The Strathmore's


Randy Howard2

Chapter 25


This is a work of fiction. The names are no way real or to be associated with anyone alive or dead.  This is copyrighted, and belongs to me.  No one is to copy this without my written permission. 


I would like to thank my friend Bill H. for his editing of this chapter and creative input also.


From Chapter 24 ...


"Can I get you anything else," the stewardess asks Jeanne.

"No thank you I fine," she says as she tilts her seat back. "What time do we land in Madrid," she asks.

"Well if all goes well 11:15 am their time," she tells her.

Jeanne relaxes back and her thoughts drift around in her mind, and she finds her thoughts on David.

`I had to kill him to protect you my brother, for I know you will not let it go.  I know you have set your hounds to seek out the babies' father, knowing that you would seek your revenge for what he did to me.  So now you are safe my love and my babies also.'

She falls to sleep and her dreams drift to Max and his pleases of mercy, and she shudders at how her father's evil side has surfaced in her.  She sees Max's eyes as he looks into hers as he gives up his life at her hands.  She cries out to God for mercy and forgiveness, as she moans out in despair.

"Ms Cooper, wake up," the stewardess says as she gently shakes her awake.  "You were having a bad dream."

"Oh forgive me," she says as she sits her seat upright.  "I get those from time to time.  They are a left over from my childhood I surmise," and she wipes the sweat from her brow, as the stewardess offers her a cup of tea.


Mitch sits in the dark of his room and stares out of the window, and holds a gun in his hand.  The tears run down his face as he contemplates his decision, and brings the gun slowly up to his head.



"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking.  We have encountered some problems with engine one and have had to shut it down.  At this time we can still fly safely to our closes airport but I have turned on the seatbelt sign."

"Mike there's a problem with number two engine now," the co-pilot says as he looks with fear at the pilot.

"Fuck we have to shut that one also, but I don't think we can make New York before we do," he says as he searches his options.


"Tyler call 911 quick," Brian yells as he bursts through the front door.

Chapter 25 ...

"Mike we have a private airport listed in Mayville New York," Lee the co-pilot says as he searches his maps.

"That we can make," he says.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to make an emergency landing in Mayville New York. Please prepare for an emergency landing as instructed when you first began this trip."

The passengers put up all trays and seats, as the stewardess' picked up all the loose articles.  Jeanne sat there wondering if this was how she would end her life, as she feels the plane start it's decent, and the passengers lean their heads forward towards their lap.  The plane quickly approaches the lighted runway and soon the wheels touch down.


Joshua woke with a start and sat upright in bed, as his thought focused on Mitch.  He looks at his cell phone and picks it up, and he notices it has one new message.  He punches in his code and listens to the message that Mitch has left him.

"Josh I'm sorry for my past and I will do whatever you wish of me but just come back to me please. I know about your past with Clay babe, and I am nothing like him, I love you and I just want you to come back to me, and I going to quit my job."

He dials Mitch's number and it rings, and he gets the answering machine.

"Mitch babe, this is me and I want to make us work," he says to the machine.  "Please pick this up if you can hear me," and Mitch picks up the phone as he cries hard into the receiver, and Josh cries along with him.

"I'm so sorry Josh for the pain I've caused you and I will do whatever you ask of me, but just come back to me love."

"Mitch come and get me babe, I need you so badly, and my heart breaks for you.  I was wrong to judge you as I did Clay, we can work this out my love."

"I'm on my way lover, just wait for me," and they hang up and Mitch looks at his gun.  He goes over to his dresser and puts it back into his drawer from where he got it, and rushes off to get his love.


"What's wrong Brian," Tyler yells out as he hangs up the phone.

"It's David, he's hung himself in the barn," he says and Tyler collapses on the floor.

"Tyler babe," Brian yells out as he tries to revive him, and he slowly starts to come to. "He's alive but just barely, the rope must have broken," he says as the sounds of the siren approach. 

They run out to the barn and Bret is holding David, and his color is blue and his breathing shallow.

