See part one for disclaimers:

Warning for adult language and situations, m/m (C/V/E/) and sexual bonding.

Part Two

0-0-0-0-0

If JD was in trouble the quickest way to get him killed was to burst in there.  There were several reasons he could have lost contact with them so abruptly; one, he was caught, two, he had cut them off to avoid detection.

“What we need, gentlemen, is a logical reason for checking on him.” Ezra looked towards Vin, “perhaps this gentleman?” The southerner had heard enough in the bar to guess what Vin had been.

“No,” Chris put in firmly.  There was no way he was letting Vin go into Holland’s club alone.  He could feel the emotions of his mate and knew that Vin would kill anyone that touched him now.  Mated, he would only accept his Alpha’s touch. As the Angel of Death, he had heard the stories of the Fallen Angels, of when they slipped their leashes, and the carnage they could inflict. If Vin went back to Holland, he would not go back alone.

“Fallon knows about Buck,” Chris said levelly. Then adding when he saw the look Ezra gave them, “as far as he knows, Buck is my backup. If we need to go in, Vin can come along as our pet.” He grimaced at the word. “We see if we can make visual contact with JD.  Vin’s a friend of his so it would be logical that he would want to shoot the breeze with him.” Looking round at Buck, Ezra and Vin, he saw the nods of agreement.

Buck was watching the interaction.  Vin was leaning into Ezra again, his hand resting on the table, his long, tapered fingers resting just on the Companion’s wrist, where he could feel the life-force of the undercover agent. “Ezra is hired out to me for the night, so he’s not going to be expected back before tomorrow morning.”

Vin’s head snapped up and his lips pulled back against his teeth into a snarl. His hand grabbed Ezra’s wrist, pulling it towards him; the Guide was theirs, Chris had told him that, and no one was going to take him.

“Easy Junior, I am not going to bond with him.  Gamma, remember?”

Ezra cut in smoothly, laying his hand over Vin’s, meeting the fiery blue eyes, the flame igniting in his own. “Mr Wilmington will not bond with me, you have my word.  If it puts your mind at rest, think of him as a eunuch.” He didn’t see the look of indignation on Buck’s face at the remark. Ezra continued, “ Now, I need you to let go of my wrist.”  For a long second nothing happened, then lightly he rubbed the back of Vin’s knuckles, soothing the Feral.  He smiled reassuringly as Vin’s grip eased and he pulled his hand away. Ezra gave his cuff a tug to straighten it back into place.

Buck knew that Chris would have jumped in if there had been a problem, but he was waiting to see how Ezra dealt with their young feral pup.  He seemed satisfied with the outcome; looking at Buck, the expression was readable only to his long time friends.  Ezra had passed the test.  When this was over he would be claimed by both the Feral and the Predator. Buck grinned broadly; his pack has taken one step closer to its completion.

0-0-0-0-0

Hotel

Ezra looked around the hotel suite, it met with his approval.

“Sit down, Ez.”

“The name, Mr Wilmington, is Ezra.  Only two syllables so use them.”

Buck grinned.  Sassy, he could just imagine what the undercover agent was going to be like in the bond, then Chris was going to have to watch himself with Ezra and the fiery Vin Tanner.  It would keep the old dog young. 

“You don’t need to worry about Vin; Junior’s never had a Guide before, so he doesn’t know how to treat one, but he won’t hurt you, it’s, hell, son you’re like human catnip to him.” Buck grinned.

Ezra looked out of the window down at the traffic. “He’s a Fallen Angel.” Ezra paused for Buck to correct him if he was wrong, and when he didn’t he continued, “I have heard of them, he is indeed lucky to have found an Alpha.”

“Not just an Alpha, they are soul mated Ezra, and they want to claim you as their Guide.”

Ezra spun round. “Mr Wilmington, you have read my file.  Corruption and rumour.  No one would want me, I was just a human equivalent of a shiny toy for them, wanted and then discarded.”  He shrugged, his mouth making a hard line as he added more softly, “no one would want a soiled guide.”

Buck moved up to Ezra.  He had heard such bitterness in those few words.

“What are you talking about Ezra?” He lightly laid a hand on the smaller man’s shoulder; the southerner flinched but didn’t pull away. It seemed that it wasn’t only Vin and Chris that were fighting their own demons.

“A price is always paid, Mr Wilmington, and Mr Adams had customers that expected more than a sterile bond, and that was made plain to me by Mr Anderson.”

“Your handler.”

“Yes, he said that I was to do everything that was asked of me, otherwise I would face investigation back in Atlanta.”

“Bastard!” Buck exploded.  As Gamma, Buck’s job was to protect the Guide.  Self hatred was eating into Ezra.  Undercover was a job that pushed a man to his limits, and even for someone as good as Ezra, it could destroy a man’s soul.

Ezra looked up into Buck’s face and saw understanding.  It was unlike the normally self-assured undercover agent, but somehow, he found him saying the words; “They won’t want me.  Do you know what it’s like Mr Wilmington, to want something you can never have, to play-act the role, to enter into a mock bond, to feel them touching you, gently and respectfully, while they need you and then to have it thrown back into your face?  That, Mr Wilmington, you’re a Companion, and no different than a whore?  Even so, that when it’s offered to you, to be able to be a Guide for a short time, FBI Agent or not, you allow yourself to believe and you clutch at it with both hands, and pray that in the morning it’s not a dream but a reality, that you’re wanted, loved and honoured. But the cold, hard reality is, the next man is already coming through the door, pawing at you, because you’re a Companion, and they can have their dirty bit of fun with you, because you don’t matter, you’re not a guide. There is no difference between what Vin has had to do, from what that Sentinel said.  Perhaps of the two of us, he’s the most honest.” 

Buck pulled Ezra into a hug, one arm wrapped round the smaller man’s waist as he laid his other hand against Ezra’s face, lightly stroking his jaw and throat.  The Companion let his barriers down and with a soft sigh that went straight to Buck’s heart, he felt Ezra reach out and touch his mind, burrowing into it and allowing himself to be cocooned and soothed. Buck’s hand pulled him closer.  A crooked smile touched Ezra’s lips as he leaned forward and lightly brushed his lips over Buck’s, then laid his head down to rest on Buck’s broad shoulder.

“Ezra, believe me, Chris and Vin want you and they are never going to let you go.  They will honour you as Guide, in public.”  Ezra looked up.  Buck saw disbelief on his face; even a Companion that made it to Special Reserve was never seen in public. “They will not hide you away, Ezra.  You will be no one’s dirty secret. Guide Standish, honoured is your calling.”

Buck leaned forward and rested his forehead against Ezra’s, in the traditional greeting of a Sentinel to his Clan Guide. When Buck took Ezra’s hand and led him to the bedroom, the smaller man went willingly, for the first time, wanting the joining as much as the Sentinel, the Gamma paying homage to him, preparing him for the bonding that was to come with the Alpha and the Alpha’s soul mate.

