It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the Larabee ranch. Team seven was having a pleasant day enjoying one another's company.
Chris and Josiah were manning the grill wearing jeans and t-shirts.
Vin, JD, Buck and Nathan were playing basket ball. Like Chris and Josiah, Nathan's wearing jeans and a t-shirt, while Buck is wearing jean shorts and a t-shirt that reads: KISS ME, I'M IRISH. Vin and JD are wearing jean shorts and no shirts.
Ezra's relaxing in a wooden lawn chair wearing khaki pants and a green polo shirt with a tall glass of sweet iced tea sitting next to him on the ground while he goes over the file from the FBI on the case he starts with them the next morning.
Josiah sits down in a chair next to Ezra. "How's it look?"
"It should be a text book case, however, you know as well as I do, Mr. Sanchez, that is never the case with the FBI. I would much rather spend the week up in the mountain with the team, than go under cover for the FBI."
"We put that trip on hold until after your assignment." Chris said.
"You did not have to do that. Just because I am unable to enjoy this beautiful weather, does not mean the rest of you can not."
"It wouldn't be the same without you, Ez," Josiah said.
"Well, I will do my best to end this case as quickly as possible."
"You always do, Ezra," Chris said.
"Who knows? Maybe the Lord will intervene." Ezra and Chris give Josiah a skeptical look. "Hey, he just might, you never know with him."
"Yeah, well, we can hope, but for now, call the others. These steaks are done and I'm not going to serve them to them. They'll have to fix their own plates," Chris said as he took the last steak off the grill and placed it on the platter.
"No need, cowboy. We smelled them way over to the basket ball hoop and called half time," Vin said as he and the other's rounded the corner of the house.
JD shook himself off when he reached Josiah and Ezra sitting in the chairs.
"Ah, Mr. Dunne, do you mind," Ezra said as he wiped sweat from his person and the file.
"Sorry, Ez. Didn't mean to get you wet." JD smiled down at Ez.
Vin took a drink of Ezra's tea.
"Hey, that's mine. There is a whole gallon, plus, half of another, in the refrigerator in the kitchen. Get your own."
"Yer's were handy," Vin said when he finished.
"How can you drink that? Tea was made to be plain," Buck said shaking his head.
"Lay off of them, Buck. I like it sweet myself," Nathan said as he went to the pick nick table where the food was laid out.
"There's unsweetened tea in the frig as well, Buck," Josiah said. "Why don't you bring them both out."
"Why? We have a cooler full of beer and soda," Buck said over his shoulder as he went to get the teas.
"Just go and get them," Chris said, shaking his head as he brought the platter of steaks to the table.
Nathan was uncovering the rest of the food when Chris sat the platter down. Each person had brought something. Chris had provided the steaks and the beer. Ezra brought the tea and potato salad. Nathan brought a relish trey and soda. Buck and JD brought chips and dip and beer and a box of varying kinds of cookies. Josiah brought his spicy jalapeño baked beans and lemon aid. Vin brought a spiced cake and banana pecan bread.
Chris looked at the table then to Vin and JD. "Nettie?"
"Duh. You know I can't bake," Vin answered.
"Nope, Casey baked the cookies." JD smiled at his boss.
"Where's your drink, Vin?" Nathan asked seeing Vin was the only one who didn't bring anything to drink.
"Ez and me went half on the tea," Vin answered.
Ezra indicated Vin was correct.
"Let's say grace and eat, shell we?" Josiah said.
While they ate, they had an unexpected visitor join their party. He went from one plate to another. JD swatted at it every time he came close to his plate.
"Ezra?" Ezra looked up at JD when he heard his name. "Why is it you and Vin aren't sweating like the rest us?"
"Cause it ain't that hot, JD," Vin answered.
"Speak for self, Jr. I swear it's the hottest day of the year," Buck said.
"Mr. Tanner and I are from the south, therefore, we are used to the heat," Ezra answered.
"Nathan's from the south and he sweats," JD informed.
"I lived here for a while, JD. It's been years since I lived in Alabama. Vin and Ezra haven't been here that long."
"Vin's from Texas," JD said.
"Texas is a southern state, kid," Buck said. "And I thought you were the smart one of the bunch. And quit swatting at that thing before it stings one of us."
"It won't leave me alone," JD protested.
"It smells yer sweat, JD," Vin said.
