Standard Disclaimer:
The characters of Sgt. Levon Lundy, Sgt. Joe LaFiamma, Lt. Joanne Beaumont, Sgt. Carol O'Brien and Sgt. Joe Bill McCandless
belong to the creators (Michael Butler and Jay Bernstein) and owners (Columbia Pictures, I think) of Houston Knights


The first paragraph of this story just sort of popped into my head one night just before I fell asleep.
Well, luckily, the next morning, I remembered it and I began to write.  I wasn't sure where it was going, I just wrote.
And, Lo and Behold, guess who showed up at the end ….. I didn't even know they were there when I started
and they very kindly brought the second part of my story with them.

by Arrow, (c) July, 2002

The morning sunshine found her huddled on hard cement in a corner under a stairway.  It was a wooden stairway that
led up to a door on the outside of a brick building.  The night before, the stairwell had seemed to be a welcome haven,
but the sunlight streaming through the stair's wooden slats now made it seem dangerously open.  She straightened up
slowly, keeping her back to the wall and using her hands to push against the brick for support.  Although the pain in her
head had subsided somewhat, she was still a little dizzy.  Taking a couple small steps forward only brought on a new
wave of dizziness which caused her to stop and wait for it to pass.  After a few minutes, she took a deep breath and
walked out of the alley.

It was obviously still early because the street was quiet and none of the stores or businesses had begun to open.  She
carefully looked up and down the street, then slowly turned to her right and began to walk towards a gas station at the
end of the block.  The heels of her boots clicked softly on the pavement and her eyes stared straight ahead as she
moved cautiously down the sidewalk.  If she had turned her head, for even a moment, she might have caught sight of
her reflection in the windows of one of the storefronts she passed.  It was a slender young woman who walked past
the dark buildings with just a hint of an attitude that didn't seem to match the wrinkled jeans, the slight tear in the
sleeve of her light blue jacket or the curly, red hair that hadn't been brushed.

It only took a short time for her to reach the gas station.  The attendant was busy inside and didn't notice her as she
cautiously made her way to the ladies' room at the side of the small building.  "They don't like the homeless to use the
rest rooms,"
she seemed to remember having heard someone say, and the words echoed inside her head as she
reached for the door knob.  The knob turned and the door opened easily.  She stepped inside and locked the door
behind her then closed her eyes and leaned back against the door.

Apprehension had left her breathing hard and her heart pounding, which brought back the throbbing pain in her head,
but the tiny room was still cool and it helped her relax.  She opened her eyes then turned to the small sink next to her
and twisted the handle as far as it would go.  The water that rushed from the faucet felt cool and she leaned over the
sink to wash her face with her hands.  As she straightened up and reached up for a paper towel, she looked into the
mirror above the sink.

The face that stared back at her was a stranger.  Her skin was pale and dark circles under her eyes gave her face a
haunted look.  She continued to stare at the mirror as she gently dried her face and she noticed a trickle of dried blood
that seemed to have come from above her temple and down the side of her face.  After using the now damp towel to
wipe the blood away, she reached up to touch her head then winced.  It hurt to touch and some of her hair was matted.
"Well, that explains the headache," she thought and, for a moment, she no longer saw the face in the mirror.  In her
mind she saw people in the dark and they were yelling.  There was the flash of gunfire and then she was falling.  The
image faded as quickly as it had appeared and, like a nightmare, it retreated back into her subconscious.

She ran her fingers through her hair, trying to make it look a little less disheveled then glanced down at her clothes.
As she brushed off her jeans and straightened her jacket, she was startled by a knock at the door.

"Is there someone in there?"  The irritated voice from outside was female.  She hesitated for a moment before
reaching over to unlock the door then opened it slowly.

"I'm sorry," she said softly as she stepped outside.  The woman moved aside to let her pass, but watched her warily
until she had crossed the street.

