The Nineteenth Year by Jevic, The Tarheel Writer    The Nineteenth Year
by Jevic
The Tarheel Writer
Chapter Seven
"Planes, Trains and Automobiles"

Back to Chapter Six
"Caribou Chicken"
On to Chapter Eight
"Timmy"
Chapter Index

Jevic's Story Page

The Nineteenth Year by Jevic, The Tarheel Writer

Action Adventure
Violence
Sexual Situations
Rated Teen 13+

Proudly presented by The Tarheel Writer - On the Web since 24 February 2003. Celebrating 21 Years on the Internet!
Tarheel Home Page

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"Passengers on international flights are requested to be at the airport two hours prior to departure," the reservation agent said.

"OK, that's fine. Give me the flight info again, please."

"You'll depart Jacksonville at 6:05PM and fly to Charlotte, then leave Charlotte and arrive at Gatwick the next morning at 9:15AM. You'll have about an hour layover in Charlotte."

"Perfect. Thank you," Daniel said as he hung up the phone. He turned to Cody and Teri and shook his head, grinning is disbelief.

"What?" asked Teri.

"I just spent nine hundred dollars."

"Wow!" said Cody.

"It's a first class ticket," Daniel mumbled.

"First Class?" asked Cody.

"Yeah. It's the only thing they had, but the flight connects through Charlotte with an hour layover, so I'll have time to visit Jevic."

"Cool. When does the flight leave?"

"Six o'clock tomorrow afternoon, but I have to be there two hours early. Can you take me to the airport?"

"I guess you just wanted to hear yourself talk," Cody said smugly. Daniel frowned at him in obvious bewilderment. "Of course I'll take you, duh!" Daniel finally smiled. He never was too quick with a joke. Everything was so serious to him that many jokes went right over his head. Daniel was always in "tech" mode, which allowed for very little abstract thinking. He was always an "in the box" thinker and never went "out of the box." Maybe never is too strong of a word, but Daniel was mostly a serious kinda guy. In high school, he never had many friends. Oh, he had acquaintances, but never a real friend. Staying mostly to himself, most of his classmates took him to be stuck up, while a few taunted him with the "gay" thing. That was what eventually led to the flagpole incident.

The trip to the airport was virtually silent. Daniel could feel the frustration in the air. He knew his friends wanted to go with him, but he felt he had caused enough trouble. Causing any more pain, especially to Cody or Teri, was unacceptable. He just couldn't allow them on this trip. Stan was being very secretive. Whatever he had going on couldn't be good for anyone. As they exited off I-95 onto Airport Road West, Daniel couldn't stand the silence anymore.

"I want to thank both of you for understanding."

"Understanding what?" asked Cody.

"Why I want to do this alone."

"Hey, that's cool. I know you feel bad about dragging more people into this. So just go do whatever you need to do. BUT! You be sure to call us and let us know what's going on. You got that?" Cody said as the drove through the main entrance to Jacksonville International Airport.

"Yeah, I got it. Don't worry. I'll stay in touch." Cody pulled up to the US Airways entrance at Concourse B and stopped. They got out of the Jeep. Teri immediately pulled Daniel into a great big hug.

"I'm worried about you, Daniel," she said.

"I'll be fine. Just take care of Cody for me, OK?"

"No problem. He's so cute, I'll make him straight before you get back."

"Hey!"

"Kidding. Jeez, now give him a hug and get outta here." Daniel released his tight hug on Teri and turned to Cody.

"Thank you for everything you've done for me," Daniel said as he pulled Cody into an extremely tight hug. "I'm missing you already."

"Promise to stay in touch. We'll be worried sick if we don't hear from you."

"I promise," Daniel said and he pulled Cody even tighter. A single tear rolled down his cheek. Cody pulled back and kissed the tear before it had a chance to roll off Daniel's face.

"It's gonna be fine. You'll go do this and come home and that'll be it."

"I hope it's that easy," said Daniel. Cody released Daniel from the hug. Teri handed Daniel his bag. With tightened security, Teri and Cody were not allowed to accompany him to the gate. Daniel took his bag from Teri and slowly turned toward the door. Pausing before going in, he turned and waved. Both Teri and Cody smiled and waved back. Daniel disappeared into the concourse.

