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Chapter 10
Brick woke to a pounding headache. It felt like he had a hangover but he didn't remember drinking last night with Vin. As he became more coherent he tried to move his arms. When he couldn't that pushed the rest of the fog from his mind and he opened his eyes to find himself bound hand and foot to a chair. Brick struggled against his bonds then gave up when he decided it was no use. That’s when he remembered he'd been hit over the head as he went to get into Vin's Jeep. He started to panic and pulled at the bonds again.

"Its no use fighting."

Brick whipped his head around and saw a man walking towards him. That’s when he noticed he was in a run down warehouse. The windows were boarded up and part of the rook had holes in it. He continued to watch as the man walked around to stand in front of him.

"I can see you don't remember me. I'm not surprised since you never did catch me just some of my associates. But I'm sure there's pictures of me in the files at the Federal Building."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Brick said and instantly regretted it when he was backhanded hard against the mouth.

"You know fucking what I'm talking about Tanner!"

Brick's stomach did a queasy roll when he heard his brother’s name. This guy thought he was Vin. He had no idea what Vin did to this guy and maybe he didn't want to know. Brick now had to decide if he played along or told him he got the wrong guy. If he did that would the guy get mad and kill him or use him to get back at his brother. Brick decided he'd play along.

"Yeah okay so I do," Brick said. "You realize you’re gonna be fucked for kidnapping a federal officer."


Brick wasn't prepared for the guy to hit him. He was even more shocked that the kept hitting him. He's last thought was he was glad Vin wasn't here and he hoped Vin would find him soon.

+ + + + + + +

Buck watched as Vin paced restlessly around the office. When Brick didn't come home last night they had all gone out searching. Vin of course started to blame himself for letting Brick stay with him in Purgatory. He'd even lashed out at Buck for encouraging Brick to come visit. Buck hadn't gotten angry because he knew Vin was just upset. Josiah had reprimanded him and Vin apologized. Buck turned to JD to see if he'd come up with anything. Chris had given him the task of checking all the morgues and hospitals. Buck watched as JD's fingers flew over the keyboard. Obviously nothing had come up or JD would have said something. Ezra, Josiah and Nathan were checking with their snitches to see if there was any word on the streets. Chris was in his office call in a few favors. Buck was given the task of keeping Vin from flying off the handle. As he watched Vin wear a hole in the floor he realized JD stopped typing.

"Well!" Vin demanded.

"Nothing," JD said.

"That's good," Buck said patting JD on the back.

"I can't stay here," Vin said. "I should be the one out looking."

"Now hold on, Vin," Buck said as he intercepted Vin.


Buck ducked as Vin took a swing at him. He came up behind Vin and grabbed him in a headlock. Vin tired to bash Buck in the face with his head but Buck was ready for him. He grabbed a fist full of Vin’s hair and held on. Vin struggled and tried to kick Buck. Buck just tightened his grip and Vin stopped struggling.

"You finished?" Vin nodded and slumped in Buck’s arms. Buck let him go and stepped back. "You know we’re doing everything we can."

"I know but it ain’t enough," Vin said.

"We’ll find him," Chris said as he stepped out of his office. "You have my word."

Brick groggily came to and looking around. Whoever the guy was that had him really hated his brother. He heard a noise behind him and pretended to be still unconscious. His kidnapper was moving around and Brick slit his eyes open to see what was going on. He was prepared for a bright light to shine in his face and he flinched.

"So I see you’re awake. Just in time for my home movie."

There was no need to fake any more so Brick opened his right eye. The left one was swollen shut and that’s when he began to notice all the pains in his face and upper body. This guy really hit hard. Brick watched as the kidnapper placed a video camera on a tripod and faced it towards him. He then walked behind it to see if it was lined up. When he was satisfied it was he turned it on then walked over to Brick.

