A/N No excuses except that my muse went away and refused to return.


It was several weeks later and everyone was settling in their news lives. Mark was working at St. Ambrose when serious cases came in usually as a result of a house fire. He hadn't developed much of a clientele at the practice yet, but Addison assured him that his clientele would grow very soon. Addison was adjusting to having a guy living in her house full time. It wasn't easy making that adjustment but it was worth the work. The hardest thing for her was making Milo an outdoor cat. She had made a promise to a dying patient and now because of her boyfriend's allergies, she had to keep Milo outdoors. She knew outdoors was not the best environment for cats even if it was their natural habitat. The city outdoors was filled with too many distractions and hazards for Milo. None of which existed in the wild.

As for Sloane and Samantha, they had settled on an house that was about twenty minutes from Addison's beach house. Sloane was working on getting her license renewed here in California and Samantha was scouring the area for work.

It was a late Friday evening and Mark and Addison were on the couch watching a movie together. It was their favorite way to wind down after a long day at work. Mark's cell phone went off and ordinarily Mark would ignore it but he hadn't spoken to his daughter all day and he was hoping that she was on the other line. Addison paused the movie as Mark hit the talk button on his cell phone and put it to his ear.


"Hey Mark, Sloane's not feeling well and she'd really like to see you." Came Samantha's voice.

"Let her rest, I'll see her in the morning." Mark told Samantha. He wasn't entirely convinced that Samantha was telling him the truth but he wasn't about to voice that aloud.

"Mark, please just come over. I'm worried about her." Samantha told him. Mark knew that he would never forgive himself if something happened to Sloane and he hadn't seen her before because he wanted to spend time with Addison.

"Fine. Give me a half an hour and I'll be there." Mark promised. He hung up the phone and turned to Addison with an apologetic smile. He really hated to leave her. He enjoyed these nights with her.

"Sorry Red, but Sloane's asking for me. I have to go." Mark told her. He knew that Addison was trying to adjust to him having a daughter and he knew that was a hard adjustment for her. She wasn't used to sharing him with his child.

"Be careful." Addison told him. She didn't trust Samantha Riley as far as she could throw. She doubted very much that Sloane was actually asking for Mark. She knew she could tell him that but that he would likely tell her she was worrying for no reason.

"There's no reason to tell me that Addie. Sloane's a good kid." Mark told her.

"Yeah but her mother is a fruitcake." Addison commented darkly. Mark laughed and dropped a quick kiss on her lips before he headed to the bedroom to change. Yes Samantha was a bit nuts but Mark wasn't quite sure he would give her the title of fruitcake just yet. Now Addison's mother, holy hell that woman was a fruitcake. When he emerged from the bedroom, he smiled at Addison who had switched off the movie and was settling on a marathon of FRIENDS.

"Don't be too long." Addison told him. She still had plans for their night together and they did not involve Mark visiting his adult daughter.

"I won't be." Mark told her before he kissed her again. He enjoyed kissing Addison and he now wished that he had told Samantha that he couldn't make it tonight. He privately would have rather be spending the rest of the evening pleasuring Addison in ways that she had only dreamed about.

As Mark drove in the direction of Samantha and Sloane's new place, he found himself thinking about what Addison was doing. He wanted to be with her right now and instead he was driving to see his daughter at ten pm. He knew that Lexie would never have understood this. She would have complained quite loudly about it. Yet Addison let him go without much complaint. Addison was much more mature than Lexie and Addison understood that sometimes Sloane would have to come first.

Twenty minutes later, Mark was standing in front of the door waiting for someone to answer his knock. He was surprised when Samantha answered the door wearing nothing but a T-shirt. She knew he was coming and she hadn't changed to make herself more presentable? Mark was beginning to grow suspicious. Maybe Addison had a point. Maybe Samantha's intentions were less sincere than he had thought.

"Come in." Samantha told Mark. Cautiously Mark stepped into the apartment. He wasn't sure what he was expecting but this was certainly not it. Samantha and Sloane had decided to go for a more art-deco-y kind of feel.

"Where's Sloane?" Mark asked as soon as he got over the décor.

"She felt better so she headed off to the movies with a few of her new friends." Samantha informed him calmly. She knew Mark would be furious but she was hoping that he would get over it quickly and they could get on with the real reason for him coming over tonight.

"Wait, you told me she wasn't feeling well and had asked to see me? No way does anyone get better that quickly. You lied to me." Mark accused. He was furious with her. Addison was right. Samantha was a fruitcake. A vindictive, manipulative fruitcake. Maybe Sloane hadn't got most of her initial vindictiveness and manipulation strategies from him. Samantha angled herself so that she could lock the front door without Mark trying to stop her. She was sick of other people getting what she wanted and what she deserved.

