This is a Babe story...although it may not seem like it.

Warning: A little angsty...a lot of LANGUAGE, some VIOLENCE...and serious SMUT at the end. HEA, promise.

Janet Evanovich owns all the characters, I own nothing.

Enjoy ladies.



SPOV

Oh. My. God! I can't believe he actually did this! A fucking third world country! If I ever see him again I am going to seriously kick his ass!

So I bet you're all just wondering how I ended up here, in the middle of no-where thanks to the big bad fucking alpha mercenary?

I'll tell you how, I called his bluff...and wouldn't ya know it, he wasn't bluffing! Fucking Ranger!

Walking over to a tree I proceeded to kick the shit out of it. After ten minutes, I slid to the ground exhausted. I felt better now, except my foot hurt like a bitch.

Glancing around I was pretty sure I wasn't in Uzbekistan. Yep, that's where he threatened to send me. In fact my surroundings looked kind of familiar...Like New Jersey forest familiar, not like I'd seen it on the news in some war ravaged country familiar.

Hmmm. I stumbled back over to my shipping crate. Yep that's right, the asshole actually drugged me and shoved me in a shipping crate...I am defiantly kicking his ass for this, I don't care how long it takes me to get back home...

Un-fucking believable! Inside the crate...no food, no clothes, no water, no shelter...nope, he packs my .38, a box of ammo, a lighter and a hunting knife. Prick. If he's trying to turn me into Rambo I'll go Rambo on his ass! Argh!

In fact, I was sure I had been here before when I was younger...something just seemed familiar. I loaded my gun and shoved it in the front of my jeans, the knife I shoved in the waistband at my back and the lighter and as many bullets that would fit, I pocketed. Then I started jogging. Have I mentioned that I HATE exercise?!

I headed in one direction for around an hour. Then I stopped and bent over, hands on my knees breathing hard. Damn uneven ground. I took a deep breath and made a move to stand when I heard the unmistakable sound of a shotgun being locked and loaded. Shit.

BANG!...BANG!

Eeeep! Duck and cover! I flattened myself to the ground and proceeded to army crawl away from the sound of gun fire.

THUD!

Glancing to my left, ten yards away a deer dropped dead. Oh my God! Hunting? Deer hunting?!

I kept my head down and army crawled as fast as I could. After thirty minutes of this, the sound of shots being fired was much quieter. I got to my knees and glanced cautiously around. Nope, nobody with a gun. Scrambling to my feet I started to run. I wanted out of here NOW. Obviously I wasn't too far away from civilization.

After an hour or so of steady running I was ready to drop dead. I settled for collapsing on the ground. Maybe I should have taken Ranger up on those running sessions. I was never going to speak to him again after this.

Once the sound of my own blood pounding in my ears and the gasping noise coming from my mouth ceased, I could hear the wonderful sound of traffic. Hallelujah.

I rolled over onto my stomach and got up onto all fours. Staggering to my feet, I was a woman on a mission.

I started running again, only because I wanted to get the hell out of Dodge. Stumbling through the trees I discovered what looked like a 19th Century Village. Oh hell no! You have got to be kidding me.

Grinding m my teeth I walked down the foot path, looking for someone who could help me. Wait just a minute! I know where I am! My dad used to bring me and Val here when we were little to camp and fish...That bastard sent me to Farmingdale?! He sent me to Allaire State Park?!

Grrr, at least it wasn't too far from Trenton...I'd be kicking his ass soon enough. I was only twenty five miles out. Now to get a ride...fuck I had no money. I was close to Point Pleasant...vacation, or kick Ranger's ass...I was too pissed not to retaliate. I'd show him, he'd never underestimate me again.

I found a kid...well a twenty-something year old male...since when did a twenty year old become a kid? I'm getting too old for this shit!

"Excuse me, can you help me out, I'm lost and I need to get back to Trenton yesterday. Do you know where I can get a ride?" The kid...alright...the man looked me up and down slowly and smiled! Prick. All men are pricks.

"That all depends kitten, what are you offering in return?" His eyes smiled at me gently, like he hadn't asked me to offer him something, when it was obvious I had nothing. I was considering pulling my gun out, that he could obviously see, and shooting him in the foot...

Freaking twenty year old kids!

I turned and stalked off in the direction I had come.

