Magnificent Seven ATF Universe

Blazing Their Own Trail

by Freespirit

This is the sequel to Vin's Jeep. It starts where Vin's Jeep leaves off.

The main characters are Vin, Ezra and JD.

Any and all comments are welcome, just please be kind. Send them to

Buck sat down at their table. "Haha. Laugh it up. You won't think it's so funny when we get a call telling us those three are laid up in a hospital from hypothermia, or busted up from falling in a hole, lord knows how many feet above the cave floor. You know how trouble finds Vin and Ezra. You throw JD in there and no telling the trouble they're likely to find. Spelunking? Rock climbing?"

Nathan looked over at Chris. "He does have a point."

"Don't they have to stop and get JD's stuff for camping?" Josiah asked.

"Yeah they do," Buck said and stood. He dropped a few bills on the table. "Hopefully I'll catch them at home."

The other three did the same and left with Buck.

+ + + + + + +

JD, Vin and Ezra had JD's camping gear loaded and were about to leave when Buck pulled up behind the Jeep and blocked them in. Chris, Nathan and Josiah parked behind Buck. Ezra, Vin and JD climbed out of the Jeep after Vin slammed down on the brakes before backing up into Buck's truck.

"Hey! I could have hit you Bucklin," Vin called to Buck as he got out of the Jeep.

"Yeah, what gives?" JD asked.

"He is not going spelunking, period," Buck said and pointed to JD.

"Mr. Wilmington, ..."

"Shut up Ez. I'm in no mood for one of your speeches."

Vin got in Buck's face. "There ain't no cause ta be rude Bucklin. Ez was just going ta tell ya he and me have been spelunkin' for a while and are certified ta teach it. So back off."

JD pushed Vin to the side. "And I want to learn, Buck. Your idea of fun and living on the edge is dating three or more women at a time. That ain't me. I like snowboarding down a mountain side or, heaven forbid, bungee jumping. I want to do this. It's something the three," JD indicated Ezra, Vin and himself, "of us can do without our older brothers breathing down our necks. Did you know Ezra has a pilots license."

"I did," Josiah said.

"Did ya know he taught Vin?" JD crossed his arms over his chest.

Chris looked over at Vin.

"True. Sorry, Chris," Vin shrugged.

"Oh, I suppose you want to learn to fly now?" Buck asked JD.

JD thought about the question for a few seconds. "Yes, yes I do if Ezra's willing to teach me."

"When ever you are ready and I am not on an assignment," Ezra said.

Buck glared at Ezra.

"Thanks, Ez," JD said without turning away from Buck.

Nathan stood back and watched and listened to what Ezra, Vin and JD were saying and he had to agree with them. They needed to get away from the others. They were still quite young and if Vin and Ezra were willing to teach JD the fine art of spelunking, then so be it.


Buck turned toward Nathan. "What? You going to talk some sense into these three idiots?"

Nathan smiled and winked at Vin. "I can try. I have been listening to the six of you go at each other. You all have brought up good points for your side of the argument."

"What's your point, Nathan?" Chris asked.

"My point is this, Chris, these three should be able to spend their off time the way they want to. We work hard at our jobs. We depend on them," Nathan indicated the three youngest, "to do the toughest jobs on this team. When we go in, Ezra's already there and had done his part, alone. Vin is up high somewhere with his rifle covering us, alone. JD's in the van, making sure we're all connected and relays information at a split seconds notice, alone. We have the best spy stuff of any ATF team because of JD. The four of us has each other, so if they want to go and face death head on, together? I say we should let them. This is their way of spending some of that excess energy they get when they're cooped up in the office or on an assignment. I run, you Buck, the Ladies, Josiah goes to the gym and Chris, it's his horses."

"But, Nathan? Spelunking?" Buck whined.

Nathan turned to Ezra, Vin and JD. "Guys, help me out here. I understand your need to go and do something physical, but could you do the spelunking some other time?"

Vin and Ezra nodded to one another. They then looked to JD. "It's your call, JD," Ezra said.

