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Protecting David-Alex's Story
--- Chapter 32 ---
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Protecting David-Alex’s Story 32


As many times as I’ve flown and as much traveling as I done of all kinds it’s still exciting, it still gives me this enormous rush. For me it’s the idea of embarking on an adventure and now I’ve got Larry to share adventures with. I think that he gets as excited as I do but he doesn’t show it. Larry’s harder to read than I am. You only have to look at me to know what I’m thinking.

So I had packed and unpack and repacked like five times while Larry just sat there on the bed shaking his head.

“Larry, you can’t tell me that you’re totally packed and we gotta leave in like thirty minutes!”

He rolled over on the bed and propped up his head with his hand. “Alex, I been packed for two days, it’s not that big of a deal.”

“A month, Larry, were gonna be gone a month!”

Larry grabbed me and dragged me onto our bed where he pushed me down and rolled over on top of me. The heat of his body quickly burned thru our clothing while I smiled up into those entrancing eyes and soaked up his body heat. His breath was sweet and warm on my face. He said, “Look, this is all you need; a navy blue blazer with a dress shirt a tie and a pair of dress pants, two pairs of jeans and two pairs of Docker’s, a half dozen shirts and six changes of underwear, a pair of gym shoes, a pair of walking shoes and a pair of dress shoes.” He kissed me lightly as he thrust his crotch into mine and smiled. “And actually even that is way too much. You could cut that in half and it’d be closer to right.”

“Yeah but what if say, Jamie, you know David’s partner in England, well what if he invites us to some formal dinner or something?”

“Hon, everyone will know that we’re on vacation and nobody’s gonna expect us to be traveling with navy blue suits. And besides, if we need anything else, we can buy it.” He grinned and waggled his eyebrows. “But more importantly, how can we get away with fucking on your dad’s plane?”

An hour and a half later and David’s plane was climbing steeply into the darkening blue evening. After an unbelievable dinner we were about to settle down to watch a movie when David came over to us.

“Alex, something has come up. I was just on the phone with Emi and he reminded me that since Armento’s son will be getting married on Saturday and we’ll, in a sense, be in the neighborhood, it would be considered a slight not to deliver our gift in person. I really don’t know how we avoid it.”

David turned to Mark. “Apparently Armento lives in a small village outside of Palermo and we’ve been invited to the wedding.” David looked from Mark to Larry. “You guys should stay in England because we’re just going to fly in say our hellos and get out. We’ll be back in England that evening.” He turned to me and put his hand on my shoulder. “You okay with that?”

Frankly it made me incredibly nervous but I knew that we owed this Armento guy and it wasn’t something that could be avoided. “Sure…I mean I guess we have to. Right?”

David smiled. “We really do.”

Finally we all settled down to watch a movie. Larry and I were on the sofa and I wiggled down so that I was lying flat and rested my head in his lap. I could feel his cock under my cheek and every few seconds I moved my head slightly and got the expected reaction but finally he started to laugh silently and then he grabbed my head and whispered, “Behave!” The sound of his voice comforted me and the warmth of his body comforted me. I felt the sense of belonging to him. Not like being owned by him but in the sense that our love for each other had created this third unit, not him or me but us and somehow that “us” was more important than the other two and I could feel the two of us growing up and growing into something more important than two separate people. His hand rested on the side of my neck with his fingers lightly touching my throat. My cock got hard but I ignored it because it was only a symptom of something more important than horniness and then I slept.

It was a restless sleep like it often is when I’m flying and I woke often but after a few minutes the steady low roar of the engines seemed to be wrapping us in a cocoon and with my arms around his back and waist we seemed to be floating alone thru a magical nothingness and I’d doze off again.

The next morning we made our way thru the immigration and passport control procedures and then were driven into London to our flat. There wasn’t much time for David and I because we had to leave for Sicily but we both insisted that a shower was an absolute necessity before we headed back to the airport. When I dragged Larry into the bathroom his eyes were hooded with lust.

