Fall was swiftly approaching. The leaves had begun to change color and there was a nip in the air as the sun set in the Western sky. Vin stopped as he saw movement out of the corner of his eye. Cautiously he looked into the window only to realize that what had caught his attention was merely his reflection.
A reflection he even had trouble recognizing. He had to admit he did look rough with the side of his face looking like the changing leaves. At least what could be seen of it with the facial hair that had grown out in the past five days, since he had been up here at the cabin.
The last case he and the guys had been working on had drained him both physically and mentally.
Having seen a friend from his street days, someone he had trusted and that had protected him from others when he had first come to Denver at the age of twelve. But then had just disappeared on him almost a year later. Vin shook his head, as all the emotions once again rose up and overwhelmed him as he remembered it all.
Eddie had stepped through that door way with Graver Johnston, the man they were after. At first Vin felt surprised and glad to spot his old friend, but then stunned, realizing he must be working for Graver. He knew Eddie would recognize him even after all the years and that could endanger Ezra who was sitting in the restaurant beside him as Edwin Stockhome, who had set up the lunch meeting.
Vin didn't have time to explain, instead just said he'd be right back, before Graver and Eddie headed for their table. Going in the back toward the bathrooms, opening his cell phone and hit speed dial. As soon as he heard the voice, Vin said the word 'retrieval' closing the phone after it. Seeing a side door that was on the kitchen side of the hall, he slid into it finding he was in the connecting pantry/stock room. Easing up to the other doorway leading into the kitchen, he watched for an opening. As soon as he saw his opportunity he moved quickly while the cook was turned away to the other counter. Tossing a towel half on, half off the flaming grill, it caught instantly with the fire trailing across it like a fuse, falling off the side of the grill and onto the basket of used towels that Vin had slid over against the grilling stove. He pulled back into the darkened stock area, when he k new the cook had smelled the scent of something burning. He watched to make sure the cook would attempt to put the basket on fire out and not let it spread. It had already done what Vin wanted and that was to send the smell of fire out into the air. Going back out into the hall toward the bathrooms, he saw the fire alarm and pulled it. All at once bells started ringing and water started spraying everywhere.
Vin headed back to Ezra with his head tilted down trying to keep his face from being seen. But he knew he should have remembered fate never lets things work out so easily.
Eddie had been standing off to the side of the hall leading to the back instead of sitting at the table with the two men. He had turned at the sound of the bells and sprinklers and right into Vin as he came out of the hall.
They had stared into each other´s face, both recognizing, both remembering, and registering the difference in the other from the years that had passed.
For a split second Vin saw true happiness in Eddie's eyes at seeing him, but in a blink of an eye, Vin saw it change to understanding and then to regret, then to worse. Eddie shoved Vin hard into the wall behind him at the same time he kicked the side of his knee causing his legs to fold and Vin to fall sideways down the wall, Eddie yelling to Graver, It's a set up, as he took off out toward the back of the restaurant
Vin quickly got to his feet, looking to Ezra as he did and saw Graver had a gun pointed at him. Vin started to pull his weapon when Chris and Buck both appeared from the people hurrying out of the restaurant and without pause disarmed Graver.
Vin turning, took out after Eddie, hitting the back door he saw him running down the alley. Going after him, he caught up and tackled Eddie before he could cut around the corner into a side road alley.
The two men rolled apart. Get out of my way Vin. I know you´re with the ATF, saw you last year from a distance at that fund raiser down in Purgatory. I'm happy for you, but I'm not going back to jail Eddie informed him
Maybe the DA can cut you a deal for information, I'll go with you. But I can't let you go Eddie, I'm sorry. Vin expressed.
I guess there's nothing else to say then, Eddie sadly nodded, then stuck out with his fist.
The two men traded blows, neither giving any breaks or hold backs as they tried to get the upper hand with the other.
Eddie knowing he was running out of time before Vin's back up would appear, grabbed the hand and arm of the punch Vin was throwing and flipped him.
Vin coming out of it by rolling on the pavement, sprang up and gave chase after Eddie, who had taken off on the a joining alley street. Mid stride, Vin found himself in the path of a fast moving car bearing down on him. Just as the car was about to hit him, he felt himself knocked backwards with a force so hard, when he hit the pavement the side of his face bounced on the hard surface.
He heard Chris yell his name, but his focus was on the body laying a few feet in front of the now stopped car. Crawling over as quick as he could to the man, Eddie, don't move man. Help´s on the way
Vin, I want ya to know, I want,,, I want you ... know how glad....am for you.. You .. did good when ya grew....up.. You´re a good m..man..Wish...it could've...been different, sorrryy.. Eddie expressed to him on his last breath.
It wasn't until he felt a hand on his shoulder, a caring hand, that he finally came out of the memory of what had happened. He knew the guys had let him come up here to deal with his thoughts and emotions after they had heard how he knew Eddie. But now, turning, he saw not only Chris, but all the guys were there, loading Josiah and Chris's vehicles with food and stuff for the weekend. Vin gave a true smile, knowing they thought he had been alone long enough and it was time for them to be together.