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

The author reserves copyright privileges as of May, 2004. This work may not be posted on any other website nor reproduced, except for personal use, without the written permission of the author.

Dedication: To “Bryan”

If you’d like to comment or just say ‘hi’, my e-mail address is John Tucker


Chapter Forty

Monday morning, Ron’s Office, Las Vegas

“What?” Ron asked astounded. “An inside job? I don’t believe it! How is that possible?”

Wes Harper answered, “We’re working on that. Some of what we’ve received is stuff that’s only available to someone that has access to private information. For example, there is a note regarding your schedule of activities that’s probably known to not more than two or three people in this office. We’re not sure how the information was passed, but we’ve recently installed hidden security cameras in locations that we hope will uncover that information.”

“I hope you’re not accusing any of my principal people,” Ron said defensively.

“Certainly not,” Wes countered. “We’re not accusing anyone yet. It’s just that you need to know that some of your insider information is getting out, and you need to be cautious. Now with these assassins here, we’re beefing up your security and asking you to vary your schedule. We think you should be cautious about telling people casually about your appointments and outside activities too.”

“I’ll certainly be glad to follow your instructions, as will Matt, and Dan and Tyler when they return from the South.”

“That’s all we can ask of you,” Wes said as he stood. “I appreciate your cooperation.”

“Thanks Wes. Goodbye,” Ron said still shaking his head at the revelation.

                            *               *               *

Noon, Houston, Texas, Hoby Field

Tyler held Jerry’s hand as they stepped down the boarding ladder that had extended from beneath the floor to the tarmac below. Behind him Dan stood in the doorway waiting for Emma to convey her thanks to the Captain and crew for the courtesy and service they had provided for her and her grandson. Standing behind her, Gary Franklin, the ex-FBI agent and newest of the Aztec-Turner agents, waited to stretch his legs while Tyler was saying goodbye to the small group staying in Houston. Immediately upon the passengers leaving the plane, the aircraft would take on fuel for the next leg of their journey to Atlanta.

After saying goodbye to Gary and the crew, Emma slowly descended the stairs steadied by the muscular agent.

“I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the flight,” Emma said to Tyler as she took the last step off the sleek business jet.

“It was a pleasure for all of us Emma,” Tyler responded. “I only wish I could remain here with you, but business calls I’m afraid.”

“I’m sure Dan will take good care of us,” the old lady said as she shuffled slowly across the asphalt toward the Executive Terminal.

“I wish you’d have let us bring out a wheelchair,” Dan said. “It would’ve been much easier for you.”

“Oh piffle!” the old lady exclaimed. “It’s good for me to exercise young man. I’m not ready to give up walking yet.”

“We’d just like to make it as easy for you as possible,” Tyler said coming to Dan’s defense.

“I was born fighting, and I’ll go down that way,” Emma retorted. “It’s in the blood.”

Dan and Tyler just smiled at each other. They knew that any further argument was pointless.

“There should be a car waiting for you,” Tyler added as he opened the door to the building, allowing Emma to proceed through first. Stepping thorough the doorway last, he spotted a uniformed driver with an upraised sign with hand written letters that said, ‘Jerry Smith.’

“Know anybody named Jerry Smith?” Dan asked looking around over the head of the smallest of their party.

“Hey! What about me?” Jerry said grinning.

“Oh yeah,” Dan replied. “I’d forgotten about you.”

Jerry giggled, knowing that Dan was just pulling his chain.

“I sure wish that Ronnie could have come with us,” Jerry said in resignation.

“You know he’s still recovering from his attack,” his grandmother said. “I realize you’ve become good friends, but you can keep in touch with that computer gadget he gave you.”

“Will you help me get it hooked up, Dan?” Jerry asked.

“Sure son,” Dan smiled. “I’m pretty good with that stuff. In fact I brought along my laptop so that Tyler and I too can keep in touch over the Internet.”

“Thanks Dan,” Jerry said smiling, holding tightly the small carry-on bag he was toting that contained his new prized possession.

