Disclaimer: The following is a work of fan fiction based on the CBS television series, The Magnificent Seven. It is in no way intended to infringe on the copyrights of CBS, MGM, The Trilogy Entertainment Group, The Mirisch Corp, or anyone else who may have legal rights to the characters and settings. The Sentinel copyright is held by Paramount and Pet Fly Productions.   White Collar belongs to Jeff Eastin and USA.

Thanks to Antoinette for your beta reading and MAC for all your feedback.

 

Flip Side of the coin

Magnificent 7 x White Collar AU with elements from the series The Sentinel

C/V/E 

Continues from Catch a falling angel.

A sentinel is a person with enhanced senses of touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste; they have been documented since the 19th century, and are actively used in the military, search and rescue and law enforcement. Each city had a clan or pack, headed by a Senior Sentinel Prime, who is in charge, they are usually alpha or apex males, it is not uncommon in years gone by for they to fight for the right to be the Prime, but in later years it become more a political position.

A Fallen Angels was a feral sentinel that had been caught and trained to be an elite assassin, each man would respond only to a code name, his handler, controlled him. That was until the time the angel could no longer be of use, and then he was killed, with just as much emotion as a man would mourn the putting down of a rabid dog. But sometimes they escape, and then all bets are off.

Early Morning, the Burke residence

Neal Caffrey lay in bed, his eyes closed, on the verge of waking; he had learned hard lessons not to come awake straight away, to test out his surroundings first.   A sentinel, he did without conscious thought sent out his senses to map the area round him.  First he detected Elizabeth Burke, the smell of her shampoo, sweet lavender with a touch of citrus, mingling with her scent of warm chocolate, a feeling of contentment swept through him. He stretched out his senses again, and touching and wrapping round Peter Burke, the natural scent of the man, musk sandalwood, laced with coffee, and a feeling of protection came over him, the steady beating of both their hearts as they came into the guest room, soothed him, he knew that he was safe.

 Without having to see it, he could hear the tread of their bare feet on the thick carpet as they approached the bed, their voices soft, but what warmed him to the core of his being were their emotions, the very genuine concern they had for him, which washed over him.  When Elizabeth’s hand reached out to touch him, he felt the warmth radiating from her body, telegraphing her touch. Her hand was firm but gentle, mindful of his injuries not wishing to scare him when she woke him and cause him more pain. His gamma Elizabeth and his alpha Peter, two titles that he would never give voice to, for to do that would be to wish for something he could never have, they could never see his true self. For that reason he made sure that when he opened his eyes, to see them, it was the eyes of Neal Caffrey, and not those of Raphael that greeted them.

The Present Time

ATF Agent Ezra Standish formally of the FBI, sat in the hired car outside of the residence of FBI SAC Peter Burke, and slowly exhaled, and let his mind open, a small smile teased at his lips and he sensed the sentinel sleeping inside the town house. He could feel the animalistic vibes of a feral sentinel, recognizing them for what they were because of his close intimate contact with his own feral, Vin Tanner. But then he sat up a little straighter, because he was not mated to this new feral he would be unable to get deep into his mind, but he was far enough to realize that this sentinel also had empathic ability, a rare and unknown combination. Ezra couldn’t stop a soft groan from spilling from his lips as he felt the pain of the feral, both mental and physical, it was then he felt the strongly permeated need for territorial imperative, and the need for the feral to protect what he considered his, and that was the two people in the house.

Ezra was all too aware of the way that the world viewed feral sentinels; they were considered nothing more than sub human, too dangerous to be allowed to live, since they were classed as high functioning sociopaths. Feral sentinels were trained for black op wet work, and the training was brutal, as the sentinel was broken repeatly until they accepted a handler as their alpha. Many didn’t survive the training period, with as little as 5% actually going out into the field. Therefore finding another feral sentinel who had escaped the facility was like finding a needle in a haystack, and he felt honor bound to try and help this new feral, ever since his computer data scan had picked up a hit on the drugs being used on a kidnapped FBI consultant, there was only one reason to use those drugs and that was to retrain and control a feral sentinel.

If he was totally honest Ezra had known ever since he received the hit on his computer that  he would have to fly to New York to deal with the immergence of the new feral, since no one else in the sentinel world seemed to care about them, treating them like a rabid dog, that needed culling rather than cultivating.

Getting his possessive predator sentinel lover to allow him to travel away from their power base of Denver would have been impossible, so Ezra hadn’t even bothered. He had just booked his ticket and then phoned Chris Larabee once the plane was in the air, telling him he would be back in 72 hours, at the most, and more than likely 24 hours. Luckily it had been his Gamma, Buck Wilmington who had answered the phone, and that had been bad enough.  He was under no illusion that he was in trouble, a pissed off predator, and an equally irate feral sentinel in the shape of Vin Tanner, would be waiting for him when he got back and they  wouldn’t be in any mind to hear his excuses. But he mused that was why god made Gamma Sentinels like Buck Wilmington for him to hide behind.

Ezra’s smile died away he was all too aware how much his life had changed in the past months, it was against every rule written about Sentinels and Guides for a man to become a guide, the best they could hope for was to be a companion, a temporary guide, one that if he was lucky enough to become the companion of a rich man would be hidden away out of sight their property until he tired of them, and passed the companion on. If a companion wasn’t lucky he would work in one of the Harmony Houses, situated across the length and breadth of the states, where travelling sentinels could pay to mock bond with a companion, and take care of the itch and the frustration of not being able to bond with their female guide.

Ezra tried to suppress a shudder, the mature sentinels where bad enough, somewhere aggressive, and demanded totally submission, but it was the young ones that were the worse, they were sent to the Harmony Houses to learn their bonding manners before they bonded for the first time with their female guide. Companion and whore, the two words were said in the same breath. As an FBI undercover agent he had worked in a Harmony House in Denver it was during that mission, Christopher Larabee, an elite apex predator sentinel had taken him as his guide, when they had worked together on the case. Afterwards Larabee had challenged the ruling Sentinel Prime and taken the title of Senior Sentinel Prime of Denver and installed him as Senior Guide Prime of the city. Not only breaking the rules and conventions of Sentinel and Guide behavior, but smashing them beyond recognition.

Suddenly the passenger door to the car was pulled open, Ezra’s hand dropped towards his gun, only for him to stop, as he recognized the person framed in the doorway, “Mr. Tanner,” somehow he wasn’t surprised.

The Texan feral dropped into the seat next to him, “Chris is seriously pissed off, Ez, and you running out on him like that, not a good idea.”

“I didn’t run, I caught a commercial flight, and I did tell him.”

“Once you were air born.”  Vin drawled.

“It seems more prudent that way. Mr. Larabee isn’t with you by any chance?”

“Ez, Ez, it’s way too quiet, you would know if he was here, and did I say he was really pissed him off with you.”

“Yes Mr. Tanner, you did. So Mr. Larabee is still in Denver.” Ezra exhaled slightly, things hadn’t completely spun out of control yet.

 Vin didn’t answer his question just continued, “Old Chris, would have been here now, but Josiah, told him he had to stop off at the New York Clans Headquarters and meet with their Prime and  get permission to come into New York from the Prime of the city, he had to play nice, Josiah is dealing with the fall out.”

“I take it that didn’t go down well.”

“Well Ez, Chris was real diplomatic when he rang the New York Prime from the plane.”

Ezra raised an eyebrow, “this from a man that is banned from hostage negations.”

“It worked,” Vin said defensively.

“Mr. Tanner, a hostage negotiator doesn’t walk up to a suspect, who is holding a hostage and tell him to drop the gun or die, he gives them options.”

“Chris did,” Vin tried to defend his alpha, “the guy just made the wrong choice.”

In his mind’s eye Ezra remembered the incident as clear as day, the man; Clint Felder had stood there in the warehouse with his hostage. A role that Ezra hadn’t wanted to play, all had been going well in the sting, until the DPD had crashed their party. Felder had screamed traitor and taken him hostage, the man was now majorly pissed off and waving the gun around and using him as a human shield.

Chris stalking towards them, his habitual cheroot in his mouth, and a look on his face that had the DPD officers scattering out of his way. Chris pausing in front of Felder and taking a pull on the cheroot, then exhaling a plume of smoke into the cold winter air, as he had told Felder his options. Felder had started blustering, threatening, Chris had just raised his right hand up in the air, away from his gun, and began to count off the options. His memory was a little hazy from what he later found out was concussion and he had focused on Chris’s hand, one finger raised, one point made, then two fingers, two points made, and three fingers raised, the crash of a rifle shot and the man’s head had split open like a melon, splattering him in brains and blood. The next thing he was being pulled toward Chris and tucked against his side, as the DPD rushed to secure the crime scene. Chris had all but snarled at them, and escorted him, away towards where Nathan had been waiting, it was then he had seen Vin, dressed  in the black ATF SWAT gear, a sniper rifle in his hand, walking towards them, a smile of satisfaction on his face for a job well done.

It had hit the fan after that, but Travis had run intervention, and Josiah had handled the psych work for them, hoops that the ATF brass insisted they jumped through before returning back to work.  He could still remember the poor psychiatrist that had tried to speak to Vin about it, wanting to council him about the killing, any feelings of remorse, depression at having to take a life that they young sniper might have felt. He could almost feel sorry for the man, if he hadn’t tried to get Vin sectioned, and how dare he label his feral lover a high functioning sociopath. Vin just had a very flexible moral code where killing was concerned he was a feral and a fallen angel after all, they should just count themselves lucky he was on their side.

Vin shrugged “he only threatened to tear the Prime’s heart out through his throat once, if the man refused to meet with him and you know, he was smiling when he said it.”

That brought Ezra back to the present; he leaned towards Vin, “Chris is in New York now.”

Vin grinned as he said, “didn’t I say that. Josiah is trying to referee the meeting, so he sent me ahead.”

“How did you get here so fast Mr.  Tanner, from Denver?” Ezra asked.

