A Chance To Start Over
By: LML

REPLY TO: Llavigna@nycap.rr.com. Permission is given for archiving on the ftp site, as well as fkfanfic. Anyone else please ask first!


Part 0

Disclaimers: I have no claim whatsoever to the characters of FK or Renegade. The only characters I have added are of my own twisted little world as an aspiring writer. Last I checked Sony and others have the rights to FK and Stu Segall Productions, Stephen J. Cannell Productions and New World Genesis all have the Rights to Renegade and its characters.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Hi. This is my first time creating a story like this. It's my first post so be critical. For those of you who don't know the story behind the show Renegade I'll explain it. It's about this San Diego cop Reno Raines who is framed for murder. Raines was a San Diego cop working out of the Internal Affairs division. If you don't know the story behind the show you can find more about it on the web. As the show is no longer being shown either in syndication or on the USA network, it has become rather boring. At least that's what I thought until I discovered the FK reruns on sci-fi. I have rated this as PG. Also the flashbacks shown from Reno's point of view are mostly intercuts from previous episodes. There are also other flashbacks in Jack Hendricks's point of view. Bobby's flashback is of my own immagination and from what I know about the show's history. I only know of one episode title at the moment. References to "Another Time And Place" are made. Flashbacks from the fk point of view are also references to previous shows like LAST KNIGHT. The story also contains some spoilers from "LAST KNIGHT," so if you haven't seen this episode, you may not want to read it. This story takes place after the season finales of both FK and Renegade. It brings some resolutions as to what happens to the characters in both shows. The two season and show finales, "Last Knight" and "Bad Seed" are heavily referred to in this story, as well as several other eps from both the shows.

Please, all comments to llavigna@nycap.rr.com

One final note. This story was never alpha or beta read, and I have proofread the whole thing myself. Please let me know of ny mistakes I have made either gramatical or otherwise. Hope it's good.


End part 0

A Chance To Start Over, AForever Knight Renegade Crossover
By: LML
Copyright 1999


Part 1
September 11, 1998
San Diego, California

The man sat in front of the television watching the news reports wiz by. It had been a stressfull day of trying to get anything done in the office, and with Jeanie constantly nagging him to take some time off of "that damned case" it was getting harder. His best man had tried to kill him just over a year before, and it had taken him almost half that time to recover.

"Another sighting of ex-United States Marshal Donald Dutch Dixon has been reported, this time near the Canadian Boarder. As you may remember, Dixon has been sought for questioning in the attempted murder of his boss, Jack Hendricks, head of the Criminals At Large task force out of California. Dixon had, for the past several years, been tracking accused copkiller Reno Raines. Raines, as you may remember, had been accused of murdering Police Sgt. Buzzy Burrell in late 1992. Burrell had been murdered after a sting opperation with the Internal Affairs Division involving the Bay City Police Department had begun to go sour. Raines was convicted of charges in 1994, however, he escaped from custody shortly after having been moved to Passo Perdito Prison. To this date, neither fugitive has been apprehended, and both are considered to be armed and highly dangerous."

Hendricks stared intently at the screen. He knew the full story, more than the news media and most anyone else knew. He himself had heard it from Raines, and Raines had confirmed several suspicians Hendricks harbored about Dutch Dixon. He couldn't seem to get the images out of his head. Images of Raines' girlfriend Valerie Prentiss, Melissa Dixon, Buzzy Burrell, Dutch, Raines himself, and even of himself after having been shot. Even the memories were still as fresh as though it had happened only yesterday. He remembered all too well. He couldn't get that immage of Dutch standing over his son with a gun in his hand, ready to pull the trigger and send him to be with Melissa.

Flashback:

Dutch stood over his cowering son with the gun in his hand. Donny had been a snivling coward for so long, and it was high time Dutch put an end to all of it. Just as he was about to pull the trigger a voice caught him compleetly by surprise.

"Dutch! No!" Hendricks stood just a few feet from where Dutch stood holding Donny at gunpoint. He turned and fired the weapon at Hendricks. Just then the glass in a nearby window shattered and someone lunged through it and headed straight for Dutch.

"Hendricks!"

End flashback
He knew what he had to do now. He rose from his chair and headed for the phone. He dialed the number and spoke briefly to whom ever had answered on the other end.

"I'm leaving. Yeah, another lead came in and I think this one might be the real thing. Yeah. No, I don't think I'll be needing backup. I'll call in the locals for backup if it's necessary. Canada. Watch the news tonight. Thanks. See you when I get back."

Toronto
11:00 PM

"Well, gentle listeners, I, the Night Crawler, will once again be with you until the sun rises, however, I will not open the phone lines up due to some technical difficulties we're currently experiencing here at the station." LaCroix sat in his chair at the controls to the radio equipment, as he sipped his bloodwine and continued speaking through his microphone. "Tonight's topic is one of fear. Have you ever feared something or someone with such a fierceness, that it consumes your day-to-day existance? Have you ever lived with the paranoid sensations which cause you to glance over your shoulder at every sound, every moving shadow, every tingling feeling at the back of your neck? The battered wife fears her abusive husband. She fears for her life as well as the lives of her children, if they may be present. Just as the passengers of the Titanic feared the sinking of the great marvel, an inevidible circumstance. Just as the little child who is afraid of the dark sleeps with the lights on. Yes, my children, fear is an ever present part of everyone's livves, no matter how powerful the person, or how rich in money. Fear is something that we all must deal with no matter what circumstance it presents to us in our daily journeys throughout the short work of art called life. All the world's a stage, and all its people the actors and actresses."

As he sat outside the apartment complex, he listened to the words coming from the speakers of his car stereo. Fear huh? That bitch would certainly know fear all right. This he thought as he picked up the bag from the floorboards on the passenger's side of the car. "After tonight she will certainly know what fear really is; and then she will die just as surely as I am sitting here in front of what she thinks is a safe haven for her and her child."

He checked to make sure all the necessary essentials were readily available for his use at any given moment. He never knew what to expect with her. She had caused him so much trouble in the past, and besides, she was making it difficult for him to keep tabs on her schedule. She took different routes to get to places and always at different times. But he had one item in his little bag of tricks that she would never suspect. It was now high time he prooved to her just how smart and resourcefull he really was. All it took was a little patients and some time to build up the anger and contempt he held toward her.

**************************************

The young woman walked swiftly toward the large apartment building with her purse on her shoulder. It was incredibly dark out and the street lights hadn't been working in this part of town for quite some time. As she entered the building and entered her own apartment, she could sense that something was wrong.

"Val, sweety, it's Mommy. Where are you?"

The sudden rush of air around her, and the instantaneous pain she felt in her arm as the needle was driven into it, were both overwhelming at first. Her instincts told her to fight against this danger. She fought back the best way she could, with her voice. "No!" The scream tore from her lips and a strong hand slapped her hard across her face. She spun and tried to strike out with her left arm, but before she could she felt her right arm being twisted behind her back to the point of almost breaking. She was struck once again, this time on the back of her head near the base of her skull. The blow hadn't incompassitated her, but she had to fight to see past the colors appearing in front of her eyes.

The room spun several times before she regained control of herself. "Val, run! Go call the police! Call 911!"

"Cheyenne, if you do not stop struggling, your beautiful, precious, little daughter will have a fate much worse than you." The man's voice was muffled by the thick fabric covering his face, but she knew who it was. She knew and with this knowledge she thought it best not to fight, but instead to play it carefully.

"What do you want, Richard?"

"How good of you to remember, dear. As for what I want, well I think that's fairly obvious. I want our daughter, my daughter."

"There will be a cold day in hell before you get your hands on my daughter, you sick, twisted son of a bitch!" Cheyenne screamed at the top of her lungs. "Besides. You know that if it's made common knowledge that you've been anywhere near me or my child, you'll be hauled off to jail without so much as a blink." He struck her again and the world went black.

He caught her body as she slumped to the floor and laid her down. "Looks like Hell is freezing over, Cheyenne. Since you've made it clear that you're going to be a problem for me, I think I'm going to have to remedy that."

After checking to assure himself that the child was still under sedation, he lifted her into his arms and carried her out to his car. Soon after he returned to retrieve the woman from where he had left her body. He carried her out to the side of the building and left her there.

End part 1

Part 2
11:15 pm

As Nick drove through the city, he could tell that there would be a chance of rain in the next few days. The sky looked cloudy and grey, but nothing appeared in the form of those pesky little droplets that fogged up your windshield and made it almost impossible to see through your mirrors. Tracy was off for the night and he was on his own. He couldn't help but think of Natalie. Natalie was the center of his universe. He loved her with all his heart and would do anything when it came to her. Ever since that night two year they had grown much closer. She had asked him to have faith in the both of them and to trust himself not to take too much. She had told him that she had faith in him no matter what.

Flashback: night after Tracy was shot

"Damn you, Nicholas!" LaCroix's words still rung in his ears. The elder vampire had thrust the stake into the fireplace and left. "I will not help you die, Nicholas. You will bring her back because you love her and can't stand to be without her."

Nick sliced his wrist. At first she did not respond and Nick began to doubt himself.

"I have taken too much." Weren't those the words he had said to LaCroix just minutes before?

"Yes," he continued to himself. "I have taken too much, and now the one woman whom I truly loved and who truly loved both the man and the vampire is lost to me forever. I'm so very sorry, Nat."

As these words were spoken, he began to pull his wrist free from her lips. As he did so, however, she began to tug hard at his arm. Her eyes opened with acceptance in them and she readily took what he offered her.

"We said forever, Nick, and I'm not turning back now."

End flashback:

They had been living together ever since and had talked of starting a family. Since it was impossible for vampires to have children they had been discussing the possibility of adopting. They had discussed it with Nick's lawyer and an adoption agency had placed them on a very long waiting list.

Now that Natalie had been brought across, her aversion to sunlight and food had changed slightly. However, she had refused to give up her chocolate and Nick found himself buying them by the case. It seemed that to Natalie, chocolate was like blood, a nutritional sustanence necessary for living.

As he thought of her now, he pushed into his link with her. He thought of the happiest times they'd spent together. He remembered the first time he'd seen the beautiful woman. She hadn't run screaming from the room, and when he saw her he knew he wanted to be with her forever. He loved her from the very first and knew that he always would.

Nick saw the tall, blonde figure stagger toward the side of the road just as he rounded the corner. He stopped the car and jumped out into the cool Toronto night air. As Nick approached the figure, he could see that it was a woman. She was approximately five feet seven inches tall, in her mid thirties, with curly blonde hair, and beautiful features. He also recognized the pattern of bruises on her face and the hand prints that had been left behind.

"Are you all right, Miss?" Nick asked her. The woman looked at him and gave him a half smile.

"Bobby. Reno." She passed out. As Nick caught her he noticed her purse had fallen from her shoulder. After supporting her weight in one arm, he reached for the purse.

Placing her in the passenger's side of the caddy, he fastened her seatbelt and went around to the other side. He climbed in behind the wheel but made no move to pull away from the curb. Instead, he reached in her purse and withdrew a wallet. Inside he found her id.Her name was Cheyenne Phillips. She was thirty-six and definitely attractive. He also found within the wallet a number for emergencies. He pulled out his celphone and dialed the number. He hoped he wouldn't have to leave a message. He liked notifications about as much as the next police officer, and he certainly hoped this one wouldn't turn out to be a death notification.

**************************************

Bay City, California, 8:30p.m.

Sitting in the hummer, the tall, Native-American man gazed out at the California skyline as the sun began to set. His celphone rang, breaking the tranquility of the moment and he reached into his pocket to retrieve it. "Sixkiller," he said into the phone.

"Excuse me, sir, but this is Detective Nick Knight with Metro Homicide in Toronto Ontario, Canada. I found a woman who had your number in her wallet. Her name is Cheyenne Phillips and."

"What happened to her?" Bobby began to worry. All sorts of thoughts ran through his mind.

"From what I can tell right now she passed out. She's been beaten pretty badly. Nothing's broken, but there are some pretty nasty-looking marks and a couple of hand prints on her face. Her color looks normal, but when I first came across her she was staggering into the road. She doesn't appear to be drunk, but I can't tell right away if she's been drugged or not."

"Detective Knight, do what you must to find out just exactly what happened, and I will be there as soon as possible. If my sister wakes up in the meantime, tell her that we'll be there soon."

Bobby broke the connection and stared blankly at the phone in his hand. It had been a long time since he had heard news of Cheyenne. But this news was not the news he wanted to hear. He thought back to the first time he had seen Cheyenne.

Flashback:
Indian Reservation, 1969

A boy of about nine-years old sat playing a game with a group of other boys. He looked very pleased playing with his friends. Just as he was about to take his turn at the game, his father came up to him.

"Bobby, I would like you to meet some people." As he spoke he gestured behind him for someone to step forward. A tall woman stepped forward and held out her hand to the child. "Hi there, Bobby. I'm Amanda." At her side stood a small girl of about six. "This is my daughter Cheyenne."

Cheyenne stretched out her hand tentatively to shake Bobby's outstretched hand.

