Private Investigations

Book Eleven

by Beth AKA Midge

ATF Universe

Chapter 4
Chris ran a hand through his hair and sighed. The answers he needed were at his fingertips only he didn´t realize how complicated they would be. He contacted his friend Lt. Dave Mathews in Denver and had him fax over the police reports that entailed the warehouse Guarde was talking about as well as the car bomb that had killed his family. He´d never understood why Samuel Gardner had given him a copy of the FBI´s file regarding his wife and son and at the time he didn´t think to ask. Chris had been a member of the SWAT team and because Sara and Adam had been the family of a police officer the FBI was automatically involved.

Gardner had done something not only against regulations, but also against his own beliefs. He´d given to Chris Larabee a very large piece to a puzzle. The only thing was that nobody even realized it at the time.

The case of a car bomb exploding in Chris Larabee´s driveway was in fact the Harrison case. Only after rereading the police report that Mathews had sent him did he realize it. Harrison´s name had only been mentioned once. It was mentioned by a civilian who had been interviewed by a rookie cop after the take down of the storage warehouse in Denver. Nobody put two and two together because at the time Harrison had covered his ass and Harrison was only a name. That civilian was later found dead of a drug overdose. What made the situation even worse was the simple fact that the civilian only had a name, no description, no phone number, nothing that could link Harrison to the warehouse. Nothing, except for a skinny, teenage girl who just happened to be hiding in the warehouse at the wrong time. And she was dead too.

Chris looked at his men. They continuously watched the house across the street. They read through the files. They had listened to everything Guarde said to Ezra and without having spoken to the undercover agent they knew what they were going to do. Ezra held a winning hand, if he played his cards right. Chris realized that if Ezra was going to win this then he´d have to do it alone. Only he wouldn´t be alone. Chris and the others would watch his back, they would be there when he needed them, or at least try to be, and they´d be ready to pick him up if he fell. It was all a part of their job; it was a part of themselves because Ezra was a part of them.

The sun was making its decent and the evening light seemed to glide over the street changing its usually dull gray appearance to a bronze glimmer. The house had been quiet only the occasional order to his men coming from Guarde. The shuffling of papers and the sound of a glass hitting the table could be heard and the team knew Ezra was reading and studying everything he read and saw. His photographic memory was working on overdrive tonight.

Buck had been ordered to tail the taxi as soon as it picked Ezra up from Guarde´s house. Chris wanted to know where their undercover agent was going to be staying over the duration of this case. That way, if the need arose, they could pull Ezra off the case by force if they had to. They weren´t willing to watch him kill himself for this case, they´d rather him hate them for the rest of their lives than to bury him.

+ + + + + + +

Ezra read through the paperwork and shook his head in disbelief. He now had information linking Harrison to stolen weapons that had been confiscated from dealers and were being stored in government warehouses. The real shock came when he realized Harrison was bringing in large shipments of drugs from not only Mexico but South America as well. And he was doing it on the government´s dime.

It would seem that Samuel Gardner had fallen into the same mess that Ezra had. Only he had been killed for the information he had uncovered. Ezra rubbed his eyes and then closed the last file. He had the evidence; there was enough information in these files combined with his own files that could put a man away for years to come. The problem lay in finding out exactly who that individual was.

Pat stepped back into the dining room and smiled. The man sitting at the table was diligent enough; there was no doubting that. The files Samuel had collected meant little to Pat, except for the fact they meant something to Samuel. Whatever was in those files had gotten him killed and the only thing that mattered to Pat Guarde was finding his son´s killer and the revenge that would follow. He would let Agent Standish take the files but only after he got the name of the mysterious killer.

“Where are you going to start?” Pat asked, leaning against the wall.

“Police reports, FBI files…” Ezra ran his hand over his face and stood up. “I´ll make a few phone calls and see what else I can find.”

“Get me a name…that´s all I care about.” Pat stepped foreword and handed Ezra a card. “You need anything call that number or go to the address listed there. One of my men is always at that site and I´ve given him specific instructions…”

“This wouldn´t be one of the same individuals that so gracefully seized me in the back of the alley?”

