Family & Friends Series


By Ron Robbins,
edited by Frank Perry

2007 All rights reserved.

Part 8


It was six o'clock when Jen walked into the dining room the next morning to join Mac for breakfast. "Good morning, Mac. What time did you get up this morning?"

"Five o'clock, as usual. I did my workout, dressed, eyeballed the papers, made a few calls, and sat down a few minutes ago," Mac said. "Chris will introduce you to Mary this morning. We take security very seriously around here. Never leave the apartment alone. Always let Mary or Chris know your movements as long as you are living in this apartment. Mary will brief you on all security procedures, so you know the rules."

"It sounds exciting and a little spooky," Jen said. "Should I wear a bulletproof vest and carry a gun?"

"You're not in any danger; it's just a precaution we take to make sure that nothing does happen. Sorry, I must run; I'll call you after I speak to Barbara."

Mac took the elevator to his office and started working immediately. He sent an E-mail message to Eric Rothacher and read all Drew's mail and confidential documents. He typed a brief paragraph on each document with his comments, and transferred them to Drew's secure E-mail box. Then he concentrated on the pile of correspondence that demanded his attention. By eight o'clock, he had gone through three-quarters of the stack. Barbara arrived as he was starting on the last of the pile.

"Good morning, Barbara, I have a few more messages that I didn't include in your voice mail. My niece, Jen Jones, is staying with me at the penthouse. She'll be working with me on a special project and will need a desk with a telephone. Will you call her after you have worked your usual magic?"

"No problem, I'll take care of it right away."

Mac began returning his calls. He called RW to set up a lunch meeting. Rod called to confirm Chip Buchner's appointment for Thursday morning at ten, then Mac contacted Handman & Katz, the real estate firm that handled the Paradise Island property, to set up a meeting with Mr. Handman for three o'clock. Barbara delivered another stack of correspondence that would keep him busy in between the calls he received. Mac answered his own phone on any inter-office calls, Barbara only screened his outside calls. RW had arrived at noon and they took the private elevator to the penthouse for lunch.

"Thanks for changing your schedule, RW. We have a serious problem on our hands that will need your special attention." Mac told him of his encounter with Thomas. "I want you to take whatever steps necessary to investigate Thomas from top to bottom. We should also do a thorough investigation of all his associates, his executive contacts and our own board of directors. Put on as many people as you think necessary to get the job done. I'm willing to bet he has formed liaisons with executives and board members in this organization," Mac said. "I don't think he could force Claudia, or Mrs. B to vote against Drew, but then, I don't know what kind of pressure he could use against them. We have to cover every angle, including any close connections with brokers, bankers, etc. Everyone is suspect except Drew, Mrs. Baldwin, and yours truly. Pay particular attention to Edith and the two boys.

"I want you to spare no expense when it comes to Thomas's 24/7 surveillance from now on. Anything personal on the family, you can work with Mrs. Baldwin. I have her full support on this operation. She wants to be kept in the loop on our progress. I've only told Drew we may have a problem with Thomas, but I didn't tell him the seriousness of the situation. There is nothing Drew can do now anyway, so I didn't want to distract him for the present. My gut feeling is that Thomas is not ready to make his move right now, anyway. At this point, we need to gather as much information as we can and be prepared to hit him when we have a strong case against him.

"Thomas is watching me now. He's looking for any incident he can use against Drew. We must be suspicious of everyone at this point. You have your work cut out for you, RW. This is a serious threat that must not be taken lightly. Thomas is devious and I would not rule out a hit. We can't leave a money trail for this operation. I want all costs to be billed through the MacDonald-Stevens Corp., unless John thinks otherwise. If he feels we can bury it, all the better.

"Don't worry about covering yourself on the financial side of this Hopkins investigation," RW said. "Drew has circulated a memo giving you complete authority to act in his absence. Anyway, my friend, I would have found a way to help you. The same goes for John. You forget, little brother, I helped saved your life and I intend to see that you're around for a long time. Don't worry about Thomas. Drew has told John and me that you are his life partner, so put your mind at rest on that score. Drew trusts you and that's all that matters."