“Leigh Mason loaned us the Lear, now that’s flying in style, lots of leg room, JD reckoned I walked all the way from Denver to New York.”

“I can well imagine” Ezra put in, he was all too aware how Vin suffered from severe claustrophobia due to his time shut in the isolation helmets in the dark, hanging in water, with nothing but the voice of his handler, pounding in his ears, his only contact with anything outside of his bleak existence when he had been a fallen angel. At least in the Lear Jet, Vin had been able to move round, and for that Ezra was pleased, the Lear also made sense. Leigh Mason was the CEO of one of the  Fortune  500 companies, a sentinel, he had publicly come out with his young male guide in a glittering bonding ceremony, that had made the front cover of Time Magazine. Only able to do this after Chris’s stand against the alienation of male guides, Mason seemed to think he owed them, and no amount of discussion would change his mind.

“JD gave me the address of the Fed so here I am, so who you got.”

“The new feral is Neal Caffrey code name Raphael,, the man was convicted of bond forgery, and is suspected of art forgery, counterfeiting, and is considered one of the top con men in the country.  Ezra’s voice trailed off and he frowned, “You know him Mr. Tanner?”

Vin didn’t answer just looked towards the house, he dropped a hand to rest on Ezra’s knee, “Just watch your wallet, Caffrey can lift your suspenders, and the first thing your know is when your pants are round your ankles, he’s that good, always was light fingered.” Vin drawled, and then added “you going thought with this?”

“Certainly Mr. Tanner, Mr. Caffrey needs my help, I will not seem him suffer for lack of having someone to stand up for him.”

“Then I’ll wait out here,” Vin gave him a smile, “you seem surprised.”

“Flabbergasted Mr. Tanner, I would have thought you would have insisted on going inside with me.” Ezra had been mentally gearing up for a fight, about going in the house alone. But Vin had neatly sidestepped it, by agreeing with him, there was a pause and Vin drawled.

“That’s Raphael’s territory, I go in there and one of two things is going to happen,” the smile he gave changed to one that Ezra knew only too well. “Number one, we get to shooting, and one of us dies,” Vin shrugged, “number two, we fuck each other’s brains out, and that is one hell of a way of breaking the ice, in front of those nice people.”

“If you put it like that Mr. Tanner, I would have to agree, it would be a little unsettling this early in the morning.” Ezra put in his voice slightly shaky, he had felt the heat behind Vin’s words, and saw the fire in his blue eyes, and he suddenly had a feeling that Raphael and Divinity were old friends, or was that enemies. As Ezra reached for his cell phone, Vin’s hand went round his wrist, the long tapered fingers, stroking the inside of his wrist, “remember one thing Ez, if I can feel  Raphael, he can feel me.” Then just as quickly as he had grabbed his guide’s hand Vin released it and settled back in his seat.

Ezra looked at the cell phone in his hand, he had come too far to back down now,  punching in the number he rang the  house, a woman answered, mentally he pictured her from the photograph he had down loaded earlier,  Elizabeth Burke, 37, a spirited dark haired lady, with looks and brains, and more important a compassionate heart, perfect. Smoothly he formally introduced himself to her, and then waited for her husband to come to the phone.  Initially he had hoped to talk Burke into taking his feral Neal Caffrey to Denver, if he could managed it over the phone he would have done, but it looked like he was going to have to do this up close and personal. Which meant that he risked getting the scent of the feral on him and that would be like a red flag to a bull to Larabee and Tanner.

Now he had to deal with two people, who had unwittingly gotten themselves involved in the complex world of the sentinel.

While he spoke to Peter Burke on the cell phone, Ezra got out of his car, crossed the road and took the steps to the town house two at a time. Then knocked at that door.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Inside the home of Peter and Elizabeth Burke.

Peter took the phone from his wife and shrugged, he listened carefully, “I’ll check with Director Hughes, and” he broke off, “how you could know that, I haven’t been informed yet.”  Peter paused, “You want me to bring my wife and Neal to Denver, I don’t know who the hell you think you are but that isn’t going to happen any time soon Standish, you want me in Denver, put the paper work through. Hell.” Peter pulled the phone away from his ear, “can you get the door, El, and I need to set this idiot straight.”

Elizabeth smiled and with a quick glance to make sure the Neal was still sleeping she opened the front door, the man facing her was dressed to the nines, he could even given Neal a run for the front cover of GQ, he was slighter smaller than her husband putting him under six foot, with dark hair, and intelligent green eyes, he looked like a successful CEO.

“Can I help you,” even as she spoke she saw him, click his cell phone shut. “Special Agent Ezra Standish, ATF Denver, I think your husband is expecting me.”

Ezra looked past Elizabeth at her husband; FBI Agent Peter Burke was in his mid-forties, with a homely but pleasant face you could trust, from what he had found out about the man, he was a brilliant white collar detective, with a moral compass that pointed true. But he had compassion, and had firmly taken the mastermind white collar criminal Neal Caffrey under his protection, treating him as a partner and a friend rather than just as a tool to be used to help solve cases.  Seeing the gun that Burke must have picked up on the way to the door, Ezra made sure he had his ATF ID badge held out in front of him even as he smiled his welcome.

“ATF Agent Ezra Standish, I would like to talk to you about Neal Caffrey.”

Burke clicked his now redundant phone closed, “Caffrey is my responsibility, not ATF, so whatever you want him for Standish stand in line, he’s mine.” Burke’s voice was ice cold, and his eyes had a glare that would have done Chris Larabee proud.  Ezra could feel the FBI agent’s feelings battering against him, the aggressive need to protect Neal Caffrey to make sure that he was safe, they buffer his empathic shields, this he mused   bore well for what Ezra was going to tell him, there was no missing the fact that Peter Burke had moved forward to block the door, protecting his wife and the young man that he glimpsed curled up on the couch.

“Standish,” Burke said the name carefully as if trying to bring it to mind, he looked Ezra up and down, then Ezra saw the light of recognition in the other FBI agent’s eyes as the name clicked into place, and Ezra felt the usual sinking in his stomach, as he knew what was coming. “Agent Standish from the Atlanta office?”

Ezra met the older man’s gaze levelly, knowing that the other agent would have heard that he was a dirty and corrupt, the rumors had gone round like wildfire, and the FBI was a tight knit community. “Agent Burke, I was formally of the  Atlanta office, I have since move to the ATF, but I am not here to discuss my career choices, more to discuss the man that is at this moment sleeping in your house, and how he can be protected. For a long minute Burke just stood there and then he stepped back, and he was allowed in.

The house radiated warmth, and Ezra nodded his agreement this was the ideal environmental safe haven for a young feral to be brought up in, but first he had a few home truths to explain to SAC Burke and his wife and he prayed they wouldn’t turn on Neal Caffrey.

“So why would I want to take Neal to Denver, Agent Standish?”

“Ezra, let’s keep this informal.” 

Elizabeth Burke nodded “Neal is sleeping I think we should take this into the kitchen.”

0-0-0-0-0

The door between the kitchen and the living room was closed and Ezra got down to business once he had Peter and Elizabeth Burke seated, he was under no illusions that this could go really bad, but his gut feeling was that the Burkes wouldn’t turn away from Caffrey.

He saw Peter Burke’s eyebrows rise as he pulled out a white noise generator and flip the switch on it. “I am a guide”, he saw the couple exchange a look between them, and raised a hand to stop them before they could speak.

“I know that it is a common fallacy that males cannot be a guide, but my sentinel.” Ezra couldn’t stop the pride from his voice, and he knew by the smile he got from Mrs. Burke that she had noticed it. “Decided that I was to be treated with the deference given to a female guide, and in doing so he gifted me with the title of Senior Guide Prime of the Denver Pack.”

“So Guide Standish, why are you in my kitchen?” Elizabeth said.

“Ezra” Standish corrected her with one of his most charming smiles and then continued “I heard the account of the kidnapping of Neal Caffrey and I was concerned when I saw the drugs used that he was in danger. I can also give you, options concerning his sentinel status.”

“Neal isn’t a sentinel, he…” Peter trailed off, as certain quirks in Caffrey’s personality seemed to suddenly click into place, then added “Okay Ezra start talking.”

“Neal Caffrey is a sentinel,” Ezra put in firmly, “a rather rare one known as a feral, have you heard of them.” Ezra looked from Peter to Elizabeth and back again.

“They’re a sub species of sentinels,” it was Peter that answered.

“No,” Ezra couldn’t stop the anger from his voice, and had to take a steadying breath. “Feral sentinels are independent they don’t need guides, but it doesn’t mean they don’t want or desire one, and are apex sentinels in their own right. The government has policies about them, which means that once diagnosed they are taken away; the official line is that they are shut up in asylums the reality is if they are not recruited into the NIS Fallen Angel program they are put down like a rabid animal.

“Aren’t they mentally unstable?” Elizabeth put in, but her face showed her shock at hearing about the legalized murder.

“Officially they are considered to be high functioning sociopaths; they are controlled by non-sentinel handlers who take on the role of alpha sentinels.”

“I still don’t see what that has to do with Neal.” Peter said firmly.

“Neal Caffrey is a fallen angel.” Ezra said levelly there had to be no mistake over that.

“You're crazy,” Peter exploded, “Neal is no sociopath, he’s a people person, okay he’s high maintenance, highly strung, hyperactive, and has impulse control problems, and a certain moral flexibility where stealing is concerned. But.”

“That might be the case but let me try and explain,” Ezra took a file from inside of his jacket, be laid it onto the table, and smoothed it with his finger tips, if the Burkes didn’t want to address Caffrey’s mental state then that for the moment could be put on the back burner “from what I have been told, Neal Caffrey code named Raphael, was controlled by a handler called Joe Goodwin.”

