by KellyA

****Part 6

The next morning, Ezra wasn't even sure what day it was as everything was starting to blend together.  He again found himself standing in the center of Larabee's office.  This was getting monotonous, he absently thought.  The Spanish inquisition then flashed in his mind.  He looked over his shoulder to see Vin and Buck standing in the doorway.  He knew something was up, it was like having spidey sense as the hairs on the back of his neck started to prickle.  Chris seemed even more intense than usual, if that was possible.

Chris sat on the corner of his desk his arms crossed.  He gazed sternly at the weary and suspicious agent.  He knew what he was about to say would not be well received, but he wasn't sure how Ezra would react.

"I'm pulling you off this mission," he blurted out.

Ezra frowned and cocked his head slightly, not sure he understood correctly.  He gave a sardonic sideways glance at Vin and Buck,

feeling slightly betrayed.  "And may I inquire as to the reason?"  He barely hid the anger, which laced his steady voice.

"You need to get your head on straight," Chris explained.  "I think you should take some of your vacation time, maybe go and talk..."

"You can't force me to take a vacation!" Ezra interrupted, his agitated expression fled, replaced with a threatening glare that almost matched Chris's infamous stare.  Buck and Vin both thought the room had cooled several degrees and stepped forward, not sure what to expect from their friend.

"No, but I can suspend you," Chris countered.  He didn't know what was wrong, but he was not about to allow Ezra to risk his life and the lives of  others.

"For what reason?" Ezra asked.

"I'll think of something," Chris coolly replied, he didn't like the way things were going.  Ezra looked ready to explode at any moment.  It was too bad that Chris didn't see that moment coming.

"Well, let me give you a reason, Mr. Larabee," Ezra snarled.

Chris never saw it coming and was totally surprised when he found himself sitting on the floor rubbing his jaw.  Vin grabbed the enraged undercover, forcing his arms behind his back as Buck stepped in front of Chris, knowing how volatile his old friend could be.

"Get him out of my sight!" Chris growled.

Vin began to drag the furious southerner toward the door.  Ezra wrestled free and strode out the door with Vin right on his heels.  He was going to provide interference for anyone who had the misfortune of falling into the enraged agent's path.

Buck offered his hand to the blond leader.  "You better pull him out of that hole he's in, before I bury him in it," Chris said to Buck as he pulled him to his feet.

*****Part 7

Buck came out of Chris's office, closing the door after him.  "Where is he?" Buck asked Vin as he peered into Ezra's empty cubicle.

Vin nodded toward the stairs.  "He grabbed his coat and took the stairs, figured I'd let him cool down then go after him," he explained.

JD exited the elevator a perplexed look on his boyish face.  "Hey, what's up with Ezra?  He didn't even say hi when I passed him in the Lobby."

"I'll go and talk with him," Buck answered, grabbing his coat and heading toward the stairs.  He had an idea where the troubled agent might be going.

Vin and JD regarded each other, feeling suddenly left out.  Something was going on with Ezra.  They both were surprised by Buck's offer to go and talk to the southerner.  The two men were as different as night and day, but for some reason Buck seemed to want to help.

Buck entered the small pub, which the guys had aptly named 'The Saloon'. The small cozy bar had a western motif, and was run by a very beautiful, dark-haired Senorita.  It was Team 7's favorite Friday night hangout, though Ezra had only recently started joining them on that weekly ritual.  The sound of the door banging closed brought up the dark eyes of Inez, who was feigning wiping down the bar.  If not for the present situation, Buck would again be trying to woo the Mexican beauty with his myriad of one-liners and animal magnetism.  He shook himself, breaking his one-track mind off the beautiful woman and focusing on the problem at hand, namely straightening out Ezra before Chris killed him.

Inez had silently watched as Ezra came storming in.  She had left the front door unlocked after returning from depositing yesterday's receipts.  Ezra had then laid his credit card down and through gritted teeth asked for a bottle of whiskey.  Inez hesitated about giving him a whole bottle in the middle of the afternoon, until she looked into his blazing green eyes and relented.  Ezra grabbed a glass and downed three shots quickly, before finally taking a deep breath.  

