"Little Buck" AU
Author Notes: I would like to thank Wendy for the beta on this story. Wendy I know it was a mess. Karen thanks also for help when I needed it! You are the reason I furthered this story along. I plan to have another story out for this series and then I hope to be able to open the AU then. This story does follow His Hero which can be found at the blackraptor Mag7 fanfiction page!
It has been several months since the small, dark haired, 5-year-old boy named Buck Wilmington had come to live with Chris Larabee at the ranch. Various changes had taken place around the ranch home and with the three people that lived there together. Chris and Buck were still getting used to the reality that they were now father and son. Chris had to pull the child to the side each time he went to the store with Buck due to him thinking he was going to get in trouble for Chris buying him things. Larabee in no way tried to spoil the child with buying him too many things. Buck would get upset over the simplest things like a carton of milk or a loaf of bread. The blonde had to repeat himself many times that it was things he was buying for the both of them and for the house. The other agents spoiling Buck was a different story. At one point Chris had to pull his friends aside and explain how their expenditures on Buck's behalf was making the young boy feel, and asked them to ease up on their gift giving.
The looks that covered the big bad agents' faces were a sight to see. However Larabee's team did as they were asked from their leader.
JD loved living at the ranch with Chris and Buck. At first he thought he would have trouble with the child waking him up early on the weekends to play with him. JD loved Buck as if the child was his true nephew by blood and didn't mind too much to wake up early to play with the little guy. The two men and small boy ate breakfast with each other most mornings. Supper times usually found the threesome sharing their meals with one or more of the other agents.
Toys filled the house from top to bottom now. Many nights when Larabee climbed in his bed he would find a toy car, stuffed horse or even a children's book in his bed. Larabee would just pick the toy up and hold it in his hands for several minutes thinking of what the child was doing when he was playing with it, making another memory in his mind that he would keep with him forever.
The six agents soon learned that the small child loved to listen to Elvis music. It happened when Christ stated on a Friday afternoon that he was going to be taking the child shopping at the mall on the next day. Chris knew without an uncertainty that they would all be there after him mentioning it.
The seven had walked through the mall and came upon a music store where JD and Vin both rushed in to look through the millions of cds there. Chris was looking through the music cds in the kid section trying to find the Playhouse Disney soundtrack for Buck when Elvis came over the speakers and the little boy started to dance and sing along. When the child was asked where he had heard the Elvis music before, Buck simply stated, "my mom" . That was all that the child had to say for the six men to drop the subject. So hand in hand Chris and Buck walked out of the music store with one Elvis hits cd and the Playhouse Disney cd.
MONDAY APRIL 21ST
The day wasn't like any other day Chris thought as he rushed through the house trying to gather his things up. The blonde reminded himself why he hated Monday's. The day had already started off on the wrong foot; he had overslept, which was something that the agent hardly ever did. So breakfast was a fast one as he rushed his son upstairs to get dressed. Larabee usually helped the little boy get dressed and hated that he would miss that time because of being rushed. JD, who was also running late, ran through the house with wet hair gathering his things before heading off to work. With a pop-tart sticking out of his mouth and a cup of coffee in his hand he hurried back down the hallway and in his room to gather his laptop up when he heard Chris shout.
"Buck. Come on son we need to hurry and get up on your bus this morning!" Larabee shouted toward the upstairs of the house.
"I can't find my shoes!" The little boy said as he bounced down the staircase looking for his tennis shoes.
"Well where did you pull them off little man? You really need to be finding them, your bus will be here shortly and we have to hurry." Chris said taking his gun from JD and putting it in his shoulder holster. Chris had installed another safe in the house so that JD would also have the code along with the other team members to place their guns in while at the ranch.
"I don't remember." Buck said has he ran down the hallway toward JD's room.
Chris bent down to look under the couch when he hit one of Buck's blocks with his knee. "Damn it that hurt." Larabee stated as he rubbed his knee. The blonde was starting to get aggravated; the bus would be there any minute.
"Damnit Little Man how many times have I told you to put your sneakers by the door so that you would be able to find them the next time you need them?" Larabee shouted toward the little boy who had come back into the living room. The blonde was still rubbing his knee, even as he spoke.
"Chris come on he is just a little boy." JD stated when he noticed the look on the child's face. Buck looked like he wanted to cry but was holding it in.
"That is no excuse JD. Just don't stand there Buck, find your dang shoes now!"
"I'm sorry dad, I didn't mean. . ."
"Didn't mean to what Buck, not listen to me when I asked you to put your shoes next to the door, or didn't mean to lose the damn things!"
Chris Larabee had never raised his voice to Buck before and the little boy didn't know how to react. He knew his father wanted him to find his shoes but it seemed to him like he couldn't get his feet to move, they felt weighted down and stuck in place where he stood. Buck was fighting back the tears that wanted to come, but he didn't want to make his father even madder at him. The little boy knew he was in trouble now.
"Here they are!" JD said running toward the child and picking him up and putting him down on the couch so that he could help the child put his shoes on. Once that task was done JD hurried and reached into his pocket taking out two dollars and putting it into the boy's backpack pocket for his lunch. Together JD and Buck ran out the door and down the driveway to where the bus would be. Larabee was the one to always walk Buck to his bus stop, it gave the father and son time to talk with just each other and Larabee woke every single morning for times like that.
Chris hadn't even seen the two leave the house nor did he see when JD came back in the house and got his stuff then left the ranch house for work. Larabee came running back down the stairs from where he was making sure he got everything when he noticed how empty the house was. He quickly looked to his watch and then took off for his truck to hurry off toward work before Ezra beat him there for once. Time didn't allow the man to recall the words that he had said or the looks that his son gave him that morning.
JD was already sitting at his desk when Chris walked through the offices that housed his team. He noticed right off how JD made himself look busy when he spotted his leader. The young agent had made a point not to make eye contact with the blonde, he was too angry with him for the way he had talked to Buck because of the child misplacing his shoes. JD had filled Vin on the morning's events at the ranch home and why he was upset. Tanner's anger even started to boil; he had never heard of Chris raising his voice to the child before and over the kid just misplacing his sneakers was something no on should get upset over.
When Larabee walked into his office and left the door open Tanner saw it as the opportunity it was, and walked in the office after the A.T.F. leader. Tanner looked at the walls when he entered; they now adored pictures of Buck and the sharpshooter's anger got even worse.
"Bad morning cowboy?" Tanner asked as he sat down in the chair across the desk from Chris and propped his feet up on the edge of the large wooden desk.
"I guess you can say that, get your feet off my desk Tanner!" Chris said grinning at his sharpshooter. Things started to slow down once he made it to the office and his temper of being rushed started to fade away.
"So how has your morning been so far? Oh and how is Little Bucklin doing?" Tanner hinted to the blonde.
"A big rush. I got up late, and then had to rush to get things done this morning. Little Man is doing good, made it on his bus or at least I think he did. JD took him to the bus stop." Chris said sitting back in his chair allowing the morning events to come to his mind.
"I thought walking that boy to his bus stop was your job, or your thing as you put it?"
"It usually is but with running late this morning I didn't have time." Larabee said while wondering what the sharpshooter was up to.
"Didn't have time to help the kid find his shoes either huh?"
Right then and there everything came rushing to the blonde agent and he recalled his words he had spoken out of anger to his son and he also now recalled seeing the look on his son's face as he was getting yelled at. Now he knew why JD was mad at him. He remembered JD saying something about Buck being just a kid to him. How did things go wrong he thought to himself.
"I messed up."
"Your damn straight you did." Tanner said softly. He didn't need to raise his voice at Chris, he knew without a doubt that Chris would be kicking his own butt.
"Guess that is the reason JD won't look at me this morning huh, guess he's mad at me too."
"I would have to say that guess is right. What happened that you thought you had to shout at Buck like that Chris?"
"I don't know Vin." Chris said getting up from his chair and walking around the room. He had to think, he had to do something. Larabee came to a stop in front of and stared at a picture of himself along with Buck. The picture was taken shortly after Buck had come to live with him, and they were in the living room playing. Chris was on his knees while Buck was cuddled up close to the blonde's chest with Larabee's arms wrapped around the small child. The smile that radiated from the child's face made Larabee grin. Chris now remembered JD taking the picture of the two.
"I'll leave you alone with your thoughts cowboy." Tanner said getting up knowing his job was done. The blonde just needed to take a breather and remember the mornings events and how to make things right with his son.
Buck walked down the steps of the bus and looked around him before starting to walk toward his classroom. His feelings were still hurt as he walked with his head down and his hands in his pockets. The child knew that he had upset his father and vowed to never lose his shoes or make Chris mad at him ever again. Buck came to a stop when he heard someone calling his name. He quickly looked around for the man's voice when he saw one of the guys his dad had introduced him to at his dad's work.
"Buck how are you young man?"
"I'm doing fine. You dropping your kid off Mister Curts?"
