The Magnificent Seven "One Wrong Step"
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The Magnificent Seven ATF
"One wrong Step"


"Great." ATF Agent JD Dunne said in frustration as he and Casey Wells stepped into the bank. "Just great, there's gotta be fifty people ahead of us."

The brown haired girl in her early twenties grinned as she grabbed her boyfriend's elbow. "You won't get to the front any faster by griping about it. We've got plenty of time before we have to meet the others at The Saloon."

JD relaxed a little knowing she was right. He hooked arms with her and moved them toward the end of the very long line. "We could've beat the after work rush if you hadn't dawdled at the clinic."

Casey slapped his upper left arm playfully as the line inched along."Me? 'Mr. I have to stay and feed Curevo'."

JD grinned as he pulled away from her. "Hey, you didn't see the interior of Ezra's car after the last weekend that Curevo wasn't fed until Monday. It wasn't pretty...I've never seen anybody's face turn that shade of purple before....I think Curevo used up one of its nine lives surviving Ezra's wrath."

Casey laughed at the mental image. "You would think Curevo would find a safer place to sleep than your parking garage."

JD slipped an arm around her waist."He has a taste for adventure."

"Now folks, I'm a nice man so I'm only going to explain this one time so you better listen carefully if you don't want to get hurt."A male voice demanded from the doorway causing
everyone to turn around."This is exactly what it looks like, a robbery."

JD stiffened as the man in the clown suit raised the semi-automatic rifle and aimed it at the four terrified tellers behind the counter.
/Oh God./
Casey instinctively crept behind him peeking over his shoulder.

"Please, don't hurt us."A young blonde haired teller pleaded as she raised her hands over her head.

The clown robber fired.The bullet hit the roof sending a shower of dust over the bank clerks desks. Screaming in terror the tellers hit the floor covering their heads with their hands, the patrons in the lobby followed suit....Frozen in fear they waited for the gunmen to continue firing.

"That was for trying to trip the alarm!"The robber shouted as he and the other four robbers all dressed as maniacal clowns moved toward the center of the bank.

JD turned his head away from the robbers in time to see a lone security guard creeping up behind the armed men.

"Oh no."He whispered catching Casey's attention. The brown haired guard couldn't have been more than a year or two older than he was.

"What's wrong?"Casey whispered as she turned to follow his gaze.

JD frowned. "Damn fool is going to get himself killed tryin' to play hero."

Casey saw what he intended to do and placed a hand on his right shoulder. "JD, don't!"

JD started to get to his knees. "I have to try, Casey."

It was then that the young security guard made the fatal mistake of tripping on the floor mat near the door. He caught himself before he hit the floor but it was too late. The clown at the rear of the group sporting a bright green wig and purple and yellow face makeup whirled around.

"What fun, target practice."The robber commented with a wide smile as he squeezed off four shots.

The guard never had a chance to bring his weapon up. The shots hit him square in the chest. The impact sent the young man flying backwards through the glass of the inner door.

The lead robber tossed two cloth bags at one of the tellers who had started to rise to her feet. "Fill these! And no tricks, honey. "

The young red haired woman picked up the bags with shaking hands and began to fill them.

*******

"I thought the kid was comin' tonight, Buck?"Chris Larabee asked as he glanced across the table at his old friend.

Buck Wilmington grinned as he watched Vin beat Ezra at pool. "He is, had to pick up Casey first."

The blond man nodded as he glanced around the crowded The Saloon. The Mexican restaurant/sports bar was nearly standing room only on that Friday night and it was barely six o'clock.

Wilmington took a sip of is drink. "Wanna bet on those two?"He asked as he gestured back toward the pool game, which was quickly drawing attention from fellow patrons.

Chris grinned and shook his head. "Not on your life.Knowing Ezra he'll come up with a way to cheat, even if its pool."

Buck nodded as he turned his attention back to the game, but the small tv above the bar caught his attention.

"Hey Dan?"The brown haired agent called gaining the bartender's attention. "Turn that up, would ya?"

The blond man nodded and reached up to hit the correct button.

/.....details are sketchy at this hour.....but we have learned that at least four armed robbers have taken hostages in at 1st Bank at Tremont and 16th avenue. Shots have been heard but we do not know at this time if anyone inside the bank has been injured....../

Buck stood, a bolt of apprehension washing over him. A deep frown crossed his face. "JD's in there."

Larabee glanced at his friend. He had known Buck long enough to trust the man's instincts, but sometimes Wilmington could be more smothering to the youngest member of the Seven than a mother hen. "Thought you said he was pickin' up Casey."

Buck grabbed his jacket. "We got paid today,Chris. Kid hadn't cashed his check yet. That's the closest bank to Casey's vet clinic."

"Damn."Chris replied tossing down his napkin as he grabbed his jacket. "Buck, try the kid's cell phone."
Wilmington nodded grimly as he pulled the small phone out of his jacket pocket and headed outside to make the call in a quieter area.
Larabee turned toward the pool table where Josiah and Nathan had gathered after abandoning their pinball game. "Vin, get the others then meet us outside."

The young brown haired man nodded as he set his pool cue down and grabbed his jacket. "Come on, Ez, game's over."

Standish glared at his friend slightly indignant. "Mr. Tanner you can't just stop in a middle of a game and declare it done, there are rules."

Vin smiled as he picked up Standish's Armani jacket from a nearby chair. "I'll let you win next time. Come on, duty calls."

"Any idea what's going on?"Nathan Jackson asked as he moved along side of Vin. He and Josiah had seen Buck ask the bartender to turn up the tv but hadn't heard the newscast over the loud music.

Tanner shook his head as they exited the bar. "No, but from the look on Buck's face I'd say trouble's found JD again."

**********

JD's hand tightened around Casey's as he heard the men and women of Denver's police department arrive and begin to surround the bank. The youth watched the clown robbers warily. They had started to panic at the first sign of a cop. This was going to turn nasty really fast.

Casey tugged at his right shirtsleeve to gain the young agent's attention.
"JD."The young woman whispered anxiously as he turned to face her. "Your badge...."

Dunne cursed silently as he realized he was still wearing his ATF badge. The two weeks previous had been extremely slow and JD had gotten accustomed to wearing his badge on a chain around his neck. JD nodded at Casey as he slowly reached up to start to take it off but before he could the robbers started ordering the bank patrons into a sitting position against the nearest wall.

The robber who had shot the bank guard paused in front of JD and Casey. For a long moment JD thought the man had spotted his badge. But what the man did next was something JD was completely unprepared for.

"You're a sweet lookin' thing."The robbers commented as he reached down and roughly yanked Casey to her feet wrapping an arm around her neck. "I think you'll do as a way out."