Welcome to book Three of the William Carter series, this one is entitled Carter's Duty.

Ok, so people trust me now? if so a little positive reinforcement is good see link below for general comments.

I would love to hear what you think of these characters as they evolve.

I am aware of the chapter numbering problem. I accidentally added an extra chapter to the end of the first installment, that was my mistake and i will correct it.

remember the characters are now in thier mid twenties and dealing with modern life issues. not all of lifes situations are good ones. It's about how we choose to deal with them, and its about the people we surround ourselves with.

I want you to email me feed back if you are not enjoying this. Hell even if you are enjoying it let me know.

Comments or questions direct to asmodean_uk@yahoo.com. Feed back is welcome.

Welcome to book Three of the William Carter series, this one is entitled Carter's Duty.

Ok, so people trust me now? If so a little positive reinforcement is good see link below for general comments.

I would love to hear what you think of these characters as they evolve.

I am aware of the chapter numbering problem. I accidentally added an extra chapter to the end of the first installment, that was my mistake and i will correct it.

Remember the characters are now in their mid twenties and dealing with modern life issues. Not all of life's situations are good ones. It's about how we choose to deal with them, and it's about the people we surround ourselves with.

I want you to email me feed back if you are not enjoying this. Hell even if you are enjoying it let me know.

Comments or questions direct to asmodean_uk@yahoo.com. Feed back is


Chapter Twenty-One

Andrew leaned around, as they felt the plane begin its decent into Gatwick Airport, to look at Brody, who was sitting awake now listening with interest to Will telling the story of the wedding.

"Dude's my friend." He said nodding to Will in explanation, "A brother's gotta do something."

"Thanks." Andrew said, not quite certain what had been done.

Will smiled, "Ever play mouse trap?"


It was the greatest show on earth, nothing on television compared to the high drama of real life. The stage was set, the players picked out, and the curtain was about to go up. All that remained was for the star of the show to take his place and the show would begin. Will was simply a part of the audience for it. The seat Brody had chosen for him commanded a view over the entire hall. It was up on one of the raised platforms that held the buffet table. He was immediately visible to the players, but had an unobstructed view of the events that unfolded.

Brody made his way through the crowd to where Delia Anders was talking to her agent. The young diva's bodyguard, an ever-present dark shadow watched Brody approach and looked to Delia for some sign. She gave a simple nod to allow him close. Even though Will couldn't hear the conversation, he followed their body language.

Brody had introduced himself, a smooth motion for a man so used to talking to women. It didn't matter if they were famous, beautiful or unavailable, Brody had an ability to appear interesting to women. He was an enigma for them, and women seemed to love a mystery; it gave them something to uncover. But with Brody there was always another layer underneath, there was always something more for them to learn. Once he had a way in, once they had nibbled on the bait, he was always able to reel them in.

What he said to her was anyone's guess. He introduced himself, engaged her in some small talk; she seemed disinterested at the start, but his demeanour changed. He became a confidant, a conspirator. He looked over towards Will and gestured at him. She followed his hand and nodded. His hand moved again, as he pointed out Andrew and Maria still entwined about his arm. Her face became serious as she nodded again.

Brody reached into his pocket and in a flick of his wrist, much like a magician's trick, he produced a card and gave it to her agent. The agent took one look at the card and immediately pulled out his cell phone to make a call. From his excitement, Will could presume something important had just occurred, but what escaped him.

Brody bowed to Delia one last time and returned to where Will sat; the smile on his face spoke of an evil machination that had been set in motion. He had a confidence about him; the master playwright had carefully crafted a drama, and had returned to narrate it as the play unfolded before his eyes.

Will frowned at him; Brody was being careful and deliberate in his actions. "What did you say to her?"

"You ever play Mouse Trap when you were a kid, Carter?" Brody asked resting a hand on the back of Will's chair.

Will looked up, "I can't say that I have." He shrugged, "Sorry."

"Well," Brody said, "in this game you turn a crank which sets a ball rolling, that ball knocks a pipe that releases a second ball. That ball lands on a seesaw that dumps a little guy into a pool, and so on, until eventually a cage falls on the mouse." He smirked, "I just pushed the ball."