"Hey Larabee, remember me? I bet you do. You Federal dicks seem to keep missing me but that last one was a close call and you pissed me off! Now it’s pay back time!" LeBroc walked behind Brick and grabbed a fist full of hair and pulled his head up. "Looky what I have. Seems your pretty boy sniper was easy to catch. Now you’re probably wondering what I want in trade? The funny thing is I don’t want anything. I just want to make you suffer. I want you to watch as I torture your friend."

Brick cried out as his kidnapper began to beat him again. He landed quick jabs to his already tender abdomen as well as his battered face. Brick slumped in his chair as the kidnapper backed off and faced the camera again.

"Oh your gonna love this one."

Brick Wasn’t prepared for what came next as LeBroc grabbed his wrist and twisted it hard. Brick let out a blood-curdling scream as the bones in his wrist were snapped. The last thing he remembered as the blackness claimed him was the laughter.

Ezra returned to find Vin pacing the floor of the bullpen. He also noticed a new hole in the plaster on one wall and a towel wrapped around Vin’s right hand. Nathan was sitting at his desk trying to get Vin to sit down. Vin turned to yell at Nathan when he saw Ezra.

"Anything!" Vin demanded.

"Nothing I’m afraid," Ezra said. "It’s seems whoever took Mr. McKenna knew what they were doing."

"Tell me something I Don’t already know!" Vin yelled as he pushed Ezra.

"Vin!" Chris bellowed from across the room. "Sit down before I knock you down."

"You and who’s fucking Army!" Vin growled as he advanced towards Chris. "I’d like to see you try to take me down if I don’t want to stay here."

"Don’t tempt me, Vin," Chris said in a deadly voice.

"We’ve got jack shit!" Vin said as he pushed Chris hard in the shoulder. "And you won’t let me out to go looking!"

Josiah stepped in front of Vin before Chris did something he would regret. "There’s a very good reason Chris hasn’t let you out."

"Oh yeah what!"

"Listen to yourself, Vin," Josiah said calmly. "You are biting the heads off everyone. I know you are worried about Brick, we all are. We’ll find him."

"I can’t lose him, Josiah," Vin said in a small voice. "Not after I just found him."

"You won’t, Vin," Chris said stepping around Josiah and placing a hand on Vin’s shoulder. "I promise."

"Don’t make any promises you can’t keep," Vin sighed and stepped away.

The all watched as Vin stepped over to the window and stared out. Chris was about to go over to him when Josiah caught his arm and shook his head no. Chris cursed and turned to JD.

"Anything on the APB out on the Jeep?"

"Nothing yet."

"I want you to..."

"I have a package for Agent Larabee," Said a messenger at the door.

"I’m Agent Larabee."

The young messenger stepped over to Chris and had him sign for the box. Chris did and the young man left. Chris was getting a bad feeling and held the box by the edges. He placed it on a desk and six knives appeared so he could open it. Chris took Nathan’s knowing it would be the sharpest. He careful cut open the box and found videotape.

"JD give me some gloves."

JD pulled open one of his drawers and searched for a pair. He couldn’t find any and started to pull open the rest of them. Ezra went to his desk and got a pair from his middle drawer. JD gave Ezra a grateful look as Chris pulled on the gloves. Chris took the video out of the box and turned it over. There were no markings of any kind on the tape and there was no return address on the box. JD jumped up and ran for the conference room to turn on the TV and VCR. They all head for the conference room except for Vin. Chris turned back when he realized Vin wasn’t following.

"What’s wrong?"

"I know what’s on that tape," Vin said in an anguished voice. "He’s dead."

"You don’t know that, Vin," Josiah said taking his arm. "Let’s just look at the tape."

Vin felt like his legs were made of lead as he followed the others into the room. Chris went over to the VCR and slid the tape in. The TV Screen filled with snow then suddenly a familiar face appeared on the screen.

"Hey Larabee, remember me? I bet you do. You Federal dicks seem to keep missing me but that last one was a close call and you pissed me off! Now it’s pay back time!"

