CHAPTER FIVE: Reunions
Sidney walked into class on Friday morning, and almost stopped dead in her tracks. She exchanged a quick glance with Josiah. Quietly, she sat down in her seat and tired to ignore the intimidating man in the back of the room. She could feel the cold stare as the hair on her neck rose. She and Sergeant Brandon Walters had met before. He had been the one that had shot Liam, when the Irishmen had saved him from a Red Glove bomb. Walters had been bound and determined to prove that she was part of the Red Glove. He had been obsessive about it, until Chris had made a fool about him. Judging by the look on his face, he hadn't forgotten about it.
As soon as most of the class had filed into the room, Josiah stood up and began passing out papers. He tried his best to ignore the cop in the back of the room. He set Sidney's paper down in front of her, making sure she saw his note in the corner.
Whatever happens, don't make a scene. It's not going to happen you or Marcus.
Sidney sighed, but nodded her head.
"Welcome back," Josiah answered. "Current circumstances have made it inevitable that I stay with you a little longer."
"Today, we will be talking about proper interviewing techniques discussed in Chapter Fourteen."
Walters coughed louder.
Josiah sighed, and made sure the cop did not miss his glare.
"But before we begin, Sergeant Walters from the local police department would like to ask you a few questions."
Walters walked to the front of the room.
"I'm sure you are all aware of the charges brought against Marcus Sorkin. I'm here to ask you if you have anything that could add to our investigation. Anything you know could be beneficial to us."
"Sorkin was obsessed with the Red Glove. It was all he talked about some days," a girl in the back of the room stated.
"He never criticized them," Tom added. "I got pretty pissed at that. He wanted us to see the Red Glove as the good guys."
Walters wrote down notes in a small ring notebook, asking questions when the need arose.
After twenty minutes, the questions died down.
Josiah watched Walters's eyes stray around the room and fall on the person who hadn't said anything, during the question period.
"Ms. Marks, you have been awfully quiet," Walters smiled evilly.
"I have nothing to say that would help in the investigation," Sidney stated, meeting him in the eye.
"Were you at Gubliani's murder too?" he asked
Josiah watched Sidney nervously.
"What are you talking about Officer?" Sidney asked. She deserved an Oscar for the innocent look on her face.
"You have an alibi for that night?"
Josiah stood up, and slammed his hand on the desk.
"Officer Walters, I agreed to let my students be questioned about Professor Sorkin, not be interrogated themselves," He growled.
"Excuse me Officer," a timid girl next girl to Sidney raised her hand. Walters looked at the girl.
"Sidney was with me that night. We were at a friend's bachelorette party."
Both Josiah and Sidney smiled gratefully at the girl.
Walter's lips curled, but he didn't say anything else.
"If any of you remember anything else, please contact my office."
"Thank you Officer Walters," Josiah called sweetly after the man.
"Shall we return to what we are here for?" he asked his students.
Sidney walked out after class, slinging her book bag over her shoulder. She looked for JD. He was supposed to be picking her up after class. She looked around the back of the Psychology building. She didn't realize how creepy it was and started to walk towards the parking lot.
"Little Ms. Perfect sucks up to anther teacher," a voice growled behind her.
Sidney turned to see Tom and two of his friends standing behind her. They all had at least a foot on her 5'3.
"Don't start Tom," she sighed.
"Why was Walters questioning you like that?" Tom continued to push. "It has something to do with you being caught with that Mason guy doesn't it? He wants to know how you helped him escape."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Sidney asked as she kept on walking, hoping that JD would show up soon.
One of men grabbed hold of Sidney's shoulder and forced her around. She tired to break free of his grasp, but he held firm.
"I'm going to get some answers for officer Walters,' Tom growled.
"What are you going to do?" Sidney asked, "Beat it out of me?"
'If I have to," Tom growled. "So let's stop this now, and tell me that you're in the Red Glove."
"I don't know what the hell you're talking about," Sidney spat back as she tried to break free, but now both of them were holding on to her arms."Go to hell,' she spat.
The next second, she felt a sudden pang of pain shoot from the side of her face, and white light shoot in front of her eyes.
She kicked up and felt her boot connect with Thomas's groin. He doubled over in pain. Using the surprise of her captors, she was able to twist free of their grasp. She swung out with her fist, and hit the one on her left in the gut. Sidney knew she was outnumbered and started to run, but a well placed leg sent her sprawling to the ground. Her head connected hard with the ground. She felt herself getting dizzy, as hands grabbed a hold of her shoulders and pulled her to her feet.
"Little bitch!" Tom cried, still in pain.
Her attempted escape was rewarded with another punch, this time to the opposite side of her face.
"What are you going to do now, Sidney?" Tom laughed. "There aren't any teachers or millionaires to protect you." He kicked her right in the gut.
"Think again you son of a bitch," a voice growled behind Tom. Tom turned to see who it was, but he never got the chance. JD's first connected his face.
Sidney felt one her arms drop to her side as one of her captors went to help Tom.
She swung her first up high and hit the remaining assailant in the jaw.
He lunged for Sidney, but a cold voice stopped him.
Sidney and he both turned to stare into the barrel of a handgun. Evan's eyes were cold and hard..
"I don't want this Tom. I'm out of here," he yelled, and ran. So did the other boy. Tom was left alone surrounded by three angry people, and a gun.
