Time After Time

by Happy Psycho Bunny

Disclaimer: I’m sure you know the drill. I don't own them, but hey a girl can dream. And absolutely no money was made.

Note: Thanks to my Beta, Greta, for her help and for encouraging me. The song, Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper, started following me around begging for a story with those seven magnificent men. And who am I to say no? I sure can’t blame it. The character Adina Friedel is entirely of my own making. I thank Mog profusely for creating this universe. I apologize in advance for any errors in the story, but did try my best to make things right. Feedback is always appreciated. Positive comments will be cherished and loved. While flames will be fed to the dragon to keep the fire in his belly stoked.

Chris looked around the church in surprise. He hadn't realized that so many people would show. His team was there, of course, and dressed in their best from the look of it. He nearly laughed out loud when he glanced to his side and saw Vin tugging at his tie. He was glad that his friend was there to stand up with him. And a bit surprised to see the man had actually had his long locks trimmed for the occasion. He glanced at his watch and tried to think back to when he'd first met her.

Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick,

And think of you

Caught up in circles confusion

Is nothing new

Flashback warm nights

Almost left behind

Suitcases of memories,

Time after

Nearly Two Months Earlier...

Chris Larabee paused when he heard someone clearing his throat behind him. When he turned around at the elevators in the lobby he saw Judge Orrin Travis. The older man nodded for Chris to follow him, which he did without comment or hesitation. They silently got into Travis's car and the judge then handed him the note. Chris frowned as he read it while the judge navigated traffic.

"This for real?"

Travis nodded his head and parked the car.

"Evie's worked with this girl four years now on different library events. Steady girl. Not given to flights of fancy and the details she can give us are right on."

Chris just grunted and followed the man into the library. He said nothing as Judge Travis led him to a small conference room. They sat in silence for close to ten minutes and just as Chris was about to mention that he had business to attend to himself, a young woman silently entered the room with a stack of books.

"Judge Travis?"

He nodded and the girl walked further into the room.

"Mrs. Whipple said you wished to speak with me," she glanced at Chris and stood a little straighter, "in private."

Judge Travis smiled and motioned to the empty chair across from him. "Come in. Come in. Please, have a seat. Yes, Evie gave me your note and I've brought someone who I think you should talk with."

The young woman pushed her glasses up and glanced nervously at the man clad in back.

"If you say so Judge Travis."

"I do. Adina I'd like you to meet Christopher Larabee of the ATF. Chris this is Adina Friedel."

Chris nodded to the girl as she pushed a wayward lock of hair from her face and mumbled a greeting. He grudgingly took a liking to the girl. She looked like a mouse, but had given Chris a look that almost dared him to admonish her for disturbing them. The three sat in the small conference room at the library for over an hour while she relayed what she had heard only two days before while she'd been restocking the shelves.

"I'll get my guys coordinated and we can meet," Chris trailed off looking to Judge Travis for a firm time. The judge in turn looked to Adina.

"Could we do it in a day or two?" Adina looked down at her white button up blouse; gray plaid skirt and sensible black shoes. "I have a final I need to take tomorrow, and a paper to work on."

Chris frowned, but refrained from saying anything when Judge Travis cleared his throat.

"That should be fine. We'll meet in two days. I'll come by and pick you up from here."

Adina nodded and stood to leave. She slid some books toward the judge. "Mrs. Travis asked for these. Could you give them to her for me? I know how busy she is with all the details for the upcoming charity and thought they might help."

The judge nodded and Adina started to leave. She turned inside the doorway.

"Thank you for hearing me out. I've been worried about all of this."

The men nodded and followed her out. Adina cast a shy glance over her shoulder as she headed back into the stacks to reshelf books. Chris turned to look back and nodded when he caught her eye.

Sometimes you picture me

I'm walking too far ahead

You're calling to me, I can't hear

What you've said

Then you say go-slow

I fall behind

The second hand unwinds

Two Days Later

The seven sat at the conference room table still trying to drag information out of Chris about Adina Friedel, but the man remained stubbornly silent. He'd given them the bare bones and then shut up."Come on Chris," Buck wheedled. "The least you could do is tell us what she looks like. How old she is. You know more specific information."

