DISCLAIMER: This story is fiction and all use of celebrities are only my odd interruption of what I think their lives should be not what they are truly. This story contains graphic depictions of males engaging in consensual sex. Please do not remove from Nifty without obtaining permission from the author.

Thanks to everyone for supporting Nifty and it's many authors.




Into this world Little boy brave Charity heart Faithfully prays Heal the scars Unto his eyes Salvage the goodness Of dreams never lived Dreams never died Again and again Again and again Haunted by the love of a child R.Beach

"You got mail"

Gabriel Foster looked over at his laptop as the musical sound invaded the quiet apartment. Knowing that sound could mean only one thing; he placed the book on the table next to him.

For a moment he stared at the black box, trying to decide if he should answer it. It had only been a week since his last assignment and he had not quite recovered from his stint in Japan. But he also realized that he would not have been contacted if it weren't important. Shaking his head, he stood up and walked over to the table.

Pushing his glasses further up on his face, he opened the notebook. Clicking on the new mail, he read the address. Shaking his head, he opened the email.

Walking across his apartment, he grabbed a bottle of water from the refrigerator. Taking a big swig, he sat down in front of the laptop and read the message.

It simply said, "Urgent. Contact me as soon as possible."

"I bet it is." He stated sarcastically as he clicked on the hyperlink.

An instant message flashed. "Robert, how are you doing?"

"Cut with the bullshit." He muttered as he typed. "Fine Mehmet and you?"

"I heard you had some trouble in Tokyo. Are you alright?"

"Like you fucking care." He snarled loudly. Gulping the rest of the water, he flexed his arm. A sharp pain shot through his shoulder, it was still covered in a purplish bruise from where some soldier had hit him with the butt of a rifle. Wincing he typed, "I'll live."

"I know it's really soon. But a situation has risen and I need your services again."

"I bet you do." He muttered. "What's the situation?"

"A certain Senator has poked his head into one of my side projects. He's beginning to be a hassle."

"Side projects. Probably your drug running." He sighed as he wished for the hundredth time that he did not have to work for such men. "Warn him off. A Senator is bad news for everyone concerned."

"I've tried to warn him off. He didn't get the hint. I need him erased."

Scratching his chin thoughtfully, he typed, "Who's the mark?"

"Senator Elias Hutchinson. I'm sending you his file."

"Wow." Gabriel mused. Senator Hutchinson was the forerunner on the war against drugs. He was well known to be a strong advocate for harsher drug laws. It was believed that he could be a strong candidate in the future for a run at Presidency. It would be suicide to try and eliminate him.

"A most difficult assignment. Have all other avenues been exhausted?" Gabriel asked his brow furrowing deeply.

Beeping twice, the printer started spitting out the Senator's file along with several pictures of him. Studying the pictures, Gabriel looked back at the screen.

"I assure you, there is no other alternative. I also sent you his itinerary. He is due to arrive in Hershey Pa in four days time."

"Fuck me." Gabriel mouthed. His contractor had no idea that Gabriel made his home in Harrisburg, only fifteen minutes away from chocolate town USA. One of his many rules was that he would never take a job in his own backyard. Never risk losing his identity or his place in the community.

Trying to bluff his way out of it, he typed, "That doesn't leave me much time."

"I know it's short notice. But the fee is doubled."

"Doubled huh. He must really be a pain in your ass." Gabriel said with a smile. "Tempting but I have to decline."


"Damn right I'm sure. This job is a suicide mission." He spat to the laptop. "It is an inconvenient time for me. I have another offer." He lied.

"This is your last chance."

"Fuck you." He said with a grin. "I understand. I won't interfere."

Gabriel disconnected the link without waiting for a reply. He knew that he would be getting no more contracts from Mehmet anymore. He would have to find another contractor; if he even stayed in the business.

Closing the notebook, he stood up and stretched his lean frame. Raising his arms over his head, he winced in pain. His shoulder was healing, but it would be stiff for weeks yet.

