Family & Friends Series


By Ron Robbins,
edited by Frank Perry

©2008 All rights reserved

Part Two

Alex was up by five, showered, shaved and made the coffee. He was reading the newspaper as Terry walked into the breakfast room. "Good morning, handsome," Alex said. "Did you sleep well?"

Terry smiled, "After I finally fell asleep. I kept thinking of what you said last night. That kept me from falling asleep most of the night. I want to make this work for us. You have no idea how much I wanted you last night. Holding you in my arms last night was a delightful experience for me and felt right. I'm delighted you're moving in with me. Order anything you need for the kitchen. I'll be opening an account at Clout's Market for you and a joint household bank account. Let me know what time I should be home for dinner every night. I'm planning to spend all my free time with you from now on, Alex. I'll leave the office visit up to you. I plan to hire you as my executive assistant with a starting salary of fifty thousand, but that's up to you. I don't intend to push you into anything."

"I see you have been doing a lot of thinking," Alex said. "Now before I answer, what would you like for breakfast?"

"Anything you fix will be fine."

Alex went about preparing a breakfast of mushroom omelets, bacon, English muffins and fruit. After they finished breakfast, Alex stared at Terry and said, "You are a sensitive person and I appreciate everything you are trying to do for me. I'm delighted that you want to hold me in your arms. That's where I want to be anyway. I happen to think you are a handsome and sexy guy.

"I plan to spend the rest of this week arranging my new schedule," Alex said. "I'll be moving my belongings from my apartment this afternoon. I need the rest of the week to organize my life. Things like switching my MBA program, setting up the kitchen the way I want it. I need to add some suits to expand on my meager wardrobe. I should be ready to report for work next week," Alex said.

"Don't be concerned if you find me missing between four and five o'clock every morning. That's the time I will be at the Tech gym doing my workout. The same will be true on the night you work late at the office. I must work out at least three days a week. I'm not a fast calorie burner and I love to eat good food."

"You've made me very happy, Alex," Terry said. "I can't tell you how pleased I am that you are moving in and are going to work for me. I was afraid I would lose you."

Alex poured more coffee, "Don't forget to give me a house key and show me the alarm systems before you leave."

Alex cleaned up the kitchen while Terry finished dressing, and he made a list of things he needed for the kitchen in addition to the utensils he would bring from his apartment.

Terry gave him his credit card, a spare set of keys to the house, garage opener and a thousand dollars in cash. He explained the alarm systems and gave him the codes.

"Don't feel offended, Alex, but I want you to charge your wardrobe to my credit card," Terry said. "If you need any more cash before I open the household accounts let me know."

Alex walked over to Terry, embraced him, and kissed him gently on the lips. "Never leave this house without kissing me. Do you think you can remember that?"

Terry chuckled, "I can remember, and I won't. As a matter of fact, I kind of like that idea," Terry said. "You are so affectionate; I've never known anyone like you before. This is all so new to me. I come from a straight-laced and reserved family background. My parents never showed any outward affection toward me, or to each other, for that matter."

"Any time you feel like kissing me or holding me, don't ask, just do it, don't stand on ceremony," Alex said.

"I'm not offended that you are offering to buy me a new wardrobe. I think it's very generous and I accept your offer," Alex said. "I intend to pay you back every cent when I get paid. With my budget, I can't afford to lay it out in advance. My student loan can only stretch so far."

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

Four months had passed since Alex moved in with Terry. He felt he couldn't wait another two months for Terry's decision. They had made two business trips to Europe and Australia together. Alex had made progress at his job and was proving that he was a competent take-charge engineer.

They were working in Terry's office when they were interrupted by an emergency call for Alex. He left to take the call in his own office. When Alex returned, his face was as white as a sheet and he was visibly upset.

"What's wrong Alex?"

"I just received word that two of my roommates from the Academy were killed today. Their plane crashed as they landed on the carrier deck and were both killed on impact. I've been asked by the family to serve as pallbearer and to give the eulogy at the funeral mass."