"Ready?" asked Teri.

"You bet!" answered Cody. They both jumped into the Jeep and drove to Long Term Parking. Grabbing their bags they had hidden in the rear, they jumped a shuttle and were soon heading back to the airport terminal.

"He's gonna kill us," said Teri with a smile on her face.

"There won't be a cotton pickin' thing he can do about it."

"He'll shit gold bricks and we'll all be able to retire!" chuckled Teri.

"Or at least hire a hit man to take Stan out," suggested Cody.

"I'm for that!" They stepped off the shuttle and walked in the same door that Daniel had walked through thirty minutes earlier. Cody and Teri walked to the United Counter and picked up their tickets. Teri glanced down at her ticket and frowned.

"Shit, this is a 'back of the bus' seat."

"Question," said Cody.

"OK, question."

"When you see a plane wreck, what do you see?"

"I don't understand?"

"You've been around Daniel too long. You're way too serious. Anyway, you always see the tail! 'Back of the bus seats' are in the tail! I like seats there. I feel safer."

"OK. I really haven't been on too many flights."

"How many?"

"Ah, one."

"One? Where to?"

"Orlando."

"Shit, that takes about fifteen minutes. We're walking into a nine hour flight, counting stops and all."

"Do we get to eat?"

"No, it's a red eye. We get to sleep," chuckled Cody.

"Shit."

"We'll get some supper in Charlotte. I have a friend that's a bartender at one of the restaurants. He'll take care of us. And if you think you won't be able to sleep, Jimmy can fix you a Long Island Iced Tea or two and you'll be sleeping like a baby."

"Are you sure you can afford this?" Cody stopped and turned to face Teri. They were just a few feet in front of the security check point.

"Yes, I can afford this. Like I told you earlier, I have a trust fund. My uncle from England left me several hundred thousand dollars. When I turned eighteen, the money became mine. So, yes, I can afford this. We'd go first class, but we'd end up sitting with Daniel on the connecting flight."

"That's right. I forgot we'd be on the same flight from Charlotte. We're gonna have to be really careful."

"Yeah, you got that right."

"Thanks, Cody. Thanks a whole lot. I really mean that. You're a special person."

"He needs us, Teri. He just feels guilty about hurting people. And I feel guilty letting him go without going with him to protect him. So here we are. Let's get through security. He's at Gate 23 and we're at gate 14, so he shouldn't see us. But we better be careful. I don't want him to know we've come along until we're on the ground at Gatwick. Then he can't do diddly squat about it." The friends turned and went through security, walked down the concourse to their gate and sat quietly in the corner hoping Daniel wouldn't walk by and see them.

Before Teri knew what happened, they were landing at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Teri and Cody headed quickly to the restaurant that Cody's friend Jimmy worked at.

"You've gotta be kidding me. Cheers Bar and Restaurant? Is Ted Dansen gonna be bartending?" Teri chuckled.

"No, Jimmy is bartending and I'm ordering you a Long Island Iced Tea."

"Ummm, sounds good. I'm hungry too. What's good?"

"Not to sound like a smart ass, but everything on the menu is great. They really do a good job here." Taking a table in the very back of the restaurant, Teri quietly ate her Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad while Cody caught up with Jimmy.

*        *        *        *        *

Daniel stepped off the jet way into gate area. He scanned the sea of faces and finally his eyes settled on a familiar one.

"Jevic!" Daniel waved his hand and started wading through the crowd. Finally, he reached his friend.

"Hey, Daniel!" Jevic grabbed Daniel into a huge hug. Daniel whispered into Jevic's ear.

"I am sooo sorry about your house." Jevic held his friend at arms' length and grinned.

"Daniel, that's what insurance is for."

"Yeah, but I was the reason your house was attacked."

"W-what are you talking about?" Jevic stammered.

"Come on and I'll explain," Daniel said as he grabbed Jevic by the arm and headed for the nearest coffee shop. The two old friends sat in a corner and Daniel explained everything that had been going on. He didn't have the time to go into a lot of detail, but Jevic quickly grasped the severity of the situation.

"So this Stan guy hacks into the power company to blast my house because he's trying to make a point with you?"

"That's basically the long and short of it." Jevic sighed deeply.

"Then that might explain why I haven't heard from Javan."