"No picking one up. Your dad wanted me to come and get you, said something about you two spending the day together." The man said before taking Buck's hand into his and walking toward his truck.
Dennis Curts was on team 5 and had worked alongside of Larabee's team many times. The man stood as tall as Josiah and was built like Nathan. His short brown military haircut and tanned skin made him handsome to most women. Curts name at the office was highly marked; he was good at his job and had been in law enforcement for many years.
Buck wasn't so sure that his dad wanted to spend the day with him, after all his father was upset with him when he had left home and got on the school bus. Buck's mind went back to the morning's events when his father had spoken loudly to him and he felt tears fill his eyes, but he blinked them away. He was a big boy and wouldn't cry. The child had been yelled at many times before and now he was thinking things weren't so different as he had thought they were. Buck knew how to hide his tears though and that was what he had planned on doing from now on. He just felt bad for making his adoptive father mad at him.
Dennis Curts buckled the child in the seat and then buckled his own seatbelt before putting the truck in drive and leaving the school. His mind was going in different directions, he didn't know if he was doing the right thing. After this his entire career would be over, but his life would be wonderful if he pulled this job off.
Chris Larabee was scanning through the papers that had suddenly piled up on his desk when Nathan came walking over the threshold of his office with a worried look on his face.
"What's up Nate? Is something wrong?"
"Buck feeling okay today?" Nathan asked leaning against the doorframe of his leader's office door.
"I know, I already feel bad enough about yelling at him this morning, no need to make me feel any worse." Larabee stated with his mind on his son as he leaned back in his desk chair to get a better look at Jackson.
"You yelled at him?" Nathan asked surprised that Chris would raise his voice to Buck at any given time.
"Yeah ain't that what you were talking about?"
"No, the school just called and wanted to know why Buck wasn't at school. The teacher said she tried calling the ranch and then tried calling your cell phone but no answer and we will talk about you yelling at that boy later." Nathan said coming into the room more and sitting down in the chair across from his leader's desk.
"Damn it I knew I forgot something my freaking cell phone is laying on the kitchen table." Larabee said getting angry with himself. "JD put Buck on the bus this morning I reckon." The blonde stood up from his desk and yelled toward the other office's for JD.
JD heard his name being called out from Chris. Things had changed a bit between the two since he moved into the ranch home with Larabee. JD was more relaxed around the A.T.F. leader and right now he thought about ignoring Chris, cause he was still upset with him. However he knew he had to see what the leader wanted after all they were at work and had to show good workman ship.
"Yeah?" JD said coming to the door of the office but not walking in.
"You put Buck on his school bus this morning didn't you?"
"Yeah why? What's wrong?" JD asked getting a little aggravated. Of course he had put the kid on the school bus, the child's father was too busy being upset over stupid stuff JD thought.
"Teacher just called and stated Buck wasn't at school and wanted to know if he was feeling bad or something. Routine call from the school when a child doesn't show." Nathan stated while looking back and forth from JD to Chris.
"No way I put him on the bus myself this morning and stayed there until I watched him find a seat and the bus leave." JD said before running toward his desk and getting the number to the school.
Josiah, Vin, and Ezra came walking through the offices having been following a head and didn't know what was going on. They saw JD run toward his desk while Chris ran after the young agent.
"Surely our fearless leader isn't going to bring harm to our youngest?" Ezra said as he stood in shock at seeing the two men run around the office.
"Hope not, he is our computer man!" Tanner stated as he walked away from the other two agents and toward his boss. Tanner knew something was up, immediately from the looks on the two agents faces, they were of concern and scared.
Chris continued to walk the length of JD's desk listening to the phone call that the young agent was making. Larabee's mind on the young boy he now called his son, he didn't know what was going on. To say that the blonde was worried was an understatement. Buck had become the agent's life, he woke up every single morning just to see his smile and hated when nightfall came when the young boy would have to retire to bed.
"Yes sir I understand, we will be there." JD said into the phone before hanging it up. JD ran his fingers through his shaggy dark hair before turning to his friend.
"The bus driver said that Buck got off the bus at the school this morning, the headmaster also said that he had seen Buck walking down the sidewalk toward the main entrance of the building but hadn't seen him since. We can go and ask questions." JD said grabbing his cell phone from the desk and shoving it into his pocket.
"Someone please go to the ranch and get my cell phone. Buck knows the number he may have tried to call. I want to get to the school." Chris said mentally kicking himself for leaving his cell phone on the kitchen table that morning. Larabee knew that one of his men would without doubt head to the ranch and retrieve his cell phone and knew that each one of them would understand his need to be at the school.
"Consider the task done Mr. Larabee." Ezra said coming up to Larabee. The six men gathered around each other. One of their own was out there somewhere, maybe hurting. It would be time to come together as one.
"Here is the house keys Ez, it's on the kitchen table, and Ezra thanks." Chris said handing the undercover agent his house keys. "Meet us at Buck's school."
With that said the six men walked out of the offices as one. Work being the last thing on their mind; knowing it would not get done until their lost lamb was among their family again. Each man was lost in his own thoughts to what could have happened to the small child. Some being simple excuses, other being something more. Larabee's mind went back to the way he had talked to Buck just that morning and he suddenly felt like someone had stabbed him in the gut.
The five men stood outside of the school where Buck Wilmington attended, waiting on the sixth man before figuring out what to do. The bus driver had stated that he watched as Buck got off the bus and walked toward the entrance. Several of the students had come forward and told the five very scary looking men that they saw Buck talking with a man. They all had thought it was his father the way the boy took the man's hand and walked off with him. Worry took over the blonde as the questions were asked. He couldn't think o f one person Buck knew that he would be willing to walk away from the school with.
Ezra pulled the Jag close to the sidewalk and quickly got out of his car. Jogging over to the five men he quickly gave Larabee his cell phone. Not one to waste time Larabee quickly looked through the missed calls, mostly numbers from the school trying to get a hold of him and one number that he didn't recognize. The blonde quickly pushed the 1 key and then talk, connecting with his voice mail. The first few messages were from the school asking about the small child, the last one however sent chills down the blonde's spine, his grip on the cell phone tightening with each word being spoken.
Tanner knew the phone call was trouble from the way his best friend looked. The sharpshooter leaned more toward Chris trying to hear some of the voice mail message. The voice, he thought he knew but wasn't for sure.
"Chris what's going on?" Nathan asked once the blonde closed the phone shut. "Who was the message from?"
"Curts from team 5, he has Buck." Chris spoke in almost a whisper. He just couldn't understand why the man would want his son, what would Curts gain by kidnapping Buck?
"What? Curts from team 5? What the hell would he want with Buck?" Tanner asked walking around the agents. Tanner had met Curts more than once. Hell, they had all worked with him on several busts; he never would have took the man as a kidnapper. The sharpshooter had even teased the man about being to of a family man, so now with this information Tanner couldn't understand what was going on.
"Curts said he had Buck and would call, that it would be wise for me to answer my phone next time." Chris stated. At first when he listened to the message he wanted to think that it was a mistake that Curts was just messing with him. However the thought then came to his mind that Curts hadn't known Buck wasn't at the school and that the school had called him. Chris hadn't realized he was still gripping the cell phone until Josiah tried to pry it from his hand.
"Give me the phone Chris, let me listen to the voice message." Josiah stated, and then waited for Larabee's grip to loosen on the phone. Once Larabee turned the phone loose Josiah quickly connected to Chris's voice mail.
"What the hell is Curts trying to do here?" Tanner spoke as he walked the length of the sidewalk in front of the entrance of the school. " I just don't get it."
"Ezra, you and JD find anything and everything you can on Dennis Curts. I want to know how he sleeps at night, what he eats for lunch, I want to know everything there is to know about the man!" Chris' voice low and in a growl.
"Yes Mr. Larabee." Ezra spoke pulling JD's arm and jogging back toward the Jag. Ezra's mind was on the child and what in the world did Curts want or need the boy. Ezra and JD quickly left the parking area of the school and headed back toward the office where they both knew the others would follow.
"Tanner, you and me have a meeting with Travis. Josiah, Nathan I want you two to look up on Lakey, see where he may be now." Somehow Chris felt in the back of his mind that Lakey was involved in this. The blonde remembered the day the local PD had taken David Lakey away from the human services department. The man was yelling at the top of his lungs, that he would be coming for them. Lakey was the only Chris could think that wanted Buck bad enough. What Chris couldn't understand was where Curts came into the picture!
"You got it boss!" Josiah said before walking off with Nathan.
"Come on Chris, let's go!" Tanner said grabbing Larabee's arm.
Chris moved his arm from Tanner's grip as he spoke.
"I let the guard down around us both Vin, now Buck is gone. I mean what if Lakey does have him; we both know what kind of hell demon that man is. God how did I let this happen?" Chris' words were above a whisper as he spoke to the sharpshooter. "Hell I don't even have a freaking clue to where my son is, I have let another son of mine down after I had promised to never let nothing to happen to him."
