Notes: This is a story that's been going round in my mind for ages. I am very like Ezra in this story and won't get in an elevator on my own. I try to tell myself that the reason I always use the stairs is because I need to get rid of those extra inches that seem to have attached themselves to my hips. The main reason though is what I've written about in this tale. I dare say you can tell what it is already but read on anyway!
Ezra drove into the parking garage and saw Vin heading toward the elevator. He sounded his horn and the sharpshooter turned round and waved when he recognized the undercover agent's car. He watched Ezra park and then waited for the man to join him at the elevator doors.
"Morning, Mr. Tanner," Ezra said a bit breathlessly as he finally reached his friend.
"Hey, Ez," Vin greeted as he pressed the button to call the elevator. The doors opened after a short while and Ezra followed Vin inside quietly. The long-haired man pressed the button for their floor and the elevator jolted upwards.
Ezra frowned and his heart skipped a beat at the less than smooth movement. All of a sudden the elevator shuddered to a halt altogether and Ezra looked round the confined space and took a deep breath against the panic that gripped him. Vin sighed and moved to the buttons and pressed one in the hope of getting their mode of transport moving again.
"Great! That's all we need. What a good start to the day," he said and threw his hands up in despair when they remained motionless.
Ezra took another deep breath as he came out in a cold sweat and shuddered inwardly. He said in a very shaky voice, "I suppose this is not a good time to tell you that I feel slightly claustrophobic."
Vin turned to face him, thinking he was joking but he could see that Ezra looked terrified. "Why do you use the elevator if you don't like enclosed spaces?" he asked mystified.
"Never been stuck in one before so I wasn't to know how it would affect me. I've always wondered how I would react so I guess I'm about to find out. I admit that I usually go up the stairs if I'm on my own. I don't care how many floors I have to climb but wild horses will not get me into an elevator on my own. I know having someone else with me won't stop the elevator breaking down but it's kinda comforting having another person to talk to. I've been in confined spaces before and can't say that I've felt any ill effects. I think it's the fact that there's no window that makes all the difference. Perhaps if I could see the outside world, this room wouldn't seem so small. Do you know what I mean?" Ezra babbled in increasing panic.
"Yeah, I understand, Ez." Vin watched his friend for a minute and then said, "I'll ring the alarm bell. There's really nothing to worry about."
"Tell that to my brain."
"Didn't know you had one."
"I'm dying laughing, Mr. Tanner," Ezra said with a worried smile as he backed up into a corner.
Vin pressed the alarm bell as he sent a quick reassuring smile and a wink to Ezra. He got no response on the intercom and sighed as he realized it wasn't working. He looked at his companion and asked, "Got yer cell, Ez?"
"No. It's broken if you remember. Why?" the undercover agent asked in a voice that rose in pitch, the more he spoke.
"Guess the bell and intercom ain't working. I ain't got my cell either 'cause I lent it to JD last night while he went out with Casey. I'll try my radio and see if that works." Vin pulled out the walkie-talkie and pressed the button as he held it up close to his mouth.
"Chris. It's Vin. Can you here me?" he surreptitiously crossed his fingers and sent a silent prayer up to Heaven. God answered him in the shape of Chris.
"Yeah. Where are you?" the blond asked frowning. He wondered why Vin was using the radio and not his cell phone.
"I'm stuck in the elevator with Ezra between floors. The alarm bell and intercom ain't working and neither of us have got our phones. Had to resort to my radio."
"Which floor are you near?"
"Don't think it had moved far. Maybe just above the parking garage. Can't really tell for sure 'cause the indicator ain't lit so we may be higher," the sharpshooter admitted with a shrug of his shoulders.
"Okay. I'll get things sorted. Are you both okay?"
"I am but Ezra says he's feeling a bit claustrophobic." The sharpshooter flicked a quick look over at his friend and thought he looked a bit green.
"Alright. I'll hurry things up. Try to keep him calm, cowboy."
"I'll do my best," the sharpshooter said as he continued watching his frightened friend closely.
Ezra still stood in the corner holding on tightly to the handrail. The man had his eyes closed and Vin could hear him praying quietly.
Vin moved to stand opposite him in the center of the floor and said, "Didn't think you were religious, Ez."
"Thought this might be the right time to start talking to our good Lord. He may take pity on me if I beg hard enough."