<<< + >>>

It was now beginning to get warm and, here and there, she noticed shop owners as they opened their doors for the
day's business.  When she reached yet another corner, she stopped at the curb and looked around the intersection,
trying to decide which way to go.  Should she cross the street and keep going the same direction?  She could change
direction by crossing the street to her right or just stay on this block.  As she stood wondering, the sound of a police
siren invaded her thoughts and it was quickly getting louder.  The police car was coming towards her, she could see its
flashing lights and she unconsciously began to step back until she felt the building behind her.  The sound of the police
siren brought a new image to her mind of another place, another police car.  No, several police cars ... and uniformed
officers… and a voice saying "You better get outta here" … and then she was running.  She blinked and the image was
gone.  The police car sped past her in a blur and continued down the street.  After deciding not to cross the street, she
merely walked around the corner and continued down the block.

<<< + >>>

The buildings she passed were beginning to all look alike.  Perhaps they were really the same buildings.  Maybe she
was just walking in circles.  "That is what people do when they're lost, isn't it?" she thought.  Maybe these buildings
were the same ones she had passed yesterday and they would be the same one she would pass tomorrow.  People
walked by but she never saw any of their faces, she just kept walking.  She didn't really know how long she had been
walking today, but she was getting tired.  Eventually, she saw a small park.  At least she should be able to sit down for
awhile.  Wearily crossing one more street, she walked across the sidewalk and onto the grass.  It was soft under her
feet and it was nice to walk on something other than cement.  There was an empty bench under a tree and she sat
down.  The shade from the tree was comforting and there was just the hint of a breeze.  After a while, she began to
watch the people going by and tried to imagine what type of lives they had.  This helped her to relax.  Maybe, if she
could sit here long enough, something or someone would look familiar.

Suddenly, she realized she was hungry.  She couldn't remember the last time she had eaten, but she could smell
something cooking.  It only took a few moments of searching for her to spot the vendor selling hot dogs.  "Did hot dogs
always smell this wonderful?"
she wondered.  Unconsciously, she began to check her pockets.  First, the jacket.  Why
hadn't she thought of this before?  Maybe she had something that would at least tell her who she was.  The jacket
pockets were empty, but as she slipped her hand into her jeans' pocket she felt a piece of paper which turned out to be
a twenty dollar bill.  At first, she was disappointed, but then she smelled the hot dogs again.

<<< + >>>

It was so pleasant sitting under the tree that she was actually beginning to feel better.  The combination of resting and
eating had reduced her headache to a dull throb.  Unfortunately, it was time to leave because she needed to find a safe
place for the night.  As she reluctantly stood up and began to move away from the bench, she noticed a man walking
towards her.  His hair was dark like his eyes and he was wearing black jeans and a black leather jacket.  Was he
watching her?   Perhaps he just wanted the bench.  Slowly walking across the park, she kept her head turned just
enough so that she could watch him from the corner of her eye.  As she stepped onto the sidewalk, he walked past the
bench and continued in her direction.  He almost seemed to be walking in her footsteps.  At the curb she stopped and
waited for a moment then dashed between the traffic and ran down the street.  When she got to a corner, she hesitated
long enough to look back.  The man had also crossed the street and was now running.  She ran part way down the
block then darted into the street, running diagonally towards the other side, between and around the cars.  He was
delayed by the traffic but as she started around the next corner she heard the sound of the gun being fired.  The bullet
hit the corner of the building sending a piece of brick flying past her face.

When he finally came around the corner, she was nowhere in sight.  He stopped for a moment, then began to walk
slowly down the street, holding the gun loosely at his side while his eyes carefully searched both sides of the street.
About half way down the block, he noticed the small grocery store with it's door wide open.  As he reached the door,
he stopped and deliberately looked around before turning and entering the store.  The old man standing at the register
watched him silently as the man in black took a step towards him then pointed the gun at his face.

"Where is she, old man?" the man growled.  The old man only hesitated for a moment before pointing to a doorway
into the back of the store. The man in black quickly checked the aisles of the store, glanced back at the old man and
then ran through the doorway.  The old man waited until he heard the back door slam shut before looking down at the
floor.  She was crouched near his feet, up against the counter.  He smiled at her.

"Thanks," she whispered then got up and left the store through the front door.