I was backed up against the marble wall of the shower as Larry’s tongue explored my mouth while our hard dicks kept each other company.

He pulled his lips from mine and whispered, “I am so fucking horny for you!”

I laughed and said, “I know what ya mean. I’m horny too.” From the first day we met nobody has ever been able to turn me on like Larry. The genetic gods have been kind to him and he’s got one of those bodies that always looks ripped even though he exercises minimally.

He stared at me and tilted his head to one side. “S’not just horniness, Alex.”

I whispered back, “I know…’s getting worse….or rather better. I think about you constantly.” And I did too. Ever since our Washington trip we just kept falling more and more in love. The back of Larry’s forefinger traveled slowly down the side of my face and the sensations went straight to my dick.

Larry reached down with his other hand and held our cocks together while slowly thrusting his. He slowly looked into my eyes. “I wanna fuck you.” He rushed to add, “Then you can do me.” He grinned. “I promise that I’ll keep this even….mostly.” I really didn’t care. I loved to have Larry fuck me but he was on an equality kick and I figured I better go along with it while he was in the mood.
I turned and braced my hands against the marble shower wall and spread my legs. His cock was lying against the small of my back as his hand reached around and began to stroke me. Larry nibbled at the back of my neck while, with the aid of a little soap, his cock began to move slowly into me. I groaned and dropped my head back against his shoulder.


As Billy lowered the flaps for our approach to the Palermo airport and as the plane slowed I glanced over at Alex who was flicking his thumbnail against his teeth. It’s something he does when he’s nervous and I knew he was concerned about this meeting with Armento. I guess that’s understandable. How often does an American twenty year old meet the head of the Sicilian mafia, not to mention that Alex’s only other exposure to organized crime had been pretty unpleasant? This time though the meeting was strictly social and with Emi promising to be in attendance we’d at least have someone we knew to talk to. Alex particularly liked Emi but he was still nervous.

I reached across the isle and squeezed his arm. “Quit worrying.”

Alex got an embarrassed grin on his face. “Just seems……….kinda odd.”

“You know there’s nothing to be afraid of.” I laughed. “For one thing this is the weekend and he’s probably off-duty.”


“He’s just a guy, Alex. Besides I’m giving his kid a lot of money to show our appreciation…….it’ll be okay.”

“Dad, it’s not like he’s just another business man.”

“In a way he is. It’s just his collection procedures that are a little different.”

The door of the plane opened onto a perfect day in Palermo with a light breeze blowing the skies a brilliant blue and temperatures in the mid seventies. I draped my suit coat over my arm and walked down the stairs to the back doors of the car. Samantha was standing near the open rear door of the limousine while Ellen loaded the money into the trunk. At the same time there was a long train of baggage carts going past us about fifty feet away when suddenly Samantha yelled to Ellen and I felt myself being shoved hard head first into the back seat of the limo. I landed sprawled on the seat and started to get up as the gunshots began. The gunshots sounded muffled and distant but made what seemed like a loud thudding sounds as dozens of them slammed into the car but none of them seemed to penetrate the exterior of the vehicle. There was a brief pause in the sound of gunfire and then suddenly the sharp staccato sounds of gunfire were coming from us and I realized that Samantha and Ellen were firing machine guns and all the while Samantha was screaming into her radio, “FULL POWER BILLY, FULL POWER!!”

I could hear and in fact feel them as the powerful engines began winding up. Then I was dragged quickly out of the car and stared into the tense faces of the two women before Ellen literally threw me up the stairs of the plane while Samantha swept the area with her gun on her hip. Halfway up the stairs I felt a vise-like grip on my wrist and I looked up into Alex’s anxious face. I looked back quickly and could see the bodies of two men lying sprawled on the tarmac by the baggage train. Alex jerked me forward and up and he seemed to even be lifting me off of my feet and moving me quickly to the first seat.

