Haven Book Two

Chapter 12

          Hey Darryl, Do you think I should do a couple flashback here too? Ouch! {TSL slaps Str8mayb and Darryl up side the head.} I'm sorry. I was just kidding. Jeez!!

Nick's satellite phone rang.  He looked at it.  No one had that number.  He lifted it and answered, "Nick Regnad, Private Investigations."

Pause...Nick collapsed onto the cold damp ground.

Lt. Brown knelt next to Nick and checked his pulse.  The others were just recovering from the shock of Nick's collapse when Linda's cell phone rang.  She answered and promptly crumbled from the cot she was sitting on to the ground.

Tom, who was closest to Linda, went to her aid.  Leo was checking Nick.  Neal picked up Linda's Cell phone, and answered the worried caller, then having recognized the voice turned to the others and yelled, "Hey guys!  I found Mr. Harris!"

"Jesus H. Christ, Neal, give me that phone." Tom said.

"Here you go, Dad."

"Lee, are you okay?"

"Tom? Where is Linda?"

"Ah, she's, ah, well, she passed out."

"Passed out?"

"Lee is everybody with you?"

"Of course.  Tom! What the hell is going on?!"

"Lee, are you sitting down?"

"No I'm pacing the kitchen floor.  Enough of the cliff hanger bit.  WHAT IS GOING ON?!"

"Dr. Dummesel set fire to your house trying to kill Mitch and Travis.  We thought you were inside because there were some remains and Andy's foot."

"My house?  Oh My God, remains?  What kind of remains?"

"Lt. Brown thinks they are human.  They were found near the gun."

"The Gun!!!? Oh man, So Dukman got the doctor?"

"No, Dukman is missing."

"Could it be his gun?  He was creeping around the past couple of days."

"Would explain things.  Look, Lee, when you come back plan on staying at Haven with us, please.  I have lots of rooms."

"Thanks Tom, I'll take you up on that.  I need to rest a day before driving back."

"That sounds like a plan."

Monty just returning from trip to the woods to relieve himself said, "Who is he talking to, {and how does he make his voice do that?}.

Linda was recovering.  She reached out and snatched her phone back.  "Leeland Augustus Harris, you have some explaining to do."

"Me?  I haven't done anything..."

"You did not answer your phone when I called and you did not call when you arrived last night.  I have been worried sick! You'd better thank God I didn't believe you were dead or I would KILL you!!!" Linda screamed into her phone.

Neal and the other boys started laughing at that until Linda glared at them.

Now, Nick was coming around.  "What?"

Doc Leo said, "It's okay Nick.  Martha, Lee and the boys are all fine."

"Oh, thank God.  Where's my phone?" Nick asked.

"Linda, my battery was dead and I had to recharge it...No I called before checking, I'm sorry, sweetheart.  We'll head back tomorrow, directly to Haven." Lee said.

"I'll be waiting.  Drive safely, love." Linda said.

"We will.  I love you, Bye."

Nick and Martha had a replay of Lee and Linda's conversation.  When he hung up he said, "She packed the phone in her suitcase!"

Linda said disgustedly, "His battery was dead."

There was a stunned silence then everyone was talking, laughing and in general celebrating.  Finally, Neal got through to the adults, ''We have to get home and let Brian and the others know.''

That got everyone moving.  The firemen were the first to pack and leave.  Nick helped Tom, Leo and the boys get everything packed and they left. Then Nick and Linda left.  Lt. Brown took another walk around the site.  It was amazing how much had happened in the past day.

When Tom turned off the road onto the driveway to the house, he said, "Okay, boys, to state the obvious, you are filthy.  All of you, straight up to my room and into the bathroom.  Strip and into the shower.  Doc and I will let you out when, and only when, you are clean.  I'll send someone for clean clothes.  We'll meet with the others when everyone is clean.  Neal be ready for Brian, he will be an emotional mess.

Leo suggested, "We should send him to collect the clothes and that way we can tell him in private."

Tom patted Leo on the knee, "I love the way you think."

Leo grinned, "I love you, too."

The boys all made little comments, Neal's 'TMI' was loud and clear.

By the time they reached the house, everyone was outside waiting for them.  Tom herded the filthy, soot covered boys inside, he then faced the crowd, Monty go get some clean clothes for Patty, Brian run up and get clothes for the others and bring them to my room.  We'll all meet back in the dinning room for breakfast and to share our news; it's good news." 

