By: Angela B
Disclaimer: Not mine and never will be.
Note: This is a new AU I’ve started. For no other reason than lack of creativity…I’m calling it The Journey To Avalon. Ezra and Vin are children and the rest are ATF agents. Still working out all the kinks.
Note 2: Thanks to Twy for beta reading this for me on short notice.
(Moved to Blackraptor January 2010)
Chris Larabee’s team, in conjunction with teams from two other agencies, had been working towards this day for five long weeks. The objective was to crack a major drug ring. Now, they were in position for the final deal, waiting for all the players to gather. The listening devises that Buck had placed earlier were allowing the agents to follow the meeting clearly. A specific voice, a woman’s, stood out among the others. It’s accent distinctively southern. There hadn’t been any women at any of the previous meetings and this new twist made the agent-in-charge uneasy. Larabee was intent on listening for the undercover agents predetermined code words or for signs that there would be trouble. Agent Larabee tightened his grip on his service revolver and glanced back over his shoulder at his right hand man and best friend. Buck Wilmington smiled back at the leader; he had been watching his old friend’s back for more years than either one could remember.
Hearing the go words, Chris Larabee barged into the room followed closely by the other agents. The bust went swift and without injury to anyone. It was just the kind of bust that pleased the weathered agent, which made for a more pleasant debriefing. Rounding up the offenders in a tight circle, the blond searched the faces before him. Looking into the woman’s eyes he stopped. It wasn’t necessarily what was in them that stopped him, but rather what was not in them. Where the others in handcuffs looked worried, angry or agitated, this woman appeared without concern. In fact the eyes held absolutely nothing.
“Who are you?” Chris demanded.
“Margaret Slymon,” the blond woman replied calmly, seemingly unruffled.
“You staying here?” Chris asked, indicating the hotel they were presently standing in.
“What has my living quarters have any relevance in this matter? I ‘m just an innocent person caught up in this...this trap,” the woman, know as Margaret, said smoothly.
Muttering under his breath, Chris headed over to the man they had seen the woman arrive with, “This wasn’t a trap and you haven’t been innocent in years.”
The woman ruffled at that comment, but held her tongue.
Standing before her escort, Chris’ eyes gleamed with impatience, daring the man to withhold information. “Where’s she staying??
The man gulped a couple of times before saying, “Beaumont Hotel,”
The answer earned the man a hateful look from the woman, who hissed, “You idiot!”
With one indiscernible look Chris Larabee turned and left the room with his men right on his heels. They didn’t have to ask where they were going, nor were any of them going to mention the small detail about needing a search warrant, or at the very least, probable cause for getting into the room.
Ten minutes of riding behind a ticked off Chris Larabee and his men were more than glad to crawl out of the truck. An unhappy Chris was not necessarily a safe driver. After a very brief meeting with the hotel manager they walked into the elevator and made their way to the room being reserved by one Margaret Slymon.
Taking the key card from the manager, Chris nodded for JD to get the man away from the door. After securing the man’s safety, Chris inserted the key card and turned the doorknob only to have the door remain locked. Someone was inside the room.
Chris had thought of this probability and had a contingency plan. With only a nod to Buck, the black haired man inserted the key card into the room next door. The two rooms had an adjoining door that could be used as an entrance to the other room. The outside door opened easily and the five men rushed in. Finding the adjoining door, Josiah easily kicked it opened. The men, with their blood pumping and their adrenaline running high, heard scurrying feet and raced towards the noise. Guns ready to be used in case it was necessary.
Buck heard the distinct sound of a sliding door and headed for the balcony in the bedroom, followed by JD, only to freeze in complete shock. There standing at the edge of the balcony clutching the railing in desperation was a terrified little boy, who looked to be no more than four-years-old, with the biggest green eyes.
In seconds Buck and JD was joined by the remaining five men of the team. They quickly checked their guns. Buck waved at the man right behind him and Chris signaled the rest to scatter out and search the rest of the hotel suite. He trusted Buck completely to get that scared little boy back inside. Giving his friend’s shoulder a quick squeeze, he left the room.
Buck studied those searching green eyes that darted back and forth looking for more danger and the little bloodless fingers wrapped in a death grip around the black iron railing bars. Buck lowered himself into a crouch and reached slowly for the door to his right. Opening it, he noticed it was bathroom. After opening the door all the way, he scooted back away from both the sliding door and the door leading into the bathroom, giving the boy a danger-free way of getting back inside. Putting on his best smile, while trying to slow his racing heart, he decided it was time for a little conversation.
