"Kenny," Max cried, with a giggle as he pulled her down on the couch with him. "What are you doing?"

"What do you think?" he asked, kissing her quickly. "God, I've wanted to do that all day."

"Just that?"

"Maybe a little more," he agreed, sliding his hands up her shirt. "Damn you feel good."

Max smiled at her boyfriend of six months, as she laid back against the couch cushions. "Hmm. You want to feel the rest of me?"

"Always," he replied softly, as she kissed him. "I don't think I'll ever be able to keep my hands off of you again."

"I don't want you too," she agreed, as he winced. "Do you want to move this to the bedroom? Kenny? Are you okay?"

"What? Yeah," he replied distantly, pulling away from her slightly. "I just got the worst headache. It's going though."

"You've been getting a lot of those," Max replied carefully, reaching up to stroke his face. "Are you sure that you're all right? Is it something you should get looked at?"

"I'm fine," he insisted, as the pain began to dissipate. "Max, really I am. Don't worry so much."

She couldn't help smiling up at him, as her contentment threatened to overwhelm her. "Okay, okay. If you're sure."

"I am," he replied, grinning back at her. "And I'm also sure that I want to see you naked back in my bedroom."

"Hmm, I can do that."


"Jimmy? What are you still doing here? I thought that you'd be long gone by this time," Skeeter prodded knocking on the doorframe.

Jimmy nodded. "I'm on my way. Just going over some paperwork. It's been a quiet few months, so it seemed like a good time to catch up on it all."

"I guess so," Skeeter agreed. "Not that I mind the absence of serial killers around here. I'm about to head out myself, but you want me to wait?"

"Go ahead. Have a good night," Jimmy replied, dismissing him.

Skeeter paused again before shrugging. "Have a good night, Sheriff."

Jimmy nodded again, and turned back to the files on his desk.


"Dammit," Kenny said under his breath, as the searing pain shot through his head again. Gritting his teeth, he carefully slid out from under the sheets not wanting to wake Max. She's so beautiful, he thought, as he paused to look at her. Why did we wait so long to do this? She makes everything so much better in my life. Pulling the blanket up so it covered her, he made his way to the bathroom.

"What the hell is this?" he mumbled to himself, as the edges of the world began to blur around him. "What is happening to me?"

Catching himself on the edge of the dresser, he fought frantically to regain his balance, as the room began to spin. Shit, he thought, as his legs went to jelly and a fog began to seep into his mind. His shaking hand slid of the dresser, as he crashed onto the floor.

"Kenny?" Max called sleepily, hearing the crash. "Kenny? Oh god!"

Throwing the sheets back, she lunged across the room as she saw him writhing on the floor. Ignoring the shower of stuff falling off the dresser as his leg slammed against it, she knelt by his side.

"Kenny? Can you hear me?"

Shit, she thought, as his fist connected with her face, and she fell back against the floor. Swallowing she grabbed the cordless phone off of the night stand, while keeping a watchful eye on her boyfriend.


"We just got a 911 that you might be interested in," Ginny said, as she barged into the office. "Why are you still here?"

"No reason," Jimmy lied. "What 911?"

"Max called. Something about needing an ambulance and Kenny. She seemed really upset and distracted. She might have even been crying."


"There were a lot of crashes too. I thought that you would like to know."

"I'm going to the hospital. Keep me posted if anything new comes in."


Max swallowed back the tears that threatened to spill, as she paced the waiting room floor for what seemed like the hundredth time. What is wrong with him, she thought trying to block out the visual of him totally out of control like that. Why Kenny?

"Max?" Jimmy called, after observing his deputy for a minute. "Max? What's going on?"

"What are you doing here?" she asked, after a moment. "I mean, it's so late and . . . I didn't think anyone would come."

"One of my deputies calls 911 in the middle of the night, and you don't expect me to show up at the hospital? What happened? Did Kenny do that to you?"

"Do what?"

