Chris Larabee relaxed in the shade of palm trees. Cool sea breezes wafted through the air, gently swinging the hammock. Mary laid snuggled in his side. The blonde couple half dozed, waiting.
Jim Ellison relaxed in the shade of the palm trees. His senses reveled in his surroundings. He could smell the sweet breeze, the light perfume of his wife, and the clean air of the untainted paradise. The feel of the cool air both invigorated and relaxed the sentinel. He curled around Carolyn's lithe figure. They too half dozed, also waiting.
They knew the quiet wouldn't last for much longer.
"Agent Chris Larabee?"
"Yeah." Chris rubbed the sleep from his eyes ... covering the phone with his hand to muffle his yawn.
"Agent Larabee, this is Sheriff Frank Lowry over on the big island and I think I have some people who belong to you."
"Nope, sorry, don't have any idea what you're talking about."
He laid back ... hoping against hope that he could get back to sleep.
"Hello, sheriff. What did my boys do now?"
Lowry smiled. "Well, agent, your seven men --"
Lowry recounted ñ just to make sure. "I'm counting seven drunk-as-hell-men."
Chris sighed. "One of them ... short guy, long curly brown hair? Probably bouncing?"
Lowry studied the men again. The one on the end was more jumping in place than bouncing, but the sheriff figured it was close enough. "Yeah, he's one of them."
Chris heaved another sigh. "Hold on, sheriff."
"It's me and I've got Sheriff Lowry on the line. Sheriff, this is Detective Jim Ellison. The bouncing one belongs to him."
"So what did they do?" Jim barely contained his yawn. "Anyone hurt?"
"No," Lowry said, but reassessed his 'guests' anyway. "Well, cuts, bruises ... "
"Nothing serious, then," Larabee stated.
"Put us on intercom, sheriff." Ellison growled softly.
Lowry hit the button and sat back to enjoy the show. The second he had picked up these men for disturbing the peace, he knew he was in for an interesting evening.
"Boys," came the low growl.
"Quiet, Tanner!" Ellison's hiss echoed through the lines. "Sandburg!"
"How drunk are you, chief?"
"Not vwery." Blair alternated between bouncing and stumbling. Only Josiah's solid girth kept him vertical.
"All right," Larabee demanded. "Who started it? Buck or Ezra?"
Lowry covered his mouth as the seven men all swallowed hard. It seemed even several islands away, Larabee and Ellison could put the fear of God into their men.
They all looked at each other before they exploded.
"Who started it?"
Lowry strained to hear the mumbled words.
"What?" Larabee demanded.
"JD?" Ellison's voice was incredulous. "JD started it?"
"Tattle tale! You narc!" JD hollered, hitting the already precariously balanced Sandburg. "I can't believe ñ believe you told!"
"Chriiiiiiiisssssssssss! It wasn't my fault! How was I suppose to know she was married!?!"
Lowry smirked as the drunk agent whined and hiccuped his way through his confession.
"Pard! You shoulda seen this filly! Sweetest pair of lips you've ever seen! Taught by the best, he was!" Buck thumped JD on the back, sending the younger man crashing to the floor. "The kid can sure pick 'em, can't he?"
"Yeah, he sure can," Lowry said with a laugh, watching JD return the favor by knocking Buck's feet from under him. "The lady's husband was roughly the size of a sumo wrestler."
"Yeah!" Nathan exclaimed, arms waving wildly. "A friggin' sumo wrestler! OOF! Ezra git offa me!" He pushed the listing southerner at Vin, who promptly pushed him back towards Nathan.
"Shit! You should've seen JD take his ass on!" Josiah's voice boomed, startling everyone. "He laid that bastard out flat!"
Lowry's eyes were watering and his hand was firmly clamped over his mouth.
"Y-y --" He cleared his throat. "Yes?"
"I don't know about Sandburg, but you can toss my six sorry-ass-drunks into the cooler for the night. I'll be there to pick them up tomorrow." There was a pause. "Maybe."
"Sure, no problem." Lowry couldn't contain his laughter as wails and pleas vibrated throughout his office.
"Agent Larabee? Detective Ellison?" Lowry surveyed the two couples before him.
