four corners pd

By: Cin and Heidi

Day two: Friday

Part Eleven

Buck contemplated by the patrol car as the rookie finished speaking with the offender of their latest call, a loud music complaint.  Wilmington couldn't remember the last time he'd been this busy on a shift.  Maybe it was during one of the Olympic weekends, or possibly as far back as when he was a rookie and getting the majority of the calls for learning purposes.  However, this went beyond learning purposes and he didn't think this particular trainee was learning anything at all.  Except how to piss off his training officer.

The radio spit out the next call, "11-03 and any Unit in the area of 1028 Main, "The Saloon", disturbance in progress."  The any unit in the area called the closest car to the saloon, a way of finding the closest backup in Central without asking all the units their location and tying up airtime. 

The Corporal's ears immediately perked up at hearing the location.  Straightening up from his slouch, he caught JD's eye and signaled him to wrap it up they needed to go.

Josiah’s deep voice acknowledged.  "11-03, 10-4, en route, Code 2."  The Code 2 meant lights and siren, high rate of response.

"K9-16, en route."  Ezra offered to go, probably just for a break in pace.

"10-4, 11-03, K9-16 show you en route."  Casey acknowledged both units and let the others know she had her required two units to respond.  Anyone else at this point would be extra, and all the officers knew that two could usually handle it.  This also kept the others available to handle calls and eliminated the chance of them having an accident responding to the call while running code with lights and siren. 

"Come on, JD, get a move on!"  Wilmington shouted to Dunne as the rookie started walking back to the car.  When he got close, Buck ordered, "Give me the keys."

JD looked startled as he held out the keys to the larger man.  "What's up?"  With Wilmington watching his back, he'd kept his radio turned down while speaking with the violator of the noise complaint so that the radio would not interfere with their conversation.

Buck shook his head and pointed for JD to get in the car.  He keyed his microphone while moving quickly to the driver's side of the unit.  "FC, 11-02."

Casey answered, "11-02."

"Show us 10-8, Paul Sam, en route to back 11-03."

JD frowned and quickly slid into the passenger seat, wondering what urgent call he missed while dealing with the latest nuisance call Casey threw at him.

"10-4, 11-02, show you and 11-07 en route to 1028 Main."  The way Casey said 11-07 showed her acrimony toward the rookie to those who knew her.

Dunne only avoided rolling his eyes once he heard their destination because he was instead distracted.  He had to hold on for dear life as the Corporal set their unit off at a tire squealing pace, flashing lights whirling overhead and sirens screaming. 

He barely clicked the seatbelt in place when his back involuntarily pressed hard into the seatback.  He couldn’t move forward if he tried.  The flesh of his face felt like it was melting away to the back of his head, leaving only the sharp angles of his bones protruding and his eyelids forced open.  He forgot to breathe because of the harsh pressure holding in place from the rapid acceleration.  JD realized this face when he went to scream and nothing came out as they flew through a busy intersection, barely missing three cars, doing seventy miles per hour in a thirty miles per hour zone.  His fingers dug hard into his thigh muscles because he could not lift them to hold onto the dashboard.  Wild-eyed, JD wondered if Wilmington thought the pretty bar owner would be impressed if they died rushing to her aide. 


As they zipped into the parking lot of the Saloon, JD noticed Ezra beat them there (he honestly didn’t know how) and was already inside without Ace.  Buck parked beside the truck and when JD climbed out, Ace barked up a storm.

“Hey, Ace.”  Buck went over to the side of the truck and received a growl in response before the barking continued. 

JD stared at the dog, not wanting to approach the truck because Ace looked mad to him.

“Don’t mind him, Kid,” Buck said with a dismissive wave.  “Ace always carries on that way when anyone gets near the truck and Ez isn’t there.”  He started for the front of the saloon.

The rookie’s breathing finally regulated itself and Buck’s nonchalance along with this inane conversation about the lab did not help settle his mind.  “Oh,” he replied.  “Kinda protective of the vehicle, right?”

“Something like that.  Ask Ez; he’ll be happy to tell you.”  Buck tugged him at a rapid pace toward the front doors.

