The Handler and it's Characters are not mine. They Belong to CBS from the Series The Handler.

Joe Renato sat in his office, he had a problem with getting his team in on a upcoming sting. He looked over at a picture of himself and Rusty. He smiled and then he got an idea. He would have to go and get Rusty who was picking up notebooks on the strip. Joe got up and went to Darnell's office.

"Darnell, I have to go and run an errand." Said Joe.

"Ok, I'll call you when Marty does ok?" He asked.

"Yeah Thanks Darnell." said Joe he turned to leave.

"Joe." Asked Darnell.

"Yeah?" He asked.

"Your going to get Rusty aren't you?" He asked.

"Yeah how did you know?" Joe asked.

"Just a feeling and you got that look on your face." Said Darnell.

"Oh come on I do not. Ok, so I'm getting Rusty." Said Joe. "See ya later."

"Ok bye." said Darnell smiling and shaking his head. Joe left by the elevator down. He got in his car and went down to the strip. He pulled along side her.

"Rusty!" He yelled out the car window.

"Well, well." Said Rusty arching and eyebrow and smiling. Then coming over to the drivers side and bending down leaning on the door. She had on a v necked top that revealed some of her cleavage. "Hello Handsome." Rusty said smiling at him.

"Hop in Gorgeous." Said Joe smiling at her. Rusty walked around the car and got in.

"How's the day been Baby?" He asked smiling back.

"It just got better as of now, Darlin'." She said as she scooted over and they kissed. "This is a surprise."

"Yeah I had a thought and it included you so…….." Said Joe as she wiped the lipstick off his mouth.

"So you just moseyed on down here." Said Rusty.

"Yeah. I have a proposition for you." Then he realized what he had said. Rusty's eyes brightened.

"Oh Darlin', your place or mine?" Said Rusty winking at him.

Joe smiled kind of a mischievous smile and said. "That would get us into a lot of trouble Rusty and I know it would be fun. However; what I meant to say was that I have a question for you. Sorry I let the gate down on that one, as you say."

"Wide open." she said.

Joe chuckled. "Anyway Rusty, we are about to start a sting on the Salazar Cartel. We think that Omar Sardoni the terrorist and Armando Salazar of the Cartel are teaming up. Drugs for weapons and information." Said Joe He pulled into a parking lot.

"And you want me to do what to whom?" She asked.

"Loaded question but…………We need you and your band to play at The Time Warp." Said Joe smiling at her.

"Sure, me and the boys would be happy to help. Am I the enticement for the information?" She asked.

"I didn't think you would mind. You have a way of extracting information from men." Said Joe.

"First hand knowledge there Darlin'? Thanks I think." Said Rusty.

"Yeah, I do have first hand knowledge. Those practice sessions we had were……..Well……Difficult to say the least." Said Joe smiling at her. He pulled into a parking lot and parked the car.

"Then you know how that works too don't cha my Darlin'? She asked touching his arm and smiling at him.

"Oh yeah, I remember. You know how to work a guy over so he doesn't know it." Said Joe taking her hand. "However; I knew and still spilled like a clumsy waiter trainee."

"Yes you did." Said Rusty starting a loud purr in her voice.

Joe cleared his throat and said. "Yeah. Well……….."

"Joe it's no secret about what's up with you and me. We just don't have a lot of time to connect." Said Rusty.

"Yeah, and I have my regrets about that." Said Joe his face growing a little sad.

"Then fix it." Said Rusty.

"That sounds like a dare." Said Joe the sadness turned into a beaming smile.

"Take it the way you want to Darlin'. I have plenty of time." Said Rusty scooting over again.

"Ok, but you know I'll call you on this." said Joe as he put his arm around her.

"Maybe." Said Rusty. "I'll be glad to help out anyway I can." said Rusty as she tipped his hat over his eyes.

"I knew you would." Said Joe as he tipped it back and smirked a smile at her. "By the way how's Minerva?"

"She's just fine. She misses you driving her though." Said Rusty.

"I miss driving that '66 T bird too. Listen why don't we just go and have lunch if your not busy. Talk about the case."

"Humm, that sounds like a really long over due invitation." Said Rusty.

"I knew that was coming." said Joe. "But your right. It has been a while since……"

"I understand I'm busy too. You know I try to do my best when I'm the one running the team when you are gone." Said Rusty.

"I know you do. You do a fine job too. I'm glad you aren't mad at me, Honey. I hate the way things have been." Said Joe. "But in the business………."

"Personal relationships suffer. Yeah I know. It's ok." Said Rusty. "I know how you feel about me."

"That's good. I'm glad I made you understand." Said Joe. He took her hand and kissed it.

"You did but, I've missed that smile." Said Rusty as she snuggled against him.

"I've missed ………….." said Joe.

"Yeah, I know. I'm still packin' I saw that smile when I bent down." She said.

"Yep still concealing weapons. I sure hope you have a permit for those." Said Joe smiling at her.

"You bet." said Rusty.

Joe shook his head. "Your still a pistol Rusty."

"I will always be. Would you want it any other way?" She asked.

"No, I have come to expect the unexplained with you. Honey, how about a little pool with your lunch?" He asked.

"Yeah, I'd like that. I still owe you are game of 9 ball." said Rusty.

"Yes you do. I'm sorry I haven't………………"

"You're here now and that's what counts." said Rusty putting her hand up to his mouth. Then took it away.

"I'm glad you feel that way." Said Joe. "I thought you would be upset. I mean I have called you and we have seen each other but not as much as I would have liked too."

"I'm sure you don't want me stuck to your hip like glue. It's ok. In this business we catch when catch can." said Rusty.

"I wouldn't mind having you at least around a little more." Said Joe. "I never get tired of being around you." Rusty smiled at him.

"Me either Darlin'." Said Rusty.

They got to the sports bar and went in. Rusty got the balls and Joe the cues. He ordered some club sandwiches and some cokes.

"This is a real treat." Said Rusty.

"You're the only woman I know that gets a kick out of playing pool and eating sandwiches." Said Joe shaking his head. "Rack' em up Rusty."

"Oh Darlin', you really should be more careful the way you say things." She said.

"I know I should. But when you play pool, it becomes a spectator sport." Said Joe.

"Yeah I remember. Got your season tickets yet?" Said Rusty as she took off her suit coat. She had on a halter top underneath the kind wore by professional woman to wear under business suits.

"Yeah I did, cost me a fortune. " Said Joe looking her over and smiling.

"Darlin' has it been that long? You look like you are putting me on the menu." Said Rusty as she set up for nine ball. "Not that I mind." She winked.

"Honey, it's been way too long. I wish . Well you know what I'd wish for. " Said Joe.

"You bet your sweet bee-hind I would know. Your break Joe." said Rusty as he bent down to make the first shot. He broke and sent in the number 1 ball.

"Oh you have been practicing." Said Rusty.

"No, lucky shot." Said Joe. Making his second shot. The number 2 ball came short.

"So when does the sting start?" She asked.

"Today. I've already called the club you and the band have to audition first. "said Joe. "I'm not worried with that voice of yours you'll get it." She bent to make her first shot and knocked in number 2.

"I'm glad you have confidence in me." said Rusty winking at him. "I'll have something to sing. I called the guys and after lunch we practice at the bar. By the way do you still have the keys?"

"Sure I have confidence in you. I wish I could get you a recording contract." Said Joe.

"I don't want that and you know it. But I thank you for thinking I'm good enough." Said Rusty.

"I remember seeing you play the first time and I was struck stupid. You play like a guy. Sing like an angle and look……………."

She came over to him and put her arms around his neck. "Yeah?" She asked.

"You know." said Joe he put one arm around her. "That's the thing you know everything I'm thinking. That could get me into a lot of trouble."

"It's been known too Darlin'." said Rusty. "Or have you forgotten?"

"No I haven't forgotten. I wasn't sure if I should take liberties." said Joe he put the cue down and put his arms around her waist. "It's been a while and I'm not sure………."

"Joe Renato, how many have you taken before?" She asked arching that eyebrow again.

"True." Said Joe a sly grin starting.

"Oh for goodness sake stop the big toe in the sand routine and shut up and kiss me." He got a better hold on her and kissed her again.

"Is that what you wanted?" He asked slyly.

"Oh Darlin' that'll do for starters." said Rusty as she started to giggle.

"Starters huh? Ok first let's eat lunch it's ready." Said Joe. "By the way, I'm not going to ask again. I'm going to do that on a kiss on demand basis from now on."

"Like Pay per view?" She asked.

"Yeah." He chuckled and they sat down to eat . They talked some more and finished the game they started. Then it was time to go to the down town bar.

"Is this going to be inconvenient for you Darlin'?" Asked Rusty.

"No I cleared my schedule the team is coming here after you practice. Oh the club is a retro 50's and 60's supper club."

"That'll be fun I have all those old clothes my mother left me from that era." said Rusty.

"Good, I don't have to scrounge around for something for you to wear then." Said Joe.

"No I've got plenty of things. Oh and we added a brass section about a month ago. And two backup singers. It's taken a life of it's own." Said Rusty.

"I missed all that? Honey I'm so…………."

"Will you stop." said Rusty as they got to the door. "I know."

"I know you do, but I feel kinda like a heel." Said Joe.

"No, your not a heel. Maybe gum on the bottom of my shoe but never a heel." Said Rusty as she turned on the lights.

"Thanks I think." Said Joe.

"Oh Darlin' we need to make some time up." said Rusty. "I have missed you something fierce."

"I've missed you too. Nice to be wanted. I think. Why do I feel like a canary and you are the cat right now?" He asked.

"Don't know Darlin'. Isn't that the way you always feel?" She giggled.

"Come to think of it……………" He hugged her. "Yeah Honey I really have missed you too. If things would just settle down we might………….."

"Yeah, I'm listening. You having Rusty withdrawal are you? " She asked.

"If you only knew. It's been a while since we had any time for personal matters." Said Joe a sly smile crossing his lips. He was just about to kiss her again when the band came in.

"Hey Joe!" Said Hank the keyboardist .

"Hey guys." Said Joe. Putting his arm around Rusty instead.

"Good to see you again man." said Dave the drummer.

"Yeah it's been too long." Said Joe.

"Marcy told us to come on down. We have a gig this afternoon." Said Teddy the back up guitarist.

Earl the bassist came in. "Hey."

"Hey Earl." said Rusty. "How are you?"

"Fine." Said Earl.

"He's talkative today guys." said Rusty.

"Yeah Really Rusty." said Matt he was one of the horn players.

"Where are the girls?" Asked Rusty.

"Right here." they said as they were all assembling Rusty took off her jacket again. She got her guitar out and swung it over her shoulder and started tuning it. Then she started up Layla. It was her way of warming up.

"Ah, Rusty quit fooling around." said Joe.

"Darlin' I'm not fooling around. I'm tuning." said Rusty as she cut another riff.

Rusty took the guitar off and sat it on the stand.

"Ok Boys and girls. How about "Fly Me to the Moon." said Rusty.

"Yeah, Rusty, do that one." Shouted Joe.

"I thought you would like that Darlin. Ok on three. 1 2 3 ." the music started.

The band was a lot better if you could perfect perfection. Rusty started to sing. Joe thought she was even better than she had been the first time he heard her. He had not forgotten what a spell she began to weave when she sang. He had a tape of her and the band she had given him when he met her. But this wasn't like then, it was better and more professional. The song took it's own life it was hard to hear it end. But it did and when it ended Joe applauded.

"What do you think Darlin'?" She asked.

"Beautiful." Said Joe.

"Oh please you are going to make me blush." Said Rusty.

