Jack Scribe

This multipart, fictional story is primarily about romance and relationships between men. Any reference to actual persons, living or dead, is only to enhance the fictional nature of the story and does not suggest a particular sexual orientation.  Any fictional characters' resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. If you are offended by graphic descriptions of homosexual sex, what the hell are you doing here? Bye, bye.

Special acknowledgements to Drew and Brad for providing diligent proofing and editing of the story.

If you have any comments or suggestions for the author, feel free to write me at Support Nifty!

Chapter 17, September Strategies and Rewards

"The first thing is to deal with the mother and boy, ah...Sylvia Brown and Billy," Jerry Sebastian said after looking over the reports and case data Monday morning. He and Dex were sitting in the AOI conference room reviewing the paper trail. "The ideal situation would be to get them out of the Chicago area and relocate them to another state."

"I asked Jon Brooks to contact Mrs. Brown. He spoke very briefly to her last Friday night and found out that she works as a housekeeper at the large downtown Hilton. Apparently she wasn't too happy about discussing the situation with a stranger but was concerned for her son. Jon's reading is that Mrs. Brown would really like justice...if that's possible...with some guarantee of safety. Stone's people were pretty intimidating that evening at the hospital." Dex leaned forward and continued, "Some of her relatives are in Atlanta and we think that she might jump at the chance to move there with Billy."

"Having a support group in Atlanta is a good alternative...if she agrees."

"Jon is going to speak with her this afternoon after her shift at the hotel. I'll pass on the information about Atlanta," Dex said as he wrote a few notes to himself.

"Let's see how the meeting goes. We could relocate them to Atlanta by the end of the week and a decent apartment in an integrated neighborhood. It's an ideal time for Billy to start school and we can transfer his records without the actual forwarding address so there'll be no trace to the new school district. Be sure she knows that the moving expenses and first couple of months' rent will be taken care of. And, we will find her a comparable job."

"Handling the expenses and providing a job will probably be the dealmaker. What else can I do at this point?"

"Sit tight for a day or so. The first thing is to get the boy and his mother out of Chicago."

"I'll be on that first thing in the morning."

"Good. Then comes the next step. Because of Toby's position, I don't want to involve him. It might just look too political. I'm going to have a meeting with a Democrat congressman who's also a member of Alpha. The board feels that the best strategy is to force Stone to resign rather than to drag this through court."

"And have this congressman speak with Stone?"

"Exactly. Very forcibly."

"I don't think that Stone is going to roll over easily. What'll happen if he rejects resigning?" Dex wanted the predator to get nailed but understood the pragmatic approach that Alpha and AOI were taking. He also thought about the downside of exposing Russ Bennett in a trial.

"Then, he'll be advised that the evidence will be taken to the Justice Department, to the Congressional Ethics Committee and to the Mayor in Chicago. Plus, it'll be suggested that the files may find their way to some conservative blogs."

"Then Fox News picks up on the rumors and runs with it?" Dex added.

"And the Chicago papers...the Trib and Sun-Times would eat this up. However, let's hope that it doesn't come to that. There's something else surfacing with a GOP congressman that's not good for gay rights and the image of gay men everywhere. We've been advised that it's being handled with people in the Speaker of the House's office...but we're not so sure it's being taken seriously. The last thing we need is a pedophile scandal to erupt involving congressmen and boys who are minors."

"And these people are running our country? Scary."

"Add into the mix the Abraham mess with which you were involved and it's not a pretty picture. Keep me posted on Jon's meeting with the mother and I'll do the same thing once I've got my end of the operation handled. Dex, you're a valuable member of our team." Jerry stood and reached out his hand as Dex did the same. "I understand that you've been completely cleared for new assignments. Let's get this one under our belt before we move forward."

"Yes, Sir. Um...would it be all right if I gave my partner, Kyle, a sketchy rundown on the 'whys' of my travels?"

"I don't have a problem with that if you don't mention names and be very vague. Obviously you don't want to involve his boss, Phil. I know you trust Kyle and he may be a candidate for Alpha someday. We all engage in some pillow talk." Jerry winked and nodded a friendly dismissal.

"I'll make sure that it's a whisper." Dex turned and left the comfortable corner office suite. 'Does Jerry have someone he talks with at night?' Dex wondered as he returned to his desk. 'His executive assistant is always nearby. Hmmm...and, he's cute, too.'


