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

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

Dedication:  To Brew Maxwell, a fantastic author. Thanks for many hours of pleasure reading his work, the Foley-Mashburn Saga, on

If you’d like to write, J, my address is


Chapter Fifteen

The music in the cabin cut off and a melodic ‘ding’ rang through the speakers as the ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign came on. The sleek executive jet ceased climbing, leveling off, then nosed over into a steep dive. Matt, who had gotten up to prepare the drinks for himself, Ron, Tyler and Dan, quickly retook his seat and pushed the male part of the seatbelt buckle into the female with a satisfying click. He was about to ask Ron what was going on, when the phone on Ron’s armrest buzzed.

“What’s happening Larry?” he asked the co-pilot after lifting the receiver to his ear and hearing his name.

There was a short pause and he listened to the voice on the other end. His mouth opened, but no sound escaped. Closing his mouth, he then responded.

“Yes, we’re all seated in the seats close to the cockpit,” he replied as the aircraft continued its dive but now banking slightly more northward in its plunge. There was another pause in Ron’s voice as he listened, then said, “Got it! We’ll be ready.”

“What’s happening, Babe?” Matt asked as Tyler and Dan followed his question with grim looks and rapt attention.

“The pilots just got a bomb threat warning from McCarran. There’s a good chance it might be real. We’re in an emergency dive to 12,000 feet where an explosion won’t cause serious decompression if it occurs, and then are going to make an emergency landing in Palm Springs. They’ve been alerted and a bomb squad is on the way to meet us there.
Frank, the pilot, suspects that the easiest place to plant a bomb is in the rear cargo hold, so he wanted to make sure we were in the front of the plane.”

“What are we to be ready for?” Tyler asked.

“To evacuate the plane the minute it stops rolling,” Ron answered. “He said to use the slide, rather than the stair as it only takes 3 seconds to deploy rather than the 12 seconds the ladder takes. He said not to jump, even though it’s only 6’ down, because of possible leg injuries. We’re to run as fast as possible away from the plane.”

The plane continued descending but pulled out of its steep dive and began a banking maneuver in preparation for landing. Speed and landing flaps extended to slow the aircraft from the near supersonic speed it had attained in the dive, while the sound of the engines was not discernable above the noise from the buffeting wind fighting the obstructions in airflow caused by the flaps.

“Hang on, boys,” a voice Ron recognized as Frank James, the pilot continued, “We’re cleared for landing and we’re coming in hot and fast. It may be bumpy.”

Ron took Matt’s hand in his and saw that in the seats opposite them, Tyler and Dan duplicated the action. The ground was approaching fast as the landing gear was dropped and locked into place. Ron suspected the landing speed would be well over 150 miles an hour. The plane came in low over the end of the runway, touching down as close to the end as the pilots dared. The smoking tires gave off loud chirps as they met the asphalt, and the plane’s nose was forced down by the pilot to get all wheels on the pavement as quickly as possible. The thrust reversers were deployed as soon as the rear wheels touched down and the engines began their loud whines as they again were wound up.

Brakes groaned in torment as the pilot applied the maximum pedal pressure that still allowed control of direction. The rapid deceleration pressed the bodies of the passengers and crew toward the front of the aircraft, straining against the seat belts. Once the craft had slowed sufficiently, the pilot steered it off the main runway, still traveling about 30 miles an hour and as it slowed to around 15, turned it to the edge of the asphalt and braked to a complete stop. The engines had been switched off as the plane halted and once the forward movement had ceased, Ron sprang from his seat and pushed the lever unlocking the door, swinging it upward. Before it was fully open he pressed the button and turned the knob deploying the air inflatable slide.

No sooner had the slide deployed than Ron shouted, “Follow me,” leaping onto the slide then springing to his feet at the bottom. He turned and gave his hand to the next off, Dan, pulling him up and away to make room for Matt who followed.

 Shouting to Dan and Matt, ”Get away from the plane,” the process was repeated for Tyler’s descent, then for the pilots who trailed. When Frank landed last, Ron grabbed his hand and vaulted him into a sprint away from the aircraft’s nose. They had not run more than 40 feet when a huge blast erupted from the tail of the plane, throwing the entire tail section in pieces into the air. The shock from the blast knocked Ron and Frank off their feet and, along with their running momentum, caused them to skid facedown, unconscious into the dirt.

