I had soooo much fun writing this story.
This story came about because I wanted a story that showed off JD's abilities with computers. (I wish I had a fraction of his abilities)
I don't know much of anything when it comes to computers. So, those of you who do, let me apologize before you read this and thank you for understanding.
JD sat at the kitchen table in his and Buck's kitchen with his laptop in front of him. Buck was getting ready for his date.
"Hey JD, how do I look?" Buck asked as he turned with his arms stretched out to the side.
JD was so engrossed in the computer program he was creating, he didn't hear Buck enter the kitchen.
Buck sighed as he lowered his arms and put his fists on his hips. "JD!" Buck yelled.
JD jumped when Buck yelled. "What?" JD said as he whirled around to face Buck.
"Are you still working on that ghost thing? Halloween was months ago."
"I know, but wait till you see what I've got planned for next Halloween. And it's not a ghost thing, it's a hologram program."
"What ever kid, it was a bit unsettling seeing Ezra and Vin dressed like ghosts walk through walls. The three of you just about gave Josiah a heart attack the other day at Chris's."
"Ezra and Vin did a pretty good job on the make up and costumes didn't they?" JD laughed.
"Too damn good. Who knew they knew any thing about theatre make up and costumes."
"Duh, I did," JD answered.
"When did the you learn that?"
"When Ezra went undercover that time to catch the motorcycle gang, remember? Vin helped Ezra with the costume and even let him use his Harley."
Buck nodded his head. "Yeah I remember that. Vin got those hair extensions for Ezra that made his hair long and he didn't shave for days. Ezra even wore colored contacts. Ez walked right past Chris and Chris didn't even know it was him."
"Yeah, he even changed his voice so Chris wouldn't recognize him." JD smiled at the memory.
"Yeah, the only way Chris knew it was him was Vin's Harley." Buck grinned. "Well, I got to go before I'm late for my date."
"Tell Carol I said hi," JD said as he turned back to his computer.
"Will do," Buck said as he left the apartment.
+ + + + + + +
Chris stepped off the elevator and entered the outer offices of team seven, known as the bull pen.
"Conference room," Chris said as he lead the way to the conference room.
Six men got up from their desks and followed Chris and took their usual seats around the table.
"I've got our new assignment," Chris said as he handed out the folders.
The six men opened the folders.
"Is this information reliable?" Ezra asked.
"If so, how reliable?" Josiah asked.
"Didn't the Canadians try ta get this guy?" Vin asked.
"Yes they did," Chris answered. "Now it's our turn."
"It says here he's trying to become an international art dealer," JD stated. "What does that got to do with the ATF?"
"I'm with JD on this," Buck said indicating the file in front of him. "The only one of us that knows anything about expensive art is Ezra, maybe Josiah."
"It may be a front to his illegal activity," Chris answered.
"Which is?" Nathan asked.
"The making, selling and transporting of illegal tobacco products like cigars and cigarettes. They think he's smuggling them in from Italy."
"Through his art some how?" Josiah asked.
"Yes," Chris nodded. "How he's doing it, they have no idea. That's where we come in. Scicolone is hiring people with an art back ground," Chris smiled over at Ezra. "He needs an accountant to help with his inventory."
"I think I can manage that," Ezra smiled.
While his team mates discussed what Chris wanted done, JD looked up Lorenzo Scicolone and any and all known associates on the web. He found out Scicolone was also looking for someone to set up a surveillance system, via computers. JD thought this would be perfect for him. JD showed Chris what he found and Chris agreed, the idea was perfect. That way Ezra didn't have to wear a wire.
JD sat up a phony web site that advertized expert security installation and sent it to Scicolone. By the end of the week, thanks to JD, the team was ready.
So, when Ezra was contacted for an interview for employment the following week, JD had already installed the security at the home and warehouse of Lorenzo Scicolone. Ezra knew where every camera was and that his team knew where he was since the security system was wired to JD's computer. JD had audio as well and was recording conversations.
"Man, am I glad you're on our side," Vin stated as he watched the interview between Scicolone and Ezra.
+ + + + + + +
Scicolone was impressed with Ezra's Italian and his resume.
"When can you start?" Scicolone asked.
"Is immediately soon enough?" Ezra smiled.
"It is indeed, Mr. Styles," Scicolone said as he and Ezra stood and shook hands. "Report here in the morning. You'll be living here on the estate in one the guest houses with Craig MacKinnon, my head of security."
"Fine," Ezra smiled. "I'll see you in the morning Mr. Scicolone."
The guys watched Ezra leave.
JD had cameras in all the hall ways and stairwells. There were cameras on balconies and over looking the grounds. Scicolone wanted cameras in the foyer, parlor, kitchen and dining room. As well as the great room and bedrooms. He wanted them in the bath rooms, but was informed that was against the law. He had cameras in all three guest houses that were being used for his staff. And of course, both of his offices, the one at home and in his ware house. He also had cameras at the warehouse and the surrounding area. The head of security could watch everything that went on in the security booth located in the basement of the main house.
So could JD from the two story ranch house that sat on the ranch next Scicolone's estate.
Since the house had four bedrooms. The master being on the first floor, the largest bedroom on the second floor housed all the surveillance equipment. JD had four flat screen TVs that showed six different locations on each screen. He had three smaller flat screens, that showed four locations on each one, for the three guest houses. All seven screens had a laptop computer at JD's command. When ever he needed to focus on a particular room, all he had to do was tap on the screen of the location and it came up on his lap top so he could scroll around and find what he was looking for. There was audio as well for each location.
The guys watched as Ezra left the home office, walked down the hallway to the foyer and out the door to a silver Honda Civic waiting in the circular driveway.