Scratching his stomach absently, he walked back over and sat down again. Smiling faintly, he picked up the book and continued reading. Maybe it was time for him to quit after all.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Where the hell are we?" Justin Timberlake shouted out to Lance absently as he concentrated on his game of Max Payne.

Lance's deep southern drawl filtered back from the front of the bus, "Hershey."

"Pennsylvania?" Justin fired back.

"Yes." Lance replied, the aggravation showing in his voice as he shouted back. Turning his attention back to Jc, he stated blandly, "He never listens."

Jc smiled. This was a game that had been going on between Lance and Justin from the beginning. No matter how many times Lance would say something, Justin always made him repeat it just one more time.

Jc offered with a grin, "You know he does it on purpose now, don't you?"

"I could believe that." Lance intoned. "He will always be the kid no matter how old he gets."

Laughing, Jc added, "And you will always try to take care of him."

"At least you both know your places." Joey said, opening one eye to peer at them from where he had been napping on the couch.

"I thought you were sleeping." Lance accused him.

"I WAS." Joey said, emphasizing every syllable loudly. "But between you and the curly headed freak back there, its damn near impossible."

Jc smiled as he picked up his book again. Yawning loudly, he covered his mouth with one hand. He was tired, they were all tired. It had been an exhausting last few months. But luckily, they only had four more shows before the end of their Celebrity Tour.

And they were getting four days off before they had to appear in Hershey. Jc smiled as he thought about four days of relaxation at the famous Hershey Hotel overlooking the amusement park. He always had fun when they played Hershey. Maybe it was Hershey Park; they all loved riding the roller coasters and generally acting like idiots.

Suddenly Jc spoke, "Hey, I hear they have two new coasters at the park this year."

Joey's face brightened, rubbing his hands together like a three-year-old, "Good, maybe Justin will get sick again."

The three of them laughed as they remembered two years earlier when Justin had stayed out too late the night before they went to the park. After riding the Super Dooper Looper, Justin lost his lunch, his car keys, and his dignity in front of hundreds of people.

"Hey Justin." Lance called out.

"What." Justin yelled back, completely involved in the game.

"Are you up for Hershey Park this year?" Lance said, amusement in his deep voice. "They have two new coasters you can christen."

They didn't get to hear his remark, as Chris's voice rang out from the sleeping compartment, "Will you guys shut the fuck up? I'm trying to sleep you know."

They could hear Justin giggling in the back and Joey jumped up from the couch and ran to Chris's bunk. Jumping up in bed with him, he started tickling him mercilessly, the entire time saying, "Are you trying to sleep now?"

"Get off me you fat ass." Chris tried to scream, but it came out in little giggles. "I mean it."

Lance looked at Jc and they started laughing as they heard the string of explicatives that came from Chris's bunk. Hearing a loud thwack, Lance looked back in time to see Joey being thrown out of the bunk. Seconds later, Chris's head appeared.

Looking down, he snarled, "I hope that hurt."

Joey was rubbing his head as he stared at Chris's smiling face, "It did."

"Don't let him fool ya." Justin called out. "He's got nothing up there to hurt."

Chris and Joey locked eyes, both of them grinning madly. Having a conversation with just their eyes, Chris jumped down quietly. Helping Joey to his feet, they took off towards the back of the bus yelling like madmen.

Lance and Jc heard the high pitch squeal of Justin as the older two ambushed him. They heard Justin screaming something about it not being funny and Joey declaring loudly that it was.

Jc went back to his book, shaking his head. He heard sounds of something breaking and then several heavy thuds. Then silence.

Lance asked, "What do you think they broke this time?"

Without looking up from his book, Jc stated, "Probably something expensive. They never break anything cheap."

"I hear that." Lance added.

They heard some quiet whispering before they made out, "Fuck, you broke it fat ass."

Joey immediately defended himself; "I didn't do it. Chris is the one who threw the pillow."

