Thanks for the reviews, I should have mentioned that I haven't kept to the storyline or characters in this one, hope it hasn't offended. This is an edited version of chapter 3, thanks to ALIMOO1971 for helping point out errors and suggesting improvements.

Kate woke at 14.30, she knew she had missed lunch so decided to take a quick shower to freshen up. She stood with the hot water running down her back, her fingers running over her head and through her hair, she began to sob. Running her soap over her ribs feeling the sensitivity of them. She couldn't't tell anyone, what would they think of her?. She was supposed to be tough, be able to protect herself, she didn't, she just couldn't.

Grabbing an apple and a coffee form the galley she headed to the bridge, Mike was at looking through some paperwork on his lap, he turned his head and gave her a smile. "X, how are you?." Kate walked over and stood by his chair, sipping her coffee. "fine." she nodded softly, she wasn't. "How are you?" she asked but before he could answer the bridge started to fill with the crew, it was a welcomed sight for her, it meant Mike couldn't ask anymore questions. They were surprising in good spirits under the circumstances. "Come on boss, what's the hurry to get us back to sea?" 2Dads announced his arrival.

Kate had turned to look at her own paperwork, partly because she didn't want the others seeing her face and the other because she didn't get a chance to actually read what they had been tasked to do. Mike stood and faced them "There has been a suspected drug boat spotted by one of the islands, we've been tasked to stake them out and when the boat meets to do it's transaction, we get in there". "How do we know it's definitely going to be there and when it will be". Dutchy replied, he didn't usually question anything the boss said but he was curious. "The boat has been seen quite frequently however when authorities have gone to the island all signs of them are gone". "Could there be a tip off?" Swain adding to the conversation, with him being in the police force he had some experience with this sort of thing. Mike nodded "Possibly, that why we only know about this little operation". After further discussion Mike gave everyone their orders. It would be a good twelve hours before they were by the island and Kate had been given the morning watch.

The day had gone pretty fast, Kate had made sure to occupy herself, she didn't want to think about the last 48 hours and she didn't want anyone asking about her. She had her dinner and got a few hours sleep before stepping on the bridge. "X has the ship" she spoke as Charge left the bridge, she was joined by Dutchy. "X" He said as he passed her a flask of coffee and sat in the chair next to her. "Thanks, Dutchy", she looked over and smiled, it was still dark out but she could see the sunrising over the horizon. "Ma'am, people were a little concerned for you the other night, when you left the pub", he didn't want to pry but recently they had become good friends, well at least he hoped. "Yea, I'm sorry about that, I was feeling.." She began but actually she wanted to tell him, not that Jim had been hitting her but that he was jealous. "Please don't repeat this but Jim was getting a little jealous of Mike." Dutchy nodded slightly. "I could see he didn't seem to happy but I didn't think you and Mike were any different to how you usually are.." He said sipping his coffee. "I didn't think so either." She ran her finger round the rim of her flask. "Can I ask what happened to your face?. Was it Jim". Her eyes shot up in shock. "No, no. I had an altercation with my bathroom cabinet. You know what I'm like" She tried to joke. "Well that is pretty true". He laughed and she shot him a glare and laughed with him. She was finally starting to feel at ease, she was starting to feel herself. "So how are things with you and the boss?", Dutchy knew how far he could push it. "Fine." she gave him a short sharp answer. "X, come on..". "We're good, actually we're great." She said with a smile. "We've come along way. He's always there for me, always has been, he knows me better than I know myself at times.." She smiled at that thought, she knew she had suppressed her feelings for Mike when Jim was the one to make her laugh again. "We're friends and that's good for me". "Ah ha" Dutchy said nodding and smiling as he took another sip, he definitely knew otherwise.

"X, we've got a radar contact." Dutchy said as he sat up a little more. Kate moved over to the screen to have a look. At that point Mike entered the bridge. "Morning Sir, we've just got a radar contact". Mike went straight over to the screen "Great Dutchy keep an eye on it, keep us off their radar." "Sir" he replied. "Captain has the ship" Kate spoke and climbed out of the chair. "Thanks X".