Chris patted JD on the shoulder. "Good job JD."
JD worked some more on his hologram program while he watched the flat screens in the security room. He decided to have some fun with Buck.
Buck sat in front of the TV in the living room of the rented ranch house watching his favorite crime drama when all of a sudden, the screen was nothing but static. Then came a voice and the lights flickered.
Josiah sat in one of the overstuffed chairs reading the paper when he heard the creepy voice come from the television. He slowly lowered the paper when the lights flickered and looked over at Buck. "I hope that's JD."
"Me too," Buck said as he and Josiah stood to go check on JD.
JD was startled when Josiah and Buck entered the security room.
Josiah stood over JD with his arms crossed in front of him glaring down at JD. "Are you trying to give me a heart attack? Because if you are, I'd like to know what I did to piss you off."
"Sorry Josiah, I was bored just sitting here watching the screens and wanted to test out the up grade I did to my holograms and ghostly stuff." JD smiled up at Josiah. "So did they work? The creepy voice and flickering lights?"
Buck chuckled at Josiah's growling reply.
Josiah left the room.
"I'm home," Ezra called out when he entered the ranch house.
Chris came out from the kitchen. "So, you start tomorrow morning. Good. JD got the whole interview on tape." Chris took a sip of his coffee. "What's your take on the man?"
"He seemed a bit edgy to me," Ezra answered as he hung up his coat on the coat tree.
Just then Josiah came stomping down the stairs and glared at Ezra and Chris. "That boy is going to be the death of me yet."
Ezra looked over at Chris for an explanation but all Chris did was shrug his shoulders and take another sip of coffee.
The next thing the two men heard was JD.
"I'm sorry Josiah," JD said as he came down stairs. "I was just trying out my new program. I wasn't trying to scare you. I didn't even know you were in the living room."
Buck was laughing when he came down stairs.
"May I assume you know what has our profiler in a tizzy as it were?" Ezra asked Buck.
Buck smiled at Ezra and Chris. "JD made the television go hazy with static and a creepy voice come out of it and the lights to flicker. Scared Josiah and me."
Chris shook his head.
JD sighed as he entered the foyer where Chris, Ezra and Buck were. "I didn't mean to scare him. Hell, I didn't even know he was in the living room. I could see Buck sitting across from the TV and thought he was the only one in the room."
"So, you were trying to scare Buck?" Ezra asked.
"Yeah," JD shrugged. "He don't believe in ghosts. I didn't know Josiah did until the day Ezra and Vin dressed up as ghosts and I made them look like they went through the wall at your place Chris."
"Yeah," Buckled chuckled. "He did freak out, didn't he? Man Ez, you did a damn good job with the make up."
"Thank you," Ezra grinned and bowed his head. "I dare say Vin did a fine job with the costumes."
"Yes, yes he did," Buck smiled.
Chris shook his head. "I can see what Halloween's going to be like this year."
JD's eyes lit up. "Oh man, can you imagine what I can do at the office? With all those security cameras everywhere? Oh I can't wait."
"Just let Josiah know what you're doing. I don't need the best profiler I have ever worked with dying of a heart attack," Chris said.
"I will," JD smiled. "Maybe he'll want to be in on it, maybe even let Vin and Ezra do his make up and dress him up."
Nathan and Vin entered the foyer from the living room.
"Okay, what's wrong with Josiah?" Nathan asked.
Vin looked over at JD. "You make Ezra come through a wall or something?"
Buck and JD told Vin and Nathan what happened.
+ + + + + + +
At nine thirty the next morning, Ezra showed up at Scicolone estate. He was introduced to the staff.
"I hear you and I will be roomies," Craig MacKinnon said when he shook Ezra's hand.
"I've heard that too," Ezra smiled.
"Craig, I want you to show Everett here around the estate. I would but I've got to go to the airport to pick up mother."
"Sure thing Mr. Scicolone."
"Call me Lorenzo. Mr. Scicolone was my father," Scicolone said as he slapped MacKinnon on the back. "That goes for you too Everett. Were family here."
MacKinnon gave Ezra the grand tour of the place. Showed him where all the cameras were, (the ones he knew of) and which one of the guest houses he was to stay in. MacKinnon showed Ezra where he could park his car.
"That's a nice car you have Styles."
"Thank you. I like it. One of these days I hope to be able to afford the car of my dreams."
"And that would be?" MacKinnon asked.
"A black Jaguar," Ezra answered with his own Jaguar in mind.
MacKinnon nodded his head. "That is a nice car. I'd like a Porsche myself."
Back at the rented ranch house, Vin and Buck were watching the screens and listening in on the conversations.
"I like this set up," Buck commented. "Being able to have Ezra's back twenty four seven? Yeah, it's great."
"Yeah, I know," Vin agreed.
JD came into the room with his laptop. "Here's what I have on Scicolone's mother."
Buck looked at the picture and the name. "Hosanna Scicolone. She goes by Anna."
"It says she's very superstitious and believes all things supernatural. Even psychics," JD added.
"She and Josiah should get along great," Vin said jokingly.
Buck and JD laughed right along with Vin.
+ + + + + + +
It's been two weeks since Ezra went undercover. He and Hosanna became fast friends and chatted in Italian often. So much so, it irritated MacKinnon when ever he would hear them laugh around him.
"Lorenzo? May I have a word with you?" MacKinnon asked Scicolone one afternoon after hearing Hosanna ask a maid to make up one of the rooms for Everett.
Scicolone looked up from his desk. "Sure."
"Why is your mother having a room made up for Styles here in the main house?"
Scicolone sighed, "She thinks he'd be safer in the main house. She told me he works late into the night and has to walk all the way back to the guest house in the dark. I will have a talk with her."