"I'm twenty nine!" He shouted after me. Well I'm thirty three, but you won't be hearing me shouting it out to the world. Damn...he really wasn't a kid...damn good looking is what he was...shit, I didn't need that.

I kept walking, trying hard not to cry. This whole situation was fucked up.

"Hey, kitten... c'mon, I was joking. I'll give you a ride, I think you need a hospital." I faltered in my steps. The man was suddenly at my side.

"Why?" I asked in clipped tones.

"Because you've got one hell of a gash along the back of your leg, your face is flushed but your lips are pale and you're trembling. C'mon kitten, I'll take you where you want to go. How'd you get here in the first place? Are you lost?" His eyes seemed concerned. What the fuck, I had nothing to lose. I could always just shoot him if he tried anything. I let him lead me to his truck, where he lifted me into the passenger's seat and ran around to the driver's door before sliding in and revving the engine.

"First, you call me kitten again and I'll serve your balls to you on a platter. Are we clear?" I watched a small smile play across his lips but he nodded.

"Good. Second, thank you for helping me out."

"No thanks required, you look like you need a little help." I rolled my eyes.

"I need a lot of help, probably the only kind a help you can get in a psych-ward. My life is insane" I shook my head and spoke again before he could interrupt me. "Third, the man I'm in love with packed me up in a crate and deposited me in the middle of no-where, no offense, and left me to die. To say I'm lost is an understatement." The man was silent for a while. Probably he was wondering if he should pull over now and throw me from the vehicle. I would have.

"I see. Where did you say you needed to go again?" He was reconsidering; well at least we'd gotten out of the historical village.

"Trenton, or as close to it as your willing to take me." I sighed. I probably sounded, and looked as crazy as some of my stalkers.

"Where in Trenton?" He asked.

"You wouldn't happen to know of Rangeman Security would you?" I wondered, expecting him to say no.

"Yes, very well, is that where you'd liked to be taken?" I blinked and studied the man carefully...nope, I had never laid eyes on him before...but he did look kind of familiar.

"Do you know me?" I inquired. His eyes met mine briefly.

"No, what's your name?" I gulped...what was his name?

"Steph." I mumbled.

"I'm Mario Manoso, nice to meet you." I think I shrieked.

"Holy shit! You're related to Ranger! Pull the car over right now and I'll fucking walk." That's why he looked familiar, same skin colour, same eyes, same build, just different facial features! Shit, how do I do it?

"You know my brother? Wait, Stephanie Plum?" How does this shit happen to me?

"Your brother is the one who sent me out to the fucking forest. Yes that's me." I was already unclipping my seat belt.

"Hey, what are you doing? Shit, Ranger's going to kill me." Mario groaned.

"Not if I kill him first." I growled, why wasn't he slowing down and pulling over...glancing around I realized we were on the 195. Damn.

"Kitten, I know he wouldn't send you out into the forest, that's just not his style and he loves you." I froze and stared at the man.

"Don't call me kitten!" Was my only response. I huffed and folded my arms across my chest.

"How'd you cut your leg?" He asked after ten minutes.

"Don't know." I snapped.

"How'd you get leaves and twigs in your hair?" Mario asked again.

"There was a guy with a gun, I stopped, dropped and rolled." I snapped again.

"How'd your shirt get ripped, how'd you cut up your back like that?" What was this? An inquisition?

"I. Fell. Over." I answered through gritted teeth.

"How long had you been out in the forest?"

"Two and a half, three hours." I shrugged.

"You look like you went through a war zone." Ugh!

"Thank. You. Asshole." I replied in a hostile voice.

A while later I suddenly realized we were driving on familiar streets... we were back in Trenton.

"Do you have a remote to the garage?" I asked almost civilly.

"Yep." One worded answers. Great. Just great.

Fifteen minutes later and we were pulling into the garage. I counted his cars; all of the Bastard's were there. Hopefully that meant he was in the building.

Not even waiting for the vehicle to come to a complete stop, I was out the door and pounding up the stairs. A little more exercise wasn't going to hurt that much more, considering what I'd already been through today.

I suddenly found myself on the fifth floor. It was dead silent as I made my way to Ranger's office. His door flew open and he met me half way, trying to pull me into his arms. I brushed him off and took three steps back from him.

"Babe? Are you alright? What the hell happened to you?" He asked. Like he didn't know. I met his eyes with a hard cold stare.