Matt, Tyler and Dan were, by this time, 90 feet away and were slowing down as they were struck by the shockwave. Dan fell, but Tyler and Matt managed to retain their balance, staggering forward. Sliding to a halt, Tyler turned and seeing Dan face down in the dirt, rushed back, diving to cover Dan’s body with his own as pieces of the plane few past. Matt felt a sharp sting in his back as a chunk of a small electric motor struck below his right shoulder breaking two ribs before glancing into his right arm, snapping the bone four inches above his right elbow.  The impact drove him to his knees and left him dizzy from the sudden pain. Approaching sirens wailed. Help was arriving.

            *        *        *

In a plane just lifting off the runway at McCarran, Tom Clark smiled. He had done it. Any second now another, smaller plane would be plummeting to the earth and in another 10 minutes an apartment building in Las Vegas would be reduced to ruin. The Southwest airlines flight turned on a southward heading, as it climbed into the sky toward its destination, Mazatlan, Mexico. Tom was sure that his brother Tracy, confined to his hospital bed with a broken back, would smile with him tonight.

            *        *        *

Wes Harper rounded the last corner toward Pete’s apartment. In the distance he could see people pouring out of the buildings and three Metro patrol cars with lights ablaze, parked crazily in the parking lot surrounded by milling people. Wes pulled to a stop a half block away, parking and locking his car before running toward the crowd. More sirens shrieked in the distance. He ran to the scene of the bedlam. Surveying the chaos, his eyes fell upon the delivery van surrounded by the apartment tenants. Huddled next to the back door of the vehicle was a young man, who he immediately knew was Pete, the intended victim.

“GET AWAY FROM THE VAN!” He screamed waving and pointing. “IT’S GOT A BOMB IN IT!” He knew from the Oklahoma City bombing that the van was the perfect place for a large amount of explosive material.

He waved his arms and pushed people away as he moved toward the truck, yelling at the top of his lungs. People nearby started running away from the truck. He grabbed a policeman who had just arrived on the scene.

“Officer!” he shouted, “There’s a bomb in that truck!  Get these people far away from it!”

“Who are you?” The officer asked loudly as he moved closer.

“I’m a private investigator! I’ve been working with the FBI on this case!”

The policeman moved into action. He grabbed a whistle out of his pocket and gave it a mighty blast.  “Get down to that corner!” He yelled to the crowd as he pointed. He blew the whistle again and yelled, “Get away from here!! NOW!  There is a bomb in that truck!!!”

The tenants started running away from the truck.  Two more policemen showed up and began herding the tenants away.

Wes saw Pete sitting bewildered behind the truck.  He rushed over to the youth.

“Pete? Pete Sigler?”  

Pete heard his name and looked at the handsome man rushing toward him.

“Yeah, I’m Pete.”

“Get away from that truck! There’s a bomb in there intended for you! Come with me!”

He grabbed Pete’s arm and pulled him up and away from the truck’s bumper, where he had been sitting.

“Run!” he shouted as they began to quickly put distance between them and the cargo carrier.”

The police continued their evacuation of the building, but had received word by radio not to send the evacuees to the east parking lot but away in other directions.

Two minutes later Pete and Wes stopped running. They had reached the corner, nearly a block away from the delivery van.  An armored car passed them headed for the parking lot but having difficulty traveling fast because of the fleeing people.

Wes stopped at the corner and Pete stopped beside him. They were panting and in need of a minute to catch their breath before speaking. They could see the armored car between them and the truck containing the bomb. Policemen clothed in body armor and full helmets approached the back doors of the vehicle and were reaching for the handle when they disappeared in the huge explosion. Wes could see the waves in the air as the shock from the blast fanned out from the fireball. Grabbing Pete he yelled to him and the surrounding spectators to get down. Those who took quick action dropped to the grass; those who didn’t were blown off their feet. The roar of the explosion hit them at the same time. It was earth shattering!  Moving with the shockwave, every window facing the blast was broken in an instant as far away as two blocks. Pete’s apartment building was scattered on the ground and in flames. Other nearby buildings were heavily damaged, some barely standing, a tribute to their builder that they had not collapsed. Several were on fire, however. Some of the sirens they had heard only a minute ago were mounted on large fire trucks that now appeared on the scene. A full contingent of police and firemen now moved toward the maelstrom, with some officers remaining with the crowd to attain some semblance of crowd control.  As more firemen arrived, several were cordoning off the entire complex, plus part of another across the street from the parking lot.  Yellow “do not cross” tape was quickly placed to mark off the area separating unofficial bystanders from the gruesome work at hand. Ambulances were arriving at the scene and being passed through the gauntlet of police barricades that had been hastily erected across the roadway.