They entered the saloon side-by-side and found Josiah forcibly shoving a burly man in their direction.  The man landed almost in Buck’s arms and Josiah called out, “Brother, little help?”

“Sure,” he answered, taking the staggering gentleman outside to detain him.  On the way out, Buck gave an order to his trainee.  “Officer, stay with Sanchez and Standish.”

“Yes, sir,” JD replied, keeping to the right side of OFC Sanchez.  He learned from watching the man eat that Josiah was left-handed and remembered enough from tactical classes to stay on the man’s perceived weaker side.  That and to keep clear of a flying fist if necessary. 

Inez’s yelling reached his ears, “You think you can come into MY bar and start something with ME?  No, Senor, you will not act that way.  I don’t care that you come here regularly; get out!”

Ezra stood to one side while she harangued the customer currently being ‘held’ by Josiah until the officer dropped him on a stool for the rest of Inez’s lecture. 

The customer in question lowered his head, refusing to look at her.  The last time he did, ten days ago, he ogled her breasts and she caught him at it, smacking him hard upside the head with her tray.  His ears rang for two hours after that and the headache drove him home to bed.  That time, there were no officers present and he knew no one then would admit to seeing anything.  Besides, he liked this place and wanted to come back, which is why he apologized.  He mumbled, “I’m sorry, Inez.  It won’t happen again.”

“Si, it won’t.  No fist fighting allowed over sports games or teams.  For two weeks, you cannot come here.  Find other places to destroy but not my bar.  Am I understood?”

“Yes, ma’am.”  At Inez’s nod, Josiah released the man.  The customer slinked out the front door and to his vehicle as Buck detained the other gentleman involved. 


“Yes, Inez?”

“Ask the skirt-chasing, womanizing Romeo to tell that customer he’s banned for two weeks also.”

Josiah and Ezra grinned at her description of Buck.  “Yes, ma’am.”  Switching his radio to talkaround, he informed Wilmington.  Seconds later, he heard Buck tell Casey they were okay and ordered a cab. 

“Two weeks?  You must be getting soft, Inez,” Ezra drawled with a slow smile.

She snorted.  “Two days and both will be crawling on the parking lot for me to let them in.”  Inez looked over at Ezra from the corner of her eye.  They stood shoulder-to-shoulder, elbows leaning back on the bar, looking at the other patrons.  The customers found somewhere else to look.

Josiah turned to face both them and the crowd, JD at his side.

The southerner ran a finger ran along his jaw line.  “Pray tell, Madame, if that is how you like your men?  Crawling?” He teased her softly.  They understood each other completely, two tough survivors in an unfriendly world.  As such, they often lowered their guards around one another and let the insults fall where they may.

Her eyes twinkled.  “I could have you crawling if I wanted.”  She flirted back, half-interested in this man and not sure what to do about it.  Then she remembered that romantic dance with Buck last night and grew even more confused.

“You could try, but I believe Mr. Wilmington has better knees.”

She snorted in disgust.  “That perro!  His nose and knees have thick calluses on them from him sniffing everything that wears a skirt.”

Josiah chuckled at the description.   “True enough, but he hates being turned down as often as you do it to him.”

“I am looking for someone to sweep me off my feet, someone who understands me, and will be faithful until one of us dies.”  Images of the song and the dance flashed through her mind. 

JD thought Buck already did that the night before, at least the sweeping off the feet part.  However, he was picking up something between the pretty bar owner and the canine officer, a sense of being completely at ease.  In JD’s limited experience, that level of comfort came from being together for a long time.  He watched in silence as he tried to get his mind to work through all these confusing signals the players continued to send out.

“What a rare creature you seek,” Ezra exclaimed.  “A man willing to both pick you up and never look at another woman again.”  His face was innocence personified.

She lifted her hand to slap him in the chest and dropped it when he quirked that annoying eyebrow at her.  Right now, she was inches from his face and staring him in those memorizing green eyes filled with amusement.  Hitting him in front of witnesses, even with a teasing slap, could bring her a free trip to jail for assaulting an officer, and both knew it.  He could not let her strike him without taking appropriate action, or anyone might think he or she could get away with it, especially witnesses who did not know the couple’s history as close friends.  The smirk joined the eyebrow as she muttered fiercely in her native tongue under her breath.