"Don't you dare leave me," Bret cries as the paramedics rush in, and they are followed by Tyler and Brian.

They examine David and put him on a stretcher, and they place an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose.  One paramedic looks up at the other, as he points to the rope mark on his neck.

"The fall must have crushed his wind pipe; we're going to have to do a tracheotomy."  They radio the hospital and a doctor talks them through the procedure, and he starts to breath again once it is done. 

"Oh God why was I so cruel and unforgiving to him," Bret cries into Tyler's holding arms.

"Listen child, this isn't your fault, he chose to do this, and you had nothing to do with it."

"Yes I did Ty, I told him to move out of our bedroom, and that I may not ever be able to forgive him.  And that was just after I told him that I would be able to work through with him anything he did."

"Well some things are harder to accept than others, and cheating is the hardest of all."

"What's going on in there," Josh asks Brian at the barn door.

"David tried to commit suicide son," he tells him and Josh goes white as snow.

"Not David, he's so strong," and his eyes fill with tears. "Is he going to be all right," he asks.

"We don't know yet, but we pray that he will."

"Babe what's wrong," Mitch asks as he comes up behind them and takes Josh into his arms.

"It's David, he tried to commit suicide," he tells him.

"I'm taking him away from this," Mitch says to Brian, who nods then goes into the barn.  "It had to be the guilt he was dealing with."

Josh asks about how he knew about that and Mitch explains everything to him, and he cries as he tells him it all.

"One thing I want you to know Josh, before you say another word.  I have never and will never lie to you. I have always told you the truth, even if it meant I might loose you.  So I hope that if nothing else proves my love for you, that alone should show you how much I love you."

"Thank you Mitch for being truthful with me, and can you forgive me for judging you," he asks looking into Mitch's eyes.

"I have nothing to forgive you for love, but I do have something to tell you.  I want you to know this before I bring you home, because once I bring you into my house it will no longer be mine.  The moment you step foot into that house again, it will forever become ours."

"Whatever path our love takes Mitch, I'll be there with you," Josh says as Mitch goes quiet and then starts to speak.

"Tonight when you called me I was so distraught, that I had a gun to my head," and Josh puts his hands to his mouth.  "I was about to pull the trigger when I heard your sweet voice on the answering machine, and I put down my gun and started to cry.  Then when you told me you loved me and that you wanted to make it work, I grabbed the phone with joy in my heart."

 "Take me home to our house babe," Josh says as he slides over to sit next to his love.  "I love you Mitch and I give my heart to you, but most of all I trust you with it."


Once inside the terminal Jeanne fades into the shadows, and she slips out of a door into the streets.  She hails a cab down and gets into the back seat.

"Take me to the closes Hotel," she tells the cabby.

"Quite a commotion going on over there," he says to her.

"Yeah I wonder what that is all about," she says thankful to be out of the limelight.

With a near crash there would be news people all over the place, and she didn't want her face on the television or in the papers.  As the drive towards town she sees a Channel 3 news truck heading towards the airport, and she is thankful she got out when she did.

"Gotta be something big for Channel 3 to be heading there," he says to her.  "You didn't see anything while you were there," he asks.

"No I came in earlier and got myself something to eat so I must have missed whatever it was."

"Here you go, it doesn't look like much but the rooms are clean and decent, and the staff is friendly," he says as she hands him a twenty and tells him to keep it.  "Gee thanks ma'am."

She goes inside and gets herself a room, and watches the news that is on the television.

"Almost had a plane crash tonight," an elderly gent says to her.  "How can I help you," he asks.

"I'd like a room for the night," she says.  "I have a flight in the morning so I would like a wake up call for seven please."

"Were you on that flight Miss Cooper," he asks as he reads the register.

"No I came in on another flight thank God," she says.

She gets to her room and she collapses on the bed, and she soon falls asleep.


David is rushed into the operating room, and Dr. Marks comes down to see Bret.  He explains to the doctor just what has gone on, and they discuss what is going to happen now.

