The story below is a work of fiction. It may contain erotic or sexually explicit behavior between males. If you find this offensive or are too young, please exit now.

The author reserves copyright privileges. This work may not be reproduced, except for personal use without the permission of the author.

Dedication: This chapter is a bit special to me at this time. My dedication for it is to Chiaran, the love of my young friend Jamie who recently died of cancer. I love you my friend and share your grief. This one’s for you.

Chapter Fourteen

Matt and Eddie walked together from the parking lot of the funeral home, up the textured concrete path toward the double doors leading into the imposing structure. The fourteen year-old gritted his teeth, trying to be brave in the face of his personal tragedy. Matt had explained that Eddie had a solemn duty to his family, and of more importance, to his brother Franklin’s memory, to greet the mourners and to exchange words of comfort with those who came to express their loss and sympathies for Franklin’s passing. Matt said that the emptiness and sorrow that Eddie was feeling was natural, and that tears were nothing to be ashamed of, but rather were God’s way of allowing one’s own grief to be expressed.

Earlier, in the privacy of their room Eddie had asked Matt if he thought that Franklin was in heaven with God.

“No one knows for sure what lies beyond our life here,” Matt said thoughtfully. “I heard a story of a young man who asked his Doctor the same question. Just then the Doctor’s dog scratched on the door. ‘You hear that?  The dog has never been in here before.’ With that he opened the door and the dog came bounding in. ‘Was the dog afraid to come in even though he didn’t know what was in here?’ he asked the young man. ‘No,’ the man answered, he heard your voice and wasn’t afraid.’  I believe that there is a kind and wonderful Father God who made us and loves us all. We can hear His voice. We can trust Him.”

“You see, He understands our weaknesses and faults and only asks that we believe in Him and ask His forgiveness for things we do that separate us from Him. God loves us. He created the love we feel. How can the love that he gave us be bad? Hate is evil. Love is good. I believe too that He forgives the innocent and helpless. In love and forgiveness I believe that He takes us to be with Him to an eternal life when we die.”

Eddie listened then his eyes began to fill with tears.

“My dad said that I was doomed to hell for being gay,” Eddie said with tears streaming down his cheeks. “Franklin was gay too. Is God gonna send us there?”

Matt took the young boy into the comfort of his arms.

“I believe that God loves all He has created, Eddie. It is not our choice that we are gay. God made a man with black skin; would He then condemn him for being black? Not the God that I believe in,” Matt answered.

“But Franklin …killed himself. Will God forgive him for that?”

Matt paused before he answered.

“I believe that God does not want us to kill others or ourselves. I believe that He wants us to live and have a good and useful life. Still He made some of us strong and some weak. I believe that He judges the strong, not on their strength, but on their compassion. I believe too that He protects the soul of the weak and has special forgiveness for those who have suffered. We can’t know what was in Franklin’s mind. I’m sure that he felt he could not face the consequences of being gay, especially if he believed that it caused rejection and scorn by a man he looked up to: his father. I can’t be the judge of others. I don’t have the perfection that God has. But I believe that God’s love and forgiveness is for us all.”

Eddie looked at the handsome man who spoke with such kindness and wisdom.  

“I love you Matt,” Eddie said. “Why can’t others like my dad be good like you?”

Matt smiled. “I love you too Eddie. So does Ron and so will your new house parents when they get to know the good guy you really are in your heart. I’m very likely not as good as you think, but I know that I try. That’s all we can do. That’s all that God asks of us too. He does not expect us to be perfect.”

“Thanks Matt,” the youth said with a small smile showing beyond his tear-streaked face. “I think I’ll be alright.”

“I’m sure you will Eddie, and I’ll be there with you too.”

The doors to the building opened into a lobby where a man from the funeral parlor stood next to a table close to the entrance.

“Please sign the register, if you would,” the man said handing both Matt and Eddie a small greeting card-sized memorial announcement.

Matt signed the register, and said, “This young man is the brother of the deceased.”

“Oh. Yes,” he said with an understanding tone. Addressing Eddie he offered, “Your parents are in the chapel, if you’d like to join them.”