Will glanced back over to where Delia Anders was conversing earnestly with her agent. He watched as Delia's agent called Lisa's boss, Robert Avery, over to her; the two spoke for a moment in hurried whispers before he called one of his assistants over to go and fetch someone.

Moments later the assistant returned with Lisa in tow.

"What's happening?" Will asked, curiously studying the play as it began to unfold before him. He was fascinated by the intricacies of the subtle way Brody had manipulated so many people, just one domino knocking down another. It was pure chaos theory, manipulated for his benefit.

"I told Ms. Anders about the little predicament with your boy; she was sympathetic, and after a little fiscal lubrication she agreed to help."

"Fiscal lubrication?" Will asked as he glanced up at Brody. "You bribed her?"

"I offered to fund her next music video," he replied with a simple shrug. "Sound investment if you ask me, I'm going to make a mint off of promotion rights... but she is right now discussing her options with her publicists... Ah, there we go."

Brody nodded to Lisa who beamed from ear to ear. "She just agreed to represent them; this deal will be a big feather in her cap. Part of my condition to the deal was that she keeps Lisa as her legal representative. Lisa just got a high profile client for her firm and on her wedding day, too. Good for her..."

Will shook his head, "How does this...?"

"Watch and learn, Carter." He patted Will's shoulder reassuringly

Lisa moved to catch her husband as he came down the stairs to find her, and after a moment she had shared the news. The two seemed engaged in an animated discussion for a few minutes.

Brody elaborated, "Lisa just told Jeff; she is reminding him that it was her idea to invite her potential clients. It was a good idea."

Jeff didn't seem that impressed, Will thought. "He isn't going to be happy with her doing business on their wedding day..."

"Ah, there we go." Brody cut him off.

"What?" Will asked as he tried to keep up; Jeff had suddenly broken into a broad smile.

"Lisa just told Jeff how much money they stand to make from this deal," Brody explained. He straightened up and waved cheerfully as both Lisa and Jeff looked over in their direction.

"They know you're up to something," Will observed, as Jeff and Lisa separated. She returned to her client and Jeff moved off to join his parents.

"Undoubtedly, but they think I just want to get into her pants." He reached out to pick up a glass of champagne from the nearest waiter, as Jeff began to tell his parents the good news.

"So..." Will said as he looked up again, "what happens now?"

Brody nodded to Jeff, "Now he shares the good news; that I am financing the video and how much Lisa is going to make from the deal...perfect, that got her attention."

Will noted that Maria and Andrew had joined the circle. "Right," he said, still not convinced this would help him.

"There we go, she knows about the video," Brody said. "That's my cue, excuse me..." He stepped down from the table and crossed the floor with a glass of champagne in his hand as he walked up to Jeff. He offered a toast and exchanged some small talk with the immediate family.

Will watched with interest; there was no doubt that Brody knew what he was doing, but Will was still missing pieces of the bigger picture.

It came to him when Delia stepped up on stage beside the quartet. "Ladies and Gentlemen," she said, her crystal clear voice captivating the entire room, every one turning to her.

"Firstly, I wish to thank Lisa and Jeff for inviting me to this wonderful occasion. You have made me feel welcome here and to thank you I have been convinced by your generous friend Brody Levesque to perform a song to mark your very special day. Mister Levesque has also agreed to produce my next music video, so a special thank you to him." She smiled, "Could I get him to take the dance floor with his date..."

Will frowned, date? Didn't Brody...

Brody took the floor, a picture of style and flare. He extended his hands and called back to Delia, "I'm sorry I don't have a date tonight."

Delia bowed her head, "Well we are just going to have to find you a dance partner, any volunteers?"

Will had never seen so many single women vying for a chance to dance with a man at the same time. It was as if Delia had said a magic word to bring them all to life... Will had a feeling the ball had just struck a pipe.

Delia quietened them and smiled, "You, in the red dress; this is a Latin number, can you dance the meringue?"

Maria seemed surprised at being selected; she looked over at Jeff and beamed, walking confidently out onto the dance floor. And Will saw the cage drop.