Ezra nodded at their shocked look, “Yes the same man that kidnapped him, it appears that Goodwin rather than keeping Caffrey in the facility when he wasn’t needed, took him home to his farm with him, and he liked the power of domination by all accounts.” The bitterness returned to Ezra’s voice as he added “He treated him like an attack dog, kept him on his knees restrained for hours to re-enforce his will on him, beat him, and starved him.  But what Goodwin hadn’t banked on was that his daughter took an interest in Caffrey after all he is good looking, and as a feral it would be unlikely that he had ever known any loving touches, so he would be easy to seduce.  This interest became sexual, she had seen her father with his training sessions and it appears that she worked on the same principal, bonding him to her through sex, the next thing they disappeared together. Now Caffrey was a fully functioning fallen angel, a lethal assassin, she programmed him through her own training sessions not to resort to violence, in fact your reports all say that he disliked guns and never used any violence in his robberies. Given his abilities trained into him, her training was obviously successful. ”

You’re crazy Ezra, Neal is an art forger, a con man a.”

“Agent Burke,” Ezra amended, “Fallen Angels are not just blunt weapons, they can farness their way into places, and although my own feral, Mr. Tanner is more comfortable taking your head off at over a mile away with a snipers rifle, he can be very charming. Oh don’t worry he’s our weapon’s expert and Team 7’s sniper, it’s all quite legal.” 

“Neal’s an art forger.”  Peter put in firmly, “he is not a killer.”

“And you double tapped Goodwin, come off it Agent Burke, the only person that I know double taps like that when he kills  is Mr. Tanner, and last time I looked the FBI wasn’t teaching its agents  to kill like that at Quantico.” 

Seeing the look on the FBI agent’s face he added “it is commendable that you shielded Neal from accountability   of his actions.”

Peter carded his fingers through his hair in frustration, “Neal doesn’t like guns’ but when he went undercover as a hit man, he knew how to put together an assassin’s weapon, and when he was sent to kill his target was begging me to stop him, and another time he hit some clays first time in mid air during a broker scam when they where clay pigeon shooting. He said just because he didn’t like guns didn’t mean he didn’t know how to use them.  Damn, so okay, where does that put us, I have a responsibility towards him.”

“Would you desert him because he’s a fallen angel?” Ezra asked leaning forward slightly.

Peter looked towards his wife, “I never thought that Neal was dangerous, I chased him for three years and nothing I have seen since has made me change me views, but this….” He put a hand down onto the file that lay between them.

Ezra leaned forward, “Mr. Caffrey killed to protect you, that are his hardwire imperative towards his handler, there is no reason to believe that he would break his programming, again, unless it was to save your life.

“Kate Moreau.” Peter said the name, and swore under his breath, “I always wondered what hold she had on him, and I know he loves her more than was good for him, the bitch was using him wasn’t she. Damn it he even escaped from prison because she went missing he loved her that much.”

“Kate Moreau Goodwin,” Ezra corrected the name, “fled from her father escaping with Mr. Caffrey, and yes I am sure she was using him, he had a natural ability where forging art work was concerned, and she tapped into it, and his  training, meant that he could break into places that no ordinary art thief could even imagine attempting.  That’s also why he was so hard to catch, he was thinking so far out of the box, that he was nearly impossible to catch, it also meant that he could break out of Super Max.”

Elizabeth asked “Two things why didn’t the NIS reclaim him while he was in prison and why didn’t’ he break out earlier.”

Ezra smiled “there good questions, they had him contained and since you where keeping a close watch on him, if Mr. Caffrey had disappeared you would have turned over every rock to find him.” He saw the way that Peter nodded and knew what he said was true, Peter Burke would have stormed the very gates of Super Max himself if anything had happened to Neal in prison. “And if there is one thing the NIS doesn’t like it’s a spot light being turned on them. Secondly, he didn’t break out because Kate, told him not too, and her control was such he obeyed her. When she vanished he escaped to find her, he would have devastated to have lost her, you then caught him and recruited him for the work release program, you took possession of him, became his handler. I would guess that Goodwin’s appearance on the scene resulted in Kate’s disappearance, and her father wanted payback.  He lost his job because of his daughter’s actions, and he lost his feral, he seemed to think that if he broke Mr. Caffrey and returned an obedient angel to the fold, he would be reinstated in reality he more than likely would have been killed”

“So what do we do now,” Peter asked.

Ezra looked from Peter to Elizabeth, and saw the genuine concern in their faces and stretching out his empathy he could feel the deeper need to protect Neal has increased as they spoke about him that was good. Elizabeth put her hand out and laid it over her husband’s and squeezed it lightly, something passed between the two of them.

“So how do we help Neal?” She asked.

For the first time since he came into their home, Ezra felt the tension ease, “Mr. Caffrey will have accepted you as his handler,” seeing their look he leaned back in his chair.

“You have referred to yourself as Mr. Caffrey’s handler, to him Peter,” he raised an eyebrow, and waited for him to answer.

“Of course I am his FBI handler, hell he wouldn’t take that as meaning that…” He checked himself then added “Okay continue Ezra.”

“You’ve brought him to your home, you’ve feed him and look after him when he’s hurt and sick, taken him from prison and given him purpose. Have you ever slept with him?”

“No” Peter exploded to his feet, “are you saying that I have coerced Neal, used my position to fuck him.”

Elizabeth shook her head, Peter didn’t swear and certainly not in front of her, bemused her raised a finger, to get Ezra’s attention, “Neal has slept with us.”

“El.”

“Peter when he came back from the hospital, he spend four nights with us.” She said gently and then turning back to Ezra, “that was sleeping to give him comfort, to keep him safe not too.” Elizabeth broke off with a shrug, “what else have we done.”

“You gave him a territory, a feral had territorial imperatives, and when I arrived I could feel them, running through him.”

“He has a tracker it has a two mile radius when he’s off the clock, that’s not a territory.” Peter put in briskly.

 But Ezra wasn’t going to give up, “You have protected him, you discipline him, keep him in line, you’re his handler Mr. Burke, now I need to know if you’re willing to make it official, if you do that no one can  take him away from you. But it does mean that even when his four years as a consultant are finished, he will still belong to you. Are you willing to do that, to make that commitment?”

 When Peter opened his mouth, Ezra cut him off, as much as he would have liked Peter to make a commitment here and now, he knew that the Burkes had to have all the facts.  Ezra looked down at the file on the table in front of him, “you need to read that first and then look at the DVD, it’s not going to be easy reading or viewing, but you need to see them before you make your mind up.”

 Ezra got to his feet, just then his cell phone rang, and he clicked it open, as he muttered an apology to them.  He held the cell phone away from his ear. “Mr. Larabee, there is no need to shout, I have perfect hearing, no I was not trying to avoid you earlier, Mr. Wilmington took the call.” He paused again, to the Burkes he said “I’ll take this outside,” as he spoke he pushed the file to them with his finger tips, and went into the garden.

 

0-0-0-0-0

The kitchen had a small television with an inbuilt DVD player, and Peter slipped the DVD in, they watched it in near silence. He felt his wife’s hand seek his out again, and when he looked at her he could see the tears running down her face, and he clung to her hand, as the anger in him grew. The brutal training footage of Neal Caffrey had been damning and it brought ever protective instinct to the fore in the Burkes.

Ten minutes earlier.

Neal woke from his sleep on the couch, he was still tired and aching from his ordeal, he laid still, checking himself over, the dull throb of pain echoed through his body, as he pushed his senses out. His eyes flew open, and he sat up quickly, cutting back a cry of pain at too rapid movement. A low growl vibrated up from deep in his throat, where as he expected to hear the soft heart beat of his handler, and his guide, all he could hear was a sterile nothing. A white noise generator, his senses felt round the bubble of silence generated from the kitchen, and effortlessly he punched past it, and through it he could hear Peter, and Elizabeth and a stranger’s voice.

“You're not a feral sentinel, to him you gave him territory, look what you have given him, Peter.

“You have protected him, you discipline him, keep him in line, you’re his handler Peter, now I need to know if you’re willing to make it official, if you do that no one can  take him away from you. But it does mean that even when his four years as a consultant are finished, he will still belong to you. Are you willing to do that, to make that commitment?”

Neal cocked his head to one side, as he sensed the presence of another of his kind, the signature radiated from outside of the house, he turned his attention to Peter and Elizabeth he could hear their heart beats increase elevated, already on his feet, he saw Peter’s Glock, where it had been left on the table, and picked it up, silently pushing the kitchen door open, ready to protect what he considered his.

The present

Lost in the horror they were watching when a hand reached over and switched it off, it made them both jump, turning quickly Peter saw Neal stood there. His face was blank, of emotion, his voice lacking the usual vibrancy. “It’s alright you don’t have to ask me to leave, I’ll be gone by noon, back to June’s. If you want to send me back to prison, I won’t fight it and try to run,” he said as he started to turn away.” He paused and looked at Elizabeth, “I am truly sorry,” and turned back, unable to look them in the eyes.

Peter caught him by the arm and pulled him back, pain flashed across Neal’s face as the rough handling jolted his body, but before he knew what was happening he was engulfed in a full body hug, strong arms holding him close. He tried to struggle, but Peter wasn’t going to let him go, the words were spoken softly, “You're not going anywhere Neal, and you’re ours now, “a firm hand cupped the back of his head, holding it down against his shoulder.

Peter released one hand, and reached out, “El”, his wife smiled brushing away the tears and took his hand, and between them they took Neal in a hug. Her hand rubbing his back soothing and reassuring him. “Nothing we saw will make us turn away from you Neal.” She said gently pressing a motherly kiss to his forehead. They both felt the tension in the younger man’s body slowly melt away, as with a heart breaking sob; he buried his face against Peter’s neck, his body shaking.

“I didn’t mean to lie, I,” Neal’s voice was half muffled, against Peter.

“That doesn’t matter, not now.” Peter spoke softly, “but we will talk about it Caffrey,” he warned as he released his wife’s hand and took the Glock from Neal’s hand.

