The Nineteenth Year by Jevic, The Tarheel Writer    The Nineteenth Year
by Jevic
The Tarheel Writer
Chapter Twelve
"We Need a Plan"

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The Nineteenth Year by Jevic, The Tarheel Writer

Action Adventure
Sexual Situations
Rated Teen 13+

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Stan Bouchard relaxed in his first class seat as the airliner climbed into the afternoon Belfast sky. He knew Danny would try to get in touch with that stupid friend of his in North Carolina. When he did, the automatic line tracer on the phone line would reveal the brat's location. And if he didn't call, there were plenty more tricks that could be pulled to get his attention. That boy had cost him a lot of money. The porn operation was raking in tons of cash from foreign customers. When Danny pulled that little stunt with the baseball bat, the operation came to a grinding halt. In fact, Stan was lucky to have escaped. His partners weren't so lucky. They were prosecuted and ended up rotting away in prison for life. Stan was clever though. He was prepared for the unexpected. Even though he ended up spending the last seven years in Prague, he did manage to move most of his wealth into Swiss bank accounts before those blasted pigs at the FBI froze his accounts. Yes, Danny boy was going to pay for all the trouble he caused. He was going to pay dearly and so were his friends.

All in all, Prague hadn't been that bad. The porn business was back in operation and was actually making more than it ever did. Foreign customers were clamoring for more. That didn't matter to Stan. All he wanted was revenge. It had taken the better part of four years to build his business back. Starting from scratch had been difficult. Dealing in kiddie porn was risky business, even in Prague. After finally making the right contacts, the business got off the ground. Young kids were easy to find, especially when you waved some cash in front of them, not that the boys ever got any cash. Stan chuckled to himself at the thought. He didn't look at them as little boys. He looked at them as cash, nothing more and nothing less. They were just a means to get what he wanted. After he got it, he really didn't care what happened to the little brats.

The idea behind the little black boxes had actually been his web administrator's. Stan had watched over the man's shoulder for months. Between taking care of five different pay sites, the administrator explained everything he knew about the Internet. Stan soaked up all the information he could. In addition, he studied books about Internet infrastructure. The plan was simple, but implementing it would require extensive work. The black boxes had to be installed along the backbone of the Internet. That meant extensive travel. Getting the boxes installed would probably attract more attention than Stan would be comfortable with. That's when he was hit with the idea to use Danny. Not only would he get some sweet revenge, but he'd get the boy to do all the dirty work. Stan couldn't afford to be caught sneaking into Internet cafes. After all, the FBI still had warrants for his arrest.

Well, that was the plan. Now the little shit might be dead. Stan doubted that, but he couldn't wait. More boxes needed to be installed and he'd just have to take the risk and do it himself. Revenge against Danny was important, but getting the boxes installed was even more important. Once they were installed and his plan came to fruition, Stan was looking forward to a life of luxury in the Caribbean with his accounts in Switzerland stuffed full of cash. Of course, his lavish lifestyle would include lots of houseboys.

In the mean time, he decided to entice Danny into making a mistake. To do that he'd reek a little havoc on the brat's friends. That should get his attention. And if the kid really was dead, Stan would just be having a little fun while exacting his revenge on Danny's friends.

"May I get you anything, sir?" the steward asked. Stan looked up into the baby blue eyes of the just barely twenty year old who was smiling at him. A smile crept across his face as he held up his empty glass.

"Yes, perhaps another vodka," he said with a wink.

