Act I

Remy quickly called for the paramedics to send up a kit to him and a backboard. Shaking his hands from the cold, he grabbed the bag and dropped it near his side. As he was opening the bag, he turned to the paramedic who had stuck his head up through the hatch.

"Call down and get them to bring the fire trucks as close to the lighthouse as they can. They're going to need a large ladder to bring her down." Somehow on the narrow platform they were going to have to load the injured woman on the board to get her down safely. Quickly, he grabbed a blanket from the kit and wrapped it around Natalia's lower body and then turned to look back to Natalia with an apologetic look.

Olivia could feel the shivers from her partner as the younger woman lay in her arms. Keeping pressure on the wound with one hand, she felt around her with one hand and located the blanket Natalia had been using earlier. She wrapped it around her partner's shoulders, then returned to apply pressure, and noted the wince on the younger woman's face. Continuing to gently brush her fingers along Natalia's face, Olivia wished that somehow she could do more. "Hold on, sweetheart. You're going to be okay. See. Remy's here taking good care of you."

Checking the injured woman's pulse again, Remy noted that it was racing. He slid the blood pressure cuff onto the woman's upper arm and pumped it up. Quickly placing the stethoscope into place, he checked the younger woman's vitals. Her blood pressure was up but that was to be expected, but what worried him more were the wheezes and wet sounds coming from Natalia's lungs. Grabbing a pair of gloves and donning them, he turned and spoke to her, "Natalia, I need to cut your shirt to see where the bullet entered." He looked up and saw her nod. He picked up the scissors and cut a fast line up the front of the shirt, parting it to get a look at the wound. It took actually ordering Olivia to remove her hand before he could check as the older woman's focus had been so intent on her partner.

With the blood coating the younger woman's upper chest, it was difficult at first to see the bullet entry in the poor light. He grabbed a gauze sponge from the kit with one hand and quickly wiped away as much of the blood as he could, while taking over holding pressure. Swiftly, he lifted the gauze and dropped it to the side, grabbing another from the kit. The blood flow was sluggish but still steady. He directed Olivia to return to maintaining pressure on the wound as he turned and grabbed intravenous tubing and a bag of saline. Needing an extra hand, he looked over at Frank and Anna trying to get their attention.

"I need help," Remy called over to them.

****

Angrily, Anna ripped the mask covering the kidnapper's face, wanting to see who was responsible for causing her friends so much pain. "Oh, God." She reeled back on her haunches. She looked over at Frank, who was still staring over as Remy and Olivia took care of Natalia. She noted that he seemed in a state of shock, but she needed to get through to him. "Frank." No response. In a louder tone, she repeated, "Frank!"

"What?" he asked, still dazed as he turned toward the detective. He looked at her in confusion and then down at the fallen body between them. Then he really looked at the form, glancing up the torso to the revealed face. He started shaking his head, refusing to believe that the body lying on the promenade deck was his daughter. "No! No…this can't be real." Quickly, he went to see if he could find a pulse. Not finding one, he looked over at Anna in disbelief and then back to Marina. He felt sick to his stomach. NO! It can't be. She's dead. Oh God, what have I done?! Quickly, he turned and threw up over the side of the deck. Wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his coat, he turned and sat on the deck and stared at the body of his daughter. He didn't understand. She wasn't supposed to be here. What was she doing here? Why was she here?

Anna was becoming seriously worried about her boss; his skin color had turned ashen, as the snow coated his hair. Even though the cause was different, he was as just as much at risk right now of shock as Natalia. She heard Remy's call for help and looked over at him before quickly checking back at Frank, assessing his state of mind. There was nothing she could do for Marina. She thought for a moment. She needed to get Frank down off the promenade and into the care of the paramedics below before she could help with Remy.

"Remy, I'll be there in just a minute," Anna said as she made her way over to Frank.

Looking over at the detective, Remy asked, "Why?"