0-0-0-0-0

The next morning Ezra entered Harmony House.  He took the elevator up to his suite, to find Adams standing there with his hands on his hips. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing, Standish?  You blow off Mr Crow, he-”

“The next time a Predator Sentinel comes calling, Mr Adams, I will point him in your direction and you can tell him no. If you remember, the Sentinel in question threw me over his shoulder and carried me out of the bar.  I didn’t have a choice.” 

“Mr Wilmington?”

“He has decided to make me Special Reserve.  He will be approaching the Director to start the paperwork.”  Ezra reached up and pressed the pad against the suite door and a list of his appointments for the day unfolded on the computer screen.  Pressing the touch screen, he moved his appointments on to the next day.  The red bars running across them showed that they had all been cancelled out.  With a grin, he patted Adams on the shoulder and entered his suite. It seemed that Buck worked fast.

0-0-0-0-0

The Ambassador Bar

JD was sat hunched on the seat in front of his computer, his broken fingers cradled against his body, rocking back and forward against the pain. Pain was the currency of failure and Fallon had broken all the fingers on his left hand, one by one, to make sure he understood this lesson.

A leak in the Federal Building had warned Holland that someone in his organisation was collecting information on him. Things had started to spiral out of control and the leak had fingered Ezra Standish -  and his contact as an FBI Agent. They had highlighted the fact that Standish had been seen with the back-up shooter for the Angel of Death. Standish had also met with several of the Sentinels working for Holland, at their houses, and since it was JD’s job to protect their computers, he had been punished since it was obvious that that was where Standish had lifted the information, during his visits.  JD liked the southerner and just hoped he had made it out in time.  With Fallon breathing down his neck there was no way he could warn him.

 

 0-0-0-0-0

Ezra came out of the shower and dressed quickly.  His first client was due in half an hour. If Buck’s scent was still on him it would be bad for business, and the last thing he needed was a pissed off Sentinel knocking him around. He turned as the door to the suite opened and Adams stood there, a smug look on his face. “I’ve got a client for you, Ezra.”

“My next one is noon.”

“Oh, I think since you stood me up you can make room for me, Agent Standish,” Crow said as he stepped past Adams, pushing a roll of notes that would choke an ox into his hand. He nodded his thanks and left the room. 

Flanking Crow was Fallon.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Adams picked up the phone and consulted the computer file in front of him.

“Mr Wilmington, I think you should know that a Mr Crow and a Mr Fallon have just taken your Companion.”  He put the phone down, cutting off the heated words.  Stopping only long enough to leave his ID badge at the front desk, Mr Adams walked out.  If Standish was a Fed then the sweet deal he had at Harmony House was going up in flames, and it was time to get the hell out of dodge.  If the Feds and Holland were too busy tearing each others throats out to bother about him, then all the better. But if he was caught by the Feds, then dropping a call warning about Fallon should buy him some good-will from them.

0-0-0-0-0

The Ambassador Bar

The raid on the bar would go down in thirty minutes time, but in order to safeguard the kidnapped Ezra and their inside man JD, they had to get someone on the inside that could find and protect them.  Judge Travis had been immovable on it.  Vin would go in alone and secure them; after all, the man was a Fallen Angel and better qualified as a weapons specialist than even the SWAT teams. Also, if Chris Larabee wanted to keep Tanner after all this was over, then he would have to show them he could be trusted.

Chris with Buck at his side gave the final briefing. He pointed to the three pictures on the board; “JD Dunne, Denver PD; Agent Ezra Standish, FBI; and Vin Tanner, NSP; these are the good guys.”

Judge Travis coughed.  “Mr Tanner is a Feral Sentinel, proceed with extreme caution when dealing with him. Contain him on sight, minimum of force authorised.”

“Judge?” Chris turned on him like a scalded cat. Buck’s hand clamped onto his old friend’s shoulder to stop him grabbing hold of the Judge in his anger.

“I know you have said you are bonded with him, Christopher, but I have my men to worry about, and a Fallen Angel is not a risk I take lightly,” the Judge said firmly.

0-0-0-0-0

It was still early and the bar was empty of customers, but two of Holland’s men stood against it.  They looked bored. They tensed their hands, moving towards their guns as the door opened, then relaxed as they saw Divinity enter.

Holland’s men grinned as they took in the skintight jeans as he walked towards them.  The jeans were slashed in all the right places, showing just enough flesh to make him hot. The dark-blue shirt he wore loose was undone, halfway down his chest and his short hair was unruly, as if he had just gotten out of bed. One of the men called out to him and he smirked to his friend as Divinity came over.  The young hooker leaned on the bar, one foot resting on the foot rail, giving the taller man a good look at the merchandise as he pulled some notes from his pocket and slapped them down in front of Divinity.

His friend just shook his head and knocked back his drink.  Personally, he wasn’t into men, but he did get off on the power that he and every other man had over the hookers that plied their trade at the Bar.

The men never knew what hit them as Vin took them out, the lithe Fallen Angel only pulling back on his blows - just short of killing them - because he had promised his Alpha he would do it.

Pulling the plastic ties from his boot, he secured them for the police and went to find Ezra.

0-0-0-0-0

Chris glanced at his watch.  They had another 15 minutes before the police hit the building and the fact that his mate and future guide were in there was keeping him on edge. He trusted Vin, but he didn’t trust the other cops, especially after Judge Travis all but attached a target to Vin.

0-0-0-0-0

Vin took a breath.  He could smell his Guide; the scent was soured with fear and blood and he took the steps up to the playroom two at a time. The guard at the top of stairs was Mark Wilson.  As Holland’s men went, Mark was a good man. The man was slow, but made up with it by his sheer bulk.  Vin slid the gun into his waistband so it rested at the small of his back.  “Hi, Mark.”

The big man grinned.  “Hi Divinity.”  He reached out a hand like a small shovel and tugged at a lock of Divinity’s hair.  “Cut your hair?”  He gave it another gentle tug.  “Liked it better when it was longer.”  He leaned in and took a deep sniff.  “You always smell real nice, real pretty.”  He rubbed his face against Divinity.

Vin smiled back as a powerful arm wrapped itself round his waist. Mark had been on duty outside the playroom one time when Fallon and his toadies had been putting him through a training session. He had come in after the others had gone and had released him, sitting on the floor, cradling him in his arms, rocking him gently as if he was a child. Mark had hospitalised two of the toadies when they had returned later to continue their training session. Mark had been beaten for that display of temper. But Vin had always remembered that he had been hurt for him, and he didn’t want to hurt him now.

“I need to go in there, Mark,” Vin said.

The big man shook his head, holding onto him more tightly.  “They’ll hurt you.”

“Not anymore.”  Vin placed his hand against the big man’s chest.  “I owe you Mark, so do yourself a favour and leave.  Go home to Mom.”

“But-”

“Do it.  And Mr Holland said not to come back.  You’re to work for your Mom, okay?”

Mark bit his lip.  Divinity was the only person that had ever treated him nicely, that didn’t think he was stupid. He hesitated and then slowly released his hold on Divinity and left.  If that was what Mr Holland wanted, then he wasn’t going to argue.  Arguing got you pain.  He paused only long enough to wave back at Divinity before he started down the stairs.