"That and the sugar from the soda cans and sweet tea," Nathan added.
"So, Ez, what time do ya have to meet the FBI jerks in the morning?" Vin asked.
"Nine thirty. I would much rather be in bed at that ungodly of an hour, or going on our planed camping trip in the mountains."
"Yeah! It really stinks, we having to put our plans on hold for those jerks. Don't they have their own undercover guy?" JD protests.
"Josiah thinks the Lord may intervene. Mr. Larabee and I are a bit skeptical on the matter."
"Well, he better hurry up and do it so we can go on our camping trip," Vin said.
"If it's his will, he will do it in plenty of time," Josiah defended himself.
The other six shook their heads and a couple even snickered, but Josiah had faith. Josiah looked to the sky and smiled.
After they ate their meal, and cleaned up the table, the four basketball players went to resume their game. Josiah and Chris sat down to play a game of chess. Ezra resumed reading the file. He didn't want a thing to go wrong.
No one noticed the pesky visitor buzzing around. Ezra had refilled his glass and sat it on the ground next to the chair he was sitting in. As he read, Ezra reached down and picked up his glass of sweet tea but had seen the wasp in his tea and shooed it out before taking a sip. The wasp flew off only to land on the back of the chair Ezra was sitting in. Ezra leaned back to resume reading his file.
"Ouch!" Ezra exclaimed as he slapped the back of his neck at whatever bit him.
Josiah and Chris look over at him.
"You okay, Ez?" Josiah asked.
"Fine. Just a bug bite," Ezra said.
The two go back to their game. Josiah looks over at Ezra after he moves his piece a couple minutes later.
"Damn! Chris, get Nathan!" Josiah yells as he gets up from the table and runs over to Ezra who is have difficulty breathing and sweating profusely.
Chris ran and yelled for Nathan. Nathan came running as soon as he heard his name being yelled. Buck, Vin and JD were hot on his heels.
Nathan slides to a stop in front of Ezra and Josiah and drops to his knees in front of them. "Shit. He's going into anaphylactic shock. Did he eat anything in the last few minutes?"
"No. The only thing that happened was he got bitten by a bug," Chris answered.
"We have got to find that bug so the doctor knows what antidote to give him," Nathan said. "But first, we have got to get him to the hospital. STAT!"
Josiah bent down and picked Ezra up and went to his suburban. Chris yanked the suburban's back gate open for Josiah to lay Ezra in the back while Nathan stopped at his SUV to get his first aid kit. Chris grabbed the keys from Josiah's pocket as Buck yelled he, Vin and JD would stay and look for the bug. Josiah got in the back seat and lowered the back of the seat so Nathan could work more easier on Ezra.
The suburban roared to life when Chris turned the key in the ignition.
Nathan treated Ezra for shock while Chris drove with the magnetic emergency light on the dash board.
"Hit the siren Chris!" Nathan yelled.
Josiah reached up to the front and flipped the lever for the newly installed siren.
Back at the ranch, Buck, Vin and JD looked franticly for the bug that bit Ezra. Vin found the wasp within five minutes after Chris peeled out of the driveway.
"Aren't they suppose to have a stinger?" JD asked as the trio ran to Vin's jeep.
"Yeah, and I bet it's in Ezra," Vin said jumping into the front seat of the jeep.
Buck dialed Chris's cell phone. "Chris, it's a wasp sting!"
"You sure Buck?"
"Yeah. Vin found a dead wasp with no stinger. Our guess "
"It's still in him."
"Got ya, Buck." Chris hung up the phone. "Nathan, check for a wasp stinger."
Nathan starts to check Ezra for a stinger.
"Nathan?" Nathan looked where Josiah indicated on the back of Ezra's neck.
"I need a credit card of some kind." Nathan said.
"Check Ezra's wallet," Chris said.
Nathan pulls out a card from Ezra's wallet and carefully scrapes the back of Ezra's neck to remove the stinger.
"How's he doing?" Chris asked.
"Not good. We're going to loose him if we don't hurry," Nathan said, as he started CPR.
Seeing Nathan start CPR was all the incentive Chris needed to increase the acceleration. When he ran a red light, a state boy was on his heels with his siren and lights going. The state cop pulled ahead of Chris and stopped traffic at the lights and cross roads so Chris had a clear and straight shot to the hospital without the fear of hitting other vehicles that chose to ignore the siren and flashing light. Chris made it to the hospital in record time. The hospital staff were waiting for them at the curb when Chris came to a stop. A male nurse whipped open the back gate of the suburban and took Ezra from Nathan and placed him on a gurney that was waiting for them. The three remaining agents just looked at one another then back at the hospital staff.
