Thanks for all the reviews and faithful readers!
A big, big sorry for not updating for more than 2 years (if I remember correctly). All I can say is that I lost my inspiration for this story and it's taken a long time (obviously) to get it back. But since there are readers waiting for me to finish this story I've finally given myself a slap in the face and written the last chapter.
Unfortunately there will be no sequel to this (at least not now). Maybe, just maybe, one day I will write one.
I hope you all enjoy to finally read the finished story and I apologize sincerely if something doesn't make sense in this chapter about the case the team are working on; in the two years that have passed I have forgot how and what exactly I was thinking when I first started writing the story and so trying to figure out how to give a good closure wasn't easy.
Stella sat in the chair next to Mac's bed at the hospital. The twins were in a twin stroller by the foot of the bed. It was as if Alethea and Matthew knew how serious the situation was and that their father was injured; because they hadn't made a single sound for hours.
Mac had spent hours in surgery after the explosion and was now sedated by the doctor. The doctor in charge, Doctor Louie Maxwell, wanted to give Mac's body a chance to heal before he woke up.
Stella squeezed Mac's hand softly and looked at his battered face and body. He would have scars and possible permanent injuries to his right leg. Doctor Maxwell had warned Stella that Mac might walk with a limp and severe pain in his right leg for the rest of his life. They had almost amputated it, but in the end decided not to. He would still be able to be a CSI, but wouldn't be able to do as much field work as before. He would have to take it easy if his leg got permanent injuries. His left leg was broken in three places, but Doctor Maxwell was optimistic and said that Mac probably wouldn't have any problems with it later on.
Mac also had four broken ribs, internal bruising and bleeding, a damaged liver and collapsed lung, a concussion and multiple cuts and bruises all over his body. His left eye was damaged and there was a risk that he would have to use glasses later or even become blind on that eye. As for brain damage Doctor Maxwell had said things looked surprisingly well and he was very optimistic. However, there was always a risk that there was brain damage that would only reveal itself once Mac woke up.
It would be months before Mac could return to work or even walk. With two newborn babies it wouldn't be easy for Stella either and Doctor Maxwell had arranged for someone to come home and help her with household chores once Mac could go home. Of course, Mac would have to come to the hospital for physical therapy as well.
There was a knock on the door and Stella turned her head to see Danny peeking inside.
"Hi." He said softly.
Danny could see the tears in Stella's eyes. He entered the room and walked over to her. When he hugged her she let the tears fall and sobbed silently.
"He's going to be okay." Danny whispered.
"I just wish none of this would have happened." Stella sniffed.
"Me too." Danny sighed and walked over to the stroller.
When he saw Matthew awake he picked him up and started slowly pacing in the room. The baby boy seemed happy to be held and Danny smiled down at Matthew Taylor. His mind went to Lindsay and their son Benjamin. He had come close to losing them both.
"Milton couldn't have made the bomb." Danny said after a while, "He doesn't know how to."
"But he could have hired someone."
"Yeah, we think he hired Elijah Nelson and Stan Reed." Danny said, "They were part of the gang that his brother-in-law was trying to get out of when he was murdered."
"So he could have threatened them." Stella sighed, "I uh… I don't even want to think about all the things Milton could have done."
Danny nodded. He put Matthew down in the stroller again and then smiled at Alethea before walking over the other side of the bed and sitting down in the chair.
Adam and Don were working hard at trying to find Milton and the one who made the bomb that had injured their friend. Danny looked at Mac and winced. He had never seen Mac so injured before. It wasn't fair. He was a new dad to twins, happily married to Stella and was supposed to be home enjoying his free time with his wife and kids; not lying in a hospital bed.
"We'll find Milton." Danny said, "I promise you that."
Stella gave him a grateful smile. She knew that the team would find Milton; she only hoped no one else would get hurt while trying to do it.
It was quite amazing how fast Adam could work without having slept for more hours than anyone could actually count. Don had managed to catch a little nap while Adam had processed the remains of the bomb. He had only woken up when Adam had found evidence left behind on the bomb. He had shook Don so hard that the detective had fallen off the couch he was sleeping on.
"Sorry, I just, I have some huge news. I mean this is as big as it gets." Adams said, "It's going to rock your world and I mean really-"
"Adam!" Don interrupted, "What is it?"
"I found two different prints on the remains on the bomb." Adam said, "They belong to Elijah Nelson and Stan Reed."