There was panic in his voice. “Dad, are you okay? I thought you were dead! You gotta buckle your seat belt! We gotta get the fuck outta here!” I saw Samantha finish closing the door and latching it. I tried to calm Alex while I staggered to my feet and walked to the cockpit where Billy was flipping switches and screaming into the radio apparently at the traffic controllers who had lost their cool professional English speaking voices and were now screaming back in Italian.

I looked to Samantha. “What about our driver?”

“He’s already gone….getting help but it’ll be over by the time anyone comes.”

I put my hand on Billy’s shoulder. “How’s it look?”

The plane lurched as Billy began releasing the brakes and pushing forward slightly on the throttles. “I was thinking we could just move away from this trap but if you look about 200 meters ahead of us you’ll see a truck moving to block us.” He seemed to be calculating. “Unless maybe we make a hard left here.”

I squeezed Billy’s shoulder and said as casually as I could, “Better get us outta here then, Billy.”

He shook his head and grinned. “Boss, you are a piece of fuckin work!” He sighed. “Okay….get buckled in……..this is gonna be one rough fucking take off.”

The starboard engine roared and the plane pivoted to the left and began to move. We had only been moving forward for a few seconds when we could hear the approaching roar of a large plane and the Gulfstream stopped violently and we were all pitched forward.

Suddenly we were engulfed in a mind numbing roar that vibrated everything and made even thought impossible as a huge British Air 747 passed only slightly above us and a bit ahead. As soon as it was over us Billy gunned the engines and we turned onto an active runway but going in the opposite direction to the flow.

Billy yelled over the intercom, “Hang the fuck on!” The engines took a second to reach full power and then we were hurtling down the runway with the oversized Rolls-Royce engines screaming for the skies and before it seemed possible Billy had rotated the nose up and we were rocketing out over the sea and climbing at an amazing angle. After climbing for a half a minute Billy called me on my phone.

“So, Boss, where am I flying this thing to.”

“How’s our fuel?”

“I can take you anywhere you wanna go.”

“Well…let’s stay out of Italian air space for the moment. They might not be too thrilled at the way we left their airport or the bodies on the runway. Head for Germany.”

“Not back to England?”

“I don’t want to lead anyone back to Mark and Larry. No…Germany is best. I’ll call around and try and get the lay of the land.”

But before I could call anyone Mr. Tam called me. “David are you unhurt?”

“Yes. What the hell is going on?” I was truly pissed at him.

“Forgive me, David, but it was not to be helped. Armento had an informant among his closest aides. The man is now hanging in the village square.”

“Surely, Mr. Tam, this wasn’t done by Armento.”

“No. It’s as we discussed, Bonurato’s nephew. We should have moved against him last week and I am prepared to finish it tonight but Armento has begged me to let him handle it. This has been a tremendous slap in the face to him. I told him I would get back to him.” It was my fault that he hadn’t finished him last week. I was still hoping nothing like this would happen.

“Can he handle it? Is his reach that long?”

“Yes….under the circumstances I’m quite certain it is. Of course, he’ll contract the work out. It’s not like he actually must have his own men there.”

“Very well….give him twenty-four hours but emphasize that he must finish this business.”

I called Billy. “Billy, go north and then thru Switzerland to Salzburg. Stay out of Italian airspace. We’ll just go to our meeting a few days early.” I called Gerhardt.


It is an understatement to say that the Bank Haussman maintains a low profile. Even standing directly in front of it one is struck by its reticence, its reluctance to draw attention to itself. Once thru the front door however and that impression is somewhat dispelled. There one is confronted with Brazilian Rosewood and stainless steel and the crisp efficiency of some of the finest bankers on earth.

Gerhardt himself, flanked by two young men in dark suits, met us at the door. I watched David closely as he and Gerhardt exchanged warm handshakes and then David did the same with the two younger men. Seconds later Gerhardt was pumping my hand and pulling me over to introduce me to his assistants whose names I instantly forgot. In my defense, unlike David, this was all a little overwhelming for me.