"Bobby," his father began, "Amanda is going to be the new teacher here at the school."

End flashback

With trembling fingers, he dialed Reno's number.

**************************************

Flying down the road on the Harley, the man in the leather jacket eyed the red Sedan going at about 90 kilometers per hour.

"Hold it right there, Carson! Stop the car and get out!" The driver of the car leaned far out the window and the blast of the gun reported seconds later in the biker's ears.

The biker swerved around the car's passenger side and cut it off at the intersection. Just as quickly the driver tried to escape, but before he could even turn around the biker had flattened his tires with the gun he carried. Carson jumped from the vehicle and lunged for the biker.;"Raymond Carson, you're coming with me. Back to Bay City."

"Not a shot in hell."

The biker swung his fist just in time to catch the driver on the side of the head. The blow was enough to incompassitate but not to knock out. "Like I said, you're going to get on the bike and ride back with me to Bay City." The biker shoved Carson forward hard until he came into contact with the hot metal of the Harley's gas tank.

"Hey! What do you think you're doing, man?"

"Shut up and get on the bike. We've got a date with the local authorities in Bay City." The biker hissed into Carson's face as he pushed him hard up against the bike. The other man obliged but not before he was tightly handcuffed.

As they drove through the cool night air, the biker began to wander back through time. He had so many memories swimming around in his head, that it was almost impossible to focus on where his mind would wander to next. Although he was lost in thought, he never let himself drift so far back in the past that he lost track of time and place. He'd been driving for quite some time now, and was debating whether or not he should take a rest. But his contemplation was interrupted by a sound which was not unfamiliar to him. His phone rang and he stopped to pick it up.

"Hey, Sandy, I've got our guy and we're on our way back. Where should we meet?"

"Reno, it's Bobby. We've got a big problem and I need you to meet me in Toronto, Canada as soon as you are able to."

"Bobby, slow down. Now tell me what happened."

"Reno, it's got to do with Cheyenne." Reno listened as his best friend and business associate explained the circumstances as best he could. After the two men had finished talking and the connection had been broken, Reno dialed Sandy's number.

**************************************

Sandy sat in her office typing on the computer. Since the three partners had remained together for the past year, she had pretty much taken over Bobby's office. Bobby had complained bitterly that it didn't look like the old office anymore, but she had explained that he needed "organization" in both his professional and personal lives. She could help with the professional but not the private part of his life. She'd made that very clear to him when he told her at one point that he cared for her beyond the relm of friendship. She cared for him too, but she didn't want to lose her friend and partner either. In some ways their relationship had been almost like a marriage. They talked about daily activities, fought over petty details, and both went looking to Reno to be the peacemaker whenever an agreement was unable to be reached between the two.

To her, Reno was a brother. She wanted nothing more than to help him nail Dixon to the wall for his complicity in Reno's past few years on the run, and she knew that was also something Bobby wanted greatly. She had argued when Reno said he was leaving the business once he caught Dixon, and had finally convinced him to stay in contact with both herself and Bobby if he heard anything on the man. They had made it the agreement that they would continue their current cases, but if they were bogged down she would send him some of them and turn them in for him. Reno's time was spent mainly on Dixon, however, it had been a slow couple of weeks. So, when Sandy had called with the Raymond Carson case, Reno had not turned it down.

Her celphone rang and she picked it up. "Sandy Caruthers, how may I help you?"

Reno explained the situation as best he could and then arranged for her to pick up her bounty in an hour at a park not too far from the office.

"Reno, maybe it would be best if I came along. You may need me."

"Okay. Bobby said for me to meet him in Toronto as soon as possible."

"I'll pick up Mr. Carson, turn him in, and then meet you guys up there."

Reno broke the connection and sped off into the darkness.Reno's thoughts ran back to the last time he and Cheyenne had worked on a case together. It had been a while ago, and as he thought of her now, he missed her more and more with each passing thought.

Reno flashed back over the past several years.

It had been back in 1996, and the outcome of the case had been good. He and Cheyenne had gone under cover as husband and wife to attract the attention of a killer. On one occasion during the case, Reno had asked Cheyenne to be his wife. He had learned from her brother Bobby that she cared deeply for him. Bobby had put it best when he said, "Reno, in a perfect world you two would be together."

Now that Reno knew of her feelings, he was able to tell her what he felt too. He had told her that he didn't want anything to happen to her and that he loved her. After they'd finished talking, they'd ended up making love. Shortly after the case had been finished, Reno and Cheyenne discussed it again. Reno thought about it long and hard and had concluded that he couldn't give her all the things he knew she wanted in life. He told her that he had wanted to keep her safe and that if she was with him, that was not a possibility. He'd explained that Dixon would use her to get to him, and he simply couldn't allow that to happen.

However, shortly thereafter, Cheyenne had left the business and had gone her own way. Reno kept track of her and learned that she was living in Canada. She had moved there and was seeing a man by the name of Richard Taylor. But after that he had stopped checking on her. He had not wanted her to learn of his search and had wanted her to lead a happy and normal life, safe from cops, and Dutch Dixon.

Over the course of the past three years things had changed for him rather drastically. In fact, things had changed so much so, that looking back on it all gave Reno a feeling of deep guilt and sorrow.

After Donald Dixon, a lieutenant with the Bay City PD, made a career move to the Criminals At Large task force with the Federal Marshal's office, Reno's life had been nothing but a living hell. True, the same went for Dixon who was known to most of his friends and fellow coworkers as Dutch.?The trouble started when Dutch got involved with a pornography ring on line. His wife learned of it and went to Bobby and Reno seeking help.

Flashback:
"For Better, For Worse"

Melissa Dixon entered Bobby Sixkiller's office. Bobby was on the phone and happened to notice the woman enter. He disconnected quickly and acknowledged her.

"Can I help you?"

"You really don't recognize me?"

"No. Should I?" Melissa sighed.

"It's just that I've been getting "that damn Sixkiller" with my morning coffee for so long I feel like we're related. I'm Melissa Dixon. Mrs. Donald Dixon. Mrs. Dutch Dixon."

"Get out of my office." Bobby seemed annoyed that the wife of the man his best friend hated the most was standing in his office.
"No wait, wait; you don't understand..."

"No, I do understand. Now you tell Dutch I say congratulations on his promotion and get the hell out of my life."

"No!" Melissa said quickly. "Donald didn't send me; he doesn't even know I'm here. My husband is a crook, Mr. Sixkiller."

"The Pope is Catholic, Mrs. Dixon." Bobby was really becoming annoyed with this woman. He knew his face shown anger, but he also felt a vary small ammount of pity for the woman standing in front of him.

"He's got to be stoped, I want you to do it."

"Oh, and why me in particular?"

"No. Not just you, you and Reno Raines."

Bobby paused for a moment. He drew a blank look and said, "Reno Raines. I don't know who that is."

She knew he was lying and she was going to let him know that she knew. "Oh please. Remember whom you're talking to. My husband is Captain Ahab; your partner's Moby Dick."

Bobby looked at her and asked, "Let me ask you a question. How many years have you been married?"

"Twenty-five years. Yesterday was my anniversary as a matter of fact." Melissa added with disgust dripping with each word. Her husband was someone she used to know, but now the man she saw every morning was someone she had never known.

Bobby immediately became defensive. "And after all that time you all of a sudden want to jump ship and join the whale?"

"For twenty-five years I have looked the other way. I've seen no evil, heard no evil. But I can't live like that anymore."

"Lady, if I got a nickel for every jumoake who came into my office saying they knew or were looking for Reno Raines, I'd be living on a houseboat in Cabo. Now you tell Dutch I said nice try."

Melissa started to walk away and the turned back. "You tell Reno Iwas here. You tell him that I'm the one who's gonna help him nail Dutch Dixon. You tetll him I'm on his side." And with that she left.

End flashback

Reno drifted back to Melissa's murder and the words Dutch had said just minutes after he had shot her, his own wife. Melissa had been scared to begin with, and when Dutch had chased them into the storage area in the garage finally cornering them, she'd been terrified. Dutch ad been crazed, a madman. Shooting wildly, finally striking Melissa with one of the bullets meant for Reno.

Intercut same episode

"You think you can walk into my house, my house and waltz out with my wife?" Dutch fired off several more rounds, all of which missed Melissa and Reno but just barely. Another bullet shattered a glass window, and there was silence for a moment. And then, three more rounds were fired from the gun. Melissa Screamed. "Oooh!"

Reno saw what was about to happen. It all seemed to happen in slow motion, Dutch taking aim, trying to fire for Reno and then getting Melissa in his sights. "Nooooooooooooooo!" She slumped, and Reno caught her as she fell. "Melissa!" The cry was barely audible as it passed from his lips. Why! Why did this have to happen again? He couldn't understand it, nor would he ever be able to. He knew that he would shed several tears over Melissa Dixon, just as he'd done over Val and so many others.

"Give it up, Raines." Dixon's voice pulled him back into the present. He suddenly remembered where he was, whose body he held in his arms, and whom was standing just a few feet away from the two of them with his gun... The gun he'd given Melissa to protect herself.

"You shot her, man! You shot your own wife."

"She turned on me. Dog goes rabid you put it down. Besides, I didn't shoot her, you did. It's your gun."

"That'll never fly, Dixon."

Oh yeah, gotta bunch of witnesses upstairs." Dutch looked smug. He was finally going to get the man he hated most in this world, the one who'd been the source of all his pain, suffering, and misery for the last five years.

"Who? Your porno hounds? You think they're gonna back you up?" Reno was on the verge of losing control, but he knew if he did, it would mean the end of his freedom and he'd never be cleared.

Dutch gloated as she said, "Guess I forgot to tell you. The sex party that's next week. Tonight, we've got the Policeman's Ball." Dutch fired off another shot, perhaps two in the air and shouted, "We're in here!"

End intercut

Shortly after the murder of Melissa Dixon, Reno's life was once again turned upside-down. The first escapade with Dutch occurred when a security consultant of Dutch's enticed the partners with a sample of the video tape of Dutch shooting his wife. The tape was offered to them for a small randsom and the promise that they would do a contract hit on a mob figure. When they thought they had figured everything out, Dutch got involved and kidnapped Bobby, holding him captive until the tape was turned over to him. Unfortunately however, the evidence was destroyed, and the tape was never sent to the proper authorities.

The final time Dutch and Reno crossed paths had been when Dutch had come to Sixkiller offering Reno a large chunk of change to leave the country never to return. After the meeting, Dutch Dixon's son Donny had broken out of jail and had come looking for his father. After his father had shown him the door, Donny had gone looking for the one person whom he had believed to have killed his mother, one Reno Raines. He had found Reno who had explained the situation and had set him straight on the subject of his mother's death.

Flashback: "The Bad Seed"

Reno entered the cemetery and headed for Melissa Dixon's grave. As he approached he heard the sound of footsteps coming from somewhere near to him.

"Hello, anybody here?"

The gunshots registered a milisecond after the bullets missed Reno. He ducked down and stayed very still. Seconds later more gunfire was heard. Reno saw the figure raise the gun once more for a third assult of gunfire.

"You scared?" The figure's voice filled his ears, and then more gunfire.

"Who are you?"
"Doesn't feel so good does it, having someone aiming for your back?" The figure slowly emerged from the shadows. "I hear that's how you left her. Am I right?"

"Donny? Donny Dixon?"

He could hear and see the gunman's footsteps coming closer.

"No one to help yuh, no one to back you up, just alone. Twisting in the wind; just like you left her."


The realization finally dawned on Reno. "Hey man, that wasn't how it was. I didn't kill your mother, Donny."


"Sure you did." More gunfire.
"Donny! Listen to me. I didn't kill your mother. I was there; I saw it happen; but I didn't pull the trigger. She came to me looking for help, we became friends. She died in my arms for Pete's Sake."

"Oh great; not only did you kill her: you were doing her on the side." Donny retorted with mock sarcasm.

"That's not what I said!"

"That's not what the papers said!"

"Who do you think gave them their version?"

End flashback:

Later on, after he had caught Donny outside his father's house, both he and Bobby had struck a deal with Donny to nail his father once and for all. After the meeting, however, Reno had a bit of misfortune when he ran into Dixon's boss Jack Hendricks. Jack Hendricks had gone as far as putting the cuffs on Reno and getting him into the car, when he finally made a decision which ultimately changed everyone's lives. He requested that Reno talk to him and tell him everything that had taken place over the years. He told Hendricks his version of the story. He even went as far back as the start of his flight from the law back in 1992. He told him the whole sorted story. Next, he told Hendrix that there was something going down that night at Dixon's place. He had even promised the man that if he was wrong, Hendrix could take him into custody and he wouldn't fight it.

When Hendricks had learned, however, that Dutch was giving Donny safe haven from the law he paid him a visit. This landed him in the hospital as a result of a fatal gunshot wound to the head.

Reno had been tracking Dixon ever since, and each time he thought he had him, Dutch would slip through his fingers again.