            *        *        *

At McCarran airport, Peter van Winkle, the pilot of the G-V watched from 100 feet away as the bomb squad poured over the large executive jet. His cell phone rang as he stood watching the search with the ground crew and Terry Moss, his co-pilot at his side.

“Pete van Winkle,” he answered once he pressed the ‘talk’ button.

Terry looked as his partner, and noted the look of surprise and horror that appeared on his face. Pete nodded as he listened to the caller, with a few “oh no’s” and “uh huh’s” added in giving Terry no clues as to the content of the conversation.

“Ok, thanks.” Pete concluded, then with a look of thoughtfulness asked, “Is the runway open?”

Getting a positive response he remarked, “Good! Thanks again.” He pressed ‘end’, then began dialing a number, shaking his head at Terry’s questioning look, which urged the co-pilot not to interrupt.

“Jan,” Pete said to his boss at the Turner Office. “I just heard from a friend of mine that works at the FAA here. There’s been an explosion in the Cessna. It was on the ground in Palm Springs after making an emergency landing. They are not sure of the condition of the passengers and crew, but are sure that some of ‘em were at least injured.”

He paused as Jan spoke, then answered.

“The bomb squad has been working for about 10 minutes, checking out the G-V. They should be finished before you get here. Once they get finished we’ll fuel up, do our pre-flight checking, and file a flight plan to Palm Springs. Just let me know when to expect you and we’ll do our best to be ready.”

After exchanging goodbyes, Pete hung up the phone. Turning to Terry who had overheard his conversation with Jan, he said, “Let’s go file our flight plan while we’re waiting for the bomb squad to finish.  I think Mark has left for home, but he needs to come back and make sure the interior is ready to go. It’s a short flight, but everyone who’s going still needs to be properly looked after. Have him order dinner for at least 8 people. If we don’t have that many passengers, we’ll at least be fed.”

Terry took out his cell phone to call Mark, the steward, as he followed the pilot to the flight center.

            *        *        *

Jan was immediately on the phone to Will and told him that there was an emergency, and that she was on the way to his office. Calling Margaret, Ron’s secretary, she asked Margaret to meet her in Will’s office right away.

Margaret grabbed her pad and pen from the desk and was about to stand when her phone rang. Picking it up quickly she answered, “Ron Turner’s office.”

“Margaret,” the voice on the other line said. “This is Wes Harper with Aztec. Is Ron or Matt there?”

“I’m sorry, they’re out of town, Wes.”

“Can you reach Ron?  It’s kind of an emergency.”

“I can try, Wes. Can you tell me what this is about?”

“Ron had us working on an investigation regarding Pete, the young Turner construction employee who had his truck vandalized. I’m at his apartment complex now. It was bombed! Fortunately, he escaped, but his building was flattened and I’m sure there are several dead, mostly policemen, I think. I’m looking for direction. You know, what do I do with Pete?”

“That’s terrible! Let me call you back in a few minutes,” she responded. “We’ve got something happening here, but I’ll know more in a short while. Give me your cell number.”

Wes gave the number to Margaret who jotted it down on her pad. Saying goodbye, she picked up the pad and hurried off to Will’s office.

            *        *        *

On the corner near Pete’s apartment, Wes stood with his arm around the young construction worker’s shoulder. As they watched the rescue workers, police and firemen battling the blaze and putting the injured into waiting ambulances, Wes noticed a grey 4-door sedan pull up to the police barricade. In the passenger seat was their lunch companion from earlier in the day, Gary Franklin from the FBI.

“Gary!” he called to the man sitting beside the open car window.

Gary looked and gave Wes a recognition wave, then held up a finger, indicating that he would join the pair shortly.  The car pulled just inside the barricade and parked. Gary climbed out and he and the driver walked over to Wes and Pete who were on the other side of the yellow tape. As the pair moved toward the tape, a policeman asked them to stand back.

“It’s Ok, officer,” Gary said as he flashed his badge.

The cop moved away as Gary lifted the yellow plastic and motioned Pete and Wes to come inside.
“I’m sorry, Sir,” the cop said returning to the foursome, “I have orders from my Captain to keep the public out.”