“There’s your car,” Tyler said, indicating the long black limo. “The steward is right behind us with your luggage, so you won’t have to wait.”

Holding the building’s entry door open for the small party, the driver then stepped quickly to the large auto, opening the trunk before holding the passenger door open.

“Thank you Tyler,” Emma said smiling as she stopped before entering the car. She gave the handsome, muscular man a hug and as he bent down to return the hug, gave him a kiss on the cheek. “You men are more than good dads to my grandson. I’ll never be able to express my gratitude.”

“We’ve quickly grown to love you both,” Tyler replied. “There’s no need for thanks between those who love each other.

“Well, you’re getting thanks whether you like it or not,” the old lady replied gruffly. “Please stay in touch.” She pulled Tyler down toward her and placed another kiss on his cheek. With a tear in her eye she turned, and accepting the driver’s hand climbed into the limo.

“I love you, Tyler,” Jerry said as he hugged Tyler around the waist.

“I love you too, my boy,” Tyler said with his eyes also starting to tear-up. “Get well.”

Jerry turned and followed his grandmother into the car.

“Bye Hon. Love you,” Dan said wrapping his arms around his lover, and placing a discrete kiss on his neck.

“Take care of these folks,” Tyler replied, “and take care of the guy I love.”

“You can count on it Babe. Bye,” Dan responded with a smile.

“Call me tonight when you get settled,” Tyler requested.

“I’ll call at 8 Houston time,” Dan replied. “Have a good trip.”

“Bye,” Tyler said again in farewell as Dan too disappeared into the interior of the large limo.

The driver closed the passenger door and walked around the vehicle. Climbing inside he quickly started the engine and placed the gear selector into ‘drive.’ The large car pulled away from the curb and a moment later disappeared from the view of the handsome man who watched it until it was gone.

Tyler turned and entered the terminal building on his way to the GV that had just finished being refueled to continue on to Atlanta.

                                    *                      *                      *

Monday afternoon, Christine Rogers’s House, Las Vegas

“Well Tracy,” Christine said smiling toward her cousin, “ everything is in place. It won’t be long now until Ron Turner and his brother are history and we’ll be clean as a whistle. I was afraid that the Aztec-Turner boys would become aware of our hit men, but it wasn’t much trouble to leave clues convincing them that that stupid politician, Senator Young, hired them. It’s costing a lot of money to have them here as decoys. They have surfaced just enough to thin out the security forces to let our real guys, who have no criminal reputations, get in to do their work. It cost a bit for the insider information too, but now we know every move that Ron Turner makes. Tonight, his house is gonna ‘go boom’ and it was done right in the face of their security efforts. Then when Tyler comes rushing back from his Atlanta trip, we’ll be waiting with our trap. It’s fool proof! We’ll be going to a fund-raising function that the Mayor is hosting, so our alibis will be air tight.”

“I only wish I could have planted the bombs myself,” Tracy replied from his wheelchair. “I want to get personal revenge for them making me like this.”

“I know cousin, but sometimes we just have to make the best of things. These guys are real pros though, so at least we’ll have the satisfaction of revenge for your injuries and Tom’s death. It’s taken a lot of planning and most of the money I have now to do this right and leave us in the clear.”

“If the money’s gone, how are we gonna get by?” Tracy asked.

“The sale of my farm in Phoenix will close at the end of next week,” Christine replied. “I’ve still got enough money to make a contribution to the Mayor’s re-election and get us by for a couple of months, in case the closing is delayed. We’re covered.”

“I can’t wait to see the news broadcast,” Tracy said smiling. “In a way, I wish that bastard Tyler was getting it first. I’d rest easier. But I guess your way is best, at least the son-of-a-bitch will know that his brother ‘got it’ before he gets his.”

“Just be patient, cousin dear,” Christine said. “I know what I’m doing.”

                                    *                      *                      *

2:30 PM, M. D. Anderson Hospital, Houston, Texas

Emma looked at the young doctor as he stepped back into the examination room.