Kyle cut across P Street, dodging a Diamond cab and a black Mercedes with diplomatic plates, to spend the evening with Dex. It was shortly before 6:00 p.m. and he was sure that Dex would be home. He had already exchanged his adult uniform for jeans and tee. In one hand he carried a change of clothes for tomorrow. In the other, Kyle clinched a bottle of red wine for dinner. Tonight was London broil night.

"Hi, babe, I'm home," Kyle announced loudly when he opened the apartment door. 'Well,' he thought, 'not exactly home...but the next best thing.' He was hoping that they could seriously start looking for a 'real' home in the fall.

"I'm in the kitchen checking on the meat and marinade." Dex walked out to the entry and gave Kyle a light peck on the lips as he grabbed the bottle of wine. "Hang up your stuff and I'll open a beer for ya."

"Mmmm, that's something that sounds good. "Be back in a sec." Kyle walked back to the bedroom and stowed his work clothes for tomorrow. Being Dex's 'nurse' during the recent healing period only made them closer. He felt sure they were in a partnership for keeps. "What's in the FedEx envelope?" Dex asked when he returned to the living room. He noticed that it had an international U.K. sticker on it.

"Something from Geoff Timmons. I received it at the office this afternoon." Dex handed Kyle a bottle of Heineken's and joined him on the couch. "It's really a mystery. Check it out."

Kyle reached into the opened cardboard FedEx envelope and pulled out a letter with a key taped to it. He carefully scanned the brief, typed note while sipping his beer:

Dear Dex,

I'm delighted that you've recovered from our unplanned adventure this summer. Look forward to hopefully seeing you and your delightful friend, Kyle, in London next spring under less strenuous circumstances. Perhaps Brad Lewinthal can break away from his studies and join us.

Please take this key on Wednesday evening, 13th September, and both proceed to 1525 Q Street. Mr Scott from the Timmons Bank will meet you at 6:30 p.m. He will explain the urgency of this request and personal favour when you arrive.

Fondest regards,

"The first part is just a nice thought about us. And it appears that young Brad is still part of Geoff's life. The end is a little curious."

"Curious? That's an understatement."

"Hmmm...very cryptic, I think. But I'm game for a little suspense in our long as it doesn't end up like the last time we were involved with Timmons," Kyle said with a laugh. "I'm free if you are."

"Let's plan on leaving here around 6:00 p.m. and walk over. Whatever it is can be handled in short order and we can get some dinner afterwards." Dex took a long sip from his beer bottle and continued, "Speaking of 'cryptic,' I wanted to clear the air and let you know why I had to fly out to Chicago so abruptly on Friday. I talked to my boss and he gave me a heads up to tell you what I was doing."

"Hon, whatever you want to tell me is fine. You can trust me not to blab what we talk about. I must admit that I was curious."

"I have no doubt that whatever we talk about is between you and me...only. This is stuff I don't even share with my folks. Let me give you the scoop on what I was doing and then we can do dinner."

For the next 15 minutes, Dex ran down in very general terms the problems that they were facing with an un-named congressman. He mentioned Chicago's AOI labs were better equipped to handle the DNA samples and didn't go into any detail about the methods used to obtain the congressman's DNA.

At the end of their conversation, Kyle felt Dex had let him into his life with a deeper bonding. He was also aware that there were - and always would be - several gray areas that had emotional and professional 'do not enter' barriers attached.

They finished dinner and cleaned up the kitchen before retiring to the bedroom to watch the Washington Nationals play the Arizona Diamondbacks, televised from Phoenix. The late season game was lackluster and Dex started fidgeting by the end of the fourth inning.

"So much for our macho, stay-at-home, baseball watching," Kyle said with a laugh. They had both stripped down to their boxer briefs and lay in a relaxed, horizontal position while lazily focusing on the television screen.

"Maybe we'd best wait for the World Series." Dex turned to Kyle and placed the palm of his hand on Kyle's firm, warm stomach. He started slowly moving his fingers around Kyle's navel in a light, circular motion.

"Um, any ideas what to do in the meantime?" Kyle smiled and took Dex's hand to his mouth. He licked each digit before he sucked on the index finger. His other hand deliberately sought out Dex's warm, expanding crotch. Kyle synchronized his sucking while he maneuvered his hand under the elastic band of Dex's underwear.  With a small adjustment, he grabbed onto Dex's hardening member and started a steady stroking action.