0-0-0-0-0

Vin pushed out with his senses.  He could hear five heartbeats.  One was Ezra.  His scent was strong here, but the other four were targets.  His kick took the lock off the door.  Bullets slammed into the wall at chest height as the door was flung open. Vin had dropped to his knee as he came in and fired and the bullets had gone harmlessly over his head. In one smooth action, he blew two of the men away with headshots and took the third in the shoulder. He held fire on the last man; JD was sat in a chair in the far corner, huddled over. Ezra was on the floor, blood covering his face and he had been beaten.  Vin’s gaze swept over him; as much as he wanted to go to his guide he had one last thing to do. The young Feral looked down at Fallon; the man was against a far wall, clutching his bleeding shoulder.

He spat curses up at Vin.  “What the fuck are you?” Then, when he saw the gun pointed straight at his face, he added, “You can’t kill me.  You’re a cop!”

“Whoever told you that, Fallon?”  Vin leaned down so that he was level with the wounded man.  “I am a Fallen Angel.”  And he saw the look of fear in Fallon’s eyes. His finger began to slowly tighten on the trigger.

“You can’t, I am a police officer!” JD yelled.

Vin straightened up and looked at JD.  As he did so, Fallon’s hand started towards his dropped gun.  A smile was on Vin’s face as he gracefully spun round, fast, and fired two bullets, double tapped, through Fallon’s mouth.  He was dead before the move had been completed.

“His choice, JD.”  Fallon now forgotten, he knelt down by Ezra and lightly touched his Guide, trying to coax him back to consciousness.

When the police crashed in, Vin was leaning over Ezra.  He had started to turn when the butt of a rifle slammed into his head, and he collapsed on top of Ezra.

0-0-0-0-0-0

The message that they had secured Ezra, JD and Vin was received with an unvoiced sigh of relief by Chris Larabee.  Ideally, he wanted to check on Vin himself, but he had Holland to close down. But if Vin was with Ezra, he knew his mate was in good hands. 

Holland had nearly made good his escape; he was on the way out of the club when the police had swept in, and had locked himself into his apartment with his bodyguard. Then, he had hurried to the secret exit.  It had been built during the prohibition era, and Holland had found it very useful in the past.

When he hit the door release and it swung open, it was only to be confronted by Chris Larabee and Buck Wilmington.

“ATF,” Chris identified as he came in.  When the bodyguard tried to pull his gun, Buck put him down hard with an uppercut to the jaw.

“Seems Vin was right.  You wouldn’t stay around once it hit the fan, Holland,” Chris told the crime lord.

“I knew I should have let Crow have that whore to play with,” Holland said, bitterly remembering that Divinity had been brought in this way to his room, when he had a sex evening and Divinity had been one of the party favours.

“He fucking you, Garrison, in exchange for not getting busted?  A real good cock sucker, he-”

Holland never got to finish.  Suddenly he found himself pushed up against the wall, a gun pressed to the underside of his jaw, cutting off his air, making him struggle for breath.

“Chris, let him go.”  Buck kept his voice level; at this point in time, the Predator had replaced the ATF agent and he had the man that had raped and abused his mate.  His finger tightened on the trigger.

“Chris, remember Vin needs you, you can’t help him if you’re locked up.”

Larabee shook his head as if to clear it as Buck’s words got through to him.

 “Alan Holland, I am arresting you.  You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney and to have an attorney present during any questioning.  If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.”

Chris pushed Holland towards Buck as the big man spun Holland round and slapped the cuffs on him.  He worked to get his anger under control.  Chris took hold of Holland’s arm as Buck secured the still unconscious bodyguard.  The pounding on the metal reinforced apartment door showed that the police had arrived.   Buck opened it up for them and Chris was kept busy, carting Holland away and overseeing the other officers’ collection of evidence from the apartment. One of the officers was calling Chris over. 

It was after leaving Chris that Buck began to panic.  It soon became plain that no one had seen Vin, so why the hell did he get the all-was-well radio message? Finally, he found one cop that could tell him what had happened.  JD, Ezra and Vin were on the way to hospital. Buck swore and hurried back to Chris and soon the two men were on their way to the Denver General Hospital.

0-0-0-0-0

Denver General Hospital

They burst through the door and finally saw JD Dunne.  Chris loomed over him.  “Where’s Vin?” he demanded.

“Who?”

“Divinity.”

“He’s Feral.  I had to tell them, not safe.” JD was still a little dopey from the painkiller they had used when setting his fingers.

How Buck managed to stop his Alpha from taking someone apart he never knew. But finally, he found out that Vin had been taken to the Psychiatric Ward.

The nearer they got, the darker and more intense Chris was becoming, so that when he cornered the doctor he was pure Predator. Throwing the doctor aside, he took the door off its hinges with one kick.  His mate was tied to the bed as he struggled, trying to free himself from the restraints. In three strides Chris was by his side. “Vin, it’s okay.”

But Vin just kept struggling, his voice low and rasping. “Chris coming, Chris coming.”  Those two words had become his personal mantra, all he could hang onto. Catching his mate’s face, he looked into his eyes.  They were unfocused, the sharp, sour smell of drugs was on his breath. Leaning in close, he tried again.  “I am here, Vin, here.” But Vin didn’t seem to hear him or understand.

“Buck,” the name was said with such emotion.

“Chris, try Divinity.”

“Divinity.”  He said the name and Vin’s head snapped round, his lips pulling back on his teeth.

“Chris coming.”

“Divinity, I am here, Chris is here.” Carefully, he hunched over his mate so that he could surround him with his scent.  Slowly, Vin calmed.

“Chris?”  The voice was shaky.

“I am here.”

Vin breathed out a sigh; he tried to reach for his Alpha, the restraints sending him into another fit of struggling.

Buck watched as again Chris calmed him before he began to release his wrists.  The moment his hands were free Divinity caught hold of Chris and pulled himself into a sitting position, his hands clinging tightly to Chris’ coat as he buried his face against his Alpha’s neck.

“Buck, can you-” Chris nodded towards the ankle restraints, not wanting to release his hold on his mate to do it.

He was just doing that when an older doctor and security arrived. Buck planted himself in front of Chris and his mate, showing them his ID.

“Buck Wilmington, FBI, this is Special Agent Larabee.  He is Vin Tanner’s Alpha.”

“What?”  The doctor halted, waving the guards back.  This changed everything.  “Agent Larabee is a bonded Alpha?”

“Yeah, he’s just claimed what is his.”  Buck hated making Vin sound like property, but if that is what it took, he was prepared to play the game.

The doctor leaned in.  “My colleague thought, well-”

“Agent Larabee is a Predator Alpha.  Your colleague is lucky to still be standing.  What say we take this party home?  What’s his condition?”

Doctor McKay nodded.  “That would be for the best. The Feral,” seeing the Alpha look at him, he amended, “Divinity has a concussion.  It appears that he was injured in the raid.  We were informed he was a Feral by a police officer JD Dunne and Divinity was restrained. He became violent, so we reluctantly sedated him. He needs rest and time for the drugs to clear his system.  I’ll have Nurse Parr see to his release papers.”  He paused. “I am sorry about this, Agent Wilmington.”

