Chapter Four

Ron and Matt’s Home, Saturday, Late Afternoon

FBI?’ The question ran through Ron’s head as he spoke into the receiver.

“Ron Turner.”

“Mr. Turner,” the man began, “This is Adam Jenkins. I’m the Deputy Director of the FBI.”

“So I’ve been told. What may I do for you, Mr. Jenkins?”

“I’m calling on behalf of our agency and the Homeland Security Department,” Jenkins responded. “We understand that you’re the owner of Aztec-Turner Security.”

“I’m afraid that you’re misinformed,” Ron responded. “I’m only a minority partner. The principal owner is my brother, Tyler.”

“Could you tell me how I might contact him?” Jenkins asked.

“Normally, I’d ask you to call him at the office on Monday,” Ron replied, “but he’s going out of town. If you’ll hold, I’ll get him. He lives nearby.”

“That would be greatly appreciated Sir,” said Jenkins.

“Hold on,” Ron responded as he pushed the ‘hold’ button on the phone set.

He next punched the extension numbers for the guesthouse.

“This is Dan,” Ron’s ‘brother-in-law’ answered.

“Dan, this is Ron. Is Tyler there?”

“He just left to go over to the ‘big house’,” Dan replied.

“Thanks, I’ll catch him here. Bye.”

“Bye Ron.”

Ron punched in the number for Parker.

“Yes Sir?” Parker answered.

“Tyler is on his way over here. Would you ask him to join me in my study? …. Never mind, he’s here now.”

Ron motioned to Tyler who had appeared in the study doorway. Tyler approached Ron’s desk and sat down as Ron was hanging up the receiver.

“What’s up brother?” Tyler asked.

“There’s a Mr. Adam Jenkins from the FBI on the phone. He got me by mistake. He’s looking for the owner of Aztec-Turner.”

“Let’s take it on the speaker-phone,” Tyler suggested. Ron pushed the proper button on the desk phone.

“Mr. Jenkins, my brother Tyler is here with me now. You may continue.”

“Thanks. Mr. Turner, I represent my agency and the Homeland Security Department of the Federal Government. Just to make sure that there are no further mistakes I have to ask you if you’re the owner of Aztec-Turner Security.”

“Yes, I am,” Tyler answered. “I’m Tyler Turner.”

“As you know, the President is waging an all-out war on terrorism. We are looking for every bit of help we can get.”

“I think every American is concerned,” Tyler responded. “Needless to say, our business is growing by leaps and bounds because of 9-11.”

“I’m sure that’s why you came to our attention,” Jenkins remarked. “You’ve been singled out as very progressive.”

“That’s good to hear,” Tyler stated. “How can we be of assistance?”

“The Director has given orders that we’re to explore all possible ways to expand our capabilities. You understand how unusual it is for a Governmental Agency, especially the FBI, to ask the private sector for help.”

“Yes, I’m surprised,” agreed Tyler smiling. “You guys have the reputation of ‘going it alone’.”

“Those days are over. That’s why I’m calling.”

“Would you care to be more specific?” Tyler requested.

“It seems that you have a number of our former agents now working for you,” Jenkins began. “The Government has spent a lot of time and money training those men.”

“Yes, we have about 130 people that fall in that category,” Tyler declared, “but if you’re asking for them back, you’re barking up the wrong tree. They’re free to work where they like.”

“No, no.” Jenkins responded quickly. “That’s not our intention. We’d like to ask for your assistance, not to come to you as a raider of your staff.”

“I guess we’re back to ‘square one’ then,” Tyler stated. “What can Aztec-Turner do to help the Federal Government?”

“We’d like you to be our eyes and ears. Not that we don’t have our own agents, but we can’t be everywhere. Where your agents see suspicious activity that might be of national concern, we’d like you to inform us and cooperate with us. We’d provide training for your agents and staff, provide you with secure communication equipment, and provide credentials that would assure cooperation with local offices of Homeland Security. Understand however, this is a pilot program. It’s never been done before.”