He replied in kind, leaning forward to whisper in her ear that as beautiful as she was, he would still do his job and take her in; just ask his mother.   That earned him a hissed promise of retribution when he was not hiding behind the badge.  They laughed; both knowing she would repay him in spades the next time he came in off-duty but neither cared. 

Watching them laugh only confused the rookie more.  They broke apart and she leaned back against the bar, a smile on her lips. 

Buck finally joined them, having sent the loud mouth on his way in a cab, and tipped his hat.  “Hello, darlin’ Inez.  Might I say you are lookin’ mighty fine today?”

“You might,” she replied.  “Then I would ask what was wrong with me yesterday.”

“Absolutely nothing, darlin’.”  His eyes swept her from hair to hips, finally pausing at her legs, moving all the way down to her toes and back up again. 

Ezra just chuckled and waited for the next insult.

“So, if nothing has changed between yesterday and today, what makes me look mighty fine today?”

Buck immediately replied, “Your inner beauty always shines right through, darlin’.”

The canine handler smirked.  “If you will pardon me?  I notice a strange brown substance rising off the floor at a rapid rate and I have a campus to patrol.”  Ezra tipped his cap to them with a two-finger grasp then strode out, leaving the rookie, Josiah, and Buck with the fiery bar owner. 

“JD,” Josiah whispered down to the man beside him, “watch and learn what not to do.” 

JD nodded and continued his observation.

“My inner beauty?”

“Yes.”  At this point Buck held his Stetson between both hands and tried a more sincere look. 

It was not working.  “And what of the outer beauty?  Do I look like dog food on the outside?”

“Absolutely not.”  Buck shook his head vigorously.  “You look like manna from heaven.  Angels would weep to be as beautiful as you are.”

“Humph.  I don’t know whether or not to believe you.”  She eyed him with equal parts confusion and suspicion, her heart wanting to believe, but afraid to take the chance.   

“Believe what you want, darlin’, but you’re the tops in my book.”

“And what a fat book it probably is,” Inez remarked as she flounced behind the bar.

“Now, darlin’, if you consented to being with me, there would be no one else,” he told her softly, just enough volume for only her to hear.  “Ever.”

She looked up into his eyes and saw the truth again reflected in those blue depths.  Inez wondered what it would be like being loved completely by this man and the thought made her uncomfortable in a good kind of way.  It also made her feel awkward.  “I’ll believe it when I see it,” she retorted, her voice pitched just as low.

“Give me a chance,” he said.  “That’s all I ask.”  They continued to stare at each other. 

JD and Josiah remained silent.

A voice broke the spell.  “Hey Inez!  You gonna talk to those patrol rats all night or you going to tend your bar?” asked one of the new arrivals, one that they recognized as being from their Criminal Investigation Division (CID), one Detective Coline. 

“I’m going to tend that rug on your head!” she yelled back, ducking around Buck to get behind the bar and grabbed the dispenser, aiming a round of water in the Detective’s direction.  It missed but served the purpose of backing him off.  Detective Coline was obsessive about his natural hair, more so than Buck, and used more products than most of the women Inez knew.  He hated it being compared to a toupee and she also knew that.

“Buck.”  Josiah’s voice caught the rogue’s attention.

“Yeah?”  He answered, his eyes never leaving Inez.

“You need to know about something.”



Buck’s head spun around.  “Something wrong?”

Josiah chuckled.  “No; he and Nina have a bet going.”

“Uh-oh.”  Bets between those two always went for high stakes.

“Nina bet that Chris couldn’t make it through the shift without frowning, yelling, glaring, or acting negative in any way.  He’s allowed to have two faces – smiling and neutral.”

“What’s the stakes?”

“Neither will say.”

Buck whistled.  “That’s what was wrong with his face earlier.”


“It had more wrinkles than a Shar-pei and twisted into something like a smile, if he was Norman Bates from Psycho.”