A waiting elevator carried us quickly and silently to the sixth floor of the building to what were obviously the executive offices. Gerhardt seated us in front of his large desk and his secretary got us coffee which came in a silver server with incredibly delicate porcelain cups. I was really afraid that I was gonna break one of those cups.

As his secretary closed the office door behind her Gerhardt sat forward in his chair and opened a manila folder that was sitting on the desk. He turned for a moment to David.

“I spoke with Mr. Armento this morning.” He ran his hands thru his thinning hair. “I made it quite clear to him that I didn’t want to ever have to make that phone call again and that if I did the penalty to him would be considerable.”

Gerhardt turned to me and said, “Alex, I represent an informal group of private bankers…very private. Mr. Armento has been a customer for some time and because he respects certain conventions we accept his business willingly. All things considered he’s quite a sophisticated man and runs his organization very cleanly. But, and this is very important, he could not survive without our assistance.” He waved his hand in the air. “I know, I know, people would say that he’s a gangster and we shouldn’t do business with him. The fact is that we will end up doing business with him whether we want to or not but this way we have some control over him. He was not responsible for you being attacked but he was in a position to stop it and he now has done that. So…..all is well.”

David said, “Does he truly understand?”

“Yes…this time I’m sure he does.”

Gerhardt looked up at me and said, “I assure you, Alex, that there will be no more such attempts. To paraphrase one of those silly gangster movies, I made Mr. Armento an offer he couldn’t refuse and apparently this business has been dealt with.”

Gerhardt leaned back in his chair took a deep breath and seemed to shift gears. “David, you must have wondered why Helmut left so little money when he died.”

David nodded. “Yes but I never really knew what his net worth might be and I had no idea what his illness had cost him. But yes I wondered.”

Looking like he had a secret Gerhardt asked, “Did you ever wonder why the Zander Gruppe was always so willing to send a plane or help in any way they could?”

David smiled slightly, “Yes, I did wonder.”

Gerhardt sat up straight and said in heavily accented English, “Well today it will all be made clear.”

He turned to me. “Alexander Drueger……Alex, to this bank you will always be that name for reasons that will become clear. Alex, you are a citizen of the Federal Republic of Germany, you are twenty years of age and you have been, for the last twenty years, a resident of the Principality of Monaco. Your residence is, as it has been for the last eighteen years, on the top floor of the apartment building that you own on the Avenue de la Costa.” He slid something across the desk to me. “In that envelope is your passport and driver’s license, you will see that since the age of twelve years you have made one trip per year to someplace that needed a passport. Over the years your photo has been changed and it now contains a photo of you as you are now.”

I had a thousand questions but kept my mouth shut. Gehrardt continued. “Alex, as you know when your father died he left you approximately six million US dollars. This, of course, David has been investing for you with great success. But your father also left you, here, a great deal more than that. He was already building the apartment building in Monaco and left detailed instructions about additional buildings that we were to be pursued around the world in places where he had taken options on land. If I do say so myself our bank has the finest real estate management division in European banking and over the years we have been able to realize many of the dreams that your father had for that business and that he laid out in great detail. Your father’s philosophy was that these apartment buildings were only to be built in the most desirable locations, locations where the wealthiest people might want to have a residence without necessarily owning a house. Currently, besides Monaco, there are buildings in London, England, both Naples and Palm Beach, Florida, San Francisco, California, Hawaii and Paris. These followed the very detailed, very complete instructions that your father left us. And I must say that, as usual, he was correct.”

Gerhardt paused for a moment. “I know that all of this is complicated, Alex, but we’ve prepared a written report on your real estate holdings complete with photographs and all the important figures.” He touched the palms of both hands together and then spread them again. “Fortunately with only seven buildings it’s not as complicated as it could be. You’ll want to exam the plans for additional projects. These are all in keeping with your father’s instructions but they are yours now, they belong to you and we, of course, will follow your instructions. Some new projects, a building in Washington, D.C. and another in Palm Springs, California are already under development and those projects would be hard to stop but otherwise if you would rather we did something differently, we will.”

