The Midnight Madness Dance Club was one of the hottest places in Denver.
Its dance floor, and great bands made the building the number one spot on
most young partygoers Friday night lists. It was the last place that JD Dunne
had expected to find his fellow employee and friend, Sidney Marks. She had
sworn a long time ago that the Denver nightlife was not for her. But she
was sitting down next to him, fitting in just fine. He had to admit that
she looked extremely attractive. She had traded her usual boring work attire
for something a little more hip.
Her black sweater and tight jeans made her athletic figure very obvious.
She must have used one of those iron things that Casey had, because her usually
wavy hair was perfectly straight. His girlfriend was sitting next to him
sipping a Pina Colada. She kicked him under the table.
Oww! What was that for?" he asked, shaking out the pain in his shin.
She gave him a look that said he had better know why she had kicked him.
She turned her attention to Sidney.
So are you enjoying yourself yet?" the older girl asked
I feel a little awkward, Sidney answered honestly. My Friday
nights are not usually spent with men my own age.
Well its about time that we get you out from Chris Larabees
wing, Casey laughed. No girl should spend every weekend watching
westerns and eating junk food.
Hey, we go riding a lot too, JD answered defensively.
A girl needs some help when her only female companion has four legs
and eats grass, Casey said. No offense Sid," she added.
None taken. I know Im pathetic, Sidney replied. I
used to go out every Friday night like every normal person, but ever since
She didnt continue her sentence. She didnt
JD was taken back to a warehouse almost a year before. Cody Richards, Sidney
fiancé, had been brutally murdered in a routine drug bust that had
gone terribly wrong. The past few months were hard on the girl, but she was
slowly recovering. Hanging out with people her own age and finding dates
had been the hardest thing for her to do. She preferred the over protectiveness
of her Team Seven family. All the men would have been glad to keep that way
Casey, bless her heart, had decided that enough was enough. It was time to
turn the hiding caterpillar into the social butterfly. She took hold of
Cody would want you to get out and enjoy yourself Sid. If you absorb
yourself in work the way you currently are, your end up like Chris
Dont let him hear you say that, JD snorted into his drink.
Sidney saw Caseys face light into a huge smile. She had her back turned
to the cause of the older girls smile.
What?" she asked attempting to turn around and see.
Dont look! Casey scolded quietly. Its best
to play hard to get.
Casey, what are you talking about? Sidney asked, growing slightly
That good looking black haired guy that youve been eyeing all
night is coming over to talk to you!
I havent been eying anyone tonight, Sidney said defensibly,
shifting uneasily in her chair.
Yeah right, Casey rolled her eyes. Nobody has to go the
bathroom three times in a half in hour Sidney. The table where he was sitting
is on the way, isnt it?
JD rolled his eyes. The two of them sounded just like high school girls.
Casey theres no way hed be interested in me. He was sitting
at a table with three beautiful blonds. Im lucky if
Is this seat taken? A deep baritone voice asked. Sidney spun
in her seat to look into a pair of deep blue eyes.
Hasnt been since I sat down, Sidney answered. The man sat
down and called for the bartender. The band started to play a Green Day song.
Come on JD, I want to dance, Casey pulled on her boyfriends
shirt. JD had no plans on going anywhere. He had every intention of watching
how this little meeting played out.
Now, JD! Casey demanded. JD sighed and got up. He had no idea
where the girls power over him came from.
So Ive never seen you around here before," the man said to Sidney.
Thats because its my first time here. My job keeps me busy
on weekends. It was only partially a lie. She did have to work on some
I know what you mean. I would be at practice right now with the rest
of team if it wasnt for this stupid shoulder.
Team?" she asked confused. The man sighed. Sidney recognized the fact
that he didnt want to clarify.
You dont have to answer. Being nosy is just one of my bad habits,"
she said quickly. JD was attempting to listen to their conversation. She
saw the head of dark hair twitch out of the corner of her eye.
No, I asked for it. Im Ryan Borban," he sighed as if embarrassed
by his name. Sidney jumped a little. She had defiantly heard the name before.
She realized that she had seen his face before during a Sunday football game.
Ryan Borban was the number one draft choice wide receiver for the Denver
Broncos. He was the rising star of the team until he had been slammed to
the ground, injuring his shoulder. She calmed down immediately when she saw
how awkward he felt.
Its a pleasure to meet you Ryan," she answered coolly. Now it
was Ryans turn to be surprised. It was not the answer he was expecting.
I grew up in Wisconsin," she answered. My loyalties have been
and always will be with the Green Bay Packers.
Ryan laughed. Well, now that weve got that out of the way, how
about you tell me your name?
Sidney Marks," she answered shaking the young mans offered hand.
Can I buy you a drink?" he asked.
Are you sure you are not breaking some unwritten Bronco rule or something
like that?" she asked.