The lean, blond man offered his hand. "I'm Larabee. My wife, Mary."
The more muscular, dark haired man took his hand next. "I'm Ellison. My wife, Lieutenant Carolyn Plummer."
Lowery smiled as he shook hands with the two lovely ladies and his fellow law officers. "Your men are in the back." He continued to talk as he lead the way. "We had to put them in a cell with a few of the locals."
"Any problems?" Jim asked.
"Well," Lowry couldn't help the full blown grin. "Some of the bigger locals decided to pick on the two youngest. . . and the others took offense."
Chris sighed. "So how bad was the damage?"
Lowry chuckled. "Take a look." He swung open the door.
Mary and Carolyn barely suppressed their laughter.
The only cot in the cell was shared by JD and Blair, their snoring was almost in sync. Against the wall, Buck and Josiah propped each other up, their mouths hanging agape. Vin was curled up in front of the cot, while Ezra and Nathan were stretched out nearby.
In the other, smaller corner, nearly 12 locals sat or stood huddled against the walls. They didn't look too comfortable.
"They've been bunched up like that for the past eight hours," Lowry snickered quietly. "After your men 'showed them the error of their ways', it has been pretty quiet here."
Chris and Mary laughed as they recognized Josiah's words from Lowry's mouth.
"Well," Jim said. "Let's wake them up." He grinned evilly at Chris, dialing down his hearing, as he handed him a metal cup.
"Oh, lord." Mary covered her ears. Carolyn quickly followed suit.
"WAKE UP, LADIES!"
"RISE AND SHINE, CAMPERS!"
Moans of pain and disorientation grew louder and louder with the ensuing racket. Chris and Jim waded in, grabbed arms, and shoved the agents and junior detective out of the cell.
Mary grabbed Vin, slinging an arm around his waist.
He grinned stupidly down at her. "'ey, Missus Larabee!"
She winced. 'Woah, bad breath!' "Hi, Vin. Have fun?"
"HELL YEAH! The drinks were great! And the music! It ... "
Mary laughed as Vin rambled on. Alcohol worked wonders for his tacit behaviour.
"Can't walk!" The whine was pitiful.
Chris rolled his eyes, then bent, slinging his heavily hung over agent over his shoulder. "Jesus, JD, what the hell did you drink?" JD didn't seem to mind his new upside down position.
Carolyn's eyes went wide. "How many?"
"Dunno, 7 ... yeah, lucky 7."
"Shit, kid, no wonder you're so damn wasted!" Jim grabbed Blair as he listed to one side. "What about you, chief? What did you crash on?"
Blair shrugged. "Dunno. . .jell-jell?"
"Jello shots?" Mary yelped then laughed. "How many?"
Blair held up both hands, displaying all ten fingers. "Three."
Jim rolled his eyes. "Uh huh, sure, chief."
"JD, who gave you the zombies?" Chris hefted his weight.
"I did not!" Ezra could barely stand ... that didn't mean that his mouth or his sense of self-preservation had stopped working. "Why would I give him a walking corpse?"
"Ezra -- "
"Whoa, Chris, nice ass."
The women laughed and Jim smirked.
Mary smiled gently at her husband. "He's drunk, Chris, remember that."
JD twisted upward. "'ey, Miz Larabee! You ever noticed that Chris' got a nice ass?"
Mary's lips twitched, her eyes never leaving her husband's. Hers were mischievous, his were resigned and exasperated. "I think I might have noticed a time or two." 'Or million.' she silently added.
"Ain't nothing!" Blair declared. "Jim's ass is so hard, you can bounce a quarter off it!" He twisted out of Jim's hold towards Carolyn, who was supporting Ezra. "Ain't that right, Caro? That's what you said, right?"
Jim raised a brow, grinning. "Really, Caro? You said that?"
His wife grinned unrepentantly. "It's the truth!"
Lowry watched in amusement as they finally left his station. He then reached for his phone. When it was answered, he smiled. "You two were right. They are a handful. Thanks for the warning."
"You're welcome." Simon grinned around his cigar. "We need to stick together, right, Orrin?"
"Hmm, as long as it's us against them, hell yeah!"
"Amen!" The three men chorused.
Now, that's the end!