"Thanks. Your acceptance means a great deal to me, I'm honored you think of me as a friend. Thomas is a serious threat because he knows everything that is going on in the company. It wouldn't surprise me if he has something to do with our problems in the Plastics Divisions. Why not kick that idea around with John and David. We both know they will not drop that until they have an answer, anyway. Our primary concern is to protect Drew at all costs. You don't need to investigate the King family. I've examined them myself and they have nothing to hide. I would never have probed their minds if this was not in Drew's interest."

"Don't worry about it, Mac, you did the right thing. I would have been very surprised if we found anything connecting Charles King with this mess."

"I'm leaving for Paris on Friday and will be back Wednesday. If you need me for anything use the computer link. Again, many thanks, my friend."

Barbara announced that Chip Buchner had arrived for his appointment.

Mac stood up from behind his desk and walked over to shake Chip's hand. He led him over to the conference area. Chip was about six feet tall and of medium build, fair complexion, and well dressed. He was handsome, with a warm friendly smile.

"Thank you for coming on such short notice, Mr. Buchner. I've heard a lot of good things about you and have been looking forward to this meeting."

Chip smiled, "Please, call me Chip, Mr. MacDonald. If what you've heard about me is good, it's all true, if not, it's all lies."

Mac smiled, "Tell me, Chip, what have you learned about me so far?"

"I like you already," Chip said. "You don't waste time getting down to business. I heard that you were the young genius who has made a name for himself in less than six months. You have many people guessing. I understand that you have a lot of influence and are being fast-tracked into upper management, that you head up the international divisions, and that you have closed some big deals worth billions to the company. I heard that you are now Executive Assistant to the Chairman. I read in the society columns of your accomplishments at Yale. My spies tell me you have a keen head for business and have earned the respect of your colleagues, even though you are only twenty-six years old. I'm sure that there is more, but that's the best I could do on such short notice. I happen to know that a lot of businessmen see you as a flash in the pan."

"Your facts are on target," Mac said. "The reason I wanted to meet you, Chip, is because Rod Johnson has told me you were an outstanding business man. He thinks you would be a good choice as Director of Operations for my new firm. I respect Rod's judgment when it comes to people. Rod mentioned that you have not found the right opportunity to meet your high standards."

"I'm always looking for that right match. Rod is right, I haven't found the right opportunity, that's why I'm willing to listen to any challenging opportunity, and that's the reason for my being here today."

"That's fair enough, Chip. I'm building an organization that will challenge people like you and Rod Johnson. I want the most creative people I can find. From what I have learned about you, I feel that you have the talent and drive I'm looking for. I don't know if you have the other qualifications necessary for my organization, but I'll learn that from you today."

Mac went on to explain his company objectives, and where Chip would fit into the corporation. He explained what he expected from his executives, and the rewards that could be expected in the future. "Those are my firm's objectives, Chip, and that's what you can look forward to if you join us."

"I'm impressed," Chip said. "I'm also interested in persuing this further. What do you know about me, and what are some of the other qualifications you mentioned?"

"I would like to know why you gave up a promising career in medicine after receiving your medical degree."

"I never wanted to study medicine. It was never my intention to follow in my father's footsteps," Chip said. "I love my dad; when he begged me to go to medical school I didn't have the heart to refuse him. I did make one stipulation. If I made it through and still felt the same way about a career in medicine, he would not object to my choosing a business career."

"Very commendable; it's refreshing to hear that there are other people who feel that they owe their parents more then an occasional visit or a phone call. The company I'm building is not just another new startup company. I've had a vision since I was a young boy and I've worked toward this goal all of my adult life. Now the company is no longer a dream, but a reality. This company is a part of me. I'm starting to put together the nucleus of my firm now. The people that join me today will be starting on the ground floor of a corporation that will become one of the great corporations of our time. Those same people will be running the corporation and will be responsible for training the future generations for this corporation that will live on long after we are gone. This is why I'm being so careful in the selection of my executives.

