This story is inspired by two stories I wrote called “Angel of Death”, and “Holding out for a Hero”.

 M7 Feral AU, and is primarily a Chris, Vin, Ezra and Buck story.

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. 

 

My thanks to Antoinette and MAC for your help and support.


AU is Open 

Chris/Vin,  Buck/Ezra,  Vin/Ezra,  Ezra/self,  Vin/Charlotte &Richard (implied), Ezra/Charlotte (implied).

While undercover as the Angel of Death an elite hit man, Chris Larabee meets a young whore called Divinity, whom he is attracted too, only to find out that he is actually Vin Tanner, a government assassin called a  Fallen Angel. In escaping from his handler Vin has lost his memory, suppressing who he is. Vin helps Chris in his mission, at the same time as they meet FBI Agent Ezra Standish under cover as a paid companion. It is only as the mission continues that they realize that they are Sentinels and Guide and their destiny is to be together. For the complete story, please read Deadly Angel.

Larabee Ranch

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

0-0-0-0-0

Mary Travis was shocked she had set her cap on Chris Larabee from the first time she had met the handsome blond, the fact that he still mourned his wife and child was an indication of the type of man he was, once committed to his wife he remained faithful unto death. She always hoped that would turn to her, he was good man, and she knew that she could bring him back to life, bring color to his life. Mary could give him what he needed a family. Now Mary wouldn’t, couldn’t comprehend what she was seeing this, these creatures one half dressed, looking at her with an arrogance that made her blood boil, the other naked except for a small towel, like a whore, what were they doing at Chris’s ranch she could feel her face flushing as she walked past them, how could they ever think they could give Chris what he needed.

0-0-0-0-0

Ezra had needed all his experience working undercover not to laugh, when he saw the look on the woman’s face, it was guppy fish at feeding time, she just didn’t seem able to take her eyes of the half naked Vin Tanner. She was lucky in the mood Tanner had been in, he could have stalked out onto the porch, buck naked to stake his claim on Chris Larabee. The feral was on edge, he would not tolerate a rival, Chris Larabee was his, and from what he had learned about Vin Tanner, he had very little love in his life after his mother died, very little that he could call his own. Now he had his lover and his guide he wouldn’t let either of them go. Smiling Ezra slide an arm round Vin’s waist, he felt the other man tense at his touch. He gave a gentle yet firm tug and coaxed his feral into the bedroom, leaving Chris and Buck to face down the Judge.

Once the door was closed behind him, Ezra turned into his Sentinel, and reached up and cupped Vin’s face and looked into the blue eyes, “Mr. Tanner, Mrs. Travis is not a threat to your bond, or to your mate, there is no need to kill her.” He lips quirked into a smile, “And I can think of better things to do while we wait for Mr. Larabee to join us.” He reached down and tugged the towel, and it fell to the floor, as Ezra pulled Vin against him one hand gripping his firm ass, as the other wrapped round his neck as he pulled Vin’s head down so that he could plunder his mouth with hot kisses, igniting the link between them.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Judge Travis took a deep breath, “Chris, I am sorry that we intruded, but something has come up that, I need to talk to you about.” He paused, seeing Chris stood there with his hands on his hips, glaring at him, he gave a sigh  the blond leader of Team 7, wasn’t going to make it easy.

“It’s about  Agent Standish and  Agent Tanner, Mike Ryan, is the Sentinel Prime of Denver, he has made it clear to me that he will not receive Agent Standish in the Denver Clan  and he has ordered that Standish is not to claim the honored title of Guide, he is a  companion nothing more. Under sentinel law a companion is not acknowledged publicly, and therefore he is a non-person in the eyes of the clan.” The judge took a deep breath, “his beta did point out that in New Jersey that clan does have a companion on their books, he is freely used by sentinels visiting the clan, and for the younger sentinels to learn bonding manners with. Ryan had suggested the if Standish is   prepared to go on this knees to him in front of the inner council, and offer up himself in total submission to them , and accept his punishment for his perversion in proportion himself as a Guide, then they will consider making him the clan companion. But due to the nature of the role he would be expected to resign from his job as an agent of the ATF.

“And Vin” Chris asked his voice soft and ice cold.

“Special Agent Tanner, due to the fact that he is a feral, Prime Ryan has made it plain that he will not accept him into the Clan. He will expect you to present yourself to him too......” Judge Travis ground to a halt, as the temperature of the room seemed to plummet. He looked at Buck Wilmington, and saw the usually jovial man shaking his head in disbelief.

 “Is this man for real Judge”?

“Very much so Mr. Wilmington, I understand.”

“You understand jack shit, Judge,” Buck drawled, then added “with due respect.” He paused “Ryan can’t order a predator, if he keeps on pushing, then it is a direct challenge to Chris, and that can only end one way.”

Judge Travis, looked towards Chris Larabee, and what he saw frightened him, this was not the leader of Team 7, this was an apex predator, things were worse than he had thought, even he could feel the aggression that was pouring off the man, he thought he knew.

Taking a deep breath, Travis said “I want this dealt with Chris, I understand that Standish is your guide, and Tanner is your … err… but.”

“But nothing,” Chris snarled as closed the distance between them, “Ezra is a guide, honored is his calling,” his words were echoed by Buck, “and Vin is my mate they will not submit to Ryan, for you or anyone, this Judge is sentinel business not ATF, he pushes I will push back and bury him six feet under” the menace vibrated through words, and for the first time in his life Judger Orin Travis was scared of Chris Larabee.

0-0-0-0-0

The bedroom

A male guide was an abomination. A male could be a companion a type of surrogate guide, but to be taken to the bond was unnatural. Then Ezra mused with a soft smile then he was unnatural, and loved every minute of it, for the first time he had people that knew him for who he was and didn’t reject him, when they took him to the bond, it was done with love and respect.

A nip to his shoulder brought him back to the present, and he rolled over on his back, his feral sentinel looked at him, his head tilted slightly, and it was a sight the was as sexy and cute  as hell, not that he would tell Vin Tanner he liked living too much.  Without any words of warning Vin swooped down and deep throated him. Ezra jumped but two strong hands held his hips down, as Vin went to work, doing things with his hands and tongue that had Ezra throwing his head back and howling as his hands dug into the bed, his body arching up. When a slicked finger slide into him, Ezra was panting for breath, and he came hard, the feral sentinel swallowed every drop of him, and then cat licked him clean. Before sitting back on his heels, Vin wiped the back of his hand across his mouth looking like a cat that had gotten the cream.

That Mr. Tanner was one hell of an attention getter, what has got into you.”

“No Ez more like what’s getting into you” the rasping soft Texas accent rolled over the southern guide, Tanner was going to kill him at that this rate, Ezra thought with a grin, but what a way to go. And with that Vin dropped onto all fours and  crawled along the trim body of his shared guide, his head down,  his teeth nipping him, little attention getters. When Vin’s lips closed on his nipples, Ezra came up off the bed, but firm hands held him in place.  Breath was something Ezra had never had trouble with before, but suddenly it became hard, especially with the Texan lip locked to him, his tongue probing Ezra’s mouth. It’s movement mimicking those long tapered fingers that slide in an out of Ezra. When Vin broke the kiss, the southerner reached up his hands in the Feral Sentinels hair, dragging his head down, and recapturing his mouth. Ezra felt Vin easing his legs, up so that he had them wrapped round the Texan’s waist. Like this he was open, and it was with a feeling of supreme contentment that he felt Vin slide into him, slowly and gently, until Ezra felt as if he would shatter from the need that was building in front of him. When Vin began to move, all the smart talking Ezra Standish could do was groan, and hang on for the ride.

 

0-0-0-0-0-0

Buck kept shooting a look towards the bedroom, his sentinel abilities were not as good as the other two, but by the sound of it, Ezra was keeping Vin, busy, the guide was cat nip to the feral. The gamma turned his attention back to Judge Travis the man was nervous, and that was unusual for the self possessed man, and he got the idea that it wasn’t just the question of the Sentinel Prime of Denver.

Judge Travis looked at this daughter in law, and then back at Chris.

Agent Wilmington, “Please could you take Mary out and show her the ranch.”  When it looked like Mary was going to protest, he added “Please Mary, just ten minutes.”

Buck caught Mary and led her out of the room, she tried to protest, but Buck swept her along, leaving Chris alone with the Judge.

“I received this DVD through the post,” he paused. “There was a letter with it, it simply said to play it, I did, and recognized Agent Tanner.”

Chris took the DVD from him, and slide it into the player, and stepped back from the TV he knew with sickening certainty what he was going to see, but it didn’t make it any easier. The short clip showed Vin on all fours, naked, a man mounting him from behind as a second man had his hands wrapped into the sniper’s long hair, and fucking his mouth, Chris  stabbed a finger out and switched it off, and said one word; it was ice cold “explain.”

 

“This short section has been taken I am sure from a much longer DVD, by making me aware of its existence the sender wants me to act on it.”

“If you’re blaming Vin for this,” Chris warned his voice a deadly whisper.

“No,” the Judge said the one word with feeling, “Agent Tanner is an innocent party in this, I understand what happened to him, but someone is sending this as a warning. If this is made public.”

“A DVD” the Texan accent was thicker than normal a clear indication to Vin’s emotional state.

The Judge turned immediately to face the younger man.

“Mr. Tanner, I am sorry, I want you to know that I will make sure that this is handled carefully.”

Vin ignored him and went to the DVD and pressed the play button, his face didn’t change as he watched what was happening on the screen. “They were two of Holland’s men they were dusted with Red Rock.”

“Red Rock,” Travis said.

“Yeah, costs at least $200  an ounce, has twice the kick of Viagra, they took it, then switched the camera on before they fucked me, Holland wanted proof of the Red Rock’s quality they were the test subjects. Vin switched the DVD off.

Chris moved to his young lover and reached out him and pulled him close, ignoring the judge he guided Vin’s head so that he could nuzzle against his throat, as Chris rubbed his back, in comforting circles, as he felt Vin through their link, his emotions of anger, disgust and fear roared through their mental link. 

Fear that that Chris might turn from him after seeing him being used as nothing more than a human sex toy.  Even if he was his alpha, Vin had been disappointed too much in the past by people to take it on trust that he wouldn’t be deserted, Chris knew of his past, and when they had first met he was being prostituted by Holland, knowing was one thing but seeing it on a 32 inch screen was another thing. 

Ezra came from the bedroom, and immediately rested his hand on the Texan’s shoulder, as he linked with him, and began to channel the aggression he could feel bubbling to the surface in his sentinels; he projected love and protection, and to Vin he reassured him that nothing could part them.

Travis saw the way Tanner was looking at him, “Again I am sorry Mr. Tanner and I want you to understand that I will make sure this threat to you is neutralized.”.”  All the time he was speaking Orin was very much aware that Agent Tanner was a Fallen Angel, one of an elite group of killers and he didn’t want him to take things into his own hands.

When the Judge reached for the DVD, Chris got it first “that stays here Judge,” then his eyes went as cold as green ice, and the aggression of the predator came through as Chris said “JD Dunne is a computer expert, I want him assigned to my team, he can take a look at it and see what he can find on the disc, if it’s been burned and edited there might be traces he can find.”.” Chris paused his head cocked to one side as he heard Buck and Mary coming back towards the ranch house, “ And Judge don’t ever bring Mary round to the ranch without a invite again, there was nothing between us, and I am not having her looking down her nose at Vin and Ezra in their own home. ”

Travis loved his daughter in law dearly but he had seen the looks she had given Standish and Tanner, as she realized that she had lost Chris Larabee. Lost, she had never had him, so Travis nodded his head in agreement, it didn’t matter that he was Chris’s boss. Chris Larabee was a predator sentinel; a no one was going to live if they crossed him.

0-0-0-0-0-0

As Buck drove the Judge and Mary away, Chris felt arms circle his waist and a nip at  his neck, and the weight of a head resting against his back, he reached a hand back and stroked his feral's hip affectingly, then trailed his hand down a muscular thigh feeling the feral's muscles flex under his finger tips. He turned in Vin’s arms so that he was facing him, his hands now resting on Vin’s ass cheeks, squeezing them gently, he felt Vin’s breath against his throat catch and the slow grind as feral rubbed up against him, the soft moan he made, made Chris hard. Three quick strides forward and he had Vin backed onto the sofa; one hand tugging the sweat pants down, the feral was naked under them, his cock hard and weeping with his need. The rest of the world was forgotten as Chris made love to Vin, soon the only sounds made was the sound of flesh slapping against flesh and the throaty groans as predator mounted his feral beta, riding him hard to completion.

0-0-0-0-0

Two weeks later

Floor six of the ATF building now houses the offices of Team 7, the newest edition to the Agency. In addition to Vin, Buck, Ezra and JD, Chris Larabee had added Josiah Sanchez a former priest and one of the top profilers, Dr Nathan Jackson, and finally JD Dunne. It hadn’t been easy but after eight weeks the group had begun to come together as a unit, be it a maverick one, but they were quickly getting a reputation for being one of the best ATF teams ever.

Ezra was heading towards the office  from the gentlemen’s restroom; he had only managed just short of threatening physical violence to stop Vin from following him. The feral took his responsibilities to his pack seriously and since he was the only guide Vin had ever known he was like catnip to the feral. If he wasn’t stern, Vin would be touching him all the time, not that he objected to those talented hands running over his body. It was just Vin was hard on the clothes, and fornicating in the work place was something the ATF would frown on.

The two men walking towards him Ezra vaguely remembered from riding up in one of the elevators with him, not that he saw much with Mr. Tanner in front of him blocking his view of the other men, but when their IDs showed them as  ATF agents from Denver field office, Ezra relaxed slightly. A former FBI agent Ezra had been pleased when his transfer had come though smoothly, since he had been accused of corruption in Atlanta, his life had been made a misery by his fellow agents, and the two FBI agents he had met in Denver had cold shouldered him, and no doubt were keenly passing the word out about him. But Ezra was optimistic, here he was going to start his life over again, and with two sentinels that acknowledged him as their guide, it was a future that he had never dreamed of.