"No, Rusty you and the band are wonderful. I mean you were good before but something has changed with what you said it took a life of it's own." Said Joe.

"Yeah, we are better aren't we guys and gals." Said Rusty.

"We've been practicing a lot." Said Hank. "And Rusty is the glue without her voice we would be just another band."

"Ah Hank." Said Rusty.

"It's true Rusty." Said Dave. They played for about an hour and Joe's team came in.

"Do you hear them?" Asked Darnell.

"Yeah, That can't be Rusty's band." said Lily.

"It is look." Said Heather.

"Oh, poor Joe." said Marcy. "He hasn't had time lately for her I was afraid she would give up."

"Rusty doesn't quit Marcy." said Heather. "She's in love with him. I think the feeling is mutual."

"I believe it. Look at Joe. I never thought he would turn to mush." Said Lily.

"She's good for him guys. And he is good for her." Said Heather.

"Hey Rusty." Said Darnell.

"Hey guys good to see Ya'll." Said Rusty as she was getting off the stage. Joe helped her off and let her go when she got her balance.

She hugged the lot of them. Rusty included them in her extended family.

"I haven't seen you guys in the same room in like forever." said Rusty.

"Yeah and that's not happening again." Said Joe.

"Is that a threat or a promise Joe." She asked.

"Both." Said Joe as they gathered and sat to talk about the sting. Her band stayed too. It was made up of agents from the Marshal Service ATF, DEA and the FBI.

"I was telling Rusty that Omar Sardoni and Armando Salazar are supposed to be going into business together. Selling drugs for information and weapons too." Said Joe.

"Was that from the informant?" Asked Lily.

"Yeah, we didn't get this on our own. Sardoni needs extra cash flow for what ever he is planning. We suspect he is part of an Al Qaeda cell. Salazar offered to help him in order to secure more weapons and some information we have on him." Said Joe. "We get all the information we can. I don't want more than a week or so doing this."

"So we know the band and Rusty have jobs what about the rest of us? Asked Darnell.

"Marcy I want you here to coordinate and if something happens unexpected we have someone loose for back up." Said Joe. "Lily and Heather. You will be helping Rusty and you will serve. Darnell we need a look at the books."

"Ok so how long is this supposed to last?" Asked Rusty.

"We have no way of knowing. I don't think it's going to be in and out this time." Said Joe.

"When do you and I go in?" She asked.

Joe looked at his watch. "It's going to be close we better get you and the band over there pretty soon." Said Joe.

"Ok, so we are already set with cameras and mics Joe." asked Darnell.

"Yeah we patched that in a few days ago. A van will be outside and down the street a little. Frank told me he would do double duty watching out for us.

"Lily you and Heather go in first and then Darnell. It's all set up your papers are ready." Said Joe as he handed them their fake ID's.

"What about me you want to change my name Joe?" Asked Rusty.

"No, I don't think that will matter I'm going in as your manager Joe and help manage the club." Said Joe.

"Ok is that just a manager or a tight manager." She asked.

"I'm not sure yet. I'll let you know. I think it would be better if you were unattached." Said Joe.

"Perhaps." Said Rusty.

"So if there is no more questions I have to get Rusty to the club." Said Joe. "Let's get going."

Rusty and Joe got in his car.

"I'm not going in this." Said Rusty.

"I guess we ought to stop by and let you get your car. Me to the apartment and clean up too." said Joe feeling of his chin.

"Yeah you look a little on the scruffy side." said Rusty scratching his chin.

He looked over at her and smiled. "I'm glad I had this idea. At first I had no idea how to get us in there." Said Joe. "That picture of us together gave me the inspiration."

"Oh you only think of me when you need me for something other than………….."

"No Honey. that's not true." Said Joe glancing over her taking her hand and squeezing.

"I know I just wanted to hear you to say it." Said Rusty. "This is a real treat to have you for the evening even if we are working." Said Rusty.

"I realized when you were singing I've been missing out. I hadn't forgotten how beautiful you were or how much…………"

"Me either Handsome." He stopped the car by hers. "It's been too long Darlin'."

"Yeah, Really. You'd better get a hustle in that butt of yours." Said Joe. There was a pause and she slid over and put her hands on his face and really gave him a tonsil cleaning. She pulled back after a few minutes.

"Well?" She asked.

"Yeah one thing is for sure." Said Joe his voice cracked a little.

"What's that Darlin'." She asked smiling.

"Your still combustible Rusty." Said Joe. Joe smiled at her and reached over and hugged her. "We'll finish this later."

"Oh Yeah?" She asked.

"Yeah. Defiantly." said Joe. "Now go on I'll pick you up at your house in an hour."

"Ok, see ya then Handsome." said Rusty getting out of his car.

Joe let out a breath and shook his head. Then smiled.

They got to the club and she did her audition. Sardoni himself was there.

"That was wonderful Rusty." Said Sardoni. "You sing like an angel."

"Well thank you Mr. Sardoni." said Rusty as she and Joe sat at a table with him discussing her working there.

"I would like for you and the band to start tonight for a late set at 9." Said Sardoni.

"Thank you Mr. Sardoni." Said Rusty as he took her hand.

"Yes thank you." said Joe.

"Might we have a moment alone Joe?" Asked Sardoni.

"Sure. I'll be in my office." said Joe. He took her other hand squeezed it to say be careful. Then Joe got up and went to his office.

"I really enjoyed your music you are very talented my dear." Said Sardoni. Rusty had been wired so the men in the van were getting everything. So was Joe he had wired her to him. He sat in his office listening.

"After your set I would very much like you to have dinner with my colleagues and I." said Sardoni.

"Oh I'm not sure." said Rusty. "It's going to be very late."

"I insist. You are not married are you? Or seeing someone?" He asked.

"No, can't say I'm either really." Said Rusty.

"Good Rusty you go along with that." Said Joe. "It's ok."

"I have out of town guests coming. I need entertainment. And you are such a surprise." Said Sardoni holding her hand.

"Well thank you." Said Rusty.

"I wont keep you I know you have to rest and get ready for tonight. After your set tonight then I will come for you." Said Sardoni as she got up.

"Thank you so much for this opportunity." Said Rusty.

"Your most welcome. I know talent when I see it. I'll talk to Joe about a price for you tonight." Said Sardoni.

"Oh for my singing." She said.

"Yes my dear. See you tonight. My Desert Rose." He kissed her hand and smiled then she left and went to Joe's office.

"Whew!" Said Rusty. She shook her hand. "I need to start bringing hand sanitizer with me, Ewww."

"You did really good Honey." said Joe chuckling a bit.

"I didn't get a damned thing out of him." Said Rusty.

"No but he has it bad for you already that was part of your job description. Desert Rose my ass." Said Joe.

"Oh my are you getting jealous?" She asked.

"No, your doing your job and he doesn't know you are……….."

"Dating someone?" asked Rusty.

"Yeah a couple of times a month . Sheesh. He's a fast worker. Took me a while to get a kiss out of you for real." said Joe.

"That is not true." said Rusty. "You kissed me after about a week after you met me."

"Yeah I did didn't I?" Said Joe thinking back. "I should have done that sooner."

"I think your timing was just fine." said Rusty.

"Come on you have to get ready for tonight." said Joe taking her hand and he started for the door.

"I have my stuff in Minerva." Said Rusty pulling him back from the door.

"Smart and Beautiful too." said Joe smiling he hugged her and pulled back a little to see her face.

"I saw Darnell come in. Heather and Lily too." Said Rusty.

"Promise me you wont take unnecessary risks." said Joe.

"You know me better than that." Said Rusty

"I know but I wanted to say it anyway." said Joe.

"I know you did." said Rusty.

"So he has out of town guests coming. What do you suppose……."

"Salazar." Said Rusty.

"We have to stop that Rusty. What are people going to think?" He joked.

"That we are two of a kind. A real pair." said Rusty.

"Of what?" He asked.

"When you figure that one out Darlin', let me know." Said Rusty.

"I think you had better be really careful tonight with those guys. I think they are thinking you are the dessert course." Said Joe.

"Yeah and I had rather not with swarthy individuals." Said Rusty. "I only have eyes for a handsome Italian I know."

"Rusty, yes I know. I hope you………"

"Don't say it Joe I might have too." said Rusty.

"No you wont." said Joe in a warning tone.

"I know that policy of your but they might insist. I might have no……"

"You will I'll make sure of that ok?" Said Joe as he put his hands on her shoulders and looked her in the eye.

"Ok but if they decide to make me the main course and skip dinner………"

"I'll think of something." said Joe.

"I'm not holding you to that." Said Rusty.

"I know. Just know I'll do everything I can to protect you and our team. That's why they pay me the big bucks didn't you know that?" He asked.

"I wondered why. Oh Joe don't worry your Rusty is a lot of things but never……..

"I know." said Joe. "Believe me I know."

"Yeah, how long we been playing cat and canary anyway?" She asked.

"Seems like years but I know it's only been several months." Said Joe.

"Yeah, I know what you mean. I have to go and get ready. You need to talk to Omar the terrible about my price for the night." Said Rusty.

"Oh Rusty, I'm not pimping you out." Said Joe frustrated a bit.

"Joe I'm not sure what he wants to tell you the truth. I'm always thinking that it's the other and it's not. We might be surprised." Said Rusty.

"Somehow I don't think so but you might be right. I had better go and talk to him." Said Joe letting her go.

"Yeah, I'm going to go and get ready." Said Rusty. They left his office and she went to her dressing room. Joe went down the hall to Omar's office. He knocked.

"Come in?" Asked Sardoni.

"Rusty said you wanted to see me?" Asked Joe.

"Yes. Above the money I am paying for her to sing tonight I want to give you another proposition." said Sardoni. "Please sit down."

"Sure." Said Joe sitting down.

"Your Rusty is a very beautiful woman besides being talented. I've been looking for such a woman." Said Sardoni.

"Ok. " Asked Joe.

"I am an honorable man Joe. What I wish is for Rusty and I to be married." said Sardoni.

"What?" Asked Joe. He was almost at floored.

"Yes. See Joe in my faith we are not supposed to take liberties with a woman unless the man is married to the woman. I have many wives but none that are as beautiful nor American." said Sardoni.

"You think I am a marriage broker?" Asked Joe still kind of in shock.

"You are her manager and I don't believe you and she have a relationship passed that." said Sardoni. "She would still be able to give me at least one son. She is not yet 40 is she not?"

"She is already 40." said Joe. "I'm not sure Rusty would go for this. But I'll ask her."

"If so I will pay you five million for anything you loose by not managing her. I want to be generous with you Joe. Rusty would make you a lot of money." said Sardoni.

"Well, ok then I'll ask her." Said Joe. He knew Sardoni had other ideas. They shook hands and Joe left the room feeling a bit on the odd side.

Meanwhile Rusty was getting into her clothes for the show. She heard a tap on the door.

"Who is it?" She asked.

"It's Lily you need some help?"

"Yeah come on in we are all gals here." said Rusty.

"What is that thing you are about to put on looks like a bustier." said Lily as she helped Rusty on with it.

"It's the grandmother of I think. It's called a Merry Widow." said Rusty. Lily giggled. "Just hook it in the back like a bra."

Lily was doing as she said. The thing was tight but it was supposed to be. "Can you breathe in it?" Asked lily.

"Just barely. You are supposed to eat before you put this on. There's no room for jello even." said Rusty.

"It looks dangerous and uncomfortable." said Lily. Giggling again. "Better not let Joe see you in it."

"Humm, well Lily you know they loved to torture their women back then." Said Rusty.

Another knock came on the door.

"Who is it?" She asked.

"Heather, can you use some help with your hair?" She asked.

"Sure come in if you can find room." Said Rusty.