"He is going to go ballistic when he realizes he is in that ward again," Bret says remembering the past.  "God I know I will be the blame for this also."

"Listen Bret, he brought this on himself," Tyler says.  "I know he may call me dad but he is one spoiled fucking kid."

"But he's my spoiled kid Ty and I love him."

"I know you do babe, but sometimes we have to give those we love what they call tough love, he knows how to manipulate you Bret."

"He's right about tough love Bret," Dr. Marks says to him.  "David has this need to be the center and let life revolve around him.  When it doesn't revolve his way he becomes unnerved and lashes out in what ever way he can.  This tonight is most unusual though for even those of David's type though."

"How long will he have to be in the hospital," he asks the doctor.

"Well state law demands a thirty day evaluation period unless deemed sane earlier."

"God thirty days without seeing him, I don't think I could do that again."

"Oh you may see him whenever you like, as long as it doesn't disturb his sessions."

"And Mr. O'Malley, your sister is due to arrive tomorrow," he tells Brian.  "I will be evaluating her and send my evaluation to the courts, both in Texas and Massachusetts."

"When may her family be allowed to see her," Brian asks.

"Well lets see, she will arrive tomorrow, be evaluated on Wednesday, I would surmise that Thursday or later would be good."

"She hasn't seen her boys since the shooting and they are anxious to see her also."

"Well I have your number and I will let you know about visitations Brian."

He leaves and they wait to hear about David's condition, and Bret doesn't agree with the doctor.

"I know what Dr. Marks is saying about tough love and all, but I don't think I could do that with David."

"Bret listen to yourself, you are doing just what David wants you to do, and he wants you to think he is the victim here.  He knows that you will feel sorry for him and come running with your arms wide open, and take him back without him having to beg or even consider the consequences of his actions."

"I know you are right but I love him so much, and I don't want to loose him at all."

"So you have to give up being you and have no feelings that can be hurt, just to keep him, well honey that's not love that's slavery."

The doctor comes in to update them on David's condition and he smiles as he approaches.

"Well he was lucky that the rope broke because he would have died otherwise.  His windpipe was severely damaged but we were able to repair it, and he should be good as new physically in a few weeks.  He won't be able to speak until he has healed, but I see no complications there as well."

"Thank you doctor, will we be able to see him," Bret asks.

"Once he is moved from recovery, he will be taken to the psyche ward for observation.  You will have to talk to his attending doctor there to schedule a visit.  Well if you will excuse me I have other patients to attend to," he says and leaves.

"Bret you want my opinion," Brian who has held his tongue through all this says.  "I would recommend that you go home until Dr. Marks calls you."

"Oh God Brian, David will think I don't care about him," Bret says as he starts to well up.

"Let him think about what he has done, and what it may have cost him."

"Brian's right love, and I love David dearly, but he has to be held accountable for his actions," Tyler says.

"I don't know who this is going to be harder on, me or David," Bret says as they get up to leave.

"You know Bret; once he is recovered fully make him woo you back.  Have him date you again and gain your trust again, and then become lovers."

Bret sits and considers what he has been told, and then he rises and looks at them both.

"Take me home guys; I'm going to give David a taste of his own medicine.  Just do me one favor though."

"Anything love," Tyler says giving him a hug.

"Talk me out of it if I become weak and fall back into my old ways."

"I'll bitch slap you into the next millennium," Brian says laughing.

They take him home and he comes into the house, and it's quiet without David there.

"Stop looking for him and get on with your life," he thinks to himself.  "You have four children upstairs that need their daddy."


"Danny can I speak to you for a moment," Mitch asks.

"Sure son what's up, you look serious," Dan says.

"I am Dan, I'm quitting my job immediately," he says as Dan comes around his desk.

"What do you mean your quitting, you can't quit kid I need you," he says sharply.

"I'm sorry Dan but I can't do this kind of work any longer."

"Listen to me you ungrateful piece of shit, you will not only still work for me, but you will also be my bitch," he says grabbing Mitch's crotch.

