Clora was standing by the back of the couch, when Mark came from his office.
"Is someone whistling 'danger'? I thought I heard the tone and came to investigate." Mark walked over to look both ways down the hall and out at the patio. He turned with a slight frown, when Clora beckoned him closer.
Clora kept urging Mark forward until she could get her hands on him. Drawing him close, she whispered in his ear. "I didn't want to say this loudly and interrupt the spell. That's Milo and he doesn't have a clue what he's whistling. he just came from the closed session with Ms. Latimer. So either he thinks he's a danger, or she is." Clora laughed that throaty amused sound she could make when she was happy, or happy in other ways.
Mark put his hand gently against Clora's throat and turned her face up for a kiss.
Coming down the hall toward the school room, Milo watched and smiled. Copying Dad's moves had always got results for him, the old boy was pretty smooth, but now he needed them to tone it down.
"Ma, Dad, could you hold it down for a bit. I need to take a lady out of here and I don't want her to get the wrong impression of this place." he said with humor. "I'll make her hurry." he added with a laugh.
Mark gave him a famous stare, "ungrateful brat," he growled.
Milo went to the school room door and opened it. Dr. Latimer looked like he had caught her daydreaming, or something along those lines, and then she ducked her head.
Too late, Milo thought smugly, he had seen her eyes. They were honey colored like her name and her hair and they were hungry. He offered to carry her briefcase and they moved out toward her car.
Honey had walked through the living room without seeing Mark and Clora standing there, and it tickled Clora to no end.
"Oh, this is going to be so good," she breathed in Mark's ear when the couple had left the house. "Did you see the possessive way Milo had his hand in the small of her back, guiding her?" Clora gave a big sigh, "he's almost as smooth as his Daddy."
"Milo always did have good instincts," Mark tried for modesty and failed. "And you're right, he doesn't have a clue what he's whistling under his breath, does he?" Arms around each other, they walked into the kitchen.
Milo walked Honey to her car, opened the door and put her briefcase on the floor behind the front seat. "Well, Doctor Latimer, have you decided?"
"Decided what?" Honey said almost automatically, looking at him with puzzlement, and then shyly dropping her eyes.
"Decided if I need to be a patient?"
"Oh, I don't think there's anything wrong with you," the words flew out of Honey's mouth before she thought them through. She felt flustered and embarrassed for herself, so awkward and unprofessional, but my goodness he looked good, and once again she forgot to hide what her eyes were thinking.
Milo was slightly amused at her choice of words, and found it exciting to see the flare of interest in her eyes, but he didn't want to scare her off, by following up with something equally as leading and suggestive. "I'm going to be downtown tomorrow, may I take you to lunch?" he invited so she would know he was interested. Milo got to looking and belatedly he realized she had said something.
"I'm sorry," he said contritely, "I didn't hear what you said." he almost didn't hear the second time around, either. He made the mistake of looking in her eyes.
What ever Honey said the first time, she said "yes" the second repeat. That man was enough to give her the shivers and the way his blue eyes looked, she had to close her eyes to get control of her wayward thoughts.
"Tomorrow at noon, by the fountain?" Milo asked again, and Honey had to nod. On autopilot, she got in the car and smoothed out her skirt, buckled herself in and then just had to stare again. Honey thought the world could end and as long as she was close to that man, all would be fine. Mighty fine.
Milo had similar thought, only his were about a deserted desert island with no phones; as hers rang. "It's my work phone, I have to answer this, excuse me please." and then she forgot to answer, and the ringing stopped. The corners of Milo's eyes crinkled with a smile, and he went to gently shut the car door. "Tomorrow, at noon," he affirmed and stood back so she could start the car.
Honey thought there must be something wrong with the car, it wouldn't go forward when she stepped on the gas, and then she realized she needed to turn the ignition. Blushing, she started the company vehicle and then ducked her head again in embarrassment. "Good bye," she managed to say and had to blink her eyes rapidly to see where she should drive.
From inside, Mark triggered the gate and turned to smile at Clora. "Phew, I thought they were going to burst into flame." and it made her laugh. "Oh I know so well how that feels," she whispered at the man that still made her feel that way. The man gave the woman he loved, one of his stares and smiled when it made Clora shiver.
Ben and Tess were in the exercise room, and Ben was exercising his lips on the side of Tess's neck. "You smell good," he complimented, "here and here and here." and he had to leave a kiss at each spot.
Tess had her hands on his waist and felt the strength of him as he pushed against her hands. "Tess, I love you," he could finally say. "Your standing right in front of me and I see your beautiful green eyes and I love you." Then Ben claimed a kiss. "Tess will you marry me?"
"It takes an hour to go downtown and get a license. We can be married by supper time." she helpfully suggested as they kissed a couple times more. "Yes Ben, yes, yes, yes."
When it is as it should happen and God approves, it happens quickly and without problems.
"Confess with your mouth, that 'Jesus is Lord,' believing in your heart that God raised Him from the Dead, and you will be saved, for with the heart, man believes and is justified, and with his profession of faith, he is saved." Romans 10:9-10.
I can either read God's Word to you, or read it over you. Your choice. Either way, you will meet Jesus Christ. Condition "0," Code Red to Black- ALWAYS. Trump Supporter and Proud Founding Member of The Nowski Brigade- To the Hilt!!!
There was a Linderman loose in the world that wasn't very happy. Ted liked having family, but he didn't like the all together smothering that could happen. Still, he thought, they could have cut him a little slack about not being able to kill another human. Yeah, right. Like that was gonna happen. Not with the whole freakin lot of them wounded.
So he needed to eat, he needed to sleep, and with some luck, he might find a job. There wasn't much call for an unemployed numbers cruncher, and the couple of accounting and booking places he went to, didn't seem to think he met their attitude and grooming criteria.
Ted looked like a wild, redheaded bushman. His long hair was pulled back in a pony tail, and the shorter stuff stuck out all over, like he had put his finger in a light socket. He had found a Boonie hat that likely blew out of some pickup, and he used that to provide some shade, completely missing the irony of wearing a service hat from a war in the mid east.
The second time he got in a fight and the jerk grabbed his hair, Ted cut it off. No use giving the guy an advantage. Tall, and skinny, he looked weak and incapable of defending himself. However he had brothers and shoving matches out in the barn were frequent sport. He did have to admit that getting so involved in the MIT project, really played havoc with the conditioning Dad was all the time harping on. Ted figured he had the width of the united states to walk and get back in condition.
Milo had bested him most of the time, that is, until Robert joined the family. That guy was built like a brick outhouse. He just didn't move. Ben was getting pretty good, once he got some growth to him, but that Cody guy beat them all. He was built like a tank. No one had bested Cody.