Vin watched in numb silence as LeBroc started to beat his brother. He didn’t know what to do. He knew what he wanted to do and that was to kill LeBroc but he had no idea where to find him. Finally LeBroc stopped and Vin thought it was over. He wasn’t any more prepared than Brick was for what happened next. Vin’s scream mixed with his brother's as the tape ended.

Chapter 11

Brick woke with a pounding headache. He tired to open his eyes but only one would cooperate. The left eye was swollen shut. He tried to find a more comfortable position in the chair and almost passed out from the pain in his right wrist. That’s when he remembered his kidnapper taping his beating. Brick knew the tape would have been sent to Chris and his brother would have seen it. When the pain subsided Brick cautiously looked around. The windows that weren’t boarded up were dark and he assumed it was night. His assumptions were confirmed when he turned to see the moon reflecting in a large puddle behind him. Brick looked up and saw that part of the roof was missing. He could see a shape looming above the warehouse but couldn’t make out what it was. Brick didn’t see his captor anywhere and he was grateful. The guy had a wicked punch. Brick leaned back and sighed. He hoped Vin and his friends would find him soon.

Chris looked around the conference table at the people gathered. Travis was at its head with his men arranged along the left side. Sitting directly across from them were three FBI agents assigned to Brick’s kidnapping. Travis had insisted since it was the FBI’s job and not the ATF. Also Team 7 was too close to the victim to be objective. Chris had expected Vin to protest but ever since they had watched the video Vin was silent and withdrawn. Chris had reluctantly agreed to let the FBI handle the case. Travis assured Chris that the agents would keep him apprised of everything they found out.

"Agent Larebee we’d like to see the tape," Agent Deco said.


JD looked at Chris then Vin. JD could see JD really didn’t want to show the tape again in front of Vin but Chris nodded and JD did as he was told. Earlier the tape had been tested for fingerprints but it was clean. Chris looked at Vin as the tape began. Vin just stared off into space. Chris glanced at Nathan and the team’s medic shrugged. The static on the tape ended and they all sat in grim silence as the beating began. Vin looked up at the TV and listened as LeBroc beat his brother. Vin ignored what was happening to Brick and concentrated on everything in the background. . He could see it was an old warehouse but there were so many in the city he had no idea where it could be. The large puddle behind Brick caught Vin’s attention but he couldn’t figure out why. Vin flinched when he heard his brother scream. He jumped again when Chris placed his hand on his forearm. Vin turned to Chris and nodded in response to Chris’s support.

"How was the tape delivered?" Agent Monroe asked.

"By messenger," Josiah said. "No return address."

"Alright we’ll question the messenger service," Agent Deco said jotting down something on a notepad.

"We have an APB out on Vin’s Jeep," JD offered.

"That’s good," Agent Deco said. "We’ll do everything we can but it will take a little time."

"We understand," Ezra said. " But what are the odds in a situation like this?"

"You know the score as well as we do," Monroe said.

"Yeah, "Buck sighed. "The first 48 hours are critical."

"Exactly," Deco nodded. "We’ll get right on it."

"It’s all we can ask," Chris said as he stood. Up.

The third FBI agent hadn’t said anything during the meeting. He was a young agent and Chris figured he was a new recruit. As they filed out of the room the young agent was talking to Monroe. Vin was walking in front of Ezra and they caught some of the conversation.

"Yeah with that long hair and his pretty looks I bet beatings aren’t the only thing he’ll receive."

