Rachel was puzzled by Bailey's absence. John was giving her all the
information she needed but this was a tough case with very little to
go on. She could use Bailey's perspective on it, his experience might
point her towards other directions.
"Where is your boss?" the local SWAT leader asked.
"He's on his way." Rachel told him, hoping it was true.
There had just been a second round of shooting when Bailey
appeared in the command center.
Rachel almost made a fool of herself staring at him in his tux. A tux!
Oh my God! he always looks good, better than good. But in that
formal suit, dark hair smoothed back, white shirt in sharp contrast.
Rachel had to bite her tongue to keep from drooling.
"What can you tell us about the shooter?" Bailey greeted the team.
"Not much yet. His targets don't seem to have anything in common.
There were two soccer teams here when he started shooting but he
chose adults. Four dead, eight wounded. Several are still pinned
down out there." John updated his boss.
"Have we had any contact with him yet? Has he made any
"No, we're still trying to get the phone number for the pump house
he's shooting from." Rachel added.
"Impressions?" Bailey asked turning towards her again.
"Other than white male, who's very confident about his shooting
ability. Not much." She wished she had more to go on, she wished
she had a full profile to report to him. She felt more helpless than
"Why do you say he's confident about his shooting?"
"He's using a bolt action rifle. But he chooses targets quickly."
Bailey nodded, turning towards the local police officer in charge.
"Have you tried to get a mic on him yet?"
"We need to get in closer, my men are working on it."
Three hours later they were still no closer to solving the case.
The shooter had grown quiet, Rachel was praying he'd come down
off what ever high he'd been on and was thinking about turning him
self in. But she knew that was a slime possibility.
Bailey was reading over the blueprints of the complex, other than
having loosened his tie he still looked like he'd just walked out of
the pages of GQ's fall issue on formal attire.
Her mouth watered every time she allowed her eyes to linger on
Bailey for more than a few seconds. She'd been attracted to him
ever since she'd taken classes from him at Quantico. When the
offer had come to work with him she'd jumped at the chance.
She knew there was little chance of any thing ever happening
between them. Bailey was to professional to have a relationship
with one of his team members. If he's ever been tempted to it
would have been with Sam. Rachel knew he still carried a torch
for the woman she'd replaced on the team.
A call came in from a woman that believed the shooter was her
husband. They worked on that angle for the next hour, then
when night came they sent in the SWAT team to get her and the
man she was with out of the line of fire.
But when the sniper had his chance to shoot the woman he didn't
take it. So they were back to square one. Information provided by
George's replacement indicated he could be one of three men.
They decided to confront him, offer him the chance to give up.
Bailey was in a chopper with his own sniper rifle, as Rachel took
her position close to the tower. She called out to him with a
portable speaker. After several tense minutes he surrendered.
No one was more surprised than she that he gave up.
Rachel was standing on the edge of the field watching the
paramedics helping the wounded when Bailey found her.
"That was good work Rachel, I'm proud of you." he said
coming up behind her, and touching her shoulder.
"It was a fluke, but I'm glad it ended the way it did." she shrugged.
Turning to look up at Bailey, he'd told her she'd done good before
but never that he was proud of her. That was nice, a warm feeling
came over her when he'd said that.
Bailey felt that he should do more, say something else. Rachel
seemed stressed more than usual. If it had been Sam he'd have
engulfed her in his arms, holding her close always seemed to ease
the weight of things for her.
"You look very handsome in that tux Malone." Rachel said, then
realized she'd spoken out loud. Her face went pale, she couldn't
take it back. Oh God I'm and idiot.
Bailey smiled, "Thanks, I'm glad it's not a rental I'd have wasted my
money. Are you OK? You seem distracted still?"
"To tell you the truth I could use a hug." She was joking now, hoping
he hadn't noticed her remark about how he looked had been serious.
Bailey didn't hesitate he took the step forward that separated them
and drew her into his arms. Rachel's hands came up around his body
curving over his shoulder. He held her close, tight until he felt her
relax against him. Rachel closed her eyes and sighed. She'd never
realized she missed this. Being close to someone, being held.
"You did good Rach, now let it go. We got the guy." Bailey told her.
Thinking her reaction was about the case. He had no idea at least
half of her stress was because she wanted him.
The hug lasted almost a full minute. Then Bailey eased his hold on
her and walked with her towards the parking area.
Two weeks past. Two weeks full of little sleep and very disturbing
dreams. Dreams of Bailey, her and Bailey as a couple. Making love.
Hot passion filled sex. Rachel was going crazy wanting him.
After the recent charges brought against her. Charging she'd had an
affair with John while in a supervisory position over him. False
charges, that were finally proven totally made up. She knew there
was no possible future for her and Bailey. Not that he knew she was
alive, not as a woman.
Bailey noticed the change in Rachel, she was becoming difficult to
work with. She'd snapped at George, and John that morning. He
wondered if she was having personal problems of some kind. He
called her into his office for a talk.