Mitch backs away from Dan as his face goes white with fear.

"Dan please I can't do this," and he turns to walk out.

"You walk out that door kid I will turn your ass in to the police for your crimes," Dan says as Mitch freezes in his tracks.  "I thought you would see things my way," Dan says as Mitch turns to him.

"That may have worked on David Strathmore Dan, but I have enough on you also to put you away for a long, long time," and he turns and walks out.


The phone rings in Jeanne's room to wake her up, and she asks that a taxi be called.  Twenty minutes later a taxi pulls up, and she gets in and it takes her to the airport.  She goes into the terminal and up to the airline window of the airline she flew in on the day before.

"I wish to continue my flight to Madrid please, I was on the flight that made an emergency landing yesterday," she tells them and gives them her ticket.

"We had looked for you yesterday Ms. Cooper," the attendant says.

"I was so upset I just grabbed a taxi to a hotel for the night."

"Well we're glad you are fine and will be glad to book you on the next flight which by the way is now boarding at gate 21," she says.

"What about my luggage from yesterday?"

"That will be transferred as well; most of yesterday's guests are on this flight as well."

She hustles down to gate 21, and they are just finishing the final boarding call.  She gives them her boarding pass and boards then finds her seat.  Twenty minutes after takeoff she leans her seat back to rest.

"Are you heading to Madrid also," the charming young man says to her.

"Yes I am," she says letting the conversation drop.

"The name's Kyle Jameson," he says. "I'm heading back home also."

"That's nice for you Kyle," she says again adding nothing to the conversation but he doesn't let it drop.

"Do I detect a bit of Texas in your voice," and now she is very annoyed.

"Listen Kyle you may be a perfectly good young man, but I have had the worst last twenty four hours and only wish to sleep," she says snapping at the man.

"I'm sorry miss that was very insensitive of me, I will not disturb you any longer," he says pleasantly.

She lays there now quite unable to sleep, for she feels guilty for snapping at him.  She sits her seat up and glances at him, and notices how handsome he is.

"Listen Kyle I'm sorry for snapping at you, the name's Jeanne Marie Cooper," she says as his faces lights up when she talks.

"That's all right Jeanne; my mother always says I am way too talkative," he says and then smiles.

"You have a beautiful smile Kyle," she says as she pats his hand.  "So where in Spain do you live," she asks. 

"I live with my folks in Madrid; my dad is a liaison for the state department."

"So what do you do," she asks.

"I'm an architect in Madrid at the moment.  What about you, do you work?"

"No I'm independently wealthy," she says laughing.  "Seriously I'm a school teacher but I took my trust fund and decided to make a clean start somewhere new."

They chat for most of the flight and exchange cell phone numbers as the pilot announces that they are approaching Madrid Barajas Airport.

"Thank you Kyle for a lovely flight," Jeanne says as she kisses his cheek.

"No thank you for being such a gracious listener," he says as he lifts her hand and kisses it.  "May I call you and take you out for dinner some evening," he asks.

"I would be insulted if you didn't," she says and loves the way he blushes.  "I'm staying at the Melia Castilla Hotel," she tells him as they touch down.

They claim their luggage and he offers her a ride.

"Kyle I couldn't impose on you like that," she says.

"It would not be an imposition at all," he says.

"Well I would like that then if you do not mind."

They walk to his car that is parked in the long term parking area, and he puts her luggage in the trunk.

"You have a very beautiful city here, and yes it is Texas you detected in my accent."

"Do you speak Spanish at all or just your native English," he asks.

"No I'm fluent in both why," she asks.


"It's very helpful to be fluent in Spanish in Madrid, especially when dealing with the peasants."

"Please don't refer to the less fortunate as that Kyle, it really upsets me to hear them called that."

"Forgive me Jeanne, but they have been called that as long as I can remember," he says looking into her eyes.  "Well here is your hotel my dear, and I will be calling you soon."

"Thank you Kyle for the ride," she says as he takes her luggage from the trunk.

