What’s that?” Steve asks.


“Soup and a sandwich, I know you haven’t eaten and you wont do Grace any good if you end up in the hospital yourself. So eat it.”


Steve takes it then Neal sits down next to him as Steve unwraps the sandwich.


“Have you heard anything yet?” Neal asks.


Steve shakes his head as he takes a bite out of the sandwich. “No, every so often the nurse will come out and tell me that soon the doctor will be out to talk to me, but Neal it’s been hours. I don’t know if she’s….” Steve looks at the floor. “I don’t know.”


Neal puts his hand on the back of Steve’s head.


“Neal remember when I told you if the woman I loved have been raped and murdered I would want you to tell me the truth?”


“Yeah Steve I remember.”


“Now lie to me.” Steve replies as he looks at Neal.


“Steve she was alive when we got there and when we found out that she was alive we called for the ambulance immediately.”


Just then the door to the examination room opens and the doctor finally comes out Steve and Neal get to their feet.


“Which one of you is Mr. Perry?” The doctor asks.


“I am.” Steve replies as he raises his hand. “Can I see her?”


“Mr. Perry I think tomorrow would be better.” The doctor replies.


“Is she going to be alright?” Neal asks.


“According to the nurse you two are Detectives and Mr. Perry you are her boyfriend?”


They nod their heads.


“I speak to you as detectives first; Miss Evans was beaten within an inch of her life, literally. She has a very strong will to live because most people in her condition would have died. She fought hard for her life, her forearm is broken, and she has numerous bruises, cuts, possible internal injuries….”


“Was she raped doctor?” Steve asks slowly.


“No but there were signs of consensual sex recently.” The doctor replies.


“That was me; she spent the night with me last night.” Steve replies.


The doctor makes a note in her chart as he nods his head. “I see and now speaking to you as a boyfriend Mr. Perry. When you see her tomorrow she will not be the same, young beautiful woman you saw last night. Her face will be swollen….”


“Doc I don’t care what she looks like I just want to know that’s she going to be alright!” Steve replies.


“I know you do Mr. Perry but I am just giving you fair warning, she’s in a great deal of pain, she is in and out of consciousness….”


“Okay doctor I get this feeling that there is something you aren’t telling me, what is it?” Steve asks.


“Mr. Perry….” The doctor tries to say.


“Tell me….!!”


“She may have brain damage….” The doctor replies.


“What?” Neal exclaims.


“Brain….? Doctor are you sure?” Steve asks.


“No I’m not sure. She was without oxygen for a significant amount of time but time will tell. Right now she needs to rest….”


“Can’t I doc just see her for a minute….?” Steve asks.


“Mr. Perry do you love this woman?” The doctor asks.


Steve looks over at Neal. “More than anything….”


“Then you will wait until tomorrow.” The doctor puts his hand on Steve’s arm. “Please son wait until tomorrow.”


“I….alright. Can you tell her that I was here and that I love her….” Steve replies as Neal puts his arm around his shoulders.


“Yes son I can do that for you.” The doctor replies.


“Come on Steve….” Neal replies as he turns him towards the exit.


“I’ll be back tomorrow.” Steve says as he looks back over his shoulder at the doctor.


“Tony stay here and watch the door.” Neal instructs the uniform officer as they walk off.









“Are you sure you want to do this now?” Neal asks.


“Yes I’m sure.” Steve replies.


“Okay earlier you said that you were doing research, where were you doing research?” Neal asks.


Steve takes a deep breath. “At the newspaper office….”


Neal looks shocked. “You mean where Wendy works?” Neal asks.


“Yeah….” Steve replies as he nods.


“Why did you go over to the side of the enemy?” Neal asks.


“Neal she isn’t the enemy.”


“She isn’t? Since when, come on Steve!!” Neal exclaims.


“I went over there because she was the only one who could help me….help us. When Gracie and I were out to dinner she told me a lot about her life and all the different places she had lived. The entire time I was at the newspaper I was praying to god that I was wrong….put then everything fell into place.”


“What things?” Neal asks.


“This….” Steve reaches into his bag and he pulls out a notepad. “I only went back three years. Three years ago Gracie and her step-father was living in Galveston, and during that time there were four rape-murders just like the ones we had here. Again, while they were living in New Orleans the same thing, and again in Florida, the exact same rape-murders, what I read in the newspaper articles from those cities they never found the rapist.” Steve hands Neal the notepad.


“According to this there were also personal articles missing from the body, jewelry, things like that.”


“Yeah that’s right.” Steve replies.


“So you think….” Neal looks at Steve.


Steve bites on a pencil eraser as he nods. “Yeah I do….”


Neal thinks a deep breath. “I have a tendency to agree with you.”


“You do?”


“Yeah I do and it was Erik that convinced me.” Neal replies.


“Erik, our Erik Cox?”


“Yeah, do you remember when Erik said that he was framed?” Neal asks.


Steve taps the pencil on his forehead. “Yeah I do why?”


“Because I believe him and I also believe that Randy Evans was framing him and Randy Evans sounds familiar to you doesn’t it?”


Steve nods. “Randy Evans is Gracie’s step-father, why does Erik think….?”