The passionate music stirred as the dance floor cleared to allow Brody and the young Italian beauty room to move into its centre. The music swept up as the two set and began the over-extended motions of a meringue. Brody had a reputation among his friends of being an excellent dancer and his movement like a liquid across the floor, as the music increased its timbre, only reinforced that reputation.

Brody kept his eyes locked on his partner as he swept her back and pulled her close to him. It was exciting, and exhilarating, and Brody moved more nimbly than an eighteen- year-old. For Will, it was like witnessing Mozart perform. Brody swept Maria off of her feet.

Brody was lost in a sea of his own memories, and barely noticed the laughter that he offered out. As the music changed its beat and Delia began to sing, the pace quickened and the two dancers separated and Brody began to move his hips faster; he had spent time in the Dominican Republic, he knew the dance well and the dance had been entertainment at celebrations while he stayed there. He was moved by pure instinct now, aware that there were other dances spiralling around the two in the centre, forming the intricate patterns that Will could observe from the upper table. Brody swept off his tuxedo jacket, preferring his shirtsleeves and the red and blue tartan waistcoat underneath. Twirling and spinning in unison, Maria's dress flared out as she kept time with him.

The beat intensified; as it became more tribal, Delia's voice rose and fell as she added a voice to the passion the two dancers exchanged on the dance floor. And Will stood from his chair to walk down to the main floor; he circled the dance floor as he kept his eye firmly on Andrew, he collected a couple of glasses of champagne and made his way out onto the terrace.

Andrew turned as the crowd parted, to see Will standing under the stars watching him, those striking blue eyes that made Will's pulse quicken as they always had. He stood patiently in just his shirtsleeves in the rapidly cooling night air, just waiting.

Andrew cast a final glance towards the dance floor where Maria and Brody, now pressed together, continued to dance. And he turned his back on her.

Will lifted the second glass and offered it to Andrew. Their hands brushed as he accepted it, and there was a moment of awkward silence between them broken only by the sounds of the dance.

Will finally broke the silence as he lifted his glass, "To mouse traps."

Andrew didn't raise his glass, "This is it, isn't it?" he asked softly, a catch of emotion in his voice.

Will lowered his glass, cradling it by the stem, "Is it over?" he asked.

"I...I didn't sleep with her," Andrew said as he swallowed. "I just wanted you to know that."

Will shrugged. "This isn't about that," he said, motioning to the steps down into the garden, and followed Andrew down towards the gazebo. "This is about what you want, it's always been about that."

Andrew turned in the pale moonlight and looked at him, "I...I..."

Will reached down and picked a small flower and spun it lightly between his thumb and forefinger before he tossed it over to Andrew, who caught it deftly. He stared at it a moment before he looked up at Will.

"I've only ever wanted you," he said after a pause. "After everything we've been through..." he shrugged helplessly, "Will I've had a lot on my mind..."

Will stepped up into the gazebo and climbed up to sit on its rail; he tucked one foot up beside him and let the other dangle as he watched the man he loved a moment. He chose his words carefully.

"Times up, Andrew." He took a sip of his champagne and continued, "This is the moment where you have to choose what you want, right here. Do you want to be with me or not?"

Andrew stared back up at the brightly lit hall and then back at Will, torn between two worlds.

Will rotated the glass between his fingers as he had done to the flower only minutes before. It glittered as it reflected the light, "On one hand you have the girl, you have passion...sex." He said the word with a roll of distaste, but continued nonetheless, "On the other you have me with all my faults, but one keen advantage over her. I love you."

He smiled wryly, "I may not be a voluptuous brunette with an unquenchable appetite for men. And I'm gay, like most distinguished, moderately handsome single men my age are. And maybe I can't offer you a normal relationship, but who the hell wants to be normal anyway?"

Andrew swallowed again and Will could see the tears in his eyes again.

"Do you love me?" Will asked softly as he got down from his perch and moved closer to Andrew.

His first true love met his eyes, his mouth moved and Will strained to hear him say, "Yes..."