Buck winked at JD and the younger agent chuckled as he opened another can of soda.

Chris turned his glare on Buck. "And I'm sure you'd like to know if she's single or not too."

Buck grinned. "Couldn't hurt."

The others chuckled at the ladies man's comment until a stern voice broke through the cheerful banter.

"Mr. Wilmington this is not a dating service. You are to protect this witness until the bust is over. Do I make myself clear?"

The group turned to see Judge Travis standing in the door. A few steps behind him was the woman in question. Chris was slightly taken aback; she looked a lot younger with her blonde hair pulled up in a ponytail. She stood by the judge in jeans and an oversized University of Colorado sweatshirt, looking as if she'd not heard a word Buck had said.

"Yes Judge Travis." Buck mumbled.

The team settled around the table and introductions were made. Adina smiled slightly at each man and dropped her gaze as soon as they returned her greeting.

Orrin Travis glanced around the room as it quieted down and then cleared his throat. "Let's get down to business." He turned to Adina and nodded.

Adina sighed and then went over her story once more with all eight men present. The next hour was spent going over how best to protect Adina and the easiest way to catch the men who were using the library and its charity functions as a cover for the smuggling and transferring of guns.

Judge Travis left shortly after that and Adina felt that she'd faded into the background. Not that she minded, but she nearly panicked when she glanced at the clock on the wall. She was going to be late for her class if she didn't get out of there soon. The men were still discussing details when she cleared her throat, but no one noticed.

"Excuse me?"

No one acknowledged her. Adina frowned and raised her voice.

"Excuse me!"

Chris looked up and frowned. Adina bit her lip. She didn't want confrontation, but she couldn't be late.

"I don't mean to be a bother, but I need to leave so I can change and catch a bus to the university. I have a class I can't be late for."

"You'll have to miss it." Chris turned back to the team to continue the discussion.


Chris raised an eyebrow at the young woman who was now glaring at him.

"What did you say?" he growled.

"I said no. I will NOT miss this class. I have to be there or I can loose my scholarship. I didn't work this hard to be booted out just before I get my doctorate."

Josiah spoke up before the explosion he could see brewing behind Chris's eyes could hit the surface.

"You can change in the ladies room just down the hall. I'll drive you to your class when you're ready."

Adina nodded and picked up a bag to hurry off to the ladies room. Chris growled.

"Now Chris before you go off let me try to explain."

Chris crossed his arms and nodded for the profiler to continue. The other five men breathed a sigh of relief. Each one had worried that the famous Larabee temper would be taken out on the very witness they were to protect. Leave it to Josiah to act as a buffer.

"I'll drive Miss Friedel to her class and pick her up. During the ride I can obtain her schedule. We wouldn't want her to vary from her schedule as it could alert the very people we want to catch."

Chris nodded, seeing reason in Josiah's explanation and the seven men dispersed into the bullpen. A few minutes later Adina shyly entered the room. Josiah smiled reassuringly and took her bag from her. The group watched as the girl followed the giant of a man towards the elevators.

Buck turned to Chris as the elevator doors closed.

"Does she always look like that?"

"Like what?" Chris growled.

Ezra coughed slightly as Buck raised his eyebrows.

"Well she looked so young when she came in..." JD trailed off.

"And?" Chris sighed because he was pretty sure he knew what was coming next.

"Well when she came out in that outfit she looked older."

JD nodded his agreement. "Yeah her hair was up and stuff. What is this some sort of Jekyll and Hyde thing?"

"Hell if I know," Chris shrugged and turned to go into his office. "I only met her two days ago.

Three Hours Later

Josiah Sanchez returned to the office with a smile on his face. Holding at least two full sheets of paper out to JD he nearly chuckled. He noticed Chris's scowl and did laugh.

"Don't worry Chris. Adina is safe. That is an interesting young woman. She wrote down her class schedule, work schedule and anything she does on a normal basis that she thought would be of use to us on the ride to school."

JD glanced over the neatly written papers and smiled slightly as Chris just stood there still frowning.

"And where is Miss Friedel?"

"Well," JD broke into a wide grin. "From the look of this schedule she's at work. Wow! She does keep busy doesn't she?"