"Meet me in the gym. Now!" I ordered before turning my back on him and striding back to the stairs. The silence on the way out was even more deafening than on the way in. I was past caring. I was going to kick Ranger's ass then I was going to walk out of his life forever. I was never going to see the man I loved again.

Fighting back tears, I stormed into the gym, I slipped out of my shoes, emptied out the bullets and lighter from my pockets and threw my gun and knife on the ground. I stripped off my shirt and added it to the pile. Stalking over to the mats, I paced backwards and forwards in my sports bra and jeans. I froze when I realized Hal and Ram were watching me from the treadmills.

"Out!" I barked. Ram almost fell off his machine.

"Yes Ma'am!" Was Hal's instant response, poor boy was still military trained.

I watched them scamper into the showers and then I heard the door open. My pacing stopped; I stood to my full height and waited.

Mario entered the gym first, followed by Ranger and Tank.

"Babe..." Ranger started.

"You have lost all rights to call me that." I snapped. I could feel the anger pumping through my veins. I don't know why I was so angry, probably all the adrenaline in my system. Probably I was trying to mask my hurt with anger...

"Boss! Boss! We lost Bombshell! We sent her to the woods as a little joke and then..." I watched as Lester came barging in and froze stock still. His facial expression said oh shit.

"Oh shit is right Lester. You owe me a round." I growled. His eyes practically bugged out of his head.

"Wh-what? How the hell did you get here?" Lester glanced from me to Ranger. I was refusing to look at Ranger, I'd just been a class A bitch to him and he didn't even deserve it.

"I said Santos, get on this mat. NOW!" He flinched at the anger level in my voice. I watched him slowly remove his weapons, then his shoes, then his shirt. My eyes didn't leave his face.

"Babe." Ranger appealed again.

"I'm sorry Ranger, I'll apologize later. Busy now." I watched Lester like an eagle as he cautiously approached me on the mat. I had no idea how to go about kicking his ass; I just knew that that was what I was going to do.

He stopped two yards from me. I circled him slowly; looking for a weakness...all I could come up with was his balls...I'd have to distract him before I sent the suckers north.

"Steph..." He sounded worried. So he should be.

"You drugged me, packed me in a shipping crate and sent me to the middle of a God damn forest with nothing but a gun, a knife and a lighter. I don't cope with shit like that Lester. I am not trained to deal with a situation like that, and I find it about as amusing as death." I snarled, stamping my foot hard down on his. He groaned but hardly flinched. My eyes pierced through his...he wouldn't fight me back...would he even defend himself?

"I was ready to kick Ranger's ass and walk out of his life forever because I thought he had done that to me. Do you know what doing that would have done to me?" I asked, hearing a growl from Ranger as I took a wild swing at Lester's head, he ducked and grabbed my arm. Ah hah, so he would defend himself. I slid one of my legs quickly behind his, sweeping his out from under him, dropping him to the floor. Of course he brought me with him but I moved my arm so my elbow landed a solid blow to his stomach. It winded him sufficiently. I scrambled to my feet and took a staggered step back from him.

"Get up." I demanded. He shook his head.

"I'm not going to fight you Steph." He gasped.

"Get up. I got shot at, I ran for over an hour solid, I'm cut up and bruised. I won't be able to move tomorrow. Get the fuck up or I'll ask one of the boys to stand in for me and then you'll really get an ass kicking." Man was I in a bitch-ass mood. Holy shit, I was starting scaring myself.

"I'm going a round with him when you're done Babe." I heard Ranger's voice from behind me.

I made a move to kick Lester in his man hood but stopped an inch from ground zero. All four men in the room groaned and let out a sigh. Lester curled up into a ball.

"You will be escorting Grandma Mazur to any viewings she wishes to attend for the next three months. Do we have an understanding?" I challenged. He sat up carefully, his arm wrapped around his torso and nodded.

"Good, call Bobby." I muttered before letting my legs give way and seating myself hard on the ground.

"Babe? Babe? Steph!" Ranger was suddenly on me, his arms wrapped around my waist and I was lifted against his chest. I let my eyes fall shut. I was exhausted, no more adrenaline to keep me going. I didn't have to give up Ranger, relief flooded through me. My body started screaming in pain. Stupid exercise, stupid forest, stupid Lester.