"That bruise on you cheek. Did he?"

"What? No, well yes, but it wasn't like that. It was an accident. He didn't know what he was doing," Max trailed off, gulping back her tears and fear again. "He didn't hit me, not like that."

"Then like what?"

Max shook her head. "I don't know. Something is wrong with him Jimmy. He's been getting these headaches lately, but he said that they were nothing. Then tonight, he . . . I think he was having a seizure. Joey is in with him now . . . I don't know what is wrong with him."

"A seizure," Jimmy trailed off, wanting to hold her until she stopped shaking. "Don't panic, Max."

"I'm not. I . . . I'm just worried. You didn't see it."

"Hello," Joey called, walking into the waiting room. "Jimmy. What are you doing here?"

"I was there when the call came in. What happened Joey?"

She nodded. "Why don't you both have a seat? We're prepping him for some more tests now, so I don't want to panic you yet."

"Please," Max practically begged. "Is he okay?"

Joey swallowed at the pain in the younger woman's eyes. "He did have a seizure, and there can be a lot of causes for that. The fact that he had been having headaches though causes me some concern. We're going to give him a MRI and cat scan to check some things out. Right now Max he is resting comfortably."

"That's all?" she asked. "But what caused it?"

"We're going to find out," Joey promised. "We should know a lot more in a few hours. You should both go home, get some sleep because this is going to be a long wait."

Max shook her head. "I'm not leaving him here."

Jimmy met Joey's eyes over the top of Max's head, and shook his head. "Neither am I."

"It is your choice, but if you would like to change your clothes or something now would be the time," she replied, giving Max's striped pajama pants and tank top a once over.

"Just let me know what you find out," Max replied, running her fingers through her hair,. "Okay," Joey promised. "You'll know as soon as I do."

"Max," Jimmy said carefully, not knowing what to say to make this better. "Nothing is definite yet. You heard her. It could have been anything."

"Yeah," she replied quietly.

"You want a cup of coffee or something?"

She shook her head. "No."

"We'll wait then."


Jill squinted at the clock on her bedside table, and had to wonder where Jimmy was at three in the morning. I know we've been fighting, she thought, but he should have been home by now. Reaching for the phone, she wondered it he could still be at the office. He shouldn't be working this late because he is the Sheriff after all. Sighing, she dialed the station.

"Ginny?" Jill asked sleepily. "It's Jill. Is Jimmy still there by any chance?"

"He didn't call you?" Ginny replied. "Tsk, tsk. He's had the hospital Jill. Something is wrong with Kenny, or at least we sent an ambulance over to his apartment. No one is too sure on what happened."

"I'm going to call and find out," Jill replied through gritted teeth. "Thanks Ginny."


Max pulled her legs up to her chest, as she watched him sleep after the multitude of tests that the doctors had put him through. He looks fine now, she thought, almost like nothing even happened. Why couldn't it just be some bad dream? I want to wake up now. Ignoring the dread building inside of her, Max prayed that everything would be okay.

"Max?" Joey called from the doorway. "Do you have a minute?"

She nodded, although reluctant to leave, "Yeah. Did you find something out?"

Joey beckoned her out into the hallway. "I do. You're the closest thing that Kenny has to family here, although his parents are on the way. It's not good news, Max."

Max swallowed, forcing herself not to panic. "Just tell me."

"The MRI showed a brain tumor, and it's a large one. It's causing pressure, and is the reason that he was having all of those headaches. We're going to do a biopsy to determine if it's malignant, but Max . . . it's inoperable do to where it's located."

Max felt the world spin around her, as she stared at Joey dumbfounded. "What?"

"I'm sorry. I know how close you two are."

"You're sure?" Max stammered, feeling her heart freezing in her chest. "It's not some mistake?"

"I checked three times. It's not a death sentence. There is still a lot more that we have to determine."


"You could have called," Jill said, at the same time. "Jimmy? Are you listening to me?"