Josiah laughed and JD snickered. 

“Wilmington, you worthless piece of crap!” Coline yelled at him while he waited for his drinks.  “Am I paying you to stand around trying to score on Inez?  You don’t have a chance.  Besides, my taxes pay your salary.  Get your ass back out on the road.”

Buck fished around in his pocket and said, “Here’s your quarter back.” 

“TRYING TO SCORE??!!” Inez yelled.  She went off on both of them in a mixture of Spanish and English, both men desperately trying to placate her.  

JD took advantage of the distraction to ask Josiah a question.  “Can you tell me something?”

“I can try,” the older man replied.

“What’s going on here?”  His hands waved for emphasis.

“With what, son?”

“Okay, so far I’ve figured out that Buck and Nina were a serious couple at one point, but not anymore, they’re really good friends now, and Buck likes Inez, because that’s obvious.”

Josiah nodded.  “You’re right.  What’s the question?”

“Now I’m watching Ezra and Nina thinking maybe there’s something there, maybe not, but I’m also seeing Inez and Ezra completely at ease and teasing each other, almost like they are or were a couple.  Now toss in Buck and I’m totally confused.”

“Confusion is a natural state of mind and affairs of the heart are never easy.  My advice: stay out of it.”

“But that doesn’t answer my question,” JD pressed.

“Nope,” said Josiah with a big grin.  “But if you think you’re confused, JD,” he nodded toward the trio.  “How do you think they feel?  They are living it.  And just like the spectators that watch an accident or tragedy, we watch, but we are along for the ride.”  Josiah clapped JD on the back.  “Fascinating, isn’t it?”  He chuckled at JD’s frowning expression.  Preacher waved a goodbye at the still yelling Inez and headed outside to go back on patrol, leaving the rookie wondering when the job became so complicated.

“I need a scorecard,” JD mumbled to himself.


Part Twelve

The radio continued its unabated chatter.  Casey’s voice called two new officers this time, not the night’s usual victims of Buck and JD.  “11-03, 11-04, copy commercial alarm.” 



Casey calmly told her boys where to go and why.  “Go to 628 North Maya Street, 6-2-8 North Maya, cross streets of Inca and Aztec, Quick Stop Liquor Shop, alarm showing front glass break.” 


“11-03’s en route.”

“K9-16’s responding.”  Ezra knew that any time they got an alarm at the Quick Stop, it was usually a good alarm.  This meant someone was trying something illegal; that alarm never went off accidentally or because of bad weather. 

“10-4, K9-16.” 

Nathan and Josiah, parked side by side, peeled off with Josiah in the lead.  Both trounced their accelerators, using the silent running mode of responding.  This meant they were able to go faster than the speed limit without using their lights and sirens, flipping them on for any traffic signals, proceeding once they confirmed it was clear to go through.  No one heard them coming and it gave the officers the element of surprise. 

One disadvantage to silent response was the complaints of the citizens about the police officers speeding without lights.  Often, citizens did not know about or understand silent response, either keeping pace behind the police officer or filing a complaint against the officer.  Tonight, however, this was not a concern due to sparse traffic on the way there.

Due to their partnership, the officers worked out a system when responding to various calls so both knew what they were responsible for and assuring there was no miscommunication.  On alarms, Nathan always took the front and Josiah took the rear.  Sanchez blacked out his vehicle by turning off his headlights, running lights, and brake lights, when he entered the alley to the rear of the store.  The sight that greeted him was not unexpected; a van backed up to the loading doors, the van’s rear doors open, and no one visible.  Josiah blocked the exit of the alley with his patrol car and keyed up, “11-03, all units.  Code White.  Have a van backed to the loading dock with the doors open and no one visible.”

“FC all units, Code White for 11-03.”  The Code White told everyone not directly involved in the incident to shut up and switch to the alternate channel.  This kept the main radio channel clear so Josiah could then quietly approach and have instantaneous access to the radio in case of a problem.  

“11-04’s around front, broken window.”

“11-01’s en route.”

“K9-16’s in the area.”

“10-4.  FC’s direct on unit arrivals and broken front window.  Contact emergency number.”