"Don't look so surprised. Wilmington called and told us you were coming in with Standish. Something about a wasp sting," Nurse Wise said as she followed her colleagues inside.
"Yeah, we found it!" Nathan shouted after them.
The state trooper came up to stand beside Chris. "Hey, Larabee? Next time, give me a heads up will ya? It would be very appreciated."
"Thank for the help, Mark," Chris said.
All four men went inside to wait.
Twenty minutes later, Nathan, Chris and Josiah are joined by Buck, Vin and JD. Mark was out getting the coffee filled.
"I see the two of you put your shirts on?" Chris said when he seen the trio enter the waiting room.
"Yeah and giving me a heart attack in the process. JD, I can see putting his on in the jeep. He wasn't driving, but Vin?" Buck went on.
"We had it under control," JD said rolling his eyes. "How's Ezra?"
"Don't know yet," Chris said, glaring at Vin.
"What? I know what I'm doing, Chris. JD had the wheel while I was getting dressed. Ezra and me do it all the time."
"I somehow don't see Ezra getting dressed and driving that Jag of his down the highway with you holding the wheel while he's doing it," Chris scolded.
"Well, he does when we're running late," Vin said.
Dr. Hammond walks into the waiting room. "Gentlemen. I'm Dr. Leland Hammond. Are you Agent Standish's family?"
"You're new here," Buck said.
"This is my first day. So, um, yes I am."
"How old are you, Doc?" Buck asked, thinking he couldn't be that much older than JD.
"Old enough," Dr. Hammond sighed.
"Yes we are his family. How is he?" Chris said as he stood.
"He's stable. He had a severe allergic reaction to the wasp sting. He'll have to spend the night and possibly tomorrow. After words he'll need some rest and relaxation, but he should be fine and be back to work by the end of the week."
Josiah slapped the back of Buck's head, which caused JD to snicker.
"Hey. What did you do that for, Josiah?" Buck asked, rubbing the back of his head.
"Can we see him?" Vin asked, sighing.
"Sure. He'll probably be a little groggy, but yeah, go ahead."
Ezra's awake when the team enters his room.
"Hey, you gave us a scare there, Pard," Buck said as he lightly slapped Ezra's foot when he entered the room.
"I am sorry about that. I did not mean to frighten anyone, least of myself," Ezra said then yawned.
"Did you know you were allergic to wasp stings?" Nathan asked.
"No, I did not. If I had, you would have been informed of it when I had joined the team."
"Have you ever been stung before?" Chris asked.
"Yes, once. My mother told me I been playing at an old, long forgotten playground when I was about four years of age. I was staying with an uncle at the time. We were camping, I think, anyway, I had went to the slide to slide down it and as soon as I sat down at the top and pushed myself to go down, a swarm of wasps had attacked me. Apparently, there was a wasp hive under the slide seat."
"A swarm?" JD said, eyes wide.
"How many stings?" Nathan asked.
"Yes a swarm, Mr. Dunne. My mother said that they stopped counting after the twenty fifth sting. There seemed to be a lot more, because they were still swatting them away and killing them after they stopped counting."
"Oh man, you could have died. That many at one time is more than an adult can handle, let alone a small child. Didn't the doctor in charge explain that to anyone?" Nathan said.
"Perhaps he would have if anyone had taken the time to take me to the hospita," Ezra said as matter of fact. "My aunt begged my uncle to take me, but he told her to wait and see what happens. If I started to get sick, he would take me."
"Damn, no wonder you had such an allergic reaction to the sting," Nathan said.
"What are you smiling about, Josiah?" Chris asked.
"I told you, if's it's the Lord's will, Ezra won't have to work with the FBI and will be able to go camping with us this week."
"He didn't have to almost kill him to do it." Buck stated.
Ezra smiled. "There's the silver lining."
"Yeah, but did the wasp have to go and give up his life?" Vin asked.
"Whenever we deal with the FBI, someone always gets hurt, Vin. This time, a death of an innocent had prevented that from happening, so yes, the wasp had to die," Josiah answered.