“Thank you, sir,” Eddie answered, then turned to the opened doors that led to the chapel.

Stepping through the chapel door they found themselves in a large area at the rear of the room where easels supported pictures of Franklin, some of him alone but many with his family, including Eddie, and others with his friends. On stands interspersed between the pictures were flower arrangements sent by friends and family. Eddie’s parents were at the front of the chapel where an open casket stood on a shrouded stand, surrounded by flowers. Matt and Eddie turned to the aisle leading to the front and began their dreaded approach. Eddie’s parents turned toward them as they got near. Eddie acknowledged them with his eyes, but passed the outstretched arm of his mother, stepping to the edge of the coffin. Tears filled his eyes as he looked at the still body of the brother he loved.

“Oh, Franklin!” he cried plaintively, “Why did you do it? You could have come with
 me; I would have taken care of you.”  Tears poured from Eddie’s eyes.

Matt’s heart was breaking for the youth. He stepped beside the boy and wrapped his arm around his dark suited young friend. He bowed his head and began to speak.

“Father in heaven, we know that You have taken Franklin our departed brother, to be with You. We thank You for the blessing he was in this life to those who loved him. Now we ask for Your strength and comfort for those who remain behind until again they may be reunited in Your kingdom. Amen”

“Amen,” Eddie repeated.

Eddie looked again at the body of his brother before turning to his parents.

“Excuse us please Mother,” he said, ignoring his Father. “We’d like to look at the memorial pictures.”

With that he led Matt up the slight incline to the reception area at the rear of the room. Walking to the nearest picture, his eyes drank in the memories of his brother that the pictures revived. Matt moved ahead looking at the pictures of the cute and playful child the photographs depicted and the handsome youth he had become. When he had finished his tour of the photos he turned to join Eddie’s parents who had also come up the ramp to greet visiting mourners, the first of whom were signing the register in the lobby.  Eddie’s mother opened a handbag that dangled from her arm and extracted an envelope, handing it to Matt.

 As he took it, she said sadly, “I’m so sorry. I’ll contact you as soon as I can.”

“Here’s my card,” Matt responded. “Feel free to call on me at any time,” he added with a certain tone of grimness in his voice.”

            *        *        *

The first part was complete. The van loaded with explosives sat next to Pete’s apartment with the timer set for an hour after Pete would get off work. Tom Clark smiled a hateful smile of vengeance as he started his car and looked at the lunchbox on the seat beside him, knowing the package inside would spell doom for all within his next target, the Cessna executive jet now resting in its hangar near the McCarran Executive Terminal. His elation at the successful execution of the first part of his plan was heightened by the vision in his head of the Citation careening toward the earth in a fireball of destruction of its occupants.

            *        *        *

Gary Franklin set his coffee down quickly and shook his hand. The steaming brew freshly poured into his personal mug from a pot of dark liquid freshly made in the Las Vegas FBI office’s break room was so hot that he barely made it through his office door before the heat from the mug began to burn his hand. The week was ending and he had narrowed the list of possible terrorism suspects down to a handful. With the help of a couple of other men in his section they began digging for information on the small list of suspects. As had happened the previous months since the reshuffle after the WTC tragedy, the information began piling up and at 10:30 the agents had reviewed the information gathered and the list became further  reduced to four possible suspects. By noon another ‘possible’ had been eliminated. Gary called a halt for lunch, confident that by late afternoon the list would be down to zero and this particular exercise would be finished until next month. He could go home for the weekend without having the report hanging over his head. His stomach confirmed what the clock was indicating. Gary wanted something different for lunch. One of his favorite haunts for lunch had been the Big Dogs brewpub at Sahara and Las Vegas Boulevard, but it had closed down 6 or 8 months prior. Now the nearest one was on Sahara, west beyond Decatur. On a whim he decided to celebrate early the completion of the monthly study and splurge.

            *        *        *
Wes Harper, with his Las Vegas teammates Ted and George, had taken a break from
their digging. It was lunchtime and he was hungry. He suggested to the others on the team that they go over to Big Dogs on Sahara for some brats and beer for lunch. When running protection for one of their clients, the three Aztec/Turner men never drank. Today was, however different. They expected to spend at least two or three hours of the afternoon working in their crowded temporary office at the Turner Building before heading for their weekend destinations.