Everyone was totally unprepared for Vin’s attack on the young agent. Vin jabbed out lighting quick with his hand hitting the agent in the Trachea. The young agent dropped to the floor gagging and grasping for breath. Vin would have continued his assault except Buck tried to grab him from behind. Vin nailed Buck with a savage martial arts move to his solar plexus and Buck dropped to the floor as well. With Vin distracted by Buck Chris was able to grab Vin. Vin howled in rage and tried to shake Chris from his back. Chris’s SEAL training kicked in and he dropped Vin to the floor by swiping his legs out from under him. Vin went down hard but didn’t’ give up trying to get away. Chris dug his knee into the small of Vin’s back and ignored Vin’s cry of pain as he tried to subdue the berserk Vin. Vin still fought against Chris despite the pain. Chris was finally forced to push Vin’s face hard to the floor as he twisted Vin’s arm back. Vin cursed and kept struggling.

"Enough!" Chris shouted. "Keep this up and I’ll break your fucking arm!"

JD watched in shock as he sat next to a gasping Buck. He’d never seen Vin use his martial arts to hurt anyone before. It was a sobering realization that Vin could kill someone with his bare hands. It had JD wondering just how many people Vin had killed. Vin finally let out a cry of despair and went limp under Chris.

"That boy sure can hit hard," Buck wheezed. "How’s that agent?"

"Don’t know Nathan’s still checking on him," JD said. "Wonder what he said to make Vin snap."

"He suggested that with Brick’s looks LeBroc would do more than just beat him," Ezra said coldly.

"Are you sure?" Travis asked angrily.

"I am," Ezra answered.

"So am I," Chris said from where he sat with Vin.

Chris had released Vin but the sharpshooter showed no inclinations of getting up. He lay on his stomach with his head turned away from the others, breathing hard from his exertions. Chris sat rubbing Vin’s back as he looked at Nathan.

"How is he?"

"He’ll be alright," Nathan replied. "But he won’t be talking for a few days."

"Good," Chris said in a deadly voice.

"Agent Deco inform your chief I will be coming down to have a talk with him," Travis said. "You can go."

Monroe and Deco helped the younger agent out the door. Travis looked at Chris and nodded before he left. Team 7 sat in silence on the conference room floor. Nathan checked Buck but the mustached agent said he was fine. Nathan went to check Vin but Josiah held him back. Vin was quiet now but they could still hear his ragged breathing.

"They ain’t gonna find him," Vin said in despair.

"They will Vin," Josiah assured him. "You have to have faith."

"Seen any crows?"

"Not one."

"Come on, Vin lets get you up," Chris said.

Vin went to roll over to sit up but his lower back protested the move. Nathan quickly moved to his side to check on him.

"I’m alright," Vin said through gritted teeth.

"Sure you are," Nathan said as he pulled Vin’s shirt from the back on his jeans.

Nathan could see how tight the muscles were in Vin’s lower back and began to massage them. Vin hissed as Nathan’s finger dug into the knotted muscles.

"JD in the left top draw of my desk is some Tiger balm."

"I’m gone."

Buck chuckled as JD bolted out of the room and groaned as sore muscles protested the abuse.

"You alright?" Chris asked his oldest friend.

"Yeah I’ll be fine," Buck said. "But Junior has a kick like a Missouri mule."

"I’m sorry," Vin said quietly.

"Nothing to be sorry about," Ezra said vehemently. "He deserved what he got."

"But Buck didn’t."

"That’s true I didn’t," Buck laughed. "But next time I know not to grab you from behind when you’re in a berserk rage. I’ll leave that to Chris."

"Hell I have a feeling I’ll regret this in the morning," Chris scowled.

JD returned and Nathan spread the Tiger balm on Vin’s back. Finally Vin had enough fusing and rolled away from Nathan. Nathan just shook his head as he watched Vin slowly sit up.

"What do we do now?" JD asked.

"We get some sleep," Chris suggested. "And a good nights rest."

"No!" Vin protested.

"Yes," Chris insisted. "We’re all tired. We could miss something."

"So we haven’t turned the case over to our fellow Federal Agents?" Ezra asked innocently.

"We can’t openly interfere," Chris warned. "But we can do our own looking."

"Why don’t we head over to the CDC," Buck suggested.