"Our two former gang members." Don said, "This is good Adam, really good."
"They made the bomb that almost…"
Don nodded. Nobody liked it, but the bomb had almost killed their boss and friend. Mac was still in critical condition and had in fact gone into cardiac arrest twice during surgery. Had he been standing just two feet closer to the bomb he would have died.
Don put out BOLO for Elijah Nelson and Stan Reed. It was quickly discovered that the two men were not at their work place; Pizza Hut. Don and Adam had one more mission left though; catch Milton.
"So how do we bait this guy to come to you?" Adam asked.
Milton had placed bugs in the team's phones and therefore had been able to know everything that the team knew, such as Sid and his family being at a safe house after Milton had threatened them. Don still had his bug on his phone so that Milton would think that Adam had discovered his little trick and so that they could hopefully bait Milton to go after Don.
"Hi guys, what did I miss?" Danny asked as he joined two other men in the break room.
Adam told him about the prints found on the remains of the bomb.
"So they did it." Danny growled, "Do we know where they are right now?"
"Nope, but I put a BOLO on them so hopefully we'll know where they are soon." Don said, "Adam and I are trying to figure out how to bait Milton to come to me so we can take him down."
"It has to be something that is not an obvious bait." Danny said, "Something that makes him think you're alone."
"Exactly." Don said, "I've been thinking that we could tell the media that his case is closed. That ought to make him pissed enough to seek me out."
"Wait, guys…" Adam said, "Tell the media that the case is closed; because it would give you the perfect reason to go home and get some rest right?"
"Yeah, because you've been working hard for a long time." Danny agreed.
"And then you get home, what do you do?" Adam smiled, "You order pizza."
"Ah… he'll be listening to my phone call." Don smirked, "So hopefully he'll pretend to be the pizza guy."
"Wait, there's a problem with that. We know what Milton looks like. He will know that you know who he is." Danny said.
"Well, Don only has to open his door and pretend to be surprised to see Milton there. Milton has to find a way to get inside. If Don opens the door Milton will probably point a gun at him and force Don to let him inside." Adam said.
"And if he just shoots him?" Danny asked.
All three men said nothing for a while as they pondered on what Danny had said. If Milton shot Don immidiately then it could kill him. They would probably still catch Milton, since the Don's place would be swarming with cops, but Don would be injured. The last thing anyone wanted was for another team and family member to get hurt.
"What if I wear a vest?" Don said.
"He could aim at the head." Danny sighed, "Look… I think we should just wait him out. Just go home and act as if you got nothing to worry about. Hopefully Milton will show up."
"Yeah, we can catch him before he even does anything." Adam said.
"Okay, it's a plan." Don said, "Let's call some reporters for a press conference."
Don and Danny sat in an interrogation room with Elijah Nelson across the table. After only an hour Elijah had been arrested at his girlfriend's place. Unfortunately for Elijah his girlfriend had a conscience and harboring a criminal was something she didn't want to lose sleep over. So she had managed to call the police without Elijah knowing about it and they had arrived just a few minutes after she had ended the call.
"It sucks when your girlfriend calls the cops, doesn't it?" Danny asked.
Elijah's girlfriend had seen him on TV wanted for the attempted murder of Mac Taylor.
"Yeah." Elijah shrugged.
"Detective Flack and I are very tired tonight. You see, we're trying to catch this guy that has killed people and kept harassing us… so we're going to make this very simple." Danny said, "You tell us everything we want to know and we'll tell the judge you cooperated."
"I don't know what you want to know." Elijah said.
"How about telling us how your fingerprints ended up on the remains of the bomb used to injure Mac Taylor." Don said, "Is that a good place to start?"
Elijah shifted nervously in his chair.
"I don't know what you're talking about." He said.
"Sure you don't. Stan's prints are also on it, so we know both of you made that bomb." Danny said, "All we want to know is why?"
"Why not?" Elijah shrugged again.
"Because you have no reason to try to kill Mac Taylor." Don said, "Milton does."
"I've already told you, I don't know anything about that guy."
"Yes you do. You and your old gang framed him for a murder he didn't commit." Danny growled, "He threatened you didn't he?"
Elijah said nothing.
"Probably said he would kill you and Stan if you didn't make the bomb." Don said.
"What did he do then? Pay you to do it?" Danny asked.
"You guys got it all wrong."
"Then tell us the truth." Don said.
"I've never met that dude." Elijah said.