"This isn't over Sidney," Tom growled. "We'll discuss this another time."
"Lay a hand on her again, and you won't get the chance." JD growled.
Tom glared, but walked away. As soon as we out of their vision, the two men turned to look at their injured friend. Concern evident in every line of their body.
Evan helped her slide to the ground.
'You okay?" he asked.
"Yeah," she answered, rubbing her cheek. "I could have taken them."
JD rolled his eyes, but he was glad to see his friend still had a sense of humor.
"You're going to have a nice couple of shinners on your face," JD stated.
'Just as long as they're gone when Nathan and Ezra get back," Sidney answered, as she began to stand up. She winced as she felt the bruise forming at her side.
"You sure you're okay?" Evan asked.
"Just took a punch to the gut and got a little winded," she answered, but she gratefully took his offered arm.
Evan put an arm around her shoulders as the three walked out of the ally towards the awaiting car.
"What the hell happened?" a voice roared behind them.
They turned to see Josiah storming towards them.
"Tom Saunders," JD answered.
Josiah cupped Sidney's check in his hand, as he looked her over.
"I'm okay Josiah," she answered. "madder than hell, but I'll live."
"Why?" he asked, lowering his hand.
"Says he knew I was part of the Red Glove and was going to get me to admit it," Sidney answered.
"We're calling the cops," Josiah answered. "Saunders is not going to get away with the crap, especially not against you."
"And have Walters come back?" Sidney challenged. "Hell, I wouldn't doubt that Walters put Tom up to it."
"Sidney, you can't just this. Next time he might come after you with a knife or worse."
"There isn't going to be a next time," JD growled. "We'll make sure of that."
"Josiah, you told me to keep a low profile. Making a scene about this isn't going to accomplish that/"
Josiah looked at the tree young adults. God, sometimes he thought they were made of tougher stuff then he was. He sighed heavily.
"Alright, but I want you to watch your back for a while Sid. Keep on eye on her too," he added to the two men.
"Don't worry," JD answered. "We're planning on it.
'Get her home and get some ice on those bruises," Josiah ordered. "I've got work to do, but I'll stop by tonight."
The three watched him go, before turning towards the Caddy.
"What are you planning?" Sidney asked.
"Who says we're planning anything?" Evan asked, innocently. Sidney rolled her eyes.
"How's Ace?' Sidney asked, getting into the awaiting vehicle.
"You should be asking how Monty is," JD laughed, as he turned on the vehicle and pulled away from the curb.
"He still sulking?" Sidney laughed. "He wouldn't even come out from behind the couch to say bye to me this morning."
"Can't blame him though," Evan answered. "He's had the run of the house for how long, and all of a sudden there's this new dog on his turf."
"He better get used to it, because Ezra's taken quite a liking to Vin's retriever. I think she's here to say," Sidney answered.
"I thought he said that he's going to get rid of it as soon as he gets home," Evan said.
"He said that about me too," Sidney answered with a laugh. "And he's stuck with me now. I'll take him for a run later, see if we can't work things out.
"Don't get too tired,' Evan warned. "We've got work to do tonight.
"Yup, I got the video cameras all set up," JD answered with a mischievous smile.
+ + + + + + +
Chris walked into the interrogation room at the Atlanta police department. It looked like just about any other interrogation room he had ever been in, drab cream walls, big steel interrogation table, and all.
The man behind the table looked up when the ATF agent entered.
"Agent Larabee," Marcus Sorkin greeted him.
Chris looked the man over. There were bags under the professor's eyes and worry lines covered his face. Other than that, Chris could see no signs of abuse. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his handcuff keys.
"I don't think we'll need these," he stated.
Sorkin sighed in relief.
"Thank you," he answered.
Chris nodded his head and sat down.
"How are you Marcus?" Chris asked concerned. He had met the man on several occasions. He liked the no nonsense physiologist and was appreciative of all the help he had given the FBI team.
"Am I to assume that you are not convinced I'm guilty?" Marcus asked with a smile.
"You're not Red Glove," Chris stated.
"But how to do know Chris? I truly could be one of the people you have been chasing for a while; based on my recent publicity, everyone else seems to think so.
"You're not Red Glove," Chris stated again. He lowered his voice. "Marcus, I know who belongs to the Red Glove."
Sorkin could only stare at Chris with an open mouth.
"You could say she ran into me, quite literally in fact. You know who she is Marcus. She's in your classroom three days a week."
"Sidney Marks," Marcus said quietly.
Chris nodded his head.
"I knew it," Marcus answered, slamming his hand down on the desk. "That friend of hers, JD Dunne, is he in it too?"
"Yup, Ezra Standish actually supports the whole organization. There are about twenty people involved in all."
Sorkin just looked at Chris, his eyes narrowing into slits.
"That's some fine detective work Agent Larabee. How did you figure all this out?"
Chris laughed quietly.
"I didn't, they told me."
"They told you?" Sorkin asked dumbfounded. "You mean you're working with them now?"
"Something like that," Chris answered. "I'll explain it to you as soon as we get you out of here."
"And how do you plan on doing that?" Marcus asked, with a smile.
"We're still working in it," Chris answered. "Looks like we're going to have to do this alone. My boss swears that if I don't come back with a confession, the whole team is out of a job."
"You're going to risk your job for me?" Marcus asked, touched.