“Mrs. Thorsruud, I have some hopeful news. The reports from Las Vegas, and our preliminary reports are promising. As few as 10 years ago, I would not have held out much hope, but we’ve got several things going for us. As you know we are a research hospital and often work with the very latest drugs and procedures. Some of the new procedures seem to be very encouraging and we have had some notable successes. Next we’ve caught your grandson’s illness at a rather early stage, giving us the best of chances.There are no guarantees, of course, and the procedures are very taxing, but we believe that Jerry’s chances of a full recovery are better than even. We could not have said that in the not too distant past. The procedures and medications are still rather expensive, he added.”

“That is not a concern, doctor,” Dan, who was accompanying Emma, told him. “Our charitable foundation will cover all the expenses.”

“I’m pleased, for Jerry’s sake, “the doctor replied. “We provide as much aid as possible where the patient doesn’t have insurance or resources for payment, but I must admit that the resources are limited.”

“You can use any of those funds that might have been used for Jerry for others in need,” Dan added. “Our foundation has committed all funds necessary for Jerry’s care. If you have other cases that are unable to pay, I’d be glad to forward any applications for a grant to our foundation’s office in Las Vegas.”

“That’s more than generous,” Mr. Barnes.

“I’d like to admit Jerry tomorrow morning,” the doctor continued. “We could do it today, but there is no advantage since we like to start the procedures in the mornings so that we can monitor any problems that might develop during the day while we’re fully staffed.”

“I’m sure that Jerry won’t mind an extra day of freedom,” Emma said smiling.

“He’s about done with the testing we’re doing today,” the doctor said in conclusion. “You may either go to admitting, to fill out the necessary paperwork or wait for Jerry to come back in and do it then. There’s no need for us to meet anymore today, so you’re free to go whenever you’re ready.”

“Thanks doctor,” Dan said as he shook the physician’s hand. “Emma maybe you could go to admitting and start the paperwork as his legal guardian, and when Jerry is finished I’ll join you there and fill in any financial information they need.”

“That would save some time,” Emma agreed. “I’m sure the sooner we get out of here the better Jerry will like it. Goodbye doctor.”

“Goodbye, Mrs. Thorsruud.“

Ten minutes later Jerry walked into the room.

“Where’s Gramma?” He asked.

“She’s filling in admitting paperwork while I waited for you,” Dan replied. “We thought it would save some time getting out of here.”

“Yeah, I’m kinda hungry and I’m sure I’m gonna get all the hospital food I can stand too soon. I hope Gramma’s up for a raid on McDonalds.”

“I’m sure she won’t mind our stopping for a snack, but we’ll be going out for dinner tonight so you won’t want to get too full.”

“I never get too full,” Jerry replied.

“Spoken like a true teen,” Dan said smiling as he offered his hand to Jerry. Turning toward the door he added, “Let’s go find your grandmother.”

                        *                      *                      *
Monday Afternoon, Penthouse suite, Atlanta Hilton

“This is a nice suite,” Gary said as he rejoined Tyler in the ‘living room’ of the spacious two-bedroom suite in the top floor of the hotel. “It’s far better than the FBI provides, I can assure you.”

“I agree, it is nice” Tyler responded. “It’s decent for entertaining or for small business meetings too. There’s a large conference room on the second floor that is available too, as well as business communication facilities. There’s a weight room, sauna and all that, as well as a handball court to help keep us in shape, if that interests you.”

“I try to go to the health club at least three times a week,” Gary replied. “I must admit though, that since Barry died, my heart hasn’t been in it.”

“The best relief from sorrow is activity,” Tyler advised. “I know you will never let Barry out of your heart or memory, but the burden of grief will lessen with time, especially time spent doing the work you do best.”

“I’m sure that’s true,” Gary agreed, “This new job and all I’m learning has helped immensely already. Speaking of that, what time do we have to leave for the fund-raiser?”

“The cocktail hour begins at 6:30,” Tyler answered, “It will give us a chance to mingle and to look at the auction items. Dinner is at 7:30 and the auction is at 9:30 after the Billy Joel entertainment. I guess we’d better check our tuxes to make sure they’re presentable.”

