Authors Note: Thanks for the wonderful reviews!

Unbeta'd all mistakes mine.


Alex emerged from the guest room late the next morning. Her hair was a mess and she hadn't fallen asleep until around 4. She stumbled down stairs, to find Bear laying at the kitchen door. Mort was looking at the paper at the kitchen cabnet and handed her his cup of coffee. "You need it more then me." He said with a slight grin. "By the way, I called the sheriff for you." Alex looked at him. "Thanks Mort." He nodded, going back to his paper. Alex moved around the kitchen, taking it in while she sipped the coffee.

It was sometime after mid afternoon that the sheriff arrived and looked over her house, taking in everything. Then he and his man removed the rat from her bed room. Alex trashed the comforter and settled into living in her own house again. But she was going to die of boredem if she didn't find something to do. So she moved towards her small studio in the back of her cabin.

Bear stretched out in the door way, deciding to be her protector and Alex pulled the sheets from her easel and other paintings. Some needed to be finished. But the blank canvous on her easel was calling her attention and she moved over to it, looking at it for a long moment. Then she smiled slightly and opened her paint case, sitting to work.


Around 4, her phone rang. At least she had phone servous again. So she wipped off her hands and picked it up. "Hello? Oh.. Mr. Torus... A package? For me? Right, yeah, I'll come down to pick it up. Thank you." She hung up frowning. Who would send her a package. No one besides Angie, and the sheriff knew she was up here. She sighed and got up off her stool, heading for the door. She might as well get it. "Bear." She called the Greman Shepherd and he charged after her. Leashing him she headed out the door, grabbing her car keys off the table next to the door. She glanced at Mort's cabin. It seemed quiet. Probably making good on that nap he said he was going to try and grab. She smiled slightly.

He was very sweet, and proving to be a good friend. But it felt like something was trying to push her PAST that and Alex knew she wasn't ready, wasn't she? Something had been bugging her last night. Was she really in love with Jay or had that died. She got in her jeep and headed for the community post office. Telling Bear to stay, she got out and headed inside. But stopped dead. Jay and Jessica were standing there, talking to the post master.

"Ah, Alex." Mr. Torus called.

Jay turned. "Alex.... Baby..."

"NO!" Alex snapped before turning her attention on Mr. Torus, who was handing her a manilla envelop. "This is it?" She asked softly. Mr. Torus nodded. Alex sighed. "Thank you." She turned and started for the door.

"Alexandra!" Jay grabbed her arm. She wrenched it away, only to slam into the door frame. She bit back a cry of pain as her ankle twisted and glared at Jay. "It's over Jay." She puased long enough to pull her weddign ring from her finger and threw it at him. "Don't come near me." She hissed limping out the door, ignoring Jessica's smug look. She pulled out of the parking lot before Jay came out and headed back to the cabin.

But there she sit for a long time, sobbing. Half from the pain in her ankle, half from the pain of seeing Jay. It was only a day and already he was trying shit. She didn't look up until she heard the front door of Mort's cabin and saw him coming out with Max. He stopped on the porch and looked at her a long moment before coming off the steps and coming towards her. "Ally?"

"Jay... Was at the post office." Alex explained opening the jeep's door. Mort grimaced. "I'm sorry..." He muttered. Alex shrugged getting out as easily as she could. "You're limping..." He muttered. "I turned my ankle, getting away when he grabbed my arm." Alex explained, moving to front steps of her cabin. She sit down with a sigh. Bear was playing with Max as if they were puppies and Alex watched for a long moment.

Mort moved to sit down beside her. "What did the sheriff say?" He asked softly. "That there was nothing he could do unless someone else had seen him..." Alex muttered Mort frowned. "Figures. They always say something like that." He gestered it off. "Yeah well, I didn't expect much help. And now that everyone knows Jay and I are.... Seperated, having trouble, what ever..." She left it at that.

"Rumors fly..." He muttered. She nodded. "I think I'm gonna go put some ice on my ankle... Work on my painting or something." She started to stand, a hand on Mort's shoulder to help her up. After she was standing he stood. "Hey Ally?" He stopped her. She turned slightly at the door to look at him. "Yeah?" Mort suddenly went nervous. He'd been thinking about asking her all afternoon, but the fact remained, she'd only found out about Jay a day before. "Listen, if you wanna get dinner or something...AS friends," He added quickly. "I wouldn't mind...."