A glance down at the body, then at Frank and back at Remy, Anna mouthed, "It's Marina." She looked toward the ladder opening. "I need to get Frank downstairs now." She noted his surprised look then nod of acknowledgement before he turned his attention back to Natalia. As she looked back at her boss, she noted he still had his weapon in his hand with a near death-like grip on the hilt. Taking a plastic bag out of her jacket pocket, she moved over to him. "Frank, I need your gun."

Nothing.

She crouched down in front of him, waiting for him to acknowledge her. "Frank, I need to take your weapon."

He nodded absently and handed the gun to her.

Anna checked that the safety was engaged and then placed it in the bag, sealing it and placing it into her pocket. Standing, she held out her hand for Frank to take. When he took hold, she pulled him to his feet and then led him around the other side of the deck, and around the narrow edging of the hatch. "Watch your step," Anna said. She knew he was in the beginning stages of shock and not fully aware of his surroundings. Once he was though the hatch and down the stairs, she followed behind.

Catching the attention of the nearest paramedic, she sent the man up the stairs with the backboard and more supplies. Turning around, she spotted another paramedic. "I need you to take Chief Cooper outside and to an ambulance. He's going into shock."

"Yes, Ma'am," the paramedic responded.

"Has Lt. Andros arrived yet?" Anna asked.

"I don't think so. She wasn't out there when I came in."

"Okay. Thank you." Anna turned once she saw them leave the room and head upstairs. She sighed, and swallowed, though her throat felt like it was constricting. She took a couple deep breaths to center herself, and picked up her two-way radio. "Detective Li for Agent Mallet." She waited a moment for the man to respond.

"Agent Mallet. Go ahead," the man's voice came over the radio.

"I need you at the lighthouse now," Anna responded.

"On my way."

Anna turned back toward the hatch entrance; the drifting snow was falling through. She wanted to head back up and see if she could help Olivia but she knew the other woman wouldn't come back in until Natalia was safely secured in the backboard carriage and on her way down to the ambulance. Once she spoke with Mallet, she'd go back up and stay with Olivia. The heavy footsteps on the stairs alerted her to the agent's presence.

"What's going on? What happened?" Mallet asked.

"When Olivia got up to the deck, the kidnapper was trying to throw Natalia over the side rail. Olivia managed to stop it, but when the kidnapper made a further move against the two women, Frank shot her."

Mallet jerked his head back in surprise. "Her? Who was it?"

"Marina," Anna responded with anger still framing her tone.

"What?" Mallet reeled back slightly. He knew his ex-wife had been spiraling, but he didn't know she'd go this far. Why had I not seen this? He let out a ragged breath as he ran a gloved hand through his hair. He had just started reconnecting with his ex-wife since he had returned from overseas. He had loved her and been happy with her once. Now he wondered where things went all wrong for Marina. What could make her that desperate to kidnap someone and hold them hostage? As much as it pained him to put Marina's actions and subsequent death aside, a matter he'd have to deal with later, he knew that there was someone alive who needed their help. "What about Natalia?"

"Natalia was shot as well. The bullet went through Marina and hit Natalia. Remy and another paramedic are up there trying to stabilize her for transport."

"Olivia?" Mallet asked, concerned for the other woman.

"Holding on by a thread." Seeing Mallet's face grow more concerned, Anna continued, "No, she wasn't hit, but she finally got Natalia back and now..."

Mallet nodded. He knew all too well what that felt like; Dinah had been shot years ago after stepping in front of a bullet that a loan shark had meant for Mallet. He'd been beside himself.

"Look, I need you to try to keep Lt. Andros out of the lighthouse until we can remove Marina's body." Anna started to pace as she was working through her thoughts. "Once Natalia's securely down, I'll need another paramedic unit to come up with a body bag and take Marina down." She stopped and stood in front of Mallet. "I do not want it being leaked that Marina was the kidnapper, until we can notify all her family."

"Understood," Mallet responded. He blew out a long, low breath and then shook his head. He knew this would be difficult on Buzz and the rest of the Cooper and Lewis clans. "The fire trucks were just outside the lighthouse extending the ladder when I came in here."

