The day he entered my office would change my life forever and not all

for the good. I was an accountant of a small firm in Beverly Farms outside

of Boston. I was married to a wonderful wife. We did not have any kids

yet but we were trying. Life was going well. I was expected to become a

junior partner within three years that would ensure my family's financial

future. I was 28 years old, healthy, and happy who was only missing the

children that would complete his family. I think that is why he picked me.

I can still remember when he entered the office everyone stopped what they

were doing. He had a magnetic pull that drew people to him. Men and Women

both were entranced as he approached the front desk and leaned against it.

'Hi, I've an appointment with Mr. Pulling.' He said with a wide smile and a

rich voice that sent shivers down my back.

The secretary who first seemed to be in a daze stuttered a few times before

answering him 'Oh yes, Mr. Gannon, (she said that with almost an orgasmic

voice) I will tell Mr. Thomson that you're here.' She said as she picked up

the phone.

She only got as far as raising the phone to her ear before she got

lost looking into Mr. Gannon's gray eyes. Mr. Gannon widened his grin as

he pushed the button to Mr.Pulling's office. The secretary, Ms. Lowell,

jumped to a start when Mr. Pulling, the senior partner of the firm answered

the phone.


'Oh, Mr. Pulling, your 10:30 has just arrived.'

'Thank you, tell him I will be there in a few minutes.'

'Yes sir.' She said before hanging up. 'Please take a seat sir,

Mr. Thomson will be with you soon.'

'Thanks, do you mind if I look around.'

'No sir, go on ahead' She said, not willing to say no to him

He began wandering the offices of the different partners and associates.

It was remarkable how none of the people seemed disturbed by his

interruptions instead, laughter could be heard coming from many of the

offices he visited. The staff members who did not have their own office

but worked in what was referred to as the hive stopped working and seemed

to gather outside whatever office he was at while the associates and

partners stood outside their office doors like it was a red light district.

It was almost funny seeing the partners taking up seductive poses and silly

grins on their faces until I noticed that I was doing the same.

Embarrassed, I returned to my office, closing the door behind me. I

returned to working on a spreadsheet and was halfway done when I heard a

knock on the door.

'Yes.' I answered looking up from the screen.

Poking his head through the now half way open door was the most compelling

face I had ever seen. It was a well defined, dimpled, smooth face topped

with short black hair. His gray eyes seemed almost to glow that seemed to

compel one to stare at them.

'Hi, you must be Mr. Keller. I'm Mr. Gannon, Travis Gannon.' He said as he

approached my desk with his hand outstretched for a handshake. I rose to

meet his hand and was hit by an electric like shock. I was trapped in his

strong grip.

'I'm so glade to meet you Mr. Keller.'

'Nice to meet you too.' Was all I could whimper out.

He moved me out from behind the desk and pulled me against his body

'Your perfect.' He whispered in my ear as he seemed to sniff around my

face. I was lost in a trance, only seeing the gray of his eyes.

A knock on the door shook me out of the trace. Stepping back from

Mr. Gannon I saw my boss Mr. Pulling at the entryway.

'Sorry for being late in coming Mr. Gannon, we can meet now in my office.'

Mr. Pulling said apologetically.

'Not a problem. It gave me time to familiarize myself with your staff.'

Mr. Gannon continued to stare at me during his reply but his expression was

that he did indeed mind being interrupted. He patted me on the cheek and

said; 'See you later Mr. Keller.' Before head out to my Boss's office.

I did not move for several minutes, stunned by what had happened. I never

felt an attraction to another man in my life nor had another man hit on me

before but his presence was so dominating I even now felt empty with him


Mr. Gannon walked into the bright corner office of Mr. Bob Pulling. It was

decorated in a cross between an Asian and English style with large oak

furniture and an Asian carpet on the hard wood floor. His impressive desk

was two meters long and a meter wide and was filled with papers and two

computer screens. Instead of sitting behind his desk with its obstructed

view, Mr. Pulling lead Mr. Gannon to a sitting area where two deep seated

chairs, a sofa, and a coffee table stood. On the table were two cups of

coffee. After a little small talk they got down to business.

'Well I must say that you have attracted a lot of attention from my staff.'

Mr. Pulling segwayed

'Yes, but I was also most impressed by your people, one in particular.'

'Mr. John Keller?'

'Yes, I want him as the primary.'