“We’ll have to have more details, of course,” Tyler said as he looked at Ron. “We’re interested, but not willing to commit yet. Part of my reluctance is our independence. Large organizations, especially government, tend to become inefficient due simply to size and the bureaucracy that goes with it. I’m not being critical, just stating the facts. We operate our offices very independently. Only our communication is centralized. Second, we consider our clients’ privacy of vital concern. We’d have to figure out a way to help without sacrificing that commitment to our clients. You also mentioned credentials. That would be vital of course. I don’t want to have to battle local field offices of the FBI, or be treated like a poor stepchild. Next is the question of liability. I’d expect the Government to indemnify us against lawsuits, should it ever come to that. I guess finally, except for our desire to act as responsible citizens, what’s in it for us? If we can work out those concerns, we’d be will to consider it. At this stage, I can only say that we’re willing to talk.”

“I can see why we were given your name,” Jenkins responded with a laugh. “You don’t miss a trick. You’ve given us lots to think about. We’d like you to come to Washington this week for discussions. We’ll send a plane, of course.”

“I’m afraid that’s not possible,” Tyler responded. “I’m booked solid this next week. We’re hoping to expand our offices in the Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Phoenix and Tucson areas right away.”

“You realize that this is a request from the Government,” Jenkins stated.

“Don’t start that shit,” Tyler answered firmly as Ron gave his brother a ‘thumbs up’. “We have a business to run; a VERY PROFITABLE business. We’d like to cooperate but we expect the same from you.”

“I apologize Sir,” Jenkins responded after a short pause. “When would it be convenient for you to come to the Capitol?”

“I’ll check my calendar, but tentatively I believe I could make it a week from Monday. I’ll have my Administrative Assistant call you Monday and confirm. As for the plane, thanks, but we have several of our own. I presume that you’ve recorded my list of concerns?”

“That would be fine Sir,” Jenkins responded, ‘and yes, we’re recording this conversation.”

“Good,” Tyler said with a smile. “So are we.”

There was a pause from the other end.

“So I see,” Jenkins responded. “Well, thank you. I look forward to meeting you.”

“Likewise,” Tyler answered. “If you’ll give me your contact phone number, or e-mail address, we’ll contact you on Monday.”

The information was given and Tyler wrote it down on a note pad. Tyler then gave Jenkins his cellular phone number where he could be reached in case of an emergency.

“I guess that finishes our business for today,” Tyler concluded.

“Yes, thank you sir.

“Goodbye Mr. Jenkins.”

“Goodbye gentlemen,” Jenkins replied.

Ron pushed the button on the phone to terminate the call.

“I’ll be damned,” Tyler remarked. “I wonder why he did a flip-flop when I called him on his ‘this is the government’ routine.”

“I’m sure he had his orders,” Ron responded. “I’m glad you didn’t put up with that bullshit.”

“What do you think about all this?” Tyler asked his brother.

“I think you handled it perfectly,” Ron answered. “It could be a great opportunity, both to make money, and to provide a necessary service to the country.”

“I’d like you to go with me for these talks, if you’re free,” Tyler requested.

“I’m sure I can arrange it,” Ron agreed. “Maybe we could take Matt and Dan too. It might be fun to play tourist when our business is done. We might even take a quick pass by New York for a day or so, as long as we’re that close. I’ll have Margaret and Jan take care of the details. You work out your schedule with your people. Let’s talk to our partners, then talk some more at breakfast.”

“Sounds like a plan, Ron.” Tyler said as he stood.

“Was there something you came over here for?” Ron asked.

“Oh yeah,” Tyler responded. “I almost forgot. Dan and I were thinking about taking the houseboat out on Lake Mead tomorrow. We wondered if you and Matt would like to come along?”

“I’ll ask Matt, but it sounds good to me. I presume you want to take the boys too?”