Probably, but I could give a damn about my stupid football team. All
Im interested in right now is getting to know the pretty, seemingly
intelligent girl sitting next to me. Sidney tried hard not to blush.
Are you this charming to everyone you meet?" she asked. Her eyes strayed
to table of petite blonds that were glaring at her.
Only the ones that I think I think I can enjoy a quality conversation
from. Youd be surprised how many girls latch on to me just because
Im a football player.
I can think of other reasons, Sidney thought as she looked
him over. I dont usually go for the big dumb football types,"
Football players are a lot smarter than the old stereotype makes them
out to be, Ryan answered with a laugh.
Prove it to me," she answered. Casey shook her head and sighed.
What? JD asked.
She ends up with the hottest guy in the place and what does she end
up doing? Arguing with the poor guy, Casey answered.
I thought I was the hottest guy here, JD answered pretending
to be hurt.
You are in my eyes. Id rather have a computer hacker over a football
lock any day. She laughed.
Two loud beeping noises echoed throughout the room. The beeps were followed
by three groans by Sidney, JD and Casey. JD and Sidney both reached for their
Sorry Casey, JD said. Chris needs us. He walked over
to Sidneys barstool.
What is that all about? Ryan asked confused. Who just paged
Him, Sidney sighed. My boss hates it whenever I have any
fun. It appears like we have to save the world once again. She took
the leather jacket that JD was handing to her.
Are you guys firefighters or something? Ryan asked still not
ATF agents, JD corrected. The football player looked at Sidney
Really?" he asked. Sidney nodded her head.
I usually dont tell people about that until the second date.
Well it has been really nice talking to you Ryan, but Ive got to go.
Good luck with physical therapy.
Thats it? No lets meet again or Ill give you a
call? Ryan asked. Sidney looked into the mans eyes trying to
find a sincere look.
Casey, I just thought of something. How are you going to get home?
I need to use the truck, JD stated.
I can give you a ride home. Ryan offered. Im on my
way out anyway.
Thats awful nice of you, but
JD started to say, putting
a protective arm around Casey.
And I will gladly accept. Honestly JD, I can take care of myself,
Casey answered. I have some things that I want to talk to you about
Sidney sighed recognizing the determined look in her friends eyes.
Obviously, Casey saw a budding relationship here and she wasnt going
to let it go.
You can get my number from Casey, if you feel like giving me a call,"
she told Ryan. Lets go JD. She headed to the door without
looking back. JD gave Casey a quick kiss then followed Sidney.
+ + + + + + + +
JD and Sidney walked into the ATF office to find the bullpen completely empty.
Sidney felt something soft rub against her legs. She bent down to stroke
the black and white tabby. The cat purred loudly.
Hey Cuervo," she said. Sorry to interrupt your downtime.
The cat stuck his head in her coat and came out with a dog treat that Sidney
always kept in there. Riley, her dog, wouldnt eat them so she brought
him for the office stay.
That cat loves you, JD smiled.
He makes good company when all of you guys are pissed off.
Is anyone here? JD called.
In here guys! Josiahs voice echoed from the conference
room. The two quickly shed their coats and tossed them on their desks. They
walked into largest room in the office. The smell of fresh paint greeted
them before they could anyone else could say anything. Sidney wrinkled up
I dont think its safe to be in here," she said. The fumes
are going to make me sick.
Sit down and shut up Sid, you are holding things up, a voice
growled behind her. Sidney turned to see Chris stalk into the room and walked
to the front of the table. She opened her mouth to say something, but Vin
covered her mouth with his hand.
Let it go Sidney, dont piss him off more than he is already,"
he whispered. Sidney sighed and sat down in her usual spot between Vin and
Ezra. Chris glanced at the clock and scowled.
What took you so long?" he asked his two youngest agents.
Unlike you, I actually decided to go out like normal people on a Friday
night, Sidney commented. She didnt care how angry Chris was.
She was more pissed off than he was. There was no need to arrange a meeting
this late. They had finished all their open cases, and werent going
to open up another one until later next week.
I ordered all of you to stay within contact this weekend. Something
important might come up. I am tempted to put you on report," he growled at
Youve been telling us to stay put every single weekend for the
last two months and never gave us any hint on what it was. I got sick and
tired of waiting in my apartment for a stupid phone call! Ezra shows up late
everyday and you never say a word. I am a couple minutes late and you are
ready to put me on desk duty?" she yelled so loud the windows shook.
I would prefer to not be brought up in this, Ezra said quietly,
rubbing his temples.
Its my fault Chris, I was the one that convinced her to go out
to the club tonight, JD said guilty.
Its not your fault! The two of them said at the same time.
JD cowered in his seat. Vin would have laughed if the situation had been
:Youre not the one that made her meet that football
Sidney had opened her mouth to say some smart-ass response, but shut it fast.
She stared at Chris in utter disbelief.
How do you know about Ryan?" she asked. Chris didnt say anything.