She ran for awhile, zigzagging across streets and trying to watch for the man in black.  When she finally felt she had
lost him, she slowed down and tried to get her bearings.  There was a lot less traffic here.  It looked like most of the
store fronts were boarded up and empty.  Keeping close to the buildings, she walked down the sidewalk, looking for
openings and checking for loose boards.  Perhaps there would be a place here where she could hide for the night
because she wanted to find someplace before it got dark.  As she pulled on a loose board she noticed a police car
slowly coming up the street so she stepped away from the building and began to walk casually down the sidewalk.  It
wouldn't look good if she started to run, so she just kept walking.  The police car stopped just before it reached her and
the officer got out of the car.

"Ma'am?" he said as he walked towards her, but she pretended not to hear him and kept her eyes downcast as she

"Ma'am?" he said again when he was directly in front of her.  "Could I talk to you, please?"  This time, she stopped and
slowly looked up to face him.  He was young.  "Too young to be a cop," she thought sarcastically.

"Are you all right?" he asked as he examined her face.  Looking back at him silently, she sighed then closed her eyes
for a moment and when she opened them, a tear slipped from one eye and slowly traveled down her check.

"I ….," she started, then wavered as if she was about to fall.  He reached for her protectively then carefully led her to
the car.  As they reached the car, she glanced through the window and saw a piece of paper sitting on the front seat.  It
was a drawing that looked a lot like her.

"Stand here," he told her as he let her lean against the back fender.  He turned slightly to open the back door and as he
looked away from her, she took advantage of the moment.  When she shoved his head against the top of the car, he
exhaled with a slight cough before he crumpled to the ground.  She looked around quickly see if there was anyone
who might have noticed.  The street was empty except for her and the officer.  As she looked down at the motionless
man, she only hesitated for a moment before leaning down to take his gun.

"Sorry," she said as she slipped the gun under her shirt and into the waistband of her jeans.  Now she would have to
look for another place to hide.

It was hard not to run as she moved away from the boarded-up buildings she had hoped would offer her a safe place
for the night because she wasn't sure how long the officer would be unconscious.  The confusion she had been feeling
was beginning to be replaced by assurance.  It was time to stop running because she was tired of running, tired of
watching for the man in black, tired of watching for police cars and tired of being tired.  All she needed was some time
to think.  Eventually she turned into a narrow alley and sat down on the ground next to a dumpster so she couldn't be
seen from the street.  There was just enough space between the back of the dumpster and the building that she could
watch whoever or whatever went by the front of the alley.  Pulling her legs up close to her body, she let her forehead
rest on her knees.  What happened two days ago?  What was she doing?  Surely she didn't just materialize on a dirty
city street.  Did she have friends?  Did someone care what happened to her?  The answers were in her mind
somewhere, just out of reach.


<<< + >>> + <<< + >>>

Most of the customers at Chicken's restaurant that night had been police officers.  The mood was cheerful.  Good food
and good friends helped relieve the tension and frustration of the day.  Chicken walked casually around the restaurant
carrying a coffee pot which he used to fill half-empty cups as he went around talking to the people who frequented his
restaurant and welcoming newcomers.

"Thanks, Chicken," Levon said as he watched Chicken pour fresh coffee into the empty cup sitting on the table in front
of him.

"And how's the world treating you two?" Chicken asked the two detectives sitting at the small table.

"Not too bad, Chicken," Joe answered happily.

"Well, that's good to hear," he said as he turned to Levon's partner.  "No complaints about the weather or anything?"
Being from Chicago, Joe normally had an unending list of complaints about the city of Houston.

"Not today, Chicken."

"I think he's got a new lady friend," Levon explained with a grin.  Chicken chuckled and moved on to another table.  As
Chicken walked away, Joe could hear the sound of a quiet argument coming from across the room.  He got up and
slowly walked over to the pool table where a man and woman had been playing, but were now setting the cues
on the table.

"You cheat," the man said.  His black t-shirt fit tightly over his muscular shoulders and his light brown hair was pulled
back at the nape of his neck.  He picked up his bottle of beer from a small table and frowned at his opponent.