Danny and Don knew he was lying; they could see the perspiration on Elijah's forehead and how he nervously shifted in his chair.
"You and Stan made the bomb so Milton could kill a cop with it!" Don growled, "He promised you would both live if you did it, right?"
"He fucking killed Stan anyway!" Elijah exclaimed.
Danny and Don smirked; now they had their confession. Elijah realized he had slipped up and sighed. His shoulders sagged and he ran a hand over his face.
"He killed Stan right in front of me and said that he would do the same to me if I didn't put the bomb outside that cop's apartment." Elijah said, "He said he knew about his sister's death and how we had framed him, we would live if we made that bomb… but then he shot Stan anyway."
"Do you know where he is now?" Don asked.
"No. He just said he had some unfinished business to take care of." Elijah sighed, "Someone he would pay a visit to."
"Name?" Don asked.
"No name." Elijah said.
"Why didn't he kill you once you had placed the bomb outside the apartment?" Danny asked.
"Don't know." Elijah shrugged, "He said me and Stan had to pay for the murder of his sister and framing him. We hadn't prevented the murder when we could have."
"And yet he let you live." Don said, "It doesn't make sense."
"He said he had no reason to kill me." Elijah said.
"He probably wanted you to be able to tell us this." Danny said, "So we knew why you had made the bomb."
"Yeah, you're probably right." Don said.
The two detectives sighed. Milton was still in the wind. Don looked at the clock and realized he had a press conference to hold soon. Without anything else to say Danny and Don arrested Elijah Nelson.
Stella had fallen asleep after nursing the twins. She couldn't figure out why she had woken up suddenly. But then she saw a man in a doctor's coat by the window. She first thought it was Doctor Maxwell, but then noticed that the man by the window wasn't bald like the good doctor.
As he turned around Stella gasped. It was Milton and he was holding Alethea.
"Such a sweet little girl." Milton smirked.
Stella saw the name tag on the coat; Milton had stolen Doctor Maxwell's ID and even glued his own picture on to it. The two officers outside the room, who were supposed to be guarding Stella and Mac, clearly hadn't done a very good job. How could they not recognize Milton?
His face was all over the news and every cop in New York was looking for him. Stella had seen Don's press conference an hour earlier and knew it would upset Milton. But she had never thought he'd come after her.
As Milton was pacing around in the room, holding a gun in one hand and Alethea against his chest with the other hand, Stella started looking for her purse. She had her gun in it.
"How is Mac doing?" Milton asked.
"Better." Stella said.
"It must be difficult for you to be in here with him and the twins." Milton said, "Your husband is unconscious and you have two babies that need attention."
"It doesn't bother me."
"Good for you." Milton said, "I could always get rid of one problem for you."
"How do you mean?" Stella asked and she slowly, as if she wasn't really moving at all, backed towards her purse that was on another chair behind her.
"I could always finish off Mac." Milton grinned, "Twins are hard enough to take care of. Tending to an injured husband just makes it even harder."
"Don't you dare touch him!" Stella growled, "And put my baby down!"
"I like this little sweetie." Milton smirked.
But he still went over to the stroller and put Alethea down in it. Stella knew that it meant that Milton was ready to do whatever he had come there to do. Stella managed to reach her purse, but instead of finding her gun first she found her cell phone. She speed dialed Don and prayed he would pick up. If he listened to the conversation he would realize that Milton hadn't gone after him like they had thought he would, but that Milton had instead come after Stella and Mac again. Don could then go to the hospital and save them.
"What are you doing?" Milton asked, "Looking for your gun?"
Milton pulled Stella's gun from the back of his jeans. Stella cursed silently and dropped the purse. She put the phone in the back pocket of her pants and stepped closer to Mac.
Milton started to slowly walk towards her with his gun pointed at her head and her own gun pointed down into the stroller.
"Now… why don't you tell me why Detective Flack said that my case was closed? He said I had been caught." Milton growled, "Clearly I haven't since I'm standing here. So why the fuck did he lie?"
"I don't know."
"But that's not true is it." Milton said, "I doubt that he would have a press conference and lie to the media without telling you first."
"They've been too busy to tell me." Stella said.
"Liar!" Milton growled and aimed the gun at Matthew, "Now, tell me the truth or your son dies."
Stella's heart was about to burst through her chest as Milton aimed the gun at her son.
"He did it so that you would get angry and come after him." Stella said.