From outside on the porch, Ezra watched them a feeling of contentment flooding through him, as he felt their emotions roll over him, they would need his help he knew that, he would have to make sure they understood what Neal Caffrey needed now that the dark side of his persona was back.  His own lover Vin Tanner was a fallen angel and Vin was only now meshing the two persona’s his own and that of his angel persona Divinity together. Caffrey had been free longer, so his persona was more advanced the Caffrey persona was dominant, over that of the angel Raphael.  But when he killed Goodwin, it showed it was no yet totally submerged, so they would still need his help to make sure they successful bonded with Caffrey. But for now he would give them time to come together, Ezra stepped back out into the garden and got himself comfortable and waited.

0-0-0-0-0-0

 

New York Sentinel Clan House

Buck got out of Mason’s personal limo first,  he took point at the door acting as bodyguard, followed by Nathan, fanning out on the other side, only then did Chris get out, to the people watching they were  protecting their principal, but in reality they were protecting the people round them from Chris Larabee. Because Chris Larabee, the man was slowly  bring replaced by the predator alpha, and Buck was cursing the fact that the one man that could control Larabee, namely Ezra Standish  was at this moment on a self declared mission of mercy, leaving him with the job. Of course having Vin taking off on Chris’s order to shadow their wayward guide wasn’t ideal but at least he only had one of them to watch and given that Vin fed off Chris’s moods, it could up the body count considerably.

The people in the foyer of the Sentinel House scattered as they entered in a flying wedge with Chris at its point, the predator having pushed past him with a snarl as he strode into enemy territory.  

New York Prime Dale Stevenson was waiting in the audience chamber he was in his late thirties, fit and in his prime, from country club squash and tennis, and working out in the gym twice a week, the new kind of Sentinel Prime, and 100% political. He had negotiated with the former Prime to take over the role, and it had been done with all the associated pomp and ceremony. He was the poster boy for the 21st century Sentinel Prime and  like any State official he was playing to his audience,  when Chris Larabee came striding into the chamber,  Dale gave a smile and put his hand out. “Prime Larabee, I appreciate your visit, on your arrival to New York.” He waved Chris to a seat, “what can I do for you.” Dale Stevenson had been briefed by his beta, but wanted it hear it from the other Prime’s own mouth.

“My guide is in New York, I am here to collect him, and return him to Denver, do you have a problem with that.” Chris put in levelly all but making it a challenge, as he leaned forward in his chair, Dale couldn’t help but try to suppress a shudder, the look that Chris gave him made him feel as if someone had just walked over his grave. There was power there, an aura of danger that seemed to be worn by Larabee like a cloak round him, he could hear his clan members shift uncomfortably he envied them their anonymity, at least they didn’t have to look into the soulless cold green eyes.

“Could I” Dale coughed to regain his voice and started again “Could I ask what he’s doing in New York, I wasn’t made aware of his visit.” Dale said, looking towards his beta, and seeing him nodding his head to confirm that they hadn’t received notification of his visit. 

“Guide Prime Standish had some personal business to conduct; I am here to escort him home.” Chris put in tensely, barely holding onto his temper, at having to make polite conversation when he should be hunting his wayward guide down. 

Dale nodded, knowing that he risked losing face in front of his beta and his clan, he said with more courage than was wise. “I can’t see that there is any conflict here, but I have to say that I do not subscribe to your   tolerance with male guides, and where as I will have my people act with the respect they would show a Companion, I can’t and will not order them to   give him the honors due to a Guide Prime.” There he would show Larabee just who was in charge here, for god’s sake it’s not as if the man was going to get violent over the form of words used forwards a male guide.

Buck shifted slightly and exchanged a look at Josiah seeing the old man moving slightly ready to act if he needed it, Chris was just too quiet.

Dale’s beta leaned into his Prime, and Buck clearly heard the name Vin Tanner. Dale leaned back in his chair steeling his fingers. “My beta has given me to understand that Tanner a feral sentinel is in my territory.

“Vin is my shield; he’s merely here for Guide Standish’s protection.” There was no apology in Larabee’s voice; in fact his tone was almost insolent.

Dale got to his feet as he heard the whispered words of his own clan, the Prime’s face becoming an ugly mask, this was the final insult “I can’t believe that you would  bring a feral to my territory, first you insult my guide and my clan by allowing a freak of nature into my dominion, and then a feral.  You want permission to stay here then I want Tanner arrested, sedated and in the county asylum by nightfall, I will not have that creature walking my streets, Larabee, you may collect him when you leave. My rules or I want you out of New York within the hour, with or without your guide and your creature, it’s your choice.”

 Buck heard the deep throated growl, and was half way to his feet when Chris attacked, Dale never knew what hit him, one second he was stood there, the next a hand was wrapped round his throat and Larabee lifted him off the floor and shaking him like a terrier with a rat, and all hell was let loose.

Burke’s Residence

Ezra waited patiently until he could feel the emotions begin to settle again or as much as they could with what was going to happen. Peter and Elizabeth projected love for each other, and almost parental concern for Caffrey. The feral’s emotions were veering violently , from  his need to protect them, and his need to run, fear of being enslaved or being hurt, but there was another emotion that made Ezra thoughtful, it was Caffrey’s love for his handler and his affection for his handler’s wife.

Getting up from the chair on the porch, Ezra took a deep mental breath, allowing his tension to drain from him, before he entered what could fast become a powder keg environment. When he entered the room it was to find the three of them sat on the couch, Peter on the right, his arm round Neal’s shoulder, the fallen angle in the middle, his head resting on Peter’s shoulder, on his other side Elizabeth sat holding Neal’s left hand in two of hers, her fingers slowly rubbing the back of his hand to reassure him. The feral’s head lifted as soon as Ezra sat down, he didn’t say anything content for Peter to do the talking.  

Ezra met Peter’s gaze levelly, he could feel the FBI agent weighting him up, and still not completely comfortable with what was happening. Peter looked at him thoughtfully, “why were you so keen that we should take Neal to Denver, you never did answer that question Standish?”

As he made himself comfortable in the armchair; he could feel Caffrey’s blue eyes burning into him, his emotions, prickly and aggressive. The growl was low and deep throated a rumble that was vibrating from Caffrey, but it didn’t faze Ezra it was nothing he wasn’t use to, it was typical of a fallen angel protecting what was his.  This was the warning, he wouldn’t get many.  It plain  to Ezra from the emotions was picking up from Caffrey that he already considered himself the house sentinel, these two lives his to protect. Now Ezra mused it was time to make it official.

“Senior Sentinel Prime Larabee, would be willing, I am sure, for Mr. Caffrey to affiliate to the Denver Pack, to do that he would have to meet him, that in its self is going to be pragmatic in its own way, as Mr. Larabee is a Predator Sentinel.” Seeing the Burkes puzzled looks he added “Think of him as an Apex of Alpha sentinels, but he does have his own feral sentinel mate, so he is use to them. If we do this successfully it would be another layer of protection for Mr. Caffrey. Mr. Larabee as a Senior Sentinel Prime has power in the sentinel world, even the NIS backed off Mr. Tanner because of him.” Ezra noticed that Caffrey’s head had come up when he had said the name of his lover, there was definite something going on between the two men, but for the moment that would have to be put on the back burner. 

Ezra continued “Since Mr. Larabee’s territory is Denver, I was suggesting that you take Mr. Caffrey there, I was hoping that I could ascertain from our phone call that you were a bonded pair, Agent Burke. Since you are not, that must for the moment go on the back burner, and I need to make sure that you can bond together. Now.” Ezra paused, aware that Neal Caffrey was looking at him, in a way that he felt the hairs on the  back of his neck rising, the slight cocking of the head that was so reminiscing of Vin, just before he switched into the deadly Divinity persona, and they began counting bodies.  He took a deep breath, careful not to smile, because for a feral a show of teeth, could be seen as aggression, and he was sure that Caffrey was riding on the edge of his Fallen Angel persona of Raphael.   So he kept his emotions mellow.

“Mr. Caffrey, you need to imprint Agent Burke, but I am sure that you have already started that, I know that Mr. Tanner, was not slow in doing that when we first met.  Ezra couldn’t stop the twitch of his lips as he remembered being jumped by Vin, in his need to bond.

“There is a unique variable to this equation that I think will help you. Mr. Caffrey has empathic ability which I am sure was great assistance to him in his previous occupation as a con artist.” Ezra knew that he had hit the nail squarely on the head, when he saw the way that the feral no Neal Caffrey was looking at him. It seemed that it wasn’t only Vin that was switching between personalities, as he saw the younger man’s body language change.

Ezra forced himself to ignore it, and continue. “Since you’re not a sentinel your bonding Agent Burke will be through Mr. Caffrey, he is in the unique position to be able to link with you, at the same time as he imprints you on his senses.” Quick he added as he saw the slightly alarmed look on Peter face “the bond is whatever the two of you want it to be. A bond is a living force which over time can change.”

Ezra saw Peter blanch slightly, but any worries he had disappeared very quick as he saw Peter pull Neal close to him, and his wife grasp the younger man’s hand more tightly. It seemed that they were both committed to him that was good it meant that Neal’s bonding wouldn’t be a dirty little secret, hidden behind closed door, but something celebrated in this household.

“Your help us, work through this right?” Peter asked.

Ezra smiled reassuringly, “It will be my pleasure, but first I think we should take this upstairs.” Peter got up drawing Neal with him holding him close, as he felt the weakness in younger man from his earlier ordeal, knowing he had sore ribs and bruising on his stomach, lower back, and thighs, threatened to make him unsteady on his feet,  Elizabeth lead the way, but all the time kept hold of Neal’s hand.

0-0-0-0-0

Peter and Elizabeth’s bedroom

The master bedroom was large, with a queen size bed, ideal for bonding, Ezra nodded his approval, and the room like the rest of the house was warm and comforting.  Now to get down to the business of bonding, each sentinel had his own likes and dislikes, and given Mr. Caffrey training, and given what he knew from Vin, he was sure that sex, and ritual humiliation perhaps went hand in hand.  It would be a case of giving the young feral a whole new bonding pattern, which wasn’t going to be easy.