Buck just nodded.  “Shit happens, Doctor,” he said sadly.

Getting Vin out of the hospital proved easier.  He was out on his feet, but had plastered himself to Chris and refused to let go of him. In fact, if it hadn’t been so heart-breaking, Buck would have found it hysterical. Vin’s hands kept roaming over his Alpha and had to be firmly collected and held in place when for the third time he tried to push them down the front of his Alpha’s tight, black jeans.  Buck had helped buckle the drugged Feral in to the passenger seat and watched Chris drive away, back to the Ranch, as he turned to find Ezra.  He would baby-sit the Guide until they could get him back to the safety of the Ranch.

0-0-0-0-0

 

Buck sat by the side of the bed. “Hi, Ezra.”

The undercover agent slowly focused on the man sitting next to him.  His voice was weak.  “Mr Wilmington.” He tried to move and couldn’t restrain a cry of pain. Then, Buck’s hands were on him, helping him to get comfortable.

“You’re going to be alright Ezra.  Vin got to you in time.  A lot of bruising, but nothing’s broken.”  He lightly closed his hand over the younger man’s. “You try and get some sleep.”

“Want out of here.”

“You will, Ezra, we’re taking you home, but first you have to rest.”

“Atlanta?”

“No, home.”

Ezra’s eyes closed and his breathing slowed as he slid back into sleep.

0-0-0-0-0

Ten Days later.

Judge Travis’s Office.

10.00 am

Judge Travis made the introductions.  “Special Agent Larabee, Agent Standish, this is Mr Evans from the NSP, he’s here about Divinity.”

Mr Evans was a tall, gaunt looking man.  He looked Chris up and down.  “I’ve been informed by Judge Travis that you are currently in possession of our property.  Divinity is a Fallen Angel, a Feral Sentinel.  I don’t have to explain to you gentlemen how dangerous a Feral is.  It is company policy to cull any Ferals that break their programming.”

“Kill, you mean,” Chris put in levelly.

“To cull,” Mr Evans said, as he continued.  “Divinity killed his handler and went under the radar.  It was only when Judge Travis told us about him that we knew he was still alive.  You do know what a Fallen Angel is?”

“I am quite aware of what Vin was,” Chris said.

“Vin?”

“His name is Vin Tanner, not Divinity,” Chris answered.

“Agent Larabee, a Fallen Angel only ever responds to their designated code name.  For him to use his birth name indicates that his programming has started to cascade, and without a handler a Feral is unstable.  A cold-blooded killer, a-”

“Vin don’t need a handler, Mr Evans.”  Chris’s voice had dropped to a level that made the Judge wince.  He could tell that his lead agent was going to vent soon.  “You see, he submitted to me as his Alpha.”

Evans looked shocked.  “With due respect, Agent Larabee, from what I have heard Divinity had been prostituting himself.  It’s not unknown for them to latch onto a Beta Sentinel and offer themselves.  I-”

“If you mean that Vin was beaten and raped after he lost his memory, then that’s right. But,” Chris allowed the Predator to come forward, the green light in his eyes igniting, as his voice dropped to a low gravelly whisper, “he didn’t offer himself to me, we bonded, mind, body and soul.”

“Shit.”  Evans stepped back.  This wasn’t another Feral, this was worse.  A Predator, the Apex of all Alpha Sentinels, and this one was pissed off.  Larabee’s file had said he was a Beta Sentinel.  Well, this sure as hell wasn’t a Beta.  “You bonded with him, Larabee?”

“Yeah, bonded and mated.”

“Err, right.”  Evans knew to step carefully.  A mated and bonded Predator could take legal possession of a Feral and no court in the world would uphold  an NSP claim over them.  Evans looked towards the other man.  Agent Standish.  The man looked like a picture from a GQ magazine.  “And you are part of this clan, Agent Standish?”

“Agent Standish is our guide,” Chris put in before Ezra could answer.

“Guide?” Evans spat the name out. “A male cannot be a Guide, only a Companion, he-”

“Is our Guide, honoured is their calling,” Chris reminded Evans forcefully.

“Mr Larabee, I must object, I-” Ezra started.

“Of course, no male can be a Guide, they lack the ability.”

Ezra glared at Evans and then stepped next to Chris Larabee, resting his hand on the man’s left shoulder.  For Evans it was as if Ezra had yelled it from the rooftops.  A Companion always stood on the right side, a Guide on the left.  With this simple action, Ezra was declaring himself a Guide.

“I think, Mr Evans, that you have your answer,” Travis said, as Evans thrust papers into his briefcase.

“And you sanction this perversion?”

The Judge looked at the two men.  “Yes, I think I do.”

Evans stormed out of the room.  Judge Travis could not stop the smile.  He had read Standish’s file and to begin with he had wondered about the southern agent.  But seeing the man just now, he was convinced that he was perfect for Team 7.  And Tanner, well, he had heard about his session on the rifle range, how he had broken two range records his first time out. Team 7, no one could say it was the most stable of Teams. Travis had no illusions concerning Chris Larabee; a man that had been the hit man, Angel of Death.  Two more misfits weren’t going to do it any harm. Whatever happened he was sure that Team 7 was going to make his life interesting.

0-0-0-0

11.00 pm

Chris telephoned back to the ranch; they were in the process of getting the paperwork in order that would transfer Ezra from the  FBI and Vin from the Fallen Angels. Ezra had been key in getting through the minefield of red tape that seemed to wrap itself around the Feral Sentinel. But it was late now and the two men wouldn’t make it back to the Ranch that night.

“Chris, don’t worry, I can handle him,” Buck said cheerfully.

“Buck,” Chris’s voice took a warning tone. “Vin’s been sleeping with me, but he also wanders at night.  You can find him sleeping anywhere, he even ended up with Ezra one time.”

Buck chuckled.  “I can just imagine the look on his face when he woke up to junior sharing his bed.  Poor old Ezra is really like catnip to him.”

“Believe it, I’ve got two bullets in the ceiling of the guest room because of it. The reason I am telling you is that you might end up with him tonight and-”

Buck laughed softly.  “Don’t need to worry about that, I’ll look after him as if he was my own.”

“Just be careful if he does share your bed, because if you wake him up, he comes round swinging and on the attack.”

Buck swallowed hard, but he was Gamma, and that meant looking after the pack.

0-0-0-0-0

The Larabee Ranch

2.30 am

Buck hadn’t been surprised when he had seen Vin stood by his bed, but the 9mm Glock in his hand had been a small thing that Chris had forgotten to tell him.

Buck pulled the blankets back and patted the bed, then turned over and closed his eyes.  He felt the bed dip and Vin settle down for the night.

6.00am

Buck woke slowly.  He felt so good he didn’t really want to wake up. His arms were wrapped around a warm body, his face buried in her hair.  He snuggled closer, pulling her against him, as he rubbed up against her firm ass.

Suddenly, his mind caught up with his body.  “Shit.”  His eyes flew open as he remembered what happened last night at the same time that She twisted round, pulling free of him, and he found himself nose to nose with a pissed off Vin Tanner.