"He's an idiot then. He should have known that there was a risk I'd come after you too." Milton said, "So he wants me to come after him, huh?"
"Well, maybe I'll kill him after I've killed you and Mac."
"Why kill both of us?" Stella asked.
"I feel like it." Milton shrugged.
Stella decided to make a move and lunged herself at Milton. They both went down hard on the floor and Milton's gun accidentally went off. Stella hoped to see the two officers burst through the door, but they didn't.
Milton grabbed her by the waist and flipped her around. He straddled her hips and aimed his gun at her face. Stella's gun had slid across the floor and none of them could reach it.
"I broke their necks so they won't come." Milton smirked.
He knew Stella had wondered why the two officers hadn't noticed the shot. Stella growled and tried to fight Milton off her. He was stronger and used his free hand to grab her by the neck.
"That was very unwise. After I've killed you and Mac I will have to kill your kids now too." Milton said, "I was going to let them live, but I just recently changed my mind."
Milton smirked evilly and cocked the gun. Stella refused to look away but as a shot was heard she flinched and her eyes closed. When she felt nothing but the weight of a body collapsing down on her she opened her eyes. Milton was on top of her, bleeding from a shot to the head.
Don and Danny were at the door. They helped Stella get Milton off her and she immidiately ran to the twins, who were crying. Danny helped her and picked Alethea up. They started trying to calm the babies down. Don looked down at Milton and sighed.
"I got your call. I heard it all." He said, "He killed the officers outside and Doctor Maxwell."
"I know." Stella said and let tears fall.
Danny put a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"It's over now." He said.
Almost a year later
Mac opened his eyes to find his daughter, Alethea, poking his shoulder. He smiled and sat up in the bed. It was early morning and like most mornings Alethea poked her father until he woke up. Stella was still sleeping next to him. Mac picked Alethea up and went to the twin's room.
He was limping and groaned as pain wnet through his right leg. As his doctor had predicted he had gotten permanent damage to his right leg, but not his left eye. Mac was still working as a CSI, but just doing it less. He would be full-time Chief in just two months and even though he would have never taken that position before, he wanted it now. It was safer and better for his leg, his pain only got worse if he did too much field work.
"Bifday?" Alethea asked.
Mac grinned and put her down on the floor in her and her brother's room. Matthew was awake and sitting up in his crib, waiting for his father to pick him up. Mac picked him up and kissed his cheek before putting him down on the floor. Alethea always managed to climb out of the crib on her own. Mac and Stella were working on fixing that so she couldn't anymore; they didn't want her to get hurt.
"Yes, today is your birthday." Mac grinned.
The twins were finally 1-year-old. Mac was still amazed sometimes that he was a father and a husband to Stella. Matthew and Alethea grabbed some toys and started playing. Mac sat down on the floor and watched. He liked to watch them play. Stella and the twins were the most important people in his life. Mac couldn't believe that he had a wife, a daughter and a son.
Mac grinned when Matthew grabbed his hand and placed a toy car in it. He knew his son wanted him to play along.
"Pay!" Matthew exclaimed.
"You wanna play?" Mac grinned, "Okay, anything for you son."
Matthew grinned; he had Stella's smile. It was funny how Alethea seemed to resemble so much of Mac and Matthew so much of Stella. The one thing both twins had though was Mac's eyes and Stella's curly hair. Matthew looked absolutely adorable in his short curls. People actually stopped on the street and told the proud parents how adorable he looked.
"So this is where my three favorite people in the world are?" A female voice said from the doorway.
Matthew and Alethea grinned at their mother and Stella sat down next to her husband. They shared a kiss and then turned their attention to their children. The year had been tough of them, but things were now great.
"Is everyone coming today?" Mac asked.
By everyone Mac meant the team; the family. Don and Angel were coming (Angel had recovered fully from being shot in the head), Sheldon and Jackie, as well as Nicholas (Jackie's son, whom Sheldon was in the process of adopting). Sheldon and Jackie were also expecting a child in just five months. Danny and Lindsay would also be coming with their son Benjamin of course.
"Yep, they're all coming." Stella grinned, "Can you believe that it's already been a year?"
"No. Time goes by too fast." Mac smiled and put an arm over Stella's shoulder.
"Pay dada." Alethea said.
Mac continued playing with the toy car that Matthew had given him.
"One year has passed, but there are many more years to come." Stella smiled.
"Yes there are." Mac smiled and gave his wife a kiss.