'Are you sure, he is married you know. I have two women just as qualified

or if it is men that you do prefer there is an associate here that leans

your way.'

'Mr. Goldberg?'

'Yes, how could you tell?'

'We have ways of ferreting out those who share our preferences.'

'Well, why not him?'

'Because I want Mr. Keller and that is all you need to know.'

'What I know is that this is highly ill-regular. I feel like a pimp

selling him to you.'

'You're not selling him to me. I'm just purchasing his services from you.

Outside of him being my personal aid, what will happen between us will be

up to him.'

'If you say so. According to our agreement, you will be paying him a wage

of one hundred twenty thousand dollars a year, more them most of the

partners make here by the way.' Mr. Pulling grumbled.

'And I will be paying you three times that amount to compensate your loss

of his services.' Mr. Gannon said sternly.

'Ah yes. You would not mind if we ask for the total amount for the year to

be paid in advance do you?' Mr. Pulling asked a little unsure of himself.

'I suppose. You are concerned that I would return him to you early and you

would not receive the full years amount.

'Its just a little insurance, considering the risk I'm taking.'

'Don't worry, I understand how you think. The money is in the car in cash

so you won't have to worry about the IRS snooping.'

'Thank you. Now should we call in Mr. Keller and tell him the good news?'

I had just gotten myself back together and finishing a report when the

phone rang.

'Mr. Keller can you come to my office please?' It was Mr. Pulling's voice.

'Yes sir.' I said before hanging up. Dread filled my heart. What did my

Boss think of seeing me embraced by Mr. Gannon. Will he accuse me of

flirting with one of our clients? Was I going to be fired'

I walked to the office as if it were a death march. Ms. Lowell saw me and

gave me a pitying look.

'I'm sure it's not that bad.' She called after me as I walked past her.

Walking right up against the door, I took a deep breath before knocking.

The door opened with such a rapid jerk that I almost fell forward. With

arms outstretched as if to catch me was Mr. Gannon grinning from ear to

ear. I feared what would happen if I fell into his arms again so I pushed

my arms back to change my direction. This caused me to stumble backwards.

'Are you alright?' Mr. Gannon asked laughing at my predicament.

'Yes, I'm sorry, I should not have been so close to the door.' I


'Will you bring him in here so that we tell him the good news!' My boss

laughed from within the office.

Walking into the room my boss got up from the chair he was sitting in and

shook my hand. 'Congratulations, your being promoted!'

'I am?' I said confused.

'Yes you are. You will be the personal accountant for Mr. Gannon who has

sign a large contract with us.'

'I am?' I repeated still stunned.

'See how hopeless this boy is, you tell him that he is receiving a raise

that will triple his salary and all he can say is two words!'

'I think he will do fine.' Mr. Gannon said in my defense.

'Well you picked him so you will now have to deal with him. John please

take a seat. Mr. Pulling said while indicating the sofa.

After sitting down, Mr. Gannon, instead of returning to the chair, sat down

next to me. I felt like I was in another premarital counseling session

like the ones my wife, Sara, and I went to. Mr. Pulling went over what my

job entailed and what he said sounded more like a personal assistant then

an accountant. I was to help organize his personal finances but I was also

to keep his schedule, go with him on business trips, manage his properties

and household staff, and provide social company. It was the last thing

that confused me.

'Social company?'

'Yes, its not a big thing, just go out to the gym with him, be a drinking

partner, just provide friendship.' My boss replied with a smile.

'I still feel uncomfortable with this. It looks like, no offense, that he

is buying my friendship.'

'No, he is buying your time and you will be paid very well for that time.'

He said while handing me the contract.

'Wow!' I said with surprise.

'Look, you don't have to enjoy yourself but don't 'not' enjoy yourself just

because of principles. Mr. Gannon is a very nice gentleman that I am sure

will not take advantage of your time.' Mr. Pulling said with a 'don't sour

the deal' tone.

Finally reaching a decision I said, 'When do I start?'

'That's the spirit. Mr. Gannon?' Mr. Pulling said in a now jolly tone.

'Well, how about tomorrow.' He said with a straight face.

'Tomorrow, I've not even discussed this with my wife yet.'

'Don't worry, just show her your new salary and she will pack your bags for

you.' Mr. Pulling laughed.

'But it will mean moving to Dallas and I've no time to arrange the move.'

'That will not be a problem, we will help your wife with all the details.'