"God, what a shock," Alex said. "It must have been an omen that made me take my uniforms to the dry cleaners last month."

"The services are to be held at NAS-Jacksonville. I need to catch a flight out of here this evening. I hope you don't mind, but I must do this. I should only be gone a couple of days."

"Of course I don't mind, Alex. I'll have my secretary make your reservations for the first flight out this afternoon and I'll drive you to the airport myself," Terry said. "You go on home to pack what you need and call me when you're ready to leave for the airport."

"Thanks, Terry, I'll see you in a little while," Alex said.

Terry called Lois and asked her to join him for dinner at the Ritz. He drove home after Alex's call and found him in his bedroom. His bag and carry-on luggage were packed and laying open on the bed. Alex was standing at the window staring out at the garden. When Terry walked over closer to him, he could see that he was crying. Terry took him in his arms, "Let it all out, baby."

Alex cried for more than five minutes, until he finally said, "Thanks for being here for me, Terry. I can't believe they're gone. I talked to them only last week. Everything was going great with their careers. They were due to be transferred to shore duty the end of this tour. I feel so sorry for their wives. It's tough to raise children without a husband. I hope that things will work out for them. They are both lovely women. I'm not looking forward to this trip. What a downer."

Terry kissed Alex and hugged him tight. "I'm going to miss you, baby. This will be the first time we will be separated since we met. It's going to be lonely around here without you. We need to leave now or you'll miss your flight"

"I love you, Terry. I wanted you to know that in case my plane crashes."

Terry kissed him again, "Don't even think that way," Terry said. "I could not bear to lose you now. I love you too. I never realized what love was until you walked into my life. You fill my every day with happiness. I don't want you to leave, but I know you must. Try and make it through these next few days and come back to me safe and sound."

"You are always in my thoughts and my prayers, Terry. You have just made my burden easier knowing I have a wonderful lover to come home to. We'd better leave now before I change my mind about leaving you."

By the time they reached Hartsfield International, Alex was feeling better. He held Terry's hand the entire trip.

"I'll try to call you later tonight once I know my schedule. Drop me off at the Delta departure entrance and don't stick around. If you stay, I know I'll want to kiss you and that would not be proper."

Terry laughed, "Are you sure you graduated from the Naval Academy? I thought you were taught to act with more reserve in public? I'll meet your return flight if you promise not to rape me on the hood of the car. I know how you sailors are?"

"I promise to be very proper and gentle with you. Well, we're here! See you in two days, baby! Love you."

On the way back to Buckhead, Terry ran into the evening rush hour traffic. He called the Ritz to make sure they held his table.

Lois was sipping her cocktail at his table when he arrived. "I'm sorry I'm late."

"I haven't seen you in months," Lois said. "Things must be working out between you and Alex."

Terry smiled, "You earned your fee. Alex is everything I ever hoped for. He's a hard worker and gets along with the staff. My clients think he's great."

"How is he in bed?" Lois asked."

"I don't know. We've not slept together."

"What kind of crap are you giving me, Terry? This is Lois you're talking to, baby."

"As God is my judge, I'm telling you the truth. He would not sleep with me until we are a couple. Alex has been burned too many times."

"He is a strange bird, our Alex. And you agreed to this?"

"I'll do anything he wants, I'm crazy about him. There is something intriguing about him. I've never met anyone like him before. He is unyielding in his principles, and yet so affectionate."

"For the first time in my life I'm in love. It's everything they say it is and more," Terry said. "Alex taught me that, now I can't live without him. You have no idea how quickly the time passes when we're together. He is exciting to be with and I never tire of him. I can never thank you enough for finding him. It's frightening to think that I have lived this long without him."

"I'm happy for you, Terry. Didn't I tell you he was the one for you? I agree Alex is special. He's different from anyone I've ever met before. He's the kind of guy you like the minute you meet him. Maybe it's his clean cut, all-American image that makes him so appealing. Why don't you invite me to one of his home cooked meals? I would like to see him in action."