“Since the Boys and Girls Clubs are Peter Zekendorf’s favorite charity, I’m certain we’ll run into him. I haven’t seen him in a few years, of course, but I shouldn’t have any trouble recognizing him.”

“Your being old friends is a better advantage than we had any right to expect,” Tyler commented. “We’ll play it by ear, and hope for the best.”

“I’m rather anxious to see him again,” Gary admitted. “We were more than passing friends in college, but like many old friends, our paths separated and we never kept in touch.”

“I’m sure that’s the case with most people, though now the Internet has certainly shrunken the world and allowed people to keep in touch without spending a lot of money.”

“I’m not a great user of the Web,” Gary responded, though I do a bit of reading there and, of course, a little e-mailing.”

“It’s great for business, and I use it a lot to keep in touch with our offices in St. Louis, L.A., and New York. It leaves a written record of conversations, though it’s not quite as personal as phone calls or visits,” Tyler added.

“I think I’ll shower and start getting ready,” Gary said.

“Good plan,” Tyler agreed. “I’ll see you in a while. The limo will be waiting for us at 6:15, I’m told it’s only about 15 minutes to the Pavilion where the event will be held.”

“That’s about right,” said Gary, who was more familiar with Atlanta than Tyler. “See you shortly.”

Both men arose from their seats, and left the living room for their own bedrooms.

                                    *                      *                      *

Monday evening, Houston, Emma Thorsruud’s apartment

“This place is wonderful Dan,” Emma said smiling. “I don’t know how you found a place so close to the hospital, and so nice too.”

“I hope you and Jerry will make good use of it. I know that he will be in the hospital for a while, then will need to live close to be seen as an outpatient. When his visits to the hospital become less frequent, you can come back to Las Vegas. We have a few nice jets that can bring you back here when you need to come for a doctor’s appointment.”

“I don’t know what I’d have done without you boys,” Emma said. “You’re like a miracle that has suddenly appeared. I thank God for you every night.”

“We’re only doing what we can and what’s humanly possible. Jerry’s future is in the hands of the doctors and the Almighty. That’s far beyond our modest capabilities,” Dan said humbly. “We know it’s going to be a difficult time and we’re just trying to make it a bit easier.”

“You’re doing more than that,” Emma responded. “You’re making it possible for my Jerry to have a chance at life. You have my eternal gratitude.”

“Just having you as part of our family is thanks enough,” Dan said smiling. “We all love you both and want you to know that you’ll never want for anything again.”

Emma began to cry. “Thank you, and thank Tyler, Ron and Matt too. You know how to make an old woman have faith in humanity again.”

“The world is full of good people,” Dan remarked. “We are just trying to be part of that crowd and use our resources to help those we can.”

“I was turning into a bitter old woman,” Emma admitted. “My only joy was Jerry. First I never thought I’d live to see him grown up and that worried me. Then it looked as if I’d lose him too soon to this horrible disease. Now you boys have come along and given me new hope. I know that Jerry will be taken care of, no matter what happens to me, and that he will get the best care and a chance for a long life. You can belittle your efforts if you want, but I want you to know that an old lady is grateful.”

“Enough of that,” Dan suggested. “We accept your thanks. Now, let’s see if Jerry is through chatting with Ronnie on the Internet, and go find us some dinner. We have a lot to do tomorrow with getting Jerry into the hospital and you settled. I’ll probably stay for another day or two and do some business here, but I want to see that everything is taken care of for your stay.

“Grab your purse, and we’ll go. Oh, before I forget, there will be a credit card arriving in the mail in a few days. It’s for your use for your personal expenses. The rent for the apartment is being taken care of by our office in Las Vegas, but feel free to use it for everything else. We also have someone checking your house and getting your mail in Las Vegas and caring for the yard and all that, so you needn’t worry about anything. Except for junk mail, all your mail will be forwarded here. If you need anything at any time or if we’ve forgotten anything, please call me on my cellular phone.”