"Good. Go on. I'm going to head upstairs and try to get Olivia to come on down," Anna said. She waited for the agent to leave before she headed back to the ladder and ascended through the hatch.

****

Doris stormed up the path heading toward the lighthouse, but was blocked by the police officer at the edge of the barricade. She debated the merits of just going around the officer but just as she was going to make an attempt she spotted Mallet heading out the door. "What's going on and why the hell does Frank look like someone shot his dog?"

"Short version: kidnapper shot and killed, Natalia also shot. Paramedics are with her," Mallet said. He carefully sidestepped the question regarding Frank, figuring the news about her friends would distract her attention.

Doris gasped. "Is she okay? Where's Olivia?"

"I don't know the details. Paramedics are stabilizing Natalia. Anna's up with Olivia," Mallet said as he held up his hand, trying to halt the mayor's barrage of questions. "Look, Anna's in charge of the case. When she's able, she will let you know what's going on, okay?"

"Look, just keep me in the loop. I have to eventually make statements to the press. I'll hold off as long as I can."

"Should you be doing that, given how close you are to the Spencer family?" Mallet half-heartedly challenged.

Doris glared at him. "Seriously, Mallet? I don't know too many in this town who aren't at least somehow attached to the Coopers or Spencers. This town is entirely too incestuous."

Mallet nodded, acknowledging the statement. "Come on, I need to go see if Eleni has arrived yet. We're not going to be doing any good out here." He directed Doris back out to the Search and Rescue tent. On second thought, he stopped a moment. "Natalia's going to be transferred to the hospital soon. Olivia's going to need a friend there."

"All right," Doris sighed, but realized that he was right. Pivoting, she turned and walked past the tent toward her car. She winced as she arrived at Olivia's car. Feeling inside her coat pocket, she ran her fingers over both sets of keys - her own and Olivia's. Looking back toward the lighthouse, she reasoned that Olivia would be going over in the ambulance. She fished her phone out of her pocket and sent a quick text to her friend: Have your car. Meet at hospital.

****

When the EMTs arrived at Cedars with Frank Cooper strapped to the stretcher and an oxygen mask affixed to his face, he was still conscious but barely responsive; he had an oxygen mask affixed to his face. The EMTs transferred Frank to an ER stretcher and then removed portable cardiac machine leads from his chest, connecting him instead to the department's machine. His rapid pulse was nearing an alarming rate.

Rick shone a light into each of Frank's eyes, noting the dilation of the pupils, then continued his initial assessment. He looked up at one of the first responders. "What happened?"

"From what we were told, he shot the kidnapper as she was trying to kill the victim, Ms. Rivera. He didn't know who it was at first because the person was masked."

"She?" Rick asked, startled. "Who?"

"Marina Cooper," the responder said.

"Oh, hell." Rick turned his attention back to the unresponsive form on the stretcher. He said a quick prayer for his friend before turning back to the responder. "Was there anyone else injured?"

The responder signed off on his report, handing it over to Dr. Bauer. "36 year old female, Natalia Rivera in route now. She was also hit, by accident."

"Marina?" Rick inquired, fearing the answer for his friend's sake.

"She was pronounced dead at the scene, Doc," the young man responded.

"Damn." Rick sighed heavily as he understood the cause of Frank's present predicament. He knew that an emotional shock like this was sometimes more difficult to treat. They could make sure he was stable, but the aftereffects would take a considerable while longer, and could easily affect his ability to heal, or lead to PTSD. Looking back at the responder, he gave his thanks before turning back to Frank.

After ordering blood work and vitals, Rick looked down at the chart then over at his friend and began a more thorough assessment.

****

Aware of where Olivia's attention was focused, Anna turned to the position of Marina's body. Taking one of the discarded blankets, she moved over and placed it over the body, shielding it.

Once the fire truck's ladder had been extended and secured against the side of the lighthouse to prevent it from shifting in the heavy winds, Anna turned to Olivia and placed an arm around the other woman's shoulder. "Olivia, come on," Anna urged her friend to move. "Natalia's going to be all right."