"That's a start," Will said calmly. "but our lives have changed, I'm not that scared little boy I was when we first met." Will nodded in understanding. "When you work it out, you know where to find me," he said softly, reaching out a finger to wipe away one of Andrew's tears. "Until then just remember that I am in love with you."

He turned and walked back up towards the house, refusing to turn around. He had to resist the urge to run back and try to say more. There was nothing he could say. Andrew had a choice to make, and that choice could only be made in his own time and in his own way. Nothing Will could say would change that.

Chapter Twenty-two

The drive to work the next day allowed him an opportunity to reflect as he wound his way directly towards his office. Andrew hadn't come home after the wedding and Will had collected the keys to his Jeep from the valet and had driven home alone at the end of the reception. After the madness of the last few days, returning to the normal routine did not appeal to him. But life went on, and so did he.

Jeff and Lisa were probably in Niagara for their honeymoon, Lisa's father's wedding gift to them. The newlyweds were embarking on their new lives together in style. Jared was at work by now down on Bank Street, crunching numbers and quaking in fear after Kerry had so nimbly caught the bouquet. There were only so many excuses Jared could have to dodge that bullet, and Kerry had caught wedding fever. Will gave them a couple of months before she arranged a shotgun wedding.

Jeff's parents were due to leave that afternoon, and Will regretted not having another day to see them off. He would miss Mrs. Sternosti's cooking, and more importantly her coffee. There was a definite thrill to having people in his house and in his life. His home was usually so quiet, sedate, but the last few days it had resonated with life. He would miss that the most.

At least Brody was staying for a few more days. He had business in Ottawa (or so he claimed). It still bothered Will that no one really knew what Brody did, or where his money came from. But then who really needed to know. Brody was who he was. He had been sitting out on the terrace with Delia Anders at the end of the evening, the two smoking cigarettes and talking abut nothing. Will found it odd; Brody had been seen seducing all three bridesmaids as well as Maria and had Delia eating out of the palm of his hand, but had chosen to leave the party alone. Some times figuring Brody out was impossible. He was just one of those people who defied definition.

But that was the point; they were all like that in their own ways. You couldn't pin a label on any of them and expect them to perform exactly as they were supposed to. They were human beings and they could change; wasn't it the capacity for change that made them alive? Will himself had been called upon to change over the last few days. He wasn't content just to ride on the coattails of the status quo. How could he when everything around him changed? He had to grow up some time; it might as well be now.

He rolled down the window of his Jeep and turned up the music, they were playing one of Delia Anders' songs on the Bear and it warmed him with memories of the night before. Of Lisa and Jeff cutting the wedding cake. Of Brody's dance with Maria...or Andrew under the stars telling him that he loved him. He smiled as he slipped on his sunglasses and settled back to enjoy the drive. It was Thursday morning; his office building loomed ahead and work called.

But for a few more minutes at least he could pretend the world waited for a small group of friends who had grown up together and supported each other when they needed it.

He swept the Jeep into the parking lot and grabbed his jacket from the back seat, stopping only a moment to look up at the red brick building that he worked in, back to real life.

He walked through the double doors and into the call centre, noting that he was early; the agents were lurking about the cafeteria and the coffee maker talking amongst themselves. A few saw him and the friendly "Good Morning Mister Carter," met his passage. He enjoyed their warmth and returned a few of the hello's as he made a steady passage to his office.

He hesitated as he noticed Alicia already at her desk, an ashen look on her face. He stopped and set his briefcase down on the edge of her desk and looked at her in concern. He had seen that look before when her mother had passed away. It was a look of terrible loss.

She continued to talk on the phone, taking notes as she looked up at him with saddened eyes. She reached out and scribbled a note on the edge of her pad of paper as she glanced towards the far office where Scott Anderson undoubtedly lurked.

"Watch your back," Will read. His eyes flicked up to meet hers and then over to Anderson's office. A cold feeling spread through him as he steeled himself. Something was wrong and he was a day out of touch with what had happened. He bit his lip as he considered his possible avenues for finding out what was going on. He needed to be prepared.

Will collected his briefcase and walked into his office, and stopped dead.

It was empty.