He just lowered his eyes, knowing that he had been caught. Sidney thought
a moment. She felt her anger rise higher than she ever thought possible.
You were following me! She gasped. You were at that club
somewhere werent you? Chris didnt answer. Sidney turned
on JD. Did you know about this too?" she cried.
I honestly had no idea Sidney, JD answered in disbelief and
amazement. Sidney turned her attention back to Chris.
Why?" she asked.
It was for your own good, I dont want you caught up in a bad
relationship right now. Its the last thing I need.
You have no control over my personal life! She screamed.
I am your boss, and I have the power to stop anything that will damage
your responsibility to this team! The volume of his voice matched hers.
Fine, then I quit! She cried and threw her badge down on the
table. She jumped out of her chair, knocking it over. She ran out of the
room, slamming the door behind her. Ironically, the impact knocked her framed
Team Seven contact to the ground. The glass shattered the second it hit the
There was complete silence in the conference room. Everyone stared at Chris
in utter disbelief.
You really screwed up big time Pard, I wouldnt have blamed her
if she would have pulled her gun out on you, Buck said with iron in
his voice. Chris slunk into his chair.
I dont need any of your shit now Buck, Chris answered.
Anger flashed in Bucks eyes. He stood up and walked over to the chair
next to Chris.
I think you need to hear all the shit that I can give you, Boss. What
the hell were you thinking?
I dont want to see her hurt again, Chris said quietly.
Bucks voice softened a little bit. We all love that girl just
as much as you. The last thing we want to do is see her hurt again, but
shes not a little girl, Chris. You cant lock her in her room
every time she wants to go out and have fun.
She does have fun with us, Chris answered, but he knew how stupid
the answer was.
She would be the first one to tell you that statement is true, but
hanging out with a bunch of old men isnt healthy for her. Buck
said. Shes a smart girl and can take her of herself. She had
enough trust in you to come to you if she needed help. He stopped.
But now Im not so sure. You might have just shattered that trust,
just like the glass in that frame. Chris closed his eyes and sighed.
Somebody better go get her, before she does something stupid,
She wont get very far. Ive got the keys, JD answered.
Vin stood up.
Ive got this one, Vin said standing up. He fished the paper
out of the broken glass and walked out of the door.
Well leave you alone Pard, Buck said. I suggest you
think of what you are going to say to Sidney if Vin convinces her to come
back up here. Buck motioned for the others to follow him. They all
settled down at their desks. JD started to play with the yellow Matchbox
car on his desk. Ezra picked up a pencil and started to tap it on the edge
of his black keyboard.
There was a knock on the door. Nathan got up and answered it. A short, balding
man in a grey three-piece suit was standing in the doorway.
Its almost midnight Sir, we are closed. Nathan answered,
shutting the door. The man placed his foot in front of the door.
I dont think you realize who I am. My name is Mark Brady from
the CIA. He held up his badge. My department had been working with Assistant
Director Travis on a case for a long time. Director Travis told your captain
to keep the team on standby for this meeting.
Nathan sighed and opened the door to let the man in.
+ + + + + + + +
Vin searched the entire building for Sidney with no success. He was beginning
to worry that she wasnt anywhere near the building. He walked outside
the parking lot. He heard the sound of shattering glass near their usual
parking spots. He took at a dead sprint.
He stopped when he saw Sidney pull her hand out Chriss truck window.
There were glass pieces laying everywhere. He winced with her when he saw
he bloody knuckles. He coughed to let her know that he was there.
I dont want to hear it Vin," she said. He screwed this
one up. Im not letting you convince me to go back up there so he can
I could give a damn what Chris Larabee feels like right now,
Vin said. But I do care about you and what you are about to throw away.
He pulled opened up the bed of the Ram and jumped up on the back. He motioned
for Sidney to come and sit beside him.
I just want to talk to for a little while, then you can decide if you
still want to leave. Hell, Ill even help you hotwire this truck. You
already did the hard part of breaking in.
Sidney sighed and jumped up on the bed next to him.
You remember how hard you worked to graduate from the Academy?" he
Nobody wanted me there. I had to work ten times harder than all the
guys," she answered.
I probably never would have gotten a job if Chris hadnt..." She
stopped realizing what she was about to say.
How about the time Ella Gaines kidnapped the two of you? Vin
continued. The memory chilled the girl to the bone. She shuddered.
Or the time you guys played the vampire joke on Buck or the time...
I get the picture Vin. She answered with frustration in her voice.
Good, then you see how much he really cares about you Sid. All he really
wants to do is protect you.
It still doesnt give him the right to me like Im his five
year old kid. She shot back.
No it doesnt, but he thinks of you as his kid Sid. Every time
you get hurt, he feels it just as much as you do. He didnt want to
see you get hurt again with another boy. Thats why he followed you
tonight. Vin answered patiently. He could see the anger in Sidneys
eyes slowly diminishing.