"Oh Rusty what the heck is that you have on looks……… some kinky S and M thing." Said Heather.

"It's a Merry Widow. Women wore it under clothes back in my mothers day." Said Rusty.

"If Joe sees you in that you wont be performing tonight." said Heather as she started on Rusty's hair.

"You think? Well maybe another kind of performing" Said Rusty smirking a smile. "It's been a while since we had time for that." said Rusty giggling.

"Oh Rusty you are so bad." Said Lily. "Ah you and Joe?"

"Yes and No. Haven't had time." said Rusty.

"I'm sorry it's not our business." Said Lily.

"That's ok. Gal talk and all." Said Rusty smiling.

"There now, What do you think?" Asked Heather of the French Twist she had managed to get from Rusty's ringlets.

"Looks professional. Thanks Heather." said Rusty and she gave her a hug.

"My turn." Said Lily as she made her up.

"I'll put on the lipstick myself ok?" She asked.

"Yeah and I know why." Said Lily as she finished.

Rusty looked into the mirror. "You know for 40 I don't look so bad." Said Rusty.

"Joe seems to think you are tops." said Heather.

"Yeah, I think he's tops too." said Rusty getting up and putting on her stockings and attaching them to her garter. Another knock on the door.

"What do you want to bet it's Joe." said Heather.

"Yeah. Who is it?" Asked Rusty.

"It's Joe are you decent?" he asked.

"I'm as good as it gets Darlin' come on in." Said Rusty they all giggled . "If you can find room."

Joe peeked around the door. "Your right space is limited."

"We were on our way out. Good Luck tonight." Said Heather. She gave Rusty a hug.

"Yeah, Good Luck." said Lily giving her a hug too. and they filed out almost dancing with Joe vying for space.

"Thanks gals." said Rusty. She stood up with her green satin robe over the merry widow.

"Ok, so what is that you have on and how do you get out of……….I mean how do you breathe in it." Said Joe.

"Its' a merry widow. You'll find out how it comes off later maybe." Said Rusty smirking a smile at him. She closed the robe.

"Is that a threat or a promise?" He asked coming over to her.

"Both as you say." Said Rusty.

"You are not going to believe this Rusty. Omar wants to marry you." Said Joe.

"Your right I don't." Said Rusty.

"He's going to give me five million dollars just for my sacrificing managing you." said Joe.

"What have you been smoking Joe?" She asked putting on her jewelry.

"No, he just offered me five million so he can marry you and have kids with you. He asked how old you were. I felt like bringing you down and letting him look at your teeth." Said Joe sarcastically.

"Well unfortunately he wouldn't be getting a brood mare with me. This mare will never foal." Said Rusty. "Besides I'm too old."

"No your not." Said Joe.

"Oh Joe, can that." said Rusty. "You know how I feel about the kid subject."

"Yeah, animate that you didn't have any." Said Joe.

"No, it's just I can't or I never could." said Rusty.

"Ok a subject for another time I guess." said Joe.

"Much later Darlin' . Said Rusty.

"So did the girls mic you?" He asked.

"Oh shoot, no they didn't and where the hell am I going to put it." She said opening the robe up.

Joe bit his lip. "That is a problem." Said Joe carefully. "And is causing a few."

"I thought so Joe. Now where am I going to put it." Said Rusty smirking a smile. "I see that look, now stop that."

"Heather and Lily love me Rusty." said Joe. "Oh yeah , I'm a lucky man tonight I get to Mic ya."

"Oh good Lord Joe is that what they are calling it these days?" She asked as he came around looking for a place. She threw the robe on the chair.

"You know my mother had one of these used to cuss for days after wearing it." Said Joe as he felt the material around her waist. "Rusty is this what I think it is?"

"Yeah it's got a thin layer of Kevlar in it. I put that in there." Said Rusty.

"Humm. Well, I can't see a good place back here. I'll check up front." Said Joe as he came around. "Mother was right when she said it brings everything up and out."

"Joe you are enjoying this you are a very bad boy. Here I am standing looking like something out of Vanity 6. Although I'm not Apolloina and you are cracking jokes." Said Rusty as he started to put it on her. "Joe, now I mean it. Be good."

"But you aren't a nasty girl. I am being good." Said Joe looking at her evil smile intact. "You just take all the fun out of this." He was teasing her.

"So you know that song huh? Wait." said Rusty. "We can put it in the pin that holds the dress together." as she went to put it on. She brought out the hunter green velvet strapless dress and put it on.

"I had better get this on before you get any more ideas." Said Rusty

"Yeah I know the song." Said Joe. "Too late I already have a few."

"Yeah but I feel a bit safer dressed right now. The look on your face said it all. Could you zip this up please?" She asked. "Up…… Darlin'."

"Yes dear." Said Joe as he zipped it up. "Your no fun." He zipped the dress and she made sure she was covered yanking everything into place.

"Don't start that. Now then give me the mic." Said Rusty as he handed it to her. She took out he mic part and put it in the pin that held the top of it in place. She tied it and then placed the broach to hide the tie. "There now all done."

She stood back as Joe got an awe struck look about him.

"Well?" She asked "Do I look ok?"

"No, you look gorgeous. There are no words for it Honey." Said Joe as she looked into the mirror he stood behind her and put his hands on her shoulders.

"I hope you see what I have seen for the last few months Rusty." Said Joe.

"I do and you look handsome in that blue suit too. " said Rusty smiling at him.

"Thanks. Now your going on soon." said Joe as she faced him.

"Yeah, I need to put on my lipstick." said Rusty.

"Hold that thought for just a moment Honey." Said Joe as he kissed her.

"My goodness I should have dug this thing out of moth balls sooner." Said Rusty.

"You should have." said Joe.

"Ok, let me put on my lip stick." said Rusty as she bent to put it on.

"Yeah can't have kissing after that." said Joe.

"Nope, not for a little while." said Rusty. Rusty finished putting on her lipstick.

"What are you going to tell Omar?" Asked Joe.

"You know I think since he is offering to marry me. I don't think there will be any hanky Panky. He's religious enough I bet he follows that to the letter." Said Rusty.

"He's a man Rusty and you are………….."

"Yeah I know. I wouldn't marry that son of a …………

"I know Rusty. Ok, so we have another in for information. So you are going to accept then?" He asked.

"Only for the assignment. So we can get closer in." Said Rusty. "By the way I will be singing a song for you tonight Darlin' I wont be able to say your name and who it's really for but when I say this song is for someone special you will know I'm referring to you." Said Rusty.

"Ok, if that's what you want. Oh, I get it Omar is going to think it's for him." Said Joe.

"Yeah, But it's only for you Joe. Just take to heart what I'm singing about ok Darlin'." Said Rusty. She put her hand to his face.

"I wish, that I hadn't brought you in on this now." Said Joe. He hugged her.

"Well, it's done and I want to do a good job for you. I'm also going to ask Omar to keep you on as my manager. I'm going to say your family and mine have known each other a long time and you are one of my best and oldest friends. I think he will keep you then." Said Rusty.

"Maybe, If you get him around your little finger if there is room." said Joe.

"Oh so that's where you been hiding the past few weeks?" She asked.

"I've been there almost from the start." said Joe.

"As I have been there on yours." Said Rusty.

"I love you Rusty. I know I don't say it enough." said Joe.

"I love you too Joe. And we don't get to say it a lot. " Said Rusty. "I have to go on just know what I told you."

"I will Rusty." Said Joe as they left the dressing room. "I'm going to introduce you now. Good Luck Honey."

"Thanks, now go and introduce me." Said Rusty. Joe smiled at her squeezed her hand and let it go. He went up on stage and took the mic.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, It's my pleasure to welcome you to the Time Warp. It's also my pleasure to introduce to you the lovely Rusty Mc Dowall. Give her a hand will you?" Said Joe as she walked out on stage. She took Joe's hand for a moment and he let her go and exited the stage.

"Good Evening Ladies and Gentleman. I have a special song I want to sing tonight for a special someone. She looked toward Omar. She winked and smiled. "AT LAST"

Omar looked at her and smiled. Joe and Lily were looking on. Heather came up too.

"She's singing that for me. Omar thinks it's for him. He is going to ask her to marry him." said Joe.

"Joe, I don't understand." said Lily.

"Shush." Said Joe. "I'm listening. Isn't she beautiful and talented." Said Joe.

"Yeah, but……"

"And she wants me." Said Joe.

"Yeah we know, everyone knows." said Heather.

Joe shrugged. "Who cares."

The song ended to thunderous applause. Rusty sang another song.

"Ok tell us. What's going on?" Heather asked.

"Omar wants Rusty to marry him. She's going to accept for the assignment. So we can get in a little deeper." Said Joe.

"Joe isn't that dangerous for her?" Asked Lily.

"Yeah but to get the information she is going to have too. Omar used me as a marriage broker." Said Joe.

"Joe, no don't let her do that." said Lily.

"It's the only way we are going to get anything. Omar is a religious fanatic. He told me the only way there would be liberties is if they were married." Said Joe.

"Ok, I hope you and Rusty know what the hell you are doing." Said Heather.

"Do you think I like this?" He asked a little pissed. "Do you think I like the thought of that Bastard………"

"I'm not sure." Said Heather.

"I don't, not one bit." Said Joe. "But I have to stay focused on keeping everyone safe. I have double duty now with Rusty." said Joe.

"What if they really have to get married. I mean………." Said Heather.

"It's not going to come to that. I'll soon stop it as to let her go though with it." Said Joe.

"I'm glad to hear that." Said Lily.

"Let her work her magic on him. She knows what she is doing. She don't like it either." Said Joe. "But she loves me and I love her and that is what matters now."

"We know." Said Lily.

"Yeah I think the planet knows now." said Joe.

"So Rusty agreed to marry Omar?" She asked.

"Yeah, and it was her decision to do this. It's ok." said Joe.

"I just hope you don't eat your words Joe." Said Heather.

"Yeah I do too. But I think it's going to work out better this way." said Joe.

"We hope." Said Heather. Joe sat down and watched the rest of the show. She sang some more Frankie for him too. She exited the stage and Joe went back but Omar was there first.

"Rusty what a wonderful performance. "Said Omar kissing her cheek and hugging her.

"My goodness. Thanks Mr. Sardoni."

"Omar please."

"Omar. Joe what did you think?" She asked Omar still had his arm around her. Joe wasn't ready to see it so soon but He managed.

"It was lovely as always Rusty." He gave her a smile and shoved his hands in his pockets.

"I see Joe told you what my proposal is." said Omar.

"Yes he told me. I would be pleased to accept." Said Rusty. Joe wasn't ready to hear that either.

"You make me a happy man. Can we set a date?" Asked Omar.

"Let's do that later Shugar." Said Rusty. She saw Joe's eyes. She almost died at the sadness there.

"Omar, you said that Joe couldn't stay on. I wish you would rethink that. His family and mine have been friends a long time. He is one of my dearest and oldest friends. I don't want to loose him just because I am getting married." Said Rusty tugging on Omar's arm.

"Seeing that you want this so badly my dear. Ok he can stay on. I don't want to cut you off from everyone." Said Omar.

"Thanks Mr. Sardoni." said Joe. Omar reached his hand out and shook Joe's. "Omar please from now on."

"Ok." said Joe as he put his hand back in his pockets.

"Now my Desert Rose we shall have dinner with my colleagues. Joe you are welcome to come also seeing you are Rusty's family. I have more business propositions for you." Said Sardoni.

"Well I have to do some things. Can I come a little later?" He asked.

"Of course but please do not come too late." Said Omar. "Oh and when we marry, Joe since you are like her family I would appreciate you giving the bride away." said Omar.