The two men suddenly halted both of them cocking their heads to one side in the classic, sentinel scenting action, and some inner warning told him he was in trouble.

Their expression changed, and the anger rolled off them causing Ezra to take a step back, “You stink of sentinels, you have bonded,” the accusation was thrown at him.

“I am a guide” Ezra brought his head up and met their eyes; he wasn’t ashamed by his bonding.

“Whore,” the taller of the two men suddenly lunged at him, Ezra ducked under the arm and aimed a punch to the sentinels stomach, the blow with all his weight behind it double the sentinel up, but the smaller man barreled into him, sending him crashing into the wall. Pinning him with an arm across the throat, a knee pushed up hard into his crotch, using his weight to immobilize him. The sentinel was excited and aroused; Ezra could feel the man’s cock pressing into his lower stomach. 

 

Out of breath the bigger man straightened up, his face a  mask of anger, JD came out of the stock room, and grabbed the sentinel trying to pull him off, the bigger man spun round and laid him out with one blow, and turned back to Ezra, grabbed his hair and pulled his head up, a  gutted word and the smaller sentinel moved his arm, as the bigger man leaned in to scent Ezra’s throat, his teeth grazing the column of his throat, his tongue licking across his skin.

It was the biggest insult that a sentinel could offer to another.

“Call yourself a guide, companion and we’ll show you what we do to whores.”

Ezra tried to call out for help, but his mouth was caught in a kiss, his lips bitten as he tried to fight off the man’s attack on his mouth.

Suddenly Ezra heard a scream that could come from no human throat, and the feral attacked, channeling his anger with the skill of a Fallen Angel, Vin attacked. The roundhouse kick to the head brought one of the attackers down, Vin  ducked under a fist thrown at his face, and planted his own  into the man’s guts, the air came out of the attacker mouth like a deflated balloon. The other sentinel tried to run, taking down a Companion was one thing, facing a feral in full attack mode was something completely different.  But he didn’t get far, Vin launched himself at him, and the two of them crashed into the wall, a brutal blow to the kidneys made the man scream in agony, but it was cut off as Vin caught him in a neck lock, as Buck arrived. He had seen the feral suddenly take off as if the hounds of hell were after him, and followed quickly, he had arrived just in time.

“Vin NO” the feral paused the man he was holding was red in the face as the neck lock cut off his breath.

Buck wanted nothing more than to pound Ezra’s attackers into the ground but his first duty was to his alpha’s mate. “Vin let him go,” he said keeping his voice calm he held up the handcuffs “you don’t have to kill him Junior.”

The eyes that locked on him were as cold as ice and as old as sin, the killer that lurked behind the young Texan’s normal easy going exterior was out of the box and Buck was worried that that Vin was going to break the man’s neck.  Vin could be one scary son of a bitch when he wanted but he was one of his pups and as gamma Buck had to take charge, and if needs be save him from himself.

“Divinity, let him go, you can have him to play with later, I promise.”

“Promise” the word was almost purred, it was times like this that Buck remembered that Fallen Angels were not known for their stability.

Ezra rolled onto his side, he reached out and wrapped a hand round Vin’s ankle, and he found himself looking up into the face of his feral, even though his body was hurt, his head was aching, and he pushed through their link. Trying to calm his feral, “Mr.  Tanner, let this scum bag go, Mr. Wilmington will handle him, I need you.” He reached up with his free hand.

For a long minute nothing happened, Buck held his breath, then Vin let the man go with a hard push that sent him tumbling to the floor, the attackers hand started towards his gun and then halted as he found himself looking into the barrel of a 9 mm Glock, he looked up past it into the face of the feral and stilled his hand, he didn’t have a death wish.

Buck moved in quickly flinging the man onto his face and cuffing him, he saw the second attacker start to pull himself up only to get a kick to the head that knocked him out. Shaking his head, Buck couldn’t help but think the men were lucky not to have been killed; a pissed off feral was dangerous. But Ezra now had Vin under control allowing the feral to fuss over him as Vin clumsily petted him as he checked him over only when the feral was contented did he put a hand out and pull Ezra to his feet, and straight into a hug, he scented and nuzzled at his throat as Ezra calmed his feral soothing his emotions. 

The other attacker was still out cold, so Buck knelt by JD and helped the young man sit up, “You did well JD, helping Ez like that.”

“He’s a guide.”

“Yeah, well they don’t recognize him yet, but they will” Buck answered as got a hand under JD’s arm and pulled him effortlessly to his feet, throwing a secure arm round his shoulder to support him. As all hell stated to break loose round them.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Two hours later

JD sat in their office, his fingers flying over the keyboard, pausing to touch his jaw and one of his teeth had come loose when the irate sentinel had tried to punch his lights out. He felt that he was still in shock from Chris Larabee actually thanking him. Now that was something that you just didn’t see every day. Nathan had checked him over and seemed satisfied that he would live, and given him a couple of pain killers. Chris had actually told him to go home, but JD found that the office with these men was home to him more than a lonely one bed room apartment.  He had joined Team 7 as their computer and communication expert and the job was gradually becoming more than that. The pride he had felt when he found out that Chris had personally asked for his transfer from the Police to the ATF, especially when he thought that he had blotted his copy book when he had warned the hospital that Vin was a feral. Now here he was on what was rapidly being called an elite team.

Just then the computer alert went off, and JD closed the window he was working on and opened the link and swore under his breath, it was a picture, he took a deep breath and looked past the subject and concentrated on the background even as he sent off a trace worm to find where the email had originated from. Working quickly he opened up a second window, and matched the sequences of stills, it was taken from the same DVD the backgrounds matched up. He quickly opened up the matrix and laid it across the picture, mapping the shadow he could see that his was taken three hours after the original footage that Chris had given him. “Bastards” JD swore, the assault on Vin had gone on for three hours. Carefully he placed the picture into the DVD sequence of stills and then closed the program back down, and monitored the tracker. It dead ended in the computer room at the ATF, a hand latched down on his shoulder, JD jumped and then saw it was Buck, the older man’s face was hard.

“Any luck JD.”

“ATF computer room.” 

Buck turned on his heels, and slammed out of the room with Vin; JD scooped up his jacket and followed trying to catch up with the older men. While Chris was away from the office at a meeting with Travis, Buck was taking charge of the office and if that meant dealing with this computer assault on one of his pups so be it.

JD caught up with them, “Guys there’s something you have to know.” He grabbed at Buck’s arm to pull him to a halt, but even as he opened his mouth he saw the secretaries all coming to the windows of their offices, some of them held a paper in their hands. Vin went red; his head down as he took off to the elevator. “That was what I was trying to tell you, the email, it wasn’t just sent to us, they copied it into the whole building, and they all saw it.”

“Shit,” Buck swore and took off after Vin; this had just gone from bad to worse.  As Divinity, Vin had been made to work as a prostitute for Holland, and the things that that young man had been made to do would have destroyed a weaker man. That past was now behind him, but someone was out to bring it back, and torture, Vin with his past.

Andy Parnell the team leader of Team 5 stood near the elevator with his men, Buck increased his pace, there was no love lost between Team 7 and 5, and if they started on Vin, it could turn into a blood bath.

Andy stepped in front of Vin; the man’s hand was up, but stopped short of touching the younger man.

“We had this come though on the email, Tanner” he held up the picture, he didn’t look at it, his eyes locked on the arctic blue eyes of the Team 7 sniper. “Just want you to know, what we do with crap like this.” Parnell tore the picture up, “the boys are going round and collecting the picture from the girls,” and he nodded to the secretaries. “I might hate your guts Tanner, along with the rest of you cowboys of Team 7, but no one fucks around with the Teams, hurt one you hurt us all.”.” He pressed the torn picture into Vin’s hand and then turned back into his office.

Vin looked towards Buck, “It’s okay Junior, you’re not on your own remember that, were get the scum bag that did this.”

0-0-0-0-0-0

Buck leaned on the back of the chair and watched as JD worked on the computer, it was in a small off shoot office, only three terminals, and easily accessible. He didn’t have to turn round to hear Vin pacing the feral hadn’t stopped since he came into the room, he was also scratching at his arms through the long sleeves of his shirt. Buck sneezed and rubbed his nose, “what the hell is that stench,” he looked to Vin, and the younger man was a stronger sentinel.

Vin came to a halt, but he continued to claw at his arms, red marks from his nails already scored his throat.

“Shit, Vin.” Buck was on his feet, he caught the younger man’s hands, “What’s wrong.” But Vin wasn’t listening to him, he looked as if he was puzzling something, “C4 get JD out of here.”

Buck didn’t question it; he grabbed JD just as the computer expert’s finger pushed down on the button that would expose the hacker. He had JD half out of the door when the computer exploded throwing him through the doorway, so that he landed on top of JD, Buck twisted round in time to see Vin crumpled across the threshold, quickly he dragged him out of the room as it filled with smoke, and the sprinklers came on, the shrill noise of the fire alarm was now echoing through the building.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Mercy General Hospital

Chris came through the door, with Ezra on his heels, Buck didn’t try to block him, just got out of the way, “Vin’s going to be okay, they dug some plastic out of his back, he’s going to be sore, but nothing serious we were all lucky” he told his blond alpha as he went into the hospital room.

“The C4 was enough to blow the computers but nothing more Brothers.” Josiah said as he arrived, the disheveled clothes showed the profiler had arrived from home. He ran a hand through his salt and pepper hair, trying to smooth it in place.

“But enough to have killed JD.”

“Or maimed Buck, it was designed to take out the computer expert only not the whole room, this was a targeted attack.

The three of them entered the hospital room; Chris was seated on the bed, with Vin pulled up in his arms, a strong arm round the feral's waist as he let him groggily nuzzle his throat, inhaling his scent allowing it to calm Vin, the younger man voice was raspy and dry, he was having trouble putting his words together, so instead was clinging to his only refuge his lover. Carefully Chris pushed the sleeve of the hospital gown up, showing the welts on Vin’s arms “what happened to him.”

Buck shook his head, “they don’t know for sure but this wasn’t done in the explosion, just before it was agitated and scratching at his arms and throat.”

“Sage” Josiah said as he moved closer, then stilling as unfocused blue eyes tried to fix on him and Vin made a throaty growl, as he tried to push himself up off his alpha’s chest to protect him from the big man coming towards the bed.

But he was too weak and his arms gave way and he dropped back onto Chris’s chest and was gathered close, leaning into him Chris spoke softly his hands moving over the lean body giving reassurance to Vin, then tilted the feral’s face so that he could kiss him, his lips brushing Vin’s dry lips, and the younger man’s mouth opened hungrily under his. The kiss was tender, and passionate, but not arousing, and Vin’s broke their contact with a jaw clicking yawn.

“Losing your touch Chris,” Buck drawled, and then grinned as he saw the mock scowl that Chris sent his way.

Whatever Chris was going to say was forgotten as a cold hand tried to push under his jacket, he caught the hand pressed a kiss to the palm, and then let it rest against his side. If Vin was happier like this and would rest for a while then he didn’t care who saw, this was his soul mate.

“You said sage, Josiah, you want to explain.”

Brown, green and drugged blue eyes turned on the ex-preacher. “The report on the explosive said that it was drenched in sage, and lavender, Vin must have been allergic to it, and it brought on this reaction.”

“Didn’t you smell it Buck.”

“No, damn it no Chris, you know me, my sense of smell isn’t that strong, all I could smell was something rank, nothing more, sorry Chris.”

Buck felt Ezra’s hand grip his shoulder and felt his reassurance through their link, “Thanks Ez” he lifted a bandaged hand and covered the southerner’s hand, then added “Vin needs you Ez.”

Ezra came up on the same side of the bed as Chris, and leaned in as Vin tried to focus on him, a hand reached out towards him, but fell short, Ezra  caught it, and gently squeezed his fingers, and then placed them against the side of his neck, so that Vin could feel his pulse. As a feral Vin had never had a guide before him, and even drugged Vin needed to touch him. The blue eyes blinked and then closed, Ezra reached out with his other hand and lightly carded his fingers though his feral’s hair, knowing how relaxing the younger sentinels found it, for all his past Mr. Tanner was very tactile, even if he didn’t like to be touched.

“I have brought some clothes for Mr. Tanner, nice and loose, I have filled the prescription there is lotion for his skin, and some to put in the bath to help soothe the itching. The doctor had signed off Mr. Tanner’s release paper, for some reason,” Ezra smiled “he makes them very nervous.”

At that moment the door to the room came open, a nurse pushing a trolley, from his half sleep Vin came fully awake pushing Chris flat on his back as he pulled the older man’s gun from its holster, as Buck sent the nurse and JD crashing to the floor as Vin fired the bullet hitting the wall right where the nurse’s head would have been. Ezra was already reacting he caught Vin’s gun hand and pushed the gun down as with his other hand he caught his feral by the throat, forcing Vin to look up. The power guide burned through the link, and Vin’s mouth opened as he cried out, and then his eyes rolled back in his head and his body went limp, Ezra caught the gun as it fell from Vin’s hand.

He put the safety back on, as he said “Mr. Wilmington, Mr. Dunne see to security, Mr. Sanchez the nurse if you please.”

Ezra eased the mental pressure back and saw Vin’s eyes flicker and open, “Mr. Tanner, what have I told you about shooting people, it’s not very sociable and the ladies and gentlemen will not invite you back.” Ezra said it all totally straight faces, then leaned down and brushed Vin’s eyes with a gentle kiss.

“Chris,” the one word was a plea.

“Easy cowboy I am here.” Chris said as he carefully eased up to lean so that he was next to Vin, careful not to loom over his young lover, he placed Vin’s hand on his chest, knowing that the feral would feel his heart  beat, and that it would soothe him. 

“The drugs have really screwed him up Mr. Larabee,” Ezra said “we need to get him home, to the ranch, this place, the smells, the noise will be putting him on alert,” Ezra suddenly gave a yelp, and he caught Vin’s hand were it was pressed to his groin.