"Are you okay, Senor Standish?" Inez asked, reaching out and placing a delicate hand over his.  He pulled his hand unexpectedly away, then turned and walked over to a corner table carrying the bottle with him. She hoped the others were coming soon.  Inez had never seen the look that now reined over the urbane agent's face.  He always appeared so easygoing and in control.  Now, it looked like a battle was being waged inside, and the causalities were showing on his face.  If no one showed up in the next thirty minutes she was going to call Chris Larabee.

Inez was genuinely relieved when Buck entered, and nodded toward the corner table with a worried gaze on her face.

Buck chewed on his bottom lip and sauntered over to the table, not waiting or expecting an invite he slid into the opposite side.  Ezra ignored him for the moment, downing another shot.  The liquor burned going down his throat, exploding with a warmth he wished would burn away the gut wrenching turmoil he was experiencing.  He couldn't think straight anymore.  His sleep-deprived mind was no longer able to hold onto a coherent thought, but it continued to relive the terror of his childhood.  It was like watching a bad movie over and over again, unable to walk out.

"That won't help," Buck calmly said, trying to start a conversation.

Ezra peered up at him with glazed eyes and downed another shot.  "Leave me alone, Mr. Wilmington," he quietly sneered.

Buck slouched down in the pew type seat.  He put his hand in his coat pocket feeling the small pouch of powder that Nathan had given him.  It was something to help Ezra sleep if he could get him to take it.  The way Ezra looked right now he was ready to just pour it down the southerner's throat.  "I don't know what's eating at you, but I know it's something you can't handle alone."

Ezra arched a sandy eyebrow.  He knew the magnanimous man was not stupid, but he had always thought Buck was about as deep as a spring rain puddle.  The extent of Buck's interests were women, work and women, all of which he excelled at.

"You know nothing," Ezra threateningly drawled.  He didn't want anyone invading his privacy and especially not this shameful part of his past.  He lifted the shot, then stopped before it reached his lips.  His hand shook slightly as he rested it back on the table.  Despair fell over him, grabbing his soul and sucking the life from him.  He'd hardly eaten in three days, and the lack of food in his stomach was allowing the full effects of the alcohol to race through his system.  He already could feel the headache starting behind his eyes.

Buck stood and stepped up beside him.  He reached down into Ezra's coat pocket and removed his keys.  "C'mon pard, let me take you home."  Buck grasped the inebriated agent by the forearm and hauled him to his feet.  He expected a fight, and was surprised when he didn't get one.  Buck nodded toward Inez as he led the now compliant agent out the door. 

Ezra allowed himself to be led to Buck's truck and placed in the passenger seat.  It was easier then trying to get his mind to obey commands at the moment.  He felt so drained.  How could a memory of something that happened eighteen years ago affect him this way?  He had spent his whole life keeping his emotions in check, now he was being flooded with feelings he couldn't even understand or control.  His wall of indifference was crumbling away.

Ezra just stared out the passenger window.  The scenery rushed past his unseeing green eyes. 

When Buck pulled into a parking spot Ezra got out before the engine was even turned off.  He watched the unsteady agent walk to his door and start searching in his pockets for his keys.  Buck smiled as he removed Ezra's keys from his pocket and exited the truck.

****Part 8

Buck stepped in front of his bewildered friend and opened the door.  Ezra glared as he pushed past the cocky agent and entered the apartment.  He threw his jacket over a nearby chair, and stopped in the middle of the room when he heard the door close.  He turned to see Buck standing on the small oval rug in front of the door.

"I appreciate you driving me home, Mr. Wilmington, if you're expecting a tip..."

"I don't expect anything," Buck answered, slightly annoyed at the obvious insult.  He knew that Ezra was just trying to push him away.  "Chris would have killed me if I let you drive drunk."

Ezra smirked slightly and shrugged.  "Well, I no longer need your services, so you should go back to the office before we both get in trouble for being AWOL."

"Oh, I think I have something more important to do right now."  Buck removed his jacket and threw it over Ezra's, announcing his intention.

"I don't need a baby-sitter," Ezra sneered.

Buck stepped forward.  "Well, that's debatable pard.  I don't know what's going on with you, but something is tearing you apart."  The look he had seen before, the one that reminded him so much of Chris was still there.  When Chris lost his family, the spark within him went out, leaving him dead inside.  Ezra had that same dead look in his eyes.

"It is nothing that concerns you," Ezra growled, making his way over to his small wet bar.