Alex sighed and turned completely around to look at him. "Mort...." "Just as friends, ya know.." He added again. She looked at him side long. "I'll think about it, k?" "Sure." "Later." She said, brushing him off, coldly, she was afraid. She unlocked her door and headed inside, calling Bear to follow her. Shutting the door, she leaned against it a long moment. Mort had already moved away and she frowned. She'd been terribly cold. She hadn't meant to. She sighed and moved back towards her kitchen. It was just still to early. Even for just 'friends'.


The next week passed quietly. With minimal Rook activity, but Alex wasn't going to rule him out of the picture yet. No way in hell. Now when she foudn the tires of her jeep slashed one morning. It was a few days after that, the threatening calls from Jay began. Alex sighed one afternoon, after slamming the phone down. It was starting to become more and more clear that she didn't feel anything for him any more, except possibly hatered. She looked up from the phone to look through the window. Mort had finally found someone to fix it and they were here the day before. So now she was gazing through a new pane.

Mort was on his porch, reading. Max was running around on a runner's leash tied to one of the porch posts. Alex smiled slightly and watched. The sun really brought out the color of his hair. She sighed. She really should apologize to him for the other day... They hadn't really talked that much since she'd brushed him off. So she grabbed Bear's leash. "Come on Bear." She hooked him up and headed for the front door.

Mort looked up as the door opened on Alex's cabin. He hadnt' really tried to push things with her since that afternoon, giving her her space. She was moving towards him, Bear already jumped and wagging his tail. She sit down on his porch without saying anything at first, tying off Bear. "Listen Mort, that afternoon...I'm sorry. And... Dinner would be nice." She looked at him finally. He blinked and lowered his book. "Are you..serious?" He asked softly. She nodded a slight smile. "Might as well. I'm not going back to Jay.... Not with all the fucking phone calls."

"What phone calls?" Mort asked slidding off his chair to sat on the wood next to her. "The come back to me or else calls." Alex muttered. Mort shook his head. "Some guys are sick.." He muttered. Alex glanced at him, but didn't really answer. "So... How does Saturday sound?" She asked softly. "Saturday sounds good." So they made plans.


Saturday rolled around fast and Alex hurried to finish getting dressed around six, as they'd agreed. She dug out her black thin strapped dress and shoes. And decided to add a light black sweater. She pinned back her red hair and moved around her room, trying to think she should do or wear anything else. She hadn't meant to get dressed so late, but she was trying to finish her painting. She was proud of it.

Around 6:30 she heard the knock on her door. Figuring it was Mort, she headed down stairs and opened the door with a slight smile. Which was soon lost. "Well, ain't you a pretty sight." Alex glared. "Go the fuck away, before I call the cops!" She hissed at Rook. Rook just grinned back. "Can't do that, Ms. O'Connell. Not yet anyway." He was looking her up and down. Alex was in no mood. She slammed the door and locked it, moving away. She wanted to go hid. "One of these days, lovely!" She heard Rook call through her door and shuddered as she hid in the kitchen.

About 10 minutes later she heard another knock and groaned. She could only hope it was Mort. Which it was. She opened the door slowly. "I'm not going to be mad about you being late... Not when Rook was just here..." She muttered. Mort looked alarmed and couldn't help but glance around. "Are you serious?" "Do I look like I'm kidding?" Alex asked dryly. "No but..." He sighed. "I didn't even see him..." "I'm not surprised." Alex muttered. She sighed. "It's not your fault Mort, I just sorta... Knew something like this would happen. But we have a dinner date, do we not?" She asked with a brilliant smile.

"Yeah. You ready then?" "I think so." She muttered, telling Bear to stay and locked her door. "You look great, by the way." Mort managed to muttered. Alex blushed. "Thanks. It's been awhile since I've gotten dressed up." "You should more often." He said with a smile. Her blush grew. It took her a moment to realize he had his car and as they made their way towards it, he opened the passanger door for her. "Thank you." She couldn't remember the last time Jay did that. "You're most welcome." He answered. She watched him come around his side and get in. "So I got reservations at a little place in te city." "Sounds good." She knew just about all the restaurants.