"But I -," Olivia started.

"They're going to get her down and into an ambulance." She turned the other woman until Olivia was facing her. Waiting until she had Olivia's attention she continued, "If you want to go with her, we need to go down now."

"I want...I need to be with her," Olivia responded as she looked over at Remy and the other paramedic. They'd covered Natalia's wound with layers of gauze dressings, then applied a band around her torso, keeping the dressing in place. They'd also started an IV of fluids running into her partner. She'd had to move back when they rolled her onto the backboard and strapped her in, and only then did she take a look around and saw the covered form. Not seeing the Chief, she turned back to Anna. "Where's Frank?"

"He's already gone down," Anna said, keeping her replies brief.

Nodding her head toward the body, Olivia asked, "Who?"

"Not now, Olivia." She tried to redirect Olivia's focus. "We need to get you downstairs and at the ambulance, ready for Natalia, so you can head to the hospital."

In no mood for deterrence, Olivia rounded on her. "Spit it out, Anna. I deserve to know who nearly killed my wife!"

Anna sighed and lowered her head for a moment. "Marina."

"What?!" Olivia said, seething and looking for an outlet. "Where is the bitch?"

"She's dead, Olivia," Anna said calmly. Again, she waited for her friend's attention to return to her. "Frank shot her when she lunged for you and Natalia."

It took a moment for Olivia to register what the detective had said. Then it sunk in. Frank had unknowingly shot and killed his own daughter. As much as the older man frequently annoyed her when it came to dealings with her family, he had been a friend, and she couldn't wish the kind of hell he was going to go through on anyone. Even though she was still angry with Marina for putting Natalia in danger, for nearly killing her, there was nothing she could do about that, so instead she returned her focus to Natalia.

The younger woman's pallor frightened her. Oh, God. Olivia sighed and swiped at the tears that started to streak down her cheek. I know I don't talk to you much, or pray, really; that's more Natalia's thing. But please, can you help her now? I never thought I deserved someone that special in my life, but she's turned my life inside out, for the better. Natalia is my heart and soul. She makes life worth living. Olivia glanced fondly at her partner. She makes me smile. Leaning over the younger woman, she gently brushed a few wayward hairs from her forehead before pressing a kiss there. "I love you. Never forget that."

Remy and the paramedic placed Natalia into the transport stretcher and ropes were connected to the stretcher to allow for a controlled transfer. Gently, the casing was lowered over the railing. Ropes were dropped to the ground Rescue crews, as the ladder crew levered the stretcher down. As soon as it was all the way down, the Rescue crew unlatched the stretcher, and quickly transferred Natalia into a waiting ambulance.

Anna guided Olivia down the stairs and out to the ambulance where Olivia climbed in taking a seat on the bench inside. She noticed her friend reaching out and placing a hand on Natalia's arm, trying to maintain some contact with her partner and she whispered a prayer as the vehicle's doors were closed. She watched as the lights and sirens of the ambulance started. A pat to the back of the ambulance and Anna turned back to the lighthouse to await the next paramedic crew to follow her up the stairs to the deceased form of Marina Cooper.

The movements would be done as quickly as they were able and the body transferred to the hospital morgue via ambulance. This one, however, would have no lights or sirens.

****

"Agent Mallet, I was told to talk to you when I got here," Eleni said as she entered the tent, a portable forensics kit in one hand and a coffee in the other.

"Please tell me that coffee is for me?" Mallet almost whimpered as he caught the scent of the drink.

"Um, no. Sorry. The coffee at the precinct was cold and probably there since last night," Eleni said apologetically. "I needed a caffeine fix."

"Tell me about it." Mallet moved to transfer the kit to the ground, aware that there was no way Eleni was letting him hold her coffee. He relayed the information to her about what had happened at the top of the lighthouse, carefully editing out references to Marina being the kidnapper, at least until Anna had a chance to speak with her. "The ambulance is just taking Natalia to the hospital now."

"What happened to the kidnapper?" Eleni asked, but when she noticed Mallet, hedging. "Mallet?"

