Love In The Army

Chapter Nine

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Tom was at home with his son Jon, who was home from college for the day. Tom was in the kitchen washing up the breakfast dishes. The postman arrived and posted the letters through the letter box. Jon went and picked them up. Jon looked through the letters and spotted a letter from the Lord Chancellors office for Tom.

Jon thought that’s unusual and said, “dad.”

Tom said, “yes son.”

“There is a letter here for you that looks really official,” Jon said.

“Oh, let’s have a look,” Tom said.

Tom opened the letter and was gobsmacked it said:


Dear Colonel Tom Rees Andrews,

It is with gracious pleasure that I inform you that you have been nominated to receive an honour in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Should you choose to accept this honour, which would welcome you to become a Member of the Order of British Empire,  you will need to return the slip below to the address above. Your name was nominated for your services to injured soldiers by the British Army and the Royal British Legion.

Yours faithfully,

Lord Chancellor

Tom looked at Jon and said, “shit, I don’t believe it. I have been nominated for a MBE son.”

Jon smiled and said, “wow, dad that’s fantastic.”

“Yeah, I can’t believe it,” Tom said.

“Me, Tom Rees Andrews, a MBE! Oh wow, my mum will go mad!” Tom said.

“And Ben will go nuts,” Jon said.

“Yeah he will. I might just leave the letter on the table and see what he says” Tom said, laughing.

“He will kill you, dad” Jon said, laughing.

“Well, it’s my turn to get my own back for the wedding son” Tom said, smiling.


Ben arrived home a few hours later and saw Tom was in his office on the computer. Jon was upstairs in his room when he heard Ben come home. Jon snuck onto the landing and listened in to see if Ben saw the letter. Ben walked into the lounge and spotted the strange looking letter on the table. Ben picked it up and screamed as Tom walked in the room. Ben said, “oh my god, wow Colonel Tom Rees Andrews, MBE oh wow.”

Jon came down and said, “what you think?”

Ben said, “I am gobsmacked, to be honest.”

Tom smiled said, “well, I was too when I opened that letter this morning.”

“What?? You have had this letter since this morning and your didn’t tell me?!? Ben said.

“Yeah, I wanted to surprise you babes” Tom said, laughing.

“Well, are you accepting it then?” Ben asked.

“Too right, I am” Tom said.

Tom said, “I have to phone mum in a while to tell her.”

“What? You haven’t told her yet?” Ben said.

“No, she has been on a wi trip all day” Tom said.

“Oh ok,” Ben said.

Tom picked up the phone and rang Lucy.

Lucy had been home around ten minutes when the phone rang.

“Hello” Lucy answered.

“Hi mum” Tom said.

“Hi Tom you sound happy what’s going on? Lucy said.

“Ok, what I am about to tell you must be kept quiet and cannot be broadcast yet. Ok mum?” Tom said.

“Umm yeah ok, Tom” Lucy said.

“I had a letter this morning from the Lord Chancellor’s Office. I have been nominated for a MBE” Tom said.

“Oh wow, Tom. That is wonderful. Your dad would have been so proud. You know that.” Lucy said, with tears in her eyes.

“Yeah, I know mum, but don’t tell anyone. Ok?” Tom said.

“Yeah, I will keep your secret until the list is out son,” Lucy said

“I am so shocked mum couldn’t believe it when I opened the letter” Tom said.

“I expect you were shocked, son. But don’t forget, you have done so much good stuff over the past few years, son. You deserve this honour,” Lucy said.



~ A few months later ~


The Queen’s Birthday Honours list came out and soon the whole local communities in Coninton and in the Rhondda Valley knew that Tom was on it.

Lucy was really proud of her son and was happy telling her friends at the WI all about his MBE nomination.

Lucy and one of her friends were in Cardiff went looking for an outfit. Finally, she found a two piece suit she was happy with. Later, after looking in three different stores, she finally found a hat that matched.


Tom would be collecting his MBE in a few weeks from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. He had already received his allotted tickets. Tom had asked his mum and Ben to accompany him into the palace while Jon and Greg would be with them in London for the day. Tom had felt bad that his son Jon couldn’t go and had asked the palace for two extra tickets which was granted Rhys Shaun and Matthew would also join them for a celebratory party the next day at Toms and Ben’s house.

Tom would be wearing his dress uniform which he hasn’t worn since he left the army. Ben had bought new suits for him and the boys and top hats to wear Tom haven’t yet seen the suits.



~The Big Day ~

The family had arrived in London the day before, and were staying at a hotel. Lucy was looking stunning in a cream dress and matching blazer, and a large cream hat. She was so proud of her son.

Tom was nervous about meeting the Queen, but knew with his family nearby he would be ok.

Ben looked gorgeous in his grey morning suit and top hat, and Tom, as always, looked good in his full dress uniform which he had had permission to wear from the Army. Tom walked into the main room, and saw Ben and the boys all dressed up. Tom smiled and said, “wow look at you three.”

Ben said, “shut up.”

Lucy knocked on Tom’s room and walked in and said, “wow, look at you lot.”

Tom smiled and said, “wow, look at you.”

“Well, it’s not every day I get to go and see the Queen,” Lucy said.

Ben had organised a surprise for Tom, and had hired them a limo to take them to the palace.

The party left the hotel and Tom looked shocked when he saw the car waiting for them.

He looked at Ben and said, “you did this, didn’t you?”

Ben laughed and said, “of course. We couldn’t go to the Palace in a taxi, babes.”

The party of five got into the limo, and headed off towards Buckingham Palace.

The car pulled along the mall, and pulled up outside the palace gates. Tom handed over the papers to the duty guard, and the car was allowed in.