JD sighed. "Yeah, I guess we could find something else."

Either Buck didn't hear it or he just heard what he wanted to hear, but Vin and Ezra heard the disappointment in JD's voice.

"Well, alright then. You can go camping with us in the morning," Buck said and patted JD on the back.

"No Bucklin, Ez and me are still plannin' ta go tonight and JD's comin' with us," Vin said and headed for the Jeep.

"Okay, we'll just meet you at the camp site tomorrow then," Josiah said, not wanting to upset anyone more then they already were.

Ezra stopped at the passenger's door before he got in and turned toward the others. "No, Mr. Sanchez, you will not. Now that we have the time and means to do so, Vin and I are of mind to blaze our own trail and have an adventure for which JD is more then welcome to join us."

Vin nodded his head then looked to JD. "How 'bout it, JD?"

JD looked to Ezra then Vin. "Oh, I'm in." JD smiled.

Ezra smiled at the four remaining team members. "We'll see you a week from Monday in the office. Enjoy your week off Gentlemen."

Vin smiled at them. "We will."

Buck stood in the parking lot of his and JD's apartment building and wasn't going to move his truck. He watched as Vin backed up as close as he could get without hitting Buck's truck then put the Jeep in forward gear and went around the truck by way of the sidewalk. As the Jeep went around the truck, Ezra, Vin and JD waved to the others. Nathan was the only one who grinned at Vin's successful escape.

Chris, Buck and Josiah glared at Nathan.

"What?" Nathan grinned back at them. "They're grown men."

"Buck? Load up your camping gear. We're going camping tonight," Chris said.

"Chris? Is my stuff still at your place?" Josiah asked.

"Yep," Chris answered.

Nathan looked at Chris while Buck went to get his things. "Didn't you hear what I just said?"

Chris looked at Nathan. "We're going after them.  They've got a head start on us, so we've got to work fast."

"Chris, are you insane? Vin has the mountain goat of SUV's. Your Dodge truck can not go where that Jeep can go."

"What are you saying, Nate?" Chris eyed Nathan.

"Only that, your truck was built to haul and pull heavy loads, not climb over rocks and run through river beds. My SUV isn't built to do all the things Vin's Jeep is, but it would hold up better then either of the three of yours would."

"Really?" Josiah said then placed his arm around Nathan's shoulders.

Nathan pushed Josiah's arm off his shoulders at the look the two men were giving him. "No, no you are not taking it. If you want to go traipsing after those three, take your own vehicle, cause mine is staying here."

Josiah looked down into his best friend's face. "You're not coming with us?"

Nathan sighed. "No, I'm not. I would rather spend my week off with Rain then go and try to prove to myself I can still keep up with the three youngest members of our team."

Buck came out of the building in time to hear Nathan say why he wasn't going. "We're not trying to prove we can keep up with them, Nathan. We just don't want ta see 'em get into trouble that they can't get out of by them selves."

Nathan shook his head. "The way you three are acting, it wouldn't surprise me if it was you three who get's into trouble and have to depend on them to get you out. I'm outta here," Nathan said the last part as he walked away.

Chris watched Nathan climb into his SUV. "Come on, let's go. Vin has a head start on us, but I too have four wheel drive and can go where ever I want to go."

Chris got behind the wheel, Buck climbed up into the cab next to him while Josiah climb into the back then they were off to the ranch to pick up Josiah's and Chris's camping gear and headed for the mountains.

+ + + + + + +

"So now what?" JD asked.

"What would you like to do?" Ezra asked.

"Spelunking," JD sighed and slumped back in his seat.

JD answered his cell. "Hey there Casey."

"I hear Vin got himself a new Jeep."

"Yeah. How did you find out?"

"Remember when I told you I was spending the week with a couple of my friends from out of town?"

"Yeah," JD answered.

"They told me."

JD was confused. "Okay, but how? Vin just got it today, so I don't see how your friends would know about Vin getting a new Jeep."

