A Twin Dilemma

Simon Banks smiled at the tall, handsome detective standing in front of him, “It’s a pleasure to meet you Detective Wolfe,” he said cheerfully, “I’m glad you decided to help out on this case.”

Mack Wolfe nodded, “Captain, I’ve been tracking this son-of-a-bitch for two years. I lost him eight months ago in Chicago; nothing’s been heard of him in all this time. Then, when the reports of a possible serial killer showing up in Cascade came through with an almost identical kill pattern, I had to investigate it. I appreciate you letting me in on this investigation.”

“It’s our pleasure. You’ll be working with Detective Rafe. He has been handling the case with Detective Ellison, but unfortunately, Ellison is out of town for three weeks on vacation. He doesn’t often request vacation leave so I insisted that he take it, especially when I knew that you were coming to help out,” Simon looked the younger man over once more, “You know, you look very much like Jim Ellison. You don’t have any family here in Cascade do you?”

“Not that I’m aware of, but my dad did get around!” Mack grinned.

Simon chuckled, “Well, as I said, Rafe will fill you in on the details. Anything else you need, please ask.”



Henri Brown watched as Rafe and Mack sat huddled at the desk. He was sure that he’d hear all about how wonderful the new detective was this evening when Rafe came over for dinner with him, and his girlfriend.

He had known for some time that Rafe was gay, and that he was in lust with Jim Ellison. He also knew that Jim only had eyes for his partner, Blair Sandburg.  Okay, so they’d never actually ‘come out,’ and admitted that they were a couple, but it had been taken as fact for so long that no one remarked on it any more.

So, in had walked this new detective from Hawaii, here on loan to help trap this serial killer, and lo and behold if he wasn’t Jim Ellison’s twin. The guy had the same muscular build, the same pale blue eyes and the same death defying smile, and on top of all that, he had a wicked, and wonderful sense of humor.

Rafe was in heaven.

Brown watched as Rafe gazed at the new detective adoringly while they made their way through the case notes.  Oh yeah, Rafe had it pretty bad. It was only office etiquette that was preventing him jumping the poor guy right here.

Mack climbed to his feet and smiled, “Okay, I just have to visit the men’s room then we’ll go check out the harbor district,” he said.

Rafe nodded, “Okay, I’ll wait in the car,” he said with a calm smile.

As Mack walked away, Rafe watched the way the linen pants hugged his rear, and the relaxed, easy way he sauntered through the bullpen, pulling hungry glances from both sexes. Rafe shook his head, and gathered up his belongings. Shooting a glance over at his friend, he smiled.  Hell, Brown knew him better than he knew himself.

“What you smiling at?” Rafe whispered as he stood before Brown’s desk.

“You, trying to pick up your tongue, and hide your dick at the same time,” Brown teased.

Rafe blushed slightly, “Shit, H. is it really that obvious?” he said nervously.

Brown smiled, and slapped his friend on the arm, “Only to me, man. Don’t sweat it.”

“God, he’s beautiful, isn’t he though?” Rafe said quietly.

“If you say so!”



“So, Rafe. Who is this Jim Ellison everyone keeps taking me for?” Mack asked as they sped along 12th.

“Oh he’s the Major Crimes hotshot,” Rafe smiled, “But you two are alike.”

“He a friend of yours?”

Rafe shot Mack a glance, “Yeah, we all get along. He and his partner Blair host the poker evening once a month.”

“Blair? What’s she like?”

“He. Blair’s a guy,” the younger man explained.

Mack grinned, “Oh, like that huh?”

“They just work together… oh and they share an apartment. Blair’s not a cop though, he’s acting as an observer, he’s really an anthropologist,” Rafe said, suddenly realizing how strange the set up did sound.

Mack laughed, “Yeah, right.”

“Why, you have a problem with men who like men?” Rafe laughed, trying not to bite his lip while awaiting Mack’s answer.

“Me? Hell no. I have no problem with that,” Mack turned his head and smiled at Rafe seductively, “Say, wasn’t that a red light?”

“Shit” Rafe exclaimed, glancing through his mirror to see what kind of vehicular devastation he’d left behind. Luckily, all there seemed to be was an irate cab driver gesturing rudely in his direction. But hey, cab drivers didn’t count.

He continued to drive in silence, his hands trembled and his chest felt tight. <Please don’t let me be reading this guy wrong,> he sent up a silent prayer.

“You okay?” Mack asked suddenly, piercing the silence.

“Yeah, fine. Why?” Rafe replied with an annoying tremor to his voice.

Mack shook his head, “I wondered if my comment about liking guys had offended you?” he said warily.

“No!” Rafe almost choked, as the word forced its way out. He began to blush, was he ready to admit the truth to this stranger? It had taken him years to feel comfortable with Brown knowing and a few of the other officers who’d as good as guessed in the end. But he’d only known this man for a few days. He took a breath and spoke, “Mack, maybe you should know… that I’m gay.”

Mack let fly with one of those mind-blowing smiles, “Yeah, I know,” he said casually.

“Y… you know? How?” Rafe gasped.

“Years of practice and a gaydar that never fails me,” the older cop grinned, “Or you could say that like knows like.”

“You?” the good-looking young man almost drooled the word.

“‘Fraid so, you’re looking at Hawaii’s favorite queer!”

Rafe struggled to get his eyes back on the road, <Shit! There is a God>, he thought with a smile.



The seedy motel stank of stale sweat and stale beer. Mack wrinkled his nose as he and Rafe walked through the door into what obviously passed as Cascades scummiest fleapit motel. Behind the counter a large, heavy lidded woman regarded them with suspicion.

“Room rates are by the hour,” she drawled.

For some reason, Rafe felt himself blush again. He glanced up at Mack who had just summoned another of those drop-dead smiles. “No Ma’am. I’m Detective Rafe, this is Detective Wolfe. We’re investigating a homicide in this vicinity. Have you seen anyone suspicious hanging around here lately?”

“You kidding me, pretty boy?” the woman laughed, “That’s the only kind we get in here!”

Suddenly, Mack leaned across the counter top until he was on eye level with the woman, “The guy we’re looking for is between thirty and forty. Dark hair, possibly cut very short like an army buzz cut, medium height and build. He’ll probably have arrived in town in the last month or so,” he flashed a smile, “I came a long way to find him and I’d be real grateful for any help.”

The woman blinked at the big cop’s obvious flirting, “Just how grateful, eh stud?” she teased.

“Oh, I can get pretty grateful,” Mack grinned as the whole thing turned into a game.

“We get a lot of guys in here like that. But at the moment, we have two who could match that general description in and out of here regularly. I know that one has been hanging out at the Club Maxim down on Chase Street. Weird guy, very quiet but a little sinister,” she said with a stroke of her finger across Mack’s jaw.