"Chris'll have us out soon. There's really nothing to worry about."
"Have you ever been stuck in an elevator before, Mr. Tanner?"
"No but that don't mean nothing. We'll be fine." The words had no sooner left Vin's mouth than the elevator suddenly creaked and groaned before plunging downwards for what seemed like ten floors.
Vin was thrown from his feet and Ezra let go of his anchor and reached out both hands as he tried to grab hold of his friend. He got a grip on the man's flailing arm but lost his hold almost straight away as he stumbled forward uncontrollably. He'd now totally lost his balance and the downward movement of the elevator finally knocked him off his feet too. Vin fell against the wall and struck the side of his head on the handrail before falling to the floor. Ezra, meanwhile, was thrown right across the elevator and hit his head hard on the opposite wall. He rebounded off it and sprawled on the floor next to Vin with a thud. Both men lay motionless as the elevator finally stopped its perilous journey. Silence fell.
+ + + + + + +
Chris picked up his radio to give an update to his two trapped men.
"Vin?" No reply. The blond checked the batteries but he knew they were brand new. He checked the frequency hadn't changed either and then spoke again in a voice tinged with increasing alarm "Vin? Ezra? Can you hear me?"
He walked into the outer office and caught Buck's eye. The ladies' man walked toward him and asked, "What's up, Chris?"
"Vin and Ezra are stuck in the elevator. I called the Fire Department to get them out but I can't contact Vin now. They're having to use a radio to keep in touch."
"What floor were they on? Perhaps we can shout through the door to them," the dark-haired man suggested with a raised eyebrow.
"Good idea but Vin didn't really know how far they'd got. He thought they might be stuck between floors as well but they might still hear me if I shout loud enough. It's worth a try anyway." The blond hurried down to street level with Buck tagging along behind.
Unbeknown to them all, the elevator had actually gone up three levels before Vin and Ezra had first come to a halt. It had now dropped down two levels to the floor where Chris was currently heading. It was hanging precariously and still had a long way to fall if it did drop again.
The security guard walked over to Chris anxiously when he saw him heading for the elevator doors and said, "I heard a loud noise from there just now. I called the Fire Department again to hurry them up. It sounded like the elevator dropped down. There was like a whooshing noise and some really loud bangs."
"Shit." Chris turned his attention to the elevator and pounded on the door. "Vin? Ezra? Can you hear me? Are you alright?" When he received no reply he tried calling on the radio again while Buck continued banging on the doors.
Inside the elevator, Ezra finally stirred. He put a hand to his head and it was covered in blood when he looked at it. He glanced over at Vin and saw he was still unconscious. He felt panic rising again and he took a deep breath in a vain effort to stay calm. He heard someone calling on the radio as well as a muffled banging so he stood and staggered across the floor to pick up Vin's radio from the floor.
"Hello?" he said quietly.
"Ezra? Thank God. Are you alright, buddy?" Chris said, much relieved.
"Jesus. How bad?"
"Knocked out. I haven't checked him properly yet," Ezra said with a trembling voice. He was having a really hard job concentrating and his head hurt constantly. His vision was blurred and he had to squint hard to distinguish the transmit button from the others on the radio. Blood continued trickling from his head wound and he wiped it away gently when it got near his eyes.
"Are you alright? Did the elevator fall?" Chris asked anxiously.
"My head's bleeding. I don't remember what happened...........can't remember," Ezra said vaguely as he poked his ringing ears.
"Did you lose consciousness?" Chris asked sharply. He didn't like the way Ezra sounded at all.
"I think so...... I don't....." Ezra stopped talking suddenly and vomited. He put his hands on his knees while he waited for the nausea to pass.
"Ezra? Talk to me. Are you alright?" Chris called while he rubbed his eyes and held his breath as he waited for an answer.
"Sick. Feel funny." Ezra eased himself slowly to the floor and rested his head on his knees with a groan.
"You feel sick or you've been sick? Ezra are you alright?" Chris asked with a heavy heart when he received no answer. He turned to Buck and said worriedly. "Get an ambulance, will ya? I don't like the way this is going. Get Nate down here too."
"Sure thing, pard." The ladies' man pulled out his phone and put in the calls.
"Ezra?" Chris called again, hoping against hope to receive a reply.
"How do you feel?"
"Dizzy, sick," the undercover agent muttered.
"Have you been sick?" the blond asked again. He really needed to know the answer.