"That's a great idea and I know Alex would like that."

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Alex called a little after nine that evening, "The situation is as grim as I expected. The burial service is at eleven tomorrow morning. I've made it known that I must return to Atlanta tomorrow afternoon. I will be arriving in Atlanta on Delta flight #381 at three o'clock. I don't want you to waste your time driving out to the airport to pick me up. Have your limo driver meet me at the Delta baggage area at three-thirty."

"I would rather meet you at home and greet you properly. God, do I miss you."

"Nothing is the same without you," Terry said. "Are you sure you don't want me to meet your flight?"

"I'm sure. I want to make a stop at Clout's on the way home anyway to pick up something for dinner. The food in this place is awful. I miss my kitchen and your smiling, happy face sitting across from me. I'll call you as soon as I'm home. Love you."

The next morning was utter confusion for Terry. Nothing went right. The new power plant project in Mexico was in serious trouble. The Cartel was delinquent in their payments, things couldn't get worse. Terry called an emergency meeting with his bankers and the major creditors. Going through Terry's mind was the fact that the heavy industrial equipment was due in port in two months and the cash was not in the bank to cover the payment. If the Cartel was late with their third payment, he will have to come up with cash, which he didn't have. He was already extended up to his limits, because of this project. His creditors and bankers were concerned. The bank wants him to come up with fifty million in sixty days, or they would cut off his line of credit. The meetings finally broke up a little after five. Terry returned to his office and found Alex's message.

He called Alex, "Sorry, baby, I was in meetings all day. I'm leaving now."

Terry found Alex working in the kitchen. He walked over to him and took him in his arms and kissed him passionately. "I have been aching for you since you left. I want to make love to you now." They stayed like that for several minutes. "God, you are wonderful, I've never been turned on like this before, come with me, my beautiful baby."

Terry led Alex to his bedroom and slowly undressed him, then himself. He pulled back the covers and they lay side by side facing each other and tenderly embraced and kissed again, while exploring each other's naked bodies. "Baby, I want to make with you."

"My body is yours to do whatever gives you pleasure."

Terry opened the drawer in the nightstand and removed two condoms and a tube of KY jelly. He put a condom on Alex, then the other on himself. He turned Alex on his side and moved behind him. Terry lubricated his finger and massaged Alex's rectum until his sphincter was relaxed, then inserted the tip of his penis and slowly entered Alex. He waited several seconds, than continued until he was deep inside Alex. He reached around, took Alex's penis in his hand, and slowly began masturbating him until Alex started to moan with pleasure.

Terry took his time; he didn't want to rush the wonderful feelings they were experiencing. He stopped several times to prolong the exquisite enjoyment of their being together. The perspiration made their skin glisten. Terry felt Alex stiffen and his sphincter muscle tighten around Terry's penis. That did it! They both experienced a wonderfully sustained orgasm. It was several minutes before their breathing returned to normal. Terry had not released his hold on Alex.

"Stay inside me and hold me in your arms a little longer," Alex said.

Terry kissed him on the cheek and neck, "Don't worry, my love, I plan to hold on to you forever."

An hour later Terry woke up to find they were still locked in each other's embrace. He felt Alex's heart beating. He'd never experienced a love like this before. It was so tender and beautiful. He was thinking of all the things Alex had said over the months, and his loving ways. He realized now the wisdom of Alex's reasoning. He loved everything about him; his refined sense of humor, his radiant smile, his expressive eyes, and the smooth flowing body movements of an athlete.

Alex was an great athlete and was proficient in most sports, but above all, he was an outstanding tennis player. Terry knew he held back and let him win many games because he was sure Alex could beat him with one hand tied behind his back. He was a champion player at the academy. The Naval Academy believed in developing the whole man, both mind and body and they did a fine job with Alex; he was a credit to the Navy's training. He still maintained a well developed body. It was delightful for Terry, holding this wonderful warm loving man. The thought made him harden again.

