Westlake corners Joe on the bridge after speeding to a
stop in her Jeep. He fires two shots at her car,
trying to stop her. She radios Frankie at the complex.
"Frankie, he is stopped do it now." She says into the
"Alright, here goes nothing."
"I hope this works" She pleads, mostly to herself, but
to anyone that will listen.
"Me, too Westlake, me too." He pauses "Alright I did
it, I am on my way. Be there in five."
Westalke hung up the phone and started to get out of
the car. She looked over towards the viper and saw Joe
try to start it, but couldn't, then he got out of the
She stood up confident that maybe if he saw her,
something would click and he wouldn't hurt her. Joe
always told her that, she knew deep down that he was
being true to his words. Westlake just hoped that this
time he would do exactly that.
Joe rounded the Viper as Westlake walked in front of
her Jeep. She was looking straight at him as he was
her. All of a sudden Joe raises his gun to her. This
is not what she expected at all, then suddenly Joe
leans over and holds his head in agony. Westlake
slowly moved a bit closer to help him, on instinct.
She was terrified something was going to go totally
wrong, the doctor said that if the chip wasn't removed
Joe would die. As soon as the attack come upon him it
was over and he raised his gun again to her.
"Joe? It's me Cameron."
"No, you aren't going to take me in, I will kill you
before that happens." He demands
"No, look I am not going to arrest you. Don't you
remember me? It's me Westlake?"
"I don't know who you are and if you move any closer I
By this time Westlake has given up trying to hide the
tears that were now freely coming down her cheeks.
Then all of a sudden a shot rang out and she doubled
over in pain, grasping her side.
"No." She looked up at him as he was walking over,
from her angle on the ground he looked like he was
having another attack.
When he reached her side she spoke again in a rasped
voice "I thought you would never hurt me Joe."
She tried to move a bit to see his face from where she
was instead all that came out was "Oww"
"Cameron?" Came a tiny voice from him, "Oh my god,
what did I just do?"
"Joe? Help me please…" She managed before she shut her
"No, please stay here with me." He says before leaning
over in pain again. Out of the corner of his eye he
saw Frankie running towards him.
"What happened?" He yelled
As soon as he rounded the Jeep he saw her on the
ground and dialed 911.
"I shot her" Joe said "I didn't want to, but I
couldn't stop." Joe pleads with Frankie
"Hold on Westlake, help is on the way" Frankie says
from beside her.
"Joe get in the car" He told him "And don't move"
"Frankie, Oww, my head really hurts."
"I know, I am going to take you to the hospital to
Joe slumped into the back seat of the car and watched
the ambulances arrive and treat Westlake and then take
her to the hospital. He was nervous as hell. He just
shot his partner, his best friend, the only person who
cared for him, and he cared for. What was he going to
As Frankie got in to the car and locked the doors he
called up and got the Viper and Westlake's car towed
back to the complex.
"Joe, look, can you tell me some of the symptoms you
have been experiencing? And what the hell is going
on?" Frankie asks
"Well from what I remember, Marcus and I we, well he
kidnapped a woman, I tried to stop him, but whatever I
said didn't matter. I ended up letting her go before I
met up with Westlake on the bridge."
"Ever since I woke up in the Viper I was Michael
Payton. But I kept having flashbacks about this Joe
Astor and of the times he, I had with Westlake." He
looks out the window for a moment and watches Westlake
Jeep get put on the tow truck.
"I had a flashback juts before, just before…" He
pauses "It was of her telling me that if I ever did
anything like that to her again she would kick my
"Did that happen Frankie?" He asks from the back seat
"Yeah it did." Frankie pauses for a moment "I am going
to get you help right now."
About a few days later Joe had the implant removed,
Frankie was very nervous about what was going to
happen next to his friend. He had been through so much
and he wanted to make this as painless as possible.
The doctor had told him to surround him with friends
and family for the next few weeks, bring to places he
had recently been, talk about things that have
recently happened. But he also told Frankie that he
was going to have to make a decision on whether or not
he is going to stick to his old life of Michael Payton
or his other life as Joe Astor. Frankie was hoping he
would pick the later one, but that was only a decision
for Joe/Payton to answer for himself.
Meanwhile Westlake was in ICU recovering. Frankie had
come and stayed with her everyday for a few hours. The
rest of her time was spent sleeping thinking what went
wrong in Joe and her relationship that he would do
this to her. On many occasions Joe told her he would
never but her in any danger, he would never hurt her
again. She was positive that if Joe saw he at the
bridge, he would go with her, peacefully.
This is what hurt the most. He once never came to see
her in the hospital either. Maybe if they could talk
about what happened, they could get through it. But
this was it, Joe Astor didn't exist anymore. She
started to cry, figures once she truly fell in love
with someone, they wouldn't even exist anymore. She
hated this, being alone that is, she was always alone.
Except when Joe was with her.
Frankie came in a few moments later
"Westlake?" He asks
"Yeah.." She says between sniffles
Frankie walks over and sits next to her bed.
"What's wrong? What are the tears for?" he asks her
"I am tired Frankie. Tired of being alone."
"Westlake I don't understand." He says as he takes her
hand in his.
"Have you ever fallen in love with a person and have
them not fell the same as you?" She asks
"Yeah, once it was awful. But I got over it and moved
on. Well not over it, but I did move on."
"Yeah, you know if we could just talk about
everything, Frankie, maybe we could move forward. But
he hasn't even come to visit me. And we are in the
same hospital." She says tears starting to spill
"I know Westlake, I am sorry. I spoke to him about
you. He is scared Westlake, not that, that makes it
right that he hasn't come forward."