“Mr. Tanner now is not the time.”  Ezra scolded but didn’t push his hand away, as Vin all but climbed over Chris into Ezra’s lap, “it seems that he is abandoning you Mr. Larabee.” Then hearing the distress noise Vin was making, Ezra pressed a kiss to his feral’s cheek, “its okay Mr. Tanner our alpha knows that I am only joking.” Only then did the distressed noise stop, Ezra could understand, Vin was going on instinct, now they had to get him to a safe place to heal.

All the way back to the ranch Vin was in Ezra’s lap on the back seat, his face buried against his guide’s throat, inhaling his scent. The southerner kept moving his hands over Vin’s back, his head any where his hands could reach, using touch and voice to keep the feral sentinel anchored to him.

One thing Ezra knew was the when he had finally returned to himself Vin was not going to be happy about what had happened, as a Fallen Angel he had been controlled by a handler, who had used reprehensible methods to keep him in line.  His show of power was enough to have Vin coming after him for closure.

Once they arrived at the ranch, Chris helped him get Vin into the master bedroom, this was Chris’s territory as the alpha, and Vin would be surrounded by his scent. It was also the place that Vin felt safest in, and he would rest. Quickly Chris and Buck stripped Vin off and made him comfortable in bed as Ezra undressed and slide under the covers, immediately Vin moved into his arms, throwing an arm round Ezra’s waist and buried his face against his throat, inhaling the rich scent of his guide.

Ezra pressed against the link in Vin’s head, and heard him moan, the link was raw, from when he had had to use force in the hospital, but this time his mental touch was feather light, as he calmed the flares of pain and distress in Vin’s mind leaving behind him peace contentment, a feeling of safety and well being, now was the time to heal.  

0-0-0-0-0

Three days later

Nathan Jackson their team doctor had finally given Vin clearance to return to the office, a qualified doctor  Jackson was trained in sentinel medicine , he was also the only medic that Vin would willingly let get close to him, but even then it was with sufferance.

Vin was the only one in the office so when the phone rang he answered it, his feet came off the desk and he sat upright in the seat as he recognized the voice. “Angelica” he said the name coolly.

“Divinity, my love, it’s been a while, I heard you had gone under the radar, got yourself a new handler, by the way lover did you like my surprise present? I am sure your work colleagues appreciated it.  Just like I am sure your new handler appreciates your charms, I know that I always did,” her laugh was gloating.

Vin immediately went on guard, he knew Charlotte Richmond a former   Fallen Angel codename Angelica the only reason she was the city was because of a hit. The fact she had made a point of finding him meant only one thing she not only wanted to buddy up for the kill but wanted something more from him. But he was with Chris now, no longer a Fallen Angel she was his past, Chris was his future. His Texan accent was thicker an indication of his emotional state as he said “I am not interested Angelica, find yourself another fuck buddy” he put the phone down, but knew that it wouldn’t stop at that. The explosion in the IT room was an attention getter from her, and was totally unrelated to the attack on Ezra that he was sure had been instigated by the Denver sentinel clan. Vin began to pace, he had to find her and put this right before she endangered the people he cared about.

Buck put his head round the door, and frowned sensing the unrest in the young pup, “Come on junior Captain Evans wants up, and that man can  talk up a storm when he wants too” Buck held the door for Vin as he grabbed his jacket. The briefing was long and as every bit as boring as Buck had told him and Vin found himself thinking on all the reasons that Angelica would be in Denver, and he had a candidate right in front of him, Irene Jordan.

“Vin, are you listening to this?” Chris’s voice cut through his reverie.

“Sure, Chris,” But he could see that Captain Evans was not happy about someone daydreaming during one of his briefings.

“If Mr. Tanner is listening,” Evans started sarcastically, “Special Agent Larabee told me that you're the team sniper even if you are a fallen angel,” he made those two words sound like an obscenity. “He has convinced me to let you back him up on the Jordan court appearance.”  Evans tapped the plan to make his point. “Well, Tanner, what, in your professional opinion, do you think of the plan I have laid out?”

 Vin heard the sentinel soft encouragement from his alpha and pulled himself up a little straighter in the chair he had been lounging in. “You're forgetting the police station on the corner of the Plaza. Personally, I would do the hit from there. No one would expect it; you could take the kill shot from there.”

“It’s just under a mile away” Evans said in disbelief.

“So” Vin drawled while shooting a look to Chris that spoke volumes was this guy serious.

 “Vin, could make the hit, we have to surmise that this other assassin could.” Chris put in levelly before Evan could explode.

The feral was prepared to let his alpha take the lead as he focused on the plan, he had given them a possible kill shot location, and it was the best he could do for them. As a fallen angel there was no way he would set them up to take her down, the poor bastards didn’t stand a chance against her. He just hoped they could put aside their prejudices about him being an angel aside long enough to pay attention to what he was saying. Chris nudged him and he took the pencil that his alpha was offering and lent over the plan and began to draw the lines of sight he would use. Buck then covered the communications and surveillance aspect of the job, with JD, while Josiah, Nathan and JD would be helping Chris on the ground.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Early Morning

Vin easily crossed the sloping roof of Thompson Building, wearing an ATF baseball cap, Kevlar vest and carrying his sniper rifle of choice. He eased down in place, and sighted through the scope, using it to comb the Santana building that was further down the street. The increase in police presence caused by the information that he had given them would force Angelica away from the police station and that would put her on the Santana building. It was ironic for him Vin mused to actually have the polices blessing for him to be there, and not have to worry about them crashing his party. 

Over the light headset he heard Chris’s voice, “are you in place Divinity?”

“Yeah, cowboy, no problem.”

He carefully continued tracking over the facing of the other building through the scope looking   for any tell tale sign of a hostile sniper. He saw a flash of light, sun reflecting off glass. “Chris, the Santana Building, top floor, northern side.” As he gave the warning he fired, the bullet slammed into the hostile sniper’s rifle, through the scope he saw her enraged look as she dropped the rifle and took to her feet.

“Divinity” Chris again, you answer now god damn it”

Yeah Chris was really pissed this time, “Cowboy the hitter is on her way down, all yours now.” He packed up his equipment and took his time coming down to the ground level, and headed to the unit truck.

He had just put his equipment in the back when the mobile in his bag went off.  “Hi, Divinity

“Angelica” Vin carefully looked round him trying to focus on the woman with his senses. “You nearly got your wings today. I always said you had more lives than a cat” he added

“No one ever walks out on me, Divinity, we have plans for you.”

“Not going to happen, take Dick and get the fuck out of my life, or I’ll bury you both”.

 Charlotte laughed, “Hope you like black, babe, because you're going to be in mourning soon. The Denver Apollo on Thursday or I see a funeral in your future. Oh, don't even think of bringing one of your specialties, because if I die the Assassin guild will get your file. You know the one you tried to ditch. They'll get all the details” Charlotte purred.

Chris tapped his ear; he had heard the white nose generator go on over his head set when Vin's phone had rung. Okay, Vin needed some privacy but when did he start carrying a white noise generator. As the Alpha in their relationship, he didn't like the fact his soul mate had any secrets from him. 

0-0-0-0-0-0

The de-brief had taken hours, as Evans had gone over every element of what had happened, his anger had mounted when Vin had refused to be intimidated, but then as Josiah had mused to Nathan, if he could brush off Chris’s glares, then Evans didn’t stand a chance. But the older man had noticed that Vin had pulled in on himself. Team 7 had gone back to the ranch, and Josiah had noticed that instead of relaxing, Vin had continued to distance himself from the team. At the first opportunity he had stepped out, and now stood on the porch of the ranch house, his battered jacket pulled tightly round him feeling coldness not just of the body but of the soul. He had to cut himself off from his alpha and guide because he couldn’t risk anyone getting into his head.

 “A nice evening Mr. Tanner” Vin flinched as he felt Ezra’s hand touch his arm. “It’s alright Mr. Tanner, I know that you are troubled, you can speak to me you know that. Nothing you tell me will ever make us turn away from you.” Era’s voice was warm and comforting all Vin wanted to do was give in to instinctive need for his guide.

Vin turned away from him “I’s all right Ez”, he added  go back inside before you get cold,” but Ezra didn’t move and when he felt a light touch to his mind, pressing for entry he turned on him, pushing him away as he snarled “get the fuck away from me Ezra”   

Ezra slowly straightened his jacket; a habit that Vin knew was to gain him time, “As you wish Mr. Tanner, but I am here if you need me, we are all here for you.” Ezra tried to reassure him, even as he shook his head. What could he tell Ez that he had avoided bonding and roamed the house until morning afraid to sleep lest he let his barriers down and broadcast to them what was wrong since he had got Charlotte’s first phone  call. The only sleep he had gotten was in Buck’s bed, trusting in the man’s limited ability to keep his secret safe.

This way he was less likely to make a mistake that would see him thrown out of Chris’s life. He couldn't afford to let his guard down just yet; he had too much to lose, especially with Charlotte Richmond still in the picture, he had to kill her first

Chris was on his feet, starting towards the porch when Ezra came back in, and caught his arm and pulled him to a halt. “I am fine Mr. Larabee, Mr. Tanner is upset about something, but I fear that pushing him will only get him to close down further”. He looked round the room at the others, “I believe that Mr. Tanner’s mood changed after the explosion in the IT room, he had become more guarded around us all”.

Josiah nodded, he wasn’t a sentinel but he was a profiler among his other skills “a beta sentinel should not have secrets from his alpha it’s not healthy”.

“Maybe it’s those pictures”, JD said and then shrugged nervously as everyone looked at him.

“It’s more than that” Buck put in, “junior has a past and he knew that could come back and bite him, the attack on Ez was the clan, but the pictures where would they get them, that’s something else, or rather someone else.”

“You going to tell us Vin”, Chris knew that his lover would be listening to him, but the door remain closed.

The next few days the team remained close to Vin, trying to support him, but the feral just closed in on himself.

 0-0-0-0-0

Thursday

Buck tended to spend three or four days sleeping at the ranch to be close to his pack, especially at the moment as he could feel that there was trouble brewing. He woke early and for a the moment couldn’t think what was wrong, then he heard Vin out on the front porch, he got out of bed stretched and then padded out into the hall way. Chris was stood at the door of his bedroom he must felt Vin break the sensory net over the ranch house when he went outside, Buck crossed over to him, and glanced into his friend’s room, and made out the naked sprawled body of Ezra stretched out face down on Chris’s bed fast asleep.

 “It’s okay Chris I’ll see to Vin, I take it he’s on one of his nocturnal wandering”, he grinned “you go back to bed and keep Ez warm, I’ll see to the pup”.

Chris nodded “Okay but call me if you need me,” the concern was in his voice, and he shot a look towards the front door, before almost reluctantly turning back into the bedroom.

“No problem”, Buck pulled on his sweat top and went outside, Vin was sat on the floor his back to the wall, knees brought up, arms wrapped round them and he was rocking back and forward, his eyes staring  off at something only he could see.

Moving slowly, but keeping in Vin’s view all the time Buck edged round until he  could kneel down in front of Vin, “Hi junior”, he spoke softly, he had no idea how high Vin had his senses set, and he didn’t want to over load the younger man and cause him pain.

“Bucklin”, Vin’s voice to Buck sounded lost.

“Here and in the flesh”, he favored Vin with a gentle smile, as he put a large hand out and covered Vin’s hand where it rested on his knee. “You're like a block of ice, junior.” He saw the small nod of the head, “Why don’t you come to bed, and get warmed up”.

“You offering Buck.”

“Hell no, I always turn such fine looking men as you away from my bed, do it regular as clock work,” Buck grinned.

“You want to fuck me”.

Buck took a slow breath; he had had this talk once before when Vin had been drugged out of his head on painkillers after he had been injured in the line of duty. The younger man was miserable and Buck could taste it pouring off his body, something was seriously wrong with Vin. “You know the old alpha dog would hand me my balls on a platter if I did.” He paused then added as he felt himself “I am kinda of attached to the boys.”

He was pleased to see the almost shy smile; Buck got up and drew Vin to his feet, and then wrapped him into a warm long full body hug, then yelped as the younger man felt up his ass through his sweat pants.

Gently he collected the younger man’s hands in one of his, and then flung an arm round his shoulders and led him back to his own bedroom. Buck eased Vin onto the bed then climbed in himself and opened his arms for Vin to crawl into them, as he closed the round him, tucking him against the curve of his body, as he lightly rubbed his back to get some warmth into him, he heard and felt the soft sign against his skin, then a yawn and Vin snuggled closer and fell asleep. For a while afterwards, Buck kept up the  light petting, as he felt the tension ease from the lithe body, then with a yawn, he pressed a kiss to the top of Vin’s head and then followed him into sleep. When he woke Vin was gone, he pulled on his sneaker and checked the barn, the horse’s had been fed and watered and Vin’s old jeep was gone, looked like junior had gotten off to an early start, the small white noise generator was left switched on near the far gate, Chris wasn’t going to be happy about it, but he had handled him through worse.

Ezra was enjoying a long soak in the master bedroom bath tub, now here was a bath that he could really fall in love with, the marble texture was a sensual sin. He signed softly, and then swore under his breath as Chris hammered on the door, “Get your ass out of there Standish, we’re out of here in 30”.

“Mr. Larabee, I am driving myself today, remember.” He counted to ten, and grinned picturing his alpha fuming.

“Don’t speed in that death trap of a car, or I’ll pull your license, and don’t be late or your ass is grass.”