"Babe, I think that your talent is going to waste on my fingers." Dex pulled his hand back and quickly removed his boxer briefs. He next took Kyle's briefs and eased them off. Kyle rose up to allow his CKs to depart speedily from his hips and down his legs.

"Not so fast," Kyle said. He quickly rolled over on top of Dex: his knees and elbows supporting him.  With precision, he kissed Dex's face from his forehead to his eyes to his cheeks and, finally, to his very willing lips. Without much effort, he opened Dex's mouth and inserted his reptile-like tongue: striking, probing and burrowing into a welcoming orifice. At the same time, he ground his hard, dripping cock into Dex's wet crotch. The natural lubrication eased the friction to produce very pleasant frottage stimulation. As each penis touched the other's frenulum 'G' spot under their glans, the kissing became more urgent - Kyle's body movements more deliberate. He pulled away from Dex's lips as his body continued grinding back and forth along Dex's manhood. For several minutes he looked into his lover's face as he deliberately intensified the contact of two young, virile men's throbbing hardons.

"You fucking dog...I love it. Oh, yeah...jeez, you really know how to...Christ...ahhh..." Dex started moaning as he matched with counter-movements. His hands grabbed Kyle's buttocks to steady his partner.

"Urghh," was all Kyle could growl while he urgently increased the frottage. He knew from the tension and strain of their bodies that both were within seconds of powerful ejaculations. He kept grunting and pounding away until his glutes flexed and his cock started stabbing for a grand finale.

"Do it...ah, shit," Dex yelled. His hands gripped Kyle's hard glutes as they rounded third and sprinted to home base.

"I love you...ohhh," Kyle said while he intensified the final thrusts. Within seconds, both exploded with sudden spurts of white male lava. One...two...three - each man shot out several eruptions of hot semen. Slowly, Kyle powered down his body and gently collapsed on top of Dex. He found Dex's mouth and tenderly applied feather kisses. The two men stared into each other's eyes and silently communicated a binding love that had only strengthened this evening.

"Babe, that was heaven. I love you, too...and forever." Dex kneaded Kyle's back as he accepted a continued shower of kisses.


"So you've got the ball rolling?" Dex asked Jon Brooks early Wednesday morning on the speakerphone. The meeting with Sylvia Brown had gone well two nights earlier: she was more than willing to relocate to Atlanta with her son.

~~~ "Sylvia and Billy Brown are leaving tomorrow morning. I've got our men packing their household effects as we speak."

"Is the boy reluctant about moving away from his friends and attending a new school?"

~~~ "Actually, he is relieved. This attack by Stone really did a number on his head. He looks at this as an escape from what happened to him and a new start. After we get Billy enrolled in school, however, he's going to need serious counseling."

"That's been arranged, along with pre-enrollment in The Galloway School in Atlanta. Billy is very bright and has good's the emotional scars that will take time to heal."

~~~ "Wow...Galloway...I'm impressed. That's really raising the bar for Billy. I wonder how he's going to react to attending a private school?"

"Hopefully, well. Martin Luther King III is a graduate and the school, while very liberal, is respected in the community. We have an associate who will meet the Browns when they arrive. I'll email all the details as soon as we're finished. You're handling the transcripts from Billy's middle school?"

~~~ "Yes. As you requested, the mother went to the school to notify them they were moving. The school has a forwarding address in Dallas, Texas, and the name of an accredited private school that they think he'll be attending there. Sylvia got a copy of his transcript and the Dallas school will be officially requesting that the transcript files be forwarded. Our guys in Dallas will handle re-directing the files to Atlanta once they've been received."

"Rather devious but necessary to protect Billy from any danger. We've also set up a new Social Security number for Mrs. Brown so that they can't be traced that way. And your handling the paperwork for the household effects move?"

~~~ "Done. Our team is picking up everything in our truck and will drive to a warehouse in Indiana. All-State Moving will pick up everything from there and transport it to Atlanta. Billy and Sylvia both know that they are not to mention to anyone where they are actually going. As far as neighbors and friends are concerned, they are off to big 'D'."

"I think all the bases are covered and please pass on to your team a 'well done'. I'll let Jerry Sebastian know that we can proceed with the next step. I'm sending the email with all the details about Atlanta as soon as we're finished and would appreciate you taking it from there."