The wall charts had been erased. His files were gone. Even the diary with his appointments in it was gone. It was like someone had reached in and torn the soul out of the room. Anything that had distinguished it as his office was gone, leaving it barren. But when he glanced back to see Alicia staring after him with tears in her eyes, and he looked back at his desk, pieces began to fall together.

He set his briefcase and coat down on the desk as he walked out of the office, passing Brad who headed to cut him off.

"Scott is looking for you..." Brad said softly.

Will looked at the supervisor who struggled to keep his face devoid of emotion and he nodded. "I am just on my way to find him."

Brad nodded and glanced towards the doors that led to manager country, "They are in the board room." He smiled tightly, "Good luck bud."

Will stared at the two large black doors and back at Brad. "Cheers, mate."

He took a deep breath as he punched in the access code to let him through the doors and stepped through to the corporate side.

It was like he stepped from night into day. Where the call centre was tattered and threadbare, the corporate office was plush, almost luxurious. Here the paint was fresh and the chairs were real leather. There were no outdated motivational posters or dead fluorescent lights. Here was where the money went when it came in for the children. He felt uncomfortable almost immediately; he hated the corporate side of the business, and the politics that flowed almost as readily as the lies they told their customers. Here the rules were different, and the stakes of the game were much higher.

He climbed the stairs and entered the main lobby and rested a hand on the reception desk. The receptionist was a pretty little thing who had been promoted from the sales floor at just about the same time as Will had started working for the company. She had a reputation for having earned her position the hard way.

"Hello, Mandy," he said calmly. "Where are they?"

She looked up at him and feigned ignorance to who he was; she looked down at her appointment book, "Who are you looking for, Mister Carter?"

He arched an eyebrow, "Mister Anderson is expecting me." Now was hardly the time for him to be treated like a stranger. He felt his irritation getting the better of him and he made a concerted effort to calm himself.

Mandy flipped through her book, "Just have a seat, Mister Carter, and I will see if they are ready for you yet."

She got out of her seat and knocked gently on the door to the boardroom, which she slipped through a few moments later. Will caught sight of a number of senior management, including the regional manager. So much for this being simple.

He straightened his tie and was glad that he had decided to wear a freshly-pressed shirt that morning. It wasn't every day a human resource manager of an insignificant call centre was summoned before senior management. At least he would have the dignity of being well-dressed for what was to come.

She returned, "They aren't ready for you yet, Mister Carter. Would you like a cup of coffee while you wait?"

Will frowned, "Yes," he murmured as he stared in puzzlement at the boardroom.

He had waited for hours. He sat in the comfortable seat and stared out of the lobby windows at the main street and counted coloured cars. He would have appreciated some decent reading material and the only thing on hand was the company's quarterly report. He wasn't in the mood for fiction.

He supposed it was to be expected that he would be kept waiting. He was a minor functionary in the corporate structure. One of the lowest managers they had out of twenty odd offices across North America. Charity was big business, and these men and women had no time for him. Why then was he summoned to their presence?

He blew out a sigh of frustration and looked at his watch; he had work to do, or should have work to do. But if they wanted to pay him just to sit there and drink coffee...

At least it was good coffee, fresh and piping hot. He could taste the fine grade of the Colombian roast. It was definitely better than the swill they served to the employees downstairs who earned them the money so that they could buy it in the first place. Ironic, really; capitalism the best scam the world ever conceived. Not that communism was much better; on the scale of scams it ranked a close second.

He gave a mental shrug and went back to watching the street; if they wanted to talk to him as badly as they seemed to, he just had to sit patiently and wait. Perhaps their goal was to make him impatient, restless, and nervous. A person in that frame of mind would usually panic... make a mistake. Well, they were dealing with him now, and he wasn't about to fall into whatever trap had been laid for him.

He tried to work through the chain of events that could possibly have led to him being seated there. It couldn't have been the fact he had taken the day off the day before. He had paperwork signed to show he was authorized to be away, and industrial tribunal would agree with him that was no cause for dismissal...

He chewed on that thought for a moment; Scott had threatened him the morning before. But that was about commitment to the firm, and if he was to be fired for a `lack of commitment,' that wouldn't take the board of directors three hours of meetings to decide.