"We will find him Chris, if that is the last thing that we do, we will find him."
"Did you know Buck was scared of the dark? What if he is hurt? I don't know what I would do if something happen to him, I don't think I could stand to loose another son."
"You wont Chris, you won't" Were the only words that Tanner could speak at the moment, his emotions were getting mixed up. He cared a lot for the child, just like a uncle should.
Ezra and JD were huddled over JD's computer looking through federal records. The records told of Dennis Curts and his family, where he lived, his phone numbers, the names of the school his kids attended and even where the family went on vacation. However nothing as of yet turned up wrong on the agent. Dennis Curts had the file most federal agents dreamed of, no wrong doings in any of his cases. All cases Dennis Curts were a part of always went down without a hitch. JD and Ezra both were starting to think they wouldn't find anything.
"Mr. Dunne if you would be so kind as to keep looking through all this information. I will return shortly."
"Where ya off to Ez?"
"I'm going to run down stairs to Team 5's offices." Ezra said before leaving the room. He thought maybe if he went to the wolf's den then he could learn more about the wolf.
Nathan and Josiah were on the other side of the bullpen looking through computer records that they could access on David Lakey.
"Says here Lakey was released on bail with the Ezra and Buck incident at the Human Services building. Doesn't tell however who bailed him out, I wonder why?" Josiah spoke as he scanned through David Lakey's criminal file.
"Josiah it looks to me as though some of his file as been erased."
"Yeah Nate I see that, but why? Who erased it?"
"Could be, let's hope not though." Josiah replied.
"Do you think Josiah that Curts and Lakey are in this together and they both have Buck?"
"Don't rightly know brother but Chris I do believe thinks they are in it together or we wouldn't be looking up on Mr. Lakey."
Nathan gave Josiah a slight nod and went back to the computer screen in front of the two.
AD TRAVIS' WAITING AREA
Chris and Vin sat next to each other waiting for A.D. Travis to see them. Larabee kept looking to his watch; a couple of hours had gone by since the first call telling them that Buck was missing. To Chris it seemed as though Time was against him.
"What can be keeping him? This is more important than anything that he could be dealing with damn it."
Chris stood up and started to walk the length of the waiting area, he wanted to be out on the streets looking for his son but knew that it was useless until they found solid information of where Curts could have took his son.
"Chris, Vin, please come in to my office." Travis said when he opened the door and then stood to the side allowing the two men to walk pass him. Travis knew right off that something was wrong the way the blonde carried himself and the way the sharpshooter followed his friend inside with worried looks across his face.
"What has brought you gentlemen to my office?" Travis asked as he made his way around the large desk to sit down.
"Agent Curts from team 5 as my boy!" Chris said before Travis had a chance to get comfortable in his chair.
"I want Agent Curts found now! And I promise you Travis if there is one hair out of place on my son's head I swear to "¦"
"Whoa slow down Chris and explain what is going on here." Travis said interrupting Chris's words.
"This morning the school called to say that Buck wasn't there and wanted to know if he was sick. Then I got a message on my cell phone from Dennis Curts saying he has Buck and that he would call me again. I want every thing on Agent Curts in front of me now!"
"Slow down Chris, I'm the one to give orders around here, now I know that your worried about Buck. I don't understand what Agent Curts would want with Buck and why he has him. Agent Curts is a fine federal agent and this as puzzled me."
"The same here sir, but we are talking about my son here."
"I understand that your upset Chris, maybe you shouldn't work this case, your to close."
"To close my ass, I'm sorry sir but your not pulling me off this, and this is NOT just another case this is my son we are talking about and I will not rest until he is in my arms again safe and sound. You would be doing the same!" Chris' voice rose as each word was spoken.
"I won't disagree with you on that Chris but we have to be logical here and not get Buck hurt. I will get in contact with Team 5 and see if anyone had talked to Agent Curts today! We will find him Chris." Travis said trying to calm his agent down.
"Let me know what you find out. I'm going back down to the office and see what the team has come up with." Chris stated getting up and leaving the office.
"Keep a eye on him Tanner, he is not stable right now."
"I agree with that sir, but what father would be?" The sharpshooter spoke softly then left the room.
Buck had won over several hearts since coming to live with Chris Larabee and his father and uncles would stop at nothing to bring him safely home again.
His mind was racing with a thousand thoughts as he ran his finger across the table watching as he made marks in the dust that had collected onto the tabletop. He hadn't expected to be this nervous, and now the dark haired kid staring at him only made him that much more agitated. Curts didn't know if he was doing the right thing; his so called boss had reminded him time after time that he was doing the right thing and that he would walk away prosperous, never having to work ever again. Curts knew the team leader that Buck belonged to and saying the name "Larabee' only sent chills down his spine. There were many cases that he worked closely with Larabee and his team on and he had seen them in action first hand. He knew that the job wasn't done until all the criminals were locked up and the dust was settled down.
Curts knew he had to make a call to Larabee, his so called boss was breathing down his neck to make that certain call, but for some reason he couldn't get his fingers to dial the number to Larabee's cell phone.
"Buck you understand that I'm not going to hurt you don't you?" Dennis asked the child as he moved closer to the boy. He didn't want Buck frightened, after all he knew the kid. He had met the kid at several of the company events and even at the office when Buck would be in the daycare. Daycare, hell his son and Buck played together at the daycare center the building offered. Dennis' wife working at the building along beside him made it to where they sent their children to the same school as Buck and to the same daycare. Dennis knew now after thinking about it, that it wasn't a good idea, so the call he made was one to his so called boss.
Dennis held the phone with shaky hands as he listened to it ring, calling the man made him nervous beyond his imagine but dealing with Larabee and his men made it worse.
"No sir, I haven't contacted Larabee. I'm sorry sir but I can't do this, I can't go along with this it's not worth it. I'm taking the boy back to his father."
Buck sat on the floor being quiet and watched Mr. Curts on the phone. He wondered where his father was and was starting to get scared. The boy watched as Curts face turned a ghostly pale and watched as the bigger man leaned against a nearby chair. Buck didn't know who was on the other line of the phone, but he knew whoever it was scared Mr. Curts.
"Yes sir, I understand." Curts said before closing the phone shut and turning to Buck.
"I'm sorry Buck, I'm truly sorry but I have to do this, I have to go through this I hope you will understand and forgive me in time."
"Do what Mr. Curts? You going to take me to my dad?" Buck asked looking up to Dennis. The boy didn't understand what was going on around him, he didn't understand the phone conversation and why one minute he was going to take him to his father and then the next minute he kept saying he was sorry. All Buck knew for sure was that he wanted his father.
"No Buck I'm sorry, I'm not taking you to your father. I'm sorry"
Dennis said as he opened the cell phone once again and dialed the sequence of numbers that would connect him with Larabee's cell phone.
Chris Larabee jumped when his cell phone ring broke the silence in the room. He quickly answered it not looking at the caller id of the phone. He knew in his gut to who it would be calling him and he thought he was ready for the call until he heard the voice on the other end start to speak.
Vin stepped closer to Chris, wanting to hear the phone conversation himself.
"Curts, why are you doing this?" Chris spoke into the phone while trying to control his temper.
"Chris please believe me when I say I don't want to do this, please also understand that I have to do it. 4 million in cash Chris for the return of Buck."
"Come on Curts, I don't have that kind of cash just lying around. Where is Buck? Is he okay?"
"Chris I'm not going to hurt Buck in any way. I just hope you will understand that I have to do this."
"Make me understand Curts. You have my son what do you expect me to freaking do. What if the tables were turned and someone had your son? Where is Buck? I want to talk to him now!" Chris shouted into the phone, he was getting tired of the run around that Dennis Curts started to give him.
"That's just it Chris, the tables are turned. Please just do as I ask and nothing will happen to Buck or anyone else."
Chris heard the phone being shifted around and then his heart felt as though it went straight to his stomach as he heard the small voice come across the phone.
"Dad, please come and get me. I'm sorry for making you mad at me this morning; I didn't mean to lose my shoes. I promise never to do it again please just come and get me I'm scared." The little boy started to cry to his father. He was scared he didn't know what was going on or what to do.
"No, no little man listen to me, you didn't make me mad I promise, and I promise that I will come and get you son. Buck I want you to answer my questions okay can you do that for me?" Chris waited until the small almost whispered voice said "yes'. "Son can you tell me where you are?"
Chris waited for the child to answer him and anger took charge when he heard the phone being taken from his son.
"Come on now Chris, don't make this harder than it has to be. I have to do this I'm sorry. Please know I don't want to do this, you know how to get the money so please just get it and I will call you back shortly."
Chris held the phone a moment longer, Dennis having already hung up on him. The blonde's mind was racing thinking of why Dennis Curts would be doing this and what on earth would be need Buck for?
"What did he say Chris?" Tanner quickly asked not wasting any time. "Is Buck okay?"