Brian gave Tom a big hug then he was off like a shot.  Leo whispered something to Tom.

"Oh, SHIT!" Tom took off at a run, Leo was laughing as he followed at a much more dignified pace.

As Tom approached his room he heard Patty's voice clearly, "Jeez, Neal I saw it before, remember? I told you it was cute!"

Neal's scream of frustration and embarrassment was equally clear. 

Tom arrived to find everyone still dressed, the bathroom door was closed.

'About time you got here.  I locked the door.  They seemed to think they should ALL take a shower together.' 'Philip' said, disapprovingly.

"Thank you, Philip." Tom replied.

Monty said.  "Dad, Patty and I could go to her room and shower..."

"NO!  And I do mean no.  I think Patty can manage a shower by herself, just fine.  'Philip' could you ask Alice to be ready to check and be sure Patty gets everything clean." Tom said.

'Certainly, sir.'

"Aww, Uncle Tommy, you're spoiling all the fun." Patty said, as she laughed and left.

Soon the shower was filled with five giggling soapy boys.  It took two scrubbings to get the water in the drain to be clear and not black with soot.  Tom made them shampoo a third time just for good measure.  When they were done, they dried each other, and Leo checked the towels to be sure they were not dirty, luckily they were clean and the boys got into the clothes Brian had brought them. [I don't know why they would use dirty towels but okay ;) TSL]{Grrrrrr!}

Tom then said, "Okay, boys, go on down and get something to eat.  Doc and I are next.  Neal, since you took the call, why don't you tell Brian."  Tom and Leo entered the bathroom and shut the door.  They were very tired, so they didn't play any games in the shower.

Neal took Brian's hand and led him over to the sofa.  "Well, Brian, we dug the door to the bomb shelter out and the firemen used axes to get it open and there was just a bunch of boxes in there.  Well, we was awful sad and then Mr. Regnad got a phone call and he passed out.  Then Mrs. Thompson got a call and she passed out."

"NEEAAALLLL!  Come on get to the point.  Dad said it was good news." Brian pleaded.

"Okay, okay.  I picked up the phone, and it was Mr. Harris.  He and everybody had left and weren't even home when the fire started.  They had no idea we were so worried." Neal finished.

"Oh, man, we were so worried and they didn't even know.  I sure wish I could talk to Travis.  I was so scared.  It was like I would feel if I lost you again." Brian cried.

Neal gave him a big hug, "I know, Bri."

"Why did Mr. Harris call Mrs. Thompson?" Brian asked.

"Ah, well..."


"I guess you're old enough..."

"Neal, what are you hiding, what's wrong?  Come on out with it."

"Well...it seems they got the 'HOTS' for each other." Neal said and dashed for the door.

"Grrrrr!"  Brian was right behind him and chased him all the way to the dinning room.

Just before lunch, Linda Thompson arrived.

All through lunch Brian kept looking at Mrs. Thompson.  Finally the forth time she caught him staring she said, "Brian, what's wrong?"

"Ah, ah, nutin'" Brian said.

Linda gave him the look that said she wasn't buying what he was selling.

"Don't pay any attention to him. He is still weirded out over Travis." Neal said kicking Brian under the table.

Brian turned to Neal, "But you said...  Ouch! Stop kicking me."

Tom gave Neal a stern look, "Just what did Neal tell you?"

Brian said, "Well, Neal said that Mrs. Thompson and Mr. Harris were, ah, were like... girlfriend and boyfriend."

Neal let out a relieved sigh.

Tom turned and started to scold Neal for making up stories.

Linda jumped in first, "Yes, I guess you could put it that way."

Brian asked, "But aren't you married?  You're MRS. Thompson, right?"

"I was married, but I've been divorced for many years.  Mr. Thompson turned out to not be a very good person and when I found that out I divorced him."

"Oh, then it's okay." Brian said and smiled.

Tom grinned at Linda, "Yes that is very okay."

After they had all finished, Linda asked Brian, "Do you need to talk to Travis?"

Brian lit up like a Christmas tree, "Oh, yes.  Could I?"

"I think we can do that.  Let's go someplace where you won't get interrupted."  Mrs. Thompson said.