"Thompson said he wanted a signed confession, he didn't say what it had to be a confession about," Chris answered, with an evil smile.
"You're slyer than a damn fox, you know that?" Marcus smiled.
"Don't thank me yet," Chris answered. "We've still got to prove that you were framed.
"Well I've got the best team in the country on my case," Marcus stated, leaning back in the chair. "I couldn't ask for more."
CHAPTER SIX: Evidence
"Mr. Sorkin? I'm Buck Wilmington and this is Agent Vin Tanner. We're with the FBI."
"I've said I've all I need to say to you bastards," the eighty-four year old man growled, before almost slamming the door on Buck's face.
Vin quickly put his foot in the door.
"I sure you have Sir, but we would like to hear it again. We're friends of Marcus's and we know that he's innocent."
The man stopped and stared at the two men. He opened the door all the way and motioned for them to come in.
Buck and Vin walked inside the old house, and couldn't help but stare at the beautifully decorated historic building.
"Some house you got here Mr. Sorkin," Buck said looking around.
"It's Joe," the man corrected. "House had been in the family since my great-great grandfather bought it after the Civil War.. Had a hard time holding onto it. Most people didn't' like the idea of having a carpetbagger in their neighborhood. Only made things worse when he started inviting blacks over for meetings. House has been a central gathering for all sorts of civil rights get togethers." Although, the man spoke in reprimanding words, his eyes danced with pride.
He ushered them into a large living room. It looked like it hadn't been changed since the 1800's..
'"Have a seat," he offered the two men.
The agents sat down in two plush arm chairs.
"Can I get you some tea or something?" he asked. "I'd have coffee, but Marcus swears its going to give me an ulcer."
"No thanks," Vin answered. Buck agreed.
Joe sat down in a seat across from them. He pulled out a box of cigarettes.
"Mind if I smoke?" he asked.
They both shook their heads.
"Tried to quit when I was sixty, but then I figured I didn't have much longer. Here I am twenty four years later, and still healthy as an ox."
Buck smiled. For somebody who almost kicked them out his house, Joe Sorkin sure had a lot to say.
"Joe, we need to know where Marcus was the night that the murder happened."
"Already told the cops that have been here that he was visiting a lady friend that night"
"Do you know her name?" Vin asked, as he watched Buck pull out a small wire ringed notebook.
"Kathy Washburn," Joe answered. "Marcus doesn't like to talk about her much. I swear he acts likes a teenager when he talks about that woman."
"And the cops never followed up on her?" Buck asked. "Why wasn't she asked?'
"She's somewhere in Europe right now, before she gets a plane to Africa. Kathy's an investigative reporter and was going to try and go undercover to see what she could find out about the human slave trade in the Sudan.. Nobody knows where she or her traveling companions are at the moment."
"Shit," Buck whispered. "This just keeps getting more and more complicated."
"Do you know if anybody followed up on Kathy?" Vin asked.
"Not that I know of," Joe answered.
"This just keeps getting easier for the bastards," Vin said.
Buck and Joe turned to look at the Texan with confused looks.
"Think about it Buck," Vin explained. "They accuse Sorkin of murder, and the only person who can solidify his alibi can't be found. Even somebody would take make the effort to track her down, it could take weeks, maybe even months..."
"Giving the Red Glove more than enough time to try and bust Marcus out," Buck finished, understanding. "Damn!"
Marcus mentioned something about the Red Glove once," Joe answered,
"but he didn't say much."
"Well Joe, I might take some of that tea," Buck stated. "We've got quite a bit of explaining to do."
Vin stood up and pulled out his cell phone.
"I'll be right back," he told the two men. "Got to make a phone call."
"Thank you Mr. Tanner. Yes, please keep us updated. We shall do the same." Ezra hung up the phone and leaned back in the wooden porch chair. He looked out over the fields that had once been full of crops. Now the fields were overgrown, but the southerner still pictured a time when they had been plentiful with color.
He leaned back and sighed in bliss, enjoying the warm Georgia weather and the peach in his hand.
"It feels good to be home," he stated. "Wouldn't you agree Nathan?"
"I don't know if I share those same feelings," Nathan answered, pushing aside the forensic reports he had been looking at.
"Please enlighten me," Ezra answered. The man leaned forward and gave his friend his full attention.
"Well for one, I don't reckon I will like the history of this place."
"Mr. Jackson, I assure you that all the labor on this lovely plantation were rightfully reimbursed for their contributions."
"Why do I have a hard time believing that?"
"You may look it up in the historic records upstairs. The Standishs have owned this estate for almost three hundred years. Never in that time period has any man or woman been forced to work against their will. My uncle who I inherited this land from drilled it into my head. I shall do the same when it passes on to some distant relative of mine."
"No direct descendents?" Nathan smiled.
"I do believe this conversation revolved around your uneasiness, not my family life," Ezra answered, but he was also smiling. :"So please continue."
Nathan's face grew grave.
"Bad memories," Nathan said quietly.
Ezra's face also fell when he realized what Nathan was referring to.
"Nathan, I'm sorry," he stated. "I was indulging in my own self pleasure. I forgot that this place may not be as welcoming to you."
"Don't worry about it Ezra," Nathan smiled. "It's not something I talk about regularly."
"So I have noticed," Ezra answered. "I don't think I would either."