Thinking about conditioning and walking and going no where particular, Ted was walking along side the road when an old pickup with a couple of girls slowed down to check him out. He tipped his hat, they drove away and he kept on walking.
He didn't think too much of girls since his experience with Lara and Mia. They were the project coordinators for the project he worked on, and they favored who ever had the best grasp of the project at that particular moment. Dad might have understood why he had let himself be used as he did, but Ma wouldn't.
Ted walked the by-pass around the small town; if he kept on moving and wasn't right down town, the law usually didn't harass him. He was almost out of town when the pickup came by again. They stopped.
"Good afternoon ladies." Ted tried to be polite, but he needed to keep moving.
"Hey, we're getting a bunch of people together for a party, you interested? We have eats and drinks." the dark haired one on the passenger's side invited.
"I don't do illegal," Ted looked at them calmly.
"Oooww, a Sunday school boy, all the better. Hop on the back and we'll give you a lift. I'm Darcy, and this is Serena."
"I'm Ted." There might have been a small voice jingling in the back of his mind that this wasn't a good idea, but the wind rushing by his ears drowned out that pesky little voice of reason. There was a big bonfire, chests of whatever you wanted to drink, sandwiches and pizzas. Darcy volunteered to bring him several slices of what ever he wanted, so Ted asked for any kind of meat. He got four slices heaped on a plate, all of them with a liberal sprinkling of funny yellow -white powder that dissolved instantly. He was hungry and it tasted good. The bottle of water was exceptionally thirst quenching, so he had two.
Mandy helped clear the table and scrape the dishes for the dish washer. She did her part in chores for the household, it's what was expected for the good of them all. Robert was out on the patio lacing up his running shoes, he was slowly conditioning, his leg wound healed but not as strong as it should be. Mandy usually walked the track while he ran, both of them needing the fresh air and outdoor time.
The school kids usually took a nap for an hour, so it was the perfect time to exercise. TJ and Barry would sleep for a couple of hours if the baby didn't wake them up, and Luke had started sleeping three and four hours at a time. Lou was in school and doing well, Mandy was fond of him, he was usually so serious that she had to try and make him laugh.
Today, Gary was here to run with Robert. Gary was thinking about rejoining the Marines, as he was getting no where fast in the trailer business. He and Robert had been in serious discussions, and Robert was making noises about going back to LeJune and having more privacy for their young marriage.
Mandy had no problem with that. When ever TJ was around, they couldn't keep the little stinker from bursting in their room at all times of the day and night. They had tried putting a chair under the door knob and all sorts of tricks to keep him out, and Robert was getting vocal about fizzled romance. Mandy didn't care where they lived, as long as Robert was close.
So today as Mandy walked the track, Robert was going to assess Gary's level of fitness and check out the stress of running on his younger brother's hip wound.
If they could get, and keep conditioned, they could rejoin the corps after a physical evaluation. Robert had six almost seven years in the service, and he didn't want to loose his pay grade. Mandy had the offer of her old job teaching, but she had to give them an answer within the week. That cinched the deal for Robert; he was ready to go.
Rennie came out with Lyric, and Mandy thought that was a beautiful name for a little girl. Especially one that cried as much as Lyric did. TJ and Barry were still sleeping, so Rennie said she would have them skip the afternoon school session.
Cody came out to run, so Mandy went to the patio to sit in the shade and talk with Abbi. Mandy knew Abbi was one messed up girl. Any suggestion for improving her self pity, or an activity or anything that connected Abbi back to life, was ignored like they hadn't wasted their breath bringing the idea up.
Mandy had tried to tell Abbi that Cody would have to report back to the Army soon, and if she thought life was bad now, just wait till he left, it would be worse. Abbi nodded, she knew. So Mandy let her run with what she knew, and backed off.
It was so difficult to talk with Abbi, you never knew if she heard you, was simply ignoring you, or didn't care enough to pretend she was listening. Mandy tried and eventually gave up and went inside for a drink of water.
Lemmie was paring apples for pies, so Mandy washed her hands and helped. "Thankee," Lemmie has said, "yer a good kid, ya know that." And she had to give Mandy a hug. "I was jest standing here thinkin it was too bad that you got interested in Robert. Cody ain't gonna make it with that lump of self pity out there."
"Lemmie," Mandy scolded, "Cody and I wouldn't have made it either. He feels like he is an entitled gentleman now that he graduated West Point. A lot of his first girlfriend has rubbed off on him, and he's getting as artificial as she was. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if she doesn't look him up again, for a second romance."
"I knowed you was a gooden," Lemmie said sorrowfully. "You got more sense to ya than both of them put together."
"Enough sense to know that Robert is my world, sun and stars. He's my everything, Lemmie, I never expected to find a man like him."
Robert, who was eves dropping, smiled to himself and hoped to give Mandy an extra kiss for her vow of love. He felt like she did. They were just right for each other.
Up in West Virginia, things were not as smooth as they could be. Doctor William White, came in to inspect Trish and found she not only had the baby, but her daughter and some moose of a backwater hick claiming to be her husband. He had written orders that Trish was not to have the baby until she rested, and there they were, talking and laughing and touching the baby with germy hands. Heavens, that little girl probably came straight from the daycare without washing her hands, she looked grubby.
William didn't like the way the supposed husband watched him with a half lidded stare, like he was aware that William thought Tricia certainly deserved better.
That's precisely what Bruce was thinking. That little lab rat looking critter better keep his hands and opinions to himself. Bruce could feel the slimy little vermin had designs on Tricia, and he was going to take care of that. He had already chartered an ambulance that was due in at eight tomorrow morning and he was taking his family home.
Tricia's hospital contract ended when the baby was born, so she had no further ties to Bluefield. In a while, he was taking Julie and a statement from Tricia that Julie's monitor bracelet was to be removed, down to the daycare.
He had already been to Tricia's place with her key and removed the small amount of belongings she and Julie had and stuffed them in his old Chevy. The Yugo had stopped running, so Bruce was going to leave it.
William was working hard on Tish to have the baby returned to the nursery, so she could rest. "No," Bruce had growled in his best Mark imitation, "The baby stays here with us. Trish has already missed several hours of bonding, and that's not good for her or the boy."
"She needs to rest, that was extremely difficult to go through, I hope you understand." William almost sneered, and then thought better of it at the last moment.
"I do understand. Probably better than you do," Bruce lifted his nose slightly, daring the little weasel to continue.
William would have gladly continued, but a page came over the PA system, he had another lady about to deliver and was wanted in the birthing suite.
"I don't like that guy," Bruce announced as he heard the room door shut. "He reminds me of a lab rat."