Brian led the way up to his bedroom.  Once there, Linda took out her cell phone and hit the speed-dial for Lee. 

He answered on the second ring.  "Hello, am I forgiven?"

"This time, but don't press your luck, buster." She replied.  "I have someone here that needs to talk to Travis."

"No problem.  He just went by a second ago."

Mrs. Thompson handed the phone to Brian saying, "Press the red button when you're done and bring me the phone, please."

Brian took the phone and Linda left the room closing the door.

"Hello?" Brian said.

"Hello, Brian?" Travis asked.

"Yeah, God, it's so good to hear your voice." Brian said.

"Well, it's good to hear you too.  Ah, Bri, what's wrong?"

"I, ah, well, when we heard about the house, well... we thought you were, well, that you were dead, and I, well, I was real upset and Ms Linda said we could talk and well..."

"Wait, you thought I was dead?"

"Yeah, again."

"Again?  What do you mean again?  I mean we were out of there about three thirty in the morning, I wasn't dead once; how could I be dead again?  Bri, you're not making sense."

Tears were starting down Brian's cheeks, "Well, when you disappeared from Juvy we all figured you were dead, cause all your stuff was still there.  I mean I cried for days for you.  That was when Neal came.  Then I found you at Scouts and then the fire and well I thought I lost you again."

"Wow, I had no idea anybody would miss me from Juvy.  The only thing I had of any value was a book with a picture of my mother in it.  I wish I still had that." Travis said.

"I'll give it to you when you get here." Brian told his friend.

"Brian, you have my book?  How did you..." Travis trailed off.

"Well when you didn't show up, I took it so the bullies wouldn't get it and held on to it in case you ever came back.  Well now, I can give it back." Brian told him.

"Okay, that is so kewl, I guess I'll see you tomorrow or the next day, we are coming right back." Travis informed Brian.

"Yeah, that's what Dad said.  I'll have a room for you and your brother all set up or..."

"Or what, Bri?"

"You could stay in my room, with me." Brian said in a shaky voice.

"Wow, you'd share your room with me.  That is really something after all the crap at Juvy.  I am sharing a room with Mitch now, but maybe for a night or two, we'll see, okay?"

"Okay, Trav, see ya soon.  I love you."

There was a long silence, "Really?  Wow.  I don't know what to say now Bri."

"Just good bye would be okay."

"No it's not.  I think you are my best friend ever, and maybe more.  We need some time, okay Bri?"

"Yeah, very okay.  See ya."

"Bye, Best Friend."

Brian ended the call and sat crying tears of relief, happiness and fright all at the same time.  When he had recovered he washed off the tears and went to return the phone to Mrs. Thompson. 

Brian found Tom and Leo in the family room.  ''Dad, Daddy Doc, can I ask you something?''

''Sure, Brian, ask away,'' replied Tom.

''Well, Travis and his brothers are coming here for awhile, and I was hoping they could have a room next to mine.'' Brian said.

''Brian, the rooms next to yours aren't empty.'' Tom reminded him.

''Daaaaaddddddd. I thought, maybe, well...''

Both Tom and Daddy Doc were looking at him giving their undivided attention.  Daddy Doc encouraged, ''You thought what, Munchkin?

''Could I, well, I could move my stuff and let Andy have my room and I would move into one of the new rooms and Travis and Mitch could have the room next door.'' Brian was looking hopefully at his dads.

Leo gave Tom's hand a little squeeze to let him know he approved.  Tom smiled and said to Brian, ''I think that is an excellent idea.  If we all work together we should be able to have it all done before they arrive.''  Tom looked to the corner of the room, where the sensor was, '' 'Philip'?''

Lurch's voice from 'The Adam's Family' answered, 'You rang, sir.'

"Yes, Lurch, please gather the ghouls that aren't otherwise occupied in the boys' suite." Tom replied.

'As you wish, sir,'

"Okay, Brian, let's go and pick-out your new room," Tom said.

"Kewl!"  Brian took off at a run.

"Don't run in the house," Daddy Doc said to thin air, as Brian was out of sight.

"That worked well," Tom remarked giving Leo a hug.

By the time the two men arrived, the boys were listening to what Brian had in mind.  When he was done explaining what he wanted, they all pitched in and started moving furniture.  It wasn't long before Neal came and asked Tom, "Dad, there aren't any single beds.  Should we try to get two doubles in the twins' room or go with a Queen?"

