Thanks to beta's Rosalee & Melissa
"What do you mean, you lost them?" Chris bellowed into the phone.
When they heard him yell, Josiah and Nathan rushed to Chris's office door exchanging looks of dread. They listened to the one sided conversation. Josiah prayed that it wasn't something to do with Vin or JD.
"Look, all you had to do was….No! No one's called us… When did you last see them? … Where?" Chris's hand ran over his head, messing his already messy blond hair as his glare settled on the doorway. "Find them… We'll be there as soon as we can… Damn it!"
The phone slammed down with force enough to break the offending thing. Chris jumped up and paced around his desk. He then looked at his two teammates. "Nathan, get your first aid bag. Josiah get our vests, flashlights and whatever else we might need for a rescue. I've got to talk to Travis."
Josiah glanced at Nathan, one eyebrow raised, before Nathan disappeared. His light blue eyes fixed on Chris who was back behind his desk viciously punching Travis's number into the phone.
"Chris, what kind of rescue? Axes, ropes, umm what?"
"Sorry Josiah. Ropes. Guess something in case we need to make a fire. Food rations also…This is Larabee, I need to talk to AD Travis…." Chris said as Josiah left the office. Uncertain what he needed to collect, Josiah decided to put together whatever would support the team.
Fifteen minutes later, the three men carried bulging duffel bags and their extra fire arms to the elevator, and rode down to the parking garage. In silence, they loaded everything under the canopy of Chris's Ram.
Once on the highway and heading towards the mountains, Josiah and Nathan exchanged glances. Josiah shook his head and then broached the subject. "What happened and to who?"
Chris glanced at Josiah and then focused back on driving. He shook his head. "Vin and Ezra were following Albertson. They were ahead of Buck and JD. Vin called them informing them that they were turning onto a secondary road. They slowed so they wouldn't get too close to him. A couple miles down the road, Vin called and told Buck they spotted Albertson's car turning onto a narrow dirt road by a big fir tree. They'd wait for them there. Buck arrived and no one was there. No sign of the two or the Jag. It was as if they'd disappeared into thin air. Buck and JD are waiting for us. Buck's scouting around to see if he can find something to show where Vin and Ezra went. There's a drop off about four hundred yards from the tree, he's checking that."
"Why not call in more help?" Nathan asked from the back seat.
"We want Albertson. But we don't really know if he's involved with what we are investigating If we bring in more help it could spook him off. We've spent enough time to get him. Powers that be, don't want him to know. We don't think he knows we are after him yet. Well damn, by now he does, since he ran."
"What if…" Nathan started to say..
"I know... If there is a problem we'll call in the troops but for now it's just us. We'll have to see what it is like out there, then decide."
"What a mess for a simple tailing of a man," Nathan muttered.
It took them forty five minutes before they found the road and turned onto it. They hoped it wasn't too far to where Buck and JD were waiting. Josiah and Nathan held on, as Chris didn't slow down, and the curves were making them nauseous. They hoped Chris didn't lose control of the flying vehicle as they gritted their teeth together. In a half hour, it would be too dark to see and they had to hurry if they were going to find their teammates.
They spotted the dark blue official SUV Buck was using. The Ram came to a sliding stop beside it. JD hurried around the front of the car to the Ram as the three jumped out.
"Where's Buck?" Chris asked as soon as he opened the door.
"He told me to wait here and he followed that road. He hasn't come back yet." JD replied all in one breathe, pointing at the dirt road to the right of the parked vehicles.
"Calm down JD, he's around somewhere. Let's go look." Chris strode off, heading for the dirt road. The other three men fell in line and followed him. None of them said anything, but they all hoped they could find the missing men before full dark descended on them.
They jogged nearly a half mile before they spotted Buck. He was squatting beside a boulder the size of an apartment house. It looked as if he was talking to someone but they couldn't see anyone near him. As they got closer they caught sight of Vin laying on the ground in front of Buck. There was no sign of Ezra. They ran forward.
"What's going on?" Chris asked.
"I'm fine Larabee. Ezra's in the Jag around the other side of this boulder. He's blocking the way so Anderson can't escape."
Nathan knelt beside Vin, "If you're all right why are you lying on the ground?"
"Buck, Josiah, JD, go see if Ezra needs help." Chris ordered, torn between going with his men and making sure Vin was okay. He dropped to his knees beside his friend.
"Back spasm. I couldn't stay in the Jag any longer. I had Ezra dropped me off here. I managed to watch as he stopped Anderson."
They heard a whoop and several voices laughing.
"Go see what's so funny," Vin said, a knowing smile crossing his face.
Nathan and Chris hurried around the huge boulder to where they could see what happened.
The Jag was wedged against the side door of Albertson's car. It effectively pinned his car against the huge rock. There was no way for him to get out of the car. Ezra was leaning against the Jag and talking to his teammates when he spotted Chris and called to him.
"Mr. Larabee, we are not misplaced, but I believe Mr. Albertson is a mite uncomfortable. He is going nowhere right this minute."
They could hear colorful cuss words coming from the inside of the pinned car. Albertson was conveniently trapped, with nowhere to go.
Chris shook his head. With a grin he turned around and went back to where Vin waited. It looked like the case was going to get interesting now that they had Albertson. He'd be questioned and they'd see if he was involved in the latest influx of illegal tobacco that was presently flooding into Denver. He would be kept under wraps until they put a stop to the tobacco. Chris, hoped the man had the information they needed and thought it wouldn't take long to get it from him. He could sic Ezra on him. Ezra got Albertson's ire up already. Yep that should work, Chris thought.
He stopped and squatted beside Vin. They exchanged smiles as they listened to their friends discussing how they could move the Jag. The men were debating at how long it would take, and if it had received any damage They heard something about a wager, and their smiles widened. Albertson was not happy about his situation, his cuss words were getting louder.
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