"It's hard to come to a city where its citizens killed your mother and almost destroyed your father."
"They were special people Nathan; believe me when I say I hold them in the highest regard."
"Wish the cops that broke into the protest would have thought that same thing," Nathan answered. "My father had an open casket you know? He made the city see what they did to her."
"A brave act," Ezra answered.
Nathan sighed and looked out over the field.
"I come back now and see that things that some things have changed. Its better than when we were kids, but there's still along way to go I walk through some of the slums and I still see the raciest violence."
"We'll make it better Nathan," Ezra answered
"A cocky, rich bastard like you?" Nathan joked
"We'll see," Ezra said with a smile. "But I do believe we have more pressing matters than saving this country from bigotry and discrimination."
Nathan grabbed the police reports and sat down at the table next to Ezra.
"Have we found anything that may be of use to us?" he asked.
"Only thing they have against Sorkin is fingerprints at the scene."
"Even if Sorkin was there, nobody in the Red Glove would be dense enough to leave fingerprints."
"Exactly," Nathan agreed. "Besides fingerprints are the easiest things to plant. Anybody with a little forensic knowledge could do it."
"So how can Mr. Larabee prove that the fingerprints were planted?"
"These reports have the names of people who were at the scene. I'm going to call around and see whet I can find out."
CHAPTER SEVEN: Favors
Mary Travis walked out of the news station to her awaiting Taurus. Her keys were already in her hand. The rainy mist was making it hard to see and more than just a little spooky outside. She scolded herself for being so ridiculous. Billy was going to be angry with her. She had promised she would be home over two hours ago. She knew that her twelve year old son enjoyed spending time with his grandparents, but now that Orrin was in Washington DC mpst of the time, it was just Billy and Evie. She had a feeling that they were getting sick of each other.
She was about to get into her car when she felt a cool hand on her shoulder.
"Mrs. Travis, we need to talk to you," the voice said.
Mary slowly reached for the gun she carried in her purse. She had been carrying one since Steven's death. Now it looked like she was going to have to use it. The purse was knocked out of her hand. She kicked out and tried to scream, but she was grabbed around her shoulders and a hand was placed over her mouth.
She looked down at the hand preventing the noise from escaping from her mouth and gasped. The large red gloved hand loosened its grip slightly.
"We mean you no harm Mrs. Travis. We have a huge favor to ask of you. I'm going to let go of you now. Do you promise not to scream?"
Mary nodded her head and she felt the arms around her shoulders leave. She turned to stare at the four people. All of them were dressed in black from their heads down to their feet. The only color was their red clad hands.
"Mrs. Travis, you've helped us in the past," the voice was female.
"I haven't done anything," Mary stated. Her fright was starting to ease when she noticed that these people were not threatening. They even seemed slightly intimidated by her.
"Yes you have. More than once, you've given us the publicity that we are looking for. People's attitudes are changing about us, and it's mostly because of you," the taller man said.
"I report what's true," Mary stated. "You aren't the villains that the cops make you out to be."
"That takes guts. Aren't you afraid that they will come after you like they did your husband?"
Mary bristled at the question.
"Living in fear is no way to spend a life. I would be dishonoring his legacy if I cowered away from the truth."
The three masked forms exchanged looks.. One of them reached into their pocket and pulled out a disk.
"We would like you to show this on your newscast within the next few days."
Mary took the disk.
"What is it?" she asked
"It's our own little newscast. We're going to answer some of Denver's questions."
"Can I watch it first?" Mary asked.
"The disk is set up to only play once, after that the information in it will be erased. It's set up to protect us and you," the shorter man explained.
"Mrs. Travis, don't do it if there's too much of risk. The last thing we want if for you or your family to end up in trouble," the female stated.
Mary looked at her four visitors.
"It will be on during the Friday night newscast," she stated firmly.
"Thank you Mrs. Travis. We appreciate the help."
"It's the least I can do. I have one question."
'Just one?" the man smiled.
"Marcus Sorkin, is he really..."
"No, he has no connection to us whatsoever."
"Then he's been..."
"Falsely accused, but I have learned that Agent Larabee is working on the case."
Headlights flashed from the corner of the parking lot.
"We've got to go,"
They started to walk away.
"Wait," May called. They turned to look at her. "Who are you?"
"The time will come when we can tell you everything, but now isn't the time."
"Can you give me a hint?" Mary pushed. She could tell they were smiling under their masks.
"You pass him everyday at work."
They walked away, leaving Mary staring speechless. It was something that few people had ever been able to do.
+ + + + + + +
Vin sat on the lawn with his legs crossed.
"I can offer you a chair Mr. Tanner," Ezra said. The five men were gathered in the well manicured back lawn of Ezra's property. Everybody but Vin were sitting in lawn chairs.
"Not thanks, I'm good."
Ezra just rolled his eyes.
"Ezra, I want you to see if you can find out where Kathy Washburn is. We need to get a solid alibi."
Ezra nodded his head.
"I'm going to see if I can get Mike Gordon on the phone. He was in charge of that crime scene, and I bet you any money that he has no idea what the hell is going on. If there really were fingerprints at that scene, he'd know about it."
"The trick is going to be for him to publicly admit it," Buck stated. "I wouldn't doubt Mike was threatened to keep his mouth shut. He would do anything to protect that wife and little girl of his."