But first he had to open up the younger man’s mental pathways to allow him to bond empathically with Peter; normally he would only do this to another guide. But with Caffrey’s unique guide element to his personality it would work, it was like rebooting a computer, and allowing the default setting to take over, and from that position you could start all over again. In this case it meant pushing through the barriers and layers of mental scarring that Kate and her father had caused him to reignite the pathways so that he could bond.

Standing in the bedroom, Neal Caffrey looked round as if seeing it for the first time, this was he decided one of his favorite places, it smelt of Peter and Elizabeth, he felt safe here, loved. He wanted nothing more than to bond with Peter, to feel the joining of their minds. To feel Peter’s hands on him, and… Neal came back to the present with a jolt, and sadness washed over him, in all honesty how could he let Peter give his life way like this, this was more than just getting him out of prison, and making sure that he didn’t run, this was a commitment for life, not just the four years of his parole. He met Peter’s gaze levelly and then let deliberately let his mask drop.

Peter was looking at the younger man who against the odds had become his friend, it was then he saw the shadow that seemed to cloud Neal’s face and he knew without being told that he was looking at Raphael.

Raphael stood with his arms crossed, he weight resting  over  one hip, his head cocked to one side, the grace and sensual power of his limber lean body, which was usually subtlety hidden by the classic suite in the Caffrey persona was there for them all  to see, and it opened Peter’s eyes. It was this part of Caffrey’s psyche that had kept Neal ahead of him during the chase, the part of him that BAU had never been able to profile, he could remember laughing at the profiles that he was given; none of them fitted the young man that he was chasing. It was as if he was chasing two different people, the master conman, art forger, and then the thief that could break into the most impossible galleries, and leaving the police in his wake when he free ran to escape them. Now it made senses, this was that Caffrey, the one he worked with was the other.  Flip sides of the same coin.

Peter saw Raphael closed his eyes and when they opened it was Neal Caffrey looking back at them again, and he knew what the younger man was trying to do, but it wasn’t going to work. He wasn’t going too frightened off.

“I can understand if you don’t want to do this Peter, this is beyond what you signed on for when you took me out of prison, for that I am grateful. This you don’t need to do.” That was as far as Neal got.

Because like a lot of other things Peter was not going to let Neal get away with this, he felt his wife’s hand press against his back urging him forward, Peter turned  and saw complete understand, and her permission to do this.

Peter closed the distance between him and Neal, aware that the younger man was barely breathing, as if worried that to move would be to shatter the moment. Reaching up Peter put a hand out, and he brushed Neal dark hair back from his face, then stroked the back of his fingers down the younger man’s cheek and jaw as he said.

“You’re mine Neal, have been since the moment I started chasing you, I am not letting you get away now.” Neal gave a soft sigh and leaned into his touch, this was more than he could ever have hoped for. Peter took that final step, and slide and arm round his young partner and pulled him close, as his hand guided Neal’s head so it rested on his shoulder.  Peter felt tentative  arms circle his waist, and Neal shuddered, the FBI agent didn’t hesitate he began to stroke up and down his back from shoulder to waist and back again, firm strokes of his  hand, giving reassurance.

Suddenly Neal tried to pull back, pushing him away, “Elizabeth” he panicked.

But Elizabeth was by her husband’s side, one hand anchored to her husband the other resting on the  back of Neal’s neck, her fingers rubbing lightly as she held him gently in place, her fingers carding through Neal’s dark hair, came to her husband’s side, and petted Neal’s head, “it’s okay sweetie.”

“You’re not mad.” Neal’s voice was hesitant so different than his usual confident tones.

“How can I be, you have excellent taste.”  She said softly, and gave him a soft maternal kiss to the cheek.   One of the first things that Elizabeth had learned was that Peter was totally oblivious of the feelings that the infamous con man had for him. The birthday cards and the post cards that he sent Peter while was being hunted by him, wasn’t what most people thought, taunting Peter. It was Neal Caffrey wanting to make sure that he had Peter’s attention focused on him and only him. Since he had been working as a FBI consultant she had spent a lot of time Caffrey watching, she had seen  the way that Neal needed physical contact, he thrived on it, and on attention, especially when given by her husband. Now held in Peter’s arms, Neal was in bliss, the tension had melted from him, and there wasn’t one inch of him that wasn’t plastered against her husband. She should have been angry, but this was Neal and that made all the difference.  

0-0-0-0-0-0

Outside the house Vin sat looking up at the house, a smile suddenly graced his lips, as he smelt the tobacco and the scent of his mate “hi cowboy.”

The next instance the door to the passenger side and the rear door open, Chris got in the front and a rather frazzled looking Buck climbed in the rear, leaning forward his forearms resting on the back of Vin’s seat. “Hi Vin.”

“Buck.”

“Ez in there.” Chris cut in looking towards the house, even as he said it he confirmed it with his own senses, but he still wanted an update.

“Yeah, went in there two hours ago, he’s making head way they’re going to bond.” Even as he said that his hand lashed out and latched on Chris’s wrist, as Chris was half way out of the car “not him, the other three.” Chris settled back in the car seat reluctantly. Vin turned slightly to Buck, “How did the audience go with the Prime.”

“Ask him,” Buck jerked a thumb at his old friend, “Chris is now Prime of Denver and the de facto Prime of New York.” Buck said, running a hand through his hair as he added, “Yeah, old Chris just had to call him out, when the guy got heavy handed with him.”

“Still breathing.” Vin asked, his tone indicating that he wasn’t really bothered, if the man was stupid enough to piss off a Predator Prime he had to reap what he sowed.

“Broke his arm, and dislocated his shoulder, so figure a concussion, we left Josiah, cleaning up, and trying to smooth the feathers down.

“So what pressed his buttons?” Vin drawled.

“Hell Vin doesn’t talk as if I am not there.” Chris growled at him, anyone else would have been intimidated, but Vin ignored it, and Buck couldn’t help but shake his head, the feral since he had first met Chris seemed to walk in the eye of the hurricane where Chris was concerned.

“The Prime,” Buck shot a look at Chris and then back at Vin.

It was Chris that answered “He wanted to have you arrested and tranquilized and held in the local nut house until the Lear leaves New York, and not in that order Vin, so I told him what he could do, huh, he was all mouth and no balls.” The rumbling growl of the predator underlining his words, Chris was still seriously pissed.

Buck had studied the two men close enough to know that Vin had been warmed by Chris’s words knowing that his alpha lover had gone head to head with another Prime for him, which was unheard of. Looking up at the white painted town house, Buck just prayed that the man in side was worth all this trouble.

0-0-0-0-0-0

The bedroom.

Ezra turned towards the window, he could feel Chris, there was no mistaking the predator’s presence, and the dark power that thrummed through Larabee, and a barely controlled aggression was broadcasting to him, so intensely that he nearly took a step back. It was then he saw Caffrey push Peter away from him gently with a hand to the chest, and knew that the young feral were picking up the older predator sentinel.

Ezra said reassuringly “He will not come into this house, Mr. Caffrey, your alpha and Elizabeth is safe here.”

That brought Caffrey’s attention snapping back on him that quick, it was a miracle the man didn’t’ have whiplash from it. Ezra nodded, he knew the alpha that was the key to Neal Caffrey, an alpha was someone that wouldn’t leave him, would protect him from himself if needs be.

Directing his words to Peter and Elizabeth he said, “Agent Burke, you are his alpha, you must take the lead.”

Peter was uncomfortable with the term alpha and what he considered its sexual connotations, he raised his voice slightly, making sure that he got Neal’s attention. “I am not an alpha, and I certainly not going to be yours, Neal.”

Ezra heard Elizabeth give a gasp as her hand flying to her mouth, as she stared at her husband with wide eyes, “Peter, we..” she was cut off as he overrode her and continued. 

Neal looked strickened, when he heard Peter deny him, it had been going so well, Peter had been holding him, and he hadn’t minded when he had pressed against him.

“Peter...  please,” he held a hand out and then let his hand drop, and he pulled in on himself, he had expected too much.   But Peter caught his hand, and pulled him close again, tucking him against him even as he tried to push away.

“For god’s sake hear me out Neal,” Peter was thinking quickly, the last thing he wanted to do was hurt the younger man, and he tried again.  “I am your friend and partner, and,” he took a breath, “if it means that much to you I will be your alpha.”

The next minute Peter was engulfed in Neal Caffrey, the younger man wrapping his arms round him and all he could do was hold him tight.

Ezra waited until he felt their emotions calm and said “I would suggest that you both remove your shirts, a sentinel needs skin to skin touch to imprint. Also Neal you might find your senses start to cascade and the touch of cloth on skin will be like sandpaper to you, this is better.” Seeing the look the Burke’s exchanged, he added “Bonding is about as personal as it can get, between a sentinel and alpha.”

 Usually non sentinels were shy of intimate contact with another man, but it seemed that Peter didn’t have a problem or else hide it very well Ezra was willing to bet it was the former but he just hadn’t realized it yet. The two men parted only long enough to rid themselves of their shirts, shoes and socks. But all the time Neal never moved more than a foot away from Peter Burke. As soon as his shirt was on the floor he was back wrapping himself round his alpha.

Peter’s breath caught in his throat as he felt Neal nuzzling at this throat and jaw, somehow it was a lot more intense now they had gotten rid of their shirts, and it was skin to skin, Neal’s hands seemed to be everywhere, like touches and soft caresses, at the same time as the feral scented and tasted him. The nip on the fleshy part of his throat caused Peter to flinch, Neal pulled back and frowned, with a sigh, Peter guided his head back down. “Caught me by surprise that’s all, just watch the teeth Caffrey,” at the same time he eased his arms back round Neal.

The FBI agent felt the tension in Neal’s body fade away slowly as he went back to nuzzling against his throat and the underside of his jaw, leaving Peter to muse, just how the hell this could be feeling so right. But then in the same instance he knew it was because it was Neal Caffrey, the young master criminal, forger and con man that he had hunted for three year. A young man that he had chased because he didn’t want anyone else to take him in, not just for justice, but because he didn’t want to see him hurt.