Buck’s sense of self-preservation was sharp enough that he managed to pin the arm holding the gun, pushing it away from his head, and with a grunt forced Vin onto his back, using his greater weight to pin the snarling wild cat of a young man in place. What his mind was telling him was one thing but his body was registering the warm, body rubbing up against him, only making his morning erection harder as it pressed against Vin’s groin. Buck jerked his head back in time to avoid the bite aimed at his face.

“Vin, Vin, easy, Junior, I am not going to hurt you.”

“Get off me, you motherfucker!” Vin spat the words at him as he struggled harder, his arctic blue eyes flashing with a cold flame.  Buck knew he had jumped into the minefield that was Vin Tanner with both feet.

“Gamma, remember? I am not going to do anything to hurt you.” Buck could smell the anger pouring from the younger man. All he could do was keep Vin pinned as he kicked and thrashed under him, like a wild animal trying to escape, only Buck knew he couldn’t release him until he had calmed, Vin was just too dangerous. 

He did the only thing he could think of, and sent up a silent prayer that Chris wouldn’t blow his brains out; he forced Vin’s head back and brought his teeth down on the Feral’s throat. Holding Vin like that until the Feral began to still, a hardwired reaction of submission. Only then did Buck ease back enough to give the Feral a little breathing space.

“I am sorry Vin.  All I can say is that Little Buck has a mind of his own.  You’re one fine man Vin, you can’t blame Little Buck for standing to attention for something as fine as you. But that don’t mean I am going to do anything about it, understand?”  When he saw the nod, Buck eased back a little more, as he saw the flame gradually fade in the vivid blue eyes.

Carefully, Buck moved onto his side, only allowing himself to relax as he saw the gun slide back under the pillow. Time seemed to stand still, then finally Vin seemed to make his mind up and he eased back down in the bed, allowing Buck to gently pull him close.

For a long time after Vin had finally gone back to sleep, Buck lay there holding the troubled young man close, before finally pressing a chaste kiss to his forehead, and following him into sleep.

0-0-0-0-0

It was 10.00 am before Chris and Ezra finally got back to the Ranch.

Chris was met by Buck as he pulled up. Glancing around, he looked for his mate, and when he failed to see him, his eyes locked on his oldest friend.

“Where’s Vin?”

“Err, Chris, we need to talk.” Buck glanced across at the undercover agent. “Privately.”

Ezra took the cue.  “I’ll take the paperwork inside, and then see if I can find the elusive Mr Tanner.”

Once they where alone, Chris turned on Buck. “Okay, what happened?”

“It was an accident.”  He quickly held his hands up in defence.  “Now don’t go off half cocked, stud, Junior wasn’t hurt.” Buck rubbed his chin, a sure sign that he was nervous.

“What happened.”  Chris’s voice had dropped down a level.

“Now don’t go all Alpha on me, okay.  Vin crawled into bed with me.”

“You didn’t throw him out?  Hell, Buck, I told you-”

“I liked it too much, Chris.  I woke up hard enough to drill through the bed, and I thought Vin, well, he was all warm, and, SHIT, Chris, I was half asleep, I though he was one of my girlfriends. Junior woke up with Little Buck pressed up against his ass and he freaked out, nearly blew my brains out.”

“And?”  If one word could convey a warning it was that one. Chris was losing patience.

“And, he wouldn’t calm down.  I tried to explain, so in the end I…. Chris it didn’t mean anything-”

“What did you do?”

“I bit him, on the throat.  He calmed down.”

“Then?” Chris prompted.

“And he went back to sleep.”  Buck looked at Chris.  “Didn’t you hear me Chris?  I bit Vin on the throat.  He submitted to me.”

“Did you try to claim him?”

“NO!”

“Then you did what the Gamma is supposed to do, you looked after him.” Chris walked past a speechless Buck towards the Ranch house, patting him on the shoulder. He paused to look Buck straight in the eyes, the green flames ignited.  “If you had tried to claim him, I would have killed you.”  Then he carried on, mounting the steps onto the porch.

Buck looked up to the heavens and heaved a sigh of relief. “They just don’t pay me enough for this,” and then followed Chris indoors.

0-0-0-0-0

The Larabee Ranch

It was late in the evening; Ezra was sat on one of the porch swings, looking out across the ranch. If he was honest with himself, he was uneasy.  He had been moved to the Ranch a few days ago for his own protection while the last of Holland’s men were brought in, but he could feel the tension rising. Chris Larabee was every inch a Predator.  As a Companion he could feel the aura that Chris wore like a cloak round him; it was dark and dangerous, but at the same time, it drew him in. The Feral, he could sense him; it was as if he was being hunted, stalked by something wild, unpredictable and lethal. He had come to realise that, un-bonded, he was like catnip to the Feral, and he had gotten used to turning around and nearly colliding with the young Texan. Like a lot of people, he had heard about the Fallen Angels; black op assassins, brutalised until they acknowledged their handlers as their Alpha. Vin had never been near a Guide in his life, unlike the young, pampered Sentinels that he had had to serve whilst undercover, who gave only lip service to him while they took what they wanted. Vin, on the other hand, looked at him as a source of wonder.  Ezra knew the two men wouldn’t force him to bond, Chris had told him that his job with the new Team 7 was secure regardless of what he did.

Now, he had to be honest with himself.  Did he want to bond?  If he did, there was no going back.  He would be linked to Chris Larabee and Vin Tanner until the day he died and, in the process, breaking every rule in the Sentinel book.

“We would never leave you.”

Ezra started.  “You really should learn to make a noise, Mr Tanner.  I think we are going to have to tie a cow bell around your neck.” Vin was barefoot, wearing only a pair of jeans.

The young Texan leaned against the porch rail.  “Three hearts, Ezra, and one soul.”  He slowly put his hand out. For a moment it hung in the air, then Ezra reached out and took it, and Vin pulled him to his feet and led him back into the ranch house.

Buck blocked their way when Vin started to take Ezra to the Master Bedroom. “Easy Junior, I am not trying to take Ezra from you,” he put in quickly when he saw Vin’s hand start to move towards his gun. “But, as this pack’s Gamma, I have to know that Ezra is doing this because he wants to do it, because once you bond there is no going back.” He paused. “Ez?”

“It’s Ezra, is that so difficult, Mr Wilmington?” 

“Well, Ez… ra,” Buck grinned as he saw the southern gambler looking up to the heavens.

“Yes, I know what it means, and-” He paused, looking at Vin and then across to the door of the bedroom where Chris was standing. “And I am willing to bond, thee hearts, one soul.”

Buck nodded and stepped out of the way. Vin paused and pressed his gun into Buck’s hand, a show of trust that was alien to the Fallen Angel outside of his trust in Chris. Buck nodded, his voice barely containing his emotions.

“Honoured is your bond, honoured is your Guide and his calling.” As Gamma, he would protect them as they bonded.