Grabbing her fingers, Mack kissed them, “Thank you, Ma’am,” he smiled. With a wink, he guided a shocked Rafe from the building.



“You’re amazing!” Rafe exclaimed as they climbed into his car.

“Just takes practice,” Mack laughed, “So, what is this Club Maxim?”

Rafe grimaced, “It’s the local ‘kinks’ club,” he said with distaste.

A throaty laugh echoed from the older man, “Oooh, this is getting better and better! Wanna go clubbing tonight, Rafe?”


Mack grinned, “We can call it a stakeout if it makes you more comfortable?”

Rafe shook his head, “Clubbing at the Club Maxim? Oh shit!”



“H, what am I going to do?” Rafe hissed into the telephone as he struggled with his tightest jeans, “He wants me to go to the Club Maxim with him on a ‘stakeout’. Have you ever been inside that place?”

“Why, man. Have you?” Brown teased.

Rafe sighed, “Only on a bust when I was a uniform. It scared the shit out of me then. H, I don’t know if I can go through with this.”

“What exactly is the problem?” Brown asked, “The fact that the club freaks you? Or is it more to do with the way you got the hots for Wolfe?”

“You make me sound like a hormonal teenager,” Rafe grumbled.

“You mean there’s something else driving your libido at the moment?” Brown guffawed down the telephone. “Rafe, just go do your job, be cool. If anything happens afterwards then I suggest you just ride it out… no pun intended.”

“Gee, thanks for the advice buddy.”

“See you tomorrow, man.”

“Yeah,” Rafe smiled as he replaced the phone on the hook.  He knew that he was being immature about this whole thing, but Mack Wolfe really had him in a spin. Glancing at himself in the mirror, he sighed, “I knew I should have had my hair cut the other day,” he said with a grimace as a strand slipped across his eyes once again. He smoothed the tight denim across his thighs and tucked the clinging black tee shirt inside the waistband.

Taking a deep breath, he shrugged on the black leather jacket to complete the look. “It’s a stakeout… not a date!” he reminded himself. “You just happen to be going on said stakeout, with a drop-dead gorgeous man, who you just *happen* to know is gay and just *might* be interested in getting into your shorts if you play your cards right,” he shuddered at the thought.

The only other man who ever made him shake in his shoes this way was Jim Ellison. There were still times when Jim was close by that Rafe found himself staring hungrily after the big detective and it was only Blair Sandburg’s ferocious glances that caused him to wipe the notion from his mind.

For all Ellison’s size and bullish personality, it was Sandburg who Rafe felt he would least like as an enemy. Beneath that cheerful, boyish grin lay a true pit bull personality, full of passion and fire.

“Right, pull yourself together. He’s just a guy. Just a guy,” Rafe chanted the mantra over and over, “A guy who looks like a Greek god and has lips to die for,” he groaned suddenly, “Jeezus, I’m a pathetic bastard.”



As Mack sauntered from the small hotel, he gave Rafe the once over with the hungriest stare that the younger man had ever seen. Rafe felt himself blush furiously as Mack slid into the car.

“You look good,” Mack smiled, *that* smile.

“Thanks, so do you,” Rafe replied, trying to sound ‘cool’ but instead sounding like a fifteen year old on his first date.  He took a moment to fully absorb the vision that sat beside him. Gone were the cheerfully loud shirts and the baggy linen pants, to be replaced by skin-tight black leather jeans, a silver ‘chain-mail’ vest and a black leather biker jacket, finished off with black leather boots and the always present dark shades.

Rafe was sure that he was dribbling on the upholstery, but he found himself unable to look away for fear that this was all a wonderful dream and he’d wake up soon with a start and a hard on the size of the Empire State Building.

“So, you ready?” Mack asked finally.

“For what?” Rafe replied through a dry throat.

“To go to the Club Maxim. The stakeout?” Mack let fly a devastating smile.

Rafe shook himself and blushed, “Oh, yeah… right.” He started the car and pulled away from the curb.



Sitting in ‘The Club Maxim’, Rafe felt like shark bait on a fishing trip. He was amazed that even Cascade could produce so many weirdoes and even more amazed that they would all congregate here, in this rundown, rat-infested hovel of a club. The only ray of sunshine was Mack Wolfe’s smile, radiating warmth across the table at this very moment.

“I get the feeling that this isn’t the kind of place you usually hang out?” Mack said with a grin.

“You could say that. I think I’ll need to shower for a couple of hours when I get home tonight,” Rafe returned the smile.

“Oh, so you’re going home tonight then?” the older man teased.

Rafe felt his face flush and he looked away. He really couldn’t believe this guy. Mack was perfect. So why was he reacting like a shy schoolboy?

Suddenly, he felt a hand tap his arm, “Hey, I’m just teasing you. I’m sorry, my sense of humor takes a little getting used to,” Mack said with an apologetic smile.

“No, it’s okay. I’m not offended or anything,” Rafe replied, “Just a little taken aback.”

“Sorry. I’ll keep the conversation strictly business from now on, okay?” Mack looked around the room.

Rafe swallowed nervously.  He really was blowing this, big time. Here was a fantastic looking guy almost throwing himself at him and he was pushing him away. How many types of jerk could you be?

“So, have you ever actually seen this guy we’re looking for?” he asked, wishing he had the courage to re-engage the original conversation.

“Yeah, briefly once. I’d just entered an apartment and found the victim dead, I saw him slip out of the window,” Mack explained.

“Why didn’t you go after him?” Rafe asked.

“Because he’d just shot me in the chest,” the big cop smiled, “Kinda slows you down, you know?”

“Oh God, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

“No reason you should. But at least now you know why I take all of this so personally.”

Rafe watched as a flash of something almost indiscernible crossed Mack’s face. Regret, sadness, guilt? Whatever it was, it was gone in seconds to be replaced by the usual mind-shattering smile.

“So, you want another drink?” Mack asked.



It was after two in the morning, Rafe was still reeling from a night spent tagging along after a tornado named Wolfe. Mack had managed to flirt with every woman in the building and half the men. One guy had threatened to remove genitalia if he ever saw Mack Wolfe’s face in the same room as his wife again, but the smiling cop had walked away with a devilish grin and a shrug of the shoulders. Despite the fact that no one who could reasonably be considered a match for their suspect, had turned up, Mack seemed satisfied that it was a night well spent.

Pulling up in front of the hotel, Rafe killed the engine and waited for his partner to climb out of the car. He glanced up, when Mack didn’t move. The big detective appeared to be thinking something over. He unconsciously chewed the inside of his cheek, a gesture that could not help but stir memories of Jim Ellison in Rafe.