"Buck thinks it's his fault that I'm mad at him. Dennis just said 4million in cash to get Buck back and he kept saying that he didn't want to do this. Then why the hell did he take my son if he doesn't want to do this?" Chris' voice started out in almost a whisper but grew louder and louder with each spoken word. His anger was starting to get the best of him.
"Maybe there is something or someone making him do this." Tanner stated.
"You know Curts sounded almost like he was scared or worried. He stated that he wouldn't hurt Buck and if I done as he said then no one would get hurt." Chris said replaying the conversation with Dennis through his mind.
A knock came at the door interrupting conversation.
"Mr. Larabee I have found out that neither Dennis Curts or his lovely wife showed up for work this morning. Nor did they call the office letting anyone know what was going on." Ezra stated as he walked into Larabee's office just coming back from team 5's office. The undercover agent sat down in the empty chair next to Vin, he noticed right off that the thickness in the air.
"Vin get the other's in here let's go over this." Chris stated. He didn't want to have to keep repeating the phone conversation to his team members one by one.
The five men sat around the large conference table taking in the new information Larabee relayed them.
"Curts had told you that the tables were turned?" Josiah asked his mind working.
"Yeah, what do you think that means?"
"That this person wanting the 4 million dollars has his family, that is the only solution and why he keeps saying he doesn't want to do this." Josiah replied to Larabee.
"That could explain why Mrs. Curts hasn't showed up for work this morning. I don't care if the world is crumbling around that lady, she is always here at the office. Bright and early I might add." Ezra stated.
"How many kids is it that Curts have?" Chris asked no one in general. "I know of one that is Buck's age, they play together in daycare and are close friends. They also share the same classroom at school."
"Julie whom is 8 years old and Sam whom is 5 years old, they both attend the same school as Buck." Ezra spoke looking through the notes in his hand. "Lovely well mannered children I do believe."
"JD and Ezra go to the school see if those kids are there. Josiah go and talk with human resources see what you can find out about Mary Curts. Nathan, Vin, and I will go to the Curts residence and see what we can turn up there." Then Chris stormed out of his office, as the puzzle was starting to come together.
Buck was covered in dust from the old, run down, one level house. The boy looked around him. The windows were covered with grime from being left unattended for too many years. The floor was covered with dirt, and as Buck liked to call them "dust bunnies' were everywhere. He didn't like this place, it felt cold and empty. He could hear every single sound the house made and it scared him. All Buck wanted was to go home and be with his dad and uncles. He wanted them to come and get him now and take him away from the guy that was starting to scare him.
Buck was sitting quietly looking down at the floor when the front door to the run down house opened and the man that entered was one that Buck thought he would never in his life see again. However, there he stood like a dark cloud looking down at the child. Buck wanted to run but he found his legs wouldn't move as tears started to stream down his face.
"Miss me?" Came the harsh voice of David Lakey. Lakey hastily grabbed hold of Buck's arm and squeezed it tightly as he brought the boy up off the floor. Buck suddenly tried to find his footing on the floor, but his legs were shaking so badly from fear of the man.
"Stop your crying, there isn't anyone here to wipe your tears!" Lakey said has he squeezed harder on the boy's arm.
"Please Mr. Lakey leave the boy alone, he hasn't done anything." Dennis Curts stood from his position where he was sitting in the chair. He was at fault for the child being there, but he wasn't going to let the child be hurt. Curts just wished that he could turn back the time; wish he wouldn't have taken Buck from school. Now everything was going wrong for the agent. All the years of his training seemed to fade once he found out about his family. He couldn't jeopardize them by doing something foolish.
The man holding Buck up by his arm quickly let go and rushed toward Dennis Curts and wrapped one hand around the man's throat and pushed him back toward the wall.
" Don't you dare speak about something you know nothing about!" Lakey voice was harsh, his grip tighten around Curts' neck. "This kid has caused me enough grief to last a lifetime and I plan on getting my revenge."
Lakey turned loose of the man and turned back toward the child. Dennis rubbed the place on his throat where Lakey's hand had just been. He watches as the tall, dark haired man went toward the child and fear struck him. Curts knew that this man in front of him was going to hurt the boy and there was nothing that he could do to stop him.
"Now Buck I want you to call Chris Larabee and let him know he better put a rush on things!" Lakey said giving Buck the cell phone he had picked up off the small table. "No funny business either."
Buck quickly dialed the number to his father's phone having remembered it at his father's request. The child listened to the phone ring, tears were streaming down his cheeks and he didn't think that he could find his voice once his father answered the phone.
"Dad it's him, it's Mr. . ."
Lakey knew right off what the kid was trying to pull, he quickly jerked the phone from the boy's hand and back handed Buck across the room.
Lakey walked toward Buck and landed a kick in the kid's left side and grinned as Buck screamed out in pain, begging the man to leave him alone. David Lakey knew that Larabee was still on the phone, he could hear the man screaming.
Lakey brought the phone to his ear. "Listen Larabee if you don't do as I ask, you'll find little Buck here hurting a lot worse than what he is now! 4 million Larabee 4 million." Lakey said before closing the phone shut, he didn't wait another second for Larabee to say a word, he wanted to leave the man hanging with suspense, with hurt and feeling powerless.
"You best hope that Larabee comes through." Lakey said before letting his foot connect with Buck's ribs once again.
Dennis Curts waited until Lakey left the room, and then ran to the boy's side. Buck was crying non-stop with pain. Dennis placed his hand on the boy's side and knew that Lakey had broken at least one rib. Curts was ashamed of himself, he couldn't believe that he had came across Lakey and agreed to kidnap Buck in return for half the money Lakey was getting. The money wasn't worth it now to Curts, it was blood money.
Dennis Curts hadn't known that Lakey was going to hurt Buck, kidnapping Buck was suppose to get back at Larabee for being the best damn agent there was. He hadn't wanted it to go this far; it wasn't supposed to go this far. Curts was to kidnap the boy hand him over to Lakey who would then hand him over for the money. Lakey had promised him that Buck wouldn't get hurt. Now Dennis hated the man he had made the deal with, he felt as though he had made a deal with the devil.
Chris Larabee allowed his temper to take control of him as he closed the phone shut and threw it across the room.
Tears were in Chris' eyes as thoughts of his son came to his mind. The sounds of his son screaming tore into Chris' heart and he knew they would leave a deep scar. Chris fell to his knees on the floor, his tears flowing freely down his cheeks. Buck was hurt and he couldn't stop the pain the kid was going through. How had he let this happen he wondered to himself, how had he allowed someone into his family and take his child?
Vin Tanner stood watching as the anger took charge of his friend. The cell phone flew across the room and landed against Dennis Curts' living room wall. Tanner hadn't heard the conversation between the two men but he knew that it had to be bad; what went straight to Tanner's heart were his best friend's cries for Buck.
"Chris, calm down! We need to keep it together here to find Buck."
Chris stood up instantly and looked straight to the sharpshooter, his anger clearly visible. "Calm down? How can you stand there and tell me to calm down, damn it when my kid is at the hands of a mad man, he is hurt and that bastard hurt him. Oh believe me when I get my hands on Lakey her will regret ever touching Buck." Chris' voice was in a rage, a rage that was toward the man hurting his son!
"Chris what is going to help the most right now is for you to calm down, did Buck say where he was?"
"No he didn't have time. That bastard hit my son Vin! I heard all of it. Buck was screaming and it sounded like he was hurting Vin. Damn it how did I let this happen?"
Nathan didn't know what to say, once Larabee told about the conversation with David Lakey and Buck, Nathan's anger started to boil. What kind of sick man would touch a child in anger and hurt them to a point that the only thing the child could do was scream and keep screaming. Vin's mind wasn't far from Nathan's. He knew without a doubt what was going to happen to Lakey once they found him.
"Chris take a look at this," Tanner said handing Larabee a piece of paper with scribbled notes on it.
The paper Chris now held in his hands gave the information the agents had needed all day. Dennis had made notes on the paper stating what time Buck's bus arrived at the school, where he was to take Buck once he picked him up. Chris knew of the old house, he had passed it many times on his way to work, and then a thought struck the blonde like a lighting bolt hitting an electrical tower.
"We passed this house this morning, Buck is in this house I know it. And we passed it by, we passed Buck."
"There was no way of us knowing that Chris." Nathan added.
"No but we are going to find out!" Chris spoke as he made his way out of the house, knowing that his men would be following him. "Nathan, call Josiah and let him know what we have found out. Vin, call Ezra and have him and JD meet us a block away from this address, we don't want to tip Lakey off in case he is in this house."
Vin quickly pulled his cell phone out of this pocket as he watched Larabee walk over to where he had threw his cell phone. Chris quickly put the cell phone back together, it was now glad he had opted to get the rugged one the cell phone company offered. Nathan walked out of the Curts' home pushing speed dial that would connect him to Josiah's phone. His mind went to the small boy and how bad they would find his condition; he hated to see any child hurt especially one that he held close to his heart. Buck may not be a blood nephew but that didn't matter to anyone on Team7, he was their nephew no matter what and no one hurt their family.