End part 2

Part 3
Three days later
A hospital in Canada
4:30 am

Nick sat in the waiting room of the hospital waiting for word on how Cheyenne was doing. He had been in and out for the past 72 plus hours and had been constantly checking on Cheyenne's progress. It had taken the doctors a while to figure out what had transpired. They had told Nick only that she had suffered a concussion, but anything more would have to wait.

At one point a nurse had noticed the blond detective and had allowed him into see her. He told her who he was and that he had notified her family. "They will be here soon, Ms. Phillips."

However, she'd been too groggy to process anymore information. He stopped in to check on her condition each night, and see if anyone had come by to see the young woman. No one had come for the past three days, and he figured that since it was his night off, he'd stay here and wait to see if anyone showed up.

As he sat quietly reading to himself, a tall man approached him. The man was somewhere near six-foot tall, with dark hair. From what Nick could tell the man had a certain look about him. The way he was dressed finally told Nick what he had already guessed at. The man was of Indian background.

"I'm looking for a Detective Nick Knight. I was told he was here..." Nick stood and offered his hand.

"I'm Detective Knight. You must be Bobby Sixkiller."

"How's my sister?"

Nick told him all that had happened since his finding Cheyenne on the side of the road. He explained that after he had spoken with Bobby he had rushed Cheyenne straight to the hospital.

"They have only said that she's suffered a concussion, but that's it. Now we're just waiting for the doctors to come out and tell me what else happened to her."

Just as he finished, a doctor emerged from a doorway and headed towards the two men. He was a tall man with dark-brown wavy hair, Hazel eyes, and a dark manner surrounding his aura. His name tag read "James Mansfield, M.D."

"Would either of you happen to be Detective Nick Knight?"

Nick stood from where he had been sitting and extended his hand toward the doctor. "Yes, sir. I'm Detective Nick Knight. I brought Ms. Phillips into the hospital. Mr. Sixkiller here is her brother."The doctor looked from one face to the other. Nick started to feel his beast from within beginning to emerge at the scent of the fresh blood from somewhere in the hospital. He quickly calmed the vampire inside and stared directly into the doctor's eyes.

"Dr., I'd like to know How my sister is doing." Bobby spoke suddenly startling the Doctor.

"Mr. uh ..."

"I'm Robert Sixkiller. Cheyenne Phillips is my sister. How is she?"

"Mr. Sixkiller, I must tell you that your sister is in stable condition, however, it has come to our attention that she was drugged with thiobarbitol." He took a breath and continued speaking. " Mr. Sixkiller, I must tell you, however, that your sister has also suffered from a concussion." "May I see her?" "Sure, but I must warn you she's pretty sluggish. It's one of the after effects of the drug."

He indicated Bobby follow him as Bobby did the same, motioning to Nick.
"I don't think so. Maybe it's better if you see her first. If you find anything that I could check out though, here's my card." He handed the tall Indian his business card and watched him disappear after the doctor. He knew just how difficult it would undoubtedly be for Cheyenne, and he wanted ot make it as easy and painless as possible. If sending her brother in to speak with her first was the best way, then he was willing to do that.

Just as Nick was about to leave, he spotted a tall man in a leather jacket coming in his direction. The man approached him and looked around for a minute. Nick watched him as he glanced about the nearly empty waiting room. To Nick this man seemed highly nervous, almost uncomfortable. Nick figured it was just the hospital which made this man uncomfortable. Hospitals had a wy of doing that to people.

"Excuse me, I'm looking for my partner Bobby Sixkiller. Do you know where I can find him?"

"He went in to see his sister."

"Are you the guy who brought her in?"

"Yes. My Name is Nick Knight. I'm a homicide detective with Metro PD."

"Vince Black, bounty hunter." The two men stood talking for a few minutes and finally sat down to wait for Bobby to come out. Nick filled Vince in on the details of the night's events. As they talked Vince spotted an attractive woman coming in their direction.

"Vince?" she said softly. She looked worried as she approached.

"Hi, Sandy. This is Detective Knight with Metro Homicide. He brought Cheyenne in three nights ago. Detective Knight, this is Sandy Caruthers, another of our associates."

Nick stood and greeted Sandy. "Hello, Ms. Caruthers." "Just then Nick looked at his watch. He realized that dawn was close at hand and that he should leave. He politely excused himself and disappeared.

Sandy took the seat the blond man had previously occupied. "So, how is she?" Sandy finally asked, keeping her voice low.

"We're not sure. All we know at the moment is that she has a concussion and that she was drugged with Thiobarbitol. Apparently it makes you very sluggish and groggy. Bobby's in with her right now. I just got her a few minutes before you did."

"How'd you get across the boarder? Aren't the check points highly guarded?" Sandy looked at her friend. Over the years they'd worked together, she'd come to think of both Reno and Bobby as being family. She knew that Reno had sneaked into Mexico whenever it was warranted, but she'd always thought that the Canadian boarder was more heavily guarded, if not more cautious than the Mexican Boarder Patrol.

"Let's just say I have my ways. They're not completely foolproof, but they work when I need them to." Reno smiled at Sandy and gently squeezed her hand. "I know you're worried about Bobby, I am too. But hopefully things will be al right. I'm just glad they found Cheyenne and got her here in time."

She and Reno sat waiting until they heard their partner's all too familiar, "Hey," coming from the opposite side of where they sat.

"How is she? Who did this to her?" The questions flew faster than Reno could form the words.

"She doesn't know anything right now. The drug that was given to her makes her very sluggish. Reno, she didn't recognize me at first."

Reno stood and went over to his partner and best friend. He hugged him tightly for a moment and backed away. Sandy followed suit, and Bobby greeted Sandy in a brotherly manner.

"Bobby, I can only imagine how hard this is on you. If you need anything, just call me."

"Thanks."

"Bobby, I'm sorry but I'd like to know about Chey. Where is she? I want to see her."

Bobby led Reno to Cheyenne's room. Reno entered alone and went straight for the bed. He reached out gently and touched Cheyenne's hand. "Cheyenne, it's me, Reno." Reno spoke softly, as not to draw too much attention to himself. "It's me, Chey. I'm right here."

Her eyes opened for a moment and she mouthed one word. "Reno."

He stooped and kissed her gently on the forehead. He began to drift back to happier times spent with Cheyenne. He recalled that on his birthday a few years back she had surprised him with gifts. He remembered the jokes and constant jabbing they had made about Bobby.

Cheyenne slowly began to try to sit and Reno's strong arms were gently, but firmly holding her back. "No. Don't try to get up. You've been through a lot and you need your rest."

"Reno, my daughter is gone. Our daughter is gone." Reno stood speechless. He remembered the time they had been together during a case, and thought long and hard. Then he spoke.

"What do you mean our child, Cheyenne?"

"Reno, during the Spanno case, do you remember when you asked me to marry you?" He nodded his head and she continued. "After I left the business, I moved up here to Toronto. I thought it would be best if I just left everything, California, the business, ..."

"And me." Reno finished.

Cheyenne's face took on a look of overwhelming sadness. "Reno, I loved you then, and I still do. You were the one I knew that I could never be with, but I could always hope that some day maybe it would happen."

"What about our daughter? What happened to her?" Reno needed to know the answer. He prayed that it was something which could be made right, but he was vary unsure. He could see the emotion in Cheyenne's eyes and heard it in her voice.

"After I moved here, I discovered that I was pregnant. I was pretty sure the baby was yours since I hadn't been with anyone else. Anyway, I decided that if I made it common knowledge that Val was your daughter, Dutch would have another way into your life. He wouldn't have hesitated to use me and our child to get to you."

"And it would've worked, too. I'm sorry, Chey, please go on."

"Well, anyhow, in a moment of weakness, and believe me if I had known then what I know now I never would've let him into my life, I fell for a man. He was a doctor, still is. He and I were never married, but he naturally assumed that Val was his daughter. I couldn't exactly tell him about you. Anyway, he and I were together when Val was born, and I had to tell him that she was premature. I hadn't seen a doctor prior to meeting him, so when I finally went to see a doctor I made sure that he never went along. He never knew she wasn't his daughter, not until I left him."

"When did you leave him?" Reno wanted to ask her why she'd left, but he felt that she would tell him when she was ready.

"The year after Val was born. He became abusive toward me, and I couldn't handle it. I wanted to call you and Bobby in on several occasions, but he made it impossible for me to do so. I finally left him and took Val and moved to a safe location. He came back a few nights ago. I had left Val with the baby-sitter, Debby Raymond, who is also a close friend. When I came home I didn't see Debby anywhere in the apartment, and Val didn't answer when I called her name."

"Is it possible that Debby took Val somewhere to keep her safe?" Cheyenne shook her head in the negative.

"She would've been here by now, no matter what happened to me and no matter how long it had been. She'd have made sure Val was safe and then come looking for me."

Reno began to edge closer to Cheyenne. "Listen, Chey, I'm going to find this guy. And when I do he's going to pay for what he put you and that little girl through."

"Please don't do anything irrational. My daughter's life is in jeopardy. If he finds out that Val isn't his child he may do something to her and or me."

Reno pulled Cheyenne into his arms and held her tightly. "I won't let that happen. There is something that I want to talk to you about. This decision is one I want to make, but I need to know if it's something you want too. If not then I will drop it forever.

End part 3

Part 4

Natalie Lambert sat in the loft waiting for Nick to return. She knew that he would be home soon, as the sun was about to rise. She was as tired as he was, and being a new vampire, she found that she was becoming tired more quickly than she used to when she was mortal. In fact, she noted that there were several differences between being mortal and being immortal. She'd watched Nick live his life for nearly six years, but she'd always thought that she could just slip into immortality without too much difficulty.

In fact, she had found it exceedingly difficult to convince her friends that she wasn't able to go out in the daytime, often having them agree for early dinners whenever they wanted to get together. On her nights off of work, her friends understood that since she was involved with Nick now, that the two of them were spending the time together, never giving it a second thought and never once questioning her answers to their questions. Nick had been quite helpful in a few instances where hypnotism was necessary in certain situations. Nat was hoping that it would get easier as time passed, and Nick had assured her that it most certainly would become easier for her to be involved with both mortals and vampires. However, he also warned her that she must always be careful in what she told someone or how she acted. But Nat was certain she could deal with the situations as they arose. And, if anything came up which she couldn't handle, she knew she could always count on Nick being there to help her out if need be.

Nat smiled to herself. She hoped Nick would be home soon, and as if by magic, Nick's car pulled into the garage. Nat sighed as she heard the telltale signs of the door opening, the car turning off, and the feeling of Nick's presence. Just as the lift kicked on, the telephone rang. Nat grabbed for the receiver just as the second ring trilled throughout the loft. "Hello,"

"May I speak with Detective Nick Knight please?"

"Just a moment, who may I ask is calling?"

"My name is Robert Sixkiller. He'll know who I am."Nick walked in the door and saw Nat holding out the phone. He took it and smiled at her. "Nick, it's for you. He says his name is Robert Sixkiller and that it's important."

"Bobby, what's going on? How's Cheyenne? Has she remembered anything about the assault?"

"Yeah. I spoke with your captain, Detective. He said you don't come out in the daylight because you're phototropic or something. Is there any way my associate and I could come to see you?"

Nick gave him the address of his loft and hung up.

"Well, Nat, I don't suppose we'll be getting any sleep right away."

"Don't worry about me. I've been running on a caffeine jolt ever since the first three came in last night. Let me tell you something, Nick, it wasn't the best of nights for me. I'm still adjusting to the change even after some time."

Nick walked towards her and pulled her into his arms. "It's okay, Nat. I know what memories nights like these bring back for you, for the both of us." He lifted her up and carried her over to the couch. Setting her down, he headed into the kitchen and began preparing a cup of tea for Natalie.

"Nick, I've already had about two cups of that and it hasn't worked yet."

"Just take it easy and maybe this one will." He came back a few moments later carrying a steaming cup of tea in one hand and a chocolate bar in the other. He sat and they talked about the previous three nights' events for the both of them. It had been difficult to talk over the last three days, since when one came home the other would be sound asleep.

Within an hour, Nick heard the buzzer go off at his door and went to the panel by the kitchen door. Seeing that it was Bobby and the other two he had met that night he buzzed them up.

After greeting the three visitors, Nick introduced them to Natalie. "This is Natalie Lambert. She's the ME for Toronto." Nat stepped to Nick's side and shook each of the visitors' hands.

"Detective," Bobby began. "Vince has got some information for you. He got it when he went into talk to Chey."

Reno/Vince then went on to explain what he had learned. He left out only the fact that his real name was Reno Raines, and that Cheyenne's daughter was his daughter as well. Nick stood listening and finally spoke.

"Well, what we can do now is contact the police department and see what they can come up with on this Richard Taylor. If he's a doctor, they can't just disappear without a trace and not let anyone know where they're going."

They went over what they would do within the next 48 hours and then they left. They left the name of the hotel where they were staying and their phone numbers.

It only took Nick and Nat a few minutes to fall asleep on the couch. They had decided they were both too tired to drag themselves to bed. Nat had found a comfortable position for her head to rest on Nick's shoulder, and Nick had found himself becoming quite comfortable with putting his arm around Nat's shoulders and resting his chin on top of her head.