"Thank you," MacKinnon said and left the office.
+ + + + + + +
"He's going to be trouble," Chris said as he watched and listened to the two men.
"I agree with you," Nathan said and took a sip of his tea.
"We're going to have to keep an eye on him."
"We could get one of the guys to tail him when he goes into town," Nathan said.
Chris nodded his head. "Yeah, let's do that. I want eyes on this guy at all times."
+ + + + + + +
Vin and Buck followed MacKinnon into town. The man made a few stops before he headed back to the estate. The first was to a hardware store. The second was a sporting goods that had an indoor shooting range. He spent the better part of an hour at the range before buying a rifle and scope. The third stop was at an apartment building where Buck had found out the man had a girlfriend by the name of Jennifer Wyatt. MacKinnon stayed there for a couple of hours and a half before heading to a pizza place, where he bought a pizza and went back to the estate.
Vin and Buck reported everything to Chris.
"JD?" Chris called for the young man.
"Yeah Chris?" JD answered.
"Get me everything you can on Jennifer Wyatt."
"Got it," JD yelled back as he left the surveillance room.
Minutes later JD was back with printed sheets of paper. "This ain't good guys," JD said as he handed the paper to Chris.
"Damn," Chris said as he looked the papers over.
"What is it?" Vin asked.
"Ms. Wyatt is MacKinnon ex-wife. She divorced him after he put her in the hospital from a severe beating because he thought she cheated on him with his best friend."
"I checked out the best friend," JD said as he pointed out the printout. "The man died of a self inflicted gun shot wound shortly after Ms. Wyatt was admitted to the hospital."
"It makes you wonder, doesn't it?" Josiah asked.
"About what Josiah?" Buck asked.
"About the gun shot," Chris answered. "Maybe it wasn't self inflicted."
"It says here, MacKinnon fathered a kid, a girl," Vin read.
"Yeah, Lily's her name," JD said.
"Did either of you happen to see what MacKinnon bought at the hardware store?" Chris asked Vin and Buck.
"I didn't, did you Buck?"
"Nope, sorry Chris," Buck apologized.
Chris nodded his head and went into the surveillance room. There he zoomed in on MacKinnon in the guest house he shared with Ezra. The others followed him. JD sat down in one of the office chairs and started to type something on his computer. They watched as a scene came on one of the other small screens then focused on what MacKinnon had bought from the hardware store. They watched as MacKinnon took out of the bag a pair of gloves, duct tape and a blue tarp.
"Now why would he need those items?" Josiah asked no one in particular.
"I think he's plannin' to go huntin'," Vin said, then looked around at the guys who were looking at him. "I figured with what he bought at the sportin' good store and the things he bought at the hardware store, he's plannin' to kill somethin'."
Chris took a deep breath and let it out. "Or someone."
"What are we going to do Chris?" JD asked.
"You want to pull him?" Nathan asked as he stared at the screen.
Chris took out his phone and dialed Orin Travis.
After explaining to Travis for the call, Travis said he'd get back with Chris and to keep a close eye on MacKinnon.
Josiah sighed when Chris ended the call and told them what the Judge said. "At least he's no where near Ezra," Josiah pointed to Ezra who was in the parlor with Hosanna keeping her entertained with card tricks.
"I don't think MacKinnon would do anything to him in the main house or around Scicolone or his mother," Buck stated as he watched Ezra and Anna.
Scicolone entered the parlor. "Everett? Did you get the inventory done?
"Yes Sir I have. I've been here entertaining your lovely mother while I waited for you to finish your business," Ezra said and handed him the folder that sat in front of him on the coffee table.
"Excellent," Scicolone said when he looked the file over.
"Is there anything else you need of me this evening?" Ezra asked.
"No, no, you're fine. I just wanted to know if you had finished. Please, continue," Scicolone said as he sat and joined his mother.
+ + + + + + +
Travis called the next day and told Chris he wasn't to pull Ezra unless he knew for certain MacKinnon meant to harm Ezra.
"Chris, the higher ups want this guy. According to them, this is as close as anyone has ever gotten to the man. MacKinnon has made sure of that."
"You tell those higher up assholes I will not sacrifice Ezra to bring the man down."
"I already have," Travis informed Chris.
Chris ended the call.
Chris entered the surveillance room. "How's it looking JD?"
"MacKinnon is out patrolling the grounds with the dogs."
"Where's Ezra?" Chris asked.
"He's in the office with Lorenzo," Buck answered then took a drink of coffee.
"Good," Chris said as he took in the screens.
"What's happening with brother Ezra?" Josiah asked when he entered the room ready for his and Nathan's watch.
JD yawned, "He's with Scicolone going over expense reports and telling Scicolone where he could save some money."
Josiah shook his head. "That boy sure is good when it come to numbers."
Buck stood so Josiah could sit. "It's been a long day and I'm exhausted. I'm going to bed," Buck yawned.
Josiah shook his head. "I thought you liked staying up late."
"Only if there's a woman involved Josiah," Buck grinned and wagged his eyebrows.
JD gathered up his laptop and stood to let Nathan have his seat.
Chris patted JD on the shoulder when JD passed him. "Get some sleep, and JD?"
JD looked up at Chris. "Yeah?"
"No more trying to scare anyone with your holograms."
"Okay Chris," JD yawned as he followed Buck to the bedroom they shared.
"Those holograms of his are to realistic for me," Josiah stated as he watched the screens closely.
Vin came to stand next to Chris. "Just think of the stuff he'd do if he wasn't on our side."
"With his hacking abilities?" Nathan shuddered. "I'd rather not thank you."
Chris smiled, "I want to know where MacKinnon is at all times. I don't trust him as far as I can pick him up and throw him."