“Because there were a number of occasions where Grace came out to the docks where Randy worked and of course all the guys noticed her but Erik really noticed her. Every time she came out there Erik would ask her out and he even admitted he came on hard to her, but she always turned him down. Randy saw all of this and he didn’t like it….”


“That fits with what Gracie told me. Her step-father would scare all the guys off that showed any interest in her. Look in this folder Neal of the victims and tell me what you see.” Steve replies as he hands Neal the folder.


Neal opens it up and as he looks thru it his eyes widen. “They all look the same, long brownish hair….”


“Now look at this picture.” Steve pulls another picture out of his bag and he hands it to Neal.


“Karen Mallory.” Neal replies.


Steve shakes his head. “No….”


Neal looks up. “No? But this is Karen Mallory; this is her high school year book picture.”


“No Neal it isn’t that’s Gracie Evans at 16….the same age as Karen Mallory.”


“What? Oh my god!!” Neal exclaims.


“This is Karen Mallory’s high school year book picture.” Steve replies as he hands Neal the picture.


The shock is evident on Neal’s face as he holds the pictures side-by-side. “Oh my god Steve they could be twins….the resemblance is….”


“Deadly….” Steve replies.


“What does all of this mean?” Neal asks.


“I didn’t know either so I took all of this to our police psychologist.”


“You mean our Doctor Webb?” Neal asks.


“Yeah the one the police department uses for us and from everything I told him he came to the conclusion that her step-father is obsessed with Gracie, probably always has been; that is why he married Gracie’s mother. He wanted Gracie.”


Neal rubs his face. “Oh my god Steve but he never….”


Steve shakes his head. “Gracie never came out and said anything to me she didn’t even admit that she knew what was going on with him, how he felt about her, but she felt that something wasn’t right. It was alright when her mother was alive but after she passed away his grip on Gracie became tighter…..and no he never touched Gracie. Doctor Webb thinks that is why he started to rape and murder these women that look so much like Gracie, or at least reminded him of Gracie. Her step-father knew that if he touched Gracie like he wanted to he would lose her, be taken away from him and he couldn’t have that happen.”


“And Karen Mallory that day when she came to the dock, looking so much like Grace back when she was 16 that probably cause him to snap and that is why he attacked her.” Neal replies.


“That is why her attacked was especially brutal.”


“Beautiful, young Karen Mallory was in the wrong place at the wrong time….” Neal replies.


“I’m afraid so….”


“Sweet Jesus….so now we come full circle and Randy beat her senseless….” Neal replies.


Steve nod his head.


“….But why now I mean what set him off….?”


Steve looks up at Neal. “….It was me I set him off.”


“Steve are you sure?”


“That night Gracie told me that I was the only person that she had spent the night with….ever. She told me that her step-father wouldn’t like it that she didn’t come home and that he would probably be mad at her but I thought that she was exaggerating, I told her not to worry because….”


Steve becomes teary eyed. “….Because I told her….” Steve covers his eyes as he begins to cry.


Neal goes over and he grabs a chair and he sits down next to him then he puts his arm around his shoulders. “Steve don’t….”


“….I told her that I would protect her! I told her that I’m a cop and nothing would happen to her!!!”


“Steve you didn’t know what he would do, you couldn’t have known. You can’t save everyone….”


“I don’t want to save everyone Neal but I should be able to save the woman that I love….saving Grace Neal I should have been able to….save Grace!”


“Steve don’t do this yourself please buddy it isn’t your fault. Let’s take all of this to the Captain, we’re get a warrant and then we go and get him….”


Steve wipes his eyes. “He won’t be anywhere Neal, not at the apartment and not at work, after he hurt Gracie he skip town you and I both know that….”


“Alright we’re put out A.P.B. and then a B.O.L.O and we’re get the evidence we need to put this guy away, so come on let’s pick this stuff up and talk to the Captain.”


Steve nods his head. “Okay.”








After they kicked down the door to the apartment and made entry they found out what they had known all along….that Grace’s stepfather was gone.


Neal and Steve put their guns back in their holsters after they clear the apartment allowing Robert and his crime scene workers to collect evidence.


“Steve where are you?” Neal asks.


“In here.” Steve replies as he sits on the end of Grace’s bed holding a teddy bear.


“This is like a 12 years old bedroom.” Neal observes.


“Yeah weird isn’t it? It’s like it’s stuck in a time warp….” Steve replies.


“Robert found the book bag and the necklace in the living room and cigarette butts in the ashtray.”


“That’s good….” Steve replies as he gets up and he goes over to her dresser putting on his driving gloves as he goes and he opens the jewelry box that is sitting there.


“Steve what are you doing?”




“Steve none of that stuff is mentioned in the warrant.”


“I know I’m just looking.” Steve picks up a necklace. “I wonder how much of this stuff is from his other victims.”


“There is certainly a lot of stuff there.”


Steve opens a drawer on the jewelry box and he gasps loudly.


“What is it?”


“Neal she kept it all of these years.” Steve replies.


“What?” Neal asks again.


Steve holds it for Neal to see. “The promise ring I gave her back in high school, she still has it.”


“It’s beautiful Steve, is that a diamond?”


“Yeah it isn’t much of one but back then it was all I could afford working part-time.”


“Hey guys you should see this.” Robert replies as he sticks his head in the room. Steve puts the ring back in the jewelry box then they follow Robert into Randy’s bedroom.