The driver opened the door, and Tom followed by Ben, Lucy, and the boys, got out and looked around in awe.

Tom was ushered into a state room. His family were showed to their position. Tom was in a room with other people who were collecting their honours.

Tom was led into the state room, and saw the Queen standing there.

One of the Palace officials said, “for services to injured soldiers and their families, retired Colonel Tom Rees Andrews.”

Tom walked up and bowed in front of the Queen. She handed him his medal and said, “Thank you for all you do, young man.”

“Thank you, your majesty” Tom said.


Tom walked away, feeling elated. He was led into another room, and waited there until his family joined him.

Tom walked out into the courtyard of the Palace and Greg said, “come on guys, all stand together."

Tom stood in the middle, with Ben to his left and his mum to his right and Jon next to Ben. Tom held up his MBE, as Greg took a photo. A press photographer also took one with Greg standing next to Ben and said, "Look for this photo in The Sunday Times." Tom spotted other military people at the Palace, and spoke to a few before the party left the Palace to return to their hotel.

Tom was in for another surprise when they arrived at the hotel as he saw a smiling Rhys Shaun and Matthew waiting there.

Tom walked over and said, “what you guys doing here?”

Rhys laughed and said, “we were outside the Palace, and saw you having your photograph taken as well.”

Ben laughed and said, “well, Tom Rees Andrews MBE, we going to have a family meal tonight at the hotel.”

“You swine, you organised this” Tom said, smiling.

“Of course, only the best for my special husband “ Ben said, smiling.


~ Later that evening ~

Tom, now dressed in a suit, along with Ben and the boys, went down to dinner in the restaurant at the hotel. Tom was surprised when they were directed to a side room off the restaurant. Tom was shocked when he walked through the door and saw not just Rhys, Shaun, and Matthew, and his mum, Lucy sitting there, but also Daffyd, Brad, and Alex, and Lisa. Daffyd stood up and said, “ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for the guest of honour, Colonel Tom Rees Andrews MBE.”

The guests all clapped as Tom sat down. Ben laughed and said, “gotcha.”

Tom smiled and whispered, “you wait.”

As the evening went on, Tom really started to enjoy himself. It had been a while since he had had his best friends all around him.

~ A few days later ~

Tom arrived at Coldbrooke Hall, and was met by Alistair.

“Morning Tom,” Alistair said.

“Morning Alistair,” Tom replied.

“I have come to see Maurice Baker. He has asked to see me,” Tom said.

 “Oh yes, he is in the lounge with Lee, his soon to be brother in law,” Alistair said.

“Ok thanks,” Tom replied.

Tom walked into the lounge and saw Maurice and Lee, sitting there talking. Tom walked over and said, “hi guys.”

Maurice smiled and said, “hi Tom, thanks for coming.”

“No problem Maurice,” Tom replied.

“How are you, Lee?” Tom asked.

Lee smiled and said, “well, I am getting a lot fitter. I finally had my prosthetic leg fitted yesterday, so things are looking up and I am getting married.”

“Yeah, so Ben told me, to Maurice’s sister. Isn’t it?” Tom asked.

“Yeah, we met in here and, well, we gelled, so to speak” Lee said.

Maurice laughed and said, “yes, my sister hasn’t stopped talking about him since she met him.”

“I told you that you'd find miss right soon enough, didn’t I?” Tom said.

“Sure did. I didn’t believe you, to be honest” Lee replied.

“The reason I asked to see you, Tom, is to ask you to be my best man,” Maurice said.

Tom smiled and said, “wow, really? I would be honoured, young man.”

Lee looked and said, “shit, he beat me to it.”


Tom laughed and said, “sorry mate.”

Lee said, “no problem. I’ll ask Ben instead.”

Tom laughed and said, “yeah, but don’t tell him he was second choice, mate, that would upset him.”

“I won’t. I promise,” Lee said.


Tom left Coldbrooke a little while later. He arrived back at the office to see his boss, Lady Jayne Dobson, sitting in his office.

“Afternoon, Jayne” Tom said.

“There you are. I've been looking for you” Jayne replied.

“Sorry, I was at Coldbrooke, visiting a client” Tom said.

“Yeah, I know.Jonathan told me,” Jayne said.

“So, what brings you down here?” Tom asked.

“Well, I have been asked by the Royal British Legion, to ask you to represent the support unit at this year's cenotaph ceremony in Whitehall,” Jayne said, smiling.

“Oh wow, that would be some honour,” Tom said.

“Tom, you deserve it. Look what you have done for Maurice Baker,” Jayne said.

“Yeah, but that is no different to what other people have done for other clients,” Tom said.

“You know, Tom, you are a special young man, and you always undervalue the good work you do,” Jayne replied.

“Well, maybe I do, but the team all do good work.Aand to be honest, I think maybe Jon should be the one who should represent the group more than me” Tom said.

“Well, Jon will be there as well” Jayne said.

“Oh ok,” Tom said.

“So, you will do it then?” Jayne asked.

“Guess I will do it” Tom said, smiling.

“Good, I am glad” Jayne said.


~ Two weeks later ~

Tom was standing in the square, in the village where he had grown up. He was with members of the local British Legion branch. The local branch had raised money for the village’s cenotaph, to be replaced with a new structure after the old one was damaged by a tree falling on it.Tom had been asked to rededicate the cenotaph on behalf of the legion.

There were also representatives from the local council, and the community were out in force. The local newspaper and TV also sent people to the event.