"Yeah, I know what you mean," Josiah said and took a drink of coffee.
+ + + + + + +
"I see Ez is still asleep," Vin commented when he enter the surveillance room and then sipped his coffee.
"It's seven in the morning, where else do you think he's going to be at this hour?" Nathan said.
The four men watched as the door to Ezra's bedroom opened and MacKinnon snuck inside.
"What is he up too?" Chris asked.
"He knows there's a camera in the room," Nathan said.
"Um, no he don't. JD installed a few camera's that Scicolone doesn't know about and the one in Ezra's room is one of them. There's a few in the woods behind the estate too. Those ones and the one in Ezra's room are only wired for here," Vin stated.
Josiah looked up at Vin. "So no one else is seeing this?"
"Yep," Vin answered. "JD wanted ta keep an eye on Ezra, knowing how shit likes ta hit the fan when he's undercover."
The other three men agreed with Vin and JD on shit hitting the fan.
+ + + + + + +
Ezra laid on his stomach, not quite a sleep when he heard the door to his room open. He laid perfectly still as if he were asleep. His right hand gripped the butt of the derringer he had under his pillow, ready to defend himself if need be. He knew if he were in trouble, his team mates would be here in a mater of minutes to help him out of it.
Ezra laid there, listening to see what the intruder had in mind. After a couple of minutes, the intruder left. He lifted his head and with his two finger salute toward the hidden camera, Ezra rolled over onto his back and proceeded to wake fully and start the day.
The four men in the surveillance room watched MacKinnon leave after he looked in on Ezra. When the man left, the four men watched as Ezra lifted his head and looked straight into the hidden camera and saluted them letting them know everything was okay.
It was a comfort to Ezra knowing where all the hidden cameras were that Scicolone and his staff didn't know about. Especially MacKinnon. There was something off about the man and Ezra didn't breathe easily around him.
An hour and a half later, Ezra headed for the door to leave. As soon as he opened it, he slammed it shut. Inside the house you could hear a dog growl from outside the door.
"Why is one of the dogs loose?" Chris asked into the room.
"Don't know Chris but it looks like Ez is calling the main house to find out," Josiah answered.
"I don't like this," Chris stated.
"Oh, like we do," Nathan sarcastically commented.
Chris glared down at Nathan. Nathan ignored him and kept watching the screens.
Ezra hung up the phone and went back into the kitchen/dining room to brew another pot of coffee. He was told someone would be there in thirty to forty five minutes and Lorenzo would be told about the incident.
Sure enough, thirty minutes later, Scicolone himself showed up at the house to take care of the problem. The dog was lead away by one of the security guards. Scicolone was pissed. He had planned to take Ezra to the warehouse so he could work on the books there. He didn't blame Ezra, or Everett because the dogs were not his responsibility. They were MacKinnon's.
"I'm sorry you had to come down here to fetch me," Ezra said as he got into the golf cart next to Scicolone.
"Don't be Everett," Scicolone waved the apology off. "Craig is the one who should be apologizing, not you."
Ezra sighed, "I still hate it that you had to come all the way down here."
"I had planned taking you with me to the warehouse where my merchandise is held."
"Really? This is so unexpected. I'm honored."
"You see, Mother had a dream last night and insisted I stay away from the warehouse today. And since my head of security is no where to be found, I had to come down here and do his job for him."
Ezra nodded his head. "Is your mother okay?"
"She's fine, just shook up a bit because of the dream she had. I have a business to run," Scicolone sighed. "She's going to have to understand that."
"Perhaps while you conduct your business from your office here at the estate, I could relieve Anna of some of her anxiety through magic."
Scicolone laughed, "She does love magic. It's a deal."
+ + + + + + +
Josiah and Nathan watched Ezra entertain Mrs. Scicolone all morning, either with magic or card games. It was about two when Scicolone came into the parlor to retrieve his mother. It was also time for Chris and Vin to take over surveillance from Josiah and Nathan.
"Beware Josiah, JD's playing around with that hologram program of his."
Josiah sighed, "Thanks Chris."
"So, what's happening?" Vin asked as he took the chair Nathan vacated.
"Nothing much," Nathan answered. "Lorenzo just came into the room for his mother to take her out for lunch. She asked for Ezra to go with them."
"Where's MacKinnon?" Chris asked as he looked over the screens.
Josiah tap one of the keys on the key board and pointed to a screen. "There. If it wasn't for the hidden camera in the tree, we wouldn't know where he was."
Chris sat down in the chair Josiah was sitting in. "What the hell?"
"Yeah, it looks like some kind of blind. He's been out there all morning." Josiah yawned and stretched.
"Go get some lunch and maybe some sleep. Vin and I got this."
+ + + + + + +
"Hey Josiah," JD called when Josiah and Nathan entered the living room. "Watch this."
A hologram of Chris and Vin came floating down the stairs and looked to be walking through Josiah and Nathan. Josiah shivered.
"Watch what else I can do," JD said.
The next hologram was of Buck sleeping. It looked like Buck was dead and lying in an open grave.
Nathan shook his head. "You are having way to much fun with that."
JD just laughed. He was having fun with it. There was so much he could do and wanted to try it all out.
"Your more than welcomed to join us for lunch Everett."
"That's a very generous offer, Lorenzo, but thanks to the dog incident this morning, I'm a tad behind in the books."
"Suit yourself," Scicolone said and took his mother's arm in his and walked out to the waiting limo leaving Ezra alone in the house.
Ezra took the opportunity to do a little snooping into Scicolone's personal finances on the ruse of bookkeeping.
Chris and Vin kept a close eye on MacKinnon. The man sat in the blind and looked as if he was waiting for someone. Chris and Vin had a bad feeling who the man was waiting for.