"Okay. An ambulance is on its way and the Fire Department too. Keep talking to me, Ezra. Can you check Vin for me and see what injuries he's got?"
"What?" Ezra asked dazedly. He was finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate. He rubbed his eyes and his head and winced when he touched the wound on his scalp and started it bleeding again.
Chris was beginning to get really worried now. His agent seemed very concussed. He traded glances with Buck, who looked equally uneasy, and then said loudly and slowly, "Ezra? Listen to me. This is really important. Can you check Vin to see how he is?"
"'kay," Ezra mumbled.
The undercover agent shuffled across the floor and first felt for his friend's pulse. He found it after several false starts and it was beating strongly. He then checked Vin over carefully but very slowly as his own symptoms kept getting in the way of his progress. He put the sharpshooter in the recovery position and then leant back against the wall when he'd finished. He felt totally exhausted so he laid his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. Another bout of sickness interrupted his rest after a minute had gone by and he wiped his mouth on his sleeve as he sighed. He looked at Vin as if he was seeing him for the first time and frowned. *What's going on? Where are we? I don't like being cooped up.*
Back outside, his friends were getting worried. After getting no answer to his instructions after a couple of minutes Chris used his radio again. "Ezra? Have you checked Vin yet?"
Ezra picked up the radio from his lap and stared at in his confusion but eventually said, "Chris?"
"Still here, Ez. How is he?"
"Vin. You were gonna check Vin for me. Have ya done that, Ez?" Chris said slowly and loudly.
"Oh, yeah.............he's not awake. He's got a big cut on his face," Ezra replied slowly as he continued rubbing his head every so often. He looked around the confined space he was in with fuzzy vision and began to panic. He could feel his breathing getting faster as he spoke and he suddenly felt cold again. He shivered and put his arms round his knees and rocked back and forth on his butt as he tried to get warm.
Chris could hear his agents distressed breathing and he looked at Buck anxiously. "Ezra. You're doing real well and we'll have you out of there as soon as we can. I need you to stay calm so you can help Vin if he needs you. Can you do that for me?"
Ezra got hold of a handful of his hair and held it in his clenched fist. He increased the power of his hold and winced when it pulled against his scalp. He tried desperately to control his feelings so his breathing would return to normal but he knew he wasn't succeeding. His chest felt tight and his panic was growing as each second passed. He looked at the radio in his hand and saw the battery sign was low. His heart skipped a beat and then started beating rapidly in fear.
Ezra pressed the transmit button and said frantically, "The batteries are running out in the radio. Get me out, please get me out!"
The only words Chris heard were 'batteries' and 'get me out', intermingled with a lot of crackles. "Ezra? Can you hear me?"
Back in the lift, Ezra could hear nothing. "Chris? Chris? Oh God." He put his head back on his knees and couldn't stop shaking.
Chris ran his fingers through his hair as he lost contact. He turned as he heard hurried footsteps behind him and saw Nathan running toward him. "Thank God, Nate."
"Have you talked to them?" the medic asked as he skidded to halt beside his two friends.
"Only Ez and he's really out of it. Can't get much sense from him in any respect and now I've lost contact altogether. I'm getting real worried about him, Nate," the blond confessed.
"He didn't say anything about Vin?"
"Only that he was knocked out and had a cut on his face. I don't know how good a check Ez did though. He didn't sound capable of doing anything much at all. What the hell's taking the Fire Department so long to get here?" Chris asked impatiently as he started pacing.
Buck, meanwhile, stood right up close to the elevator doors and shouted as loud as he could. "Ezra? Can you hear me?"
Ezra stood up and immediately fell over as he lost his balance so he crawled to the door instead as the world span around him. He didn't have the energy to shout so he hit the doors with the radio instead. He didn't get much strength behind his strikes though and the men outside could hear nothing. As Ezra continued tapping, Vin finally stirred and sat up slowly using one arm to lever himself upright. His other arm didn't seem to be working and he realized he'd dislocated his shoulder.
"Ezra? What happened?" he groaned as he rubbed his head to try and clear his mind.
"Don't know. I don't remember. You were knocked out, I think. How do you feel?" the undercover agent asked distractedly as he finally put the radio down.
"Got a massive headache and my shoulder's out. How are you?" the sharpshooter asked although he could see immediately that the man wasn't well.