Tom walked up in front of the new structure and said, “ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming here today. Last year I received a telephone call at my home, from my mother telling me about the terrible damage done to the cenotaph, after gale force winds uprooted a nearby tree. It had stood here in the village since 1948.

I was a serving officer in the army at the time and decided to see if maybe the army could contribute towards a replacement. The army did give a donation and that started the ball rolling. The local branch of the Royal British Legion then took over and raised an amazing £25,000 in just six months. It is a great honour, that on behalf of the Royal British Legion, that I rededicate this cenotaph today. There has been a slight change to the old one. The names of those brave men and women who fell in both world wars have been joined by three brave men, who have died in the recent conflicts in the Falkland’s, in Iraq, and most recently, in Afghanistan. Private Dominic Wetton died on the Sir Galahad in the Falkland’s conflict. Sgt Paul Gregory died in the first gulf war, and recently, a good friend of mine, Private Matthew Darren Taylor died in Afghanistan. These people sacrificed their lives for this country. So, without further ado, it is with great pleasure that on behalf of the Royal British Legion, I dedicate this cenotaph, and hope that it will serve the community as long as the original has done. Thank you.

Tom was joined by Rhys, who had come down specially to see Matthews name added to the cenotaph. Tom and Rhys walked up and laid a wreath of red poppies on the step, and Tom saluted as he walked back.

~ November 10th  ~

Tom had arrived in London with Ben, ready for Tomorrow’s ceremony at the cenotaph in Whitehall. This event is broadcast on national TV, every year, and is attended by the royal family, representatives of commonwealth countries, and members of all the main political parties. Tom was leading a contingent of people from the Royal British Legion’s support unit. Ben, however, was going to be there pushing Geoffrey Walls in a wheelchair, representing Coldbrooke. Geoff would be carrying a wreath and that will be placed on the cenotaph.

~ The next day ~

Tom was getting nervous, but was standing with his team in line with a huge muster of former members of the armed forces. The men stood still as Big Ben struck 11am. 2 minutes later, a gun sounded the end of the two minute silence and a bugle player sounded the last post. Tom spotted the queen as she placed her wreath on the steps. The rest of the royal family followed. Soon all the main wreaths were laid and the royal family went back in the nearby building to watch the ceremony from a balcony.

Tom led the team from the Royal British Legion flawlessly and handed his wreath to the guard and marched away. Ben soon followed and Geoff handed his wreath over and saluted as he was wheeled past. Ben also saluted.


Jon and Greg were at home, watching the coverage on the TV and Jon said, “there he is,” as Tom marched past the cenotaph.

Greg laughed and said, “wow, he looks sad.”

“Well, it is hardly the time to be smiling, is it” Jon said.

“No, I suppose not” Greg said.

Greg then spotted Ben and said, “there’s Ben.”

“Wow, he looks happy” Jon said.

“Yeah, he does and that guy he is pushing looks pissed off,” Greg said.

“Yeah, Ben said he was a miserable bastard” Jon said.

~ Later that day ~

Ben and Tom arrived home, and went into the house and Tom said, “god, I am glad that’s over with.”

“Yeah, I don’t think I could stick another minute with that miserable swine,” Ben said.

“Yeah, he is a right misery” said Tom.

“He needs to get over himself to be honest” Ben said.

“Yeah, I hoped that Jon being with him most of the time would have made him realise he isn’t the only one who has lost limbs,” Tom said.

“Hi Dads,” Jon said, as he came from the kitchen.

“Hi son,” Tom said.

“We saw you on the tv, dad” Jon said.

“Oh, maybe I'll watch it later” Tom said.

Greg was sat in the lounge doing some coursework on his laptop. Greg looked up and said, “hi guys.”

“Hi Greg, you ok?” Ben said.

“Yeah, this coursework is getting on my nerves, to be honest” Greg said.

Ben laughed and said, “That’s the idea. It’s not supposed to be interesting.”

Greg laughed and said, “I suppose not.”

“When are you going to be working at the hospital?” Tom asked.

“Oh, I start working on the wards in a few weeks, once this coursework is done and one final exam. I start my proper training then” Greg replied.

Jon said, “yeah, then I won’t see much of you.”

Greg smiled stood up and walked over and kissed Jon and said, “I know babes, but we will get through it.”

“Yeah, I remember when Rhys was training, he was doing long hours” Tom said.

“Yeah, but look at him now. He is in charge of a ward” Greg said.

“Yeah, and he loves it” Jon said.

“He certainly does, and he used to love to boss Shaun around” Ben said.

“Yeah, but not anymore. Now they work in different wards and Shaun has been promoted” Tom said.



~ A few weeks later ~

It was a sunny summer’s day and the big day had finally arrived for Maurice Baker and his partner Adam Harrison, and Lee Thomas and Diane Baker.

Tom was with a nervous Maurice, as he got ready to walk down the aisle to see the love of his life, Adam, waiting there. Tom managed to calm him down and said, “now come on, we need you to go downstairs and meet Diane.”

Maurice followed slowly behind Tom. Maurice still needed a stick to walk long distances and Tom walked slowly alongside him.

They arrived in the hotel lobby to see Diane standing there in a long white dress. Maurice smiled and said, “wow, look at you.”

Diane smiled and said, “well, you don’t look bad yourself.”

Ben was walking with Lee in the grounds, and noticed that he was struggling to walk with his prosthetic leg. Ben didn’t say anything, but said, “right mate, let’s get to the marquee.”

Lee smiled and said, “yeah, cannot have the groom being late.”

Lee stood at the front with Ben, and Daniel with his brother Chris.

The marquee was full of their families and friends and Daniel turned round as

No Matter What” played as Maurice walked down the aisle slowly towards his groom.