Ezra looked down at his watch an hour later and sighed. He decided to call it quits for now and go get something to eat. He'd be back to finish everything up. But for now, he sent what he found to the fax machine down the road to his team.
Seeing as today was the cooks day off, Ezra made his way to the guest house he was staying in.
He was about halfway there when he heard the dogs. He knew he had about as much as a snowball in hell of making it to the guest house before he was mauled by the dogs. He took in his surroundings and the only thing close enough was the tree line off to his left. If he could make it to a tree, he stood a chance if he climbed it.
Vin jumped to his feet when he heard the dogs and yelled at Ezra to not go to the trees.
"Ezra's in trouble!" Chris yelled as he ran from the surveillance room.
Vin watched in horror as MacKinnon shot Ezra just as Ezra made it to the tree line. "NOOOOOOOO!"
Vin's blood curdling yell brought everyone in the house to a startling halt.
Chris looked over at Buck and Josiah. "Ezra was running to the tree line to the west of the guest house. Go get him!"
Buck and Josiah raced out of the house.
Chris, Nathan and JD ran upstairs to the surveillance room.
"Vin? What happened?" Chris demanded.
Vin pointed to the screen. "MacKinnon shot Ezra just as he got to the trees and was about to climb one of them. Now the dogs are on him."
The four men looked on as MacKinnon walked up and whistled for the dogs to back off. They then watched as the man laid out the tarp and rolled Ezra in it and then taped it around him and drag Ezra off further into the woods and roll him down in a ravine.
Chris phoned Buck and told him what had happened and where to find Ezra.
It didn't take long for Josiah and Buck to find Ezra. Josiah picked up the tarp wrapped Undercover Agent and carried him up the ravine slope.
Buck took out a knife and slit the tarp open and checked for a pulse and sighed as he found one.
Josiah looked up into one of the trees. "He's still alive," He said as he spoke into the phone.
Vin grabbed the phone from Chris. "Get the hell out of there. MacKinnon's dogs heard ya."
Josiah picked Ezra up and started back the way he and Buck came.
Buck stopped and looked around then started to throw logs on the tarp and rolled it up and tossed it down in the ravine and ran after Josiah.
Josiah and Buck made it to the two track that separated the two properties and into the waiting SUV. They rushed back to the ranch house where the other's were waiting for them in Josiah's suburban.
As Chris drove to the hospital, Ezra regained consciousness.
"Ezra," Josiah said as he watched Ezra's eyes open and look around. "Just hold still son. You've been shot and was mauled by dogs."
Ezra groaned in pain every time Chris hit a chuck hole or bump in the road.
"I know you're hurting Ez, just hang in there. We're almost to the hospital," Nathan soothed.
Buck had called ahead to warn the hospital staff they were coming in with Ezra.
A nurse and two orderlies were waiting with a gurney when Chris pulled up to the emergency entrance.
"Exam room three is waiting the Nurse at the admittance desk said when the Nurse and Orderlies came through the door.
The six men watched as the gurney with their seventh was wheeled through the metal doors.
Nathan looked over at the Admittance desk and smiled, "Nothing's changed since the last time he was brought in."
"I kinda figured that. I just need one of you to sign the paper work."
Josiah went and signed the paper work and was handed copies of everything.
It was about three to four hours later before the doctor came out to talk with the six men.
Vin was the first to see the doctor and was up out of his seat before any of the others knew the doctor was there.
"How is he?" Vin asked.
The doctor waved everyone back to the waiting room and sat down to face these men.
Dr. Monroe knew these men all to well. He had patched each one of them up at least three times each from minor scrapes to major surgery. Some more than the others, like Standish and Tanner.
"The bullet didn't do any major damage. He was lucky in that respect. However, he has suffered a lot of blood loss and is in shock. I had to put a lot of stitches in his legs and back where he was mauled by the dogs. He'll remain here for a couple of days at least. I just want to make sure no infection is going to set in."
The six men sighed with relief.
"When can we see him?" Chris asked.
"In about twenty minutes. They're getting him settled into his room now."
"Thanks Dr. Monroe," Josiah said as the six men rose to head for the ICU floor.
+ + + + + + +
That night Chris called Orin and told him what happened.
The next day Chris got a call from Orin telling him Chris was to meet with him and the higher ups at two in Orin's office.
Upon Chris's return to the hospital, Ezra had been moved to a regular room.
"What did the higher ups want?" Buck asked.
"They want Scicolone," Chris answered.
"Ezra can't go back there," Vin protested.
"Yeah, MacKinnon thinks he's dead. If we send him in, MacKinnon will kill him for sure," Buck said.
Josiah sat in one of the chairs with his elbows on his thighs. "Not necessarily."
"You mind telling us how that would be possible?" Nathan asked.
Josiah grinned at his team mates. "Scicolone's mother is very superstitious and believes in the supernatural."
Chris nodded his head as a feral grin formed on his face. "I got ya."
Over the next couple of days, a plan was made.
+ + + + + + +
"Has Everett called or showed up?" Hosanna asked her son.
"No Mother, he hasn't," Scicolone answered.
When Scicolone and his mother came home a couple of days ago, he was told Everett Styles had left. When Scicolone went to his office, he found his safe wide open and two hundred, fifty thousand dollars were missing. When he asked to see the tapes, he was told the camera in his office was broken. Scicolone felt betrayed by the man.
"You will let me if he does won't you?" Anna asked her son.
"Yes of course, Mother," Scicolone lied. He had given his security men permission to shoot Styles on sight if he ever showed his face on the property again.