Buck shook his head. He knew this wasn't going to be easy.  He would have to push some buttons until he found the right one, which shouldn't be to hard for him.  "I don't understand you.  You had the best of everything, the best schooling, and the best training.  You traveled all over the world.  You have more family than any of us."  Buck stopped, allowing his words to hang and stared at the man, searching for a reaction.  Ezra stared blankly back at him from behind the bar. 

Realization struck Buck like a slap to the face--something he was well acquainted with.  It was like someone peeling away the mask to reveal the true man underneath.  Buck's face scrunched in understanding. "Your life's a con isn't it?" he asked.  "This whole I'm fine, everything is wonderful in my life is the biggest bunch of bull hockey.  You hide inside that egotistical attitude like some damn suit of armor." 

Ezra arched an eyebrow at the suddenly perceptive agent.  He had definitely underestimated the gregarious agent. There was definitely more to Buck Wilmington than the mere scoundrel he portrayed.  Buck probably even carried his own demons behind that carefree visage he held.

Buck saw he was on the right path.  He knew he could be playing a dangerous game, for one thing Ezra still carried his gun. "You want to know why no one likes you?  It's because you push them all away.  You go out of your way to make people hate you, not giving anyone a chance to get to know you," Buck stated with a bit of an edge to his voice as he stepped closer to the silently seething agent. 

"You know nothing," Ezra scowled, his voice low, his green eyes burning with the anger that was building within.  "I was passed from one relative to the next because my mother didn't want to deal with me."

"Well, pard, we all have are hard luck stories.  Hell, my mother was a prostitute for god's sake.  Now, she loved me and took care of me just fine, but what kind of life is that for a boy to grow up in?  Things turned out okay I found six brothers who I trust with my life and care about."

Buck was on a roll.  He had a hard time believing that Ezra's life was anything more than some minor inconveniences and teenage rebellion.  If he had known the truth, maybe he wouldn't have pushed like he was.  He was going to get a glimpse of the true man behind the mask.  The only problem was, he didn't realize what he was going to learn. 

"Maybe you need to start thinking about what you have and stop playing the 'poor me, my mother left me at relatives or plush boarding school' bullshit, cause buddy we're all getting pretty tired of it."  

Ezra stepped out from behind the bar and stepped up toe to toe with the taller agent.  "Get out!"

"Damnit Ezra, what's wrong!" Buck yelled, finally reaching his breaking point with the enigmatic man.  "We're all tired of your smug attitude.  We're all misfits, all have demons that haunt us, but we've found a reason to live, and a family.  You keep pushing everyone away, one day you just may get what you want, maybe what you deserve!  You should have just kept running when you ran out on us that first time!" 

Button pushed.

Buck was stunned when he was slammed against the wall, nailed with a forearm to his throat.  His head cracked the glass on a solitary picture of a Ghost town, which hung on the wall.  The forearm that pinned him against the wall began to apply pressure.

"You really want to know, Mr. Wilmington?"  Ezra menacingly whispered. Every angry gasp filled the air between them with the stale odor of whiskey.  Ezra's heart was pounding so hard it felt like the whole room was vibrating.

For a moment Buck wasn't sure he wanted to know.  Something in Ezra's eyes scared the shit out of him, but he slowly nodded his head.  He had started this; he would finish it.

A grim smile slowly lifted the corners of Ezra's lips. "You're right, I wasn't well received by my relatives.  I was a bastard; they tolerated me at best, all except my Uncle Wallace."  Ezra paused as his arm shook under Buck's jaw.

A faint smile came to Buck's face as he thought that at least Ezra had someone who cared about him.  That was until Ezra spoke the next words.

Ezra leaned closer into Buck, bringing his mouth to the man's ear.  "My Uncle loved little boys," he lecherously breathed.

Confusion and trepidation vied for position on Buck's mustached face.  His heart went cold as it comprehended the meaning of the words.  The confused grin stayed a moment on Buck's face until the words finally registered.  Then the horror of understanding caused his eyes to widen and his jaw to drop in shock.  He looked into Ezra's green orbs seeing the pain of truth.

When the words left Ezra's mouth they seemed to take whatever remaining strength he had.  He slowly released his hold on Buck and took a step back.  He felt heavy, like his whole body was moving through mud.  The adrenaline rush of anger and fear had wiped away any remnants of alcohol in his system.  He couldn't look up, didn't want to see what was in Buck's eyes; be it pity, regret or understanding.  He stood silently, feeling a bit like a sideshow freak on display.  He turned and grabbed his coat, heading for the door.