When Casey unkeyed, she saw Ladonna already on the telephone, calling the alarm company back.  Ladonna would ask them to go down the list of keyholders listed by the business that would respond in the event of a problem or emergency.  The alarm company would call all the people repeatedly until they found someone to respond, then would call the Police back with the name, how long it would take them to respond, and what the person responding would be driving.  The vehicle description and time of response told the officers that if a certain type of car matching the description given by Communications pulled in, it was someone that was supposed to be there and not a bystander, reporter, or curious citizen. 

At the entrance to the alley, Josiah turned off his car and locked it so that no one could steal it trying to escape.  He felt the adrenaline start to sharpen his senses.  His hearing became more acute and as he cautiously approached the building, his gun was now an extension of his left hand.  He turned down his radio so it would not go off and startle someone prematurely or get him killed.  He had no way of knowing if anyone was armed.  Personally, Sanchez held no desire to be shot because of his radio going off at an inopportune time.

The loading dock and the area around the van remained silent as Josiah climbed the small flight of stairs.  He watched the placement of each foot, mindful of all the loose gravel strewn on the cement.  For such a broad-chested man, he knew the art of moving silently.

At the top of the stairs, he pressed his large frame firmly against the wall.  Keeping his flashlight off, he shifted his weight and peered inside the back of the Quick Stop.  Coming toward him with arms overloaded with boxes of bottles, a young man concentrated on getting his load to the truck without dropping anything. 

So far, the suspect thought, so good.  No alarm sounded when they entered.  The electronics whiz they conned into telling how the alarm worked and how to bypass the standard screaming of most commercial alarms earned his case of booze.  Just after setting these boxes inside the van, sealing his fate, he felt something cold against the back of his neck.

A low voice growled, “Police.  You’re under arrest.  Stay quiet and come with me.”

He nearly wet himself; nineteen years old, on a scholarship, and he just kissed his life goodbye.  “Y..Y…Yessss, s..s..sir,” he whispered, backing out slowly, led with a vice iron grip on his upper arm, directing him down the steps to the patrol car.  He received a quick shakedown and thanked his lucky stars he was not carrying his knife like he normally did.  His wrists felt the click of cold stainless steel and the big officer put him in the back of the patrol car. 

Josiah squatted at the open door and asked, “How many friends came with you?”  To him, the kid looked no more than nineteen.  Silently he thought ahead.  As nervous as the kid was this could be his first offense and if he was lucky he would probably get probation, but that was up to the court to decide. 

“They’re not my friends,” the kid replied.

Josiah willed patience; right now, he left the back of the business open uncovered to deal with this idiot.  “How many, son?”

As the severity of his situation hit, the kid broke.  “Two more.  That’s it, I swear.  Will you tell the judge I cooperated?”

“Do exactly as I tell you but I can’t give guarantees.  Sit still in the back of the car.”  Josiah noticed Chris pulling on scene, giving the sergeant a hand motion to watch his vehicle. 

Chris nodded as he came over, switching to the alternate frequency.  Ladonna manned this channel when situations like this happened, along with answering the telephone.  “11-01, FC.”


“One in custody for 11-03, he’s Ocean King.”

“10-4, One in custody.” 

“11-01’s going back to channel one.” 


Larabee switched back, leaning against the side of Josiah’s car.  He reluctantly refrained from glaring because he wanted to win the bet between himself and Nina.  Nodding his head toward the suspect he asked, “You talk to him?”

“Yup.”  Josiah bent over to warn the boy again, “Pretend you’re a church mouse.  Oh, before I forget, don’t make him angry.”

Oh, damn, thought the kid.  The big man himself was scary enough, but this other guy looked like he ate nails for dinner and the taste disagreed with his face.  Was that a grimace or a smile?  The kid suppressed a shudder and acted the perfect part of the church mouse, not even squeaking once.

Josiah returned to the back of the building as he heard his radio key up, “Canine’s loose.”  This statement meant Ezra released Ace from his collar, giving the canine free rein to ‘find’ any suspect still hidden in the building.  The handler stayed close behind, but it was standard procedure to keep all police officers out so Ace did not bite the wrong person in the confusion.  Josiah took up his post, observing the rear exits. 

