At the mall, Tara and CC decided that since they didn't have much time to shop, they would just grab something to eat and head back to the cemetery to pick up Alexa. CC found a table in the food court and left Tara there while he went to pick up the food from the pizza and BBQ vendors. On the way to the food court, Tara had pointed out the place where she had been snatched by the kidnapper and later the place where her mom had pummeled the guy.

As she sat there, Tara was still thinking about the last time her mom had recounted the story. Tara smiled to herself.

"What a beautiful smile for a beautiful young woman," Tara heard from a mysterious source on her right. As she turned to see who was speaking, she felt a shock run through her when she looked into the most gorgeous blue eyes she had ever seen. She detected a hint of a Scottish brogue in his accent.

He was sitting at the table next to hers and was staring intensely at her, as if trying to memorize her features. Strangely enough, she didn't feel uncomfortable under his gaze. Tara had no idea what to say, so she merely smiled again and said, "Thank you. Do I know you?"

"I don't think we've met before," he replied, "but I hope to remedy that today. Name's Liam MacGreggor. And what is your name lovely lady, if I may be so bold as to inquire?"

Tara blushed but parried, "You are bold alright, but because you asked so politely, my name is Tara Graham."

"Ah, Tara. I believe it fits you well. You are as beautiful as the hill itself."

"Excuse me?" Tara asked confusedly, "I'm not sure what you mean."

"Well, simply put, your name is the English derivation of a beautiful hill in Ireland, better known as a seat of power in ancient times. I've actually been to the location, and I must say that you are much more lovely than anything God placed there at creation."

Tara didn't know how to respond, so she simply stared for a moment and then caught herself as CC approached balancing a tray with their food and drinks.

"Here is your pizza, Tara. You said cheese, right? Uh, Tara? You ok?"

"Oh yes, thank you CC," Tara looked toward Liam to introduce him to CC, but the table was empty where Liam had been sitting. Tara wondered afterward if she had imagined the whole odd episode. At that thought, she felt a little sad because Liam was certainly handsome.

Dark brows hooded his blue eyes; and his handsome face was fringed by dark brown hair that came to his shoulders. He had a small loop earring on his right ear. He looked to be about 17 or 18 years old, but seemed to be very confident, intelligent, and well traveled. She thought it strange that he had spoken to her and even stranger was her reaction to him. She felt like Destiny had just paid her a visit.


CC almost lost it when he drove through the cemetery gates and saw Alexa being held at gunpoint by some man. He strangely resembled Bob, but that couldn't be right. CC quickly stopped the vehicle and grabbed his gun out of the glove compartment, thanking God that he had thought to bring it with them on this trip. God, guide my steps and keep Lex safe, he prayed.

He quickly hid behind a tree to disguise his presence and slowly crept toward the pair. He could see the confusion and fear on Alexa's face and was doubly glad that he had thought to drop off Tara at the hotel before coming over here. As he began to close in, he heard Alexa say that she would rather die than go with him.

It IS Bob! Then to his horror, Bob said, "I would be happy to oblige, m'lady."

At that moment, Alexa backed up and lost her footing, falling to the ground. Apparently whatever tripped her also tripped Bob as he lunged for her, and he fell to the ground a few feet away from her. Alexa rolled away from him and jumped up and began to run. CC could tell when she spotted him because she quickly changed direction and began running full out toward him.

CC saw Bob begin chasing her. When Bob recognized why Alexa had changed directions, he stopped his pursuit and took aim.

CC yelled, "Lex, DOWN!" surprisingly she obeyed and dived to the ground. CC had a clear shot and he took it. He winged Bob and his gun fell to the ground. CC ran up to Bob and knocked him away from the gun. CC then proceeded to pummel Bob to within an inch of his life so that he could not escape or hurt Alexa again.

Alexa had to pull CC off Bob's unconscious form. She had called the police on her cell phone and could hear the sirens closing in on their location. Alexa jumped into CC's arms and showered him with kisses, and he returned the favor just as enthusiastically.

"Woman, what am I going to do with you? You scare me to death in one heartbeat, and make me happier than any man alive in the next."

Alexa looked up into his beautiful brown eyes and gave him a teary grin, "I don't know Chief Chris, that's something you'll have to figure out on your own. I will tell you this though, if you ever yell a dog command at me again, even if it is to save my life, I will have to smack you."

CC threw back his head and laughed, "You never cease to amaze me. I thought I had lost you! I love you, angel. My sweet Lex, I love you!"

Between kisses, Alexa said, "I love you, CC, with all my heart and soul and mind and strength. I love you!"

CC hugged her tight and bent to whisper into her ear, "'Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove. O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark, that looks on tempests and is never shaken;'". With that, CC tilted her chin and gave her a gentle kiss filled with tomorrow's promises.


(Watch for the sequel soon – new villain, more of Liam – Tara's hot new admirer, new stuff happening to some of AIG's friends, and some competition for CC.)