Gerhardt settle back into his chair. “Before you were born, Helmut also purchased…” He paused. “Well let me give you some background. As David knows during the 1970’s a small group of German engineers got together and formed a company, the original name got changed but you know the company as the Zander Gruppe. Their young company got off to a marvelous start and before long they sold shares to the public but, as things happen, all was not to remain well and late in the 70’s the company’s stock was battered by a stock market that was in serious decline. You must remember the times. Germany’s economy, with the Soviet bloc watching us, was subject to more than the typical stresses. In any event the stock in the young company faired even worse than stocks in general and eventually dropped to below one US dollar per share. Several of the founders approached your father to get him to buy shares and he ended up investing,” He shrugged, “approximately $800,000 for about that many shares.” Gerhardt turned to David. “That was about the time that you invested too, isn’t it David?”

David nodded. “At Helmut’s suggestion.”

Gerhardt smiled. “But more since, eh?”

Again David nodded and something in his eyes told me that he had invested a lot.

Gerhardt turned back to me and spread his hands. “Of course the world didn’t end and in fact the stock ended up splitting four times after that. You now own 12,800,000 shares of Zander. The close on Friday was……….29 Euros… approximately 371 million Euros.” I couldn’t even begin to grasp how much that was but I knew that in dollars it was even more. Gerhardt smiled and said, “That by the way makes the two of you Zander’s largest private shareholders.” He smiled at David and said, “A partial reason for the great service…..but not the whole reason.”

He turned to David. “David, I’m sure the first thing that enters your mind is that that’s far too much of Alex’s net worth invested in one company and I totally agree but until he reached the age of twenty we were specifically forbidden to sell the Zander shares. I don’t really think that Helmut regarded the stock as being that significant, he seemed much more focused on the land.”

I could see David running the figures in his mind and then he said, “Alex, we can discuss this more this evening but if you’d like I’ll buy ten million of those shares from you for my account. That way you won’t have a big transaction fee and we’ll be keeping the shares in the family.”

Gerhardt turned back to me. “Alex, David’s company is perhaps the most talented of its kind and you couldn’t find anyone better to manage that portion of your wealth that resides in stocks. What I would propose to you is that that portion of your assets be turned over to your father to be managed and that the real estate portion be left with us. We are uniquely capable at managing real estate. The real estate is more difficult to value but we estimate the gross value of it to be in the area of 500 million Euros with the net value at roughly 200 million. Late last year all of the mortgages were rolled over into similar products but at very low interest. We have long expected values to drop but the amount of leverage we are using is very small and you can feel quite secure. The real estate group is also generating substantial cash that we use for expansion. How do you feel about what I have proposed?”

I didn’t know what to say but looked at my dad who smiled and nodded yes. I smiled at Gerhardt and said, “I think that that would be perfect. My father has been urging me to become involved with his company and having my own money at stake would give me added incentive.”

Gerhardt leaned over the desk and looked directly at me. “Alex, you must take that opportunity. David’s company while far from the largest is the most distinguished in a very distinguished group. It would be perfect for you, assuming your interest continues.”

David sat forward and said, “Gerhardt you said that one of the reasons that Zander was so helpful was because of the stock, was there another reason.”

“Yes. Before Helmut’s death he came to this office and met with Jon Suhrbier the head of Zander and myself.” He looked at me. “He asked us to swear that we would help you Alex, that we would help you and protect you. The debt that we both owed him was beyond price and we both agreed, although we would have agreed anyway.”

Gerhardt reached into a large envelope and withdrew a slim black leather case. “And this too is yours, Alex.” He turned to David and smiled. “David, do you remember Helmut’s watch?”

David slapped the arm of the chair. “My god I forgot! That remarkable watch! How could I forget that, he was so proud of it!”

Gerhardt laughed. “Yes! Made especially for him.” He turned back to me. “Alex your father dearly loved this watch. It was designed and made especially for him by Patek Philippe & Company.” He slipped the watch from its supple leather case, the fine metal band draping over his fingers like heavy silk. “He wanted it to look like stainless steel but it’s actually platinum.” He slid it back into its soft leather case and handed it to me. “I’ve called the Patek people and they’re sending someone to your hotel this evening to set it up for you.”