It doesnt make sense. The last thing Cody wanted to do was hurt
me. It wasnt his fault he got shot. Ryan is a professional football
player. Ezra wouldnt even bet on the odds of that relationship. It
just doesnt add up Vin.
Not to any of us, but in Chriss mind it does. He pulled
the contract out of his pocket. Sidney took it out of his hands.
Are you really ready to throw all of this away? Can you just walk out
of here and leave it all behind on account of a boss who feels his responsibility
to act like an overprotective father? Vin stopped talking to let Sidney
think. Vin didnt rush her. He simply let her work the things out in
her mind. She looked up at him.
Five minutes ago, I was going to tell Chris Larabee to go to hell and
disappear for good, but I remembered how I tried to leave all this behind
after Cody died and couldnt do it. There are worse situations a girl
can get herself into than having an overprotective dad.
Vin put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer to him.
Next time you want to go out on a date, just tell us and well
tie him to a chair.
Hes gotten out of that before," she laughed.
Then well drug him so he sleeps through the entire thing,
Vin suggested. Think you are ready to head back up there? Sidney
nodded her head and followed Vin up the ramp steps and back into the office.
Hey Sid, Vin said before he opened the door.
Dont sell yourself so short. If you really like this guy, then
dont let him go so easily.
Nathan was sitting on his desk and Buck was on top of it when the two agents
entered. Both of their faces lit up into huge smiles. The smile on Nathans
face quickly disappeared. Like a bee attracted to honey, he spotted
Sidneys bloody hand.
You are gone for fifteen minutes and you still manage to get yourself
in trouble. You need to stay here girl or youll end up killing yourself.
What did you do?
:She got into a little fight with Chriss window. She won the
battle, but the glass put up a good fight, Vin laughed. Sidney blushed.
Nathan went to the break room to fetch the first aid kit. He was muttering
something under his breath.
Where is everybody? Vin asked. Nobody left did they?
No, theyre all still here. It seems like Chris did have a legit
reason to call us all here tonight. That thing that he couldnt tell
us about has something to do with the CIA. They sent an agent from Langley
up here to talk to us. He seems like an old prude to me.
Nathan returned a few seconds later with a large red box. He washed out the
wounds with the antiseptic.
Shit, that hurts Nathan, Sidney whined.
Oh hush, you baby. Its supposed to be painless. I bought a bottle
of this stuff because I got sick of hearing all of you whine He wrapped
some gauze around the cuts.
Now keep these covered for a while, unless you want them to get
Well I think we shout what the big shot in there wants, Buck
sighed getting up.
Maybe hes giving us all a nice relaxing vacation, because of
all our hard work, Sidney suggested hopefully.
You can dream squirt, you can dream, Buck sighed. He opened the
door and walked in. The other three followed him. Chris caught Sidneys
eye as she sat down. She smiled at him, letting him know that things were
gong to be okay. He smiled back with a nod of his head. The little exchange
was all the two of them needed. No words needed to be exchanged.
These are my other two agents, Vin Tanner and Sidney Marks. This is
Senior Agent Mark Brady from the CIA.
I told your director that I wanted your whole team present when I requested
this meeting. Brady said. It had occurred to Chris that their visitor
was a snob.
My team does not answer directly to the CIA, Agent Brady. My agents
had some very important matters to attend to first. We are all here now and
are ready to what your superiors want us to know, Chris snarled. Brady
took an involuntary step backwards. The members of Team Seven smiled. They
were proud of the fear that their boss created, even in his superiors. Brady
coughed and began his narrative.
The CIA has been following a drug dealer of by the name of Thomas Robinson
for almost two years.
Hes that Canadian guy right? We know all about that son of a
bitch, Vin said. Brady frowned at the agent. Apparently he didnt
like being interrupted.
I am well aware of the fact that you have dealt with Robinsons
inferior workers before, but I seriously doubt that you know the extent of
his powers or actions across the world. He has workers in most major cities
in the US and Europe. So far local agencies have had troubles apprehending
him. Brady stopped and opened up a file. Unless I am mistaken,
you are the ones who let him slip through your fingers in Denver a few weeks
Chris fought the urge to knock the gloating smile of the mans face.
He opened his mouth to talk, but Ezra got to it first.
If you consider Robinsons own son an inferior worker, then fine.
Mr. Larabee took him out easily. We were so close to catching Robinson Sr.
that Mr. Tanner was viewing him through a rifle scope. Our plan was terminated
when a supposed better department intervened and claimed that
Robinson had diplomatic immunity. It appears that five missing supplies of
illegal narcotics and four murders have been attributed to the notorious
criminal since our plan was demised. I do believe that it was the department
under your command that received a formal complaint for the incident,
Ezra answered with a smirk on his face
Agent Bradys smirk turned into a frown. Josiah saw the situation was
going to get ugly. The others were rising out of their chairs, ready to protect
Ezra if they needed too. Josiah wanted to take a crack at Brady just a much
as everyone else, but decided that the wrath of Travis wasnt worth
There is a reason you are here, isnt there Agent Brady?