Emma smiled through her tears and struggled to her feet with Dan’s help.

“Thank you again,” Emma said in gratitude.

“No problem,” Dan replied. “I’ll get Jerry.”

                                    *                      *                      *

Meanwhile in Atlanta at the ‘Pavilion’

Tyler and Gary climbed out of the passenger door of the long black Lincoln limousine as the driver held open the door.

“Please be available around 10:30,” Tyler requested of the driver. “I’ll call you before that time to give you a more definite departure time,” he added.

“Yes sir,” the driver agreed as he closed the door and began to move around the car to the driver’s door.

Tyler pulled two tickets from his inside tux pocket and said to Gary, “Well here goes. Time to rock and roll.”

Gary smiled and walked beside his friend and employer toward the entry doors to the large building. As they stepped thorough the door opened by a doorman, they were greeted at a table staffed by two women.

Handing them the tickets, Tyler said, “Tyler Turner and Gary Franklin.”

“Oh yes, gentlemen. Welcome. Will you be bidding tonight?”

“Of course,” Tyler responded. “We are great supporters of the Boys and Girls Clubs in Las Vegas where our homes are. Since our company is setting up an operation in Atlanta, I’m sure that you will see us often.”

“That’s wonderful,” the first lady said. “Would you allow me to introduce you to our President?”

“That would be very kind of you,” Tyler responded.

“Your table is number 27, the second lady said handing Tyler a small slip of paper with the table number written on it, as well as two programs for the evening.”

“Thank you,” Tyler said smiling as the first lady stood.

“I’m Thelma Johnson”, the first lady said extending her hand, if you’ll come with me I’ll introduce you to Mr. Zekendorf.”

A large grin appeared on Tyler’s face as he winked at Gary. Following the woman who was dressed in an attractive formal dress, he spied the backs of a man and woman in their path who were in conversation with an older couple. As she stopped behind the younger man, she tapped him on the shoulder.

“Peter,” she said as he turned, “I’d like you to meet a couple of gentlemen who are new to our community.”

The younger man turned to answer his call to duty and immediately recognizing his college friend, exclaimed with a huge smile, “Gary! Welcome my friend.”

The lady stepped back in surprise as the two men exchanged a hug.

“Thanks Pete, I’d like to introduce my employer and friend Tyler Turner,” Gary said.

“Welcome sir,” Peter said, extending his hand. “And I want you to meet my wife, Terri and my parents Wanda and Emmett Zekendorf.”

“A pleasure,” Tyler said, shaking hands with the threesome.

“It’s good to see you again, sir, ma’am,” Gary said to the older couple, then as he offered his hand to the younger woman, “It’s wonderful to meet Peter’s better half.”

“Do we know you?” The older man asked of Gary, “you look familiar.”

“Yes,” Peter answered for his friend. “Gary was my college roommate. You might remember that he came home with me one holiday. Of course that was some time ago.”

“Ah yes,” Emmett said, “You were the young man studying criminal justice as I recall.”

“That’s correct sir,” Gary added.

“What have you been doing with yourself?” the older man asked pleasantly.

“I just finished my 5th year with the FBI, and recently joined Aztec-Turner Security,” Gary said. “Tyler here is Aztec’s President.”

“A good firm, I’m told,” the older man said, almost biting his tongue. “I understand you’re moving into the Atlanta market.”

“We have a very modest beginning here I’m afraid, sir,” Tyler said, “nothing on the scale of your operation.”

“Well, ours is not living up to its potential,” Emmett said with a frowning glance at his son. “I’m too damned old to give it my attention, and I’m afraid that Peter is more interested in the social life of Atlanta and spending our money, than making it.”

“Peter was always very social in college,” Gary remarked ignoring the ‘dig’, “and very popular.”

“Enough about business,” Peter interjected, quickly changing the subject. “Where are you seated?” he asked the two men.

“We’re at table 27,” Gary answered.

“That’s way in the back,” the older man grumbled. “Pete, go get these men seated at our table. I know you and Terri have to sit at the head table, but your mom and I could use some good company.”