“We were looking for the work boots and we found this.” Robert points to a bulletin board that was nailed to the closet wall behind the clothes. Tacked up on every inch were pictures of Grace, at many ages and in many different poses.


“Oh my god.” Steve exclaims.


“Jesus god almighty….”


“Robert make sure you get plenty of pictures.” Steve replies.


“I already have….” Robert replies as he holds up his camera.


“He wasn’t at work and he wasn’t here….” Neal replies.


“What do they say about hiding in plain sight?” Steve replies.


They both turn and run out of the apartment.








“Where’s Tony?” Steve asks as they run up to the officer who is standing guard at Grace’s door.


“I’m his relief, who are you?” The officer asks.


Neal pulls out his badge as they try to catch their breaths. “Detective Schon….”


“Detective Perry.” Steve says as he shows his badge. “Has anybody been in her room?”


“Just her doctor, nurses and oh yeah a guy delivering flowers.”


“Flowers? When?” Steve asks.


The officer looks at his watch. “Five minutes ago.”


Steve grabs the officer by his shirt. “Don’t let anybody else go in there!!! Nurses and doctors only!”


“Where did he go?” Neal asks.


“Up the hallway he turned to the left….”


“Go Steve I’ll catch up to you!!” Neal replies.


Even before Neal had finish his sentence Steve turned and he ran back up the hallway and he turned left and that hallway lead to an outside entrance. Steve hit the door with all his strength but once he got out to the parking lot he saw no one. A few minutes later Neal was by his side.


“Anything?” Neal asks.


“No nothing! Damn it!!! How’s Gracie?” Steve asks.


“She’s alright she’s sleeping. It was Randy the officer I.D. his picture.”


“Damn it!!!!” Steve picks up a rock and he throws it. “He was here! He was this close and we missed him!” Steve exclaims as he holds his hands up against his head. “Shit!! That’s it I’m going to spend the night in her room.”








It was two a.m. and Steve came out of the bathroom when he heard Grace making noise. He pulled a chair up to the bed and he sat down then he took her good hand and he held it. At his touch Grace turns her head towards him; one side of her head is bandaged heavily covering one eye.




“Yeah honey it’s me.” Steve kisses her hand.




“Oh no Gracie you have nothing to be sorry for. I should have been there for you….”




Steve gets up from the chair and he sits down on the bed next to her.


“Oh honey I know you’re scared but it’s going to be alright.” Steve kisses her on her forehead.


“Not pretty.”


“Gracie you will always be beautiful to me. Gracie honey I know who did this to you….”


Steve feels her tense up as her hand grips Steve’s harder.


“Gracie honey he won’t hurt you anymore I swear to you.”


“Love you.”


“Oh Gracie I love you too.” Steve kisses her hand. “Now go back to sleep and I’ll stay right here.”








“Come on Gracie eat it.” Steve replies as he holds a spoon full of pudding up to Gracie’s lips but Gracie stubbornly shakes her head. “Ah come on honey it’s your favorite, chocolate.”


“No! Don’t want!!!” Gracie replies.


“Oh you’re a stubborn woman!!!” Steve exclaims. “You have to eat Gracie.”




Just then the nurse comes into the room. “Well Mr. Perry?”


Steve shakes his head. “She won’t eat for me maybe you can get her to.”


“Alright and your partner is out in the hallway.”


“Thanks.” Steve moves out of his seat so the nurse can take over. “I’ll be back honey.”


Steve goes out to the hallway. “Hey.”


“Hey yourself, how’s Grace?” Neal asks.


“She’s doing okay I hope you have some good news for her.”


“Actually I do. Randy was captured in Arizona and in a couple of hours the Captain and I are going to go and bring him back.”


“That’s great!”


A few minutes later the nurse comes out of the room carrying the empty tray.


“Wow look at that she ate everything! She wouldn’t do that for me!” Steve replies.


“Mr. Perry can I talk to you for a minute?” The nurse asks.


Steve glances at Neal. “Sure.”


“Mr. Perry I think Grace would prefer that you didn’t feed her anymore.”


“Oh….” Steve replies.


“She is embarrassed….” The nurse replies.


“But she doesn’t have to be….”


“Yes Mr. Perry I know but that is how she feels.” The nurse replies.


Steve nods his head. “Alright I understand.”


The nurse puts her hand on his wrist and she smiles at him then she continues on up the hallway. Steve takes a deep breath.


“When will you be back?” Steve asks.


“Tomorrow or the next day and when we get back we’re going to talk to the D.A. and while we’re gone you might to start getting all the evidence in order and when Grace feels up to it she’ll have to give her statement.”


“Okay. It’s just that….”


“What?” Neal asks.


“Nothing.” Steve replies. “I’ll see you in a couple of days.”








“Steve I thought you would be at the hospital.” Neal replies.


“She doesn’t want me there anymore.” Steve replies.




“She thinks she’s being a burden to me, she’s embarrassed because of her injuries. She can’t do what she did before etc….I suppose you got our suspect back here okay?” Steve replies changing the subject.


“Oh yeah he’s in the jail as we speak and by now he’s probably had his first meeting with his lawyer and soon he’ll go before the judge to enter his plea and guess who his lawyer is.” Neal replies.


“Jake the snake?” Steve replies.


“You got it.”