Josiah nodded. "Yes and that class she couldn't miss wasn't a class for her. She's a TA."

Vin looked questioningly at the profiler.

"She's a teaching assistant. It's part of her work program that helps her keep her scholarships. She's actually working on a PhD in Criminal Psychology. She wants to be a profiler."

Ezra smiled at the pride he heard in the older man's voice and went back to work.

If you're lost you can look and you will find me

Time after time

If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting

Time after time

Within a weeks time a pattern had been established and each man was scheduled for a week's time to serve as her guard. Someone always drove Adina to and from school. The same went for work. Which was making her coworkers prod her for information on the new men in her life. She just smiled and kept quiet, which fueled the fire for even more speculation. When things got out of hand she just said that a profiler was mentoring her and that they were his coworkers. When she wasn't at work, she was at the ATF building with the seven working on her paper while they worked on whatever needed to be done. The cover story of her paper put everyone at ease around her. And when needed she pitched in for them. Answering phones, running errands with them and anything else she could convince them to let her do.

If you're lost you can look and you will find me

Time after time

If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting

Time after time

Two Weeks Later

JD sighed as he entered the office with Adina. He felt terrible that she wouldn't let him carry the box she'd started lugging around yesterday. All she would let him carry were the coffees that she insisted on buying.

"JD I wish you would stop worrying about the drinks. I used to work there and they always give me a bit of a discount. And don't grouse about the box, it is weight training for me."

JD rolled his eyes as Adina laughed and he set everyone's drinks down in the break room. Each cup had a name written on it. He was pretty sure that after seeing what each man drank she had written out an order with each man's name and given it to the Starbucks employee. And his assumption was confirmed when today she went and asked for the drinks by the agent's names and not the types of coffees.

JD's jaw dropped when he saw what she pulled out of the box.

"What's that?"

Adina looked up in surprise. She'd been daydreaming about working with the group as a profiler. A silly fantasy she knew, but that didn't stop her. She had thought that she was alone in the office and JD's question startled her out of her reverie. She blushed.

"A typewriter. Why?"

"We have computers. I'm sure Chris would let you use one of ours. No need to lug that old thing around."

"I'm sure he would, but this is for my paper. And I work on it at all different times of day."

"Then just bring in a computer disk. I'm sure that wouldn't be a problem."

Adina blushed a deeper red.

"Don't have one," she mumbled.


Adina felt humiliated. It hadn't bothered her in the past, but now having to admit it in front of these men. Well it hurt her pride tremendously and that just made her mad.

"I said I don't have one. I'm on a tight budget and that's one of the luxuries I just couldn't afford. Are you happy now?"

JD was stunned and could only stare at the woman. Anyone else in the room quickly went to work, trying to spare the woman the humiliation of knowing that they had overhead the outburst. Adina refused to meet JD's gaze as she organized her notes and began typing. The rest of the day was a very quiet one and Adina didn't say a word as JD drove her home.

"Thanks. See you tomorrow."

Before JD could even get an apology out, Adina had hurried inside.

The Next Day

Adina frowned when she saw Chris standing outside her door. She rubbed her eyes to be sure she wasn't dreaming. There he stood in the doorway staring at her. The knock on the door startled her. She'd always been standing at the foot of the stairs when JD showed up. Chris was there a little earlier than JD normally arrived.

"Where's JD?"

Chris shrugged. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. Her hair was down. The guys had been gossiping like hens about it. It was always up. The consensus was she either had frizzy hair or it was a dye job gone wrong. It was neither, but Chris wouldn't utter a word to them.

"Said he had something to do. Are you ready? I've got a mountain of paperwork I have to finish today."

"Just a second."

Adina grabbed a hair clip, her backpack and jacket. As she reached for her typewriter, Chris snatched it up.

"I'll carry it. Let's go."

During the car ride Adina tried to draw Chris out by asking all sorts of questions. He remained silent and pretended to concentrate on the road. Once they pulled into the parking garage, Adina grabbed her typewriter and hurried out of the truck.

"I'm sorry Mr. Larabee."

Chris frowned. As they waited for the elevator, Adina twisted her hair and clipped it up.

"What for?"

Adina picked her box back up and smiled slightly at the blonde leader.