Later that night, Hosanna looked up from her embroidery and looked out her window and smiled. Right before her eyes, her friend disappeared into thin air. She gasped and ran from her room muttering in Italian and crossing herself.
Scicolone came out of his room upon hearing his mother running down the stairs.
"Mother? What's wrong?"
Hosanna turned to her son. "He's dead Lorenzo!"
"Who is dead?"
"Mr. Styles! I just saw him out my window. He was there one minute and gone the next!"
"Alright Mother," Lorenzo tried to calm his mother. "It was just the moon light playing a trick on your mind.
Hosanna huffed, "I know what I saw Lorenzo. Do not think me senile." Hosanna turned and stormed back up to her room.
+ + + + + + +
Buck, Chris and JD smiled at the TV screens.
"Good job JD." Buck patted JD on the back.
Chris found it a little unnerving to see Ezra as a ghost but it did get the desired affect.
"Have him walk down the hall way and into Scicolone's bedroom," Chris said.
"Sure, that's easy. Watch this," JD said.
The three men watched as Scicolone got into bed and picked up the book he had on his night stand. The next image they saw was a ghostly Ezra walk through the door to stand at the foot of the bed. Scicolone reached for the gun he had in the drawer of his night stand and shoot Ezra. Scicolone dropped the gun as he watched all four bullets go through Ezra only to embed themselves in the wall behind him. Ezra then disappeared into thin air right before Scicolone eyes.
Chris patted JD on the shoulder as he watched a wet spot form on the front of the man's pajama pants.
+ + + + + + +
The next day, Chris, Buck and JD told the others about their night.
"You should have seen it. The man actually pissed himself," JD laughed.
"I hope ya got it on tape," Vin smiled.
"He did," Chris said.
"So, what is the plan for tonight?" Ezra asked.
"The plan is to get your voice on tape and run it with your ghostly specter," Chris grinned.
JD recorded Ezra's voice and took pictures of him lying in the bed looking very much the corpse. JD even videoed Ezra rising to a sitting position staring at the camera and slowly turn his head. It creeped Josiah out later when JD showed the guys what he had in mind to do with the video.
"I dearly hope you do not show that to Hosanna. She is, by the way, an innocent," Ezra said, leaving no room for misunderstanding. "I do not wish for her to be harmed in any way."
Chris laid a hand on Ezra's shoulder. "We have no intentions of harming her."
"I will make sure of that son," Josiah reassured Ezra.
Ezra smiled up at Josiah. "Now, you are very sure you can pull this off?"
Josiah rubbed his hands together. "With JD's help, oh yeah, I'm very sure."
+ + + + + + +
JD was feeling proud of his work as he made Ezra appear again out side of Hosanna's window. This time though, JD had Ezra pointing toward the woods where MacKinnon had shot him.
Hosanna shook her head. "I don't understand Everett. What are you trying to tell me?"
Hosanna watched as the specter turned and walked away toward the woods.
Down in his room, Lorenzo was staring out his window when Ezra appeared out on the lawn. He could hear the dogs out on patrol. Or, he thought he did. When the specter walked away, Lorenzo could no longer hear the growling and barking of the dogs. Everything went deathly quiet. As he stood there staring out the window, he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. He slowly turned his head toward the bedroom door. There standing at the foot of his bed like the night before, Everett Styles stood. If the window had been open, Lorenzo would have jumped through it.
"What do you want!" Scicolone yelled at the specter.
Ezra pointed toward the window and vanished.
Buck had a bag of popcorn in his lap and a bottle of coke in his hand as he watched the screens.
"Man JD, this is as good as any of those thrillers Hollywood puts out," Buck said and popped a few kernels into his mouth.
"Thanks Buck," JD said as he reached into the bag of popcorn.
"Yeah," Vin agreed as he sat on the edge of his seat.
At the guest house, the three men watched as MacKinnon sat in front of his television cleaning his rifle. Of all things, MacKinnon was watching a murder mystery.
All of a sudden there was static on the television screen.
"What the hell?" MacKinnon yelled at the TV. He picked up the remote and pushed buttons but nothing worked so he shut it off and threw the remote down on the couch. "Damn piece of shit."
The TV came back on. "What the...?" MacKinnon reached over and picked up the remote and turned the TV off again and tossed the remote back down on the couch. The TV came back on. MacKinnon turned the TV off again. This time he held onto the remote. He jumped when it came back on. This time, MacKinnon got up and unplugged the TV.
"Aw, he spoiled it," Buck said with disappointment.
"Yeah, but it was fun while it lasted," Vin grinned.
"It ain't over yet, guys," JD said.
"He unplugged the TV JD." Buck shook his head.
"Let's see you turn yourself back on now you piece of shit," MacKinnon said as he made his way back to the couch and sat down.
MacKinnon no sooner sat down and the TV turned back on. This time MacKinnon jumped up and over the back on the couch and stared wide eyed at the TV. Then the lights started to flicker.
"What the hell is going on?," MacKinnon said as he looked around the living room.
MacKinnon turned around and came face to face with Everett Styles.
MacKinnon turned white as a sheet. The three men thought for sure the man was going to keel over.
JD smirked as he tapped a few keys on his lap top.
Vin and Buck watched as Ezra's face was normal one minute and a skull the next.
"Holy shit!" Vin said as jumped out of his chair, wide eyed.
Buck didn't say anything, just turned white with a terrified look on his face.
JD looked over at Buck and grinned. "Buck? Oh shit! Buck!" JD yelled and gave Buck a shove.
Vin stood behind his chair with his hand over his heart, panting for breath.
Buck took in a breath when the shock of what he saw wore off and then turned his head toward JD. "DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN!"
"I second that," Vin glared at JD as he sat back down in his chair.