'Can I at least call my wife first.'

'Sure you can use the phone here.' Mr. Pulling said indicating phone on

the coffee table.

I knew he told me to use this phone so that he could apply the pressure

needed to get me to convince Sara that the move was in our best interest.


'Yes dear, is everything ok at work.'

'Yes, I've some good news. I've been promoted.'

'That's wonderful. What's your new job?'

'I'm to be the personal accountant to Mr. Gannon who opened up a large

account with the firm.'

'So you did not make partner.' She asked disappointed.

'No but it pays better, about three times more then I'm making now.'

'That's great but why do I suspect a catch?'

'Well we will have to move to Dallas.' I said sheepishly knowing how she

felt about southerners, Texans in particular.

'DALLAS!, you want us to live amongst the ignorant, racist, inbreed pigs.'

Now I knew of the hypocrisy of my wife's statement when she said it. She

was born and raised in Maine and her idea of a racial minority there were

Italians. Having come from the Midwest I heard jokes being made at both

the South and the Northeast and I had come to this conclusion. Southerners

had racism due to competition between the different ethnic groups but at

least they were willing to try to discuss their problems. New Englanders

claimed not to be racist but it was due to omission not admission. It is

hard to see open acts of racism when the whole community is white European.

My wife also had the New England sense of intellectual superiority to the

rest of the world that would drive me crazy at times since I was a Kansas

boy. Of course I would never think of saying these things to her.

'But you will be a rich New Englander living amongst pigs.' I said

humoring her.

'Yes but can't they give you the same job from somewhere here?' she asked


'No, I don't think so, I was more picked by the client for this job and I

don't know anyone else here that would do the same.'

'Oh well, I guess we can live there for a few years, save some money, and

then move back when you're done. When do you have to leave.'

'I will have to leave tomorrow.'

'Tomorrow, then who will help me move.'

'Mr. Pulling said that he will help you with all the arrangements but you

will need to be there until I can arrange for housing in Dallas, which I

can't do until we sell the house.'

'I don't like being alone.'

'I know dear but its for the best and will give us an excuse for good bye

sex.' I said blushing since the others in the room started laughing.

Goodbye sex was our special arrangement that the night before one of

us left town for a trip we would spend the whole night making love. It was

an arrangement that both of us enjoyed greatly. The last time was about

five months ago when Sara went to visit her mother. To put it simply, it

involved a lot of food products and required the buying of new linen


'Well you just better hurry home. Oh, your uncle Logan called, he's

getting a divorce from Jessica.'


'Please don't worry about it just come home.'

'I will. Do you want me to pick up anything on the way home?'

'Yes, some strawberries and whip cream would be nice.'

'Can do. See you soon, bye.'


They were still laughing when I finally hung up the phone.

'Do I get any good bye sex before you leave!' My boss laughed.

'Not unless you make me your full partner!' I jabbed back.

'Is that a marriage proposal?'

'No it's asking for more money.'

'No deal then!' he laughed back. By this time everyone was laughing and

through the fogged glass to the office door I could see several people

hanging about. Probably wondering what was going on. Mr. Pulling told me

to spend the rest of the day cleaning out my office but to tell him when I

was leaving so that he and the rest of the staff could say goodbye.

Mr. Gannon handed me an airport pass and told me to show up around 6:30

A.M. the next day. Before leaving he got up and hugged me whispering into

my ear that he hoped this was the start of a great friendship. Felling

enraptured by his embrace, it was with some difficulty that I eventually

pulled away, thanked him for the job, and returned to my office.

There waiting for me was Peter Goldberg, the token gay guy in the office.

He was a major flirt with all the younger men in the office even though he

was only 32.

'He picked you.' He said as a matter of fact.

'Yes.' I replied strongly, wanting to find out what he's getting at.

'The first time another queer walks into this office and he picks a

straight married guy.'

'It was not my choice.' I defended myself.

'I know that but you can't help a guy for being jealous especially when the

client is as gorgeous as he is. He had every man and woman in the office


'I know the feeling.' I whispered.

'What's that, is there a little gay guy in Mr. Straight.' He said with


'No! I just don't understand why he seems to affect people the way he

does.' I defended myself.

'Its desire.' He strung out. 'It's his desire and your wanting to be

desired that is so attractive. The image he gives off is of someone

looking for something and it is so strong that you want to be the thing he

is looking for.