I must have given him and odd look because he said, “It is indeed an amazing watch but it’s been just sitting here for almost twenty years. He’ll have to adjust it and show you how it works. There’s also a stand that comes with it.” He reached back to his credenza picked up box about six inches square and handed it to me also. He smiled at me and shook his head. “It is an amazing watch.”

Gerhardt reached once more into the folder and extracted a standard size manila envelope. He looked at the front of it and then handed it to me.

He gestured to the envelope. “When your father gave me that he told me that it was his last opportunity to speak to you so I assume it is just that, a personal message.” He slid it across his desk to me. “Alex, if you would rather wait and read it in private that would be perfectly understandable.”

I really didn’t know what to say, this wasn’t something that I ever thought might happen. “It’s okay, I’ll take a look at it.” I slit open the envelope and took out several sheets. It was handwritten in German.

My dearest Alex,

Well….if you are reading this you must now be twenty years of age. How I wish that I could be there with you to see the man that you have become and to be standing there with my hand on your shoulder. It is so hard to leave you because there are so many things that can hurt you and I won’t be there to protect you. So much of what I’ve done in the last few months has been to try and insure your future and to protect you from that danger.

In a very few days you and I will be going to America, hopefully to convince David to become your new father. I believe with all my heart that I can do that although I have taken other steps should I fail. David has a partner now and I have never met him but knowing David as I do this man must also be a good man. You must trust David completely for of all the men I have known, he is the most honorable and in very many ways the most like me.

By now Gerhardt or his successor will have told you of your European inheritance. Hopefully it will have been successfully managed and knowing Gerhardt I’m sure that will be the case. I have instructed him to maintain your German identity. I don’t really believe that this will be necessary but then I can’t be sure. Such are the circumstances I must plan for and yet to never know if I’m correct. How will I ever rest with this worry and yet that rest above all is sure.

Here in Europe the communists are weakening and if that continues it will make your future brighter. If only I could count on it happening!

As you no doubt now know I’ve taken the precaution of making David only aware of a portion of your inheritance but I’m sure that he will have handled what he will be given appropriately. I realize that to some degree I am creating boxes within boxes and I may seem to be overly cautious but I am so beset with concern over the realization that I won’t be there to help you. I hope that never in your life do you have to know the fear of leaving your only son without family in this world. I don’t greatly fear my own death but my worry for you is boundless. Gerhardt and Jon have sworn to protect you and I trust their word but also pray that it won’t be necessary.

I have included with this letter some pictures of your mother and myself that I am quite sure that you have never seen, or certainly at least, won’t remember. I beg you to keep us in your heart for you will be in ours for all eternity.

Your loving father,


I was stunned by the realization that this man….my father, had to die not knowing if his only son would be safe. I couldn’t begin to imagine the pain that must have caused. I tried to imagine myself in the same situation and thought I would go crazy if I had to do that. Then I became aware of David kneeling next to me with his hand on my arm.

“You okay, Alex?”

I felt the wetness on my face and realized that I had been crying. I pulled out my handkerchief and dried my eyes. I smiled at David and said with a choked voice, “Yeah………yeah….I really am okay.”

Gerhardt cleared his throat and slid some papers to me across the desk. “Alex some years ago private accounts, checking and savings accounts, as they would be called in the U.S. came under some pressure. The United States government was convinced that we were hiding criminal fortunes and put pressure on our government and on other governments to make more information available about these accounts. Before that became the law we were able to get excluded from that decree older more established accounts. Naturally, as a matter of course, we reserved several of those accounts for you as we did with all of our best, oldest, customers.”

“I realize that with the income from your trusts in America that you probably don’t need additional income but using these accounts whatever money you wish to have up to the value of your account can be made available. This can all be handled over the internet if you wish.” He pointed to a line on the form. “If you go to this url and enter your pin number you will be automatically transferred to another site where tracking your private business by concerned governments will be made almost impossible.” He looked up at me and then smiled. “Alex, our bank is very concerned about the privacy of its customers.”