Tom considered that for a minute then decided, "Go with the Queen in there.  That way if it isn't right we only have to move out one bed.  Do you guys have any ideas of things we should get for these guys tomorrow?  Let me or Daddy Doc know."

Brian was the first to make a suggestion, "Scout uniforms!"

"Camping gear!" added Jimmy.

"Underwear!" Patrick yelled.

"School supplies!" Patty said and was booed by the boys.

"Patty how about you make a list for us.  Okay, you goons, back to work.  We should be done by dinner time."  Tom and Leo helped to carry the mattresses and get the beds arranged.

Everyone was pretty tired by dinner.  After eating, they all pretty much crashed.  It had been a very busy day, or is that two days.  Tom and Leo were asleep by eight o'clock and didn't wake up till seven the next morning.  They showered and went down to breakfast and were quite surprised to be the first to arrive.

'You two were the first ones to bed last night,' 'Philip' informed them.

"Ah, well, That would explain it then.  Have any of them begun moving?" Tom asked.

'Indeed, I vented the kitchen to their rooms.  Frying bacon will get a boy moving like nothing else.' a real chuckle accompanied 'Philip's' remark.

Right on cue Brian entered the dinning room followed by a groggy Adam, Todd, Jimmy, Neal, Moe, David and Patrick.  Just as the boys were finished at the sideboard, Genny, Alice and Ed came in.  Leo nudged Tom and whispered, "Ed is wearing the same clothes as he was wearing yesterday."

Tom replied, "Alice hasn't smiled like that before."

Todd noticed too, "Mom?  Are you okay?"

Alice blushed a little, "Yes, son, I'm very okay this morning."  She took Ed's hand and they went to fix their breakfast plates.

When breakfast was done Alice asked her kids and Patrick to meet in the library. 

Brian came up to his dads, "Can I go shopping with you for Travis and the rest?"

Tom bent down and gave Brian a hug, You can go with me.  Doc has to go to the hospital and do rounds this morning.  The mall opens in about forty five minutes so let's leave in about half an hour.  See if any of the other guys want to go."

Brian was off like a shot again.  Leo said to Tom, "This situation is sure bringing out Brian.  He is really beginning to shine."

"Yeah, these guys always seem to do the most amazing things."  Tom smiled proudly.

Dr. Turnman gave Tom a quick kiss and said, "Well, I'm off to the hospital to play doctor."

Tom raised an eyebrow, made a Groucho Marx gesture and said, "You could drag me along to play nurse."

Leo came back instantly with,

"That's the most ridiculous thing I EVER hoiwd. {Say it like Groucho, TSL}[I already did! Str8mayb, Don't forget to say "The Secret Word"] {macadamia}

Tom grinned and said, "You bet your life."

Leo, shaking his head, left, defeated. 

As tom reached the door to his room the phone rang so he quickly grabbed it, answering, "Hello, Haven Manner, How can I help you?"

"This is Doctor Kirk T. James, Dr. Deforest's partner."

"Oh, hi, Whats up Doc? This is Tom Richards.

"Sorry to Buggs you, but we need to verify this pesky address. We have it as,
Mr. Adam Richards
Havendale, PA
Is that correct?

"Yes, Doc, that's right. If you want to be more formal, You could put Haven Manner, but our local postal employees know us all too well." Tom chuckled.

"Damn, Kelly was right, I did miss something special the day you came to the office. I'll get Adam's contacts mailed off today."

"Thanks, I'll let him know. Bye."


A half hour later Brian and Moe found Tom, and they headed out.  At the mall they bought a week's worth of clothes for the boys.  Brian suggested a CD player and Moe picked out some CDs for them.  Then Moe led them into a shop that looked like an extension of the North Pole.  Off in a back corner there were some Hanukkah supplies.  What had caught Moe's attention was actually not all that expensive.  He explained to Tom what he wanted, and when the clerk asked to help them Tom had Moe give her the order.  As it turned out Moe's order matched the store's stock exactly.  The clerk was laughing because the owner had written down the wrong number on the order form and was planning to ship them back that very afternoon.

On the way home, they stopped by the Presbyterian Church and let Dr. Hall know why they had missed church yesterday and that Lee and his family was joining theirs for some time to come.  After a quick prayer for their safety they were off to the Scout Shop. 