Mary Curts was a woman no one really wanted to cross. The red hair matched her temper. Mary only stood 5'6 but sometimes she was 10 foot tall. She took nothing off of no one and had always made it clear. She was the first to voice her opinion and stand for what she thought was right.
Mary didn't know what was going on or why the man had came into her home and taken her along with her children.
Her husband had left early for work letting her know he would see her at the office; she had gotten the children ready for school and was on their way out the door when she was attacked. Mary did not get a good look at the man that attacked her and the children.
"Mama what's going on? Why does that man want us?" Sam spoke through his tears. Sam and Julie both took after their mother with the red hair and blue eyes. Sam was small for his age while Julie was a typical 8 year old.
Mary Curts put her hand on top of her son's head. She fought the tears that had threatened so many times to come. She had to be strong in front of her children and find a way out of the situation that they were in.
"I don't know baby, I don't know."
Mary looked around the room that she and her children were currently locked up in. It looked to be like a cellar or something and she could see the door at the top of the wooden stairs and the light that shone through the cracks. She prayed for her children.
"Mr. Lakey what have you done with my family?" Dennis asked the man that now stood in front of him. "They have done nothing!"
"Mr. Curts I knew without doubt that you would lose your backbone on this job, so I just wanted to reassure you that it would be completed." Lakey spoke as he walked around the room.
"Still my family knows nothing about this, please let them go. I'll stay until you're out of town but let my family go." Curts pleaded with the man.
"Not a chance government man not a chance, they are extra insurance that this is going to go down without a problem."
"Come on Lakey, Larabee is a smart man, he now knows it is you behind all of this and I promise you this, Larabee and his men will skin you alive."
"I'm not scared of Larabee!" Lakey shouted toward Dennis Curts. "Besides I have his most precious gift right here, he wouldn't want to harm me when I have that, now would he?"
"You will regret ever going up against Larabee and his team Lakey do you even realize how stupid this idea was to start with?"
"You went along with this stupid idea Curts, remember you changed all my criminal records, it was you that picked that boy up in front of his school and brought him here!"
The two men yelled to each other back and forth. Buck listened to every word through his painful tears.
"Yes it was me Lakey, but now I'm against it and I will not let you hurt that boy anymore than you already have. I'm going to dance in victory when Larabee and his men finds you though, and that is something that your going to watch."
"Larabee won't find me, all that he is going to find is some dead bodies, one of them belonging to his son."
"What about your money Lakey, you forgetting about your money or just getting the hell out of town before Larabee does find you? You do know that Larabee more than likely found you already and is on his way here don't you?" Dennis was trying to get the man to run, to just leave the boy and his family alone. Curts watched as Lakey walked closer to Buck. The boy was still lying on the floor curled up into a ball. His cries had become quiet but Dennis knew that he was still awake.
"Shut your mouth Curts, your not getting to me. Yeah I know what your doing and it's not working! Now you are going to sit down shut up or your family will pay!" Lakey shouted making Curts jump and then sit down in the chair once he mentioned his family.
"Much better, now I think it is time to give Larabee a call again." Lakey said taking the cell phone from his pocket and flipping it open. He quickly pushed the send button knowing Larabee's number was the last number dialed.
"Larabee!" Chris' voice came across the phone.
"4 million Larabee you can drop it off in the trash can next to the south entrance of the medical building in town."
"Where is Buck?"
"You will get the boy back once you have dropped off the cash Larabee! Only then will you be able to talk to him."
"No Lakey I want to talk to him now, that is the only way your getting the money!"
Lakey thought about his options and then decided to allow Larabee to speak with the boy. Lakey walked over to the small boy lying on the floor.
"Wake up boy, talk to your father." Lakey gave Buck the cell phone. "Don't be stupid either."
"Buck, son you okay?"
"No, daddy please come and get me I don't feel so good."
"Has he hit you Buck? Are you hurt?" Larabee quickly asked his son.
"Yes and hurt everywhere daddy my side"¦" Buck started to cry as he talked to his father.
Larabee gripped the cell phone tighter in his hand once he heard that Lakey had touched his son. Tears came to the blonde's eyes.
"I'm here, you're a dead man Lakey. You have touched my son and you better say your prayers now because it's over for you." Larabee growled into the phone.
"4 million in trash can south entrance medical building by 5pm or you can say your prayers for your son Larabee." Lakey spoke into the phone then shut the phone ending the call.
"You better hope that your daddy comes through little boy!"
Chris looked at his watch, it was now 3pm and he had two hours to find Lakey but most of all find his son.
"Buck's hurt, I could hear it in his voice he is hurt bad. I'm going to rip Lakey limb from limb." Chris' voice was low but his words come across loud and clear. "This better be the house."
Vin drove the streets of Denver with his mind on Buck and his best friend. When he had found out that Lakey had laid one hand on the boy his anger reached its boiling point.
Nathan sat in the backseat of the black suburban. His mind was on the boy and how hurt he was. There was a medical bag already in the suburban for emergencies he just hoped he didn't need it when they found Buck.
Josiah, Ezra, and JD were to meet them a block from the house Larabee believed Lakey to be held up in.
Lakey paced the room waiting until it was time to go pick up his money at the drop off spot. He felt as though his plan was coming through, now he just had to figure out what he was going to do with the Curts family and with Buck. Lakey wasn't about to leave any witnesses to what he had done, he wasn't that stupid after all.
"When are you going to let my family go Lakey?" Dennis Curts stood up and walked over toward that large man who was pacing the room. Lakey stopped and turned around to look at Dennis. The man was starting to get on his last nerve.
"Curts you stupid man, did you honestly think that I would cut you in on the deal? Did you honestly think that I would save the lives of you or your picture perfect family? I laugh at you! I laugh at this little shit!" Lakey shouted walking toward Buck.
"Leave the kid alone Lakey!" Dennis went toward Lakey with a rage. Lakey had told him everything would work out for him and his family and he believed him. Lakey had lied. He had turned things around on him.
Lakey being the larger man of the two took control of the situation and grabbed hold of Dennis' arms and pushed him away from himself. Lakey had pushed Curts off balance and the man fell to the floor and quickly tried to regain his ground before Lakey could do anything.
"Don't underestimate me Curts. I will end you right now! And I won't think twice about it, do you understand me?"
"You won't get away with this, I'm a Federal Agent and they will come for you. You won't run for long!"
"You sir were no longer a federal agent the second you kidnapped a five year old boy!" Lakey laughed as he walked away from Dennis and went toward Buck.
Six men now sat in the black suburban together forming a plan to bring Buck and the Curts family out safely.
"Josiah, Nathan, and Ezra take the back way of the house. Vin, JD and I will cover the front. Think smart guys as of right now we treat this like any other mission we have dealt with. I know it's going to be hard but this is the way we have to do this." Chris spoke his words but didn't know if he could follow his own orders. Buck was now his world, his reasoning for waking in the mornings. He was scared to say the least, scared that something was going to go wrong and Buck was going to get hurt even worse than he already was.
Larabee's cell phone started to ring making everyone in the vehicle jump and look toward the phone.
"Dad, Mr. Lakey said you only have one hour left until"¦until he kills"¦me." Buck's sobs was easily heard by all in the vehicle.
"Son listen to me, I'm coming to get you. Buck can you quickly tell me anything about the place your in?"
The phone was once again jerked from the boy's hand. Lakey looked hard at the boy before bringing the phone up to his ear.
"One hour!" Lakey shouted into the phone. He closed the phone shut again and in anger struck Buck with his fist. Buck went backwards making his head hit hard against the windowsill of the house. The boy lost conscious right then.
Dennis Curts watched as the child slump to the floor, he went toward Lakey in a rage only having Lakey to turn on him with the gun he held in his hand. Curts tried to wrestle the gun away form the larger man, he glanced to the little boy that lay in the floor and his anger only grew bigger. Lakey once again got the upper hand and pulled the trigger of the gun sending the bullet through Dennis Curts' stomach. Dennis slid to the floor once Lakey had let him go, blood starting to flow around the man. Lakey held the gun up and with one last shot, he killed Dennis Curts right then and there.
David Lakey looked around him, in one corner lay the little boy, blood covering one side of the child's face from the cut the windowsill had caused. Lakey looked to the man that lay at his feet covered in blood. He hadn't ever shot a man before, he had allowed his anger to get the best of him and all he seen was red. Now two people were dead because of him, he raised the gun to his temple to end his life.
Chris Larabee couldn't sit in one spot any longer, he opened the door to the vehicle and stood outside.
When he got the word from his team, Larabee was ready to move in and take possession of his son again. "Let's do this guys!"
As one the six men walked down the sidewalk toward the house they believed Buck to be in. Larabee looked to the windows of the house and just like Buck had said the windows were very dirty, making it hard for someone to view inside the house.