“You didn’t complain last night Mr. Larabee.” Ezra eased his sore ass a little so that he was over one of the water jets, and let his legs spill open and gave a throaty moan of sheer pleasure as the water bubbles gently tickled across his balls and long the underside of his cock. Leisurely he leaned his head back, and closed his eyes, as he reached for himself under the water, in his mind he thought of his alpha and feral, their hands on his body, their touch so firm yet never constricting, and hurting not like the sentinels he mock bonded with as a companion, the ones that refused to take no for an answer. His FBI handler that left him hanging there with no protection, but from that horror he had a found a true bond, and two sentinels that would fight to give him the title of guide, when they could have gone the easy route and named him their companion. His breath began to come shorter as he worked himself to a release sliding one hand under him to finger his center as he came his cum spilling over his hand and into the water. Ezra gave a loud sigh and sank down deeper into the water, allowing himself to wallow in the afterglow of his release.   It was the cooling of the water that brought Ezra back to the present, he hauled himself out of the tub, his legs buckling slightly and dried himself off and padded back into the bedroom, and they stared at the clock as if it was a mortal enemy. “Oh shit” and Ezra began to grab for his clothes, he had done it yet again.

0-0-0-0-0

Chris Larabee was pissed, he was stalking the office, Ezra came into the office habitually late and was pinned with a laser glare that stopped him in his tracks.

“What time do you call this Standish?” Chris drawled as he came closer, like a wolf that had a plump rabbit in its sights.

“I believe that its 10.00 am Mr. Larabee”.

“We start work at 8.00 am, you know that”.

“An uncivilized time, I always thought. A gentleman must have a decent cup of coffee to start the day and the shop of Tenth and Main is considered the best and”.

“Ezra” the growl was right against his ear, “next time”.

“Of course Mr. Larabee”, he looked round at the other members of Team 7, and an understanding smile touched his lips, “I see Mr. Tanner is missing, I am sure that he will be here shortly”.

“You know something Standish”.

“Only that we are missing our feral”. He tried not to flinch as Chris’s hand latched onto his neck so that his fingers pressed against his collarbone, silencing him. Then his cup of coffee was removed from his hand, and Chris took a drink, and then he turned and headed back into his office, or rather his lair as JD had dubbed it.

Ezra sat down behind his desk “no bagel”.

“Chris had a slight altercation with the bagel lady, she was asking about Vin, and he got a tad territorial, since then he’s been holed up in his lair, not good” Buck told him then added “I sure hope that juniors got a good excuse, or he’s in a hell of a lot of trouble.”

The Denver Apollo

Charlotte Richmond was staying at the Apollo, the best hotel in the city. Nothing ever changed; she always liked and expected the best. That was Charlotte, first class all the way. Her idea was straightforward. No one would expect an assassin to be staying in a place like this, so the higher the profile the better her cover.

Vin's mind was already working out the possibility of hitting her. She had the reflexes of a cat and any direct move against her would be countered, they had both undergone the same training, but if he could get her to lower her defenses, he could take her out. This was self-defense. Charlotte would go after Chris Larabee, and even though he was an ex-SEAL, ATF he would not stand a chance against her because she was a former Fallen Angel. So until he got an opening, he would play her game, even if it meant fucking her and her ex handler, because sex was always the price she demanded.

The door to one of the inner rooms opened, revealing Charlotte in a dressing gown, which was an inch short of being decent. She purred when she saw him. “You always come back, Divinity.”

“Didn’t have much choice,” Vin drawled “Angelica get it through your head. What we had is gone hell there never wasn’t anything between us, what did the handlers call us fuck buddies; they let us burn off a little heat together that was all.  Hell they even watch.”

Charlotte just smiled, “But you have to admit that it was goooood, Divinity.” She dragged the word out, as she came closer. “Have you told Larabee all your history Divinity? You really think he’s going to understand.” Charlotte was purring, “when he does he’s not going to let you into his territory, what you have to ask yourself is what’s going to happen when he dumps you. You kill one handler, and Larabee takes you on. Larabee throws you out who’s going to take your ass in; it’s back to the facility.” Charlotte gloated, “of course Kerr would take you back, and he’s been waiting for a chance to get his claws in you again.”

Vin’s expression went cold, handler Kerr was a real sadistic bastard, when it came to his charges, and Charlotte knew that Divinity had had a year with the man until he had ended up in hospital, with internal bleeding and a fractured skull.

“What do you want?” Vin’s voice was ice cold and emotionless.

“I have a contract. A big one. You help me with it and then, who knows?” She closed the distance between them, swaying gently as she tugged the tie loose, letting her dressing gown fall open. “Let's see if you've lost any of your talent, Richard” she nodded to the man stood in the bedroom doorway, “heard all about your working with Holland, word is you were a real good fuck,” she savored the credulity. She reached for his jacket and pulled him closer, as she whispered, “can offer you more that Larabee can. I can make a real man out of you” her laugh was off key and grating as dug her fingers into his hair and pulled his head down so that she could kiss him, biting at this lip, savoring the metallic taste of his blood. 

0-0-0-0-0

Federal building

Late afternoon.

Ezra watched as the feral came into the office, he caught the apologetic look that Vin gave him. Vin was munching on a muffin, no doubt given to him by one of the more mature secretaries one of a growing band who tried to mother the scruffy, lean sniper.

Vin came over and perched on his desk, broke off half of the muffin and offered it to him. The southerner made a mental note to speak to Chris about this need for Vin to feed him, “No, I am fine Mr. Tanner.” The Texan shrugged and finished the muffin off, and dug in his pocket for a candy bar, Ezra shook his head as the candy bar was offered to him,  how anyone could eat as much as Vin did, and remain that lean was a mystery to him. “No thank you Mr. Tanner, I am fine at the moment.” He watched as Vin tore the pack open and attacked the bar with relish.

 It was then Ezra shuddered as he felt the chill run along his spine that could be only one thing, a pissed off predator sentinel, correction his pissed off predator. Chris Larabee was stood in the door to his office; scowling as he tilted his head and scented his soul mate. Ezra saw the green eyes narrow and it was then Ezra took a closer look at Vin and noticed that the Texan’s lower lip was slightly swollen, as Chris started forward, Vin suddenly took off. This got Ezra to his feet the one thing he had learned since they had become pack was that Vin would go head to head with his alpha lover, suicidal so at times, but he didn’t run, he never backed down.

Vin swore under his breath, “What had Charlotte done?” he couldn’t smell anything on himself, but Chris was a predator and he might have detected something. Quickly he pushed through the fire escape door, and took the stairs two at a time, only slowing when he was three floors down and allowing himself to sink down onto the steps his head in his hands.

0-0-0-0-0

Ezra had waved a hand at Chris, “I’ll get him Mr. Larabee” he said as he took off after his wayward feral, he had lost sight of Vin, but could feel along their muted connection and could follow it like a rope, and sure enough he found his feral sentinel. Ezra paused on the stairs and then made sure that Vin could hear him, he didn’t really want to be looking down the barrel of Vin’s gun.

“Would you like to tell me what that was all about Mr. Tanner, I have Mr. Larabee in the office prowling.” Ezra said as he came down the stairs and leant against the hand rail. When Vin looked up, Ezra added.

 “Yes Mr. Tanner prowling, so far we have one administrative assistant to frightened to come out of the office stationary stock room, I do believe that she was clutching the long armed stapler when I left.” Ezra smiled “I never thought of that as a lethal weapon before. I do believe that Mr. Larabee will only calm down with his particular friend had returned to the office.”

He watched as his feral shook his head and slowly closed the distance between them, when he reached a hand out he felt Vin flinch and pull away from him.

“Speak to me Vin,” Ezra put a little force on the link, and then staggered back as he was thrown mentally from the link.

“Understood why you have to do it Ez, but you try it again, or you and me gonna have words. Vin tapped his forehead, “had enough people trying and controls me in here, don’t aim to have my guide add to them.”

Ezra nodded “I could understand it Mr.  Tanner, but really I am only trying to help you. Because I think you could use a friend about now.”

“Helping can get you hurt Ez.”

Ezra reached his hand out all the same and laid it on Vin’s arm, and lightly squeezed his arm, “all you have to do is talk to me Mr. Tanner, I am your guide, and trust me.”

0-0-0-0-0

It was some time later that Ezra made his way back to the office he gave a polite nod of the head to the administrator cowling by the stationary stock room, and to Buck who was trying to coax her out, and headed into Chris’s office closing the door behind him.

“Where is he Ez”? Chris all but growled the words as soon as he saw his guide.

“Mr. Tanner is down in the gym, it is better that he work off his emotional problems were he can’t doing anyone harm.”

“What’s wrong, with him Ez, he’s cutting me out,” Chris tapped his forehead with a finger.

“You need to be patient Mr. Larabee, go to him now and try to take it easy. He hadn’t opened up to me, but it is something that is tearing him apart. Vin is frightened to bond, because he believes that he will be cast away, when you learn the truth.”

Chris made his way down to the gym and stood in the shadows watching Vin complete his work out, the sweat streamed down his body, his t shirt and sweat pants were plastered to his lean body.  One final round house kick at the punch bag and he headed for the shower, he heard some of the other men heckling his lover, and saw Vin flip them the finger, two of them followed the Texan into the locker room keeping up the abuse.  By the time he had gotten into the locker room, Vin was in the shower; Chris sat down waiting for Vin to come out a towel round his hips and rubbed the excess of water from his hair with another towel.

Chris asked “Do I need to ask about the loud mouths?”

“No, cowboy. It's all been sorted out. I set them straight; and yes, before you ask, they still have all their limbs.”

Vin casually draped the towel he had been using on his hair round his neck, as he turned to open his locker door. It was then Vin heard the deep throated snarl and he froze his hand still in place. Slowly he turned to face his alpha, catching sight of himself in the mirror, four long scratches marred his back, dotted with blood, the towel round his hips had slipped and the black finger size bruises left by Richard Richmond marked his skin. Slowly he lifted his eyes to meet Chris and then he let the towel drop to the floor.

The anger fused Chris’s face, as he saw the bit marks on this lover’s inner thigh, and groin, already some of the bruising was turning black. It was then he saw the other bruising on Vin’s body as he dropped the other towel that he had draped round his neck. Vin slowly folded down onto these knees, and closed his eyes; waiting for the blow he knew would come.

Chris wanted to shake the truth from the younger man, but he knew that he couldn’t force the truth from the feral; the abuse he had suffered meant that the only way Vin would open up was when he felt safe. “Easy Vin,” he pulled him to his feet and  into a firm hug, holding him close, ignoring the fact that Vin was still wet from the shower, only knowing that he needed this contact with his lover. His firm hands moved over Vin’s back in firm reassuring strokes. Chris allowed Vin to scent at this throat, knowing that his scent was comforting to the younger man. Who ever had done this to Vin had a hold on the younger man; because the fallen angel would never let anyone willingly do that to him. Also the scent he caught was female and he knew this lover, Vin’s preference was men, with women he was shy, and remote, but unfailing polite. Some bitch had got her claws in his young mate and would pay for it.

 

Denver Apollo

Charlotte stepped into the shower and into the arms of her husband pushing up against him, as he washed her down nuzzling at her throat, as he fondled her breasts. But her mind was far from on him, her need for Vin was just as keen as before at the facility; he was like a drug to her system.  The fact that he wasn’t interested in her drove her to near obsession, the problem was that Tanner was too stubborn to know what was good for him. She was what he needed, he would eventually realize that by her side was where he belonged, together they would be untouchable a hit team to rival the guilds best. Richard would continue to front their contracts, and he would become Vin’s handler. As for the companion Standish, only a fool didn’t understand that guides were inferior to sentinels, and all that crap about virginal guides.   Standish was not only easy on the eye, but he had skills they could use, and once he knew his place he would spice up their bed.

0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Chris helped Vin to dress, reassuring him with touch, keeping him close to him, as he escorted his young lover out of the locker room and back up to their office.  Ezra immediately crossed to them, running his hand up and down Vin’s arm, grounding himself on the feral. Carefully he pushed against Vin’s mind and his breath caught in his throat as he felt the pain, raw and throbbing like an open wound in his head. He met Chris’s eyes across Vin, and nodded they would be alright, but Vin had to open up to them, he didn’t have a choice, it couldn’t be allowed to fester but that would have to wait. “Judge Travis had just phoned down he wants to see you in his office now Mr. Larabee with Mr. Tanner.”

Judge Travis’s Office – Federal Building.

Judge of the Dark, Orin Travis, watched   Chris Larabee with interest, the man in black was one of his best agents and a friend, although it hadn't always been that way. When he had first met Chris he had seriously thought that Assistant Director McCord had got it wrong for once. Larabee had a hard ass reputation, a good agent but a zero human being. No one, who had worked once with him, would voluntarily do so again until Buck Wilmington had been assigned to him.  He had a history with Larabee and the big man managed to work as a human barrier between the bad tempered Larabee and the rest of the ATF.

“Usually witness protection would be conducted by the marshals department, but in this case you will be providing the protection for Mrs. Jordan. Your job is to make sure that she gets to court. Her court appearance is scheduled for Monday, and then she and her daughter will both go into witness protection program.” Travis paused. “As you know she has already been targeted; for that reason, Captain Evans will not be moved on the point  that Agent Tanner is not to go to the safe house.”

Chris powered to his feet. “No way, Judge. Vin comes with me.”

“Chris, he's a fallen angel.”

“Judge, if it wasn’t for Vin, Mrs. Jordan would be dead by now, he was the one that took out the other sniper before they could get a fix on her.”

“This is too important to risk, Chris.”

“Then don’t mess with my team judge.” Chris said levelly, his eyes flashing a warning.

“Judge Travis,” Vin drawled “I swore my loyalty to Chris as my alpha and to his team.”

“It’s your team Vin.” Chris put in patiently as if this was a discussion they had had before.

Vin added “My word has been given Judge,” he met Travis’s gaze levelly, not flinching under the steely look. 

“All right Agent Tanner.” Travis said reluctantly he was not totally convinced, but he knew that he had no chance of winning this battle.  He turned to Larabee “Special Agent Larabee, you’re responsible for keeping him in line.” He glared at the young sniper; there was just something about Tanner that made his skin itch. Travis  mentally reined himself back, knowing that wasn’t fair, it was just he was a fallen angel, and there was no way that he could change that quickly after years of conditioning by his handlers. It was then he saw that Tanner was ignoring him, “AGENT TANNER, the judge raised his voice, he was not used to being ignored.