Trish giggled, and then clapped her hand over her mouth. Julie was asleep and there were going to be a few ground rules in place before she committed to Bruce again. The conversation was difficult for both of them. Bruce reined in his impatience and agreed to another trial of marriage. It was Trish's declaration that he needed to be tested for Bi Polar syndrome that he balked at. "I hate taking pills," he protested.
Tricia had simply looked at him until Bruce nodded. He would get tested.
"What are you going to name our son?" she asked softly, looking at the surprise on Bruce's face.
If anything in the world had been Bruce's secret fantasy; it was to be able to name a son that he had created. That had been one of the primary reasons he became a doctor, to have the where withal to have a family. He turned eyes filled with love, awe and hope at Trish and it felt like his heart was going to jump out of his chest.
"My middle name is Edward, I'd like to name our son Edward Bruce Ammons." He looked with trepidation at Trish, but she was smiling and nodding.
"That's a good strong name for a good strong boy," she approved. Eddy Ammons woke up hungry, and Trish could tell he had a personality just like his father. Whatever he wanted, had to happen...right now! She smiled at Bruce, and he melted.
Mark was in his office after lunch, trying to put together a budget for the retreat. Ought to be simple, he was thinking, and was anything but easy. His phone rang, it was their easy to violently dislike friend, the doctor Bruce.
Bruce was asking if he could bring Trish and their new baby to the retreat to stay until he could get the utilities turned on in the cabin and did Mark know if nurse Phoebe was available to care for Tricia.
Mark frowned, took off his reading glasses and pinched his nose. "There will be conditions Bruce. One outburst, just one arrogant, snide and snotty outburst directed at anybody, but especially Tricia, and you're on the curb. We simply don't treat our women in the manner you feel you're entitled to do. If Tricia so much as frowns, your on probation. Do you understand?"
"Yes, and I'm working hard to change." Bruce had a very subdued voice, and Mark could hear cries from a baby in the background. "Tricia is coming by ambulance, she leaves here tomorrow morning at eight. I will have Julie with me and should be right behind them. Mark, she is not to do anything but be in bed and feed Eddy. She's pretty torn up." Bruce had a lot of anguish in his voice, and Mark thought that was a good thing. It was about time Bruce paid attention to the fact that Tricia was worth her weight in gold.
"Alright, we'll be expecting you. I'll find out about Phoebe and hire her, or whoever is available." Mark closed his phone and went to find Clora.
Clora was in Luke's room, helping the tall child that resembled his father, to dress. Mark stood watching them. Clora was so gentle and patient, the same as she was with all whom she loved and cared for. He really hated to tell her Bruce was coming. "Our nasty and disagreeable houseguest will be here tomorrow with Trish and the new baby."
"He has changed Mark. God have him two gifts that Bruce finally recognized as the blessings God didn't have to give, but wanted Bruce to have as an example of God's love for Bruce. I believe it was as effective as a 2x4, it humbled our friendly curmudgeon Doctor to his knees." Clora patted Luke's hand. "Good job putting your shirt on," she praised.
"All I can see is; Bruce has had several 'Come to Jesus' moments that haven't lasted past his next temper tantrum. I told him the next outburst, especially one directed at Trish and he's out for good. She may stay, but I've had it with his attitude and childish displays. There's only room for one top attitude here, and that's my privilege. I pay the bills, I get to make the rules." Mark was deadly serious, Bruce was on thin ice,
Clora crossed over to give him a quick smooch on the cheek. "Good." she smiled and held out her hand for Luke.
Mark thought if he lived to be a hundred, he'd never understand that woman. Clora used a loud voice as she was going down the hall..."Good." He had to smile and follow, what else could he do.
Earlier in the morning, Milo had asked to use the Datsun to go into town. As spiffed and newly shaven as Milo was, and smelling pretty decent for a red headed kid, Mark assumed this was an important date. He teased Milo a little and Milo said mysteriously, "it just might be."
"She looks like a good one son, remember our motto."
"Way ahead of ya Dad, way ahead." Milo had walked out whistling. Mark smiled to himself and went in to wrestle with the budget, the darn thing hadn't solved itself while he was gone. Mark sat in his chair thinking. It seemed like only yesterday that he married Clora and about three months later Milo and Teddy came to live with them. Now Milo was headed out to see a lady that had caught his interest. Where in the world had the years gone.
Mark called to see if Phoebe was available. and the woman had a good laugh and replied, "For Doctor Bruce, of course I'm available." It actually sounded more like a threat, to Mark, but he took it at face value. "A new baby. Wonderful, I'll be there in the morning."
Ben had borrowed Robert's old pickup so he and Tess could go into town and get a marriage license and arrange for a minister. They intended to be married before supper in the glow of the atrium, in the rays of the afternoon sun. They came back with the license, rings and a gorgeous lei of creamy white gardenias for Tess to wear.
Ben hadn't given any reason for the lei, other than a mysterious smile. Tess was going to wear her best dress, a light coral with a snug waist. Ben had gotten a haircut and shave in town and he looked and smelled good. Tess made a big production of sniffing each time she walked past her intended, grinning and laughing with the delicious happiness she felt. Ben's other gift had been a small bottle of the scent Tess favored, so they both let their joy infect the whole household.
Milo, Robert, Gary and Lou had conferred with Mark the night before, the four brothers ill at ease with the fact Tess was marrying a man raised as her brother.
"None of you are an actual brother to Tess," Mark reminded them, "Ma gave her blessing, so in that line of thinking, I did also. One thing about it, there aren't many secrets between them."
"That's what bothered me," Milo spoke up. "Shouldn't there be some unknown, some undiscovered spark or mystery to explore?"
"Evidently they feel there's enough," Mark commented, "this has been festering for a long time."
The boys had filed out and it wasn't long before Ben was in the office to ask if the brothers objected.
"Not really," Mark replied. "Their worried there's no mystery or undiscovered excitement for you to explore. Their just concerned for you both."
Ben had leaned back in the chair with the same casual pose that Mark had. "Tell me Dad, do you feel you have found out everything there is to know about Ma?"
"No, that's one mighty complicated woman."
"Tess is her daughter," Ben had smiled that half smile. "They are an never ending mystery."
Mark nodded. That was the truth.
This afternoon, Mark watched as all spare hands on the farm, cleaned a cabin and moved furniture from the rooms Ben and Trish used, to their new place. The newly marrieds would have a week and then Ben's next operation would take place.
Robert and Mandy had made arrangements to leave tomorrow, and it looked like Gary was going with them. That suited Mark just fine. Gary needed to be gone, he had an unsettling influence on Lou, and Mark didn't appreciate that situation.
Cody had gone for his physical and passed, so he had a week before he was to report to the Army to finish his obligation.