"J.B., I told you I've played before," the slender redhead insisted as she set her cue down.

"You didn't tell me you were good," he complained.

"That's not cheating," she said with a laugh.  He sighed in disgust then downed what was left in the bottle before
putting it back on the table.

"Leaving?" Joe asked.

"Yeah," J.B. answered.  "We've got an appointment.  Besides, if you're looking to play with Sam, don't.  She cheats."
Joe laughed as Sam looked over at J.B. and scowled.

"What kind of appointment?" Joe asked.

"There's a new player in town," Sam explained.  "He brought his own people with him, but he needed some locals
who knew the territory.  J.B. and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time."

"Yeah.  We're hoping to stop Stoner before he starts a turf war," J.B. continued.  "Hopefully, tonight's meeting should
give us an idea what his plans are and then we can decide where to go from there."

"You all be careful out there," Levon cautioned as he walked up behind Joe.

"Always," Sam said as she picked up her light blue jacket.  As she and J.B. began to walk away from the pool table, she
slipped her hand into one of the jacket's pockets.

"Damn," she said softly as she stopped next to Levon and pulled her badge from the pocket.  "I forgot to put this in my

"We don't have time to go back," J.B. told her.  She sighed and looked up at Levon.

"Would you take care of this for me?" she asked.  Levon looked at her for a moment, then reached for the badge.  She
hesitated then sighed uneasily before letting him take it.

"I'll be back," she promised then left with J.B.

<<< + >>>

"Hi, Joe. Hi, Levon," Carol O'Brien said as Levon and Joe casually walked into the Major Crime Unit, a little later than
usual.  "Welcome back.  So, how was the day off?"

"Great!" Joe said.

"Yeah, it felt real good to be away from all this," Levon added.

"You guys were looking a little frazzled," Carol agreed as she headed back to her desk.

"Levon, did you hear about the shootout?" Joe Bill McCandless asked after they had reached their desks.

"No," Levon said, "what happened?"

"Seems some new guy, named Stoner, thought he could just walk in and set up shop.  But, it seems one of the locals
didn't take kindly to the competition."

"What about the undercover officers?" Joe asked, suddenly becoming serious.

"What undercover officers?" Joe Bill asked.

"J.B. Thompson was shot several times," Lieutenant Beaumont explained as she came out of her office, "but he is
going to be okay.  He was able to tell us that there were three shooters.  One of the shooters was killed, but the other
two managed to get away before our units responded."

"Lieutenant, what about …?" Levon started to ask.

"The other officer, Samantha Baker, is missing," the Lieutenant said as she began to hand out some papers to her
detectives.  "We don't have a picture of Sgt. Baker, so we've put together this sketch.  We don't think that their cover
was compromised but the two shooters that got away could be looking for her.  So, officially, we're looking for a
witness to a shooting, not a police officer.  Okay?"

<<< + >>>

"Hi, J.B.," Levon said to the man sitting in the hospital bed. "How ya feelin'?"

"Okay.  How's Sam?  She hasn't been here.  Did she get out okay?" Levon looked down for a moment before

"We don't know," he told J.B.

"What do you mean you don't know?"

"She's missing."

"What can you remember, J.B.?" Joe asked.  "Was Sam with you?"  J.B. closed his eyes trying to picture in his mind
what had happened.  When he opened his eyes, he didn't really look at either Joe or Levon.

"The room was really hot and stuffy.  She'd just opened the window when the three guys burst in.  They came in
shooting.  They didn't really aim, they just sprayed the room.  Then Stoner and his men started shooting back and there
was no where to go.  I remember looking over just before I blacked out.  She wasn't there.  I figured she went out the

<<< + >>>

Joe and Levon looked around the dark room.  There was a table laying on its side and several chairs, also knocked
over, but no other furniture.  It looked like this had once been an office of some sort, but it had obviously been empty
for a while.  The chalk marks on the floor showed that several people had recently died in this room.  Joe walked over
to the window and looked out, seeing only the little used side street that ran alongside of the building.