There was his objection to the termination of all those agents. But that wasn't an official objection, he had complied with Scott's instructions. He had hated signing the pink slips, but he had still done as he had been told. Scott couldn't throw that at him, not with any kind of justification. Again it wasn't a matter for the board of directors to meet over.

No, he surmised, there was something more important happening, he could smell it in the air. He had a right to be worried, there was a serious edge to what was unfolding. The demonstration of chaos theory Brody had given the night before worried Will. One simple action had led to a chain of seemingly random events that had culminated in the exact result Brody had set out for. He had a feeling that he was now caught in an example that was more complex. There were balls and levers moving so rapidly that he had missed them. And this time Brody wasn't there to explain what was happened.

The doors finally opened and Scott Anderson walked out of the boardroom. He spared a glance at Will, a look that spoke volumes. There was concern there, but not for Will's well-being, it was a look of self-preservation, a look of cold calculation on the part of a man who was worried for himself. A look that attempted to gauge what way a leaf would fall. A look that gave Will a certain amount of reassurance. It wasn't his neck on the line.

He stood up and nodded to Scott as he looked at the director who waved him into the boardroom. He squared his shoulders, a knight rising from his vigil to do battle once again. He smiled softly as he stepped up to the challenge. He entered the room and found himself standing before them like a man on trial. He regarded each of them emotionlessly, now came the moment of truth.

"Mister William Carter?" The CEO of the firm inquired looking up from his yellow legal pad of notes, "You're the HR manager from downstairs?"

Will inclined his head, "That is correct."

"Is this your signature?" The Director of human resources lifted a stack of signed termination slips.

Will frowned, "Yes, that is my signature. What is this about?"

The board exchanged uncomfortable looks with each other; the CEO spoke slowly and deliberately, "Mister Carter does it make sound business sense to lay off thirty-five people in a single day?"

Will shook his head, "Absolutely not, sir."

"So why did you fire that many people on Tuesday?" the HR director asked sternly.

"I was instructed by my manager Scott Anderson to remove agents that were not producing sales." Will became uneasy, "I was given a list of people to terminate and I complied with my instructions."

The board exchanged another look and a couple exchanged low whispers; the CEO looked puzzled, "The operations Manager, Scott Anderson, states that he had no knowledge of the termination order. He claims you acted without his instruction."

Will went cold. "That son of a bitch," he said softly.

"I beg your pardon?" the CEO asked as his head snapped up.

Will looked him straight in the eye, "That is an outright lie, sir. I received clear instructions from Scott Anderson as to what I was supposed to do. Brad Gilmour can attest to that, sir. He even added to my list."

The CEO blew out a sigh, "Look son, I have to deal with the fact that one of my call centres is now down nearly a fifth of its salesmen. I have an operations manager who claims you acted without his knowledge and I have a stack of thirty-five termination orders with your signature on them. You know how this looks, Mister Carter?"

Will looked down at the termination orders and then back up at the CEO, "On Tuesday, just before lunch Mister Anderson called me into the cafeteria to tell me he had a plan. He then took me out onto the sales floor and instructed me to select people, and I am quoting here, `that did not belong'. I did as I was told and I selected ten individuals." He clasped his hands behind his back tightly, "Mister Anderson proceeded to add more names to that list and when I returned to my office Mister Gilmour had added a further series of names to that list. I had been instructed to get rid of them before the end of the working day and I did my job."

"Your job, Mister Carter," the Director of HR stated coldly, "was to staff the call centre, not to lay off a large amount of its work force. How many absentees do you have on the average day?"

Will did a quick mental check, "Usually around forty."

"So add that to the lay offs," the CEO tapped his pen on the tabletop, "and I have a call centre operating at less than half capacity."

Will set his shoulders, "An aggressive recruitment campaign, my department can have those seats filled..."

"You're not going to get that chance, Mister Carter," the CEO said bluntly. "I can't take the risk that you did this without authorization. So I have decided to restructure the Ottawa Call centre."

"And what does that mean for me?" Will asked, and he waited for the hammer to fall.