“Sure Dad,” Peter replied. “If you’ll excuse me, I’ll take care of it.”

“Certainly. We’ll be here with your family,” Gary responded smiling.

As Peter headed for the table at the door, Gary commented to the older couple. “It will be nice to be seated with friends. I’m afraid I’m not too experienced at these charity things.”

“Good for you,” Emmett responded. “I think Peter got it from his mother’s side. He sure didn’t get it from me, even though we’ve always been involved in these things.”

“Oh hush,” Thelma said to her husband as a mild rebuke, “It’s certainly good to see you again Gary, Peter has often wondered what happened too you.”

“Yes,” Peter’s wife Terri added, “Pete’s often spoken of you. I feel I know you already.”

“Thanks to you all. It’s wonderful to be here.”

“These boys need a drink!” the older man said to a passing waiter. “What’ll you have?” he asked turning to Tyler and Gary.

“I’d like a Glenlivet Scotch on the rocks,” Tyler answered.

“I’d like some ‘branchwater’ on the rocks,” Gary added to Tyler’s order.

“My kind of men.” Emmett said, “None of those tootie-fruity drinks for my friends!”

Tyler and Gary smiled. It was going to be a great evening.

                                    *                      *                      *

2 AM, Ron and Matt’s room in Las Vegas.

The phone on Ron’s side of the bed chirped its disturbing noise. Ron groaned as he was awakened from a sound sleep. He rolled away from Matt where his nude body had been spooned and reached for the receiver, somewhat annoyed.

“Ron Turner,” he said sleepily.

“It’s Tyler,” the voice on the other end of the line said, “Sorry to disturb you so late brother, but I have some great news!”

“Tell me,” Ron requested with awakening interest.

Tyler relayed to Ron the events of the evening, and their encounter with the Zekendorfs. After 15 minutes of conversation with his brother he said goodbye and hung up the phone.

“What did Tyler say?” asked Matt, who was now awake too.

“He and Gary were seated with Peter Zekendorf’s parents at the Boys and Girls Clubs Charity function, where they hoped to meet Peter. The old man was very disenchanted with their son’s operation of Zekendorf Security and ended up asking Tyler and Gary if they’d be interested in buying the whole kit and caboodle. They acted surprised, of course, and ended up offering $100 million for it, subject to seeing the books. The old man accepted on the spot with no negotiation. He said he’d handle it with his son. They have another meeting set up for this afternoon. They asked if our ‘whiz kids’ Jeff Davis and Phil Thompson could fly there first thing in the morning. I said that I’d take care of it. I’ll also ask Will Nuggent to go too. He’s a whiz at negotiations and all the legal details. I know it’s late, but I’ve got to make a few calls, Babe.”

“That’s wonderful news!” Matt responded. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“Yes actually. Would you call Frank James our Cessna pilot? Ask him to have the aircraft ready to leave at 7 AM for departure for Atlanta. If they start later than that, it will be too late for the meeting. I’ll call Will and the ‘kids’.

“Consider it done,” Matt said climbing out of bed.

Twenty minutes later, Ron hung up the bedside phone, and rolled back against Matt who had rejoined his partner 10 minutes earlier.

“It’s all taken care of,” Ron said to his partner, whose bare body lay temptingly before him.

“I can think of something else that needs taken care of my love.”

“Heh, heh,” Ron said with a wicked grin. “I wonder what that is?”

In the soft light of the room he looked at the handsome body of his partner, whose full erection left little doubt where Matt’s desires centered.

“I love you,” Ron said as he moved closer to his partner’s side and reached for his lover’s large instrument of pleasure.

“You just love little Mattie,” Matt joked with a groan as Ron’s fingers closed around his penis.

“Yeah, I love him too,” Ron admitted. “I love all the things he does to make me happy.”

“He’s here for you,” Matt offered. “He’s here and so is all that’s connected to him.”

“Yumm,” Ron said in anticipation of the next hour of loving.

                                   *         *           *           *           *