Mark supposed Milo was about in the same circumstances, only he hadn't taken his physical yet. Mark smiled as he thought about Milo. The kid had a wicked twinkle in his eye, like he had sighted a desirable object that he was intent on acquiring. From what Mark could see, Dr. Latimer just might be a desirable object that was a handful of delight for his son.
Milo sat on the far side of the fountain, watching the doors of the Medical building. If Honey came out the door he supposed she would, he would get a chance to see her before she could spot him. Just a little treat for him, a something memory to keep in his pocket when he had to leave, he wanted to see her searching for him and what her face would look like when she finally saw him. Milo believed that would tell him a lot of what he needed to know.
Honey was a couple of minutes late, and she looked concerned. When he stood up and she located him, her face looked like the sun had started to shine. Milo walked around the fountain and Honey seemed mesmerized, watching him. She almost forgot to say "Hi", or at least she thought she greeted him. She couldn't remember.
She was wearing a light lime green dress with a matching jacket, and it made her eyes look like tawny gold. Honey looked so striking, she took Milo's breath away. He had heard Dad one time, call Ma, a lady cat. That's what Milo was looking at, a golden eyed lady cat and she made him shiver with the implications and excitement.
Honey watched Milo walk toward her, and so help her she couldn't move. So tall and handsome, his blue shirt the same color as his eyes, and Honey thought he would be just fine for lunch. She wouldn't need anything else, but to sit and look at him.
Honey couldn't hide in interest in her eyes, Milo watched as they turned a topaz color as he approached, and then she looked flustered and shy.
"Is it permissible to give a lady a hug, or will I be carted off?" Milo asked with a smile, and Honey nodded. He didn't know which one it was and took a chance. That was a hug alright. Brief and casual and about 1600 degrees worth of heat and flame.
"Lordy you smell good," he said aloud and then realized he had spoken what he thought. Grabbing her hand, they went back to the table Milo had appropriated and there was a small picnic of sandwiches and apples.
"Thank you," Honey said primly, "you smell very gentlemanly yourself."
Milo smiled. It had taken him a good hour to sniff all the men's fragrances at the department store to find the right one that suited him.
Honey smiled back.
"So, you have met most of my large, diverse and wacky family; tell me about Honey and her family?" Milo invited, as they started to eat.
"Older sister, younger sister and much younger brother. Mom is in insurance and Dad sells Real Estate. I don't get along with my older sister, and you're about to see the reason why." Honey explained.
Milo looked confused, but then a very thin and aggressive acting version of Honey came pushing through the crowd and fluttered her hello, turning around to surprise Milo with a full kiss on the lips, as a greeting.
Milo stood up as any gentleman would do, when a lady stopped by; but mainly to get his lips out of her reach. He understood immediately, this was a 'she-shark.'
He looked at Honey and arched his eyebrow, not at all amused or happy with the full court press. Honey bit her lip, but her eyes were smiling. "Jillian, this is Milo Linderman, Milo, this is my older sister Jillian Latimer." Hello's were given, and Jillian fluttered that she didn't mean to interrupt their lunch. As she wouldn't sit down, Milo was left standing.
Finally Honey said, "Jillian, go away, we need to finish our lunch."
Jillian fluttered again and then pretended to be deep in thought. "Linderman, didn't you go to West Point?" she asked like she was recalling a class mate.
"Yes Ma'am," Milo replied, without taking his eyes off Honey. Milo had been in high school, he knew what Jillian was doing and he didn't appreciate it. Honey looked down and rubbed her forehead, and told Jillian once more to go away, they needed to finish their lunch.
"I'm sure you'll excuse us, we really do need to finish our lunch." Milo smiled and then moved his chair right next to Honey and ignored Jillian.
Jillian almost snorted, and Milo had very good hearing. But he hadn't come to town to see Jillian, he came to see Honey, and he really enjoyed being this close to her. Neither one of them paid attention to the older sister and Milo didn't even notice when she faded away.
"I'm very sorry for that," Honey said in a level voice, "I made the mistake of telling mother I had a lunch date today, she wanted me to run errands for her."
"I'm glad you stayed to have lunch with me. When are you coming out to the Farm?"
"Monday afternoon. I'm afraid Abbi is a tough case."
Milo nodded, "it's soon to get worse. Cody really fancies himself in love with her, and he leaves in a week to go back to the Army. We both have obligations there, for our West point training."
Honey's eyes instantly flew to Milo's face. "Do you have to go then, also?" Acute disappointment tightened her voice, and her eyes clouded with unhappiness.
"No, my physical is in two weeks, then I will have a week and then need to report." He very much enjoyed watching her reactions. They were honest and true and unguarded, and Milo treasured that.
"The problem that you're going to be up against, is Cody. He used to be pretty decent and .....real, I guess is the word I'm looking for. When he finished at West Point, he got engaged to a very rich girl, with parents that called all the shots. Honey I'm going to tell you right up front I was involved in a scandal there, so you know the details."
Carefully Milo explained the how, why and where fore of Charlie's involvement and how he resembled Milo so closely, many mistakes were made in the investigation. "I was completely exonerated, but I want you to go on line and read the complete account. I don't want any unexplained problems between us."
"The war happened Honey, right after I graduated, so I can't say how the whole mess is going to affect my career. Maybe I will have one, maybe not. But I will tell you what I will do. I will be at the farm Monday afternoon, after you read the papers and are through with Abbi, I will be in the atrium. If your still interested, come talk with me. If you aren't interested, walk on by."
Honey went to protest, and Milo stopped her. "Please for my sake, your sake and our sake; read the paper account of the trial first. Perhaps you won't be ready to take on such problems. I'm sure your sister made the connection, so you will undoubtedly get an earful."
"My sister be dammed," Honey said with heat, "she's just like our mother, and their making my younger sister the same way." Honey looked at Milo and her eyes softened. "I have to go, I have an appointment. Hold still Milo Linderman," and Honey put her fingers on his throat and kissed him well.
Shocked at her own boldness, Honey blushed, licked her lips and kissed him again. Then she hurried away, but stopped at the door to have one last look at him.
Milo watched her walk away and he suddenly felt very warm. Warm like somebody cared, warm.
Funny how family can be your greatest asset or greatest problem, sometimes both.
I have been preaching that honesty and truth are the only way to live life until my kids probably think I'm a broken record, but as they age I think I'm seeing them realize Dad isn't as silly as maybe they thought.
Milo sat for a long time thinking about Dr. Honey Latimer. He felt she liked him, maybe even a lot; would it be enough to take them past the scandal, he didn't know for sure, but she had given him a heck of a kiss before she left.
The nervous and tightly stretched bundle of nerves Dr. Latimer, was on the second floor watching Milo out the window. She was standing back toward the wall edge, when she noticed Jillian circling around like the shark Milo had said she was.