"Well, the window was open when she went through it," he said as he slid the window down.  The glass was intact.
"That's good."  He pushed the window back up so he could lean out and look down at the sidewalk.  He surveyed the
street one more time then turned around and looked back at Levon.

"Nothing," he said.  Levon sighed and looked around the room again.  There were bullet holes in the table and he could
see several places where bullets had hit the walls.

"Looks like they fired mostly into this side of the room," Levon said.  "She could have got out okay."

"So where is she?"

"Maybe she fell out of the window.  Maybe she's hurt … confused ….."

"Maybe the shooters already found her," Joe said quietly.

"No," Levon said brusquely.  "We've already lost Dave Kincaid and Dan Stocker.  We're not loosing another officer." **

They left the dark office and walked outside into the sunshine.  They both took a deep breath as if they had been
holding their breath while inside.  Levon began to walk down the sidewalk and Joe waited a moment before going after
him.  As he followed him around the corner, he saw Levon had stopped and was looking into the empty office through
the open window.  When Joe walked up to him, Levon sighed impatiently then continued walking.  Levon stopped
again when he reached the end of the narrow side street and looked up and down the cross street.

"What are you looking for, Lundy?" Joe asked.

"Maybe she decided to try and make her way back to Reisner."

"If she knew which way to go," Joe said and Levon turned to stare at him angrily.

"She's not from Chicago, LaFiamma!"

"No.  She's from Dallas.  And I've been in Houston longer than she has."  The anger in Levon's eyes faded and he
turned away.

"We'll find her, Lundy.  We'll find her."

<<< + >>>

"We got lucky," Joe Bill told Levon as he and Joe walked back into the office.  "We took the mug books over to the
hospital and J.B. was able to I.D. the two shooters that got away."  He handed Joe the two pictures.

"We only have to worry about one of them," the Lieutenant said as she came through the double doors into the office.
"One of them walked into a hospital this morning.  He's lost a lot of blood, they're not sure if he's going to make it."
She took the pictures out of Joe's hand, looked at them both, then handed one back to him.  "One less guy to look for."

"Has anyone checked her house?" Joe asked.

"A neighbor says she hasn't been there.  No one answers the phone.  Mail hasn't been picked up.  We've got a blue and
white doing a drive-by every hour or so."

"Lieutenant," Carol said, "a store owner over on Crenshaw just reported a man with a gun chased a woman into his
store.  The man fits the description of one of the shooters and the woman had red hair and was wearing a light blue

"Could be Sam," Levon said.  "Did he ….?"

"Nope," Carol said, "the store owner sent him off in the wrong direction."

<<< + >>>

Levon slowly drove up and down the streets near the little grocery store.  He and Joe scrutinized the people they
passed and tried to see hidden corners where a person might hide.  As he stopped at an intersection he noticed the
small park up ahead.

"What are you doing?" Joe asked when Levon began to drive around the perimeter of the park for a second time.

"Maybe she was here, in the park.  He saw her and she ran … across the park and down the street we just came from.
The grocery store is only a couple blocks away."

"She asked the owner to hide her," Joe continued.  "He told the shooter she ran out the back door and then she left
through the front door."  Joe was quiet for a moment, then shook his head.  "But she didn't tell the owner to call the
police, he decided to do that after she was gone."

Levon parked the truck at the curb and got out.  As he stepped up on the sidewalk, Joe got out of the truck and
followed him.

"So, what do you think we'll find here?" Joe asked.

"Maybe someone here saw her, talked to her."

"Lundy, chances are none of these people were even here when she was."

"Maybe he was," Levon said as he walked towards the hot dog vendor.  As he reached the cart, he pulled out the
sketch and handed it to the man.

"Have you seen this girl?" he asked.  The man glanced at the picture then handed it back to Levon.

"Not recently," he said.

"She had red hair," Joe added impatiently, "and was probably wearing a light blue jacket."

"Red hair?  Let me look at that again."  He took the picture and, this time, he studied it for a moment.  "You know, this
morning there was a girl with red hair.  Could'a been her."

"Did you talk to her?" Levon asked.

