Distraction Elimination

by Indra Leigh

-Late Thursday afternoon-

"Mr. Dunne."

"Excuse me, Mr.Dunne."


"Huh, Wha?"

"Mr. Dunne, Do you have the file on the notorious Mr. Andrelli?"

"It's here on my desk somewhere."

"If you are finished with the contents, I would like to peruse the file at home this evening."

New to the job and city of Denver, the young agent hastily stacked the random jumble of papers on his desk. Collecting a stack he handed the requested file to the astute ATF undercover agent.

"You have been distracted all day Mr. Dunne. What has your young mind in a quagmire?"

"Oh, nothing. Something in the mail earlier got me thinking. When you're done with the file it can go to records."

"Certainly. Are you still seeking a place of residence in Denver?"

"Yeah. If you know of anything..."

"I will inform you promptly of my learning of it."

"Thanks. Have a good evening Ezra."

The sharply dressed man touched the brim of an imaginary hat as the normally energetic young man sedately turned to head out the door. Concerned about his relatively inexperienced coworker, Ezra decided to keep a closer eye on the kid.

As JD walked toward his hotel room, rented by the week, a silver jaguar automobile purred down the street to an attractive town house.

A tall glass of southern sweetened iced tea, paper, pen, and the file sat on the solid wood table. The relaxed man settled into the straight back wooden chair to take notes on the file from a recent case that was concluded in Boston, where the team had met JD Dunne. In the privacy of his home Ezra was able to voice his thoughts aloud. "If I finish my review of the file this evening I can take tomorrow easy and this weekend I can relax at Mr. Larabee's."

"That was an interesting habit of his, eating a small sack of Gummi Bears before a meeting. What is this doing here? Oh, JD no wonder you have been mentally preoccupied."

Focusing on the documents in hand, the case file was slid to the other end of the table. "You do not deserve this. Oh, please like that is any excuse."

Leaving the form letter on the table Ezra determinedly strode to the phone in his plush living room. "Mr. Larabee I will be taking a personal day tomorrow. No, nothing you need to worry about...... Yes Mr. Larabee if I am incarcerated you will be the recipient of my one phone call. I fully intend to return in time for the weekend festivities."

Dialing a second number a small smile that did not bode well for somebody formed on the man's face. "Monkey? Ezra. I need to get to Boston as soon as you can get me there. I shall join you at your plane in an hour. No, for this I will owe you."

Very early Friday morning

In front of the receptionist's desk in the small office two very sharply dressed men shook hands in introduction. "Yes, Mr. Smithson I am here to speak to you regarding a loan issued by your institution."

"Please come in Sir. Have a seat, please. Do you want to take out a loan with Community Financial?"

"No. I am here to speak to you about the payments you have demanded of a Mr. JD Dunne. Here is a copy of the letter you sent him recently. Please, Mr. Smithson 'Due to the risks of your employment we are increasing the amount of each installment.' That is a feeble excuse for robbery or theft."

"We don't want to be left in the rain if Mr. Dunne is unable to completely pay back the amount we loaned him."

"By my calculations Mr. Dunne has paid the majority of the amount he was originally loaned."

"He has, but there are the associated fees and overhead costs. Not to mention the interest amount."

"I have a proposition for you. You declare Mr. Dunne's account closed or I will perform the actions stated upon this paper." Ezra placed a paper on the desk blotter that had been creased in to a neat half. Mr. Smithson loosened his constricting shirt collar, complexion paling as he read the seemingly harmless paper. Pleased to do something for a young man he secretly considered a friend, Ezra relaxed a fraction upon seeing the reaction he had predicted. "If I do not have the final papers regarding the account in my hand by noon, I will carry out the actions previously stated."

"I can agree to your terms, Sir. I will fill out the papers now."

+ + + + + + +

Early Saturday morning JD walked into the deserted office space that was normally a cacophony of noise and chaos by team seven. I need that bill so I can figure out a budget. Where did I leave it?

Pausing in the search of random files he noticed a legal sized envelope on his desk "JD" handwritten instead of a recipient's address. Pulling out the documents and after reading the first page the young man dropped into his chair, stunned and speechless that in his hand was the statement that his account was closed and all debts paid. Forced into taking out a loan to pay for his mother's medical expenses, he was extremely limited to who would loan to a struggling minimum-wage earning kid. Having borrowed money from Mr. Smithson, who was one step above from a loan shark who took body parts in lieu of cash, the amount demanded each month would have left JD with a pitiful handfull of cash to live off of. Still, left with smaller managable bills, JD could actually make progress on paying off his debt and live. Once he recovered from the shock and amazement he headed out of the building where his ride from a teammate was waiting to take them to Chris Larbee's ranch for the weekend with the team.

Joining the crowd around the grill, JD's grinning face was more intense than the flames turning the steaks into charcoal briquettes. "You're in a good mood kid."

"I sure am Buck."

"So how come?"

"I'm not sure how or who, but it could be said that I got a miracle today." Sitting on his lawn chair he popped the top on his drink.

"This have anything to do with whatever had you distracted last couple days?" Josiah's voice, a rumbling verbal caress, inquired.

"Yeah, my Ma was right. There are angels amongst us."

Ezra's face held a shadow of an indulgent smirk. Not necessarily an angel. More like a conman who looks out for his family.