Casey laughed. "So, you're going camping with the team?"

"I was, but Vin, Ezra and me decided to ditch the other guys and go it by ourselves," JD said and rolled his eyes. "Buck told me I wasn't allowed to go spelunking with Vin and Ezra, you believe that?"

"Are you with Vin and Ezra?"

"Yeah. We told the others we wouldn't go spelunking. I was so looking forward to it."

JD heard Casey talking to someone else then came back to him. "Where are the three of you?"

"Hey guys, Casey wants to know where we are?" JD asked Vin and Ezra.

JD told Casey where they were. "Oh good. There's a truck stop about four miles ahead of you, tell Vin to pull in there and my friends and I will meet the three of you there."

"Why?" JD asked.

"Because my friends want to see Vin and Ezra again."

Vin and Ezra could hear the conversation between JD and Casey. Ezra looked over at Vin. "Again?" He mouthed.

Vin shrugged.

Ezra turned in his seat to look back at JD. "Who are your friends?"

Casey laughed. "Just meet us there and you'll see."

JD smiled at Ezra and shrugged. "Okay. See ya soon."

Vin spotted the truck stop and pulled in. They went inside and found a couple of tables that they could push together for the six of them and waited for the ladies. The three guys didn't have long to wait. Vin spotted the yellow Jeep pull up beside his.

"Hey, Ez? Isn't that the Jeep that the two women had that helped us earlier?

Ezra looked to where Vin indicated. "I believe it is."

"You know them?"JD asked when the three women got out of the Jeep.

"We met them earlier today when Vin's old Jeep died in the middle of an intersection. They gave us a push with their Jeep and then were so kind to give us a ride to the used car dealership that Vin's mechanic's brother-in-law owns and gave Vin a great deal on his Jeep."

"Yeah, they gave us their numbers after we got our stuff from their Jeep."

Ezra stood and waved the ladies over to where he, Vin and JD were waiting for them when he saw them enter through the doors.

"Hi," Casey said and kissed JD when she and her friends got to the tables that were pushed together so all six of them could sit together. "JD, these are my friends Lisa and Joyce."

"Hi. Vin and Ez was just telling me how they met ya," JD said as the ladies sat down in their chairs.

"Casey told us how protective this Buck person is," Lisa said and shook her head.

"It ain't just Buck."JD said. "Chris is just as protective of Vin and Josiah is when it comes to Ezra."

Vin nodded his head. "JD's right about Chris and Josiah.

"So we decided it was high time we struck out on our own and had some adventure without our over protective older team mates."

+ + + + + + +

"Vin didn't get to much of a head start," Josiah said.

"Spelunking," Buck said and shook his head. "Like rock climbing isn't bad enough, Vin and Ezra want to take JD spelunking."

"Buck, they're not going spelunking," Chris said.

"Not this week. Who knew Ezra liked spelunking," Buck ranted.

"Apparently, Vin did," Josiah answered.

"It makes me wonder."

"About what, Chris?" Buck asked.

"Ezra. I just assumed he got his tan from a tanning salon. Now, I'm not so sure," Chris answered. "You would have to be very fit to go caving. I know what kind of extreme sports Vin likes to do, but it never dawned on me Ezra would be into that kind of stuff."

"I knew JD like snowboarding, but bungee jumping?" Buck looked over at Chris. "Do they have a death wish?"

"You're not the only one Chris. When ever we went camping, Ezra would come up with excuses for why he didn't want to come with us. I'm thinking maybe he had other outdoor activities he wanted to do and knew we wouldn't approve of them," Josiah pondered.

"You know what scares me the most?" Chris said out loud. "All the other activities that they do that we don't know about."

"I don't want to even think about it," Buck said and shook his head.

Chris, Buck and Josiah talked about the things they liked doing. Buck had turned his head to look out the window when he noticed Vin's blue Jeep in the parking lot of the truck stop.

"Chris, there's Vin's Jeep," Buck said.