"Santos you are on monitor duty for the next six months. You will meet me here 0600 tomorrow." Ranger commanded as I felt him carry me out of the gym and to the elevator.

The next thing I knew I was being lowered onto a bed, Ranger's bed if the sheets indicated anything.

"I'm gonna bleed all over your sheets." I mumbled opening my eyes. Ranger was pacing at the foot of the bed; Mario was smirking in the corner.

"Ella has another set," was my answer. Same old Ranger. Taking a deep breath I sat up and got to my feet on shaky legs.

"I'm going home. I'll see you around. Nice meeting you Mario." I took one step before I found my way blocked by a wall masquerading as a black shirted chest.

"Stay here Babe." No.

"I need to feed Rex." Lame excuse Stephanie. L-a-m-e.

"I'll send someone." I shook my head.

"You shouldn't have to bleed money for me." I took a step to the side and found an arm around my waist.

"Babe.." I shook my head no, again.

"Six months Ranger. That's how long it's been. I tried everything. I get it." I tried to wiggle out of his grip. His other arm just slid around me.

"Since when? Tried what? Get what?" I kept my eyes locked on his chest.

"Since I broke up with Morelli. To get your attention. That you don't want me, like you have made so very clear on various other occasions." I struggled again, to no avail.

"Stephanie...look at me." His voice was gentle, soft, caring...not what I was used to, but the use of my full name generally wasn't a good sign. I continued to stare at his chest. His hand slid under my chin and tilted my face towards his.

"You really thought I'd sent you out into the middle of the forest?" I gave a jerky nod. "Why?" He wondered.

"Babe, I hear Uzbekistan is nice this time of year. Sound familiar?" I asked with a scowl.

"I would never do anything like that to you Steph. Though now we know you're able to handle a situation like that." His thumb was gently stroking my cheek, it was driving me insane.

"Glad we got that cleared up," I turned my face away from him. "I'd like to speak with Bobby before I go." I announced.

"No." No? Okay then, no.

"Alrighty then." I took a deep breath and tried to take a step away from Ranger, he just pulled me closer to his chest.

"No, as in no you're not leaving." Ranger clarified. Why the hell not?

"You can't tell me what to do! You can't keep me here against my will!" I cried.

"Babe." His voice was filled with hurt and sadness. Why, had me stumped.

"Carlos, go cool down. I need to check her injuries." I felt Ranger release me reluctantly and slam the bedroom door on his way out.

"Sit down kitten, before you pass out." Mario grabbed my elbow and lowered me to sit on the bed.

"I told you not to call me kitten." I argued feebly.

"I know. Take off your jeans, I think I might need to stitch up the back of your leg." I studied Mario. Ranger wouldn't have left me with him if he didn't trust him, and I wasn't wearing a g-string or something like that, just boy-leg briefs...Lifting my butt off the bed, I slid my jeans down and onto the floor before laying down on my stomach to let the good doctor inspect my battle wounds. I felt him poking and prodding my leg before he worked my whole body.

"My big brother doesn't have a way with words, as you might have realized. And he's been extremely busy lately." I snorted.

"Busy. Right." I rolled my eyes.

"Abeula and mama have been nagging on him since he retired. You don't spend enough time with your family Carlos. Come to dinner tonight. Come fix the gutters. Your nephew needs your help with a school project. Why aren't you over here more often? He's been very distracted kitten." Mario explained.

"What are you? His wing-man?" Sounded like excuses to me. I flinched as he prodded a certain section of my side.

"No, I'm his brother, and I want the woman who's in love with him to stick around till he pulls his head out his ass." My breath caught as his fingers continued to probe the sore spot in my side... I think I bruised a rib.

"I'm not waiting my whole life for a man who doesn't want me. I don't want to die alone and with my track record it's likely to be sooner rather than later." I whispered, moving away from his hands and climbing off the bed.

"Steph!" Mario called. I ignored him and entered Ranger's wardrobe, pulling on my uniform that always resided here.

"Babe," Ranger entered and shut the door, closing us in the confined space. "Mario says you need stitches and that you've damaged a rib." I dropped my eyes to the floor, studying the carpet intensely.

"I was just heading to the hospital." I lied.

"With what transport?" His tone was harsh.

