Read an Exerpt of No Tomorrows

The conference table held the assorted paraphernalia of the seven ATF agents interspersed with discarded coffee cups, powdered sugar, candy wrappers and left over food. The briefing had already been underway for three hours and was in the process of winding up but the room was in an uproar as five of the agents erupted almost simultaneously into uncontrollable laughter and catcalls. Larabee exchanged a weary look with the man on his immediate right and finally slammed the table with his open hand.

“Okay, boys. Joke’s over!”

Silence descended almost in an instant but as usual Wilmington persisted long after the others had correctly read Larabee’s mood and decided not to pursue the matter any further.

“Chris, you can’t be serious! Ezra? What about Vin, he’s more the biker type.”

Tanner raised an eyebrow not entirely sure if he was being complimented or criticised. Standish sat patiently folding a piece of paper into a complex shape, an island in the stream, while the tide of conflicting opinion ebbed and flowed around him.

“Vin doesn’t have the undercover experience. This is not just playing bodyguard for a day, it’s in deep for maybe months on end.”

Wilmington still had no intention of letting it drop. “No, but at least he can ride a Harley and looks the part. Ezra looks like a goddamn banker not a biker.”

“That’s enough, Buck! Ezra goes in. Vin will be his contact.” He looked around the table at each man. “His only contact. The rest of you had better get used to forgetting that Ezra Standish ever existed. Okay, questions?” He shot a warning glance at the mustached agent. There were none. The brief was locked up and locked in. “Fine. That’s it then. Get.”

The six agents started to pack up. “Ezra, you stay.” The undercover agent slipped his notes into his briefcase and snapped the locks shut, waiting for the other agents to leave, his expression unreadable. As the door closed behind the last man, Chris sat down again and picked up his pen, rolling it between his fingers. “You cool with this one, Ezra? It’s not going to be easy, even with your experience.”

“It’s never easy, Mr. Larabee,” drawled the Southerner, “Do you have any doubt’s concerning my ability? Perhaps Mr. Wilmington has a point.”

“Shit, Ezra. If anyone can do it, it’ll be you. Hell, if I asked you to go in as a lap dancer you’d probably manage it somehow.”

Standish laughed in genuine amusement. “There are limits, Mr. Larabee, some things are beyond even my considerable talents.”

Chris’ smile faded. “This has nothing to do with your ability.”

“Then what?”

“It’s only two months since you came out from deep cover, now I’m sending you back in again and this time you’re going in so deep you’re gonna need scuba gear to breathe.”

Standish smiled. “Assuming I can get in.”

Chris looked evenly at the enigmatic agent. Designer suits and ten dollar words but the best undercover operative he had ever worked with, a consummate actor who could assume and discard a persona at will. “Why do I think that’s not going to be a problem?” He smiled back. “Whatever Buck thinks, I know you can pull this off.”

Ezra stood up and drew his sunglasses out of his pocket. “Just watch me.”