"We both know what I'm up against. As you said, there are a lot of people out there who would be delighted to see me fail. I'm sure they will try to ruin me just for the fun of it. However, they won't succeed, Chip, because I don't intend to give them the chance. My game plan is in place now, and I should have it in operation within a month. Let me assure you that I'm up to the challenge, and I couldn't care less what these barons of industry have to say, because we are better than they are, and will beat them. Most of our competitors haven't a creative brain between them. That's why I'm hiring only the best talent, and people that will make that commitment. We will succeed because our long-term objectives are realistic and obtainable.

"Our objective will be to provide our customers with the best in goods and services. Naturally, we expect to make a fair and reasonable profit for our efforts, because our employees deserve to earn a good living and the chance to retire with a comfortable retirement income. But I'm not going to be greedy. For this business to succeed, I must have people around me that have the same objectives. Naturally, I insist that they be loyal to me, and are willing to work hard to succeed. I will not accept anything less then their best efforts."

"I agree with your business philosophy and I would like to see you succeed," Chip said. "I must admit I was skeptical when you began laying out your plan. You sounded more like a visionary then a sound businessman. You're a very deceiving man, Mr. MacDonald. At first glance, I took you for an energetic young executive that got lucky. But it's obvious that you are a tough-minded businessman who has it all together. I feel as if I should grab the flag and start following the leader. You are a breath of fresh air and the first real leader I've met in a long time. I'm excited about your ideas and would like to join your company. What's the next step?"

"You can start by calling me Mac. If I could, I would have you start next week. Your next step is to go through our screening program. That will include psychological testing, a drug screening, and a physical. My hands are tied until that is accomplished. Meanwhile, I would like you to send me a copy of your resume and your career objectives as to where you want to be in the next five years. I'm presently researching an exciting new project that I think will more than interest you. I want you to administer that project. By the time your screening process is completed I will have your official offer in hand."

Mac handed him his card, "Here is my service number, please feel free to call any time, and make sure to email me a copy of your resume and salary history by Sunday. I'll be out of town until next Wednesday but you can reach me at any time on my cell phone. How much time will you need to clear up your present assignments?" Mac asked.

"I'm sure my present clients will release me if push comes to shove," Chip said. "In any event, there is no reason why I can't start looking over any projects you have in the works right now."

"I think everything will work out just fine," Mac said. "I'm pleased that you will be part of my team as I feel you have a lot to contribute. Keep an eye open for any outstanding people that will fit into our organization. You know what we need. I've told Rod we truly are an equal opportunity employer, so don't rule anyone out because of age."

"I must say you don't waste any time. You've made your decision after one short interview without me even taking your psychological tests."

Mac smiled, "I know a lot more about you than you think. I had a dossier on you long before you walked into my office. You were also highly recommended by Rod whose judgment I respect. I only needed to ask a few questions which you answered to my complete satisfaction. The only tests that concern me are your physical exam and the drug screening."

"I'm not surprised! Rod told me to be prepared for this interview. He was right about you, I underestimated you. I could never work for a man I did not respect, and certainly not for a boss who is dumber than I am. I've always prided myself on my strict code of ethics and you have my word that I will be loyal to you. I feel a chemistry is there between us, and it should be a stimulating environment for a change. Unless something has developed since my last physical, I should pass your tests with flying colors."

Mac stood and shook hands. "I look forward to working with you. Please call Barbara, my secretary, and work out the best time for your testing. Here is our employment application and a copy of our benefits package. Please complete the forms before you leave. Barbara must have the signed application before she can schedule any tests. Again, let me say how pleased I am that you have made the decision to join us."

Paris, France

Mac arrived at Drew's suite at the Ritz a little after 9PM. He did his half-hour of exercises, showered and crawled naked into Drew's king size bed. He intended to close his eyes and rest until Drew arrived.