"When she first came up to my cart, I thought she was one of those people that hang around the park 'cause they have
no where else to go.  She had that look.  But, she had money.  She bought a couple hot dogs."

"What do you mean by 'that look'?" Joe asked.

"Kinda sick … confused … alone.

<<< + >>>

Joe opened the door but stopped before he got into the truck.

"Lundy, what if she doesn't know who she is?"  He looked across the front of the truck at Levon.  Levon looked back
at Joe for a moment then opened his door and slipped behind the wheel.

"She's standing at the window," Levon surmised, "and the shooters burst in.  Somehow, she looses her footing and
falls through the window.  Maybe she hit her head."

"Maybe," Joe agreed as he stepped up into the truck and closed the door behind him.

"And all she knows right now is someone is trying to kill her."

"And she doesn't know why."

The radio squawked and Joe picked up the receiver.

"92-14" he said.

"Joe, Beaumont here.  An Officer Parker says he needs to talk to you and Levon.  He's waiting for you at Jefferson and
Fourth.  It's the vacant storefronts scheduled to be demolished for a redevelopment project."  Joe glanced over at
Levon and Levon nodded.

"I know where that's at," Levon said.

"We're on our way, Lieutenant," Joe said into the receiver.

<<< + >>>

The Jimmy screeched to a halt in front of the police car.  Officer Parker was sitting sideways on the back seat with his
feet on the sidewalk.  He was holding his head.

"What's going on, Parker?" Joe asked as he and Levon ran up to him.  He looked up at them and took his hand from his
forehead, revealing a good sized bruise.

"I ran into your witness," he said.

"And she did that?" Levon asked.

"She looked … sick … or hurt … or something," he explained.  "I brought her over to the car and when I turned to open
the door …""We get the picture," Joe said.

"How long ago," Levon asked.

"I was only out for a couple minutes," he said.

"Thanks," Levon said as he and Joe started to leave.

"Oh, Parker, don't file your report until you hear from us," Joe called over his shoulder.

"There's one more thing," Parker said and they stopped to look back at him.

"She's got my gun."


<<< + >>> + <<< + >>>

She awoke with a start.  It was still light so she must have only nodded off for a few minutes.  After standing up slowly,
she carefully looked around the alley.  It was empty.  With a quiet sigh of relief, she walked out of the alley and back on
to the street.  Businesses were now beginning to close and people were heading home.  As she walked along, images
of people and places would flash through her mind, but if she tried to concentrate on them, the images slipped away
like an elusive dream.  Memories seemed to haunt her, slipping in and out of her consciousness.  Sleep, a good night's
sleep, was all she needed and she would remember.  Absently fingering the money in her pocket, a more current
memory flashed through her mind.  There was an old, run-down hotel she had passed when she was running from the
man in black.  Even if it took all her money, she just wanted to sleep somewhere with a lock on the door.

Once more, she found herself looking around trying to decide which way to go when she noticed the red GMC truck
slowly driving down the street.  The truck was familiar, but where or when she had seen it before was still tucked in her
memory.  She turned as if she was looking into the store window and watched the truck drive past then make a U-turn
down the block to come back towards her.  As the truck eased over to the curb and parked about half a block away
from her, she put her hand on her waist, reassuring herself that the gun was still there.  From here, she could see the
two men in the truck.  Were they watching her?  Did they know she was watching them?  After a couple minutes, one
man got out of the passenger side of the truck and started to walk in her direction.  He was dressed in an expensive
gray suit and she could feel his eyes concentrating on her.  After watching him for a moment, she turned and began to
walk down the sidewalk away from him.  He continued to follow her, keeping his distance.  Before she turned to go
around a corner, she paused long enough to glance back and saw that the man was still following her, but the truck was
gone.  She began to walk faster.

