Part of the "The Magnificent Seven After Twilight" Collection
Disclaimer: Again I wish the Seven were mine but John Watson is their true owner.
Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.
Both Chris Larabee and Vin Tanner sat straight up inside their sleeping bags and reached for the weapons they kept close to themselves. The third man in the tent, Ezra Standish, didnt stir.
The footsteps stopped outside the tent. Voices mumbled, but the words were too low for the men to make out.
Vin rolled over on his side, one hand covering Ezras mouth, and the other one reaching for the undercover agents shoulder. Leaning close to the undercover agents ear, he shook Ezras shoulder. Trouble. Vin felt Ezra nod his head, then heard the soft click of the derringer being released as he rolled away and Ezra sat up.
Chris groped for the flashlight that he kept near his sleeping bag. Finding it, he grabbed it and crawled to the tent flap. Vin followed him with Ezra close behind. Carefully, Vin unzipped the tent flap.
The flashlight wasnt needed. The clouds that filled the sky when they arrived at Dead Mans Ridge were gone, leaving the moon full and bright, lighting up their campsite. Silently, the three men left the tent and moved apart. From the other two tents, the remaining members of Team Seven slipped out. All seven looked in the direction the voices were coming from.
Nothing was there even though the men could hear the voices.
Buck raked his hand through his hair, leaving it standing on end. Stud, whats going?
I dont know. Chris's face wore a puzzled frown.
Nathan glared at the youngest member of the team from where he stood. JD, this isnt one of your pranks, is it?
No! JD looked at Vin and Ezra. Guys?
Ezra answered for Vin and himself. While Mr. Tanner and myself owe you and Mr. Wilmington for the pranks played on ourselves, I am afraid that we can not claim credit.
The voices now seemed to be surrounding the ATF team.Get the guns.
Well show them that they cant treat us like darkies.
The footsteps and voices started to move closer, but the team could see no one.
The seven men exchanged glances then as one ran for the Suburban. Drug-runners and gun dealers they could handle but bodiless voices were something else entirely.
Josiah reached the vehicle first. He nearly yanked the drivers door off its hinges. Nathan grabbed the passenger door and pulled it open. Beside Josiah, Chris was tossing Vin and Ezra one by one into the vehicle before scrambling inside and slamming the door behind him. On the other side, Buck and JD were arguing, neither one wanting to get in before the other. By this time, Vin and Ezra had crawled over the seat into the back. Chris ended the argument by grabbing JDs t-shirt and yanking the younger man inside. Buck hopped inside, slamming and locking the door.
Windows were rolled down slightly. They could hear voices and footsteps moving around their camp, but never once did they see anyone.
The men waited until the dawn before leaving the vehicle. They spread out over the campsite. There were no footprints on the ground and nothing had been disturbed.
You know, we should have known better than camp someplace called Dead Mans Ridge, Buck said.