~~~ "Not to worry. This whole thing is going to be pretty expensive but certainly worth it."

"Yes, very worth it. But Jerry's got some ideas about funding this move and Billy's education. I'll speak with you tomorrow after the Browns have departed. Bye."

~~~ "Until then. Bye, bye."

Dex walked over to Jerry Sebastian's office and knocked on the open door. "I've got an update concerning the family in Chicago."

"Come in and sit. I'm just finishing some correspondence." Jerry hit 'save' and closed the Word window while Dex walked over to the desk and sat down.

"Just spoke with Jon and the move is underway. The mother and son leave for Atlanta tomorrow and all the mechanics to cover their tracks appear to be in place."

"Good. Maintain close liaison with Atlanta. If everything goes as planned, they'll be in a temporary apartment by Friday and the boy can start school on Monday. I've got an appointment next week to start phase two."

"The Alpha congressman?" Dex thought he knew who the man was but didn't push when a name was not offered.

"Yes. And if all goes as expected, he'll have a serious 'come to Jesus' meeting with Stone shortly thereafter. By this time next week, we'll know what the next step will be. If he doesn't heed to the evidence and our suggestions, things will get messy. The road permanently leaving Congress is getting pretty crowded. Between the Abraham mess, Stone and some baffling emails involving another congressman and former congressional pages, this'll be a busy fall - both in terms of the season and jobs being lost."

"I'll return to my desk and continue monitoring the progress. Unless I hear from you, shall I plan on meeting with you on Friday morning?" Dex asked as he rose from the chair.

"Coffee at 8:30 a.m. unless some emergency comes up. Oh, by the way, I know you're meeting with a Mr. Scott from the Timmons Bank this evening. What he has to discuss has been reviewed by me and approved."

"Yes, Sir." Dex nodded with a puzzled smile and left the office.


The pending arrival of the equinox officially ending summer was in the air as Kyle and Dex walked along P Street to Dupont Circle. The first leaves were turning color and a few had fallen to the ground. They traversed the circle, crossed Connecticut Avenue and continued east. Both had changed into a variation of khakis, shirts and sneakers for this mysterious meeting.

"Whatever is going on between Geoff and, is not a secret as far as AOI and Jerry Sebastian is concerned. I did call the bank and found out that this guy, Scott, ah, Drew Scott, is a vice president with the bank," Dex said as he subconsciously fingered the key in his pants pocket.

"Well, buddy, we are a couple of minutes from finding out what this is all about," Kyle added.

They turned onto 16th Street and walked one block north to Q Street. They crossed over to the 'odd' number side and continued past the vintage town homes and brownstones. Over the past several years, the Dupont and Logan Circle neighborhoods had been 'yuppyfied' and 'guppyfied' in a renewal effort that had produced very attractive results. Half way down the street, they saw a tall, middle-aged man in a dark suit. He was standing next to a silver Jaguar sedan talking into a cell phone in one hand, while holding a briefcase in the other. The executive looked at the two approaching men, nodded and spoke briefly before flipping closed his cell phone.

"Dexter Tate and Kyle Blakesfield?" he asked when they were all together.

"I'm Dex and this is Kyle. You must be Mr. Scott?"

"Drew Scott...I prefer Drew if we can dispense with the formalities." He smiled, put the cell in his pocket and shook the younger men's hands. "It's a pleasure to meet the man who, um, helped out Mr. Timmons."

"You obviously are privy to the, ah, incident, Drew. I'm just happy that it worked out as it did." Dex smiled and put his hand around Kyle's waist. "I assume that you also know that this is my life partner?"

"Yes...and just starting out? I look at you and think about my relationship with my life partner, Judy, where we were 20 years ago and where we are, three sons later. The initial impression I have is that the two of you will be together for a long time."

"That is what we're working on," Kyle replied with a grin.

"Enough about relationships and so forth. You received the note and key from Geoff Timmons on Monday. I'm sure you're curious about the situation and what is being requested?"

"Especially since Mr. Sebastian is aware of this. That kind of threw me today."

"Ha. I expect it did. If you have the key with you, why don't we enter this brownstone and I'll explain." Drew pointed to the door three brick steps down from the street level and nodded for Dex and Kyle to precede him.

"This key has been burning a hole in my pocket." Dex stepped down to the old bricked entrance area in front of the brownstone and to the side of a large, exterior stone stairway. He couldn't see in the windows because of the closed, dark wood interior shutters. Dex wrinkled his brow as he slowly inserted the key into the polished brass lock. The lock disengaged. He turned the doorknob, heard the latch open and slowly swung the heavy wooden door inward.