Brady stood up and tossed two huge folders to Chris and Ezra.
Robinson has dealings with other crime lords and drug dealers across
the world. We could never find out about them soon enough to nail him. Three
days ago, an Ekaterina Belousov showed up in the New York office. You should
recognize her last name.
Adrian Belousov, JD whispered quietly. He used to be a
KGB operative. His guns and bombs have been found in terrorist attacks all
The girl is his daughter. Robinson and Belousov have been planning
an exchange for the last few months. Belousov is planning to retire after
and hand over his entire operation to his daughter. She had a sudden inspiration
to do the right thing and turned herself in. She told us everything. Right
now, shes in Witness Protection. Her father and his ring were quickly
apprehended. Hes being hidden until we catch Robinson.
So where does my team fit into all this? Chris asked.
You are the only team throughout law enforcement that knows everything about
Robinson. We need to send people inside and catch him in the middle of the
exchange in his compound in Alaska. We have to nail him in the act on US
soil. Otherwise he will be turned over to the Canadian Justice System.
Thats the last thing we need.
Im not following, Chris eyed the man suspiciously.
Robinson has never seen or talked to Belousov personally before. You
will be impersonating Adrian Belousov, Agent Larabee. Standish will be his
brother and second hand man, Boris. You are the only agents that we could
find that know Robinson and speak an adequate amount of Russian. Everything
you need to know about these men can be found in your files. Brady
let the information settle in. None of them commented.
I take it you accept this mission? Brady asked after a while.
We really dont have a choice, Chris answered.
You will leave on a private jet tomorrow morning. CIA Agent Linda Reed
from New York will be joining you on the plane. He tossed another file onto
the table. This is her profile. Ezra picked up the file and started
to go through it.
Why do we need another agent? Chris asked.
Somebody has to play the role of Ekaterina, Brady answered. Buck
took the file from Ezra and started flipping through the pages.
Why cant we send out our own agent? Buck asked eying Sidney.
You only have one person that meets the main gender requirement and
she cant handle this. The strain in the room intensified. The
men became very defensive.
Why not? Nathan asked.
Whats the word you cowboys out here use? Oh yeah. Shes
still a greenhorn. She only has been out in the field for a year and a half.
Reed has been doing this kind of stuff for ten years.
Have you looked at her record? Buck asked. She had been
undercover in ten different assignments. She had been commended for actions
by ATF and the President of the United States himself.
Not all of those missions were successful were they though, Agent
Marks? Brady turned to look at the girl with an evil grin on his face.
Your screw-up cost a good agent his life didnt it?
Sidney knew the comment was intentionally meant to hurt her, but it didnt
lesson the sting. Vin was all the way out of his seat, but Kate put a hand
on his arm.
Dont Vin, its not worth it," she whispered.
The death of Agent Richardson was unfortunate, but a thorough investigation
has ruled that Agent Marks had nothing to due with it, Ezra said. He
didnt mention that Sidney had blamed herself for Codys death
and ordered the investigation herself.
Please forgive me, my mistake, Brady answered with mock sincerity.
But that doesnt change the fact that your agent isnt qualified
for the job. The file of Linda Reed had been passed along to Josiah.
Ekaterina Belousov is supposed to be twenty three years old. Sidney
is twenty-one. Shes closer in age. Agent Reed is thirty one.
Agent Reed looks incredibly young for age. Agent Marks shot back.
Ms. Belousov had light brown hair, extremely close to our agents
own hair color. Reed is blond.
That can easily be fixed with hair dye, Marks said, growing
incredibly uneasy under the older mans hard gaze.
Agent Reed specifies herself that she can speak very little Russian;
Sidney is pretty much fluent in Russian and German. Josiah had hit
the pinnacle of his argument.
Where did you learn to speak Russian? Brady turned to the girl.
My mother spent almost ten years of her life in Russia. She taught
me Russian along with English when I was learning to talk, Sidney answered.
Oh Yes. The evil smile reappeared on Bradys face. He had
seen another perfect opportunity to take another stab at the girl.
Your mother. Shes the psychopath that killed your father and
kidnapped your boss isnt she? Well, I always say, like mother like
Before Brady knew what happened, He felt himself slammed into the wall with
a strong hand around his neck. He was staring into the livid face of Chris
Say another word to her and I will squeeze," he growled. Bradys
face paled. Chris took his hand away and Brady fell to the ground. He stood
up immediately and stared at Chris.
Either you replace your agent with Sidney Marks or you we will refuse
to participate in the CIAs mission, Chris said, sitting down
in the chair as if nothing had happened.
You are already being reported for assaulting a federal Agent Larabee.