They had been tracking and following the contact for a couple of hours, in this time they had been fed and got in touch with NAVCOM, they had the go ahead to pursue the contact. "Let's get after them" Mike called out. They brought the speed up. "We'll be closing up on them in twenty minutes sir." "Right, X, prepare the RHIB". "Yes Sir" Kate speaks into the coms "Hands to boarding stations, hands to boarding stations, Hands to boarding stations".. She followed the rest of the crew to gear up. As they lowered the RHIB into the water Kate looked back up to the ship to see Mike looking down then pointed to the boat as he says "Away sea boat"

"Australian Navy!" Dutchy shouted as he was first on the deck, followed by the rest of them. Kate had her weapon to hand "Where's the master of the boat?. Where's the master of the boat" She demanded. They bought a man forward. "What are you doing in these waters?." The man smirked. "Fishing" was his simple reply. "2Dads check the paperwork. Bomber, move all persons to the back of the boat. Dutchy, Swain with me". They followed her orders and headed to the lower decks. "Australian Navy" She called out again. "Is there anyone down here?" she stepped quietly, her gun poised. Dutchy and Swain were checking the rooms to the left and right of them, Kate headed forward. She heard a scuffle to the left of her and she she turned quickly she felt a blunt feeling to her head. The barrel of the gun hitting the side of her head, causing her to fall backward hitting a wooden crate on the way. Dutchy and Swain running up the rear. "Put the weapon down!, Put the weapon down! They both demanded. Dutchy tackled the man to the ground whilst Swain tended to Kate "X, are you okay?." "I'm, I'm fine.." Her eyes were all over the place, her speech was slurred, then she passed out. Swain carried her onto the deck radioing Mike. "We need the wardroom set up, X is unconscious.." Mike's stomach dropped, his heart sank and he felt sick. "Right, on it now".

Mike watched as Kate was bought on board. He watched their every move. "Get these men down below. I want them secured.". Mike walked to the bridge to inform NAVCOM.

"X, can you hear me?." Swain kept asking as he began checking her pulse and pupil dilation. "Bomber I want you to take off the gear for me, I need to check for further injuries.." Bomber was taking off the kevlar vest when she noticed bruising up Kate's arms, she unbuttoned the shirt, she could see odd bruising almost covering her hips. Bomber lifted her top a little higher and saw the large bruises on her ribs. "Urm, Swain.." Bomber gestured with her eyes for him to come and look. He looked confused and worried, "Bomb, get the boss.." these bruises weren't from the boarding, they had already starting to turn a deeper purple, he could tell they were a day or two old. "Swain what is it?" Mike walked in the room, worry written across his face. "Bomb can you give us a minute.." "Sure" she said hesitantly. "Sir I think you should have a look at this." Mike's eyes widened. "From today?." He hoped. Swain just shook his head. "Oh Kate, what's going on." Mike mumbled. "is there anything else?." "Just the bruising up her arms.." Mike shook his head, he let his thoughts speak out "I'm going to kill him". He started pacing. "Is she going to be okay?." "She had a concussion but she'll be fine.

When Kate woke she was laying on the table. Confused and with a huge headache. "Swain?" She could see him coming into focus. "X, just stay laying down, you were hit and fell, I'm going to give you some pain medication, you might have a headache for a while but I think you'll recover just fine. I do want you to go to the hospital when we get back into port however.". "I'll be fine" she protested, as she usually did. "I'll take you there myself." Mike chipped in as he entered the room. "I'll be back soon.." Swain knew Mike wanted to ask her some questions.

"How are you feeling?." Mike said passing her some water. "Like I've been hit by a truck" He gave a small smile. "Kate, there's something I want to talk to you about. When Bomber was removing your gear she saw the bruising on your stomach and ribs.." Mike was waiting for her to answer. She closed her eyes and tears began to leave her eyes unwillingly. Mike shook his head, that's all he needed to know what had been happening. "Why didn't you tell me Kate?." She just shook her head. He took her hand in his and stroked it softly with his thumb. "I couldn't stop him, I didn't stand up for myself.." She sobbed, she had never really let anyone see her like this, especially not Mike. "Shh, Kate you shouldn't have to stand up for yourself, you should never have been treated like this. Have you gone to the police?." "No!" she almost shouted."I can't, he said if I did he would…, I would pay for it.." He could hear the fear in her voice. "He won't hurt you again Kate, I promise you." He bought her hand up to his lips and kissed it softly. He meant what he said.

Swain and bomber had lead Kate back to her cabin. She was given a sedative to take "Try and get some rest" he advised. "Thanks Swain" She gave him a small smile of appreciation. Mike was right behind them, he step ford over to Kate bed and bend over, placing a hand on her head and moving a strain of hair away from her eyes. "I'm so sorry Kate. I'll be right here if you need me". She just looked into his eyes and nodded as her eyes closed . Mike stood and turn to Swain and Bomber. "Not a word to the rest of the crew about what you both seen" "Yes sir" bomber said "no worries boss, if they ask I'll just say she resting from a concussion" "Good idea swain" mike turn to see Kate sleeping before he, Swain and Bomber walk out of Kate cabin closing the door behind them and went there separate ways. Mike walk towards the bridge with anger in his gut, he could kill him, how could he put his hands on her, that beautiful woman deserved so much more.

I hope you enjoyed this chapter, thanks for the reviews.