Pat smiled. “Those men were quickly reprimanded for their actions and no…it is someone else.”

Ezra took the card and slipped it into his wallet. “I need to call a cab.”

Pat reached around the corner and retrieved the cordless phone. “Don´t try and run…I know more about you than Davis knows about himself.” The warning was clear and Ezra took it with a nod of his head.

+ + + + + + +

“Buck,” Chris called. “Take Vin with you and keep a tail on the taxi picking up Ezra…don´t lose him.”

Buck slapped Tanner on the shoulder and headed out the door. Vin reached up and caught the cell phone Chris threw him. “You want us to call you when we find out where he´s stayin´?”

“Yeah,” Chris nodded his head. “Don´t let him see you…not yet anyway,” he ordered. He needed to let Ezra get as far as he could on his own. If the Southerner could find what he had to in order to get a conviction on Harrison things would hopefully get back to normal.

+ + + + + + +

Buck followed the yellow taxi through the streets of Indianapolis. He stayed a couple cars back knowing Ezra could spot a tail faster than most could spot a school bus. The only advantage the ladies man had was the simple fact that night had long since descended and every high school student was out driving the strip because school started in a week.

Vin watched the taxi like a hawk watching its prey. He anticipated lane changes, stoplights, and directions, simply by the driver of the taxi´s techniques. Vin could probably track a mountain lion through the Rockies if given the opportunity.

Buck pulled into the fast food restaurant when he noticed the taxi pull into the hotel. Ezra jumped out and jogged inside. The taxi remained where it was and Buck noticed the driver was content to wait.

+ + + + + + +

Ezra reached his hotel room and threw his few belongings back into his duffle bag. He grabbed the garment bag out of the closet then snatched up his brief case that had been stored underneath his bed. He took one last look around the room and closed the door behind him. Ezra didn´t say anything to the checkout clerk, instead he only paid his bill and turned in the key card.

He needed to get someplace where he wouldn´t be bothered. Where hotel staff wouldn´t be knocking on his door yelling ‘room service´. He needed a place where he could lay files out and not feel like he was being watched. He also needed a place that would allow him to leave without having to alert the desk clerks or the guards at the exits who were posted there to keep nonpaying guests out.

Ezra slid into the back seat of the cab and gave the driver instructions on where to drop him. There was a small hotel on the outskirts of town. Close enough to get back to town in a hurry and far enough away to escape the trials of a busy city.

+ + + + + + +

“Think he´s runnin´?” Buck asked, pulling out of the restaurant to once again follow the taxi.

“If he is…” Vin didn´t want to think about it, “Guarde ‘ill make due on his promise.”

+ + + + + + +

The motel looked to have been built during the Great Depression. The ‘U´ shaped design did little to hide the slowing decay of the building. Only one outdoor light worked and that was above the manager´s office. Paint chips littered the ground next to the exteriors. Though the grass had been cut it was obviously a lame attempt to ‘spruce up the place´. The previous night´s hard rain had left streaks of dirt on the windows.

Ezra slid out of the rear seat of the taxi after paying the driver and then grabbed his belongings. There were only a few cars parked in front of some rooms and that suited the Southerner just fine. The less people in the vicinity was better. Ezra opened the door to the manager´s office and jumped slightly when the bell above the door rang and the hinges on the door squeaked. The red haired man from behind the counter looked up and spit some of the tobacco he´d been chewing on into the spittoon on the floor next to his desk.

“You lookin´ for a room for the night or for the hour?” the red head asked, his voice was low and scratchy.

“Let´s start with the next week,” Ezra responded. He hesitantly put his luggage on the floor of the office and retrieved his wallet.

“Sixty eight bucks a night.”

Ezra raised an eyebrow but handed the man his credit card without saying anything. He noticed a white sheet of paper taped up on the wall behind the counter that read ‘In God we Trust, All others pay Cash´. He signed the bill and replaced his wallet back into his pocket. “Might I presume there is cleaning service in this fine establishment?”