"I didn't do it." Chris denied innocently. "Justin is the one who blocked it."

"Now what am I going to do for the next two hours." Justin declared as he walked up the tiny hallway towards the lounge.

"Read a book." Joey offered from the back.

"You could write a letter to your family." Chris countered.

"Oh I know." Joey said through a fit of laughter. "You could make us some sandwich's."

Justin stormed up the hall and flopped down on the couch across from Jc. Lance picked up a magazine and thumbed through the pages, a bored look on his face. Justin looked first at Lance, than at Jc, than back at Lance.

"Aren't you even going to ask what we broke?" Justin asked with a smile. Another game the two played frequently.

"No." Lance stated.

"Why not?"

"Cause it sounded like it was something of yours." Lance stated blandly, his face neutral.

Jc chuckled loudly and Justin shot him a look but the affect was ruined as Jc was still reading his book silently. Lance smiled sweetly at Justin and resumed looking at the magazine, humming softly.

Justin pouted like a little child and than suddenly broke out laughing. Jc looked at him with a questioning look.

"You know what." Justin said through his laughter.

"What?" Jc asked, putting his book down.

"I'm too old to be pouting." Justin stated. Jc and Lance looked at each other than back at Justin, both of them confused.

"What the hell are you talking about?" Lance asked.

"Nothing." Justin said with a wave of his hand.

"Lance, could you come back here a second." Chris called out.

Lance stood up and started down the hallway. Stopping when he heard the giggles from the back, he called out, "Not this time. Just how stupid do you take me for?"

Joey appeared around the corner, his hands spread wide, "No, seriously, we have to talk to you about something."

Lance gave him a look and Joey restated, "Seriously, we aren't gonna do anything."

Justin watched as Lance disappeared. Looking over at Jc, he absently bit his finger. Jc was absorbed in his book, not paying attention to him. He had to smile, Jc's lips moved as he read, his brow furrowed deep in concentration.

After a few minutes, Jc asked, "What do you want Just?"

Smiling, Justin shrugged his shoulders.

"Then why are you staring at me?" Jc said, still looking down at the book.

"How did you know I was staring at you?"

"I can feel your eyes on me." Jc said, finally putting the book down. "Now what do you want?"

"I'm not sure." Justin said, struggling with the words. "Don't you miss?"

Jc looked at him expectantly, when Justin didn't finish he asked, "Do I miss what?"

Leaning back in the couch, Justin waved his hand, "Forget it. It's nothing."

Knowing that Justin wouldn't say anything until he was ready, Jc started reading again. Justin toyed with the cushion, lost in thought. Much to Jc's dismay, he started drumming on the soft fabric.

He let it go for awhile before saying, "Why don't you go back there and play a game?"

"I can't, Chris broke the X-box." Justin informed him loud enough for Chris to hear him in the back.

"I did not." Chris called out.

"So your bored now." Jc said, wiping his eyes sleepily.

"I guess." Justin said with a shrug. "Is that book any good?"

"I'm not sure. I keep getting interrupted." Jc said evenly. Just a hint of amusement in his soft voice.

"Than lets talk." Justin said, his blue eyes pleading.

"Okay. Shoot."

"Uh." Justin tried to think of a topic but nothing came to mind. "Fuck it, I'm going to bed."

"Good sleep." Jc said with a smile. Justin mumbled as he made his way to his bunk. Jc heard the zipper close and then silence. The three in the back were talking in hushed whispers. Jc sighed loudly and went back to his book.

The time flew by for Jc who was engrossed in the epic book by Homer, the Iliad. Before he knew it, the bus was pulling up in front of the Hershey Hotel. His bodyguard, Lonnie informed him to get the guys ready.

Waking up Justin was a bit of a nightmare, next to Jc; he was the heaviest sleeper of the bunch. After some gentle prodding, Justin finally opened his eyes.


"Get up were here. Everyone's ready to go inside." Jc said, patting his leg gently.