"Huh?" stammered Daniel.

"I haven't heard from Javan in a week and he always drops me an email at least once a day."

"The only thing I know is that he wasn't at his house when the NSA freaks shot at us."

"Then where could he be?" asked Jevic.

"I have no idea, but now that I know you haven't heard from him, I'm worried." Daniel and Jevic talked more about all the events that had thrown both of their lives into chaos. Jevic agreed to contact Jim, Daniel's boss, and cover for Daniel's absence. Jevic also agreed to continue to handle the company servers and the support desk. He had picked up a new computer that afternoon and planned to get it up and running by that evening. His insurance company had arranged for an apartment while his home was being repaired.

"Are you sure you can handle everything?" Daniel asked.

"It's not a problem, Daniel You just go take care of what you need to do and please be careful." Daniel nodded and smiled slightly. "And don't worry about Jim. I'll cover for you."

"Thanks, Jevic. I don't know what I'd do without you."

"Hey, it's not a problem. Do me a favor?"

"Sure."

"Call me and let me know what's up. I'm gonna do a little snooping and see if I can find out what happened to Javan."

"Cool, and yes, I'll call." The friends hugged tightly then Daniel turned and headed for security and the International Departure Gates.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Three Long Island Iced Teas later, Teri wobbled out of the restaurant and, with Cody's help, headed for their gate.

"Teri, this is where we have to be very careful. Daniel will get to his seat first. So we're gonna have to be really sneaky to get by him. Usually it's so busy around first class that we'll have no problem, but we're gonna have to be careful."

"Oh key doe key," slurred Teri. Cody couldn't help but chuckle to himself.

"You're gonna be out like a light." As they rounded the corner headed for the US Airways International Gates in Concourse D, Teri looked around and grinned.

"Hey, it's a Disney Store!" Cody nudged her forward and they walked down the long corridor toward the gates. He pulled out their tickets and noted the gate.

"Come on, Teri. We're running behind. Daniel is probably already on board." They hustled along the corridor and soon emerged into the rather small International Flight Gate area. Cody hurried Teri along as fast as he could toward gate D-3. The overhead speaker crackled with its announcement as they arrived.

"US Airways Flight 94 is continuing to board all passengers seated in rows 23 through 34."

"Shit, that's us. Come on, Teri." Cody was right, it was busy around first class and they slipped by Daniel without him noticing. It was all Cody could do to pass by. His heart went out to Daniel as he noticed the worried expression on Daniel's face. He thought about what Daniel must be going through and couldn't help but feel guilty.

Cody and Teri found their seats. Teri slumped into the window seat, giggling as she did. Cody sat down in the aisle seat. He put his seatbelt on and looked over at Teri. She was gazing out the window.

"You should put your seat belt on," he suggested.

"Oh yeah, seatbelt. Right," she said still giggling.

"That's the last time I'm ever gonna order you a Long Island Iced Tea."

"They were soooo good. Do you think the flight attendant could bring me another?"

"No, but I might be able to persuade one of them to bring you an aspirin, 'cause you're gonna need one." Teri didn't have time to respond. The plane suddenly lurched backward. Teri giggled again.

"Was that the take off or the landing?" Cody rolled his eyes. He quickly stood up, opened an overhead compartment and grabbed a pillow. He sat back down and handed the pillow to Teri.

"Here. Just try to relax a bit, OK?"

"Oh key doe key." Cody fastened his seatbelt and looked back over at Teri. She had placed the pillow against the window, leaned her head on it and had fallen fast asleep.

The Airbus 330 Jet lumbered into the twilight of the North Carolina sky and was at the cruising altitude of 32,000 feet ten minutes later. Cody snagged a flight attendant and asked for an aspirin and a glass of water. She was back in a just a moment. Cody woke Teri up and made her take the aspirin. He also told her he was going to go see Daniel. She smiled and fell back to sleep in seconds.

The walk up the aisle to first class couldn't happen fast enough for Cody. He knew Daniel would be pissed, but since they were already in the air, there would be nothing he could do about it. He had wanted to wait until they were safely on the ground before letting Daniel know they had come along, but after seeing the worried expression on Daniel's face, Cody just couldn't wait any longer. After all, they were already in the air and there was no turning back. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest as he approached first class. Pushing the curtain aside, he stepped in. The seat next to Daniel was thankfully empty. Cody quietly walked up the aisle and sat down in the empty seat.