'That's utter nonsense' I said with sarcasm but felt might be true, feared

that it was true.

'Hey don't blame me, I only say it like it is but, if you ever get an itch

up that cute butt of your I know that he wont mind filling it.

'Stop it! His my boss!'

'I'm surprised by your response, I expected you to say that you were

married. There might be hope for you yet. Bye-bye.' He said with a

motherly voice before walking out of the office, swishing as he went just

to dig in his point more.

I later got my revenge against him by leaving him with some of the least

desirable accounts that I would not be able to finish. The worst was

Ms. Little, an 87 year old widow who was convinced that someone was

stealing her money. If it was true, none of the seven firms she had

previously fired had found it. For Peter, that would mean spending several

weeks a year in meetings with her to prove that she was not short (bad pun

here). The thing that made it worse was that Peter could not bill for

those hours spent since she was M. Pulling aunt and was treated as a

charity case. I got the stare of death when I dropped her file on his desk

but all I did was smile and swish out the door.

After calling all my clients and telling them who was going to take care of

their accounts, I packed up my laptop, a few office supplies and personal

effects and toted them to my car. Finishing that, I went to Mr. Pulling's

office and told him I was ready to leave. Everyone was friendly and sad to

see me go. I guess the news about my salary had not reached the other

partners or else they would of seemed bitter.

'Call me if you get lucky.' Peter said as I left the building to my car. I

almost flipped him one but I decided he was just being himself. The drive

to the supermarket was quick as was the final drive home. It finally hit

me, this would most likely be my final trip back to the house I had lived

with Sara for the last five years. This was a turning point. I just did

not know at the time how big of one it was going to be.

That night was wild. I think we could of written our own Karma Sutra with

all the crazy things we did that night. By the fifth go around things

slowed down to more cuddling and making out until 4:00 AM when we had one

final lovemaking in the shower before I left.

'Almost makes these times apart worth it.' I said when I kissed her good


'You just make sure you don't forget me here.' She smiled as she returned

my kiss.

I caught a cab to Logan airport where Henry Hernandez met me. He told me

he was a representative sent by Mr. Gannon to escort me to the plane. He

was about 5'10', with a narrow swimmer's build with a tan complexion, black

hair and hazel eyes. He looked like he was in his early twenties and

seemed to have a constant smile on his face.

'I can see why the boss picked you.'

'Why? What do you see.'

'You're a family man. Mr. Gannon been looking for one to work for him for

some time.'

'Oh, why that.'

'Let me just say that the boss is a family man himself.'

'He's married?'

'Not yet, but he's looking to one day.'

By the time we had finished with this conversation we had arrived at the

plane. It was a medium size private jet painted white with blue striping

and had a company logo painted on its tail wing. The logo was a

multicolored molecular model of DNA on a dark blue circular background

trimmed in gold with the words Gen-Corp written around it. It was then

that I realized who Mr. Gannon was. He was Dr. Gannon, president of the

largest gene research/ molecular medicine company in the country and

probably the world. They were also responsible for one out of every three

new drug discoveries for the past ten years. Put it simply, they were

huge. They were also mysterious since secrecy and security were the two

things they were also known for. All their employees lived on the research

campus which was a small city on to itself and employment was lifetime for

the researchers who had to sign a contract to discontinue any type of

research if they ever left the company. I was defiantly intimidated.

'Just found out who you were working for?' Henry laughed as he patted me on

the back. He must of noticed me staring at the company logo on the

plane. 'Don't worry he doesn't bite and the rumors are not as true as the

media makes it appear.' I laughed back nervously and followed him on to

the plane.

The insides of the plane look actually comfortable and spacious without

the double rows of triple seats you see on commercial 'cattle car'

airlines. Instead there were just one leather seat per row with them

alternating to different sides of the plane. Half way up the plane was a

wooden door and it was to this wooden door that Henry led me.

'Come in!' a voice shouted after Henry knocked on the door. Inside were an

office setup, conference table and a bed. At the desk was Mr./Dr. Gannon

who was looking at a screen containing what looked like genetic code from

what I remembered from college biology. It was a series of A's G's T's and

C's in several rows with certain areas highlighted in yellow. After

closing the screen, he looked up and developed a huge grin and I felt me

knee weaken. He still had the same magnetism as the day before.

He came up to me and gripped me by both shoulders and said, 'I'm glad you

came,' with a deep sense of emotion.

