Matt checked his watch. “Damn,” he muttered. Bobby was ten minutes late. He prayed that Ellen was still okay. There was no question that his brother wanted him dead, and he would gladly offer himself up, but the longer he took getting there, the more worried he became about Ellen. Did she try to escape and Bobby did something to her? He shook his head. No, he wouldn’t allow himself to think the worse. Bobby needed Ellen to get to him, that fact would keep her all right, at least for a little while.

The sound of the doorknob being turned got Matt’s attention. In the next moment Ellen entered the warehouse with Bobby following closely behind.

“Matt!” Ellen called out, quickly heading in his direction.

“Not so fast,” Bobby warned, grabbing Ellen’s arm before she could get too far. His gun still pointed at her.

“It’s okay, Ellen,” Matt assured the frightened woman. “Everything is going to be all right.” Turning angry eyes to his brother. “This is between us, Bobby. Let her go.”

“I’ll decide when she goes, and now is not the time! You were smart. I checked the place out, and it’s just us. That’s good. Now, I know you’re packin’, unload the heat, Eric.”

Matt shook his head. “First, you let her go.”

Ellen gasped and panted in terror as Bobby pressed his gun against her right temple. “Silly me, I guess she isn’t as important to you as I thought.” He started to squeeze the trigger.

Unspeakable fear ran through Matt’s body. “For God’s sake, Bobby. Don’t! Here, here’s the gun.” He retrieved the weapon from his waistband and tossed it to the floor.

Bobby lowered his gun. “I knew you’d see things my way.” Motioning to Matt’s gun, he directed Ellen towards it. “Pick it up, and don’t try anything funny.”

Ellen somehow managed to get her legs to move to the gun. A gun Matt had carried in there with him. She knew this situation was dangerous, but with every moment that passed it got even more so. Her whole body registered 6.4 on the Richter scale.

“That’s right, nice and easy,” Bobby instructed her. “Pick it up and bring back to me.”

She made eye contact with Matt.

Bobby snapped his fingers. “Be quick about it.”

Matt gave her a subtle nod to do as his brother said. He wasn’t sure how, but he would find a way to get them out of this mess.

Ellen managed to pick up the gun and go back over to Bobby without shooting herself. Securing the gun from her hand, he told her to stand over by Matt.

Under the spell of the weapons he held pointed at them, Matt and Ellen were a captive audience, both literally and figuratively.

“I see you’ve kept yourself busy over the last ten years, Dr. Harmon.” His tone was saturated in condescension as he glanced from Matt to Ellen and back to Matt. “I bet you think you’re really hot stuff now. You always did think you were better than the rest of us, but you’re not. As a matter of fact, you’re worse than anything you could ever accuse the family of being. A true Mancusi would never be a rat.”

“I wasn’t given a choice. I wouldn’t have said a word. I just wanted out of that madness we called life.” Matt closed his eyes for a moment as he remembered that awful time from years ago. “I begged Pop to let me go, but he wouldn’t. No, instead he instructed you to eliminate me. I was your brother. We had gone through everything together, and you shot me in the back. You shot me!”

“That’s right, I shot you. My mistake was in that I didn’t kill you like I was supposed to. I spent ten years in prison because of you.”

“Ten years in prison?! I’m going to spend the rest of my life in this chair. I got the short end of the stick, Bobby, not you! But you know what, I’m not letting what I can’t control, control me. I have a life, and you can have one, too. Just, Bobby, please, leave. Go back to Philly and forget about me.”

“Oh, I plan to forget all about you, as soon as I finish the job I left undone all those years ago. You got to enjoy the life you made for yourself. Me, I got to enjoy the life the state of Pennsylvania decided I should have. Every day of those ten years I spent locked up, I thought about you and the many ways I could kill you when I got out. The bombing in the hotel didn’t work. But, now that you’re here, if I shot you again, I’m pretty sure I would get the job done.”

“What kind of a man are you?!” Ellen railed in disbelief. “You talk about killing someone, your own brother, like it’s taking a breath.”

“It’s in the blood, baby. Don’t let the name Matt Harmon fool you. It’s in his blood, too. He’s just like me. Except I don’t hide from what I am, I embrace it. You’d be wise to remember that.”

“No.” Matt shook his head in disagreement. “I’m nothing like you. I don’t take lives; I save them. I’m trying to save yours right now. You didn’t trust me before, Bobby, but you have to trust me now. What will you have waiting for you if you killed me? More time in prison is what I figure. Is that what you want?”

“With the knowledge that you’re dead, I would gladly spend the rest of my life behind bars. As a matter of fact, I’d call it a fair trade. But, I don’t think that’s going to happen. You see, there’s no witnesses here, or at least there won’t be.” Approaching his hostages, Bobby stuck the gun in his left hand into the pocket of his suit coat. “Dead men can’t talk, and pretty Miss Dimples here, I’m gonna see she keeps quiet. I just have one dilemma. Am I gonna enjoy the fun I have planned for her before or after I kill you? I’m leaning towards before.”

Matt voice was deadly quiet. “What are you talking about?”

Bobby’s laughter was devoid of humor. “C’mon, Eric, you know. Since I walked out of prison, my main focus has been in finding you. Thanks to a nice postcard I got from Dr. Ramsey, I found you in this fair city. It saved me lots of time.”

Matt couldn’t believe what he just heard. “What? Chris sent you here?”

“Oh, yeah. That Ramsey has it in for you and the perky dark-haired nurse, she just wants you. The GH staff was more than happy to assist me in finding Dr. Harmon. Dr. Burgess, here, on the other hand, was far less helpful. In fact, it was Dr. Ramsey who tipped me off to the fact that she had been spending a lot of time with you these past few days. I can’t blame you for wanting to spend time with her.” Bobby hungrily raked his eyes up and down Ellen’s body. “She’s hot, Eric. I imagine she’s even hotter in the sack. It’s been a really long time. Too long,” he reiterated, stroking Ellen’s cheek.

Ellen flinched from his touch and whimpered in fear. Tears streamed down her cheeks.

“Shhh, hey,” Bobby murmured. “Don’t be scared, Doc. I’m gonna take good care of you.”

Rage shook Matt’s body. “Take your damn hands off her!” he demanded.

Aiming his gun at Matt, “Who’s gonna make me?” he spat, before turning his attention to Ellen’s frightened face. “You must really be good if he doesn’t want to share. It’s a good thing I have no problem with taking what I want. Lose the clothes.”

Ellen shook her head and backed away from him. “No, no.”

Matt reached under his bubbled seat cushion for the gun he had taken from Mike. “Bobby, I swear to God--” he raged.

Ellen’s non-cooperation and Matt’s constant chatter had used up the little bit of patience Bobby had.

It was then that Ellen saw something in the man’s eyes that chilled her blood. He was going to kill, and he was going to do it now.

“You know what, I’ve had about enough from you!” Bobby shouted, before turning with a jerk toward Matt.

Not thinking of her own safety, Ellen lunged at the angry man. It was in the next moment the sound of a gunshot filled the room.