Chris made a sharp turn into the parking area of the truck stop.

+ + + + + + +

JD looked up out of the large window in front of him when he heard tires squealing on pavement and horns blaring. "Ah, damn it all. They found us."

The others at the table looked up to see what JD was talking about.

"Don't worry about it, JD," Vin said as he and Ezra got up from the table. "They ain't stopping us."

JD followed Vin and Ezra outside to face Chris, Buck and Josiah.

"What the hell Larabee?" Vin shouted as he came out of the truck stop. "You followin' me?"

"Yeah, I am. I'm not going to let the three of you go off and do what ever it is you think you're going to do with out us."

"Yeah, you and Ezra can find trouble by yourselves. Put the two of you together," Buck shook his head and held his hands up. "I don't want to even think about it. JD looks up to the two of you."

Ezra looked up at Josiah. "You're with them?"

Josiah turned his head toward Ezra. "Yeah, Ez, I am. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out why either of you would want to face death in your spare time since you face it every day on the job."

Ezra looked over at Chris and Buck. "Is this what the two of you are wondering as well?"

"Yeah, Ez, we are," Chris answered.

"Then let me enlighten you. When we're on the job, we have no choice or control, or at the very least, a small margin of control over death as we pit ourselves against the criminal element. But out here, it's ourselves. Vin and I have an agreement to never challenge nature alone. That would be foolish."

"And no one's shootin' at us," Vin added.

Ezra nodded. "There is that."

"Yeah, if we get hurt, it's our fault, not some bad guy with guns or knives, or trying to run us down. You three do what you want in your spare time, let us," JD said.

Casey and her friends came out from the truck stop and stood behind Vin, Ezra and JD.

Josiah looked over at the women. "Casey."

"Josiah," Casey smiled.

"Nice truck," Lisa said as she looked Chris's truck over.

Chris looked over at Lisa. "Thanks."

"My dad has one almost like it, in green," Lisa grinned.

Joyce laid a hand on Ezra's arm. "Hey, we want to get to the river before it gets dark and set up camp. If the three of you still want to join us, we're going to have to leave soon, like within the next five minutes."

Buck looked over at Joyce. "Who are you?"

"The name's Joyce Collens. I'm from Savannah Georgia," Joyce said and held out her hand for Buck to shake.

"And I'm Lisa Armstrong from Galveston Texas," Lisa said then looked up at Vin. "Like Joyce said, we need to leave."

Vin smiled up at Chris. "Just lead the way."

Lisa, Joyce and Casey headed for their Jeep with Vin, Ezra and JD right behind them.

Vin turned and started to walk backwards. "You can try ta follow us iffin' ya wanna, but there ain't no roads where we're goin'," Vin laughed then turned back toward his Jeep and ran the rest of the way.

"Did he say there wasn't any roads where they were going?" Buck asked.

"Yep. Let's go," Chris said and jumped back up in his truck. Buck and Josiah followed.

JD looked back and saw Chris backing up. "Is he going to follow us?"

Vin looked in his rearview mirror. "I think he's goin' ta try."

Ezra smiled at his companions. "This should prove to be an interesting adventure."

"Yep," JD said then laughed with Vin and Ezra.

+ + + + + + +

Vin followed Lisa for about thirty minutes down the highway before they took a side road. Chris followed them.

JD's phone rang. "I see Chris is still behind us," Casey said.

"Yeah. He don't give up easily," JD laughed.

"Well, Lisa says there is a two track just ahead of us that the Jeeps won't have a problem with, but Chris's truck being as wide as it is, might. Joyce wants to know if you guys have walkies."

Vin and Ezra nodded. "They're in the camping gear," Vin said.

JD searched the camping gear and found them. "I got 'em, now what Case?"

"Joyce says tune into track 9."

JD tuned the walkies to the track. "Got it. Why do we need to use walkies?"

"Because where we're going there isn't any service for the cell's. The walkies will be the only way we'll be able to communicate with each other."