“I suppose that Randy didn’t confess on the way here did he?” Steve asks.


“No he didn’t.” Neal replies.




“We don’t really need a confession, I mean we have all of this evidence and when Grace gives her statement, she is the only witness.”


“Next week she’s going to give her statement. The doctor doesn’t think she should travel so they are going to do it in her hospital room.” Steve replies.


“Well that is nice of them.”


The Captain comes out of his office and he comes over to Steve. “I guess you heard that Jake is going to represent Randy Evans.”


Steve nods.


“And I received this by messenger from Randy Evans lawyer. He is demanding….”


“Demanding?” Neal replies.


“Yes demanding that Steve steps down as one of the detectives on the case because of a conflict of interest having to do with the victim Grace Evans.” The Captain replies.


“Can I see that?” Neal asks.


The Captain hands him the paper. “It does say that they want Steve to step down….”


“It’s okay I’ll do it.” Steve replies.


“Steve.” Neal says as he looks shocked at Steve. “But you can’t I mean you and I worked on this case together.”


“Neal it’s alright, I was going to ask you anyway if you could take Grace’s statement I don’t think she would tell me what happened and I was involved with her, it’s the right thing to do. I’ll help you get organized for court! You’ve never been good at that.” Steve replies.


“True.” Neal replies.


“I’m going to go by and see Grace and tell her that we got him.”








“Detective Schon.”


Neal turns to see Mr. Mallory following him down the stairs of the courthouse and he waits for him at the bottom of the stairs. When Mr. Mallory catches up to him he takes Neal’s hand and he shakes it.


“I just want to thank you Detective for finding the man who killed my Karen.”


“Mr. Mallory I’m just sorry that it took as long as it did.” Neal replies.


Mr. Mallory gestures around. “All of this is new to me what happens now?”


“Well Mr. Mallory the grand jury handed down a true bill and now Randy Evans will go before a judge tomorrow and enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.” Neal explains.


“But he is guilty….”


“To you and I he might be guilty but now it will be for a jury or a judge to decide and until then he is still considered innocent.”


Mr. Mallory shakes his head. “How do you do this everyday, it must be frustrating.”


“It can be frustrating because things don’t always go the way we would like them to go but it also can be rewarding when we help someone like you Mr. Mallory.”


“I wanted to also thank your partner but I read in the paper that he was taken off of the case?” Mr. Mallory replies.


“Yes he was and I will pass your thanks along to him. Can I give you a ride somewhere?”


“No my son went to go and get the car, we had to park a block away. He told me that he wants to be a police officer I think you and your partner impressed him.”


“He does? Tell you what I’ll get some information together about the police academy and I’ll send it to him.” Neal replies.


“Thank you Detective he will like that.” Mr. Mallory pauses for a minute. “It gets harder from here doesn’t it?”


“Mr. Mallory a trial can bring a sense of closure for the family but at the same time it can cause pain, sorrow….”


“I am used to that Detective pain and sorrow have been my constant companion lately. It is a horrible thing for a parent to bury a child.”


Neal looks at the ground thinking then he looks up as he takes a deep breath. “Mr. Mallory I don’t know what the D.A. has planned but with a case such as this they will probably show crime scene photos of your daughter and say things you may not want to hear or see.”


“Detective I decided to go all the way with this for Karen. I will be at the trial and after the trial is over and he is sent to prison I will be at each and every one of his parole hearings so I am ready.”


Neal puts his hand on Mr. Mallory’s shoulder. “You’ll do alright Mr. Mallory; I think your son is here.”


They watch as a car pulls up to the curb and stops.


“Hi Bruce.” Neal replies as he opens the passenger side door.


“Hi Detective.” Bruce replies.


“Your father tells me that you’re thinking of becoming a cop.” Neal replies.


Bruce looks at his father. “Yeah I want to do what you do, I want to help people and I want to say thank you Detective. My sister and I sometimes we didn’t get along, you know the usual brother and sister thing but I love her and I miss her.”


Neal nods. “I understand Bruce and we’re being seeing a lot of each other in the coming weeks. Have a safe drive home.”


They wave at him as Neal shuts the door and as he stands there watching them drive off the Captain comes up behind him and he puts his hand on his shoulder.


“Good work Neal, the Grand Jury returned a True Bill of First Degree murder in this case.”


“Thanks Captain I wish Steve was here to hear that.”


“Why don’t you tell him?” The Captain asks.


“I will just as soon as I make a phone call.” Neal replies.


“Who are you going to call?”


Neal looks over his shoulder at the Captain. “Joey, I want to tell my son that I love him. See you later Captain.”


Neal then steps off of the curb and he crosses the street to where his car is parked.








“Bonnie can I go in and see her?” Steve asks the nurse.


Bonnie smiles. “Sure Steve she is doing much better today she’s in the solarium.”


“Thanks Bonnie.” Steve replies as he heads off towards the solarium.


Grace by now had progressed to a wheel chair and that is where she sat when Steve came to her. Steve walked slowly over to her and he carefully put his hand on her shoulder.




She turned her head and looked at him with those eyes that always brought a smile to his lips.




“Now honey I know that you told me that you didn’t want me to come here anymore but I can’t stay away, how can I?”


“It is hard for me….to have you see me….this way.” Grace says slowly.