Red chuckled lightly. “Only by request.” He smiled mischievously.

Ezra kept himself from rolling his eyes and grabbed the key the manager handed him. This wasn´t the worst place he´d ever stayed in, not by a long shot. He was an undercover agent for pity sake. Half the time he slept in roach traps and the other half he was sleeping in palaces.

“You´re in room 13…just across from this office.” Red pointed out the dirt-streaked window toward the motel room. “Just to let you know…I don´t ask questions, I don´t expect explanations…it´s less of a problem should, of course, the cops get involved.”

Ezra nodded his head in understanding. He didn´t feel the need to explain his reason for being here and he defiantly didn´t need to explain himself to someone like the man sitting on the other side of the counter. He picked up his luggage and excused himself from the office and headed toward his motel room.

+ + + + + + +

Buck and Vin watched their friend from across the street. They waited to call Chris and let him know where Ezra was staying once they knew what room he was staying in.

The look on Vin´s face caused Buck to ask, “What in the hell are you grinnin´ about?”

“I´s just wishin´ that I had a camera,” Vin chuckled, “I´d take a picture of Ez goin´ inside that room and blow it up for him when he gets back to the office in Denver.”

“Haven´t you learned anything?” Buck asked. Tanner had been a victim of the brownies, he´d seen the judge´s reaction to the videotapes, and the verbal wars Ezra´d had with his superiors.

“I figured I´d put Nate´s name on it, you know… ‘Ez, did you rent this by the minute or by the hour? Nate´.”

“Tanner, you´re lookin´ at getting five pounds of dog shit in a lunch sack.” Buck laughed.

“Just as long as he don´t light it on fire,” Vin responded with a chuckle of his own.

Chapter 5

Ezra stepped into the 14th Police District headquarters and retrieved his FBI badge from his breast pocket. “I need to speak with someone about a murder case from eight months ago.” He looked at the woman behind the counter in full uniform. Her black hair was cut short and styled in a simple yet pleasurable manner. Her dark eyes scanned him over and she smiled gently. He noticed the black band that was crossed over her badge and he realized an officer from this precinct had lost their life recently.

“You´ll need to speak with Detective Martinez, he´s upstairs the first door on your right.” She pointed to the stairs and continued on her work.

Ezra tipped his head and started in the direction she´d given him. Officers, both in street clothes and uniforms, walked through the department with purpose in their strides, it was a busy place there was no denying that. The detective squad was right across the hall from the vice squad their only difference being the signs on the doors. The sound of phones ringing and voices echoing throughout the building seemed to clutter Ezra´s already busy mind.

When he stepped into the squad room he noticed right away the camaraderie between the detectives. Something he was missing terribly.

“Can I help you with something?” A man about Chris´ age asked. His short black hair was cut in the military style and his dark brown eyes were set deep in his skull.

“I´m looking for a Detective Martinez,” Ezra responded.

“That would be me,” Martinez smiled, “what can I do you for?”

“I understand you worked a case about eight months ago regarding the shooting death of an FBI agent?”

Martinez thought a moment and nodded his head, “You FBI?”

Ezra pulled his badge identification from the inside of his jacket and showed it to the officer standing before him. “The case Samuel Gardner was working on prior to his death is the one I´m working on now. I would like to see any files you have available regarding his death.”

Martinez thought a moment. “I don´t recall receiving any requests for the files from the bureau.”

“You didn´t,” Ezra acknowledged.

The detective smiled, he knew then that the ‘investigation´ was a personal one and he definitely wasn´t going to hinder the FBI agent´s need to find answers. “I´ll go see what I can find,” Martinez motioned for Ezra to take a seat while he went to find the old files on the case that at this point was still unsolved.

+ + + + + + +

Chris continued to have Ezra followed. He wanted to get to the undercover agent and let him know he wasn´t in this alone. He also knew that if he got to Ezra too soon then they might hinder the progression of the case and if they got to him to late they might risk losing him all together.