Milo got up and moved away, gathering up the lunch papers and putting them in the trash on his way past. He had forgotten Ben and Tess's wedding was before supper and he needed to get a move on. Jillian was left standing with a perturbed look on her face and Honey smiled. "Not this man, not this time Jillian," Honey was thinking. "This ones mine."
Milo walked in the main house whistling, a calm happiness in his eyes. Clora looked up and smiled and Lemmie smiled at Clora's happiness.
"Must be a girl," Lemmie whispered. Clora nodded, "a good one to boot."
The good Reverend Scott drove in, and the spit polished and shined clan was ready for the wedding. Mark walked Tess down the aisle to meet Ben and then he stepped back to Clora and took her arm and put it through his. Standing together, they watched their daughter exchange vows with the only man that daughter had ever loved.
It was quiet, peaceful and filled with love. The people were hard working, but the clothes were clean and the house neat. Reverend Scott read the standard vows, and there were no terrible songs or screechy ladies singing. The wedding kiss was dignified and done with respect.
Ben walked Tess the length of the living room and then they turned around to get the well wishes from the family. Allen Scott heartily approved and he complimented the Dad and Mom for such a beautiful ceremony.
"It's young people as these, that renew my faith in the coming generations." he remarked. "They are very much in love, use respect and understand a lavish show is a waste of money. I approve very much of the job you are doing here."
Mark and Clora smiled, said "thank You," and invited the Minister to share a meal with them. He couldn't stay, but did toast the Bride and Groom with cold grape juice.
The heartfelt ceremony renewed the everlasting vows of all the married couples there, only Cody and Abbi paid no attention to the message. Toby and Rennie felt the surge of dedication, as did Robert and Mandy. Lemmie was looking all misty eyed at Hank and Clora had Mark's warm hand holding hers.
Back in the shadows Milo was thinking of Honey, wondering if someday they might be standing where Ben and Tess were standing, accepting the congratulations from the family. He liked the idea, and for once didn't have a panic when he thought about committing to one person for a lifetime.
Dad had told him a long time ago, when the right one came along that Milo would know. It would just be there in his heart, a certainty filled with calm conviction that it was right. Ole Dad was getting smarter and smarter, as Milo got older.
Mark and Clora were watching Milo, and Mark whispered in Clora's ear, "I'll bet you he's the next one." Clora smiled and nodded, she was busy looking at her handsome cowboy. Mark had a new black western cut suit and with his white shirt and black string tie, his suntanned face with the white hair and mustache was a killer combination. Handsome enough to make Clora's little heart go pitter-pat.
Mark had insisted she go to town with him and Clora came home with a light grey slub silk suit, and tiny grey heels. Every kid in the family was amazed that Ma looked so pretty. Mandy and Tess had worked on her hair, piling it up and dusting a bit of blusher and lipstick on her face.
Suddenly it was easy to see why Dad still acted so smitten with Ma. She looked wonderful; he looked so handsome and the kids were proud they belonged to the clan.
Supper was over, the wedding cake presented and then the presents. Tess opened the packages while Ben stood behind her chair looking proud and happy.
Toby held Lyric while Rennie helped clear the dishes, Milo was standing in the back holding Barry up so he could see and Mark had hoisted TJ up to watch. Luke was standing by Clora's chair, and the children clapped when each present was unwrapped.
Mandy was setting out coffee, tea and plates of cake after it had been cut, and the kids were anxious for desert.
Ben and Tess were escorted to their new quarters with food for the morning and all the presents. "Thank you everybody, this was a wonderful wedding. Now, go away," Ben shouted as he took Tess in the house and firmly shut the door.
There was a lot of good natured laughter as families took tired kids home to bed. Milo lay in his bed for a long time before he could go to sleep, he was thinking about unusual gold colored eyes and how they revealed what the lady was thinking.
Very nice wedding, I agree those stupid costly lavish weddings are ridiculous. Thank you for the chapter. I am bewildered at what the young kids think they have to have. They go into debt ot want their parents to right off the bat.
Whatever Bruce expected to do as he checked Trish out of the hospital, it didn't include jumping through the hoops craftily put in place by Dr. White. William White was a home grown man that came back to his home town to provide for the people he cared about. The opportunity to meet ladies that weren't already married and having babies, was slim.
William decided if Bruce was going to remove Trish, that Bruce would pay his and the hospital bill in full, before he left. Bruce sent Tricia and Julie in the ambulance, walked into the bookkeeping department and sat down.
Two can play this game, Bruce said to himself, bring it on. I feel like having a roar or two, so lets see how long they want to dance. He waited and waited. He had the rough estimate of the bill in his hand, but the excuse was, they needed a count of everything and they were working on it.
The perfect solution occurred to Bruce, and he waited patiently. The way the hours were adding up, was what Bruce wanted. At two PM, Bruce was presented with the final bill that was seventeen dollars and eleven cents more than the rough estimate. He scanned the two printed pages and then started writing out his time as a surgeon that had missed an important reconstruction. Bruce's bill deducted way more money than was Tricia's total, and the hospital and William White were several thousand dollars in minus territory.
Bruce handed the reworked bill to the chief financial officer and nicely told the gentleman that his lawyer would be in touch. Then he walked out, as the sputtering began.
Through Toby's negotiations, Bruce eventually paid the bill, but both sides learned lessons.
When the ambulance arrived at the retreat, open arms welcomed Trish and Julie. They were enfolded into the warmth and joy of family and the delight a new baby brings. Phoebe carried Eddy in the house, and the comments centered around how much he looked like a Bruce mini-me.
Lemmie had a few pithy comments on that subject and she had Mark and Clora snickering as they wondered where the volatile doctor was. Tricia had explained that Bruce was waiting for the final bill, that he had checked herself and Eddy out of the hospital against the OB+GYN's wishes.
"It's OK," Trish had hastened to tell Mark. "There was a situation there and I'm very glad to be here. Thank you all so much for giving us shelter. I can't tell you how much it means to me to be welcomed here." and Trish got sniffy and teary and Mark suddenly had important things to do elsewhere.
Clora smiled at his retreating back and asked Trish if she could bring Luke in to see the baby. "He won't want to touch Eddy, just look and I want to set up a controlled situation as the first meeting."
That didn't sound particularly comforting to Tricia, but these people were going out of their way to help her, Julie and Bruce; so she agreed.
Clora came in with Luke and he watched Eddy sleep. All the while Clora was telling him that he could not be in this room with out Mama or Tricia there. He was not to feed or give Eddy any food, and he was not to pick the baby up. "This is a 'look only' baby. This is not a dolly for you to play with." Clora was stern.