"I would be pleased too." Said Joe. Although deep down he wasn't.

Rusty left with Omar to dinner and Joe went to the van to watch what went on. Heather and Lily were there already.

"Joe have you thought about why Omar would want to marry Rusty so fast?" Asked Heather.

"Yeah, I thought several things one of which is the ability to stay in America." said Joe.

"That's what we thought. I called Marcy and had her start digging into that." said Heather.

"Good Girl." Said Joe smiling at her. "I'm not saying he couldn't be in "LOVE" with her but, It's not likely. He wants something from her and thinks he can get it." said Joe.

"I'm glad you at least still have your eyes open." Said Lily.

"Lily I never stopped. I have to stay objective in this. She isn't going to marry that son of a bitch." said Joe.

"Did you read the wanted sheet on him?" Asked Heather.

"Yeah and I feel like I handed Rusty over to the devil himself." said Joe.

"Yeah, that's how I would feel." Said Lily.

"It's done I can't do anything now but wait." Said Joe.

"They are eating now." said Frank.

"She wont be with that Merry Widow on." said Lily. "She joked that there wouldn't even be enough room for Jello."

"Yeah that thing was plastered on her so tight I thought she was going to suffocate. Did you know she had a thin layer of Kevlar put in there?" Asked Joe.

"No I didn't. How did she manage that? And why?" Asked Heather.

"Don't know I was too busy putting a mic on her to ask." Said Joe. "How come you girls didn't do that?"

"We thought we would let you do that." said Heather giggling a little. "Were did you finally find a place?"

"That was nice of you to think of me at a time like that. Thanks Girls. She put it in the broach that holds the dress on." Said Joe. "I thought she was going to have a what she calls a conniption fit with me trying to put it on."

"Have you ever seen her have one of those?" Asked Heather.

"No, she's never been that mad at me before. I'm hoping that never happens. What's going on Frank?"

"Salazar just came in." said Frank. "So far he has behaved himself."

"Looks like it." said Joe. "But the Devil never stays a gentleman for long. I have to go and meet these guys, I'm giving the bride away."

"What?" Said Lily.

"Yeah, I'm giving the bride away……….Humm, I need to make some calls after this is over tonight." Said Joe he had had an idea.

"You had an Idea." Said Heather.

"Yeah, I just may have saved Rusty's ass." Said Joe. "But she will have to get as far as the church in this."

"Oh Joe that's…………."

"I know but I have some favors to call in. Let me handle this part of it ok? Just help me take care of her."

"We will Joe." said Heather. "We care about her too."

"Thing is I love her so I have to do most of the work here." Said Joe.

"You never admitted that before." Said Lily.

"I should have. Time passes quickly. I'm not loosing out on an opportunity again with Rusty." Said Joe. He smiled. "There might be a church in her future sometime in the not so distant future."

"Was that Joe Renato?" Asked Lily.

"I'm not sure. He sure looked like him." Said Heather.

"Ok, I was making sure." said Lily.

Joe went into the banquet hall at the club.

"Joe glad you made it." said Omar.

"Yeah I got what I needed done. So when's the wedding?" He asked and smiled rubbing his hands together.

"We have not set a date yet." Said Omar.

"No we haven't Joe." said Rusty she was almost white and was about to faint as far as Joe could tell.

"I have some things to discuss with Rusty if you would allow me too." Said Joe.

"By all means." Said Omar.

Joe got a hold of Rusty and took her out of the room.

"What in the hell was that?" She asked.

"Your going to ask for a world wind courtship and marry that Son of a bitch by the weekend." Said Joe.

"Have you lost your mind?" She asked gasping.

"No, You wont marry him. Just get to the church." Said Joe.

"Joe, I am not going to do………."

"Rusty do you trust me?" He asked getting her and making her look him in the eyes.

"Ah, I see a plan in those baby blues of yours my Darlin." Said Rusty. "I thought you'd taken a trip over the rainbow."

"No, I'm still the same old Joe. Just wiser." Said Joe.

"I can't wait to get out of here for the night." Said Rusty.

"I know I'm chomping at the bit too Honey." Said Joe. "Don't worry ok I've got you covered."

"I know, But you scared me to death with the "WHEN'S THE WEDDING statement." Said Rusty. "Oh dear lord in heaven, do I have to wear one of those white dresses again?"

"Yeah why not it's been how long since you divorced?" He asked.

"About 15 years." Said Rusty.

"Ok then get one." Said Joe.

"With a big black hem." Said Rusty.

"Oh so what, brides do what they feel now.' Said Joe as he took her hand.

"Joe you had better not have ideas other than getting my ass out of the fire." Said Rusty.

"Rusty, when I marry you I wouldn't be inviting Omar to the wedding." said Joe.

Rusty blinked. Mouth opened. Joe closed it for her. Then she said. "When? " said Rusty.

"That's right when?" said Joe.

"Oh my dear Lord in heaven you have truly lost your ever lovin' mind Joe!" gasped Rusty. She was turning a pretty shade of pale again.

"Don't go there Rusty. Damnit don't faint on me." Said Joe getting her under one arm. "Just get the bastard to marry you by the weekend."

"How in hell am I going…………. Joe I am not sleeping with him."

"Did I ask you to sleep with anyone?" He asked.

"No matter of fact you ……………"

"That's going to change too Rusty." said Joe smiling at her. "After this is over a lot of things are changing. I'm not going into it now." She started to argue with him. "Rusty………I'm not going into that now Honey."

"Well ok, but you are scaring the holy hell out of me." Said Rusty.

"I'm going to ask again. Do you trust me?" Said Joe.

"Yes. And I love you too but………..something between the time you left me in there and now changed Joe." She said.

"I got a wake up call." Said Joe. "We had better get in there. Just follow what leads I give you. If there are any "

"Ok Darlin' I hope you know what you are doing.. But you always know what you are doing." Said Rusty.

"I do believe me Rusty I do." Said Joe in a determined voice.

They went back into the banquet hall and Omar came over to them.

"Did you get what you needed to do done Joe?" He asked.

"Yes. Rusty had a contract to break with some other company. I had to finagle her out." Said Joe.

"I would have bought the contract if you had said something." said Omar.

"It was best I did this on my own but thanks." Said Joe.

"Joe I would like for you to meet Senor Salazar." said Omar.

"This is Joe, Rusty's Manager and good Friend." said Omar.

"Please to meet you Joe." said Salazar. The men shook hands.

They talked for a while with no leads from Joe yet. He had to talk to his friends at ATF and DEA first. It was almost dawn when Rusty and Joe stopped at her house to get his car.

"Do you want to come in and crash?" She asked.

"Yeah if you don't mind." said Joe. He followed her into the house.

"Joe I'm offering you the other side of the bed if you would rather." said Rusty.

"No that's ok Rusty. I'm past that right now." said Joe.

"Ok but the offer stands." Said Rusty as she handed him a pillow and a blanket.

"I wish I wasn't so tired." said Joe. "Seems like this is were we leave off all the time."

"Yeah, Seem like. Does Marty know how late we are?" She asked.

"Darnell called him. We wont go in to the office today." said Joe.

"Ok, I'm going on." said Rusty. They embraced and held it for a little while. He gave her a kiss.

"Sleep well Rusty." Said Joe.

"You too." said Rusty. And she slipped off into her bedroom.

Around noon Joe woke up and looked around. He had gotten some good rest he stretched and yawned and got up putting on his shirt and went to the kitchen. He looked for the coffee found it and made some. Then he went to her door and checked on her. She was sleeping peacefully. He smiled and went back into the living room. As soon as the coffee was made he took a cup to Rusty.

"Hey Baby wake up." Said Joe putting the cup on her night stand.

"What time is it Joe?" She asked.

"It's after noon." said Joe.

Rusty sat up in bed yawned and stretched.

"Did you sleep any?" She asked as he sat down.

"Yeah I got some really good sleep. I wish my bed were that comfortable." Said Joe handing her the cup. She took it and took a sip.

"It really is lumpy Joe. Thanks for the coffee now slip on in here." Said Rusty. "I'm past that too."

She put down the coffee he slipped in with her and she moved over on his chest.

"Do you feel cheated?" Asked Rusty.

"I've been cheating both of us. For that I'm sorry. That's changing Rusty." said Joe as he held her.

"No that's not what I meant. It wasn't you and it wasn't me. Just the timing sucked." said Rusty as she looked up at him.

"I should have done something about this a long time ago. It's just a relationship hadn't crossed my mind in so long. Then you came into my life. Oh Rusty do you know how much you have changed things?" He asked.

"I think I know just as much as you have changed mine." She said.

"I feel a million years old right now. But I also feel like a million dollars." Said Joe.

"Yeah, now what the hell are you doing about Omar?" She asked.

"I'm calling in a few favors Rusty. There has to be information around to nail him. We can do that at the wedding or the lack thereof." said Joe.

"Oh I see When they play the wedding march………."

"Bingo Rusty. Someone will come down the isle but not you." said Joe.

"So why do I have to go though getting that damned white dress?" She asked.

"You might need it sometime in the future." said Joe smiling at her.

"Joe I don't want to get married again." Said Rusty.

"Why is that? And why do you hate the idea of kids?" Said Joe.

"I don't hate the idea I've always wanted them but I lost three." Said Rusty.

"Oh Honey you never told me that." Said Joe sadly he got a tighter hold on her. "I'm sorry. So you can't have kids at all?"

"No Joe. After I lost the last one the ex said he had enough and divorced me." said Rusty.

"Because you couldn't have kids?" He asked.

"Among other things. Call it lame or bastardly. He wanted his own kids and not me." Said Rusty.

"Well, I have news for you Rusty. If you can't we might adopt. I love you enough to marry you someday." said Joe. "If not adoption Honey your more than enough for me."

"Oh Joe, don't make……………."

"Promises Rusty. Damn it it's time I did." said Joe. "We have been chasing our tails the last few months. I told you that was going to stop. Now, I think I will go and get shaved and showered at my place.

"Oh no you don't you aint a leaving me here." Said Rusty.

"Your not following me into the shower this time. We are going to do this right when it happens again." Said Joe. "I'm making you a promise or several one's right now. 1. Omar is going down by the weekend. 2. You and I are going to……………She started to argue with him. No Rusty hush. 2. You and I are going to have a night together and soon. 3. There will be some sort of permanent relationship with us whether we live together or we get married. Either one will do." Said Joe.

"My dear Lord in heaven." Said Rusty sitting up and looking at him. "You are man possessed."

"Yep. Call me what you want too." said Joe. "It's happening."
"Mind if I call You Darlin'?" She asked.

"No, you called me that since the day we met. It was natural then as it is now." said Joe. He got up and started out her bedroom door.

"Now what?" She asked. She hauled out of bed and grabbed her robe.

"I need a shower some breakfast and you need the same. I'll see you in a couple of hours I need to get a hold of my friends." Said Joe putting on his shoes.

"You are going after you just said that?" She said.

"Yeah you got a lot to think about Honey and so do I. Just know………"

"I love you too." said Rusty walked him to the door.

"Joe?" She asked as he was almost out the door.

"Yeah?" He asked. She put her arms around him and gave him a hug and a kiss.

"Thanks." said Rusty. "Thanks for being the man I always believed you were."

"You had a hand in making him Rusty. I'll see you in a little while." Said Joe as he let her go and went to his car. Rusty stayed at the door as he left. He pulled around and beat on his door.

"Rusty, I'll call you later, Honey." Said Joe he waved.

"Ok." Said Rusty as she waved.

Joe went and got cleaned up. Then he got his cell out and started to make calls. His first one was to the INS.