“Do, er...” Mack began suddenly, “Do you want to come up?”

Rafe hesitated, “Er...”

Mack held up his hands in surrender, “Hey, no. It’s okay. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked. It’s damned unprofessional of me, not to mention damned arrogant. But then… I am… both of those things. But, you’re not. And I’m sorry,” he said quickly and reached for the door handle.

“Mack,” Rafe said, pushing to get a word in, “Yes, I’d love to.”

The older man turned and stared, open-mouthed at his handsome young partner, “You would?”

“Yeah,” Rafe grinned.

A smile so blinding that it should be registered a lethal weapon hit Rafe full in the face. Mack leaned across and briefly kissed the younger man lightly on the lips. “Wonderful,” he whispered.



Rafe let his gaze wander around the small but cosy hotel room. It had an old elegance to it that somehow complemented Mack’s modern brashness.

Closing the door, Mack moved in behind and wrapped his arms around the younger man tightly. He kissed the back of his neck and slid warm hands beneath his thin tee shirt. “Do you fancy a shower first?” he said in a low voice.

Rafe shivered, “Yeah, that’d be nice,” he replied.

“You wanna share?” Mack whispered seductively.

“Why not, it’s very ecologically sound, after all,” Rafe smiled weakly. He was glad that Mack was holding on so tight, because his legs had just given way beneath him.

Mack growled low in his throat and his fingers began playing with the button on Rafe’s jeans. Slowly, he slid the zipper down before plunging a hand beneath the tight fabric, to caress the straining heat within. Rafe gasped as the wave of pleasure washed over him. He grabbed for the fabric-covered hand, as he felt his hips involuntarily jerk at the sensation.

“Oooh, I sense definite interest here,” Mack teased.

“I thought we were going to take a shower?” Rafe said through tight lips.

“We are, a nice *hot* one,” the older man squeezed slightly and withdrew his hand.

Rafe felt himself almost slump to the floor, he turned to see the smiling face of his partner and returned the smile shyly.

“Come on, get ‘em off,” Mack grinned as he began to peel off the layers of leather.

Rafe watched inexorably as the clinging second skin dropped to the floor, leaving an even more impressive sight, if that were possible. Mack had an incredible all-over tan and an impressively toned body. Not, Rafe thought briefly, quite as toned as Jim Ellison’s, which appeared a little leaner and slightly more muscular, but very impressive non the less.

He mentally berated himself for continually comparing this stunning man to Jim Ellison, who would be forever out of his grasp. But in his heart he knew that he couldn’t help the comparison. This man was so like Jim, yet more relaxed and at ease with himself. And he promised himself that he would not look into those eyes as they made love and see Ellison instead. That was unfair to Mack.

“Penny for them?” Mack said suddenly.

Rafe shook his head, “Sorry! I was just thinking how… beautiful you are,” he said with a sigh.

Mack beamed and walked, now naked, across to where the younger man stood in wonder, “So are you,” he whispered and began to remove the last vestiges of clothing from his partners body. He pulled Rafe in to a powerful kiss, so full of promises and passion. Grasping for Rafe’s hand, Mack pulled the younger man towards the bathroom, playfully pushing him into the shower cubicle and turning on the water, before stepping in behind him.

Rafe gave a gasp as the water hit him full in the face, then a further sharp intake of breath as strong hands slid around his body, thinly coated in shower gel. As the sensation flooded his mind, Rafe felt a gentle bite on his shoulder, barely suppressing a laugh he reached back and grabbed at Mack’s ass, squeezing hard, causing the bigger man to chuckle in his ear.

“Oh, you are gorgeous,” Mack sighed, sliding his hands down the now soapy body, before resting his fingers lightly on Rafe’s growing erection, “I want to fuck you all night, hear you scream with delight,” he whispered as he nibbled on Rafe’s ear, “That okay with you?”

Rafe raggedly pulled in a breath, “That’s just fine,” he grinned, turning in Mack’s arms and slipping into the bigger man’s embrace.

Mack assaulted Rafe’s lips with a searing kiss. At the same time, he slid his soapy fingers down the younger man’s back and slipped them gently it the cleft of his ass. Rafe pulled in a startled breath as Mack’s fingers began to explore and straining erections began to rub together.

Abandoning his teasing momentarily, Mack swept his hand across Rafe’s chest, allowing the water to swill off the soap.

“You about ready for bed?” he whispered.

“You talked me into it!” Rafe grinned.

After an incredibly erotic drying off session, the two men tumbled into bed with a giggle. Mack crawled onto Rafe and pinned him to the bed playfully. Both men were already aroused, their cocks bumped occasionally, sending searing shudders of pleasure through them both.

Mack attacked Rafe’s throat and neck with delicate yet firm kisses before drawing a hot, wet tongue slowly down his chest, coming to a halt at Rafe’s tight, muscular stomach.

The younger man groaned and arched into the sensation.

“Mmm, you like that?” he said with almost a growl.

Rafe whimpered almost inaudibly. “Yes,” he hissed, trying to push his body up to resume contact with Mack’s skin, “Hurry…”

“Why?” the older man teased, “We’ve got all night.”

“Won’t last that long,” Rafe gasped as he looked down at Mack’s smiling face, hovering tantalizingly above his rapidly filling cock.

Mack laughed and resumed his licking, deliberately avoiding the sensitive, straining flesh almost begging for attention. He suddenly nipped Rafe’s inner thigh, causing him to jolt and suck in a breath.

Suddenly, just as the anticipation threatened to overwhelm him, Rafe felt Mack’s tongue slip softly across the head of his cock. The action almost caused him to come there and then, but moments later the gently laving tongue was followed by lips, curling their way around the shaft, pulling and enticing the growing orgasm.

Rafe, so wrapped in his ecstasy, he hadn’t even noticed Mack slip on the condom and begin to coat himself with a sweet smelling lubricant. It wasn’t until he felt fingers invade him, stretching and encouraging his body to surrender, that he realized how far they’d gone. Opening himself wider, he almost begged for the invasion to continue.

“You ready?” Mack said, his voice husky.

Rafe looked up and smiled, “Yes,” he almost sobbed out the word as he saw his own need mirrored in Mack’s passion drenched gaze.

Eyes almost black with desire, Mack slid into Rafe’s body with a single stroke, stilling only briefly when he heard a strangle ‘oh’ from his lover. But soon continued when Rafe began to push back at him, forcing him deeper inside. Both men were already so close, so completely aroused, that within moments, Mack was pounding Rafe into the bed, at the younger man’s insistence.

“So lovely, you’re so lovely,” Mack panted, leaning down to suckle a hard nipple.