“I’m sure your Captain would like to meet these two men,” Gary responded. “This young man here,” he said nodding at Pete, “was the intended victim of the bombing. This other gentleman is a private investigator who made the 911 call to Metro. Except for him, there would be many, many dead.”

“I apologize, gentlemen,” the cop responded. “If you’d like I can get you escorted to the Captain.”

“In a minute, officer.  This blast is part of a Homeland Security investigation. We’d like to talk to the officer in charge here, but we need a few minutes alone with these men, first.”

“As you wish, Sir. Just let me know when you are ready.”

The officer walked away but stayed nearby where he could be seen.

“I’m glad you made it in time,” Gary said to Wes. Then turning to Pete, he said, “Hi, I’m Agent Franklin of the FBI. You must be Mr. Turner’s young friend.”

“Hi, Sir,” Pete responded, obviously impressed. “ I’m Pete Sigler.”

“Wes, Pete, I’d like you to meet Agent Lopez.”

Wes and Pete shook hands with the agent.

“Looks like somebody wanted to get to you pretty bad, son,” Gary said looking at the carnage. “We haven’t captured the suspect yet, but we have everyone looking.”

“I can’t believe that anybody could hate me this much,” Pete responded sadly.

“It’s not your fault, Pete,” Gary replied. “In my business you learn that there are a lot of crazies out there. Some of them consider death and destruction of little importance in their irrational desire to achieve their goals. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true.” Turning to Wes he said smiling, “ I’m sure glad you invited me to lunch. That one act of consideration saved a lot of lives today. We’re using every resource to find Tom Clark, Wes. We’ve closed down departures at the airport and bus station while we check out all the passengers, and have an APB out through Metro and the State police.  We’re checking the manifests of all recent flight and bus departures too. We’ve notified the check point at Hoover Dam in the event that he’s traveling by car to Arizona, and the California Highway Patrol in the event he’s headed for L.A. I’m hoping that something will surface soon.”

“I hope so too,” Wes responded. “What do you need us to do regarding the bombing?”  

Before Gary could answer, Wes’s phone rang.

“Wes Harper,” he responded.

“Wes, this is Margaret Hunsaker, Ron Turner’s Secretary. We think you should take Pete to Ron’s house where he can stay. Pete knows how to get there. I’ve talked to Ron’s housekeeper and she agrees. Ron is out of touch right now, but we’re both sure of what he would want. Don’t worry about clothes or anything for Pete. If I know Parker, Ron’s valet, Pete will be decked out like a Christmas tree by tomorrow night. If it would be inconvenient for you to take him there, I can have Jeffery pick him up in one of Ron’s cars.”

“No, it’s alright, I’ll take him up there Margaret, it’s surprising that you can’t get hold of Ron though. I always had the impression that he was reachable instantly, and I hoped that they landed before this bomb went off.”

“Normally he is, Wes. I probably shouldn’t tell you this but Ron, Matt, Tyler and Tyler’s friend had an emergency landing in Palm Springs, and made it out of the plane before it blew up, but apparently there were some injuries. We’re on the way to the airport to go there now.”

Wes was stunned. “I’d like to go too,” he said reacting to the news.

“I wish there was time, Wes, but we’re halfway to the airport now, and we don’t want to wait. Hold down the fort here, with Pete and his problem. I’ll keep you in the loop about what’s happening.”

“I’m available on a moment’s notice. If I can be of help Margaret, just let me know. Hell, I can drive there in 3 ½ hours.”

“We’ll keep that in mind Wes. In the meantime, we’ll keep in touch.”

“Ok, Margaret. Goodbye.”

Wes looked at Pete and Gary. He said softly, “Ron Turner, his partner Matt, his brother Tyler and a friend of Tyler’s were all aboard a company jet. We can thank you Gary, for their lives. They made an emergency landing in Palm Springs and apparently escaped, though probably injured when an onboard bomb exploded.  No one knows yet the extent of their injuries.

“Pete?” he continued, now looking at the youth. “You are going to stay at Ron and Matt’s. It’s all arranged.”

“I’ll never get there in that,” he replied, looking at the burned out hulk that had been his pick-up.

“I’ll take you there, and if I were you I’d let Ron’s people handle any problems you might have,” Wes advised. “They seem to have a good handle on what Ron would do, or at least that’s what I’m told.”

“I agree with that,” Pete said. “I’ve spent some time up there the last couple of weeks and his staff all seem to know what he wants done without being told.”