"Yes sir, right away, sir." Stan watched the cute steward walk down the aisle. Perhaps this flight wouldn't be so boring after all.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

David Rankin slowly hung up the phone. The call from his son had been interesting, no, it had been … disturbing. What the hell had his son gotten mixed up in now? David made some calls to friends at the NSA. Well, that part of the story was confirmed. A team of rogue agents really had been arrested and their arrest was somehow related to the Internet. Now David had to find out more about this Internet connection. After a few more phone calls to contacts at the FBI, David was convinced his son was in the middle of some real trouble. The FBI was currently investigating the Cowan Ford Dam incident. Agents were convinced the floodgates were opened by someone who hacked into the Duke Power computer system. There were no suspects, but who ever did it was both ruthless and cunning. Computer experts from the bureau could not trace how the system was broken into. Hundreds of people were killed by the wall of water and thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed. This hacker was a very dangerous person. David had moved from being concerned about his son to being afraid for his son's safety. He picked up his phone and dialed. Even though the voice that answered was Dillon's voice mail, it was still reassuring to David to hear his son's voice.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

"So what do we do now?" Cody asked. Daniel shook his head slowly from side to side.

"I can't think right now," Daniel said sitting back on the couch. Cody picked up the phone and called room service.

"I think breakfast is the best place to start," he said as he hung up the phone. Teri and a still embarrassed Timmy came from their bedroom.

"Morning," Teri said cheerfully. When she saw the look on Daniel's face, her smile changed to a look of concern. "What's happened?" she asked as she sat down next to Daniel. Timmy grabbed a seat and listened as Cody filled them in on Charlie's murder. Teri was shaking with rage as Cody finished the story.

"Dad said he'd check with some friends at the FBI and the NSA," Dillon said as he walked back into the suite's living room. He immediately saw the angry look on Teri's face. "I take it you know about Casey's friend?" Teri's anger faded a moment as she realized that Casey was Dillon's friend.

"I'm sorry, Dillon. I take it the phone call this morning was for Casey?" Dillon nodded and joined them on the couch.

"It's been a tough morning. Casey went home a little bit ago, but he said he'd either call or come by this afternoon." Teri nodded.

"I don't think the dam incident was just an accident," she said. "Stan is either covering his tracks or trying to get our attention." Just then there was a knock on the door. Everyone jumped. Timmy headed for the door and checked the peephole.

"Breakfast," he announced as he happily opened the door. The waiter rolled the cart into the suite and moments later the group was happily munching away.

"Stan is involved in all of this, both the dam incident and Charlie's murder. Don't ask me how I know. I just have a feeling about it," said Teri as she stuffed a fork full of eggs in her mouth.

"I agree," said Cody.

"And what happened to Casey's friend seems to suit this asshole too," added Dillon.

"Thank makes sense," said Timmy. "If we only knew where he was we could squash him like a bug."

"That's be too good for him," muttered Daniel.

"You know, they say the best way to find out about the future is to learn from the past," said Dillon.

"What do you mean by that?" asked Teri.

"Well, he sent you to London and then to Belfast. Where was he going to send you next?"

"He didn't say," said Daniel.

"Well then, let's look at the map and figure it out. If he thinks you're dead, he should try to install the box himself. If we figure out where he'll be next, we can get him," said Dillon. There were nods of agreement around the table.

"I'll get the maps he sent us," said Cody. Daniel nodded as Cody headed for the bedroom.

"Does someone want that last bit of sausage?" asked Teri.

"Bit?" exclaimed Timmy. "There's three links left."

"I need to build my strength back up. Someone gave me quite a workout last night," she smirked. Timmy blushed as Dillon and Daniel laughed.

The group sat around after breakfast and looked over all the maps and information Stan had sent. The places Stan had them going were all over Europe … Berlin, Helsinki, Brussels, Prague, Paris, Salzburg and Zurich. Figuring out which place would be next was becoming increasingly difficult. As the hours passed and it approached lunchtime, a knock on the door interrupted their thoughts. It was Dillon that opened the door. The handsome red head standing in the hall was quickly pulled into the suite and wrapped in a hug. The other friends came over and hugged him as well, but it was Dillon's hug that meant the most.

"Planning a trip?" Casey asked as he sat down on the couch looking over the maps spread out on the coffee table. That question was followed by the proverbial pregnant pause. Timmy started to say something, but the look Daniel gave him left no question. Timmy closed his mouth and sat back in his chair. "Was it something I said?" asked Casey.