"Dizzy," Ezra said as he curled up in a ball on the floor and covered his face. He hoped that if he couldn't see the small space he was in, it would make him feel better. It didn't work.
Vin looked at his friend worriedly as he remained motionless on the floor. The long-haired man struggled to his feet as he realized he could hear Buck shouting outside the door. His memory finally kicked in and he remembered that they had been trapped in the elevator and that it had fallen.
"Give me the radio, Ez."
"Not working," the undercover agent answered in a very muffled voice as he hid his face in the crook of his elbow.
"Shit, it just gets better and better, don't it?" Vin leant his forehead against the doors wearily before summoning the energy to shout to the men outside. "Bucklin? Is that you? Can you hear, me?"
"Vin? Vin? Are you alright?" the ladies' man asked in relief.
"Been better. Dislocated my shoulder, I think and hit my head."
"Is Ez alright?"
"No. He looks worse than me and I feel like shit so I can't imagine how he's feeling."
The ladies' man looked round as he heard a commotion behind him. He smiled and shouted to Vin, "Fire Department's just arrived. Sit tight and you'll be free in no time, pard."
"Yeah right. We ain't going nowhere." Vin turned to his companion and sat down by his head. Ezra didn't speak and Vin reached out his arm and put it over the man's shoulder after looking at his head wound. He decided to undo Ezra's collar a bit in the hope of improving the man's breathing and he then put his hand back on his shoulder and patted it comfortingly.
"How ya holding up, Ez?" Vin could hear the man's continued hyperventilating and he rubbed his back to try to calm him. Other than trying to reassure Ezra, Vin didn't know what else he could do. He could see his efforts weren't having as much of an effect as he'd hoped.
Ezra looked up and felt the walls closing in around him as he studied his prison. He shivered and sat up with his back against the wall as he put his hands over his ears. Every noise seemed twice as loud to him in his current state. Each slight creak and groan made his heart jump and he began shaking continuously. First he felt hot and then he was cold. It was if his body didn't know how to react to what he was experiencing. He drew his legs up and could feel his heart was pounding ever faster in his chest. He felt ready to lose control and he tried desperately to hold onto his sanity.
Both trapped men could hear the firefighters attempt to open the doors and Ezra flinched at the sound and whimpered. The world started spinning faster and faster and he couldn't help but vomit again. Vin rubbed his back as he massaged his own brow to try to ease the pain in his head. The sharpshooter looked at his friend seriously and saw how pale he had become. He could see sweat beaded on the man's forehead and felt him shivering.
"Ezra?" Vin watched his friend and saw the undercover agent close his eyes. Vin shook his shoulder and said anxiously, "Ez? Come on, stay with me."
The undercover agent opened his eyes but his breathing got even faster and he felt increasingly light-headed. His vision kept going in and out of focus and he really didn't know what was going on. All he knew was that he felt panicky but he didn't understand why.
"Where are we?" he asked desperately He fixed Vin with a terrified stare and said, "I don't like it. I want to get out."
Vin studied his friend's eyes as the man turned to face him and he could see the pupils were different sizes. "Ezra? Just stay awake, okay? I'm gonna talk to Buck." Vin let go his hold on the man as he rose and turned to the door.
"Buck?" The sound of banging and drilling finally ceased outside after Vin had yelled several times.
Buck answered his call. "Vin? What's up, pard?"
"How much longer? I'm worried about Ezra. He's got a concussion by the look of it or something worse."
Nathan interrupted the conversation. "Vin, it's Nate. What are his symptoms?"
"Been sick a lot, seems confused and he's getting drowsy."
The ladies' man, meanwhile, turned the nearest firefighter and asked him how long they thought they might be. He signalled ten minutes to Nathan by holding up both hands with digits outstretched
The medic nodded and said, "They'll have you out in about ten minutes, Vin. They'll be as quick as they can. Just try and keep him awake, okay?"
"Just hurry it up, will ya?" Vin sat down again beside his friend and placed a hand on his back. The sharpshooter made his friend answer simple questions but Ezra seemed very distracted and only answered after several repetitions of the question.
Vin looked up as he felt the elevator shift slightly again. He braced himself where he sat as best he could and hoped for the best. Ezra also felt the movements and he stood rapidly and moved to the back of the room before Vin could stop him.
"Sit down, Ez," he said worriedly as he made moves to rise and retrieve his friend.