The whole situation really bothered Tricia, until she realized that Luke had a doll that he played with constantly; and he was rough with the toy. Luke's regression might have given him the idea he could play with Eddy the same way. She appreciated Clora's warning and empathy, but Phoebe was instructed to never leave Eddy alone.
"That's the best way to protect Eddy and Luke," Tricia had smiled as Phoebe nodded wisely.
"Good call," Phoebe had approved. "Where's Dr. Bruce? I've been looking forward to meeting him again." and she gave one of those laughs that people have when they are looking forward to sharpening their wits on a luckless person.
"He's paying the bill and by now I'm sure the whole hospital will be happy to see him go. But seriously Phoebe, he is trying hard, for my sake, Eddy's, and Julie's, please understand that I love Bruce. Because of that, and the fact he loves me; he is trying to change. Do you know anything about his background?"
Phoebe didn't so she and Tricia talked about Bruce. "Phoebe, I had parents that loved and sheltered me to the best of their ability. I can't imagine being three and four years old and having to care for myself. Bruce's mother wasn't there and his father would go to work and leave Bruce home alone to fend for himself. No food, no protection from life in inner Chicago, it's no wonder the man acts as he does. He learned harsh lessons about living that don't endear him to normally raised folks."
By the time Tricia finished, Phoebe was almost in tears; and when Bruce did get there, Phoebe patted his shoulder as she had a fresh emotional nose blow and a smile for him.
Wild eyed, Bruce almost recoiled from Phoebe when she got close, and when she ham handed him on the shoulder and drove the breath out of him, Bruce tried to get away from her. Tricia was smiling at him, and she motioned to the chair beside the bed.
Phoebe went out to give the couple a moment's privacy, and asked Julie if she would like to take a walk. Julie was uncertain, but Phoebe had winning ways.
Tricia needed a kiss and she patted the bed beside her. "Come sit here for a moment," she invited. "I need you close to us." Eddy was eating and Bruce encircled both of them with long arms. Trish watched as he closed his eyes and felt the security and hope that her words gave him. Trish smiled as she pulled Bruce's shirt to bring him close enough to kiss. They were going to be alright, she could just feel it.
Dr. Latimer had her first full session with Abbi. The apathy and uninterest was a hallmark of deep depression, and the further Honey explored the situation, the more she understood Abbi really needed the structure of a hospital. As a secondary problem, just as Milo said there would be, Cody constantly interfered with Honey's evaluation as she tried to draw Abbi into the conversation. He over rode and answered for Abbi, until Honey asked him to please step away and give them space. He didn't refuse to move, but he didn't leave either.
Abbi was a potential danger to herself and others. Especially small children, as Abbi figured her scars and disfigurement would prevent her from ever finding a husband and creating a family and she had a deep rage over that inequity.
Abbi wanted to be a wife and mother in the deepest way, caring and nurturing a family to the best of her ability. That wasn't they kind of relationship Cody was offering, and tensions were escalating.
Milo was sitting in the atrium, watching what was happening outside on the patio. He was protecting Honey as best he could while allowing her to do her work unimpeded. Milo had already talked to Ma and Dad about the rage and anger he could feel emanating from Abbi, and he plainly made it known Cody had to get out of there and leave Abbi alone.
"He's going to push her over the edge with the way he's acting; and I don't understand it myself. It's almost like he's punishing Abbi for being slashed in the face. What kind of sick reasoning is that?" Milo had tried to keep his voice down, but he was angry.
Mark understood and he was afraid there was going to be a very complicated back story when it was all shook loose. Clora was having problems with Luke and all her time and attention was centered on her child. She had to excuse herself, when Luke's screams could be heard in the back of the house.
Mark and Milo discussed Mark's concerns, and that was what Milo was thinking about as he watched and protected Honey. Both Cody and Abbi were a danger to themselves and to others. A great shake up was going to have to happen, and soon. Especially as they had a newborn in the house.
Honey could see the shadowy figure of Milo as he sat in the atrium, and she was thankful for his interest and protection. Honey brought the session to a close. Tempers and emotions were dangerously high and it was time to deescalate.
Honey thought Milo had a very good finger on the pulse of the problem. Now she had a problem; as to who to report her initial findings too. She had been hired by Mark, but both Abbi and Cody were adults, and she had to be careful to not run against the confidentially laws. She went to see Milo, perhaps he would know who might take charge of either one of her two patients.
Honey had just spent an insane weekend with her parents. As a health professional, she understood most of her own painful shortcomings, and living under her parents roof at age twenty six headed the top of the list.
Jillian had indeed recognized Milo and had run home to tattle to her mother, about the unsuitability of the man interested in Honey. When she had reached home that night, Mother and older sister were waiting, and the haranguing began. Jillian felt she was evening the score for the way Honey and Milo had treated her, and she watched with a cruel smile. You didn't mess with Jillian Latimer and walk away unscathed.
Honey had ended the verbal whipping by walking out the door, getting in her car and driving away. She went to a motel and used the peace and quiet to completely catch up on her paperwork and contemplate a few new rules she was going to have to follow. One, was she needed her own space. Right now!
Honey had used the time following Milo's disclosure of the scandal, to bring up the information on the agency web sight. She read it all, even the opinion pages and letters to the editor. When she had finished, she felt no differently than she did the first time she met Milo. He was one magnificent hunk of man, and she liked him. Where they were going, she didn't know, but she was sure it would be one heck of a ride to get there. Honey was well invested in the challenge and looking forward to more.
Honey used the two days of the weekend to catch up on sleep and to think. Of course her thoughts never got any further than clear blue eyes that had hints of humor and interest.
Mother Latimer was furious, they had a big open house they were hosting Saturday and Sunday and she was specifically counting on Honey to work in the kitchen, so Jillian could circulate among the trendy and upwardly mobile men in the community. Mother and Jillian had already picked out a few appropriate candidates for Jillian's interest, and Mother didn't want Jillian sidelined with work.
At the last minute, temporary help had been hired and it solved the problem, but it was an extra expense that Mother heaped on Honey's head as another example of how ungrateful the middle daughter was.
Honey understood how toxic her mother and sisters were, and she took the steps she needed to free herself from their house. Several apartments of interest were circled, and she intended to check them out after the work session at the Linderman's.
Milo looked relaxed in the chair, but he was highly alert to what was happening outside. Mark had stopped by to have a chat, and Milo gave him the facts about the meeting happening outside.
"Both Cody and Abbi are a threat to Honey, ourselves and to themselves. This has to stop Dad. No way will I allow Honey to be in this much danger. Watch Cody, he keeps trying to circle around behind Honey. She's aware and keeps moving, but I don't like this. I may have to shoot him if he doesn't stop.