"I didn't mean to interrogate you. I just have this natural curiosity and tend to run off at the mouth."

"Don't worry about it."

They remained silent as the elevator doors closed.

"They tell me I'm not much of a talker, so don't take offense."

Adina nodded.

As soon as they entered the office Chris headed for his office and Adina for her desk. There on the desk she'd been occupying for the past two weeks sat a laptop. JD was nearby with a cup of coffee and a hangdog expression.

"What's this?"

Adina turned to JD in confusion. He smiled and handed her the coffee.

"It's a laptop for you to use until you finish up that paper."

Adina looked from the laptop to JD and frowned looking very confused.

"I thought I would loan you this until you finish that paper of yours up. It can fit in your backpack. That way you won't have to lug all that stuff around."

"But it's your laptop," she protested.

"Don't worry about it. It's a loan. I wouldn't have loaned it to you if I was in desperate need of it now would I?"

Adina felt tears well up in her eyes. She hugged JD and kissed him on the cheek. As she pulled away she noticed his blush and heard a few chuckles in the office. Adina felt herself start to redden also.

"Thank you JD! I appreciate the loan. This is going to make typing my paper so much easier. You are a doll! I promise I'll take excellent care of it."

JD turned an even brighter red at the kiss and hurried back to his desk once he'd been assured that Adina knew how to use the laptop.

After my picture fades and darkness has

Turned to gray

Watching through windows you're wondering

If I'm ok

Secrets stolen from deep inside

The drum beats out of time

Three Weeks Later

Josiah pulled up to Adina's apartment complex to find the hood of her 1985 Dodge Omni up. He approached the vehicle slowly; concerned that someone was tampering with it. Instead he found Adina hanging halfway in the car and fiddling with the engine.

"Come on baby! Start for me," Adina pleaded.


Adina jumped, hitting her head on the hood, at the sound of the voice. Josiah shook his head, wincing slightly.

"Josiah! Is it your turn this week?"

Adina broke out in a grin as the profiler nodded. Josiah couldn't help but chuckle at the smudge of grease on her nose.

"Goody! I've been chomping at the bit to get my hands on you."

Josiah quirked his eyebrow.


"Well I've got tons of things I want to ask you about being a profiler. You know get the inside scoop? See if you could give me a little help in finding a department that might need a profiler?"

"I'm an open book. But first, what's wrong with your car?"

"I think this is retribution for not using it for three weeks. It's very temperamental and I think it's jealous that I've taken off in two other cars that it's noticed. It won't start. You wouldn't happen to know anything about cars would you?"

Josiah laughed as he nodded. Within a half hour they had the little Omni running and Adina had offered to make Josiah a meal as thanks. He gratefully accepted. He glanced around her modestly furnished apartment as she set about making a large pot of chili. He was drawn to her bookshelf and was surprised by the contents.

"You believe in ghosts?"

Adina looked up from the onions she was chopping.

"Not exactly sure, but they fascinate me. I collect ghost stories and of course I'm addicted to horror movies. Especially the cheesy ones."

Josiah laughed out loud as Adina pointed out her collection of horror movies.

"Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?"

"Oh that's a classic one! Have you ever seen it?"

If you're lost you can look and you will find me

Time after time

If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting

Time after time

Four Weeks Later

Nathan smiled as he watched Adina come out of the building her class was in. She was always fun to talk with. She was full of questions and always seemed to pay close attention.

"Hey Nathan!"

Adina jumped in the vehicle and grinned as she pulled out a new book. He'd discovered that her mother had been studying to be a nurse when she died, and now Adina had a way of finding obscure books for him to use. He in turn had started helping her study for some of her exams.

"You're spoiling me! How're the classes going? Your professors aren't giving you any grief are they?"

"Fine. Everything's fine. How's Rain?"

Nathan smiled. That was Adina, always asking about his life and ignoring most of hers. He'd only gotten bare bones about her. They chatted the rest of the way to the library. Adina smiled as Nathan parked and hurried to help her out.

"Thought I'd go browse that medical section you've been telling me about."

Adina laughed as they climbed the stairs to the library entrance.

"You know you just dying to get to that new mystery I was telling you about, but you don't want anyone to know."