Alex opened his eyes. "I have never been so turned on by anyone like this before. You're well worth the long wait, my love." They made love again, this time it was relaxed and gentle. "God, I'm tingling all over and completely satisfied," Alex said.

"Come on my wonderful, handsome stud. It's time to hit the shower." Alex pulled Terry up and led him to the bathroom. They showered together then dressed and returned to the kitchen.

Alex began preparing dinner. "All right, out with it, Terry, what's bothering you?"

"I don't want to spoil your evening with depressing new about the business."

"We're a couple now. Your problems are our problems, now out with it."

"The firm is over extended financially. If our partners in the Cartel don't come up with their next installment of fifty million within sixty days, the banks will freeze our line of credit. Unfortunately, that will force us into bankruptcy."

"Wow, that is serious, it's no wonder you're worried."

"Don't worry about it, my love, we're not broke. The house, the boat, the cars and the plane are all free and clear. I have enough in the bank to keep us going for a long time. The thought of losing the business and starting over again is what's depressing. It has taken me ten years to build this business and I have no desire to work for another company. I'm sorry Alex; I wanted everything to be perfect for you."

"As far as I'm concerned, everything is perfect," Alex said. "We have each other and we are young enough to build another company together if it comes to that. What are your alternatives if the Cartel does not come up with the money?"

"I'll need to find another investor within sixty days. We've already started working on a new proposal, but it's going to be tough finding an investor that can come up with fifty million on such short notice."

"If you don't mind, I would like to sit in on your strategy meetings from now on," Alex said. "Promise me that you'll stop worrying about this, because you're not going to lose the company. Between us I'm sure we will be able to find someone to come up with the money. That's why I want to sit in on those meetings. I should know what I'm talking about before I start asking potential investors to part with 50-million."

Terry walked behind Alex, put his arms around his waist and kissed him on his neck and ears. Then he turned him around and kissed him on the lips. "I'm beginning to realize what a treasure I've found. I'm certainly not going to let your talent go to waste. Any ideas you have to contribute to the business will be welcomed."

"It's nice to be appreciated. Why don't you make yourself useful and open a nice bottle of rosè and set the table? Dinner will be ready in a few minutes."

Terry smiled, "Aye, aye, sir."

They cleaned up the kitchen and Alex made espresso, with his new machine, and carried it into the living room. Terry poured them each a snifter of brandy to sip with their espresso. They sat close to each other on the large couch facing the fireplace and held hands.

Terry pulled Alex into his arms, "Will you marry me?"

"Yes, my love, I'll marry you."

"We did agree to be lovers," Terry said. "But I want to marry you legally. I want to fly over to Hawaii to be married as soon I can make the arrangements."

"That sounds wonderful. I will be happy to spend the rest of my life with you."

"I love you so much, Alex; you are so wonderful."

They sat enjoying their moments together until they finished their brandy. Alex picked up the cups and glasses and took them into the kitchen. When he returned, he took Terry's hand and led him up to their bedroom. He removed Terry's clothes and led him to bed. He had Terry lay on his back and he straddled him at the waist with one knee on either side of his hips and sat down on his haunches facing Terry. He leaned forward and kissed him on the mouth, then the ears, then down his body as far as he could reach. He took his special body lotion and slowly rubbed it into Terry's skin from his neck to his feet. Then he turned him over on his stomach and did the same to his back. He turned him on his side and prepared him for love-making.

Soon, Terry was moaning with pleasure, twisting in Alex's arms. "I've never felt anything this fantastic before."

They could not sustain this high plateau of sensual arousal any longer and lapsed into a delightfully sustained orgasm. They remained locked together until their breathing returned to normal. They then showered and slipped back into bed lying side by side with their heads touching, one arm wrapped around each other's shoulder.

"I love you so much, Alex. Now that you have taken my virginity, you've no choice but to marry me. I'm glad you were my first. I'd never let anyone in the back door, but the feeling was fantastic. It's so wonderful to know that you will always be by my side. I plan to spend the rest of my life making our marriage work. Will you please sleep with me from now on, and let me hold you like this every night?"