Tom felt like he should just buy the whole place.  That was reinforced when the clerk asked him as he entered how many new boys he needed to outfit today.

"Only three today," The calm answer shocked the clerk and then they all laughed.  Tom explained the situation and soon had uniforms and patches for the three boys.  They decided to skip Andy's merit badges for now.  Tom was thinking that might make a great Christmas present.  When the total was rung up, Tom asked as he wrote a check; "Is there any kind of program to help Scouts who loose everything like these guys?"

"No, sir.  Unfortunately.  It is a great idea, but there isn't anything."

Before Tom could respond, Brian said, "We should do a fund raiser and all of us put money into an account for really needy boys.  Like maybe only Scoutmasters could get the stuff."

"Yeah," Moe agreed.  "We could do a car wash that would be kewl."

Tom laughed, "In December it would be down right cold."  They all laughed.  "I was going to donate to the council, but I think the boys doing it will be much more effective.  I'll support the boys in this.  We'll have a committee meeting in January and see what can be worked out."

"I'll give the boss a heads up so he will be ready." The clerk said as she wrote a note. 

On the trip home, Lee was teasing the boys about who was sewing on all the patches.  Once back at Haven Brian and Moe carried all the clothes in and Tom was left to carry the two large boxes and one medium box that Moe had bought.

Lunch was consumed with the usual feeding frenzy.  Ed asked to speak with Tom privately after lunch.

In Tom's office after lunch.  "Tom, I have two things to discuss; one is business and one is personal."

"Okay, Ed.  Let's get the business out of the way first," Tom said.

"Well, I have found some expenditure's that don't make sense.  I'm afraid there may be an embezzler.  There is a sizable amount of cash transferred to a Watson Enterprises in England.  I can find no invoices or orders to account for this Philip person wiring such sums overseas."  Ed explained.

Tom grinned, "I take it then that you have not as yet met 'Philip'?"

Tom looked at the screen of his computer and it remained blank.  So 'Philip' wasn't talking to Ed.  "Well, let me say that 'Philip' is our head geek and if he has ordered some things from his 'brother's' company, it is because they are the only ones that will make what he wants.  Consider any order made by 'Philip' to be approved by me."

"Very well, but unexplained purchases of one hundred thousand dollars tend to make me a bit nervous."  Tom was slightly stunned, but he managed to not show any concern to Ed.  "Now, my personal concern.  Last night Alice and I had a discussion about raising, well at first Patty, but then all our kids and well it got very late and we kind of snuggled up on the couch and talked some more and we really hit it off well and ah, well, we fell asleep."

Tom gave Ed a shocked expression, "You slept with Alice?  Where the children could find you?  Oh, my God!" Tom really piled it on.

Ed hung his head and blushed.  He was about to offer his resignation when Tom burst out laughing.  "Ed, I'm not angry.  I think you and Alice will make a great match.  Both Todd and Patrick need parents that will understand their sexual orientation and Patty and Genny need a strong caring father.  I encourage the two of you in any way I can."

"Thank you for understanding.  I didn't think I would ever find a woman I could trust again, but I think I have, and I'm pretty sure I love her too." Ed confessed.

"I know she had a really bad marriage and I know she never thought she would find another man.  My advice is take it slow and enjoy it."

Ed grinned, "That is exactly what I am planning on doing."

They stood and Tom patted Ed on the back.  As soon as he was alone he said, "'Philip'?  You got some 'splainin' to do."  There was dead silence.  "Come on 'Philip', don't wimp-out on me now." [Yes Ricky]

The computer screen came on and a very elfish 'Philip' appeared.  'It's almost Christmas.  This is NOT the time of year to be asking questions.'  The screen went blank once again.

About three o'clock Linda arrived with a suitcase.  She told Tom and Leo, "I don't know when they will be arriving, but I want to be here.  That is okay isn't it?"

Tom smiled, "I think we can find you a room, as a matter of fact I believe there is an empty one next to Lee's"

Linda blushed but followed them up the stairs to her room.  Just before dinner Linda's cell phone rang.


"Wow, they heard that."

"Two hours.  That's great.  I'll be waiting."

"I've really missed you."