"I was going to walk... or call my dad." I muttered, probably the second choice was out because I actually required a phone for that. I heard an expletive whisper through his lips.

"How were you trying to get my attention? What did you mean by I don't want you?" he sounded frustrated.

"First I was trying to get your attention like a female wants to get a man's attention, when that didn't work I just started trying to piss you off. You don't want me as in you don't want me more than an acquaintance or for the occasional fuck. I've got to go Ranger." I brushed past him and had my hand on the door before I was pulled back into a strong warm chest.

He was silent for a long time, just holding me back from the door. I had no fight left in me; I just sagged against his arms after a while.

"Babe. I didn't even realize you were trying to get my attention." I think my jaw fell open.

"Who the hell else was I wearing little sexy dresses and fuck me boots for?" I demanded with a shrill voice.

"When did you wear little sexy dresses?" He honestly sounded curious. Un-fucking believable. I had been dressing up for him for months, trying to either encourage him or provoke him into claiming me as his and he really hadn't even noticed.

"Don't even worry about it." I halfheartedly tried to push his arms off of me.

"How can I not worry about it?! I worry about you all the time. Every damn second of the day. Don't even worry about it." He mimicked before making a disgusted sound and trailing into Spanish.

"You didn't even notice me Ranger. I don't know what possessed my mind to think you'd even want a relationship with me!" I squirmed again.

"Stop squirming Babe." He growled.

"No!" I wiggled again. In a split second he had me turned around, my back pressed into the wall as his hips pinned me. His hands were on either side of my face.

"Stephanie Michelle Plum. I can't take my eyes off you when you enter a room. But I don't spend my time gawking at your body when I can stare at your beautiful face. I know what your body looks like, I've got the memory burned into my mind, and my hands know every inch of you. I have been watching your eyes get sadder and sadder over the past few months and I have been dying inside because I thought you were sad that you and Morelli hadn't gotten back together. I love you God damn it!" He roared.

"I retired from the army for you and instead I got roped in to visit my family every day and have dinner with them every night when I really wanted to be with you, in you, enjoying your company. I didn't realize you were trying to get my attention and there is nothing you can do to piss me off. I sure as hell am more than your acquaintance! And I wouldn't use you for the occasional fuck." I watched as he took a deep breath.

"I'm terribly sorry about leaving you after that night not so long ago. I thought I could get you out of my system, I was wrong, so wrong Babe and I am so damn sorry that I hurt you that way. You mean everything to me. I will not allow you to leave my life. I love you. I want you. You want me. I will have a relationship with you if it kills me. Mine!" He growled his lips attacking mine with a bruising force.

*R x S Smut*

I gasped as I felt him rock his hips against me. He was so very hard, every inch of his body, rock solid. His hands were all over my body, caressing, feeling, touching, remembering. I moved my hands from his shoulders upward, sinking them into his hair, tugging on him to get him to release my lips. I needed to take a breath.

"Babe," He choked out. "Please. I need you." I had never thought of Ranger as vulnerable till this moment. He had never said so much, never revealed so much to me. In the few years I had known him this was probably the most emotion I had ever gotten out of the man.

"What about in the morning?" I whispered carefully.

"We can do it any damn time of day you want, till death do us part." I couldn't help myself; a laugh bubbled through my lips. That wasn't what I had meant.

"No," I stopped laughing, serious again. "Will you want me in the morning?" I know this wasn't like last time, but...

"Yes." One word and his lips were back on mine furiously kissing the daylights out of me. Ranger's hands slid down and cupped my ass, lifting me up so that our centres rubbed together perfectly. I wrapped my legs around him and pushed my hips into him, moaning at the friction. One of his hands moved from my ass to tangle in my hair and he roughly tilted my head back, his lips moving to lick suck and bite their way down my neck. I groaned in pain and pleasure as he sunk his teeth into my shoulder.

"Ranger!" I shrieked.

"Ric or Carlos, Babe. Ranger is my street name." He growled pinning me against the wall using only his hips as his other hand slid under my shirt and bra to find my breast.

"God Carlos!" I screamed. His hips were moving in a tight circle, rubbing against my clit perfectly. His hand was doing something magical to my breast as he continued to feast on my neck.