Adina patted his shoulder as they came to the door.

"Don't worry your secret is safe with me."

Nathan smirked slightly and held the door for the older woman who'd come up behind them.

"Thank you young man. Oh Adina! I'm so glad it's you."

Adina smiled at the older woman and let her take her arm.

"How are you Mrs. Johnson? In for the latest romances?"

The older woman smiled up at Adina and patted her arm.

"Aren't you a dear to remember? Yes I'm here for more books, but I also made something for you. And who's your new gentleman friend dear?"

Adina chuckled as the older woman rummaged through the large bag that she'd been carrying.

"This is Nathan Jackson. He's helping me with my paper. Nathan this is Anna Johnson."

Nathan smiled at the older woman.

"How do you do ma'am?"

"It's so good to see Adina here out with young people. And so kind of you to help her with her paper. She's a top-notch student. We're so proud."

Adina blushed at the older woman's praise.

"Here it is!"

Mrs. Johnson pulled out a bright multi-colored scarf and wrapped it around Adina's neck a few times as Adina grinned at her.

You said go slow

I fall behind

The second hand unwinds

Five Weeks Later

Vin noticed that Adina was edgier than she had been. He watched as she scanned the area as he walked her to her door. It seemed strange he knew none of the other guys took this precaution, but she'd asked and he didn't see the harm in it. He grew a bit more puzzled when she invited him in. As far as he knew only Josiah and Chris had been in her apartment.

Vin watched as she went from room to room, turning on the lights and checking the room before coming back to the front of the apartment. Then she went to the fridge and grabbed two sodas.

"Somethin' wrong?"

Adina peered out the window and then back at Vin.

"This is going to sound a bit overdramatic but, I think I'm being followed."

Vin frowned as he put the soda down.

"What makes ya say that?"

"I know I'm probably being silly and all, but I keep seeing the same two guys everywhere I go. And they seem... I don't know. Out of place?"

"Where've ya seen 'em? And fer how long?"

"Started this week. I see them when you drop me off at night. Sometimes I'll see them after I leave a class or at the library. And it's been to often to be a coincidence."

"Okay. We'll take care of it. Ya okay for the night?"

Adina nodded.

"I'll be back tomorrow. Round eight. Wear comfy clothes."

Adina nodded and locked the door behind him.

The Next Day

Vin picked Adina up early the next day and drove straight to the indoor range. Once he'd gotten her eye and ear protection he started explaining what he wanted her to do.

"Now slowly let out yer breath as you squeeze the trigger."

Adina nodded her full concentration on the target down the lane.

"Good job!"

If you're lost you can look and you will find me

Time after time

If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting

Time after time

Four Days Ago

Buck smiled as Adina shelved the last of her books on the cart. He'd gotten there early and decided to follow her around and see what it was she did at the library. He found this assignment pretty fun. Yes she had a scare by being followed, but the goons seemed to have disappeared. At least she now knew how to use a gun and that was a plus in his mind. She was always asking lots of questions and making him laugh.

"Bored yet Buck?"

The ladies man grinned. He liked how she wasn't unnerved that he was there watching her.

"Now darlin', what would ever make you think I'm bored? I mean I am in the presence of a lovely young lady."

Adina placed a hand over her heart and fluttered her eyelashes at him as she put her cart back and grabbed her coat.

"I don't know maybe that big yawn you just tried to hide tipped me off. And stop trying to flatter me. You know I'm immune to your charms."

Buck chuckled as they headed to his vehicle.

"Thought I hid it better. Sorry. And no one is completely immune to the Wilmington charm."

Adina shrugged.

"It's a job Buck. Not exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life. A means to an end. What's on your mind Buck?"

"Well I was just curious as to what you're wearin to the charity ball is all."

"I've got a nice black dress."

"You gonna let Uncle Buck take a gander at it. You know I've got a pretty good eye for what looks right on the ladies."

Adina laughed and playfully pushed his arm.

"Buck I've been dressing myself for years. I'm sure I know what looks okay on me."

"Okay? Just okay? Oh darlin' I'm sure you want to look more than just okay. Now why don't you let Uncle Buck take a gander at what you got picked out? You hiding something in that apartment of yours? Like a sexy sister or something?"