15minutes later Wes, Ted and George were waiting to be seated at the restaurant/pub since the place was packed. Wes was sorry they hadn’t broken early for lunch to avoid the wait, but decided that they would just have to grin and bear it; at least they weren’t the only ones to have to wait. Three couples and a foursome came in after they did. As they stood toward the back of the lobby talking, a man about 30 in a dark suit walked in. stopping near the three investigators. The disappointment on his face and his look at his watch quickly told Wes the story. It was obvious that he was debating if he had time for the long wait.

“If you are alone,” he said to the newcomer, “you’re welcome to join the three of us.”

“I am alone, and kinda in a hurry,” the man said. “I accept your offer. Thanks.”

“My name is Wes, and this is Ted and George. We all work together.”

“Gary Franklin,” Gary responded. “I really appreciate your offer. I made a special trip here from downtown for one of their brat sandwiches. I love ‘em, but don’t usually make the trip. Guess I didn’t allow enough time for the wait.”

“Understandable,” Wes responded. “We’ve got an investigation to finish this afternoon, so we probably shouldn’t have indulged either.”

“An investigation? What do you guys do?” Gary asked, full of curiosity.

“We are private investigators. We work for Aztec/Turner. We’re out of California, but are here to provide security and do an investigation for a special client. We’re about ready to wind up a case.”

“Sounds like an interesting job. I’ve heard of Aztec, but I don’t recall that their name was Turner too. Is it the same company?” Gary asked.

“Yes it is,” Wes answered. “We were here on a security detail for Ron Turner after he was attacked by some thugs from New York. One of the people on our security team turned out to be his long-lost half brother Tyler. To make a long story short Ron became interested in the Company and purchased it. His brother Tyler is now the President. Why do you ask?”

“I was thinking of getting into your line of work if I decide to give up my present career path,” Gary relied.

“We’re always interested in experienced people, Gary. What kind of work are you presently in?”

“I work for the FBI,” he answered and noted the surprised look on their faces. “So tell me, what kind of cases do you work on?”

“All kinds. As I mentioned we do private investigations and security. Some of us do both, though we have people who specialize in one or the other. The case we’re working on now is not high intrigue, but as I said, we get all kinds.”

“What are you working on now, for example?” Gary asked.

Wes told the story of the attack on Pete, the subsequent defacing of his pick-up, and their transfer from providing security for Ron to investigation of the perpetrators.

“The reason I told you of the attack, is that the most likely suspects for the graffiti on Pete’s pickup would be someone related to the attackers, who are either incarcerated or in the hospital.”

“Hmmm,” Gary murmured as he sat thinking. “Do you guys have a card?  I’m working on something that might be related. I can’t tell you what at the moment, but I’ll call you if I think there is a connection.”

“Here’s mine,” Wes said, pulling a card from his wallet. “We’re working at the Turner building right now, but you can always reach me through the number on the card.”

“Thanks, Wes. I’ll call you if I find out anything.  

The men were seated, and soon had their order of brats and drinks. The wait had encroached on all their work schedules so they ate without much further conversation.  15 minutes after being served they were wadding up the wrappings from their consumed sandwiches. Gary pushed his chair away from the table and stood.

“Well, I have to run. It was nice to meet all you guys. Maybe we can do it again.”  

With that he picked up the check for the four and looked around for a waitress.

“Hey, you don’t have to do that,” Wes said.

“It really was my pleasure, and the least I can do for inviting me to join you,” Gary said insisting. “You guys can pick up the tip.  There’s a waitress. Got to run.  Take care.”

“Thanks, Gary,” Wes said. “Next time it’s on us.”

Wes’s co-workers expressed their appreciation with words of thanks and a wave as the FBI agent walked away to take care of the bill.

            *        *        *

The G-V lifted into the late morning Illinois sky, swiftly climbing in a graceful arc to a westward heading toward Las Vegas. The two occupants had changed after the funeral to casual clothing, carefully hanging their suits in the hang-up carrier. Now they leaned back in their seats as Matt thought back on the experience they had just endured.