Ezra knew as he stepped across the threshold of the room that he held the power in the bond.  Chris Larabee had bonded before, and from Buck he had learned the tragic story of how the man in black had lost his family, that his beloved wife had been his guide and how he had rejected the clan so that he could be with her. Chris would understand the mechanics of the bond, but Vin, the lethal Fallen Angel, was a virgin in the bond.  Instinctively driven, it would take all of his skills to keep control of him.

The Companion knelt at the head of the bed and reached out for Vin.  The young man looked towards his Alpha.  Chris nodded, reassuring him. The younger man was coaxed onto his back, his head resting on Ezra’s lap. Lightly, the soon to be Guide stroked Vin’s face, his fingertips brushing against him. “Close your eyes.”  Vin hesitated, but a stroking caress to his knee by his Alpha reassured him.  “I have your back, Vin.” Ezra found the tension slowly leaving the lithe, firm body as the younger man closed his eyes. “I want you to concentrate on my hand, my touch.”  He stroked his fingers down Vin’s cheeks, following the curve of the bones, then along his jaw, before ghosting them over his mouth. “Breathe deeply, take in my scent.”  Vin turned his head slightly so that he could nuzzle against Ezra’s hand, then the Companion brushed his lip with the ball of his thumb, pressing a little firmer until Vin’s lips parted, so that the Feral could get his first taste of him.

“Easy,” Ezra warned, as he felt the tension build in the Feral Sentinel.

Leaning over the younger man, the Companion now moved his hand to cup Vin’s face as with his other hand he began to slowly stroke his shoulder and chest, getting him used to his touch.  Vin began to pull at Ezra’s arm. “Turn down your sense of touch, Mr Tanner,” the Companion said as he realised that his touch was now becoming almost painful to the Feral. The younger man began to writhe under his hand, his breath coming in harsh pants as he clawed at his jeans; the very cloth was unbearable against his skin and his growing erection.

“Mr Larabee, his jeans, his sense of touch is too high.”

Chris undid Vin’s jeans and slipped them off the lean hips, throwing them off the bed.  Vin’s hips arched up.  The moans coming from his mate told Chris where Vin craved his lover’s touch. Chris spoke softly to his mate, lightly kissing his lips then began to soothe and calm him with his touch, stroking his mate’s thighs and belly.  “Easy Vin, listen to Ezra and turn the dials down.”

 Vin began to calm under the Companion’s and his Alpha’s touch.  He turned his head so that he could lightly nip at Ezra’s palm, quickly swiping his tongue across the stinging flesh. That simple act sent a burning need through the Companion’s body like quick fire, igniting him; it began to ride through him like a drug and Ezra’s scent began to thicken.

Ezra looked up and met Chris’s eyes across the body of the Feral.  Now was the time for the Companion to take the leap of faith, to do something that no Guide had ever done to bond with two powerful Sentinels. All through his life he had been that the Bond was not sex, that that was a perversion.  The Guide’s virginal state was the touchstone of the Bond.  He could feel the power pouring off the two Sentinel’s, it was thrumming through them with each heartbeat.

Ezra took a deep breath and let it out gradually.  His mind reached out and he cocooned Vin’s, feeling the wildness of a feral, the pain of being forced to submit to a man that was not his Alpha. Then the firestorm of emotions that burned brilliantly through the younger man as he had been taken for the first time by his Alpha lover. The releasing of his mind from its imprisonment. Ezra’s mind was flooded with pictures and the emotions of their lovemaking.

This was the true bond, one that was older than time itself. The Feral’s body was arching, his hands digging into the bedclothes as Chris took hold of his untamed mate.  Ezra reached a hand out to Chris, his fingers interlacing with him as the Alpha eased his mate so that he could position himself between the Feral’s legs. He lightly caressed his inner thighs with one hand, reassuring the nearly incoherent younger man that he was there, that he would claim him.  The connection ran between them, the power was building in Ezra, his grip was so tight with Chris’s that his fingers were white. The Companion was fighting to claw his power back so that it would only release when he was ready. He watched as the Alpha positioned himself at the entrance to the Feral’s lithe body and, as he pushed into him, the Alpha began to move, slow, deep thrusts that moved with a building intensity. 

It was at the moment that the Alpha released his seed deep into his mate, roaring his completion, that the Companion let go, the power ripping through his mind, igniting the Feral’s so that he screamed, his body arching as he tried to impale himself even further on his Alpha.  The bond tore through them and into Chris as he renewed his claim of his soul mate and staking his claim on their Guide, as Ezra and Vin came at the same time riding on wave of wave of the bond, and it connected the three men, tearing through them like a lightning storm.

Finally, Guide Ezra Standish managed to form a coherent thought from the mush that was his brain and leaned over the unconscious Vin to press a chaste kiss to his forehead, then repeated it with his Alpha. A Guide paying respect to his bonded Sentinels.

Ezra’s voice was shaky.  “That, Mr Larabee, was something,” he breathed out.  Feeling along the threads of the bond, he could see them binding the three of them together. He shook his head and the threads faded. Chris withdrew from the warm haven of his mate, then lay down and pulled Vin into his arms, allowing Ezra to lie down on the other side. Then, he reached across and took their Guide’s hand and pulled Ezra close and the southerner’s eyes began to close as he heard Chris, his voice soft, say, “this is only the start, Ezra.”

Then, the exhaustion of balancing his Sentinels caught up with him, and he followed them into sleep.

One hours later

Ezra woke to an amazing sensation; a rough tongue lapping at his cock.  He looked down at his naked body, his mind struggling to remember when he had lost his clothes.  The Feral was on all fours between his legs, in the process of giving him the most amazing blowjob. He tried to push him away, but the growl was low and deep throated and when he looked up, Vin’s blue eyes were burning with a harsh flame that took Ezra’s breath away. Suddenly, Vin swallowed him to the root, and whatever he was going to say was lost in a moan, as his hands buried themselves into Vin’s hair.

His Alpha moved behind his soul mate, his hands moving over his soul mate’s ass, as he prepared himself to enter his mate for the second time that night. All Ezra could hear was the moans of his two Sentinels as he came into the mouth of his Feral.  It triggered the Alpha’s release and his weight pressed the younger man down.  For a moment they lay there, then the Alpha eased out of his mate as Vin, licked Ezra clean.

With his last strength before sleep claimed him, Ezra drew Vin up and kissed him, cuddling him, even as he himself was pulled into the embrace of his Alpha.

0-0-0-0-0

3.00 pm

Ezra yawned and gave a soft groan as his body responded to the rigors of bonding with the two Sentinels.  A small smile touched his lips as his hand subconsciously brushed the nip marks on his body, his throat, shoulder, belly and thighs. Then he realised that his two Sentinels were awake again, the almost predatory looks on their faces as they turned on him. He was trapped between the two men, hands moving all the time over his sensitised body. Feeling their emotions, channelling and amplifying them, then sending back his own emotions.