"A phone call won't hurt," Chris answered. "Let's just see what we can turn up. We've been down here for four days and this damned heat is already getting to me. I want to go home, preferably with Marcus Sorkin next to me."
He got out of his chair, leaving his drink balancing on the edge of the arm rest.
"Want to split that expensive rum?" Buck asked Vin with a glint in his eye.
Vin nodded his head enthusiastically.
"That drink still better be half full when I get back," Chris called over his shoulder.
"Damn he's good," Vin sighed.
"Hey Mike, this is Chris Larabee." Chris sat down in one of the armchairs in the mansion.
"Chris? What can I do for you?" There was surprise in the DPD man's voice.
"I need to ask you a few questions."
"This is about the Sorkin case ain't it?"
Chris could hear Mike's voice drop to barely more than a whisper.
"Yeah," he answered.
"Chris, I don't know anything else than what was in those reports. Everything I have to say was written down." There was no conviction in the statement.
"An innocent man could go to prison" Chris stated, raising his own voice. "Sorkin's being accused of murder, Mike. You and I both know he was nowhere near the crime scene that night I'll be damned if I let him go to jail for it."
There was a long pause.
"Thompson might have something to say about that."
"To hell with Thompson! That corrupt son of a bitch is the one that should be arrested. He's just pissed because the Red Glove is getting the better of him. Sorkin is an easy target."
"How do I know that you're not trying to walk me into a trap?" Mike asked hesitantly.
Chris swore under his breath. He could hear the fear in his friend's voice. He would wring the neck of whoever had threatened the seasoned cop. Whoever it was must have done a good job, but it took a lot to scare Mike Gordon.
"Damn Mike, how long have they been threatening you?" Chris asked.
"Since the police report came out. I knew they planted those fingerprints in the car I was going to come forward Chris, I'm not crooked. I just got a phone call and they mentioned Geri and Madison."
"I know Mike," Chris answered. "What did they say?"
"Told me to watch out, that they would be watching me and my girls. At first, I thought it was an empty threat, but then I saw the black car when I was picking Maddy up from school."
"Does Geri know?" Chris asked.
"Haven't told her anything, but she's a smart woman. She knows something up, seen how jumpy I have been lately. Chris, I will tell you anything, but please don't make me say anything publicly. If anything happened to Geri or Madison..." There was desperation in the man's voice.
"Mike, I wouldn't put any of you at risk."
"If I could leave right now, I would. Pack up my family and move to a different town. I was never a fan of Denver, but now...."
And idea flashed through Chris's mind.
"Thanks Mike," Chris answered. "We might not need your help, but I'll keep you updated."
"I'm sorry I can't me of more help."
"You've helped plenty," Chris answered, before closing his cell phone.
"Buck!" he hollered
Buck rushed into the room with a guilty look in his eye.
"I swear it fell off the chair by itself Chris."
"You know Travis's number?" Chris asked, shaking his head. A smile appeared on his face. A plan was forming in his mind. "We're going to need his help."
CHAPTER EIGHT: A Worthwhile Trip
"Thank you for coming Ms. Washburn," Buck escorted the attractive grey haired woman into the Atlanta police department.
"I still don't know how you were able to get a hold of me," Kathy shook her head. "I was in the London airport on my way to Johannesburg."
"We got lucky," Buck answered, leading her to a seat at a large table.
"Who was that nice man with the southern accent? I would never tell Marcus this, but that drawl could make any woman swoon."
"I won't tell Ezra that either," Buck growled under his breath.
"What was that?" Kathy asked.
"Nothing," Buck answered with a sweet smile.
The door opened and Vin walked inside. Marcus was walking behind him with his hands cuffed behind his back.
"Marcus!" Kathy gasped.
"It's alright," Sorkin answered in a gruff voice. 'Thanks for coming sweetheart," he answered sitting down across from the woman.
The woman's face grew hard.
"You're lucky I'm here, after the way you treated me last time. I have a mind to let you rot right here alone."
"Please Kat, let's not do this now." Sorkin's face had turned bright red.
The woman didn't get a chance to answer. The door flung open for a second time. A red faced AD Thomason walked in, followed by a smirking Chris.
"Who the hell is she?" Thompson asked, eying Kathy.
"She's going to provide an alibi for Marcus Sorkin," Chris answered.
"I didn't fly all the way down here for your bullshit Larabee!" Thompson growled. "You told me you have a confession!"
"We do," Buck answered. He turned to look at Marcus. "Would you care to read it Professor?' He set the piece of paper in front of Marcus.
Marcus leaned over and began to read.
"I, Marcus Sorkin, herby confess my....." he looked around the room at the men, and then his eyes focused on Kathy. "my undying love for Ms. Kathy Washburn."
Kathy stared at him, and then her eyes began to well up with tears.
The three agents exchanged smiles, but they quickly turned to look at Thompson
The man's eyes narrowed into slits as he turned to look at Chris.
"I will have your badges for this," his voice left his throat as a menacing growl. "You're law enforcement careers are over."
:I think we're the ones that should be saying good-bye to you," Vin answered. He pushed a file towards Thompson.
"Inside you will find reliable reports about Marcus Sorkin's whereabouts the night of the murder," Vin paused. "You will also find a report from Sergeant Mike Gordon saying that the fingerprints at the crime scene were planted under your orders."