"I had no intention of sleeping anywhere else. I'm an early riser and early to bed, so don't feel bad if I hit the sack around nine every night. I know you are a night owl and like to sleep in. I promise to be as quiet as a mouse when I get up in the morning. Remember, my darling Terry, my life and my body are yours. You have my permission to wake me at night if you feel like having sex. He leaned over, kissed Terry on the eyes, nose and mouth, laid his head down, cuddled up close to him, and fell asleep.

Terry smiled and kissed him, "God, how lucky can I get?" He pulled the covers over them and felt Alex's smooth body meld to his. Terry finally realized what love was all about. He woke up several times that night because he was not used to sleeping with another person.

When Terry awoke the next morning with the sun shining in the windows, he was alone in bed. He smelled the aroma of fresh coffee and realized where Alex was. He quickly showered, shaved, did his teeth thing and headed for the kitchen.

Alex was sitting at the breakfast table reading the morning paper. Terry walked up behind him, took his head between his hands and kissed him tenderly on the lips. "You taste as good as you look, you are the most delightful man I've ever known, and I never felt this happy in my life."

"It must be magic, because I feel the same," Alex said. "Do you know I can't remember the last time I've slept straight through the night without waking up? You are the only medicine I'll need from now on. I've found a home in your loving arms, Mr. Stonewall," Alex said. "Besides all that, you're a great lay. I'll cut the heart out of anyone that lays a hand on you. From now on you are my personal property."

"You're a real tiger this morning. God, you're wonderful," Terry said. "I want to hold you, baby." Terry took him into his arms and held him.

Alex kissed Terry's cheek, "I'm the only one that's allowed to cry in this family. This is no way to behave in front of your sex-toy."

"Don't ever say that again, not even in fun. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I hope you forget that I ever suggested that. I'm so overwhelmed by this feeling for you, Alex. You have made me so happy I just can't contain myself."

Alex kissed him. "Thank you for restoring my faith in people again."

"I wish we could take a week off and have a proper honeymoon," Terry said. "Let's plan to take some time off after our wedding."

"As soon as we settle this South American business, we'll have our honeymoon. Are you ready for breakfast, baby?"

♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦      ♦

They were the first to arrive at the office that morning. Alex tackled the backlog of correspondence that had accumulated for the two days he was away. It was ten o'clock when he returned his last call. Dale Williams stopped by his office, "The boss wants you to attend the meeting this morning. I suggest you make a head call before you join the meeting. It's going to be a long morning."

The conference table was filled by the time he arrived. Alex and several of the other managers had to sit on chairs at the back of the room. The meeting included all the senior staff, project managers and subcontractors involved in the South American project. Terry opened the meeting and explained the current problems with the Cartel and the steps he was taking to find a backer to replace the Cartel. "It is essential that we put together a proposal for a new investor, so let's get started."

The meeting lasted until one o'clock. A buffet lunch was set up in the small board room so the meeting could continue after the short lunch break. Alex cornered the Director of Finance to request a copy of the original proposal and a list of the major players in the Cartel. He found Terry eating lunch in his office. Alex closed the door behind him. "I heard enough at that meeting to realize that your Cartel is skating on thin ice. I'm skipping the afternoon meeting to concentrate on finding some investors. I'll start the ball rolling by calling a few of my friends this afternoon to identify some prospects," Alex said. He rubbed Terry's neck and gave him a peck on the cheek. "Don't look so glum, we'll beat this together. You concentrate on putting another package together."

"You make it all sound so easy," Terry said. "I wish had your optimism."

"You put a lot of hard work into building this company and we are not going to lose it. You're not alone anymore, Terry, you have me by your side now and we are going to make it bigger than it was before. You've spoiled me, Terry, and I don't plan to go back to the way it was before. Now you go back to that meeting and whip those boys into shape."