In his mind’s eye he could see the time that Caffrey had been reported shot on a job, by a trigger happy police officer, he could remember seeing Caffrey’s blood thickly smeared on the marble of the museum’s floor, and the internal panic that had gripped him, for three months he hadn’t know if  Caffrey was alive or dead. Until he had received one of the kid’s annoying postcards, showing the Tate Art Gallery in England, “bet you wish you had been here” was inscribed on it. It was a couple of days later he found out that an early Constable had been stolen. He had vowed then that he would be the one to bring Neal Caffrey to book, but safe and unhurt, and he had done that. He had protected Neal then, and would do the same now.

Now it was time to bond, Ezra moved slowly, he could feel the feral’s emotions pounding against his own empathic barriers. He came round behind Neal, Ezra reached out slowly but confidently, the feral flinched at his touch the growl was lost against the neck of his alpha. Ezra ignored it, knowing what it was, it the feral showing his teeth, in leashed aggression.  He placed one hand on Neal’s head anchoring it in place against his alpha’s shoulder, and with the other hand he held him by the back of his neck.  Taking a deep breath and letting it trickle out of his mouth as he focused himself, he closed his eyes, and pictured what he was doing, and seeing the pathways in Neal’s mind like road, and wall’s blocking them. He increased the pressure against these blocks, seeing them buckle he increased the power of him mind, pressing harder and harder now he had started he couldn’t stop.

Neal’s body was shaking as if it was coming apart at the seams; Peter tightened his grip on him. The feral was howling in pain, the pitch rising sounding more animal than human but instead of trying to pull free, he just clung tighter to his rock, to his alpha. The blocks in his mind began to splinter, time for the three of them stood still, and with one final push Ezra was through them, the feral’s voice cracked and screeched at that moment,  and then he went silent, his knees buckling the only thing stopping him from falling was Peter’s strong hold on him. Breathing hard his heart beat roaring in his ears, Ezra reached out again, pushing back the black void that was trying to pull him in and the blessed release of unconsciously, that threatened to overcome him. Even so Ezra continued, before his power had been like fire, burning through the blocks, exploding them, now his mind was caressing and soothing the brutally blasted open pathways, and brought with it a sense of peace.  

Now Ezra reached out to Peter, his mind touching the FBI agent’s mind, he felt it recoil at his touch, “You have to trust me, Peter,” Ezra said his voice dropping as he saw the way that Neal reacted to his voice, the younger man’s senses where cascading he could feel the inner terminal in him. Looking at his hand he could see Neal’s skin was reddening from the warmth of his hand, it wouldn’t be long before he the feral’s skin was blistering Neal had to get his senses under control.

Ezra reached out mentally again, and this time he felt Peter make an effort not to react to his touch, Peter’s mind vibrated with concern, loyalty, and not surprisingly, a brotherly love for the young feral. The perfect person in which to  trust the emotionally damaged feral. 

The sweat was running off Ezra, his body was shaking as if he had run a marathon, his knees almost gave and Ezra had to cling onto Neal, but even so he carried on.    Through the now open mental link he allowed Peter to see in Neal’s mind, and then brought them together, coaxing the empathic abilities of the feral forward, so that with his powerful support Neal could bond with the  older man.

There was resistance at first, Neal trying to block, Ezra, but his pathways where blown open so far he was unable to stop the images of his memories flashing through their shared consciousness. First there were random images, blurred with time, flashes of his training, of Goodwin’s face as he loomed over Neal, seen through the feral’s eyes, Goodwin with a blood slick belt in his hand from beating him. Goodwin throwing away the belt and using his hand to degrade him, before being thrown on his stomach, and brutally mounting him, as Goodwin imposed his domination on him.   Just then inexpertly, images from Peter’s past come through the link, weaker, but showed Peter during the three years he had been hunting Caffrey, the emotions with them were one   of respect, and his need to protect him not from being caught, but from being injured, or killed. Peter’s pride in that fact that Neal was his partner, and that he worked with this handsome intelligent ex con.  Suddenly the  images began to bend and twist, intertwining and Ezra was swamped by a feeling of such joy, the feral’s mind was overwhelmed with an almost childlike happiness as he merged with his alpha, Peter’s  affection for him, was  more than Neal could ever have wished for, no one could lie in the bond.

Carefully Ezra pulled back mentally, he did it slowly, only moving back deeper once when he felt the bond might faultier, only for it to steady and strength, and finally he had broken his connection with them.  Somehow he managed to stagger to the bedroom seat, his head in his hands, as he took steadying breaths then he turned to the window, knowing his voice would carry to the sentinels outside.

I am alright Mr. Larabee, you will NOT enter his place, I command you,” It was said with a tone of voice that  Ezra rarely used, it was the command of the Senior Guide Prime, calling his sentinels, be they predator or feral to heel. It was a power that Ezra kept hidden away from the outside world, knowing the reaction some of them would have to that knowledge. It was bad enough that he a male was recognized as guide but to know that he could command to his will, two of the most dangerous sentinels, would cause a world of trouble. Ezra could feel the aggression lashing at him from his predator, Chris was royally pissed, but he was obeying him responding to his command with ill grace but obeying all the same.  But that didn’t mean that Ezra was looking forward to facing him down.

A smile graced Ezra’s lips as he felt the hot sexual blaze flood his link with his sentinels, as he saw what Chris was planning to do with him. Ezra grinned “I think that handcuffing me naked over your desk is a little drastic Mr. Larabee, and Mr. Tanner, I think that sexual practice has been outlawed in all 52 states,” Ezra paused and his grin broadened “I stand corrected it’s still legal in Texas.” He raised an eyebrow, Vin might be quiet, but where sex was concerned he was imaginative to an extreme that would make a nymphomaniac envious. “My thanks Mr. Wilmington, for keeping faith with me, I am nearly done here for today, I will be out in about an hour.”

Ezra eased up, feeling like a mile of bad road but even so turned back to the new partnership. Prompting “You’re have to tell him to turn his dials down, his senses are too high, and your touch is blistering his skin. He needs to bring them all down to the base line.”

Peter just in time had stopped himself from releasing Neal, desperately not wanting to hurt him with his touch but at the same time knowing that the younger man would see it as a rejection of him if he did.

“Okay, Neal, you heard the man.”

“Not my alpha.” There was a snarl to the words, as Neal buried his face into his alpha’s neck; deliberately ignoring Ezra, Peter lightly cuffed his head, doing no more than ruffling his hair, at the same time keeping him close, with a strong arm round the waist.

“Listen to the man,” he ordered, “he wants to turn your dials down, now listen.”

Ezra nodded his thanks and continued, “First Neal picture a clock, this governs the strength of your powers, you need to turn it down slowly, eight to six, six to four, four to two, now rest on  two.”

“Have you done that,” Ezra demanded.

There was no answer, so Ezra pointly looked at Peter, it was annoying to be ignored, but reassuring that Neal was known tuned only into his alpha.

Ezra allowed himself a smile as Neal whispered something to Peter, and the older man nodded “he’s done that Ezra.”

“Good, now,” Ezra paused and then turned to the most important thing that needed doing “He’ll need to imprint you Peter, I would suggest taking it to the bed.”

For a moment Peter hesitated, this was his marriage bed, no one else had slept there, except him and his wife, then he caught Elizabeth’s eye and saw her smile and pat the bed with one hand, as with a look she reminded him that the exception to the rule was in his arms, and that exception had been Neal Caffrey, and it was alright to bond here.

Ezra moved a little closer, only to halt as Neal looked round at him, his lips pull back against his teeth, the growl was low and deep throated, a warning, and then Neal yelped as Elizabeth cuffed the back of his head lightly.  He glared at her with hurt eyes.  

Elizabeth said “Take that look off your face young man, that was  an attention getter, we did the same with Satchmo when he was a pup for growling at the postman, and will do the same to you, no growling, understand.”

Neal dropped his gaze, Elizabeth reached out against this time, gently cupping his face, “Look at me” she spoke softly reassuring him when he looked away from her. “It’s alright sweetie. We’re all new to this, she smiled at him and gently stroked his face, with her thumb, until he looked back up at her.

It was then that Ezra knew what he was looking at in Elizabeth was a powerful gamma, she could feel her emotions even more strongly now, it was filled with light and love, and a fierce maternal instinct for Neal that would make a mother lion proud.

Peter smiled  his hand lightly rubbing the back of his friend’s head where he had been clipped ,   he couldn’t help but chuckled as he heard the low throaty almost purr come from his sophisticated urban con man partner as  Neal tried to press closer. Neal gave a sigh and then eased back, his hand trailing down Peter’s arm until he took his hand, and led him to the bed. Sitting down, Neal looked up at Peter, the mask that he usually wore was long gone, and perhaps for the first time, Peter was looking at the real Neal Caffrey, not the carefully constructed persona the younger man usually hide behind.

Neal tugged his hand again more insistent. Peter saw the need in Neal’s blue eyes, a need so keen that it was almost painful. But Neal hadn’t spoken a word and from experience he knew that his partner was one of the most talkative people he had ever met. The Neal Caffrey he knew was non violent and used words as a weapon when he was unable to run from trouble, words he used to spin elaborate cons, it never stopped, even in the FBI office, in front of Director Hughes, Neal was never slow to speak, and so this quiet was unnatural for him.

 Peter suddenly realized that he wanted to hear the smart talk from Neal, the flirting that Neal did as natural as breathing, that was the Neal Caffrey he wanted.  Peter looked to Ezra and said “this is our bond right? We do it our way”

Ezra nodded “Your bond your way.”  Pleased that older man finally understood, but even so he saw the way that Peter looked towards his wife, that Ezra realized how far out of his comfort zone Peter Burke actually was, it was only when she gave him an encouraging smile that he turned to Neal; the smile was the only warning that Neal had.

