"Damnit, JD...pull it out, now!" Buck was frustrated.
JD nodded, not that it could be seen in the dark.
"Alright, alright...I'm doing my best. I have to find the end."
Seconds slipped by when finally the flashlight beam cut through the gloom.
"It was clipped to my belt...I couldn't unhook it," the young tech informed
the hospitality host. He shone the light around the basement of the Montecito.
What a time for the lights to go out, while they were rummaging around in
the bowels of the hotel.
"Where's the door?" Buck asked.
"Damned if I know," JD shrugged, "hang on and let me do a sweep."
Something touched Buck's shoulder. "Aaaahh...what the f...err, hell was that?"
Dunne swung the light around and gasped. "Oh my God...don't move!"
Wilmington paled. "What...what is it?" he whispered.
Cautiously JD moved a hand toward him then yelped as he hit Buck's shoulder.
JD laughed. "It was just a small spider. Get a grip, bro."
The brunet clutched his chest. "Shit, kid...don't *do* that!"
Still chuckling, JD led the way through a mass of boxes, moving the light
left and right as they slowly edged forward.
"What?" Buck's nerves were jangling as JD howled out, looking in the direction
of the beam. Both men laughed as the light caught a mannequin wearing an
"Thought it was a man standing there," JD giggled, half embarrassed, half
"Let's get the hell outta here," Buck said hoarsely, feeling more than a
little apprehensive, now.
JD nodded. "Hell, I'm with you."
Seconds later, JD tapped Buck, causing the big man to jump.
"For the love of God, JD...don't *do* that...please!"
JD shook his head and directed the light. "There's the box of candy corn
that got sent here by mistake."
Buck nodded, "Great, let's grab it and go." As he spoke, he picked up the
box. "Y'know, there's a rumor that the Montecito has a ghost."
"Yeah, yeah...nice try, Buck."
"Straight up, kid...I wouldn't lie to you."
They both jumped, clinging to each other.
"It's okay...it's okay..." JD puffed, directing the light toward the object.
"It's just a Jack-O-Lantern." They both laughed and relaxed their grips on
each others arms.
Buck peered at the gruesome features. "What's a pumpkin doing down here?
Dunne approached it and rapped it with his knuckles. "It's plastic. Should
we take it with us?"
Buck nodded. "Yeah, why not. It'll add to the fun. Now let's find the damn
Once more weaving in and out of boxes, JD finally located the door knob.
Buck sighed. "Oh thank God."
As the young tech opened the door, the beam from the flashlight caught two
pale faces. Four voices called out.
"WHAT THE HELL?"
Two beams crossed, revealing Vin and Chris looking back at Buck and JD.
"Larabee, you bastard, ya scared the bejeezus outta me!" Buck admonished.
Chris swallowed. "You didn't exactly do my heart any good, either."
"We didn't even hear you, Vin," JD admitted.
"Wasn't exactly tryin' to be noisy, kid." Tanner answered.
"What happened to the lights?"
Chris looked at Buck. "One of the generators failed to kick in during a power
outage. Half of the hotel is lit, the other is in darkness."
"You ready ta get outta here?" Vin asked.
JD nodded. "Oh yeah. Hey, did you come here especially to look for us?"
Chris coughed. "Just checking things out, that's all."
Buck grinned, "Larabee, you ol' softie you."
Four voices cried out at the sudden appearance of a face lit by a beam from
a flashlight placed under its chin.
"My, aren't you the nervous wanderers?" The southerner grinned. "Your demeanor
instills such confidence in this establishment' s security team."
"Standish, what the hell are you doing here?" Chris asked.
"Well, thank you for that token of appreciation, Mister Larabee. I thought
you might like to know, the elevators are no longer in operation. We have
rather a long climb ahead of us."
Four men sighed.
The Las Vegas Chronicles