Author's Note: Apologies to my family for monopolizing the computer as I wrote this, but I couldn't keep my loyal readers waiting while our beloved characters were in peril!

Let her still be alive, please God, let her be alive, Booth prayed as Lombardi put the second tape in the VCR. Just hold on, Bones. I'm going to find a way out of here. I'm going to find you and save you.

Kenton's face filled the screen. "I want to apologize to you, Booth. I shouldn't have teased you about having a relationship with your partner; I didn't know that you two weren't a couple. Since you're not together, I'm sure that you won't mind what I'm about to do." He turned his back to the camera and walked toward Brennan. When he was a few inches away from her, he stopped, leaned over and kissed her on the forehead. Then he kissed her nose and cheeks. Now he was kissing her lips. Once. Twice. Three times. Each kiss was longer than the one before. Now he was kissing her neck. Brennan's face was wrinkled in disgust.

Oh dear God. Booth felt violently ill as he realized Kenton's intentions. He's going to rape her! Anger and adrenaline surged through his veins. If she wasn't tied up she would kick his sorry ass! I can't let this happen. I won't let this happen. NO ONE HURTS MY GIRL! He flexed every muscle in his body, praying that he could snap the ropes that bound him through sheer force of will, but his restraints remained firm. He tried again and again, refusing to give up. Nothing was going to stop him from saving her.

Lombardi laughed at Booth's struggles. "You may as well settle down, Agent Booth. You're not going anywhere." He was watching the television screen with amusement. "Nice of Jamie to show your partner a good time before she dies."

Booth was no stranger to anger, but the rage he felt now was like nothing he had ever experienced before. He felt as if his whole body was on fire. "I'm going to kill you! I'm going to kill you both!"

Lombardi turned away from the television and moved towards Booth, getting in his face. "You're going to kill ME?" He said condescendingly. "You can't even get out of that chair."

But Lombardi had underestimated Booth's rage, and his proximity gave Booth the opportunity he had been waiting for. Booth head butted Lombardi so forcefully that the hit man staggered backwards and dropped to the floor in pain. Booth then leaned forward in his chair as much as his ropes would allow and sprang to his feet. He hurled himself and the chair at the far wall with all the intensity he could muster. The chair didn't stand a chance, flying apart on impact. Booth pulled the ropes off of his body and picked up a severed chair leg. Holding the leg in the air he rushed at Lombardi. Lombardi was reaching for his gun, but Booth whacked his arm with the leg. The gun fell to the floor and both men dove for it. Booth reached it first. He pointed it at his captor.

"Where are they?" He demanded.

Lombardi said nothing.

Booth didn't have time for this. He shot Lombardi in his right leg. The hit man howled and grabbed his leg. "Tell me where they are, or I'll shoot your other leg."

"I don't know," Lombardi answered.

"Wrong answer." Booth shot his left leg. "You don't owe Kenton anything. He told the FBI everything about you to save himself. Tell me where they are, and I'll make him pay. Or would you rather I keep shooting?"

Lombardi scowled. "Tunlaw Road. An abandoned warehouse."

"Good choice. You better hope I find my partner alive, because if she's not I swear to God I will disembowel you."


Booth raced along the streets in Lombardi's car, ignoring stop signs, red lights, and the cursing of other motorists. Get the hell out of my way! He thought as he passed car after car. I'm coming, Bones. Hang on just a little bit longer. He could hear Bones' voice in his head telling him to slow down. You're driving like a maniac. Don't get yourself killed on your way to save me! But he had no time for caution. He couldn't afford to waste a single second.

His heart leapt when he saw the warehouse. His first instinct was to rush in, but he didn't want to spook Kenton. Now you have to go slow, his mind told him. You've come this far. Don't screw it up now. Slowly he pushed open the door and crept into the warehouse, his gun at the ready. After a few minutes of exploring he saw them. Kenton was on top of her, tearing her clothes. Booth aimed for his head. I'm not going to miss this time. He pulled the trigger and watched with satisfaction as Kenton fell to the floor, definitely dead.

He sprinted to his partner's side and untied her. She threw her arms around him and sobbed into his shoulder. Thank you, God. Booth thought. Thank you, thank you. He waited until her tears subsided before speaking. "Are you okay? Did he...?" He stopped, not wanting to use the word rape.

She knew what he was asking. "No," she answered, lifting her face to look at him. "But he was going to. Then he was going to kill me."

"Bones, I am so sorry for not walking you to your door. I know you told me not to, but I should have done it anyway."

"I'm sorry too. I shouldn't have yelled at you for wanting to protect me." She managed a weak laugh. "Apparently even the great Temperance Brennan needs protection sometimes."

As Booth looked into her eyes, shining now because of her tears, he couldn't deny his feelings for her any longer. "When I thought I was going to die, I regretted two things. The first was that I wouldn't see Parker grow up. The second was that you would never know how much I loved you."

"I do know, Booth. I've always known, and it scared me. I didn't want to love you back because if it didn't work out I would lose you...But when I thought I was going to die, I had regrets too. I thought: There are so many bodies in the lab that I'll never get the chance to identify. I'll never see Zack get his doctorate. I'll never see Angela happy in a relationship. I'll never finish my latest book. And...I never had the chance to kiss Booth."

Booth smiled. "I can help you with that last one, if it's okay with you." When she nodded he leaned in and kissed her lips lovingly.

In the years that followed Booth occasionally forgot her birthday or their wedding anniversary, but he never forgot that moment, their first kiss. It was the start of the best relationship of their lives.

Thanks for reading! All comments are greatly appreciated.