Lee was still nervous, but a short while later the familiar “Here Comes the Bride” played as Diane, looking stunning, walked down the aisle with her and Maurice’s proud dad, Steve, alongside her.

The ceremony was over and the best men and Steve signed the register.

The registrar said, “you may kiss the bride and groom.”

Maurice kissed his husband, Daniel, and Lee leaned in and kissed Diane.

Diane noticed that Lee seemed to be in pain and asked, “you ok, darling?”

“Yeah, it’s just my leg. It’s rubbing my stump princess, I will be fine” Lee said.

Ben heard this and walked over and said, “Lee, you did put your sock on your stump, didn’t you?”

Lee said, “umm shit, I forgot.”

“That’s why it is rubbing right. I want you come to our room, and I will see if I can do something to stop it rubbing. We  can’t have the groom screaming in pain on his wedding day, now can we” Ben said.

Lee laughed and said, “I can’t just disappear.”

“Well, we can always tell them that you need some medical help” Ben said.

“Yeah, don’t worry baby. I will tell anyone who asks” Diane said.

Ben went to his car and found his work bag. He also found a small supply of the socks he had, and went back into the marquee and said, “come on.”

Ben walked with Lee and could tell he was in a lot of pain.

Ben let Lee into his room and said, “ok, trousers off.”

Lee laughed and said, “I am not that way, mate” laughing.

Ben said, “shut up and do it.”

Lee took his trousers off and then took off the leg. Ben immediately noticed that Lee’s stump was red, and that there was a small blister starting to grow.

“We got to this in time,” Ben said.

Ben took out some cream and started to rub it into the stump. He massaged the blister and it started to weep out. Lee said, “shit, what the hell?”

“Don’t worry, mate. It’s just the blister” Ben said.

“Oh ok” Lee said.

Ben reached over and grabbed two socks and gently put them over Lee’s stump and said, “now, young man, next time remember to put these on first.”

Lee laughed and said, “yes dad.”

Ben laughed and said, ok, now let’s get you decent again and you can get back to your beautiful wife.”

Lee smiled and said, “yeah, and thanks Ben. I don’t know what I would do without you.”

Ben laughed and said, “hey,m just doing my job, mate.”

The two men arrived back into the marquee and Tom walked over and asked, “where you two been?”

“Don’t worry, babes. Lee needed some medical help, that’s all” Ben said.

Tom laughed and said, “I know. I am teasing. Diane told me he was in pain.”

“Yeah. it was his own fault though. He forgot to put the sock over his stump,” Ben said.

Tom said, “oh come on, he probably forgot with his nerves and all that.”

“Yeah, probably” Ben said.


Ben and Tom sat at the top table and Ben stood up and tapped a glass. “Ladies and gentlemen, I was honoured to be asked by Lee, to be his best man. I met Lee earlier this year when I joined the team at the British Legion’s Coldbrooke Hall. Lee is an inspiring young man who was determined to get back walking. Lee can be a stubborn sod, when he wants to be. He is a quiet young man and I was really happy when, after a terrible experience in the past, he found love with Diane. Since the day they met at Coldbrooke, they have been inseparable, and Lee has been really happy again. So please, ladies and gentlemen, please join me with a toast to the bride and groom.”


Tom stood up and said, “ladies and gents, I have been asked by both couples to thank you for coming today. I met Maurice and Dan earlier this year, just after I left the armed forces to join the Legions Support unit. I took Maurice’s case on personally, and I have been inspired to see how well he has done in the short time I have known him. Maurice and Dan met in training, and they fell in love. The injuries that Maurice suffered might have frightened some people away, but not Dan. He stood there and told Maurice to get over it. So, ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses for Maurice and Daniel.”

Daniel led Maurice to the dance floor and walked over to the dj and asked for a special song.

Daniel took hold of Maurice and started to dance as the song “Flying Without Wings” played.

Lee led Diane to the dance floor, and started to dance.

Soon the dance floor was full, as people joined the couples to dance.

Maurice was feeling tired and said to Daniel, “babes, I am feeling tired.”

Daniel leant over and kissed Maurice and said, “ok, babes. Lets go to our room.”

Dan knew that Maurice has to rest a lot, since he has only been walking again for a few days. Ben had explained that this was normal.

Dan sat his husband onto their bed. Maurice grabbed Dan and kissed him and said, “got you alone at last.”

Dan laughed and said, “I thought you said you were tired?”

“Nah, I lied. I just wanted some time with my beautiful husband,” Maurice said, smiling.

“You swine,” Dan said, laughing.

Maurice kissed Dan passionately, and started to undo his shirt buttons and tie. Maurice soon had Dan naked, and went down slowly, taking his uncut 6 inch cock into his mouth. Dan moaned, as Maurice started to lick and suck on his cock.

Dan was moaning and groaning, as Maurice sucked his cock faster and faster. Maurice pulled off and then lined up his arse to Dan’s rock hard cock. Maurice then slowly lowered himself onto Dan’s cock. Dan groaned as he felt Maurice’s arse split apart, allowing his cock in. Maurice leant over and kissed Dan. He then started to ride up and down on Dans cock. Dan was groaning louder and louder, as Maurice bounced up and down on his cock. Maurice’s own cock was dripping precum, as he fucked himself on Dans cock. Maurice shouted, “fuck” as his cock throbbed sending a huge load of his cum flying over Dan’s hot sweaty smooth body. Maurice pulled off Dan’s cock, and went down and started to wank it faster and faster. Dan groaned loudly and shouted, “oh shit,” as his cock throbbed, sending a huge load of his cum flying all over Maurice’s face and hair.