MacKinnon had somewhat of the same reaction, he fainted.
+ + + + + + +
The next morning, Buck dropped down in one of the vinyl covered chairs in Ezra's room and sighed.
Vin sat down at the foot of Ezra's bed and flopped back to lay at Ezra's feet.
JD, on the other hand, was in high spirits.
The other four men looked to one another then to Buck and Vin.
"Did something happen last night Brothers?" Josiah asked.
Buck pointed to JD. "He scared at least ten years off my life."
"How?" Nathan asked.
Vin sat up and sighed, "He turned Ezra into the grim reaper right in front of MacKinnon."
"Yeah," Buck smiled. "The man fainted."
Josiah looked over at a grinning JD. "We need him alive not dead from a heart attack."
JD just shrugged his shoulders.
"Okay. I think it's time for Jerome Silverton to make an appearance," Chris smiled at Josiah.
"I think you're right," Josiah agreed then stood and walked out of the room to do his part.
Chris and Nathan said their good byes and headed out to do their watch.
+ + + + + + +
Josiah sat at a table looking over the menu in his hand when Hosanna entered the coffee shop. Josiah ordered a bran muffin with raisins and a black coffee.
Hosanna sat down at the table next to his and smiled over at Josiah.
Josiah returned the smile and nodded his head. Then he cocked his head to the side and scrutinized Hosanna and made a shuddering motion as if someone ran a finger up his spine.
Hosanna looked the man over next to her when he shuddered. "Are you okay Sir?" She asked him.
"Yes, I'm fine," Josiah answered. Josiah sighed, "Have you lost some one recently?"
Hosanna sighed, "Yes. A dear friend. I didn't know him long. How did you know?"
"I sensed him. He feels he needs to protect you. I get the picture of Mount Everest. Does that make any sense to you?"
Hosanna gasped, "His name was Everett."
Josiah nodded his head. "Ah, that makes sense now."
"Are, are you a psychic? You are aren't you?"
"Please, Madam, not so loud. Not everyone is as open minded as you are."
Hosanna covered her mouth with her hand and looked around before she looked back at Josiah. "I am so sorry. Hosanna Scicolone," Hosanna said and stuck her hand out for Josiah.
"Jerome Silverton," Josiah said as he took the hand and kissed the knuckles.
+ + + + + + +
Chris had a cup of coffee in his hand as he watched the screens in front of him. Nathan sat next to him reading a medical journal when Hosanna came home.
"Lorenzo?" Hosanna called.
"Yes Mother?" Scicolone answered as he came through the kitchen door with MacKinnon right behind him with a sandwich in his hands.
"I met this very nice gentleman the coffee shop. He told me the reason Everett is still here is he feels I need to be protected."
Scicolone sighed, "Mother, please tell me you haven't went and invited this man to our home?"
"He'll be here for dinner tonight. I want him to see Everett first hand. Maybe he can get Everett to move on, you know, into the light where he belongs."
"What's this conman's name?" MacKinnon asked as he wiped his hands down his pant legs.
Hosanna scowled at MacKinnon. "Jerome Silverton."
Scicolone nodded to MacKinnon and the man left.
+ + + + + + +
Nathan had the files Ezra had faxed the day he was shot. Chris was watching the screens.
"Chris look at this," Nathan said and handed a sheet to Chris.
Chris looked the paper over. "What am I looking for?"
"This," Nathan pointed out. "It's not Scicolone doing the smuggling."
Chris sat up straight and sat his cup down on the desk. "No it's not." Chris then looked over at Nathan. "It's MacKinnon."
"Yeah," Nathan agreed.
"We know why he tried to kill Ezra," Chris stated.
"Yep," Nathan nodded. "He knew Ezra would come across this eventually."
"And tell Scicolone."
Chris's cell rang. "Larabee."
"Hey Chris. Dr. Monroe is in with Ez. He said everything looks good and Ez could leave but he's to take it easy. He said Nate could take the stitches out in a few days."
"That's good. Bring him back here. There's been a change in plans."
"What kind of change?"
"I'll let you know when the rest of you get here."
"Okay, we're on our way," Vin said and disconnected the call.
Forty five minutes later, the rest of the team was going over the papers Ezra had faxed.
JD went to his lap top and did what he did best.
+ + + + + + +
"Looks like the others are in place," JD said.
"Then it's time for me to leave," Josiah said.
"Watch yourself," Ezra said.
"Okay guys, Josiah's on his way," JD said into the mic connected to the head set he was wearing.
Ezra slipped on his own head set and mic.
Scicolone's butler showed Josiah to the parlor where Hosanna, Lorenzo and MacKinnon waited for him.
"If the Mrs. and I not needed, we would like to leave before it get's to dark."
Scicolone sighed and waved the man on.
Josiah watched as the man practically ran out of the room to the kitchen.
"What's wrong with him?" Josiah asked as if he didn't know.
"The help have been scared since Mr. Styles started haunting the house and grounds at night," Hosanna answered. "Would you like a cup of tea?"
"Yes I would, thank you," Josiah said as he joined Hosanna on the sofa.
MacKinnon shook his head and poured himself and Scicolone a glass of brandy. "There is no such thing as ghosts."
"There is so Mr. MacKinnon. I have seen Everett roaming the grounds and the halls here in the house. He scared poor Heather so bad she quit."
Josiah listened to his hostess talk about all the happenings in and around the house.
Josiah looked up at the two men. "He's angry. He feels Hosanna and Lorenzo's lives are in danger.
"I have the best security money can buy. Craig here can handle anything that comes up. Everett needs to leave."
Just as Scicolone finish with his angry speech, the lights started to flicker.
Josiah looked up at the flickering chandelier. "He's here."