Each man stopped in their tracks when they heard the gunshot sound. Larabee wanted to loose control, he wanted to drop to his knees when he heard the gunshot. He knew that something bad had just happened. Behind him he heard Josiah say a prayer and he said his own silent prayer that his son was okay.
The six men quickly gained their senses and ran toward the house. Josiah, Nathan and Ezra ran toward the back while the other three took the front. Larabee went straight to the front door and as hard as he could he kicked the front door in. Vin right on his heels took in the scene before him and fired a shot toward Lakey who had the gun held to his temple. Lakey dropped the gun and held his hand screaming. Chris looked to the middle of the floor where laid Dennis Curts body. Blood covered the floor around him. He scanned the room for his son and looked behind him where he found Buck's slumped form in the corner of the room under the window. Larabee quickly ran toward his son with JD right beside him. Vin grabbed Lakey by the arms as he spoke harshly in his ear. "You better pray right now you sick bastard that, that boy is okay cause I swear to God I will skin you alive." Vin roughly pushed Lakey through the front room of the house and into Josiah.
Josiah handcuffed Lakey and led him through the back way of the house and out the back door located in the kitchen area.
"NATHAN!" Chris screamed when he kneeled down next to his son.
"I'm right here Chris. DON'T MOVE HIM!" Nathan shouted once he got closer to Chris and seen what the blonde was about to do. "Chris I understand what you want to hold him, but please let me check him out first."
Nathan kneeled down next to Chris and placed his hand under the child's head and felt the warm blood. Gently he started to check for other injuries to the child.
Josiah pushed Lakey down on the ground once outside of the house with Tanner following behind them.
"Where are the Curts?" Josiah asked once Lakey was on the ground looking up at him.
"I don't know what you're talking about." Lakey shouted back toward Josiah. "I need to be taken to the hospital, he shot me!"
"Like hell you don't know! JD shouted toward the man as he attacked Lakey with everything that he had in him. JD had seen the shape that Buck was in. At first he couldn't move, he couldn't get his legs to do what he told them. Then all of a sudden anger took control of him and he ran from the living room through the kitchen and then out the back door. His eyes had found what they were searching for and he went straight for Lakey.
"You sonofabitch, how could you hurt a child. How could you treat a baby like this and act as if nothing never happened?"
"JD!" Josiah pulled the smaller man from Lakey and held him in bear hug.
"Damn it Josiah let me go. You saw what he done to Buck, you saw!"
"Let the law deal with him JD, they will put him away and you know what happens to men that was put in jail for harming a child don't you?" Josiah spoke his words as he grinned toward Lakey.
JD allowed Josiah to lead him away from Lakey. The profiler held onto the young agent until he felt JD start to calm down. Josiah held tightly to JD and together they both slid to the ground. The profiler's arms were still wrapped around the young agent. Tears streamed down JD's face and he made no move to wipe them away.
"Can I hold him now Nathan? Please?" Chris begged the medic. Larabee just needed to hold his son, needed to know that he was still breathing and he was back with him.
"I'm sorry Chris but no we can't move until the paramedics get here."
"Hang a second Chris, calling 911 now!" Nathan flipped his phone open and quickly dialed the 3-digit number.
"Yes I have a 5 year old male. Large laceration on the back of his head, small laceration on his left cheekbone, a lot of swelling around his left eye. I believe he may have 2 to 3 ribs broken, maybe more. Also his left leg is broken in what feels to be in two places and his left arm is broken, we need paramedics here ASAP!" Nathan continued to give the address of the residence to the 911 operators. Chris sat back; he couldn't believe what Lakey had done to his son. Just like JD, Larabee allowed his anger to take control. He jumped to his feet and fled from the room in search of David Lakey.
Once outside he saw the larger man sitting on the ground holding tightly on his hand where Vin at the shot him.
"You sonofabitch I told you what would happen if you laid one finger on my boy didn't I?" Chris spoke as he walked closer to Lakey.
David Lakey was scared; he had never seen such rage in a man's eyes before in his entire life. What scared him the most was that the rage was pointed toward him. He tried to back away from the blonde that was rushing toward him quickly but couldn't get his ground.
"Stay away from me Larabee!" Lakey shouted. Larabee was now bent over top of Lakey with anger filled eyes.
"You stupid sonofabitch!" Larabee shouted and then as hard as he could allow his fist to connect with the left side of Lakey's face.
"Get him off me!" Lakey shouted.
Chris then kicked Lakey as hard as he could and was happy to feel one of Lakey's ribs give. Lakey quickly grabbed around his waist and screamed out in pain.
"That one was for Buck!"
"Come on Chris leave him be, he ain't worth it. Besides just think what fun he will have in prison with Bubba as his cell mate." Tanner said taking hold of Larabee's arm getting him to back away from the man. "Don't sink to his level Larabee, you're a better man than that."
Chris backed away from the man, listening to Tanner he knew with a man like Lakey it was in his best interest to do so. "Did one of you call DPD?" Larabee asked once he was far enough away from Lakey.
"Yes Mr. Larabee. The local police should be here very soon."
"Lakey where is the Curts family?"
Lakey knew better than to lie to Larabee. He knew that Larabee would rip him limb from limb if he didn't tell the man where the family was. "They are in that cellar there."
"Are they hurt?"
"No, sir," Lakey simply stated. He didn't want to mess around no more with this bunch of crazy men he thought to himself.
Ezra and Vin quickly walked toward the cellar with JD and Josiah behind them. It didn't take Vin very long to get the cellar door open; he saw the three figures move quickly once the light shone through the opening.
"Mrs. Curts this is Agent Vin Tanner we are here to help you. Are you and your children okay?"
Tanner waited for the word from Mary Curts that her and her children were okay before he started to go down the stairs into the cellar. "I'm coming down Mrs. Curts to help you and your children." Tanner kept talking he didn't know how he was going to find the family, or if the family was hurt in some way.
"Okay," Mary Curts replied.
"Children we are getting out of here, come on!" Mary helped her children off the cold cement floor.
They were finally going to be going home. Mrs. Curts couldn't wait to see her husband; she had heard the gunshots go off and had a very uneasy feeling about things.
Ezra had gone to the suburban and gathered the blankets that were kept in the vehicle. Running back toward the cellar he gave Tanner one. Tanner quickly wrapped the first blanket around Sam once he made it to the small boy. Picking Sam up tanner hurried back up the stairs to hand the boy off to Ezra. Ezra quickly took the boy away from Lakey that was sitting not far from the cellar door. Vin headed back down into the cellar and done the same thing with Julie. Tanner wrapped the blanket around the 8-year-old girl, picked her up and carried her up the stairs with Mary Curts closely behind him. Josiah held onto Mrs. Curts' arm and led her away from the cellar quickly. The sharpshooter carried the young girl and only let go of his charge once he made it to the sidewalk in front of the house where Ezra was with Sam talking to the small boy.
"Where is Dennis? Does my husband know about this?" Mary Curts asked Tanner once the group had came to a stop. Tanner knew the question was coming, he didn't know how to answer it though. So Tanner just stayed silent hoping that she thought he hadn't heard her.
"What's wrong? Where is my husband?" Mary asked the men standing next to her. Josiah took Mary by the arm once again and led her away from the children. He found it hard enough to tell the woman that her husband was dead but how could he do it in front of her children?
"Mrs. Curts, umm your husband died in the line of duty today saving a little boy." Josiah couldn't tell the woman the entire story of how the man had put his family in jeopardy for money. However Dennis did turn his plan around Josiah felt. He had wanted to give the boy back to Larabee and Dennis had stated to Larabee over and over that he didn't want to do it.
Mary Curts leaned in close to the profiler. Josiah wrapped his arm around the woman and held her close to him. "I'm sorry Mary, Dennis was a good man. He was a wonderful agent and I'm sure he was a good father."
"What am I going to do Josiah? I can't live without him." The window started to cry as Josiah held her tighter. "Mary you're going to go on living, you have his memories, and you have his children who need you. You have many reasons to go on."
Mary Curts looked to her children. Ezra and Tanner were sitting on the sidewalk talking to them. The two agents had the children laughing about something. She knew that Josiah was right but she felt deep down inside that she couldn't live without her husband. Dennis was everything to her besides her children and she had no idea what she was going to do without him.
"Lakey?" Larabee asked with anger clear in his voice.
"He is in custody." Tanner spoke softly.
"Mary and her children?"
"They are being checked out by the doctor now. All three seems to be fine physically. Mentally I don't know." Josiah gave the information that he knew.
"They threw me out of the room so that they could work on him. Nathan got to stay but they throw his father out! I just don't understand!" Larabee's voice grew louder and louder with each word. Once the paramedics made it to the hospital Larabee was pushed from the room. Nathan was allowed to stay in the room where he was giving information on how he found Buck and the condition they had found Buck in.