Somehow she managed to lock the door without Mark noticing. He was still looking like he was going to lose it. Samantha was going to do whatever she had to do in order to get him to see that life with her and Sloane was where he should be.

"Calm down Mark. It's not good for you or your heart to get so upset." Samantha told him as she laid her hand on his chest. Mark pushed it away at once, his slate colored eyes darkening with anger.

"We're done here Samantha. I'm done." Mark told her as he walked towards the door and tried to turn the knob. The knob wouldn't turn at first, Mark tried again and this time the knob broke clean off.

"Well I guess you are stuck here until someone comes to find you." Samantha commented from behind with a sickly sweet smile crossing her lips. Mark did a double take when he saw what was in her hand. It was a syringe filled with liquid. He swallowed hard, his slate colored eyes focused on her hand.

"How did you get that?" Mark asked, doing his best to keep his tone even and relaxed.

"You'd be amazed how easy it is to buy this stuff over the internet." Samantha told him calmly.

"What do you want?" Mark asked. He was pretty sure he knew what she wanted, but he was just hoping he was wrong.

"I want you and Sloane and myself to be a family." Samantha informed him. Dammit, Mark's suspicions had been correct. He wasn't giving in to her demands. He loved Addison too much. Seeing that syringe in her hands did make him a bit nervous though.

"I'm seeing someone." Mark reminded her. If Samantha went after Addison Mark could pretty much guarantee that Sloane would be a motherless young woman.

"Yeah but with Sloane and I, we make you a family." Samantha pointed out.

"I have already said that we are done. I want Addison. She's it for me." Mark told Samantha, still staying remarkably calm.

"When she's dead, you won't have her." Samantha informed Mark rather calmly. Mark paled, recognizing that Samantha had just threatened the woman that he loved. For the first time, Mark was scared of Samantha. He was scared for Addison. He had to get to her. He had to keep her safe.

"If you kill her, you'll leave your daughter…our daughter motherless." Mark told her.

"No if I kill her, my daughter gets a real family for the first time in her life." Samantha countered coolly.

Meanwhile, Addison was on her third episode of FRIENDS and she was trying to shake the feeling that something was wrong. Mark had been gone for over an hour and a half. Okay so it was forty minutes round trip from their place to Samantha and Sloane's place and that only left Mark a little less than an hour to visit with Sloane. Addison just couldn't kick the feeling that something was wrong.

She was trying to get through the episode where Ross has to give up his monkey, but her mind was still on Mark. Something just didn't feel right. What if there was an accident? It was late at night and there were always morons on the road at this time of night. Oh God, what if Samantha had gone all Fatal Attraction on Mark? Addison's stomach was in knots now.

Her hands were trembling as she dialed Naomi's number. She needed Naomi's reassurance that everything was fine and that Mark would be back soon.

"Addie, what's wrong?" a groggy voice asked into the phone.

"Mark went over to Samantha's over ninety minutes ago and he's not home yet." Addison told Naomi.

"If he's cheating on you, I'll kill him." Was Naomi's first response. She doubted that Mark was cheating on Addison but given his history she would be a fool if she didn't even consider that possibility.

"He's not. Samantha said that Sloane wanted to see him." Addison told Naomi.

"At ten o-clock at night?" came Naomi's skeptical response.

"I tried to warn him." Addison whispered. She had known that Samantha was planning something but Mark wouldn't hear her. She just knew things weren't right and sitting alone at home was hard on her. She needed to go find him. She needed to know that he was all right.

"Do you know her address?" Naomi asked. She could tell that Addison was panicking and she was worried about Addison.

"I'll text it to you." Addison told Naomi.

"Good, be ready in ten minutes. I 'm going to come yet you and we will head over there together." Naomi told Addison. Addison sighed a big sigh of relief. Naomi didn't think she was crazy.

"Do you think he'll be all right?" Addison whispered. She didn't think that Samantha had it in her to be a killer but she wasn't sure.

"He's a big guy and Samantha would have to drug him in order to overpower him." Naomi pointed out. When Addison heard that, her stomach lurched again. God she hoped he was okay. She needed him. She wanted him more than she had ever wanted anyone before. Just the thought of Samantha drugging him, made her want to pass out.

"Addison, calm down. He's all right." Naomi ordered her sternly. She didn't like the silence on the other end. She had to stay positive and upbeat because Addison certainly wasn't. She had to believe that Mark would be all right. Addison and Mark deserved their happy ending and Naomi was going to make sure that they got it.

"Okay." Came a faint whisper. Addison was doubled over on the floor trying desperately not to throw up.