While the others were shocked to hear where Ezra was staying Josiah and Chris understood his reasoning. The Southerner didn´t want to be found and the likelihood of someone actually taking the time to look in such a place would have to know him better than he knew himself. Part of the job of being an undercover agent meant knowing where to hide and knowing where and when to be seen. Ezra wasn´t just good at what he did…he was the best.

JD and Nathan were pulling tail, following Ezra wherever he went. Chris wanted to make sure they would be there for him if he got into trouble. Ezra was burning the candle at both ends, working with Guarde and working with the FBI…not a good situation on a good day.

Guarde remained at home moving outside long enough to water his roses then quickly going back into his home. His bodyguards were always within hearing reach of their boss, always dressed to the hilt and always on guard. Occasionally the phone would ring and the music would be turned up loud enough to keep Chris and his men from hearing what was being said. The team leader realized Guarde was on to them, but Guarde hadn´t made a hostile move as yet, which while puzzling, wasn´t reason enough to jeopardize Ezra´s position. They were here for one reason and one reason get Ezra back.

Nathan and JD entered the bedroom exhausted. The kid held a large Coke in his grasp while Nathan drank his bottled water. They lost Ezra after he entered the FBI building. Nathan figured he had to report to his superior but after five hours he agreed with JD that Ezra had given them the slip.

“Do you think he knows someone is following him?” Chris asked out of concern.

“No.” Nathan shook his head. “His first stop was at the 14th Precinct this morning and he was in there for a good three hours. Then he grabbed some coffee and disappeared into the FBI building. JD and I went back to his motel to see, if by chance, he went back there but we couldn´t tell without taking a chance on getting spotted.”

“Josiah and I will take the night shift tonight…” Chris started but was interrupted by JD.

“No offense Chris but I think we need to let him know we´re here. It´s been six days since we arrived and I think that if we could get this bug on Ezra we could keep track of him a whole lot easier than trying to tail him…hell…Buck and Vin are still tapped out from taking last night´s shift.”

Chris ran his hand through his hair and thought hard a moment. “I don´t want to scare him off.”

“You underestimate him,” Josiah said from the doorway. “Ezra is as much a part of this group as any of us. He just has a harder time showing it…I´d bet my life that it tore him up inside to have to leave, just because he didn´t fight it tooth and nail like Buck might or quit like Vin might or retire like I might doesn´t mean his transfer was any less painful.” Josiah watched the reactions from each of them. It was in Vin and Chris´ nod of their heads, JD´s understanding smile, Nathan´s thoughtful eyes, and Buck´s look of confirmation. “I think JD´s right, we need to let him know were here for him.”

Chris looked around the room at the faces of his men. Josiah and JD were right. “Nathan, grab your medical bag you can check him out make sure he´s not wearing himself out. Vin you´re comin´ with us as well. The rest of you keep an eye on Guarde, and JD, make sure that bug we plan on sticking on Ezra is workin´.”

+ + + + + + +

The hotel room was far from elegant but it was tolerable. The bed was clean and so was the bathroom and that was all he cared about. Ezra tossed the pile of files he´d collected from his various stops onto his bed and headed straight for the shower. More files were spread out over the floor, table, chairs, and nightstand. The files he´d retrieved from Detective Martinez didn´t help him find a name or anything that could lead him to the killer of Samuel Gardner but the more he read the more it looked like Samuel´s killer was Agent White´s killer as well. Both shootings were the same and the shooter had the same MO. It was frustrating to have hard evidence against someone and not have a face for the perpetrator.

When he exited the FBI building he noticed a car parked across the street, the same car had followed him all day. So he left through the back way as to not be seen. Whether it was one of Guarde´s men or some FBI agents, Ezra didn´t care. If he was being followed he had no intention of making it easy on the individuals doing the following.

Ezra stepped out of the shower feeling somewhat refreshed. He was tired but he´d taken some time today to eat a whole meal, something he´d been forgetting to do lately. His head was killing him, thankfully it wasn´t a migraine just a lack of sleep. His body was telling him to slow down and he´d been ignoring it until now. He slipped on a pair of boxers and towel dried his hair while listening to the shower drip and the low moan of the air conditioner.