Terry chuckled and shook his head, "Aye, aye, sir."

Alex returned to his office, began reading the financial reports on the Cartel, and decided to call his old friend Michael Lee at the NSA. He was surprised to learn that Mike resigned from the Agency two years ago. Alex did a little digging and found out that Mike was now working for the MacDonald-Stevens Corporation in New York. Mike was out of the office when he called, but he left a message on his voice mail. Later that afternoon Alex's secretary buzzed him to let him know that Mike Lee was on the telephone.

Alex picked up the telephone, "Hey Mike; it's good to hear from you again. I was surprised to learn you left the agency. I thought you would end up retiring from that place."

"Well, that's a long story," Mike said. "So much has happened since the last time we worked together. It would take a day just to cover the highlights. My God, it's been a long time, Alex. What's up?"

"I was hoping you would be able to help me, Mike." Alex gave him the rundown on the South American deal, and how he was involved.

"Look, Alex, I'll be happy to give you information on that Cartel. I'll try to have something for you this afternoon. I would like to run this by my boss, Mac Stevens. He may be interested in this deal himself. Would that be okay with you? He is interested in any petrochemical deals in South America."

"Great! Any help would be appreciated."

"It's my pleasure, Alex. If the boss is interested, he'll contact you directly. Don't be surprised if he calls you at some crazy hour. He's always on the move and could call you at any time. Give me your contact numbers."

"I'm serious about seeing you again too," Mike said. "Let's plan on doing that soon."

"You bet. We have a lot of catching up to do. I suppose you heard about two of my classmates buying it this week. I'm still not over that yet."

"That's right, I didn't make the connection until just now," Mike said. "I remember that you guys were real close. I'm really sorry Alex, talk to you later."

Mike called Alex back again two hours later. "Good news, bad news, my friend. The bad news is I can't talk to you on an unsecured line about the Cartel. The good news is my boss wants to talk to you ASAP. You can reach him at the same number you called me on. Word of advice, if he wants you to drop everything and come to New York, do it. Oh, and Alex, be up front with him and don't hold anything back. I give you my word that Mac is a straight shooter. They don't come any better than him. For your information, Mac is the President of the MacDonald-Stevens Corporation."

I did not wait. I made the call to Mac Stevens after Mike hung up. Mac's secretary informed me that Mr. Stevens would be tied up in meetings all day; however she would make sure that he received my message.

Thirty minutes later Mac was on the telephone to me. "Sorry I was tied up when you called Mr. Savage," Mac said. "Mike Lee has spoken very highly of you and has briefed me on your problems. Could you give me the gross dollar amount on your South American project?"

"$550 million, Mr. Stevens, and please call me Alex."

"Is that project in Brazil?"

"Yes, sir!"

"Does Terence Stonewall still head up Stonewall Engineering?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good! What is your connection with the firm, Alex?"

"I'm Terry's executive assistant and group project engineer."

"Can you and Terry break away for this weekend and be in my office on Friday morning to discuss this project? We may have some common interest in this project. If Friday is not convenient, I'll try to schedule it the following week."

"This weekend is fine. We will be in your office Friday morning."

"That's great. Naturally you and Terry will be our weekend guests at the Retreat. I'll arrange to have you flown up on Thursday evening. My assistant, Doug Chatham, will call you tomorrow and work out all the details. So it's so long until Thursday, Alex."

Alex finished his calls, signed the letters his secretary left on his desk and returned to the meeting room to sit in on the rest of the meeting. He waited until they were home before telling Terry of his conversation with Mac Stevens.

"In view of what Mike Lee said about Mac Stevens, I thought it was important to accept his invitation on the spot. I figured you could always cancel later. You'll have until tomorrow morning to make your decision, that's when Doug Chatham will be calling to make the final arrangements."

Terry smiled and shook his head, "You never cease to amaze me. I don't understand how you can remain so calm about this. I would have been so excited, I couldn't hold back. You made the right decision to accept for us. A mover and shaker like Mac Stevens would not waste his time talking to us unless he had something in mind for that project."