"No, we're just not sure what we're gonna do, so we're exploring options," offered Teri with a smile.

"You've just arrived in Belfast and you're already leaving?"

"Well," Teri said with a shrug. Casey turned to look at Dillon.

"You too?" Dillon had never been faced with such a difficult choice. After some quick thinking, he came up with the answer that would make everyone happy.

"There's no reason why we can't headquarter here and make short visits."

"An excellent idea, but there's loads to see right here. Have you been to Harland and Wolfe?"

"Harland and Wolfe?" asked Dillon.

"Birthplace of the Titanic," Casey said proudly.

"Cool," exclaimed Daniel. Casey went on to tell them all about Belfast and soon had everyone ready to take a tour. The arrival of the local paper sobered their excitement as they all took turns reading the lead story about Charlie's murder. Casey found comfort in the arms of his new American friend. Dillon had truly been a blessing. Their meeting and subsequent night together had started a relationship they both reveled in. Somehow a relationship with the obvious problems of being international didn't enter into their minds. Right now, right here, it was for the moment. Eventually, Casey had to excuse himself so he could visit with Charlie's family, but insisted they all join him at the pub for supper.

After a quick lunch, the planning continued and so did the frustration. Despite all the discussion of where Stan would have sent them next, they just could not some up with a destination they all agreed on. It was Daniel who finally made the decision they all agreed on.

"They way I see it, he has to go to every location on the list. All we have to do is pick one and wait for him to come." The frowns around the room slowly turned to smiles as the simplicity of the plan became evident. Now all they had to do was choose a location. A vote was taken with everyone writing down their choice. Daniel gathered them in a basket. He read each vote and when the count was tallied, the group would be headed for Prague. Everyone quickly agreed.

"Now, how about a little sightseeing?" suggested Teri.

"Let me book a flight. Then I'll be ready. Tomorrow afternoon good with everyone?" Timmy asked. Everyone nodded in agreement.

As they hurried to get ready, the afternoon headline news report came on the television. The report of the airline steward found dead in a jetliner bathroom went unnoticed. The missed call notification on Dillon's cell phone also went unnoticed.

Back in the United States, David Rankin was just sitting down to breakfast when a CIA agent approached his table. Since David worked with the agent he thought nothing about seeing him at the restaurant. Fifteen minutes later, a confused waitress was wondering where the man at table C-5 was.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

The giant black hull slipped almost soundlessly into the water. Even with hundreds of cheering people, Daniel couldn't help but slip back in time and imagine the giant hulk being the hull of the Titanic. The people around him suddenly appeared in 1910 clothing. The familiar four stacks weren't there yet, but the name on the hull gleamed proudly in the afternoon sunshine. Daniel watched as she slipped gracefully into the water. It was one thing to read about it in books and to look at the old black and white photos, but to actually see it, feel it, to take in everything … the sounds, the smells, the rumble of the ground under his feet as tons of steel slipped toward the water …

"Hey, you OK?" The vision popped from Daniel's head as he turned to look into Cody's eyes. "You look like you're somewhere else."

"Actually, another time," Daniel mused. Cody looked confused. "Nineteen ten. It was the year the Titanic was launched from this very place." Daniel nodded toward a plaque on a nearby monument. "There's a lot of history that got it's start right here." Cody nodded in agreement.

"And the end of a lot of lives started right here as well." Daniel smiled knowing Cody truly did comprehend the meaning of the place they stood.

The group of friends left the shipyards of Harland and Wolfe and headed back toward their hotel. Timmy had arranged for a flight the following evening from Belfast to Prague. As they walked down the street toward the pub to meet Casey, Dillon's cell phone rang.




"Is Daniel Simon with you?"

"Who is this?" asked Dillon as he came to an abrupt stop on the sidewalk. There was a slight pause on the other end of the line.

"It's Larry Levine. I'm a co-worker with your father," came the answer. Alarm bells went off in Dillon's head. Something was up. None of his father's co-workers had his cell phone number. The caller could only have gotten it from his dad.