Words no longer necessary, as through the link they knew what he needed. Ezra found himself on the verge of falling into the void of darkness, lost in the intense emotions of the two men.  He pushed forward then back trying to maximize the sensations, their naked bodies pressed up against him, the rub of skin against skin.  The pathways of his mind were throbbing in time with his heartbeat; his mouth opened, panting, his eyes rolling back in his head as he was overwhelmed by emotions of the men holding him. Just when he thought he was lost, they both bit him, one on each side of his throat, their teeth worrying the skin to mark him as theirs.

Pain sparking even greater pleasure and he came hard.  For a man who prided himself in his vocabulary, Ezra was reduced to begging them to fuck him, ride him hard, as he tried to climb into their very skin.  Ezra clawing at the Alpha, trapped between the two men, he rubbed himself hard up against the Alpha’s thigh, at the same time reaching back to grab the Feral’s hip, bucking back against him.  As he felt the Feral’s hard, hot cock pressing against his ass, he knew that he would not feel complete until the Feral was buried in him.

Then all that could be heard was his moans of pleasure as the Sentinels’ hands and bodies moved over him, as he impaled himself on the Feral, as the Alpha took him in his mouth, as his two mates worked to reduce their Guide’s sharp mind to incoherent mush again. His cry as he came again was lost in the roar of the Feral as he filled him with his seed at the same time as he nipped the back of Ezra’s neck.

0-0-0-0-0

It was early dawn light coming through the window that woke Ezra up.  He yawned then cuddled back against the warm body of his Alpha.  His body ached; he had lost count of the number of times they had bonded and he had been taken by them. Each time bringing the three of them to a higher level of the bond, until they had seen each others’ life histories, and there were no longer any secrets between them.

Ezra’s eyes flew open as he remembered that, his heart pounding, they knew all about him, all about him, those three words hammered through his head.  The Alpha and the Feral stirred, the distress of their guide reaching to them through the bond, and Ezra found himself pulled into a hug, and even when half-asleep they tried to reassure him, the Feral nuzzling at his inner thigh. Ezra settled back, pressing a soft kiss to his Alpha’s chest, and then reaching down to bury his hand into the Feral’s hair, lightly tugging it so that he laid with his head resting on the stomach of his Alpha.

When Ezra finally managed to get up, the clock read 11.30 am.  It was, in the Southerner’s opinion, a more respectable time. He ignored the fact that he was naked, after all, modesty was a bit redundant when he had just been claimed so thoroughly by his two Sentinels. Ezra looked towards the two sleeping men fondly.  It was then that he realised that the Feral Vin, lying on his belly, his arms and head resting on Chris’s stomach, had his eyes open, those vivid blue eyes watching him like a wild cat looking at a canary. 

Ezra found his hand shaking as he reached out to pick up a bottle of mineral water off the dressing table, as he felt the heat igniting in the base of his stomach and explode up through his body.  Vin had absolutely no inhibitions in the bedroom.  The thought made Ezra smile - god that man was flexible - and then the smiled died on his lips as he remembered what price Vin had had to pay to gain that experience.

Both of them had taken him into the bond last night, both had claimed him.  He raised a hand and touched the bite marks, one on each side of his throat.  Both Sentinel’s had marked him as they had buried their seed deep inside his body.  The fact that their own bodies bore signs of his ownership made his cock stir.  He looked down then across at the bed and swallowed hard as he saw the Feral Sentinel raise his head up off his Alpha and inhale deeply, his mouth opening slightly as he took the scent on his tongue, and he licked his lips as he tasted him on the air.  The growl from Vin’s throat was low and deep, as he began to slowly push up from the bed.

“Err, Mr Tanner, I don’t think our illustrious leader would take kindly to you-”

Ezra only got halfway through his sentence when the Feral made a lunge for him, only to be caught by his Alpha and pulled down.  With the blond Alpha rolling over and pinning the struggling body of the Feral under him, a bite to the throat making the younger man slowly calm under his touch.

“Chris, I-”  It didn’t seem to be Ezra’s morning for finishing what he had been starting to say.  As the younger guide suddenly saw the flames burning in the green eyes of his Alpha and the blue eyes of his Feral Sentinel as their gaze travelled over his body, their emotions buffeted against him, telling him clearly without words what they needed.  And that was him, in as many ways as they could have him.

The pasty faced Sentinel experts could never understood with their virginal guides that even in the throes of the most mind-blowing sex in his life, he knew that he had control, that the power of the bond was in his hand, and not that of the Sentinels.

Putting the bottle down, he walked toward the bed and the life he could never turn his back on.  His destiny was now interwoven to with these men, and he would have it no other way.

0-0-0-0-0

Two Weeks Later

The fledgling Team 7 was officially on the books of the ATF; the other teams looking at them with a mixture of awe and horror. It was common gossip in the building that the last psychiatrist that had tried to do a Psych evaluation of Vin Tanner, the Team 7 sniper, had handed in her resignation two hours later. Team 7 now consisted of Leader Chris Larabee, Sniper / Weapons Specialist Vin Tanner, Communications / Bomb disposal Bucklin Wilmington, Undercover Agent Ezra Standish and they would have to find a forensic expert, profiler and computer expert. But Chris would not be rushed.  He knew the kind of men he wanted for his team.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Chris was sitting in his office working on the seemingly growing mound of paperwork when he heard a knock on the door and looked up to see the tall, willowy form of Linda Koster, Head of the Criminal Intelligence Department.  They were old friends, she had been close to his wife, and she was pleased to see him back where he belonged.

A plain-speaking lady, she got down to business straight away. “Chris, all the tells on the street are pointing towards Holland arranging a hit on you and your team.  He has his position to protect.  The Guilds have said that he had to clear up his own mess, and that means taking out the men that arrested him. If he fails to do it, they are going to remove him once and for all; his arrest has lost him serious face.”

“Any idea if they have hired any one for the hit?”

“No, the Guilds are stepping back.  He has to use his own people for it.”  She laid a thick folder onto his desk.  “This is what we know at the moment.  I’ll send JD Dunne over, he’s one of my best computer geeks.”  She grinned.  “Don’t worry, my boys wear the title ‘geek’ as a badge of honour, he’s also got a vested interest in finding the hitter since he’s on the list.”  She paused. “You know Chris if you want a computer expert, you could do a lot worse than JD.”  Seeing his expression, she added, “sure, he’s like an overeager pup, but he’s a good man.”

An hour later, JD Dunne stepped off the elevator on floor 12, and headed to the far office.  Pushing open the door, he found Divinity - he made the mental correction - Vin Tanner sitting at his desk, a pristine computer in front of him, still in the bubble wrap, a foot pressed against the desk, slowly rocking himself back and forward as he loaded a 9mm Glock.

“Hi Vin.”  He suppressed a shudder as the icy blue eyes travelled over him.  “He’s in his office,” and the Texan jerked a thumb towards the only partitioned area in the open plan office.

“Vin, I didn’t know.” JD stood his ground.  “If I had-” he trailed off.  “I am sorry.”  With that, he walked towards Larabee’s office, where, as he raised his hand to knock, he was told to come in.

“You know, Junior, everyone makes a mistake,” Buck put in gently, “and he’s young.”  The older man dropped a hand onto Vin’s shoulder and he felt him flinch, but was pleased when he didn’t pull away. Slowly, since the bonding, the Fallen Angel was accepting the pack.  Carefully he flexed his fingers, massaging Vin’s shoulder, feeling the tension begin to melt away. 