Gary broke in. “Guys, I think we should go talk to Metro. I’m sure they are too busy to want to interrogate either of you today. If you give them a brief statement of what you know, I’m sure they will release you and do a formal interview later. I’ll want to interview you later myself. There have to be several federal crimes that have been committed by this guy, as well as the normal criminal acts covered by state law.”

As Gary looked for the officer who had offered to get them an escort to the Metro Captain, his cell phone rang.

“Agent Franklin,” Gary answered.

He listened for a moment, and then said. “Give me the number at the control tower.”

After writing it down, he simply said “thanks”, then hung up and dialed the number he had just written down.

“This is Special Agent Gary Franklin, FBI. I’d like to speak to the control tower supervisor.”  He waited until the supervisor came on the line. He positioned the cell microphone closer to his mouth as the requested man answered.

“Mr. Quimby, this is Special Agent Gary Franklin of the FBI. I believe there is a Southwest flight 735 which departed McCarran about an hour ago bound for Mazatlan, Mexico. My sources tell me there is a Mr. Tom Clark on board. This man is wanted by our agency as a fugitive bomber. We’re requesting that you re-route that plane to Phoenix or Tucson. We will have agents there to arrest him upon landing.”

Gary waited with a disgusted look on his face as he listened to the response.

“I understand that you are reluctant to do that, Mr. Quimby. You can take it as an order from me, if you don’t want to be responsible. You see Mr. Quimby, we’re not too sure there is not a bomb on the plane he’s on. I strongly suggest that you get that plane down as quickly as possible.”

A smile crossed his lips at successfully pulling the string on Quimby’s kite.

“Ok then. 43 minutes in Tucson. Our people will work with the controller there.  And, if there is an air marshal on board that flight, clue him in to the situation. He needs to keep an eye on the fugitive.”

“Thanks, Mr. Quimby. We’ll be waiting for the plane. Goodbye.”

He quickly called his office and requested the pick-up of Clark in Tucson. He also ordered a Lear Jet to be ready to take two agents to Tucson as soon as they could get to the airport. He was going to be one of those agents.

“Come on,” he told his partner, Wes and Pete. “Let’s go meet the Metro Captain, and then we need to get out of here. We’ve got a prisoner to pick-up.”

        *        *        *

Ron opened his eyes then closed them again. He felt like shit. His head felt like it was splitting and there was a distinct ringing in his ears. ‘That must have been some party,’ he thought to himself. Then the memory of the flight started coming back. Soon he remembered the dash from the plane, and the sudden blackness that had engulfed him. He opened his eyes for the second time, just in time to see a man in a white smock approach.

“Hello Mr. Turner. Welcome back to the land of the living. I’m Doctor Thresher. How are we feeling?”

“I don’t know about you but I feel like a pile of poop that was just stepped on by an elephant.”

The doctor laughed. “I guess that means your humor is still working,” he said smiling. I’m glad you’re awake. We were a bit worried.”

The doctor examined Ron, looking into his eyes, having him move all his muscles, and all the things doctors do to make sure the senses and limbs are functioning.

“What happened to me, Doc?  Will I be alright?”

“The blast from the explosion knocked you flat. That’s probably what saved your life. There was so much flying debris that if you hadn’t been lying flat you probably would have been killed. As it is, what actually happened is that you got hit in the back with a huge shock wave from the explosion, fortunately NOT accompanied by flying metal. You have a few scratches and scrapes from falling and a cut on one arm and a leg from shrapnel, but other than that you’ll be fine, I believe.”

“What about the others?”

“Captain James is in about your condition. He’ll be fine once he gets over the effects of the concussion.  Dan Barnes and Tyler Turner are uninjured except for some superficial scrapes. Interestingly enough the one who was the furthest away from the plane was the most seriously injured.

Ron’s eyes grew wide instantly. “Matt’s hurt?” He started to struggle to get up. The doctor put out his hand to block his efforts.

“He’ll be fine. He has some broken ribs and his right arm is fractured from being struck by a heavy metal object. Other than that he is hale and hearty.”

Ron lay back on the bed. “Can I see him?”  

“Sure, He’s out in the lobby with several other people who have been here since earlier tonight waiting for you to regain consciousness.”

“Ok, I’ll be ready to see ‘em in a minute. I just want to know one thing: when can I get out of here?”

“You’re stuck here for the rest of the night, for sure,” the doctor replied. “ We want to keep you under observation to make sure there are no long-term problems. If you do as well as we expect, you’ll probably be discharged tomorrow.”