“Your office Judge, it’s been compromised,” Vin put in levelly, he looked at his alpha, and saw Chris nod, as through their link he had begged his alpha to trust him. 

Chris picked up the phone and punched in a couple of numbers, “JD, the judge’s office and bring your gear with you.” He put the phone down as he saw the relief on Vin’s face.

Now ten minutes later Vin was perched on the edge of the chair, a slight smile touching his lips, the minute they had come in for the briefing he had smelt her faint scent of limes and musk and he knew that conniving bitch had been in there.

JD had found the decoy bug in the phone straight away, “kid’s play” he had scoffed and then went to work.

Vin watched as JD pulled the scanner out of his backpack and thumbed a switch, moving it round the room. “Bingo.” He picked up the photograph of Judge Travis, his wife and grandson, fishing. Ignoring the judge’s indignant protests, he slipped it out of the frame and exposed the wafer thin bug. “There's number one.” He dropped it onto the floor and crushed it with his heel, then moved on.

“Number two.” JD said as he moved to the stuffed fish a 28 lb bass that was the judge’s pride and joy. Again, he destroyed the bug; the third and last bug was in the Travis family bible which sat in place of honor on a lectern facing the large window that dominated the office overlooking the city.

Vin nodded to himself it was typical of Charlotte, always one for the offbeat; she had once bugged a widow’s ashes.

JD moved around the room until he was satisfied he had found all the bugs. “You're clear now, judge.”

“Thank you,” Judge Travis said gruffly, picking the phone off the hook and punching in the number of the safe house. “Agent Church, have the marshals help you move the package to location B, you have been compromised.” He hung up, and then looked Vin up and down critically. “So am I right in trusting you Tanner.”

“Ain’t an angel anymore, told you the truth.”

For a moment the judge held his gaze, and then nodded. “I can't say that I like what you were, Tanner,” he amended, “but you keep on playing fair with us, and maybe, I'll begin to trust you some day son.”

“Why, thank you, judge,” Vin drawled sarcastically  over his shoulder as he left, a smile crossing his face as he clearly heard the “huff” from the older man, he could get to like the old guy, then his face hardened but first the judge had to face up to the past.

0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Nathan Jackson, approached Vin carefully, the feral sentinel let him approach, but he could still feel him flinch when he placed a hand on his back. “Vin, Chris told me that you’re hurt, I need to see the wounds.”

“Don’t need a doctor, Nath.”

“The human mouth has more germs than a dog, they need to be cleaned out”, Nathan tipped his head slightly so that he could meet Vin’s eyes when the other man ducked to avoid his eye contact. “You know that you can trust me Vin.” He took Vin into Chris’s office and opened up his bag, he turned round and threw his hands up “whoa Vin” as he saw that the younger man was stripping off and if he wasn’t stopped would soon be standing their naked.

“You said”.

“A bit at a time, shirt first”. Carefully Nathan examined the bite and scratch marks, a couple of the deeper ones already were red and sore, working quickly he broke them open and drained the pus, as he pressed against the wounds, then cleaned  and dressed them. Once his back was done, he got Vin to dress, and then remove his pants, all the time chatting away to him, as he finished his work. It was then he reached into his bag and pulled out a syringe and filled it from a bottle, and drew off a quantity of the antibiotic.

Vin shrugged and pushed up his sleeve.

“Wrong end Tanner.”

“What,” there was an indigent squawk to the voice.

“Bend over and assume the position.” He joked his mouth left open as Vin yanked his pants up, and started to stalk out. Quickly, Nathan caught his arm, only to find himself throw up against the wall. “Easy Vin, easy.” Nathan as a sentinel doctor had seen quite a few out of control sentinels but Vin’s mood was different, it was then he realized what he said and how he had said it too. “Didn’t mean no harm, was just joking.”

“Yeah”, the bitterness in that one word floored Nathan, “that’s what they all said, stripped me off and had me ass up in twenty minutes of entering the room, bend over and assume the position that was the command I used to get. Cut your balls off before I’ll let you touch me.”

“It was a stupid joke Vin, nothing more.” Nathan met the angry blue eyes levelly, and willed Vin to understand, slowly the tension began to melt away, then taking a risk he patted the feral sentinel’s shoulder, and fore arm. “You can know I am telling the truth?”

Vin slowly calmed as his senses ran over Nathan, there was none of the arousal that he was use to, the doctor’s misery at upsetting him was a sharp edge to Jackson’s scent, and he nodded slowly.”

“You need to have the shot.”

“Still want to get your hands on my ass,” Vin’s voice was broken as he spoke the joke forced, but Nathan laughed, “Just don’t tell Rain, okay.”

“You got a deal.”

Nathan kept chatting away as he eased Vin’s pants down just enough so that he could inject him, as soon as it was done he tugged them back up.

“Thanks” Vin’s voice was that low, he almost missed it.

“Any time Vin.” It was only when the door to the office closed again, that Nathan sank down onto the chair, his hands in his face, Vin was such a mine field of emotions, how the hell did Chris not the most emotionally stable man out, deal with him day on day.

“It’s the bond.” 

Nathan looked up to see Josiah stood there. “What did you say?”

“It’s the bond Nathan, Ezra keeps them balanced he keeps them sane.”

“He’s a male, he can’t be a guide.” Nathan said.

“Times are changing Nath, and you have to ask yourself can you change with it?”

0-0-0-0-0-0

 

Chris had been called to the new safe house,  so Vin had returned to the ranch with instructions to rest, he had drawn up in his battered old jeep, and then stepped out, his mouth falling open, the front of the ranch had been plastered with explicit photographs of him, he was laid open and being fucked.  It was nothing he hadn’t seen before but here in his one safe haven it was almost too much for him. Pulling himself together he reached out and tugged them off the wall, they were not from the DVD, these were different. It was then he saw Ezra’s car his gaze fixed on the pictures under the window screen wipers, as he came through the front door, his gun was already in his hand, he moved quickly from room to room, a sharp kick broke the lock to Ezra’s room, and he came in, Ezra was bound on the bed, obscenely spread his body dubbed with obscenities, blood coated his wrists from were he had been struggling. Vin’s eyesight  suddenly homed in on the bruise on Ez’s shoulder and the needle mark, shaking his head Vin was by the bed in two strides, and freeing his guide. Dragging Ezra up into a hug, as Ezra’ his arms and hands numb, tried to cling onto his feral. One handed Vin, snagged the blanket and pulled it up round them, Ezra’s skin was ice cold, and he was shaking now, as finally he allowed himself to let go, he sighed as Vin’s mind opened for him and he slipped inside, the fierce protective nature of his feral cocooned him. “It’s alright Mr. Tanner,” Ezra’s voice fractured as he fought to control the tremor in it. “They didn’t hurt me, Mr. Tanner.” He exhaled and leaned forward and buried his face against Vin’s neck.

The cell phone on the bedside table rang, Vin scooped it up.

“Hello, Divinity.” Charlotte purred. “Liked your present baby?  Remember the last time in the facility when you got tied up for the night, and Richard and I took turns fucking you” She chuckled when she heard his breath catch and his heartbeat speed up.

“Fuck off Angelica.” Vin’s voice was ice cold.

“Your Alpha looked really good you think he’ll want to share.”

“Leave him out of this.” Vin snarled

“Who, Vin? A beta Sentinel should always be submissive, remember?”

“Ain’t you beta bitch, so get away from me and mine while you can.”

“Language Vincent” Charlotte was all prim and proper. You're my property, because Richard owned that lily white ass of yours, he paid your handler enough for it. If you hadn’t iced the bastard coming back from Texas he would have staged your death and handed you over to your new master.  You might have bonded with Larabee, but you belong to us and only to us.”

Vin threw the phone against the wall, watching as it flew to pieces as it hit, then Vin gathered Ezra even closer, his hands moving frantically over the compact body, just as the land phone  rang, Vin snarled and Ezra reached out and hit the speaker before it suffered the same fate as the cell phone.  

“That wasn't nice, Divinity, and bad boys have to be punished.” The laugh got more off key until Vin pulled the phone out of the wall, and it joined the mobile in pieces, he curled round Ezra sending out a sensory net of the building, anyone entering would face his gun.

Ezra knew that he was safe now, his feral was with him, and Vin was in blessed protector mode, which was in itself dangerous, but only to an outsider. Like this Vin would kill anyone that he saw as a threat to them. The attack as he stepped into the ranch had been quick and bite of the needle in his flesh had knocked him out. He had come round to find a fair haired woman sat on the bed with a dark haired man behind her one hand on her shoulder.  The woman had touched him, her hands roaming over his body, her nails scratching up the inside of his thigh as he had been stretched out open for her, her own personal toy. When she had kissed him, he had managed to bit her lip, the fire in her eyes, the cruel slash of her mouth as she had wiped the blood from her lips with the  back of her hand, then she had hit him hard across the face. She had told him graphically how his sentinels would find him, and it was only then that Ezra had been frightened not for himself, but for Chris, for Chris to lose his guide for a second time would send the predator into a downward spiral, and Vin over the edge. Then as quickly as they had arrive they had gone, but not before she had whispered in his ear, her laugh was off key and he knew that she was insane, and what she was a fallen angel. He turned his head and looked down at this chest, written in lipstick was the words catch me if you can lover.

Ezra knew that with Vin in his homicidal blessed protector mode, he had to defuse the situation, and he had to play a role just as he did when he was undercover.  Making a soft whimpering noise deep in this throat, he felt Vin pull him closer his mind opening to Ezra even further, Ezra changed the whimper to a cooing also purring, as he slide one hand into the feral shirt, as he now pressed soft kisses to his throat. He felt Vin tense, “Need you, need you now,” he nipped Vin’s throat. The woman’s violation of his body had to be removed by the love of his feral, later he would talk now he just wanted to feel the loving touch of his sentinel. Ezra allowed Vin to take him to the bathroom; the feral stripped quickly and helped him into the shower, running a flannel over his body washing away the stench of Charlotte and Richard Richmond’s touch. Suddenly his hand was caught and he met Ezra shocked face. “My god,” Ezra breathed as he took in the damage to the lithe body, the bruising and the scratch marks, his own pain and humiliation forgotten he caught Vin in a full body hug, the water cascading down over them, as he reached up and tugged Vin’s head up so that he was looking into the vivid blue eyes, seeing such hurt and guilt. Then he leaned in and kissed him, pressing him up against the wall of the shower, as he deepened the kiss, moaning softly into the hot cavern of his sentinel’s mouth as Vin’s hand squeezed his ass. They both needed this, and it was then that Ezra pulled back, reaching down caught Vin’s hand and pressed a kiss to it, and then lead his sentinel out of the bathroom and across to the master bedroom, their feet leaving wet footprints, as he took his sentinel on their alpha’s bed, a joining of mind, and body healing their souls against the abuse they had suffered.

0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Buck was pacing, the normally placid gamma was furious; some bitch had come into their home and attacked their guide, and had somehow got her talons into Vin. Chris was still at the safe house, and that put the burden on him. He had come home to Vin’s gun in his face, and Ezra hanging onto the feral grounding him. The big man had been horrified as he had heard about the attack on Ezra, and Buck had pulled him close much to Ezra’s disgust as his large hands  run over the southerner’s trim body, checking for damage.

“Mr. Wilmington, unhand me sir.” Ezra spluttered, then squawked indigently as Vin’s hand began to move on him as well, “Mr. Wilmington look what you have done” Ezra scolded as he realized that Buck had set the feral off again. “I only just got Mr. Tanner settled,” he turned in Buck’s hands and wrapped an arm round Vin’s waist and buried his face against his neck, as his hand stroked and caressed the ferals back, soothing him. “As you can see I am alright, the woman, and I do not regard her a lady, touched and threatened, but did not allow the man to violate me, but promised that she would be soon enjoying me charms along with those of Mr. Tanner.”  Only then did he  carefully ease back from his sentinels, “these concern me, Mr. Wilmington, and he produced a handful of pictures, “Mr. Tanner took the rest of them down, but as you can see,  I can only think that we will find more of these around the buildings we frequent, we will need to be vigilant.

Buck looked at the pictured in his hand, and swore, “You’re sure these are from another DVD VIn.”

Vin nodded.

“Junior you know how many DVD’s were talking about here.”

The feral shook his head; “Holland liked to get evidence on his clients” he shrugged.

“Okay son don’t worry it” Buck squeezed Vin’s shoulder affectionately, “were get her, and make her pay.”

Vin would have laughed in his face, if he hadn’t thought it would have hurt the big man’s feelings, they had no idea what they were dealing with.

0-0-0-0-0

1.00 am

George Taylor unlike like most of the shops stayed open until 1.00 am in the morning, he was working hard putting a ship in a bottle when the doorbell rang and a young man entered his shop. He pushed down the knot of fear which bubbled up within him when he saw the man stood there. “Divinity,” he whispered. “Long time no see, my boy. What can I get for you?”

“A tranq gun. I want one, with eight measures.”

“That little beauty has a $1, 500 tag on it, but I can get it for you by tomorrow.”

“Tonight, George. Now.” The Texan accent was stronger and the gunsmith knew what that meant Divinity was on the edge.

The man climbed down from his stool and went to the back of his shop. He came back with a black case and opened it up. “Do you have your cash, Divinity?” He swallowed hard, putting a plastic glove on before accepting the notes.

Divinity grinned at him. ”Now would I do that to you, George?” he drawled.

“Not that I don't trust you, my boy, but considering you whacked Carlo with a poisoned condom I'm not inclined to take any chances. Too many people have died by being careless. I don't intend to be one of them.”

When he looked back, Divinity and the case were gone. Of all the assassins he had dealt with, Divinity made him the most nervous. The kid never tried to chill him out with the “I am a big bad assassin” crap. Divinity inspired fears naturally he was a fallen angel.

0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Larabee Ranch

5.00 am

Chris groaned as the telephone rang near his head, he slapped the offending machine, even as Ezra crawled over him to answer it. “Standish,” Ezra answered, he knew that Chris would be following the conversation. “Judge Travis,” Ezra took a deep breath, “Sir there is no need to shout, and I am quite capable of hearing you. We will be in your office within the hour.” Ezra winced and lowered the phone, looking down into the face of his alpha; it appears that the Jordan family is missing.”