**************************************

A hotel room
8:35 am

He alternated between staring out the window at the bright lights of downtown Toronto and staring at the photographs he held in his hand. There were three pictures: Reno J. Raines a convicted fellon, Donald Dutch Dixon ex-United States Marshal, and Donny Dixon Jr. Hendricks had no idea exactly where the first two were, but the latter was sitting behind bars in Perdito Prison back in California. He had tried to get Donny to turn on his father shortly after he had come out of his coma, but Donny wasn't talking. He freely admitted that his father had tried to kill him and that he had made a bargain with both Sixkiller and Raines, one in which he agreed he would help bring his father down. He wouldn't say, however, if his father had any realistate or property he owned in or around the Canadian boarder. He had visited Donny two days ago, and Donny still wouldn't talk.

"Unfortunately he's my father," Donny had said shortly before Hendricks left. "But that doesn't change the fact that he can get away with just about anything, and no one would be the wiser."

Hendricks had tried everything he could think of to get Dixon to roll over on his father, but the kid was too stubborn and wouldn't budge. Finally, Hendricks had been forced to leave and find things out on his own without any assistance. He'd booked a flight to Toronto, and had arrived late the previous evening. He was tired, but whenever he tried to sleep he kept seeing the nightmares playing through his mind. He saw Dutch standing over his son, and then Dutch turning the gun on him and pulling the trigger. It happened every time he closed his eyes.

"Well now," Hendricks thought to himself as he finally seated himself in a chair. "I think it's about time I start my investigation." He reached for the phone and began dialing.

**************************************

Bobby's hotel room

"So, Reno, care to tell me the whole story?" Bobby lounged on the bed, eating a piece of pizza. A pizza box was on the wet bar. Reno sat loading and unloading his gun. Since his conversation with Cheyenne, he had told Bobby everything except for the fact that Cheyenne's daughter was his daughter, too.

At no response from his friend, Bobby prompted Reno once more. "So, what do you think we should do here, Partner?" Bobby finished the last of the slice of pizza in his hand and stared at his partner and best friend.

"Bobby, ever since Dutch put Hendricks in the hospital and split, I don't really know what to do anymore. I mean on one hand I could continue the hunt for Dixon and maybe I'll eventually find him, but right now, here with Cheyenne I just don't know."

"You still care about her don't you?"

"Bobby, it's not a one-sided thing here. I love your sister and she still loves me."

"She told you that?"Reno nodded. Now he caved and told Bobby the rest. Bobby listened in amazement as Reno told what happened between Cheyenne and himself both during and after the Spanno case. Bobby listened intently to Reno's words and then drew in a long breath.

"I think we should get Sandy out of here." Seeing no objection from Reno, he continued. "Think about it. Cheyenne comes home from work three nights ago finding her daughter missing. She left her ex-boyfriend two years ago and suddenly he comes back now for revenge. It doesn't feel right. To tell you the truth, brother, this feels almost like a Dixon trap if you ask me."Reno shook his head.

"No, not a Dixon trap. Too elaborate, and besides if Dixon were involved in this, don't you think the local cops would be all over him by now? I mean come on. The guy damn near kills his boss and attempted the same on his own son. Take a good look around you. His picture is almost as famous as mine!" Reno paused for a minute while his partner digested this. "But you are right on one thing. We have got to get Sandy out of this. If I'm wrong and Dutch is here, then he could use her to get to us. And that's not a risk I'm willing to take." Bobby retrieved his cellphone and dialed Sandy's number.

**************************************

An hour and a half later, Bobby was hugging Sandy fiercely and telling her that he was grateful for all that she had done.

"Sandy, believe me. If there were a way of keeping you here without Dixon finding out about you, I'd gladly do it." She cut him off with the faintest of smiles.

"I know, but you can't. You can't and you don't want to risk the life of another member of the bounty hunting community, not to mention one of your partners." She smiled and continued speaking. "Besides, I can do more good back there than I could here. Dixon knows who I am. If he is here, I can find out whether or not he owns any property or has friends up here. Don't worry about me,Robert, I'll be perfectly fine."

Nodding his agreement with her remark, he kissed her cheek and hugged her once more. "Call me when you get back to the office and have a safe trip."

End part 4

Part 5A

United States Marshal Jack Hendricks entered the police station. He asked to speak with someone in charge, and was directed to the office of Captain Joe Reese.

"Are you Captain Joe Reese?" Hendricks asked. The big man stood from his desk chair, smiled and nodded.

"Yes. I am. And you are?"

"Jack Hendricks, United States Marshal with the Criminals At Large Task Force out of California. I realize it's unprofessional of me to just show up without prior communication between the two departments, but I felt that in this case it was necessary." He continued by explaining his situation and why he had ultimately come to Toronto in the first place. Reese was more than willing to ablige, and even sent him over to one of his best detectives.

"Marshal Hendricks, this is Detective Tracy Vetter. Her partner, Detective Knight isn't in yet, but when he arrives I'm sure he would be happy to discuss everything he knows with you."
**************************************


Toronto General Hospital

The tall man walked straight toward the nurse's station. The girl on the night shift looked up as he approached. He didn't look that bad. He was about six-feet tall, with a good looking build and features. She sized him up as being near fifty or so. Too bad he wasn't just a little younger.

He looked rather distinguished, a little grey here and there, but not bad looking at all. Mary Macy, one of the nurses on duty at the station stared at him intently. She wished she could meet someone like that; someone smart, and whom would take care of her. She nearly dropped her paperwork when he approached her.

"Hi there. I'm Donald Dixon, with the Criminals At Large Task Force of California. I'm looking for Cheyenne Phillips please."

"Room 544." She pointed in the general direction of the room and he left. She watched him leave, and then turned back to her unfinished paperwork.

He entered the room silently and placed the small bouquet of flowers he had bought on the table beside her bed. Even if his intentions for seeing her weren't the greatest, he figured at least he could make them appear to be so.

"Cheyenne?" he said. His voice startled her awake. Although still very groggy, she opened her eyes and tried to sit but could not. Her mind was cloudy, but one thought managed to break through the haze.

"Where is she? Have you found her yet?"

He seemed stunned by this. "Who? Where is who, Cheyenne? Who is She?"

"My daughter. Where is she?"

He pulled a chair to the side of her bed and sat down. "Why don't you start from the beginning. Tell me about your daughter."

By now, she'd become more awake and was staring intently at the man who'd entered her hospital room at this late hour. She recognized him immediately, and realized her mistake. "Not a chance."

"Look, I've still got my connections. If she has been kidnapped, I can find her. And probably faster than that brother of yours and his friend Raines. Whom by the way, I am still after."

"Dutch, we both know you no longer are a United States Marshal. I may have left my job in California, the United States, my brother, and my life there, however, what I didn't do was stop keeping tabs on you and the Raines case. We have no contact with Mr. Raines in any means of a professional or personal nature." She knew she was lying and so did he. But she thought she would play this game a little longer.

Dutch was pissed; and he didn't waste any time letting that bitch know the truth of the matter either. He'd had more than enough of the cat and mouse games they'd been playing since 1992. Raines worked for Sixkiller and they all knew it.

"Listen; I can help you more than that damned cop killer or your brother. In fact, I was just about to ..."

"Save it for the real cops and the judge. Now get the hell out before I call the nurse's station." She reached for the call button by her side and he turned and left the room. But as he was leaving he made a comment that chilled Cheyenne's very core.

"This isn't over. Oh and by the way, tell your little friend Raines that he better pray to some higher power that he finds me before I find him. Because if I find him first you'll be reading his obituary and receiving a piece of him in the mail."

As he left the hospital, he began putting his plan into action. Eventually I'll be able to use her for information. Soon enough, Bobby and Reno will come running to little Chey's defense."

He had no idea, however, that he was being watched. Nick was watching the man every step of the way. He had overheard the entire exchange between Dutch and Cheyenne, and Now it was time for him to go see her.

End part 5A

Part 5B

Back at their hotel, Bobby and Renowere getting ready to leave. After havingsent Sandyon her way back home, they'd spent the remainder of the afternoon coming up with an idea of what they should do. Bobby had suggested that they put out a missing person's report, and agreed to go to the station later that evening to meet with Detective Knight. Reno wanted to start looking for Debby Raymond. If he found her, then he could find a lead on where his daughter was.

"Bobby, I don't think we should be together. I'm going after this Richard Taylor and I'm going to find him."

" "Reno, don't go off with a chip on your shoulder and a loaded 9 MM. It's not one of the better ideas here. You could get your own daughter killed if you're not careful."

Reno finished loading the clip into his gun. They left their room together and out to their vehicles in the parking lot. Bobby was still hounding him all the way. "Reno, if you're going to go after this Taylor character, I don't think you should take chances. If this guy is as bad as Cheyenne has said, I think it would be best if ..."

"Bobby, I know what I'm doing. I won't risk my daughter's life, but I will bring this guy in." Reno started the bike and left.

**************************************

Cheyenne's hospital room

Nick approached her bedside. He knelt down at her side and listened to her steady and low breathing. She was sleeping.

Nick began to lock on to the woman's heartbeat. He began speaking in low hypnotic tones."Cheyenne, can you hear me?"

"Yes."

"Cheyenne, what happened to you?"

"I was attacked by my ex-boyfriend."

"What did he do?"

"He hit me. He said he wanted my daughter."

"What did you do?"

"I said that it would be a cold day in hell before he ever got hold of my daughter."

"Where was your daughter when you left?"

" "I left her with the sitter."

"How old is your daughter?"

"She's almost four-years old."

"What is her name?"

"Val."

Nick stopped speaking. He reached into his pocket and removed a card. He placed it in her hand and said, "You will sleep now. When you wake up you will remember this conversation. You will remember telling me everything."

"I will remember." Cheyenne answered in the hypnotic tone.

Nick turned, and just as quickly and quietly as he had come in, he left. He had work he had to attend to. Nick entered the precinct just before 9:30 pm, and was genuinely surprised to see Tracy talking to a strange man in a very expensive-looking suit. He made his way over to the two and greeted Tracy warmly.

"Nick, this is Jack Hendricks a United States Marshal out of California. He's here investigating a sighting of that guy they call Dutch Dixon..."

"I know the case. How are you, Mr. Hendricks?"

"I'm well, and feeling much better, thank you. Now, what's this I heard you found Bobby Sixkiller's little sister Cheyenne?"

Nick relayed the details of the situation as best he could without seeming to know more than he let on. He told them everything: from the moment he found Cheyenne, to the moment he last saw Bobby, Vince, and Sandy. As the three continued talking, another figure entered and headed in their general direction.

Bobby headed for the nearest desk sergeant."I'm looking for Detective Nick Knight."

The sergeant pointed toward Nick's and Tracy's desks. Bobby approached and saw Nick sitting there, looking at a picture of a middle-weight man, talking to Jack Hendricks. He was just about to leave when Hendricks and Nick both spotted him. It was too late to leave.

"Bobby, come on over here." Hendricks entoned. He greeted the man cautiously and then turned to Nick.

"Good evening, Detective. And who may I ask is this lovely young lady?" He indicated Tracy with a slight nod of his head. Tracy blushed and felt her cheeks go scarlet red from the comment.

"This is my partner, Tracy Vetter. Tracy Vetter, Bobby Sixkiller."

"Pleased to meet you, Detective Vetter."

They sat and discussed Cheyenne's case, and at the request of Hendricks, Bobby filled him in on the situation.

"Marshal, I don't know if you know this but my sister has a daughter. I have a niece and she is missing."

"I know. Look, Sixkiller, despite what you may think of me, I have been doing my homework. Since I've been here I've checked out everything I could get my hands on. Did you know that there was a sighting of Dutch somewhere in this area?"

Bobby shook his head. "No, I hadn't heard that information. How did you come about it?"

"It was on the local news back in Bay City. So, what's the story? Has anything changed with your sister and her missing child?"

"No. The only thing we all know for certain is that someone named Richard Taylor had something to do with the kidnapping. I'm currently investigating, with the help of a contact in Bay City. She's pulling all computerized data I might need."

Hendricks looked scheptical but then quickly changed his expression. He gazed over at Nick who looked ready to say something. Nick nodded in agreement.

"Well, I can help with some of those files. Oh, and by the way, Bobby, where's your partner Vince?"

Bobby ignored the question for the moment and looked at the pile of papers on Nick's desk. Not wanting to drag things out into a long discussion, Nick resigned himself to leave it alone for the moment. He reached onto his desk and withdrew some papers. He handed them to Bobby who began reading. He handed another copy of the information to Marshal Hendricks who stood reading over Bobby's shoulder.

"How did you get this information on him so quickly?" Hendricks asked after scanning the papers in his hand.

"I've got my connections." Nick looked at his computer and smiled. He had hacked his way into several different areas over the course of the day, and had extracted some very interesting pieces of the puzzle surrounding Richard Taylor.

Hendricks shifted his attention onto Bobby, and as he did so, the Indian nearly squirmed under the scrupulous gaze of the marshal.