"Bill It's Joe Renato. Yeah man it's been too long. I'm on the Sardoni case and I am thinking that someone somewhere has more information than I have." said Joe. "Oh really he is in danger of deportation. Ok so that's why he needs to marry so fast. Yeah he has asked another agent to marry him. I plan to go though with it up to her going down the isle. Yeah she's ok with it. I don't want him deported though. He's up to something with Armando Salazar. We think they are planning to send arms to Iraq for Al Qaeda. Ok, thanks Bill. Yeah Bye." said Joe.

Then he called ATF. "Dan yeah it's Joe. I'm on a case involving Sardoni. Oh you do? What? He is planning on buying arms from Armando Salazar? Well it's what I thought. You know when the shipment is coming in? Ok you want to catch him? Yeah he has problems with INS. A female agent has agreed to marry him. Yeah, she's ok with it what I have in mind is she will get to the church but not the isle. Yeah, lets set this up for Saturday. Tenetively. Yeah the agent is trying to get him to set a date. I'll call you back later with the time and day. Thanks Dan."

Joe got his calling over with and called Rusty.

"Hey Honey." said Joe.

"Hello Handsome. What's up?" She asked.

"I got news for you Rusty. Law enforcement is after his ass. Everyone I called wanted him." Said Joe.

"What's he planning or did they know?" She asked.

"He's buying arms to send to Iraq for Al Qaeda. Salazar has agreed to supply him for opium and gold." said Joe.

"That's what I was thinking." said Rusty.

"You have to get him to set a date. Saturday would be nice late afternoon or evening would be good." Said Joe.

"I'll call him. Is the shipment coming though by boat?" She asked.

"Yeah, it's coming on Saturday night late." said Joe. ATF and DEA are going to bust it." Said Joe.

"Wont that play havoc with what are trying to do?" She asked.

"A little but INS is on his ass too. So the reason you are marrying him is to keep him in the country." said Joe.

"Well, I didn't think he was in love with me." Said Rusty.

"No, but you know I am." Said Joe.

"Yeah, I know. You were talking a mile a minute this morning. Good thing I understand that Yankee accent of yours." Said Rusty.

"Yeah I was but I meant every word Honey." Said Joe.

"I know Darlin'. Me too." Said Rusty.

"Go ahead and call the Bastard. Tell him you want to get married Saturday ." Said Joe.

"Ok, I'll try." said Rusty. "We going on a joint venture with the other agencies?" She asked.

"Yeah this time. My friends are going to be at the church." said Joe.

"Oh I see. Yeah Joe this is going to be dangerously fun." said Rusty.

"Now now Rusty. I hear that excitement in your voice." said Joe smiling.

"You know a good sting and bust are going to make little ole Rusty hotter than a pistol." Said Rusty as she was smiling herself.

"I don't know what to do with you woman. Well, ok so I have some ideas." said Joe.

"Please don't keep those ideas of yours to yourself too much longer Darlin'." Said Rusty.

"I'm not." said Joe. "So go on and call him."

"Ok and I'll call you back as soon as I talk to him." said Rusty.

"Ok Honey." Said Joe as they hung up.

Rusty called Omar.

"Hey Shugar it's Rusty."

"Ah, my Desert Rose. What is it that you wish?" He said.

"You want to get married on Saturday?" She asked.

"I had planned to ask you that. Now you know this is a business deal." said Omar.

"Yeah, it's ok. So is Saturday ok with you?" She asked.

"Yes, and I want to take you shopping for an engagement ring." said Omar. "It is the least I can do."

"Oh Omar. That would be wonderful." said Rusty.

"Meet me at Cartiers on Rodeo at noon then." Said Omar.

"I'll be there." said Rusty.

"Till then My Desert Rose." Said Omar and they hung up.

Rusty called Joe Back.

"What did he say?" He asked.

"Yes and he admitted it was a business deal." said Rusty.

"Humm. What else Honey?" He asked.

"I'm to meet him on Rodeo Drive at noon at Cartiers I'm getting an engagement ring." Said Rusty.

"Pick out the biggest one." Said Joe.

"Oh yeah he's going to put down a chunk of change for this Texas gal."

"Ok, I'll call Darnell and have him tail you. Wire yourself ok? Oh and work him over Baby, while you are at it." Said Joe.

"Is there anything else boss man." said Rusty.

"Oh yeah, be careful and I love ya Rusty." Said Joe.

"I love you too Joe. I'll see you later." said Rusty.

"You better believe it Honey. Bye."

Rusty got ready and meet Omar at Cartiers. Darnell was poised out side. She had a mic in her pin again. Darnell had a camera too.

"Hello Omar." said Rusty.

"Rusty. You are looking beautiful as ever." said Omar kissing her cheek.

"Thanks you look pretty dashing yourself."

"Now you may have your pick. What will it be round, marquise, pear?" He asked.

"Oh that one looks lovely." Said Rusty. It was a two carat round.

"Ah the lady knows quality. Allow me." Said Omar slipping the ring on her finger.

She admired the ring. "Oh Omar! Oh Shugar but it's too much." Said Rusty.

"Hardly, what ever you wish. I also am giving you 5 million and a recording contract for being married to me a year. Was the least I can do." Said Omar.

"You are generous." said Rusty.

"I plan to be with you Rusty. You are an incredibly beautiful woman." said Omar.

"Well, thank you Omar." said Rusty. "Since I am going to be your wife……..I was wondering if you might need help with your businesses. Like running one?" She asked.

"I could let you have the Time Warp to run with Joe if you want. I really like him Rusty. I know why you didn't want to get rid of him. He's savvy to things I need." Said Omar.

"And he's a great guy. I've known him most of my life." Said Rusty.

"He is quite a bit older than you isn't he?" Omar asked.

"Oh ten years or so I guess but Joe is a good friend and a great manager." said Rusty.

"I'm glad you are loyal. That told me a lot when you asked me to keep him on. Let's me know you wont fail to be loyal to me." Said Omar. "Because if you don't……..there might be consequences."

"No need for that Omar. I'm loyal as the day is long." said Rusty.

"Good then we understand each other." said Omar.

"We do Omar." said Rusty.

The next thing on the agenda was to find a dress. Rusty was looking on the internet when she got back from her meeting with Omar. Joe knocked on the door.

"Yeah Joe come on in." Said Rusty she was busy at the computer looking at styles.

"How did you know it was me?" He asked coming on in to her office area.

"Darlin' I know your knock." said Rusty.

"You looking at dresses?" He asked.

"Yeah. I'm not doing a lot of footwork on this." said Rusty. "Now if someday I need to I will."

"Yeah you will. I like that one." said Joe. "It was form fitting and backless with a halter top.

"Ok I'll remember that. I'm going with the ball gown skirt." said Rusty/

"Planning on hiding agents out under it Rusty?" He asked and chuckled.

"I might." said Rusty. "I'm sure I'd have at least one volunteer. She winked at him.

"Count me in for that Rusty. How you going to do it. Get the dress I mean?" He asked.

"I can get it at this store. It's guaranteed. I'll give them a call. Oh and I found the tuxes too. See." She said holding up a piece of paper. It was a black traditional with satin collar.

"Classy and you want me to wear that?" he asked.

"Yeah, I think it suites you." Said. "I think you will look very dashing in this."

"Dashing huh? Ok it's your wedding." said Joe.

"Omar got me a rock wanna see?" She asked.

"Yeah, let's see it." She put out her hand. "Whoa. Rusty but it's a little big for that tiny hand."

"Yeah I don't want one that big ever. One carat or less. This thing is tacky."

"Yeah on you it is." Said Joe.

"He insisted. I looked at a lot of styles and he said what ever I wanted. I got this to hang in the window for a prism." Said Rusty giggling.

"Well, at least I will have some idea." Said Joe.

"Darlin' let's not talk about that now. Oh, he told me that I get 5 million after a year of marriage and recording contract. I can manage the Time Warp with you. He likes you Joe. He told me so." said Rusty.

"What the hell do I care about that. I'll just be glad when this is over and things go back to the way they were. Not that way I mean………."

"Yeah the new way." said Rusty.

"I've been thinking on the scenarios you asked of me. About living together." Said Rusty.

"What have you come up with?" He asked.

"I think if I am to see you at all it's going to have to be." Said Rusty.

"Ah Honey……………" Said Joe smiling at her. He gathered her up in his arms. "You wont be sorry I swear."

"I know, it's something that needed to happen a while back ago. But to where we will live is another story."

"I was thinking of the house you are living in now." said Joe. "I like that porch."

"My, My Mr. Renato……….You've been planning this." Said Rusty as she hugged him.

"Yeah, I've been thinking a lot lately on what I needed to do. I don't want to loose you and I might if I drop the ball." Said Joe.

"Na, your stuck with me." Said Rusty she kissed him.

"And you with me don't forget that." Said Joe. Joe looked into her blue eyes and kissed her again but it was different this time and she knew it. Joe finally had let go and was doing what he felt with her.

"Joe……….where did that come from?" She asked. "You never kissed me like that."

"I was keeping myself in check. I had to let go of that at some point. I can't stand it anymore." Said Joe. He was still holding her.

"You didn't have to do that with me. Your quiet a man Darlin'." Said Rusty smiling at him.

"Can we chalk this up to being stupid for both of us and just go on?" She asked.

"Yeah, I think that is a good assessment." Said Joe as he smiled.

"What should we be doing." She asked.

"I'm not sure right now Honey. I need to get my mind back in gear." said Joe letting her go.

"How long have you felt like that?" She asked.

"I don't remember. I guess somewhere along 2 months ago." Said Joe.

"Damn." Said Rusty. "If you had kissed me like that 2 months ago………"

"We'd be in a lot more trouble by now." Said Joe.

"What would be wrong with that?" She asked.

"I'll explain it when I get the words Rusty. I'm sorry Honey." Said Joe.

"I think I understand. It's ok. But what are we supposed to be doing now?" She asked.

"I can take you to get the dress." Said Joe.

"Nope. That's going to be a guarded secret." said Rusty. "Besides your not supposed to see it."

"Rusty have you forgotten who is the groom here?" He asked and chuckled.

"Oh Good Lord I am sorry. Yeah ok you got me there." said Rusty

"I should go and see about the team do you want to go with me?" He asked.

"Yeah let me go and get something better on." Said Rusty.

"Ok. But now that I'm outta check you better hurry or I 'm coming in after you." Said Joe.

"Is that a threat or a promise?" She asked.

"Both." Said Joe. "Now hurry up."

They got up to the office around 3pm. The team assembled in Joe's office.

"I didn't get much on surveillance." said Darnell.

"Rusty told me." said Joe. "I think we are going to have to just wait until Saturday. INS wants him for violations, Everyone is wanting a piece of him. I was told by some friends of mine that he is trying to get weapons to send to Iraq from Salazar. Omar is trading gold and Opium for them. I learned from a friend that they are going to bust the ship coming in late on Saturday night. So we bust Omar then the DEA busts Salazar and Omar's shipment." Said Joe.

"Makes me wonder why we were sent in in the first place." Said Rusty.

"The powers that be thought there was more to it." Said Joe. "That's what I was told but we bust him."

"What's that on your hand Rusty?" Asked Lily.

"Omar's engagement ring. It's a little tacky." Said Rusty.

"Just a bit but its' pretty I mean the diamond is." Said Lily.

"Rusty you have your dress yet?" Asked Heather.

"Not yet I found one and I want to go tomorrow and get it." Said Rusty.

"Oh let us go with you." Said Lily.

"Yeah I would love to see it." Said Heather.

Joe Rolled his eyes. "Ladies she is not marrying him."

"Yeah we know." Said Heather.