When Drew walked into the bedroom two hours later, Mac was sound asleep. Drew quietly walked over and turned off all the lights except the bedside lamp next to Mac. After showering, he crawled into bed with Mac. He watched his handsome lover sleeping peacefully. His eyes scanned every inch of that beautiful muscular body stretched out in the middle of their bed. He always marveled at Mac's perfectly proportioned body. His skin felt like fine silk to the touch, yet warm and slightly moist. His hair was light brown with a golden highlight, with a perfectly proportioned face. Except for a few strands of hair in the middle of his chest and underarms and the groin he was hairless. The only blemish on his body was the scar from his surgery.

Drew enjoyed these quite moments when he could observe Mac as long as he wished without being hurried. He remembered all the lonely nights he spent without him. Mac made his life exciting and worthwhile. He turned off the bedside lamp and carefully edged his body close to Mac until their bodies touched. He laid his head on Mac's shoulder and felt his silky-smooth skin next to his face. He let the slow, deep breathing lull him to sleep.

Mac awoke and felt Drew's naked body next to him. The bedside clock registered four o'clock. He thought his internal clock would be way off but he felt rested. The moonlight was shining in through the open French doors on this beautiful and clear cool morning. He pulled Drew completely into his arms and held him close. He was enjoying the thrill of holding his lover in his arms again. He couldn't resist the urge any longer, he just had to kiss Drew. He gently let his fingers roam over Drew's groin area and hard abdomen as he forced his tongue into Drew's mouth.

Drew opened his eyes and saw Mac's smiling face only inches from his. "Good morning, sweetheart," Mac said. "Thank you for not waking me last night. I wanted to stay awake, but I was dead to the world. I really needed a good night's sleep. I didn't want to wake you up so early, but I couldn't resist the temptation of kissing you. If you're still sleepy, close your eyes and go back to sleep. Never let it be said that I'm not a considerate lover."

Drew reached up to pull Mac's lips to his and kissed him tenderly. "I've been dreaming about this moment for weeks. Do you honestly think I could to go back to sleep now?"

"God, it's wonderful to have you in my arms again. I've missed you my love." Mac leaned down and gave Drew a long passionate kiss. This time they didn't separate, but began to make passionate love. It was slow, gentle and satisfying. They fell asleep in each other's arms and didn't awaken until they heard the soft sounds of the early morning traffic on the streets below. The sun was shining brightly through the open French doors. It was a beautiful, clear morning.

Drew had been awake for a while nestled in Mac's arms, reveling in his happiness. He said a little prayer thanking God for this wonderful gift. Even now he can't believe that he was holding Mac in his arms. Mac had once given him a card with a prayer to St. Jude that he memorized, and repeated whenever he thought of Mac.

Mac had confided to him that this prayer helped to soothe the pain he felt when Drew was gone. He followed Mac's example and found that it did help. He felt more comfortable knowing he was thanking God for his blessings, and if St. Jude was the messenger, all the better.

Mac could feel Drew's thoughts penetrating his brain. He felt so overwhelmed by the depth of feelings and intensity of Drew's love. He felt the passionate emotions flowing into his brain and didn't want to break the spell by opening his eyes. The tenderness was so moving, yet powerful. Finally, he projected the same feelings back to Drew and they began the most beautiful and tender melding of their minds and bodies. Their increasing state of excitement brought them to the edge of orgasm, and held them in that state of pleasure. Their feelings became so intense and heated that they knew they couldn't hold onto this prolonged emotional stimulation, so they relaxed and experienced a wonderful climax.

They both were covered with a fine mist of perspiration from their physical exertions. Now completely spent, they fell back to sleep in each other's arms.

Mac awoke a little while later and immediately went to the bathroom to shower and shave. He returned to bed, pulled the still sleeping Drew into his arms, and held him until Drew opened his eyes.

"Come on, sleepy head, it's time you fed your farm boy. All that wonderful lovemaking has made me hungry. I'd let you sleep longer, but I want to use the whirlpool bath to get some of the kinks out of my body. Remember your orders; I can't use the whirlpool without supervision. I'll use it while you're showering, okay?"

