Disclaimer: I am not JE, therefore I don't own any of the characters. I just play with them.
Thanks again to Fairtax girl for taking the time to edited my work. I would also like to thank everyone who has been reviewing this story. I am sorry about my lack of response to your reviews.
It turned out that the fire at Stephanie's was a pure accident. We had known for ages that the building code wasn't hundred percent and that it was death trap waiting to happen. It was lucky that one of us was always on watch at night. Ram, who was on duty that night, managed to not only raise the alarm but also get everyone out of the building in time.
I carefully untangled myself from the puppy pile, as Steph calls it, and quietly made my way into the kitchen. It was still early but I couldn't find sleep. My head was still too full of the conversation we had last night. Grabbing a bottle of water I made my way over to the little boat dock. I sat at the edge and let the water brush against my feet as I watched the sky slowly turn into dawn.
When I had first laid eyes on Steph, at that first job, I wanted to kill Ranger before taking her and running. From the conversations I had with the others that were there I wasn't the only one who felt that way. Tank, in fact, took Ranger to the mats and pounded the living daylights out of him because of it. I knew if Tank hadn't meet Lula then he would have wanted more with Steph as well.
I jumped a little as a small pair of fingers run through my hair caused me to look up into the most beautiful blue eyes I had ever seen.
"I woke and couldn't find you. Is everything okay?" Steph asked.
I nodded my head as she slipped down next to me leaning her head against my shoulder. She stole my water and I glared at her playfully.
"What? It's not like you were drinking it. Now what has you awake this early?"
I let out a low sigh before arranging us so I was looking up at the sky and her head was on my chest.
"I couldn't get last night out of my head. I mean even in wildest dream I couldn't imagine you agreeing so readily to being with all of us."
We sat there in silence, listening to the world around awake for a while, before Steph spoke.
"I think I know where you are coming from. I hate talking about my feelings as you know. Hell I am probably worse than Ranger when it comes to admitting anything. During the time I locked myself away from you all after he left I did some serious thinking. He all ways told me the truth about any kind of relationship we would have. He is still my best friend and always will be."
I nodded my head in understanding as she continued to speak.
"My mother, as you know, has all ways pushed me towards Joe. Even knowing the history of abuse that seems to come with any of the Morelli men, she still would rather I be with him than anyone else because he is Burg. As much as I care for my mother I will never be what she wants me to be."
I found myself rolling my eyes, something that before I had met Steph I never did.
"It took me a while to realise it but I find myself falling in love with each and every one of you. None of you try and change who I am. Okay sure you try and get me to eat healthier and push me to exercise more, but that's more to help me grow than to actually change me. Bobby, I am not saying that this is going to be easy but I really want to give this a try."
I moved us so I was hovering over my blue eyed beauty before I lightly kissed her forehead, moved to her eyelids and then her lips. Moving so my forehead touched hers I whispered, "I love you more than you could possible understand. We all do Beautiful. Now it sounds like the others have woken and realised we aren't there."
As soon as the words slipped from my mouth I heard Lester's voice fill the air. "Don't worry I found them."
I found myself swallowing a moan as my blue eyed beauty's laughter vibrated through her body and into mine as Lester, still slightly groggy, shoved his gun into the back of what looked like a pair of my boxers. The man was known to have allergies to actually wearing any kind of under wear.
"Don't do that to us man. At least leave us a note or something. Now, Cal is making us coffee and I am craving some of your pancakes man. So stop hogging Steph and get your ass into the kitchen."
I found myself laughing so hard that tears started to run down my face at Lester's and Bobby's childish behaviour. After last night and the small talk I just had with Bobby I need to laugh.
After dinner last night, Tank phoned with the fire report. Turns out it was some issue with some kind of wiring or something. All I knew was that for once it wasn't my fault. Even though, from what Tank had heard, both Joe and my mother were still blaming it on me and my job. The talk afterwards wasn't what I expected. I spent a lot of time being held by Hector crying as they each explained when they started to fall in love with me.
Finding out that Bobby and Lester both wanted to kill Ranger for bring me to the redecorating job the first time made me want to defend Ranger. Lester put a stop to that before I even opened my mouth
"Beautiful listen to me before you try and explain the bosses actions to us. I had spent many a night listening to Ranger argue with himself over you. From your very first meeting you had his well- constructed world in chaos. You were his rabbit hole as it were. So that night when you got out of his car and he put his cap on your head, to say I was shocked was understatement. But at the time I thought you knew what to expect. The reason we wanted to kill him was the fact that he didn't tell you exactly what to expect. He led you in there blind, we were just lucky you weren't killed in the process."