"I wanna get out." Ezra turned to face the wall and then turned back again looking terrified.
Vin had to admit that now, even he was beginning to get panicky. He was starting to understand Ezra's distress. The sharpshooter had only got halfway to his feet when the elevator dropped again throwing him back onto his butt. He yelled in agony as his shoulder was slammed against the wall in the process. He clamped a hand to the joint while looking across at the undercover agent. He saw Ezra fall to the floor heavily again and remain still.
The men outside the elevator heard the creaking and the accompanying loud bang. A firefighter cursed and said, "It's dropped again."
Chris and Buck hurried down to the parking garage worriedly with the firefighters following behind.
"Vin? Ezra? Can you hear me? Are you okay?" Chris shouted as he got near the elevator doors on that level.
Vin hugged his arm to his chest and closed his eyes against the pain. He eventually reached up with his uninjured hand and got hold of the handrail above his head. He pulled himself to his feet after a lot of cursing and moved to check Ezra first. He returned to the doors after finding his friend was unconscious again. He yelled, "Chris? I'm okay but Ezra's knocked out again."
"Okay. Firefighters have gotta start from scratch again with getting you out, cowboy."
"Hurry it up. I can't cope with Ezra if he wakes up again. He's terrified and I've only got one arm to control him with."
"Okay Vin. I'll get them to hurry up. Try and keep Ez talking if does wake up. He probably won't feel much like freaking out after knocking himself out again anyway."
"Wanna bet?" Vin said quietly.
He sat back with a sigh and hugged his arm gently as he kept an eye on his unconscious friend. Ten minutes passed before the undercover agent finally stirred and groaned. He stayed where he was on the floor as he got his bearings and he sighed when he realized what he'd hoped had been a nightmare was in fact really happening.
"Ez? Are you okay?" Vin asked quietly when he saw his friend's eyes flicker and open.
"What does?" Vin shouted above the din the firefighters suddenly started making.
"All of me."
"Not surprised, buddy. You bumped around here a bit when it fell."
"Why can't we get out?"
Vin was just about to say something in reply when he saw the elevator doors move slightly. He looked up in relief as they opened inch by inch and smiled when Nathan squeezed through the gap. The medic headed straight for Ezra after giving Vin the once over with his eyes to see how he looked. Vin could see Chris and Buck hovering in the doorway and he smiled.
"You sure know how to get the day off to a good start, don't ya, cowboy?" Chris said wryly. He stayed outside the elevator because he didn't want to upset Ezra. He knew if more people piled into the small space, the undercover agent was bound to feel even more claustrophobic.
"Think I'd rather be faced by a guy with a gun than go through this again," Vin said with a grin.
"You and me both," Chris replied.
Nathan, meanwhile, knelt down beside the undercover agent and said, "Ezra? Can you hear me?" He checked the man over quickly and then sat him up slowly. He cupped the undercover agent's face in his hand and looked at his eyes intently.
"Ezra? Talk to me," the medic instructed loudly. He ran his fingers lightly through the man's blood-matted hair and eventually found the head wound and studied it closely.
"Nate? What's going on? How did you get here?" Ezra asked dazedly as he finally realized who was sitting opposite him.
"You hit yer head. Can you tell me how you feel?" Nathan could hear the man's rapid breathing and see his paleness for himself.
"Dizzy......sick...eyes fuzzy." Ezra raised a hand to his mouth quickly after he spoke but couldn't prevent another bout of sickness. His body shook as he vomited and he groaned as he wiped his mouth once more.
"How's yer arm feel, Vin?" Nathan asked while he continued checking Ezra. The medic wiped the vomit from the man's hand gently and patted his shoulder comfortingly.
"Hurts but I'm okay," the sharpshooter replied quietly.
"What about yer head? You don't feel sick too, do ya?" the medic asked worriedly.
"Na. Just got a slight headache. Ez came off worse than me."
Two paramedics finally arrived and while Nathan escorted Vin to the ambulance they saw to Ezra. Chris trailed along behind the medic and sharpshooter and he leaned in the back of the emergency vehicle.
"We'll be there to meet ya at the hospital, Vin." The blond then moved out of the way quickly as Ezra was lifted into the back on a stretcher. The back doors were closed and the vehicle moved away.