Thompson stood up and reached for the gun at his hip. The other men were too fast. Buck stood protectively in front of Kathy. Chris did the same for the unarmed Sorkin.
"I'd suggest you leave now Director Thompson," Chris growled, clicking off his safety.
Thompson knew he was outnumbered.
"You have not herd the last of me," Thompson stated before walking out of the room.
'You're just going to let him go?" Sorkin answered.
"There's a team waiting to arrest him outside," Chris answered as he took unlocked the handcuffs. So sooner were the cuffs off, then Kathy was in the professor's arms.
Chris motioned with his head for the agents to leave. Both men smiled and walked out of the room.
"Mike's okay?" Vin asked.
"Travis pulled a few strings and got him transferred to some small town in upstate New York, he'll be more happy there."
Buck pulled out his cell phone.
:"That is excellent news! I will pass it on right now,."
Ezra hung up the phone and looked into two anxious faces. A genuine smile lit up his face all the way to his sparkling green eyes.
"Gentlemen," he addressed Nathan and Joe Sorkin. "Professor Sorkin is on his way home"
Joe's eyes welled up with tears.
"I can't than you enough," he started to say, but Nathan held up a hand.
"It was a pleasure Sir,"
"I do hate to rush, but Mr. Jackson and I have a plane to catch," Ezra said, standing up.
"Jackson?" Joe looked at Nathan. "Any relation to Obadiah and Ruth Jackson?"
Nathan looked dumbfounded at the older man.
"They were my parents," Nathan stated, after a while.
Joe scrutinized the doctor for a few seconds, and then his eyes grew misty.
"So you are. You've got Ruth's eyes. Awful shame what happened to your mom. I still get furious thinking about it. Is true that Obadiah died a few years later?"
"Yeah, he got real sick," Nathan nodded his head. "How did you know them?"
"Son, the Jacksons organized most of their marches right here in this house. I remember long nights of sitting up with them."
"You knew them really well then?"
"I doubt you remember, but you were over at this house a few times. You mom didn't let you come very often though. Neither one of your parents wanted you nor your sisters caught up in the mess they were in. The night of the Wallis Street Riot was going to be their last cause they were afraid something would happen to you kids." Joe leaned forward, and his voice grew softer. "Her only thoughts were about her family and the cause she was fighting for. Your pa was probably one of the best men I ever knew. I met a lot of people in my lifetime, and your parents are some of the bravest I've had the pleasure of knowing.
"You should be proud of your namesake."
"I am," Nathan answered.
"In fact I think I've got some photo albums somewhere in this house, if you just give me a minute to look."
"The plane," Nathan said, glancing at Ezra.
"We can reschedule." He leaned back in the chair with a smile on his face. The trip to Atlanta had been a very worthwhile excursion indeed
CHAPTER NINE: The Kids Will Play
Mary Travis fiddled with the disk in her hands. She watched the people walk by her, the information from the Red Glove still fresh on her mind. Any of these people passing her could be a member of the rebel band. She glanced at her watch. The six o clock newscast would be ending in five minutes.
She took a deep breath it was now or never. She stood up and made sure nobody was following her, and walked to the video room. The crewmen in charge of the taped footage had all vacated the small room. Their haste to leave on the Friday night was evident. She nearly tripped over the wires lying on the ground haphazardly. The computer was still connected to the screen in the broadcast room. Glancing over her shoulder one more time, the reporter quickly slipped the disk into the drive. When she was sure that the disk was going to play, she ran out of the room. She was running so fast, she knocked over a picture on the wall of "generous benefactors to the news."
"Sorry Mr. Standish, "she stated, before placing the picture back on the wall.
+ + + + + + +
"Feels good to be home," Buck stated, as he sat down at the small bar.
"Yup," Vin stated sitting down next to him.
"What can I get you tonight gentlemen?" the pretty Mexican bartender asked, as she walked up to them.
"Well Miss Inez, I must say you are looking simply stunning this evening. Were you aware that you just won the most beautiful woman in the room prize?"
"Really?" the woman asked with a skeptical look on her face. "What's the prize?"
"An all expense paid evening with the winner of the most charming man in the room," Buck leaned over the bar.
"I must apologize Ms. Recillos, but I have had a long plane ride. Perhaps we might reschedule at a time that is more convenient for the both of us."
Buck could only stare as his limelight was taken away from the debonair millionaire.
"Pity," Inez smiled. "Perhaps another time Señor." She glared at the speechless Buck.
"Didn't think I'd ever see you in a place like this Ez," Vin chuckled.
"Quite the contrary Mr. Tanner. I visit the establishment quite often. Inez and I are friendly acquaintances."
"You come here?" Vin asked, his voice laced with skepticism.
"Some of the more worthy players choose to show of their, less than stellar car playing skills at this fine institution."
"Knew there was a catch," Vin answered, as his drink was placed in front of him. "Thanks Inez."
"Is this really a good idea?" Chris asked, as he sat down next to Ezra. "Shouldn't we be trying to hide the fact that we know each other?"
"Mr. Larabee since when have you been concerned about what other people think?" Ezra smirked. "Quite frankly, people are going to talk, there is not much that we can do to prevent this from occurring. Besides," he added with a twinkle in his eyes as he lowered his voice, 'they don't stand a chance of figuring us out."