"Terry, before we meet Mike Lee, there is no reason why you shouldn't know about my real duties in the Navy. You see, Mike and I were counter intelligence officers. Mike was NSA and I was Naval Intelligence. I was the liaison officer assigned to an inter-agency intelligence group. That's why the Navy had me go through that prolonged debriefing before I resigned. At that time I was considered one of the rising stars in Naval Intelligence. It came as quite a shock to my skipper when I decided to resign."

"Thanks for telling me," Terry said. "It's hard to believe a gentle soul like you could make it through that tough training. I had a buddy that washed out because he couldn't take it. He said he tried, but he admitted he didn't have the tough mind-set you need to survive their training program. It does answer many questions I had about you, Alex. I figured you would tell me when you were ready. You put me though your own test didn't you?"

"I had to force you out of your shell, Terry. I knew you wanted me; you just needed that little push. I fell for you the weekend we met. You were well worth the effort. That's one of the reasons I was so good at my job with the Navy. We have a lot of homework to do between now and Thursday evening. I need to check out Mac Stevens and his organization before we meet him on his home turf. Your job is going to be tough pulling all those figures together. I'll help you as much as I can. God, we only have two and a half days to pull everything together. In the meantime I'll get the lowdown on Mac from Mike. But my gut feeling tells me he knows about this project already. He didn't waste any time setting up this meeting. A guy like that looks at the big picture. He'll want to know gross capital expenditure, production capacity and completion dates. He'll probably want to review your contract with the Cartel as well. I suggest you ask your legal department to pull everything together just in case."

Terry went to the den and made some calls. He walked back to the kitchen where Alex was preparing dinner. "I've made arrangements to have our legal department make copies of the contract for Mac Stevens and to review our legal options in assigning this contract to another buyer. Legal says that the Cartel is already in violation of the contract and is placing our company in jeopardy. Dale Williams is having his team rework their figures and schedule using your scenario. Don't worry; we'll be ready for Mac Stevens Friday. I think you may be right about Mac Stevens being a big picture man, I know that's the way I would want to go."

"I'll start digging into the MacDonald-Stevens Corporation after dinner," Alex said. They finished dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, and went into the den to work. Alex called Mike and spoke with him for two hours. He hung up and said, "I'm sorry I took so long, Terry, but this call was very revealing. I feel like a brandy, how about you?"

"Sounds good, let's sit in the living room in front of the fire and make out."

After they got comfortable on the sofa, Terry said, "Now tell me what you learned about Mac Stevens."

"Duncan MacDonald was the protégée of Drew Stevens; the Chairman of GW Stevens Co. Drew hired this young genius before he graduated from Law school. Mac pulled together a couple of multimillion deals for GW Stevens, and was promoted to Drew's assistant. In addition, he was made manager of the International development group. A few months later, Mac ends up running the company while Drew is away in Europe. Mac does a bang up job and has the top executives eating out of his hand. When Drew returns from the wars, Mac quits, starting his own firm. Get this: Drew invests over a hundred million in Mac's new venture, the MacDonald-Stevens Corp. Today the company is a giant many times larger than GW Stevens.

"According to Mike, everything Mac touches turns to gold. Five years ago he was waiting tables to put himself through Yale and today he's a billionaire. Mike loves the guy and would kill for him. The same can be said for all his people, including Drew Stevens.

"Mike agreed that we are on target about him being a big picture man. He warned me again to be up front with Mac. Look, baby, I'm beat, I've got to hit the sack. Wake me up when you turn in." He kissed Terry and headed up stairs.

It was eleven thirty when Terry headed up to bed. Alex had dimmed the bed lamps and was sound asleep in the middle of the bed. Terry climbed in next to him and pulled him into his arms. Alex didn't resist, or wake up. Terry didn't have the heart to wake him up. He turned off the lights and fell asleep.

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To be continued
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