CHAPTER 11

No one said a word. Matt reached into the sling, pulled out the pistol and took off the safety. Everyone else did the same. He looked back at CJ. "Please take Sheila and go back to the bedroom." CJ shook her head no. In a moment they heard the kitchen door quietly open. According to their plan, Bo and Lamar would head toward the house when they saw her go inside.

They could hear light footsteps coming through the kitchen. Matt took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. There, appearing around the door frame was Elizabeth. She had blood stains on her shirt and a crazed look in her eyes. In her hands was a pistol. She walked into the room, ignoring everyone there but Matt and CJ. "I see you married HER." Matt nodded. "I did. Smartest thing I've ever done in my life. Why don't you do something smart and drop the gun, right now?" He was doing his best to keep his voice calm and conversational.

"Smart? Not likely." She took another step into the room. "I changed my mind about you and decided to marry you after all. But we'll have to get rid of HER first." She jerked her head at CJ. "How dare you marry him? You're nothing; you had no right to marry him."

"As I recall, you left the man at the altar, not that he should have been standing there with you in the first place." CJ was calm. "Not to mention the fact that you tried to kill him with a bomb."

"You little tramp! He's far too good for the likes of you." She tossed her head back and laughed. "He probably only married you because he was bored and needed someone to warm his bed while I was away." She took another step.

"Elizabeth, stop right there and drop the gun. Do it." Matt brought his pistol up and pointed it at her. "I mean it. Do it now and I'll make sure you get the help you need."

"Help? Me need help? Nooooo. All I need is to marry the man I love and who loves me. You know you do, Matt. Remember? We were going to be so happy, and we still can be, but we need to get rid of HER first." She looked back at CJ again, her eyes full of hatred. She took another step.

"Stop. One more step and I'll shoot. I mean it." Matt had his finger on the trigger.

"No, you won't shoot me! You love me, Matt. I know you do." She raised the gun and pointed it at CJ. At that moment two guns fired – Matt and CJ's. Both shots hit her in the head and she dropped to the floor like a rag doll. Hoyt and Vince came out from their hiding places just as Bo and Lamar came into the den. Vince got to her first and kicked the gun away from her hand, and then checked for a pulse, knowing all the while that there would be none. He shook his head at Hoyt, who pulled out his phone and called headquarters. Vince looked at Elizabeth's head: both bullets had entered in the same exact spot. He looked back over at Matt and CJ who were in each other's arms. Mama came out of the bedroom and went to check on them.

Roy went to Matt and CJ. "Boy, are you sure you're okay?" "Yeah, I'm alright Uncle Roy." He looked down at Elizabeth then back at CJ. "I'm so sorry, CJ."

"I told you before: you don't have anything to be sorry about." She kissed him and they continued to hold onto one another.

After the police, coroner, and CSI techs had come and gone, the crime scene techs with a large piece of the carpet, Matt finally gave in and took the pain pill. He and CJ were curled up in the recliner together. He was getting drowsy and turned his head toward CJ. "I think we need to replace the carpet now." She looked over at him. "Those pain pills are making you silly." He started to doze off then opened his eyes again. "Babe, why did you get the extra-large recliners?" She played with his hair and watched as he fought to keep his eyes open. "Well, I figured we would need the extra room for when I do get pregnant and for when you've got a couple of kids in your lap." He smiled and laid his head over on her. "I can't wait," he said as he drifted off to sleep with the smile still on his face.

Vince came over and sat down next to the pair. He leaned forward and looked at Matt. "Finally tapped out, did he?" CJ nodded. "Well, we found out a couple of things today, didn't we?" Vince patted CJ's knee.

"What's that?" She turned her head and looked at him.

"Number one, you're a good shot." He paused. "Number two, Tex there can shoot left handed."

A week later, Matt was sitting out by the pool savoring a beer with his leg propped up in a chair. "Houston! Where are you? I swear, boy, you're worse than any two year old I've ever seen!" Sheila came out of the kitchen door and saw him. "Now how in the heck did you get out here?" He just smiled at her and sipped the beer. "Is that a beer you're drinking? You know you're not supposed to have alcohol right now, give me that!" She took the bottle out of his hand, only to find it empty. "How does CJ put up with you on a daily basis? That woman must be a saint!" Matt just smiled and laughed. "Come on, Sheila, you and I both know that one beer and a little bit of sunshine isn't going to hurt me one bit. Have a seat; I want to show you something." He gave a whistle and in a few seconds, here came his favorite horse Cricket. She had jumped the pasture fence and come straight to him.

"So who are you? Roy Rogers or Gene Autry?" She laughed as the horse walked right up to Matt and began giving him a kiss. "No, you DID NOT just let that horse slobber on you!" Sheila got up, went into the house and came back out with a bottle of hand sanitizer.

"Here now! What're you doin'? Tryin' to get my horse drunk?" Matt pushed the bottle of sanitizer away. Sheila collapsed into the chair in a fit of giggles. CJ walked outside and started petting on Cricket. "Did you show her the other trick?"

"Not yet. Cricket? Go give Sheila a hug." The horse walked over and hung her head over the astonished nurse's shoulder.

"Aww, she's just the cutest little thing!" She began petting the horse while CJ sat down next to Matt. "If you keep giving her fits like this, she's going to demand combat pay." He just shrugged his shoulders. "It would be worth it." The two began kissing.

"Alright now! Don't you two be trying to get something going here!" Sheila was after him again.