Cody made a furtive move toward Honey, and she side stepped, putting Abbi between them.
"That's it, I'm taking her out of there." Milo stood up and went to the patio.
Honey flicked a glance at him, and Milo ignored her signal. With Milo's presence, Cody suddenly changed, and sat down at the table. Milo sat to the back, not interrupting, but using his strength to make the two disturbed people behave better.
Honey ended the session, and Cody wandered off and Abbi went to Rennie's.
Milo moved up to sit at the table, and Honey sat down with weak legs. Milo motioned to Mark to join them, and the men sat where they each had their backs to the house wall, looking out'
"Thank you," Honey sent a troubled look to Milo. "Mr. Linderman, I need information concerning to whom I need to report my findings to, concerning these patients. You hired me, and I believe Rennie and Toby are related to Abbi, correct? What about Cody, does he have relatives here"
"Our cook Lemmie is Cody's Grandmother, all the close family he has left." Mark replied. "Would you like to speak with her? Oh, and Dr. Latimer, either Milo and myself will be here. As guardians of so many people, we will be informed if some of our members need 'special' help."
"That's the problem, this is confidential and I can't legally have you gentlemen privy to the information. I appreciate your desire to help, but......" Honey felt the stress, and having Milo so close, didn't help.
"Dr. Latimer, we have witnessed disturbing and unbalanced behavior by Cody and Abbi, as you are here, you come under our protection whether you think it is warranted or not. There is nothing to discuss about this matter any further, you may choose Milo or myself, but one of us will be here." Mark stated the facts and Honey easily understood, he was the law on the retreat.
Honey looked at Milo and he nodded. He would stay. Mark figured that's who she would choose, and he went inside to ask Lemmie to come out and speak with the Doctor. Mark included Hank as extra protection.
Lemmie was nervous, she held on to Hank's hand under the table and wondered what the world the lady doctor wanted to talk about.
All the clan members were busy, occupied by their own business; when Cody walked away from the compound. He left by the street side door and walked at left angles to the house to reach the road. Hidden by the trees, he was a furtive and out of place behavior to Phoebe as she and Julie walked in the forest.
Phoebe squatted down, whispering to Julie that they were going to play a game of who could be the quietest, the longest. Fortunately for them, Cody was looking over his right shoulder when he passed within ten feet of the nurse and little girl.
Bruce Ammons was not the only child to grow up with absent parents and street smarts coming out his ears. Phoebe was from Detroit, and she left as soon as she was able to find a waitressing job that paid money. That's why Bruce's story resonated so strongly with Phoebe, she understood every nuance and what was unsaid was as important as what had been explained.
Cody radiated danger and unpredictability, two qualities the nurse had never forgotten from her chaotic beginning. Phoebe was not a woman easily unnoticed on account of her size, but in the dark shadows of the dense thicket of trees and brush, her dark coloring and muted dark blue scrubs, hid her well.
As soon as Phoebe was able, she picked up Julie and ran for the house. She came rushing in on the group sitting on the patio and Mark just entering the house. By the wild look in her eye, Mark surmised something had happened and he kept the door open so she could go right in.
Inside Phoebe explained to Mark; while outside, Dr. Latimer tried to explain as tactfully as possible to Cody's Grandparents that for the moment, Cody was mentally unbalanced, and in fact quite dangerous.
Honey hated to explain the circumstances right in front of Milo; but better he hear from her, rather than second hand. "Cody has suffered from brain injury with his concussion. He has explained, and I have confirmed, that he has 'blacked' out several times. He is physically fit, but mentally deficient at this point and I will have to send this information to his superiors in the Army." Honey tried to be as gentle as possible with the older couple, the Grandmother was having a difficult time accepting her diagnosis.
Honey took a deep breath, and looked sadly at Milo. "Further more, his brain injury has Cody blaming Milo for the breakup of his engagement. That has become a focal point of rage for Cody, and Milo and the people here are in danger of Cody erupting and acting very aggressively on this rage. It is my recommendation that Cody be placed in evaluation for at least seventy two hours, to prevent him from acting on his thoughts.
I can't stress enough that this is a clear and immediate danger."
Milo watched Honey as she gave the news to Lemmie and Hank. It was easy to see she was distressed as she told them their grandson was mentally unbalanced, she cared, and it showed. As for himself, unless Cody initiated one on one wrestling where the heavier muscled man might prevail, Milo felt equal to the task of defending himself and Honey.
Dressed exactly as Mark, Milo used a vest to cover the small of the back holster that housed his Sig 938. His Spyderco in his left hand front pocket was practiced with, until he could feather the thumb hole and flick the weapon open with a quick twist of his wrist. The retreat now held two men that were trained and dangerous to those that would cause them harm.
Honey could feel the change in Milo as the man coldly surveyed the retreat grounds, going into protection mode. She reluctantly drew her attention back to Lemmie and Hank. The cook looked ready to cry, and although Hank was holding her hand, he too was scanning the area for threats. At least they were taking her seriously. So many parents refused to believe their child could turn violent, often with disastrous results.
Mark came out and motioned to Milo and Hank, he drew them off to the side and imparted the information that Cody had left the retreat. As Hank went back to Lemmie, Mark looked at Milo and said low, "stay with her, she'll be a first target." and Milo nodded and agreed.
Mark put the house on lockdown and Hank took Lemmie inside. Then he went to the cabin to roust out Ben and Tess and get them into the protection of the main house. He also needed Ben for guard duty, no matter if this was their honeymoon or not.
Milo walked Honey over to Toby and Rennies for her conference with them. Toby was working from home, and Rennie was transcribing case history's and decisions, for him. Toby went to find Abbi and to make sure she wasn't able to hear the Doctor's consensus, and he found her gone. Immediately he checked the baby's room and Lyric was there asleep by herself. TJ and Berry were in the play room alone, and Toby walked over and locked the door.
"Rennie, I'd feel better if you had Lyric in a sling, ready to defend her. I'm going to have the boy's come to the living room where we can watch them." Toby disappeared into the bedroom and reappeared shrugging into a vest and readjusting the Glock at his side. Now there were three men willing and able to protect the clan.
Honey hated to give Rennie the information about Abbi, but she gave her essentially the same recommendation. Abbi needed to be committed for seventy two hours as she was a specific danger to the very young members of the clan. "I'm so sorry to tell you that I feel Abbi is capable of kidnapping the youngsters and following Cody's orders. That it hasn't happened up to now is a miracle."
Rennie looked at Toby and they had independently come to that conclusion. That was why Toby was working from home. "Dad said to come to the main house," Milo said quietly, it's easier to protect if we're all together."