"Rachel there's something bothering you? You can talk to me. After
everything that has happened around here recently, you know you
can tell me anything." Bailey closed his door, and the blinds.
Rachel slumped into one of the arm chairs across from his desk.
She set down her coffee, rubbed her hand over her eyes.
"I don't think I can talk to you about this. I think I need to request
"A transfer, for something so drastic you are going to have to
explain. Does this have anything to do with those charges and John?"
"No, this isn't about John. I almost wish it was."
"Talk to me Rachel." Bailey moved to the front of his desk and leaned
on the edge.
Rachel took a steadying breath and then glanced at him. He was in
his casual mode at the moment sleeves rolled up, forearms rippled with
muscle. Long legs angled out away from his body as he rested on the
edge of the desk. The neck of his striped white shirt open, revealing
the strong tan column of his throat. Rachel swallowed, trying to
concentrate, to think.
"I can't sleep. It's effecting my ability to perform by job. I think it
would be in the best interest of the VCTF if you granted me the
transfer." she tried to evade the true issue.
"What's keeping you from sleeping? Is there a problem with your
family? Might some counseling help?" Bailey offered.
Rachel stood up and began to pace. She knew he'd keep asking until
she told him. She was either going to have to make up a convincing
lie or just tell him. She pushed a hand through her hair, lifting it off
her hot temple.
"It's a man, I'm obsessed. I can't sleep for thinking about him."
Bailey smiled, then clenched his jaw. He was glad to hear it wasn't
anything more serious. "Does he know you're interested?"
"No, he has no idea."
"There's a problem? He's married or something?"
"No, no he's not married." She paced across the room again.
"Rachel you're a beautiful woman I'm sure if you let him know
you're interested." Bailey told her, smiling now.
Rachel stopped on the other side of the room and thought about
just giving in, throwing herself at Bailey, kissing him hard and deeply.
Wrapping her arms around him, pressing her body into his large hard
frame and throwing her career out the window.
"He's an agent too, that's the problem. The very thing they accused
me of last month."
Bailey straightened up from the desk. " Oh, it's one of the supervisors
from the field office." Bailey guessed, not realizing he was who she
was talking about.
"You could say that."
"Perhaps if you were to get your mind off him for awhile. I'm taking
George and Grace out for dinner tonight why don't you join us?"
"I don't think that's a good idea."
"I insist. We're leaving from work I'll stop by and get you."
George was thrilled to be back to his old job. He'd worked hard to
beat his addiction to pain killers. He was relieved to back at work.
Grace and he were talking about the up coming birth of her second
child. Rachel was buried in her menu and Bailey was listening.
"Have you chosen a name yet?" Bailey asked, knowing she'd picked
out her first son's name months in advance.
"No, I can't settle on one I like."
"I keep telling her to wait and make sure it's another boy before she
decides." George added.
"He thinks this one is a girl. He doesn't care what the sonogram
"Well I just hope you're near the hospital when you go into labor
this time. You scared us all when Jackson was born out in the field."
Bailey said smiling.
"Thanks Bail, I hope so too."
Rachel put her menu down and was staring off into space. Bailey
asked her if she could suggest a name for Grace's baby.
When she didn't respond he covered her hand with his, "Rachel?
Is something wrong?"
Rachel jumped when he touched her. The color drained from her
face. George and Grace both noticed, and exchanged a knowing look.
"What? I'm sorry."
"I asked if you had a name to suggest for Grace's baby?"
"Oh, I've always like Matthew. It goes with all kinds of last names."
Part way through the meal Rachel excused herself. George whispered
to Grace while she was gone. "Do you believe it, he's oblivious and
she's so far gone it's almost like seeing Sam again. Do you think we
should tell him this time?"
"Do you think he might do something this time if he knew?"
"I don't know but I don't want to live through that all again. What is
it about Bailey that make women fall in love with him? Or are you
pinning away for the boss too?" George teased her.
" I don't know, he has presence. He's a hunk for his age. But you
know I'm holding out for you to discover you love me and want to
make me an honest woman."
"I think we should tell him."
"Ok, when do we tell him?"
"Now is as good a time as any."
"Do you remember after Sam left you complained that we all knew
you loved her but we never told you we knew?"
"Yes, George your point is?"
"It's happening again, only this time you are on the receiving end."
"What are you talking about Georgie?" Bailey smiled thinking it was
some kind of joke.
"He's right Bail, Rachel is in love with you. I'm surprised you haven't
"Did she tell you that?" Bailey was shocked at their statement.
"No, but it's obvious. Haven't you notice how jumpy she's been the
last few weeks?"
"Yes. I have." Bailey became thoughtful. It all fit, she was loosing
sleep because she was in love with a man she couldn't approach.
It was him. The question now was what was he going to do about it.
end part one