Justin yawned and reached for his shoes. After a few more yawns, Justin and the boys were rushed inside the hotel via the back entrance. Justin made sure he got his key card before collapsing on the bed.

Sometime during the night, his bags made it to his room. When he awoke the next morning, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. It took him a moment to remember where he was. Then it came to him that he had walked in half-asleep and literally fell into bed fully dressed.

Noticing his shoes were off, he smiled. That had to be Lance's doing. He always looked out for Justin. Getting up from the lavish bed, he rummaged around his bags till he found the proper items.

Scratching his forehead, he walked into the bathroom and proceeded to do his morning routine. After taking a shower, he finished brushing his teeth and tried to control the unruly curls on his head. Giving up, he walked into the living room area and turned the TV on.

Yawning again, he realized how tired he was. Touring was becoming harder and harder each year. He decided that he was going to spend the entire day inside and do nothing but watch TV and eat.

After an hour, the door opened quietly and Lance walked in. Seeing Justin already up, he smiled.

"Morning." Justin said, looking up from the TV.

"I didn't think you would be up this early." Lance said surprised.

Justin stretched, and replied, "I slept pretty good last night. What time is it?"

"It's seven thirty." Lance informed him as he sat down next to the half naked singer who was only clothed in a pair of boxers.

"Wow." Justin said, whistling softly. "I've already showered. I've been watching TV for an hour."

"Get ready, we're going out to breakfast." Lance said, hitting his leg warmly.

Shaking his head, "No, I think I'm going to stay here today. I'll order room service."

"Are you sure?" Lance asked. "We're going to Hershey Park today."

Chuckling, Justin stated, "Now I'm sure. No more throwing up for me."

Lance could tell that he was serious so he shrugged and said, "Alright, remember we have a meeting at four."

Justin nodded, staring at the screen intently.

"I'll send someone up to remind you." Lance said with a shake of his head. I guess some things never change.

Justin barely noticed him leaving. He sat there for a while, mindlessly staring at the cartoon network before his stomach starting making noises.

Glancing over the room service menu, Justin ordered up a bagel and a carafe of orange juice. When the cart arrived, he signed for it and sat back down in front of the TV.

After eating the light breakfast, he settled in for a lazy day of doing nothing. The ringing of the phone brought him back to reality. Knowing that it had to be someone he knew he quickly answered it.


"Hi baby."

Smiling broadly, he screamed, "Hi mom. How are you doing?"

"I'm doing fine. How are holding up?" Lynn asked, the worry coming through her voice.

"A bit tired. But I'm used to that." Justin said, picturing the frown on her face.

"I hope your eating properly."

"I just finished breakfast a while ago."

Lynn nodded into the phone, "I didn't think I would catch you today. I figured you would be out somewhere having fun, enjoying your day off."

Yawning, he replied, "I was tired. I have lots of time to throw up yet."

Laughing her musical laugh, she warned, "Just don't go drinking the night before and you'll be fine."

Grumbling, he said, "I know." Changing the subject to something less embarrassing, he asked, "How's everyone doing there?"

"Their fine, everyone's out with your father now. He took them out on the lake to go sailing." She informed him.

A feeling of regret came over him, he had hoped to be able to speak to them.

Lynn continued, "Britney called."

Justin's face tensed up. "Yea."

"She wanted me to ask you when you have time to return her ring."

Justin looked over at his bags, when they had broken up; she had left her grandma's ring on his bus in her hurry to leave. It was now safely tucked away with his most precious possessions.

"I have it." He informed her. "I'll make sure she gets when we arrive back home."

"I'll let her know."

Justin lay back on the couch, absently playing with a pillow. Sighing loudly, he said softly, "I wish she could've called me instead of you."

"I know sweetie." His mom said sympathetically. "But she's still a little mad at you right now."

"I know. I can't really blame her either." Justin declared. "I was a real dick to her."