Rafe’s head was pressed back hard into the pillow. Sweat molded his dark hair to his face, his brown eyes, now inky black, squeezed tightly shut then flew open to absorb the sight of Mack Wolfe, undisguised lust creasing that handsome face,  “Oh god, oh god!” he gasped wildly.

Mack grasped Rafe’s cock suddenly, feeling the imminent orgasm rolling inexorably across him, it took only a couple of heavy strokes before Rafe’s whole body arched off the bed. Mack felt his own completion clawing at his senses.

“Yes! Oh god!” Mack choked as he came.

Beneath him Rafe was convulsing with pleasure, his breath reduced to short, shallow gasps, “Oh, oh, Jim!” he shouted, as at last the final and most intense wave of desire smashed into his nervous system.

Mack, still trying desperately to catch his breath, stared down at the younger man in amazement. Slowly, he withdrew and fell onto the bed alongside.

When the full realization of what had happened hit him, Rafe pushed himself up into a sitting position. “Oh shit, Mack. I’m sorry,” he said sadly.

Mack forced a smile, “Hey, kid. No problem, don’t worry,” he said reassuringly, “It’s not like it’s the first time it’s ever happened to me.” He stroked his hand down Rafe’s arm gently.

“That was unforgivable. I... I don’t know where my head was…I” Rafe stammered, his face red.

“It was with Jim Ellison. Where I guess it usually is, huh?” Mack asked. His tone was gently and un-accusing, but Rafe could hear the hurt in his voice.

“I’m so sorry, Mack. Believe me, you’re a dream come true for me. There’s nothing between me and Jim, not now, not ever. I...”

“He’s your fantasy,” Mack said pulling the younger man down into his arms, “We all have them. Don’t sweat it. Come on, let’s get some sleep. That’s if you want to stay?”

Rafe looked down into those dreamy blue eyes, “Of course I do,” he answered. 



“So, “ Blair began, speaking into the phone as he pointed to the storage cupboard. The student nodded, then proceeded to put the new artifact in the wrong place. Blair sighed, “Sorry, Jim. As I was about to say, It’s probably going to take a couple of days to sort out the mess here.”

“That’s okay, Chief. I’m still officially on vacation until tomorrow, but I think I’ll drop into the PD today, just to see how things are going,” Jim’s voice instructed.

“I can’t believe it, we’re away for a few weeks and everything goes to hell!” Blair said with rising irritation, as the same student failed to obey a simple command yet again.

“Take it easy, Chief. Just remember what a great vacation it’s been,” Jim’s voice held a smugness that made Blair join in.

“Oh yeah,” the younger man said, suddenly savoring the memory of three weeks of eating the wrong foods, drinking good wine and endless wild sex.

Jim laughed, “You take care you don’t work too hard. Don’t want you exhausting yourself,” he sniggered.

“I’ll see you later, man,” Blair grinned, then glancing around to see if anyone was watching, he added, “Love you.”

“Me too,” Jim replied.

“Baxter,” Blair yelled, “Not that left, the other one… no, that’s straight ahead….”



Jim entered the PD with a smile. Clare on the front desk almost fainted when she spotted the badge proclaiming: ‘Detective James Ellison’. She was sure that the real Jim Ellison, had been abducted by aliens and this must be his ‘pod’ version.

“Hey, Clare. How you doing?” Jim asked.

Blinking twice, she smiled, “Fine, Detective. How are you? Have a good vacation?”

“Great, thanks,” Jim grinned and almost skipped his way up to Major Crimes.

“Hey, Ellison. Looking good!” Henri Brown smiled as Jim wandered into the bullpen.

“Thanks, H. I’m feeling pretty good too,” Jim smiled, slapping the young detective on the shoulder.

Suddenly a commotion erupted from the elevator. A man shouted obscenities and threatened to kill a cop.

“Welcome home, man,” Brown grinned.

“Yeah, ground zero.”

Amidst much pushing and shoving, a huge bear of a man appeared, looking for blood. Suddenly, he pointed to Jim and bellowed, “That’s him,” without warning, a huge fist flew through the air, landing squarely on Jim’s jaw, sending him sprawling. “You fuck with my wife again, and I’ll rip your fucking head off,” the giant stormed.

Several detectives grabbed the man and he was cautioned and escorted away. Simon Banks, drawn by the noise, hurried to pick his dazed friend up off the floor.

“Hey, Jim. Welcome home,” he smiled, setting the dizzy detective down on a chair.

“What the *hell* was that all about?” Jim gasped.

“Hell, Jim. You’ve been back in the PD for what, five minutes? And someone already wants to kill you. I think this is an all time best for you,” Simon chuckled.

“I didn’t do anything… What wife? What’s he talking about?” Jim shook his head to clear the sound of bells. 

“Come on, in my office. I’ll get you a coffee,” Simon smiled, helping his friend to his feet.

Sitting down sharply, Jim rubbed his jaw painfully. A small trickle of blood wound its way down his chin and dripped into his lap. Simon handed Jim a large, clean white handkerchief and grinned. “So, Jim. What *have* you been up to while we thought you were vacationing?” he teased.

“I wish I knew,” Jim gasped, “Maybe I cut his wife up on the freeway, or something.”

“Sounded like something a little more intimate than that to me,” the bigger man chortled.

“Simon, I’m a homosexual for God’s sake!” Jim hissed.

“Hell, Jim. You’ve been dallying with women for years. ‘Homosexual’ or not.”

“That was then. This is now,” Jim blushed slightly, “You know that I’m faithful to Sandburg. Trust me, it’s a case of mistaken identity.”

Simon clapped his hand on Jim’s shoulder, “I know, Jim. I’m just teasing. How is the kid anyway? Enjoy his vacation?”

“Yeah. I’m glad you two bullied me into it. We had a really great, relaxing time. No one shot at us, Blair didn’t get taken hostage once and no terrorists stormed the hotel,” Jim grinned.

Simon chuckled, “Glad to hear it. The Hawaiian detective arrived, he’s been helping Rafe out. He seems like a good guy,” he explained.

“Any leads?”

“They had a whisper that he was holed up down in the harbor district, they’ve been staking the place out. Nothing more yet.”

“So what’s he like?” Jim asked.

Simon thought for a moment, “Well, kinda like you in a lot of ways,” he said, “Except for the, erm,” Simon wiggled his fingers in front of his eyes.

“I trust by that you mean sentinel senses?” Jim said barely covering a smile. It always amused him, how difficult Simon found it to put into words Jim’s unique abilities.

“You know what I mean,” Simon sighed, “Anyway, tell me about the vacation.”



Pulling into the underground parking garage of the Cascade PD, Rafe stopped the car and turned to smile at Mack. “Another wasted day,” he sighed.