“Yes, that was our thought. We could even ask Eddie to join us. I’m sure that it would make Doug happy. We noticed how well they got along.”

“Yes, Doug has already asked if he could come over You’re right about that, it would make Doug happy,” Ron replied with a wink.

                        *                      *                      *

Sunday afternoon, Salt Lake City.

Nathan rolled over in his bed and as consciousness pushed aside the veil of sleep, he stretched his handsome young body and began to contemplate the new day already half over.

‘It’s going to be a great day,’ he thought as he remembered the night before. ‘Thomas may not be someone I’d go for, but he sure goes for me. Better than that, he is generous and not unkind. I was surprised he wanted to spend all night with me, but hell, I can sure use the $1000. Think I’ll put half of it away, and just use the other for paying bills and for some new clothes. If things keep going this good, maybe in a year or two I can quit this business and go to school.’

Feeling pleased with himself, he threw back the covers and headed for the bathroom. He rubbed his hand over his morning woody, and gave thanks to his rotten parents who had at least provided him with such a generous commodity so much in demand. Pulling down his boxer briefs and forcing himself to relax by thinking of what he’d have as a noon meal, the large appendage finally softened sufficiently to allow the passage of fluid. Once started, a generous stream shot forth splashing into the bowl below. Relieved, he reached back and turned on the water in the tiny shower, and decided to shave while waiting for the water to warm up in the enclosure. Quickly shaving with the water still cool, he wiped his face, brushed his teeth, then stepped into the now steamy cubicle. The warm and soothing water coursed over his shapely frame. As he applied soap, his hands found each surface and each nook and cranny of his skin. Fully washed, his hands found the instrument of pleasure that many had been willing to pay for. In spite of the evening before, his cock was again rock hard and waiting for attention. He would not deny himself the pleasure that was shared with his johns. His hands grasped the large tool and began their ministrations, never ceasing until ropes of cum decorated the wall of the shower stall. Momentarily satisfied, he rinsed off the walls of the shower, turned off the spray, pulled back the curtain, and smiled at his self-indulgence as he grabbed a fluffy towel and rubbed himself dry.

Four hours later he returned to his tiny apartment from his excursion around the city. One hand held the two bags of purchases he’d made to enhance his wardrobe, while the other held the gym bag with the still damp outfit he’d worn during his stop at the gym. As he closed the door behind him, his cell phone began to ring. He quickly laid down his burden on the weathered sofa and picked up the device, pressing the ‘send’ button.


“Uh… is this Sammy?” the voice on the other end asked.

“Yes,” Nathan responded to the name he used for his ‘work.’

“I saw your escort ad. I was wondering if you’re free tonight?”

“I’m never free, just reasonable,” Nathan replied with a smile, “but I am available. What’s your pleasure?”

“Well,” the man said clumsily, “How much for a blow job?”

“My minimum rate is $200 an hour, if you want to fuck, it’s 50 more. Also I only do out calls.”

“Where and when can I pick you up?” the man inquired.

“I’ll be on the Southeast corner of Temple Square at 8 o’clock,” Nathan responded.

“That’s a busy corner,” the man responded. “I’ll meet you three blocks east of there.”

“Even better. I’ll be wearing a bright blue jacket; I’m young, cute and have dark hair.

“Look for a Red Chevy Silverado pickup,” the man said. “See you at 8.”

“Yeah, see ya,” Nathan responded with a satisfied smile.

                                    *                      *                      *

Meanwhile, 5 Miles away

Gerald Fisher, Shawn’s brother, led Carl Gilbert, their newest ‘ward’ into the mall. It was the youth’s first real shopping trip. His eyes were agog at the displays of wares available for purchase.

“We’ll not buy much here,” Gerald said apologetically, “it’s too expensive for our limited budget. We’ll buy mostly underwear and some incidental toiletries. Later we’ll go to Ross’ Dress for Less, and Payless shoes for the major items. It’s much cheaper and the quality is good, if you know what you’re looking for.”