"Sounds like a plan," Josiah agreed.

Buck climbed slowly to his feet and headed for the door. The others started to rise and follow Buck. Chris stopped when he realized Vin wasn’t following.

"Planing on getting up any time soon?" Chris asked.

"Don’t think I can," Vin said sheepishly.

"Stubborn fool…"

"Allow me," Josiah said grabbing Chris’ arm.

Josiah walked behind Vin and grabbed him under his arms. He easily lifted Vin to his feet. Vin started walking and they could all see he was trying to hide a limp. Nathan just shook his head and followed him out.

They arrived at Buck and JD’s apartment just in time to intercept the pizza delivery. Buck asked Ezra for some money and the undercover agent look appalled. Ezra said they had just been paid and Buck could get the bill himself. JD said Buck already blew his money on a hot date the other night. Ezra begged JD to spare him the details as he handed Buck the money. Nathan could see Vin was in a lot of pain and had suggested going to the hospital for some muscle relaxers. Vin had refused and was now suffering the consequences. Chris helped him up the steps to the apartment. They got Vin seated and Nathan went to get him some Advil. Once that was taken care of they dug into the food. After a few minutes Chris glanced at Vin and saw he was sound asleep. Chris took the plate from his hands and placed it on the table.

"He’s not going o be able to move in the morning," Nathan warned.

"We’ll worry about it then," Chris said.

"What are we going to do, Chris?" JD asked.

"We let the FBI do their thing while we do ours," Chris said. "And we keep an eye on Vin."

They all nodded and looked at Vin. There was no telling what Vin would do and that worried them all.

Chapter 12

The next morning Chris sent Buck and JD ahead to work while he took Vin to the clinic. When Vin woke up he could hardly move and Chris wanted him to get checked out. They arrived at the office two hours late. Chris came in first with Vin shuffling behind. Nathan shook his head as Vin slowly sank into his chair.

"You should go home," Nathan advised.

"Can’t," Vin said turning on his computer. "Brick’s still out there."

Nathan looked at Chris. The blond just shrugged as if to say he tried that already then headed for his office. Ezra got up and got Vin a cup of coffee. Vin thanked him and started typing at his computer. Nathan walked to Chris’s office and knocked.

"Come in."

Nathan stepped inside and closed the door. "How bad?"

"Pulled muscle in hi slower back," Chris said. "They gave him some pain meds and a muscle relaxer."

"He should be at home," Nathan grumbled.

"I know that and you know that," Chris smiled. "Who’s gonna tell Vin that?"

"No on," Nathan sighed. "I better get back to work. Don’t worry Ill keep and eye on him."

Chris watched Nathan leave and sighed. The whole team was on edge since Brick was kidnapped. Now they had to worry about starting a new case. Chris shook his head and grabbed the stack of papers in his in box and got to work. He was sure how much time went by when Buck barged into his office.

"Damn it Buck…"

"They found Vin’s Jeep."

The reprimand died on Chris’s lips as he grabbed his coat and followed Buck out. Vin was already at the elevator pounding on the button. The elevator doors opened and Vin rushed inside. AT least he tried to. His back spasmed and Josiah grabbed his arm to keep him from falling. The others got to the elevator and JD hit the button to go to the garage. They piled in Josiah’s Suburban and they quickly pulled out of the parking garage. The mall where Vin’s Jeep was found wasn’t too far away. AS they pulled into the lot they could see Vin’s Jeep in the corner with ‘Police line Do Not Cross’ tape surrounding it. Josiah parked and they all got out. Vin went to go to the Jeep but was stopped by the FBI.

"This is a crime scene," an agent said.

"That’s my goddamned Jeep!" Vin yelled.


"Don’t Vin me!"

Chris watched as Vin walked away. He was about to follow when Buck stopped him.

"Let me talk to him," Buck suggested. Chris nodded and left to talk to the FBI. Buck walked over to Vin and leaned on the wall close by as he watched Vin limp up and down the garage. "Think you might want to take a rest. Watching you is starting to make my back hurt."