"Hey," he said. Daniel looked over and nearly jumped out of his seat.

"WHAT THE HELL?" Daniel yelled. Several people turned to look.

"Shhhhh," Cody said smiling. "That's sure some way to greet the person who loves you."

"What the fuck are you doing?" whispered an agitated Daniel.

"I'm making sure you stay out of trouble." Daniel glared at Cody. For a brief moment, Cody thought he had really screwed up. Then Daniel's face relaxed and he smiled.

"I should have known. Where's Teri?"

"Passed out in her seat."

"Passed out?"

"Yeah. She was kinda apprehensive about the flight, so I got her a couple of Long Island Iced Teas in Charlotte. She's sleeping like a baby."

"I won't lie and say I'm not pissed," Daniel said. "But, I'm really glad you're here," he said smiling. The two boys talked well into the evening about their lives, their goals, and the upcoming mission Stan had sent them on. Around midnight, their conversation was interrupted by a flight attendant.

"Excuse me, sir. Are you a first class passenger?" she asked Cody.

"No, I'm just visiting with my, ah, friend."

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask to you return to your seat."

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to insist that he be allowed to remain," said Daniel.

"I'm sorry, sir, but regulations ..."

"Screw the regulations. This is my boyfriend. He's surprised me by being on this flight. When we get ready to sleep, he'll go back to his seat. But until then, he's staying right here," Daniel said calmly, but very pointedly. The flight attendant smiled.

"That's fine. In fact, if you want to stay up here all night, that would be fine too. You just have to be in your assigned seat during landing." Daniel smiled back at her.

"Thanks. Can you bring us two hot teas, decaf please?"

"No problem. I'll be right back." She hurried back toward the front of the plane.

"That was nice of her."

"Yeah, most of 'em are really cool."

"So did you get to visit with Jevic?"

"Yeah, and he told me that he hasn't heard from Javan."

"Hasn't heard from him?"

"No, and they like email each other every day."

"Daniel, I'm getting worried."

"I'm all ready there."

"Do you think the NSA has him, or worse, Stan?" Daniel frowned as the implications of the two suggestions sunk in.

"I don't know which would be worse," Daniel said quietly.

"What can we do?" Daniel glanced at the airphone mounted in the seat in front of him.

"Let's call his house."

"Do you think that's smart? They could have it tapped," said Cody.

"You're right," Daniel sighed. "I guess the only thing we can do is leave it up to Jevic for right now. I don't know what else to do." Cody leaned back in his seat. Daniel did the same. Both minds worked in overtime trying to figure things out.

"Two hot teas, decafe. Cream, sugar?" the slight attendant said smiling as she held a silver tray.

"Yes, please," said Cody as he pulled down his seat tray. The flight attendant set the tray down.

"Is there anything else I can get you guys?"

"I think this is perfect. Thanks," said Daniel. She smiled down at them then hurried on to attend to other passengers. The boys discussed the upcoming mission Stan had sent them on. It seemed to be a world wind tour. The biggest question that bugged them both was why. And that question had many sublevels. Why did Stan choose Daniel to do this? Why do these boxes need to be installed in so many different places all over the world. Why was the NSA after Daniel? Why did they want this software? Why are the black boxes so important? Why had no one heard from Javan? Why were Daniel and Cody falling in love so fast? Why did they feel like they were soul mates? Why was all this happening to them?

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

"Teri. Teri." Cody shook her shoulder. "Teri." She yawned, blinked her eyes open and looked at Cody.

"Are we there yet?"

"Just about. We land in forty-five minutes."

"Cool. I've never been to England. Is it gonna be foggy?" Cody chuckled.

"No, that's just in books. Actually, London is experiencing a heat wave. It's gonna be close to ninety-five today."

"Wonderful. I leave hot, humid South Georgia and I get to hot, humid London. Why can't it be cold and gray?"

"Maybe because ... it's summer," Cody said chuckling.

"Smart ass. Gimme a break. I just woke up."

"Have I ever been known to give you a break?"

"No, but I've only known you for a few days, so shut up." Teri paused, and then sniffed the air. Recognizing the familiar smell, a smile came to her face. "Oh, yes. That's what I need. I've gotta have a cup of coffee."