Having taken the front, Nathan stood watch.  He knew better than to go into a building once Ace started a search.  The lab became single-minded when he worked, having once bitten Buck in the hindquarters as both chased after a fleeing suspect.

That time, Buck didn’t hear Ezra yell he let Ace go and the rogue kept running.  When a canine chases a suspect, he or she is trained to latch onto the runner.  So, if a police officer is in front of the canine, but behind the suspect, when the dog’s let go, the officer should stop and stand stock still, permitting the canine and handler to pass before continuing pursuit.  Buck didn’t stop so the lab did what he was trained to do.  He bit the closest moving person.  Ace made sitting uncomfortable for the rogue, along with a couple stitches, light duty, and a lifetime of harassment.  Since that incident, Ezra announced he released Ace on the radio, instead of counting on the officers hearing his yell.

While Nathan waited, he checked the shattered front window and saw something that bothered him.  Tiny droplets of blood.  He found a trail leading away from the broken window, past his post, and into the bushes.  Now he faced a decision…did he follow the blood or keep his post? 


Inside the Quick Stop Liquor Shop

Ezra gave the tracking command and the police canine immediate went to work. 

So many scents, but Ace sensed and heard something his human, with his puny vision and funny ears, did not.  He led his human down the first aisle and turned right.  At the end of this aisle, the lab turned left.  Standish then spotted the light on in the office.

Fools, Ezra thought to himself.  He remembered when he recommended this new system to the owners of the Quick Stop and they wholeheartedly agreed.  Their old system blared annoyingly loud, but did nothing to protect the phone lines.  Nor did they have a secondary system if the lines were cut until recently, when they lost a sizeable sum and agreed to revamp their security measures. 

He knew it cost the owners a bit more, but they bought two systems through the same company.  One protected the telephone line and immediately set off a silent alarm the second it lost contact with the store. The other system was the standard screaming alarm that cut off one minute after activation.  If someone tried or succeeded circumvented the standard alarm, the backup silent alarm went off once a person entered the business, unless that person entered a code within ten seconds to deactivate it.  No one deactivated it this time.  After the ten seconds, the police received an automatic call, without going through an alarm company and the delay that occasionally brought. 

Ace alerted to his quarry and his handler sensed the anticipation in the canine from the lab’s body language. 

As they neared the office, the suspect finished emptying the safe and stood to leave, flicking off the light. 

The darkness suited Ezra just fine.  Just as he thought the man’s eyes adjusted to the pitch black, he flicked on his flashlight right in the man’s eyes and yelled, “POLICE!  Stay where you are!  Canine Loose In The Building!”  His other hand kept the gun trained on the suspect. 

The suspect cursed.  “Son of a Bitch!” 

Ace saw the suspect’s hand rise threateningly and immediately went into action, pure animal muscle slamming into the outstretched arm.  The lab clamped on hard with his mouth.  The force of the jump took the suspect back a step and the man fell over the extra chair, landing on his back staring up into raging teeth and bizarre, scary green eyes reflecting at him from the window’s meager light.  That is, he saw the eyes before the head lowered and ripped another chunk out of the arm.  The man started kicking.

“Damn dog!  Call off this hell beast, you asshole bacon boy.  I surrender, damn it!”  He tried raising his arms again only to have them chewed some more.

“I suggest you remain perfectly still,” Ezra drawled, his gun still pointed at the suspect.  His foot kicked the bank deposit bag – the item in the hand Ace saw raised at Ezra – to the side, then called off his partner.  After one final growl to show the pathetic human who was boss, the lab backed off and waited patiently while his human handcuffed the suspect.  Unceremoniously, Ezra shoved the suspect forward toward the front and out at Nathan.

“K9-16, FC.  One in custody.”

“10-4, second suspect in custody.”

Now that the search was over, Josiah could share his information.  With the delay caused by talking to the prisoner, Ezra let Ace go before Sanchez could say how many suspects.  Cops are trained to think in multiples, so he knew Ezra would think there was more than one, but he did not want to endanger Ezra by keying up, so he silently prayed things turned out okay inside.  “11-03, all units, my prisoner advises three suspects; we have one loose.”