Toby looked around, gathering his thoughts. "Rennie, maybe we had better let Dr. Latimer carry Lyric to the main house. I'll carry TJ and you can carry Barry, Milo will provide protection." Toby called Mark and let him know to have the door unlocked so they could go right in.
Rennie showed Honey how to wrap the baby close to her, so the adult had both hands free, and Honey looked at the small girl with wonder and a sense of fierce protection. Her hands went protectively around the baby and Milo noticed. His Honey would be a good mother, when their time came.
The two men nodded to each other and they opened the door and made the dash across the parking area.
Milo had one arm around Honey and the baby, as he guided them safely inside. Ben and Tess came rushing in. Two more for the good of the clan.
Mark had them all come down to Tricia's room so he could give one announcement. He didn't sugar coat his words and although the Mama's were terrified, they appreciated knowing the depth of the danger. The outside wall windows had the curtains drawn, and clever shutters hidden behind the draperies, closed over the windows.
Lyric was starting to fuss and Rennie was looking anxious, so Honey reluctantly handed the child to her mother. Honey was watching the interaction between Rennie and the baby and then Rennie turned her back to the group and started feeding Lyric.
Honey had to sit down and think a moment about what she had felt snuggling the baby close to her. She didn't think she was the maternal type. She had never wanted to babysit and do all the child care duties young girls do to earn money. But when she was tasked the responsibility of safeguarding the baby, Honey understood she would have done anything to ensure the child's safety. She surprised herself with the revelation.
Suddenly Honey had an embarrassing rush of emotion as she watched Tricia and her new baby. Some deep dark maternal instinct was presenting itself, and Honey felt inadequate to deal with it. It must have something to do with Milo and the fact he was near, protecting her as the other men were protecting their women. Milo was quartering her right side with his back to her, to give her some space in their new relationship, but close enough to be a protector. He was also in her line of fire if she need to draw.
Honey was capable of protecting herself, she had training and her concealed carry permit. She simply didn't share that information when she was engaged with people. She obviously was in a high risk occupation, and she had taken steps to ensure her own safety.
Milo wouldn't have information about that, Honey told herself, so she was going to have to tell him. She looked at Milo with troubled eyes, and he could feel her watching him. Her expressive eyes were busy sorting out what she knew, and what she didn't and although they were in a crowded room getting instruction from the father of the family, there were only the two of them.
How Honey made the leap from starting to like Milo....to the fact that she would give her life to protect him....alluded her at the moment, but it was real and she accepted it as true feeling. It had come across her so easily, and was so much bigger than any feeling she had felt before, that she had to let it happen.
Milo could feel the change in her, and it was very difficult to keep his mind on what Dad was saying, when all he wanted to do was take her out in the hall and kiss her.
Thank-You, and God Bless You and Yours, Mrs. Pac... Looking through the windows you paint, one sees the gamut of emotions, values put forth and defended, and the consequences of one's actions- all with a clarity and perception seldom seen through glass darkly... You have, and are, a God Given Gift to all of us... Thank-You, Ma'am...
"Confess with your mouth, that 'Jesus is Lord,' believing in your heart that God raised Him from the Dead, and you will be saved, for with the heart, man believes and is justified, and with his profession of faith, he is saved." Romans 10:9-10.
I can either read God's Word to you, or read it over you. Your choice. Either way, you will meet Jesus Christ. Condition "0," Code Red to Black- ALWAYS. Trump Supporter and Proud Founding Member of The Nowski Brigade- To the Hilt!!!
At the same time Honey was sorting out her facts and the blissful way she had come to the conclusion she was adequate to take on the exhilarating ride that a romance with Milo promised, she understood she was absolutely terrorized by the thought.
It was no different that feeling safe illusion as the roller coaster cars slowly trudged up the steep hill to the top of the first downgrade. A person got to thinking that this isn't so bad and scary. Then you got to the top and you wanted to do nothing more than to get out and cancel the ride. But....too late...you were committed to the end of the ride if you wanted out of the car.
The good Doctor understood she tended to over think, over analyze any situation, and she forgot that Mark was talking and she was supposed to be listening. Honey had her hand at the corner of her mouth and she was deep into sorting out the facts. The face of danger had her responding like a 'primal' woman, and she wasn't sure how to manage that side of herself.
Milo reached down and caught her free hand. Honey nodded. That is how she would handle the wildness gathering inside her. With help, from him.
As her gold eyes changed from turbulent confusion to a resolve Milo could feel and see in her expression, his own excitement flared. She would be a woman worth having.
Mark was passing out older, extra weapons. The spare Glock went to Phoebe in her role as Tricia's and Eddy's nurse.
Mark silently quizzed Milo if he should offer a weapon to Honey, the untested newcomer perhaps as much a danger to the clan as Cody and Abbi, if she had never handled a weapon before.
Milo nodded yes, he would make sure she would get the basics. Honey surprised them when she refused the larger Glock. "I'd rather use my own gun, I'm more familiar with it." her calm response had Milo nodding in approval.
Mark arched his eyebrow and Milo shrugged. He hadn't realized she had a weapon with her. Mark gave him a stare that Milo returned without flinching. Milo wasn't in the habit of patting down lady doctors on the third time they met.
Slowly Milo eased them around the group and out into the hall. He walked Honey into his room and closed the door.
"Do you really have a weapon on you?" he asked and Honey nodded yes.
"May I see it please," this was a protector that had to make sure she was capable. There on her right side in a holster hidden by her suit jacket and tucked unobtrusively into her waistband, Honey had her 928. She was watching him carefully, and suddenly Milo understood he'd better not make a move to remove the gun. She suddenly wasn't sure who to trust.
"Is it loaded?"
"Is the safety on?"
She nodded again.
"God, I need to kiss you," he growled and pushed the woman with the gold cat eyes up against the wall and kissed her hard. Honey astounded him. She kissed back with equal intensity. The flare between them was slightly hotter that the heat between Ben and Tess. And it left both of them shaken.
Milo drug her rapidly out into the hall and somewhat safer territory. He was close to being overheated.
The rest of the day and night, the clan kept vigilant watch. Honey called in to her office to let them know she was in protective custody, Mark had informed her of that. She didn't bother to call her parents, they wouldn't comprehend.
Mark had called Bruce to find out where the man was, perturbed the Doctor wasn't there to help provide security. Bruce was still more than an hour out, and Mark explained the predicament. "Be especially watchful. Cody knows you are gone, and may try to flag you down to get a ride. We don't know if he has a weapon, but it's safer to assume he does. The same goes for Abbi."
Cody did have a weapon. He also had two brothers from Georgia feeding him hate and discontent. They were gleeful, thinking that they would take out the clan from the inside and the mentally unbalanced man would take the rap.
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