"You'll get a nice hot wash cloth to clean the sleep off your face too."

"Good. I feel kinda grubby."

"We'll get cleaned up at the hotel." Teri's eyes suddenly widened.

"Oh my God! What did Daniel say?" Cody smiled and patted her on the arm.

"He was mad as hell to begin with, but then he admitted he was really glad we came along." Teri sighed and leaned back in her seat.

"Good. If he had raised too much hell, I was gonna have to put him in his place."

"And I have no doubt you could, and would."

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Cody and Teri met Daniel just inside the terminal. After grabbing their bags, they headed for Passport Control.

"Oh, there's a Costa," commented Cody. "I've gotta have something to eat. I'm starved."

"Me too," chimed in Teri.

"Scrambled eggs, sausage, mixed fruit, toast, orange juice, and coffee," said Daniel as they stopped at Costa. Teri and Cody looked blankly at Daniel.

"Benefits of first class," he said, smugly. "You guys go ahead. I'll wait." After a quick sandwich washed down with fresh brewed coffee, the trio was off to Passport Control. The stoic official blandly took each passport and stamped it. Now, it was on to customs.

Everything was going smoothly until the agent saw the black boxes in Daniel's luggage.

"What are these?" he asked.

"Oh, they're computer parts."

"I've never seen computer parts that look like this," the man said. He quickly turned to a supervisor. Before Daniel could react, several customs agents surround him. They grabbed the suitcase and escorted Daniel to a room a short distance away. Cody and Teri were left standing dumbfounded.

"So, you say these are computer parts?" the supervisor asked Daniel as the door to the room was closed.

"Yes sir."

"What kind of computer parts are they?"

"They, ah, they're filters. They, ah, filter spam," Daniel stammered. The man looked up at Daniel as he sat at the desk examining the boxes.

"Oh really? Well, you don't mind if we have a look do you?"

"Ah, no, of course not, please do," Daniel blurted out. The beads of sweat on his forehead started to roll down his face. The supervisor continued to look at Daniel. His gaze never left Daniel's face as almost a whole minute passed by.

"You seem mighty nervous, young man."

"Ah, well, I guess I've never had to deal with customs officials before."

"As long as everything's on the up and up, there's nothing to worry about." The supervisor turned to the other two officers. "I think I can handle this. Leave us alone." The officers immediately left the room. Turning back to Daniel, the supervisor smiled.

"Can I go now?" asked Daniel.

"Maybe," the supervisor said. He paused a moment and then continued. "Actually, I was thinking you might need a body cavity search," the man said with a leer. Daniel couldn't believe what he was hearing. It infuriated him.

"What is it? What is it about me that attracts the pervs? I just don't understand it. Do I look gay? Do I look like I've got a pretty dick? What is it, huh? Tell me!" Daniel shouted. The supervisor's smile faded.

"You better watch what you say, son. One of these days, you're gonna say the wrong thing to the wrong person. And one of those days might be today," the supervisor said coldly.

"I don't give a fuck. You come across all high and mighty and all you really wanna do is suck my dick or fuck my ass." Daniel squinted and read the man's nametag. "Look, Supervisor Montague, I just want to get though customs and spend a little time in jolly ol' England. So what's it gonna take for me to get out of here without any more questions?"

"Drop your trousers," Supervisor Montague said flatly. Daniel undid his belt buckle.

"And then I can go on my way with no more questions?" Daniel asked. The man looked at Daniel's crotch and licked his lips.

"With no more questions."

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Cody and Teri were sitting on a bench under a window. Giant jets moved across the tarmac behind them. The glum looks on their faces reflected their worry about Daniel. Both of them had passed through customs without a worry, but Daniel was now behind some closed door trying to explain Stan's black boxes.

Cody walked over and stood in front of the Hugo Boss store window for the umpteenth time. His hands were in the pockets of his cargo pants. His deep blue Nike 'Just Do It' shirt was wrinkled from sitting on the plane. He sighed deeply, glanced toward customs, then headed back to the bench and a very worried young woman.