Before Neal knew it he found himself pushed backwards onto the bed, with Peter on top of him, “You want an alpha, Caffrey you’re  going to get one,” he breathed as he pinned Neal to the bed, laying between the younger man’s legs, their faces only inches from each other, their bodies pressed together.  “So what you’re waiting for Neal, we going to bond or what.” The words had barely left his mouth, when he was suddenly flipped onto his back, and Neal was looking down to him, straddling his body. Slowly, with infuriating smile on his face, that raised emotions in Peter that he couldn’t or wouldn’t face, Neal leaned into him, and scented at his throat, then rubbing his face against Peter’s jaw and cheek, before returning to scent the underside of his alpha’s jaw again.

Neal’s breath was coming faster, as he made his way back up Peter’s jaw, as if this was suddenly the most important moment of his life.  His lips brushed across Peter’s so lightly that Peter could almost believe it hadn’t happened; Neal gave a soft sigh, and rested his forehead on his alphas. Now for Peter was the defining moment, he could ignore that it had ever happened, reject this element of the bond, or…..  He tugged Neal down to rest against him, holding him close as he stroked whatever part of Neal that he could reach reassuring him, as he pressed a kiss to Neal’s forehead. Neal rolled onto his side, off him and then pushed himself up so that he rested on his elbow, looking down onto the face of his alpha, his eyes watching Peter carefully, all the time trying to gauge his reactions. Then he leaned in and caught Peter, in a longer deep kiss. Peter’s hands came up, grabbing his partner, his grip bruising, ready to push him away, only instead he wrap his fingers in to Caffrey’s dark hair, anchoring him, and kissed the hell out of him. Breathlessly they parted, Neal let his head drop down to rest on Peter’s chest, he could hear the older man’s heart beating fast and furious, and he could smell the sexual excitement their kiss had invoked. It was then he remembered Elizabeth, and looked over at her, but instead of being angry she was wiping a tear from her eyes.

“Elizabeth I am so sorry, I.”

“Do you mean to steal Peter away from me?” She cut across him.

“No of course not I.”

Again she didn’t give him a chance to speak, “then I don’t mind sharing, but only with you.”

It was then Neal put a hand out to her, “will you be my gamma.”

“Of course.”  

She allowed him to draw her down, and he settled on the other side of her husband, but not before she gave Peter a long passionate kiss, then leaning across pressed a  chaste kiss to Neal’s lips, only then did she settle down next to her husband, and his sentinel, this was the future.

0-0-0-0-0

Down stair ---- One hour later

Once the bonding was finished Ezra had made his way downstairs, allowing them three of them to sleep, and adjust to their new bond. It had left him thoughtful, so many firsts, he should never have been able to balance Chris and Vin, and no guide had bonds to two sentinels, especially two apexes. Second Vin and Chris should have been tearing each other apart, not becoming soul mated lovers, and lastly a feral shouldn’t have be to function as a hybrid guide. So much it made his head ache he laid his head back, resting it against the top of the couch, and closed his eyes, the Burke’s dog a large honey colored lab had jumped up on the couch and laid out its head in his lap, absently Ezra petted the dog, allowing the soothing repartition of his petting to relax him, he had done well, he had brought another feral into the fold, the NIS would never get their hands on Neal Caffrey again. But this was just the beginning suddenly there was a loud bang upstairs and Ezra sat upright with a start, there was voices and he felt the raw emotions of the people upstairs, but he forced himself to settled back down again, it was a misunderstanding, he would only intrude as a last result, he had to trust in Peter and Elizabeth to do the right thing. Non-sentinel alphas had to find their own balance with their sentinels, and each was different.

Ezra’s cell phone rang, he took one look at the call number and sighed, “I promise Mr. Larabee I will be out shortly, patience Mr. Larabee is a virtue,” looking down the dog, he shook his head, “Sentinels” he breathed the word, and looked up to the heavens, as he scratched the dog’s ear, as Chris continued reading the riot act to him yet again to him over the cell.

0-0-0-0-0-0

At the same time upstairs in the bedroom

Elizabeth lay on the bed, looking at her husband and the man she now knew had claimed half of his heart, oh Peter, might bluster but she had seen how much Neal meant to him. The long nights after his arrest when Peter had talked over his very real concerns that the young con man could be seriously hurt in prison, he was just too good looking for his own good. How her husband had gone the extra mile to make sure that he was put in a single cell, and had some protection both from guards he knew, and prisoners that owed him. She could remember the excitement in Peter when he came home with the details of the work release, that could get Neal, never Caffrey out of prison, and working at his side.

Then the day was finally there and she had met Neal Caffrey for the first time, she had been preparing herself to hate the man, this man that had woven such a spell round Peter, but she couldn’t hate him, and before she knew what she was doing she was a mixture of older sister, mother, to him, and if she was honest she wouldn’t have it another way. Having Neal in her, no their life and their home just felt right, and the first time he had been injured in the line of duty, she wouldn’t have Peter take him anywhere else but here.  His home.

Sometime after the bonding, when Neal had just been basking in the soft touches and gentle caresses of his alpha and gamma, Neal had fallen asleep. Elizabeth felt him begin to stir and put a hand out to sooth him, at her touch he woke up, vivid blue eyes flying open and fixing on her, on Peter, “Oh my god,” Neal blurted out, and he pushed back from Peter, panicking, tearing himself away from her husband hold, the bed was big enough for three, but Neal had been on the edge, and with a loud band he landed sprawled on his back, looking up at them.

Peter rolled over onto his stomach and  look down at him,  a broad grin on his face, as she , propped herself up on Peter’s back, smiling, as they both reached a hand out, and pulled Neal back onto the bed where he belonged, the younger man settling on the other side of Peter, still looking as if he was a heartbeat away from running, so Elizabeth leaned over her husband and kissed him, her hand keeping his head in place, as Peter wrapped an arm round him, breaking their kiss she talked softly.

“Neal, we want you here, in our life and in our bed, you understand that don’t you.” Elizabeth paused, “but only when you want to be here, you can use the guest room, or stay at June’s, there is no time limit on our offer. No one is going to shut you out.”

“And Neal you tell us when you need to bond,” Peter said, his hand now rubbing a comforting circle on the younger man’s back, “I might be your alpha,” Peter winced slightly at the word, “but you’re an equal in this partnership, you have to tell us what you need, when you need it. Okay, and we’re going to take it at your pace.”

“Now why where you so frightened just then.” Elizabeth said, “You can tell us.”

“Thought you won’t want me, I’ve never been allowed to stay around after bonding, unless it’s too fu…” he trailed off, his eyes dropping away from Elizabeth.

Elizabeth shook her head, “no time limits Neal, you can stay as long as you like.” Smiling as she finally saw understanding in his eyes, that he actually believed them, but she wasn’t stupid and knew that Neal would test the boundaries for a while, before he settled down, old habits would take some time to die out, but they had all the time he needed.

Exhausted Neal settled back down,  next to Peter only for the older man to coax him into the middle   resting in between them, when he tried to move, muttering “it’s not right, I…” he never got to finish, when Peter’s pulled him against him.

“This” Peter said firmly, “ends here Neal,” he gave him a gentle shake “you are my, no our sentinel, my partner and our friend, you belong here, not arguments okay,” Neal opened his mouth to speak and then closed it words unsaid. “Good finally you’re with the program Caffrey,” Peter tugged Neal head down so that it rested on his chest, as Elizabeth snuggled up to him, throwing an arm round his waist, and her head rested on him. Like this their bodies entwined, the three of them slipped into a restful healing sleep.

Three hours later

Hearing a creak on the landing, Peter looked to the door to see Ezra stood there; Peter sat up swinging his legs off the bed, so that he was protectively blocking Elizabeth and Neal from Ezra’s sight.

Ezra smiled, the true reaction of an alpha, even if Burke didn’t like the word, “I can see that it’s done, congratulations Agent Burke, I have spoken to Senior Sentinel Prime Larabee, and he has agreed to take Mr. Caffrey into his pack, but we will have to meet with him tomorrow, I suggest your office, if you’re alright with them, it will to coin a phrase give you home town advantage.  Now I must see to my Sentinels.”

Elizabeth propped herself up and smiled at Ezra, “thank you everything,” she hugged Neal a little closer, Ezra just returned her smile, and waved Peter back when he was about to get up.

“He needs you more, I can see myself out.”

When Ezra came out of the front door, Vin was sat on the steps he didn’t say a word just got up and fell into step with him.

“Our illustrious leader.”

“At the car,” Vin drawled nodding into the direction of the road.

Ezra shook his head slowly, “can’t you just shoot me now, Mr. Tanner.”

Vin grinned broadly, “and spoil his fun.”

Ezra slowed going down the steps as if that way he could put it off, it was then he felt the warm pressure of Vin’s hand on his back. As he approached the car he saw Chris leant against it, the green eyes swept over him, his head cocked to one side and Ezra knew he was being scented. Even at that distance he could hear the snarl, just as he got to the car and reached out for his sentinels, Chris turned on his heels and snapped over his shoulder “get in.” Ezra shook his head it was going to be a long 24 hours.

0-0-0-0-0-0

The Hilton Hotel

Ezra was all but manhandled into the hotel, at the elevator, the other passengers had the good sense not to crowd them, and in fact they had the car all to themselves. All the way up to their room, he could feel the change coming over Vin and Chris; their eyes had become blue and green flames, the feral and the predator coming forward.

Buck stepped in front of Ezra, forming a human shield, he understood what was going to happen, but tearing Ez’s clothes off in public and rogering him on the floor of the elevator wasn’t the answer. Besides from experience he knew the hard wearing carpet they used would give him friction burn, and not the nice kind, a smile twitched his lips as he remembered the Barber twins, and the stalled elevator car, good memories. The car shuddered to a halt and Ezra was out and past him before he realized he didn’t know the room number, and turned back to see Chris standing in front of one of the doors with the electronic keycard foot tapping. He unlocked the door and Ezra quickly slipped past him, only for the guide to be snagged by the collar of his jacket as Vin drawled, “Pay back is a bitch Ez.”