The CEO glanced down at the regional sales manager then back up at Will, "Given your exemplary track record with this company up until this point, and the fact that you set several sales records with the company when you first started here, we have decided to move you to another branch of the company. You will be joining our commercial sales and promotions team; your pay scale will of course have to be changed, but I am sure with your sales ability a commission salary structure will be satisfactory..."

Will looked down at the table as he contemplated the ramifications of the transfer, "Forgive me if I am wrong, but isn't our corporate sales division based out of London, England?"

The CEO nodded his head, "We will cover your relocation expenses, Mister Carter, but I expect you to report to our London office tomorrow. Now if you would please excuse us, it has been a very long morning..."

Chapter Twenty-Three

The plane had landed, and the three friends had disembarked into the airport. And Will realized with a start that for the first time in nearly eight years he was home. They were still in the terminal, but it was still England. He was home.

He stood with his shoulders slumped staring out of a window at the rain soaked world beyond. So many years of living abroad, so much time, so much of his life had just slipped by him that to actually be there again was surreal.

"This is it," Andrew said standing beside him with his hands in his pockets, "The end of the road."

Will turned, his eyes welling up as he tried to keep from breaking down in the airport, "You know I have to do this..." he said firmly.

"Why?" Andrew said staring at him, "To do what? You took this job to help me through University, but what now? You're five thousand miles away from home, and why? Because you think this is what I want?"

Will set his bag down, watching as Brody commandeered a payphone and started to make calls behind them. "We need the money Andrew, I can't say no..."

"You can." Andrew said firmly, "Or I can."

"What do you mean?" Will said looking at the man he loved, the man he had traveled five thousand miles to support, the man who had come after him...

Andrew's eyes were red and swollen, as a tear ran down his face, "Some times two people who are in love don't realize when they are hurting each other. You've put your own life on hold for me, and... I never wanted you to do that. I can't let you put your dreams on hold for me. I love you too much for that."

"But..." Will began, struggling for words.

"No buts," Andrew said sadly, "I can't let you put me ahead of your own life any more, not like this. But you're going to keep doing it as long as we're together."

Will swallowed, "I know..." he said softly. It had been said at long last, admitted. He'd put Andrew first, ahead of his own needs and as time ground on he had began to resent Andrew for it. It didn't change the love he felt, but it tainted it. It soured the things he felt, the purity of the emotions.

He reached out and drew Andrew tightly in an embrace; both knowing all too well it was the end. Finally they had both admitted it.

Andrew drew back, wiping his eyes as he looked around, "I have to figure out how to buy a ticket home... I should..."

Will nodded as Andrew started off, watching him bob through the crowd, knowing Andrew just needed some time alone. Realizing that he did too.

Brody was watching him with concerned eyes, holding up the phone and gesturing for Will to take it.

"Hello?" Will stated, staring after Andrew, swallowing back his emotion.

"Mister Carter," Robert Avery's voice was a surprise, and Will glanced at Brody in surprise, "I understand that you are considering taking a job in the United Kingdom."

"You could say that," Will replied glancing about him at the airport.

"I'd like to make you a counter offer," Avery said confidently, "One a little closer to home."

Will turned to the phone and rested a hand on top of it, "I'm sorry what?"

"I need a director of Human Resources for my Toronto office, and after meeting you and looking over your resume, I think you are the man I need for that post."

"I..." Will said in surprise, "I don't know what to say."

"Say yes Mister Carter," Avery said firmly, "You start Monday, our offices are located on Bay Street..." Will jotted down the address in stunned silence as he looked at Brody, when he finally said good-bye and hung up the phone he shook his head, "How?"

Brody smiled, "I have mad skills." He clapped a hand on Will's shoulder, "It's still going to be a move for you, but Toronto's not that far away."

Will glanced in the direction Andrew had gone, it was good news, but didn't change anything between them. It would be the career opportunity of a lifetime, but with Andrew still in school... They both had different dreams, Will had the chance of a career and a new life... and Andrew had his own future. Given time maybe they would become the same again.

He swallowed, for the time being at least they could look forward to a flight back to Canada together.