A bellhop comes out to take her luggage, and she offers her hand to say goodbye.  He takes her and places it on his waist and kisses her softly on her lips.  She wraps her arms around his neck and she opens her mouth some to let his tongue in.


"My God Kyle you can kiss," she says as she gasps for air.

"Until next we meet Jeanne," he says as he gets in his car and drives away.

She checks into her hotel and the bellhop escorts her to her room.  She tips him grandly and she flops on the bed.

"Get a grip girl," she says aloud, as she still reels from Kyle's kiss.  "It was only a kiss."

She gets up and plugs her laptop into the internet hookup and quickly brings up the internet version of the Dallas Post newspaper.  She scans the front page and her eyes freeze as she finds a story that hits home.


Local billionaire David Strathmore tried to commit suicide last evening at his home.  Although at the time of press the details were still hazy, his condition is still unknown.

"David why, what have you been doing," she asks aloud as she reads the story.  She starts to send off an email to Bret and ask about David, and then hits cancel when she changes her mind.  "This smells of you David, I'm not going to bite this time," she says as she closes her laptop and her room phone rings.

"Hello," she says.

"Hello beautiful," Kyle says and she lights up.  "How about dinner at six tonight," he says.

"You're a fast mover aren't you Kyle," she says to him.

"When one finds a perfect jewel, they go after it."

"Six is good handsome, I'm room 1164," she tells him.

She's dancing on air as she hangs up and she heads to the shower.  It's almost five thirty when she is ready to go. A knock on the door makes her heart race and jump, and she quickly goes to answer it.

"Who is it," she calls out although she knows and he softly answers her back.

"It's your handsome prince coming to rescue you from boredom my fair princess."

She opens the door and Kyle is standing there holding a dozen red roses.

"These pale to your beauty Jeanne," he says as he enters and gives her a kiss.

"Thank you for the roses Kyle, although you didn't have to do this."

"We have reservations at the Restaurante Santceloni for six in a private dining room."

"Even the name sounds expensive," she says.

He slips on her shawl as they leave to go to dinner.  The restaurant is as glamorous as its name, and they are escorted to their private dining room as soon as they arrive.

"Kyle you make me feel like Cinderella going to the ball," she says as he holds her chair.

"Jeanne I have never been so taken by a woman before. You have completely stolen my heart and that is not an easy thing to do with me," he tells her.  "Just these last few hours since we met I feel that I have known you my entire life."

"You are so easy and enjoyable to be with Kyle, and I also have felt that same presence when I am with you."

"Do you plan on making Madrid your home or are you just passing through as they say," he asks.

"I'm still not sure where I want to live yet.  I have a home in Texas but for the time being I don't care to live there for reasons I will keep to myself.  But if Madrid is your home I

could find myself easily staying."


"David don't speak because you can't right now. Your injury to your neck has damaged your vocal chords as well.  So I will ask you questions that can be answered with a yes or no nods do you understand me," and David nods yes that he understands Dr. Marks.

He lies there as tears fill his eyes, and the shame of his deed hits him hard.

"Do you know where you are David," and he nods yes to the doctor.  "Good David, do you know why you are here," he asks again and he nods no.  "Well you tried to kill yourself and we both know that now don't we," and he nods yes.  "Did you really want to die or was it a ploy to get your way with Bret," and David gets agitated at the statement and nods no.  "So you really wanted to die then," and he again nods yes.  "Is it because you cheated on Bret and he asked you to move out," and his tears now flow freely as he nods yes.  "Are you wondering where Bret is," and he nods yes quickly.  "He has been here all the while you were in surgery and recovery David.  But he has gone home because he feels you need to be accountable for your actions, do you feel that he is right in his belief," and he slowly nods yes.

David turns his head as he cries, and the doctor leaves him to cry.

`I'm so sorry Bret for the pain I have caused you,' he says to himself in his mind.  "Please find it in your heart to forgive me for what I am about to do,' and his heart monitor beeps loudly as the line goes flat.

To be continued ...

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