"Where is dad?" ask Dillon pointedly.

"He's busy on an investigation and wanted me to check on you."

"Tell dad I'm fine. Oh, and did dad finally get that new haircut I told him to get?" There was another pause before Dillon got an answer.

"Yeah, he sure did. Looks good too." Dillon smiled and then frowned. He smiled because he caught the caller in a lie. His dad was completely bald. He frowned because his dad might be in trouble. "So, are you and Daniel getting along?" Dillon didn't miss a beat in his response.

"I'm sorry, but who is this Daniel you keep asking about?"

"No need to worry, Dillon. Your dad told us all about the trouble you're in."

"Trouble? I didn't tell my father I was in any trouble."

"He seems to think you're with Daniel Simon and that that would put you in trouble." Dillon snapped the cover of the phone shut and ended the call. He quickly filled his new friends in on the conversation.

"Quick, call home and talk to your mom," said Teri.

"Good idea," Dillon agreed as his quickly dialed. Moments later the call went to voice mail. "No one's home," he said quietly.

"Check his other numbers," Teri said. Dillon quickly dialed every number he had for his parents, but only got voice mail. With each unanswered phone call, Dillon's apprehension grew. Panic wasn't very far away when an arm circled around Dillon's shoulders. He turned quickly and looked into familiar pale blue eyes. He quickly threw his arms around the handsome red headed Irish boy.

"Casey," he whispered. "I'm so glad you're here." Feeling a slight tremor in his friend, Casey tightened his hug to ease the fears.

"It's OK, love. I'm here now. Nothing bad can happen. You're with me now." The words were reassuring. The hug was warm and genuine. The emotion was new and filled with raw emotion. And the tears were real too as they rolled down Dillon's face. All kinds of horrible thoughts ran through his mind. Foremost were his concerns about his mom and dad. And slowly boiling just under the surface was a new nagging doubt about his decision to make friends with this group of teens. His decision about Casey was never in question.

The alarm bells in Dillon's head weren't the only ones going off. Daniel too was suddenly on full alert. He quickly added the clues together and his deduction didn't sit too well.

"We have to move, quickly," he said. Cody was immediately on alert as well. Dillon didn't move. Daniel noticed the subtle change in Dillon's demeanor. He couldn't blame him, but he had to do something quick. "Dillon, they have your cell phone number. They know you're in Belfast. All it takes is a phone call to triangulate where you are. Whether you still trust me or not, we have to move now."

"And just who exactly is 'they'?"

"Bad people," Daniel said quietly but with solid resolve. Dillon nodded. The group moved down the sidewalk toward the pub. Daniel felt Teri's fingernails dig deep into his arm. He quickly looked at his best friend and saw her face turn ashen with fear. Following her eyes, Daniel watched as a black American SUV slowly finished turning the corner ahead.

"Daniel," Cody whispered urgently.

"I see it," Daniel answered without taking his eyes off the SUV. "Casey, we need to disappear, right now. Trouble is coming our way in a black SUV." Casey looked up the street ahead. The SUV stood out like a sore thumb on the Belfast street.

"That don't look good," Casey said as he pulled Dillon even closer. Dillon looked at the SUV and immediately knew it was a government vehicle. "The pub's just a few more doors down. If we can make it, we'll be safe."

"Everybody walk normally, but don't waste any time," Daniel quietly instructed. The group made its way down the sidewalk. With the SUV just a hundred feet away, they ducked into the pub.

"Shannon!" Casey yelled. The young girl looked up from the bar and initially smiled, but when she saw the worried look on Casey's face, she knew there was trouble.

"Casey O'Brien!" she said with her hands on her hips. "Have you been fighting again?"

"No, but we all need a quick exit. Can we borrow your car?" Shannon looked around the group and saw fear on their faces. She didn't hesitate as she reached into her apron and handed the keys to Casey.

"Not a scratch. Understand?" she said firmly. Casey kissed her on the cheek.