“Damn!  I have an early tee time in Scottsdale! Shit!”  

The doctor looked shocked, then immediately recognized that Ron was pulling his leg.

Ron smiled at his own little joke and the doctor grinned.

“Ok, bring on the cast of thousands,” Ron said, still smiling.

The doctor shook his head and exited the room.

Two minutes later, the door opened. In walked Matt, Tyler, and Dan, who led the office contingent Will, Margaret and Jan, who in turn were followed by Peter van Winkle, the G-V pilot, and Larry Garrison, the Cessna Co-pilot.

Looking at Matt in his cast and bandages, Ron winked, then said,  “Welcome my friends. I’ve got something to tell you.”

 The visitors all gathered ‘round the bed expecting one of Ron’s earth-shaking announcements. In a serious voice Ron began.

“A man is feeling poorly, so he goes to his doctor,”

Loud groans coming from the room were heard in the hallway.

Ron continued. “After numerous tests the doc says, ‘I’m sorry, but you have an incurable condition and there is nothing I can do for you.’ The man pleads with the doctor to suggest anything he might do to improve his condition, and the doctor suggests that he go to the spa and take a daily mud bath. ‘Is there any hope of a cure?’ the man asks. ‘No’, says the doctor, ‘but it will get you used to dirt’.”

“That’s terrible,” said Jan with a giggle as laughter penetrated the thick door and the hallway was once again subjected to a disturbance from the room.

“Come on Jan,” Will said, “Let’s go, we know now he’s fine. And to think we came all this way for that crummy joke!”

Ron laughed at the antics of his Executive Vice President and friends.

“Really guys,” Ron said with sincerity, “I really appreciate you coming here on a moments notice and staying up so late.”

“We were really worried when you didn’t regain consciousness right away,” Jan said. “The doctor said not to worry, that sometimes the brain shuts down so it can heal. Of course I told him that if that were the case, you would be the epitome of health all the time.”

“Hey guys,” Ron responded as he laughed, “Quit pickin’ on me!”

“It’s only what you deserve after that joke, cute guy,” Matt retorted.

“Ok, I give,” said Ron, capitulating. “Now tell me what’s new?”

“The biggest news,” Jan said,  “is the bomb that blew Pete’s apartment building to smithereens. Pete is safe, but unfortunately four policemen and a tenant died in the blast and fire. There were several injured too. The best news is that they captured the bomber. Aztec/Turner, the FBI and Metro all agree that it’s the same guy that planted the bomb on the Cessna.”

“Pete wasn’t there when the apartment was blasted?” Ron asked.

“He was there alright,” answered Jan. “Thanks to some good luck and some excellent detective work by Wes Harper of Aztec-Turner, and an FBI agent named Gary Franklin, the plot was discovered in time to save not only you and the others on the plane, but also to rescue Pete, and get the apartment buildings evacuated before the bombs went off. Thanks to their efforts a number of lives were saved.”

“I hope Wes is gonna be properly thanked and rewarded, Tyler,” Ron suggested.

“You can count on it Ron,” Tyler responded. “I’ve decided to promote him to the Manager position of our Las Vegas operation. He’ll get a nice raise as part of the deal.”

“Good,” Ron approved, “I hope we can find some way to properly thank and reward Agent Franklin too. “I know in government they can’t accept gratuities, but,” he said looking at Will and Jan, “I’m sure that we can make him such a hero in the public’s eyes that he’s sure to be rewarded from within.”

“I’ve already got our public relations staff working on it,” Jan responded. “I was sure that it would be what you wanted.”

Ron looked at his friends and family gathered round.

“It’s at times like this that you really learn to appreciate others.” Ron said with great sincerity. “Sometimes it’s just people doing their jobs properly. Guys like Wes and Gary Franklin. Guys like Frank and Larry in the cockpit of the Cessna, or like those poor victims of the blast in Las Vegas. When I return, I want to see that everyone who kept this from being an unbelievable tragedy is recognized and rewarded. I want the families of the dead policemen to be well taken care of too. Folks, we’re in the midst of heroes.”

“Now guys, I’m a bit tired, but I’ll be fine. It’s time that you all go home and enjoy your weekend Tyler will you escort everyone out but Matt?  I feel the need for a hug even if it’s only with one arm.” He smiled at his lover.

The group turned as one and headed for the door leading to the hallway. Only Matt remained.

        *    *    *    *    *

(Grin.)  JET