"Speaking of your partner Vince, where is he anyway?" Hendricks asked, and then in a lower voice he added, "We all know he's Reno Raines. But for the moment he's Vince Black."

Bobby almost denied his knowledge of Reno Raines's existence, however, after Hendricks had wound up in the hospital, Reno had told him the whole sorted encounter with Dutch's former boss. He relaxed and kept a composed and neutral look on his face as he stated, "He doesn't like police stations. He would prefer to be out on the streets canvassing for clues to my niece's disappearance." Bobby answered more harshly than he had intended. Hendricks then explained that he had subsequent evidence, which would help Reno's case.

"But without Dutch's confession I'm not sure that it would hold up in court."

Bobby just looked blankly at the man. "What information? What are you talking about?"

"The day I was shot, or rather the day you set up on Dixon, I arrested Reno. I took him for a drive and we had a chat.

Flashback:
"The Bad Seed"

Hendricks had just placed Reno J. Raines, handcuffs and all, in the car and began driving away. He headed for what looked to be a secluded area. He turned off into a dirt road leading to a field. He killed the car's engine and got out. Next, he went to Reno's door, opened it and motioned for him to step out of the car and follow him.

"Nice office you got here. Is this where you're gunna book me?"

"No, that's gunna happen down at the Federal Building...after." Hendricks began leading him out into a well-secluded field where they wouldn't be noticed by any prying eyes or ears.

"After what?" Reno Asked, the synicism showing in his voice.

"After you and I have a little talk." They continue walking and then stop when Hendricks lets go of Reno's cuffed hands. He continued speaking. "You're gunna tell me a story. Stars you and a guy who works out of my office."

"Dutch Dixon? Huh. Why should I bother?"

"Because I'm asking. Because maybe I've got a problem with Dutch myself."

"I want a lawyer."

"You'll get a lawyer." Hendricks was growing impatient.
"I want one now." Reno stated flatly.

For a guy who claimed to be innocent, Raines sure as hell wasn't willing to talk to him about the story. "Listen, you're a three-time loser and I could take you downtown and forget you like last week's classifieds. But I'm giving you one chance to tell your side to someone who just might give a damn. Now you wanna throw that away that's your choice."

End flashback:

"Reno told me everything, from you meeting up with Melissa Dixon; to the night she died. He said that if I wanted real proof of this then I should give him twelve hours. He swore that if he was wrong then I could turn him in and he wouldn't run."

"That sounds like him, too." Bobby murmured. Hendricks continued.

"I thought something was up with Dixon, so I set up on him myself. I saw the whole thing: from Donny Dixon breaking in, to Dutch holding him at gunpoint, to Dutch getting ready to murder his own son."

"Let me ask you something, Hendricks." Bobby said. He wondered about this for a long time, but had never been able to to approach the Marshal about this. "Why then, if you saw everything, did you come busting through the door and surprise Dutch like that? You damn near got yourself killed."

Hendricks thought about htis for a moment befre answering. Jeanie had asked him the same question once he'd come home, but he hadn't answered her truthfully. He'd said he didn't remember why he'd done it, just that he'd done it. But that had been a lie. Hendricks knew the real reason for his error in judgement that night, and if he wanted Bobby to play straight with him, he guessed that he'd better do the same. He wasn't made of stone or steal, although there were days where he wished he were made of just such materials. Hendricks took a deep breath and began to speak slowly. "When I saw Dutch holding his own son at gunpoint, something inside me snapped. I knew that it was wrong, and although I didn't want to blow my cover and risk someone's life, I ran in that house and diverted the attention away from Donny to myself."

"You were trying to protect the kid weren't you." Nick stated solemnly. He knew how Hendricks must've felt, imagining the sceen unfold before his vary own eyes. He knew that if it had been he in that same situation, he'd have done the same thing, but the difference would've been that he wouldn't have ended up with a bullet in his head.

Hendricks nodded. "To be honest with you, I knew Reno was there. When I came through the door I could see Reno through the glass of the nearby window. I caught a glimpse of him jsut as he came crashing through it. He tried to stop Dutch from shooting me, but it was useless. Dutch is one hell of a marksman."

They talked for about ten more minutes until Bobby said, "Well, I think it's time I go and spend some quality time with my sister. Nick, thanks for the information. Marshal, nice to see you again. Good luck with tracking down Dutch. You know how to reach me if you need my assistance. And Ms. Vetter, it was a pleasure to meet you. I hope I have the pleasure of seeing you again before I leave Toronto." He gently took her hand into his and squeezed it softly. Tracy's face again took on its own scarlet coloring.

"Thank you, Mr. Sixkiller, and by the way, it's Tracy."

Nick turned his attention to Tracy. "Trace, I've got to go out for a little while."

"If you're going to meet with Raines tell him you've seen me. Let him know that there's a chance of Dixon's being in town and that it's not entirely safe for him to be out on the streets." Hendricks flashed a slight smile, and watched Bobby preparing to leave.

"Damn it, Nick! We're partners. If you're going to talk to an accused fellon, you'd better take some backup. Case in point, me."

"Trace, you're not going. If he sees that I'm not alone, he might take it as a signal that he's under arrest. He is after all an accused fellon. You said it yourself."

Nick picked up his jacket and exited the precinct. Tracy watched her partner leave the precinct and blew out the pent up breath she had been holding. "I hate it when he does that!" She exclaimed softly.

"Feeling a little left out, Detective Vetter? Well how about you and I do our own investigating." He handed her a thin folder of papers on Dutch Dixon. "Starting with him. Let's find this guy."

"Okay. Just give me five minutes and we'll leave." She said. She had so much on her mind already: Nick's covering up the fact he was a vampire, Vachon's leaving Toronto, and her being shot almost a year prior. She leaned back in her chair and made her decision. She lifted the phone and began dialing a number. Someone on the other end of the line picked up and Tracy replied.

"Hi. Listen, I don't think I'm going to go ahead with what we discussed earlier. Yeah, I know all the trouble you've gone through, but it's just not for me. I'll talk to you later."

She replaced the phone in its cradle, retrieved her jacket from the back of her desk chair, and joined Hendricks as he exited the precinct.

"Well, Detective Vetter, since you know this territory better than me, why don't we take a look around this fine city. My first suggestion would be the hotels and motels. Let's check them all: from the five-stars to the fleebags. Dutch has to be staying somewhere in the city."

End part 5B

Part 6A

Reno reved the engine of the bike and was about to take off when he spotted the black caddy coming in his direction. He was hoping for no trouble, but he knew he was prepared if any came.

"Vince." He turned around just in time to see Nick Knight standing behind him.

"Hey, Nick, how's everything going?"

Nick stood looking at Reno's bike. "She's beautiful. So, Vince, what kind of bike is she?"

"She's a 1990 1340cc, V-twin engine Softail custom Harley."

"I've got a fascination for motorcycles myself. I've got one at the loft that I'm restoring. But that's not why I came out here looking for you." Nick paused for only a second, and then decided to forge ahead. "Vince, I think we need to talk." Nick edged closer to the bounty hunter. He knew this had to be said and he had to be the one to do it.

"What about, Detective Knight?"

"Please call me Nick."

"Okay, Nick. What's up?"

"I did a background check on you and I found something interesting. It seems that you look an awful lot like convicted murderer Reno Raines. Oh, and United States Marshal Jack Hendricks confirmed the likeness. You're reallly Reno J. Raines aren't you?"

Reno tried to split but Nick's vampire abilities were quicker. He grabbed the man and dragged him off of the bike. "Now listen to me. If I wanted to turn you in, I'd have brought back up with me and you'd already be in custody by now."

"What do you want, Detective? What's your game?"

"Please, Mr. Raines. First of all there's no game. And second of all I thought I told you to call me Nick. I want to know the truth about what happened to you. I don't care about what I've read or heard, I want to hear your side of the story, coming from you yourself."

"A dirty cop named Dutch Dixon hired someone to kill me six years ago. But they missed and shot my fiancé." Reno told him the story from start to finish. He missed nothing. He talked about Hogg Adams, a convicted felon sprung from jail and hired to kill him. Eventually, Dixon had received word that the hit on Raines had gone terribly wrong and in turn had killed his own partner, Buzzy Burrell who had sprung Hog from jail. Hog Adams had a brother, one Hound Adams, who had some evidence that could clear Reno's name. He told him of Valerie Prentiss's death and how Lieutenant Donald Dixon had played a part in all of this. He told him the truth, and when he finished he told how Dutch had murdered his own wife, Melissa, and how he had framed Reno for that killing as well. Nick stood looking at him.

"Reno, what if I could help find this Dixon character and your daughter. Maybe it could help you. Who knows, maybe you could stay up here with Cheyenne. Help raise Val. Your name would be cleared and you would have nothing to worry about."

"How did you know Val was my daughter?"

"Two things. First of all, Hendricks and your partner had a chat with my partner and myself this evening. So now I know that everything he said was the truth."

"And the second thing?"

"I put two and two together and got four. Besides, I went to see Cheyenne and she told me about Val. She, however, missed the point that you were her father. And don't worry. Your secret's safe with me." He turned to face the bounty hunter fully and looked directly into his eyes. "Reno, I have just one question. How did you get into the bounty hunting business in the first place?"

"My partner, Bobby. Dutch knew he was the best in the business, so he hired him to track me. Unfortunately though, when he found me, I had Hogg Adams in my custody. A gang of bikers came after us and sprung Hog. There was a fight and one of them grabbed Bobby's sister Cheyenne."

Nick laughed. "Don't tell me, let me guess. You two went after them and got her back without a scratch on her." Reno smiled at the man and looked back at his bike.

"Thank you, Nick. It means a lot to me, you're not arresting me I mean."


Once Nick returned to the precinct, he found a note on his desk from Tracy. It read:
"Nick, Went off with Hendricks to do my own investigation. I'll call if anything should turn up,
Trace."

He made a mental note to do something for Tracy in order to make up for all of this. He still hadn't broached the subject of his vampirism with her as of yet, and maybe now was the right time. But for the moment he could make short work of the paperwork occupying the two desks. Maybe that would cheer her up a little. She hated it just as much as he did, but he thought she hated it just a little bit more than himself.

He sat and began to fill out the papers that occupied both his and Tracy's desks. He had only been there a few short minutes when a tall figure appeared at his desk.

"You Detective Nick Knight?"

"Yeah. Who are you and how can I help you?"

"I'm with the Criminals At Large task force with the Federal Marshal's office in San Diego, California.

Nick recognized the man immediately and knew exactly who he was dealing with. He reached into his pocket under the pretense of retrieving another pen, but once his hand was in the pocket he pressed the record button on the small tape recorder he carried in case of an emergency situation.

"Marshal, what is your business here?" He couldn't believe this guy was that stupid, to just walk into a police precinct when he knew fullwell that he himself was wanted for the attempted murders of his boss and son. But he made conversation with the man hoping that he would give some vital piece of information or a small clue which would help in his unraveling.

"I'm looking for an escaped convict named Reno Raines. It has come to my attention, Detective Knight, that Raines may be taking refuge here in Toronto or somewhere here in Canada."

Nick looked directly into the man's eyes. "Marshal, you will not find him here. I am one of Toronto's best detectives. I know about the Reno Raines case and I would most certainly know if he were here in this city or even in this country. I have kept good tabs on this particular case, especially since we're dealing with a cop killer here."

"Detective Knight, I've already done a background check on you. I know all about how you've been named partners of the month with your former partner Don Schanke. I also know about your other partner Tracy Vetter. I know that it was you who tried to stop an escaped convict from killing her. I know it all, and I also know that if you are lying to me I will personally see to it that you are brought up on charges of harboring a fugitive."

Not wanting to give away the fact that he knew of Dixon's recent problem with the law, Nick just gave the man a smug look and turned his head to the side. Dixon turned around and left the precinct. Nick stood from his desk, and for the second time he left the precinct.

End part 6A

Part 6B

Hendricks and Tracy had just finished scouting the fancier of the hotels and motels of the city. Now it was time to canvas the fleebags. They had taken Tracy's car since Hendricks hadn't obtained any method of transportation since his arrival to Toronto.

"Marshal Hendricks, if you don't mind my asking, why did you come here alone? Why not bring some backup with you?"

He looked at the young woman briefly and said, "First of all, Tracy, it's Jack. And second I didn't think I would waste any of my other teams doing the one job I want to see to personally."

"Forgive me for saying this, but don't you think you're playing the vigilanty here? I mean think about it. You corner Dixon, a fight ensues and he accidentally gets shot."

"Then I guess that would be an unfortunate mistake on my part. You see, Tracy, I don't plan on letting Dutch get killed. I plan on bringing him in and then hauling his ass up on so many charges he has no other recourse of action but to admit to them. Plus, with Reno's testimony and the stuff I found at Dutch's place, I think I can safely say that Dutch was trying to buy Reno's silence. He must be getting tired of this cat and mouse game they've been playing for so many years." Jack looked out the window and then back at Tracy. She had struck a chord in him, and at that moment, he realized that she made him think long and hard about what would happen in the end. He knew that he wouldn't kill Dixon. Dying was too good for that creep, and besides that, he knew that Reno would want to see the man pay for his crimes. Hendricks could just imagine it, Dutch wasting away in the vary same prison where he'd put so many other guys over the years.