Maurice leant over and kissed Dan and said, “I love you.”

Dan laughed and said, “yeah, I love you too, you sexy fucker.”

Maurice laughed and playfully slapped Dan and said, “and don’t you forget it”.


~ A few days later ~

Lee and Diane had gone on their honeymoon to Loch Lomond in Scotland. Lee hadn’t told Diane that he was finding it hard with his prosthetic leg. He had listened to Ben, and had been wearing the socks, but he felt that there was something not right with his stump, but he didn’t want to worry his beautiful new wife. Diane noticed Lee was limping badly and said, “baby, is everything ok?”

Lee smiled saying, “I am fine, princess. I'm just tired. I've overdone the walking a bit. Maybe I will stay here today, while you go to the village.”

“Well, I can stay with you instead,” Diane said.

“No, you should go” Lee said.

Diane knew lee was lying and said, “ok, I will go.”


Diane went into the nearby village and for the first time since they have been there, she finally had mobile coverage.

Diane knew who to phone, and dialed in the number for Coldbrooke Hall.

Ben was in the lounge talking to a family member of a patient, when Alistair came over and said, “Ben, its Diane Thomas on the phone, mate. She is worried about Lee.”

Ben took the phone from Alistair and said, “hi, Diane. What’s wrong?”

“Well, Ben, he has been limping since yesterday, and he is trying to hide it from me. But I can tell he is in a lot of pain,” Diane said.

“Ok, well rather than ruin your honeymoon by coming home, I will come and see you. Ok? It will take me a few hours to get there, but I will be there later today. Ok?” Ben asked.

“Thanks Ben,” Diane said.

“Not a problem Diane. You know that,” Ben said.

Alistair looked at Ben as he rang off and said, “sounds serious.”

“Well, I hope not. But I need to go and check it out,” Ben said.

Alistair said,“Yeah.” 

Ben phoned Tom and told him about his trip.

Ben was soon driving up the M6 motorway, towards the English / Scottish border.

Around six hours later, Ben was pulling up outside the converted farm building where Diane and Lee were staying.

Diane hadn’t told Lee that Ben was on his way up.

Ben walked over and knocked on the door and Lee answered, and said, “what the hell?”

Ben said, “surprise.”

Lee looked at Diane and said, “ok, I guess you called him.”

“Yeah, baby I did. I am worried,” Diane said.

“I am ok,  princess” Lee said.

“Umm, I will be the judge of that,” Ben said.

Lee went to say something, but Ben said, “no arguments!”

Lee laid down on the bed and took off his tracksuit bottoms, and slowly took off his leg. Ben slowly peeled back the sock and saw that the infection had gotten worse.

Ben said, “shit, this is bad.  I can’t deal with this, mate. It needs a doctor.”

“Umm, Diane, can you find the number of the local surgery for me?” lee asked.

“I’ll go to the farm to see if Mrs McGregor has a number,” Diane said.

“Ok, I will stay here with Lee,” Ben said.

Lee was upset and said, “am I going to lose the rest of my leg mate?”

“Not if I have anything to do with it, Lee” Ben said.

“I can’t believe I was so stupid,” Lee said.

“listen to me. You are a young man on his honeymoon and you had better thing to do than put some cream on your leg. If there is anyone to blame, it is me. I should have told Diane how important this was,” Ben said.

“You told me and I ignored you,” Lee said.

Diane came back and said, “ok, Dr Blair is on his way.”

“They were wondering who you was,” Diane said.

Ben said, “yeah, I expect they were.”

A few minutes later, a land rover pulled up outside and a blonde hair man came to the door. Ben answered and said, “good afternoon. I expect you are Dr Blair.”

“Yeah, that’s me. And you are?” Philip asked.

“I am Ben. I am a physiotherapist at the royal British Legion's rehab unit for injured soldiers at Coldbrooke Hall. Lee is one of my patients,” Ben said.

“Oh ok,” Phil said.

“Let me give you some background. Lee has a prosthetic leg, which he wears after losing his leg while on a tour of duty in the Army. He forgot to put a sock on his stump on his wedding day, and it got infected. I gave Lee some cream to use, but he didn’t use it and the infection has gotten a bit worse. To be honest, I cannot prescribe a stronger cream. That’s why I asked to see you,” Ben said.

“Ok, let’s have a look”  Dr. Phil said.

Phil checked it and said, “well, it is not too serious. I can see that it needs a stronger cream. I will give you this prescription and you will need to get to the village quickly, as the local chemist shuts at 5 30 sharp.

Ben looked at his watch and saw it was 4 45 and said, “how quick can I get there?”

“It takes about 15 minutes,” Philip said.

“Ok, I will go for it” Ben said.

Ben ran out of the house and into his car, and headed off. He arrived in the village at 5pm, and went into the chemist and handed the prescription over to the woman on the counter.

The pharmacist came out around ten minutes later and said, “ok, here is your cream sir.”

Ben said, “thank you.”

“Umm, can I ask what you are using this for? It is a stronger cream than we normally issue,” Miss Jefferies said.

“It’s for a patient. He needs it for his prosthetic leg,” Ben said.

“Oh ok,” miss Jefferies said.

“I'd better get back,” Ben said.

Ben left the chemist, and headed back to the farm. He passed Dr Blair in the lane and waved. He pulled up outside, and walked back into the cottage. Lee was still lying on the bed. Ben walked over and said, “ok, let’s get this on it.”

Ben slowly massaged the cream all over the infected area, and Lee winced as he felt the cold cream hit his stump. Ben said, “it will get better, mate. Don’t worry.”