The only light in the room came from the bathroom, which suited Ezra just fine. He didn´t want to face the files spread out across his room and by turning on a light he´d have too. He peeked out through the window and noticed a group of cars parked across the way from his room. Kids out partying. They entered and exited their motel room dressed in grass skirts and Hawaiian shirts. Because of the lack of tenants nobody seemed to mind their loud music or beer drinking. At least they had rented a room for the night so hopefully they wouldn´t be out driving under the influence.

Ezra let the window drape fall closed again and he stepped back toward the bed. His weapons rested on the files that were on the nightstand. Ezra quickly slipped into a pair of sage colored Dockers then reached for his Glock when he heard the sound of a car door slamming too close to his room for comfort. Quickly he reached around the wall to the bathroom and flipped off the light.

+ + + + + + +

Nathan grabbed his medical bag out of the back seat of the rental car then slammed the door. Vin and Chris exited the rental and headed immediately for the room numbered thirteen. The party across the way was in full force and Chris was rather surprised that parents would let their teenage children out at such a late hour to be partying and drinking without adult supervision. But as he remembered back to his own youthful days as a teenager some of the parties he´d attended the chaperones were usually the first ones to rent a room and disappear for the night.

The only lights in the area came from the manager´s office and the room with the party. Vin and Buck hadn´t exaggerated about the condition of the motel but he saw Ezra´s appeal to such a place.

Before Chris could knock on the door it swung open and the reflection from the light of the moon glistened off the cold metal from the end of a weapon. “Shit!” he swore pushing Vin and Nathan away from the impending gun flash.

Ezra lowered his weapon and took a deep breath relieved that it wasn´t a surprise guest but rather the faces of his friends. “Really Mr. Larabee,” he took a step toward the light, “do you have any idea how close you just came to being perforated?”

“Fuck you Standish,” Chris sighed in relief, and lay back against the pavement to collect himself.

“Can´t you do anything subtly,” Nathan complained, sitting Indian style on the sidewalk with his medical bag lying in the bushes.

“It´s a good thing I brought more than one pair of pants with me,” Vin croaked. He stood up and dusted off his jeans all the while shaking his head. He reached out to Nathan and Chris and helped pull them to their feet.

“If memory serves correctly you are the ones that decided to arrive unannounced in the dark of night and inform me of your arrival.” Ezra turned and flipped the light to the room on and quickly cleared the two chairs of files as well as the bed. “Would you like to explain to me what you are doing here…and why you are risking being charged with obstruction of justice?”

Chris cleared his throat and looked hard around the room. He was pushing every last dime he had into the pot because he knew he had a winning hand. The only thing left to do was let the Southerner play it out. “I think it´s time to put an end to this game…”

Chapter 6

JD adjusted the sound and the interference on the microphone reciever inside the van they would be using to keep tabs on their undercover agent. Vin had managed to attach the instrument on the lapel of the Southerner´s light jacket without his knowledge. Thankfully it had been in full view. After a brief argument Ezra finally succumb to Nathan´s healing prowess upon threat of bodily harm. While the medic took the Southerner´s temperature, blood pressure, and asked about his eating and sleeping habits, both of which were poor. Chris then took that time and told him about the files he´d received from his friend Lt. Mathews and the fact that Samuel Gardner had been the FBI agent assigned to work the case involving Sara and Adam´s death. It was Ezra that put two and two together and told Chris that Harrison was involved before the team leader had a chance to tell him about the civilian who mentioned Harrison´s name.

Reluctantly Chris and the others had left Ezra at the hotel and headed back to the base of operations. The Southerner was confident that he could handle things and he assured Chris that he would contact him should the need arise. And for once Chris felt confident in Ezra´s answer.

Immediately JD was ordered to keep a strong trace on Ezra´s whereabouts. Chris wanted to know where he was going and what he was saying, he also wanted to know what was being said to him. For the first time in days the team felt things were finally coming together.