“Not for me,” Mack grinned, sliding his hand across Rafe’s thigh, “I got to spend it with you.”

“You old charmer, you,” Rafe smiled back.

Mack snorted, “Hey, not so much of the old. There happens to be life in this old dog yet,” he slowly moved across the car and captured Rafe’s lips.

At that moment, Blair Sandburg wandered into the PD garage, looking for Jim’s truck. “Oh Jim, be here,” he muttered, “I really don’t want to have to walk home. That damned car has got to go, classic or not…” he ground to a halt abruptly as he saw the silhouette of two men kissing in a car. A smile played on his lips. How many times had he and Jim done that very thing in here, knowing where to park so that the camera didn’t catch them? Sniggering to himself, he continued past. Suddenly, the voyeur in him made him take one last glance, just to see if he knew them.


He knew them all right. Rafe and Jim.

Stunned for a moment, he stared. Then, without thought, he fled from the garage and back out into the street. How could Jim do that to him? And with *Rafe*? Fuck, they hadn’t been back from their vacation five minutes and he couldn’t wait to try a little ‘new meat’, he was obviously sick of the ‘old stuff’.

Feeling tears of anger sting his eyes, he set off for home, to pack his bags.



Jim Ellison strolled out of the PD nursing a sore jaw and a split lip. <What a day>, he thought miserably All he wanted to do now, was to go home and curl up with Blair, lose himself in that Blairish aroma and fall headlong into those big blue eyes. A nice meal and a little loving was all that the tired old cop ordered.




Rafe and Mack exited the elevator, just in time to collide with Captain Banks.

“Hey guys. You just missed Jim,” Simon smiled.

“Jim’s back? Already?” Rafe said with an annoyingly excited tremor to his voice. He almost felt Mack stiffen beside him. The mention of Jim’s name had caused the older man’s smile to evaporate.

Simon beamed, “Yeah. He walked into the bullpen and straight into someone’s fist. Hell, he hadn’t been on the premises five minutes and someone wanted to kill him. What a cop!” he chuckled.

“Yeah, so I’ve heard,” Mack smiled.

Rafe glanced up at the bigger man and inwardly sighed. Mack had said that what happened didn’t matter, but the hell it didn’t. It had hurt him, deeply. Rafe couldn’t think of what he could do to truly make it up. Anything he said sounded like an excuse and anything he did appeared like ‘payment’ for his transgression.

Shit, what a mess.

“So, gentlemen, any luck with our man yet?” Simon asked.

“No, Captain. He seems to have gone to ground,” Rafe replied.

“No, he’s biding his time. He always does this, after a couple or three killings he goes quiet so the cops think he’s moved on, but he always starts back up again with a couple of weeks,” Mack said gravely, “Trust me, he’s not finished with Cascade yet.”



Jim Ellison pushed open the door and entered his home, looking for a little sympathy and maybe a cuddle or two from his lover. What he found was Blair Sandburg storming through the loft like a tornado.

“Hey, Chief. What’s going on?” Jim asked puzzled by the sight of a suitcase on the dining room table.

“What does it look like?” Blair snapped.

Jim frowned, his jaw ached like hell and now his head was joining in too, “I don’t know, Sandburg. That’s why I asked. I’d have said that you were donating clothing to charity if I hadn’t seen the leather jacket I bought you last birthday, just disappear into that suitcase,” Jim said with annoyance.

Blair stopped and glared at his partner angrily, “Were you at the PD earlier? Around three?” he asked.


“Doing what?” Blair demanded.

Jim sighed, “Talking to Simon, saying ‘Hi’ to the guys, getting my face beaten to a pulp, just generally being friendly,” he finished the sentence by flinging his arms wide.

“Oh, ‘being friendly’, is that what you call it? So, if I start to play tongue hockey with Simon, you’d call it being friendly?”


“Don’t give me that, you fucking bastard. At least be man enough to admit that you were screwing around with Rafe in the garage!” Blair ranted.

“I didn’t see Rafe,” Jim insisted.

“Oh, so you had your eyes closed? Surprise! Pity it wasn’t your legs,” Blair gathered up the case and pushed his way to the door.

“Sandburg, I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about. Will you put that thing down?” Jim grabbed at the case only to be roughly shoved out of the way.

“Get outta my way, Jim. I need to go somewhere and calm down. When I can think rationally again, I’ll come back and talk to you,” Blair opened the door and struggled through, slamming it behind him.

Jim watched him go in amazement. Suddenly he kicked the chair, “Where *am* I? The fucking *twilight zone*?” he yelled.



Mack Wolfe sat in Murphy’s bar toying with his own troubled thoughts. He knew that he was being a total jerk over what happened with Rafe, but he couldn’t quite get over how much it damned well hurt. The most shocking part for him was the fact that it had bothered him at all. Rafe had been nothing more than a quick fuck to relieve the tension of this damned case, or at least he’d thought he was. But somehow this cute, smart young guy had eased his way into Mack’s affections. And, damn it, begun to matter.

Mack swilled back his third beer, he’d felt pretty low lying to Rafe about being busy tonight, but he just needed a little breathing room and a little time to work out what it was he actually wanted from this guy.

Suddenly someone sat down heavily two barstools away. Mack paid the stranger no attention, being so wound up in his own torment.

“Murph, gimme a beer,” a voice rang out wearily.

Mack smiled to himself, hell that guy sounded like he felt.

“Hey, Ellison,” Murphy beamed, “Have a good vacation? How’s Blair?”

Mack’s head shot around to finally get a look at the legendary Jim Ellison. What he saw was a guy about his size and with similar coloring with a matching ‘what a shitty life I have’ look on his face.

Jim sighed and took the bottle from the bar tender, “Murph, if you’d asked me that this morning I’d have said ‘I had a great vacation and Blair’s fine’. But right now I think I stumbled into one of those ‘alternative universes’ they have on sci-fi shows when they run out of script ideas,” he took a swig, “Everybody has gone nuts!”

“Say, sorry to butt in, but are you Jim Ellison?” Mack asked.

Jim turned to look at the stranger with a frown, “Yeah, what of it?” he growled.

“I’m Mack Wolfe,” Mack held out his hand, “I’ve been assigned to your case while you were away. I work for the Hawaiian PD.”

Jim grasped the hand firmly and shook it, his face softened slightly, “Hey sorry I sounded like a bear with a sore head, it’s been a hell of a day. Welcome to Cascade,” he smiled, “Want to join me?” he held up his beer.

Mack grinned and pointed to the fourth bottle to appear on the bar, “I’m way ahead of you,” he said with a smile.