Teri's eyes scanned the corridor leading from customs for what seemed like the fiftieth time. It had been half an hour, but it seemed more like three. Her eye caught the blue of Daniel's shirt as he emerged from the corridor, baggage in hand. She jumped up and started running toward him. Cody was on her heels. Daniel's disheveled appearance didn't go unnoticed.

"Daniel! Are you alright?" said Teri as she reached him and threw her arms around him. He dropped his bag and wrapped his arms around her. Cody saw the tears in his eyes.

"Daniel," Cody said softly. "Is everything OK?" Daniel looked at Cody through his tear stained eyes and managed a small forced smile.

"It is now," Daniel said. Teri released her hug and looked at her best friend in the whole world. Her face had worry written all over it.

"What happened?" she said.

"Let's get out of here first," said Daniel.

"We'll have to take the automatic rapid transit train link to the South Terminal to pick up the Gatwick Express Train to London. They run every fifteen minutes," said Cody as he picked up Daniel's bag. The trio stopped by the bench and picked up their other bags. The train link ride took only two minutes. After purchasing their tickets, they headed down to the platform to wait on the next train to Victoria Station. Cody spied a bench and nudged the others toward it. Teri sat down and Cody joined her, leaving room in between for Daniel. But Daniel remained standing. He turned to look across the platform. With his back to his friends, he actually seemed to be ignoring them.

"So, Daniel. What happened at customs?" asked Teri. Daniel continued to look out across the platform. "Daniel?" When he turned to face his friends, they saw the tears in his eyes again. Cody quickly stood up and urged Daniel to sit down on the bench between himself and Teri. Daniel wiped his eyes with his hands and sighed deeply. Teri and Cody sat patiently and waited. They watched people making their way to the platform. They watched as a small boy kept tugging at his mother's dress while she engaged in a conversation with another lady. The skater punks didn't go unnoticed and the cop on his beat was keeping them under his watchful eye as well.

"It's OK, Daniel. Take your time," said Cody as two young American boys walked by with backpacks. Cody watched them take a seat on a nearby bench. He wondered to himself if that was what he had looked like when he had traveled to London a few years back. Daniel's next words snapped him back to the present.

"He wanted to suck my dick," Daniel said softly. Then he turned to Teri. "Do I look gay?" He turned to Cody. "Do I?" Neither one of them knew what to say. "The customs supervisor actually told me that if I let him suck my dick that he would let me go. Can you believe that?" Cody was stunned. His mind went into overdrive as it played back Daniel's arrival from customs. He remembered the disheveled look. He remembered the slightly mused hair. And, he remembered the shirt tale that wasn't all the way tucked in.

"Did he?" Cody asked quietly. Daniel looked at the floor. Cody immediately stood up and walked away.

"Daniel, please tell me you didn't," said Teri. He looked up at her.

"Teri, you're never gonna believe this, but it's the truth."

"OK, I'm listening."

"First, no, he didn't. Second, I kinda lost it. I may have killed him. I don't know." Teri gasped.

"Daniel! You can't go around ..." she started loudly, but finished in a whisper. "... killing customs agents. They'll lock you up and throw away the key."

"Teri, he worked for Stan."

"WHAT?" she screamed. A dozen people turned to look at them, including Cody, who was standing thirty feet away. "What the fuck are you talking about?" she whispered. Daniel's eyes scanned the platform. The people Teri had attracted with her yell had returned to milling about and waiting for the train. Cody was walking toward them slowly.

"I want Cody to hear this," Daniel said as he watched the handsome young man walk toward them. When Cody was standing only a few feet directly in front of Daniel, he stopped. Daniel stood up.

"Well?" demanded Cody.

"No, he didn't," Daniel said. The scowl on Cody's face disappeared. "But, I, I may have killed him. He worked for Stan." Cody's eyes widened as his expression changed to one of shock.

"Daniel? How? What's going on?" Daniel motioned for him to sit down. With all three situated on the bench, Daniel continued with his story.

"I was standing there in the little room with my dick hanging out. This bastard gets on his knees and mumbles something about Stan saying I'd being coming through customs. Well that got my attention. Then he puts his hands on my hips as he gets ready, but then he looks up at me and says the NSA would love to get their hands on me."

"The NSA?" questioned Teri. Daniel nodded.

"Those three little letters put me over the edge. I just went off and beat the shit out of him, but before he passed out or died, I don't know which, I got him to admit that he actually worked for the NSA. They picked up my name on the flight reservation computer and called this guy in."