Vin stopped and turned to Buck. The mustached agent just looked at Vin and smiled. Vin sighed and joined him leaning against the wall. Buck just stood there with Vin and didn’t say anything. He knew if he was patient enough Vin would start talking. Buck wasn’t disappointed.

"They ain’t gonna find him."

"You don’t know that."

"I got this feeling in my gut that they aren’t going to find him in time before…"

"Don’t think like that, Vin," Buck said squeezing his arm. "Chris will find him you know he will. We all won’t stop no matter what."

"I know," Vin said ducking his head. "I just can’t lose him."

"You won’t."

"Don’t make a promise you can’t keep."

"I’m no that naïve and neither are you so I won’t make that promise," Buck admitted. "We both know what can happen but you can’t give up hope."

"Can’t now can I," Vin smiled. "Not with you around."

"That’s right hope is my middle name," Buck smiled.

"Really, I thought Lin was, Buck Lin," Vin teased.

"Remind me never to get drunk with you again," Buck said shaking his head. "No telling what other secrets I will let slip. Come on lets get back to the others."

"I just need some time."

"Take all you need we’ll be just over there."

Vin watched Buck walk away. Vin leaned against the wall and put his head back. He knew Buck was right. They wouldn’t stop looking for Brick, no matter what. Vin sighed and glanced around the parking garage. It was dark an isolated, a perfect spot to grab someone. A large puddle was near and Vin noticed the ‘low clearance’ sign reflected perfectly in the still water. Something about the puddle nagged at him but he couldn’t put a finger on it. He had no time to ponder it further since he noticed Agent Delco walking towards him.

"Found this on the floor," the agent said handing him a bag. "Dusted it for prints but I’m guessing they will be your brother's and the sales person."

Vin nodded and took the bag and peered inside. There was a small box attached to a card. Vin reached in the bag and pulled it out. Vin opened the card first.


Just a little something to say thanks for letting me stay. Who knows maybe he was our great grandfather?


Vin ripped the paper off the box and took off the lid. Sitting on top of cotton padding was an antique Arizona Rangers badge. Vin lifted it out to find a card underneath, ‘this badge belonged to V. Tanner circa 1871-1873’.

"We were heading over to the store to ask some questions."

"We’ll go with you," Chris suggested.

"Figured as much," Delco said as he walked away.

Vin hadn’t heard the others walk over. Agent Delco said they could come but he’d do the questioning. When they go to the store Vin looked around and could see why Brick had come in here. Agent Delco talked with the salesperson that sold Brick the badge but she couldn’t tell them much. Vin had expected that be he had hoped she could give them more. Delco thanked her and they left.

"Can I take my Jeep?" Vin asked.

"Don’t see why not," Delco said. "We didn’t find anything in it except junk food wrappers."

"Thanks," Vin said. He reluctantly held out the bag with the badge.

"Won’t need that either," Delco said. Vin nodded and began to walk away. Delco turned to Chris. "Wish we could have found more."

"So do I, Chris said. "Keep us posted."

JD followed Vin back to the Jeep. He was disappointed the FBI hadn’t found anything. If they were still on the case Brick would already be found. JD hadn’t told anyone but he’d made a copy of the tape before giving it the FBI. He downloaded it o his computer and hoped he could find something. He wondered if he should tell the Vin? He decided to wait until he actually had something useful.

"Can I ride back with you?" JD asked.

"Sure, JD," Vin answered. "Josiah drive to slow for ya?"

"Yeah," JD smiled. "Besides I like riding in your Jeep."

They climbed in and Vin started the engine. It rumbled to life and Vin shifted into reverse and back out of the lot. Josiah pulled up behind him and they headed back to the Federal Building.