"What, no kiss?" Drew asked. "Does my breath smell bad?"

"No, it's not that, baby. You know that would never stop me. One kiss is never enough, you know that." Mac leaned down and kissed Drew very tenderly on the lips, forcing his tongue into his mouth. He began to rub his body until Drew started to moan. Drew pushed Mac away and made a dash to the bathroom.

Mac laughed heartily, "You have a mean streak," Mac said. "You're a real tease! You give me another erection and then you run away. You're going to pay for that later."

After he heard the shower running, he got out of bed, went into the bathroom and slid into the whirlpool. Drew dried himself using the forced warm air system in the shower enclosure and walked over to the washbasin to shave.

"You have a beautiful body, sweetheart," Mac said. "If we had more time, I'd make love to you again. I don't know what's wrong with me lately, all I want to do is make love to you. Do you think I'm becoming oversexed?" Mac asked. "I guess it's my strict Catholic upbringing kicking in again."

Drew called room service and ordered breakfast, then walked over to sit on the side of the whirlpool tub and kissed Mac. "You are not oversexed, or a sinner. You are a healthy young man who happens to be in love with your spouse. I personally feel there is nothing sinful, or wrong, in sharing your love with me. You have just discovered the joy of sex with a loving partner and it's a wonderful experience. I don't happen to believe in all the negative teachings about sex. I think too many religions are out of step with reality. Our ancestors came to our country for religious freedom. Now we have the same situation again where the religious zealots are once again trying to force their beliefs and views on our society."

"Of course, they're not alone in their thinking," Drew said. "These bible thumping, so-called Christians take passages from the Bible out of context and tailor them to their own ends. Those people will never change. Fortunately, you don't have to abide by their teachings. You always have the option of changing your religion. However, in your case it appears that the damage has already been done. We are not the only two gay men in the world in love, and we are not committing a sin," Drew continued. "Unless you are convinced in your own mind that you are committing a sin. I intend to love you and to continue to enjoy the loving relationship we have together. I firmly believe that we are not offending God. Why would he send you to me if it were otherwise."

Drew smiled, "I have the same sexual desire for you. I'm not any better at controlling my erections than you. Granted, I have much more control when I'm with you every day. I hope our desire for one another will never diminish. I also hope that we will continue to satisfy each other sexually for a long time to come."

"I don't think making love to you is a sin, Drew. You know, I really miss our quality time together. You are so much more enlightened in these matters. I've learned so much from you. I could sit and listen to you for hours. I need your companionship, sweetheart. I feel fantastic this morning. Just being here with you makes me happy."

"It's such a beautiful day. I would enjoy taking a drive in the country and having lunch in one of those five-star country inns I've heard so much about," Mac said. "I don't plan to share you with anyone for the next two days. I hope you don't mind, but I have a lot to go over with you in the next few days. You have my promise to keep it upbeat and light."

"A day in the country sounds inviting, baby. Let's plan to make it for dinner as well. We'll need to hire a chauffeur-driven limo. I don't know my way around the countryside that well. We can stop at a cafe along the way and grab a bite for lunch when we get hungry. It should be a pleasant, relaxing day."

Drew kissed him tenderly. "I've missed you, and life is so delightful when you're around. Let me have the hotel arrange everything. After breakfast, we can take a stroll around the park while they set everything up."

Mac got out of the whirlpool, dried himself, and went into the bedroom to dress. The room service waiter arrived and served them breakfast.

Drew brought Mac up to date on his progress with the committee. He felt the worst was behind him now and that he might have some good news in a few weeks.

After breakfast, they walked through the park.

"I'm staying here with you until Tuesday afternoon. I'm scheduled to fly over to Germany on Monday to see Eric Rothacher, returning later that afternoon. My flight departs at five o'clock on Tuesday evening," Mac said. "At least we will have a few more days together. The way things are going at the office, I don't think I will be able to get back here in two weeks. I've got too many irons in the fire right now. We will have to make this visit last until you return home next month."