The words had shocked Buck and it took a moment for him to compose himself, and realize that Ezra was leaving.  Just as he was about to step out the door Buck calmly called out, "Running away?"  He knew this was what had triggered the undercover agent before, but it was the only thing he could think of to stop him.

Ezra stopped, dropping his head so his chin rested on his chest.  "Low blow, Buck," he murmured, knowing the ladies man was using it to stop him.

Ezra turned slowly around and stepped back inside.  He dropped his coat back on the chair and glared pointedly at the man, who had managed to break down a door he had kept locked for years.  It wasn't overly hard, but no one else had cared enough to try.  Ezra went over to the overstuffed chair and flopped down into it.  

Buck stood silent for a moment not sure how to continue, or if he even should.  He'd never experienced anything like this, not even through someone else, until now.  He wished that Josiah was here.  The religious man would know what to say.  He never in his wildest dreams thought something like this was the cause of Ezra's torment.  He wiped his hand over his face and sat down on the sofa.  He looked at Ezra's closed eyes and for a moment thought he might be asleep then he watched as he took a deep breath.  "You want to talk about it?"  Buck finally managed to ask, after swallowing the lump that had formed in his throat.

Ezra's forehead creased as if he was considering this request.  "I had a dog I loved," he began, keeping his eyes closed.  He couldn't stop the words that for years had desperately wanted and needed to be heard.  "My uncle threatened that he'd kill it if I told anyone.  He used to take me to the back room and force me to do things I barely understood."  Ezra paused and swallowed.

"How old were you?"


Buck saw the tears that escaped from Ezra's closed eyes and run down his cheek. "After four months I couldn't take it anymore. I gave up the dog, and threatened my uncle that I would tell if he didn't leave me alone.  I no longer had anything he could hold over me.  He couldn't threaten me with my life I didn't care anymore.  So instead, he beat me bad enough to put me in the hospital for a week."

"How did he explain that?" Buck asked, wiping his own tears from his face.

"Told everyone some bullies beat me."

"They believed him, even your mother?"

Ezra smiled at Buck's astonishment. "Yeah, though I think mother suspected something, since I never again stayed with that uncle."  Ezra snorted slightly.

"I swore I'd never care about anything or anyone again. I wouldn't let anyone make me a victim or have such a hold over me."

"In all these years you've never told a soul?" Buck asked.

Ezra slowly shook his head and opened his green eyes.  The sadness they held almost broke Buck's heart.  He thought he could almost see that scared little boy inside. 

"No one until now," Ezra replied, looking away.  He didn't want pity; he just wanted to get back in control.  "I just need time to lock it away and get control again,"  Ezra explained, trying to sound confident, but not really pulling it off.  He didn't know what Buck was thinking of him.  He wasn't sure he wanted to know.

How could someone keep something like that buried inside for eighteen years?  They couldn't, Ezra was proof of that.  The thought slid into Buck's mind like a ship sliding into its berth.

"That won't work," Buck emphatically stated, causing Ezra's eyes to look up at him.  "Believe me, I know from watching Chris.  It'll always be there to haunt you just below the surface, waiting for something else to trigger it.  You have to find a way to deal with it."

"This is the only way I know how to deal with it," Ezra answered, bringing his hands up to his temples and rubbing.

Buck abruptly stood and walked into the kitchen and started rummaging around.  "Where's that fancy tea you keep," he called out.

"In the canister next to the fridge," Ezra wearily replied, wondering why he was asking, but not having the energy to find out.

Ezra heard the beep of the microwave, and a few moments later Buck came out holding a steaming cup of herbal tea and a piece of toast.  He had slipped the medicine that Nathan had given him into it.

Ezra took the tea and looked down into the amber liquid then back up into Buck's guilty face.  "Nathan give you something to put in this?"

", well," Buck stammered knowing he was busted.  A smile came to his face as he watched Ezra drink it anyway.

*****Part 9

Buck had already decided to stay, a little worried about Ezra's state of mind and what he might do.  They didn't talk anymore, both realizing they were comfortable with the silence.   Buck noticed that Ezra's green eyes still looked lost, but some of the fear seemed to have abated.   The medicine Nathan had given soon forced Ezra to bed.  Buck sat up for awhile going over all that was said and trying to consider what to do next.  He woke early and checked on the southerner, noticing that he hadn't moved an inch all night.  Buck left quietly, letting Ezra continue his healing sleep.