Brick flexed his finger trying to keep the circulation going. The ropes were pretty tight and he didn’t want to lose the use of his hands. LeBroc had left him for most of the morning and Brick had spent the time trying to figure out how to get away. Unfortunately he hadn’t come up with anything. He was still tied to a chair in the middle of an old warehouse. Brick shifted on the hard wooden chair to try to get comfortable but it wasn’t easy. Brick sighed and put his head back. He hoped Vin would hurry.

Chris looked up from the report he was reading to glance at the clock. He shook his head when he saw it was only two o’clock. The day had been dragging ever since they came back from lunch. The meal had been very quiet with no one interested in talking, not even Ezra. Vin hadn’t eaten anything, which had Nathan worrying. Chris picked up the report and was glad when he head a knock at his door.

"Come in!"

Chris knew it wasn’t Buck since the mustached agent never knocked. Neither did Vin. He had a suspicion it was Nathan. Chris smiled as the tall black agent stepped into his office.

"What can I do for you Nathan?’

"You can talk some sense into that stubborn Texan."

"What’s wrong?"

"He’s sitting at his desk all hunched over insisting he’s fine."

"Didn’t he take his pills?"

"This is Vin we are talking about."

Chris cursed, pushed back his chair and stood up. He walked out of the office and saw Vin leaning in an awkward position at his desk typing at his computer. Chris walked over and stood next to Vin.

"Was wondering when Nathan would get you," Vin said without looking up.

"If you’d listen to Nathan he wouldn’t have to get me."

Vin turned from his computer and looked at Chris. He could see Chris wasn’t too happy with him. Hell he hadn’t meant to ignore Nathan’s suggesting of stretching out on Chris's couch, but he wanted to check something on the computer. Now his back had stiffened up and he couldn’t get out of the chair. Being a Tanner he was too stubborn to ask for help. Chris just stood there with hands on his hips waiting.

"Aw hell," Vin cursed.

"Can’t move, can you?"

"Damn know it all."

Chris shook his head and moved to help Vin stand. Vin hissed in pain as the muscles in his back protested. As soon as Vin was on his feet he rested all his weight on his left leg and leaned. Nathan scowled but didn’t move to help since Vin would hate that. Chris pulled open Vin’s top drawer and grabbed the bottle of pills. He took Vin’ arm and they slowly walked towards his office. Once inside Chris closed the door and helped Vin over to the couch. Vin ground his teeth as he slowly sat down. Once he was settled Chris went to get him some water.

"Here!" Chris said as he held out the pills and the glass.

Vin took the pills and popped them in his mouth. He took the glass and drank. When he was done he handed the empty glass back to Chris. Vin slowly lowered himself down on the couch. Once he was on his side. Chris grabbed his legs and slowly put them on the couch. Vin stretched out on his back and sighed in relief. Chris just shook his head and went back to his desk to finish the report.

He was bound to a chair beaten. His body ached and he couldn’t move. Sounds in the night. The moon reflected off a puddle with another image blurred beside it.

Vin jerked awake looking wildly round. Now he knew what was bugging him about the tape. Now he had to get it back from the FBI. Vin sighed and looked down at his watch. It was almost five o’clock and quitting time. Vin stood up and stretched. It was cut short as his back spasmed. He walked to the door and opened it. He found the others typing at their computers.

"Feel better?" Josiah asked when he saw Vin sanding there.

"Yeah," Vin admitted. "Any word?"

"Nothing new," Buck said reluctantly. "But we’ll find him."

"Where’s Chris?"

"Here," Chris said as he walked into the bullpen. "Travis gave us a new assignment."

"He what!" JD exclaimed. "What about Brick?"

"The case isn’t ours, remember, " Nathan said.

"But we will still endeavor to find Mr. McKenna as well as work on this new case," Ezra added.

"No sense in starting anything now," Chris said looking at the clock. "We can start fresh tomorrow. Why don’t we had over to the Saloon."

"Sounds good to me," Josiah said.

