My fourth story. I always tell myself: ‘Ash, ya gotta get a grip. Come back to reality. You’ve got exams to study for, cute guys to talk to.’ But I like it here. I don’t wanna go back.
Man, this is unhealthy.
Anyway, I was checking out the archive, and I was saddened at the lack of SRK stories. However, the ones out there are pretty good. Especially one titled “ Reading Between the Lines” by TAE. No clue who this person is, but it’s a damn good piece of reading material. It got me thinking, Fraser’s love life is often ( to such an extent it’s almost sickening, ) written about...but never Ray’s. So I figured it’d be only fair to elaborate on the Stella/ Ray, issue. They’re such a cute couple! It came to me suddenly, and I figured I write it before I lost it. I got the title from the wonderful song by Jann Arden, ‘I Would Die For You”. Initially, I wanted to use it in “ Godfather II” when Luke was shot, but...oh well. Standard disclaimer, PG I guess, just ‘cause of the blood factor.  A hankee warning has also been issued, but I’m a sensitive fool.
(‘I Would Die For You’, ™ Jann Arden)

I Would Die For You ™  Ashley Sametz, 1998
Part One
 ...I’ve never seen this kind of love
 The kind that won’t wash away
   And then leave you in the dark...
 Ray Kowalski sighed, and shut the door to interrogation room 2. He rubbed the back of his neck, and sighed. Dewey approached him.

 “ Is he talking?”

 “ Yeah.” Replied Ray, “ But you won’t have much luck with him unless you can speak Arabian.”

 Dewey shrugged, and entered the room. Ray continued down the hall, and plopped himself in his desk. A familiar woman approached him.

 “Ray, where’s you collar?”

 Ray looked up with the sound of the woman’s voice. “ Oh, hey Stella. He’s umm, in room 2, with Dewey.” Stella nodded, and walked away from Ray’s desk. Ray hung his head.

 “ You look so pathetic. And seriously, could you be any more obvious?”

 Ray didn’t look up to face his so-called sister. “ I’m not obvious Francesca. And I’m not pathetic. Pathetic would be doing what you do around Fraser.” Oddly, Franny didn’t have a snappy comeback for him.

 “Ray, can I give you some advice?”

 Ray sighed. Accepting advice from Franny was like accepting a letter from the Unibomber.

 “ Just tell her how you feel! I mean, maybe she’s not getting the vibes you’re giving off. Ask her out to dinner, or something. You like dancing, don’t you? Take her to the Crystal Bathroom or something.”

 Ray laughed. “ Ballroom, Franny. Ballroom, not bathroom.”

 “ Yeah, well, take her there! Just for ‘old times sake’ or something. You look like a little lost puppy.”

 Ray raised his eyebrows. “ You know Franny...that’s not a bad idea. But what if she says no?” Francesca shrugged.

 “ That’s your problem bro.” She walked back to her station, and Ray contemplated what he would say to Stella. He slowly, carefully got up from his desk, and walked down the hall to the interrogation room. Stella walked out the moment he was about to open the door.

 “ Oh, sorry Ray.” Not the kind of greeting he had hoped for.

 “ Uhh, Stella? Have you eaten yet? I mean, my shift’s done, and I was wondering if maybe you’d, you know...come out to dinner with me, and or something. For old times sake.” He threw in.

 Stella nodded, still looking down into the folder she was holding. “ Sure Ray, that’d be nice. Just give me a second to go and talk to Welsh. I’ll meet you at your desk.” Ray nodded.

 “ Sure.” Stella walked in the direction of Welsh’s office, and Ray grinned. Franny walked by, and he grabbed her, and hugged her.

 “ Man Franny, you give the best advice!”

 “ Get off me!”
Part Two

 ...I’ve never kissed a sweeter mouth
 I’ve never been swept away
 It’s what dreams are made up of...
 Ray was in heaven. The last time he had danced Stella’s apartment. However, they were interrupted by the mountie banging on the door. Ray inhaled deeply. He loved the way she smelled. He had bought her that perfume when they were going out. It was still her favourite.