**************************************

At the hospital, Bobby sat with his sister as she slept. They had talked for a little while and then she had secumbed to the medication she was being given. He then left her with a quick kiss on the cheek and promised to come back and see her as soon as he could.

"I promise you, little sister, that I'm going to find this son of a bitch and make him pay for everything he's put you through." Then he was gone.

He headed out in no general direction. He needed to make a few phone calls, and his first was to Sandy. He asked her if she'd found anything, not really expecting too much in the way of results.

"Well, as far as your niece goes, I haven't found much." Sandy said. "But as far as Dixon is concerned, I have no known leads on any property holdings either in his name or in Melissa's name. I also checked to see if there was nything under the names of his children, but I didn't find anything. His other son has a house in Chicago, his daughter lives here in California with her boyfriend, and Donny never acquired any property himself."

Bobby smiled grimly. "Okay thanks. Could you also run a background check on Debby Raymond? She's a friend of Chey's and the babysitter that Chey left Valerie with the night she disappeared."

"You bet I will. It'll take about a day or so but I should have something by tomorrow afternoon."

All right. Be careful, will you? And please keep in touch."

End part 6B

Part 7

He followed Dixon out the door and down the street. He opted not to take the caddy because if he did, he knew Dixon was sure to spot him. Reno had said that this guy took no chances with anyone or anything he was involved with.

The man had mentioned Tracy and that brought back the most painful memories in his career. Not only had it reminded him of his nearly slain partner, but it brought back all the memories of Schanke and Captain Cohen too.

Flashback: "Last Knight"

"Dawkins? Dawkins, it's okay. It's me..Detective Knight."

Nick drew his gun. Tracy was still hiding in the background. Nick and Reese were unaware of her presence.

"Knight? You'd better tell them to get a big body bag. Cause that's the only way I'm goin' outa' here."

Tracy began moving for cover behind a locker as Nick began talking to Dawkins again.

"Dawkins. Listen to me. You really don't want to die. And I don't want you to hurt anyone. You wouldn't want to be responsible for that. Now would you?"

"I'm tellin' you I'm not goin back." Tracy began to move in closer to the two men.. Dawkins spotted her and turned his attention away from Nick. He pulled the trigger twice.

Nick leaped to block Tracy but it was no use. She hit the floor with a thump.

"TRACY.......TRACY... We need some help here."Nick had watched his partner get shot twice. He held her in his arms as she lay bleeding to death on the locker room floor. She had looked at him with the realization of what he was, and now he knew that she knew.

"You could have trusted me." Tracy said. She knew that he was the same as Vachon.

As the medical staff raced in with their equipment, Nick began to feel the overwhelming pangs of guilt and remorse. He felt awful about hiding the knowledge of his existance from his mortal partner. But he also knew that her knowledge of the community was more than enough to put her life in danger, especially with the enforcers.yNick finally left the hospital several hours later with the knowledge that the gunshot wounds were very serious. He had later been informed that she had survived surgery. It was miraculous. Reese had been the first one to give the wonderful news to Nick and Natalie, and the two of them could not have been more overjoyed to hear of the talented, vivacious blond's recovery.

Over the next few days, Nick, Nat, Reese and the rest of the precinct had been in and out to wish Tracy a speedy recovery. Even Tracy's parents had been there at the same time. However, they had not gone without their usual arguments over who was really at fault. When she had been released from the hospital, Nick and Natalie were there to meet her, as well as Captain Reese.

End flashback

As he watched and followed, he saw Dixon heading for the hospital. He knew what his reason was for heading there, and began putting his plan into action. He would go into the hospital and try to get Cheyenne released if she were strong enough.

He was a good 20 yards from the hospital and wanted to get there before Dixon. He looked around to see if anyone was within viewing range and prepared to take off. Just as he was about to leap into the air he turned at the sound of a motor cycle coming in his direction. Using his special abilities, he could see that Reno was approaching and fast. Turning fully around, he lunged into Reno's field of vision blocking him from Dixon's sight.

"Reno. I just saw Dutch Dixon."

"I'm outa' here. Cheyenne will be in danger and so will our daughter if Dixon sees me."

"Don't worry. I told him that you weren't anywhere near here. I think he bought it."

Reno got off the bike and looked directly at Nick. "Do you have any place where I can hold up for a while?"

"My loft. Nat will be home soon and she can fix you something to eat. I'm not off shift for another two or three hours."

After Reno had left, Nick resumed his plan. He took off and headed for the hospital. He explained the gravity of the situation, emphasizing the fact that Dixon was on his way, and had convinced her to go along with him. He told her that he would be bringing her home with him to his loft, and that he knew the truth about Reno and his past. She had agreed and they were in the process of discharging her when Dixon's voice was heard coming from somewhere down the hall.

"Look. I'm a Federal Marshal and I demand to know where Cheyenne Phillips is. I checked her room and she's not there."

Nick turned to Cheyenne and whispered into her ear. "Cheyenne, I need you to trust me. Wrap your arms around my neck and hang on."

He lifted her up and ran as fast as he could. They had made it to the ally outside the hospital and he lifted into the air. Cheyenne's face held a frightened expression. For a moment Nick thought she was going to let go, but she held tightly to his neck.

"Don't worry. It's okay. I won't let anything happen to you, I promise."

They reached Nick's loft and Nick set Cheyenne down gently on the ground by the entrance. Nick thought about hypnotizing her to make her forget, but was afraid that it wouldn't work. He didn't have the caddy there to act as a prop for the fabricated story he could easily make up, and he was unsure if either she or Reno would believe the story without the car there for proof. He made his decision and didn't give it a second thought. He entered his code into the axess panel on the wall and they entered the warehouse together. He could hear Reno's distinct heartbeat and knew that the man was there.

Cheyenne looked curiously at Nick's collection of old vehicles, especially the motorcycles. "Reno would love those old bikes." Cheyenne smiled warmly at Nick and allowed him to take her arm and guide her toward the lift.

"Detective Knight," she began. "I wanted to ask you something, and I know it's going to sound extremely crazy."

"Go right ahead. And by the way, please call me Nick."

"Nick, what was all that at the hospital? Who are you? What are you? How did you ..."

"Cheyenne, listen vary carefully. I'm not sure you should know the whole story, but I will tell you just who I am and what I am. But I want it to wait until we get inside and until I can tell you and Reno together."

"Reno who? Who is this Reno person?"

Nick looked directly into Cheyenne's face and said softly, "I told you back at the hospital that I knew the truth about him. Please believe that."

At first she didn't seem to give anything away in her expression, but then she softened and responded. How do you know who Reno is?"

"He and I had a little talk earlier and I've already seen Dutch Dixon here in Toronto. Neither one of you is safe as long as he's here."

They entered the loft and Chey immediately spotted Reno sitting on Nick's leather sofa watching the sports channel. In a flash he was on his feet and heading for her when Nick stopped him.

"Reno, please sit down. She's all right. I got to her before Dixon. He's at the hospital looking for her right now." Reno sat down and Nick helped Cheyenne to the couch. He continued speaking."Cheyenne, you asked me a question on the way up here, and I think it deserves a fair answer. I am a vampire. That's how I got you out of the hospital before Dutch Dixon found you."

Reno stood and stepped in front of Cheyenne. "Please tell me you're joking, Nick. Vampires don't exist. They're the stuff legends and myths are made of."

"No they're not." Natalie entered the loft by the stairs. "Nick has been trying to regain his mortality. I've known him for the last eight years and in all that time I've been searching for a cure for his condition."

The next several hours were spent discussing Nick's condition and finally the topic strayed back to the case. Nick then produced a thin stack of papers from his briefcase.

"I've already given a copy of these to Bobby Sixkiller. Oh, and by the way, I think you should know that Hendricks is in town too. He came to see me this evening and I volunteered whatever information I had collected. Cheyenne, you weren't the first to be taken in by Richard Taylor, aka James Freeman. He's been using the name Richard Taylor in order to keep his past from being discovered. He has a criminal record a mile and a half long with a history of domestic violence right at the top along with the rest."

"What else is he charged with?" Cheyenne asked looking to Reno for some support.

"There have been several deaths between Canada and the United States. He has been using his false name to gain a position as a doctor in several hospitals here in Canada. He stopped using the name James Freeman when his licence to practice medicine was revoked in the United States after he was formally charged with the death of a teenage patient of his. The charges never held though because there wasn't enough evidence to prove anything against him."

"So what you're saying," Reno began, "is that Freeman must have a lot of clout somewhere pretty high up in order to gain medical credentials under the alias Richard Taylor."

Nat chose this moment to cut into the conversation. "I did some checking myself and found out that there were some cases here in Canada that were similar to those in the United States. So far though, our friend Richard Taylor as he is now known, hasn't been brought up on any charges whatsoever."

End part 7

Part 8

The rest of the day was spent sleeping and planning their next move. Nick and Nat both agreed that since Reno had been unsuccessful in finding anything on Debby Raymond, that Taylor had to have taken the child. They also agreed that if he'd taken her then he had to have a plan for taunting Cheyenne or to simply disappear with the little girl. By 8:00 pm however, all their suspicions had been transformed into hard proof.

**************************************

Bobby had searched the computer for Richard Taylor and had found several listings for that particular name. He had ruled out all the ones outside the country. If he had Val with him, which was pretty likely, he couldn't get her out of the country without a passport. He knew that his niece did not have one since he had checked. No passports under the names of Valerie Taylor or a Valerie Philips. Bobby also knew that Richard Taylor was an alias for James Freeman. Combined with the papers Nick had forked over at the precinct, he had done his own checking and had found pretty much the same Nick had. The only difference was that he found something deep in this guy's past, something he would probably have wanted to remain a secret. He had found out that James Freeman had been seeing someone about ten years ago. He learned that the woman's daughter wasn't his like he had been led to believe, so in retaliation for her crime against him, he killed her and her child leaving the bodies somewhere where they wouldn't be missed.

He had finally found about half a dozen property listings for the name Richard Taylor within a one-hundred-mile radius of Toronto. Now he began checking them all to see if they worked anywhere in a hospital.He had finished all but one and hadn't found anything helpful. Finally though, he nailed it. There was one Richard Taylor who lived right outside of Toronto and worked in a hospital. He was working as a physician's assistant. Bobby reached for his cellular and dialed Reno's number.

"I think we've got a very promising lead on our boy Taylor."

As Bobby finished relaying the new information to Reno and the others over the phone, his phone beeped indicating that he had an incoming call. He disconnected from Reno, explaining that it could be Sandy with some news. As soon as he picked up Sandy wasted no time in pleasantries.

"Robert, I found something on Debby Raymond. She did live at the address that Cheyenne had given us when we checked out the story about her leaving Val with a babysitter. It seems that Debby Raymond isn't as wonderful a friend to your sister as she has pretended to be."

"What do you mean, Sandy? Reno checked the woman out a much as he could, and didn't find anything." Bobby was confused. Was there something that Reno hadn't told him? Or was there something that Reno hadn't been able to uncover last night?

"Bobby, Debby Raymond is from the same area as your friend Taylor was from in the States. They were high school sweethearts, only he wasn't Richard Taylor back then..." Bobby quickly filled Sandy in on what he knew which was what she'd been about to tell him. When he'd finished she said, "Oh and there's one more thing. Raymond had an older brother from her mother's previous encounter with a guy. The mother was attacked late one night and raped. As a result of the rape, Charles Richardson was born. Richardson was the mother's maiden name, but she married Jeffrey Raymond shortly after the rape."

"Let me guess, years down the road Debby learns of her mother's indiscressions, and confronts her mother." He was starting to see a picture forming in his mind now.

"That's right, but instead of confronting justher mother, she confronted both her parents. The father never knew the boy wasn't his, andin the middle of a violent argument the mother somehow ended up killed. The father was charged, and is currently serving the last of his sentence in the state prison."

"And the brother? Whatever became of him?" Bobby wasn't sure he was involved, but he had to ask. If Debby was involved in this mess somehow, then so too, could her older brother. But Sandy's next statement quickly erased any thoughts of his involvement.

"He was killed in a car accident shortly after his mother's death."

**************************************
8:55 pm

Bobby, having by this time raced over to Nick's loft with the new information, began to explain to the others what had been gathered. Once everyone knew everything, they began to form a plan.

An hour later Nick and Nat were in the caddy, parked a block away from where Taylor's residence was located. They had parked the caddy there purposely just in case something went wrong. Nick and Natalie would be nearby if they were needed by Bobby, Reno, and Cheyenne.

Bobby and Reno made their way to Taylor's door. Their plan was to pose as tourists who had gotten themselves lost. They would keep him distracted, and when Reno gave the signal, Cheyenne would slip around to the back and get her daughter. She would need to be careful, however, because of the possibility that Debby Raymondwas there, and that she could vary well be helpingTaylor with his plans.

