Where Did You Say You Live?
"Ezra!" Chris Larabee bellowed from his office.
With a sigh, team seven's undercover agent flipped on his screensaver and arose from his chair, going to stand in the SAC's open doorway, leaning casually against the door jam. "You bellowed?"
"Personnel wants your permanent address."
"They have it."
"All they have is a post office box number. They want the physical address."
"I do not have a permanent physical address."
"You've been here six months. You can't still be staying at the goddamn Hilton!"
"No, I am not currently at the Hilton."
"Then where are you staying?"
"Here and there."
"When do you expect to have a permanent address?"
"Why the hell not!?"
Ezra cocked an eyebrow and shrugged. "Because I'm not looking for one," he suggested mildly.
"Ezra," Chris began more patiently than he wanted to, "You have to have a permanent address."
"I do have. The post office box number is permanent."
"A permanent *physical* address," Chris ground out between clenched teeth. The paranoid little shit would drive a saint to drink.
"But I do not have one," Ezra protested.
"There's got to be some damn where that you go back to..."
Ezra shrugged again, "No there is not... unless you wish to give them the address to your ranch. I do spend at least one night of most weekends there."
"My ranch? You spend more time at my ranch than you do anywhere else?"
Ezra looked at him as if that should have been obvious. "Yes," he said blandly, "after all that's where my horse is."
Chris stared at him for a long moment then punched the button on his phone to take the call from personnel off hold. He gave them the address of his ranch then hung up.
Leaning back in his chair, he said, "Mind telling me why you refuse to settle anywhere?"
Ezra straightened and his voice hardened becoming grim, "Because anything that is a matter of record can be gotten to by the miscreants that we target. I know this from bitter experience.
"I have been instrumental in bringing down some of the wealthiest, most powerful and well connected criminals in this country. Criminals that have friends in high places and in low ones, criminals that can afford to buy any information that they need, including the real name and address of the undercover agent working within their organization.
"I made the mistake of trusting the agency that I worked for to keep my personal data safe and very nearly paid for that trust with my life. I do not make the same mistake twice.
"I am not saying that you can not be trusted, or that any other member of this team cannot be trusted but anything that is a matter of record can be gotten to. Computer systems can be hacked and files can be stolen.
"That is why I will not ever give you a permanent address." He turned to go back to his desk then stopped, turning back to face Larabee. "And if you think that you can stakeout the post office box and follow me home, I suggest you not waste your time. I do not pick up my mail personally. It is retrieved by a bonded messenger and delivered to me," he paused, then smirked and pointed to his desk, "right there."
He strolled casually back to his desk, sitting down and returning to work, ignoring the stunned looks of his coworkers who had overheard the conversation.
Behind him Larabee muttered, "Paranoid little shit," but he was grinning.
Vin Tanner leaned back in his chair, studying his partner across the double desk they shared. A smile curved his lips. He knew there was a reason that he liked the enigmatic agent. *Cunning devil. Man could give Coyote a run for him money.*
The End ?