The Magnificent Seven ATF Alternate Universe

Dark Secrets Unlocked

Part 3

Josiah swung his flashlight back and forth across the path, hoping to avoid any further roots. After the meeting with Chris, he had watched Vin leave the office, pausing only to look sadly at his co-workers, his friends, his family, before disappearing. About an hour after that, Josiah received a phone call from Vin giving him directions to a location in the mountains where he wanted to meet.

"Can't believe this, Josiah," Nathan grumbled, the first words he'd spoken since the bust when Josiah let him know Vin remembered everything. "You told me he wouldn't remember. Now I'm not only missing out on Rain, but I'm likely to lose a man I call brother because of this mess. Why'd you ever drag me into it anyway?" he demanded.

Josiah sighed. "Wasn't any other way, brother," he offered wearily. "It started a long time ago. I didn't really have any other choice. If I'd reported back... I'll explain it all to the both of you when we meet. I know it hasn't been easy on you keeping information from him for so long. I know it goes against your nature." He sighed again. Why did the sins of his past always seem to rear their ugly head whenever things got good? The only problem was, this sin could ruin not just Vin's life, but also all of their lives.

"That's far enough," Vin's rough voice called out. He could see Josiah looking around as if trying to place him. Having already allowed his eyes to adjust to the darkness, Vin could see Nathan with Josiah without the aid of a flashlight. The rage he'd worked out earlier flared briefly before he could tamp it out. "Ya brought Nate?" he accused. "He know all along too? He working for them?" Vin asked, spitting out the words.

"No, Vin," Josiah said, his tone calm and humble. "Not exactly." He heard the low growl from the sharpshooter. "I brought Nathan because he knows part of it and now that you remember, I need you both to know everything. Trust me Vin..." Josiah began before being cut off.

"Trust you!" Vin screamed. "I trusted you for two years and it was all a lie! I trusted you years ago and it ruined my life! How many more times, J'siah? How many more times are ya goin' ta take my life from me?" The irate man demanded.

Josiah hung his head, wincing at the pain and despair in Vin's voice. "I deserve that Vin, " he said contritely, "but I also deserve a chance to explain, to tell you my story."

A few tense moments passed before a shadow melted out of the darkness before them. "Follow me," Vin commanded, leading the way.

After about ten more minutes walking, the three men found themselves in a small clearing, a fire already burning, giving off a gentle light. Taking positions around the fire, Josiah sighed as two angry glares fell on him. He prayed both men would allow him to completely relate his story before they lost control. Thinking back on his own actions, actions he'd taken almost twenty years in the past, he could see where Vin would be angry. He knew too that asking Nathan to keep his secret had been a heavy burden on the man. Releasing a sigh, Josiah began relating his tale.

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