"You can say that. We talked for a long time." Lynn offered, trying to find the words to explain. "She doesn't understand and frankly Justin, neither do I. I think you owe her an explanation. She still loves you but you hurt her deeply."

Justin couldn't say anything, he knew his mother was right. He did owe her an explanation but he just couldn't find the words. No matter how many times he tried to call her, his fingers just wouldn't dial the number.

"Justin, you know I love you and I would never interfere with your decisions. It's your life and I respect that. But you need to talk to her and soon." Lynn pleaded.

"I know." Justin exploded exhaustively. "I'm...I just can't yet."

"Are you sure you don't want to tell me what happened?" Lynn asked again, upset at her son's behavior.

"Someday, but not now." Justin answered quietly.

"Okay baby, just remember that I'm always here."

"Thanks and mom."


"Give everyone a big kiss and a hug for me huh."

"Yes, I love you."

"I love you too."

Justin hung up the phone with tears in his eyes. No matter how many times he told himself that he was doing the right thing, the fear of being wrong was always lurking in the background.

He wished there were someone he could talk to about it. The guys would understand, he knew that. But he didn't feel comfortable speaking about it to them; they were her friends too. And his mom, she would only ask too many questions that he wasn't prepared to answer yet.

Sighing loudly, he stared at the ceiling, lost in his thoughts. A grim look on his smooth face.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gabriel awoke, his breath heavy, his smooth chest heaving. The after effects of his nightmare still burned in his icy blue eyes. Blinking rapidly, he tried to calm down, telling himself over and over again that it was only a dream.

Falling back down in his bed, he grimaced. His pillow was wet, along with the sheets. Wiping a hand across his chest, he felt the dampness, the leftover of his night sweat. He groaned.

At first the nightmares came sporadically, normally after he fulfilled a contract. Lately they had been coming almost every night. His thought from the previous day burned in his mind. Maybe it was time to get out.

He untangled the sheets, and sat on the edge of the bed, his naked body glistening in the light from the TV. Pulling the long blond hair from his face, he tucked it behind his ears. Rubbing the bruise that covered most of his shoulder, he tried to work out the stiffness.

Walking over to the window, he threw open the curtains. The warmth from the sun purging the ugliness from his soul. His lean muscular body that looked almost perfect in the half-light of the TV now showed the scars he bore.

A pair of purplish scars ran diagonally down his back, a gift from when he was beaten with barbwire a few years back. A bullet hole scar, dark brown and barely healed adorned his left side, another close call with death. This time a present from a renegade CIA agent who was trying to sell Top Secret Technology to the Russians a few months back.

All along his legs and arms were smaller scars, testifying to the many narrow brushes he had survived. His frame was still hard but no longer the beautiful body of his youth. Gone were the days that he could've passed for a model, the only thing yet perfect about him was his hair, long and thick.

Even his angular face bore evidence of hurt, a thin pink scar that ran down his right cheek, disappearing under his chin. The scar that started right under his eye made his face menacing when he frowned. Sometimes that was a good thing, but in his "life" in Harrisburg, it made him somewhat apprehensive about his looks.

Pulling his hair back, he started his morning exercises. First stretching before moving into his katas's. As he moved gracefully into his first katas, his muscles strained to endure the harsh form. Like a complicated dance, Gabriel eased into one katas after another.

Ending the katas with a flurry of high kicks, Gabriel knelt down. His naked body glistening from the harsh workout, his chest heaving as he tried to control his breathing. Breathing deeply through his nose, he would exhale loudly from his mouth as he meditated calmly on the floor.

Achieving once again the familiar calm inside him, he stood up and made his way to the shower. Wishing for the millionth time that his beard would grow in, he ran a callused hand roughly across his smooth face. It had been almost two weeks since he had last shaved and he could only see a few hairs on his chin.

Without even getting the shaving cream, he took a straight razor and quickly scraped his face clean. Turning the cold water on, he jumped under the frigid spray.