"Darlin' it's a gal thing." Said Rusty giggling.

"It would have to be." said Joe. "Women"

"Be nice Joe." Said Rusty.

"That was nice." Said Joe. "This is turning into what did you call it Rusty?"

"Oh, a hen party." Said Rusty.

"Yeah, that's what it's turning into." Said Joe.

"We just want to see the dress." Said Lily.

"Ok, so you go with her tomorrow and see it. She wont let me. "I told her had she forgotten who the groom was."

"Rusty!" Said Heather. "Are you and Joe………….."

"No." said Joe. "When it happens you will be the first to know Heather."

"I think that's a good idea myself." Said Lily.

"Good idea or not Rusty has to get though this first." Said Joe.

"Ah ha." said Heather.

"Geeze girls can it will you." Said Joe.

"Ok, ok." said Lily.

"Can I say something here?" Asked Darnell.

"Why not everyone else has." Said Joe.

"I think Rusty is one of the finest women I have ever know and if you don't marry her I will." Said Darnell.

"Oh Darnell, I didn't know you cared sweetie." Said Rusty.

"Well, if Joe doesn't get off his butt soon." Said Darnell. Joe glanced at him. "Hey man I had to say something it's not good to keep a lady wondering."

"Ya know Darnell, next time we go out on surveillance together we are going to have a long talk." Said Joe.

"Rut Row." Said Rusty .

"Just kidding Darnell. Rusty and I have talked things over. When we know you guys will know ok?" Said Joe. He knew they all cared about them.

"Ok.' Said Darnell.

Joe looked at his watch and frowned.

"What's up Darlin'?" Asked Rusty.

"We had better get going. Omar will want us at the club for you to practice." said Joe.

"Yeah. I know." Said Rusty.

"Ok, you know when you are expected there. Darnell have you found anything in the books yet?" Asked Joe.

"Some things but not enough to use." Said Darnell.

"Ok Darnell. Rusty let's go." Said Joe.

"Ok. See ya'll tonight." Said Rusty.

"You bet Rusty." Said Darnell.

"Oh and Darnell thanks." Said Rusty as she went over and kissed his cheek. He smiled at her and she smiled back.

"Quit encouraging him Rusty and come on." Said Joe.

She left the room ahead of Joe. Joe was shaking his head.

"Oh my Darlin' quit the hard ass routine." Said Rusty.

"Ok on one condition." Sid Joe.

"Yeah, what's that." She asked.

"That you quit kissing Darnell. You are going to give him a complex and me one too." Said Joe.

"Oh but Darlin' that was a thank you kiss not a Throw me down and………"

"I get that ok?" He asked.

"Sheesh why did you get PMS all of a sudden." Said Rusty.

"I don't know. I don't feel comfortable telling the team what's up with us." Said Joe.

"They are part of your family Joe. They care and want you to be happy." said Rusty.

"Ok, so I'm acting like a schmuck." said Joe.

"Just a little tiny bit my love." Said Rusty.

"Humm, it used to be Darlin'." said Joe.

"Well, A gal can change her mind if she wants too." said Rusty. Joe shook his head.

"Get in Minerva is waiting." Said Joe.

"I know and she loves it that you are driving her again." said Rusty.

"I like it too." said Joe.

The days went on pretty much like clockwork. Joe was enjoying her singing and the old clothes she was wearing it just accentuated her beauty. He was looking forward to this being over and trying to have a life for once.

The day of the "wedding" was at hand. That afternoon Rusty got dressed at the church. Joe had gotten permission to use it. Her back up singers were acting as her brides maids this time. Heather had done her hair and put the veil on at her place. Joe came in dressed in the black tux. He waited for her in the foyer. Rusty was dressed and got her bouquet. She came though the door. Joe wasn't ready for what he saw but acted accordingly. Upon seeing her he smiled.

"You're a vision Rusty." said Joe. "Beautiful just doesn't describe you right now. I'm not sure what would."

"Oh Darlin', my goodness thank you." said Rusty putting a rose in his butioneer hole. "By the way I was right about that tux you look handsome and dashing." she straitened the lapel and patted it.

"Thanks I clean up good. Rusty, I had to make some changes in this." Said Joe. "I didn't have time to tell you. You and I are going to have to go down the isle. The men are coming in on the does anyone object part."

"Ok, do you see how happy I am with you right now for making me do that?"

"Yeah, I guess I'll have to get a peach tree switch later and let you give me a what did you call it….oh yeah, A whoopin'."

"Yeah, that poor tree is going to be bare at some point." Said Rusty. "Right now I could ring your neck."

"I know and I'm sorry. Here let me fix that veil." Said Joe pulling the veil over her face. He smiled at her. "I love you Rusty. It'll work out."

"It had better. I love you too Handsome." said Rusty. "I'll get over it quick though."

"I know." Said Joe as the music started. "It'll be over soon Honey."

"Yeah, now you will have to navigate I can't see anything with this thing in my face." Said Rusty. She blew the veil away from her face for a second.

Joe took her arm and entwined it in his. "Ok start with your left foot."

"Ok, here goes." said Rusty as the processional started. Joe looked at her and gave her a smile. She smiled at him too and they walked down the isle.

"Should I think of this as a dress rehearsal?" She asked whispering.

"You might say that." said Joe whispering back.

The wedding went on Joe giving her over to Omar for the duration. The fake preacher asked if there were any objections and the men came down the isle.

"Omar Sardoni, you have the right to remain silent." Said one agent. His gun was drawn.

Rusty quickly let go of Omar and pulled the veil out of her eyes. Omar turned around and had his back to Joe Rusty was still in grabbing distance. Before the Miranda was given out Omar grabbed Rusty and put a gun to her head.

"I want out of here now………..Or I kill this Bitch." Said Omar.

Joe quickly got out his revolver and cocked the trigger pointing it at Omar's head.

"I don't think so. Let her go or I'm going to send you to Allah myself." Said Joe. "Slowly now, give me your gun and let Rusty go." Said Joe between his teeth. Omar moved slightly. "Just give me a reason Omar." Joe shoved the revolver further into Omar's neck.

Since the gun was at his head Omar complied. He let Rusty go throwing her to the ground. "That's a good boy, now hands behind your head and we will march out of here." said Joe still having the gun trained on him. Rusty got up and stood back. Joe was more than ready to shoot him He was more angry than Rusty had ever seen him. As soon as they got out on the steps of the church the other men took Omar into custody reading him his Miranda rights though. Rusty came out.

"Bitch, I told you not to cross me. You'll pay." Said Omar and he spat at her. Rusty wiped off the spit.

"Shut up Omar." said Joe and got him by the collar. Joe was about to hit him when Rusty put her hand on his arm and asked him to quit.

"No Joe, your giving him ammunition." said Rusty. Joe let him go flinging him back a bit.

"Omar your lucky the lady's being generous with you." Said Joe anger still welling.

The other agents took him away in a car all the time Omar looked at Rusty and Joe daggers were being thrown both ways.

"Joe calm down now Darlin', we got him. I'm afraid your going to bust a gasket." Said Rusty taking his arm.

Joe got a grip and got a better mood about him. "Hey Rusty there's a limo sitting there."

"Yeah, it's just sitting there doing nothing. So what's your plan Handsome?" She asked.

"Well, I was thinking………….."

"Yeah I know what you are thinking." said Rusty.

"Well, we are done here. They are booking him was our job to lure and hook him. You did that just fine Honey." said Joe. "Now if you would like too lure me in and hook me……."

"Oh I think I have already done that." said Rusty as he put his arm out for her and they went down the steps. "Watch the dress Darlin'."

"I am in fact how are you going to get in the limo?" He asked. She gathered up the train to the dress and scooted in. He got in after her.

"Is there enough room with all that frew, frew." Asked Joe.

"Yes." said Rusty. "So where do we go from here?" She asked as he slid her over to him and put his arms around her.

"Your Place?" He asked smiling.

"Yeah Darlin'." Said Rusty. "Driver……" She told him where to go.

Joe put up the window that separated the back seat and the driver. As they pulled away they kissed.

All the while Salazar's men saw the bust in a car across the street. They had seen how Joe and Rusty acted. "We must go to Senor Salazar right now." Said one of the men.

"Yes and report that Rusty and Joe are some kind of law enforcement. They drove off in the direction of his offices.

They got to her place and he didn't wait for the driver to get out and open up the door. He got her hand and pulled her out. "That'll be all for tonight." Said Joe to the driver.

Rusty handed him her keys as they went to the door. It was hard getting it open They were hugging and kissing etc.

"Joe my neighbors." Said Rusty.

"Let them get their own." Said Joe smiling as he pulled her up the steps and into the house, then he got the lock opened, pulled her inside and slammed the door. You could hear was the sound of her skirt swishing the sound of things being toppled and a lot of giggling on both of their parts.

Later on that night from the door to the bedroom lay clothes strewn about. Rusty and Joe lay curled up together.

"Well, that was interesting." Said Joe.

"Just interesting?" She asked.

"I'm still trying to figure out the words for that. I'm speechless." said Joe.

"Your weren't about 5 minutes ago." said Rusty smiling evilly at him.

"Neither were you." said Joe cracking one of his own. "We were pretty loud."

"You are staying. There is no need for you to leave." Said Rusty.

"Yeah, I'm not moving too much though." Said Joe.

"Yeah I have muscles I forgot I had." Said Rusty slipping on her hot pink satin nightgown.

"Rusty you are starting this all over again with that." said Joe pointing at the nightgown.

"So what." said Rusty. "I could do this all night."

"Nice to be wanted that badly I think. If you don't kill me first." Said Joe.

"You know you can handle me. You have before." she settled back on his chest her hand running though the hair on it.

"Yeah and it was good then. Man, I guess we ought to go without for a while to get this again." Said Joe.

"Don't you dare Joe Renato." Said Rusty pinching him.

"Ouch woman." Said Joe. He gathered her up in his arms again.

"It's really late." Said Rusty.

"Yeah, I think we ought to just settle down and go to sleep if we can." said Joe.

"Oh so you think you can get away with that?" She asked.

"No but I thought I'd try." said Joe smiling at her. "I love you Rusty."

"I love you too Joe."

While this was going on the men got to Salazar.

"Senor, Mr. Sardoni has been busted." said one of the men.

"What? By whom?" Asked Salazar.

"That Rusty woman and the man named Joe." Said the other.

"Well, they must be FBI. Get some information. I have a plan." Said Salazar. "They just think they can mess up my plans. I'll see what I can do to get Omar out on bail."

"Very well sir. We will get the information for you." said the first man.

"Do it fast I want to do this by morning." Said Salazar.

The next morning came. Joe was still asleep when Rusty woke up. She looked over at him sleeping and smiled got out of bed and put on the robe that matched the nightgown. She made coffee and took him a cup. She put the cups down and got back in with him. She touched his face waking him up he opened his eyes and looked at her and smiled.

"What time is it?" He asked as he pulled her to him.

"Oh about 8:30." said Rusty.

He took a breath in "I enjoyed last night." Said Joe.

"I did too my love." said Rusty.

"I wouldn't mind you waking me up all the time." Said Joe.

"Me either we have to fix this and soon." Said Rusty.

"I have an idea it's close to the end of the month. Would you like me to move in with you?" He asked. "Lou's parole is up but I have to leave the cat. Lou is really attached to her."

"That would be wonderful Darlin'. She said and kissed him. "I'm glad he loves her but she would have been welcomed here."

"Yeah I know. You miss yours. If we weren't so busy I'd say we ought to go and find a kitten at the shelter." Said Joe.

"But we are and it wouldn't be fair. I'll help you pack this is long overdue." said Rusty. "Oh I have coffee for you."

