JD knew he had to do something. . . anything to distract the men in the other room; he knew that Buck and the others were just outside, waiting for the right moment. Looking around the small, barren room, he realized that he didn't have many options. So, he used the two weapons that he had available - his intelligence and his voice.



JD had taken to going for a ride everyday. It was his way of escaping; the only time he was allowed to be alone to think. Something was wrong and none of his friends knew what was upsetting him.

The others had all noticed that JD seemed somber and distant, but even more worrisome was how quiet he had become. Every time someone asked him what was wrong, JD would only say, "I'm fine". He no longer was the bundle of energy that they'd grown accustomed to, they didn't even know if it was a physical problem or emotional, but no one could force him to talk or let Nathan check him out. . . no matter how hard Buck and Nathan tried.

When Josiah found out about these daily rides, he decided that this was the perfect time for him to approach JD. The others wouldn't be around and so, maybe, just maybe, JD might be more open to discussing whatever was bothering him. Josiah had always had a soft spot for JD; he was old enough to be the young man's father. But it wasn't until JD had accidentally shot an innocent young woman that these paternal feelings were revealed for the others to see. Sure, he had given JD some 'courting' advice, but it wasn't until JD decided to leave town, that Josiah realized the depth of his feelings for this young man.

JD can't keep this up. . . none of us can. Something's wrong and I think it's time to find out exactly what it is.



"Chris, you know this is the only way to figure out their plan."

"I don't know, J. . ."

"I can do this, " JD interrupted, "I'm the only one who can...and you know it."

Damn kid is too smart for his own good. But he's right. Chris looked away briefly, gathering his swirling thoughts. After a long moment's pause, he returned his gaze to JD, staring intently into the kid's hazel eyes and imparting his patented 'look'. . . the one that told JD that Chris was deadly serious and that he'd better pay close attention to what the Seven's leader was about to say, "It's dangerous."

"I know."

"You won't have anyone to watch your back."

"I know."

"All right," sighing, Chris looked at the young man before him, so full of life and brimming with confidence. Chris knew that this was going to be tough on all of them, especially Buck. And JD? Despite the kid's emphatic claims that he understood the risks, Chris also knew this would be hardest on him. . . and what made it even worse, was. . . that he'd be on his own.