Blair sat in his car, which was parked in the Cascade PD underground parking garage. Suddenly, he saw Rafe emerge from the elevator. Taking a deep breath he wound down the window. “Hey, Rafe. Can I talk to you?” he asked.

The detective smiled, “Sure Blair, nice to have you back,” he said slipping into the passenger seat beside the young anthropologist, “Did you have a good vacation?”

“What are you doing messing with Jim?” Blair said, not hearing Rafe’s pleasant banter.

“What?” Rafe’s voice took on a tremor.

“I want to know how long this thing between you and Jim has been going on,” Blair demanded, barely handling his anger, “Was it happening before we went on vacation?”

Rafe’s mind whirled. Mack would surely have not said anything about the ‘little incident’ and certainly not to Blair? Swallowing hard, Rafe tried to sound calm, “Blair, I don’t know what you mean,” he said.

“Fuck, Rafe, I saw you!” Blair ranted, “I saw you kissing him. You had your hands all over him, don’t try to tell me that you don’t remember.”

“Blair, I swear that there is nothing going on between Jim and me,” Rafe struggled find an explanation. Suddenly, the answer hit him, “When did all of this happen?” he asked.

Blair glared at him menacingly, “Like you don’t remember? Is he that forgettable?”

“Please, Blair.”

“He is *mine.* You got that?” the younger man said finally, his temper giving way to the jealousy that rose in him like a tidal wave.

“When and where?” Rafe insisted again.

“This afternoon. Here,” Blair spat.

Rafe smiled, “Now it makes sense,” he chuckled.

“Can you see *me* laughing?” Blair snarled, looking dangerously at the detective beside him.

“You don’t understand. That wasn’t Jim.”

Blair threw up his hands, “Oh gimme a break! You think I don’t recognize him?” he gasped, “I *live* with him, I *sleep* with him, but I don’t recognize him getting physical with another guy?”

Rafe turned further to face Blair, “I swear. That is Mack Wolfe, a cop from Hawaii who has been helping me on the case. Ask Captain Banks, he’ll tell you how like Jim he is.”

Suddenly Blair’s cellphone trilled, “Sandburg,” he said sharply.

“Hey, Blair, this is Murphy from the bar. Could you come get Jim? He’s had a little too much to drink and he’s sitting on my bar with some other guy singing old sea shanties!”

“Just throw him out, Murph,” Blair said angrily.

“Blair, he’s going to hurt himself if you don’t get down here. I can’t do anything with him,” the bartender sighed into the phone.

“Okay, I’m on my way,” Blair snapped the phone shut and turned to Rafe, “I gotta go get Jim. But we’re not through with this yet.”



Mack and Jim sat back to back in the middle of Murphy’s bar singing. When the song was over and the applause had died down, they slumped against the bar and began to talk.

“He just walked out,” Jim said drunkenly, “For the first time in my life I wasn’t being a jerk, and he left me.”

“Guys huh?” Mack hiccuped, “Ya can’t live with ‘em and ya can’t live without ‘em.”

“Do you know how much I love that guy?” Jim asked, his face only inches from Mack’s, “I love him more than life.”

“Wow,” Mack whistled, “That’s a lot!”

“Fuck, I love him more than… than… than the best seats at a Jags game!” Jim slurred.

“That much, huh?” Mack looked at Jim sadly, “I envy you. I envy anyone who’s found the right guy and hasn’t fucked it up,” he said swilling back another beer, “Me? I fuck it up all the time.”

“Me too,” Jim shoved Mack lightly, “Until Blair. That time, I got it right. He’s ‘the one’. The other half of my soul. He’s, “ Jim searched for the right words, “Perfect.”

Suddenly a shadow fell across the bar, “Perfect huh?” Blair said with a slight smile, “I’ll remember that next time we’re throwing insults at each other.”

Jim’s face lit up, “Blair!” he grinned and promptly slipped off the barstool landing heavily on his ass, “Oof.”

Blair shook his head and grabbed Jim’s arm, dragging him back to his feet and dropping back on the stool, “Nice to see that you were so grief stricken at my leaving you, that you felt the need to go out and celebrate. A guy could take this entirely the wrong way.”

“No!” Jim said aghast, “It wasn’t like that, I swear.”

“I’m just teasing, Jim,” Blair replied with a deadpan expression.

“This is Mack Wolfe,” Jim said suddenly, grabbing the other cops sleeve and tugging.

Blair turned around and almost fell over backwards. Shit, if it wasn’t true, this guy was Jim’s twin. For a fleeting moment, the vivid image of being the meat in a Jim/Mack sandwich flitted through Blair’s mind, causing him to blush, “Oh. Hi, I’m Blair Sandburg,” he said holding out his hand.

“Mack Wolfe, and my buddy Jim here is right, you are cute,” Mack leered

“And taken,” Jim added, “*Regularly.*” he sniggered.

“Jim!” Blair warned, fighting off a smile, “Come on, time to go home. But first, just let me make a call.”



Mack leaned across the bar, making swirling patterns in the spilled beer. Suddenly from behind came a voice.

“I’m going to have to arrest you, Sir. Please put your hands in the air so I can body search you.”

Mack turned around and with a frown, tried to focus on the man in front of him. Rafe.

“I have only one offensive weapon and I refuse to surrender that,” he sniggered.

“Then I’m just going to have to check it out for myself,” Rafe smiled, “Do you have a permit for it?”

“No, but it only gets dangerous in the mating season,” Mack said with a giggle, “Want a drink?”

“Not right now and I don’t think you do either. Come on, Detective, you’ve had enough. I’m taking you back to your hotel,” Rafe grabbed Mack’s arm and dragged him to his feet. He looked over at the bartender and nodded, “Is he all paid up, Murph?”

“Yeah, Rafe, no problem. Thanks.”

“You want to dance then?” Mack sniggered into Rafe’s ear as they struggled across the bar room floor.

“Not tonight Romeo,” Rafe smiled.

The walk out to the car seemed like a million miles. Mack’s hands wandered and Rafe did his level best to be professional and appear to be a buddy helping another drunken buddy out.

With difficulty, he shoved Mack into the passenger seat and slipped into the car.

“How about we make out in the backseat?” Mack grinned mischievously.

“Somehow, I doubt you’re in any shape to make out at all,” Rafe replied.

“You want to put money on that, fly-boy?” Mack said indignantly.

Rafe shook his head and continued to drive.



Wiping the sweat from his brow, Rafe set Mack down on the end of the bed. The fact that Mack was singing loudly only added to the young detectives harassed state.

“Mack?” he said in a determined voice, “Be quiet! You’ll wake the whole place. Come on now, get undressed and into bed. You are going to feel like shit in the morning.”

“You getting in with me?” Mack growled grabbing Rafe’s ass.