"I'm sure I can make it home in three weeks," Drew said. "Most of the group is planning to fly home for a four-day weekend. I didn't want to mention it until everything is settled, but let's plan on it anyway."

"I'm a little concerned about Eric," Mac told Drew. "Something is up with him. He seemed relieved when I told him I would be seeing him on Monday. I have an uneasy feeling about the contract. He has been avoiding my calls, which is not like him. Eric plays it close to the vest. That's why I want to have a face-to-face meeting with him. Anyway, I was looking for a good excuse to spend another two days with you and not feel guilty about taking the time away from the office."

"I really don't deserve you, but I'm willing to take all I can get of you," Drew said. "You shouldn't feel guilty taking time off. You're entitled to take a few days off to make up for all the long days you are putting in at the office."

Mac laughed, "Easy for you to say, you don't have to face the stacks of papers Barbara puts on my desk every day."

"I've given a lot of thought to your offer to run GW Stevens and my answer is no. It's a great opportunity, but not for me," Mac said. "As long as I'm your spouse I will always be suspect. I know your heart is in the right place and it would be quite a challenge for me, but I feel the reins must be turned over to a family member. The GW Stevens Company belongs to your family. My future is with the MacDonald-Stevens Corporation. We will build this firm together and who knows; maybe one day we will buy the GW Stevens Company."

"I suspected as much when you didn't respond before this," Drew said. "You're right. The company is family owned. You do realize that you would have the approval of the major stockholders if you were to run the company? I'm convinced things will be different by then. You don't have to prove anything to me about your abilities, or your dedication to the firm. Hell, you have been making the important decisions since I have been away. Except for a few minor changes, I've approved every decision you've made. You're judgment is on target on so many important issues. The firm will lose a good man when you leave. I wish you would keep the door open on your decision."

"Drew, my love, I really don't have a choice. Do you think I want to leave? Why take the risk of causing a rift in the family. If you are still opposed to my leaving in two years' time, I will stay. You know I'll never make a move unless we are in total agreement. That is the reason I discuss everything with you in advance. I don't want to screw up what we have together. No business is worth that."

"Let me give you a hypothetical case. Let's assume the conditions were reversed. Let's say Edith was running the firm and you had a son who would be in line to run the firm one day. Edith is unmarried and has an incurable illness that could flare up any time. Out of the blue she falls in love and marries. Her husband is a good businessman and feels he should join the firm and she places him in upper management. With Edith behind him, what's to stop him from becoming president and squeezing your son out of the picture. She is still able to bear children, I forgot to mention. Unbeknownst to everyone, the hubby has a dark secret. If it became public, it could hurt the company. The family forces Edith to make some hard choices because of her husband. He is a liability and must be pensioned off. In addition, her stock must revert to the company on her death. Now your son is back in the picture."

"I see your point," Drew said. "Your scenario has the ring of truth to it, but it pains me to think that it could happen in my family. I thought everyone would see you as I do," Drew said. "You have proven yourself as a competent executive well beyond your twenty-six years. I had hoped that others would appreciate this talent and realize your value to our corporation. I will not stand in your way if you feel this deeply about the company. It saddens me that this is the way it must be. I was looking forward to our working together every day. I'll miss that."

"Nothing will change," Mac said. "We will still work together every day. That's the reason why I suggested moving your executive offices to the Retreat. You own half the company, baby, why shouldn't we be together?"

"Good, as long as that's settled, I don't care where we work, as long as we're together," Drew said. Before we move on to anything else, be very careful what you say in front of Eric Rothacher about MacDonald-Stevens. We must be squeaky clean around him. Eric goes by the book, so be very careful about a conflict of interest."

Drew laughed, "Will you listen to me. I forget that you're the lawyer in this family."

Mac smiled, "There you go getting yourself all worked up over nothing. I keep telling you that we farm boys know how to take care of ourselves, and our sweethearts as well."