“I’m Buck. What’s your name?” the mustached man asked pleasantly.
Receiving no reply, Buck kept talking. “It’s okay, you can come back inside. No one’s going to hurt you,” he said, digging out his badge.
Holding it up for the boy to see, he said, “I’m a policeman. I’m here to help you.”
Seeing the death grip hadn’t lessened at all, Buck continued talking. He could bring any woman around to his side with a few words and his easy going smile. He was learning that wasn’t going to help him in this case. Glancing over to the room with the door opened, he gave it one more try. He knew in the back of his mind social services would be showing up soon and he was afraid they would be a little less willing to try and talk the boy back in, but would charge out there and grab him. He took a deep breath and tried once again. “Come on inside, son. It’ll be all right; no one is going to hurt you. I promise.”
The gentle agent let out a slow breath of relieve as the small hands loosened their grip and the boy made tentative steps towards the sliding door. Buck froze to his spot, knowing even the slightest movement would send the child right back out to the balcony. Once he got to the door, the brown-haired boy bolted into the room off to the side, only to chastise himself when he realized it was another trap.
Ezra hated himself more in that moment than ever before. More than that he wanted his mother, and that made him even angrier with himself. He had seldom ever been the type of child that needed his mother for comfort, mostly because he had learned a long time ago she wouldn’t be there anyway. Maude had told him that morning she was going out with Mr. Wright for awhile and he was to be a big boy while she was gone. It didn’t bother him to be left on his own. He had been left before to take care of himself and he really didn’t like that Mr. Wright. So the prospect of staying in the motel room hadn’t bothered him in the least.
That was until someone had tried to unlock the door. He hadn’t bothered thinking about the adjoining room’s door. Then the crashing noise when the door had slammed open had caused him to panic. The rushing of feet had sent him seeking flight from the room. His brain quickly assessed there would be no time to try and undo all the locks on the door leading out into the hall, so he had fled the other way. The sad realization that he had run stupidly out onto the balcony only added to his mental self reminding him of how stupid he was, no wonder mother didn’t like being around him. Now he was stuck in the bathroom, with that very large man crouched down at the doorway. As Ezra stared at the man, he couldn’t help but think how kind the man’s blue eyes appeared.
Buck, kept a low crouch, made his way to the bathroom down and found the boy huddled between the tub and toilet. Tears running silently down the small face. The big man stopped inside the door. His heart was breaking for this little boy. He had seen so many innocent kids hurt by their parent’s selfishness. Rising up a little he kept his stature from its extended height as he asked one more time, “What’s you name, son?”
“Ezra,” the boy said quietly.
Ezra wasn’t sure why he answered the man, and with his correct name on top of that. Maude had drilled into him from day one the importance of anonymity, especially around people in the law enforcement profession, but something about the man made him forget all about Maude and her rules. Buck smiled as reached into the hiding spot and gently picked up the child; reassuring both of them it was all right. “Hello, Ez.”
Chris, had stood back out of the room, but at an angle where he could watch his friend talk the child back in. He had trusted Buck, but on the off chance the boy had decided to go the other way he, as sure as heck, wasn’t going to let his friend carry the burden of having another child’s death on his conscious, whether it was his fault or not. Watching the boy come running into the room he had felt the weight of the world lift off his shoulders. Walking into the bedroom he met Buck coming out with the child in his arms, grabbing a blanket off the bed he covered the child up. The leading agent had no doubt that by now the hotel would be barraged by news media and the child didn’t need to be the six o’clock main news.
Buck walked out of the bedroom, into the living room and noticed his three remaining teammates had kept social services at bay. Now, they stepped forward to take the boy away from him. He could feel the thin arms tighten around his neck. In response Buck tightened his grip on the fragile being. Stepping around the social worker, he headed downstairs with his burden. He felt the weight of the world lying heavy on his broad shoulders. Buck stepped outside of the hotel doors and into a media feeding frenzy. One of the drawbacks of being one of the best teams on the west coast was that the media seemed to show up wherever they were; expecting, and usually getting a good show for their news. Buck placed the small child, with the enormous green eyes, into the back of the social workers car and buckled him in. Giving one last promise that all would be all right, he backed out of the car and stood there watching as it drove off. The only thing keeping him from chasing the car down and reclaiming the child was the hand on his shoulder and knowing that the blond man attached to that hand would stop him. He also knew that same man would be there to listen to him after work rail against the injustice of it all.
Continue to New Beginnings