Pulling away, Rafe grabbed the wandering hands, “No. You need to sleep this off. We have work to do tomorrow, remember? Catch the nasty bad man?”

Mack sighed, “Yeah, I remember. Sorry,” his voice suddenly serious, “And I’m sorry I fucked everything up, Rafe,” he whispered.

“Like what?”

“Like us.”

Rafe stared at the bigger man in surprise, “I seem to remember that it was *me* who fucked things up between us, loverboy. Not you,” he blushed slightly at the memory, “Wasn’t I the one who screamed some other guys name?”

“Yeah, but I’m a jerk. I mean, I know I’m not a bad lay, I just… have problems giving parts of myself... that…” Mack stopped. The words he so desperately wanted to say refused to materialize. He was messing this up too.

“Mack, let’s save this until tomorrow,” Rafe said dragging off his pants and shirt and pushing him onto the bed, “You get some rest and I promise we’ll talk about it over dinner tomorrow night, okay?”

The big detective smiled and gently brushed Rafe’s cheek with his hand, “Okay beautiful, anything you say.”



Cascade PD next day, somehow resembled a weird Hitchcock movie as two almost identical men lurched through the door of Major Crimes with almost identical expressions.

“Oh man, Jim, you look like shit!” Henri Brown whistled.

“Thank you for those few kind words of support,” Jim whispered. Bringing up the rear was Blair Sandburg, who probably totally coincidentally, looked quietly smug.

“Don’t sympathize with him, H. It’s all self inflicted,” Blair smirked, “You’d think that at his age, he’d have gone past the point where he needs to go out and get wasted, wouldn’t you?”

“Fuck you, Sandburg,” Jim grunted miserably.

Suddenly, Rhonda grabbed Jim and planted a kiss on his cheek, “Welcome back, Jim,” she beamed, “I have no idea who that guy was yesterday, but he wasn’t our Jim Ellison, he smiled too much,” she laughed.

Jim pulled a face, “That’s what I love about working here, you’re all so supportive,” he sneered.

Suddenly, a figure wandered from the elevator. A deathly white pallor had replaced Mack Wolfe’s tan and his shades hid more than those dreamy baby blues this morning.

“Oh my God, we have a matching pair,” Rhonda sniggered, “Morning Mack.”

The handsome detective nodded slowly, “Morning,” he muttered.

Simon Banks wandered into his bullpen and chuckled loudly, “My God, what a sight,” he snickered, “I hope you gentlemen are ready to work?”

“Just point me in the right direction and shout ‘get ‘em’,” Jim said sarcastically.

Simon Banks shook his head and called the men to his office. Rafe already sat in the corner, looking sheepish as the two delicate detectives filed in.

“Oh look,” Mack grinned, “Teacher’s pet is already in.”

Jim smiled, “Yeah, let’s all beat him up in the break room afterwards for being a sneak?” he sniggered.

“When you kids have finished?” Simon sighed, “We’ve had a report from the owner of one of those flop houses down on the waterside, that a man fitting our description has been staying at her establishment. She even has the times he left and returned most evenings in the last couple of weeks.”

“Thank God for ‘nosy neighbors’, huh?” Blair smiled.

“So, Rafe and Wolfe can check that out, while Ellison and Sandburg can take a trip to the morgue,” Simon grinned.

Jim Ellison turned a whiter shade of pale, “The morgue?” he said quietly.

“That’s right, Detective, the morgue.”



Sitting outside 823 Melrose, Rafe and Mack surveyed the area for signs of the mysterious ‘Mister Smith’ who had been resident in said establishment for the past couple of weeks. From the general scumminess of the abode, it was clear to both men that a serial killers life was obviously not all wine and roses. That was if, in fact, this was their man.

“Maybe he did move on?” Rafe suggested, “It’s been over a week since he killed last.”

“No,” Mack stated, “He’s still here. I know it.” He took a deep breath, “He won’t give up, Rafe, he’ll keep killing until I stop him. How many more innocent deaths must I be responsible for?”

Rafe stared in shocked silence at the usually high-spirited and laid-back detective. “How is this your fault?” he asked.

“I let him get away,” Mack whispered.

“He shot you in the chest!” Rafe exclaimed.

“He went on to kill a *fourteen* year old girl, Rafe. A *child*,” Mack said between gritted teeth, “If I’d stopped him, she’d still be alive. I made a stupid mistake, letting my arrogance get the better of me. I went in without back up. ‘Indestructible Mack Wolfe’. I fucked up, Rafe, and all of these people are dead because of it.”

“Mack,” Rafe slid his hand across onto Mack knee, “You made a mistake. Anyone could have done the same.”

“No. No they couldn’t. I was stupid and so full of my own importance that I messed up. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive myself for that.”

Rafe sighed, “We all screw up, Mack. What about every other cop that didn’t quite get there in time to catch him? Does that mean that they’re all as guilty? Stop beating yourself over the head with this. We’ll get him this time.”

Mack turned on a smile and glanced over at the younger man fondly, “Anyone ever tell you that you’re pretty special?” he asked.

Blushing slightly, Rafe laughed, “Not often enough for *my* ego,” he said with a smile.

“Yeah well, you are. And my ego is bigger than your ego,” Mack teased.

“Well… okay, I’ll concede that one,” Rafe replied with a grin.

Reaching over, Mack stroked his finger lightly down the younger man’s face, “Hey, how about we give ‘us’ another try, huh?” he asked unsurely.

“Sounds good to me,” Rafe nodded, “All previous transgressions forgotten?”

“Sure,” the big detective smiled and returned his gaze to the street.



They seemed to have sat there for hours. Rafe was convinced that he would never get the feeling back in his ass as he shifted uncomfortably on the seat. The long hours of watching and waiting were allowing not only his body to quietly numb but also his mind to wander. It, unfortunately, had a tendency to wander in the direction of his companion, who sat silently gazing through the car window. 

The one thing on Rafe’s mind was how it was going to feel when Mack returned to Hawaii and he was left with nothing but memories and his unending lust towards Jim Ellison for company.

“What’s up?” Mack said suddenly, making Rafe jump.

“Nothing, just thinking.”

“Whoa, remember you’re a cop. That’s not allowed,” Mack grinned.

“Do you have ‘someone’ in Hawaii?” Rafe asked, suddenly shocked that he felt the need to know.

“You mean like someone ‘special’? No, not really. I won’t pretend that I’m the shy, virginal type, but it’s all been pretty transitory to date.”

“So you’re not involved with the woman you work with, like the rumors say?”

Mack chuckled, “Holli? Hell, no. She wouldn’t have me as a gift. We work well together and we’re friends, but nothing more. Why, you thinking of moving out to the islands?” he turned to look at Rafe with a hopeful expression on his face.