"Did you blow up on them cowboy? I mean sorry did you give them your charm?" Tanner tried to talk with the blonde, to get the man to loosen up a bit. Chris sat down in the waiting room chair. He should be a custom to sitting here; hell he sat in these chairs more than his chair at the ranch. But he never sat in the waiting room chairs waiting for word on his son until now. Larabee was trying to hold it together, but he felt himself slipping and he began to silently cry.
"He is a strong kid Chris, he'll pull through this and you will be chasing him all over that yard before you know it." Tanner said as he placed his hand on Larabee's back trying to offer him some kind of comfort.
"I hope your right Tanner."
I should have been there Vin. I let him down."
"No Chris you didn't let that boy down. You couldn't of known what was going to happen this morning any more than I could and you know that." Tanner spoke softly.
"That's not good enough Vin and you know it. I let my guard down and that is something we are not suppose to do. I shouldn't have yelled at him this morning and "¦ oh God Vin, I hope I get the chance to tell him how sorry that I am. I hope I get another chance to see his little eyes light up again." Chris didn't care who saw or heard him cry anymore. He let the tears flow down his cheeks without any care of wiping them away.
JD sat in the corner of the waiting room watching his friend. He knew Larabee was in pain cause in some ways he felt the same pain. Since living at the ranch JD had become very close to Buck. The young agent babysat for Buck when Chris worked late or had to be out of town. His favorite memories of Buck was taking the child to McDonalds and watching him play inside the play land that the fast food restaurant offered.
JD wrapped his arms around his stomach and bend over in his seat. His stomach was upset and he knew that at any minute he would loose the contents of it. He quickly jumped to his feet and ran down the long hallway and around the right corner where he knew that the restrooms where located.
Chris quickly looked to JD when he fled from the waiting area with Ezra running after him.
"He'll be okay Chris, we all are going to be okay. Buck is going to be just fine, he is a strong little boy." Josiah spoke more to himself then the men in the waiting area. The profiler knew that the whole ordeal would take a mental toll on the makeshift family; he just hoped they all would recover without too many scars.
"I hope that you're right Josiah." Chris stated standing up to pace the waiting area floor again. "Damn it why hasn't any one come out yet?"
"They will Chris." Tanner spoke softly. Tanner had wondered the same thing though. Why hadn't anyone come out to talk to them yet? The hospital staff had already been taking care of the child for well over an hour now and the sharpshooter was starting to get worried himself.
JD came out of the bathroom stall and went toward the sink. There stood Ezra holding out a wet paper towel for the young agent. "You okay JD?" came the simple question from the usual big word talking undercover agent.
"How could someone do that to a child Ezra?" JD asked.
"I have no answer for that JD, some people are sick in some ways." Ezra leaned against the long counter and looked to the young agent. "JD, things are going to be fine. No harm will ever come to that child again we will make sure to that."
JD nodded and then turn the sink on letting the cool water flow into his hands then he splashed it on his face. "You know Ezra I keep thinking about Dennis' kids. They lost their father today and I remember how it was when I lost my mother. I had no one."
"Yes but Sam and Julie have their mother. Mary is a wonderful mother and she will help them get through all of this."
"It's not fair to them though you know? Now they will live the rest of their lives without a father and it's not fair to either one of them Ezra."
"There are many children that grow up without a father, take you and I for instance. I think we both turned out just fine as long as you don't ask my mother about it." Ezra grinned as he talked to JD. "Sam and Julie both will come to terms on their father's death and they may harden a little bit, they may grow up faster than other children but they will be just fine."
"Do you think Dennis tried to protect Buck?" JD asked the question that had been on his mind since finding the agent and the little boy.
"Yes I do JD. I believe at first that Dennis was thinking the wrong thoughts, somehow or another though I think Dennis' mind changed but he was already in deep with David Lakey. I do believe though that Agent Curts didn't want any harm to come to the boy."
JD once again nodded his head toward the undercover agent. Ezra knew how to talk and to calm things down. "You ready to go back out there? Are you feeling well now?"
"Yes and no," JD stated. "Thanks Ez."
"No problem Mr. Dunne," Ezra said as he opened the restroom door and allowed JD to go before him.
The doctor walked into the waiting room with Nathan behind him as JD and Ezra came back into the waiting area. Six men found seats among each other and waited for the doctor to speak.
The doctor was a tall man and looked to be in his 30's with clean-cut dark hair. He looked to the six men and felt like he was facing a firing squad. The looks were hardened on their faces; it was as though they had sat in these same chairs before waiting on news of a loved one. Of course he had heard of the team and the stories that were told made him scared of them before meeting the six men.
"That would be me," Larabee spoke at once.
"Can we talk alone?" The doctor said softly.
"These men are my family, we can talk in front of them. How is my son?"
"I'm Dr. Brewer and I'm the one to take care of your son. When Buck was brought in he was unconscious due to the head trauma he received. Buck is awake and he is stable. We did a CAT scan and there was nothing to show up on the scans so that is where we are lucky. Now Buck injuries include his left arm is broken, I reset the bone and I feel it will heal just fine. His left leg is broken in two places. I have set that bone and I will be able to tell in a few days how it is healing, he may need physical therapy on it. His leg does not have a cast on it so he won't be able to move at all. We have him temporary paralyzed so that he won't move it. Like I stated I will check on his leg in a couple of days and if it looks as though it will heal without any problems then I will cast it. Now the list goes on Buck also has a broken rib, the rib did not hit anything vital and he has no internal bleeding and the rib will heal just fine. The cut on his cheek needed stitches but it is just fine. He is dehydrated and we have him hooked to an IV to take care of that. Buck is going to be in pain I'm not going to lie about that. I don't want to give him anything for pain right now because of the head trauma. I want to keep Buck for a few days and will see him before I leave tonight. " Dr. Brewer hurried and got his words out. The men were starting to scare him. "You can see him but not all at once please. Buck is sleeping soundly right now. Now with all of that said does anyone have any questions?"
"No sir I believe you covered everything I just want to see my son." Chris said standing up and shaking the Doctor's hand.
"I will be up stairs before I leave. Here is my card my cell phone number is also written on the back of the card if you need to call me at any time."
"Just go to the front desk over there and they will let you know what room that he is going to be in." The doctor said pointing to the large front desk.
Larabee listened as the Doctor explained Buck's injuries. His heart was breaking at each word the man spoke. Larabee wanted to go to his son, he wanted to be the one to take away all the child's pain and dry his tears when he cried.
"Mr. Larabee if you don't mind I will be taking my leave and head to the police department. I will also see to it that you and young Buck have everything you need while staying here." Ezra stated standing up and walking to Larabee. "Also please tell Buck I will return shortly to visit with him." Ezra then left the hospital through the main double doors.
Larabee turned to look at the sharpshooter. He wasn't stupid he knew that Ezra was up to something. "Tanner take a ride with Ezra make sure he doesn't do anything stupid."
Tanner nodded his head to Chris than ran after Ezra through the same double doors. Chris then looked to JD. The young agent was sitting in the waiting room chair with his head in his hands. He knew that JD was taking this hard and some way or another he would help him get through it. Larabee walked to where JD was sitting and sat down in the chair next to the agent. Josiah and Nathan walked away knowing the blonde wanted to have a private talk with the young agent.
"JD listen to me son, Buck is alive and that is what matters. I'm sorry for the way that I acted this morning and I hope that you can forgive me."
"I'm not mad at you Chris. I feel bad for Buck cause he is going to be hurting bad and going through a lot."
"Your right and we are going to be right here to help him. It's going to be a long road but there is nothing that we can't do together right?"
"Right." JD smiled at Chris.
"Come let's go see that boy!" Chris stood up and waited for JD to follow him before together they both went to the large desk and ask about Buck.
Chris opened the door and walked into the room. He looked straight to the hospital bed that held his son. The large bed looked to swallow the small child up. Buck was hooked to IV's and it looked like his whole left side was either covered with gauze or in a cast. Larabee walked closer to the bed then brought the safety rail down so he could sit on the edge of the bed. He noticed that JD didn't follow him in the room nor did Josiah or Nathan. It didn't bother him though, he was glad to have a few minutes alone with his son.
Chris took Buck's right hand into his and squeezed it a little before he spoke. "Hey there little man." Chris allowed the tears to surface. "I'm sorry this happened to you Buck. I should had been there, this is all my fault." Chris knew that Buck was sleeping but it didn't stop him from talking to his child. "I love you little man, you that. I love you very much. When I thought that I "¦lost you"¦ I knew that I wouldn't"¦be able to." Chris couldn't say another word without crying, there was his son and he would be okay within time and he vowed to himself that nothing like this would ever happen to his son ever again. If he had to keep him by his side 24/7 then that would be what he would do.
"Buck, I'm sorry for yelling at you this morning. It was wrong and there is no excuse and I promise never to yell at you like that again."
Chris lifted his head when he heard the sound of his son's voice. He placed his hand on the right side of the child's face as he spoke. "Hey there little man."