Buck was stretched out in Chris's office on his leather couch when the ATF leader entered.  He opened one brown eye to look up at his long time friend and boss, who stared down at him.

"Ay, Chris," he yawned.

Chris could see that his impetuous friend hadn't slept well.  He went over to his desk and sat down in his chair as Buck slowly sat up and stretched. 

Buck rubbed at blood-shot eyes then turned his attention to the blond leader, who was waiting patiently for an explanation.

Chris leaned back in his chair lacing his fingers behind his head.  "So, what happened?"

"Pard, you ain't going to believe this."  He had decided that he would tell Chris what had transpired.  Maybe together they could get Ezra the help he needed.

Buck related the events of the previous evening, and with each word watched Chris's face pale then darken.

"This is eating him up from the inside," Buck finally said, ending his story.  "He can't handle it alone anymore."

Chris was trying to absorb what Buck had just told him.  Ezra always came across as self-assured and in control, and normally he was, but his easygoing demeanor was also hiding a terrible secret.  Chris was all too familiar with hiding pain behind a mask of indifference.  His own demons almost chewed him up and swallowed him whole.  It was only because of men like Buck that he managed to get his life back together and end the threat of that terror ripping him apart.

"What about having Ezra meet with one of the agency shrinks, you know the ones who deal with job related stress?"  Buck asked, breaking Chris from his reverie.

"This is more than just stress, and anyway what if they come to the conclusion he's unfit for duty.  No, we have to get him help, but quietly," Chris explained, pulling out his worn leather wallet and removing a small, equally worn card from it.  He stared at the name and number on the card.  It had been a while since he had needed this person but if anyone could help Ezra he could.

Buck and Chris left the office only to be stopped by a wall of four slightly annoyed and imposing men, all with arms crossed and brows knitted in confusion and concern.

"We don't know what's going on, but we're helpin'," Vin emphatically spoke for all of them.

****Part 10

Ezra had just exited the shower and put on a pair of beige drawstring pants.  The medicine that Nathan had given him had actually helped him get a good night sleep, and he had to admit, maybe telling Buck had also helped.  In the shower he even started to reconsider Chris's earlier advice about taking a vacation.  The doorbell rang and Ezra continued to towel dry his hair as he made his way to the door.  He smiled the first real smile in days, thinking it was probably Buck checking up on him.

Ezra opened the door, barely having time to register who it was when a baseball bat struck a glancing blow to his head, opening a cut above his eye.  He fell against the side wall, but managed to stay on his feet.  His hand going to his head trying to staunch the flow of blood.  His assailant stepped into the apartment, and drove the end of the bat into his stomach, sending him to his knees gasping for the breath that was driven from his lungs.  He had one arm wrapped around his gut while the other held him off the floor.  Ezra managed to look up and see Mr. Flemming, the man he had beat into intensive care.  He still sported the bruises on his face and two black eyes.

"Remember me? This will teach you to mind your own business," Flemming snarled as he raised the bat.

The wooden club cracked down across Ezra's shoulders and drove him to the floor, bright white spots danced in front of his vision in sync.  He rolled over onto his side.  The blood from his head running into his eyes and down his face. He tried to focus on something, anything, but even the oriental rug he laid on seemed to be shifting.  His left arm was numb, his fingers already going cold.  He was also finding it hard to take a deep breath.  He watched as Flemming's booted feet walked passed him. 

"You cost me my son, you meddling sonofabitch.  I'm going to teach you a lesson about minding your own business."

Ezra could hear the man ranting, but couldn't make out the words, they seemed to fall off as soon as they left his mouth.  The booted foot nudged him slightly, and Ezra clenched his teeth to hold in the groan.

More voices suddenly joined the jumbled mix, and Ezra felt the vibrations of trampling feet rushing by him.  Something crashed to the floor.  He felt someone's hand on his head, then felt himself being gently forced over onto his back.  He groaned as his stomach was forced to stretch out.  His arm was bumped and he hissed and closed his eyes tight.

"Call an ambulance!"  Definitely Nathan's anxious voice, it was the first voice he could discern through the fog of his mind.