“It’s much more than I could hope for,” Carl said. “You’re the guy with the money.”

“Understand, we only do this once,” Gerald explained. “All the boys get jobs and pay for the majority of their living expenses. It’s the only way that Shawn and I can make ends meet. Even then, without contributions from a number of supporters and ‘alumni’, we’d never make it.”

“I understand,” Carl responded with gratitude. “I’m a hard worker, and can soon take care of myself.”

“I wish it could be easier for you, but at least you won’t be on the street where desperation might force you into doing things you wouldn’t want to do.”

“What kind of things?” Carl asked.

“There are many things in a larger city that you would never hear or think about in Colorado City, Utah. As a last resort, youths have been known to sell their bodies for sex, in order to survive.”

“You mean that there are women that hire young guys to have sex with them?

“Yes, but even more prevalent are men who would. Some are interested in not only young girls, but young men too.”

Carl blushed, as he’d never dreamed of such a thing, yet the thought caused a tingling sensation in his crotch. Except for the night before, he’d never touched another guy, but at home he dreamed of touching youths that he knew whenever he had the opportunity to masturbate, a rare and dangerous practice, strictly forbidden by the church.

The previous night he had bunked with a guy named Jeremy at the ‘Sanctuary’, the name the boys called their home. The closeness of the other attractive youth had been too much for Carl to ignore. After his bed-partner had fallen asleep on his back, Carl’s hand had come in contact with the body, then the underwear of the boy with whom he’d shared a bed. His heart pounding, Carl’s hand lightly explored his roommate’s body, while he listened, ready to instantly pull his hand back if there was a change in the breathing of his victim. At last, arching his arm so as not to rest on the body of the sleeper, Carl’s fingers found the generous tube between the other’s legs. As he ran his hand over the object of his search, it began to lengthen and expand in girth. He knew he should withdraw his hand, but he couldn’t. Carl’s own penis had long since become erect and was pulsing in his own shorts and the bedmate’s cock swelled, pointing upward, confined by the elastic waistband of his shorts.

Carl was driven by a frenzied lust and he grasped the material and pulled it away from Jeremy’s body, allowing his cock to be released. Pulling down on the material and moving his hand around the waistband, Carl was able to pull the underwear halfway down below the length of his roommate’s dick. He could pull the covering no further because the back of the shorts was trapped between the youth’s ass and the bedding.

Jeremy began to moan lightly in his sleep, and began to stir. Carl withdrew his hand just in time, before Jeremy rolled on his side away from his perspiring bed-partner. Jeremy’s regular breathing returned and after a short hesitation, Carl’s hand again crossed the threshold separating them. This time his fingers found the bunched up shorts covering Jeremy’s butt. Finding a fold in the shorts, Carl carefully pulled downward, pulling the elastic of the waistband below the round orbs of Jeremy’s ass. Fingers explored the mounds of flesh and the valley between while Carl’s own instrument of pleasure dripped copious amounts of slippery fluid. Becoming bolder, Carl’s fingers slipped between the mounds and found the small rosebud aperture it sought. Pressing his middle finger firmly against the opening, it began to slowly penetrate into the orifice. Jeremy’s asshole suddenly contracted, and his body moved, throwing the fear of discovery into Carl like a lightning bolt. Quickly withdrawing his finger and his hand to the safety of his side of the bed, Carl lay in a cold sweat as Jeremy rolled again on his back.

