by Amelia

Where was he? Was he still hiding from them? Did he get away? Did they find him?

The questions kept swirling around in his semi-conscious mind. Not awake, not asleep. Not dead, not alive, just floating between confusion and not knowing.

He remembered the FBI had come wanting Ezra to work for them on an undercover job that was tied to a case they were working on. He had told Chris not to let them have Ezra, that something didn't feel right. He remembered Ezra saying he appreciated their concern for him, but he could handle working temporarily for his old boss, that he knew this time he would have back up in the long run. He remembered arguing and even came close to begging to just give him 24 hours to check on a few things first before accepting. It was the fact that he was willing to plead that got all six of the others' attention.

He remembered when Chris had asked, "Is there something you know that you're not saying?" He had looked down, he remembered, unable to explain he had had a vision the night before the FBI man had shown up.

He remembered he had finally looked up and just said, "Trust me, just give me 24 hours first before letting Ezra or any of them work with the other agency."

Was his 24 hours up yet? Were they looking for him or had his vision come true, and Ezra's old boss had gotten his friends, his brothers, killed?

He had to know, he had to remember what happened. He had to wake up or move. He knew he had to come back to himself now.

He pushed with all his strength against the grey fog that blanketed him on all sides. He refused to give in or up, he had to get through, he had to get back.

Slowly it came back. He had followed Keller, Ezra's old boss, to the old warehouse district and watched him meet up with a criminal known for arson and explosives. He had stayed in the shadows until they had disappeared inside one of the buildings, then followed by going through a second story window off the old fire escape attached to the building. He had silently eased out of the destroyed old office and down a hallway that ended at stairs that led down. There was a chance, though dark in there, that he might be seen from the floor below as he came down. He had lay down on the stairs against the wall and slowly slipped down them, blending in with the steps as best he could in the darkened shadows.

When he had reached the bottom, he lay still, listening for any sound. He had detected a murmur further back from the stairs. He had eased around a corner of the wall from the steps and moved carefully further back, using everything he could find to hide him as he moved from foundation posts to old, busted, stacked crates.

When the voices became clearer, he was able to understand what they were saying. He took a chance to peek around and see them as well.

He had seen Keller looking up toward the ceiling and rafters to where the other man was pointing as he said, "See I got it all wired good from top to bottom. You get them here and there'll be enough of an explosion that nothing will be left of the building or them."

"Good. I'll get Standish here with his team members. They think they're the best, even call themselves the Magnificent Seven. Well, they won't be nothing after tomorrow and then with my transfer to Denver, I can start running my weapons business here. Being FBI, I can make busts and take the supply for myself and sell it for my own fortune." Keller had laughed.

He backed up and away, retracing his steps. But instead of going back upstairs and out, he had headed for a side door. He hadn't seen the broken floor that caught his foot and sent him into a stack of broken crates, the sound bouncing off the walls everywhere. He knew he had to get word out. Pulling his gun and his cell phone, he kept going toward the door trying to stay in the shadows as he heard the yelling and running feet coming. He hit speed dial just as he made it to the door that was luckily standing open on broken hinges. As soon as he heard a voice, he had said the address, that it was wired with explosives by Keller and his bomber to kill all of....

Did he get the whole message out? What happened once he got through that doorway? Why did his memory stop there? He had to know, were the guys warned? Did he tell them everything?

'Wait... What was that?.. I've got to open my eyes, I've got to get up.'

The body was beginning to moan and thrash about.

"Settle down, cowboy, you're in the hospital The warehouse blew up and you got thrown by the blast from what some street people said. They saw you coming out a doorway. Between the bomb squad, Fire Marshal and what witnesses said, Keller must have shot at you, but hit one of the explosives. Keller and his man are dead. It's all over, we're all safe and alive. So just settle down, Vin. Everyone, including you, is safe..."


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