"Thanks, I'll drink it later though. I'm enjoying this time." said Joe. "There is so little time to do this."

"I have something I want to show you." said Rusty as she got up a little and reached across him. She rummaged though her night stand and pulled out a pair of handcuffs.

"Ah Rusty I am not into………." He gulped.

"No, Joe how well do you know how to get out of a pair of these?" She asked. "Silly boy."

"Whew you scared me there for a minute."

"No I'm not into that crap either so don't worry." Said Rusty.

"Just use the key." said Joe. She sat up.

"I'm serious can you get yourself out of these without a key?" She asked.

"No, I didn't know there was a way and why are you bringing this up now?" He asked.

"I don't know I think something is going to happen. Not that I didn't enjoy you last night but I am getting a feeling we are fixing to run into trouble somehow. I just have a feeling and most of the time when I do something happens." Said Rusty.

"Ok, I think I understand what you are saying. I think something is going down too. We left something unchecked I think but what? He asked.

"I don't know but I'm going to teach you how to get out of a pair of these." Said Rusty. "Put them on me and I'll show you. Not tight and that is usually how bad guys do it."

He put the handcuffs on her loosely. "It works better if you have double joints and I do in my wrists. The trick is to cross you thumb over your palm as far as you can like this." She demonstrated.

"Your working your wrist bone and pulling them over your hand and into slipping out of them." Said Joe. "My hands might be too big.

"See that's the beauty of your hands my Darlin' talented they are but your wrists and palms are smaller. She wiggled out of them in about 5 minutes give or take.

"That's a neat trick. Let me try then." Asked Joe. He allowed her to cuff him and he started with the same motions that she had and in less time had them off.

"Your name should be Houdini." Said Rusty.

"You were right. Now most men couldn't do that right?" He asked.

"Most." Said Rusty as she put them up.

"You are so smart." said Joe.

"Just crafty." said Rusty.

She handed him the cup of coffee and he took a sip.

"Is it cold?" She asked.

"No. Just right." Said Joe. "You know your pretty entertaining. It's not every day a guy gets dinner and show."

"Joseph Renato." Rusty said aghast.

"Well?" He asked. "Now to breakfast but first………." He said kissing her and pulling the blankets over them.

"Joe? Again?" She asked.

"Do you really have to ask." Said Joe.

Salazar's men found out about Rusty and Joe. They had been given orders to take Joe alive for questioning. Or a beating which ever came first. They waited outside his apartment building.

"Honey I really should go and get a start on the packing." said Joe.

"Ok, I'll finish up the dishes. Oh Joe there are boxes out in the storage closet." Said Rusty. "You are welcome to them. I'll be over just as soon as I get this done."

"Ok Honey." Said Joe as he went and gave her a hug and a kiss.

"Love ya Handsome." Said Rusty smiling.

"Love you too." Said Joe letting her go. He went out the door in that tux carrying his coat and tie.

Arriving at his apartment building, he wasn't on guard like he would be otherwise. The night with Rusty had really changed his mood. He was whistling when he got to the door. He had put his hat on taking it in the apartment that way. He got to the door and opened it still whistling and felt a prick of a pin on his neck. He looked down and saw a medium sized dart. Before it could register he fell on the ground out cold. The two men carted him off.

Rusty had found more boxes and called his cell phone. She got his voice mail. She frowned. Then she got the feeling something was up. She called Darnell.

"Darnell, Sweetie this is Rusty."

"Yes, what can I do for you?" asked Darnell.

"We may have a problem. Joe's not answering his cell and its' going to his voice mail. That's not like him." Said Rusty.

"No it's not. Tell you what why don't I meet you at his apartment building right now. This doesn't sound good to me." Said Darnell.

"No, it's not like Joe. He even answers in the shower." Said Rusty.

"Yeah, I'll meet you there." Said Darnell. Let's meet down the street some. "I'm bringing my gun."

"I think you may need it." Said Rusty. She grabbed both her backup and her Glock 26. And headed over to Joe's apartment building. She met Darnell on the other side of it. They reached the apartment building entrance door .

"Darnell check the car. Oh God look!" Said Rusty as she saw his hat and jacket laying on the front entrance.

"Slowly Rusty." Said Darnell.

"Yeah, didn't you know I was a Handler in Dallas?" She asked.

"No, I didn't know that." Said Darnell.

"Let's go and see. Upstairs."

They went ahead . Rusty went by the hat and jacket and went upstairs and inside the apartment. She had a key. She checked everything and it was all in place. She went back outside. Darnell was looking around. They locked the door and went back downstairs.

Darnell looked around on the ground outside.

"Hey look at this." Said Darnell.

"Wait." said Rusty. "Let me go and see if I have a ziplock bag. That's the best we can do."

"Looks like a dart used to tranquilize." Said Darnell.

"Yeah that's what it is. Joe is in deep shit." Said Rusty.

"Want me to call Marty?" He asked.

"Not yet." said Rusty. She went to her car. Inside the glove box was a couple of snack size zip locks. Rusty had gotten some Kleenex to pick it up with. "We need to have this analyzed."

"Yeah but it's Sunday." Said Darnell.

"Matt one of my horn players is CSI." Said Rusty. She got on her cell phone.

"Matt it's Rusty we have a problem. Yeah Joe's gone missing and we are here at his place. Yeah, we found a dart used to tranquilize. We don't know what he was given. Oh you will? Thanks a bunch Matt. Sure I'll meet you at the lab. Thanks bye."

"Well?" Asked Darnell.

"He is meeting us at the lab." said Rusty. She closed the door and picked up his hat and jacket.

"You know Rusty he wouldn't just leave that hat around either." Said Darnell.

"Yeah I know, Will you go with me?" She asked.

"Sure, I'll help out. We need to call Marty. Said Darnell.

"You know what he is going to say. Let the others find him. Well that is not an option. I think this has to do with Salazar. We were talking about that this morning." Said Rusty.

"Oh?" He asked.

"Yeah Darnell, we were busy last night." Said Rusty.

"Ok, so I don't have to marry you now?" He asked.

"No, but thanks for saying that. Gave Joe a complex." Said Rusty. "If he wasn't in trouble it would be funny."

"You know Rusty we could have him tracked with his cell phone." Said Darnell. "I know someone that can do that."

"Oh you sweet thing you. Remind me to kiss you later ok?" Said Rusty as she got to the Federal Building.

"Ok but Joe wont like that." Said Darnell.

"It's ok. There's Matt." said Rusty.

"Hi Rusty. Are you sure that he just didn't shut his cell down?" Asked Matt.

"No, he never does that. His hat and tux jacket were laying on the ground. Here is the dart." Said Rusty.

"That's pretty big for use in humans." Said Matt looking at it.

"Oh don't tell me that is for use in animals." Said Rusty.

"Yeah it's a vet's dart." said Matt.

"Crap. He'll be out for days then." Said Rusty. "Oh God it might kill him."

"Calm down Rusty let's see what I find out first." said Matt. They went in and he performed some tests.

"Rusty I'm going to work on tracking him though the cell phone." Said Darnell.

"That's a good idea." Said Rusty. "Thanks."

"It's Fentanyl. That's what the toxicology just told me." Said Matt.

"So it will put him out but not for long. And he will be kind of happy he was right?" Asked Rusty.

"Yeah, it's not a lethal dose." said Matt.

"Ok I feel a little better and thanks for helping." Said Rusty. She gave Matt a hug.

"You need to call his boss Rusty. This could get you in a lot of trouble." said Matt.

"I don't care. They can hang me if they want too if I find him and I will, I might be the only one that can." said Rusty.

"Your funeral but, I'll help if you need back up." Said Matt.

"Thanks I knew I could count on you." Said Rusty.

"You can count on 6 more guys too you know that." Said Matt.

"Matt Sweetie you just earned a kiss." Said Rusty. "Thanks." She gave him a kiss on the cheek and started calling her band members.

"Rusty we got a fix on Joe's cell phone." Said Darnell. "Will you please let me call Marty."

"Darnell if you don't want in this then go on. I'm not going to call Marty . Why are we wasting time talking about it. I want that boy back in my arms and soon." said Rusty.

"Rusty you are going to get fired." Said Darnell. "Don't throw your career away Joe wouldn't want you too." Said Darnell.

Rusty thought about it. "Ok you call Marty and explain that I have already started an investigation I will report to him. I have to go and talk to my band." She said.

"Ok will you be at the bar?" He asked.

"Yeah, Joe gave me a key so I could practice." Said Rusty. "Meet me there when you are done. I have to go. Times wasting."

"Ok see you in a little while." Said Darnell as he got his cell phone out and dialed Marty's number.

Rusty ran to her car and started it peeling it out. "Hang on Handsome I'm coming as fast as I can." She was fighting tears as she drove.

While this was going on Joe sat still out from the dart. One of Salazar's henchmen threw water on him. He woke up. His hands were handcuffed behind him and he was sitting in a chair in a warehouse.

"So Joe you thought you could screw with the cartel and not get caught." Said the man.

"What are you talking about?" Said Joe his eyes weren't adjusted yet.

"That red headed bitch and you are law enforcement." said the man. "Now tell us what you know about us." Said the man.

"Your nuts." Said Joe. The man hit him hard on the mouth.

Joe spit the blood out of his mouth. "You didn't have to………."

The man hit him again. Joe looked at him with anger. "You don't have to do that."

"Yes I do. Now tell me what that bitch and you know." Said the man. "Hector get him to his feet."

Hector did as instructed. The man started beating him. Joe was on the ground when Salazar himself came in. "Tito stop." said Salazar.

"He's not talking." said Tito.

"He wont if you keep beating him like that. We will have to send him back in a body bag to that Punta." Said Salazar.

Joe understood a little Spanish and he knew he called Rusty as whore.

"She's not a whore." Said Joe spitting out blood again.

"She is. Look at what she did to Omar. And you must be her pimp." Said Salazar. "When we get her, her whoring days will be over."

"I don't know anything about what you are talking about." said Joe. "But you had better stop the name calling."

"You are in no position to tell me what you want to do." Said Salazar taking him by the back of his head by his hair.

"What do you want." said Joe.

"What do you know of the operation." said Salazar.

"Rusty and I know nothing." Said Joe defiantly.

"Get the pentothal." said Salazar. "I don't have time to wait on this American Dog."

They sat him back in the chair and administered the drug.

"I can tell you that doesn't work on me. The only thing you get is maybe Rusty's measurements or maybe her birthday." Said Joe.

"Well see now shut up." Said Tito slapping him.

They gave him the shot and waited. Joe started to act like he'd had a little too much tequila.

"Now what do you know about us." said Salazar. Joe was right at a little goofy at that point.

"I know you're an ass hole." said Joe smiling now.

"Tell us what you know." Said Salazar.

"Well, let's see I was born in Jersey, that's New Jersey to assholes like yourselves. I'm 52 years old,. " Said Joe. "I have a pain in the ass brother. And a gorgeous girlfriend. "

"Dog tell us!" Yelled Salazar.

"I don't have a dog, I have a cat. Sheesh! Let's see Rusty was born in Dallas TX. She's 40 years old . Man for forty she is one luscious hot babe don't you think?" He asked. "Oh man and her……Joe put his hands up talking about Rusty's bust line. Well, you have never seen a pair like she has." Said Joe.

"You tell us what we want to know or she gets it." Said Salazar.

"Your too damn late Salazar she got something already last night." Said Joe he still had a shit happy grin on his face. "Let's see…….he started counting. Yeah at least 2 times last night and oh yeah this morning. How could I forget that. Not bad for a 52 year old from Jersey eh?" He said. Then he gave a wink. He was proud of himself by now.