Chris and the others had pulled into the parking lot and were walking up the path toward Ezra's apartment.  Vin and Chris were in front and stopped when they saw the open door to Ezra's apartment.  They drew their weapons, causing the others to follow suit.  They peered inside to see Flemming raising a bat, preparing to land another blow, probably a fatal one to their prone friend.  Vin tackled the crazed neighbor, taking them both down to the floor.  They slid into a small table, which held a tiffany lamp, one Vin hoped Ezra wasn't too fond of.

Vin hauled the smaller man up and landed two solid punches to his mid-section, just for his own personal pleasure, then threw him roughly against the wall and handcuffed him. 

Josiah held Buck back, having to take the mustached agent's gun.  He figured Vin could do enough damage for the both of them.

Chris knelt down beside Nathan, who was trying to assess Ezra's injuries.  The ex-medic held a washcloth to the undercover agent's head.

For his part, Ezra stared owlishly up at the two men, who seemed to hover way above him. 

"I think he has some broken ribs and a definite concussion."  Nathan grabbed Ezra's chin.  "Ezra, can you hear me?"  Nathan held up two fingers in front of his friend's bewildered face.  "How many, Ez, c'mon."  Ezra blinked slowly, but was unable to communicate and his eyes slowly slid closed.  He could hear his friends' panicked voices fill the room.

****Part 11

God, he hated that smell.  He knew where he was just by the smell. He slowly tried to open his eyes and tried to say something, hoping someone was nearby.  The words came out mumbled and raspy, but they got someone's attention.  He felt his head lifted and a cup of water brought to his mouth.  After a couple sips he was laid back down.  A cool cloth mopped his brow and face.  He looked into the concern visage of Chris Larabee.

"How you doing?"  Chris asked.

"Oh, just dandy," Ezra groggily replied, trying not to laugh at his own sarcasm.  He reached up and felt the bandaged wrapped around his head.  "How long this time?"

Chris had to smile.  "Two days. You had a bad concussion, broken ribs and a broken arm."

"Where are the others?" Ezra asked as he looked around the dimly lit and sterile hospital room.

"I sent them out to get something to eat.  The doc said you would be coming around soon," Chris replied. "I wanted to speak with you alone."

Ezra looked up into the rugged, stoic face of the man he had come to respect more than anyone he had ever known.  Chris's face could maintain an impassive façade, second only to Vin, but his vibrant blue eyes were a different story.

"You know?" Ezra asked with a resigned sigh.

"Yeah, Buck told me."

"The others?"

"No, that's up to you."

Ezra sunk deeper into the pillow closing his eyes.  He had never told a soul in eighteen years, now two other people knew his secret shame. Would they still respect him?  He was afraid how the others would treat him if they found out that he had been sexually molested as a child.  He didn't want pity or to be treated like a victim.  Ezra opened his eyes and looked up, directly into the eyes of understanding.  How could he have ever thought any different.  He trusted these men with his life, maybe it was time to trust them with his heart.

Chris pulled the card out of his shirt pocket and stared at it.  "Buck pulled me out of my grief after my wife and son were killed, but this man helped me deal with my anger and guilt." Chris handed the card to Ezra.

"Doctor Vasquez, psychologist,"  Ezra read as he held the white card between his fingers.  He looked up at Chris and arched a sandy brow.  "A shrink?" He asked with a skeptical smile.  "He helped you?"

Chris smiled.  "Yeah, if you had hit me ten years ago I would have shot you," he plainly stated with a faintly amused smile on his face.

A quirky grin came to the southerner's bruised face.  "Definite improvement then." 

Chris never thought he'd miss the southerner's smart-ass remarks, but they were now music to his ears.  The sober expression returned to Chris's face.  "We'll help you get through this, but you have to take the first step yourself," Chris explained.

"I suppose it is time to put my demons to rest for good," Ezra admitted.

Chris could see that Ezra was growing tired.

"You rest, we'll be by to see you in the morning."

"Chris, remind me to thank Mr. Wilmington, I think I owe him my life."

"You and me both, pard."

Ezra's eyes fell shut and his breathing evened out as he fell asleep.  Chris patted the younger agent on the shoulder and walked out the door.  Having a family had its share of problems, especially when the family was made up of seven rather dysfunctional, strong-willed and fervently charged men.  Chris looked down the hall seeing the five other members of his eclectic family coming toward him.  He smiled to himself he wouldn't have it any other way.