Lee said, “I hope so Ben.”

“Well, enjoy the rest of your honeymoon, and Diane make sure he keeps putting this on the infected area three times a day,” Ben said.

“Don’t worry Ben, he will and I will make sure of that,” Diane said, smiling.

Ben laughed and said, “watch out, mate. She is on the warpath.”

Lee laughed and said, “yeah.”


Ben said, “well, guys. I had better be off. I have booked a room in a hotel nearby. I will pop in before I head home in morning.”

Diane said, “thanks for coming all this way, Ben.”

“Hey, don’t worry. All part of the service” Ben said, smiling.


Ben arrived at the hotel, and was surprised to see Tom's car parked there. Ben walked into the lobby, and saw Tom sitting there smiling.

“What you doing here?” Ben asked.

Tom smiled and said, “well, I thought we could have a night away from everyone.”

Ben laughed and said, “you swine.”

“I have already checked us in,” Tom said.

“How’s Lee?” Tom asked.

“Yeah, he should be ok, as long as he listens to what I told him,” Ben said.

“Yeah he can be a stubborn swine,” Tom said.

“Yeah, well he is lucky it is only a mild infection and that he isn’t in hospital having another operation,” Ben said.

“Oh, that serious then?” asked Tom.

“Yeah, it could have been. It is a good thing Diane called me. To be honest, if he had left it for a few more days, he could have been facing losing more of his leg” Ben said.

“What a silly lad,” Tom said.

“To be honest, would you like to have to put cream on three times a day on your honeymoon? So I can see where he is coming from,” Ben said.

“Yeah,” Tom said.

Tom led Ben up the stunning staircase of the converted castle, that made up the hotel, to their room on the first floor.

Tom opened the door and said, “look at the stunning view, babes.”

Ben walked over and opened the door to the balcony, and went out and looked out over the loch.

Tom walked out behind Ben, and hugged him and the two men watched as the sun started to set over the loch.

Tom kissed Ben and said, “I love you, Ben.”

Ben smiled and said, “I love you too.”

The couple went down to the restaurant and enjoyed a meal.

Ben enjoyed having Tom with him, and the two men went for a walk around the hotel grounds. They arrived back at the lobby later when, the receptionist called Ben over and said, “excuse me sir, we have a message for you to call Diane.”

Ben said, “ok, thanks.”

Ben phoned Diane and said, “hi, is everything ok?”

“Yeah, he is asleep. I wanted to speak to you about something else,” Diane said.

“Oh ok,” Ben said.

“Thing is, Ben. I am worried that he is depressed, and despite him telling me he is ok, I know he is no,t” Diane said.

“well Diane, to be honest, he has been depressed for a while, but he seemed to get out of it when you two got together. It sounds like he is hiding it. When you come back to Coldbrooke, I will get Dr Bonner to speak to him. Ok?” Ben said.

“Ok, thanks Ben” Diane said.

“You take care,” Ben said.

“And you too,” Diane said.

“I am fine. I had a surprise visitor when I got to the hotel, Tom was here,” Ben said.

“That’s nice, I am sorry to disturb you,” Diane said.

“Hey, not too worry. Tom’s used to me by now, and god I have had many a night disturbed by Army business or Legion business, believe me” Ben said.


Ben and Tom walked up to the room and went in. Ben said, “god, I am exhausted.”


~ The next morning ~

Ben and Tom went down for breakfast, and then went for another walk before checking out. Tom said, “right babes, I had better be going. I have a meeting this afternoon. I will see you at home later,” Tom kissed Ben.

“Ok babes. I have to call on Lee and Diane, then I will head home. I am off today, so I don’t need to go in” Ben said.

“Ok, see you later,” Tom said.

Ben watched as Tom's Lexus pulled out of the car park. Ben got in his car and drove to the farm. He knocked on the door and Lee answered and said, “hi Ben, come in.”

Ben followed Lee and noticed he was still limping, but maybe not as much. Lee was wearing shorts and Ben said, “how is it feeling today?”

“Yeah, a little better, to be honest” Lee said.

“That’s good. Let’s have a look,” Ben said.

Lee removed the leg and the sock. Ben could see that some of the redness had gone and said, “it’s looking a lot better, but keep using the cream, and when you come back to Coldbrooke, I will check it again for you mate.”

“Thanks, Ben” Lee said.

“So, where’s Diane?” Ben asked.

“Oh, she has gone in the village,” Lee said.

“Well, tell her I said hi, but I will leave you in peace. Promise me if you need me, you will phone me. Ok?” Ben said.

“Ok, I will” Lee said.


Ben left the farm and spotted Diane walking back. He waited by the car and Diane walked over and said, “hi, Ben.”

“Hi, Diane” Ben said.

“How is it?” Diane asked.

“Yeah, it is looking better this morning, but keep applying the cream three times per day,” Ben said.

“Will do,” Diane said.

“Anyway I am going to make a move” Ben said.

“Ok. Thanks Ben,” Diane said.

“No problem,” Ben said.

Ben arrived home later that day, and sat in the lounge. He picked up the local newspaper to see a shock headline "Legion To Close Rehab Centre”.

Ben read the story and was relieved to see it wasn’t Coldbrooke Hall, but a smaller one at Westland house. Ben read that the remaining patients at Westland were to be transferred to Coldbrooke and another unit at Broad Oaks Manor. Ben had been to Westland, and wasn’t that impressed with the site. The buildings were old and in a poor condition, so he wasn’t too surprised that the Legion was closing it. 