"I’m gonna pass," Vin said. "I’m just gonna head to my apartment."


No, Chris, I want some time alone," Vin argued. "Besides I need to call Jack."

"Alright, "Chris reluctantly agreed. "As long as you give me word you’ll eat something."

"You have my word," Vin said as he grabbed his keys off his desk and headed for the door.

"Don’t envy him talking to Jack," Buck said.

"Maybe I should have suggested ding that," Ezra said.

"No," Chris said. "It’s something Vin needs to do."

Vin parked the Jeep next to the abandoned lot. He grabbed the bag with the badge and walked across the street to the apartment building. The older boys were playing basketball, while the younger ones were climbing on the jungle gym. Thomas saw Vin and broke away from the game.

"Hey Vin," Thomas called. "Thought you’d want to know. There was a strange car parked here this morning."

"Yeah?" Vin asked. "What’d it look like?"

"Broken down black K car that had the driver’s door painted with primer," Thomas answered. "I got a plate number."

"Ok I’ll check it out," Vin said taking the paper.

Vin figured it was probably LeBroc. He doubted he’d get anything from DMV. LeBroc was too smart to have registered the car. Vin went into the lobby of his building and hit the button for the elevator. He hoped it was working because he wasn’t looking forward to having to climb the sitars if it wasn’t. The elevator finally arrived and Vin stepped inside. He hit the button for the fourth floor and the old machinery moved slowly up. Vin leaned against the wall trying to decide what to tell Jack. The doors opened and Vin pushed away from the wall and walked out. He walked down the hall and noticed a light was out. He made a mental note to cal the landlord. Vin went into his apartment and flopped down on the couch. He grabbed the phone and dialed Jacks number. He got a busy signal and hung up. Vin sat with the phone in his lap thinking. If he could just get the tape he knew he’d be able to tell where Brick was. Vin got off the couch and went to the bedroom. He walked directly to the closet and went inside to begin rummaging around. He found his black duffel bag and took it over to the bed. He opened it and dumped everything on the bed. He grabbed a small leather case and opened it. Inside were lock pick tools that would make Ezra proud. Now all he had to do was wait.

Around 10:00pm Vin drove back to the Federal Building. He pulled up to the gate for he garage and entered his number. The gate rumbled up and Vin drove inside. At night the garage elevators were shut down and everyone had to enter through the lobby. Vin went up the step and headed for security.

"Hey, Tony," Vin said handing the guard his ID.

"Hey, Vin, What bring you back so late?"

"Forgot a copy of a file I need to finish a report at home," Vin sighed. "Chris wants it first thing and I don’t want to hear him in the morning."

"I understand," Tony laughed. "John is making his rounds on the upper floors so you’ll probably see him."

Vin nodded as he headed for the elevator. He knew the guards checked the floors periodically. Each f them were assigned to a different section. If John was making his rounds now Vin had an hour to get what he needed. The elevator opened and Vin headed for the bullpen. He turned on his computer and began to type. John found him at his desk ten minutes later and waved as he continued on. Vin waited twenty minutes before he headed for the elevator. He went down to the ninth floor and stepped out. He didn’t’ see anybody in the FBI area. Taking the leather case from his pocket Vin knelt in front of the door. He pulled out two slender pieces of metal and got to work. A short time later the lock clicked and Vin pushed the door open. He found Delco’s desk and hoped the tape was there. The desk was locked but Vin had no trouble opening it. Murphy’s Law never failed and Vin found the tape in the last drawer. He grabbed it and headed back to the elevator and the eleventh floor. He printed out what he typed earlier and put it in an envelope with Chris’ name on it. The lock on Chris's office was no problem and Vin walked over to the desk. He took out his badge and his gun then picked the lock to Chris’s desk and placed them inside. The envelope he put on top of the desk so Chris would see it first thing.

"I’m sorry Chris," Vin said as he locked everything up and headed for the door.


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