After moments the fear passed and Carl again opened his eyes that he had clenched shut in faked sleep. He saw in the semi-darkness that the sheet that had covered his bed-partner was now below Jeremy’s hips. Carl could see a still-erect penis now nearly free from the elastic that only covered the base and ball sac of the sleeper. Carl’s hand again reached for the long appendage that drew him like a magnet. The stiff organ pulsed as the youth’s fingers lightly touched its surface. Carl listened in relief as Jeremy’s breathing maintained its steady rhythm. Grasping the cock lightly between his fingers and his thumb Carl moved his hand up and down the long shaft. It again pulsed at the ministrations, becoming stiffer yet. As his hand slid to the root of the swollen rod, Carl slipped his little finger between its base and Jeremy’s leg, pushing the brief’s waistband down to the youth’s upper thighs. Now before him Carl could see in the dim light Jeremy’s entire package. The long thick shaft ended in a bush of blond hair, which in turn crowned two of the most delicious looking egg-shaped balls in their velvet sack. Carl’s mouth watered. His hand began to explore Jeremy’s lower reaches, carefully fondling the testicles and rolling them around in his cupped hand. Carl could hardly believe that Jeremy’s breathing had not wavered in its steady pattern during his now brazen play.

Carl’s hand left its playthings between Jeremy’s legs and returned to the large cock that poked its defiance to his touch. Grasping the stiff shaft with his full fingers and thumb, Carl slid his hand up until the mushroom cap that terminated the length halted its travels. As his fingers crossed the surface of the luscious knob to the small opening in its end, the hard rod again jumped from the stimulation.

He had come this far he decided, he might as well go the final step in fulfilling his lust. Carl slowly raised his torso on his remaining arm and leaned over the lower torso of his target. Lips touched the blunt head of the beautiful shaft, an instrument now fully engorged to capacity with Jeremy’s blood. The lips of the invader parted, enveloping the sensitive termination of the love organ as he slid the shaft into his mouth, which was dripping with wetness. Carl found that he could take only a few inches into his cavity before his throat restricted it. Still grasping the shaft with his free hand, he began to bob up and down on the pole, his hand following the path of his lips.

He was so intent on his ministrations that he failed to notice a change in the breathing of his partner. He was unable to see Jeremy’s eyes open or the clenching of his teeth in the ecstasy he was experiencing. In mere moments, Jeremy’s dick became rock hard, encouraging Carl to speed up his attack on the spear. Jeremy’s pelvis began to join in the movement, thrusting the large organ as deep into Carl’s throat as it could penetrate. Finally, as Jeremy emitted a stifled groan of passion, the cock shot load after load of hot cum into Carl’s mouth and throat. Carl swallowed it quickly as it spewed forth, afraid to leave physical evidence of the emission. At last Jeremy had exhausted his load, but Carl was reluctant to pull back. Knowing he had pressed his luck too far, he withdrew, and after one last look at the deflating object of his desire, attempted to pull Jeremy’s boxer brief’s back up, tucking his cock back into the shorts. He was only partially successful, but was finally able to finish the job when minutes later, Jeremy again rolled on his side away from Carl.

Carl looked at the clock. It was 3:30 AM. Hours had passed and he was exhausted. He turned on his side away from Jeremy and slept.

Carl saw the large clock in the mall and again cleared his mind of the memory of the previous night. He’d gotten little sleep, but had fulfilled a longing that he’d only dreamed of.

At the same time, at ‘the Sanctuary’

Shawn Fisher sat in the room with eight young guys in the ‘Sanctuary, the youth hostel that he and his brother provided for rejected FLDS youths. The house was the lone remaining residence in the run-down neighborhood. It suited the purposes of the brothers and their mission, as there were no neighbors to complain, either about the unusual ‘family’ of boys, or the noise they often made in their newfound playfulness.

Shawn’s brother had taken Carl; their newest roomer on a shopping trip to acquire needed personal items, including toiletries, work clothes and one outfit of nicer ‘dress-up’ togs. The trip’s purpose was more than just shopping however. The young men in the house had spent most of the day with their prospective ‘brother’. They knew the drill. Now came the time to talk about whether or not Carl would fit in with the strange household.