Drew laughed, "I wish I could kiss you this minute. I adore you, my handsome farm boy."

"I think we've had enough fresh air for this morning," Mac said. "We better make tracks back to our room."

Mac walked over to the desk and left a message for their driver. They took the elevator to their floor. Once inside the room Mac pulled Drew into his arms and kissed him long and hard. He became aroused and could feel Drew's erection pressing against him. He led the way into the bedroom and locked the door. They undressed and climbed into bed to make love.

The bedside telephone rang. Mac said, "Please have the driver wait. We will be down in thirty minutes." He kissed Drew, "Come on, baby, it's time to shower and dress, our public awaits us." Mac pulled Drew out of bed and guided him into the shower stall where he held him in his arms and let the shower do its work.

"The water is cold!" Drew said. "I can't take the cold water like you can, my love." He pulled Mac close to him to feel his warm body next to his own.

"Please don't do that, Drew. Look at what you're doing to junior, he's up again. Now, turn around while I wash your back. Promise me you will not touch me until I cool down. We have less then thirty minutes. It's either we cancel our trip, or get dressed and go. You decide. I'm yours for the next two days, baby."

Drew smiled, "Let's go. I have all night to make love to you. I do enjoy watching you get hard, but I'll give junior a rest."

They dressed casually and packed their dress clothes for dinner. Their driver, Philippe pointed out the sights as they drove through Paris. When they reached the outskirts of town, Drew asked Philippe to close the tinted partition and turn on some classical music in the rear. The partition was bullet proof one way glass--impossible to see through.

Mac pulled Drew next to him and wrapped his arm around his shoulder. Drew rested his head next to Mac's.

"We got lucky on the Paradise Island property, sweetheart. When Stan Handman called to inquire about the property, the owner was in a cardiac care unit recovering from a heart attack. Now he thinks his days are numbered and he is not interested in developing the property. According to Handman, Paradise Island was to be his dream island. He was going to spend his waning years in developing the island himself. At first he was only interested in selling the house and surrounding acreage. He was asking four million for that parcel. Then he changed his mind again, and called Handman back and told him to sell Paradise Island lock, stock, and barrel."

"We never explored the entire island while we were there, but it's quite a place. It has a fresh water lagoon, and underwater electric and communication cables running to the main island. In addition, the owner has recently installed his own communications system and emergency electric power plant. Get this; he also built a sewage treatment plant and a solid waste treatment plant that only needs the electric motors to make it operational. He had even started construction on a private airport with a runway long enough to accommodate a 737 aircraft. He didn't skimp either, everything is first class."

"His initial plan was to build high-end villas and sell them to finance the building of an exclusive resort complex. He told Handman he was already in discussions with an international consortium who wants to use the island as a tax shelter and a money transfer base. Paradise Island is a private island in international waters and subject to its own laws. His asking price for the Island is $20 million. He wishes to keep the transaction private and would like to close the deal within a month. Handman said the guy doesn't have the desire or the energy to develop the island. Stan was shocked at this complete turn of events and gave us a two week exclusive to consider the deal. I had Charles put his team of legal eagles to investigating the deal. Charles advised us to jump on it. All reports indicated that the property was a bargain at $50 million."

"How did you leave it with Handman?" Drew asked. "This sounds like a sweetheart deal to me. I think we should go ahead, Mac, don't you?"

"I figured you wanted to jump at this deal," Mac said. "I told Handman to go ahead with the purchase provided he could come up with a signed contract before I left town yesterday, with the closing date a week from this Friday. Your lawyer, that's me, signed the contract for you yesterday, and gave him a check for one million dollars from our joint account. Of course I went through the usual mumbo jumbo lawyer speak about a clear title and free of any encumbrances, etc, etc. The contract is in my briefcase together with a blank check waiting for your signature for the closing on Friday."

Drew shook his head and chuckled, "You never cease to amaze me. Just for grins, Mac, how did you know I would go along with the deal?"