Steve kneels down in front of her and he takes her hand. “Grace I don’t care if you’re in this wheel chair, I love you and nothing will ever change that.” Steve holds her hand tighter. “I also want to tell you that Randy was charged with first degree murder and the trial starts next week.”


Grace nods her head. “I want to testify….”


Steve looks surprised. “You do?”


“Yes I want to.” Grace replies.


Steve smiles at her. “Oh honey that is great. Can I still come and visit you?”


Grace looks down at his hand that was still holding onto hers. “You don’t care….that I am different now? I am slow….not as smart as before.”


“Grace don’t say that, you have come a long way and I already told you I don’t care about this wheel chair, I still want us to be together.” Steve puts his hand on her cheek as he smiles at her. “My Gracie girl I love you.”


A tear rolls down her face and Steve brushes it away with his thumb. “Don’t cry; remember it makes your nose all stuffy.”


Grace smiles at this as she nods her head.


“Look at all of these plants and I bet you know what each one is don’t you, what is this one?” Steve asks.


Grace reached out to touch it then she begins to tell Steve all about it.








Neal thought he had been seeing things when he thought he had seen Steve going into the newspaper building so he decided to wait, there was only one person in that building that Steve would have been there to see, Neal pulled over to the curb and he sat there.


Ten minutes later and it was no mistaking Steve who bounced his way down the stairs and to the sidewalk, Neal made a highly illegal u-turn in the middle of the street to catch up to him and when he did he paced him as he walked down the sidewalk so Neal leaned over and he rolled down the passenger side window and then he whistled at Steve.


“Hey sweetheart want a date?” Neal yells at Steve disguising his voice.


Steve does his best to ignore him as he continues to walk on.


“Oh come on cutie don’t be stuck-up!” Neal yells at him.


That causes Steve to stop and turn. “Look it buddy….” Then when he sees its Neal he waves and he smiles that goofy smile. “Oh hey Neal….”


“Hey yourself….get in the car.” Neal opens the passenger side door for him.


Steve laughs. “Well you know I have my car parked….”


“Get….in….the….car.” Neal repeats.


“Getting in the car.” Steve replies as he gets into the car.


“What were you doing in there?” Neal asks.


“In where?” Steve asks.


“Don’t play with me Steve I saw you go in there!” Neal replies.


“Oh you saw me go in there?” Steve asks.


“Yes I did so what were you doing in there?”


“Nothing.” Steve replies.




“Yeah nothing.” Steve replies.


“Who did you talk to?” Neal asks.


“Not a soul.”


“Not a soul?” Neal asks.


“Yeah she wasn’t there. Oh damn!!” Steve replies.


“Ha I knew it you were there to see Wendy weren’t you!”


Steve crosses his arms over his chest. “Maybe.”


“Steve there isn’t anybody else there that you know!”


“That isn’t true!!! I know a lot of other people in there!” Steve replies.


“Name one.” Neal replies.


“There’s the sports guy….”


“What’s his name?” Neal asks.


Steve scratches his head. “That eludes me at the moment.”


“Steve just tell me the truth you were there to see Wendy right?”


“Yeah okay I was but she is already headed over to the arraignment.” Steve replies.


“Why were you going to talk to her? I mean I can’t believe that you would….”


“If she helped me I promised to give her an exclusive to this case….” Steve says quickly.


“YOU DID WHAT???!!!” Neal yells.


“Oh don’t yell for god sakes!” Steve replies.


“Steve you promised that woman an exclusive? How could you do that?”


“Because Neal she helped me with researching Randy Evans that’s why. I tried to tell you this when it happened but a lot was going on then. She might want to even do a series of articles on how we solved the case; it was a small price to pay because it helped us solve this case!!”


“Alright but I’m not sure that I like it.” Neal replies.


“Neal she has incredible resources I mean she can find out things that we can’t and we’re the cops!!”


“Alright, okay let’s go to the Arraignment….”


“Do you forgive me?” Steve asks.


“I haven’t decided yet.”


“Ah come on Neal.” Steve replies as he pushes Neal’s shoulder with his hand.


Neal starts to smile.


“There you go!! So Neal you forgive me?”


Neal looks at him. “Alright Steve I forgive you, this time.” Neal replies as he holds up one finger.


“Thanks buddy, I’ll buy you lunch after the Arraignment so lets go!” Steve replies.








“Mr. Parker how does your client plead?” The Judge asks.


“Your honor my client pleads not guilty.”


The words were barely out of his mouth when there was a commotion from behind them and running up the aisle, much to the surprise of Steve and Neal and everybody else there in the courtroom, was Peter Waters and Steve caught him just before he vaulted over the railing.


“He’s guilty!!! He killed Sandy!!!” Peter yells as he points at Randy.


“Peter stop it!” Steve says to him.


“Your honor I want this man taken out of here!!!” Jake replies.


The Judge raps his gavel on the podium. “Order! I want order in this court!!!”


“Forget about the courts and forget about god because Evans I will kill you myself!!!!” Peter yells at him as Steve and now Neal struggle to hold him back.


“Your honor!!!” Jake replies.


“Young man if you don’t stop I will charge you with contempt!!!” The Judge yells as he points his gavel at him.


“Do it!!! That will be the only way to keep me away from him!!!” Peter yells.


