Letter from Morelli

Hello? Hello? Is there anybody there? Oh, Hi. There you are!

Now you've pissed me off again. Why is it that you always portray Ranger as the Superhero and me as the bad guy?!? Just 'cos he's the tall, dark, brooding silent type and I'm the hot-headed Italian Stallion with a temper. Not fair. Try writing something nice about me for a change – I am Captain Hottie, after all.

True, so Janet created me so that I had an immediate impact on Cupcake's life, not my fault. As Steph often says herself, she was drawn to me and my garage like a magnet. So, I deflowered her at Tasty Pastry, but she was SOOO ready for that piece of me. Trouble is, she not only had a piece of me that day, I had a piece of her too. I don't normally write about my conquests on the walls of everywhere I go, but she had me snagged forever by two seconds into that encounter. (And I only waxed lyrical about her in four places, for chrissake!)

So, I like good looking women, I won't lie. Can't do much about that. Janet made sure my past and my genes were alpha male – could have been worse. I could have been Mooner – then I would really have been a lost cause! As it is, I feel like I'm fighting a lost cause instead sometimes. Espcially when you write of me so badly.

Steph had an immediate impact on me and until we met a couple of years' ago, she'd been a lovely shining memory put away for safe keeping. Even when she ran me over in her Dad's car, I mentally smiled about the woman for ages, even though my leg hurt.

Then she had the stupid notion she could be a Bounty Hunter – walking disaster more like. Took a lot of balls to go after me, but even when she locked me up in the back of that van, part of me was proud of her. Weird, huh?

Unlike my previous MO I let her slip away from me on a number of occasions so that she could see that I was a changed man – I really needed her to see that. I mean, I could have had her before I chained her up in her shower, but no, being the gentleman that I am I didn't. Was that good of me or what?!

I need her in my life and for better or worse I want her to marry me (yes, I have several death wishes, apparently) but I need her to be safe. My work is not a happy place – full of death, blood, hate, you name anything negative and ugly and I see it every day of my working life. Trouble is, unlike that mercenary I don't have to go out of town to get it. It's right here on my doorstep. Steph takes me away from all of that. She brings light and joy to my soul – yes, I DO have a soul!

I don't want Steph to change – I love her energy, pigheadedness, vulnerability, beauty and honesty. But every day she goes out of my front door I wait for the call to tell me she's been shot at, car bombed or worse. So far it's just been her things, but one day.... Christ, I'm not even going to say it, I can't even go there in my worst nightmares. I really want her to fly too, but with a safety harness, that's all...

Manoso can't offer her what I can. A life with family around – they're 'entertaining' if nothing else. No secrets (ok, so I don't always tell her everything, so sue me, I'm a cop – it's part of my job, actually, sue my creator (only kidding!!)). A normal relationship with ups and downs - making up as well as crash and burn. Great sex – so perhaps he gave her that too, although I'm really happy he sent her back to me. That worries me sometimes, would she have come back on her own? I have to push that nagging feeling away. I'm NOT second best – we're good together, most of the time...

...Sorry, lost track of what I was saying there for a minute!

Please understand, I need Steph, she's so much the real me. You don't seem to like the fact that she's mine, not his, very much and I've read some of the things that you do to me. I'm not a nasty or pathetic drunk – don't drink much at all actually. I'm loud when I'm angry – see above for disclaimer on that one. I haven't cheated behind Steph's back – as I once said, I'm a one Cupcake man. Jeanne Ellen Burrows, Joyce Barnhardt, Terri Gilman, they don't hold a candle to my Steph.

But remember this, I truly, deeply, madly love my Cupcake and if I really didn't think we could work this out then I would truly let her fly away, but not to him please, not to him...