"If they find this guy dead ..." started Cody, but Daniel finished the sentence.

"We're really screwed. I know. I'm sorry. When I heard him say Stan, my blood started boiling. And when he said NSA, I just went off like a rocket." Daniel turned to face Cody. "Cody, even if he hadn't mentioned Stan or the NSA, I still wouldn't have let him suck me. No way."

"I should have known that, Daniel. But just the thought of it was enough to make me sick."

"I know, and I'm sorry. I'm feeling like shit."

"I'm the one that should be saying sorry. I should have known better to even think you would. I'm really sorry, Daniel. But you know what?" Daniel's eyes locked with Cody's. "I learned something. You not only have the capacity to totally capture my heart, you also have the moral character for me to totally trust you. You just broke down my last barrier of protection, Daniel. It scares the hell out of me that I'm so totally vulnerable to you."

"Cody, I feel like, well, that asshole customs guy, he brought back all these memories of nasty men. As soon as I knew what was up, I knew there was no way I would ever let him touch me. And then, the memory of killing those NSA agents and maybe even killing this guy hit me hard. Am I outta control? Am I losing it? Am I going crazy?" A giant tear rolled down Daniel's cheek.

"You're not crazy!" Teri said, as she stood up. The loud sound of the engine filled the platform as their train arrived.

"Stan is the fuckin' crazy one. Now suck it up and let's get this job done. In the mean time, somebody needs to figure out where that piece of shit Stan is so I can rip off his dick and shove it down his throat! Let's go!"

The three friends found seats on the Gatwick Express and sat back for the thirty minute ride to Victoria Station in downtown London. Daniel gazed out the window as the farmland passed by. It soon gave way to small villages and finally to metropolitan London. All three of them were deep in thought as the train pulled into the station. With bags in hand, they walked from the platform to the street and hailed a cab. The driver was pleasant and drove them quickly to the Citadines Hotel.

The Citadines Hotel

Daniel booked a suite with two bedrooms. They had barely put their bags in their bedrooms when there was a knock on the door. Daniel opened it.

"Hi, message for Danny," the porter said. Daniel gazed into the porter's dark brown eyes. He couldn't have been a day over sixteen. Daniel looked at the stylishly spiked jet black hair that topped a five and a half foot frame. The porter had olive skin complexion and a beautiful white smile. He looked at the boy's nametag. It said Timmy. Daniel openly gasped and fell back against the door. Timmy grabbed Daniel's arm and steadied him.

"Hey, mate. Are you OK?" Timmy asked. Daniel looked back into the dark brown eyes. They sparkled just like Timmy's did and Daniel was lost in them. Daniel became mesmerized and memories of Timmy flooded his mind. His eyes were welling up with tears when Cody appeared at the door. Daniel turned to him.

"Daniel?" Cody said with great concern. Then he turned to the porter. "What's going on here?"

"I dunno. I just came to deliver a message," Timmy said as he handed the envelope to Cody. Daniel slumped toward the floor, but Cody quickly caught his arm. Timmy already had the other.

"Help me get him to the couch," Cody said. Timmy pulled Daniel's arm over his shoulder and they helped him over to the couch. Daniel was in a fog. All he could do was sit on the couch and stare at Timmy. That certainly made Timmy nervous. He felt as if he had done something wrong. Cody was still trying to assess the situation when he noticed Timmy's nametag. Realization hit him in the face as he too looked at Timmy. Cody put the envelope on the coffee table then put his hand on Timmy's shoulder and turned him back toward the door.

"Listen, I'm really sorry about that. You look so much like one of Daniel's old friends that you caught him by surprise," Cody explained as they stopped at the door.

"Looks to me like he saw a banshee."

"His friend was killed when he was eleven. His name was Timmy." The young porter turned white.

"Oh, I see. I'm really sorry."

"It's cool. There's no way you could have known." Timmy suddenly lit up.

"But I should have."

"What do you mean?" asked Cody.

"This bloke down in the lobby asked me to deliver this note. I told him I'd leave it at the front desk. Well, he insisted that I personally deliver it. Then he shoves a ten pound note in my hand and tells me Danny is gonna shit."