MacKinnon looked around the room. "Oh, yeah? Where?"
Ezra appeared in the archway of the parlor.
Hosanna screamed when she saw Everett.
MacKinnon dropped the glass in his hand and swallowed the lump that formed in his throat. In the next second, Ezra was within five feet of MacKinnon and pointed to him. And right before everyone's eyes, Ezra's shirt started to turn red from where MacKinnon shot him. Then they heard the sound of growling dogs and the sound of clothing being ripped apart.
Josiah was glad JD had told him what was going to happen otherwise, he'd be gone just like Heather.
Hosanna stood and glared at MacKinnon. "You! You killed him. That's what he's been trying to me."
Lorenzo snapped his head toward MacKinnon. "Did you kill him?" Scicolone advanced on MacKinnon. "Tell me now, did you kill Everett?"
MacKinnon looked around for an escape.
Josiah stood and faced Ezra's ghost. "Everett Styles?"
Ezra's head snapped back at Josiah.
"Show us where your body is and we'll make sure you get a proper burial."
Ezra's head cocked off to one side then he was in front of Josiah.
Josiah stood still like JD told him to when it came to this part of the plan. Josiah swallowed and blinked.
Hosanna grabbed for Lorenzo's arm when Josiah jerked when it looked like Ezra's ghost entered his body.
"Oh shit!" MacKinnon said.
+ + + + + + +
"Your on Ezra," Chris's voice could be heard over the head set.
"Yeah, let 'em have it," Vin said.
Ezra looked over at JD and JD gave him a thumbs up.
When Josiah opened his mouth to speak, it wasn't his baritone that everyone heard. It was a southern drawl that came out.
"MacKinnon, you are a murderer." Josiah's head turned toward Scicolone. "I am no thief. Look at the books."
"What about the books?"
Before Scicolone finished his question, Ezra's ghost left Josiah's body in a puff of smoke and stood by the window and pointed toward the woods then was gone.
Josiah collapsed on the sofa.
Hosanna ran to his side. "Mr. Silverton, are you alright?"
"Yes dear lady I am. But we must follow him to his body."
"He pointed towards the wood," Scicolone said as he glared at MacKinnon.
"We're not going anywhere," MacKinnon growled as he pulled a gun on Scicolone. "I don't know how he's doing it, but Silverton over there is conning us. Yes I shot Styles. He would have found out what I was doing. You should not have hired him. He changed the pass code for the emergency cash fund. I had to take the money from the safe."
"You stole from me?"
"And made it look like a dead man took it," Josiah said.
MacKinnon looked from Scicolone to Josiah and back to Scicolone. "I've been steeling from you for years. The shipments from Italy?" MacKinnon laughed a humorless laugh. "I've been smuggling contraband tobacco and the feds think you're the one doing the smuggling. It was perfect before you hired Styles. He had to go and so does the three of you."
"Did you hear that Chris?" JD asked into the mic.
"Every word JD," Chris smiled.
Josiah stood and drew his Glock and badge. "ATF, you're under arrest."
MacKinnon turned his gun toward Josiah. "You fucking fed!"
Scicolone lunged toward MacKinnon hitting his arm making the shot go wide and miss his target.
Josiah ducked and pushed Hosanna out of the way. He didn't dare shoot because he might hit Scicolone.
Chris, Buck and Nathan ran into the house.
"ATF!" All three men yelled as they entered the parlor.
Vin waited outside in case their suspect made a break for it and got past the others.
MacKinnon felt trapped by the four agents. He made a quick look around the room and saw the window.
"Don't do it MacKinnon," Josiah warned.
MacKinnon took a step toward the window then turned and ran and jumped through it, shattering glass every where.
"Chris! He's headed for the wood," JD said through the mic.
"Got it JD," Chris said and all four men left the parlor and the house.
Vin saw MacKinnon running toward the wood. He watched as the man stopped dead in his tracks when Ezra's ghost appeared in front of him. Vin took aim and shot MacKinnon in the leg. MacKinnon went down with a scream of pain.
MacKinnon looked up at Everett. "You bastard, you ruined everything!" MacKinnon looked around and got up and limped through Ezra toward the wood and ravine where he dumped the body. When he reached the ravine, MacKinnon aimed the gun he still held and emptied it into the tarp.
MacKinnon looked on in horror as Ezra sat up out of the tarp and slowly turned his head toward MacKinnon.
"You have no where to run MacKinnon," Chris said as team seven reached MacKinnon.
Team seven watched as MacKinnon dropped dead from fright. When they looked down into the ravine they had to jump back. There in the ravine Ezra's ghost sat but it wasn't his face they saw, it was the grim reaper's.
"JD!" Five men yelled.
In the ranch house, JD smiled.
Ezra looked over at JD. "Josiah did say not to scare the man to death."
JD shrugged his shoulders. "Hey, we got his confession didn't we."
Ezra nodded his head. "Yes we did."
+ + + + + + +
It's been two weeks since MacKinnon's death. And thanks to his confession, Scicolone has been cleared of all charges. He even handed all his shipments over to the feds to be searched for the contraband. The footage on JD's lap top was copied and the original sent to the FBI and Interpol.
JD had enough footage recorded, he decided to make a film staring team seven. When he was finished, JD took the film to the saloon and come Friday night when the bar was at it's busiest, Inez popped the CD in a player JD had rigged up behind the bar.
Everyone in the bar turned their heads toward one of a half a dozen forty inch screens when the eerie music came through speakers. JD sat back and watched the fruit of his labor and grinned when he heard the gasps and curse words coming from all the law enforcers. He favorite part was when these men and women all jumped out of their skins when Ezra's face turned into the grim reaper's.
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