At dinner, Linda told everyone that Lee and the gang would be here in less than a couple of hours.  Brian was a bundle of nerves for the rest of the meal.  After being dismissed, Brian went to the foyer and watched out the window.  Leo noticed him there, "Brian, it is going to be some time yet.  Why don't you come on into the den with the rest of us to wait?"

Brian shrugged but followed Daddy Doc into the den.

After about an hour of agony for Brian, Linda got another call.  She answered and grinned, "Who is this?"  Linda was giggling, she nodded to Brian who dashed out of the room.  Running down the hall he yelled, "'Philip, open the gate. Please.  They're here, they're here!"

Linda replied again, "Hundreds, and all handsome young men, too."

"Yes, that many, and their foster parents, too," she giggled.

"I figured that.  You must have been nearly flying."

"I didn't open it."

"I'm going to join the welcoming committee.  See you out front."


Linda joined the crowd in the foyer.  When the van pulled to a stop the door opened and the welcome committee looked more like an infantry charge down the front steps.

The van doors opened and there was hugging, handshaking and backslapping.  Max and Ginger were quick to relieve themselves and then greet Jack.

Finally Tom spoke up, "How about everybody grab something and let's get back inside where there is central heating."  Everyone grabbed something to carry inside.  The exception to that was Travis, who had been grabbed by a sobbing Brian, and was being held in a death grip of a hug.

Brian kissed Travis and sobbed, "Oh Travis, I was afraid I had lost you again. I don't think I could take losing you twice. Thank God you are alright.  Oh yeah, everyone else too, but I love you so much. I couldn't believe I had lost you right after I found you again."

Dr. Leo came over to them after everyone else had started in.  "Brian, how about you showing Travis around inside?"

"You really like him, huh?" The poor twin in Brian's squeezing arms managed to get out.

"Hey Brian! Let go of Mitch and come in where it's warm" The other twin called from the top of the stairs.

"Hold it!"  Brian pointed to the twin at the top of the stairs, "You're Mitch, and Travis calls me Bri."

The real Travis said, "Busted."

"I knew it was you.  Well, I was pretty sure.  Do that to me again, and you're going into the pool, the outdoor one, both of you."

Dr. Leo said, "Remember, boys, there are those of us the identical twin thing just won't work on."

Mitch yelled again, "Come on.  Travis this place is like... HUGE!"

Once they were all inside, the boys were led off, followed by three K-9s (or would that be... A K-27?) and just the adults were left.  Tom took them into the den and offered them a drink.  "What took so long, Leo?"

"Mitch and Travis had to try the twin game on Brian.  Only fooled him for a second.  I told them that some of us wouldn't be fooled." Leo answered as he took a seat next to Tom on the couch and put his arm around him.

Martha said, "They know it doesn't work on me.  They switched sides of the bed the other morning and they were sure surprised that I still called them by name."

Lee said, "I've never had a bit of trouble either, neither have Max and Ginger."

"Brian's problem was they took him by surprise, and in the dark.  But he knew who he was hugging." Dr. Turnman defended Brian.

Lee offered, "If you ever have any doubt, Max, the big dog, is always next to Travis, if he isn't with Andy, Ginger stays glued to Mitch."

They heard the front door open and voices, then Nick walked in.  "Hi everyone, 'Philip' let me in."

Martha got up and rushed to Nick and they hugged as the other two couples watched.  When they came up for air Tom handed Nick a drink and they all sat again.  Tom then said, "I think that if you are staying here, you need to know that Dr. Turnman and I are a couple."

Linda grinned, "I know, but officially, I didn't hear that."

Lee said, "I hate that we have to play a double standard on so many things.  Like being Gay or Bi means you can't love.  It really doesn't bother me, as long as you aren't forcing it on anyone.  Kids need parents that care about them, and from what I've seen, no one could care more than you two do."

Martha reached over and patted Lee on the knee, "You run a close second."

Lee blushed.  "Thanks Martha."  Lee looked at Nick, "So, we drove by the house, what happened?"

Nick covered the events of Saturday night and Sunday morning, up to the time Martha called.

Lee and Martha listened closely and so did Tom and Leo.  When he was done Lee said, "So, this Dr. DumbAss is behind the attempts on the boys' lives?"

Lee was concerned about the boys, "Will Mitch and Travis have to testify?"