The visitation had gone well, with Eddie holding up bravely for much of the time. The only two times that he had broken his composure was first, when he had seen Franklin’s best friend, the boy his brother had cared about most. Both boys held each other and cried, offering what little comfort their mutual grief provided. Eddie’s father had recognized the boy and fire blazed in his eyes as he started to move toward the embracing boys. Janet Burroughs grabbed his arm and dug her fingernails into her husband’s arm, her eyes leaving no doubt that she would not tolerate his interference. The second breakdown occurred when Eddie’s own past boyfriend appeared 30 minutes later. The scene was repeated, except that on this occasion, Matt overheard the soft but razor sharp threat, “Don’t you dare!” hiss from the lips of Eddie’s mother.

The funeral in the morning before the flight was short and well attended by many friends of the family, as well as a number of classmates of Eddie’s brother. The pastor prayed and spoke the anticipated eulogy. Eddie sat through the ceremony in a daze, hardly comprehending what was going on. His mind was inside the closed casket before him. He thought of the brother he loved and the mindless hate of his father that had separated the boys from their parents. Matt reached over and took Eddie’s hand. Eddie looked at the kind man who had shown such care and understanding. As he gazed forward he saw the pallbearers step to the beautiful box containing the mortal remains of his brother Franklin. The Pastor concluded the service pronouncing a benediction, then the pallbearers began moving the casket toward the hearse, beginning the journey of the body of the young Franklin to its final resting place.

The ceremony at the cemetery was brief. The mourners gathered and the Pastor said a few comforting words, and offered a final prayer for the departed. Eddie’s mother stood and placed a white rose on the casket. The pastor spoke the benediction, signaling that the ceremony was over. Eddie and Matt stood with Eddie’s parents as the mourners returned to their cars. Eddie looked at his parents and with grim determination not to break down simply said, “Goodbye Mother.” He turned to Matt who had driven the rental car to the cemetery and said. “Let’s go.”

3 1/2 hours later, Matt looked at Eddie who had dozed off to sleep. The G-V was on the final approach to McCarran. Though tired of sitting, he looked forward to meeting Ron for their trip to the west coast to pick up Tyler and Dan, then on to Scottsdale for their business at Taliesin, and golf in the morning before going on to San Diego. Jeffery would pick up Eddie for his journey to his new home and family at the Thornton Center.

‘How can parents discard such a wonderful kid? I’ll never understand it,’ Matt thought to himself. His mind turned to the Thornton Center and the work ahead. ‘At least someone is doing something for boys like Eddie. The facility is there, the staff and boys are there, now,’ his thoughts continued as the landing gear lowered, ‘the picture will be complete if the love is there too.”

            *        *        *

When Gary returned to his desk and began working on the terrorist report, it was 1:30.  He began his reading of the reports on his desk. Taking notes he began his thorough study. 2 hours later he looked at the results of his work. Two of the three remaining reports had resulted in reasonable explanations for the high explosive purchases. There was only one left: the report on Tom Clark .He began reading with rapt attention the suspect report he had briefly scanned earlier in the day. Something had jogged his memory when he was chatting before lunch with the three investigators.  As he carefully scrutinized the report from the follow-up team, he noted that one of the suspects had a brother who had been injured in an attempted assault. He picked up the report and stepped to the desk of his teammate who had prepared the report.

“Hey Dave, got a minute?”  

“Sure Gary. How was lunch?”

“You missed a good one. I love the Big Dogs’ brats. The place was pretty busy though.”

“I hear that,” Dave answered. “What can I do for you?”

“You prepared this report on Tom Clark, right?”

“Let me see,” Dave said taking the report.

“Oh yeah, sure I did it. You notice I put an ‘x’ in the ‘special attention’ box.”

“Could I ask why?” Gary asked.

“Just a hunch, I guess, “ Dave said. “Something is fishy about this guy. His whole family seems to be in and out of trouble constantly. Then he appears on the high explosives list. I just thought it warranted further investigation. I did a little more follow-up than the information that appears in the investigation summary. I was curious, but didn’t have time to do it before the report was due. “

“What did you find out?”