"Do you remember anything?" Chris asked getting concerned that maybe there was something wrong with Buck's memory due to the head trauma.
"Yes , I remember Mr. Lakey."
"Lakey won't hurt you ever again Buck. I love you son."
"I love you too," Buck's eyes started to close once again. The doctor had stated it would be normal for Buck to only wake up for a few minutes at a time. Chris pushed the stringy brown hair away from the child's face. The blonde gently laid down next to the small boy, he just had to be near him to stay with him, to protect him.
Tanner pushed open the door and found Larabee lying next to Buck on the hospital bed. Larabee looked to Vin and the sharpshooter knew that the blonde was keeping watch over his hurt child.
"I brought Bucklin some socks, you know how cold they keep it in this place." Tanner grinned as he spoke. Vin set the package down on the tray table and looked to the small form that was sleeping soundly in the bed. "Little feller has been through a lot."
"Yes he has and this won't happen again." Chris noticed how Tanner looked like a sheep eating dog as the sharpshooter walked around the room and went to the window to stare out.
"Where is Standish? He didn't do anything stupid did he?"
"Nah, he is behind me. He stopped by the gift shop reckon he'll be here any minute."
Right then Ezra came walking through the door, he also had the same look on his face that Tanner had.
"How is Buck doing?"
"He woke up for a few minutes when I first came in but then went back to sleep just as quick. So you boys going to tell me what you two have been up to?"
Chris watched as Standish laid the package down on the same tray table and walk toward Vin. That is when he realized that both men had their hands in their pockets.
"Let me see your hands boys." Larabee gently moved off the bed to stand in front of his agents.
"Where is Josiah, Nathan and JD?"
"They went to tie things up at the office and go to the ranch to pick up a few things, now are you going to remove your hands from your pockets or do I have to shoot you?"
Standish looked to Tanner and in return Tanner looked to Standish. At once both men removed their hand from their pocket. Larabee knew at once that Standish's hand looked broke, it was bloody but it was also had a odd angle. Tanner's hand looked bloody but nothing more.
" What did you two do? Ezra get down to the ER and let them look at that hand. Tanner damn it what am I going to have to get you two out of?"
"Nothing really just making sure that Lakey will think twice before coming around Buck ever again." Tanner spoke.
Larabee knew that Ezra was up to something but he didn't know Vin would jump in on it. "Tanner I told you to watch Ezra and make sure he did nothing stupid."
"He didn't do anything stupid Chris. Ezra was pretty good actually." Tanner grinned.
"Both of you two down stairs, get your hands checked out and I will be talking to you about this. You know we can't touch Lakey while he is in custody."
"Nah no need to worry Chris, Rawlins was on watch." Tanner simply stated as he was walking out of the room behind Ezra. Larabee grin at the two agents.
"Guess we better not tell him that you broke Lakey's nose and jaw huh?" Vin asked once they made it outside the door.
"No Mr. Tanner I don't think that would be wise. Besides my damn hand already hurts enough." Ezra stated holding on to his hand. It had taken everything that he had to keep the pain he was in away from Larabee.
"Let's go see if they brought Lakey in down stairs shall we?" Tanner laughed as the two walked off with his arm around the undercover agent.
When Ezra and Tanner had went into police department to check the status of David Lakey's arrest they didn't realized how mad that they two were going to get. Ezra had only wanted to talk to him, only to threaten him in case the charges some how didn't stick. Standish hadn't really meant to get so brutal with him until he looked at the man's eyes and how Lakey laughed at them once they had entered the room. David Lakey had asked about Buck and it sent anger through both the agents. Standish and jerked Lakey out of his chair with the collar of the larger man's shirt.
The undercover had been up against the man one time before, however this time was different, this time Standish was allowing his anger to get in away of things and at this point he felt 10 feet tall and bullet proof. Standish had pushed the large man against the wall and attacked him like a mad man. The anger came from what the man had done to Buck, what he had done to a harmless child. Tanner stood in the corner and once Standish was done the sharpshooter only wanted one good hit. Once that was succeeded the two agents left the room. David Lakey had laid in the corner crying and screaming for someone to help him.
5 DAYS LATER
Six men now stood or sat in chairs around the hospital room where the little boy was. Each man lost in his own thoughts as the little boy slept. Buck woke up for a few minutes and seen that everyone was there then fell right back to sleep.
"It's going to be rough on the little feller for a while. You going to be taking some time off?" Tanner asked already knowing the answer to his question, just needing to hear it out loud.
"Yeah I spoke with Travis earlier. I will be taking time off to be with Buck until he heals up a bit. Travis is going to put you guys on backup for the other teams. That is okay right?" Larabee asked his men. When he had spoken to Travis earlier he hadn't thought about what the guys would do or want to do.
"That's fine with me. Figured I could help out with Buck too." JD spoke softly from where he was standing next to the windowsill with Tanner.
"I. . .Chris. . .we have all talked about it. Desk duty is fine for the time being we also want to be there for Buck." Josiah spoke. "It is going to take all of us to help this young child and everyone of else is going to be there every step of the way."
"Yeah Chris the ranch is ready for this little one to be back home. We stocked the kitchen for you. Got Buck's favorite foods got him some movies and some puzzles to work."
"Yeah like Vin said, plus we got coloring books and crayons." Ezra stated.
"Sounds like you boy's went all out." Chris grinned.
"So Buck gets to go home today right?" Nathan asked. "I have all the medical supplies at the ranch that he may need."
"The doctor should be in here in a few minutes to release him. Speaking of the man." Chris said as the doctor entered the room.
"Hello gentlemen, it's good to you again," the doctor lied. The men just plain out scared him that was the easiest way to put it.
"I'm releasing Buck today as you can tell his rib, and arm is going to heal fine. As you can see we had to do surgery on his leg to repair the damage there. There is going to be a little scaring from the surgery and I can't put the cast on his leg for now. So please the cuts were we operated on him will need to be cleaned daily. With physical therapy he should be walking again in a few months. Buck doesn't need to be moving that leg at all for now though." " We will make sure he doesn't doctor." Chris stated.
"I have gave him a mild painkiller, now it's not going to take all of his pain away. He is a small boy and I can't prescribe him anymore than that. The painkiller will make him sleep though. The reason for him sleeping now is the painkiller. Buck has been through a lot and he is drained physically and mentally. It will take some time for Buck to be himself again."
"Thank you Doctor for everything." Larabee spoke.
"Here are his prescriptions and please call me day or night, I do believe you have my cell phone number." Doctor Brewer stated as he handed Nathan the prescriptions. "I have prescribed him the painkillers and also a antibiotic in case of infection. Mr. Jackson I'm aware that you know what to look for in case of infections?"
"Yes sir I do," Jackson spoke.
"With that said Mr. Larabee you can take your son home." The doctor shook Chris' hand and then left the room. Larabee was finally going to get to take his son home.
"Ezra I had called the school already and they will be sending Buck's assignments home. I know he is only in kindergarten but I want him to keep up with his numbers and letters."
"Yes Mr. Larabee."
"Could you please go by the school once a week and pick them up and help him with them. You would be better than me. I don't have the patience to teach letters or numbers." Chris laughed.
"Yes I would love to Mr. Larabee. I also purchased Buck a few workbooks that he can work in. They have all preschool subjects for him."
Chris thought it would be best to put Buck in the master bedroom with him. Larabee wanted to keep close watch on his son and that was the best solution since Buck's bed was too small for the both of them. Nathan had placed Buck's medication on the nightstand next to Chris' side of the bed for easy reach.
"Yeah?" Chris walked into the bedroom from the bathroom. He had just cleaned up his son with a washcloth and was cleaning up the mess he had made.
"Can I go downstairs please? I want to see everyone." Buck asked.
"Sure but first son I want to talk to you," Chris said as he sat down on the bed next to his son.
"Buck, son I want you to know how sorry that I am. I didn't mean to yell at you and it wasn't your fault. You did nothing wrong but be a typical 5 year old boy. I was having a bad morning and I took it out on you. Buck I want you to know one thing though, as long as I'm alive I will never do that again. I love you with everything that I have in me do you understand that?"
"I love you to dad." Buck said as he wrapped his arms around his father. "Dad?"
"Yes" Chris said through his tears.
"Can you take me down stairs now?"
Chris grinned, leave it to Buck to break a hallmark moment to get to his uncles.
"Sure." Chris said as he scooped up his son being careful not to move his leg.
It was the first day back at the ranch for Buck since he had gotten kidnapped. Things were going great. The whole team was there and Travis had stopped by to welcome Buck home. Buck had been quiet for most of the day so it was music to Larabee's hears when his son wanted to go down stairs. Chris held tight to his son for a moment before leaving the master bedroom.
"I love you little man, don't you ever forget that. I don't want you to ever feel like I don't want you, because you know what? You are my world little man!" Chris said into the boy's ear.