The rest of the men followed behind anxiously in a couple of cars. They went straight up to the waiting room and sat quietly as they waited for an update about their friends. They received news of Vin not soon afterwards and Chris went to sit with him. He found his friend having stitches put in the cut on his face.
"Hey Vin. Ain't gonna have a scar are ya?" the blond asked as he watched the skilled needlework being done.
"Na." The sharpshooter indicated his arm and Chris noticed the cast on it. "Broke my wrist as well as dislocating my shoulder and I didn't even know. Heard how Ez is yet? Scared the shit outta me with his behavior. Sure hope he's gonna be okay."
"No, we haven't seen him yet. Never realized he was claustrophobic."
"Nor did he really. Never gets in a lift on his own though, so he says," Vin informed his boss.
The sharpshooter was released soon afterwards into Chris's care and the blond took him back to the ranch to recover completely after first finding out how Ezra was.
+ + + + + + +
Back in the waiting room Buck rose when the doctor entered again and asked worriedly, "How is he?"
"He's awake and I can't find anything seriously wrong. It's just a real bad concussion combined with a panic attack. We'll keep in him overnight just so we can monitor him but I don't see any problems."
"Can I see him?" Buck asked eagerly.
"Sure. Follow me." The doctor turned and led the way.
The ladies' man entered his friend's room quietly and stood and looked down at the bed's occupant.
Ezra felt Buck's presence even though he had his eyes firmly closed. He pretended to be asleep but he could hear Buck fidgeting relentlessly beside him. He opened his eyes reluctantly and smiled in embarrassment when his eyes met those belonging to his friend.
"You okay, pard?" the ladies' man asked with as smile.
"Head hurts and I'm embarrassed."
"Why?" the mustached man asked as he took a seat next to the bed.
"I feel kinda foolish letting things affect me like that," Ezra admitted as he turned red.
"You couldn't help it. Hell, I think even I'd've got the willies being stuck in there all that time with only Vin for company. Ya got nothing to be ashamed about."
"Can I go home?" Ezra pleaded. He really felt the need to be back in familiar surroundings.
"No, not yet. They just wanna watch you for a bit seeing as you puked and lost consciousness twice. Just relax and enjoy being looked after by all those gorgeous nurses."
"You could take my place if that's all you think I'm in here for," Ezra offered with a smile.
"No. It'd be nice but it's you with the lump the size of an ostrich's egg on yer head. I think they'd soon catch onto the fact that I wasn't sick. I wouldn't be able to help myself if I saw a pretty nurse in a nice crisp uniform. My hormones would take over and that would be that."
"Just as well I've got a male nurse then, isn't it? No trouble in that respect."
"Jeez. I'd complain if I were you." Buck laughed and then asked, "Do you want me to stay?"
"Yes please but could you turn down the volume of your voice a bit? You're making my head hurt, Bucklin."
"Sure thing, pard," Buck whispered. "Is that better, pard?"
"Perfect. Thank you Mr. Wilmington."
The ladies' man stayed all night and then escorted Ezra out to Chris's ranch the next day. As Ezra walked into the living room he saw Vin sitting on the couch with his arm strapped to his chest.
"Hey, Ez. How ya doin'?" the sharpshooter asked with a smile.
"Much better, thank you, Mr. Tanner."
"Glad to hear it."
"Do they know why the lift dropped like that?" the undercover agent asked.
"No, not yet. It had only been serviced recently but it musta been a fault of some sort."
"Well, I shan't be using it again."
"Neither will I for a while," Vin admitted.
"Oh, well. Look on the bright side. It'll be better for us, health wise, to go up and down by the stairs. Just think of all the weight we'll lose."
"Better? Are you kidding? I'll waste away if I have too much exercise. I don't need to lose weight. I ain't got an ounce of excess fat on me," Vin complained.
"With all the junk food you eat, that comment really surprises me."
"Look for yerself," Vin ordered as he lifted his shirt crookedly to show part of his abdomen.
Ezra could see that Vin had been telling the truth. He really had a fine physique the undercover agent had to admit. "Please cover yourself up, Mr. Tanner. I see you were quite correct. I apologise unreservedly."
"Not often that you admit you got it wrong Ez," Vin said as he laughed.
Ezra laughed and then said gratefully, "I haven't thanked you for your sterling efforts during our ordeal, Vin. I know I was a bit of a handful."
"No thanks needed, Ez. What are friends for?"
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