'Well it would not be good for me to be late on my first day.' I joked to

try to relax the mood.

'No it wouldn't.' He smiled now giving me a hug. 'No it wouldn't.'

I did not know how to respond to his statement or his hug. He seemed to

keep me in it for what felt like minutes. While first tensing up, I felt

myself relaxing and finding the hug from this other man comforting. I did

not realize until it was too late that I was falling asleep in his arms.

I awoke into a dark room. I guessed that I was still on the plane since I

could now here the faint rumble of its engines. I was also laid out on a

bed. When I tried to get up, a firm hand pressed me back down.

'You need your rest. You must have had a wild night since you look so

tired.' A now familiar voice spoke in the darkness. I laid back down but

the hand remained on my chest.

'I think that I need to be truthful with you John.' Dr. Gannon said. 'I

would be deceiving myself and you if I did not tell you that I'm immensely

attracted to you. I don't want this to become an issue of sexual

harassment but I think you need to know that. I also know that you are

indeed married and have never been with a man before. I will not press

myself on you, all I ask is that you don't push me away or quit.'

'All right.' I said not knowing what I truly wanted.

'Good!' he said in a now jolly voice. He removed his hand to grab mine and

lifted me off the bed.

'I love you.' He whispered in my ear.

'How, you just met me?'

'I know enough of you to know that I love you,' was his only reply.

We left the bedroom/office and entered the main cabin where several other

people were seated eating breakfast. I took an empty seat and was brought

a tray containing fruit, bagels, lox, and cream cheese. While eating I

noticed that a lot of the people on the plane were looking at me as if they

were doing an examination. I tried to smile it off but it was still

unnerving. One of them rose from his seat and approached me.

'Welcome to the team, I'm Chris Henderson, Dr. Gannon's lab assistant.'

I rose and shook the lanky blond's hand. 'Hi, I'm John Keller.' I replied

I was then surprised when he pulled me into a hug. I was surprised when he

closed his eyes rested his head against my chest and started humming. I was

even more surprised when I wrapped one of my arms around his shoulders. I

look up from Chris and saw that Dr. Gannon had stood up and had tears in

his eyes. He came up behind Chris and embraced him so that he was

sandwiched between us. I did not know what was happening but it seemed

very important to both Chris and Dr. Gannon. Eventually Chris let go and

Dr. Gannon lead him back to a seat.

'You'll have to excuse Chris here. We are big in hugs at Gen-Corp and

Chris is a bit of an orphan that we adopted. He always gets attached to

people who are in my inner circle.'

'Don't worry about it, I didn't mind.' I replied good-naturedly.

'I'm glade you hugged him back, it means a lot to him when people do.

Sometimes he hugs the wrong person and his feelings get hurt.'

The rest of the flight was spent in me getting to know the rest of the

'inner circle'. There was William Bradford, head of security, Tad Camin

Senior head of research. Louis Wane, Dr. Gannon's personal physician, Jake

Morrison the lawyer, and I had already met Henry Hernandez his secretary

and Chris Henderson his lab assistant. They all seemed to be around the

same age, mid-30's to early 20's and all seemed to be in prime physical

condition. Each greeted me with warm smiles, telling me how glad they were

that I was on the team. I was told that I would need to pick out a

secretary when I arrived and that a physical would be required. We arrived

in Dallas around 10:00 local time and were met by several black and white

suburbans all with the company logo on the doors. Henry, Chris, Dr. Gannon

and myself went to the black suburban.

'I hope you don't mind living with us until you find a house.' Dr. Gannon

commented as he began the drive to his research center, located between

Dallas and Plano. As soon as your house sells back up in Boston you can go

house hunting. Your secretary can help you but I would recommend you look

in either the Highland Park area or in Plano since those are the nicer

neighborhoods. But watch out for Highland, the people there tend to be a

little stiff.'

'Thanks for the advice. What else in on today's schedule Dr. Gannon?'

'Well, we need to get you settled in first. Then someone will take you to

the hospital for a check up with Dr. Wane. Third, you will meet the

candidates to be your personal secretary. And last and most important you

will not call me Dr. or Mr. Gannon anymore. You're my friend so I will

call you John and I want you to call me Travis or Tom which ever you

prefer.' Travis then reached over and whispered in my ear, 'I would like

it even more if you called me 'beloved' but only when you're ready.'