"Ez, call Chris and let 'em know about the no service," Vin said as he turned off the side road onto the two track.

Ezra phoned Chris. "Chris, this is a courtesy call. Where we are going, there will not be any cell service. In other words, you, Buck or Josiah will not be able to reach either of us."

"Ezra, you tell Vin I'm sticking to that Jeep. You three aren't going to loose me like you think you are."

Vin, Ezra and JD shook their heads. "Chris, ya don't have all wheel drive. We's a goin' ta be goin' over some rough terrain and maybe some narrow..."

"Look," Chris said interrupting Vin, "I may not have the all wheel drive you have, but I do have off road capability."

"Yeah, yer tires. I ain't stoppin' ya followin' us, but with out cell service, ya ain't goin' ta be able to call a tow truck or any of us ta come and rescue ya'll."

"Hey, Junior? Just worry about yourselves. The three of us can take care of ourselves," Buck said into the phone.

"Fine, just don't say ya wasn't warned," Vin said and then nodded his head to Ezra.

Ezra hung up. Ezra then turned off his and Vin's phones. JD turned his off as well after telling Casey that he, Vin and Ezra were turning off their phones.

"I hope they don't get stuck," Casey said over the walkie.

"We called them and warned 'em about the no service for the cells and the terrain but you know them."

"Yeah, I do. Well, here we go," Casey said.

Lisa took a sharp right off the two track and drove into a valley and headed for the mountains with Vin right behind her.

Chris followed Vin and Lisa thinking this isn't that bad.

Chris, Buck and Josiah watched as Vin pulled up next to the yellow Jeep and JD and Casey stood up in the backs of the two Jeeps.

"Hey, that's not safe!" Buck yelled.

They then saw Casey passing something to JD by throwing it to him and JD catching it. She did it three times then she and JD disappeared back into the Jeeps, then the two Jeeps picked up speed and raced off toward the foot hills, forcing Chris to pick up speed to keep up with them.

"Thanks Case," JD said into the walkie.

JD handed Vin and Ezra their bottles of the water drink that Joyce makes herself.

"Hey, this is good," JD said to Vin and Ezra.

"Yes it is," Ezra said after taking a sip.

"It's going to get dark soon," Lisa said over the walkie. "We can camp at the river just ahead."

"Sounds good," Vin said.

+ + + + + + +

Vin, Ezra and JD were taking out their gear when Lisa came over to them.

"Hey, Guys? If you want, you could share our tent with us. It sleeps ten. Just grab your sleeping bags," Lisa said.

The three Guys liked the idea so they only grabbed their sleeping bags and duffle bags with their clothes and joined the ladies in setting up camp.

Chris pulled up beside Vin's Jeep and noticed the tent that was being set up.

"That's a nice tent," Josiah stated and got out of the truck and wondered over to see if he could lend a hand.

"Joyce and Lisa got it, Josiah. They set this tent up all the time. You can help me to unload the Jeep," Casey said.          

Chris and Buck came over and started to lend a hand at putting up the tent.

"Hey, hey, stop," Joyce said to Chris and Buck. "Lisa and I have been camping together in this tent for years now. Go set your own tent up, please."

Buck looked over at Vin, Ezra and JD. "Where are the three of  you setting up?"

Vin, Ezra and JD smiled at one another then looked to Buck. "It will not be necessary for the three of us to set up our tents for the Ladies have kindly invited us to join them in theirs," Ezra said.

"Yeah and ya ain't invited to join us," Vin added.

Lisa and Joyce had the tent up in minutes. Casey had the camp sat up with the help of Josiah, Vin, Ezra and JD. Chris and Buck set up theirs and Josiah's camp.

After the Ladies were done, there was still some daylight left, so they took out fishing poles and headed for the river. After changing into shorts and grabbing towels, Vin, Ezra and JD joined them. Buck, Josiah and Chris could hear them laughing and having fun.