"I'm coming right now." Called Naomi before she hung up the phone and got into her car. She was worried about Addison. Addison and Mark seemed to finally be getting themselves together and then this happened.

"What's in the syringe?" Mark asked. He was trying to keep the conversation going. He knew that Addison was probably getting worried. It had been about two hours since he had left Addison's house.

"Vecuronium." Samantha informed him smugly. She wasn't about to tell him that she had another syringe filled with something different. That particular syringe was reserved for a certain tall redhead. Mark paled. He knew exactly what she had planned for the Vecuronium. That was a paralytic drug. He recognized it as the same drug he had given to many patients before so their bodies could heal after surgeries. He knew that if she caught hold of him he was useless. He found himself hoping that Sloane would come home early from wherever she was tonight. Surely Samantha wouldn't try to paralyze him if Sloane was here. He knew that as long as Samantha didn't get to him, Addison was safe.

"Paralyzing me won't help you get what you want." Mark told her.

"Oh yes it will. With you unable to intervene, I can go after that bitch Addison." Samantha told him calmly. Mark was furious at the name she called Addison. He wanted nothing more than to claw her eyes out. He couldn't risk getting closer to her though. The closer he got to her, the easier it was for her to grab him unexpectedly and plunge the syringe into his body.

The moment Mark turned his back on Samantha he knew it was a mistake. Within seconds he felt the needle plunge into his body. He felt his knees give way and he fell to the hardwood floor with a thud. Samantha capped the syringe and threw it in the trash. Now that Mark was useless, she could go after that redheaded bitch that was threatening the happiness that she could have with Mark and Sloane.

She pulled out the second syringe from a cardboard box in the hall closet. She knew exactly where that redheaded bitch lived and she was going to make sure that Addison never bothered her or her family again. Putting her shoes on, Samantha slipped the syringe into her purse and headed out the back door.

Just five minutes later, two cars pulled up to the house. Out of one car stepped an eighteen year old blonde and out of the other stepped Addison and Naomi. The minute Addison saw Sloane, her stomach lurched. She had known deep down that this was a ruse. She didn't want to think about what had happened to Mark inside the house.

"Sloane, what are you doing? Your mom called your dad and said you were sick and wanted to see him." Addison called as she walked over to her.

"What? I told my mom that I was heading to the movies with a few new friends." Sloane told Addison. She wasn't sure what was going on but she knew it couldn't be anything good. Naomi had gone to the front door and she couldn't get it open.

"What's going on?" demanded Sloane. She was starting to worry about her dad.

"Your front door is locked." Naomi told Sloane quickly.

"No, I mean with my mom and dad." Sloane clarified.

"We think your mother tricked your dad into coming here. We're worried." Naomi told Sloane. Sloane pulled her keys out of her purse and tried to unlock the door.

"Sloane, does the house have a garage door?" Addison asked. Sloane nodded and pointed in the direction of the garage door. Before she could blink Addison was headed for the garage door. Sloane and Naomi were hurrying along behind her.

When Addison got the garage door open and she had stepped into the house, something didn't feel right. Sloane came up right behind her and pushed her aside. She wasn't mean about it, but she knew this house better than Addison did. Naomi followed them both, feeling a knot in her stomach. She knew something had happened here in this house, she just wasn't sure exactly what it was.

"Dad?" Sloane called into the house. The silence was deafening and it wasn't until they reached the living room that they found him face down on the hardwood floor. Addison and Sloane raced to his side while Naomi pulled out her phone and called for an ambulance. There was no blood around his head which Addison was greatly relieved about.

Sloane and Addison were kneeling on either side of Mark. Addison saw that he was breathing and she let out a sigh of relief. At least he was breathing. Sloane reached out as if to move him and Addison put her hand on Sloane's.

"We can't move him. It could make internal injuries worse." Addison whispered. She was scared out of her mind but she didn't want Sloane to know that. She wished that Mark had listened to her concerns involving Samantha Riley. If he had, he wouldn't be lying here face down on the hardwood floor.

"I didn't know. I swear I didn't know what she was planning to do." Sloane whispered as tears pooled in her eyes. Sure she had been closer to her mom for her entire life but her father had really been there for her in the past few months. She hated herself for leaving that night and she was so glad she had come home when she did. She didn't want to think about what could have happened if she had gone to a late night movie like her new friends had suggested.

"It's okay. I believe you." Addison whispered back.

"Ambulance should be here in five minutes." Naomi told them as soon as she hung up the phone. She too was shaken up, but she was better at hiding it. The three of them sat waiting around an unresponsive man, hoping that he would make it. Hoping that the ambulance would get there soon. Each of them knew that the waiting game would be an agonizing one to play.