"If the fool wants a trial, yes they may." Nick said.  "But he had detailed instructions on setting the fire at Mitch's house in his computer with Daddy, Mommy and Little boy and an X by each.  'Philip' also furnished a nice picture of Dukman sitting at your computer, as a Molotov cocktail smashed through the window and Dummesel can be seen quite clearly, outside.

"Who is Philip?  How did he get a picture like that?" Lee asked.

The large plasma screen came to life and 'Philip' appeared.  'I am 'Philip'.  Since you asked, directly, I can tell you.  I am a self aware AI, built with Watkin's Enterprises 'James' technology.'

Tom laughed at the expressions on Nick, Lee, Linda and Martha's faces.  Suddenly Lee snapped his fingers, "'Philip', You have been working with Mitch on his school work."

'Yes, Travis and Andrew also, but now, that terminal is out of service.' 'Philip' remarked.

Nick added, "Yes, it suffered a meltdown."

Lee rolled his eyes, "My home burns down and I loose all my worldly possessions and you joke about it?"
Nick started to blush and was about to apologize when Lee began laughing.

'Philip' said, 'I shall have to re-evaluate whether three such fine young men as Mitch, Travis and Andy should remain with a caretaker with such a warped sense of humor.'

Lee said, "I should be ashamed of my self, but, of course, I'm not."

Everyone laughed.  The conversation then turned to the question of how the living arrangements would work, while Lee and his family were staying there.

Meanwhile Brian led Travis and Mitch to their room.  "You guys can share this room or one of you could take this room and the other could take the next room down or the one across the hall.  My room is right next door, there."

Travis said, "Bri, this is perfect.  Mitch and I share a room.  Maybe you could sleep over sometimes with us."

"Yeah, we could have a great time." Mitch added, as he began looking around the room.  He opened a drawer in the dresser.  "Hey Brian, whose clothes are these?"

"Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell ya.  I had Dad get you some things; We didn't know how many changes of clothes you had so we got a weeks worth to start.  I figured you were Moe's size.  If things don't fit let us know.  You guys settle and then come back to the big room and we'll play a game or watch a movie." Brian said.

"Okay, kewl.  Thanks Bri.  You're like the best friend ever." Travis gave Brian another huge hug.


Authors Note:
I want to thank Radio Rancher for all the help he has given me in developing the plot twists in Haven2 and Fire.  He has listened to my ramblings and made some great suggestions and even added a few words (like 1500!) here and there.  Thanks Darryl.  I would also like to thank TSL for his editing.  He tries to make sure I spell characters names the same and that I don't switch from Tom to Lee in the middle of a scene.  That is going to be a lot harder now that the two are living under the same roof.  Now I also have Lee and Leo.  Maybe I should just go lie down. (Str8mayb tosses Darryl a quarter for royalties.)
Well I'll end the chapter here.  As you will notice, if you are reading FIRE that the chapter numbers and the events now match between the two stories.  When I first decided {Okay, when Neal and Mitch decided} that the two stories were going to cross I thought they would merge into one story.  However that isn't what they want to happen.  As a matter of fact they are trying to get me writing a third story that parallels these two.  I am resisting but fear it is futile.  There are some sections that are indeed cut and paste from FIRE but others that are like the other side of a phone conversation.  I am planning several chapters of everyone together but eventually the stories will be independent again.
Next chapter we will find out just what Moe is up to.  How the Harris kids and the Richards kids manage together.  The School Board Chairman hasn't gone away and I haven't forgotten him either.
Maybe now the Cliff Hanger Police will let me return home.  I need some sleep.
Let me know what you think.  str8mayb@paddedroom.us

Editor's note:

Oh my goodness. What a roller coaster ride. Finally I can stop looking behind every bush and garbage can for all the snipers that have been chasing me.  It wasn't my fault! Well, actually it was partly my fault. I talked him into the flashbacks in Fire 12.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher


Fort Chief Editor's Notes:

How I got blamed for any of this I have no idea. Darryl and Str8mayb tell what they are going to do after they have already done it and it is too late for me to stop them. All I can say is I am glad that Lee, Martha and the boys are in a Safe Haven.

I understand that Darryl is running out of commas and I need a few more semicolons so 'Goos' is arranging a Dragon Convoy with lots of his special Interstellar Commas and Semicolons.
Til we fly again,

'Goos' and The Story Lover AKA TSL