Adina shook her head and laughed.

"Good then I'm coming up."

Adina quickly changed into the black dress that she'd worn to all of the other charity functions and came out into the living room to model it. She frowned as Buck shook his head no.

"What are you shaking your head for?"

"It won't do. Not at all. Too matronly for such a young thing. I'm taking you dress shopping tomorrow."

"What do you mean it won't do? This is a perfectly fine dress. It's dressy enough for the function, but not ostentatious."

"I'm sure it is darlin', but I think we can find something even better. I know just the place. I'll pick you up tomorrow morning and we'll go shopping."

Adina could only stare.

"I can't afford a new dress. And what if I'm busy?"

Buck reached out and patted her cheek.

"I know you're not busy. And I'm going to buy you that dress."

"No Buck! I've got something important to do tomorrow."

"Like what? I know your paper was completed and you'll present it in a couple of days. There's nothing left of your schoolwork. Once you've completed your presentation you'll graduate. Think of the dress as an early graduation gift from me."

Adina frowned and slumped her shoulders.

"But I won't graduate for another week."

"So? I said an early gift. I won't take no for an answer. So what are we doing tomorrow?"

"Dress shopping."

Buck smiled and nodded. He left not shortly after that.

The Next Day

Two hours into the dress shopping and Adina was feeling frazzled. She was sure that Buck was enjoying this too much. And now she felt that the sales clerk was also conspiring against her.

"No purple! I hate purple."

Buck quirked an eyebrow and then waved the two other purple gowns he had put aside away. The sales clerk just smiled and brought another armload of dresses to Adina's dressing room.

If you're lost you can look and you will find me

Time after time

If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting

Time after time

Three Days Ago

Ezra stood by the desk waiting for Adina to finish shelving the last of her books. He smiled and helped her into her coat.


Adina turned to the female voice she'd just heard.

"Mrs. Johnson. Is everything okay? You normally aren't here this late in the evening."

"My friend had to bring back a book. Once we got here she wanted to see if you had another book on hand. So now I'm here. Lands little girl another gentleman? I do believe an explanation is in order."

Adina nearly rolled her eyes. She glanced at Ezra and saw a hint of a smile in his eyes.

"Mrs. Anna Johnson, I'd like you to meet Ezra Standish."

Mrs. Johnson nodded at the sleek southerner before she turned back to Adina.

"Come, come young lady. This is the seventh man I've seen you with in nearly two months. What is going on?"

Adina shook her head knowing if she didn't give the woman some version of the truth she would be there all night.

"Well the first gentleman, Chris, he gave me information on some of the judicial departments where I might be able to obtain a job. The second, JD, he was helping me with getting a computer to do my paper on. The third, Josiah, he's a profiler and was mentoring me. And what a fountain of information he was! The fourth, Nathan, he helped me study on some of those finals I was telling you about. That was a tremendous help. The fifth, Vin, he was teaching me gun safety and other facts that pertained to my paper. I needed something to beef up the paper a bit. The sixth, Buck, is JD's roommate and he has this big brother complex and kind of adopted me. You know like a kid sister? And Mr. Standish well he..." Adina trailed off not sure how to finish.

"Well after seeing my compatriots with such a fine and obviously intelligent young woman I have come to beg her to join me for an evening repast." Ezra supplied seeing Adina at a loss for words.

Anna Johnson smiled and patted Adina's hand.

"Well now you have been busy. But now it's time for you to have fun."

Adina didn't have the heart to correct her and remained silent as Ezra opened the door of his Jag for her. Once he was belted in she turned to him.

"You didn't have to lie like that Ezra."

"Oh but I didn't my deah. I intend to share the evening repast with you. And it will be something much more pleasing to the palate than pizza, burgers or chili."

Ezra grinned at the young woman when she smoothed her long skirt down and smiled shyly at him.

"If you insist Mr. Standish."

Ezra laughed out loud at her attempt at a southern drawl.

The Next Day

Ezra and Adina arrived late that morning and immediately went into the conference room to go over the details for the evening. Adina smiled when Judge Travis showed up to drop her off with Evie for a day of pampering. Judge Travis scooped up Adina's garment bag and placed a hand on her waist.