After each of the boys had found a seat Shawn began: “Guys, you’ve all been through this before. You’ve had a chance to meet the new guy Carl, and to get to know him a little. I’d like your opinion. Please be honest.”

Davey, the youngest of the boys spoke first. “I think he’s kinda neat. He seems very polite and gentle. He was nice enough to talk with me this morning. I think he should stay.”

“Yeah, he’s okay, I think,” David one of the older boys said. “It’s obvious from his hands that he’s not afraid of hard work, and he seems to be anxious to please. He pitched right in to help this morning, though he looked awfully tired. I guess getting here was exhausting.”

“We all know how that is,” another chimed in. “It’s to his credit that he made it here at all.”

“Uh… Sorry… guys,” Jeremy said with obvious reluctance. “I think we have another one of ‘those’.”

“One of what?” Terry, the newest member of the household asked.

“A queer,” Jeremy answered slowly. “He slept in my bed with me last night. During the night I felt his hands on my dick and balls.”

“What did you do?” David asked. “I didn’t see any bruise marks on his face.”

“I just turned on my side away from him and cleared my throat,” Jeremy lied. “I guess that discouraged him. I think I did later feel him touching my ass, but I might be mistaken.”

“I guess that settles it guys,” Shawn broke in. “I’ll take care of it. Gerald will call me when they’re headed back, then I want you guys to disappear for about an hour. He’ll be gone when you return.”

Several of the youths had sad looks on their faces, knowing first hand, the difficulty Carl would face on the streets of Salt Lake City. It would be a hard life for the youth that most of them liked. Shawn continued speaking of a couple of different housekeeping items, then adjourned the gathering. The youths got to their feet and returned to their earlier Sunday preoccupations.

Two hours later, ‘the Sanctuary’

Gerald’s pickup pulled into the unpaved drive of the house that was the dwelling for the outcast boys. He had become quiet after speaking with his brother on the phone, knowing what would lie in store for the likeable youth on the seat at his side.

‘How sad,’ he thought. ‘I really wish we could keep him, but it’s impossible. We just can’t deal with the complications.’

“We’re back,” he announced aloud as he turned off the engine. “Put your things in your room, then go into the family room. Shawn would like to speak with you. I have to leave and go back to my family. It was nice to meet you Carl,” Gerald said extending his hand.

“Thanks Gerald,” Carl replied as he shook the older man’s hand. “Thanks for buying me all these things. You don’t know how much I appreciate what you and Shawn are doing for me.”

“You’re welcome, Carl. Good luck.” Gerald smiled a sad smile.

‘If you only knew what lies in store,’ Gerald thought as the youth opened the passenger door and exited the vehicle heading for the front door with a smile and wave of his hand.

A tear fell from Gerald’s eye as he switched on the ignition, put the truck into reverse, and backed out of the gravel drive.

Carl took the packages directly to the room where he’d spent the night, and placed the plastic bags on the bed. Turning he headed for the family room where Shawn waited.

Three hours later, off a dark street in a run-down section of downtown

The red pickup came to a screeching halt in the alley. The door of the passenger side swung open, and a large object fell in a heap beside the vehicle before the door slammed and it sped off into the night. A youth huddled behind the dumpster had witnessed the strange occurrence, then stared at the abandoned pile. He was startled and even more frightened when a groan broke the stillness. The groan came from the dark shape in the alleyway. The youth behind the dumpster was Carl.

‘It has to be a person,’ he quickly deduced. ‘But I don’t want to get involved. I have my own survival to worry about,’ he thought to himself as he wiped his tear-stained eyes.

Another moan rose from the heap.

‘He could die! I have to help if I can,’ Carl decided in spite of his overpowering reluctance. He stood, leaving his bag behind the dumpster, and advanced on the object that never left his sight. As he got close, the light of the full moon cast a glow that allowed him to make out the shape. It was a man. He peered closer. No, it was a young man, probably not much older than he. He quickly knelt beside the victim and pulling him around flat on his back, saw the battered body of a teenager who had obviously been severely beaten. The face was swollen and bruised, with blood drying below the damaged nose. One eye was already swollen shut. Blood was everywhere it seemed.