Chris was out of bed and yelling for Buck as he stormed through the ranch house, it soon became clear that Vin was gone. Buck yawned scratching his belly as he came out of his room. “What’s got you stirred up stud”?

“That little shit, had done a runner and took the Jordans with him”. Chris snarled at him. Buck threw his hands up to ward him off “I’ll get dressed don’t worry were find him.”  As he turned back into his room he sent up a pray that Vin knew what the hell he was doing, because his alpha was going to go territorial on his ass when he found him.

Judge Travis’s office

Judge Travis launched into Chris the moment he entered his office. “Tanner just called in he said that he has the  Jordans, and that he would give them back when he was finished, he also said he was sorry about the agents.” The judge paused Agent Dill” he indicated a small well built man, “tried to trace the call but he wasn’t on long enough to get a fix. So Agent Larabee, what the hell is he playing at?”

“I have no idea.” Chris suddenly exploded. “Why that stupid little… He's trying to flush her out, the other sentinel.” He paused. “It's a long story, Judge, but this other sentinel is female and a fallen angel the same one that attack Ezra and bugged your office.  Vin's trying to protect me. I swear I'm going to wring his scrawny neck when I get my hands on him.”

“Chris? “  Travis’s voice had softened slightly, “I don’t want to lock him up, I assume this has something to do with your sentinel connection, but I need those witnesses back, and Tanner in my office by noon tomorrow.” The judge paused “if he’s not I am issuing an APB on him.”

“Let me handle this, Judge, please. I can get them back, but if you start issuing APB's on him, this could get ugly. I promise, I can get them all back safe and sound.”

Chris waited, knowing that everything now hung on Judge Travis. “Then I want him in holding when you catch up with him, and the key thrown away, you get me Larabee until he learns to be team player?”

“Not going to happen Judge, but by the time I am finished with him, he’s going to be regretting it.”

“God help you if anything happens to Irene Jordan” the judge said “because the DA is going to want to hang him out to dry over this, and his head won’t be the only one to fall.”

 Ezra turned to Agent Dill, “Do you have the tape of Mr. Tanner’s call? Mr. Larabee needs to listen to it.” Ezra stood behind his sentinel and placed his hands on Chris’s shoulder, he felt the flinch, but didn’t pull back, he could feel the predator near the surface, and he lowered his head so that he was whispering into Chris’s ear. He felt Chris’s shoulders relax under his touch; the power of the sentinel was now at his guide’s command. At Ezra nod the tape was played, all the time Ezra spoke softly, as Chris filtered through the static and the background noise. The smile that twitched Chris’s lips was cold and humorless; he had found what he needed. Ezra drew him back to the present; Chris reached a hand up and patted his guide’s hand affectionately, and walked out of the office, with Ezra following in his wake, leaving Judge Travis to sink down in his chair, sentinels he mused who put him in charge of that particular circus had a sense of humor.

0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Irene Jordan sat on the camp bed in the deserted hotel, and hugged her daughter close to her, as she studied the young man that had kidnapped them.   “Angelica is after you and she doesn't give up. At the moment I am the only one who can keep her off your back. So let me do my job and do as I say, and you might just walk away from here alive”

“Why didn’t you tell the  authorities if you know this woman”?

“Because they can’t stop her, I can. Now I don’t like it lady but you’re the best decoy I’ve got.” Vin knew he had to draw Charlotte out; living through it would be a bonus.

He snapped the clip into the automatic. It was a special guild model, with a built-in silencer. Unlike other models, the silencer did not retard the power of the weapon.

Divinity tipped his head to one side; Angelica had arrived. Charlotte had found them. The final die was cast.

0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Charlotte entered the disused hotel, her pretty face a mask of distaste. She ranged out her senses and immediately pulled them back in. Vin had set up pockets of white noise, and one of them would house him and the targets. She just had to find out which one they were in. The only heartbeats she could detect belonged to the many vermin which inhabited the crumbling structure, her husband Richard had wanted to follow her inside, but she had ordered him to stay with the car, he might have been her handler but he was the weak link, and if Divinity got past her, Richard was a dead man..

She entered through the side exit, and felt as if she had stepped back into a bygone era. On one side of the lobby was a small bank of elevators. The electricity was long since cut off, so it left only the main stairway, and it would mean a floor-by-floor examination.

The first two floors had nothing, and she moved up the stairwell toward the third floor. Her foot was about to descend onto a step when she froze. The next three steps had a faint dusting of sawdust discoloring the dust nearby. With great care, she moved the rubbish collected on the edge of the stairway and found a sawed-off shotgun, deadly at close range, no doubt designed to blow her ankles to pieces. Working carefully, she disarmed the weapon. Although they had both taken the same courses, she had to admit, be it reluctantly, that Vin had surpassed her with his assassin abilities. While being a sentinel gave her a genetic advantage over most people as a fallen angel him could counter her moves. She moved forward again, albeit much slower -- where there was one trap there would surely be more.

One by one, she shut off the white noise generators. Cocking her head to one side, she realized she only had three more to locate and check out.

0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Divinity hadn’t expected Charlotte to fall into one of his traps, it would have been a bonus if she had, and he knew how the game was going to end.

He glanced over at Irene and Nancy Jordan. They were holding up well under the pressure, but in order to survive, they were going to have to follow his instructions to the letter.

He cocked his head to one side as he heard the change in the tone from the trackers he had placed. Charlotte had moved to a new floor. He checked the timer; all was now ready.

The old Penthouse had at one time been the height of 30's chic. He walked over to the far wall and pulled open the slide door. The dumb waiter was ready. “This will take you down to the kitchen. As soon as you get to the main floor, get out fast and call 911.”

“What about you?” Irene did not like the idea of the young man being killed on her behalf.

“I'll be all right. It's my plan, remember?”

“Are you sure it will support us?” Nancy asked her mother, her eyes wide open as she tugged at her mother’s arm.

 “You’ll be safe, I’ve checked it” Divinity reassured her.

Irene took a deep breath to calm her hammering heart and climbed in, then guided her daughter into her lap.

Divinity looked toward the timer and put in the ear plugs just before the timer kicked in. The high pitch squeal was too high for the Jordan’s to hear, but for Charlotte it would be as if a burning iron had been thrust through her head. He released the counter weight. The dump waiter moved slowly, but steadily downward.

He switched off his white noise generator, allowing a disabled Charlotte to hear his heart beat and the synthetic heart beats of her targets, then switched it on again, knowing the small taste would bring her running to him.

The white noise generator that Irene clung to would keep her and her daughter safely in a bubble of silence hidden from Charlotte.

Now the sentinel would come to his killing ground and she wouldn’t leave it alive.

0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Charlotte stopped dead in her tracks and pressed her hands to her ears trying to clear them. She carefully cast her senses out again, and swore she could hear three heartbeats, and then five then seven, she swore the bastard he was at his smoke and mirrors again. She edged near the door, and then fell flat as two bullets punched through the wall. One hit where her head had been, but the second hit her arm. It went numb with the shock. Unwinding her scarf, she tied it around the wound, realizing how lucky she was that it had only grazed her. Vin was playing for keeps. She glanced down at the second door, knowing it was possibly a connecting door, but pushed the thought aside as soon as she had it. If she knew Vin as well as she thought she did, there would be a shotgun rigged behind the door designed to cut her in two, meaning this was the only exit onto or off the floor.

She moved to the side of the door, then dropped down and back kicked it. The shotgun blasted a hole the size of a trashcan through the door. Vin had obviously lost none of his skills. Hell, he had been the only student to ever kill a handler during his training.

She swung around the corner of the door, and dropped to her knees as she rolled clear, coming up with her gun perfectly balanced, and then froze.

It was a Mexican stand off as Divinity and Charlotte faced each other.

With a swallow, she realized she was looking at the real Divinity, the cold professional; not the forced lover, made to couple with her when he was drugged up by his handler, but the assassin even their own handlers had feared.

Charlotte straightened up, “Why get yourself killed for a stupid woman and her brat? Why don't we kill them together, split the fee then get the hell out of Denver before those goodie-two-shoes sentinels gets in the way? You know that once they find out all about you that alpha of yours isn’t going to want you.”

Divinity looked at her thoughtfully. “It's too late for that, Charlotte. I've already had a better offer, one you can't top.”

“Freudian slip, Divinity. Is that what he gives you? I seem to remember how you like to bottom. But then you're a beta, and, of course, you're bred to roll over for your handler and offer up your ass.” Charlotte kept on taunting Divinity, hoping he would react then she could put him down, and then take out the targets.

“It's not going to happen, Charlotte. You're going to have to come through me first.”

“Getting soft, Divinity? There was a time when you would have blown their brains out, and enjoyed it.”

“Never the innocent, Charlotte” Vin drawled.

”And that is supposed to make a difference? That was always your problem and your attraction, Divinity. You had to have a cause to hide behind, so you didn't have to face up to the fact you're as much a cold-blooded killer as I am?”

She ranged out her senses then pulled them back, the bubble of white noise was grating on her nerves, but she made a guess anyway. “They're not here, are they? You don't think you can hold me here forever, do you, Divinity? You're going to make a mistake and then, like it or not, lover, I am going to have to kill you. Have you thought of that, how your getting out of here?”

“You don't get it yet, do you? I don't expect to leave this place alive and neither should you.”

For the first time he smiled as he saw the flicker of fear on her face as he realized she had walked into the perfect trap. She had banked on the fact that Vin would want to survive the confrontation. But now, she realized, that he was prepared to die to save them - no, not them. His sentinel and his guide.

She was unsure what to do. For her, this was pure business, and that did not include suicide. Somehow she had to force him to make a mistake, so she could take him down. Otherwise, she would never leave the building alive.

0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Chris got out of the SUV and moved to the side of the hotel, with Buck and Ezra following him, he didn’t not wanting to advertise their presence. Richard Richmond had fell victim to them, the man had never know what hit him, and he was now handcuffed and throw in the boot of his car. Once inside, Chris fought against sneezing, noting the thick layers of dust which coated the place and what fixtures were still left. Pushing out his senses he counted the number of heartbeats: four, one he recognized to be that his young lover. The two closest seemed to be in the wall. He pushed open the door to the kitchen and ducked as a flying pan swung over his head. “Mrs. Jordan, ATF. Where's Vin?”

“Top floor. You have to help him. The killer's up there with him.”

“Buck get them out of the building and keep them secure. I am going to get Vin.”

“We’re going to get them,” Ezra said, “don’t even think of it Mr. Larabee, I protect what is mine.”

Chris was about to argue but seeing the look on Ezra’s face decided to leave it until later, he locked his hearing onto Vin’s voice, the white noise generator he was using was useless the silent bubble shredded like tissue paper no match  for the powerful predator’s senses.

Through the background noise he heard Vin saying, “You don't get it yet, do you? I don't expect to leave this place alive and neither should you.”

He heard the silky female response which sent him into sentinel overdrive.  “You won't kill me, Divinity, we share too much history. Tell me your sentinel understands you like I do? Can he do you like I do? Does he know the way you like to take it, Divinity? Has he heard you beg for it?”

The goading tone was heavy, acting like acid biting into his brain. He moved faster up the stairs, intent on removing the threat to his guide. She would never have Vin. Ezra’s hand suddenly shot and his fingers wrapped round Chris’s arm pulling him back, one step before he would have activated the shot gun trap. Chris took a steadying breath, “thanks”.

“She’s been busy”. Ezra drawled.

“Hell no, that has to be Vin, that scrawny son of a bitch,” But there was affection in his voice for his resourceful young mate.

Chris slowed as he neared the room. He didn't want to barge in and break Vin's concentration, knowing he could end up getting them both killed if he did. He called out, “Okay, cowboy, I'm here.”

“We’re here Mr. Tanner” Ezra corrected.

 “Get out of here, both of you. I can take care of this.”

Charlotte cut across him. “No, come on in, Sentinel, and see just who, or rather what, your precious Fallen Angel is really is.”

Chris entered the room slowly and stepped to one side with Ezra fanning out to his left. Vin had his gun on a woman, a tall, willowy blond. Her gun was pointed at Vin in a typical Mexican standoff. There was no way he could kill her without her risking her putting a bullet into his young lover.

“Isn't this just cozy? Of course, we haven't been properly introduced yet. My name is Charlotte Richmond code name Angelica.” She looked Chris up and down, liking what she saw. “There's no real reason to argue over him, Sentinel Agent, or do you prefer Christopher? Remember, Vin? That training session when they tied you down and fucked you to break you. Kerr said it didn’t work but that you were one hell of a good fuck?”

“Shut up, lady” Chris said his voice ice old and deadly. “There's nothing you can say that would make me turn away from Vin.” Chris noticed that Vin stood a little straighter. Did Vin really think she could say anything that would make any difference to him?

“Are you sure, Christopher?  How many men do you think would allow me to carve my mark on him and come back for more? Bit of advice, one sentinel to another, he likes it rough when you fuck. He can't really connect deep unless he's had a taste of pain, but when he does it is so sweet.”

Larabee's expression never changed. His attention never wavered from Charlotte.

Ezra watched Vin’s face and was cognizant of the fact that the feral thought he had lost everything. That even if Chris didn't believe all the filth she was spewing, he might think there was some kernel of truth to her words. He could almost see Vin’s heart shattered as he thought he had lost his last hope of a life .He knew what Charlotte was up to; she was trying to throw Chris off guard so she could kill him. He couldn't allow that to happen.

Already she could see that for all his professionalism, Vin was inching towards his alpha. His attention might be fixed on her, but for all his calm, cool, supposed collectiveness, he was, on some unconscious level, focused on Larabee. It made the anger burn even more brightly within her heart as she realized this was the one thing she could never have with him. She had taken, through blackmail, what she wanted, but he had never come to her bed willingly. He had always withheld that part of him that would have given her control over him, his heart.