“Bailiff take him out….”


“Wait Judge we’re do it! Come on Peter let’s go.” Neal replies.


“I’ll get you Evans! I’ll get you!!!” Peter continues to yell as Steve and Neal take him outside.








“I’ll say that your friend Wendy can write an interesting story.” Neal replies as he reads the paper.


“Well old Jake can write quite an opening statement as well, he blamed everybody for his client’s problem from us on down, I especially liked the part about how we needed a scapegoat.”


“Oh yeah that was original I must say, hey what do you have there?”


“A brochure about a storage place.” Steve replies.


“Oh finally getting around to cleaning out that extra room of yours?” Neal asks.


“Yeah I was thinking of turning it into a room for Grace I mean she’ll have to have a place to live when she gets out of the hospital and with her wheelchair I don’t think she can negotiate the stairs.”


“So she’s still going to move in with you?” Neal asks.


“Oh well yeah I think so….”


“You think so? You haven’t asked her again?” Neal replies.


“Well no I mean there’s been a lot going on. I was just going to clean the room out, fix it up for her with her things and surprise her….”


“Steve I don’t think that’s a good idea.”




“Because from what you told me it sounds like….like she has changed.”


“Well I am sure she has changed I mean look what happened to her but she’ll get better with my help. Neal I’m planning on taking a month off so I can take care of her, take her to her appointments help her to get better….”


“Steve I know you feel guilty….”


“It’s my fault Neal the way she is now….”


“No Steve it isn’t your fault, you didn’t know that her step-father was a sick man, that badge doesn’t make you some kind of psychic and Steve I am sure Grace wants a boyfriend or a lover not a nurse maid that’s what nurse’s are for.”


“Neal we even talked about having kids.” Steve replies.


“I didn’t know that.”


Steve shrugs as he picks lint off of his pants. “I have to let her go don’t I?”


“I think that maybe up to her.” Neal replies.


“It’s going to be alright isn’t it Neal? I mean Randy will be convicted and he’ll be sent away for a long time, justice will work, won’t it?”


“Sure I mean Randy Evans did some terrible things I don’t see how a jury wouldn’t convict him.”








“What is taking the jury so long?” Neal asks. “It’s been two days.”


“I don’t know I mean what is so hard to figure out? Grace’s testimony sealed his fate as far as I am concerned. Oh Neal I was really proud of my girl she did an excellent job.” Steve replies.


“That she did, I mean I don’t know her as well as you do but I think I saw some of the old Grace.”


Steve nods as he smiles. “You did, she got up there and she gave old Jake what-for let me tell you!!”


Neal laughs. “How is she doing Steve I mean physically?”


“Oh well you know they’ve done as much as they can here, I mean the hospital is good but it is a County hospital and they don’t have the therapy that she really needs….”


“….And….?” Neal prompts.


“When the trial is over she’s going to go to San Francisco….” Steve replies.


“Oh well when she comes back maybe you two….”


Steve shakes his head. “She won’t be coming back Neal.”


“Steve I’m sorry.”


“I did what you suggested I asked her to live with me again, I told what my plans were and how we could be together, maybe even get married.”


“She didn’t want to do that I take it?” Neal asks.


“Like you said she wanted a boyfriend not a nurse-maid and she couldn’t get over the feeling that I was only with her because I felt sorry for her, that I was trying to make a wrong a right. She told me that she doesn’t blame me for anything; none of what happened to her was my fault. Before we talked about getting married and having kids and now….after what her step-father did to her she can’t have children.”




“She didn’t want to be a burden to me but Neal she wouldn’t be but I….I couldn’t convince her otherwise. Neal you just don’t know how much I wish I was like you….”


Neal looks surprised. “Me? Why do you want to be like me?”


“You have a woman that loves you Neal and Joey, you have everything I want.” Steve replies.


“It will happen Steve you just haven’t found the right person yet….”


Steve stands up and he throws a phone book across the room. “I did find the right person Neal and Randy Evans took it all away….” Steve looks back over his shoulder at Neal. “I could kill him.”


Neal gets up and he goes over to Steve and he puts his hand on his shoulder. “I know Steve but we have to have faith in the Justice system otherwise why are we here?”


“Do you remember the day I took the oath?” Steve asks.


Neal smiles at the memory. “Yeah you were so proud Steve and I was so proud too knowing that you were going to be my partner someday.”


“I had so many grandiose ideas on how I was going to save the world and I couldn’t save the one thing in this whole world that meant more to me than anything.” Steve holds up his hand. “I know, I know that badge doesn’t make me psychic.”


“Steve if the same thing had happened to Ruby or even Joey I would feel the same way, trust me.”


Steve puts his hand on Neal’s hand. “You are the only one I trust.”


“When you think about it Steve we only have each other. No one else understands this madness that we subject ourselves to on a daily basis.” Neal replies as he sits back down.


“True.” Steve pauses a moment.


“God almighty what is taking the jury so long?” Neal asks out loud.


Just then the phone rings at Steve’s desk and he answers it. “Detective Perry, they have? Okay we’re be right there.” Steve replies as he looks at Neal then he hangs up the phone. “The jury has reached a verdict.”


Neal takes a deep breath. “Let’s go partner.”