 “ Your loosing the rhythm.” Stella whispered.

 “ I haven’t danced in a long time. I’ve had no one to dance with.” The song ended.

 “ Ray, can, can we take a break?”

 “ Sure.” Stella lead him off the dance floor, and they sat down at their table.

 “ So...are you seeing anyone?” Stella asked. Ray looked up surprised, and choked on his mint.

 Cough, Cough.

 “ Uhh, no...Are you...?”

 Stella nodded. Ray hid his sadness. “Ray, look,” she began. “ We’re divorced, OK? I don’t think I should go over it with you before I go out with another guy.” Ray studied the pattern on the tablecloth.

 “What’s this guy like?”

 “ I knew you we’re gonna ask that. He’s nice. I met him in court. He was on the jury.”

 “ What’s he do?”

 “ He’s a salesman.” Ray snorted. “You know something Ray,” Stella said defensively, “ that’s your problem. If someone doesn’t fit into your little... class of who’s exemplary, you automatically assume they’re idiots.” Ray managed to look both embarrassed, and defiant.

 “ He’s great.” Stella finished.

 “ That’s what you said about Orsini.” Sniffed Ray.

 “ Why do you care so much about the men I date?!” cried Stella.
 “ Because I still love you!” Ray shouted back. He paused for a moment, looking at the expression on Stella’s face. “ I care about you! I worry all the time! When we were married, I felt that you were safe....I was protecting you. But now I can’t do that...because you’re never with me anymore.”

 “ Ray, I don’t need protecting.” Stella got up out of her chair, picked up her coat, and stormed out of the restaurant.

 “ Stella!” cried Ray, standing up. “ Stella! Ste-” Anger and frustration lead him to whacking the table as hard as he could. He picked up his sportscoat from the back of his chair, and went out after his ex-wife. He caught up with her as she was climbing into a cab.

 “ Stella! Wait!” Ray took her by the arm, firmly, but gently. She look up at him.

 “ What?”

 “ Let me give you a ride home.” Stella looked at the cab, then back to him.

 “ Fine. But you’re not coming in.”
Part Three
 ...I would die for you
 I would die for you
 I would die for you...
 They walked to Ray’s car, the clicking of Stella’s heels breaking the gaps between one-word sentences. Ray froze.

 “ Don’t move.” He grabbed Stella’s arm. She looked at him quizzically. He pulled his gun from his shoulder-holster, and put his glasses on, straining to see through the darkness. A shadow moved across the street, and from the light off the streetlamp, he could make out 2 figures, passing something to each other. He walked to the other side of the parking lot, leaving Stella by the car. Ray poised his gun, ready to shoot. Stella was growing impatient.

 “ Ray, come on. I want to go home.”

 Things seemed to move in slow motion. Ray could see one of the figures pull
gun out from under his sweatshirt. Ray ran across the parking lot faster than he had ever
moved before.

 Three shots were fired.

 “Get down!” Ray made a dive in front of Stella, bringing her down with him. He fired his weapon once, and the men across the street ran into the cover of darkness.

 Ray let out a whimper, and his gun fell out of his hands. Stella rolled him off her. The front of her cream-coloured blouse was a deep crimson. She ran her fingers over the buttons.

 The blood was not hers.

 Ray lay on his back, a lone tear slipping down the side of his face. “ OK?” he whispered.

 “ were shot!” Stella could not hide how sick she felt. She covered her mouth, and gagged. She cradled his head in her lap. “ Ray...please. Hold on... please.. ..don’t leave me..not now.”

 Ray coughed, and blood sputtered out of his mouth. Stella began to cry as her ex-husband bled to death in her arms.

 “ I...told you I would”

 Stella wiped the blood from his face with her thumb

 “ I love you Stella...”

 “ you too...”

 He died.