She decided then and there to put a bullet in Standish. Nothing terminal, since the three of them were life bonded it would throw them into shock which could easily zone them. It would then give her the opportunity to kill Larabee and take Divinity down.  She would call Richard up, and between them they would take the guide within sight of his wounded and dying sentinels Divinity would then be hers, she would have taken his body, taken his guide and in doing so taken his soul. 

She shifted her balance and in that one second her gun wavered, Chris fired, the bullet throwing her backward. One thought ran through her mind -- he was an agent and he shot her.

0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Chris walked over and kicked the gun out of her reach.

“You're only an agent.” She coughed on the blood that bubbled at her mouth. “You shouldn't have...”

“Been able to take you?” Chris finished her sentence. “Do you really think you're the only one here that's that’s been trained, I was guild before I became ATF?”

“Guild?” She choked and blood ran down her chin.

“The angel of death, you really thought I just made the name up.”

“You can't be. He's dead.” Her eyes opened wide. The Angel was a legend from the early days of the Assassin’s Guild, and as a Fallen Angel she had heard all about him. Rumor had it that one day he had just vanished. Everyone had assumed he had been taken down, although no one ever claimed responsibility for the hit.

“No, I simply changed professions.” He cocked his head to one side, listening to the approaching wail of police and ambulance sirens. “Pity they'll get here too late.” He never blinked as he pulled the trigger. The threat was neutralized once and for all. Slowly he turned towards his guide and his young lover.  It was then Chris heard the sound of footsteps racing up the stairwell. He slipped his ID out of his pocket and held it up as they entered keeping his gun pointed to the floor. “SSA Chris Larabee.”

Sergeant Miller was an old hand, she made sure that all three men were covered by her partner before she checked the ID only then did she holster her gun. “Sorry about that Agent Larabee, but”.  He waved her apologies away, “her name’s Charlotte Richmond, bag her and tag her, we’ll be at the federal office” then he ushered his guide and mate out of the room.

At the federal building, Chris went in to speak to Judge Travis, leaving Vin pacing with Ezra watching over him. Whatever had been said between them Vin didn’t know but Chris seemed satisfied. Vin felt his fear settle in his stomach like a lead ball. He didn’t realize that the face he turned as Chris came out was one of total despair.

Chris raised a hand, “We’ll talk when we get home”.

On the way home, because that was what the ranch had become to him, Vin pulled back from Chris, as he tried to shore up his emotions. He flinched as the sentinel reached for him, knowing that Chris’s touch would be his undoing. Chris frowned as he saw Vin reactions; he glanced in his rear view mirror and saw the look that Ezra gave him they would deal with this when they got home.

Pieces clicked in Chris’s head as he drove Vin had very little self worth; oh he had confidence in his ability as a fallen angle, but didn’t believe that people would want him for himself, only for what he could give them. The injury he had seen on his lover's back was what Vin had been endured in order to protect him, knowing she would attempt to kill them. So Vin had gone with her to give him time to come up with a plan to take her out. Chris was humbled by the devotion Vin had shown, and he made his own silent vow at that moment, that he would protect Vin from anyone trying to harm him, even if that meant protecting the feral from himself.

Arriving at the ranch, Chris braked in a shower of stones; he was out the driver’s door and yanking open the passenger door in a second, caught Vin and dragged him out of the car and into the ranch house.

His fear for his young lover came out as pure anger.  “Why in the hell didn't you tell me?” The predator’s aggression made Vin pull back, but he was caught and pulled even closer. “Fallen angel or not, you could have been killed,” each word was punctuated by hard shake.

“If I died, you could have bonded again.” Vin managed to say, as he tried to knock Chris’s hands away.

But was hauled up and shook again. “Do you think that my bond with you is that fragile, Tanner?” The anger lashed around Vin, as hard as any blow. “If you had died I would have eaten a bullet. Don't you get it? I died inside when my family was murdered, you brought me back, and there will never be another bond.”  Chris shook him again. “No one can ever take your place. We live or we die, but whatever the choice, we do it together.”

Chris could finally see that he was getting through to his young lover. The tension eased in the feral as finally he believed that Vin was beginning to understand how important he was to him. Now he was going to show him Chris gave a small nod to his guide and his gamma.

Buck moved up behind Vin and slide his arms round the smaller man, and buried his face against the back of Vin’s neck, and pressed a kiss to his skin, Vin shivered at the sensation as he covered Buck’s hand with his. Chris raised a hand to tilt his face up, and then he was caught into a soul melting kiss, at the same time as he felt Ezra’s hands on his belt, undoing it and pushing his pants down to his feet, then hands were lifting his foot one at a time, to pull his shoes off and then his pants, as Buck expertly stripped him of his jacket and shirt. The cold air hitting him, and the warmth of the hands that were touching him, made him catch his breath and try to push against his lovers as their bodies surrounded him. When Ezra’s mouth took him, he screamed and dug a hand into the guide’s short hair, as at the same time  Chris claimed his mouth plundering it his  tongue mimicking  what he was doing to Ezra’s mouth. His body jerked and bucked as the gamma pressed two spit slick finger into his body, and twisted and thrust in an out of him hitting the pleasure gland again and again ruthlessly, the over load of sensation sent him into completion, as his seed poured from his body. The barriers to his mind were completely destroyed and he felt flooding through him the love and total acceptation of his lovers as he sank limply into their arms.

Later, Vin lay on his alpha’s bed, held tight in his arms with Ezra curled round him, his head resting against his thigh and Buck stretched along the length of his body. “Why did you disappear?”

Chris chuckled. “A change of profession, I met Sarah while I was healing from a gunshot wound, and her father hated me on sight, but we just knew that it was right,” Chris shrugged, “but we still got married and Sarah and Adams, needed more than an assassin for a husband and a father. I joined the ATF.”

Vin pressed a kiss to his alpha’s jaw, rubbing his face against his, comforting him as he felt Chris’s anguish at the death of his family. “It’s alight Vin,” Chris eased back slightly and tipped Vin’s face up so that he could  claim his mouth in a tender kiss, on his face an expression that would have shocked anyone that thought they knew bad ass Chris Larabee. “I still mourn them, but that is my past and you are my future,” he kissed Vin again to seal the pledge.

 “Judge Travis, is not going to want me around, I broke the rules, Chris.” Vin said as he looked down.

“You didn’t break them cowboy, you shattered them. But you’re mine,” he looked at Ezra and Buck, “ours,” he corrected, and smiled as he felt the tension slowly melt from the lithe body. “You're not going anywhere and the judge knows that”.

 Vin suddenly pushed Chris onto his back, as he clambered on top of him, straddling his lover, pinning his shoulders down on the bed, he cocked his head to one side, “you really mean that,” there was almost desperation in his voice.

“Have you ever known me to say something that I didn’t mean”? Chris said as his hand gently caressed the younger man, reassuring him with touch.

Vin cocked his head to one side, as he said “well there was that,” , Chris would never tell him, he was to attached to his privates to do that but Vin looked cute like that, so he covered it with.

“Smart mouthed scrawny Texas swamp rat” Chris snarled back at him.

“YEAH, but I am your scrawny Texas swamp rat,” Vin said as he leaned down his lips brushing Chris’s mouth, but pulling back before he could be kissed.  “Getting slow old man.”

Buck and Ezra only just had time to roll out of the way as Chris snarled “Show you old” as he flipped Vin over, rolling the younger man under him, Vin’s legs falling open to allow him to settle between them, with a grin like a Great White hearing the dinner bell, Chris’s gaze travelled over the lean naked body under his. He dove down kissing Vin, and then trailing his kisses down to nip at his jaw, and then his collar bone.

“You half cannibal Cowboy.” Vin drawled breathlessly.

“Did you just call me Cowboy” Chris mused, but whatever Vin was about to say was lost with a gasp as Chris attacked his nipples, alternating between sucking, licking, the hard erect flesh, then with a chuckle he blew across the wet nub, and Vin shuddered under him, then Chris was making his way down the lean body of his mate heading for the hard column of flesh that was pressing against his body, begging for attention.

As they rolled out of the way, Buck gave a whoop of joy as he found himself pinning Ezra under him. “Get off my you lug” Ezra complained as he tried  to push the bigger man off him, only to have his hands caught and effortlessly held in one big hand above his head.  Buck grinned and then swooped down and claimed Ezra’s lips in a light kiss, as he pulled back his tongue swiped across Ezra’s lips. He watched as Ezra licked his lips tasting him on himself, it was one of the most erotic things he had seen.

“You going to have your wicked way with me Mr. Wilmington, “Ezra said his voice dropping to the lower seductive register of the companion, the automatically made Buck that hard it was almost painful. He pushed his hips, and smiled as he saw Ezra eyes dilate as he felt the hard cock pressing against his lower stomach.

“Every time and twice on Sundays”. Buck said, moving slightly so that he could grind himself slowly against Ezra’s cock, he heard the slightly breathless catch and increased the grind, until Ezra was trying to arch up against him. He laughed softly as he robbed the normally smart mouth southerner of his words, now that’s when he knew he was doing it right. He glanced to the other side of the bed old Chris had Vin well in hand; he chuckled at the pun, and then went back to ravishing a most willing and needy guide. 

Chris had paused to watch Buck, but turned back as he heard the needful whimper from his young lover that boarded on pain. Even as he had teased his mate, Chris was always aware of never pushing Vin from pleasure into sexual pain. The younger man had already had too much of that in his life, for him to inflict that on him, but Chris was all too aware the darker side of his nature the predator, loved to have Vin, begging to be taken, to take him to the point when his taciturn lover could barely form words, and would just cling to him, rubbing and begging with his body to be taken.

 “Beautiful” Chris breathed as he took in the lean body spread out for his pleasure; he raised a finger and pressed it to the kiss swollen lips, never breaking eye contact Vin sucked on it as if his life depended on it. “Easy Vin”, Chris soothed him, then he trailed the split slick finger down Vin’s body, slowly circling and pressing the hard nipples, then down to his flat stomach, and then slowly along the flushed hard cock, swirling this finger tip lightly at its head gathering pre-cum, and then eyes still fixed on Vin, tasting the very essence of his young lover.  Then with one sure move he took Vin in his mouth, his hands pinning Vin’s hips to the bed as brought him to climax. The effect on them both was shattering, Chris rested his head on Vin’s belly as his lover ran his hands over Chris’s head and shoulders soothing him even as he rode his own climax, as Chris stroked his inner thighs gentling each other.

“Like this, makes me feel owned.”

“Vin,” Chris pulled back only to be caught and held down.

“Its okay, Chris. It's the way it should be. Right?”

Seeing the look on Vin’s face and knowing he had all the time in the world to make his lover understand, he said “Right, Whatever you want Vin.” Chris relaxed and with great care eased his body back up so that he could kiss Vin, and let him taste himself on his lips he was careful to keep his weight off him because of the damage to his body from when Charlotte had hurt him

Vin's hand caught him and pulled him down. “Need to feel you.” There was a slight panic to his voice as if scared that Chris would leave him.

“But whatever he was going to say was lost in a jaw cracking yawn.”

“Sleep. I'll be here when you wake Vin.”

“Promise?” Vin yawned hugely again, making him look impossibly young, and then he snuggled down and closed his eyes.

“Promise.” Chris gave Vin a hug, making sure he understood alpha and feral were one, cradling Vin close as he watched as Buck with one final thrust cried out his completion as he filled Ezra with his seed, then eased out of him giving him a light tender kiss to the lips, it was then that Chris  reached out a hand to Ezra, and pulled him close as he leaned over Vin’s body to kiss his guide, tasting Buck on his lips, and drew him in as Buck curled round Ezra his arm thrown over the younger man’s thigh a large hand clamped onto Vin’s hip, the four of them their legs and bodies intertwined. Chris’s last thought before he slid into sleep was that his pack was strong and united and no one could stand against them.

0-0-0-0-0

Four days later

The tension in the Federal building began to rise again twice they had to pull Vin off clan sentinels that bad mouthed Ezra,  calling him a companion, to a normal person the word didn’t seem wrong, after all that was what Ezra had been. But to Vin it was a slur since it was said in the same breath as whore. When he had bonded with Ezra he had taken a life vow to honor Ezra as his guide in all its forms. Calling him a companion after he was bonded as a guide was the worst possible insult that could be leveled at the southerner.

Josiah finally took Chris to one side; the older man hesitated as if he was trying to gage the volatile blond leader’s mood. “Well Josiah you said it was important” Chris said impatiently.

“You have to face Sentinel Prime Ryan down Chris, there’s no other way”.

“Those bastards been after Ez again”, even as he spoke Chris was sending a sensory net round the seated Ezra Standish as he sat typing up a report.

Ezra looked up, as he felt the brush of senses against him, a soft caress that made heat pool in his groin, it was the most erotic thing a guide could feel. In training they said to feel this way was wrong, that a sensory net thrown over a guide was just a means of checking they were all right, a show of respect to protect a guide. But Ezra knew that was wrong, he could feel the sexual heat resonating through the bond amplified through the sensory net, it was like a sensual caress over his body. Ezra shifted slightly in his chair to try and make himself comfortable, and tried to send back emotions that would calm his alpha. But one look into those green eyes, and the smile that was tugging his lips, told Ezra that it wasn’t working, carefully taking his time he shut down his computer, and then waited for Chris to finish his chat with Josiah.

Josiah continued “If you could keep on ignoring Ryan there wouldn’t be a problem, but that isn’t going to happen Chris, he’s like an itch that you’re going to have to scratch. I was speaking to Dr Blair Sandburg he’s done the most research on sentinel social ranking, and as a Apex Predator, there is no way that you’ll be able to ignore him. The attacks on Ezra are instigated by him directly or indirectly, and they will not go away, until Ezra is relegated back to being a companion, and the honoree title of guide is withdrawn”.

“Never going to happen” Chris snarled “and you solution is?”

“You take the son of a bitch down, and make Ezra the Guide Prime.”