“11-04, FC, have a blood trail away from the scene.”  Nathan looked at Ezra, who nodded.  Following a quick pat down, the paramedic shoved the prisoner into the backseat of his patrol car.

“10-4, 11-04.”

“11-01 to 11-04, bring your suspect around back, and then help K9-16.”

“10-4,” Nathan replied.

“K9-16’s direct.” 

“Wait for me,” Nathan told Ezra, immediately driving his car around to Chris and leaving it there.  The officers kept the suspects separated in different cars to prevent collusion about their stories.  From his trunk, he removed his portable orange paramedic equipment bag and tossed it over his shoulder.  Chris and Josiah watched the prisoners while the other two started following the trail.

Ace wanted to lead, the lab briskly following the scent of fresh blood and footsteps into a residential neighborhood.  His handler kept hold of Ace’s recently reattached harness leash to keep up with the faster canine.  Nathan swept his flashlight side to side to find the missing suspect. 

They promptly found him lying in the backyard of one of the nearby residences.  He was unconscious and barely breathing.  While Ezra checked for weapons, finding none, Nathan checked injuries.  The right arm of the suspect bled copiously and freely, leaving a wet spot in the grass beside him. 

Nathan unslung his bag and found a trauma dressing, pressing it hard against the wound to stop the bleeding.  It looked like the man nicked an artery from the way it spurted.  He needed immediate medical care at a level higher than Nathan carried in his bag.  The resident came out to watch. 

“11-04, FC.”


“Located last suspect, start an ambulance, nicked artery.”  Nathan paused to yell at the residents.  “What’s your address?”

“1837 Flying Bridge Road.”

“Thanks.”  He continued,  “1837 Flying Bridge Road, in the backyard.  Subject approximately 20yoa, respiratory distress, unconscious, and unresponsive.”


Ezra passed him all the different medical supplies Nathan asked for without error or pause.  The southerner worked enough times at his squad member’s side to anticipate what the paramedic might need.

Nathan did as much as he could for the man until the ambulance arrived, with the Medivac Lifeflight helicopter already on the way.  The suspect would bleed to death without massive transfusions and immediate surgery.   Within ten minutes of his initial request, Medivac Lifeflight lifted off with the suspect on board.  A trauma team rode along, treating him during the flight.

They secured the area while Nathan waited for the Crime Lab to photograph the scene for court purposes.  Either way, this went to court – for charging the suspect or possible civil suit for them not doing their jobs if the suspect died.  Even if the PD did everything right, many people sued for wrongful death in this litigation happy world. 

Ezra was excused to care for his partner, giving him water, attention, and his favorite toy.  He now had to write a report on the use of force (dog bite) against the suspect.  The reports made sure he proved that his prisoner received medical treatment in a prompt fashion.  Knowing Larabee, the suspect already received the attention of the ambulance crew and probably had an escort meet them at the hospital to watch the prisoner as he was treated, just so he did not try making a run for it. 

That thought made the southerner smile; no one felt like running anywhere or any place after Ace finished chewing on them.  He thought he overheard Buck mumbling something earlier about bruising on his arm from yesterday’s demonstration. 

All in all, a good grab – three suspects in police custody (of sorts) and the alarm system paid for itself.  By the time Ezra finished with Ace, the owners arrived and profusely thanked them for their assistance. Apparently, the one Ezra caught was a terminated former employee who knew where they kept the money, but not about the new alarm systems. 

Even though Nathan, Josiah, and Ezra along with their sergeant, spent an hour filling out the paperwork, they still cleared a call quickly.  From the way the detectives talked, they might have caught a roving group that was responsible for hitting several liquor stores both in Four Corners and in the County.  The detectives held on to Nathan and Josiah to do the transports of the prisoners to the office for interrogation, then to the Detention Center, while the third detective accompanied the slightly bitten, immensely ticked prisoner to the hospital. 

The amazing part was that Chris had not frowned once during the entire incident.


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