“First of all I want to inform everyone in this courtroom no matter what happens here there will be, I repeat, there will be no outbursts. Now foreman of the Jury please hand the form to the Bailiff.” The Judge replies.


The foreman hands the paper to the Bailiff who in turn hands it to the Judge and after he reads it he says. “Foreman of the Jury will you please stand.” The Judge asks.


The Foreman stands.


“According to this you cannot reach a verdict….”


Immediately there are groans from the people in the courtroom. The Judge raps his gavel on the podium. “Order! Is that correct?”


“Yes your honor.” The foreman replies.


“It is ten against two is that correct?”


“Yes your honor.”


“I see and there is no doubt in your minds that you cannot reach a verdict in this case?” The Judge asks.


“I’m afraid so your honor.”


The Judge takes a deep breath. “Alright then in the case of the State of California versus Randy Evans I hereby declare a Mistrial.”


The Prosecutor immediately gets to his feet. “Your honor I would like to have the Jury polled.”


“Yes of course Mr. Alan.” The Judge replies.


The Judge starts with the Foreman and he asks each one if this was their own decision without being threaten or coercion and all twelve answered yes.


“Satisfied Mr. Alan?” The Judge asks.


“Yes thank you.” Mr. Alan replies.


There was much loud talking among the people in the courtroom so much so that the Judge had to use his gavel again. “Order! At this time I would like to dismiss the Jury and the State of California thanks you for your service. Bailiff please show them out.”


The Bailiff shows the Jury out and when the Judge makes sure that they are gone he speaks again. “Now Mr. Evans I will say to you that at this moment you look very happy but Justice does not end here, another jury will be picked and the whole process begins again. Court is in recess.” The Judge replies as he raps his gavel down hard on the podium.


“Come on Steve let’s go….Steve?” Neal looks around but Steve is gone and Neal knew where he had gone.


Out in the back of every courthouse is something called a sally-port the area where the deputies take the prisoners out and back to jail and as every good reporter knows if you want to get a shot of the defendant that is where you need to be and today was no different. Already there were quite a number of reporters, photographers and cameramen, along with the general public in attendance waiting for Randy Evans to show and they didn’t have to wait long.


The deputies wasted no time in bringing Randy Evans out to the numerous cat calls and cries of murderer, killer, sicko, and pervert and before they could make it to the car almost out of nowhere Steve appeared. Even though the two deputies were much bigger than him at that moment in time that didn’t matter to Steve because he ran at full force at one of the deputies and raised his foot and kicked him in the groin causing him to go down and the other deputy was so surprised that he didn’t know what to do so Steve suckered punched him then he grabbed Randy.


“You son-of-a-bitch I swear to god if you ever touch Grace again I’ll kill you!!!!” Steve has him by the collar of his jacket and he shakes him like a rag doll.


“You dirty little punk bastard!!!” Randy yells


They wrestle back and forth and they end up on the ground with the photographers and cameramen having a field day taking pictures and before Steve knew what hit him he was grabbed from behind by Neal who held him tight in his arms as Steve struggled back and forth.


“Let me go Neal!!!” Steve yells. By now the deputy that he had suckered punched had come to and he had made his way over to Randy holding his jaw.


“Steve stop it!!” Neal yells. “Steve remember where you are, the press is everywhere!!”


“I don’t give a rat’s ass whose here!!!” Steve says as he points his finger at Randy. “I swear to god I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you for what you did to Grace!!!”


Randy then spits at Steve and that only serves to set him off again as he does his best to get away from Neal’s tight bear hug. He squirms and he kicks.


“Steve stop it!!! Don’t make me hurt you!!! Stop it!!!”


But Steve doesn’t stop it and Neal applies his patented head-lock move which cuts off any hope of any oxygen to Steve’s head and when that happens it doesn’t take long for Steve to pass out.








“Steve are you okay?” Neal asks.


“Oh my head is killing me! Did you have to slap that head-lock thing on me?” Steve asks as Neal helps him to sit up.


“Yeah I did actually, you were a raving maniac. You really took out those two deputies; I think one of them will never have children.”


“Ha-ha very funny….ow that hurts!!!” Steve yells as Neal rubs his neck.


“You big baby, you went after two deputies, a psycho killer and you’re screaming cause your neck hurts.”


“Yeah go figure! Ow! Neal watch it why don’t ya!! I’m in trouble aren’t I?” Steve asks.


Neal nods. “Oh yeah I would say so considering all the press that was there. I bet you make the five o’clock news. You’re just lucky that the Judge didn’t throw your skinny ass in jail. What happened?”


“When that Judge said that it was a mistrial I just lost it Neal!!”


The Captain opens the door to his office and yells in the direction of the sofa that they were sitting on.


“Detective Perry can I see you in my office….now!”


Steve looks over his shoulder at Neal. “Yes sir.”


“Good luck.”








“So Steve how is suspension treating you?” Neal asks as he laughs.


“Ha-ha very funny!”


“What are you doing anyway and whose pickup is that in the driveway?” Neal asks.


“You really are full of questions aren’t you?”


“It’s my job.” Neal replies as he shrugs.


“I thought since I have some time off….”


“You mean since you got suspended….” Neal points out.


“Whatever!! I thought I would clean out this spare room and put all of this stuff into storage and I rented that pick-up truck to haul it all over there. Wanna help?”