I suddenly found myself being thrown over Lester shoulder as he slapped me lightly on my ass causing me to let out a low squeak. I couldn't find it in me to complain about being man handled considering the view I currently had. If I thought his ass looked great in his cargos, it was nothing compared to the way the silk stretched over it now as he walked. I wished I could sink my teeth into it.
I hadn't realised I had said anything until Ram's voice floated through the air.
"Sweetheart I didn't take you as a biter but it's useful to know for later on. Now I have some bad news for you all. Tank just called we have been summoned back to Trenton. The boss flew in this morning like a hurricane and ordered everyone back including Steph."
I couldn't stop the groan that left my mouth at the fact that not only had I nowhere to live, but the only clothes I currently owned were a black t-shirt and a pair of boxers that I had stolen off Ranger. It was Cal who answered my worries
"Tank had Ella fix you up an apartment and some clothes until your insurance check comes in. He has also partnered you with Binkie until further notice as well. That mainly has to do with the fact that he won't allow anyone of us to be with you. But it also seems that the sly old dog has been keeping secrets from us. Lula is pregnant."
I could feel the tears running down my face at his words. After what happened to her Lula's because of me, her doctor said she could never have children. It seemed he was wrong. I found myself being surrounded on all sides by my guys as the tears continued to fall.
After a slightly cold and burnt breakfast, due to my break down over Tank's and Lula's happy news, Cal brought me a change of clothes that Ella had given him for me last night. After a quick argument over who I would be driving back with, I was in Cal's 1965 Chevrolet-Corvette-Grand or so he told me. All I knew was it was low, fast and screamed Cal all the way down to the custom paint job of the flaming skull on the hood. The closer we got to Trenton the more nervouse I became. Why on earth had Ranger suddenly dropped everything in Miami and flown back to Trenton?
Was it because of what was happening between the guys and me? But then again it was all new for all of us, what with us working it all out last night. Was it due to the pregnancy? Maybe Tank wanted time off to look after Lula? Or maybe like my mother and Joe he thought that what happened to my apartment wasn't an accident.
Those were the last thoughts which ran through my head. The next thing I heard was the sound of wheels squealing before the sound of metal hitting metal filled the air. Everything then went black.
I came to in the hospital to the sound of yelling followed by my hospital door being thrown open by an enraged looking Ranger, who was followed by Tank. I tried to sit up only stopping when Ranger indicated for me to stay still. The last thing I remembered was a car running through a red light hitting the passenger side. Stephanie.
I heard the heart monitor start to beep faster as I started to fight the tubes that were keeping me tied to the bed. I needed to get to my Angel. I needed to know that she was all right before I hunted down the bastard that had hit us. I suddenly found my arms being pinned to the bed by Ranger as I noticed a young nurse checking my vitals before fleeing the room.
"You need to calm down. You won't be any help to Steph if you don't allow yourself to heal properly."
I took a deep breath before relaxing enough that Ranger thought it would be okay to let me go and move to lean against the wall while Tank moved to the chair next to the bed. I winced as the metal frame let out a protest to his weight before getting used to it.
"You were lucky. A few broken ribs, your right leg is broken and you had a concussion"
I nodded my head not caring about what happened to me. I've had worse on training missions. I waited for him to continue. After we sat there in silence for a few moments I turned my head and glared at him. I watched as he rubbed the top of his head, a habit he only did when he really didn't want to say what he was about to.
"Stephanie is in worse shape than you. At the moment she is a medically induced coma as her spine heals. She will also have scaring across her face as well as over her chest and legs from where the side of the car dug into her. Bobby said later on they can do cosmetic surgery on them but for now she will have to live with them. The biggest fight she will have on her hands now however is going to be emotionally. The guy who hit you was none other than Joe Morelli. He was driving under the influence during work hours. The Chief of police has arrested him and thrown the book at him as well as put a restraining order on both him and Mrs Plum from coming near Stephanie."
I could hear my heart beat increasing again causing the nurse to pop her head round the door with a worried look on her face. Ranger moved blocking her view before whispering something to her before the door closed again. Once Ranger had move back to his spot Tank continued to talk.
"Ella has set up the room next to Bobby's so he can keep an eye on her. We have been made aware of what is happening between all of you but the others all agree it was for the best."
I nodded my head. I couldn't think of anywhere better to have her while she was healing.
"One last thing Cal. The Plum family, minus Mrs Plum, will be moving into one of the safe houses for now. It seems that Mr Plum has a hidden history and it's now coming back to bit him in the ass."
I nodded my head one more time. So our princess was yet again in the line of fire but for once she wasn't at fault.