“And I would finish his career as an undercover, Guide Primes have to take part in civil ceremonies they”.

“Then become the Senior Sentinel Prime”, Josiah said the name with relish, Detective James Ellison is the Senior Sentinel Prime in Cascade. Ryan keeps the title of Sentinel Prime, but as Senior Sentinel Prime you out rank him, he bends to your will, Ryan’s tame virginal Guide Prime takes part in all the public ceremonies with him, but you and Ezra have the power, they just maintain the illusion. I have spoken to four local businessmen all are sentinels and all having companions, which have accepted special reserve status. You allow them to come out of the closet with their companions, allow them to take the rank of guide in their own right, this way the heat is off Ezra, and we have decoys in the clan, Ezra will no longer be the only male guide”

“You think that would work.”

Josiah nodded in reply, his gaze fixing on Ezra, just as Buck came in dragging a snarling Vin Tanner into the office, as the younger man yelled a parting shot off in Spanish. That made the ex-preacher smile even if it was physically impossible; the boy had a vivid imagination

Chris looked up to the heaven, and then looked at Ezra who was already on his feet, heading straight for his beta sentinel and lover. By seductive mental caresses against Vin’s mind, the formable Fallen Angel barriers lowered and Ezra soothed the aggression.

“Chris we are under siege in our own building by members of the clan, this has to change before it ends badly.” Josiah put in firmly.

The slight nod of the head was the only confirmation he got, but it was enough for Josiah to know that Chris Larabee had finally reached a decision.

Josiah watched as Chris went over to Ezra his arm wrapped round the guide, and he scented at this throat, he whispered something into the agent’s ear. Ezra pulled back enough to look into the intense green eyes, and nodded. He went back to his desk and removed an overnight bag from the bottom draw and headed out of the office with Chris and Vin at his heels. Buck tipped his chair back “they’re going to bond, might be some time, junior needs to calm down and Chris needs to stake his claim on Ez, so Ez is going to have his hands full.”

Josiah perched on Buck’s desk, “I am right you know Buck.”

“Never said a truer word preacher. We just have to make sure that people don’t lose too many body parts when Chris takes over the clan.”

The guard and orderly stationed to look after the bonding rooms in the basement of the federal building looked up as the three men entered. The orderly recognized them, and got to his feet, opening the door of one of the rooms, Chris paused at the door, frowned, and turned on his heels, hands on hip. “What the fuck are you playing at, Ez don’t use that room that’s for companions, and he’s a guide.”

“Sentinel he’s a man” the orderly spoke levelly, “Sentinel Prime Ryan has said that Companion Standish can only bond in this room, and”. The next word was choked off as a hand latched on his throat and he was lifted off the floor and hauled up the wall until his feet were kicking in the air. Chris held him one handed, snarling at him, “Ez is a guide”, he punctuated each word with a thud against the wall. “Open up the Prime’s bonding suite now”.

“I can’t”

“Do it”, the growl was deep throated as the predator came out.

The guard nodded, and Chris let him fall back onto the floor the orderly’s hand went to his throat, he looked to the guard and was about to demand why he didn’t help him, when he saw the other sentinel had the guard pinned to his chair. No help there.

Ezra picked the key up from the desk, and then headed to the room, “Don’t bother to escort us I know the way.”

Once in the room, Ezra put the overnight bag down, and then began to strip, carefully laying his clothes out so that his suit wasn’t creased, until he was dressed only in his pants. The air in the room was chilled and he shivered and then the breath caught in his throat as he felt the warmth of the sensory net thrown over him, two nets caressing his body, making him hard at the sensual touch across his body. Vin took his place by the door, on watch ready to attack and kill anyone that threatened the bond, as Chris closed the distance between to their guide.

Ezra then sat down cross legged on the bonding mat, his hands resting on his knees, he had understood the territorial needs of his predator and feral and had spoken to both Nathan and Josiah.  They in turn had found him the information he needed, in particular he had had read a report by Dr Sandburg about the darkest bond, its animalistic nature had made experts believe that it was a myth, that was until Sandburg had undergone it with his own sentinel James Ellison, on the eve of the sentinel taking over leadership of the clan in Cascade, everything that Sandburg had described he saw detected twice over in his own sentinels.

Ezra  could see and feel the predator, and knew that he had to give the predator what he wanted, but that total and utter submission was not the way, not for the dark sentinel that the predator and feral were. He had to show them his worth that he had the right to take over the clan, that he had the strength to stand up and be counted. Chris moved towards him slowly as if frightened that he would spook him. But Ezra broadcasted through their link his total trust, and love encouraging is predator to come close, letting him know that he craved his touch, that he was prepared to offer up his body and his soul to his sentinels.

Chris’s hand rested on his head as if in benediction, then Chris moved behind him, kneeling close his body plastered against Ezra’s back, he shivered as he felt the warm breath of his predator on the back of his neck and the brush of lips on his skin.   The feral had a primitive heat that enflamed his mind, Chris was the ice that cooled the flames, the ultimate predator, the ultimate male alpha, and the power was frightening. Chris could tear his mind apart, burning his synapses leaving him crippled.

Ezra felt the weight of his alpha’s body pressed against him, an arm wrapped round his waist holding him tight as Chris stroked his, shoulders, flanks, and then back into his hair, caressing his scalp as the fingers carded through his short hair. Ezra signed softy  in response there was a  low and sexy chuckle, as teeth nipped at the side of his throat, and his ear lobe, making him shiver only for his alpha to chuckle again as he liked the reaction. But even in the heat of the need to mate and bond, Ezra could feel the love and the respect that Chris held him in, this was not some over sensed Neanderthal wanting to fuck him over to prove that he was his property. This was a man that held him in regard, whose hands worshiped his body, who’s ,mind opened up to him, making words no longer necessary, words that Chris couldn’t use out loud came through the bond, words of love and need. Ezra turned his head to look at Vin, the feral was sat near the door, and his arms wrapped round his knees his body rocking slightly as he fought to distance himself from them. Ezra shook his head feeling the feral distress this could not be allowed to stand. “No Mr. Larabee wait,”

“You're refusing to bond?” There was a warning in those words, Chris was on the edge the aggression was like a blow to Ezra, and he had to push back before the emotions of it swamped him, but Ezra refused to back down.

“Never, but Mr. Tanner also needs me, we are one, we are pack”.  Carefully Ezra reached out a hand, his eyes locked on the blue eyes of his feral, when Vin still hadn’t moved he  waved to him, reaching out to him with his mind along the link he encouraged him to  cross that short distance that separated them. Ezra noticed how Vin looked past him to Chris wanting needing the permission, the validation of his alpha lover that it was alright for him to want this, “come here Vin, we have a guide to claim,” Chris said his voice soft, the aggressive growl that he had used moments ago gone, only the voice of understanding and love left.

Taking Vin’s hand Ezra tugged him down so that Vin was knelt in front of him, as Chris’s his hand splayed flat against Ezra’s firm stomach, as he nuzzled the back of his neck.  As Vin leant in, and nuzzled the front of Ezra throat and jaw, little nips that made Ezra breath faster, his hands clutched at the clothes of the sentinels that held him, his eyes closed as he rode their emotions, panting as Vin’s hand cupped his cock through the pants, rubbing against it lightly, until Ezra found himself thrusting his hips forward trying to increase the feral’s touch, a soft mewing noise coming from his lips. But touch was not enough, Ezra connected them mentally  cocooning them as he  rolled  their minds so that they were intertwined together, and he knew what they wanted, the most primal of coupling, but which the civilized man in them both held them back from completing. The territorial challenge had brought it on, building their need into a fever pitch, Ezra closed his eyes, giving himself over to the feelings that the two men flooded his mind with, the need to pin him to the ground and plunder his body, going so deep that it would feel as if they were touching his  very heart and soul, burying their seed so deep in him that it would never leave him. The primal coupling of the dark bond was coming; he knew that when they took him, it would be brutal and raw but in his heart of heart Ezra knew that he could control it, he could control them.  Every book Ezra had read told him that the dark bond didn’t exist, but they were so wrong, he groaned as Chris bit his throat worrying his skin to mark him as Vin continued nipping and sucking at him, he was being eaten alive by his sentinels. The dark bond was coming closer and he could feel it vibrating through his body to the  beat of his alpha’s heart, his head went back to rest on Chris’s shoulder as it exposed the full column of his throat to Vin, hands caressed him, and he Ezra gave himself over to the bond, knowing that the day they fought for him, and took the territory of Denver as their own, would be the catalyst that gave birth to the darkest  bond, like a storm coming all he could do was survive it.  

Two hours later

Sentinel Prime Ryan leaped to his feet as the door to the meeting room flew open, nearly coming off its hinges, the man that came in wore all black,  his duster snapped round his legs, with his dirty blond hair he looked like an angel of death, all he was missing with a scythe. The younger man to his left also wore all black, like a second skin and then in the middle protected by them was a third man, his trim body covered in an immaculate black suit, the black relieved only by a deep red silk tie, he looked as if he had just stepped off the cover of GQ. Ryan instantly lifted his head and caught the musky scent of sex that radiated from this man, mixed with the scent of the two sentinels, his disgust showed on his face

It was then Ryan felt the green eyes rake over him, and he felt the first touch of fear going down his spine. He had taken control of the Denver clan when the former prime had stood down, the man was getting old, and rather than fight had given up his position. But the man stood in front of him, was in his prime, and looked ready to tear him limb from limb. Ryan took a steadying breath, as he knew all too well who and what he was facing, but he couldn’t afford to back down.

“Agent Larabee, your attendance to the meeting of the pack is overdue, but I am pleased to see that you have finally decided to pay your respects. But I am”  Ryan allowed his anger to show, “saddened and disgusted to see that you have brought your feral with you, and that whore of a companion.”

“You always shoot your mouth off like that,” Vin drawled.

One of the sentinels swung at Vin meaning to put him down, but the next second was on the floor a foot pinning his throat down and looking up into the barrel of a Glock, the dark bond  had increased  Vin’s reaction to an unheard of level, the shield of the clan was reborn.

Chris ignored it knowing his young lover could handle any of them, his attention was fixed on Ryan, and a smile twitched his lips as he heard the increase in heart beat the man was scared of him. “Guide Ezra Standish tells him.”

“Special Agent Christopher Andrew Larabee, sentinel of the Dark Bond, challenges you to combat for the position as Senior Sentinel Prime of the clan of Denver.”

“You can’t be serious” Ryan blurted out, “we don’t fight anymore, we.”

“You are challenged do you accept.” Ezra pressed him.”

Ryan looked round the faces of his clan, “Yes, god damn it” he added, knowing that he was in trouble, if he fought he would lose, if he didn’t he would lose, what choice was left. The training that Ryan had was good, but against a predator and former SEAL he was way in over his head.

Chris was holding onto the predator within him as they fought, Ryan was trained and got in some good shots one of them sending him thudding into the wall, only just managing to twist away from a kick that would have unmanned him if it had landed. Head ringing Ryan got him pinned to the wall with a hand to his throat, it was then that Ryan saw it. Larabee’s eyes changed, the green cold glare became like liquid fire, and he saw the alpha replaced by the predator, just as his hand was caught and peeled back off Larabee’s neck, green eyes burned into his and then snapped his fingers like twigs. Ryan staggered back from Larabee, clutching his mangled hand, then the predator was on him, and all he could do was try not to die.

“Chris no,” two words yelled by the only man that could pull him from a killing rage.

Chris Larabee looked up into the face of the man that had called out to him his guide.

“Mr. Larabee, I believe that Mr. Ryan had surrendered to you, please refrain from breaking his neck, the paperwork would be horrific,” Ezra drawled and then turned “Mr. Tanner, what have I told you about doing that, unhand that man this minute, no now sir” Ezra shook his head and huffed, “Senior Sentinel Prime Larabee, you will have to take your Shield Mr. Tanner in hand.”

Chris grinned, as he wiped a trickle of blood from his mouth and nose with the back of his hand, their link buzzed and flared leaving Ezra in no doubt what he would be doing with his young lover to keep him in hand. Then Chris surprised him by saying, “That’s your job Ez, now you’re the Senior Guide Prime,”

“Senior Sentinel Prime,” the voice was female; Chris turned and saw a young woman stood there in the flowing virginal white gown of the clan guide.  “My name is Jane West I am your guide.”

Chris looked her up and down, his voice icy “Lady you don’t look anything like him” he let the last word linger in the air, then reached a hand out, his eyes never leaving her face he pulled Ezra close as the southerner tipped his head to submissively offer up his throat to his alpha’s teeth, as he heard the gasps of shock from the other sentinels as they saw the extensive bruising on his throat already from their bonding, and now they all scented the musk of both feral and predator on the trim body of the companion, now Senior Guide Prime. Their voices began to rise he heard whore companion spat towards him. Then as suddenly as it started it was silenced. As the predator and the feral faced down the sentinels of the clan,  the predator his hands still wrapped round his guide nuzzled Ezra’s throat as his teeth grazed the tender flesh. It was then the predator turned on them and gave them a smile that had all the warmth of a great white shark “now this is how things are going to be” Chris drawled as he laid down his law. At his side Ezra felt the dark bond like a living force wrapping round them, he looked to the female guide and saw her slowly backing away as she sensed the darkness, and he favored her with a triumphant smile. She thought she could claim his sentinels, she was wrong, the dark bond was coming; the birth of the Shield foretold it and nothing now could stop it.

0-0-0-0-0

The next morning – Judge Travis’s house.

Judge Travis sat at his breakfast table, and picked up the envelope that had arrived in the morning post, and glanced at the post mark, it read Denver, he slid his knife under the flap, even as he listened to his wife chatting away about her planned day. He pulled out a letter it contained only a few lines, and a handful of photographs he took one look and paled, he felt his wife’s hand on his, and looked up into her concerned face. “Darling are you alright”.

“Yes Eve fine” he said gently, but pushed the photographs inside of his pocket, his hand shaking slightly as he picked up his cup of coffee, the one line of the letter ran through his mind be sure your sins will find you out.

The End.