“Well not much, just that his brother is in the hospital after breaking his back in a fight during an assault on a minor boy. Apparently some private investigator came upon the attempted assault and in the scuffle, Clark’s brother Tracy got his back broken. I checked the police records at the hospital and found that Tom had made several trips to see his brother. It doesn’t prove much, but it bothered me that Tom showed up on the high explosive list too.
“What does Tom do?” Gary asked. “Is it in excavation or mining or anything like that?”

“No, that’s another reason he’s so suspicious. He works as a mechanic, I think.”

A questioning look crossed the face of the FBI agent. “I’ll be right back,” he said as he hurried to his desk.

Pulling the card he’d received at lunch from his pocket, he dialed the number.

“Aztec/Turner Security,” the receptionist said.

“This is Agent Gary Franklin of the FBI. I’d like to speak to Wes Harper.”

“Mr. Harper is on assignment in Las Vegas, Sir. Would you like me to connect you through to that office?”

“Yes, please, and could you give me that number also?”

“Certainly sir, she said. After a short pause she recited the number, then asked the agent to hold while she transferred the call.”

Moments passed while the phone rang three times, then finally was picked up.

“Wes Harper here. How may I help you?”

“Wes, this is Gary Franklin; we met a while ago at Big Dogs.”

“Oh, hi Gary. That was fast. Is this call about our investigation?”

“Yes, I need some quick information. What were the names of the assailants in the case you’re investigating?

“George Olgivy and Tracy Clark, why?”

“Did you investigate their families?”

“Sure, part of the job.” Wes answered. “A pretty dysfunctional bunch if you ask me.”

“What does Tracy’s brother Tom do for a living?”

“He works as an aircraft repairman at McCarran. Now can you tell us what’s up?”

“Keep this under wraps, but Tom is on a list of people who have purchased high explosives in the last 30 days!’

“Shit!” Wes exclaimed. “The Turner Companies have two aircraft there!”

“Are the planes secured?”

“They keep ‘em in a hangar there. I’m sure that the general public could not get in without a security check, but I’m not so sure about a guy with a proper badge.”

“Let’s exchange cell phone numbers,” Gary said. “You can reach me on it at any time. Find out where the planes are and call me back. Do you have Tom Clark’s address?”

“Sure, hang on a minute.”  Wes opened the file on his desk and after quickly scanning it, gave the number to the Agent.

“Don’t alarm anyone yet. I’m going to ask Metro to put out an APB on Tom Clark and hold him for questioning.”  Looking down at his desk his gaze fell on another report and the name of Tom Clark jumped from the page. The heading on the page said “High Explosive and Nitrate Reports, Cross Comparison.”

“Fuck!” Gary swore loudly.

“What’s the matter? Wes asked.

“He’s got nitrates too!”

            *        *        *

Tom Clark smiled as he stepped from the taxi after paying the driver. He picked up his suitcase and touched his pocket, making sure the ticket for Mexico was there. The job was done. Now all he had to do was get as far away, as fast as possible. In an hour, his plane would leave for Mazatlan, where he would spend a month waiting for things to cool off.  He congratulated himself on a job well done.  He only wished that he could stick around to enjoy the news of the explosions. He knew that his brother would hear though, and that was enough. He imagined the smile that would be on his brother’s face and was content.

            *        *        *

The small Cessna jet rolled to a stop at the Executive Terminal at the Burbank Airport and cut its engines. Matt, who was sitting next to the window, could see through the windows of the nearby building the shapes of Ron’s brother and his lover, Dan.

“They’re here,” declared Matt.

“Great,” Ron replied. “I hope they can’t smell the cum from our little exchange when they get aboard,” he replied with a grin.

“Why?” Matt asked smiling back. “Ya think they’re gonna be jealous?”

“Well, I hadn’t thought of that, but that too,” responded Ron grinning. “Oh well, if they are they’ll just have to admit to us that they’re having sex and get it on right here in the plane, or wait ‘til later in their room to relieve their passions.”