+ + + + + + +

Thursday afternoon saw Ezra replacing all of his files back into his briefcase, filling it to the point of bursting. For safekeeping he shoved it back under his bed. He´d worked for hours creating a safe spot between the slats of the box spring mattress. His duffle bag rested on the bed while his garment bag hung from the hanger behind the bathroom door. Those were the only indications that someone was staying there.

Dressed in a white tee shirt, light summer jacket, and dark slacks Ezra placed his derringer rig on his arm and secured his shoulder holster. He locked his door and made sure the ‘do not disturb´ sign was well in view then he slipped into the cab he´d called earlier.

+ + + + + + +

JD finished wiring the portable surveillance equipment, thank God for Radio shack, inside the van they had rented that still contained the Net Tel insignia on the outside. “Okay,” he said with a smile. “You´ll have to remain within a mile radius of Ezra in order to get good audio on ‘im. The tracking is good for…” JD shrugged his shoulders, “hell, as long as you need it.”

Chris looked again inside the make shift surveillance van. It was a long way from what they were used to but considering the circumstances it was going to have to do. He picked up the small hand held tracking device and noticed the small red glowing light moving its way through the streets of Indianapolis. “You did good JD.” Chris smiled.

JD smiled a smile that lit up his whole face. He may be the kid in the group but he was just as valuable a member as any of them.

“Buck, JD, Josiah, you´re with me. Vin and Nathan you stay here and keep an eye on our Mr. Guarde. Call us and let us know if there´s any action. He´s been too damn quiet for the past few days,” Chris ordered his men.

“What happens if Ezra finds his son´s killer?” JD asked out of concern as well as curiosity.

“We´ll deal with that if it happens but Ezra thinks Samuel Gardner´s killer also killed Agent White.”

“He told you that?” Josiah asked somewhat surprised.

“He told us a lot.” Chris smiled confidently. He saw the look of utter relief on Ezra´s face when he realized it was Vin, Nathan, and himself sitting outside his motel room door. It was a look Chris didn´t ever think he would see on the allusive undercover agent. It was a look he was pleased to see.

Josiah nodded his head in understanding and smiled. Despite everything the Southerner was finally realizing he could trust this team. JD´s constant questioning, Vin´s desire for practical jokes, Chris´ protective oversight, Buck´s gift for gab, and even Nathan´s constant concern. Somehow all these things had brought Ezra within the team, within the group, and within the family.

“You boys be careful,” Vin said, watching as Josiah and Chris took the front passenger and driver´s seat while Buck and JD took the back intending to handle the surveillance equipment.

Chris nodded his head and watched as Vin pushed the button to raise the garage door. Things were happening for a reason and Chris and his men intended to be there when they did.

+ + + + + + +

JD continued to listen to the sound of people talking, dishes clattering, and doors opening and closing. Obviously Ezra was in a restaurant. They couldn´t pin point exactly which one but they were close enough to hear everything come over the microphone. Josiah had parked the van at a three-hour meter while Chris watched the streets like a predator on the hunt. JD continuously tried to improve the sound quality while Buck tried to pin point Ezra´s exact location.

The streets had quieted down some and that pleased everyone. JD had opened up the back door to the van to allow some fresh air in to circulate throughout the confines. Josiah disappeared to retrieve some coffee for the team and of course a large Coke for the kid.

Nobody seemed to notice the van or its occupants. They were too preoccupied with their own lives to care about someone else´s. Food venders started packing up for the day. Offices closed with employees´ heading home for the night. Restaurants rang wild with activity people entering and leaving the doors constantly in a state of revolve.

“Ezra´s ordering coffee,” JD said with a smile.

Buck groaned audibly. “He´s been in there almost two hours…what in the hell is he doin´?”

“Have you been able to pin point him yet Buck or are you just bitchin´ for the hell of it?” Chris turned in his seat to get a good look at his friend.

Buck returned Chris´ comment with a single digit salute before going back to work on the tracking device. JD grunted and tried to hide the smirk he had on his face at the ladies man´s expense. Josiah handed Chris the carry-carton full of coffee and one Coke to Chris who was relived to see the large cups of stimuli.

