didn't think this was one of the town cars I used."

MacKenzie took his hand. "We're ok." Her heart was pounding in her chest and she was convincing herself as much as she was convincing him.


They weren't fucking ok. His living room window had been blown out and so had all his nerves. And now he was in a bulletproof car for fuck's sake. He wasn't a president; he shouldn't have to ride in a car that could survive a spray full of bullets. He was a man who wrote and sang songs for a living so since when did that qualify for bullet proof cars and bodyguards? When? He popped his knuckles as under the early morning sun they nosed out into the traffic flow bound for Teterboro. He glanced out the window as other cars cut into the flow possibly heading to church, family lunch...anywhere but to escape some gang member’s vendetta he'd bet.

He held his breath as they dipped down into the tunnel, he'd been through it a thousand times before but never in his life had he felt so trapped. The panic rose inside his chest like needles stabbing at his lungs. He couldn't breathe. He knew he was hyperventilating but he couldn't stop it.


He gasped for breath and gripped the seat. "Can't breathe." He felt helpless as his lungs gave out.

She inched across and grabbed his wrists. "Look at me Jon, I need you to look at me."

The lights down the tunnel bled into one and Kenzie blurred in front of him. "I can't." He couldn't scream so it pierced inside his head. His heart raced and he was restless like spiders were crawling under his skin.

"Yes you damn well will. Look at me!"

Her worried brown eyes came into focus and her beautiful face. Where were they going? He frowned as he couldn't remember for a second why they were in the car.

"Breathe. Take a breath Jon."

He struggled as if boulders were crushing his chest. "Hurts."

She yanked him and gave him a short sharp shake. "Fucking breathe. You're not doing this to me, not now."

The impossible weight lifted from his chest as he sucked in a short and shaky breath. Now he remembered.

"Again, I need you to do it again."

And he did--he was helpless relying on someone else to breathe for him. "Better." He managed.

"Shh...Again. Keep breathing, slow and steady."

She breathed with him and his body calmed the fuck down. "I-I don't know what happened." He squinted as they hit light out on the other side of the tunnel.

She squeezed his hands. "You had a panic attack. It's ok. I should have seen it coming. Just keep breathing, slowly Jon."

The pain in his chest eased and the tension in head dissolved. She handed him a bottle of water which he didn't refuse and chugged half of it down. He was a fucking mess, he needed for this to be over and he needed his life back. He was torn between stopping on the freeway and screaming his lungs out or curling into the corner and crying like a baby and it was doing his head in. "I'm alright." He bowed his head and closed his eyes. It was a lie but if alright constituted for not wanting to throw himself out of a moving car, then it was good enough for him.

She settled back next to him as his chest fell steady. He kept his eyes closed, maybe he was too afraid to open them and face whatever it was that out there. They bumped across the turnpike and headed north towards the airport. Everything had become so insignificant and it didn't even feel like this was his life anymore.

"Nearly there." MacKenzie whispered as she turned to the window.

"Thank god." He rubbed his chin. "Did someone make sure that Dot's house was ok?"

David held his berry up from the front seat. "Just got word that we have police outside and they've talked to your ex-wife as to why they're there."

"Thanks. She'll be less than thrilled but it's the best thing." He'd deal with that later, his kids safety was paramount in the first instance.

"Right." MacKenzie agreed.

The car edged up and around the back of the airport and David cleared the security gates for them. He wouldn't say that he was calm but he was certainly pleased to see the jet sitting on the runway ready for him to climb aboard and escape. At least no one could shoot at them in the fucking air. The car rolled around and came to a stop yards away from the plane. In all his twenty years taking planes he could only count on one hand the times his car was on the tarmac.

David twisted around in the seat. "Ok I'll get out and offload the bags to the hostess then MacKenzie will get out of the car and you will join her. I will cover you from the other side just like the elevator."

Jon nodded, the snakes coiling in his belly. "Ok." At this point he just had to do whatever they wanted him to do to get him on the plane. He had to get the hell outta here.

MacKenzie climbed out and he followed. David as promised came up the side of him and they walked towards the plane. The Jersey sunshine bit through the grey clouds as they made it to the stairs. The loud hum of the jet engine kicked into gear as he took his first step up the staircase. It was like thunder, shattering the air as the gunshots came. He heard the shouts behind him to go, run, hell he'd dive if he needed to as adrenaline pumped through him like blood.

He turned at the top and MacKenzie was right behind him with a face full of fear. “Run!"

The shot split the air and a yell of pain echoed behind him. He froze too scared to turn around, too scared to see if she was still alive. She was hanging off the rail screaming at David who had fallen flat on his back on the tarmac below. Blood pooled around him eating into the dirty concrete. Jon reached and grabbed her shoulder dragging her up the stairs, if they didn't move they'd both be down there. He pulled them both into the plane, sirens wailed and police swarmed the area.

"David NO!" She crawled to the side of the plane and curled her fingers around the edge looking out and down. “God, David no." The plane was rolling away and Jon sat crumpled against a seat not really seeing what he believed - this wasn't real life this was an action movie that he'd take one of his kids to see. MacKenzie slumped her body admitting defeat and sobbed into the carpet as the stairs were lifted and tucked into the side of the plane. His hand quivered as he reached out to her.

"It should have been me. Oh god, it should have been me."

The plane made speed down the runaway and the captain confirmed the clearance to take off. He lifted her up off the ground and into a chair. "C'mon buckle yourself in Kenz." He clipped the belt around her waist and quickly did his own before cupping her hands and pulling her into him. He kissed her forehead as she hiccupped but she settled against him. Both unable to even speak. It had to be like leaving Brian there all over again for her and his heart broke for her. He closed his eyes and knew he had to be strong for her, if he didn't he'd crumble just like her. He rubbed her shoulder and whispered. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."