“With your help I’ll get done quicker and then I can go and see Grace at the hospital.”


“Cool let’s do it.” Neal replies.


Thirty minutes into it the phone rings and Steve runs to answer it then when he returns he is holding Neal’s holster and he is wearing his.


“What’s going on?” Neal asks as he takes his holster.


“Randy Evans escaped.”








“How did he manage to escape?” Neal asks.


“There was a fight in the jail intake and in the confusion he made his way out and then he was in the wind.” The Captain replies.


“What was he doing in the jail intake?” Steve asks.


The Captain shrugs. “Nobody knows. The point is he’s gone.”


“Well we put out a B.O.L.O and an A.P.B. and every police agency from here to Oregon has been notified and Grace has been moved to a safe location.” Steve replies.


“Let’s hit the streets and see if anybody knows anything.” Neal replies.


“Let’s go partner.”








“Steve where have you been?” Neal asks.


“Making sure Gracie was okay.”


“I mean where you yesterday?” Neal asks.


“Taking the rest of stuff to storage.” Steve replies.


“Oh okay.” Neal replies.




“Not a thing, no one has seen him. Any friends that he did have left town long ago and Grace said that he didn’t have any family left so we are at a dead end.” Neal replies as he puts his hands behind his head.


“Maybe he did the county a favor by escaping.”


“What do you mean?” Neal asks.


“I mean he saved the county the cost of another trial, by now he could be out of the country hell he could even be dead, who knows.”


“Yeah man who knows. How’s Grace handling all of this?” Neal asks.


“She’s a lot stronger than she looks.”


“I bet she’ll be glad when all of this is over….” Neal replies.


“Yeah and she won’t have to wait long.” Steve mumbles.




“Nothing.” Steve replies quickly.


The Captain opens his door and he comes out into the squad room right over to Steve’s and Neal’s desk.


“Randy Evans has been found.” The Captain replies as he hands Neal a piece of paper.






“How long Sam?” Neal asks.


“A day or so at least, he was shot twice execution style.” Sam replies. “No exit wounds. Let’s just hope the bullets are in good shape.”


“All the time we spent looking for him and he’s been here all the time.” Neal replies.


“Yeah man go figure.” Steve replies.


“This part of the beach is very windy and any signs of footprints or how he got here is gone….Steve are you with me here?”


“Yeah Neal I’m with you.”


Neal takes a deep breath. “It’s off season too so all of these little booths that are usually open are closed.”


“I doubt we’re have any witnesses.”


“Is that experience talking or are you hoping out loud?” Neal asks seriously.


“Maybe it’s a little of both. I’ll meet you back at the car.” Steve replies as he turns to leave.








“So you two think that I killed him?” Steve asks.


“You threatened him in front of god and all the press in Oceanview Steve and then he turns up dead.” Neal replies.


“So that makes me a suspect?” Steve asks.


“As of now Detective Perry you are the only suspect I’m afraid.” The Captain replies.


“Where were you Steve?” Neal asks.


“I told you I was either with Grace or taking stuff to the storage place.” Steve replies.


“I’ve have to check that out.” Neal replies.


“I know.” Steve replies.


“Detective I will have to ask you for your badge and service weapon.” The Captain asks.


Steve stands up as he removes his gun from its holster and he places it on the Captain’s desk along with his badge.




“Neal it’s alright.”


“I’m sorry Steve that it has come to this.” The Captain replies.


“I’m not because justice has been served.” Steve replies. “I’ll see you guys around.”


Steve then turns and he leaves the office closing the door behind him with a finality of a coffin lid closing.








“Alright Peter I want you to tell the Captain exactly what you told me.”


“I told Detective Schon that I had read the story in the paper about his partner being a suspect in the death of Randy Evans and that I couldn’t let a innocent man take the blame for what I did.”


“Mr. Waters what are you saying?” The Captain asks.


“I want to confess to the murder of Randy Evans….”


Before the Captain can respond there is a voice behind them saying, “Wait Detective Schon!”


The Captain and Neal both turn to see Mr. Mallory and his son walking quickly towards the desk.


“Mr. Mallory and Bruce what are you two doing here?” Neal asks surprised.


“We read that same story in the paper and Detective Perry didn’t kill Randy Evans….I did. I killed Randy Evans.” Bruce replies.


“No I killed Randy Evans.” Mr. Mallory replies.


Neal leans on the desk as he looks at the three of them then he looks at the Captain. “So….what do we do now?”








“Steve is still in San Francisco visiting Grace so I thought I would finish this one up. So who killed Randy Evans? They all had motives even Steve had a motive, they all had opportunity, and they each had the means to pull it off, so who did it? You know we’ll let you decide who did it but I will say that Steve did get his wish….he did end up….saving Grace. Until next time this is Victor 7 over and out….”








©LAB and SRP & JRNY FANFICTION 2007 to 2008. All rights reserved. Steve Perry and Neal Schon’s likenesses appear only as characters. Any resemblance to any one living or dead is purely a coincidence. This fictional story is for entertainment purposes only and for the complete enjoyment of the author and the readers. I have no permission from Steve Perry or/and the members of Journey to use their likenesses or names and this story is purely fiction and written solely for the love of things and people back in the day. No real rock stars were injured in the writing of these stories and I put them back when I am finish with them.