I'm not sure about this one. I've had it floating around for a while. The actual idea for this story is in the next chapter but have to do some editing on that first. Let me know what you think.

Thanks so much to my beta for putting up with my complaining and reading everything I write. Appreciate it, babe. :)

She should have known.

She should have known it was a trap.

If she were a better cop , she would have known.

She would have caught on to the liar's tells that the suspect had been exhibiting.

Well maybe not a better cop but at least a fully functioning cop. With all her faculties focussed on the case at hand. A cop who wasn't heartbroken. A cop who wasn't left breathless and unable to think straight whenever anything that reminded her of him caught her off-guard. A cop who wasn't constantly distracted by the small things he would have noticed and made a silly comment about just to hear her laugh. Sometimes she could almost hear him making his smart aleck puns and double entendres and see him floating before her, his smug grin firmly in place.

A flash of anger blew through her as she caught herself thinking of him again. She was getting better but occasionally her thoughts still managed stray to the taboo subject of him.

This was his fault, she thought angrily.

I wish I never met him. I wish I had never come across his damn books.

If it hadn't been for him, she wouldn't be lying here, listening to Esposito's increasingly desperate pleas for her to stay with him, to hold on, that help was coming.

If it hadn't been for him, she wouldn't be lying here, hearing Ryan's frantic call for an ambulance, his panic evident when his voice cracked over the words "officer down."

If it hadn't been for him, she wouldn't be lying here, broken and bleeding from two bullet wounds, fighting the darkness that threatened to suck her into oblivion.

She continued her internal rant, trying desperately to keep the fear and regrets that she could feel sneaking up in the back of her mind.

She was starting to have trouble breathing and was beginning to feel a chill despite the warm afternoon. She involuntarily shivered, sending a wave of fire through her body from her wounds.

The thoughts that she had been trying to keep at bay overwhelmed her as the pain died down from sharp and blinding to merely excruciating.

What if she died never having told him how she felt? Even if he had walked off with her on his arm. He would never know...

She wasn't sure how much time had passed during her tormented musings but suddenly sirens seemed to be all around her and she was being jostled around, presumably by paramedics.

Her body arched in protest as Esposito's hands over her wounds were replaced and pressure was reapplied. The pain returned full force, suffocating her, drowning her.

As though from a long distance away, she heard an unintelligible scream as his face burnt itself into her mind before she tumbled into darkness.

"Rick..."