Chris, Buck and Josiah heard a yell then a splash and went to investigate. What they found were discarded fishing poles and the towels and t-shirts tossed to the embankment and Ezra breaking the surface of the water next to Vin. Then the ladies and JD jumped in.

"I had every intention of coming in on my own, Ladies," Ezra sputtered.

"You were taking to long," Joyce laughed.

"I'm half tempted to join them," Buck said.

"Half hell," Josiah said and whipped off his t-shirt as he toed off his shoes and ran in and dove under the water and came up behind Vin and JD.

"He's as big a kid as the others," Chris said.

Buck looked over at Chris. "Lighten up."

"Whatever," Chris said and turned to go back to camp.

Before Chris could take a step, Buck took a step in front of him . "Fine, but you need to cool that attitude," Buck said and in one swift move had Chris up and over his shoulder and running for the river with Chris yelling profanities and threw Chris in, boots and all then dove in himself.

Chris came up and called Buck all sorts of names.

"Hey, Chris? Need I get Dawn? Watch the language, we've got ladies present," Buck said, then splashed Chris with water.

Chris got out of the water and shook himself off.

The five men and three women in the river laughed at Chris standing on shore shaking himself.

"Hey, Chris? You taking lessens from Diablo?" Vin asked.

Chris flipped him off and walked off.

"You do realize, Mr. Wilmington, our illustrious leader, Mr. Larabee will retaliate," Ezra grinned at the retreating Larabee.

Buck sighed. "Yeah, I know it," Buck then turned toward Ezra and shoved him so he would lose his balance and fall backward into the water.

Chris was impressed with the ladies camp site. It was obvious to him the ladies have done this a few times and knew what they were doing. He looked over at their yellow Jeep when he passed it and saw a sticker that read 'TRAIL BLAZERS of AMERICA' on the tail gate. Next to it was another one the read 'BADGE of HONOR JEEP'. Chris thought he had seen something like the badge of honor one somewhere before, but at the moment, he couldn't recall where.

About fifteen minutes later, the men and women that were playing around in the river joined Chris at the camp fire. Joyce opened a cooler and took out a couple of packages of brats and sat them on the portable camp table. Lisa opened up a tote and took out buns and chips.

"We only have four of these," Casey said as she took four two prong forks from a long narrow tote and handed them out to four of the guys. "We'll have to share them."

The four forks were taken by JD, Vin, Buck and Josiah. They took charge of cooking the brats. Ezra helped Casey to set up the table.

Chris watched the others do their things and sighed. Chris started to feel left out as Lisa gave orders to the others on what needed to be done. Chris had taken off his boots and sat them next to the fire to dry out. He had changed into dry cloths as well and hung his wet cloths on a make shift cloths line he had strung up between two trees. He stood and took the platter for the brats from Joyce and sat it on the lid of the cooler next to him.

"Thank you. I see you have a beer, have any more?" Joyce asked.

Chris smiled at her. "Yep, in the cooler." Chris picked up the platter and lifted the lid so Joyce could take a beer. "Where did you find this place?"

"Lisa and I came across it on our way to black bear pass. That's where were headed tomorrow." Joyce looked Chris in the eye. "I can not stress this enough, Chris, stay here. The mile long track is for expert off-roaders only!"

Chris took a drink of his beer, and looked over at Joyce. "The last thing I want is for Vin and Ezra to go looking for trouble when trouble has no problem finding them. Now they have JD wanting to follow them."

Joyce leaned toward Chris. "Vin knows what he's doing, he's done the pass many times. This will be Ezra's and JD's first time and they are looking forward to it. The views from up there are breath taking. When we were at the truck stop, Lisa, Casey, Vin and I were describing the waterfalls, and Vin mentioned the historic mines, which Ezra seemed very interested in."

Chris laughed. "He would."

Joyce sighed. "Just stay here. The last thing Vin needs is to be worrying about you when he needs to concentrate on maneuvering the pass. Tell me this, Chris, have you ever off-roaded black bear pass?"