"Mr. Standish we expect to see you at seven at our home. Do not be tardy. Understood?"

"Yes sir."

That Evening

Ezra stood in wonder as Adina walked down the stairs toward him.

"Is everything okay Ezra?"

The normally smooth talker could only nod. Adina stood at the bottom of the staircase in a stunning red spaghetti strapped dress that fell to her ankles with her hair curled and cascading down her back. He never would have guessed that her blonde hair was that long or lovely.

"You look stunning dear. See you're escort is tongue tied." Evie assured her.

Ezra smiled as he opened the Jag's door for Adina and helped her in. The ride over was silent as Adina fidgeted with the straps of her dress. She sighed as the got out of the car and started up the steps of the hotel.

"My deah you look fine. Stunning in fact. Don't worry. We'll keep you safe and soon this will all be over."

Adina nodded and took Ezra's arm. The evening passed in a blur. Adina couldn't remember a thing other than noticing the people she'd overheard months ago were here. Ezra gently pulled her out onto the dance floor.

"You look tense. Is everything all right?"

"They're here."

Ezra followed the direction of Adina's eyes until he found the two men she meant. He noted that they were discreetly making their way to the back of the room to make a quick get away.

"I'll let everyone know they're about to make their move."

Ezra moved off to murmur into his earpiece for everyone to get ready. Adina sipped on some punch as she waited for Ezra's return. She jumped when she felt a warm hand on her bare shoulder.

"Sorry I didn't mean to startle you."

Adina smiled up at Chris Larabee.

"Mr. Larabee don't you look dashing."

Chris smiled at her banter.

"I do clean up well don't I? And you look pretty good yourself Adina. New dress?"

Adina nodded.

"It looks very nice on you."

Adina blushed.

"Thank you. I must say that I do envy you Mr. Larabee?"


"You have a tight knit family and I'm truly envious."

She frowned when she noticed she no longer had Chris's attention.

"Stay here until it's safe."

With that Chris hurried off. After nearly fifteen minutes of waiting Adina couldn't stand it anymore. She started in the direction she'd seen Chris go. She noticed the Judge making his way to her.

"Adina you need to stay put."

"I need to go to the restroom."

She nearly laughed out loud when the Judge took her at her word and left her alone. She made her way through the kitchen with no questions and eased her way out into the alley. She looked to her left as she stepped out into view and saw a man running a way. To her right was Ezra, gun drawn, running toward her. She froze in terror.

"Adina get down."

Adina turned from the Ezra to look at the man running and felt a pain rip through her abdomen. Ezra was beside her before her knees even buckled. He caught her and gently eased her to the ground.

"Oh God!" Ezra shouted into his radio. "I need an ambulance quick! Adina's been hit."

Adina pulled her hand away from her abdomen and saw the blood. Her eyes widened as she realized what Ezra had just said.

"You'll be okay."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't worry. Help is on the way. You're going to be okay."

"I didn't mean to get in the way. I'm sorry."

Ezra held her close and closed his eyes.

"Don't be sorry. He was a loose end. We'll find him. Rest assured. Now you just concentrate on getting better."

"Don't hold me."

Ezra looked down at the young woman in confusion.

"You'll get blood all over your white shirt and it'll get ruined."

Ezra gave a derisive laugh.

"Don't worry my deah. I'll get another. Besides look, I've already got a bullet hole in one arm."

Adina smiled up at him and strained to see the hole. She nearly laughed when Ezra stuck his finger through the small tear and wiggled it slightly.

"Tell Buck I'm sorry I ruined his dress."

"Buck won't care. Don't worry. Help will be here soon. You know this is a terrible way to try and get out of presenting your paper. If you'd asked I could have consulted you on a much better idea."

He heard Adina chuckle and then cough.

"Ezra," she whispered.

"Yes my deah?"

He looked around worriedly and nearly cried in relief when he saw the ambulance lights and two men with stretchers running to them.

"I'm really cold."

Time after time

Time after time

Time after time


Chris listened as the minister finished his sermon and with the help of five of his teammates lifted the coffin to carry it to it's final resting place with Ezra trailing behind. His bandaged arm preventing him to help in placing their charge in her final resting place.