"The light switch is on your right," Drew said from behind.

Kyle took the initiative and flipped on the lights. "Whoa...this is pretty cool."

"Cool is an understatement." Dex led the way into a foyer of black slate floors and a neutral, taupe wall covering. Basic, well-appointed furnishings dotted the layout. Forward was a carpeted stairway to the second floor. On the right was a spacious living room that had a quiet, masculine feel. Leather and upholstered over-stuffed furniture sat on spotless Berber carpeting. They walked further into the spaces, passed through a dining area and ended up in a large kitchen. The granite and limestone coexisted with the cherry wood cabinetry and stainless steel appliances.

"What are your impressions?" Drew asked.

"Excuse me, err...I've just got to say, 'holy fuck.' This is incredible. I hope that doesn't offend you?"

"I've heard worse," Drew chuckled. "But I think 'holy fuck' is an apt exclamation."

"Okay, I'm a little confused. What are we doing in this gorgeous brownstone?" Kyle asked.

"And whose place is this?" Dex looked around and mentally inventoried the surroundings.

"Valid questions. That's what we need to resolve...and attend to the personal favor and request of Geoff Timmons. We - the Timmons Bank - own this two-story, three-bedroom unit and four, small one-bedroom apartments above. Mr. Timmons and his father, Sir Geoffrey, would be most grateful if the two of you would consider managing this brownstone for the bank. In return for these services, the Timmons' family has authorized me to offer this apartment for your use as long as you would like."

Dex's mouth dropped open and he immediately sat down on one of the chairs in the kitchen. "You mean that we get this apartment long?"

"The agreement is in your name, Dex, and says 'in perpetuity.' You two are, what, in your late-20's? I think that you could look at this as your home for a long, long time." Drew smiled and joined Dex at the table. "Kyle, sit down so we can review what Geoff and his dad have in mind."

"There's an old saying, um, how does it go...if a deal is too good to be real, it probably isn't. I mean this place has to be at least, um, 1500 square feet?"

"Actually, it's closer to 2,200, plus the back patio. The two upstairs bedrooms, den and lavatories are quite spacious. To answer your earlier question, Geoff Timmons got Jerry Sebastian involved so that there would be no misunderstanding that this was any sort of unacceptable gift. I've been assured that there is precedent for this in AOI.  The bank will continue to own the building and be responsible for maintenance, taxes, etcetera. Just consider the rent you would pay as waived for services rendered."

"I am humbled. What I did was in the line of duty...nothing more," Dex said as he reached over to hold Kyle's hand. "And the value of the rent boggles the mind. I mean, look...something like this would fetch, um, around $4,000 a month?"

"Actually, it's a little more...but that's not the point," Drew countered.

"You said that there is precedent for this with AOI?" Dex's reaction had gone from numbness to initial reasoning.

"On two occasions, I'm told. In each instance, the AOI man rescued the client from certain death. Please understand that when someone has the resources, the value of life is limitless. Mr. Sebastian also said that the arrangements were kept confidential. So if we go forward, only Mr. Sebastian's office, certain Timmons officials and you will know the actual details of this, ah, situation."

"It's just a little overwhelming. Ah, a half-hour ago we were in Dex's nice bachelor pad. Now, I'm in a friggin' fantastic apartment right in the middle of our favorite neighborhood that might be our new home." Kyle returned the hand squeeze and continued, "It's just that, um, well,'s so sudden. I feel like the frog getting kissed by the princess...make that prince," he added with a shy smile.

"You mentioned 'agreement.' I assume that you brought all the legal documents with you?" Dex looked at Drew with a combination of intrigue and curiosity.

"I'm indeed the messenger." Drew opened his briefcase and pulled out several sheathed legal documents. "We can review these, if you wish. It's basic legalese for what we've discussed."

"I'll take your word for it. As Kyle said, this is very sudden...I need to review the papers and discuss this with my partner...alone. Could he and I have some privacy to do a walk-through and figure out your generous proposal?"

"Yes, absolutely. And we can amend anything that doesn't appear satisfactory. However, I think you'll find everything in order." Drew pushed the contracts towards Dex and added, "The caveat that you are not to mention this arrangement to anyone is in the agreement. As far as anyone is concerned, this is an apartment you are renting with a 'consideration' for your duties as the building manager."