"The kidnapper is being transferred to the hospital morgue for examination," the agent responded as he looked around the tent, avoiding looking at the medical examiner's eyes. "Look, why don't I bring you out to the site where Jonathan found the abandoned vehicle? You can get started on collecting evidence."

"Mallet, what's going on that you're not telling me?" Eleni asked. The man's evasiveness was starting to grate on her nerves. She had moved into his line of sight just as Detective Li entered the tent. Eleni sighed, hoping that her friend would let her know exactly what happened.

"Hi, Eleni," Anna said, addressing the other woman. "I need to talk to you privately. Can we talk in your car?"

"Yeah, sure. What's this about?" Eleni asked.

"Not here," Anna responded before turning to Mallet. "Can you go oversee the transfer of the kidnapper, please?" At Mallet's nod, Anna led Eleni out to the other woman's car.

Settling the other woman into the front passenger seat, she closed the door and went around to the driver's side, then turned to face her friend. Looking down at her hands then up at Eleni, she spoke softly, "Eleni, I'm sorry, but there's no good way to tell you this. Marina was the kidnapper responsible for holding Natalia."

"What?" Shaking her head in denial, Eleni looked at Anna beseechingly. "No, you have to be wrong." She looked down seeing the tremors in her hand. Quietly, she continued, "Please tell me you're wrong."

Anna reached over and covered Eleni's hand. "I'm so sorry. When she lunged at Natalia and Olivia up on the deck, trying to throw them over the railing, she was shot in the back. It went through her and hit Natalia. With Remy and Olivia helping Natalia, Frank and I checked the kidnapper."

"Frank? Where is he?" Eleni worriedly looked out through the windscreen, scanning across the groups of police and fire rescue crews, not seeing her ex-husband.

"I sent him to the hospital about twenty minutes or so ago," Anna replied.

Turning a confused glance at her friend, Eleni said, "I don't understand. Was he hurt?"

"No," Anna started. "He was starting to go into shock." Taking a deep breath, Anna continued. "Eleni, Frank was the one to shoot the kidnapper. With the mask on, he had no way of knowing it was Marina until I removed it."

"Oh, God, no," Eleni choked out. Recoiling back into her seat, Eleni turned facing the front of the car, looking out the window but not really seeing anything. She brought her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them.

Anna turned to look out at the scene playing out before her as various police and rescue crews exited and entered the lighthouse. Needing to make a decision, she looked back at Eleni and then out the window where Mallet stood at the entrance to the tent. Seeming to figure out a course of direction she turned to the other woman, "Eleni, if you can give me about ten minutes, I'll drive you over to the hospital."

For a long moment, there was no response and Anna wondered if the other woman had actually heard her.

"Evidence," Eleni spoke quietly and flatly. "I was supposed to get the evidence…," Her voice trailed off.

"Don't worry about that right now," Anna said reassuringly as she put her hand on Eleni's arm. "I'll make sure that everything is collected and sent to your office."

It wasn't until Eleni had felt the other woman's hand on her arm that she had even registered what Anna had said. "I need to get everything secured."

Turning so that she was fully focused on her friend, Anna brought her hand up to touch Eleni's face, bringing it to face her. "Stop. I will look after this, I promise." She watched her friend's face; it was as if the heart and head were having an internal argument. After a moment, she saw the woman's shoulders drop. "I'll speak with Mallet to get him and the officers to finish collecting the evidence gathered from the lighthouse, the supply house, and the van. Then I will drive you to the hospital."

Absently, Eleni tilted her head. "What about your car?"

Anna shook her head, not expecting the question, figuring that Eleni had much more to worry about than transportation. "I came with Frank and Mallet. Mallet and Remy can take the police truck back to the department when they're finished." Turning and placing her hand on the door release, she noticed Mallet walking toward the car. Quickly, she turned back to face Eleni. "You'll be okay for a few minutes?" When she received a nod of assurance, she opened the car door and strode to Mallet and redirected him back to the tent.

****