"Cocky bastard," Chris answered with a smile. His head turned to the television set that was on mute behind the bar. "What the..." he started to say. Ezra followed the man's confused gaze.
"Good Lord! Inez, would be so kind as to turn up the television please?"
Inez walked over and turned up the volume. Her attention was also completely absorbed on the television. The few patrons in the bar had also turned their heads.
The usual desk with the attractive anchors had been replaced with a dark scene of some identifiable alley.
"We interrupt this newscast to bring you a very important announcement," a familiar voice said.
"Good Lord," Ezra stated, quietly. "What have they gotten themselves into now?"
Four bodies dressed all in black emerged onto the screen.
"Good evening ladies and gentlemen of Denver. We would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves. We represent the members of the Red Glove."
"Is that who I think it is?" Chris whispered in Ezra's ear.
Ezra nodded his head. Even though the voice was distorted and the black outfit hid every part of his body, he knew who the speaker was.
"That's JD, Sidney, Evan, and I'm assuming that's Casey behind them," the millionaire answered quietly.
Sidney took a step forward.
"You have heard quite a bit about us in the last couple of months in the news. In fact, most of Denver's law enforcement squads can't stop talking about us. They would like nothing more than to destroy our organization and take down each one of us."
"That's probably what most you of you are thinking right now too," Evan continued. "Well, we'd like that chance to prove to you that we aren't the ones you should be worried about."
The background behind them changed to a bar. The four men watching the television recognized it as one of the spots that the Red Glove had connected to Judge Paxton. A band was playing in the background and stylishly dressed hookers were walking around the gaudy decorated room. The video panned in to a table where the Judge, a tall, slim, balding man was sitting at a table with a dark haired woman.
"Is that...." Vin asked.
Chris nodded his head. They all recognized the woman as Connie de Madera, daughter of the notorious Don Paulo de Madera. Chris's team had been trying to nail the Mexican drug dealer for almost a year. His influence had been found all over the drug world in Denver, but the FBI team had never been able to come up with anything concrete
Casey walked into the scene. She pulled up a chair and sat down at the table next to the criminals. The FBI agents were impressed with the special effect.
"This is Judge Paxton," the young woman pointed out. "Listen closely to the conversation."
"How do we know we won't get caught?" Madera asked, leaning forward.
"I've got friends in the department, I'll make sure the area is free of cops that night," Paxton answered.
Casey's head moved back and forth as if she was part of the conversation.
"What about the FBI? The team stationed here in Denver has been on my father's ass for a while. They aren't going to be paid off very easily," Madera countered.
"Chris Larabee doesn't have any say if it ends up in court," Paxton smirked. "Believe me, I've had my fair share of handling him and his men. I'll get you off."
The three men jumped slightly at being mentioned.
The answer seemed to satisfy the woman.
"Let's talk about the shipment," she stated, pulling a slip out of her pocket.
"They'll be arriving Friday night around eight thirty," Madera explained. "Four hundred kilos of the purest cocaine you will find."
"Yes, Yes, I know," Paxton answered, rolling his eyes. "When do I get my money?"
"Five hundred thousand on arrival, and the other half when I know that its been shipped out to the suppliers.."
"Agreed," Paxton answered, holding on his hand. "I'll have people awaiting the arrival of the plane."
"Answer me one question," the woman stated "Since when did officers of the law start dealing on the opposite side of the law?"
"Since the criminals started paying better," Paxton answered.
Chris felt like he was going to be sick to his stomach,
"Judge, it's a pleasure doing business." Madera took the man's hand.
The screen froze, and zoomed in on the handshake.
JD walked out in front of it.
"This is what's happening in Denver, ladies and gentlemen. This is going on behind your backs and you don't know it. While you are at home sleeping, the people charged with keeping you and your families safe are looking for any way possible to slip money in their pockets."
He looked back and the handshake and forward again.
Sidney walked onto the screen.
'This is the reason the Red Glove exists," She answered.
The screen flashed through all the criminals that had been dealt with by the Red Glove. It ended with Joe Gubliani.
"As you can see, we've been busy, but its not enough. We are not afraid to use violence if we have to, but we are not the answer. Despite the corruption, there are still good people in the government who want to fight for you. There's politicians making laws calling for change and cops who still want to protect you."
The screen flashed to a computer screen showing flight times. A six o clock fight under the Madera name was highlighted.
"It's too late to take all those drugs back to Mexico," Evan stated "That flights going to land here on schedule. Call your police stations; get a hold of City Hall, Force Denver law enforcement to bring justice to those who are trying to destroy our home." The passion was evident in the man's voice.
The camera panned out to the four again. The scene in the bar was frozen behind them.
"The powerful will continue to tell you that we're the criminals," Casey said. "We believe that criminals are men like Paxton who are playing with our lives. We are not going to sit back and watch it happen. We gave you the facts, now you have to decide what' you're going to do with it."
"But you can be sure of one thing," JD stated in a cheerful voice.. "As long as men like Paxton are in charge of keeping us safe, you'll continue to hear about the Red Glove." He paused. "Good night everybody."
The screen went blank. A few seconds later, the news station broadcast was once again on the air. People were moving around the desk frantically trying to discover what had just happened.
"What the hell were they thinking?" Ezra asked in disbelief. "I am going to kill each one of them."