Dont dig yourself into a bigger grave.
If you press charges, then you can explain to your superiors why you
were taunting my agent. Chris answered calmly. Brady paled.
And I do believe that our own superior officer can refuse a case suggested
by a different department of law enforcement. AD Orrin Travis is quite fond
of Ms. Marks and will not take kindly to your appalling comments, Ezra
And then you can explain why Travis turned down the case, Nathan
finished with a smirk on his face. Brady stared at them all with pure hatred.
If you make one little slipup during this, I will personally make sure
that none of you ever work in public service again, Brady growled without
nearly the same effect as the ATF Captain.
Well, I did see that our local Wal-Mart is hiring, Buck answered.
Ill admit that the benefits arent that great, but its
a great way to pick up chicks.
Brady picked up his stuff and was halfway out of the room when he fell flat
on his face. His papers went flying everywhere. JD slid his leg back under
You ought to watch where youre going Agent Brady. None of us
want to see you get hurt. JD said with mock sincerity. Brady looked
as if he might punch JD in the face, but thought better of it. He quickly
got to his feet. They all heard a large rip from the back of his pants.
Bradys face turned bright red. The entire conference room erupted in
I see that your clothes are not quite up to par Agent Brady. I can
recommend an excellent tailor for your services, Ezra managed to say
before breaking into another fit of laughter.
Brady picked himself off the floor and ran for the open conference room with
his back to the wall. They all heard the office door slam. The laugher kept
going for another five minutes. Finally they managed to stop, because of
the lack of oxygen.
You guys shouldnt have done that, Sidney said. You
know that hes going to get us into deep shit with Travis.
It was worth it just to see that look on that jerks
face, Vin answered. Besides we werent just going to stand
by and let him insult you like that.
We will never stand by and let anybody insult you! JD said with
a noble tone. Sidney glanced at him with raised eyebrows.
Well, anybody outside this team does, JD clarified. We
reserve the right to say whatever we want.
Thanks JD, Sidney answered rolling her eyes.
Hey, a little constructive criticism keeps a person honest, Buck
answered. Josiah handed her the file.
I suggest you take a look at this Sidney. Youve got to memorize
the entire lifetime of a person by tomorrow afternoon. Sidney sighed
and took the folder.
Its school all over again," she answered.
Sidney, Ezra, you guys go home and read those files. Then try and get
some sleep. One of us will come and get you in the morning, Chris ordered.
Youre heading home too, Chris, Buck demanded. You
got a whole lot of shit to learn too and you need some sleep too. Dont
try to argue with me.
Fine, somebody needs to stay behind and go over details. See if we
cant get a camera into the Robinsons compound, Chris sighed
knowing that he was fighting a loosing battle.
I think JDs already on that one, Nathan laughed looking
over at the younger agent. JD was flipping through the pages of a notebook
and making notes. JD lifted his head.
What?" he asked.
Nothing, just go back to doodling, Buck answered.
Im not doodling. Im making some very important diagrams
and notes, JD said.
You call that chicken scratch notes Kid? Nobody can read them,
Buck answered trying to provoke his roommate.
Nobody needs to read them but me! I dont want you reading this
stuff, because you would manage to screw it up somehow.
On that note gentlemen, I believe I will take my leave, Ezra
said standing up. May I offer you a ride home Ms. Marks?
Sure Ezra, thanks Sidney got up too. See you guys tomorrow,"
she yawned. She followed Ezra out of the door.
Somebody call me around seven tomorrow to make sure Im up,
Chris ordered following his two agents out of the door.
He got down to the parking lot just as Sidney was getting into Ezras
car. He took on look at his broken window and face turned red.
What the hell happened?" he growled. He didnt get an answer.
Ezra watched the Jag tear out of the parking lot. He pulled out his cell
phone and called Vin.
Just get a look at your window Pard? Vin answered.
You know what happened? Chris asked dumbfounded.
Sidney needed something to take her anger out on, Vin answered.
Dont say a word about it Chris. Youre lucky that the worse
you got out of this was a broken window.
Chris was going to argue, but he knew that Vin had a point.
What did she use to break it?
Her fist," Vin stated as if this sort of thing happened everyday.
Her fist? Chris couldnt believe it.
Seems those boxing lessons Im giving her are paying off,
I got another job for you Vin, Chris said.
Since you were the one that taught her how to punch out my window,
you can get you ass down here and clean up this mess! He growled. Chris
hung up the phone and waited patiently for Vin to enter the parking lot
+ + + + + + + +
Sidney heard a loud knock on her door and groaned. She rolled over and tried
to cover her ears with the pillow. A key was placed in the lock and the door
creaked open. She cursed herself for giving her teammates entrance into her
. Rise and Shine, Kiddo! Bucks voice echoed throughout
the entire apartment. Riley, Sidneys golden retriever started to bark
like crazy and rushed out of the bedroom. He jumped up onto Bucks shoulder.