Bobby knocked at the door. A man, medium-build, dark-brown hair and light-brown eyes answered.

"May I help you?"

Bobby Spoke up. "Yes. My friend and I, we were heading for the border and got lost somehow. We're not really from around here and we don't have a map. We got lost out here in the country a while ago and were looking for somewhere where we could get some decent directions." Bobby kept him talking and then pointed to Reno. "Vince here, well he had a family emergency to attend to back home in California and we were just heading back tonight."

Reno, aka Vince, gestured back to the car. "It's his car and he offered to take me back so I can see my father before it's too late."

Cheyenne was watching for Reno's arm to sweep towards the vehicle. She swiftly but silently went around to the back of the house. She spotted a window at the back of the house. Peering through, she saw an immaculately clean room. It was dark, but there was just enough light for Cheyenne to make out a bed in one corner. In the center of the bed, she could make out a small form. It was Val, she knew it had to be.

She searched for a back door and found it. After slipping through, she found the room and her daughter.

"Val, honey, it's mommy. Come on. We're going home."

Cheyenne went to her daughter's side and lifted her from the bed.

"Just a minute, Chey." There in the doorway stood Debby Raymond her best friend, her so-called best friend. "You're not taking her anywhere. She belongs with the man who is her father, or at least the one who thinks he's her father."

"What are you talking about, Debby? I don't understand any of this." Cheyenne began to play along with her new hand. She knew that Nick's sensitive hearing would be able to pick up their conversation and would come running.

"You lied to him. You stayed with him for a year after Val was born and then left him."

"I didn't lie to anyone, Debby. I left Richard because he beat the hell out of me on several occasions."

" "You deserved it. You deserved those beatings because you lied to him. You made him believe Val was his daughter and then you took her from him."

Out in the caddy, Nick could pick up everything said in the house. He got out and went around the back just as Cheyenne had done. He had made it into the house by the nearest window and had slipped silently into the room, unnoticed by the two women.

Debby was stalking toward Cheyenne and Val, who had been contentedly sleeping in her mother's arms, had awakened and began to cry softly.

"You let him think he was her father, when the truth was that you slept with someone and had his kid. You're nothing but trash and don't deserve to raise this little girl." She reached for Val and Cheyenne reacted.

"No! You keep your hands off of my daughter!"

Nick, seeing his chance grabbed Val from Cheyenne's arms. She mouthed the words, "Take her outside, Nick," to him and swung for Debby's jaw. Her first swing was stopped by Debby's left hand. But her second attempt managed to strike its mark. Debby dropped to her knees, holding her jaw with one hand.

"Damn you, Cheyenne! Damn you to hell!"

End part 8

Part 9

Out in front of the house, Richard Taylor heard the noise and turned to see what was going on. Reno grabbed him and Bobby helped to hold him against the outside wall.

"I don't think you should interfere, Mr. Taylor." Reno looked directly at the man's face. "See, we know all about you. We know who and what you are, and we also know what you've done in the past."

Bobby pulled a set of handcuffs from his jacket pocket and cuffed the man to one of the posts on his front porch. "You no, partner, I think Mr. Freeman here would look great in prison blues. Don't you agree?"

Meanwhile, Nick had been comforting the small child while Cheyenne battled it out with Debby. "It's okay, sweetheart. Mommy will be back real soon. But in the meantime, you've got to come outside with me and wait for her there."

He lifted her onto his shoulder and ran for the caddy. Placing her in the front seat with Natalie, he shut the door and turned back to the house.

"Nat, I'm going back in to help. They've got Freeman subdued, but I'm not so sure about Cheyenne. She's in there and needs my help." Nat nodded her understanding to Nick and began to comfort the still crying toddler.

**************************************

Debby had now gained control of the fight and had Cheyenne pinned to the floor with one knee and was slapping her hard across the face with one hand. Cheyenne tried to fight back as Debby used her other hand to grab a handful of Cheyenne's hair and pulled her head back hard. As another slap stung her face, she screamed. She closed her eyes, trying to fight off the waves of pain and dizziness that threatened to overwhelm her.

Nick came crashing through the window and easily pried Debby from atop of Cheyenne's prone figure. Debby tried to fight off the man holding her down but he was too strong for her. Nick retrieved his handcuffs from his back pocket and a roll of ductape. After cuffing one of her hands to the bedpost, he secured the other with the tape.

"Don't try to fight it. It's too strong and I used more than enough to hold you for a while until the police arrive."

"Bastard!!!" It was the only thing she said to him.
After subduing Debby Raymond, Nick helped Cheyenne to her feet and made a hasty retreat for the front of the house. He found Reno and Bobby still trying to hold Taylor. Although cuffed to the post he was making quite the attempt to fight back and break his restraints.

Nick locked onto the man's heartbeat and started hypnotizing him right in front of Bobby and Reno. "James Freeman, you will stop struggling. You will sit here quietly while Bobby stands guard."

"Will stop struggling. Will sit quietly." Nick continued to hypnotize the man.

"You will not remember seeing another man here. You will only remember Mr. Sixkiller here. You will cooperate with the police and tell them everything."

"I will remember Mr. Sixkiller. Will cooperate with the police. Tell them everything."

Nick let go of the man's heartbeat and went back to the caddy. As he walked away from the house, Bobby caught up to him.

"You're not human. My people have told stories of the creatures of the night; those who drink the blood of humans and live to kill. But you, my friend, are different. I can feel it. You do not live to kill, but rather kill to live."

Nick turned to look fully into Bobby's eyes and said, "I'm a vampire. Reno and Chey and Nat know the whole story." And in an instant he was back at the car.

Minutes before the police had arrived Bobby slipped Reno out of sight. Cheyenne went outside just as the police car arrived on the scene. Nick emerged from the shadows carrying a sleeping Val in his arms. He told the uniformed officers that he had been driving by when he heard the screams from inside the house, and that he had stopped to see what the problem was. They had collaborated the story that after Cheyenne and her brother had found out where Taylor lived, they decided to go and get Cheyenne's daughter.

**************************************

The story worked. The night's events had proved to be quite rewarding. Taylor and Raymond were both arrested and charged with the kidnapping of Valerie Phillips. However, given that Taylor was an alias for James Freeman, the charges were added onto the long list which had already been acquired.

After they had reached the station, they learned that Raymond and Freeman had been planning the kidnapping for a while before hand. Taylor said that Raymond had waited for him to pull up and then had left Val alone in the apartment.Freeman had gone in and drugged the little girl. Raymond had been waiting at his house for him to return with the child. Their plan was to take Cheyenne's child from her and make her suffer. Eventually, Freeman would have arranged an accident for her, one which would result in her death. Then he would gain custody of Val by marrying Debby and using his connection as the only father the little girl had known.

End part 9

Part 10

Hendricks and Tracy had searched every hotel, motel, boardinghouse, roominghouse, and hostal in the city. Yet they still hadn't found anything on Dixon. They showed pictures to the night clerks at each, but no one knew anything.

Tracy had dropped Hendricks off at his own hotel late that morning and had headed home for some shut-eye herself. She needed it, Hendricks knew. But sleep wasn't the first thing on Tracy's mind when she entered her apartment. The first thing she did was place a call to her mother.

"Hi, Mum. How's everything going? Oh that's great! So you've been keeping busy lately though right? Well, I was thinking of coming for an extended vacation. I need it. I know Reese told me to take some time off after coming home, but I didn't want to. I just wanted to be back on the job so badly that I didn't pay much attention to how I was feeling about the things happening around me."

**************************************

It had been a stressfull night, and the morning had been no better. Nick had contacted Hendricks and Tracy telling them both of the discovery of the truth and the return of Val to Cheyenne. Hendricks had wanted to see and talk to Reno, but Reno objected. He said he didn't feel safe until he knew exactly where Dixon was. He prefered the man be behind bars when he next met again with Hendricks, but Hendricks assured him that things would be compleetly safe for the two of them to meet at a coffee shop downtown. Reno had agreed to this and had left at around noon for the meeting.

Nick was sitting on the couch when his buzzer went off. "Nick, it's Tracy. Can I come up?"

"Sure. Just a minute, let me unlock the door."

A few minutes later Tracy exited the lift. She was carrying two large shopping bags filled with toys and food.

"I figured that since your reasons for leaving me at the station the other night were good ones, the least I could do was to help keep you guys stocked up while you've got house guests." She handed one of the bags to Nick as she smiled at him. "If I didn't mention it before, Nick, I'm sorry for leaving you to do that paper work later that night. I just felt left out of the loop, and when you went off without me, Hendricks and I decided to do our own digging."

"Don't worry about it, Trace. I deserved it anyway. But did you guys find anything of value to the investigation?"

Tracy just shook her head and said nothing.

"Nothing. Not even a sighting of him in any of the places to stay in or around Toronto. We checked every room for rent here in town and some just outside of town too."

Just then, a little bundle thrust itself into Nick's arms.

"Uncle Nick, would you play with me?"

Nick set the bag down on the kitchen counter and scooped up the little girl, who squealed with delight as she was lifted off her feet. "Of course I will, Val. I want you to meet someone first. This is Tracy. She's a friend of mine."

"Hi, Tracy." Said the little girl.

"How are things going for them anyway?" Tracy asked.

"They're doing okay. Cheyenne, Reno, and Val are staying with Nat and me until we can find them a safe place to live. Cheyenne and Val were living with Debby Raymond up until Val went missing."

By this time, Val had wiggled her way from Nick's arms and was running toward the stairs. Nick caught her as she started running up. "Oh no, you can't go up there. Aunt Natalie is sleeping and we don't want to wake her. She's grumpy if she doesn't get her sleep."

"I heard that," Nat said as she descended the stairs. "Val, don't listen to your Uncle Nick. He's a boy and boys don't know what they're saying sometimes." Val laughed and smiled.

Laughing and smiling at Nick, Natalie scooped Val up and hugged her. "Do you know when Cheyenne is supposed to come back?" Natalie asked.

Nick shook his head in response. "I don't know. That interview she went to was supposed to be done with about an hour ago. Who knows though. For all we know she went apartment hunting or something."

Natalie nodded her agreement and began heading for the kitchen. Just then the phone rang and Nick reached for it.

"Knight,"

"Detective Knight, Don Dixon. I'd like to meet with you as soon as possible if you could arrange it."

"Where?"

"Your precinct. I think you're gonna want to make this meeting as soon as you can."

"And why would that be?"

"Because. I have something that you might want." There was a pause while Nick listened with his senses for anything in the background. Dutch continued speaking. "Cheyenne Phillips. Does that ring a bell, Detective? I've got her and I know you have her daughter."

"What do you want, Dixon?" Nick was getting edgy.

"Simple. I want you to meet me and when you do I'll tell you the rest." He hung up and Nick slammed the phone down on the cradle.

"Nick, what's wrong?" Nat asked.

"Dixon has Cheyenne. He wants me to meet him somewhere near the precinct to talk about something." He retrieved his jacket and sunglasses from the table.

**************************************

Jack and Reno sat together, talking at a corner booth in the back of a coffee shop. Hendricks had come up with a sweet little deal for Reno.

" "Reno, if Dutch is arrested and confesses then you're off the hook. I'll see what I can do about getting those escape charges dropped. I can't make any guarantees, but at the very most, I'll see to it that you have your freedom and your name cleared of any criminal activity."

"Theres only one thing with that deal of yours, Hendricks. Can you guarantee me that I'll be able to get a job somewhere? I mean, people aren't exactly looking to hire ex-convicts nowadays. I've considered remaining in the bounty hunting business with Bobby, but I can't do it forever and I'm not sure I really want to. I've got a daughter now, and can't take as many chances as I used to take before..." He looked at Hendricks and waited for a response. Just then Reno's cellphone trilled in his pocket.

"Hello,"

"Reno, it's Nick. Listen Dutch just called me. He's got Cheyenne and wants me to meet him somewhere near my precinct. I want you to stay wherever you and Hendricks are until I get back. I'll call you and let you know what's going..."

"Not a chance. I've waited 6 years for this. I'm going with you. Besides I'm quite certain that our friend Marshal Hendricks is going to want to be a part of this little adventure. Seeing as how we left him and Detective Vetter out of the last escapade, we owe it to him. I owe it to him."

"Reno, what's going on?" Hendricks asked quietly so as not to draw attention to them. Reno took a pen and quickly scrawled Nick's words on a napkin. "Tell Nick we're both going. We'll meet him there."

Nick, realizing that he wasn't going to win this argument, finally relented. "Okay. You can come along."

**************************************

Two hours later, after the sun had set, the three of them, Hendricks, Nick, and Reno approached the precinct. Nick had told both Reno and Hendricks to stay out of Dixon's field of vision. "If he sees you he's likely to do something quite unpleasant..."

Hendricks hung back while Reno followed for a few feet. When he was sure Hendricks wouldn't hear him he whispered to Nick, "I know that this isn't the best time to ask, but if we catch him, would you consider persuading him to do the right thing? It would really help me out."