Back at the Hotel Sacher I walked into my suite almost in a daze and was immediately engulfed in Larry’s warm strong arms while his lips covered mine almost in a frenzy. I slumped against him. We hadn’t called he and Mark until this morning when we explained what had happened and arranged for a plane to bring them to Salzburg.

Then abruptly he pushed me away and stepped back and turned to the wall. There were tears in his eyes. He turned back grabbed my shoulders and shook me like he was mad at me then pulled me back tightly to him and buried his face in my neck.

He was almost sobbing. “What the fuck is it with the fucking shooting, Alex? When are they gonna stop trying to kill you?” He leaned back and took my face in both of his hands. “I’m not letting you outta my sight…no fucking way! That’s the last goddamn time you go someplace without me! The last goddamn time!”

Larry is a big tough guy but now his body was trembling. I held his head tight to my shoulder and whispered, “I know, Baby, I know and it’ll never happen again. Really! Never again, it’s been settled.”

He mumbled into my shoulder, “How settled?”

“Permanently settled, they’re dead. They were doing something that nobody wanted them to do and it backfired on em.”

He moved me over to the couch and pulled me down on top of him. I kissed his eyes and then rubbed the tears out of them. “We didn’t call you guys right away cause there wasn’t anything you could do but worry and besides David had already done everything. We just didn’t want you to be upset for any longer than necessary.”

He just stared up into my eyes for a while then said quietly, “I know.” He sighed. “It just makes me crazy, you know? Alex, I just love you so fucking much and the thought of what might have happened…it just makes me nuts.”

He held up my hand and I was still holding my dad’s letter to me and his watch. Larry said, “That what they gave you?”

“It’s a letter my dad wrote me and his watch.” He looked confused. I laughed and said, “My biological dad, Larry. You didn’t really think that David and Mark gave birth to me did ya?”

He gave me a lopsided grin. “No dumbass! I knew that you were coming here because of your real dad. What’s in the letter?”

I laid my head on his chest. “It’s really sad. It’s all about why he did what he did and the stuff he was afraid of….for me. Stuff that he couldn’t be here to help me with. And some pictures of him and my mom.” I opened the envelope and handed him the pictures. “They were really nice looking. My mom was beautiful.”

He looked thru the photos and then kissed my neck. “You really look like your mom.”

I kissed him back and wiggled down until all of my weight was on him. “Thanks. My dad was good looking too.”

He held up my hand again. “What’s in the leather case?”

“His watch. David and Gerhardt both said that it was a really remarkable watch. The guy from the factory that made it is supposed to come here tonight to show me how it works.”

Larry slid it out of its case. “It’s beautiful and heavy. It’s way heavier than it looks.” He turned it over. “Oh wow. You can look in the back.” He held it to his ear. “It’s ticking.”

I turned it back over so that we were looking at the face and showed Larry the different dials while we pressed our crotches together. “See this one shows the year and this one the day and day of the week. It adjusts itself for leap years and all kinds of things. Supposedly it sets itself too but I’m not sure how. Maybe with the base that you can put this on. I guess I’ll find out later.”

Larry took my wrist and slid the watch onto it and the shut the clasp. “Hey it fits you too.” I was thinking about my dad and how twenty years before he had worn this watch and how those little gears that were turning inside had last kept time for him. The watch fit me perfectly and I decided that I’d wear it forever, that I’d wear it in memory of him.”

When I looked down at Larry he was staring up into my eyes and seemed to be searching them. I smiled down at him and said softly, “What?”

He lifted his head and kissed my nose. “I don’t want anything taking you away from me. I love you so much more than I ever thought that I could love anyone or anything. I want us to be together forever.”

I touched my lips to his chin. “I love you too and I promise will be together. Nothings gonna get me away from you….not ever.”

The End

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