“I believe the kid, he couldn’t have known what they would do to you, Vin.”

He paused. “Look, I’ll keep the kid out of your way.” Knowing the slight nod was the best he was going to get, Buck beamed.  “Okay Junior, let’s get this computer working.”

0-0-0-0-0

The first attempt on Team 7 was a car bomb that took the windows out of the front of the Federal building.  Then, next, a drive-by shooting.  Judge Travis had told Chris Larabee to take his team to a safe house, but there was no safe haven while Holland lived.

The evening was dark and overcast.  The all-black figure flitted across the rooftops of the row of houses.  The man was invisible from street level.

Carefully, he moved down the slope of the roof to the guttering and then lowered himself over the edge.  For a second, his feet swung in mid-air and then he dropped effortlessly onto the balcony.  The French doors behind him were in darkness and a smile twitched at his lips. The disused building was ideal; coming over the roofs there was no sign of his entry to lead the police to his perch.

The sniper knelt down, his movements almost graceful as the long tapered fingers expertly slotted the rife together. Over the previous two days he had set up the tags across the killing zone, all 2000 yards of it.

Time passed slowly, but he held his position.  He dug a hand into one of the pockets of his jacket, pulling out an energy bar and took a bite. He had at least another two hours before his target was due to arrive. In the meantime, he pulled on the lightweight headset and adjusted the frequency. He could hear the voices of the Denver PD chattering like mother hens over a chick.

A smile touched his lips.  The cross hairs of the scope rested on the head of his target as the man came out of the safe house and his finger squeezed the trigger. His target was thrown backwards as the bullet exploded through his head, spraying blood and brains over the wall behind him and his body sank to the ground. The police frequency was suddenly overloaded with emergency calls of a man down.

Quickly, the sniper pocketed the shell, broke the rifle down and pushed it into his pack and began his escape. This time, he pulled himself back onto the roof.  He made his way swiftly across the roof, knowing it would only be a matter of time before the police had a helicopter up. The moss made the escape route treacherous under foot. One moment he was moving smoothly, the next, his feet went from under him. Falling, his hip crashed into the roof.  Pain exploded through his body and he threw his hand out to try and halt his decent. The sniper slid down the steep grade of the roof.  He lost the fingernails of his left hand as they clawed at the tiles to halt his fall, the pain blinding.

He managed to stop just on the edge, his legs splayed out in mid air.  His breath was coming in loud pants. The guttering that he was partially lying on and that his feet had hit on the way down groaned and shook. He tried to inch back up onto the roof, his heart pounding, then he felt a tug, and risked a look over his shoulder. His pack had been caught on one of the thin, vertical heater-pipes. He tried to move again.  He was caught. He swore and tried to pull free, his actions made more urgent by the loud thumping of approaching helicopter blades.  The lick of white light from the spotlights growing closer.

The light played across the roof towards him.  He twisted and then managed to free himself and the pack. Scrambling up at the moment the light hit him, he ignored the warning yelled from the helicopter and carried on. The sniper was over the top of the roof and sliding down the other side, feet first. He bent his knees as he landed on the walkway that joined the two buildings and then was on the move again. The rope was fixed around the end chimney stack; he caught it and abseiled down, then began to run.  Already the sound of police sirens had began to ring out. The helicopter had lost him for the moment, unable to get close because of the power lines.

The sniper stripped off his black jacket, turned it inside out and pulled it back on, then tugged on an old baseball cap and glanced at his watch. Perfect timing.  The stadium was just emptying and he joined the crowds. One face among many.

Divinity got in the car, throwing his bag onto the back seat and then headed back to the Ranch and his pack.  The Feral, the enforcer of the pack, had rid them of a threat to his Alpha and his Guide.

0-0-0-0-0

Larabee Ranch

Three days later.

Buck was swearing under his breath.  He couldn’t fault Judge Travis wanting to come out to the Ranch to check on Special Agent Chris Larabee, the leader of his newly formed ATF Team 7, and the latest editions to the team, a sniper called Divinity and undercover, former FBI agent, code-name Chameleon. But did he have to give in and allow Mary his widowed daughter-in-law to come?

In the short time he had been in Denver, Buck had heard from several sources how she was setting her cap for his old friend.  The woman saw in him a future husband and father for her son. But Buck knew that that would never happen.  Chris’s wife and guide Sarah was the love of his life, and the sun had risen and fallen with his son Adam. 

The dead-man-walking that had been Chris Larabee now had a new purpose, in the form of a scrawny-assed hit man called Vin Tanner, code name Divinity; Chris’s young lover gave him a reason to live. Ezra Standish, the Guide, was bonded and took the other part of the Alpha’s heart.   There was no longer room for Mary Travis.

Chris Larabee was standing on the porch dressed in his habitual black jeans and shirt and pissed off expression. Buck got out first, holding up a hand.  “Now, come on Chris, don’t shoot the messenger.  It wasn’t my idea.”

“Judge, Mrs Travis.”  Chris’s voice was arctic cold.

Just then Mary’s mouth dropped open and Buck’s face took on a look of pure glee.  “You old dog you, looks like those boys were ridden hard and put away wet.”

Vin Tanner was leaning against the post of the ranch porch, wearing only a small towel that was knotted over his right hip.  It looked like any minute it was going to lose its fight against gravity. The bare left hip had black finger bruises where he had been held hard, at his throat was the bite mark of claiming by his Alpha, in his hands he held a pump action shotgun, his blue eyes burning into the Judge and Mary.  Perched on the edge of the rail running around the porch was Ezra Standish.  One leg swinging gently, he was wearing a pair of trousers and an open silk shirt, that did nothing to hide the bite marks to his throat.  He was smoking one of Chris’s thin black cigars.  He took a pull and then handed it to Vin, for him to take a pull on it then speak Sentinel soft, before grinning broadly at his Alpha’s back.

Chris didn’t turn round.  “Alright Judge, you’d best come in.”

Buck had been unable to hear what Vin had said, but he had seen the way Chris had tilted his head slightly to know that he was listening to his young lover.

Walking back, it was then Chris stopped.  When he got level with Vin and his guide, Vin offered the cigar to him and when Chris cocked an eyebrow at him, the younger man grinned. “What’s the matter Cowboy, worried where my mouth’s been?”  The sexy grin widened, his eyes flicking from Chris to the woman.  “Didn’t bother you last night.”

Chris accepted the cigar and took a long pull on it, and reached across, his hand caressing Vin’s bare hip as he pressed the cigar back into Vin’s mouth, his thumb brushing his young lover’s lips. Then he was heading into the house, pushing the door open for his visitors. 

Vin nodded politely to the older man and younger woman.  He had made his point.  Chris Larabee was his lover and he had just staked his claim. If she tried to take him, she would be another set of bones bleaching in the hot sun. He pushed away from the post, waiting for Ezra to go ahead of him, before giving one last look around his new territory and then followed them in.

The end