Taking his time, he washed his shoulder length hair before scrubbing the rest of his body. When he finished, he stood under the spray and let the cool water sooth him.

Once out, he dried himself quickly. Walking back into his bedroom, he dressed in a pair of faded blue jeans. Looking outside, he grabbed a T-shirt. Putting on his shoes and socks, he grabbed his gun from the nightstand. Checking to make sure it was loaded; he tucked it into his pants in the small of his back. Grabbing a few extra clips, he put them into the pocket of a stylish leather jacket.

Walking over to his fax machine, he tore off the information concerning the Senator and his whereabouts. Grabbing the picture off the desk, he started to shred the documents when something caught his eye.

The Senator would be attending a Nsync concert at Hershey Park in three days. Looking over the rest of the material, his eyes widened. The Senator would only be in town for one day, and Hershey Park was the only place an assassin would get a clear shot.

Swearing loudly, he placed the documents in his safe and quickly left the apartment. The Senator would be attending the concert along with his teenager daughter and a few of her friends. He wasn't going to allow anyone to put the children in danger no matter what. He had to find out who accepted the contract and intercept him before he could fulfill it.

Not bothering to wait for the elevator, he ran down the ten flights of stairs. Seeing Bobby, the doorman, he asked quickly, "Have my car pulled around will you?"

"Of course Mr. Foster." Bobby answered politely. Reaching for the phone, he asked the garage to pull up the black sedan.

While he waited for his car, Gabriel's mind raced. There was no way he could get close to the Senator and warn him. He had no proof that he could show and he really didn't want to tell the truth about how he got his information. There was only one alternative, Tom Pavone.

Thanking the doorman, Gabriel jumped into his car and drove away. As he raced down Front Street, he dialed a number on his cell phone.

"Foster Acquisitions." A deep voice answered the phone professionally.

"Scott, it's me Gabe. I need you to get me a number for Tom Pavone." Gabe stated as he weaved in and out of traffic, cutting off a car in his attempt to reach the highway.

"Okay, hold on a minute." Scott said, already punching in the information into his database. "Okay here it is, (717) 555-5523. That's his mobile number, do you need his office number?"

"No." Gabe said as he jotted down the number. "But." He instructed. "I need the blueprints for the new Giant Stadium ASAP."

"That will take me a bit. I'll have to hack into their database." Scott replied, tapping away on his computer. "I'll fax them to you as soon as I can. Anything else."

"Fucking asshole." Gabriel yelled at a red van that had cut him off. Speaking back into the phone, Gabriel stated, "Yes, as soon as your done, purify the offices. I decided to change vocations today."

"What?" Scott yelled, disbelief in his voice.

"It's a long story, but I'm pretty sure we need to cut ties now. Don't use any landlines and dump the computers before you destroy them. I don't want anything left there that could lead them back to you or me. Understand." Gabriel explained, as he weaved in and out of traffic.

"I understand." Scott stated with a grin on his face. "I've been planning for a day just like this. Consider the office purified."

"Good man, when your finished, go back to my apartment and wait for me there." Gabriel instructed. "And Scott."


"Be careful. I don't know if they know where I am, but you never can be too sure." Gabriel cautioned.

"No worries, I'm a fucking ghost." Scott intoned.

"See ya later." Gabriel stated, hanging up the phone as he turned on the Hershey exit.

Dialing the number for Tom Pavone, he cursed silently. Tom was the head of security for Hershey Productions. Anything that went on there he was directly in charge of security. He could get Gabriel in without any problem giving him the freedom to survey the scene well in advance. And the best thing, Tom owed him a favor, a huge favor.

"This is Tom Pavone." A crisp voice answered. "What can I do for you?"

"Hey Tom, this is Gabriel Foster. How are you?" Gabriel said good-naturedly.

"Fine, busy as beaver you know but really good." Tom said conversationally.

"I'm in the area, and I wanted to know if you wanted to get a bite to eat for lunch." Gabriel asked casually.