He opened the paper and saw another headline NHS Trust Suspends Physiotherapy Head In Patient Care Investigation. He smiled to himself, as he read that the trust had finally caught up with his former boss. He read that a patient had made an official complaint about the care he had received recently, since his former therapist had left. Ben realised that the patient was one of the young men he had helped when he worked there.

Ben went into the kitchen and started to cook a meal for him and Tom. Jon had phoned earlier to say that Greg and he were going to Alice's for dinner.

Tom arrived home later, feeling really tired and saw the headline on the paper. He feared the worst, and picked it up and, like Ben earlier, sighed a sigh of relieve when he saw it wasn’t Coldbrooke. Ben walked into the lounge and said, “read the story on page 2.”

Tom turned over and saw the other headline and said, “way hay, he finally gets his comeuppance, babes.”

Ben laughed and said, “yeah, about time too.”


The men enjoyed their meal talking about Gary and the closure of Westland. Tom had been to Westland a few times, but like Ben, he felt it was past its best.

Tom then said, “I was thinking maybe me and you could take a holiday.”

Ben smiled and said, “yeah, that sounds good, but where?”

“Well, I was thinking maybe we could go back to that hotel and tour around that area,” Tom said.

“Oh yeah, I would like that, maybe in a few weeks. Let me sort Lee out first,” Ben said.

“Yeah that’s fine. That will allow me to make sure the unit is ok,” Tom said.

~ The next morning ~

Ben arrived at Coldbrooke Hall and went to see Alice, straight away.

“Morning, Ben. What can I do for you?” Alice said.

“I need to speak to you about Lee Thomas,” Ben said.

“Oh, is he ok?  Alistair said you had to go on an emergency call, the other day, to him” Alice said.

“Yeah, he is ok, but Diane is worried about his mental health. She is worried he is depressed,” Ben said.

Alice said, “Oh ok. I thought it was a problem with his leg.” 

“Yeah, that is why I was called out. But Diane asked me for help, and to be honest, it is not my field, so I was hoping you might have some idea,” Ben said.

“Of course I will help. I will ask Joseph Landon to speak to Lee when he gets back,” Alice said.

“Yeah, Joe is a good guy. I am sure he will help Lee” Ben said.

Ben was soon dealing with the day to day stuff when Alistair called on him.

“Ben, can I have a word a minute mate?” Alistair said.

“Yeah sure” 

“I am sure you saw last night’s post, mate” Alistair said.

“Yeah sure did” 

“Well, the Legion are worried that we might get implicated in the investigation,” Alistair said.

“Why would we be involved?” Ben asked.

“Well, you worked with him before you came here, and they are worried that you might get implicated some way,” Alistair said.

Ben was gobsmacked and said, “Alistair, if you read the article, you know the young man said that his care failed after his regular therapist quit. Wel,l I was that therapist. So I wasn’t there when this incident took place.”

“Well, sorry Ben. The Legion has told me to ask you to take a leave of absence from here, until this investigation is over,” Alistair said.

“Alistair, I cant. I need to be here for Lee and my other clients. Please let me talk to the Legion,” Ben said.

“Ok, I will let you talk to my boss, Lady Taylor, but I warn you, she can be a right one,” Alistair said.

Ben decided he needed help with this, and phoned Tom. Tom couldn’t believe what he was hearing, and immediately headed over to Coldbrooke.

Ben also contacted the trust, and asked them if he had been implicated in the investigation. The trust said he hadn’t, and they offered to send written confirmation to Alistair, by email.

Ben arrived at Alistair’s office, and met Lady Helena Taylor.

Tom was with him, and they both sat down.

“I believe you wish to speak to me about your suspension,” Helena said.

“Yeah, that’s is correct, Madame” Ben said.

“What makes you think you can change our mind, young man?” Helena asked.

“Well, first of all, I have written confirmation from the trust, that I am not part of the investigation into the hospital’s physiotherapy dept.” Ben said.

“Well, I haven’t seen this written confirmation, young man” Helena said.

Just then Alistair walked in, and handed Helena the letter. She read it and said, “well, it seems you were telling the truth, young man,” Helena said.

Tom spoke up and said, “Ben worked his fingers to the bone for that dept when he worked there, and Gary was useless. In fact, if I remember correctly, Alistair told me that he had been sacked from here for being lazy.”

Alistair said, “yeah, he worked here for a few months, and in that time, I received nothing but complaints.”

Ben then said, “I also have another reason. I am in a middle of a difficult case, and I don’t want to leave that half way through.”

Alistair said, “Lady Taylor, since Ben has joined us, we have had more success with patients than we have had for a few years. I really don’t think this place would be able to function without him.”


Helena said, “ok, Ben. Can you wait outside for a minute please?”

Ben and Tom walked out and Ben said, “I don’t know if she believed me.”

Tom said, “don’t worry babes. You are one of the hardest working physio’s here, and like Alistair said, it would be hard without you.”

Helena looked at Alistair and said, “so, do you really rate Ben that much?”

“I certainly do. Answer me this, one of our patients is in Scotland on his honeymoon. He had a problem, the other day, and what did Ben do? He went all the way up to help him. Now does that sound like someone who doesn’t care about his patients?” Alistair said.

“No,it doesn’t” Helena said.

“So, what are we going to do?” Alistair asked.

“Well, to be honest, he doesn’t have a case to answer, so we don’t need to suspend him,” Helena said.

“Well, that's good, because I really don’t think Coldbrooke could afford to lose such a good physio,” Alistair said.

“Well, the decision, of course, isn’t mine. I will have to talk to the board members, whether to lift the suspension permanently. But in mean time, we can temporarily lift the suspension, until the board rules,” Helena said.

“Well, that is something, I suppose,” Alistair said.