Carl was ready to run for help when the undamaged eye flickered, then opened.

“I’ll get help,” Carl said to reassure the youth who he now was sure was only a bit older than himself.

“No, no!” the youth pleaded with a frantic croak. “Get me home.”

“But… but you’re badly hurt,” Carl told him.

“I can make it, if you help me,” the youth responded weakly. “I can’t go to a hospital. I have no money.”

Carl was torn with doubt. He had no experience with hospitals. His only experience was at the doctor’s office in Colorado City. The nearest real hospital was in St. George 70 or more miles away from where he had formerly lived. He’d never even been to Cedar City, much less the more distant larger town of St. George.

“Can you sit up?” Carl asked.

The youth raised one arm a few inches off the ground and groaned almost inaudibly, “Help me.”

Carl took the hand and pulled. In obvious pain, the young man struggled to a sitting position.

“Where do you live? Do you have any family or friends that could come for you?”

“Not far,” the young man said gasping out the words. As to the second question, he slowly shook his head and whispered, “I live alone. No family. No one cares.”

“Well I care,” Carl responded. “If I have to I’ll carry you.”

A tiny broken smile of gratitude appeared on the swollen mouth of the victim. “Thanks my only friend.”

“Let’s see if you can stand,” Carl offered.

Pulling the youth’s legs to a bent position, Carl moved around behind him, and squatting, encircled the teen’s chest with his arms. Carl’s strong legs straightened and he began hoisting the young man to his feet amidst gasps of pain. Carl started to lay the guy back down as he was afraid he was causing further injury, but the youth, fearing being left behind gasped, “No, no, keep lifting.”

Finally getting the youth to his feet, Carl could tell that walking alone would not be an option for the injured young man. One leg was hurt and he couldn’t put weight on it without falling.

“I have to take you over to the dumpster,” Carl informed the weaving youth. “I have to get my knapsack.”

Supporting him on the side of his injured leg, the two young men staggered to the large trash container.

“Hold on to the dumpster while I get my bag,” Carl ordered.

Releasing the youth who perched on his good leg while balancing himself precariously with his arms, grasping with his hands the large container, Carl hurried to his hiding place, grabbed the bag containing his life’s few possessions, and slinging the bag onto his back he returned to the weaving victim.

“I’m back,” Carl announced as he slipped his arm around the victim. “Point the way.”

                                    *                      *                      *

30 minutes later, on a dimly lit street near downtown Salt Lake City.

“Damn this town,” Tyler muttered under his breath as he steered the rental car to the curb under a streetlight. “I should have stayed overnight at the airport and had the guys pick me up there. No, I’ve got to be too independent for that! I’ll find my way downtown by myself. Yikes, what a stupe!”

When the car had come to a stop, he picked up the city map that lay beside him. He looked at a nearby street sign and peered intently at the map under the light of the streetlight and dome light of the car.

“Jeez!” He said aloud in disgust, “How did I end up here? So much for shortcuts!”

Tracing his line of travel to his destination on the map, he memorized the route, then folded the map and turned off the overhead light. Again preparing to drive, he looked around before starting out and saw two men stumble around the corner from an intersecting street. One was practically carrying the other, who appeared to be injured or drunk. Taking his foot off the brake, he stepped lightly on the accelerator and steered the car away from the curb, soon catching up with the staggering figures. Looking at them as he crept alongside, he saw in the illumination from the next streetlight, not men but two youths, one of whom was covered with blood, and the other staggered desperately under the weight of his companion. The youth who was providing the support looked plaintively at the car and its driver and mouthed an almost breathless plea for help before his exhausted legs finally collapsed under the weight of his burden.

                                    *            *            *            *            *