"I don't want to know about your whore just what you know about us." Said Salazar.

"It's not working I'm going to spill everything I know about myself and Rusty but………Oh and I forgot to say something."

"What's that?" Asked Salazar

"Rusty will be coming for me. So I'd watch out. She's sweet as pie or cake but screw with something or someone she loves and you are in for it. I wouldn't piss that little spitfire off. She is one bad Mother……..Sorry Lady." Said Joe.

"What could she do to us. She is nothing but a whore." Said Salazar.

"Plenty she has imagination. Believe me. I'm going to ask you politely this time. Quit the name calling. Rusty is a lady."

"Lady or no we will get the information from her then since you are screwing around." Said Salazar.

"Oh man I'm not screwing around I swear. I'd never screw around on her. Why would I have reason too?" He said. "She's built like a brick house is more than will if you know what I mean and, and she's the best woman in the world. Guys would you screw around on someone like that?"

"This dog isn't talking." said Salazar. "Call the bitch and tell her that we have him and that we will trade her for him."

"That aint going to work." said Joe.

"Why not?" Salazar asked.

"Because Rusty is too smart she's already on her way I bet. She knows me. I know her. Your going to damn well regret you pissed that lady off." Said Joe.

"You make her sound like infantry is coming." Said Salazar.

"Oh it is. She maybe 5 foot 4 and weigh lets see about 115 pounds and that's soaking wet with rocks in her pockets too you bastards. But she's combustible." Said Joe.

"Combustible?" Asked Tito this time.

"Yeah they call her Miss Combustible. I should know. I'm her steady." Said Joe smiling proudly but still under the drug.

"Get this buffoon out of here." Said Cortez. "He's right it's not working. We'll have to get the bitch and see if it works on her. Call her now." Said Cortez.

"Would you tell her to please pick my hat up. Thanks Guys." Said Joe smiling at them.

Rusty was finishing talking to her band when her cell went off.

"This is Rusty."

"This is Salazar we have your man. Come alone to the warehouse. We will trade him for you. Do it quickly." said Salazar.

"How do I know he's still alive." Said Rusty. They put Joe to the phone. He was still under the drug.

"Hey Honey, Pick up my hat please. Oh and while your at it baby come and get these bastards ok?" He asked. "Make sure you don't forget to get my hat."

"Joe are you ok?" She asked. "I have it."

"Ok good. Yeah Baby I'm ok. But these ass holes know everything about us sorry Honey." Said Joe.

"Joe what is wrong……….Oh Shit pentothal."

"Bingo Gorgeous. They filled me up. I'll be spillin' for days I bet." Said Joe. "Brains and beauty too. Damn I'm a lucky man."

"That's enough of this shit. Come quickly or he's dead." said Salazar. He hung up.

"They got Joe he says he's ok but they gave him pentothal. He was acting a bit drunk instead of high." Said Rusty.

"Oh don't you know it's not working on him. He took the test not long ago." Said Matt. "The results said it would make him act drunk."

"Ok, so we do as we planned. If anyone wants out then this is the time." Said Rusty as Darnell came in.

"Rusty, Marty said go on and do it the way you want. He trusts you." Said Darnell. "Marty is not like anyone else. Besides he knows about you and Joe."

"Knows what?" She asked.

"That you are an item.'' Said Darnell.

"Ok." Said Rusty. "Darnell you don't have to go."

"Are you going to stop me?" Asked Darnell.

"No, not on your life." Said Rusty.

"Good, now fill me in." Said Darnell. She filled Darnell in then she went to Minerva.

Rusty sat in her car and prayed and then she broke and cried. Then she got herself in pissed mode as she called it. Her guns loaded under her shirt that was left tucked out. Since Joe was under the influence she put a key on her belt so that he could free himself if handcuffed. What no one knew was her band was well trained in tactical.

"Come on Minerva let's get our Joe." said Rusty as she drove to the warehouse. The men were already in place. She walked in like she owned the place. Her lovely face held a scowl. She came up on the men. Tito brought Joe out shoved him forward and he landed on the floor. Rusty looked at the men and got a hold of Joe.

"I told you guys she'd be coming for me." Said Joe.

"Are you ok?" She whispered.

"Yeah Baby I'm fine. I bet there is a colt mustang pocket light on that pretty little ass of yours?" He asked.

"Yeah and a key for the cuffs." said Rusty.

"Alright I hope you got a plan for this. Because right now Baby I don't." Said Joe as he got up and went behind her she still had them trained with her eyes. Joe lifted the gun out of her holster but he had gotten the cuffs off by the way she showed him. He stood behind her.

"Now Bitch come with us." Said Salazar.

"Excuse me?" She asked. "Did I hear you call me a bitch?"

"Yes that is what you are. You will tell us what you know about our operation. Now get moving." Said Salazar.

"First of all when someone calls me a bitch I say thank you." Said Rusty. "Thank you."

"Second of all that's not happening."

Salazar saw that she was serious.

"If you don't come with us now Punta you and your man are dead." Said Salazar.

"I don't think so." Said Rusty as 7 rifles cocked so they could hear them.

Salazar fired at Rusty and she returned fire. Joe and Rusty got down behind some crates.

"That is your idea of a plan?" He asked. "Have you lost your mind?"

"The boys are here. Earl is here too. He's a sharp shooter." Said Rusty.

"He is? That quiet cowboy?" He asked.

"Yeah surprising isn't it. We have a problem Joe." said Rusty as she pulled her hand from her side.

"Your hit Honey." Said Joe as he started looking. "Why didn't you wear the Kevlar?"

"I have it on. It didn't work." Said Rusty. "I guess there wasn't enough thickness to help much

"Rusty. No now come on. It's not that bad." Said Joe. He started to look under her shirt. She finally had to make him quit.

"Joe stop the messing around under there. Yeah I know but it hurts like hell."

"Ah take all the fun out of this will ya?" He asked.

"Later Darlin'." Said Rusty aiming a shot.

She had hit Salazar, He was down. Now the boys were after Tito and Hector. Joe got mad. Rusty was hit and that wasn't an option. He took aim and fired at Tito getting him.

"Joe? Ah, you sure you weren't raised in East Texas?" She asked.

"Nope. But I'm pissed now call my lady a whore and a bitch will he?." said Joe. Earl picked off Hector they wounded both men Salazar was hit bad but he would live.

"Rusty, how's the wound?" He asked as they all came out of hiding to secure the area.

She pulled the top she had on up. It had gone though the Kevlar just grazing her it lay just above the skin.

"I don't think I have ever seen anything like that Honey." said Joe.

"That's funny I've never seen anyone like you Darlin'." said Rusty. "Poor Joe you are acting like we had a night of Tequila instead."

"I'm still stupid with the drug Honey." aid Joe.

"So do you love me?" She asked.

"I do I love you very much. Oh and I want to marry you sometime soon too. Yeah, real soon." Said Joe thinking on it.

"Oh Darlin' I'm not taking that as a proposal." said Rusty.

"Well it's not a proposition." said Joe winking at her. "You would know."

"Oh Lord if I wasn't hit." said Rusty shaking her head.

Darnell came over. "Joe is she hit?" Asked Darnell.

"Yeah but she'll live." Said Joe. "It's just a scratch."

"Scratch hell." Said Rusty. "They are going to have to take this puppy out."

Darnell looked at it. "No Rusty it's laying there." Said Darnell.

Joe took his fingers and lifted the bullet out. It was smashed but the Kevlar did that. It had just broken the skin.

"Whaddaya know." Said Joe. "Now get up Rusty you have some Splannin' to do."

"Make me sound like Lucille Ball." Said Rusty as she got up with the help of Joe and Darnell.

"She was about as much trouble. But not as beautiful as you are." Said Joe smiling widely still goofy with the drug.

"Are you ok Joe?" Asked Rusty.

"Yeah but I'm going to have to go and see a dentist. They knocked a couple teeth loose." said Joe feeling of his back teeth.

"Hey Earl you ok up there?" She asked of Earl still in his roost.

"Yeah Fine." Said Earl waving at her.

"Why do I feel like I am in the twilight zone and Rod Serling is going to come out any minute." Said Rusty as she looked at Joe.

"Honey, I'm there now. Oh man, this shit is wicked." Said Joe stumbling. Darnell got hold of him.

"Well they gave you a vet dart full of Fentanyl too." said Rusty.

"Oh so that's why I didn't mind much waking up. Vet dart? What did they think I was a rhino or something? Then they gave me Pentothal. Now I'm as wacky as a……………"

"Yeah we know and I would think it would be more like a lion." said Rusty. "Are are you acting normal?"

"I'm not sure. "said Joe.

"Don't you think you two should get checked out? Me and the band can take care of this Marty is on his way too." Said Darnell.

"Ok, the ambulance is here." Said Rusty looking outside the window and down.

"I have to say this for Rusty she stayed cool and calm though out this. Joe I would be pretty proud of her." Said Darnell. Rusty came over and kissed his cheek.

"Ok Rusty what was that for?" Asked Joe.

"Darnell helped me a lot. He helped me coordinate things." Said Rusty.

"Oh? So do I need to put you in for a promotion." Said Joe smiling proudly at both of them.

"No it was all Rusty. She quickly figured out things were not right and got things done." Said Darnell.

"That's my woman. I told those bastards they would regret pissing Rusty off." Said Joe.

"Darlin' I have you back and that's what I was after. I'm glad my plan worked." said Rusty.

"For a moment I was wondering but, with you there is a lot of things that are left unexplained. I'm proud of you Rusty." Said Joe hugging her.

"Thanks Darlin'. They really beat the crap out of you." Said Rusty as she looked at his face.

"Yeah, Had I gotten the cuffs off before they gave me the drug I'd have been out of here." Said Joe.

"You are full of it and you know you weren't going anywhere." Said Rusty.

"Your right let's get checked out." Said Joe as they began to look at their abrasions.

A couple of days later Marty had them come to his office. Joe still had some cuts and bruising but he was going to be fine. So was Rusty. Marty stood up and smiled as Rusty and Joe came in.

"Hello Rusty, Joe." said Marty putting out his hand for them.

They shook hands with him. Said their hello's.

"Joe here tells me you did an excellent job finding him and getting him back." said Marty. "The reports I have gotten from the rest of your team suggest you need your own team."

"Yeah, well. Thanks I had to find him. You know I really care about this big old teddy bear." said Rusty smiling at Marty.

"I've heard that too. What you did on the Sardoni/Salazar sting and bust……..all arrows point to you getting your own team." Said Marty looking at the commendations.

"Well, Joe asked me to help out. Then he got made and taken I couldn't allow anything to happen to him." said Rusty.

"Next time though and this is just a friendly warning, tell me what's going on when you get a feeling on it Rusty " said Marty.

"Didn't you say something about the powers that be want her to head your band on detachment assignments." asked Joe.

"Yeah, but we can discuss that later." Said Marty. Joe and Rusty got up. "Now get out of my office and go and do the best you can. I know that will be a lot ."

"You got that right Marty." said Joe and they left.

"Well Gorgeous lets go and talk things over." said Joe. He took her hand and lead her down the hall to his office and closed the door. "It's lunch time and I feel a game of 8 ball coming on."

"So that's what they are calling it now. Said Rusty crossing her arms. "Just like that you want to go and play pool with me."

"When the feeling hits right Honey?" He asked he came over and put his arms around her. He looked at her with a mischievous grin.

"Oh Joe just shut up and kiss me."

He kissed her. "See I call ya on it every time."

"You are a really bad boy Joe." Said Rusty.

"I am aren't I?" He asked.

"No could be's about that." Said Rusty. They began to Laugh. Fade to black.