Chris had to admit he hadn't but he had heard about the pass and how dangerous it was. He didn't like the idea of Vin, Ezra and JD going up there. "No I haven't, but the thought of them going up there is something I don't want to think about."

"All I'm saying is, don't ruin it for them like you did with the spelunking. And if I have to, to make sure you stay here, I will disable that truck of yours."

Chris smiled, then looked Joyce in the face and her unblinking eyes. "You would do that, wouldn't you?"

Joyce grinned and moved in closer and whispered. "In less then a heartbeat." Joyce leaned back in her chair and sighed the grinned over at Chris. "Thanks for the beer."

After the late supper and the cleaning up, they all went to bed. At day break, Vin, Ezra and JD along with the ladies were up eating breakfast and getting ready for their day's adventure.

Joyce watched Buck start to load up the truck and sighed, "Buck?"

Buck stopped what he was doing and looked her way. "Yeah?"

"You, Chris and Josiah are not following us today. Like I told Chris last night, where were going, it's too dangerous for amateur off-roaders."

"Oh really?" Buck said crossing his arms over his chest. "And what makes you think we're not expert off-roaders?"

JD couldn't help himself, he laughed. And in doing so, the swallow of coffee he had taken just then went down the wrong pipe and he ended up having a coughing fit. So much so, Casey had to pound on his back to get him to stop. The rest of the guys, except for Buck, were all either laughing or snickering to some degree when Buck glared at JD.

Lisa stood next to her best friend and smiled at Buck. "Um, that." Lisa indicated JD's coughing and the guys laughing and snickering.

Joyce sighed with a grin on her face. "We'll be back late tonight. We'll leave the camp gear up and you're more then welcome to any of the food and drink. We'll take enough for the six of us for the day, but you are not following us. Trust me, you are not following us."

Chris shook his head and looked up at Joyce. "Buck, we're not going anywhere."

Buck turned toward Chris. "You're going along with this?"

"Don't have a choice, the truck has been disabled."

Josiah pulled up a camp chair and sat down. "Well then, might as well enjoy this beautiful place the Lord has made."

"I have my digital camera, I plan on taking a lot of pictures, Buck. I'll show them to you when we get back," JD said in a way to appease Buck's need to protect him.

Buck smiled down at JD. "You had better."

It took all of five minutes for the ladies to have everything they would need for the day loaded up in the two Jeeps. Then the six adventurers were off.

Buck watched them go and sighed. "I hope nothing happens to them."

Josiah looked over at Chris. "What have you got there, Chris?"

"A booklet on off-roading and trail blazers. Casey handed it to me while Joyce and Buck were having their little discussion," Chris said and handed it over to Josiah to look at. "I can see why Vin likes it so much. There's a trail in almost every state. they range from beginners to expert. Black bear pass is one of the most dangerous ones, but it also has some of the most beautiful views of waterfalls."

Josiah flipped through the pages of the booklet. He stopped every so often to look at the pictures then went back to leafing through it again.

Buck sat down in another camp chair next to Josiah and took the booklet Josiah handed him and leafed through it. "I would like to see some of these places myself."

"I think all three of us would, Buck," Chris said.

Chris, Buck and Josiah spent the day just relaxing around the camp sight and worrying about Vin, JD and Ezra. It was nearing dusk when they finally heard the sounds of the Jeeps returning.

Buck sighed and dropped down in one of the camp chairs. "It's about damn time they got their asses back here."

When Vin's Jeep came to a stop, it wasn't Vin behind the wheel, it was Ezra. On top of that, the Jeep didn't have its top on or its doors and JD was standing up in the back holding onto the role bar.

"Oh yeah! We won!" JD shouted and raised his arms in the air in victory.

Lisa pulled up beside Ezra with Casey standing up in the back. And like Vin's Jeep, her Jeep didn't have its top or doors on.

"Aaaagh," Casey groaned and laid her head down on her hands that were on the role bar. She then picked her head up and looked over at Ezra. "Ezra?, where did you learn to drive like that?"