<<< + >>>

When Joe reached the corner and looked down the street, she had disappeared.  He sighed then continued walking, his eyes searching every doorway, every shadow.  He stopped in front of a narrow walkway that ran between two of the buildings and looked to see what was there.  The sun was beginning to set, causing the building to cast a dark shadow, but the walkway appeared to be empty and it looked like it ended at the alley behind the buildings.  Ignoring the warning that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up, he took a breath and started down the walkway.  As he neared the end, she stepped around the corner of the building.  The gun she was holding was aimed directly at him.  He stopped and their eyes met.  While he saw no sign of recognition in her eyes, he knew it was hard to look someone in the eye and then pull the trigger.

"Pretty fancy suit for this part of town," she said calmly.  He could see the resolve in her eyes as she met his gaze evenly.

"Sam … ?" he asked.

"Who are you and what do you want?" she asked.  Was it merely coincidence that she blinked when he said her name?

"It's me.  Joe."  He kept his hands at his side, relaxed and visible.

"That's original," she scoffed.

"Joe LaFiamma."

"All right, Mr. Joe LaFiamma.  What do you want?"

"Sam, …"

"Who is this Sam you keep talking to?" she interrupted impatiently.

"Sam," he repeated slowly, "you don't want to shoot me."  She slowly pulled the hammer back on the gun and adjusted her grip.

"You don't know what I want," she said, her voice low and hoarse.  As she stared evenly at the man in front of her, she heard the sound of the hammer being pulled back on another gun.  It was close to her ear.

"How about what I want," the voice next to her asked ominously.  She couldn't see the man next to her without turning her head.  She chose to continue to watch Joe even though the man behind her was the more serious threat.  They were together; she could feel their energy.  Joe's gaze had not wavered because he knew what to expect of the other man.

"Put the gun down."  The voice, so close to her ear, was cold and determined.  Joe was relaxed and his expression was impassive.

"Now," the man next to her commanded.  It was one simple word that held no hesitation or doubt.  She sighed and closed her eyes then eased the hammer back and took her finger off the trigger.  As she opened her eyes and slowly let her arms drop to her sides, Joe walked up to her and gently took the gun from her hand.  She was watching his face as he slipped the gun into his pocket when a bit of movement caught her eye.  Someone had walked past the walkway and she turned her head slightly to look over Joe's shoulder.

"Joe!" she cried and jumped at him, causing him to loose his balance.  As they both fell to the ground, she watched helplessly as the man in black raised his arm and aimed his gun.  The sound of gunfire filled the air and the man in black fell back as his gun slipped from his hand and clattered uselessly on the cement.  When she turned to look up at the man who had fired his gun, she noticed the cowboy hat, the curly blond hair and the piercing eyes.

"Samantha Baker," Joe said as he sat up, "meet Levon Lundy."

"Do I know you?" she asked.

"Sure do," Levon said with a grin and nod of his head as he offered her his hand.  She slowly reached up and took his hand and he pulled her to her feet.

"You okay, partner?" he asked Joe.

"Yeah," Joe said as he got up and brushed the dust from his clothes.

"I'll call this in," Levon said and he left.  Joe and Sam walked down the walkway and stopped at the body.

"Friend of yours?" he asked, looking down at the lifeless man.

"Hell if I know," she said and he laughed.  The Jimmy stopped at the curb in front of where they were standing and Levon got out of the truck.

"You look like you need to sit down," he said to Sam and opened the door for her to get into the back seat.  She walked over and climbed into the truck.  She felt no apprehension as she leaned back against the seat and watched the two men.

"You know, Lundy," Joe said as he walked up to the truck," taking an officer's gun after you knock him out might take some explaining and a whole lot of paperwork."

"We'll talk to Parker.  I'm sure he'll be open to a suggestion or two."  Joe smiled and Levon turned to look at Sam then pulled something from his pocket.  She was beginning to look a little dazed and he smiled.  "This belongs to you," he said as he handed her the thin black wallet.  Without looking away from his face, she reached for it and he released it into her hand with a slight nod of his head.

The small wallet was warm to her touch as she slowly flipped it open.  The fog that had clouded her memory began to fade as she ran her thumb across the shiny gold badge in her hand.

The nightmare was over.

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**Note: Dave Kincaid is a character in the episode Moving Violation and
       Dan Stocker is a character in the episode Sins of the Father.


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