0-0-0-0-0

Burkes Bedroom

Peter woke, started to get up and then allowed his head to drop back down on the pillow; Neal was plastered over him like a living blanket, the younger man’s head rested on his chest.  The feral made a unhappy sound when he had moved and Peter found himself petting his back and neck, to calm him, and for some reason was unordinary pleased when he settled back against him.

Elizabeth eased off the bed, and padded over to take one of the blankets and returned to drape it over them. “I’ll start to get something for us to eat, remember Ezra said that he might be hungry when he wakes up.”

Peter nodded, “I did do the right thing didn’t I.”

Elizabeth nodded, “Yeah we did darling,” she leaned in one hand lightly resting on Neal as she claimed her husband with another long kiss.”

Peter nodded  and pulled his young feral nearer to him as he felt him shiver, tucking the blanket round him one handed, not willing to give up holding the younger man.

At the door, Elizabeth paused and looked back, “I think we’re going to need a bigger bed,” she wiggled her eyebrows at him, and Peter burst out laughing

0-0-0-0-0

Same time The Hilton New York.

Ezra slipped out of his jacket and back peddled enough so that he could keep both his sentinels in sight, not that it was helping Chris and Vin had begun to circle him.

“Mr. Wilmington, your assistance please.” Ezra could hear himself begging but the big easy going gamma was ignoring him and pouring himself a whiskey,  and settling himself down on the designer couch.

“You started it Ez; you’re going to finish it.”

The two sentinels cris crossed each other, each time tightening the pattern, until he turned to fix on Vin and was caught be Chris who pounced and the next thing he was pinned to the floor, his alpha on top of him. Chris was aggressively scenting his throat; the growling was getting louder as he smelt Raphael on him. The next thing he knew he was being all but dragged to the master bedroom, leaving Buck rolling on the couch laughing.

Later if he was asked to tell what happened he would have been lost to put it into words, these clothes somehow got torn off him, and he was pushed into a shower with his two naked sentinels. The water cascaded down on them, and their hands where all over him, he tried to catch hold of one and then the other, but they avoided his hands, and waged a loving war on his body and senses.

Finally with a cry of triumph he managed to claim Chris in a long hard kiss, his arms and one leg wrapping ground the lean alpha, as he ground himself against the hard length of the predator. Suddenly the air seemed to rush from his lungs as he groaned as the feral plastered himself against his back, one arm wrapped round his waist sliding down to clash his hard and needy cock. While a long tapered finger teased his hole with its finger tip, making him arch and press, his IQ tumbling with every twisting finger that entered his body, until he was moaning and muttering incoherently, as he pressed down on those evil fingers that came just short of bringing him to completion. Chris had taken command of their kiss and his mouth was eating him, his tongue flickering against the inside of his mouth in time with the fingers fucking and opening him up so expertly. Just before he could come, the fingers pulled out of him and he was spun round, and he staggered into Vin’s arms, Chris entered him as Ezra claimed Vin’s lips in a kiss.  Chris’s thrusts where hard and Ezra felt as if he was exploding into a million pieces, their bond became so intense that Ezra was gasping for breath, that was soon robbed by Vin as the feral kissed him. Ezra came hard, it was so intense that he felt his legs buckle and only the strength of his sentinels kept him from falling. His next conscious feeling was being laid in bed, with strong lean bodies entangled with his, eyes only partly open he rolled his head to the right, and pressed a kiss to Chris’s lips and to the left and pressed a kiss to Vin, all was now right with his world. The voice in his ear was soft but covering a warning, “we will Ez, only later.” A smile came to Ezra he would expect nothing else from his alpha. Sentinels you just had to love them. Sleep came and he willingly followed it.

0-0-0-0-0

24 hours later

White Collar Department,

7.00 am

SAC Peter Burke, stood in the main office well, he had picked 7.00 am so that none of the other agents would be around for this meeting. He looked at his sentinel and friend fondly, Raphael was dressed in the same vintage designer suite as Neal Caffrey wore, his eyes shielded by dark glasses, he wore the same clothes but the essence of the young man was for the moment different. Peter had hoped that when they woke Neal would be Neal, but instead they had been faced with Raphael. From the moment they entered the office Neal had been acting different, first he had placed Elizabeth in his chair at his desk, and then checked out the whole office as if expecting an ambush. Now he was clearly on edge.

 

Peter reflected ruefully when Director Hughes entered the office, that the older man had taken the news their ex con consultant was also a feral sentinel quite well.  Hughes had blustered for a bit and then said “how can I help.” It had brought a smile to Peter’s face. Hughes might, on the surface, not be happy to have Neal on the strength. But unofficially, he was just as protective of their often wayward consultant as the rest of Peter’s team. With him was Ezra Standish and six other men, a tall lean blond, and.. He didn’t get any further as the long haired young man with him, pulled his Glock, at the same time as he moved forward.

“What the hell” Peter made a grab but Raphael had lifted his gun, pushing him backward and stepping in front to shield him and Elizabeth from the newcomers.  The two men had drawn at the same instance and were now each other down, their guns drawn and not wavering, as they trained them on each other.

Chris swore under his breath and aimed a glare at his guide so this was the new fallen angel before he could open his mouth the soft southern draw of his guide said “I am sorry Mr. Larabee I didn’t realize that Mr. Caffrey would react that way, since he was unarmed.”

Chris glared at him, but Ezra didn’t blink, “I see that I have miscalculated,” he said levelly, Chris shook his head, “what’s done is done, Ez,” then to the other alpha he said  “You bring yours to heel and I’ll do the same.” 

“Neal, put the gun down, I know you don’t like them, we can sort this out,” Peter reached a hand out but the young man ignored him, his attention never wavering from Vin as he said

“Hello Divinity.”

“Raphael,” Vin acknowledged him. 

Divinity suddenly grinned and Raphael, returned it, both men lowering their automatics Vin holstering his glock, as Raphael pushed the Glock into the back of his pants and the two men hugged, El catching her breath as she saw the long haired man called Divinity’s hand give Neal’s ass a squeeze.

Peter looked towards Hughes he knew all too well that a known felon, was now armed in the very heart of the FBI, and that he should be taking the gun off him. But instantly he knew that if he tried to do it now it could cause some flare up, since it was obvious that Raphael was in what Peter had heard called blessed protector mode. He would have time later to reclaim his gun, and deal with any fall out over the incident, and Hughes wasn’t pushing the matter.

Peter looked at the man in black he guessed was Larabee, and saw him shrug and ignoring the two angels, Peter stuck his hand out, and said “SAC Handler Peter Burke,” he introduced himself, then turning slightly and added “this is Director Hughes head of the White Collar unit,” he waited for the two men to shake hands and then continued, “my wife Elizabeth” he nodded to Raphael, “my Sentinel Neal Caffrey. Pleased to meet you SAC Larabee. I think we have somethings to talk about.”

Chris accepted his handshake,  and turned to his pack, SAC Alpha Burke let me introduce Team 7, my sharpshooter and feral Vin  Tanner,” Chris nodded towards the two ferals, my gamma Buck Wilmington,” he indicated a tall handsome man with a mustache that was smiling at Elizabeth warmly. “Buck,” there was a warning tone to Chris’s voice as Buck turned and saw that new feral was glaring at him, while still being in Vin’s personal space to a degree that only Chris or Ez could achieve. Chris continued, My Profiler Dr. Josiah Sanchez, Dr. Nathan Jackson, and  communication tech JD Dunne.

Peter acknowledged the introduction, “I’ll introduce you to the rest of my team when they come in, in the meantime, my office we can talk in private there.” The two alphas with Director Hughes took the steps up to the SAC offices.

Vin caught Ez when he would have followed, “You’ve met our guide Raphael.”

“Yes, ” Caffrey drawled, “as you know since you spent the afternoon outside of my alpha’s house.”

Vin shrugged and reached for  Ezra and pulled him close, and openly scented at his throat, and “nutmeg and musk” he cocked his head to Raphael, in a way that Ezra always found totally adorable, not that he would tell the feral that.

“Mr. Tanner, I am not a sniffing post.” Ezra protested as Raphael leant in and scented his throat.

“Smells nice,” Neal drawled, he looked to Vin who nodded his permission, as the new feral reached a hand out, the back of his fingers brushing Ezra’s face, “wasn’t mine so I didn’t touch him before, alpha wouldn’t have liked it.”

Ezra looked up to the heavens to give him strength, he could remember all to clearly how in the early days he was like catnip to Vin, and the feral was always trying to scent and touch him, once nearly trying to strip him in public, after one mission, when he need to reconnect had overwhelmed him, thank god for tazers. “Sentinel manner, you have to love them,” Ezra muttered under his breath. Vin suddenly cocked his head, and looked down at the Italian loafers that Raphael was wearing, and the anklet tracker, the rumble in the base of his throat became more vocal, as if he was distressed by it.

Quickly Ezra moved into his personal space and caught his arm with one hand, and his face with the other, “it’s alright it’s not a shock anklet, it’s just a tracker, and it’s not activated at the moment.  Vin it’s not going to hurt him.” Ezra felt the tension slowly ease from his lover.

Elizabeth came up “Neal,” she was using his proper name, as she was sure that she could see him coming back, for a moment he seemed to shudder, and then he smiled and his eyes had that vibrate and mischief that had been missing. Neal was back, but at the same time she saw a flash of the colder Raphael. “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?”

“Divinity, Vin, my gamma Elizabeth Burke.” Neal put a hand out slowly checking that it was alright and then lightly stroked her face before taking her hand and easing her close to him. Vin reached out, paused and then saw the nod, from his brother angel, and scented her, lavender and warm chocolate. Vin smiled at her as he eased away, “thanks you.” The soft rasping Texan drawl made her heart melt, there was something so heart wrenching venerable about both these handsome young men.

 It was then that Ezra noticed that Vin’s arm was still round Neal Caffrey’s waist, and he remembered Vin had said, a crude saying, when two angels meet they either fight or fuck, looking at Vin and Neal he was sure there wasn’t a fight in the offering, and there was certainly history between the two, the next couple of days was going to be really interesting.

The end

To continue in “A gathering of angels.