This caused me to blush and get nervous. What would my wife think of my

boss constantly flirting with me? More so, how am I to react to it. Right

now it made me feel good, that I wanted him to love me and that I wanted to

love him but I held that emotion in check. I did not want to betray my

feelings for my wife in either deed or thought. When we arrived at the

complex I was amazed by its size. The complex of buildings formed a rough

circle with a large five story building encircling an inner court the size

of 12 football fields. At five points within the circle were 30 story

office towers and in the center was a pentagon shaped 50 story building

that must have been a football field in length from point to point.

'This is just a small place I call home.' Travis laughed as he saw my

mouth agape. 'This used to be a quarry but we filled the pit with sub

basements, covered it up and then built on top of that. The buildings you

see only make up a third of our total square floorage. The rest is

underground. Most of the workers live in the outer circle of buildings as

are the shops, restaurants, and entertainment. The courtyard provides

physical recreation fields. Research is all done in the sub basements

while the business portion is managed from the central tower. The

employees, in addition to their regular pay, receive credits from which

they can use to buy company services such as health care, legal help, day

care, vacations, and what not. They can also use them at any of the stores

here at a ten percent discount from normal prices.'

'Where do you live?' I asked.

Smiling at me for taking an interest in his life he answered. 'I live on

the top three floors of tower number 2 there. He said as he pointed at one

of the buildings located on the outer circle. 'I hope you decide to live

here instead of looking for a house else where. Most of the workers

decided that they like living close to the people they work with.' Was the

last thing he said before entering the underground garage.

After Travis had taken John into in apartment, Louis and Will stayed behind

to talk.

'So do you think that he is the one?' Will, head of security asked.

'So far seems so, I've never seen Travis so happy in his life.

'I've never seen any other emotion besides anger or concern from him in his

life.' Will commented.

'That's the burden he's had to bear. Hopefully Mr. Keller is the one that

can complete the gap.'

'You'll be testing him today then.'

'Just simple blood tests and a gene scan. If he is one, then we won't be

sure what we will find.'

'Just so long as Travis is happy is all I care about. He deserves it and

it will make working here a lot safer.'

'What about the CEO's son, Gordon, if Mr. Keller is a match then Mr. Vassar

might want him for his son.'

'That kid is only 4 years old.'

'He might be only 4 but he looks like he will be stronger then even Travis

and you know how that works.'

'Yes but Mr. Vassar is in no condition to make such a demand, the workers

would all side with Travis.'

'Still, it would be a good idea to keep the two separated for the time

being. It would be a major disaster if Gordon were to become attached to


'I'll do what I can, luckily they live in separate towers and Mr. Vassar

rarely brings his son to work. I hear that his wife is pregnant again.'

'Yes, it looks like twins this time, unfortunately one appears to be a


'What are the odds of her survival?'

'It depends, how much of her father is in her.'

The apartment John entered was done in a Southwestern style with a lot of

earth tone colors and rustic looking wood pillars. Josh was lead up to the

third floor by way of a grand staircase showcased by a large rose window at

the top. The rooms that were to be my apartments consisted of a living

room, study, solarium, bedroom and bath. There were two doors that had

locks on them both from the bedroom. One, Travis told be with a guilty

smile, led to his bedroom. The other, he told me led to what would be my

secretary's rooms.

'I just want to be sure I can get to you quickly when I need to. Saves

time not having to go up and down those stairs.'

'I'm sure.' Josh said with a knowing smile. 'You confident you don't want

the exercise.'

'Who said anything about me going up and down the stairs, I've an intercom

in all the rooms and a little bell by my bed. If I need you all I have to

do is ring. I was only thinking of you comfort.' He laughed, parrying my


'Thanks then.'

They continued laughing until there was a knock on the open door. Dr. Wane

stood there with a clipboard in hand. 'Sorry but I will have to end all

this merriment if I'm to give John his physical before the day's done.

'All right you party pooper, you better get going John or else Louis will

give you an extra jab just for keeping him waiting.'

'Bye Travis.' John said, remembering to call him by his first name.

'Bye,' he said after John left the room.

Travis continued smiling for a few minutes after he left and then as if he

were struck by something the smile washed away from his face leaving a cold

stern expression.

'He's gone.' He said to himself, suddenly filled with a void. He wanted to

run and follow John to regain the feeling he just lost but knew that he had

work to do and that he needed to accept these moments of emptiness as he

had done for most of his life.



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