The looks of surprise on the other three men's faces matched the southerner's
Murmurs of anger began to spread throughout out the bar. Chris listened closely to determine what the source was. His ears zoned into the table of four closest to him. The two men and women were in deep conversation.
"Damn Paxton," a deep baritone growled. "Always knew that man wasn't what he was cracked up to be."
"Makes you wonder about the Red Glove," his friend answered. "How much of what we've heard has been lies."
"They can't just take the law in their own hands like that," the blond woman stated. "This city would turn into chaos."
"Somebody has to do something!" the other woman exclaimed. "The cops sure aren't doing anything about it!"
Chris's cell phone went off, interrupting his eavesdropping on the couple.
"Larabee," he answered gruffly. "Yes Sir, we're on your way."
Vin turned to look at him
"To the airport?" he asked.
"To the airport," Chris answered. "Ezra, go take care of those idiots for us."
"Have no fear, Mr. Larabee. My young associates will be receiving their just desserts for their reckless behavior."
"Hey Ezra," Vin stated, "don't me too hard on 'em."
"Pray tell why not?" Ezra asked. He pulled out his wallet and paid for the drinks. The men walked outside where their conversation would not be overheard.
"Nobody going to be able to figure out that it was them in that video"
"You've never taken risks before Ezra?" Buck asked with a smile.
"This is different, they could have..."
"Could have what?" Chris asked.
Ezra thought a moment.
"They also broke their promise to you," he stated confidently. "They promised to leave Judge Paxton to you."
"They did," Chris answered quietly.
"What do you call that video tape?" Ezra asked.
"They didn't do anything to Paxton," Chris answered. .By showing that footage, they made sure we got the case. The cops can't not do anything after that."
Ezra opened his mouth, but closed it when he couldn't think up a response.
Buck patted him on the shoulder.
"They're taking after you Ezra. Too damn clever for their own good."
"I resent that statement," Ezra answered, but a smile tugged at his lips. "Please let me know when the judge is permanently behind bars."
Chris nodded his head, as he walked towards his truck.
"Shotgun," Vin called running for the front seat.
"Na-uh," Buck answered, racing after his friend.
Chris watched them go with a shake of his head.
"Trade your kids for mine?" he asked.
Ezra smiled as he pulled out his car keys.
"I believe I may hold on to mine for a while yet."
Chris nodded his head and walked towards his truck. Ezra walked over to his Jag. He turned his head when he heard Buck whine.
"God Damn Texan locked the door!"
"Tanner, open the fucking door!"
He smiled when he heard both men fall to the ground. On the drive home, he mind raced with possible punishments. It was too bad Nathan had decided to stay a few extra days with the Sorkins. The doctor was much better at lecturing than he was. Almost twenty minutes later he pulled into his long parking lot.
The Caddy was sitting at the end pf the parking lot. Ezra glanced inside curiously when he saw that the trunk and back seat were almost filled to their maximum capacity. He glanced inside and saw that a large tent and backpacks were filling up most of the space. His head turned to the sound of the slamming door.
"Shit!" a familiar voice swore. The back of JD was flying back into the house.
Ezra did his best to hide his smile that was threatening to reappear on his face. He walked inside, and was first greeted by two furry bodies shaking their tails. He bent down and returned the warm welcome of the dogs.
"I assume that you have adjusted to your new home Miss Ace?" he asked the golden retriever. He was rewarded with a lick to his hand.
He saw a brunette fly through the living room.
"Stop!" he ordered.
Sidney stopped dead in her tracks and slowly turned around.
"Hey Batman," she greeted in a sugary sweet voice. "Nice job on clearing Sorkin."
Ezra opened his mouth to reprimand her, but he noticed the sickly yellow bruises on her cheeks.
"What the hell happened?" he asked
"I fell off of Sport this morning," she answered. She knew that the lie was going nowhere.
"Those marking look like fists to me," Ezra stated with raised eyebrows.
"Tom Saunders was giving her trouble," JD walked into the room, carrying two sleeping bags.
"A little trouble?" Ezra asked as he cupped her chin his hand to look the bruises over. "I think I deserve an explanation for this and the fact that my evening new so rudely interrupted."
Sidney and JD looked at each other, fear written all over their faces. The looks almost made Ezra laugh out loud. He didn't realize how much power he had over these to kids.
"Mr. Dunne, I am quite thirsty, if you would be so kind as to choose a bottle of wine. I believe the car will also need to be emptied of the supplies for your hasty exodus, unless of course you still wish to leave me."
"Umm, you okay Ezra?" JD asked
"Of course, why wouldn't I be?" Ezra asked in a pleasant mood, enjoying the confusion he was causing. It was the least he could do.
"You're not mad about the TV?" Sidney asked hesitantly, knowing she was treading on dangerous ground.
"It would do me no good to get mad at you," Ezra sighed. "Just don't pull a stunt like that again..." e watched Sidney and JD's face fall. "without allowing me to help," he added with a smile.
He was rewarded with matching ones.
His orders were soon carried out and ten minutes later, the three friends were gathered in the living room with wine glasses.
"I would like to propose a toast," Ezra stated. "To my sanity," he held up his glass. "May it remain fully functional with the two of you living in this house."
Two confused sets of eyes stared at him.
"Asking an awful lot ain't ya, Batman?"
Ezra downed his drink in one gulp and groaned.