"Oh that's simple, my love. You love that place as much as I do. I also figured you would jump at the package once you realized the potential the island has for development. I already have a plan on how we can develop the property. We are going to make a tidy profit on that island, baby. I've double checked everything on this deal very carefully, even to the point of having our seller's background investigated. I figured if you didn't like the deal we could sell the place in six months and triple your investment and still hold on to the villa. You taught me well, Drew, and I played the game by your rules. When I learned who the group was that was interested in leasing the property, I had no choice but to move. I wanted that island for us. The possibilities of making money on that island are unlimited. But, that is another story and I don't want to side track you now."

"Who do you list as the purchaser on the contract?" Drew asked.

"You are listed as the purchaser. I'm not authorized to act for GW Stevens. Anyway, I didn't think you would want this property to go through your company. You still have time to change the contract before the closing if you are not happy with that arrangement."

"You're right, Mac. I don't want it to go through the company. After the contract has cleared our legal department, I want MacDonald-Stevens to purchase the property. You can sign all the documents as president of the corporation. I plan to transfer $50 million to the company bank account this weekend. Once that's completed, you can do whatever you want with our property; as long as you promise me that you won't change our love nest."

Mac lifted Drew's head and kissed him. "You are so good to me, baby."

Drew smiled, "God, you owe me big now. The extra $30 million is to develop our island. Knowing the way you move, you're going to need at least that much to get things started. Never mind showing me any plans, surprise me on our next visit. The way your mind works, I've no doubt you will have your plan in motion before the ink is dry on the contract."

Mac laughed heartily, "I have no secrets from you any more, Drew, and you can read me like a book. Are you comfortable, baby, I love to hold you like this, you smell so delightful."

"I'm comfortable, Sweetheart, Drew said.

"On the social scene," Mac said, "old Rob and Jen are going steady and it looks that we will hearing wedding bells in the near future. I'm going to help Jen find a decent place to live before you come home. I don't want any house guest around spoiling our quiet time together when you come back from the wars. I admit it, I'm plain selfish. You can have wall-to-wall guests all day long, but after dinner you belong to me, baby."

"You won't hear any arguments from me on that score," Drew said. "I feel the same way. I'm concerned about the heavy load you're carrying. When the lovebirds get married, I think we should give them the down payment on their house as a wedding present. They should look into investing in a nice one-bedroom condo on the East side to start off with. The company can arrange a low interest mortgage loan as well. What do you think, sweetheart?"

"As usual, it's very generous of you," Mac said. "My mom was right. I'm a very lucky guy to have married you. Every minute with you is so wonderful. I never thought I could be this happy. Some nights when you're not here, I'll wake up out of a sound sleep thinking this was all a dream. Then I realize I'm in your bed and I know it's true. I know it sounds silly, but that's how I feel."

"You're not being silly, I know the feeling. In time, we will become more secure in our marriage. I think it's a case of being separated. We are afraid to return to those the empty days before we fell in love. It will take time."

"I've lived on the farm all my life and had little time to think about anything other then getting my chores done so I could escape to my books," Mac said. "It was a simple uncomplicated life and sex was something you did when you got married. You've shown me a world I never knew existed. You've taught me how to survive in this complex society into which you were born. You are a good teacher Drew and I'm learning more every day. I like our life together and find it stimulating. I'm flourishing in this stimulating environment and for the first time in my life I feel I'm on the threshold of a new and exciting life. I'm about to realize the dreams I've had since I was a young boy. How can I ever thank you for laying the world at my feet?

"My only constraints now are time," Mac said. "There are not enough hours in a day to complete all the things that I want to accomplish. I still feel guilty not to have given you more in return. In my conscious mind, there is never a doubt that you and I are bound together, in both mind and body. We will never be separated in our long life together. God has let me see that much. Yet it's strange that my sub-conscious mind has not dealt with this. I love you sweetheart and I always will. It's up to us to make the most out of our time together on earth."

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To be continued
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