"It's a bit early, but what the hell. Where at?"

Pulling into the city limits, Gabriel offered, "How about the Gingerbread Man, say twenty minutes?"

"Perfect. I'll see you there." Tom promised and hung up.

The Gingerbread Man was a local answer to TGI Fridays and Applebee's chains. But with better food and not all the campy atmosphere and bad uniforms of the national chains.

Another thing, it was only a mile from the Park and less than that for the Hotel. The only two spots where the Senator would be vulnerable during his brief visit to Central Pennsylvania.

Pulling into the parking lot, Gabriel found a space right up front. It was only half past eleven and the lunch crowd had yet to show up. That would give them plenty of time to discuss business.

Stepping out into the warm summer sun, Gabriel thought about leaving his gun behind in the car. But too many years of conditioning fought against it. Sighing he put on the light jacket and walk in the air-conditioned restaurant.

The Gingerbread Man or the G-man took up the entire one end of a small strip mall. With its big neon sign, the local hangout was a favorite for the citizens of Hershey along with the millions of tourists that visited the famous town each year.

The décor was simple and yet elegant at the same time. All the tables and chairs were made of light colored wood and hardwood floors covered the entire area without giving the feel of country. The bar was a huge horseshoe and had solid brass fixtures surrounding it. The barstools were of the same light color wood with black cushions.

"Hi, welcome to G-man. How many for lunch today?" A beautiful hostess asked him at the door.

"Two please. And may we have a corner table." Gabriel asked, flashing a smile at the college student.

"Of course, follow me."

Gabriel followed her to the very back of the restaurant to a brightly-lit table. Sitting down with his back against the wall, he thanked her.

Briefly, a cute looking waitress showed up and asked, "Waiting for a friend I see, would you like a drink from the bar why you wait?"

"Sure, may I have a Molson draft please?" Gabriel asked politely, once again dazzling the girl with his warm smile.

"Sure, I'll be right back." She answered with a hint of red in her young face.

About that time, Tom arrived following the hostess. Tom was a big man, over six-foot tall, great big barrel chest with arms that could probably crush a man. He had thinning red hair that was just beginning to show signs of gray, his round face grinned broadly when he saw his old friend Gabriel.

Standing up, Gabriel offered the big man his hand and said, "Tom, looking good."

"Gabriel." Tom stated warmly, crushing his hand in the process. "Don't lie to me, I know I'm getting fat." He laughed, his big belly shaking with mirth.

"You're not fat." Gabriel started with Tom joining in, both of them finishing together. "You're big boned."

The two laughed and sat down at the table. The waitress arrived with a tall glass and placed it in front of Gabriel. Looking at the big man, she asked, "Can I get you anything to drink?"

"Whatever my friend is having is fine with me." Tom informed her, his green eyes laughing.

Turning his attention back to Gabriel, Tom stated, "If only I was young again."

Snorting loudly, Gabriel said, "You'd be back in Vietnam."

Sighing, he answered, "True, true. But oh what memories of better days."

Taking a sip from his glass, Gabriel asked, "How's the family?"

"Good." Tom answered, his face beaming with pride. "Kelly just turned forty and she's having a bit of a crisis growing old. And Christine is twenty-one now, going to school in New York."

Wincing slightly, Gabriel felt a pang of jealousy for his friend. Shaking his head as if to clear those thoughts, he smiled, "I don't know how you've managed to hold on to her that long. You must really have her duped."

"Thank you." Tom said to the waitress as she set down the cold beer. Continuing he said, "Why do you think I've kept her locked in the basement all these years?"

Laughing they looked at the waitress who wasn't sure if the big man was joking or if he was serious. That started the two men laughing all the more. Finally, the waitress asked if they were ready to order.

After giving her the order, Tom looked at Gabriel seriously and asked, "Now what the fuck do you want?"

To Be Continued

Copyright©2002 Glacier Boy