“If I have anything to do with it, the suspension will be removed completely,” Helena said.

“Ok, we need to tell him then,” Alistair said.

“Yes, ask him to come back in,” Helena said.

Alistair walked to the door and saw a dejected Ben sat there with Tom, trying to calm him down.

“Come back in please, Ben” Alistair said.

Ben walked in with Tom behind.

“Right, Ben, in reflection of the new information, we have received today, I and Alistair have discussed the decision to suspend you. I will need to speak to the board about lifting the suspension permanently, but in meantime, I have agreed to lift it temporarily,” Helena said.

“So, I can continue to practice?” Ben said.

“Absolutely, young man. And as far as I am concerned, it will be a formality to get the board to lift the suspension permanently,” Helena said.

“Thank you,” Ben said.

“No, thank you young man, we need good people like you in this organisation” Helena said.


Tom and Ben left the office. Ben sighed a sigh of relief and said, “thank god that is over.”

“Yeah” Tom said.

“Thanks for being here with me, babes” Ben said.

“Hey ,you really think I would leave you face this alone?” Tom said, smiling.

Tom hugged Ben and said, “listen babes, I'd better get back, but phone me when you hear more. Ok?”

“Ben said, “will do, babes.”

Ben kissed Tom and Tom walked out of Coldbrooke.

Tom arrived back at his office to see his boss, Jayne was there. He went into her office and knocked the door.

“Come in,” Jayne replied.

“Hi Jayne, can I ask you something?” Tom asked.

Jayne said, “Yeah sure.” 

“Are you on the board at Coldbrooke Hall?” Tom asked.

“Yeah, I am. Why?” Jayne asked.

“Well, I have been there with my husband. He was to be suspended because of an investigation at his old job, and I am not very happy that he was treated like that,” Tom said.

Jayne looked at Tom and said, “shit, do you know I was in that meeting and they were on about this physio at Coldbrooke, and I didn’t realise that it was Ben, sorry.”

“Well, the trust has confirmed today, that Ben isn’t part of the investigation. So he has been allowed to stay in work until the board meets again” Tom said.

“Well to be honest, I said in the original meeting that as long as there wasn’t any course of concern in Bens work at Coldbrooke, that we should just allow him to continue working, but I was out numbered in the final vote,” Jayne said.

Tom said, “Well, I hope that you will support Ben in the next vote.” 

“I sure will,” Jayne said


Jayne left the offices later, and as she was leaving, she told Tom that the board were meeting later at Westland house to discuss Ben’s case.


Tom arrived home later that day to see Ben sitting there. Ben had been crying, and Tom walked over and said, “what’s happened?”

“I am ok babes. Tthese are tears of relief.” Ben said.

“Oh?” Tom said.

“Yeah, Alistair phoned me just before I left, and told me that the suspension has been cancelled. Apparently Jayne and Helena put on a brilliant performance, saving my arse, babes” Ben said, smiling.

“Have you seen tonights post?” Tom asked.

“No, why?” Ben asked.

Tom handed Ben the paper and Ben looked shocked at the headline “Physiotherapist Department Head Aarrested In Fraud Inquiry”

“Wow,” Ben said.

Tom said,“Yeah looks like Gary had been a real naughty boy.” 

“Yeah, it does doesn’t it” Ben said, smiling.

“Oh wow, it says here he is also being investigated on suspicion of sexual assault,” Ben said.

“Yeah, I read that as well,” Tom said.

“Always said he was a creep,” Ben said.

“Yeah, you did. And to be honest, the once or twice I met him, he came across as a bit of one” Tom said.

 Tom took hold of Ben’s hand and said, “come on.”

He led Ben upstairs into their room and kissed his husband and said, “you know babes, I will stand by you through thick and thin.”

“Yeah, and me you” Ben said.

Tom kissed Ben passionately.

The kiss was disturbed by a knock at the door. Ben and Tom went downstairs and answered the door, to see two police officers standing there.

“Hi, can I help?” Tom said.

“Are you Ben Andrews Rees?” one of the officers said.

“No, that’s me,” Ben said.

The officer walked up to Ben, and took hold of him and said, “I am arresting you on suspicion of conspiracy to comment fraud," and read him his rights.

Tom just stood there gobsmacked, as Ben was taken away. Tom shouted to Ben, “I will get Alan to meet you there, babes.”


If Service to help Retired and Disabled Military Men/Women Interests You
See Below.

We are the team Tour de Forces who are taking on the elements of the UK to cycle, handcycle and run the 3102 miles of coastline Starting September 1st!!

Please see

Our team consists of myself (civilian), Mark Ormrod (Former Royal Marine and first UK triple amputee from the Afghan conflict),
Dodge Holls (Former Royal Marine) and Charles Padilla (Former US Marine). We are raising money for four forces charities.

We are contacting you to request your help in the lines of sponsorship. We have a daunting task ahead of us and we realise that we are not going to only be in the sun but rain, sleet, etc...!!

We are in need of some compression clothing to help protect us from the elements! Hopefully, this is where you can help with kitting out the team. We appreciate you must get inundated with sponsorship requests day in day out, however we are offering a return service!!

We have just been sponsored by a large UK vehicle supplier, who are donating 2 support vehicles for the
duration of the challenge. We are going to be getting the vehicles signs written and are going to incorporate sponsors logos onto the vinyl. We have already been on ITV and BFBS Radio, and we will pass on regular mentions through media. We will also place your logo onto our site, kit and social networking, as well as our tech team doing a video to announce you as sponsors. This was our launch video:

We hope this is something you can help us with!
Thank you for your time.