"They'll be some nasty buggers comin' through that door any minute. Can ya stall 'em a bit?"

"Anything for Casey O'Brien." This time Daniel kissed her on the cheek.

"Thank you." Everyone followed Casey through the "Employees Only" door and headed into the kitchen. Seconds later they were standing just outside the back door. Parked over next to the dumpster was a black Ford Mustang.

"Can we get six people in that?" asked Casey.

"We've no choice," said Teri grabbing the keys out of Casey's hand and heading for the car.

"Hey," he called out.

"Nothing personal, Casey. Let her drive. She knows what she's doing," Daniel said. Casey's eyebrows raised a bit in disbelief, but he quickly joined the group as they literally piled into the car.

"Girl after my own heart," Teri mumbled as she fired the car up. Daniel, Cody, Casey and Timmy were crammed into the back seat. Timmy sat up front with Teri.

"Go down the alley and hang a right," Casey instructed. Teri nodded and eased the car down the alley. Glancing in the rearview mirror, she saw two men dressed in dark suits looking out the back door of the pub.

"We're gonna have company. Two suits just spotted us," she said as they turned right out of the alley.

"Right at the next light," Casey said. Teri nodded. She drove quickly, but cautiously, trying not to draw any attention. Just before taking the right turn, she glanced in her rear view mirror. One block back, she could make out the distinctive front end of a Chevrolet Suburban.

"They're on us," she said as she quickly accelerated down the street. Seconds later she slammed on the brakes as a group of tourists crossed the street. "Casey, we need to get out of town. I'm gonna hit somebody."

"Take the next left. It's a main street with lots of lanes. Then watch for the M2 signs."

"Gotcha," Teri said giving Casey a quick nod. Her eyes automatically glanced at the rear view mirror. The big black SUV was barreling down the street toward them and wasn't slowing down. "Shit!" Teri slammed down on the horn and eased the car forward. The group crossing the street wasn't too happy, but moved and let them pass. Once they were clear, Teri rammed the accelerator to the floor and moved up quickly through the gears. She slammed the brakes back on, down shifted into second and rocketed around the corner to the left. Now that they were on a wide street, Teri expertly negotiated traffic and weaved from lane to lane. Daniel could see Timmy's hands gripping his seat. The boy's knuckles were white.

"For those of you who haven't experienced a drive with Teri, let me assure you it's perfectly safe," Daniel announced. At that moment, Teri chose to downshift, change lanes and once again ram the accelerator to the floor. The Mustang zoomed down the boulevard with the SUV slowly falling behind.

"Which way is the entrance to the M2? Left or right?" Teri asked.

"Right! To the right!" called out Casey. Teri quickly downshifted and took the right turn onto the M2. The black SUV tried to take the turn but the driver lost it and spun out, doing a one-eighty and coming to a stop headed in the opposite direction. Teri smiled to herself and worked the powerful engine up through its gears. She moved into the high-speed lane and stretched the Mustang's muscles out to an even hundred miles per hour.

"Where are we going?" asked Timmy. Teri glanced into the mirror at Casey.

"Good question. Where do you suggest, Casey?"

"At this speed, we can be in Newtonabbey in no time. There's loads of places to get lost there."

"How about a restaurant that's off the beaten path?" asked Cody.

"No problem," said Casey. Teri followed his directions and they soon found themselves in a corner booth, each with a pint of beer in their hands. The Mustang was parked around back between two larger vehicles. It would not be easily detectable.

"So who wants to tell me what's going on?" asked Casey as he looked steadily at Dillon. Dillon glanced at Daniel, who at this point was beside himself with guilt for dragging Dillon so far into his giant mess, could only nod. Dillon proceeded to tell Casey all about the adventures Daniel and Terry had been in. Over supper, he continued to explain how they met Timmy, the subsequent plane crash and rescue, and finally the phone call.

"Sounds to me like you need to find out about your mum and dad," Casey said to Dillon when the explanation was over. Then he looked over at Daniel. "You've been through a lot, mate. I wish you had time for a holiday. I'd take you to the family getaway, but it sounds like you need to get to Prague and catch that bugger."