The man scratched the dog behind the ears.
"Hey Pup, I brought you a little treat. He pulled a slice of bacon
out of his pocket.
Dont you dare give him anything to eat, Buck! Hes fact
enough as it is, without you spoiling him. Sidney called from the bedroom.
Hes a dog Sidney; He can afford to me fat
Fine, but just let me sleep! She groaned. Buck gave the dog the
bacon and walked into the bedroom. All he saw was a lump hidden under the
covers of the bed.
Last call squirt, otherwise I might have to resort to desperate
measures! There was a muffled reply from under the covers. Sidney made
no attempt to move.
Fine, dont say I didnt warn you, Buck said. JD
bring in the radio," he called. JD walked into the room carrying the CD Player.
He pushed the play button.
Buck started to sing,
Cheeseburger is paradise, Heaven on earth with an onion slice Not too
particular not too precise I'm just a cheeseburger in paradise
Sidney threw back the covers and sat up. There were stands flying all over
the place from her ponytail.
Cheater," she growled, covering her ears. JD turned off the CD player.
Good morning beautiful, JD laughed. Sidney picked up a pillow
and threw it at him. JD ducked and it ended up hitting Buck in the face.
He jumped up on the bed and grabbed Sidney. He put her in a headlock
Free shot JD, smack her. JD moved closer and seemed like he was
going to wind up and punch her in the face. He started to tickle her. Sidney
squirmed as she started to giggle. Riley ran around the three of them in
Hey kids, whats going on in here? Vin was standing in the
doorway with a smile on his face.
Help! Sidney gasped.
I was never one to leave a lady in distress, Vin answered. Sidney
looked at him gratefully, but since I am not seeing any of them here right
now, I think Im going to go and get myself some breakfast.
Traitor! She cried.
Well when you put it that way, Vin stopped then ran into the
room knocking JD to the ground.
Nathan walked into the room. Ezra was close on his heels. They both watched
the trained ATF agents wrestle on the ground like a group of ten year olds.
If any of you hurt Ms. Marks before we leave this afternoon, Our esteemed
leader will personally have your head on a silver platter, Ezra said.
Nathan clapped his hands, All right kids, recess time is over," he
called. They four kids stopped and looked at him. Vin was still sitting on
top of JDs stomach and Buck was pinning Sidney to the bed.
Ten more minutes please, Mr. Jackson, JD whined.
Maybe tomorrow if you guys are good, but Sidneys got a test
Test? the girl asked
Have to see how much you studied last night, Nathan said with
a smile. But we will do it at the restaurant. You guys arent
leaving till two, so we got time to get a decent breakfast.
McDonalds is having a buy one get one free thing on their egg
Mcmuffins, JD supplied as he pushed Vin off of him.
Are you aware how they make their eggs? Ezra asked with disgust.
They pour the batter out of a carton then add water.
So? JD asked.
Where are Chris and Josiah? Buck asked.
Josiah went to get Chris. Theres no reason for him to leave keep
his truck in town. Theyre meeting us down at Perkins in a half an
+ + + + + + + +
What is your name? Josiah asked.
Ekaterina Belousova, but please call me Katia, Sidney answered
with a thick accent.
Why did you add an A to the end of your name? JD asked curiously.
Its part of Russian grammar, Sidney explained. All
women do. She took a bite of her French toast.
Where were you born in Russia? Josiah continued the quizzing
I was not really born in Russia at all. I was born at a hospital on
the Romanian border,
Ezra and Chris were being tested too. This case was different than their
usual undercover work. Playing the roles of real people was a lot more dangerous.
Their chance of being found out increased tremendously. Chris glanced at
Its almost one o clock," he stated.
Weve been here for four hours? Nathan asked in disbelief.
Time does fly when you are having fun, Ezra answered as he stood
up and grabbed his coat, He glared at JD who was laughing into his coffee
Oh please Mr. Dunne, my name is not that funny.
Yeah it is, Sidney and Ezra get cool names like Adrian and Katia, and
you get to be called Boris,
One of the famous czars of Russia was named Boris. It is really quite
an honorable name.
So was the bad guy from Rocky and Bullwinkle, Vin supplied. They
all looked at him in surprise. Dont any of you ever watch cartoons?"
he asked. By this time, the entire team had stood up and was putting on their
I grew out of them at the age of twelve, Buck answered.
Didnt watch much TV as I was growing, Josiah answered.
I was usually living in places that didnt have a set.
I can proudly say that I never felt the need to watch animated characters
on the television set, even at a young age. Ezra watched as entire
team headed for the door.
Be a pal and pay the bill, Buck said with a smirk. He headed
out the door.
Im the one whos putting my life on the line in a short
time, and I still end up paying for everybodys meal," he grumbled.