“I’d bet on the latter,” Matt said laughing. “I don’t think Tyler and Dan are uninhibited enough to have sex in front of us yet, even if they were about to explode!”  

The pilot stepped out of the cockpit in a slightly bent over position to clear the ceiling of the cabin and reached for the handle that unlocked the passenger hatch to the exterior.
The door swung up and a small boarding ladder slowly extended out from beneath the floor, unfolding its handrails as it swung down to the ground. Once in place, the pilot descended the stairs and walked toward the terminal to escort his new passengers to the plane.

            *        *        *

Gary’s cell phone rang and he quickly answered.

“Gary, this is Wes. The Turner Grumman G-V is in the hangar at McCarran. The smaller Cessna Citation is carrying Ron Turner, his partner Matt, and by now, a guy named Dan from New York and Ron’s brother Tyler. They left the Burbank Airport 10 minutes ago on their way to Scottsdale Arizona. Tyler is the one who fought with Tracy Clark!”

“I’ll call the FAA and have them order an emergency landing,” the agent responded. “Call the terminal and tell the chief mechanic to keep the crew away from the G-V. I’ll have a Metro bomb squad on the way in 10 minutes.”

“I’m worried about Pete Sigler too,” Wes said. “He’s the boy that was attacked by Tom’s brother. One of our other guys called his workplace and he left for home 30 minutes ago. I’m leaving now to provide security for him. We’d better check out his apartment too.  I’ll try to call him on the way.”

“That’s good, if you can’t reach him immediately, call 911. Metro can probably get a patrol car to his apartment faster than you can get there. Keep in touch. I’ll let you know about the plane as soon as I hear.”

“K. Bye,” Wes said, disconnecting the call.  Quickly dialing ‘information’, he requested the phone number of Pete Sigler.  Not being sure of the spelling, it took a few minutes to get the number. He wrote it down, pressed the disconnect button, then quickly punched the square number pads on his phone.

            *        *        *

The shower was blasting a hot soothing spray over the 19-year-old body of Pete Sigler. His 9” dick stood at attention as he grasped it and slid his hand over the large tube of man -size meat. Chills of ecstasy shot up his spine as the organ responded to his ministrations. He thought of Cody, his young friend and now ex-roommate who had moved to the Thornton Center the previous day. He had had a restless sleep that night and only drifted off after masturbating for the second time in an hour after taking to his bed. The naked image of the cute youth who had shared his bed filled his mind as he pounded his impressive dick. The large organ now throbbed with sensation and became more swollen and rigid as he could feel his climax approaching.  The phone began to ring as he rose on his toes in the final throes of his imminent ejaculation.

“Not now, dammit!” he swore, gritting his teeth as ropes of cum shot across the small shower’s cubicle. A moment later, when he came down from his ‘high’ in weakened relief, the phone had stopped ringing.

            *        *        *

The patrol car screeched into the parking lot of Pete’s apartment complex. The officers inside looked at the building numbers, searching for the one that matched the one they had written down from the radio transmission.

“There it is!” one officer said pointing. The driver stopped the car with the bar of lights on the roof continuing their blaze. The officers jumped out of the car and raced to the door, pounding on it as soon as they arrived. A young man clad only in shorts answered the door.  “Are you Peter Sigler?” the officer asked.

“Yes,” Pete answered. “What’s wrong?”

“There’s a possible bomb threat against you. Grab your shoes and shirt and get out into the parking lot away from the building. We’ve got to empty these nearby buildings fast!”

Pete turned to quickly gather his gear as the officers moved to the next apartments and began banging on doors.  A minute later, Pete, after slipping on a shirt and jacket, was in the parking lot crouching to tie his shoes. He had an idea who might be behind the bomb threat, but he felt out of immediate danger since a large delivery van parked near the building was shielding him from a possible blast. Other tenants of the building were now streaming out of their units, heading toward the parking lot where Pete now stood. Pete again thought of his young friend. He couldn’t wait to see Cody and tell him about all the excitement.

            *    *    *    *    *

The adventure continues. HUGs, JET