"Do you really think I'd let him get away this time? I've been keeping track of your case. I knew what happened back in 1997 after he shot his boss. I just kept more of a watch on him, rather than on you. And the answer is yes. I will convince him to tell the truth."

Nick sensed Cheyenne's heartbeat and knew she was close. He could also tell that Dixon was close by. Just as Reno ducked into the shadows, Dutch appeared holding Cheyenne by one arm. Nick could clearly see that the other was tied behind her back. In Dixon's other hand was a gun, and it was pointed at Cheyenne's head.

"Dixon! I'm here. Now what do you want?"

"Please, Detective Knight. For someone considered to be smart, you certainly are dense when it comes to pure and simple logic. What I want, or rather whom I'd like to see now, is Reno Raines."

"I already told you he isn't here. Now release Cheyenne and I'll leave and not look back. I know what happened back in California with Jack Hendricks. I know you shot your own boss."

Dutch began to stiffen. He figured he was better if he simply left and didn't look back. Maybe he would be better off out of the country. Reno couldn't find him and even if he got his hands on the evidence, it wouldn't do him any good. Raines wouldn't be able to get him charged because he wasn't in the country. Besides, who would believe the word of a convicted felon, and an escaped convicted felon at that, over the word of a career cop with more than a few good credits to his record. Reno was screwed either way you looked at it, and if Donald Dutch Dixon had anything to say about it, Reno J. Raines would never be able to have a normal life as long as he lived.

Dixon let go of Cheyenne's arm and shoved her toward Nick. Just as he turned to run, Nick was on him in a second. He pinned the man to the ground. Just then, Hendricks and Reno came out of the shadows to help. Hendricks grabbed for Nick's gun and trained it on Dixon's head. Reno got so cllose to Dixon's face, he could feel the fear literally radiating from the man.

"Well, Dutch, I see we're back to the same showdown as before. Remember? It was just before my conviction. We were out in that field. The only difference this time is that this isn't a trap masterminded by you. And your former boss has the gun, not me."

Dutch thought back on that memory and Reno's words. He distinctly remembered Reno saying, "Where you want it, Dutch? Head or heart?" In all actuality though, Dutch knew that if it had been he capturing Reno instead of the other way around, he'd have done the exact same thing. He'd said as much to his former partner Sgt. Bickford on one occasion.

"Yeah, Raines, I remember. As I recall, you didn't have the guts to pull the trigger. You couldn't then and you can't now. As for you, jack, you can't shoot me. You'd be just as guilty as I am now."

"No, Dutch, you're right. I'm not going to shoot you; I'm going to do something much worse. I'm going to bring you in and charge your ass with as many counts of murder and or attempted murder and anything else I can come up with to keep you behind bars until Reno's kids are old and Grey. Even your son Donny has a better chance of seeing daylight before you will." He kept the gun trained on his former employee as he spoke.

Dutch tried to fight back but between Nick, Reno, and Hendricks holding the gun it wasn't much of a fight. Nick made the decision to stop this man for good. He looked into the man's eyes and spoke quietly.

"Donald Dixon, you will stop fighting me. You will be calm and when we go inside you will go to my captain's office and tell him that you want to turn yourself in for the attempted murder of Jack Hendricks."4"I will turn myself in. Tell them about Hendricks." "You will also tell them about your framing Reno Raines back in 1992. You will tell them the truth without questioning yourself. You will say that you would like to come clean. You will tell them who really killed your wife and attempted to kill your son Donny."

"I will tell them everything." Dutch responded in the deep hypnotic voice.

Nick let go of the man's heartbeat and directed him inside the station. He directed Dixon into Captain Joe Reese's office with Hendricks following closely behind."Hey, Knight, thought you had the night off. Hello there, Marshal Hendricks. And to what do we owe the pleasure of this visit?" Nick answered for the both of them.

"I do, Cap, but we've found someone who would like to share something with you. Oh, and you might want to make a call to the states, San Diego to be exact. This is the man who tried to Kill United States Marshal Jack Hendricks. Captain Joe Reese, meet the world-famous former Bay City Lieutenant and ex-United States Marshal Donald Dutch Dixon."

End part 10

Part 11

Three months later

Hound Adams sat across from Reno and Cheyenne, looking defeated. "What do you mean I don't get my money! I came all thi way to make sure you got those tapes for the trial, and you're gonna hold out on me? What kind of a man are you!"

Reno glared at the Hound for a moment and then softened. "I'm the man who carried you on his shoulder to the hospital to remove a bullet from your body. One, which I might add, Dutch Dixon put there. You owe me." But Reno couldn't help but feel sorry for the fence. Hound had really gotten himself into a jam, especially with coming across the boarder with the tapes. Reno smiled just a little as he added, "Well since you did come all this way the least I could do is give you something to get you back to California or wherever you want to go..."

"Thanks man, you have no idea what this means to me." The Adams took the fistfull of cash Reno handed to him and stood up to leave. "Well I guess this is it. I guess I won't be seeing you or Bobby i my rearview anymore."

"Guess not," Chey said smoothly.

"That's okay. You guys were crimping my style anyway..." And with that the meeting wa over. Reno and Chey watched him leave and then turned to one another.

"Reno, what do you think made him come all the way up here knowing full well that he could be picked up for any number of offenses? He's been up here for the past two and a half months, and he's actually kept out of trouble. You think he'll go straight?"

Reno laughed and almost knocked his coffee cup over. "You kiddin' me? The Hound going straight? I wouldn't count on it. He's only behaved himself because I guaranteed him a seat next to Dixon in prison if he didn't kep his nose clean."

**************************************

Nick's loft
6:15 pm

It was near Christmas time. The loft was decorated with every single decoration known to man for this time of the year. Nick stared out the window at the night sky as the sounds of carolers traveling the streets hit his ears. Nick and Nat were alone in the loft for the moment, waiting for their guests to arrive. It was going to be a fabulous Christmas season for all parties concerned, including the newest members of their growing "family."

In the weeks since Dutch Dixon's confession, many things had happened. Hendricks had made sure that Dutch was placed in the roughest and toughest maximum security prison in the State of California. However, he also made sure Donny was transfered from Perdito to somewhere he would be safe from his father. Nick had been able to convince Hendricks that Dutch had willingly decided to give up when they had subdued him that night, and Hendricks was more than willing to agree with him.

Reno J. Raines had been completely exonerated of all wrong-doing in the murders of Buzzy Burrell and Melissa Dixon. He had married Cheyenne and they had changed Val's last name from Phillips to Raines. Bobby had been the best man, and had given his little sister away, telling Reno, "if anything happens to her, I'm coming after you, and you know I can find you, too."

Nick and Nat had taken Val while Reno and Cheyenne had gone away for an extended weekend, and Bobby was calling every few weeks just to make sure his niece and her parents were doing okay. He had gone back to Bay City and was still working as a bounty hunter. He kept complaining, however, that his office didn't look as wonderfully disorganized as it once had.

Reno had applied for, and received, a position in the Toronto police department. Since his record had been cleared, he was able to take any position he wished to have. Nick had surprised him by calling him into the precinct. Reese had told Reno that there was an opening in the homicide department if he wanted. He readily accepted the position and Nick had invited him and his family to join himself and Natalie for dinner the next evening.

As Nick stepped away from the window the sound of his buzzer caught his attention.

"Nick, it's Tracy. I've got my hands full and can't hit any of the buttons to unlock this security system of yours. Let me in."

He smiled and allowed her to stand there just looking through the camera for a moment before replying. "Nick? Are you there? Natalie?"

"We're here, Trace. Just a minute and I'll unlock the door for you."

In a few minutes the young blond walked into the main room of the loft with her arms loaded with dishes and other assorted items. She began speaking the instant she hit the inside of the loft.

"Nick, I think we really need to talk about something and I don't want it to wait any longer. There's something you need to know and if I don't tell you now I may never get the chance."

"Trace, slow down. First of all, you don't have to tell me anything if you're not ready to. Secondly, I think you'd better sit down before you start pacing with the carton of ice cream in your hand. Thirdly, I've been noticing you lately, and I've noticed that something's not quite right with you. You haven't been the same since you returned after you were shot. And finally, if anyone should be the one to say anything here and now it's me. Tracy, I'm a vampire." Tracy cut him off with a glance and straight face.

"Nick, I'm leaving Toronto for a while. Captain Reese knows, and he's already given me the necessary vacation time I need. Don't try to talk me out of it, because my mind's made up and there's nothing you can do. I just can't stay here anymore. Vachon is gone, and I can't stand this constant bickering between my parents and me over whose falt it was and who did what to whom. I'm just so tired, Nick, I can't take it anymore. I'm not too upset about you not telling me that you're a vampire like Vachon. But, Nick, I don't know just how to react to you being the same as he was."

Nick looked his partner in the eye and said nothing. Slowly, he reached out and pulled Tracy close in a friendly embrace. He hugged her tightly and just stood there holding his young partner close to him. "Trace, I already lost one partner and a captain in an airplane crash because of some psychopathic maniac in love with bombs. Don't make me lose my new partner just because of what I am. I don't think I could go through another change in partners right about now. I felt guilty when you were shot. I should've been able to stop it."

"Nick, it's not about you." Tracy said simpathetically to her partner. "I don't blame you for Dawkins having shot me. It wasn't your falt. As much as I'd love to stay I can't. I would give anything to stay here and continue working with you, but I just can't. Not with my parents here in this part of the country."

Natalie, who had been standing listening for the duration of the entire conversation between the two partners, now interjected with her own opinions. "Trace, what Nick is trying to say, is that you're family. Nick has a hard time telling those he really cares about how he's really feeling; take it from someone who knows from personal experience. It took him a good six years for him to admit it even to me. But, Nick, I also understand where Tracy is coming from too. I think what she's trying to tell you is that she thinks of you as family as much as you do her. But she's going through a lot of changes right now and needs all the love and support she can get from those who really care."

Nick let go of Tracy slowly with a saddened but accepting expression on his face. "Go on then, partner. Just make sure you come back. I'm not up to training our newest homicide detective on my own. He's going to need some help and some of your spunk and talent, something I don't really have enough of to share."

Tracy nodded and with tear-filled eyes turned to face her partner again. "I leave right after the New Year. I thought I'd spend Christmas with my "family" and then leave for a much needed mini-vacation. Besides, who knows. I might just not tell my parents I'm leaving and just hide out in my apartment for a while. But I doubt that's at all possible since my parents have a spare key to my place." Tracy added with a smile: "Or I might just go to California and look up that goodlooking bounty hunter Bobby Sixkiller."

Nick smiled widely as he took hold of Tracy's arm. He made eye contact with her and then glanced over her shoulder toward the door. "Well, Tracy, you don't have to go to California to do that."

The voice caught Tracy off guard, who jerked her hand away from Nick's. She turned and glanced in the direction of the voice, and glared at the man. Standing in the doorway at the head of the stairs to Nick's loft stood Bobby, Reno, and Cheyenne with Val trying to push her way into the room. Tracy turned bright red when she looked in the direction of where the voice came from. Bobby entered first and headed for Tracy. He reached out and gently hugged her. She almost slapped him for sneaking up on her like that, but thought better of it.

"I'm going to get even with you for this, Sixkiller."

Nick gently squeezed Tracy's hand and smiled. "You do realize, Trace, that since Bobby's here you don't really have to leave. You can stay here in town but away from your parents for the time being."

"You know what I think?" Reno stepped aside to let his daughter bound into the room. "I think that it's high time we did something about your bachelor status, Bobby."

**************************************

Epilogue:
Perdito Prison
Cellblock C

Don Dixon sat alone on his bunk staring out at the bars. At nearly fifty-four-years of age, he looked more haggard and aged than he should've. Things had been vary intollerable since his arrival here in the prison, and no doubt they were going to get worse. He could hear the echoes of the footsteps coming down the row of cells, and could see the faces of both his lawyer and the warden coming toward his cell. He couldn't read their expressions, but could almost guess what they were about t tell him. As a result of the crimes he'd committed over the years he most certainly would've pushed for the dath penalty.

"Dixon!" The Warden bellowed. The man got some satisfaction out of antagonizing Dutch, but Dutch wasn't about to let this little piss ant ruin his day. Not that he had much to look forward to, but at least he could be left alone in peace and quiet.

"Dutch, guess what time it is." The warden taunted. "It's time for you to hear your sentencing. Seeing as how you couldn't behave in court, the judge as graciously given the two of us, myself and your lawyer here the honor of giving you your sentence. Congratulations, Dixon. You're going to be with us for a vary, vary, vary long time. They've decided not to execute you by way of the death penalty. You'll be serving a life sentence..."

Dutch stared blankly at the two faces on the opposite side of the bars. Life inprisonment? No! They couldn't do this! Too many of Dutch's more recent prisoners here housed here. He probably wouldn't make it out of the yard the next time. He knew, with a certain clarity, that eventually he would meet his own death in a way not all the unlike Hogg Adams had back in 1992.

THE END

Note:
See disclaimers and all other notes in part 0. All comments to llavigna@nycap.rr.com