"Fuck! Was his name Stan?"

"He didn't say and I didn't ask. It's not everyday I get a ten pound tip."

"Thanks, Timmy," Cody said. He reached into his pocket and handed Timmy a five dollar bill. Timmy smiled and took the bill, glanced at it and looked back up.

"I appreciate your generosity, but I don't plan to be visiting the states anytime soon." Cody blushed.

"Sorry." Cody reached into his other pocket and pulled out a five pound note. He exchanged the currency with Timmy. Timmy's smile broadened even more.

"Thank you very much. Is there anything else I can do?"

"No. I can't think of anything right now."

"If you need anything, just call," Timmy said as he walked out the door, closing it behind him. Cody immediately turned to Daniel. The tears were still streaming down his face.

"Daniel. We need to look at the note. I have a very strong feeling it's from Stan." At the mention of the name, Daniel snapped into the here and now.

"Stan?"

"What about Stan?" asked Teri as she walked in from her bedroom.

"I have a feeling Stan sent Timmy up here with this note knowing full well what Timmy's appearance would do to Daniel," Cody explained. Daniel reached out for the note that was on the coffee table. He wiped his eyes and ripped the envelope open.

Hey, Danny!

I'll bet my delivery boy brought back a few memories for you. Hope he gave you a thrill. He was also a warning, Danny. A warning not to fuck this mission up or you'll end up like Timmy. So do your job right and no one will get hurt.

I see you brought your friends along. That won't protect them from me. I can get to anybody, anywhere, anytime. Remember the little movie I made of you and your boyfriend? It could easily end up on the Internet. I bet Cody wouldn't particularly appreciate that.

So get the box installed before midnight. Don't forget to take network cables. DO NOT FUCK THIS UP! You need to be in Belfast next. So start looking into travel arrangements. You need to be there tomorrow.

Oh, as for little Timmy the porter. He's gonna enjoy my company tonight. If he's nice to me, he might even live to see the sun rise.

"That crazy son-of-a-bitch!!" screamed Daniel as he ran toward the door. He slung it open and ran into the hall. "Timmy!" Cody and Teri were on his heels as Daniel ran to the elevator. He pounded on the down button, waited a few seconds then shot down the staircase.

"Take the elevator, Teri. Timmy could be anywhere. Well meet you in the lobby," said Cody. She nodded and he turned and bounded down the staircase after Daniel.

Running down six flights of steps will take the wind out of anybody's sails, including Daniel's. He arrived at the lobby desperately trying to catch his breath. He quickly surveyed the ornate room. Cody slid across the marble floor and grabbed Daniel to help him get stopped. After glancing around the lobby and not seeing Timmy, they zoomed over to the front desk.

"Where's Timmy?" asked Daniel. The older gentlemen behind the desk looked up over his reading glasses. "Where's Timmy?" demanded Daniel.

"Timmy who?" the man asked nonchalantly.

"Timmy, ah, Timmy the porter."

"Oh, that would be, ah"

"Where is he?" interrupted Daniel. The man sighed, got up and checked the computer screen.

"He just got off shift. He should be changing."

"Where?"

"In the staff room, but I'm afraid you can't go there."

Teri's elevator arrived at the lobby just in time for her to see Daniel and Cody by the front desk. She started to run over and join them when she saw Daniel hop up on his stomach on top of the tall counter. Just as she reached Cody, Daniel grabbed the man by the tie.

"Where is it?" growled Daniel. The look on Daniel's face told the man he better answer.

"Around to the left, just along the corridor, last door on the right." Daniel slid off the counter and started down the corridor. Cody and Teri were right behind. The trio burst into the staff room and found Timmy standing in just his underwear.

"Oh, thank God!" yelled Daniel as he ran over to Timmy and threw his arms around him. Daniel openly sobbed on Timmy's shoulder as the young boy stood there with his mouth agape.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


On to Chapter Eight
"Timmy"

Back to Chapter Six
"Caribou Chicken"

Chapter Index

Jevic's Story Page


The Nineteenth Year is © 2008 by The Tarheel Writer.
    This work may not be duplicated in any form – physical, electronic, audio, or otherwise – without the author's written permission. All applicable copyright laws apply. All individuals depicted are fictional with any resemblance to real persons being purely coincidental.


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