“I don’t know,” Rafe felt himself blush. He’d really walked into that one. It sounded like he was angling for an invitation, when all he really wanted to know was that Mack wasn’t screwing around on someone else while he was here.

Having a man you’re falling in love with walk away and never seeing him again was one thing. But knowing that he was just using you in the first place was something else entirely.

“You could come with me you know? Transfer to the H.P.D.”

“It’s a big step, Mack,” Rafe watched the street with calm deliberation, but his mind and his heart were racing.

“Promise me you’ll think about it?”

Rafe tuned his head slightly, “Yeah, I’ll think about it.”

Suddenly, they heard footsteps. Peering into the fading light, they saw a man walking towards them, shoulders hunched, head down. He wore old clothes but they were clean and pressed. A man of such ‘ordinariness’ that not even they would have paid him any attention if he hadn’t turned into 823 Melrose and shortly afterwards the light blinked; the signal that this was the man who had turned up at the right time in the right place.

Grabbing the radio, Rafe spoke into it, “I think we have a bite.”

“On our way, Rafe. Hang tight, we’re right behind you,” Blair’s voice echoed back through the radio speaker.

Checking their guns, both men climbed from the car and entered the building. The small squinting guy on the desk twitched nervously and nodded towards the stairs.

Mack stood to the side of the door and rapped twice, “Mister Smith? Phone call for you.”

“Tell ‘em I died!” the voice yelled back.

“They said it was urgent. Look, I ain’t paid to be no fuckin’ messenger boy!” Mack glanced over at Rafe and shook his head. The creep wasn’t buying it, which meant them forcing entry, always a more dangerous option. “You gonna come take this call, you lazy mother-fucker?”

Hearing a noise from inside the room, the two officers stood back, suddenly the radio spluttered into life.

“Get down out there, he’s got a damned canon in there!” Jim Ellison yelled.

At that moment the entire wall behind Rafe exploded, sending him hurtling forward into the wall, his shoulder erupted in a cascade of red and he slid onto the floor like a rag doll.

“No!” Mack Wolfe threw himself across the corridor to shield the younger man from further harm, just as the killer blasted again, missing him by a hairs breadth.

A crack from the window in the room caused the man to fall to the floor, clutching his side. As Mack glanced up, he saw Jim Ellison framed in the light from the window, gun aimed.

Dropping his gun, the murderer scrambled away down the corridor, with Mack in hot pursuit.

Seeing the man disappear into the stairwell, Mack radioed Jim for assistance. He wasn’t making the same mistake again, this time the guy was going down, whatever it took and whoever it took to help him.

Reaching the roof, Mack tentatively pushed open the door. Badly lit and filled with places to hide, this was a cop’s nightmare. This guy was a cold and calculated killer who seemed to care little for his own safety, preferring the thrill of the mayhem he caused to the knowledge of his own well-being.

Staying low, he crept out onto the roof, trying to peer through the darkness, to catch a shadow.

“Mack? It’s Ellison. I’m at two o’clock, don’t shoot. Back up is on its way.”

“Jim? Can’t see a damned thing. You see the scumbag anywhere?”

“No, gimme a minute.”

His back to the wall, Mack edged along the rooftop, his eyes constantly scanning the area. It wasn’t so much the fear that was making his adrenaline race, more the knowledge that he was so close to nailing this bastard and he could still slip from his grasp, even now.

Along with the nagging voice that screamed over and over ‘What if Rafe’s dead? What if *you* got him killed? The man you love and you killed him.’ Shaking his head, Mack tried to wipe away those thoughts, they were far too dangerous right now. But, they did prove one thing, Mack Wolfe was ‘in love’.

“Mack, twelve o’clock, watch out!” Jim yelled. Suddenly something hit Mack squarely in the face sending him sprawling.  “Police officers, drop the weapon, or I shoot!” Jim Ellison was moving across the rooftops quickly.

The man reached for Mack’s gun, kicking the stunned officer before firing off a couple of rounds at random, causing Jim to take cover.

“You should have died last time I shot you, mother fucker!” he snarled and kicked Mack viciously in the stomach, “This time, I’m going to make a better job of it.”

Cocking the gun, he aimed…

…A shot rang out of the darkness and the killer slumped to the floor, blood bubbling from his lips. Falling heavily at Mack’s side, the police officer heard the last breath rush from the man’s lungs as he slipped into death.

“Good shooting Ellison,” Mack coughed and spat blood from his mouth.

“Thanks, but it wasn’t me,” Jim called.

“That bastard shot me… through a *wall*,” a pained voice groaned. Rafe stood slumped against the wall, his shoulder spilling blood and his energy bleeding as profusely as his wound.

“Rafe?” Mack scrambled across the roof and grabbed the younger man as he slid to the floor, “Oh God, are you okay?”

“No, that fucker has totally *ruined* my new Armani jacket. If I had the energy, I’d go kick his rotting corpse!”

Gathering the younger man into his arms, he held him tightly, “I thought you were dead, Oh God, I thought I’d gotten you killed.”

“Not this time hotshot.”

At that moment, Blair Sandburg appeared from the stairwell, EMTs in tow and Captain Simon Banks bringing up the rear.

“Everyone okay?” Banks barked.

“Yeah, Simon, we’re all okay,” Jim clapped his hand on the bigger man’s shoulder, “In fact, I’d say that some of us are *more* than okay.”



The bullpen looked like a field hospital, walking wounded everywhere. Rafe sat perched on the edge of his desk, his arm in a sling and slightly pale, but none the worse for wear. The Armani jacket however, had been given a decent burial a few days before at a nice, private little ceremony just for friends of the deceased.

Mack Wolfe grinned and joked with Blair Sandburg, the urge to flirt having been clamped down upon to save any unpleasantness. He was sporting a broken nose and two impressive black eyes, split cheek, a couple of broken ribs, but his sense of humor was undamaged and the physical scars would eventually heal.

“So, Mack, we’re losing you today then huh?” Blair smiled, “I just don’t get why you’d want to give up the glorious weather in Cascade for all that awful Hawaiian sunshine?”

“Hell, it’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.”

“How you feeling now, Rafe?” Jim Ellison asked, placing a hand on the young mans shoulder.

“I’m okay. I’m taking some time off to rest and get healthy.”

“Going on vacation?”

“Yeah,” Rafe blushed slightly, “I’m… er... going to Hawaii for a few weeks.”

A smile spread across Jim’s face, “Right! Good idea, I hear that the scenery is beautiful.”

Shooting a glance over at Mack Wolfe, Rafe grinned, “Oh yeah, you could say that. Who knows, maybe if the sunshine agrees with me, I might just stay.”


The End