"I would certainly agree to that. Please understand that we need time to determine the impact on our lives. Whatever the case, we'll keep this quiet."

"My lips are sealed. Out of curiosity, would we have to be Mr. Fix-it if a tenant had a problem?" Kyle asked. "Handy, I'm not."

"That's what the Yellow Pages are for." Drew smiled and added, "Actually, there's a complete list of vendors and professional trades you would use. They bill the bank directly for services after you approve the invoice."

"Okay, here's what I propose. I assume that you have no problem with us spending some time, by ourselves, in the apartment to inspect it and talk over the ramifications of the Timmons' generosity?" Dex felt a certain degree of comfort coming from his internal debate.

"None, whatsoever. Trust is a given." Drew took two of the three agreement copies and put them back in his briefcase. "I'll hold on to the other copies while you sort this out."

"Then, here is what I propose. Kyle and I will carefully review the agreement and what this all means. I'll get back to you by Friday morning with an answer either way. Is that all right?"

"I have no objections. You're taking a mature, careful approach to this very unusual arrangement. Let me give you the code for the alarm system so that it can be engaged when you leave later on. Now, I'm off to my family and you'll have a chance to take an extended tour of the place. Although it's getting dark, you can check out the patio by switching on the lights by the back door. Be sure and see the master bath...the shower is spectacular." Drew stood and concluded, "Let's touch base on Friday...or call me if you have any other questions. This is a heartfelt token of thanks on behalf of a most grateful Timmons family and comes with no strings attached. Mr. Sebastian was assured of that."

"Drew, thanks for understanding my initial reluctance." Dex stood, stepped forward and instinctively hugged the older banker. "Whatever our decision, it will not have a bearing on our friendship with Geoff."

Kyle followed with a double-clasped handshake. "This is a very important moment in our lives. There's a lot to sort out."

"I understand," Drew added. "We'll talk Friday, if not before."

The two younger men watched their benefactor's 'messenger' walk away and out to the front door. Silently, Dex and Kyle held hands and slowly walked back to the hallway.

"Buddy, let's really check this place out." Dex turned on the stairway lighting and motioned for Kyle to take the lead up to the second floor. "I'm still stunned by this offer."

"You have to feel comfortable with the situation before we discuss anything," Kyle said as he approached the upstairs landing in the center of the floor.

"So if I can rationalize this, you might be in favor of moving in?" Dex put his arm around Kyle's shoulder and gently kissed him on the cheek.

"My apartment is just a collection of hand-me-downs that my roommate and I got from our families. Except for a few things that I consider a link to my past, I could get outta there in a fast, New York minute." Kyle grinned and continued, "And my roomie would love the full-time privacy with his girlfriend."

"My place...well, almost 'ours', is functional...nothing more. It's like we're driving down the street in a used Toyota, we blink twice, and all of a sudden the vehicle becomes a Lexus."

"Babe, I don't think that a Lexus is bad." Kyle shrugged and added, "Even if it is an 'LS'. This apartment has the basics - albeit pretty nice - but it would be fun to add personal touches to really make it 'our' place."

"Got your point. Um, let's continue the tour." Dex visually scanned the second floor layout. From what he could tell, each end of the floor had a bedroom. 'The room in front of us is probably the den,' he decided. Instinctively, he turned to the rear bedroom. "I think this must be the master cuz it's away from the street and has a view down to the backyard." He again grabbed Kyle's hand and walked to the doorway. Inside was a king bed with an upholstered headboard, double chest of drawers, and a 42" plasma flat-screen mounted on the wall amongst the rest of a normal bedroom setup. "This is something I could get into."

"Correct, Sir. This is fan-fuckin'-tastic." They entered the spacious room and stood by the foot of the large bed. "Come on, I wanna check out this famous bathroom."

"As long as we don't take a shower...tonight," Dex said with a chuckle as they walked past a large walk-in closet. He reached inside the darkened adjoining doorway and turned on the lights. Marble, porcelain and brushed stainless glistened in a layout that would have been at home in Architectural Digest. However, the shower with the six showerheads arranged at varying angles was a signature masterpiece of design.

"Let's look over the rest of the place and go back down to the kitchen. We need to do some soul-searching."