“Anything yet?” Josiah asked, taking his seat behind the wheel.

“Don´t start with me Josiah,” Buck warned. He´d only been able to get Ezra´s location within 200 yards, but that was still too much of an area to cover in case the Southerner ran into trouble.

“And now before us stands the last problem that must be solved and will be solved. It is the last territorial claim which I have to make in Europe, but it is the claim from which I will not recede and which, God willing, I will make good…With regard to the problem of the Sudeten Germans, my patience is now at an end.” Josiah repeated the quote while nodding his head in the understanding of the brutality behind such words. His heart was heavy but his faith was strong.

“Who said that Josiah?” JD asked, not quite understanding the meaning.

“Adolf Hitler,” Josiah responded sadly. He watched as Chris turned his attention toward the street while Buck shook his head.

“You are wiggin´ me out!” JD said in disbelief. A chill racked his spine and sent shivers up and down his back.

+ + + + + + +

Nathan sat in the chair next to the window in the upper level room where all of the surveillance equipment was stationed. He and Vin could hear Guarde talking casually to his men. Nothing was being said out of the ordinary, ordinary by a criminal´s standpoint anyway.

Vin continued to munch on some popcorn he´d made earlier while trying to get an idea of what was going on within the house across the street. It bothered him that Guarde hadn´t made one mention to any of his men regarding Ezra. Did the man actually believe the undercover agent would do what he was told and find the name of the man that had killed Guarde´s son? Was he having Ezra followed? Or did he have connections beyond what any of them realized? After all the man had gotten Ezra transferred. So who was it that Guarde was paying to have an inside ear to the FBI?

When the sleek black Limo pulled up in front of Guarde´s home Vin pulled the binoculars off the table and took a closer look. Three men stepped out wearing expensive suits. They didn´t look familiar but Vin remembered faces like JD remembered computer lingo, or Nathan remembered medical procedures. He´d find out who they were.

+ + + + + + +

Blake Davis answered the door in anticipation of his boss´ guests. William Parker and his son John along with their bodyguard entered Guarde´s home. There were here to do business.

Pat came down from the stairs and showed William and John into the dining room. He motioned for them to take a seat at the table and they did so promptly. Their bodyguard stood a few feet away from Davis. “I´m glad you could make it William.” He took a seat across from the drug runner and leaned back in his seat. This was his territory and he was letting them know it.

“I understand you want to make a deal.” William didn´t like to wait.

Pat smiled and looked at William and his son then shook his head. He knew the agents across the street would be listening to what was being said but he didn´t care. He cared about two things, finding Samuel´s killer and getting home. “I want to know if you´d be interested in buying up a shipment of…hmmm…merchandise…you could pick them up when you make arrangements to pick of the last shipment from Harrison two weeks from today. Kill two birds with one stone if you understand my meaning.”

“What makes you think I´m going to buy from someone like you Guarde, you and I have been enemies a long time why should I trust you now?”

“I´m leaving the country soon,” Pat answered rather bluntly. “My territory is yours if you want it, otherwise I´ll make sure it goes to someone else…and they won´t be as ‘forgiving´ as I am.”

Parker looked at his son who seemed content with Guarde´s revelation. “Have your contact be at the docks 25 miles north of Gary no later than ten. We´re in storage unit 24. I´ll pay him on site after I get a look at the merchandise. What are we looking at?”

“Three hundred semis and one hundred and fifty kilos of crank.”

William smiled pleased with the idea of purchasing Guarde´s shipment. Also pleased because the old bastard was leaving. William Parker had been after Pat´s territory for fifteen years and now it seemed all his work was paying off.

+ + + + + + +

Vin looked hard at Nathan knowing that they had both heard everything that had been said in the house. It was too good to be true, that much was for sure. Nathan had written everything down just like it was said so they could give the information to Chris and then the team leader would decide how to handle the situation. Guarde was sticking with his promise to Ezra. Vin was sure of it.


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