He dropped a tip down and paid the waitress standing at the cashier. He walked
outside. All the vehicles were gone except for Vins old jeep. He had
ridden over in Nathans truck, seeing no need to take his Jag out of
the garage. He regretted the decision now.
Vin laid on the horn and JD stuck his head out of the window.
Come on Pokey, We got to get you to the airport on time! Ezra
sighed and got into the back seat.
I not appreciate being referred to as a clay horse Mr. Dunne
I knew it Ezra! Vin yelled triumphantly "You just admitted that you
have watched Gumby. No kid can resist cartoons, not even you.
Gumby is not a cartoon Mr. Tanner. It is an excellent show about the
wonders of claymation
The airport is the other way.
I know that, Vin answered disgusted. Were just making
a slight detour to get some lunch.
You just finished eating a huge meal twenty minutes ago!
That was breakfast, now we need lunch. JD stated.
Dare I ask where we are going? Ezra asked shaking his head.
Taco Bell, they both answered.
The quality of meat is given a letter rating; A is the being
the best. The dog food that Riley eats is grade C. I have learned that the
meat Taco Bell uses had achieved a grade D rating.
So? JD and Vin asked.
The meat you are about to eat is worse than... Oh never mind,
Ezra thought they would never reach the airport. An attendant waved them
through to a private strip. A small jet was waiting there. Ezra had seen
this jet several times before. It belonged to the CIA, except the usual red
and blue stripes had been painted over with a broad black line.
Vin parked the jeep and they all piled out. They walked over to where the
rest of the team had gathered. AD Travis was talking to Chris. The Captain
pointed to his watch when he saw Ezra.
My sincere apologies Captain Larabee, my driver felt the need to stop
and refuel his stomach.
Agents, I am here to wish you good luck and success on this mission.
Travis said sternly. I do not need to warn you about the danger that
Robinson poses. I am under the impression that the three of you will be going
in there all alone, so dont expect any outside help from the rest of
your team. Travis finished. He sighed in relief. Now that I got
those damn formalities in. He turned to JD, What do you have
for them? JD smiled and pulled a laptop out of the backpack he was
I equipped the C drive with a microchip that has a tracking device
in it. As long as any of you have the computer with you, we will be able
to track you back here. Hopefully, we will be able to get a good idea where
Robinsons compound is. They all stared and JD appreciably.
I think I should take it, Sidney said. Adrian and Boris
like to run their operations the old fashioned way. They probably wouldnt
be carrying laptops with them. Ekaterina is taking several computer classes.
She would know how to use one.
JD looked at Chris who nodded his head. JD handed the computer to the girl.
At that moment, a man in a blue suit and a coffee cup in hand came walking
This is your pilot Robert, Travis said.
I work for the CIA and am here to brief you further on your mission
when you are ready to leave. He said. I dont want to be
rude, but we have to leave in ten minutes and I have to do some preflight
checks. With a polite nod of his head, he walked up the steps the cockpit.
I am ordering you all to be careful, Travis said with concern
in his eyes.
We always are Sir, Sidney answered. Travis smiled.
The CIA may screw up on a lot of things, but they did manage to get
the best damn agents for the job. If any of you get yourselves killed, I
will not turn a blind eye to what happened with Brady They all looked
at him in surprise. Well, I best be getting back to the office.
He took an envelop out of his pocket and handed it to Buck. Dont
open this until the plane is gone. Travis nodded his head. Then walked
over to where his black sedan was waiting.
He is sure one hard to read guy, one minute hes yelling his head
off at your for breaking one little rule and the next hes giving you
the medal of honor, Nathan said, shaking his head.
We are just about ready to go. Robert called from the cockpit.
You guys should take your seat now.
Sidney felt herself wrapped up in a hug.
I am not there to protect you. Dont do anything I wouldnt
do, Buck squeezed her tight and then let her go.
Vin turned his head to Ezra, Id give you a hug too, but I dont
think that would look very good.
You assumed correctly, Ezra answered taking a step back. He ended
up walking straight into Buck.
Aw come on sugar, you can give us all a hug, Buck said wrapping
his arms around Ezra.
They all laughed at Ezras facial expression.
Are you nervous Chris? JD asked.
Nervous? Hell this is going to be like a vacation, Chris said
shaking his head.
+ + + + + + + +
Fifteen minutes later, they all watched as the jet slowly disappeared from
the sky. Josiah saw the nervous look on JDs face
Theyll be fine JD, they always are. Josiah said.
Hey Buck, whats in that envelope that Travis gave you? Vin asked.
Buck pulled out the envelope and opened it. He pulled out a letter and read
it out loud.
I know better then expect any work out of you until you're back together.
There are five plane tickets waiting for you. Use them for what you want.
Dont relax too much, because I have seven different cases that will
require attention on your return,
Buck folded up the letter with a smile. Get that signal up JD. Its
getting a little to warm around here. I think I could use a little snow.
How about you guys?