"Thanks, Casey. Maybe when all this is over, we can take you up on that."

"No 'maybe' about it. I expect it."

"Done," said Daniel holding up his glass. Casey clinked it then clinked everyone else's glass.

"Now let's eat."

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Two guards in paramilitary uniforms, complete with 45 automatics strapped to their hips walked briskly down the corridor. The florescent lighting gleamed on the well polished floor. They quickly saluted to the lieutenant on duty as they passed his duty station. The guards continued down the hall and stopped at a metal door. The man on the right turned to a panel on the wall and punched in some numbers. A second later, the door unlocked. He pulled it open. The man and woman on the other side of the door were in handcuffs and were being escorted by two more guards. The couple was led down the hall and into a room. After being seated in front of desk, the officer sitting behind it spoke.

"Your son has evaded our operatives in Belfast. He's becoming a National Security issue and must be brought in for questioning. His association with Daniel Simon makes him even more dangerous. Mister Simon's, ah, activities got our attention a few months ago. He continues to evade our operatives. We recovered a device that he installed in Florida. After analyzing the device, our experts believe that Mister Simon is trying to overload the main circuitry of the Internet. That would be disastrous to both the United States and the world. As you know, almost all of the financial transactions that take place are done over the Internet. That alone would be reason enough to bring him in, but when you consider that electric grids, defense systems, telecommunication systems, and even controls over dams are done over the Internet. I'm sure you saw the reports about the dam malfunction in North Carolina. That was no accident. Someone hacked into the power company's computers and made that 'accident' happen. Daniel Simon is our primary suspect. Combine that with the fact that you son is currently in hiding with our suspect and I'm sure you can see why we've brought you in." The officer nodded toward one of the guards. The guard took off David Rankin's handcuffs. The officer then slid a cell phone across the table.

"That's your personal cell phone. I think it would be a good idea to call your son and convince him to help our operatives bring Mister Simon in."

"From what I learned, it seems that Daniel is an innocent in all this. My sources indicate it's someone else."

"We are not here to discuss your baseless theories. We are here to make contact with your son. Now, we can either make a phone call or we can head back to our cell. It's your choice," the officer said coldly.

"That's the problem with you NSA people. You get it into your mind that things are just one way and you close your minds to any other possibility. You can wave that cell phone in front of me all you want, but I won't be making any phone calls. My son is a lot like me. He always does the right thing."

"I'm sorry to hear that. Guards, please escort Mrs. Rankin back to her cell."

"No," she yelled out.

"It's all right, dear. Go ahead. I'm sure I'll be along in a minute." David's wife reluctantly agreed. The guard politely escorted her out of the room. Once the door was closed, the officer turned back to David.

"It'd be a shame to see her get hurt, you know, like maybe have an accident." David Rankin sat in his chair and fumed. He leaned close to the edge of the desk and spoke in a tone that left his meaning crystal clear.

"One hair on her head, just one, and you're a dead man." The officer pushed the cell phone closer and smiled.

"It all depends on what you decide to do."

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

An exhausted Stan Bouchard put his key in the lock and opened his apartment. It was good to be home. He dropped his luggage on the floor and kicked the door closed. Stan swaggered over to his bar and poured a generous amount of single malt Scotch into a Waterford highball glass. He savored the first sip and allowed the liquid to slide down his throat. The rest was knocked back in one gulp. He draped his coat on a barstool, loosened his tie and poured another generous amount into the glass.

"I'm getting too old for this," he thought to himself with a frown, but it soon changed to a smile as he remembered the airline steward. "I may be getting old, but I can still hold my own." He took a big gulp from the glass, poured some more into the glass and made his way toward the living room. He kicked his shoes off and settled back on his imported leather couch and grabbed the remote control. The fifty-inch flat screen HDTV sprang to life.

"Let's see what's happenin' in the ol' hometown," Stan sighed. He turned up the volume and took another sip.