"Sorry. It just got complicated," Jimmy offered weakly. "I didn't know that I would be here this long, and it was late. I didn't think that you'd miss me."

"What is going on?"

Jimmy shook his head, and filled her in on what he knew so far. "Max is sitting with him now."

"I'm going to see what I can find out."


"Hey," Max said softly, watching as Kenny cracked his eyes open. "I've been waiting for you to wake up."

"Max," he mumbled, as he fought through the fog in his mind. "Max? Where am I?"

"Ssh. The hospital."


Max paused, not wanting to upset him at the moment. "I . . . what do you remember? I know Joey has some stuff she wants to explain to you."

"Nothing . . . being with you, then nothing."

"Okay," Max said softly, fighting her tears back, as she pushed the call button. "Just rest. I love you."

"Max," he mumbled again. "Don't go."

"I'm not going anywhere," she promised, squeezing his hand in hers, as Joey came in the room. "Hi."

"Well I see that someone decided to wake up," Joey said, not liking what was going to come. "How is my patient feeling today?"

"Weird, sleepy," Kenny replied, forcing himself to focus. "What happened?"

"A lot," Joey replied cryptically. "Kenny, you had a seizure last night. We ran some scans, and I'm sorry to tell you this. We found a brain tumor, but there are still some tests we need to run to determine treatment and such."

"A brain tumor?" he asked, as her words hit him.

"There is still a lot that we have to determine," Joey repeated. "Starting with a biopsy."

Kenny merely nodded, as he squeezed Max's hand between his. "Okay."

"I'm going to leave you two alone for a while, or at least until I set that up," Joey said softly. "I am sorry."

"Thanks," Max replied, vowing that she wouldn't cry, as Joey left. "Kenny?"

"Max . . . I . . . What is this?"

"I don't think that they're too sure yet," she offered, not wanting to upset him more.



"What do you know?" Jill demanded, as Joey came back out into the waiting room.

"I thought that today was your day off," Joey countered. "We need to run some more tests, but . . . Kenny has a brain tumor. It caused the seizure. I'm going to schedule a biopsy for later today."

"Jesus Christ," Jimmy said under his breath. "You're sure?"

"It could be benign," Joey continued. "And that is what I'm hoping for."

"Does he know?"

"Yes . . . Max is with him now. You might want to give her a reprieve though."


"She didn't say that," Max countered softly, not wanting to believe it.

Kenny swallowed as he looked at her. We just got started, he thought, and I had all of these plans for us. Now . . . cancer? I can't do this to her.

"What else is it then? You heard her," he replied sharply.

"It doesn't have to be," Max trailed off, ignoring the venom in his tone. "I don't know."

"What happened to your face?"


"That bruise," he clarified, wanting to change the subject.

"Oh. Um, it happened last night. It was kind of a blur for a while," Max replied, not wanting to tell him that he hit her.

"Did I hurt you?"

"It wasn't you," she insisted. "It was an accident."

"I hurt you."

She shook her head. "You didn't . . . I mean that. You would never hurt me."

He gripped her hand tightly between his. "I'm sorry."

"You don't have anything to apologize for. Concentrate on yourself for now. Don't worry about me."

"Hello," Jimmy called from the doorway, not wanting to interrupt. "How is everyone doing?"

Kenny shrugged. "Okay."


"Jill?" Joey asked, walking back into the lounge. "I thought you would be visiting."

Jill shrugged. "Do you know that Jimmy didn't even call me last night to say that he would be spending the night in the hospital?"

"I don't think he planned on it."

She shook her head. "He doesn't even look at me the same way anymore. He isn't ever home."

"Is anything wrong?"

"We just don't talk anymore! It's like he doesn't want to be in the same room with me any more."

"I'm sure that isn't true. Every marriage has its rough spots, and you both have demanding careers. And three kids."

"Right," Jill trailed off, looking down the hallway. "Right."