"Yeah, Standish. That was some kind of driving," Lisa said as she got out of her Jeep.

Ezra shrugged his shoulders as he got out of the Jeep. "My mother."

"I want to meet this woman," Joyce laughed.

Casey and JD jumped out of the Jeeps.

Vin got out laughing. "Maude ain't yer ordinary mother."

"Not by any stretch of the word," Chris agreed. "Did you have fun?"

Buck walked up to JD. "Why were you standing up in the back of the Jeep? And where are the top and doors?"

Josiah laid a hand on Buck's shoulder. "The top and doors are in the back behind the back seat."

Chris came to stand next to Buck. "Buck, I remember you doing something similar with a military vehicle."

Buck glared at Chris then he smiled as he remembered the incident. "Oh yeah, the red Corvette convertible with the blonde and two brunettes in it."

Josiah looked over at Chris. "This I've got to hear."

Chris lead the way back to the camp site and fire pit shaking his head. Buck had a grin from ear to ear.

Beers were passed out to everyone before Chris started the story because Josiah and JD said they wanted to hear the truth, not Buck's version.

"We were in the back of a deuce and a half heading back to base. We had finished maneuvers early so we were pretty tired. Buck here was snoozing, at first. There was this young kid by the name of Russell O'Brian. We called him Rusty. This red corvette convertible pulls up behind us with these women in it. I'm thinking it's a good thing Buck is sleeping," Chris sighed and shook his head. "Rusty slapped Buck on the side of his knee and said, Hey Buck, get a gander at these beauties in the red convertible. Buck was awake in a split second. I wanted to strangle Rusty right then and there. Buck got up and sat down at the back of the deuce with his legs outside of it and started flirting with the women. The next thing I know, here's Buck hanging outside of the deuce with one hand holding on the frame and when we hulled his ass back in, he had a slip of paper in his mouth with three names and phone numbers on it. How the hell he does it, I have no fucking idea."

By the time Chris finished the story, everyone was laughing. Buck stood and took a bow and sat back down. "All true."

The next day, Joyce fixed Chris's truck and Lisa lead the way to a perfect rock climbing spot. The rest of the week went pretty well. They found things to do that all of them enjoyed. On the day before they were to head back home, Chris and Josiah talked Buck in to letting Vin and Ezra take JD spelunking. To say the least, JD was excited. The ladies even joined them. Chris did retaliate against Buck for throwing him into the river. The day they were to head home came all to soon for the campers. It didn't take long to break down camp.

"Hey, JD? You going to Inez's tonight?" Casey asked as she, Lisa and Joyce packed up Lisa's Jeep.

"I was planning on it, why?" JD smiled at Casey.

"Good, maybe I'll see you there," Casey said then reached up and kissed JD. "I had a really good time this week with you."

Lisa smiled over at Vin. "So did we. Joyce and I will be at this Inez's tonight. If you and Ezra want to join us, you're more then welcome to."

"And who knows what will happen later," Joyce added.

Vin followed Lisa and Chris followed Vin from the camp site.

+ + + + + + +

Nathan was at Chris's ranch when Chris, Buck and Josiah arrived.

Nathan came out of the barn holding hands with rain. "I see you made it back in one piece," Nathan said when he and Rain met up with the others.

"Yep," Chris answered.

"So, how did it go? Vin, Ezra and JD get into any trouble?"

"It went pretty good and no they didn't get into any trouble," Josiah answered.

"They were headed home to get ready for their dates tonight," Buck said then looked over at Chris. "They just spent the last week with those ladies and now they're going to Inez's to meet up with them."

Rain grinned. "Jealous, Buck?"

"No. Of course not." Buck shook his head.

"With the three of you looking over their shoulders, I'm sure they didn't get much romancing done." Nathan smiled.

"Haha, laugh it up. They were just Casey and two school teachers," Buck said.

Chris, Buck and Josiah unloaded the truck and told Nathan and Rain everything that happened and what a good time they had in spite of having the girls there.

The End

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