"And now the latest news from Prague."

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

As the Lear Jet lifted off the ground, Dillon turned to Casey and hugged him tight. Daniel and Cody looked on and smiled. Teri was up front in the cockpit and in seventh heaven. She was busy pleasuring Timmy as he banked the jet southwest toward the Czech Republic.

"I can't believe you're coming with us," Dillon whispered in Casey's ear.

"It's not everyday I get a free ride in a Lear jet," Casey said with a wink.

"I'll show you a free ride in a Lear Jet," Dillon said with a smirk. Turning to Daniel, he continued. "Where's the lavatory?"

"Back there," said Daniel nodding toward the rear of the aircraft.

"Come on," Dillon said grabbing Casey's hand and pulling him up.

"Going to join the club?" Cody asked with a knowing smile.

"Club?" asked Casey.

"Mile High Club," Daniel said with a smirk. "Of which, I am the president." Cody burst out laughing. Casey immediately blushed.

"Come on you big stud. Time for club initiation," Dillon said in a husky voice. Daniel and Cody laughed as the pair disappeared into the lavatory. As soon as the door was closed, Cody turned to Daniel.

"Say, cowboy. Rode the buckin' bronco lately?" Daniel smiled a lusty smile.

Forty-five minutes into the flight, everyone was relaxing in the cabin. It had been a smooth flight so far and Teri had joined them in he cabin for a moment. The friends were enjoying a quiet moment away from the trouble and grief in Belfast. Thoughts of what was ahead of them in Prague weren't talked about, but everyone had them on their mind.

For Daniel, the thought of finally catching Stan had him both excited and scared to death. No one else knew first hand what Stan was capable of. The chance to finally put the monster behind bars was too good to believe, even if it meant he had to look him in the eyes once again. For all the bad dreams, all the horrid memories, for innocence lost, for all the painful thoughts and yes, in memory of Timmy, he would bring the great Stan Bouchard down.

Timmy understood the complexities that he found himself in. He also understood what the consequences could be. The other thing Timmy understood was his deepening relationship with Teri. Sure, he had tons of cash in the bank, but she didn't care. She treated him like he wanted to be treated … normal. She accepted him for who he was, not by the balance in his portfolio. That thought made Timmy smile as he flew the Lear Jet further south toward Prague.

Cody sat back in the love seat with Daniel at his side. Never before in his life had he been on such an adventure. From car chases and getting shot at to flying across the Atlantic aboard the Concorde, life certainly had been interesting since he met Daniel Simon. And now he was flying in a private jet toward Prague. He actually had a hard time keeping up with it all. The only thing that kept him going was quick judgement and an ever-increasing love for Daniel Simon. As his mama would say, he's a keeper.

Teri laughed at one of Casey's jokes. But inside, she was screaming out loud. Her absolute best friend in the world, who she cared about more than life itself, was in so much trouble that it was almost incomprehensible. Teri put up a strong front but she was scared to death. No one else knew, not even Timmy. Oh yeah, Timmy. He was her rock. He kept her focused. He gave her the very personal physical connection to the strongest of human emotions … love. She was happy for her best friend. She was glad he found someone to love, but she needed that kind of love too. She hadn't realized how much she had needed it until Cody came into in their lives. Now Timmy was there. Timmy brought completeness to her life. He filled her every need and then some. The heart that beat in her chest for Daniel only was slowly starting to beat to the beat of a different drummer.

It was Casey that was keeping everyone entertained with all kinds of stories. Dillon was not only wrapped up in the stories, but completely wrapped up in the Irish red head telling them. The flight was actually quite relaxing, until Dillon's cell phone rang. Daniel glanced at Dillon. Dillon looked at the caller ID. He looked up at Daniel. Fear and dread were written all over his face.

"It's my dad," whimpered Dillon.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

On to Chapter Thirteen

Back to Chapter Eleven

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The Nineteenth Year is © 2008 by The Tarheel Writer.
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