"How is everything with him? Did the operation go
good?" She asks
"Everything is fine, they removed the chip and there
was no lasting damage. The doctors said that he will
have to choose a life style, and to surround him with
friends, family and people who love and care about
him…" Frankie realizes what he has just said
"So I take it that he doesn't care about me anymore,
friendship or otherwise.." She whispers
"Westlake, I know he is very confused at this point,
and he is really feeling very guilty about…you."
"He remembered you, he knew his feelings about you
when he did this, but couldn't help himself. Joe
admitted on our ride here that just before,
everything, he had flashbacks of things you guys had
done together and things that were said to one
"Yeah but you could easily know these things Frankie."
"No, these were personal things Westlake, I had no
clue." He pauses "He was physically upset, I mean
"I wish I could go see him, I need to know he I okay."
"After everything, you still love him don't you?"
Westlake just looked up at him through teary eyes and
nodded her affirmation.
"You need some sleep." Frankie begins as he stands up
"We need you better. I will be back later on."
About a hour later Frankie was sitting with Joe.
"So how is Cameron?" Joe asks
"She is doing okay. Doctors say she is going to be
moved from ICU later on this afternoon."
"That's great" Joe says enthusically, but seeing
Frankies expression calms down "I mean that good."
"Why haven't you gone and seen her yet?"
"I don't know why?" he says
"Because Joe, are you willing to lose the best thing
that has come into your life over a mistake?"
"The mistake is that I shot her, Frankie. I couldn't
keep a firm mind on who she was and I shot her. How
could she ever forgive me?"
"You aren't even willing to try?"
"She doesn't want to see me anymore. How could someone
like her ever care about me again? I lied to her again
and put her in danger again and almost killed her."
"Westlake cares a lot about you, more than you know."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Joe asks
"Look I shouldn't be saying this, mostly because it is
not my place, but since you insist on playing
innocent, she still loves you Joe. Always have, and
always will. She wants to talk, work through this.
Help you get better." Frankie states as he moves
towards the door "Oh and Joe I wouldn't wait to long
to see her, when I last spoke with her, she was a
That night Joe went to see Westlake in the hospital.
The nurses had let him in anytime according to
Joe stops at the door and looks through the window at
his sleeping partner and friend.
"Oh Cameron" He says as she sits next to her and brush
her hair away from her face "I am so sorry"
Joe falls asleep next to her for a few hours like
that, he woke up when someone was calling his name
"Joe? Joe? Argh Joe?"
"Shhh, Cameron, I am right here." He says getting up
and trying to wake her up as quietly as possible.
"Cameron, wake up, it's me Joe. I am right here." Joe
says as he takes her hand and puts it up to his cheek.
Cameron shakes her head and slowly opens her eyes "Joe
is that you?"
"Yeah Cameron, it's me." Joe says as he sits on the
edge of the bed.
"Humm, I missed you." Westlake says
Joe smiles "I missed you too."
"Go back to sleep Cameron…" Joe starts
"Be here when I wake up?" She asks
"Always Cameron, always."
And with that Cameron went back to sleep. Joe sat here
for a bit holding her hand then went back to the
chair, he told her, that he would be there in the
morning, so he was going to wait it out.
A little later Frankie showed up to check on both Joe
"Joe?" He called out softly
"Joe? Come on wake up."
"Yeah, what's up Frankie." Joe says. He had fallen
asleep next to Westlake, still holding her hand in
"I see everything is going better between you guys."
Joe sits up and stretches a bit to look at Frankie.
"I realized something Frankie. Something that I always
new was there, but didn't recognize until now."
"Yeah and what's that Joe?"
"That what is most important in a persons life is the
people who care about you, love, respect, family, and
"You are right Joe."
"Do you remember what the doctor said, that I would
have to make a decision about my life, and stick to
"Well, in this life, I have all of that. I may not
have family, but I have you, Sherman, and, and
Cameron." Joe says as he takes her hand in his again.
"I can't lose you or her, or any of this. You guys are
Frankie stands up and puts a hand on his shoulder and
squeezes a bit. "I will see you later on Joe, I have a
few things to finish up."
"Alright Frankie, Bye"
A few moments later Joe closed his eyes and went back
He woke up a small time later to Cameron brushing his
hair a bit to the side.
"Is that you?" She asked
"Cameron, you awake?"
"It's me Joe. How are you feeling?" He asked as he
moved into her line of view.
A smile came over her face as soon as she saw him. "I
dreamt you were here last night and here you are."
"It wasn't a dream, I was here, I never left."
"Good." Was her reply.
After they had breakfast and talked a bit about the
everyday stuff that was going on. Joe felt like it was
time to tell her, about him. He needed to talk with
her about this, needed to get it off his chest so to
"Cameron, I..I want to tell you a few things."
"Joe what is it?"
"When I was brought here, I had the chip removed" He
paused at the look on her face. "What?"
"I am sorry."
"What are you sorry for?" Joe asks
"I don't know who you are anymore."
"Cameron, let me continue." Joe says as he takes her
hands in his "The doctor's said that it was fried, and
if it didn't get removed I would die. They also said
that I would be fine, I would heal. But it would be a
difficult trail. I need my friends, and family to help
me through this. But most of all he told me that I
would have to make a decision."
"What kind of decision Joe?"
"Whether to stay as my criminal self, Michael Payton
or as Joe Astor." He says as he looks down at their
"And what was your decision?" Cameron asked nervously
"You. That's my decision." Joe says
A smile crosses her face as she looks up at him and
her eyes start to well up with tears
"I.. I can't live without you." Joe pauses "I can't
believe I am the one who put you in here, like this."
"It's okay Joe." She starts but Joe cut her off.
"Not it's not Cameron. No it's not."
"I forgive you" Cameron says "And I love you."
Joe looks back up at her "I don't deserve you."
"Yes you do, Joe. You are a good person, don't ever
He leaned down and kissed her for the first time, and
definatly not the last.