"Come for me, now!" He ordered. Like clockwork, I exploded, shouting his name. Panting heavily against him I felt his hand leave my breast to cup my ass. Pulling his groin away from mine slightly; the hand that was previously in my hair delved into my pants. His answering growl made me think he was satisfied before I lost all coherent thought as he pushed two fingers inside of me. He finger-fucked me till I came again, when he pressed roughly down on my clit.

Removing his fingers from me, I watched him lick my juices off his hand before kissing me again, thrusting his tongue into my mouth, allowing me to taste myself on him. I don't think I had stopped moaning since he had started.

Carlos' hands unwound my legs from his waist and set them on the ground before stripping my pants, shirt and bra from me. He threw off his shirt, unbuckled his belt and unzipped his pants, his cock springing free. I reached out to touch him when my hand was caught and he pressed his cock against my center again. I whimpered.

"I want to take you. Hard and fast!" He growled, lifting me up again. I moaned, my legs automatically winding around him again. With one tug, my underwear was ripped from my body, he lent back before thrusting into me in one go. I screamed his name, God yes, this was what I wanted.

He waited only a moment before pulling out of me almost all the way and thrusting back in. My back arched, my hips matched his rhythm. His lips attacked mine as one hand slid to my clit, massaging me rapidly.

My back was slamming into the wall with every thrust but the pain only added to my pleasure. It wasn't long till I felt my walls tightening around him, and with one last thrust we were both pushed over the edge in a simultaneous orgasm.

*End Smut*

When I awoke, I was tucked up against a warm naked body, wrapped in soft sheets. Blinking my eyes I found myself face to face with Carlos.

"Are you ok Babe?" I nodded at him and snuggled as close to him as I could.

"I didn't hurt you?" He questioned, his voice concerned.

"No you didn't. That was amazing. I'm fine...better than fine. I'm fantastic. I think that was the best sexual experience of my life." I murmured hoarsely.

"I wasn't very gentle." Carlos added. I opened my eyes again and studied his face. He looked worried.

"You don't always have to be gentle with me." I gave him a sexy little smile. He returned it but frowned slightly.

"Yes, but you're injured, you're leg needs stitches...your rib needs bandaging." Was he regretting it?

"Listen carefully Batman. I have waited a very long time for you; since the day I met you. We were both angry and frustrated and needed release. I love you. We had sex and it was earth shattering, trust me. If you regret that for one second..." My rant was cut off with his lips tenderly caressing mine, so very different to before.

"I don't regret anything. I'm just worried about you. I love you too Babe." Oh. That was kind of sweet... and cute.

"Ok Carlos, call the doctor or the medic." I sighed, giving in easily. He smiled and climbed out of bed, moving to the wardrobe returning dressed in sweats with underwear, boxers and a shirt for me. Not saying a word, he drew the sheet off my body, slid the panties and boxers up my legs and pulled the shirt carefully over my head. Picking me up, he carried me out to his couch, setting me down gently. Moving to the door, he opened it and in walked both Bobby and Mario.

I stared at Carlos. He had called them both before I had even resurfaced from the orgasm of the century.

"I was worried." He stated, sitting next to me on the couch as Bobby and Mario made their way towards us.

"Flip onto your side Bombshell, so that your injured leg is facing us." Bobby instructed. I watched Carlos pull a pillow into his lap and motion for me to lie down. I settled down comfortably, my eyes closing until I felt a sharp prick in my leg.

"Ouch!" I almost shot off the couch, except the medical twosome had my legs held down.

"Just a needle to ease the pain before we start stitching, kitten." Stupid Mario. Asshole.

"I hate needles." I muttered, burying my face in the pillow. Carlos' hand started running soothingly through my hair.

"I know you do Babe. It's alright, it'll be over soon." I glanced up at him and found the most loving look on his face.

"Finally!" Both Mario and Bobby shouted, causing me to flinch.

"Excuse me?" Carlos growled.

"Thank God we didn't need plan B." Bobby muttered. Silence echoed for a moment, Carlos was stock still underneath me.

"Bobby, I hear Uzbekistan is nice this time of year." I spoke in a deadly calm voice. Carlos chuckled.

"He and Lester are going on a recon mission to find out. Don't worry Babe." I smiled and nestled into the pillow.

"Payback's a bitch Bobby." I muttered. I felt Carlos' lips on my forehead.

"Amen to that." He whispered before I drifted to sleep.

Life with Carlos was going to be great.

The End